Breakingviews

Music rally can shake off discordant Taylor Swift

November 3, 2014

The 24-year-old pop star yanked her latest album and catalog from Spotify. The digital streaming service and its ilk offer low per-song royalties but subscriptions give labels higher margins than CDs or downloads. Buyer habits are also changing, even if Swift is stuck in 1989.

Apple shows another symptom of mid-life crisis

May 9, 2014

It hasn’t got a tattoo or hooked up with a Pilates instructor. But its interest in trendy headphone maker Beats may be a sign the $500 bln iPhone inventor feels the need to splash out $3 bln to keep up with the cool kids. The risk is that fast cars and other pricier toys follow.

Owners deserve right to resell book, byte or bean

April 8, 2013

U.S. courts say peddling used tomes is fine, but digital tunes are different. The jury is still out on genetically altered legumes. It need not be so complicated. The legal concepts of “fair use” and “first sale” are broad enough to satisfy consumers and rights holders alike.