As Mark explains in his post, Michael asked the Imeem VP for his views on the legality of what Anywhere.FM does, and Graves said that he didn’t want to talk about the terms of the Anywhere.FM deal “now or ever, on the list or privately,” although he said he was sorry Michael was being sued. Robertson then responded that he just wanted the Imeem exec’s thoughts on whether the service was legal, and if so why — and was obviously interested in finding an ally in his lawsuit with EMI.
Graves shut this line of inquiry down as well, which I must admit I find odd. There’s no question that in the past Michael — rightly or wrongly — has been a lightning rod for lawsuits related to his various online services, but how does it help to avoid the issue? If Anywhere.FM and MP3tunes are similar services, and one is being sued by a record label, doesn’t it stand to reason that the other might as well? Perhaps Graves thinks he can avoid such an outcome so long as he doesn’t talk about it.
I wrote about the EMI lawsuit in this post, and linked to Michael’s overview of what the lawsuit is about, which is well worth a read. In a nutshell, EMI claims that an MP3tunes feature called Sideload is illegal, and so are the online music “lockers” that the company provides, where users can store songs — including songs that they have purchased through Amazon or other online services, which can be transfered directly into the locker. Sideload is much like Seeqpod (which is also being sued) or Songza.
More to the point, I think Mike’s long-range outlook on Yahoo is correct: the company has to figure out how to grow its online-advertising business, or surrender it to someone who can.
Henry “I used to be a famous Wall Street analyst” Blodget has a pretty good rundown of the numbers at Silicon Alley Insider (although I must admit that every time he does that kind of thing I wonder whether he isn’t getting a little close to the line, given his settlement with the SEC). The fact is that Yahoo is cutting 1,000 people — as was widely rumoured last week — and its future guidance was so-so at best.
Share of the search market flat or falling, profit margins lower, new deals with cable companies bringing in lower revenue — not a pretty picture. but Yahoo still has high hopes, according to Sue Decker. Unfortunately, Yahoo shareholders have had some pretty high hopes as well, and about all they have to show for them so far is a share price that has been sliding down the slippery slope for the past year.
David St. Hubbins, This is Spinal Tap
Google is apparently experimenting with tiny barcodes that will sit next to newspaper advertisements and be scannable by mobile phone, so that you can “read” the code and be whisked to some website where you can get an interactive coupon, a special deal on Star Wars memorabilia, etc. Apparently I’m not the only one who immediately had visions of the CueCat, an ungainly handheld scanner gizmo that some ridiculous company tried to foist on newspaper readers back in the first bubble.
In the comments on a Silicon Alley Insider post about the Google experiment, Henry Blodget says that CueCat was the single worst idea he ever heard during Bubble 1.0 — and that’s saying a lot. I would have to agree (Allen Stern of Centernetworks, however, says that he thought it was a pretty good idea, and still has one in his closet). If you want some technical information, there’s some at the Google FAQ.
I know that there are a lot of people who are going to point out that they use barcodes like this all the time to buy things in Japan, but I would like to point out that not everything that is popular in Japan is good, and in support of that I would offer this and most of these.