Opinion and analysis on the day's music business news.

Pandora Addresses Privacy Concerns
-- Pandora has addressed some privacy concerns. Pandora users can now see their profile and choose to make it either public or private. “We're big believers in the social aspect of music discovery and sharing and want to make it as easy as possible,” founder Tim Westergren writes at the company’s blog, “but we also want to make sure we respect each listeners' personal comfort when it comes to this.” The privacy concerns arose in late April when Facebook launched its “instant personalization” initiative. Pandora was one of a handful of companies to get early access to this technology. In a nutshell, Pandora is able to look at the information in a user’s Facebook profile to give a personalized experience. Before, users would have to rate songs before Pandora got a feel for his or her likes and dislikes. In addition, clicking on the “like” and “recommend” buttons on third-party sites becomes public information on Facebook and that third-party site – unless privacy settings are changed. At the end of the day, music services will be better when leveraging social network information, but people are going to have to warm to the idea and companies are going to have to be sensitive to their concerns. (Pandora blog)


Barnes & Noble To Be Sold?
-- Barnes & Noble’s board of directors is looking into ways to increase shareholder value, including the sale of the company, the company announced on Tuesday. Shares were up over 20% in early Wednesday trading. As the New York Times points out, two of the company’s shareholders, Leonard Riggio and Ronald Burkle, are likely to make bids for the company. Riggio is the company founder and owns 30% of shares. Burkle owns 19% of shares – a provision prevents anyone from owning more than 20% without board approval – and testified that last November he had considered bidding $25 a share for the company (the stock was at $16 at the time). (Press release, New York Times)


Dealing With Piracy On YouTube
-- Perfect 10’s lawsuit against Google got off to a bad start. The judge in the case cleared Google for displaying links in search results to Perfect 10’s content because the company did not provide Google with the information detailed enough for Google to be able to easily remove the infringing material. Some notices were sent simply to webmaster@google.com, believe it or not.

As the recent ruling in Viacom v. Google shows, content owners are adjusting to their role in effectively dealing with piracy at YouTube. But the DMCA sets a minimum level of effort that content owners to meet – or else. Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman urges content owners not to get lazy with their takedown requests. “Over and over again, we've seen that the big service providers will respond quickly to properly drafted takedown notices; and we've seen judges become increasingly less tolerant of plaintiffs who couldn't bother to follow the statutory roadmap.” (Delete Your Cookies)


Azoff On Twitter
-- Irving Azoff, executive chairman at Live Nation, is now on Twitter. One of his first messages has got to be disappointing for artists and investors alike. “so if you want ticket prices to go down stop stealing music,” he wrote. Twitter is hardly the place to reveal a company’s strategy for dealing with the competing forces of rising artist demands and consumer demands for cheaper tickets, but blaming high ticket prices solely on piracy is disappointing. Live Nation cannot control piracy, so it needs to focus on those variables it can control. While it’s just a Twitter message, it doesn’t look good when one of the two men (the other being CEO Michael Rapino) who need to prove they can manage costs, shifts the blame to piracy. On the bright side, the executive chairman of Live Nation is now part of the social graph and is openly communicating with the world. He has 957 followers as of Wed. afternoon, but is following only four: Bob Lefsetz, John Mayer, Josh Groban and Jerry Brown, the Attorney General of California. (@irvingazoff)


A Look At Colleges' Implement Anti-Piracy Measures
-- As of July 1, colleges and universities in the U.S. are required by law to implement some sort of anti-piracy measures. The USA Today has a good, quick overview of some schools’ efforts – although it should be noted that students only have to move off campus to avoid these penalties. “Campus punishments vary. The University of North Carolina website lists expulsion as a possible consequence. Vassar College requires first-time offenders to perform 20 hours of "sanctioned service" and pay a $25 fine. Second-time offenders face double the service requirements, double the fines and loss of Internet access, says spokesman Jeff Kosmacher.”(USA Today)


Assorted Links
-- Jay Frank explains how many clicks it takes to buy music at various sites. (Hypebot)
-- British government moves to dramatically cut funding for the arts. (Washington Post)
-- Music service mufin has appointed Boris Löhe, former managing director at Sony Entertainment Germany, as its president. (Press release)
-- Vye Music is a new web-based music streaming that uses the API from YouTube and last.fm. (Vye Music)

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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