PIRATE ISP TO LAUNCH IN SWEDEN
-- It was bound to happen: The Swedish Pirate Party plans to launch an ISP that allows users to roam the Internet anonymously. Pirate ISP is starting with a small launch and will roll out to the entire country later this year. The founders said they will not allow the Swedish government to monitor its users and will not keep user logs.
An anonymity-providing ISP is a natural reaction to changes sweeping through the country. Sweden now has a tough copyright law on the books that attempts to counter widespread opposition to copyright enforcement. Pirate ISP is the logical continuation of the whack-a-mole game that is the battle against piracy. File-sharing went from centralized servers to decentralized networks. Now some Internet traffic will go from traceable to untraceable. (TorrentFreak)


HOW MUCH IS PANDORA WORTH TO THE BIZ
-- Pandora is responsible for about $10 million in music download sales per year, said CTO Joe Kennedy at the New Music Seminar on Tuesday. It was a small note made during a long panel, but it adds color to the value Pandora creates for content owners.

Pandora’s 2009 revenue was about $50 million and $30 million was paid out in royalties. If music sales generated by Pandora had a retail value of $10 million in 2009 (Kennedy did not specify which 12-month period he was talking about, by the way), that means about $7 million in trade revenue made its way back to distributors, labels, publishers and artists. That puts Pandora’s value to content owners in 2009 at about $37 million.

To put this number in perspective, Pandora has 60 million U.S. users and 22 million have listened “in the last few days,” said Kennedy. The impact of Pandora-led music discovery is almost certainly higher than $10 million retail.

Kennedy’s figure of $10 million in sales per year seems a bit low given previously released numbers. In May of 2009, Kennedy told TechCrunch that Pandora users were buying one million songs per month from affiliate links. That’s 12 million downloads per year, which has a retail value of about $12 million. Given Pandora’s growth in the last 12 months, $10 million in annual sales sounds too low. (Digital Music News, TechCrunch)


CREDIT CARD RELIEF FOR RETAILERS
-- The financial reform bill aims to provide relief to retailers who pay credit card fees. An amendment to the bill directs the Federal Reserve to create a fair, proportional fee structure. The bill also allows retailers to set a minimum dollar amount for accepting a credit card for a purchase. (NPR)


SLACKER LINKS WITH ABC NEWS
-- Personalized Internet radio service Slacker has added ABC News content. Free users can access the content for up to two weeks. After that point they will need to upgrade to Slacker Plus ($3.99 per month). There is an ABC News tab on the main menu. To add hourly updates from ABC News, select a station you have created, select the “fine tune” option (it’s the drop-down menu to the right of title of the station) and select the “on” option for “hourly news updates.” (Mashable)


APPLE EARNINGS FROM MUSIC
-- A summary of music-related items from Apple’s stellar third-quarter earnings release: 9.41 iPods sold, 8.4 million iPhones sold, 3.27 million iPads sold. (Earnings release)


Assorted Links
-- What’s in a £1 million record deal? (BBC News)
-- Fallout from the Electronic Daisy Carnival in California, San Bernardino County official have banned raves at county-owned venues. (Press-Enterprise)