Opinion and analysis of the day's music news.


How Jammie Thomas-Rasset Helped Rights Holders
-- Did the Jammie Thomas-Rasset case backfire on file sharers? CNET's Greg Sandoval asks the question after a jury decided Thomas-Rasset owes $1.5 million for 24 instances of infringing copyright. As Sandoval points out, Thomas-Rasset's attorneys have pledged to continue their legal battle through the appeals process. Writes Sandoval: "In the meantime, her losses are arming copyright owners with valuable credibility and precedents. After four years of legal maneuvering and three separate trials, the evidence suggests that Thomas-Rasset's case was the wrong one to challenge the nation's copyright laws. The RIAA can now point to three separate juries that believed a fair damages amount for Thomas-Rasset to pay was respectively: $222,000, $1.9 million, and $1.5 million. The range for statutory damages for each instance of copyright infringement is between $750 and $150,000. Instead, the juries in the Thomas-Rasset trials chose $9,250, $80,000, and $62,500."

The latest jury decision brings up two important questions. What does it say about statutory damages for copyright infringement that three times a jury of her peers have given Thomas-Rasset a penalty far above the minimum established by Congress? And what is the likelihood that lighter penalties will someday become part of a revised copyright law if juries are not opting for the minimum? There has certainly been some public outrage over the penalties heaped on convicted file sharers, but juries shown the evidence have opted for big penalties. Now, as film producers begin suing suspected file sharers en masse, they can point to the penalties levied upon Thomas-Rasset three times in their negotiations with the defendants.
(CNET)

Warner Aims To Monetize Archive
-- Warner Music Group's "Sight of Sound" project is cataloging the company's archives of photographs and other items stored in nearly 100,000 boxes around the world. Chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. tells the New York Times the project has cultural as well as business importance: "I think there's the potential to make money. It's indefinable." So far Warner has ran across items from the early days of music publisher Warner Chappell, signed artist contracts (Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles), and shots of Led Zeppelin in the studio in 1969.
(New York Times)

How Ticketmaster Harnesses Data
-- Data is a common topic at Billboard, conferences and everyday discussion about how to operate more efficiently and effectively. But what does it mean to harness data? Here's a good example: At last week's Billboard Touring Conference and Awards, Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard said his company has found that hockey season ticket buyers are six times more likely than average ticket buyers to buy Bruce Springsteen tickets. That kind of knowledge, he explained, can help Ticketmaster clients better target those consumers most likely to attend a certain event.

Another Rdio Mobile App
-- Rdio for Windows Phone 7 is now available. Except for the "sync to mobile" feature, the app has all the features available on version for other platforms. The app is already available for iPhone, Blackberry and Android.
(Rdio blog)

Ticketbiscuit Appointment
-- Todd Coder, a talent buyer at Birmingham, Alabama venue WorkPlay, will join Ticketbiscuit in a full-time business development role. He will also continue to book for WorkPlay while he transitions his day-to-day duties to the WorkPlay staff.
(TicketNews)

Connected TVs and Content Discovery
-- Avner Ronen, CEO and co-founder of Boxee, offered some interesting food for thought on content discovery in the new living room. Speaking about connected TVs at the Digital Living Room conference, Ronen pointed to stark differences between the computer and the connected TV. "People don't want web browsing on their TV - they're interested in the content. That's it."

The key difference between cable companies and new video services like Boxee, Ronen said, is the latter's ability to benefit from social media. "Social media will be bigger than search, because it will impact discovery. That's what we're all doing. When people watch videos, it's mostly from Facebook and Twitter, and that will be the same for how people find premium content."
(paidContent)