Today in undesirable copyright legislation

Plans are afoot – once again! – to extend performer’s rights in recordings from 50 to 95 years. The BBC quotes Roger Daltrey’s approval, voiced a while ago, of such a scheme. But unless such an extension is retroactively applied (which would be an even greater lunacy) it’s hard to see how he would benefit without, you know, releasing any new records.

Elsewhere, the UK government quite fancies the idea of forcing ISPs to police the internet, obliging them to cut access to anyone found to be illegally downloading. “A bit like asking the post office to check every letter it handles for evidence of illegal activity” protest the ISPs. I think it sounds like a perfectly reasonable demand to make of ISPs, which won’t in any way infringe civil liberties, be impossible to administer, or catapult the cost of internet access through the roof. The IPKat muses:

Once unlawful downloaders are cut off, there will be enough people left online to make the internet worthwhile? Or will an alternative internet develop, to cater for those who seek out the forbidden fruits of copyright infringement, pornography, unregulated gambling and so on?

All of which provides a dissonant counterpoint to this recently published study, variously reported this week.

The amount of online “chatter” about an upcoming album release directly correlates to higher physical album sales, according to two researchers with New York University’s Stern Business School. Professor Vasant Dhar and former student Elaine Chang observed the trends of 108 albums released during the first two months of 2007 to see how different outside elements affected (or predicted) sales once the albums became available, and found that all of them had some effect or another. But certain elements of online chatter—namely blogs and social networks—seemed to be fairly accurate predictors of future success.

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