In the News
In the News
In the News

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    • In a speech to the National Press Club, Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin announced that if his company were allowed to merge with XM, the combined satellite radio service would offer a new 'a la carte' pricing system for subscribers. Users could choose among stations offered by both companies, although doing so would require buying a new interoperable radio. Furthermore, family-oriented consumers could get credit for opting out of adult stations. The new pricing schemes are part of a larger effort by Sirius and XM to show that the merger would be in the public interest.

    • Last week the Canadian Copyright Board ruled that Digital Audio Recorders (iPods) could be subject to levies in order to reimburse artists whose work has been pirated. In the 1990's Canadian musicians won the right to charge levies on blank CD's, which they argued were used primarily to make illegal copies of music. Now that the iPod has been put under the same rubric, the Canadian Copyright Board may go further: “We see no inherent problem with this scenario,” the copyright board said. “A thing that is ordinarily used by individual consumers to make private copies [of songs] should not be excluded … for the sole reason that it has other uses.”

    • The iPhone has (surprise) been a big boon to AT&T, which reported a 61% rise in net income and over 50,000 new wireless subscribers in just the last two days of the quarter. In the same period the company activated some 146,000 new iPhones. Apple has not been so lucky – its stock fell some 5% this week.

    • Extending copyright seems to have become a Congressional pastime here in the states, but this week the British government rejected an effort to extend audio copyright protections beyond 50 years. “Some of the greatest works of British music will soon be taken away from the artists who performed them and the companies that invested in them,” declared a spokesman for the recording industry. The UK music industry will now move its lobbying efforts to the European Union, which it hopes will be more sympathetic to its claims.

    • CNET reports on new vulnerabilities discovered on the iPhone. Researchers at the Independent Security Evaluators were able to force the Safari browser to go to a maliciously coded website that could extract SMS text files, contact information, call history, passwords, and voice mail information. Hackers could also control the phone's behavior, making it ring, dial a phone number, or turn on a microphone.

    • Prince has released his new album, “Planet Earth” for free in copies of the British Mail on Sunday. The New York Times reports that after the CD giveaway was announced, Sony decided not to sell the album in British retail stores:

      Other musicians may think that their best chance at a livelihood is locking away their music — impossible as that is in the digital era — and demanding that fans buy everything they want to hear. But Prince is confident that his listeners will support him, if not through CD sales then at shows or through other deals.