On a bright April morning in Menlo Park, California, I became an Internet spy. This was easier than it sounds because I had a willing target. I had partnered with National Public Radio (NPR) tech correspondent Steve Henn for an experiment in Internet surveillance. For one week, while Henn researched a story, he allowed himself to be watched—acting as a stand-in, in effect, for everyone who uses Internet-connected devices. How much of our lives do we really reveal simply by going online? Ars tests Internet surveillance—by spying on an NPR reporter.
There is a fundamental disconnect between large-scale, for-profit media and the crushing power of enthusiasm, which is that when they try to control it, it instantly isn't real. It's patently unreal. It's excitement given life by force, Pet Sematary-style. But when they don't control it, it isn't profitable. And that means that when they run into people excited about their stuff, they vacillate between an Ebenezerian lack of generosity and a Professor-Harold-Hillian smarm. To own enthusiasm and to exploit it are competing instincts, much as they often seem to be twins. You can, in fact, sometimes best exploit it — or only exploit it — by leaving it alone. -- In what could be considered a Metafilter Manifesto, Mefi's own Linda Holmes takes on the multivariate economics of fandom and the internet.
On the Media's Bob Garfield demonstrates How to Turn a Fan into an Enemy in Under 140 Characters.
"I've said all along, we are in this together." John Simson, executive director of SoundExchange - the royalty collecting arm of the RIAA - extends an olive branch through 2008 that will cap the advance payments internet broadcasters will have to cough up at $2500 per year. This comes in the wake of the Day of Silence, (it was June 26, did anyone notice?) spearheaded by Los Angeles-based terrestrial/online radio station KCRW (home of the brilliant Morning Becomes Eclectic) and SaveNetRadio, during which some of the biggest names in online radio - include Live365, NPR and Pandora - went dark for 24 hours, airing a one-hour broadcast twice during that day on the history of flat fees in public broadcasting. [direct .mp3, 38mb] Under the much-maligned changes made by our government's Copyright Royalty Board, the top six internet radio stations would have had to pay 47 percent of their total revenue (anticipated to be around $37.5 mil.) to the RIAA, starting this July. The Internet Radio Equality Act [summary, in its entire pdf glory] has been introduced to the House of Representatives, seeking to permanently reverse this decision.
After the outrage about NPR's linking policy, they've written a new one. The ombudsman explains what happened.