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Message to Universal: Buying Competitors Does Not Fight Piracy

March 12, 2012 Competition , Music , Music Licensing , Piracy

As part of its sales pitch to antitrust regulators, Universal Music Group, the largest record label in the world, is now claiming that it absolutely must buy the record label EMI in order to fight piracy. Yes, Universal is seriously claiming that the pressures of online copyright infringement are forcing it to buy one of its largest competitors in an already very consolidated market. On this point, Universal is wrong. Universal is not trying to buy EMI because it wants to fight piracy, and even if it was, this deal would likely have the exact opposite effect. The best way to fight piracy is to offer fans a quick, easy, reasonably priced legal alternative to infringement. Those consumer-friendly alternatives are much more likely to thrive when no single record label has a large enough market share to effectively veto any new service it doesn’t like. 

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OMG, UMG! Why Four Major Labels Are Better Than Three.

March 7, 2012 Antitrust , Competition , Music , Music Licensing , UMGEMI

Right now the biggest record label in the world, Universal Music Group, is attempting to buy the fourth-largest record label, EMI, a move that could stifle the development of new digital music services to the detriment of musicians and their fans. If one company holds a large enough share of the recorded music market, new online music services will inevitable need to curry favor with that company in order to succeed, which gives that company (here, Universal) effective veto power over new services and competitors.

Today Public Knowledge and the Media Access Project filed a letter advising the Federal Trade Commission to investigate thoroughly how the proposed transaction will affect both artists and audiences before it lets the one of the “Big Four” major labels take over another. While we are not currently asking the FTC to necessarily block the deals outright, the deals pose some serious potential harms to musicians and consumers. The FTC should rigorously review the likelihood and scale of those harms before it decides whether it should approve the acquisitions in their current form.

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PK In The Know Podcast: VZ/Spectrum Co., Data Hogs, and Cantora Labs

February 24, 2012 Comcast , Competition , Data Caps , Music , VerizonSpectrumCo

On today’s podcast we discuss problems with a pending deal between Verizon and the cable companies and more data on the myth of the data hog. We also talk with Nick Panama of Cantora Labs about embracing technology as a record label.

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PK In the Know Podcast

April 8, 2011 Competition , FCC , Music , Network Neutrality

In this weeks podcast we discuss Net Neutrality votes in the House, Grooveshark‘s removal from the Android Marketplace, recent COICA hearings, and the Data Roaming Order from the FCC.  We also have an interview with Stephen McGloughlin of MYDIYCNC to discuss CNC technology and creating a sustainable business from a Kickstarter campaign.

You can download the audio directly by clicking here (MP3) or stream it using the player below:

Want to subscribe to our podcast? Click here for the MP3 feed.

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PK In the Know Podcast

February 4, 2011 Competition , Music

On today’s podcast, we discuss making money by giving away music for free, the Canadian metered Internet kerfuffle, and the controversy surrounding the Apple iTunes store.  We also have an interview with Jayesh Salvi, the man behind 3dtin.com, an easy way to design 3D printable objects.

You can download the audio directly by clicking here (MP3) or stream it using the player below:

Want to subscribe to our podcast? Click here for the MP3 feed.

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