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NEW ZEALAND PASSES FORMALISED THREE-STRIKE PLANS
Parliamentarians in New Zealand were among the first to back the concept of introducing punitive measures against persistent file-sharers, though the initial three-strikes proposals put forward by the country's government were not especially well thought out, in particular no consideration had been given to who would administer complaints by content owners against individual net users, nor how accused file-sharers might appeal.
But a more formalised system has now been developed, and it was passed into law by the country's parliament this week. Under the new system, internet service providers will be forced to send out warning letters to net users whom the content owners suspect of file-sharing. The accused will be given fourteen days to respond.
Where letters are ignored or file-sharing continues, cases will be passed to a Copyright Tribunal who in first instance can order fines of up to $15,000 be paid, and if that doesn't work order that a file-sharer's net connection be suspended for up to six months.
When it goes live in September, the system will initially only apply to file-sharing on fixed-line net connections, but will be extended to the mobile internet in October 2013.
While those who oppose three-strike style systems will find fault with most elements of the new law, they might object in particular to the fact that the tribunal will assume a content owner's claims of copyright infringement against a file-sharer are correct unless the accused provides evidence to the contrary. And also that accused file-sharers will not have an automatic right to bring a lawyer to a tribunal hearing, though they can request to do so.
The new laws received very little opposition in the New Zealand parliament, though were criticised elsewhere, not least by the country's ISP community. The boss of one, EOL's Terry Coles, told the National Business Review that more persistent file-sharers knew how to hide their file-sharing from the content owners, rendering the new measures ineffective.
Coles: "No one can see them, so no one will be able to see what they're downloading. The people on the internet who drive this sort of thing are a lot smarter than the people who make the rules, I think, or they're certainly a lot more IT savvy, anyway".
MURRAY PROSECUTORS WANT TO BRING IN HIS LADY FRIENDS
Prosecutors say that on the morning Jackson died, Murray called one woman, took calls from another, and was texting a third. The doc's legal people say that information relating to Murray's personal life are irrelevant to the case, but in a court filing submitted this week prosecutors argued that the contact the doctor had with three separate women that morning are "relevant to show Dr. Murray's level of inattentiveness and distraction while he was responsible for the care of Mr Jackson".
They also note that the doc didn't mention the phone calls or texts when he initially gave a statement to investigators about Jackson's death, possibly implying that he knew he had been overly distracted while treating his pop star patient that morning. According to the prosecution, phone records show Murray made eleven calls during the time when, they argue, he should have been monitoring Jackson, who he had just given a shot of a very powerful sedative.
If they are allowed to testify, the prosecution also say that the three women in question will confirm that when they first met Murray in the weeks before Jackson's death he told them he was caring for Jacko, something which, the prosecution argue, showed the doctor's willingness to breach patient-doctor confidentiality for his own benefit.
Murray denies the charge he caused Michael Jackson's death through negligence.
ROGER NICHOLS DIES
Nichols was born in Oakland, and initially trained as a nuclear engineer, working at the San Onofre nuclear plant in southern California, before starting a career in the music industry.
During that career he was honoured with seven Grammy awards, six of which were for Steely Dan albums, but he also worked with other high profile artists, such as John Denver, Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, The Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder and Yo-Yo Ma.
Nichols also earned the nickname 'Mr Digital' during the early years of digital recording, and invented a tape restoration process, audio plug-ins, the first digital microphone and the first high fidelity digital audio drum machine.
He is survived by his wife Connie, two daughters, a sister and a brother.
YOU SAY PARTY SPLIT
The group announced the news via press release, explaining that the past twelve months haven't been easy. Band member Stephen O'Shea says: "Call it a hiatus. Call it a break. Call it whatever you want... It's been a hard year for us. Not a bad year. We've experienced wonderful support from people. But you gotta listen to your body and your mind when it begins to revolt against what you think it is you have to do. We're gonna stop for a while, and we're gonna work on who we are as people".
SMITHS TO RE-RELEASE 'THE QUEEN IS DEAD' FOR RECORD STORE DAY
NEW SANTIGOLD TRACK STREAMING
LADYHAWKE PROMISES NEW MATERIAL
BLACK LIPS ANNOUNCE ALBUM DETAILS AND TOUR
19 May: London Garage
CHARLIE SIMPSON TO PREVIEW ALBUM AT INTIMATE GIG
BBC PROMS PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED
The request show will take place 2 Sep and feature the Budapest Festival Orchestra - conductor Ivan Fischer is set to have a stack of musical score on hand so that his audience can, to a point, select what gets played. On 13 Aug the rather fine piano-wielding funny man Tim Minchin will host the first ever Comedy Prom.
And on 17 Jul a record breaking two orchestras and ten choirs will amass for a performance of the Havergal Brian symphony 'The Gothic'. Of that, BBC Proms boss Roger Wright joked: "It will be the first concert to sell out because once you put the performers in there, there is hardly any room for the audience".
Tickets go on sale on 7 May, more here: www.bbc.co.uk/proms/
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
KENWOOD HOUSE PICNIC CONCERTS, Kenwood House, North London, 24 Jun-16 Jul: Liza Minelli will be bringing a bit of glitz and glam to the proceedings at this English Heritage-hosted concert programme, joining a superstar line-up that includes Tom Jones, Jools Holand, James Blunt and Katherine Jenkins. www.picnicconcerts.com
ICELAND AIRWAVES, Various Venues, Reykjavík, 12-16 Oct: Organisers have snagged Merill Garbus aka avant garde experimentalist Tune-Yards, to their ever-expanding roster, with Young Galaxy, Deathcrush and Karkwa also new introductions to the line-up. The Vaccines, Beach House and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs are some of the acts already booked to appear at the eclectic world music showcase. www.icelandairwaves.is
GLASTONBURY, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 22-26 Jun: Excluding those naughty sorts who've already self-confirmed, a few picks from the just-announced and absolutely vast Glasto line-up are Wu Tang Clan, Metronomy, Friendly Fires, The Kills, Wild Beasts, The Walkmen and QOTSA. But this is but the tip of the Glastonbury iceberg, so head to the website for the full rundown. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk
LATITUDE, Henham Park Estate, Suffolk, 14-17 Jul: Latitude line-up additions are coming in at a steady trickle, with US indie types They Might Be Giants, Brazilian psych-rockers Os Mutantes and DJ Goldierocks new to the bill. Mark Lamarr is another recent booking, set to return with his Saturday 'God's Jukebox' slot. Previously confirmed headliners are The National, Suede and Paolo Nutini, who head up a score of acts including Deerhunter, British Sea Power, and Glasvegas. www.latitudefestival.co.uk
MELTDOWN, Southbank Centre, London, 10-19 Jun: The Ray Davies-curated culture fest is newly poised to host artistes including Sandie Shaw, Paloma Faith and Ronnie Spector, with Cambodian popsters Dengue Fever also amongst the recent confirmations. They join an existing line-up that includes Wire and Yo La Tengo. www.meltdown.southbankcentre.co.uk
SOUTH WEST FOUR, Clapham Common, London 27-28 Aug: A horde of further talent has been heaped upon the SW4 bill, with Annie Mac, Wretch 32, Pete Tong, YasmIn, Breakage and Laidback Luke all fresh additions to a line-up that already boasts Underworld, Pendulum and Magnetic Man. www.southwestfour.com
ANOTHER MYSPACE EXEC GOES
UGC YOUTUBE VIDS PAYING INCREASING AMOUNTS INTO MUSIC BIZ
They quote YouTube's music partnerships man Glen Brown as saying: "So far the conversation is about official music videos, but we're seeing that user videos are becoming just as interesting in terms of both views and financials".
Of course sometimes labels demand such unofficial videos be removed from YouTube, though some insiders say this is usually more because an artist doesn't like the way their music has been used, rather than because of any policy on the labels' part who recognise that, while they earn less when their music is experienced via an unofficial video (because ad rates are less), they are still earning money.
Labels earn when their music is used in such videos via YouTube's ContentID system, which is also used by content owners who want their content automatically removed from the web platform. Says Brown: "Content ID is often described as a blocking tool but in the vast majority of cases it's a monetization tool. It's the thing that's made UGC blow up into this brand new business line".
YouTube, of course, would like fair use provisions in copyright law altered so that neither labels nor artists would have the right to veto their music being used in UGC videos where the creator gets no commercial gain and the label and publisher is paid a royalty for the use of their music.
Elsewhere in YouTube news, the web firm has published a crazy little video all about copyright, which any user issued with a copyright violation notification by the web company (based on complaints by content owners presumably) will be forced to watch, apparently. You can watch it here, even if you've not been filed with a copyright violation notice.
US STUDENTS DO NOT EQUATE FILE-SHARING WITH SHOPLIFTING
According to Ars Technica, the 172 students in Midwest USA surveyed said that shoplifting a CD was "morally wrong" and "they were socially influenced not to do it", while illegally downloading music was "not as morally wrong, there's virtually no social influence not to [do it and there's] no obligation to obey the law". The male students surveyed were generally more blasé about illegal downloading, having more contempt for the music industry and more confidence they wouldn't be caught if they illegally shared music.
So gloomy reading for content owners then. Though the author of the piece in Psychology, Crime & Law admitted that the survey he was writing about was now a few years old, and that things were changing so much in the internet space - in particular with the increase in the number of legitimate content services - that perhaps if the same survey was done now, or in the near future, attitudes to file-sharing might change.
BAUER RESHUFFLE STATIONS, KEEP LOCAL FMS
The reshuffle is of most interest to advertisers really, who buy ad packages across Bauer's radio stations, though it is possibly of wider interest in that the creation of the Bauer Place network shows the media firm is planning on keeping its big local radio brands alive, rather than going the Global Radio route and rebranding all local stations as either Capital FM or Heart, creating quasi-nation stations in the process.
Bauer Radio Group MD Dee Ford told CMU: "Bauer's stations are more influential than our competitors because for us, radio is personal. We work relentlessly on the product and personality of each individual station to ensure it is reflective of either the passions of our listeners or the places where they live. The creation and launch of the Bauer Place and Bauer Passion portfolios will give our advertisers and partners measurable commercial advantage by allowing them to customise campaigns to reach and engage directly with their audiences through a mix of interests and geographic locations".
VIRGIN MAY BID FOR ABSOLUTE
Various radio groups are expected to bid for Absolute's national AM and London FM licence, and given Branson is thought to not want to "overpay" for the station he may well not be successful if a bidding war begins. If he was successful, the Telegraph says the station would likely be rebranded Virgin Radio once again.
Of course the Virgin Group didn't own Virgin Radio UK for about half of its time in existence, having sold it to Chris Evans in the late nineties who subsequently sold it on to SMG. When SMG sold it to TIML the Virgin Group blocked the continued use of the Virgin name by the new owners.
RICKY MARTIN CRITICISED BY RELIGIOUS LEADERS BACK HOME
Wanda Rolon, who is a preacher at the island's First Christian Church of La Senada Antigua, apparently made the statement in a Facebook rant about Martin's sexuality, though strangely she subsequently denied claims she was homophobic.
Rolon is not a lone critic, it seems, with another religious leader on the island, Cardinal Luis Aponte Martinez of San Juan, also criticising Martin for being open about his homosexuality. Says Martinez: "I admire Ricky for the great artistic gifts the Lord has endowed him, but please, for the love of his children, for whom I imagine he wants the best, try to set an example to our youth of the great values we all share, besides sex".
He continued: "[The Roman Catholic church] does not reject the homosexual [but] their immoral actions and behaviors, and trying to promote homosexuality or sexual promiscuity among our youth, indeed, is immoral regardless of where it comes from".
Yeah, whatever you say Luis, whatever you say.