I (Jim) am back, and so are a few stories I posted earlier this year. First off, remember the speculation about iTunes going over to tiered pricing? It looks like NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer might be getting involved. Sure, that site misspells his name, but they link to a legitimate story with the magic word: subpoena. Will anyone go to jail? Can anyone stop the music industry from setting prices? Is there anyone who’s not at war with them right now?
Second, Beavis and Butt-head won’t be the last DVD release mangled by clearance issues. According to Wired News, the choice is either to pony up millions of dollars to clear everything in a music-heavy series like WKRP in Cincinati or replace the songs, like “Love and Marriage” in the opening of Married with Children. Some sort of bizarre money dance has to take place for every little snippet of music, where the artists (or management or whatever) tries to get the most money without charging so much the studios pull the song. When they actually do pay retail for the songs, season sets can cost as much as $70- a full set of Beavis & Butt-head could run god only knows how many hundreds of dollars. Which, come to think of it, is one reason the NYT left out when they mentioned more and more tv shows using indie music: Matt Pond PA is not going to charge The O.C. six figures. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the contract signed away all rights forever, or at least set a super-low price.
(Followups via Digg/Music)