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first_imgTech giant Apple is currently in talks with streaming service TIDAL to acquire the platform and use it to bolster their own service, Apple Music, according to sources close to the matter. Although negotiations are still underway, and confirmation and terms of the deal are still unconfirmed, Apple’s streaming efforts would surely stand to benefit from TIDAL’s exclusive relationships with various high-profile artists like Kanye West and Madonna. The issue of artist royalties from streaming has become more and more pertinent in recent years as the record industry has shifted away from purchased digital and physical units and toward a more streaming-based model. With declining record sales, artists now have to make the majority of their money from touring, and many feel that this may have an overall negative effect on the quality and quantity of new music that new artists are able to bring to fruition. Hip Hop mogul Jay Z purchased TIDAL in March of 2015 for $56 million in an attempt to route a larger portion of the proceeds from music streaming to the artists rather than large corporations.As Jay Z said in an interview with Billboard following the purchase, “For someone like me, I can go on tour, but what about the people working on the record, the content creators and not just the artists? If they’re not being compensated properly, then I think we’ll lose some writers and producers and people like that who depend on fair trade. Some would probably have to take another job, and I think we’ll lose some great writers in the process.” Jay sold equity stakes in the company to nearly twenty other artists, marketing the endeavor as the first artist-owned streaming service and offering perks like exclusive releases for paying subscribers. The infographic below, via Information Is Beautiful, which shows the disparities between artist payouts for streaming between the various competing services, illustrates Hov’s noble intentions in purchasing TIDAL:However, Jay’s big plans for TIDAL have not gone as well as expected. A year after the purchase, TIDAL’s subscription numbers are well below expectations, still trailing Apple and Spotify‘s services by considerable margins, leading to a smaller net payout for artists via TIDAL despite their higher per-stream rates. Furthermore, a handful of artists have brought legal action against the company for problems with payment. Earlier this year, John Emanuele from the band The American Dollar filed a class-action suit claiming that TIDAL has yet to compensate the band for any of the royalty payments accrued from the streaming of the band’s 116 copyrighted songs on the platform. This has prompted Jay Z and Tidal to mount a concurrent suit against the company that sold them the service last year, saying that the user numbers they presented were fraudulent.Despite publicly remaining behind his venture, Jay Z has been shopping the company around to big tech companies for months, having reportedly taken meetings with Facebook and Samsung as well. While it is unclear how Apple would incorporate TIDAL’s current structure into their own efforts, if Apple does end up purchasing the company, the already-competitive streaming industry will become an even smaller club, consolidating more power with fewer large corporations and making it harder and harder for artists to change the status quo, as Jay and his partners originally sought to do with TIDAL.last_img read more

first_imgFalse and misleading information surging in battleground states that have become the focus of the political battle — including Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia; No, Sharpies didn’t invalidate votes in Arizona. Republicans looking to cast doubts on the legitimacy of election results in the state circulated a conspiracy theory that alleged that poll workers had provided Trump voters with felt-tip pens to mark their ballots, which some claimed invalidated those ballots by making them unreadable by voting machines. Multiple Arizona officials said that there was no truth to that claim, and that votes with felt-tip pens were counted. [The New York Times] Could state legislatures pick electors to vote for Trump? It is not likely. Election law experts are highly skeptical. And leaders of the Republican majorities in legislatures in key states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona and Georgia, said they saw no role for themselves in picking electors. [The New York Times] I spoke with Renee DiResta, a disinformation researcher at the Stanford Internet Observatory, who told me she was worried about three specific themes around election misinformation: Today’s newsletter is a dispatch from our colleagues in the tech bureau who have been covering the spread of disinformation in the aftermath of the election. First this from Davey Alba:President Trump’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge that Joseph R. Biden Jr. won the presidential election, along with his continual statements containing unfounded claims that the election was rigged, has left a huge information gap ripe for exploitation by bad actors, disinformation researchers have told me. And that has led to the worst-case scenario for the proliferation of misinformation about the election playing out: The volume of bad information, they say, is unprecedented.- Advertisement – Can Mr. Trump still win? No. He’s already lost. Mr. Trump has repeatedly said that he “will win.” This is false. Mr. Biden’s winning margins in the key battleground states he has captured are well above the thresholds of votes that have been changed in previous recounts. [The New York Times] – Advertisement – The re-emergence of misinformation incidents and delegitimization themes that pointed back to earlier allegations — ideas that a Democrat-led coup would take place, voting machines being tainted, and more. – Advertisement – As my colleagues Jim Rutenberg and Nick Corasaniti reported on Sunday, the roots of Mr. Trump’s approach — to cast doubt on the outcome of the vote — dates to before his election in 2016, and he advanced his plans throughout his term. But it took shape in earnest when the coronavirus pandemic upended normal life and led states to promote voting by mail.To be sure, misinformation of all kinds, not just about the election, had already been on the rise, compounded by the pandemic and stay-at-home orders that have caused more people to be glued to their screens and consuming social media.But a lot of it was tied to politics in one form or another. There was a surge in followers of the QAnon conspiracy, whose convoluted theory falsely claims that a cabal of Satan-worshiping, pedophile Democrats is plotting against President Trump. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the average membership in 10 large public QAnon Facebook groups swelled almost 600 percent from March through July. The repurposing of user-created content from Election Day, which documented one-off incidents, aggregated to support claims of fraud and illegitimacy; “These narratives are reaching audiences inclined to believe them, and so a significant concern remains around whether the losing side will accept the legitimacy of the outcome,” Ms. DiResta said.A lot of the claims are not new, with just the specifics updated. Indeed, I can’t tell you how many misinformation themes have been recycled in this period. Unsubstantiated rumors of dead people voting emerged early on in Michigan; the same rumor happened in Pennsylvania, only the supposed fraud was now at a much larger scale, including tens of thousands of people. Then the claims of voter fraud morphed into an unfounded accusation about impostors using maiden names to steal votes. Claims of ballots being magically lost or found, or being burned, or being carted into vote-counting sites by unauthorized people soared.For some solid advice on how to keep levelheaded in this period, especially coming out of this weekend, when protests about the election results were held, I would suggest listening to Nina Jankowicz, a disinformation analyst at the Wilson Center, a nonpartisan think tank. She recommended trying to tune out politicians and political pundits for the time being, especially when you feel yourself starting to have a strong emotional response to social media posts.“I would recommend some ‘informational distancing’ — walk away from your device for a little while and if that information is still bugging you in a few minutes go and do some lateral reading,” Ms. Jankowicz said. “Figure out if anyone else is reporting what you’ve seen, and look at those official sources to see if they corroborate what you’ve just read or watched.”Stay safe out there in the internet seas, dear readers.Here from Joe Plambeck are some false and misleading rumors spreading about the election, and the truth behind the claims. No, Dominion voting machines did not delete Trump votes. President Trump last week spread new baseless claims that “glitches” in software made by Dominion Voting Systems changed vote tallies in Michigan and Georgia. The Dominion software was used in only two of the five counties that had problems in those states, and in every instance there was a detailed explanation for what had happened. In all of the cases, software did not affect the vote counts. [The New York Times] There is no proof that people stole maiden names to vote. The claim that unauthorized people had cast votes under the maiden names of real voters spread widely last week, much of it under the hashtag #MaidenGate. But there is no evidence behind those accusations. [The New York Times] – Advertisement –last_img read more