Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Listen Up! Neil Young Joins Dive Into Media Next Week.

We’re a week away from the D: Dive Into Media Conference, which is going to feature a wide-ranging group of industry leaders who are going to have some very different takes on the way media and technology are colliding.

In light of this month’s SOPA/PIPA debate, for instance, it ought to be very interesting to compare and contrast what Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and YouTube head Salar Kamangar have to say about copyright and piracy. (Not that they were on the same page to begin with.)

But in addition to executives who help distribute media for a living, we also wanted to make sure we heard from content makers at Dive. We’ll have several, but none more famous than Neil Young.

One of the nice things about having a music icon join you onstage is that you don’t need to spend much time introducing him (though it’s easy enough to get the official and unofficial takes; and, courtesy of Kamangar’s YouTube, plenty of audiovisual reminders, which you can see at the bottom of this post).

That’s going to give us more time to have a freewheeling conversation: The man has a 40-plus-year career and is still making music and movies today, so there’s a lot of ground to cover. One digital topic I imagine we’ll certainly touch on: His long-running campaign to fix the way modern music sounds — not the songs themselves, but the way they’re recorded and distributed.

That isn’t the easiest sell, when lots of people seem content to listen to super-compressed iTunes files bleeding out of tiny, tinny, laptop speakers. But perhaps things are changing a bit: Dr. Dre and company sure have sold a lot of sort-of high-end Beats headphones in recent years.

Dive kicks off on the evening of Jan. 30, and we’ll have complete coverage here. If you want to join us in person in Laguna Niguel, Calif., grab a seat.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work