Today’s Links: June 20, 2012


SCOTT TIMBERG: “Steal This Album: What Happens if No One Pays for Music?
“The dissonance here between fan and musician emerges from one of the key conflicts of our time: How should we pay for culture in the Internet era, and if we don’t pay, what happens to the producers of culture? It was only a matter of time before an exchange like this would make the terms of the debate clear. Over the weekend, [Emily] White posted a piece on NPR’s All Songs Considered blog called “I Never Owned Any Music to Begin With,” in which she explains, in a reasonable, matter-of-fact tone, that despite being an enormous music fan, with a library of more than 11,000 songs, she has paid for almost none of it. […] Lowery, a singer/guitarist whose profile was highest back when indie rock was called college radio, in the mid-’80s to early ‘90s, responded with a long post on the Trichordist[.] He argues that by taking and listening to music without paying a record store or label or Internet service like Spotify, she and her generational peers are effectively cheating musicians out of the value of their work.”

“A hard-fought union effort to construct an impenetrable wall of secrecy around teacher-evaluation data fell short in Albany yesterday, when Gov. Cuomo failed to strike a last-minute deal with the Legislature. So for the time being — in Albany, nothing is ever certain — teacher evaluations remain open to those with the most at stake in New York’s education system: parents, students and taxpayers. The unions had sought to block release of all evaluation data — resisting making it public in usable form even to parents.”

JOHN TAMNY: “What Ted Drewes, Blockbuster Video And Chippewa Street In St. Louis Tell Us About Economics
“Though the intersection of Chippewa Street and Jamieson in St. Louisis rather unremarkable to the perhaps non-discerning eye, there’s a useful economic lesson in this most unprepossessing of city locales. Indeed, two businesses on this somewhat bland stretch of restaurants, banks and retail outlets expose as fallacious long-held assumptions about anti-trust, the market power of “big business”, and – very popular today – contagion.”


MARIJUANA – The Uruguayan Government Will Sell Marijuana to Those Who Register
“The government of Uruguay announced today a series of measures from which emphasizes the legalization of marijuana sales by the state, who is responsible for the distribution networks, will have a record of consumers and regulate the price of cigarettes and their taxes.”

MARKETS – Peter Thiel Raises $400 Million for Tech Growth Fund
“Peter Thiel already has a hedge fund (Clarium Capital) and an early-stage venture capital fund (Founders Fund). Now he has a new tech-focused growth equity fund called Mithril, which last week closed on $402 million. According to a regulatory filing, the total target is upwards of $1 billion.”

ODD – NY Judge: US Can Seize Dinosaur Skeleton
“U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel signed the warrant after finding there was ‘probable cause to believe’ that the nearly complete Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton is subject to forfeiture under U.S. laws. The U.S. filed a lawsuit against the skeletal property a day earlier, seeking to seize it for an eventual return to Mongolia.”