The Daily Stern: Radio silence…

Howard Stern is not talking today.

He started his show with a brilliantly edited montage of words from the news and from Congress yesterday about free speech and stopping it. He mixed it with music of protest and freedom.

And we heard a message he left for his producer, Gary Dell’Abate, in the middle of the night saying that he was headed into the station to make a show in which he doesn’t talk.
Because, if the American Taliban has its way, soon he won’t talk.
It is a strong statement, well done.

Stern did this for the first hour and a half of his show. [BuzzMachine]

Our Politically Educated Public

Sign of the times: 21% of people aged 18 to 29 cite The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live as chief sources for presidential campaign news. By contrast, only 23% of young people mentioned ABC, CBS or NBC as a source, says the Pew Research Center. A startling change from the 9% and 39% who cited comedy and network news, respectively, in 2000. [Trendsetters]

Music swappers face home invasion

The homes of online pop-swappers could be raided if a new European directive gets voted into law. [BBC News]

The directive allows companies to raid homes, seize property and ask courts to freeze bank accounts to protect trademarks or intellectual property they believe are being abused or stolen.

Some Like It Hot

OK, P2P is ‘piracy.’ But Hollywood, radio, cable TV and, yes, even the music industry all sprang from different forms of thievery. By Lawrence Lessig from Wired magazine. [Wired News]

The passion of Howard Stern

Interestingly Clear Channel still feels Howard is good enough to use on air as voice talent for commercials he reads. Nice…

From the moment last week when Clear Channel Communications suspended Howard Stern’s syndicated morning show from the company’s radio stations, denouncing it as “vulgar, offensive and insulting,” speculation erupted that the move had more to do with Stern’s politics than his raunchy shock-jock shtick.

Stern’s loyal listeners, Clear Channel foes and many Bush administration critics immediately reached the same conclusion: The notorious jock was yanked off the air because he had recently begun trashing Bush, and Bush-friendly Clear Channel used the guise of “indecency” to shut him up. That the content of Stern’s crude show hadn’t suddenly changed, but his stance on Bush had, gave the theory more heft. That, plus his being pulled off the air in key electoral swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania.

This week, Stern himself went on the warpath, weaving in among his familiar monologues about breasts and porn actresses accusations that Texas-based Clear Channel — whose Republican CEO, Lowry Mays, is extremely close to both George W. Bush and Bush’s father — canned him because he deviated from the company’s pro-Bush line. “I gotta tell you something,” Stern told his listeners. “There’s a lot of people saying that the second that I started saying, ‘I think we gotta get Bush out of the presidency,’ that’s when Clear Channel banged my ass outta here. Then I find out that Clear Channel is such a big contributor to President Bush, and in bed with the whole Bush administration, I’m going, ‘Maybe that’s why I was thrown off: because I don’t like the way the country is leaning too much to the religious right.’ And then, bam! Let’s get rid of Stern. I used to think, ‘Oh, I can’t believe that.’ But that’s it! That’s what’s going on here! I know it! I know it!”

Stern’s been relentless all week, detailing the close ties between Clear Channel executives and the Bush administration, and insisting that political speech, not indecency, got him in trouble with the San Antonio broadcasting giant. If he hadn’t turned against Bush, Stern told his listeners, he’d still be heard on Clear Channel stations.


Free the Grey Album!

I received this email last week and have decided to go Grey…

We noticed you linked to a story about the Grey Album. It seems like copies of the Grey Album are definitely making their way to people who want them, but we thought it was vitally important that we *insist* on sample-based musicians’ right to create, and on the public’s right to hear the amazing music they make. EMI wasn’t just trying to stop DJ DM from selling the album, they sent cease and desist letters to some websites that were making it available for free. EMI acted to stop people from hearing this piece of fun and inventive music, and that’s just not right.

So we’re organizing an online-protest of sorts–called “Grey Tuesday”–to take a stand and pretend, even if only for 24 hours, that we don’t live in a culture where the legal environment ensnares musicians. The idea is that this Tuesday, February 24th, as many sites as possible mirror the Grey Album and/or turn their page “grayscale” (i.e. no color) for the day. We’re also calling for people connected to independent radio stations (college, commercial, internet) to get the entire Grey Album played at some point on Tuesday (possibly along with the Beatles and Jay-Z sources).

We’ve been pretty successful so far with our attempts to provoke debate about sampling and copyright. Check out this article from Wired that we got going or have a look at our press page. We’re pretty confident that, if there’s a reasonable level of participation, we can translate this “online event” into some serious coverage in mainstream press that tons of regular people will read.

And what regular people think about sampling and copyright matters, especially when the future of the music industry is almost entirely up for grabs.

So please, check it out:
and email us to join:

Carriers not ready??

Are the carriers really not ready for Wireless Portability or is this a decided passive aggressive protest. I’ve seen two reports now – one from cellular news and the other from eWeek suggesting the carriers are not ready.

As you may or not recall, there was little if any penalty for not meeting the e911 deadline which seemed a bit more high priority – considering human safety. Given the lack of penalty from our wondrous FCC, it’s hard to accept that there will be a penalty here if we are met with technical glitches or delays.

Both articles referenced above recommend waiting until March of 2004… a nice full quarter and financial period later than the expected deadline. I’m still planning on making the switch ASAP, as my corporate coverage for Nextel expires this month anyway. Hopefully I’ll really get to keep my number.