Is DECE about to get Lala'd? (Updated)

Updated to fix the bad link: MP3tunes CEO (and former MP3.com CEO) Michael Robertson has an interesting guest post on TechCrunch today about Apple’s emerging cloud strategy and the possible role in that strategy for Lala, the subscription music service it recently acquired. According to Robertson, the Lala acquisition does not presage the launch of a subscription iTunes service, as many have speculated. Instead, the real value of Lala to Apple is its cloud-based personal music storage service and the software for managing it:

As Apple did with the original iPods, Lala realized that any music solution must include music already possessed by the user. The Lala setup process provides software to store a personal music library online and then play it from any web browser alongside web songs they vend. This technology plus the engineering and management team is the true value of Lala to Apple.

An upcoming major revision of iTunes will copy each user’s catalog to the net making it available from any browser or net connected ipod/touch/tablet…After installation iTunes will push in the background their entire media library to their personal mobile iTunes area. Once loaded, users will be able to navigate and play their music, videos and playlists from their personal URL using a browser based iTunes experience. Read More »

The Taking of Section 1201

I managed to catch an uncut version of the original Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three on cable the other night and stayed up to watch it despite having seen it upteen times. It’s still one of the all-time great New York movies, especially for anyone who lived in the city around that time (the less said about the 2009 version the better).

One of my favorite bits of cynically comic dialog comes about half-way through, when Walter Mathau’s transit police lieutenant character reminds Dick O’Neill’s harassed and short-tempered train master that if they don’t get all the track signals cleared soon, as the hostage takers were demanding, they would start killing the passengers on the hijacked subway car.

“Screw the passengers,” O’Neill’s character barks. “What do they expect for their lousy 35 cents–to live forever?”

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I couldn’t help thinking of that classic exchange as I was reading through the responses to the Copyright Office’s written questions to participants in its DMCA section 1201 exemption proceeding, particularly those submitted by Steven Metalitz of Mitchell Silberburg and Knupp on behalf of the MPAA, RIAA and other copyright owner groups. Rejecting the Office’s proposed language for an exemption to allow circumvention of DRM used in connection with authentication servers in the event those servers are ever turned off (e.g. Wal-Mart’s music service), Metalitz practically channels O’Neill’s train master: Read More »