When the gods dance...

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Judge: RIAA's $72 Trillion Damages Claim Against Limewire Is "Absurd"


"Absurd." That's the single word Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York used to describe the Recording Industry Association of America's claim that LimeWire should pay as much as $150,000 for each download of each song from its P2P servers. The RIAA had argued that, since the courts have identified that some 11,000 songs were infringed upon and, as each song has been downloaded probably thousands of times, it should be compensated for each individual download. The simple math places the total damages at $72 trillion, which is 20% higher than the gross domestic product of the entire world. In her 14-page ruling, Judge Wood wrote that the plaintiffs' position on statutory damages "offends the canon that we should avoid endorsing statutory interpretations that would lead to absurd results. If plaintiffs were able to pursue a statutory damage theory based on the number of direct infringers per work, defendants' damages could reach into the trillions." If this "absurdity" was approved, the amount would be "more money than the entire music industry has made since Edison's invention of the phonograph in 1877," she said. [Full story:Red Orbit]
Sony Grabs "World's Largest Label" Title From Universal


According to new market share data reportedly leaked to Digital Music News [no connection to this publication], Sony Music appears ti have snared the title of "World's Biggest Music Label" from Universal Music Group. Based on figures from Nielsen Soundscan, Sony now has 32.81% of the global music market, while Universal has 28.35%, Warner has 15.33%, and EMI has 11.80%. Independent labels make up the remaining 11.72% of the pie. The New York Post backs up the claim, and says high-selling albums from Adele, Adam Lambert, and Carrie Underwood helped propel the label past UMG. Sony's increase is seen as a success for label chief Doug Morris, who jumped ship from Universal last year. Son'y Number 1 position may be short-lived, however, if UMG succeeds in merging with EMI. Those two labels combined would create a 44.61% share of the global record industry. [Full story: TheMusic.com]
Pandora Beats Mobile Ad Growth Estimates, But Net Loss Doubles


There was good news and bad news in the world of Pandora last week, as the online music company reported that its first quarter 2012 results exceeded analysts' estimates, while its net loss more than doubled as the costs of acquiring music and marketing increased. Of the $70.6 million in advertising sales the company earned during the quarter, 55% came from mobile devices, while net loss grew to $20.2 million, or 12 cents per share, compared to a loss of $9.1 million, or 61 cents per share, a year prior. "Pandora is off to an excellent start, exceeding our first quarter outlook and raising our expectations for the full fiscal year," said Pandora's chairman and CEO, Joe Kennedy. "This quarter Pandora averaged more than 50 million active users a month who generated more than 3.09 billion listening hours across Pandora's multiple platforms - desktop, auto, consumer electronics, and mobile devices. Advertisers want to be everywhere their consumers are. They are moving quickly to speak with their target customers across the Pandora platform, with the majority of the top 50 digital advertisers in the U.S. already having bought multiplatform advertising on Pandora." [Full story: Bloomberg News   Proactive Investors]
N.Z. Judge: "U.S. Must Share Evidence" Against Megaupload


When the police in New Zealand raided the headquarters of file-sharing site Megaupload in January on behalf of the United States, it seemed that the case against the company and its founder, "Kim Dotcom," was airtight. Not so much anymore, as a judge subsequently ruled that police used the wrong kind of search warrant, while Mr. "Dotcom" was given access to his seized Mercedes-Benz and $49,000 a month from his bank accounts. Then, last week, Judge David J. Harvey of District Court in Auckland ruled that the U.S. must share evidence with Mr. "Dotcom" - including the Federal Bureau of Investigation's report - and also produce specific evidence to justify an extradition request and to allow Mr. Dotcom to prepare his defense. "A denial of the provision of information that could enable a proper adversarial hearing in my view would amount to a denial of the opportunity to contest," Judge Harvey wrote. "That would effectively mean that the process is one-sided." The charges against Mr. "Dotcom" and other Megaupload employees include criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy, money laundering, racketeering, and wire fraud. Mr. "Dotcom" faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. [Full story: Mediadecoder]
Grooveshark Launches Beluga So Fans Can Follow Artists


Despite ongoing legal problems with the recorded music industry, Grooveshark this week announced it would be launching Beluga, a free music information tool that allows anyone to conduct in-depth research about particular artists and their fan bases. Drawing from Grooveshark's existing survey platform, Beluga collects data with complete transparency to develop pure listening-demand information, deep geographic and international music fan insight, pinpointed demographics, and first-party data - all while keeping user identities anonymous. "Any artist with music on Grooveshark can leverage Beluga's data to learn about their fans, route their tours, sell merchandise, work on building a following, and take their careers to the next level," said Josh Greenberg, Grooveshark Co-Founder and CTO. "Beluga opens doors for advertisers and brands to partner with artists who connect with their target audience, presenting endless opportunities. Best of all, we provide all of this market research information entirely for free." [Full story: PR Newswire]
Samsung Launches Music Hub For Android, May Expand To iOS


As expected, Samsung Electronics has launched an expanded version of its Music Hub service, including streaming access to 19 million songs and scan-and-match cloud storage features. The Android-powered Galaxy S III with Music Hub is offered in two versions: a free platform that enables users to purchase individual songs and albums, and listen to 30-second previews of all content; and a premium version, priced at $12.53 per month, that allows subscribers to upload and access their entire digital music collection to the cloud and guarantees unlimited streaming for all songs in the Samsung catalog. These users also may personalize music stations based on their favorite artists. Samsung SVP/Media Services T.J. Kang said the company is considering whether to expand Music Hub to other operating systems, noting that "there is a possibility that Music Hub will be made available on competing platforms, such as iOS." Kang did not specify whether those "competing platforms" also include Research In Motion's BlackBerry and Microsoft's Windows Phone. [Full story: Fierce Mobile Content]
Al Bell Presents American Soul Music ... And American Soul TV

If you're into classic and contemporary Soul, R&B, Blues, Gospel, Jazz, Hip-Hop Soul, Rap Soul, and Neo-Soul, we invite you to listen to Al Bell Presents American Soul Music. Former Stax Records owner and Motown Records Group President Al Bell personally has programmed this awesome radio station online, presenting your favorites from the 1960s and '70s [and some '80s], a lot of the best new music that's being released today, and some real gems you haven't heard in a long, long time. Come to www.AlBellPresents.Com

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