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If It Ain’t Broke….

Apple is ticked off at the French government who created legislation that requires Apple to reveal their secret coding system that converts songs from iTunes to one’s iPod.  By revealing their codes, patrons can download music from any music download-site (legally or illegally) and sync the songs to their iPod.  Lawmakers in the National Assembly (France’s lower house) approved a bill by a vote of 296-193, which is now up for vote in the French Senate.  Apple needless to say was not pleased with this legislation and likened it to "state-sponsored piracy" implying that the French consumers will backtrack from legal downloads of music back to the illegal market that Apple has worked so hard to diminish. Apple released in a statement: "If this happens, legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers.  IPod sales will likely increase as users freely load their iPods with ‘interoperable’ music, which cannot be adequately protected. Free movies for iPods should not be far behind in what will rapidly become a state-sponsored culture of piracy." The talk of the town this week predicts that if this legislation is approved, Apple will pull out iTunes out of France altogether.  French lawmakers argue that the law penalizes music piracy with a new range of fines, but realistically how many people would get caught? This is a very significant story, because it impacts Apple’s highly regarded and successful business plan of a "closed network."  If this legislation is passed and other governments follow, Apple can be in real danger of losing the stronghold it has carved for itself in...

Twist & Shout, Let It All Out

Today, consumers are faced with more and more media options with which they can spend their time then ever before.  Audiences options range from new on-demand content, to rental DVD options, and paid satellite radio. With that in mind the big media companies are rushing to stay relevant and while it seems as though everyone has a different strategy, one popular trend is to offer niche content to previously underserved markets. Perhaps one of the larger populations to benefit from the change has been the gay community, which it seems many content creators are quickly trying to capture.  And why not, over the past decade the gay community has not only solidified its voice but within the community there is vast representation of many socio-economic backgrounds.  Further, the gay community is prominent in many of the Nation’s largest markets including New York, San Francisco, Miami, and Los Angeles just to name a few.  With that in mind, today, Sony Music announced that they plan to launch a new record label that features gay, lesbian, and transgendered artists.  The label will be run by Matt Farber, who started MTV’s LOGO network that launched in 2005.  Reports are that the label will offer its first release in time for National Gay Pride Month in June. Sony’s entry into the gay and lesbian market follow’s on the heals of not only MTV, but also of Sirius Satellite Radio, which has for several years provided Channel 149, Sirius...