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