@Billboard is Demonstrably Short on Pandora Payola: Just Read FCC Website

The Trichordist

On last Thursday, Billboard wrote again about the  Pandora/Merlin direct deal.  For those of you who don’t know about the deal it basically says:   Merlin accepts lower royalty payments if Pandora plays Merlin songs more often.   We covered this a couple weeks ago after NPR’s Laura Sydell interviewed me about the deal.

Billboard says last week:

[T]he charge that the Merlin deal amounts to payola might be convoluted logic. Payola occurs when labels pay radio to play their music, not the other way around, as what happens in the digital realm. Even if the Merlin deal results in a slight economic benefit to Pandora, payola laws would need to be turned upside down and inside out to apply to this particular situation. Of course, stranger things have happened in the U.S. legal system. 

Unfortunately, that’s not what the FCC website says and I think Ed Christman knows better which…

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US Considers Putting North Korea Back on Terror List: Bad News For Google

Anybody musician, film maker, author or journalist knows that all governments have failed us in one fundamental way:  they have failed to protect our property from theft.  The Internet for us has been a complete economic disaster of monumental proportions.  We look at what has happened to Sony with a mixture of empathy and amusement.

Empathy because it’s fundamentally the same thing that has been happening to us for 15 years and we know it’s a depressing experience.  Amusement because it’s fundamentally the same thing that has been happening to us for 15 years and we know it’s a depressing experience–but this time it’s happening to big enough Obama contributors that someone will pay attention.

What I find so remarkable about the Sony hack is everyone is acting surprised.  Obviously this has been coming for a long, long time.  While the government may be good at monitoring citizens and protecting its own computers, they do a piss poor job of protecting the private property of the citizenry, including Sony.

Don’t let them get away with being shocked, shocked that the Internet is being used by foreign state actors to steal the property of Americans.  This has been going on since the beginning–Allofmp3.com was protected by the Kremlin and everyone knew it and nobody said anything.

And the American corporation that benefits the most from the theft of the property of other Americans is Google and you really don’t have to look any further than YouTube where Google is in total control.  So naturally Google would be getting cozy with North Korea.

Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt visited North Korea last year.  This is the first step toward Google getting into business in North Korea.  Google is very tight with the ChiComs and Putin, so why leave out Kim Jong-un?

If you look at the information that was leaked in the Sony hack, did you notice that there’s not one embarrassing leak regarding Google?  Is it really plausible that Sony Pictures had no direct communication with Google for years and years?

There’s lots of confidential information stolen by hackers that helps Google including the leak of a competitor to Google Glass (and a lot cooler looking):

Business Insider says:

Snapchat secretly acquired a company working on a Google Glass type of product in March, according to documents that leaked as a part of the Sony hacking.

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is also a Snapchat board member, and his inbox has been exposed by hackers. In it, we see deal terms that suggest Snapchat paid $15 million for Vergence Labs, which makes frames for glasses. The terms say Snapchat paid $11 million in cash and $4 million in stock.

So if Obama puts North Korea back on the terror list because it used the Internet to destroy private property in the U.S., maybe he’ll put China, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Russia on there, too.  There’s certainly plenty of evidence.

Either way, it’s bad news for Google as it won’t be able to lay down that Google Fiber for another generation.  But that’s OK, they’ll get there eventually.

The Connection Between Peshawar Massacre and the Guantanamo Bay Golf Course and Resort

Obama just sent another big Feliz Navidad to both Cuba and the Taliban by executive fiat–Obama orders the Pentagon to release another four terrorists to join the mob that murdered children in Peshawar.  Obama crosses another order from the Soros exit memo–reward the enemies of average Americans and swell their ranks, lift their morale and move one step closer to shutting down Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba in Fidel Castro’s lifetime.

This from Reuters:

The continued detention of Afghans at Guantanamo – eight remain there – has long been deeply unpopular across the ideological spectrum in Afghanistan.

The release comes at a time when most U.S. troops are due to leave Afghanistan by year-end even as Taliban insurgents are intensifying their bloody campaign to re-establish their hardline Islamist regime that was toppled in a U.S.-backed military intervention in 2001.

All four men – identified as Shawali Khan, Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani and Mohammed Zahir – were originally detained on suspicion of being members of the Taliban or affiliated armed groups.

But a second senior U.S. official said: “Most if not all of these accusations have been discarded and each of these individuals at worst could be described as low-level, if even that.”

The Afghan government gave the United States “security assurances” for the treatment of the former prisoners and was expected to reunite them with their families, the official said.

And this from Fox News:

Before Obama can close Guantanamo, he faces the challenge of working out what to do with any detainees who aren’t cleared for transfer — either because the United States wants to prosecute them or continuing holding them because they are considered too dangerous to release. Congress has passed legislation blocking detainees from coming to the U.S. for detention or trial.

Some Guantanamo opponents are questioning whether the United States has the authority to continue detaining prisoners captured in the Afghan conflict after the end of combat operations at year’s end.

“We will certainly expect to see legal challenges to continued detention at the end of hostilities, which is just in a couple weeks,” said J. Wells Dixon, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. Dixon has assisted on the case of Khan, whom he says detained “on the flimsiest of allegations” that were “never fully investigated.”

Now we know what Eric Holder will do when he leaves the Justice Department–join the Guantanamo Bay Bar Association.

But Obama needs to get a move on if he’s going to give Fidel the big Feliz Navidad of turning over Gitmo to the Cubans before Fidel kicks the bucket.  That will make all the Howard Zinn-ites like Obama happier than pardoning Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dorn.