-- Two posts worth reading: The Hollywood Reporter's "Why Hollywood Should Be Very Nervous About Elena Kagan," a post about President Obama's nomination for the Supreme Court, and a follow-up by music attorney Chris Castle. "Hollywood's biggest worry about Kagan might be her philosophy on intellectual property matters," wrote THR's Eriq Gardner. "As dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009, she was instrumental in beefing up the school's Berkman Center for Internet & Society by recruiting Lawrence Lessig and others who take a strongly liberal position on 'fair use' in copyright disputes." As previously mentioned at Business Matters, Kagan was dean of Harvard Law School and was an enthusiastic supporter of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society - known to most within the music industry as the legal defense for convicted file sharer Joel Tenenbaum.

-- Chris Briggs, a U.K. A&R executive at EMI, is leaving for Sony Music and paints an unflattering picture on the way out the door. "Some of the uncertainties have made it harder to sign new artists because of the amount of publicity Guy and Terra Firma get with regards to the debt and trying to raise this money," he told the Financial Times. This departure adds to the numerous artists who have recently left (Queen, Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker, Crowded House). (Financial Times)

-- The Echo Nest/Play.ME partnership reported at Billboard is a really huge deal. A big problem for developers has been the barriers to licensing catalog from their applications. The better-funded ideas, not the best ideas, are more likely to see the light of day as a result. But that means the right incentives do not exist to attract the best and smartest people to help the music industry move forward. This
partnership allows developers to tap into a pre-licensed catalog. The
need for fewer interactions with lawyers should help unlock their
creativity and bring more of them into the music space. (Billboard.biz)

-- Alison Krauss has joined management company Borman Entertainment. Krauss departed with previous manager DS Management in February. Borman also represents Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban. Faith Hill left Borman last November and joined with Red Light Management in January. (MusicRow)

-- Warner Music Group and Myxer have announced a "strategic agreement" in which WMG will promote its catalog of mobile content to Myxer's 34 million users. In addition, WMG artists will have access to the Myxer's MobileStage, a platform that allows artists to create a customizable mobile web site and connect directly to their fans' mobile devices. MobileStage has a free version while the Pro version costs $49.95 per year for up to five profiles. (Press release)

-- The Washington Post has broken down the service fees of tickets for shows at ten DC-area venues (see the chart here) and comes to the incredible conclusion that “venues aren’t likely to get rid of service charges any time soon.” As is often the case, the article is an example of the irrational mindset of the ticket buyer. When the Post puts forward the question, “Why am I being charged $23.75 for a $15 concert ticket,” it reflects a common misunderstanding. The real price is $23.75, not $15. The face value is only the beginning of the final price that will be paid. If consumers prefer a single, all-in ticket price, they will pay a higher price but will blind be to the amount of service fees being tacked on. Maybe that ignorance would be a good thing. Either way, they’re paying those service fees. Side note: if you look at the prices and fees on the chart, you’ll see that Ticketmaster’s fees don’t fare too poorly to some of its competitors. Ticketfly events in the sample have an extra $8 to $11 of fees while Ticketmaster fees range from $9.60 to $17.50. As a percent of face value, Ticketmaster’s service fees are quite average. Ticket Alternative, which counts the Black Cat and Rock & Roll Hotel as its clients, charges $3 or less per ticket, the lowest in the sample. (Washington Post)

- Apparently another next-gen iPhone prototype has been found, this time in Vietnam. Not much new to add beyond what Gizmodo found in the device it purchased last month, other than the surprising notion that Apple could lose two prototypes in the normally highly-secretive run-up to a product launch. Or the whole thing could be a hoax built off the details gleaned from Gizmodo. (Taoviet)

Additional items by Antony Bruno.