Monthly Archives: April 2014
Published on 25 March 2014
Representatives of indigenous peoples opened a key meeting at the World Intellectual Property Organization with a discussion of the definition of traditional knowledge (TK), the presence of TK in the public domain, and respect for indigenous peoples’ rights under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The panel of speakers formed part of the 27th session Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC), taking place from 24 March – 4 April.
The theme of this year’s panel is: “Intellectual property, Traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions: Indigenous Peoples’ ‘right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property’ under Article 31 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” [pdf] (UNDRIP).
Pavel Sulyandziga, president of the Batani Fund and member of the UN working group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, emphasised that it would be impossible to resolve issues with particular indigenous peoples if there is no protection of their basic rights. (more…)
With the rise of services such as Spotify, Pandora, iTunes and countless others, it’s clear that digital music is booming. But when it comes to music discovery, new listeners bypass these apps and tools for a class device — the radio.
According to a new report from Edison Research and Triton Digital, AM/FM radios remain the most popular method of finding new artists. Word of mouth via friends and family is the second most popular, with YouTube nabbing the third spot.
The data is based on a survey given to 950 Americans older than 12, who said that staying up-to-date on music is “very important” or “somewhat important.”
The following chart, created by Statista, breaks down the top sources for music discovery.
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Kauffman Foundation research examines geographic factors that intersect with metro concentrations of high-skill immigrant entrepreneurs
(Kansas City, Mo.) March 25, 2014 – An open and culturally diverse environment helps promote high-tech entrepreneurship among both immigrants and the U.S.-born, according to a new research report released today by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Immigrant-owned businesses, the study shows, are more likely to locate in ethnically diverse metro areas that have high foreign-born populations. That’s important for metro areas hoping to attract and retain this fast-growing pool of high-impact founders.
The study, “Lessons for U.S. Metro Areas: Characteristics and Clustering of High-Tech Immigrant Entrepreneurs,” also reports that regional labor markets with greater percentages of high-tech industries and greater numbers of college graduates and patents – all indicators of innovation – tend to attract other high-tech companies.
“Because immigrants are far more likely to start businesses – particularly high-tech companies – than are the native-born, their importance in the U.S. economy is increasing,” said Dane Stangler, vice president of Research & Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “As America seeks to grow more high-tech businesses, this research provides strategies and policy implications for cities and states that want to attract highly skilled immigrant entrepreneurs.” (more…)
Culture | By Richard Stellar on March 26, 2014
“Memorializing is a noble thing, and we should do it,” said James Conlon, the LA Opera’s Music Director behind “Voices”
I learned about Maestro James Conlon on the same night I learned about the Jewish composer Franz Schreker.
Delivering a lecture that was punctuated by the sexual frenzy of Schreker’s “Die Gezeichneten” stood an unassuming, professorial gentleman that appears part Robin Williams, part Gabriel Byrne. You would not know it by looks alone, but at that lectern stood not only the internationally-known Music Director of the Los Angeles Opera, but a hero of sorts who took it upon himself to mine the suppressed art of Jewish composers whose work had been not only censored, but disposed of by the Nazis.
I was sitting in an auditorium at The Colburn School with Composer Sharon Farber, who herself had celebrated the life of Holocaust survivor and hero Curt Lowens in her “Bestemming: Concerto for Cello, Orchestra and Narrator”.
We were pursuing the notion of artist as not only activist but as ambassador to the memory of those whose first person narratives of the Holocaust were about to fade into history. We listened as Maestro Conlon told the tale of Schreker’s fall from grace at the hands of the emerging Nazi party. An acclaimed composer who achieved the highest position in German musical life, was summarily dismissed from his position as Director of the Musikhochschule in Berlin at the urgings of the National Socialist Party. (more…)
Movies | By Todd Cunningham on March 25, 2014
Hispanics accounted for 25 percent of sales and were more likely than any other ethnic group to buy tickets
Hispanic moviegoers played a huge part in the record 2013 U.S. box office, according to figures released Tuesday by the MPAA.
Despite representing roughly 17 percent of the U.S. population, Hispanics bought up 25 percent of the movie tickets sold in the U.S. last year. They number of Hispanics who are frequent moviegoers — those who go to the movies more than once a month — continues to grow and represents 32 percent of that group.
Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Chris Dodd detailed the strong Hispanic representation in his state of the industry report delivered Tuesday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.
Despite purchasing fewer tickets in 2013 compared to 2012, Hispanics remained more likely than any other ethnic group to go to movies, according to the report. African-Americans and “others” purchased more tickets in 2013 than in 2012.
The share of tickets sold to Caucasians has been trending downward since 2009. The share of tickets sold to African-Americans increased for the first time since 2009, while the share of tickets sold to Hispanics declined slightly from 2012.
Lionsgate’s comedy”Instructions Not Included” was a big factor. The Eugenio Derbez comedy became the highest-grossing foreign-language film ever in the U.S. with more than $44 million domestically last year despite never playing in more than 1,000 theaters.
And Universal made a point of targeting the Hispanic audience with “Fast & Furious 6” as well, and that paid major dividends. Hispanics made up 32 percent of the hot car blockbuster’s opening weekend audience, while white moviegoers accounted for 29 percent, and it went on take in $238 million at the domestic box office.
Last updated: March 20, 2014
What the Arab world is watching on YouTube
Videos on YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine, are 53 times more likely to show up on the first page of search results than written content, a recent infographic revealed. While some companies in the region, like Zaytouneh and Kharabeesh are catching on, many in the region are still neglecting video content as a marketing tool.
For those who are choosing to use YouTube as a marketing tool – and for those thinking about it – any information on what users in the region are watching on YouTube is invaluable. Luckily, a recent infographic by Startappz revealed the most popular channels and topics on YouTube in Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.
Tech and gaming, comedy, and entertainment were predictably among the most popular topics. In tech and gaming, the top five gaming YouTube channels were all from Saudi Arabia and the most-followed channel was (D7oomy999) which has 871,252 followers.
In comedy, the most popular channel was also from Saudi Arabia. Eysh Elly, with 1,936,805 followers, followed by Egypt’s famous Al Bernameg program, hosted by Bassem Youssef, with 1,852,082 followers. In entertainment, the UAE stole the show with MBC Group, which has 2,460,175 followers and makes $3.7 million USD in yearly revenue from YouTube.
Surprisingly, 93% of video content was in Arabic, which proves the ever-increasing potential for Arabic digital content, and 45% was between medium to high quality. For more information about other popular topics and channels in various countries, click on the infographic below. (more…)
Movies | By Todd Cunningham on March 6, 2014
The Bayou State was top locale for Hollywood’s major movies last year, according to a new report from FilmL.A.
When it comes to major movies, California is no longer the world’s production capital — that would be Louisiana, according to a new study released Thursday.
Eighteen of the 108 films released last year that were produced by the major studios and the five biggest independents were shot in the Bayou State, according to the 2013 Feature Film Production Study from FilmL.A., the region’s non-profit permitting agency. Paramount’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” Focus Features’ “Dallas Buyers Club” and Warner Bros.’ “Grudge Match” were among the movies shot in Louisiana.
California and Canada were next with 15, followed by the U.K. with 12 and the state of Georgia with nine. Surprisingly, New York was the primary filming location for just four films in the study, but was used as a secondary location for seven. California served as a secondary site for 10 films.
The surveyed films represent $7.6 billion in direct spending and tens of thousands of jobs in an array of professions, the report found.
The United States is still the No. 1 nation for film production, with 70 features shot here. But California is now sharing its former wealth with a number of other states that offer more lucrative tax credits and film incentives. Twenty different states and foreign countries were used as primary production locations.
And things would look even more bleak for California were it not for animated movies like “Monsters University,” “The Croods” and “Frozen.” In terms of just live-action, California now ranks fourth behind Louisiana, the U.K. and Canada in feature projects, spending and jobs. (more…)
Venture Capitalist, Stanford Educator, Board Member, Recovering Entrepreneur,
Fresh out of Stanford Business School, I started a software company, T/Maker, with my brother Peter. He was the software architect and I was, well, everything else. Our little company was among the first to ship software for the Macintosh, and we developed a positive reputation among the members of the nascent developer community, which led us to expanding our business by publishing software for other independent developers. Two of our developers, Randy Adams and William Parkhurst, went to work for Steve Jobs at his new company, NeXT, and that’s how I ended up head to head with Steve Jobs.
Turns out, Steve had a problem and Randy and William thought I could be the solution. Steve had done an “acquihire” of the developers who had written the Mac word processor MacAuthor. In order to make the deal economics work, Steve had promised to publish MacAuthor and pay royalties to the developers. But now, with the world’s attention on his new startup, how would it look to have NeXT’s first product be a word processor for the Mac? Randy and William suggested to Steve that if I were to be the publisher, the problem would be solved. Steve liked the idea, and invited me in to talk about it.
My first meeting with Steve lasted well over an hour. He grilled me about packaging, channels, distribution, product positioning and the like. I must have passed the test, as he invited me back to negotiate a publishing deal. I spent the next three weeks preparing detailed timelines, package mockups and drafting a very specific contract based on our experience with the other developers we had already published.
On the appointed day, after waiting in the lobby for 45 minutes (this, I would come to learn, was par for the course for meetings with Steve), I was called up to Steve’s cubicle. I remember to this day how completely nervous I felt. But I had my contract in hand and I knew my numbers cold.
Shortly into my pitch, Steve took the contract from me and scanned down to the key term, the royalty rate. I had pitched 15%, our standard. Steve pointed at it and said,
“15%? That is ridiculous. I want 50%.”
I was stunned. There was no way I could run my business giving him 50% of my product revenues. I started to defend myself, stammering about the economics of my side of the business. He tore up the contract and handed me the pieces. “Come back at 50%, or don’t come back,” he said. (more…)
By Kim Gittleson
BBC business reporter, Singapore
18 March 2014
Jack Ma (left) and Huateng “Pony” Ma founded Alibaba and Tencent, respectively, within months of each other
It’s been called “the most expensive competition in online history” – but it’s one you might not have heard about.
More than 15 years ago, two firms launched in China within months of each other, looking to take advantage of the growing numbers of internet users in the country.
Alibaba, founded at the start of 1999 by former school teacher Jack Ma, was a platform created to help businesses sell products to each other.
It quickly grew into a marketplace where not only firms did business, but consumers as well.
In 2003 Alibaba launched Taobao, essentially China’s eBay. This was followed a year later by Alipay, a Paypal clone.
But the internet, of course, is not just about selling things, it is about people connecting with each other via social media.
Biggest internet companies (more…)
By David M Ross | on March 10, 2014
When listening to Frank Liddell talk about music, it doesn’t take long to recognize how deeply passionate he is about musicians, artists, songs and songwriters. Liddell is the co-founder and Creative Head of Carnival Music an independent publishing company which has helped writers such as Bruce Robison, Scooter Carusoe, Natalie Hemby, Troy Jones and David Nail each achieve their first No. 1 hit. The Houston-born publisher is also at home in the studio and has produced all of Miranda Lambert’s albums, the Pistol Annies plus projects for David Nail, Stoney LaRue’s Texas Music Association Album of the Year Velvet and more. “Producing is a vague term,” smiles Liddell. “I can’t really take credit for the things that I do, but I’ll assume responsibility.”
Liddell is a member of the CMA and serves on the Board of Directors for the ACM and the National Academy Of Recording Arts and Sciences, where he is also a member of the Producers & Engineers Wing. In 2012 he was honored by the Academy of Country Music with its Producer of the Year trophy.
NEKST: Are these are tough times for publishers?
Frank Liddell: Absolutely. We struggle like everybody else. Carnival, started with one great songwriter that nobody else in this town wanted—Bruce Robison. He’s written No. 1s like “Angry All The Time,” “Traveling Soldier,” and “Wrapped.” I guess we’re independent-minded spirits. From the day Carnival opened I’ve always said, “If you open a store on the same block as Wal-Mart you better have something they don’t.” As Carnival started to have success and become a real publishing company our competitors became Warner/Chappell, Sony, etc. The Wal-Marts of music publishing. What I personally want to do with Carnival is amass a catalog of unique songs that continues to grow in value and importance. To do that we need to figure out new ways to pay for it. It used to be a new songwriter would come to town and get a $30-$40k draw and maybe even co-pub. But there were lots of artists out there and everyone was making a record a year and songs climbed the charts faster. It was easier to get out of trouble. Now it’s a lot harder to figure out how to stay with a person for a long time. Bruce Robison’s “Angry All The Time” was nine years old and “Travelin’ Soldier” was 12 years old when they became No. 1 songs. So the question is, “How do you find people you really believe in and stick with them?” You can’t afford to get $300k in the hole on a writer any more, cause you can’t recoup in your typical deal. The financial business model for independents like us is evolving, but needs to be improved. Meanwhile, the most important thing for Carnival is to make sure we remain the home of the Bruce Robisons of the world and showcase great, unique songs. We won’t get on every record, but when we do, it’s special. (more…)
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