eek. I have to close all my browser windows. I guess it’s time to blog.
Slashdot commentary about allofmp3.com and Russian law. Apparently, Russian royalty rates for artists is 20x the percentage the US artists usually receive. That is what enrages American record companies.
from a random comment on Matt Yglesias’ blog: Judging a book by its cover is like judging a person by the color of his skin. Usually, you can’t do it. However when a person’s skin is blue, you can usually conclude that he has done something stupid involving blue paint.
I’m really psyched for the weeklong NYT forum discussion about China’s environmental situation. They provide Q&A by one expert a day. Here’s Elizabeth Economy’s answers:
The answer to the first part of your question goes back to the need for Beijing to loosen its hold on the media, NGOs, and courts. Any system of enforcement needs transparency. If the local officials can’t be trusted to adhere to the law, you need outside monitors — people who are not beholden to the party or to established business-political relationships. One of the challenges of the World Bank’s and NRDC’s Greenwatch program in Jiangsu province, which scorecards factories on their wastewater management and efficiencies in production, is that local officials don’t want to publicize the factories’ ratings and make them available to the public on a continous basis — a form of transparency that has been essential to the success of the environmental protection movement in the United States. If Beijing were truly willing to empower the media and NGOs — for example to publicize such recalcitrance and then publish the factory ratings — they could become effective allies in the country’s environmental protection effort. At the same time, multinationals have a role to play in providing incentives to factories to do the right thing by opening up more business to factories that achieve top ratings and terminating contracts with those that fail to improve in a certain period of time.