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Digital Rights Management

Music to My Ears

A hush has fallen over the music industry.  It may be the hush of anticipation prior to the birth of an heir who will lead the kingdom to a new golden age, or it may be the calm before the onslaught of the perfect storm.  DRM (Digital Rights Management)--which may be the baby, or it may be the...

My Phoner with Pogue

During the week leading up to ALA Midwinter, I received an email message from a publicist, stating that his client would be attending Midwinter, and wondering if I would like to conduct an interview. His client is David Pogue, the excellent NY Times columnist and blogger who writes about technology topics, especially handheld electronic devices. I jumped at the chance to interview Pogue,...

SpiralFrog and the Gyres of History

Despite or because of its runaway success, the iPod/iTunes service from Apple has more than a few critics and enemies. Some musicians and music companies don't like the strategy of ninety-nine-cent pricing. It smacks of the cheesy dollar-store marketing mindset. I agree with the heat-wave gripes about Apple that Karen Schneider posted to this blog in July, and I can add a few more rants of my own...

It's Too Darn Hot: A Curmudgeon's Asides

This week it's hot as a pistol across the United States, and as I sit in my office without A/C, a feeble fan drying the sweat on my face, I'm grumpy. Grumpy enough to line up a few peeves against the wall and slap them around.Open-source softwareYes, I know, open source is a saint and you'd let your sister or brother marry it. But I hate the idea that for some librarians if a particular software...

Napster Awakes

Earlier this week, after years of a court-induced coma, the Napster.com Web site became live and free again. This time, the Napster executives claim they are too legit to quit. Here's the new deal. Napster claims to have two-million songs in its master collection. If an individual fills out a no-cost Web registration form, he or she is then allowed to listen to any and all of the tunes up to five...

When Owning Isn't Owning

At the Ontario Library Association Superconference earlier this month, I argued that library schools need to offer a course in copyright, licensing agreements for electronic products, and digital rights management (DRM), because they all affect the future of how libraries will interact with our users as entertainment and information becomes increasingly digital. It's unfortunate that at a time...