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"The findings in the MarkMonitor report on online piracy and counterfeiting are a call to arms for both government and the private sector.”
——MPAA statement
DOT-DOT-DOT-COM:
WHO’S GOT THE BUTTON?
Spotify Makes an American Friend, Apple Sqeezes Verizon, RapidShare’s Rise to Top
of Web Traffic Chart Breeds Controversy
Spotify may be having a frustrating experience trying to negotiate with the Big Four, but the Swedish company is making headway with other prospective American business partners. This morning, we learn that Shazam is adding Spotify to its list of post-ID recommendations by way of a “Play in Spotify,” Digital Music News reports. But here’s the rub: This function will be relegated to premium, paying subscribers of both apps—initially, at least. Later this quarter, free versions of Shazam will support the option, but only in European countries where Spotify is available. The Spotify button will exist alongside other post-ID options, including YouTube and iTunes… After Verizon Wireless starts selling the iPhone in February, the company may have to eat as much as $5 billion in subsidies over the following 12 months, the N.Y. Post reports. The $5 billion hit, the high end of Wall Street estimates, is the difference between the $199 price charged to customers and the estimated $620 Apple charges Verizon times the estimated 15 million phones one analyst is predicting Verizon will sell in the first year. "Apple is good at pointing a gun at someone's head and saying, 'You want our stuff? Here are our terms,'" Jack Gold of Jack Gold Associates told the Post RapidShare and similar online file-hosting services have overtaken BitTorrent and traditional file-sharing networks in terms of web traffic, according to MarkMonitor, which concluded that Rapidshare’s more than 13 billion annual visitors make it the #1 sites for illegal downloads. Similar file host Megaupload was a distant second, with 5 billion visitors, while file hosts Hotfile, 4Shared and Mediafire all made the top 100 most-visited sites globally—putting them ahead of headline-grabbing The Pirate Bay, as TorrentFreak pointed out. MarkMonitor’s spin made RapidShare very grumpy indeed, prompting the following statement: "The authors conclude that RapidShare has to be the biggest digital piracy site from looking at the number of page visits, totally ignoring the fact that millions of customers use the service for perfectly legitimate purposes." But the MPAA saw the report quite differently: "The findings in the MarkMonitor report on online piracy and counterfeiting are a call to arms for both government and the private sector," the org asserted in a statement. "As the report demonstrates, a small number of rogue websites are generating mind-boggling traffic in pirated content."  
NEAR TRUTHS: YEAR-END WRAP-UP, PART 3
Bye-bye Burbank, hello DTLA. (12/13a)
2019 TOP 50 SONGS
What comes after X? (12/12a)
TASK FORCE TACKLES INDUSTRY TROUBLES
A wider view of the issues (12/13a)
A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS II:
SCOOTER BRAUN
A very intriguing dude (12/12a)
HARVEY IN THE MIX
Mason Jr. discusses his senior role at the Academy. (12/12a)
EGGNOG!
Ours is mostly bourbon.
MISTLETOE!
Delicious in salads.
CHESTNUTS!
Ours are roasting, but it could be these slim-fit jeans.
WEED!
An entire Christmas tree made of it. Is what we want. for Christmas.
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