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Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Industry Happenings
Article by Steven R. Rochlin
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  Unless you live under a rock, we all know about the many legal situations between the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and various music website and radio stations. To set the stage, the RIAA really does not seem to care at all about musical artists. Ya know, the musicians that invent/produce the glorious music we all enjoy. The RIAA generally represents what some call "the money grubbing scum", also known as the major record labels. No one can really argue about Napster being guilty of illegally distributing copyrighted material, fair enough. Though now we have fully legal radio stations who also want their content (read: music) to stream online. Radio stations pay for the music they play over the airwaves, yet it seems the RIAA want to "double dib" as it were so that these stations must again pay for the same content when it is available via the internet. Of course the major labels have their own set of troubles...

 

Legal Troubles for Major Labels

Yet another lawsuit, this time by 42 states in America and an investigation by the European Commission (EC) concerning the seemingly obvious price fixing of music on compact disc. This in not just small labels named by the EC, but the big guys like AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann Music Group, EMI Music Distribution, Sony Corporation of America and Universal Music and Video Distribution. In America you can add Atlantic Recording Corporation, Capitol Records, Inc., Elektra Entertainment Group, Virgin Records America, Inc., Priority Records, L.L.C., MTS Inc., Tower Records, Musicland Stores Corporation, Trans World Entertainment Corporation, Rhino Entertainment Company and others. While we here in the good ol' U. S. of A. enjoy some discounts and "cheap" $5.99 compact discs and $11.99 popular titles, in Europe they pay upwards of $21 U.S. dollars for a new release! Ok, so the UK has that nasty thing called "value added tax" (VAT) that adds over 14% to the price. As an example, paying $100 for a hotel room in the UK includes $21 VAT according to a refund calculator available on the internet. Regardless, the price of music is still inexcusably high in Europe and the EC knows this... and are actively investigating the situation. No wonder that some folks who use the Napster service feel they are finally getting "even" with the major music labels... legal or otherwise. 

 

Finally a Unified "High-End" Voice?

While not new to the industry, the same company that has brought change and lower prices to the yearly Consumer Electronics Show though competition has now launched a website to unify and help the "high-end" industry and community at large. Who am i referring to? The Home Entertainment Association (T.H.E. Association) are headed by the same people who brought the highly successful The Home Entertainment Show (T.H.E. Show)*, to Las Vegas years ago. This looks to be just what the industry needed as the Academy Advancing High Performance Audio & Video (AAHPAV) have never had a single voice representing the "high-end" to any real group of outsiders. Furthermore, the AAHPAV seems to have died as their phone has been recently disconnect and their website is offline. No tears from me or other magazine editors as the AAHPAV was frowned upon by quite a few magazine owners/editors. A fresh, proper organization has been need for many years.

With this new organization, T.H.E. Association may be our best hope for not just the industry manufacturers, but also the press and consumers to share their voice within the "high-end" community. There will finally be a huge data base for everyone to access and gather the information they desire. While not free, neither was the AAHPAV (and they generally only catered to industry folks, not the general public nor offered a data base). Let it be known here and now that Enjoy the Music.com™ fully supports The Home Entertainment Association. If this means helping to sign up and promote the organization during through our worldwide representatives and during shows so be it.

 

Yet Another New Dude... and Goddesses!

While we have been actively expanding our staff during the past year, we are especially proud to cordially welcome three new writers. They are... none other than Clark Johnsen who is a closet physicist, writer for Positive Feedback and also has penned the critically acclaimed book about the effects of polarity changes within an audio system. The book, The Wood Effect (ISBN 0-929383-00-1), is printed by the Office of the University Publisher at Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts no less! Clark comes aboard with his thought provoking piece titled Format Wars: The End of Recorded History. Welcome aboard Clark and we look forward to many more contributions by such an expert in the music loving community.

Gigi Krop enters the Enjoy the Music.com™ Review Magazine with her in-depth interview of world renown bassist Mary Scully. A wonderful musician who has played with the best of them. As for Gigi, many of you may recall her writings in Stereophile and was also the husband of Sunshine Stereo's own Steve Zipser.

Last, and most certainly not least, is a totally new world music section. We plan on offering real worldwide view of great music not normally heard in Canada or the United States (and many other places too).

So as you can see we are centering on not just equipment, but also on music because... As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

* The Home Entertainment Show (T.H.E. Show) has this week changed their name to The Home Entertainment Expo (T.H.E. Expo).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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