The Taxman Cometh For The Internet
July 20, 2012
"Don't ask me what I want it for,
If you don't want to pay some more,
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman."
-- "Taxman" -- George Harrison
It seems that George Harrison's lyrics are ringing truer than ever with each passing day.
With taxes going up almost everywhere because of state and federal budgets that are piling up lots of red ink, could online tax-free commerce soon be a thing of the past?
So suggests The Wall Street Journal, citing thinning state opposition (and Republican opposition, in particular) amid persistent budget strains.
"Conservative governors, joining their Democratic counterparts, have been making deals with online retail giant Amazon.com to collect state sales taxes," WSJ reports.
The days of tax-free Internet commerce may soon be ending.
Read about it here: http://tinyurl.com/7v68xev
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU BOUGHT A CD? 40% IN THE U.K. CAN'T REMEMBER
It's not because of drugs or alcohol, but a survey of British music fans found that 40% couldn't remember the last time they had bought a physical media CD.
In addition, nearly half of those surveyed believe it's now acceptable to download music for free. (A big Homer Simpson "Duh!" here) And more than two-thirds say that they could do better than critics at music reviews.
Read more here on AudioTechnica: http://tinyurl.com/72og2c2
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
GET FREE MUSIC HANDBOOKS FROM BERKLEE MUSIC'S FACULTY
Over the past few months, The Berklee School Of Music unveiled a number of popular educational e-books with their Music Handbook Series.
Each handbook has been downloaded thousands of times, and includes exclusive tips, techniques, and best practices from Berklee instructors.
Now you can get all five free PDFs, covering vital topics like Orchestration, Music Production, Music Business and Songwriting.
Download them here: http://tinyurl.com/6tf2oun
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE: A DAY MADE OF GLASS
Many of you might have seen this video made by Corning Glass that has been circulating like crazy online and off.
If you wonder why HP, Dell and other leading computer manufacturers believe the end of the computer as we know it is near, it's not the iPad that has them concerned about the future. It is developments like the ones Corning is working on.
This is a real look at where technology is all headed. (And yes, some of the things you'll see are already in place)
And it's truly fascinating.
Watch it here: http://tinyurl.com/4b8qtsz
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
HOW COME THE WASHINGTON POST HAS NO PAYWALL?
My congratulations to the Washington Post's CEO. He is doing what I suggested all media companies that have newspapers should be doing: providing content for free and generating revenues elsewhere.
When asked why the Washington Post hasn't put its content behind a paywall like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have, CEO Don Graham explained that 90% of the Post's audience is outside of the Washington area, but that the paper itself has only local distribution, so the premise simply doesn't make sense," writes Jennifer Reingold on CNN Money.
"The free content -- along with the Post's Social reader application, which 25 million people have downloaded on Facebook (FB) -- means the Post continues to build influence as other traditional media companies shrink, says Graham."
Read it here: http://tinyurl.com/79qefus
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
THE WHOLE MEGAUPLOAD MESS JUST KEEPS GETTING MORE MESSED UP
The whole MegaUpload case has had problems since day one.
Now, the judge in Kim DotCom's extradition case has stepped down after making comments that the U.S. government was "the enemy."
Read about it here on CNET: http://tinyurl.com/6wdhr4u
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
"THE BOSS' AND MACCA CUT OFF BY A CURFEW
Imagine you're living your dream. Bruce Springsteen had been waiting for this moment for a long time. "I gotta tell you," he said to the 65,000-strong crowd, "I've been trying to do this for 50 years." For the finale of his headline slot in London's Hyde Park on Saturday, he'd arranged a very special treat: An onstage collaboration with Beatles legend Paul McCartney.
And what happened during their onstage collaboration? They played "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Twist and Shout" before the power was pulled by concert organizers.
Read about it here on CNN: http://tinyurl.com/7qt265m
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
J-LO GETS HEAVE-HO FROM 'IDOL' AFTER PRODUCERS REFUSE HER SALARY DEMANDS
Never mind the spin, J-Lo didn't leave "American Ido" because she wanted to, or because Steven Tyler wasn't coming back.
Producers finally realized they don't need to pay a celebrity millions of dollars for a show that runs 12-16 weeks, and for judges don't even work 40 hours a week.
It seems J-Lo wanted a raise to $17 million a year. And the producers said, "Nope."
The article also says producers opted not to pick up Steven Tyler's contract. Tyler, of course, released a statement saying he was bowing out before this was known.
Read about it on The Wrap here: http://tinyurl.com/6sbhrpf
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* Yahoo is the latest online service to confirm the disclosure of passwords belonging to throngs of its users. Here's what you need to do to protect yourself: http://tinyurl.com/87wqycb
* Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo gives a potential time frame for the launch of the next version of Apple's smash-hit phone: http://tinyurl.com/6tmka9y
Short News Items ...
SEE YOU IN COURT:
A Delaware company has hit Madonna and her label WB Records with a lawsuit claiming the pop star stole portions of one of their songs for her hit 1990 hit "Vogue," reports E! Pointing to a song called "Love Break," released around 1977, VMG claims, "The portions of 'Love Break,' which have been copied into 'Vogue' and all its various 'mixes,' 'remixes,' videos, YouTube versions, etc., are numerous but intentionally hidden. The horn and strings in 'Vogue' are intentionally sampled from 'Love Break' throughout."
SEE YOU IN COURT TOO, BUT SERIOUSLY?
Justin Bieber has been hit with a $9 million lawsuit by an Oregon woman who says a screaming fan permanently damaged her hearing at one of the pop star's shows, reports TheWrap.com.
SEE YOU IN COURT #3:
A New York City designer has sued Jay-Z and his former label partners at Roc-A-Fella for $7 million in unpaid royalties, reports the Associated Press.
HERE COMES THE WHO:
The Who will embark on the group's first North American tour in four years this fall with a 36-date arena presentation of the 1973 rock opera "Quadrophenia" in its entirety. They will be fronted by surviving original members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, and also promise to perform other hits from the group's career.
VEGAS WILL WAIT FOR CEE-LO:
Cee-Lo Green is postponing the debut of his new Las Vegas show, Loberace, due to scheduling conflicts with The Voice, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Led Zeppelin frontman, Robert Plant, revealed in an interview last Wednesday with the U.K.'s Independent that he has secretly tied the knot with Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Patty Griffin.
Mumford & Sons will release their second LP, Babel, on September 25th.
OFF THE ROAD:
Country singer Glen Campbell is canceling his upcoming tour with Kenny Rogers through Australia and New Zealand due to health reasons, the Associated Press reports. Live Nation confirmed that Madonna has canceled the Australian leg of her current tour, the BBC reports.
THE VOICE MENTORS:
Adam Levine and his mentees on the next season of The Voice will get a helping hand from Mary J. Blige, who will act as his team's adviser on the hit show's upcoming third season. Last week it was announced that crooner Michael Buble would join Country star Blake Shelton's team. No word yet on who will be assisting Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green.
ARETHA AS JUDGE?
CNN reports that in response to an e-mailed query, Aretha Franklin said that she is interested in joining the show as a judge.
Columbia Records has announced that Bob Dylan's new studio album will be released on September 11th, 2012. The set, called Tempest, was produced by Dylan himself under the pseudonym Jack Frost. Dylan also announced a North American arena tour with special guest (and former Dire Straits front man) Mark Knopfler. The trek kicks off on October 5th in Winnipeg, Manitoba and runs through November 21st in Brooklyn, NY.
COACHELLA AT SEA?:
Goldenvoice, the promotions company behind Coachella, announced that they will be expanding the brand of their hit music festival to include a cruise.
Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord, who played with the pioneering hard rock band from their formation in 1968 through his retirement in 2002, died in London this week from a pulmonary embolism after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 71.
Bob Babbitt, the Motown studio bassist who played on hits including Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Tears of a Clown" and the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion," died yesterday in Nashville after suffering complications from brain cancer, his spokesperson confirmed to Rolling Stone. He was 74.
Kitty Wells, the "Queen of Country Music," died this week at her home in Nashville surrounded by family members, of complications from a stroke. She was 92.
Author Stephen Covey, whose "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" sold more than 20 million copies, died Monday at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said. He was 79.
The Music Industry Past, Present & Future, And The Internet I answer questions on EconTalk
I did an interview about the industry and the Internet at EconTalk with host Russ Roberts. Russ is also a professor of economics at George Mason University, blogs at Cafe Hayek, and has written three novels that teach economics. He's also the co-creator of the Keynes-Hayek rap video. (And if your understanding of the economic meltdown that occurred needs to be enlightened, this video will do it)
In the interview we talk about the evolution of the music industry, the impact of the digital revolution, and I give my reasons for believing in the virtues and potential of the Internet in enhancing the music industry. I point out, as I have many times here in the newsletter, that the internet allows numerous artists to make money from their music and it can enhance revenues from live performances by expanding an artist's base. We also discuss the challenges facing record companies and I suggest that the full potential of the Internet as a distribution channel has yet to be fully exploited. There's a lot of ground covered, but based on the comments already posted of those who have tuned in, they've enjoyed it.
Read more about it by clicking here.
Quotes of the week
"It's important to remember -- four years ago, Justin Bieber was a 14-year-old girl singing on YouTube. Now, he's got grown men chasing him on the freeway."
-- Jimmy Kimmel, poking fun at the singer's recent high-speed chase
"[Bruce] isn't constrained by curfew fines or set times and lengths. He takes the energy of the crowd and makes a unique and special show that will never happen again."
-- E-Street band member Nils Lofgren talking about his "boss" Bruce Springsteen's ability to play shows that go longer than three hours
"I don't think she quite understood your tribute."
-- Simon Cowell, to an "X-Factor" contestant, after a drag performance of a Britney Spears' song caused Britney to walk off the set
"That was a magic moment. We were in an apartment in Boston and he just started playing that line and I said "Hold on!" and I just started singing "sweet emotion." The lyric just popped out and it was so cool. The same thing happened with "Janie's Got A Gun." I didn't know who Janie was or why she had a gun, but it was magic."
-- Steven Tyler, talking about when [Bassist] Tom Hamilton started playing the bass riff to the song
"I was consumed by cocaine, booze, and who knows what else. I apparently never got the memo that the Me Generation had ended."
-- Elton John, talking about his drug use in the '80s in his new book, "Love Is the Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS."
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Katie Holmes Glad She Can Finally Practice Scientology In Peace
NEW YORK-Speaking publicly for the first time since her divorce, Katie Holmes told reporters Friday that her separation from Tom Cruise has at long last given her the chance to immerse herself completely in the practice of Scientology without the intense media scrutiny that comes with being married to one of the church's most famous members.
The actress, mother of one, and devoted Scientologist said that while she was grateful to share a belief system with Cruise, the Mission: Impossible star's high position within the church and busy acting career often made it difficult for her to study the works of L. Ron Hubbard with the full attention and religious fervor they deserve.
"I can't tell you how good it feels to just walk into a Scientology center, sit down at Sunday service, and recite the Creed of the Church like a regular person," said Holmes, explaining that when she attended with Cruise she was forced to make small talk with prominent church members instead of focusing on Standard Tech. "Sometimes you just want to have your thetan levels measured in the privacy of your own auditing room without all the fuss, you know?"
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
A Memory Of John Lennon
I told the story about the night of John's passing, and what my son said that said night, on literally dozens of radio stations the next day that were calling our offices for interviews and commentary about John. I think everyone at the time knew the "Blue Meanies" were the evildoers who stopped the music in Pepperland in the Beatles groundbreaking animated film, Yellow Submarine. If you've never seen the film, you know that now as well.
My many thanks to the examiner.com's resident Beatle expert, Steve Marinucci, for his interview with me this week talking about my memory of John Lennon, about his passing, and my time at Capitol Records.
In any case, for those of you who are Beatles fans, here's the link to the article: http://tinyurl.com/79r4lvu
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"And the beat goes on, the beat goes on ... drums keep poundin' rhythm to the brain."
"Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon