New York Systems

I'm David. I live in Astoria. During the day I work at a startup. Other times I visit bookstores.
This blog is my curio collection, sort of. I'll have a place of my own for essays... someday.

Posts tagged #internet killed your *

There’s nowhere to “go” now that the green fields of the matrix all got built over by junkspace conglomerates. But so what? I’ll meet you on Twitter and let’s get fucked up.

Social ereading idea:

The nook ereaders all have prominent “search” buttons on their main menus that are completely superfluous, because both the library and shop views have search functions. So kill that button and replace it with a social hub: here’s a list of all the books you’ve finished lately but haven’t reviewed. Here’s books your friends finished and reviewed. Want to share a highlight from one of these highlights on Facebook?

I say we get out of The Pretending To Be Moral game altogether and use the Internet for important things like posting pictures of cats looking at croissants and PDFs of sensitive government documents.



much as i am rooting for the ultimate viability of the publishing industry (or some form of it at least), sorry but I truly can’t bring myself to root that hard for Barnes and Noble. I suspect there are many others who feel the same way. I guess it’s like how if you had an ex-boyfriend who cheated on you in some harsh and egregious way, you wouldn’texactly want him to die but you wouldn’t exactly be totally heartbroken if it actually happened. (At least not if the boyfriend was a giant corporation.)

In which Bennett speaks from my soul.

Sometimes I feel that way, and I work there.

(Side note: the article asserts there’s a new device coming this spring. Eink model update?)

The CBC is quietly dismantling its archives of LPs and CDs across Canada – a cultural treasure trove built over decades – even as it prepares to launch a major new music service online. With uncertainty over levels of funding from Ottawa, CBC management has told archivists to winnow the music collections at regional bureaus by the end of March. This could mean donating, selling or discarding thousands of records and CDs – a cost- and space-saving measure as recordings are increasingly digitized.

CBC dismantling LP, CD archives - The Globe and Mail (via @textfiles)

A reminder this is still Canada: “So far, the dismantling of regional record collections only applies to the English-language side.”

A nice roundup on the current state of DRM outside of the music space. Like the bullshit answer from the UltraViolet defender: “Asked why movie industry needs DRM while the music industry is doing fine without it, Teitell didn’t have an answer — he simply said that while music and movies are similar in many ways, they’re also different in many others.”

Is it possible to figure out the ratio of pirated/legitimate purchases in the music industry? Hollywood? Manga? What happens when purchasing is the exception, as I suspect is the case with anime and manga? Can we quantify the effects on an industry when the consumer base values the product so lightly?

I mention manga because that’s an industry that was basically built in America and the west through decades of bootlegs and fansubs. Piracy is a huge part of the subculture, such that you’ll find very few people who watch anime with any frequency who haven’t fired up bittorrent to get some show freshly fansubbed from Japan. (There are alternatives — Crunchyroll comes to mind — but I would be willing to bet you can’t find a serious fan who hasn’t engaged in piracy.) And even if they’re watching every show through legit channels — damn hard to do — they’re probably reading tie-in manga on MangaFox or something, searching out the sort of things that will literally never see legitimate release outside of Japan. (This doesn’t even touch on the state of the adult anime/manga industry, which is exactly the same but worse.)

The normalization of piracy is not a death knell for an industry — anime and manga are small but hardy parts of the media landscape. But when it’s expected that the content will be available for free through relatively easy-to-access channels, it forces the content providers to go to where the consumers are, instead of forcing them to come to the creators. See, for example, the previously mentioned Crunchyroll, a streaming service dedicated solely to anime, generally subbed as fast as possible after airing in Japan for the English-speaking world. The popularity of the humor/parody anime Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (yes, that’s the actual title) has earned itself a pretty active fanbase, on tumblr and beyond. It seems like an obvious candidate for import, but is only legally available on CrunchyRoll, with no plans to release DVDs in America. Why bother? Everyone who was going to watch it has probably already seen it online, either legitimately or illicitly.

One thing that works in the studio’s favor on this is that most of the subbing groups refuse to work on or continue to distribute anime that’s been officially licensed, which meant that Crunchyroll wasn’t under any obligation to fast-track a release of Panty and Stocking — but they did anyway, getting episodes subbed and available the same week they aired in Japan, because that was the speed of translation that fans were used to. If they’d dawdled, pirates would have swooped in and filled that demand, community codes of conduct be damned.

Hollywood appears to have peaked. If it were an ordinary industry (film cameras, say, or typewriters), it could look forward to a couple decades of peaceful decline. But this is not an ordinary industry. The people who run it are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down. It would therefore be a good thing if competitors hastened their demise.

This appears to be on a lot of people’s minds at the moment.

YCRFS 9: Kill Hollywood

Duffy is an interesting case," a music industry lawyer says, "because her story applies to a lot of artists. Buoyed by success, they immediately think, ‘Why am I giving 6% of record royalties, a third of my publishing and a 20% management commission to other people? I am a genius! I will do it myself!’ [Duffy parted company with her manager, Rough Trade’s Jeanette Lee, and with Bernard Butler who produced Rockferry, and co-wrote and played on much of it] And then make a bad record without any guidance from professionals. And then they wonder why it’s all gone wrong.

Or, in her case, she was always just a placeholder for Any Winehouse in the minds of her fans.

When bands fall off cliffs | Music | The Guardian

Apps are the new channels.