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APPEAL HEARING OF THIRD PIRATE BAY FOUNDER GOES AHEAD
Those paying extra special attention may remember that one of the three co-founders of the infamous file-sharing website, Gottfrid Svartholm, found guilty of copyright crimes alongside his colleagues and the site's biggest funder in 2009, failed to show when the defendants appealed that ruling the following year. Svartholm's reps said he couldn't participate in the appeal hearing because he had been hospitalised in Cambodia. The other three defendants' appeal went ahead, with the original ruling upheld, the damages the three men were ordered to pay increased, but the prison sentences they had been ordered to serve cut.
While the other three have been preparing to take the matter to the Supreme Court, Svartholm's case has been sitting in the sidelines awaiting for its first appeal hearing. Setting a date for that hearing has proven difficult because Svartholm seems to have gone AWOL, with even his lawyer claiming to have no knowledge of the pirate man's whereabouts. According to Torrentfreak, fed up with waiting, the authorities scheduled an appeal hearing for this week anyway. Unsurprisingly Svartholm did not show up. The court has now said that the defendant has three weeks to re-file his appeal application, otherwise the 2009 sentence, complete with a one year jail term, will stand.
Some commentators reckon that the other three defendants, while unlikely to have the 2009 ruling fully overturned by the Supreme Court, may be able to have the jail time element of their sentence reduced to basically zero, just leaving mega-damages to be paid, which at least two of them will never be able to afford to pay anyway.
50 CENT SUED OVER ATTACK
In court documents, seen by TMZ, Vasti Ortis claims that Dwayne McKenzie, who was employed by Fiddy in some capacity (though it's not exactly clear what), invited a number of women back to the rapper's home in Connecticut. Ortis claims that once there, McKenzie began making "graphic and vulgar sexual requests" of her. She says that she tried to leave but McKenzie held her down and ordered another woman to beat her, which she did, causing significant injuries.
Despite not being at the house while this happened, 50 Cent is apparently named as a defendant in the lawsuit because, Ortis says, he either knew or should have know that McKenzie had previous criminal convictions for assault.
WHY? CANCEL US SHOW DUE TO "UNFORTUNATE INJURY"
A statement on the band's Facebook page reads: "Due to an unfortunate injury, we are going to have to cancel the rest of our North American tour with a possible exception for Chicago [on 15 Oct]".
Currently, the band's UK and Ireland shows, including a slot at London's Union Chapel on 24 Oct, are unaffected.
DAPPY: LEONA'S VIEW ON RIOTS IS TOO SIMPLISTIC
Dappy responded thus: "If I'd said that, I'd probably get killed, bruv. I've been that guy. It's imperative to think of this as well: if these youngsters doing these things, if they were all rich and had money in their pockets, they wouldn't need to go into a shop and steal a bloomin microwave to sell it and get money. They're broke. Not to condone it, but they're broke".
He continued: "We have to think: David Cameron, why has he put these universities up to [£9000]? Say if my little son grows up and [the Prime Minister] takes [fees] even higher and I become bankrupt, can I afford for my little youngster to go to uni? Why is [Cameron] taking benefits off people? He doesn't have a clue. They're quick to put these 'hood rats' down, but there's an 'if' and there's a 'why'".
IS JD FORTUNE OUT OF INXS AGAIN?
Fortune, of course, became frontman of the Australian rock outfit after a TV talent search in 2005, both recording and touring with the band. But in 2009 he told reporters that he had been unceremoniously sacked by the rest of INXS during a short conversation at Hong Kong airport. The band's management subsequently issued a statement saying no such sacking had ever taken place, and that Fortune had clearly misunderstood the conversation at the airport, but now that he had badmouthed the rest of the band they weren't so keen to work with him again.
INXS then worked with various guest singers, before performing with Fortune early last year, after a show at the Winter Olympics, which were in Fortune's home country Canada. Various additional live shows and then a full tour followed, including dates in various locations around the world earlier this year. But according to a tweet from Fortune himself, his second stint with the band is now also over. He tweeted, simply: "Aas of now I have not been invited to be a part of INXS's new music".
Meanwhile Australia's Herald Sun newspaper says the rest of the band are about to announce news of a new frontman.
BEN FOLDS FIVE "PROBABLY" REFORMING FOR NEW ALBUM
Explaining how the band came to record the new songs for the compilation, 'The Best Imitation Of Myself', due out later this year, Folds said that it was as simple as his label, Sony Music, suggesting it. "We tend to do things when we're asked", he told Spinner. "It's really funny. We hadn't had any offers to do anything. I guess it's all self-motivation. We didn't know if we were going to get together or not for anything. I called Robert and Darren up - they were free for a week - so we got the studio for the week".
He continued: "We did the three things that we could do quickly for the record, and there were all these other ideas that I was bringing in that were really more radical. So I think in December we'll probably get together [record more] as long as I have enough material when I come back in".
BLOC PARTY IN THE STUDIO WITHOUT ME, SAYS KELE
Okereke told NME: "I was actually having lunch about three weeks ago, just here on Eighth Avenue and I saw somebody walk past and I recognised the haircut. It was Russell. I was like: 'Hey!' but he didn't see me and I followed him around the corner and then I saw Matt, Gordon and Russell all standing outside this rehearsal space. They all went inside".
He added: "I hope I haven't been fired. I don't really know what's going on, because we haven't really spoken recently and I'm a bit too scared to ask".
Kele is due to release a new solo EP, The Hunter', on 31 Oct.
ELLIE GOULDING COY ABOUT NEW DIRECTION
I bet it's chanting over grindcore riffs. Although that is the obvious route for her, of course.
4AD RELEASES SESSIONS COMPILATION
Featuring ten recordings from artists including Stornoway, Gang Gang Dance, Deerhunter and Blonde Redhead, '4AD Sessions 2008-2011' is available now on limited edition white vinyl from 4ad.com.
Here's the tracklist:
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Menopause Man
JESSIE J PULLS OUT OF KATY PERRY TOUR
Explaining the situation to fans via Twitter, Jessie J said: "My foot is just not healing as well as I hoped".
She is still scheduled to begin a UK tour in Birmingham on 17 Oct.
QUEEN PLANNING "NEVER ENDING" TOUR WITH LOOKALIKES
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Taylor said: "Let's face it, we're getting a little long in the tooth, but there are an awful lot of tribute bands, some of them good, some of them not good. But we're putting together something that we feel is purely extraordinary".
Still, he and Brian May might grace the audience with their presence if they see fit. "We're putting the show together now", he explained. "So what I wanted to do is leave sort of places in the show which Brian and myself could roll up and do a turn, maybe if we're starting a run somewhere exciting. So that would be an option, but, in general, this show will not feature a Queen band member. In an ideal world ... I hope it's a continuing item. We were a global sort of band - North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia - so it could be a never ending tour".
If you fancy performing to a load of people who picked you as their second choice, you can upload an audition video here: www.queenextravaganza.com
RANDY JACKSON SHOWCASES NEW MUSICAL ELMO TOUR
The Sesame Street toy sings songs, will hit a special drum kit or tambourine if placed on his pad, and will react if its owner plays on a special toy guitar or keyboard (both sold separately, obviously). The musical toy was first demoed earlier this year (see the YouTube video below), but was properly launched by Jackson in New York yesterday.
Says the 'Idol' judge: "I'm always on the lookout for the next big thing and I'd say that this holiday season Let's Rock! Elmo is in it to win it! Singing and dancing come naturally to children and I'm a big fan of toys like Let's Rock! Elmo that help nurture that innate love for music".
The toy sings special Elmo songs, six of which are pre-programmed into the doll. I don't know whether additional songs will be available to download; they're missing a trick if not.
Here's the demo from this year's Toy Fair back in February: www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3BoFqb8Vhs
PPL REVIEWS LIVE VENUE ROYALTY RATES, PROMOTERS EXPRESS CONCERNS
But as the PRS's consultation goes through the motions, Audience magazine has reported on another potential dispute, this time between the live sector - and particularly venue owners and club promoters - and PPL, the body that collects royalties due to record labels and recording artists every time their records are played in public. PPL is also reviewing its live venue licences, which, it says, haven't been amended since 1990.
According to Audience, aside from the fact that these reviews nearly always result in someone paying more for their licences, there is fear - verging on anger - amongst smaller venue owners because of some of the proposed new rates put forward as part of the consultation. The live sector trade mag reckons that the rates being proposed would mean a three hour club night attended by 500 people, which would currently expect to pay about £40 in royalties, could have to pay in excess of £600.
PPL stresses that any figures shared with licensees as part of its consultation are proposals intended to initiate debate, and some promoters admit that they suspect the collecting society really envisages that final rates - after consultation and negotiation - will actually be quite a bit lower. However, others have said they do fear what impact the new royalty rates, and any new licence application processes, put in place by this review could have on their businesses.
Former MAMA Group exec Steve Forster, now running a three-venue complex in Birmingham, told Audience: "I think this would potentially put a number of venues out of business and probably the majority. I don't know if these figures have been put forward as a shock tactic, but I can't see any justification in this at all. As a small chain of independents, we'll be resisting this vociferously".
SONY MAKES APPOINTMENTS TO INTERNATIONAL TEAM
Berger will be supported by Adam Granite, previously GM for Epic Records in the US, who will oversee operations in certain European territories and South Africa, as well as focusing on business development and digital initiatives across Europe, in the latter role working with Sony's existing European digital team.
Also assisting Berger will be Bert Schorer, who will oversee financial operations outside the US, and Stu Bondell, who will provide legal and business affairs support.
EMI CLOSES UAE ONLINE STORE AFTER JUST FIVE MONTHS
As previously reported, the EMI mail-order store on Souq.com was seen as an interesting pilot in a market where copyright law is weak and the profits to be made from recorded music are minimal. Customers in the United Arab Emirates could choose from 6000 CDs, and presumably it was hoped that the convenience of having CDs mailed to your home might make the service appealing.
According to the official statement from Souq.com, the service is being taken offline because of logistical issues rather than a lack of consumer interest. An EMI spokesman told reporters that the issues were being looked into, implying, perhaps, the online store could return.
EMI is likely to face new competition in the Middle East though, as Virgin Megastore, which has been opening high street stores in the region, is looking to launch a download store there. Of course whether any legit music service - mail-order or download - can compete in a region where offline and online piracy is still rampant remains to be seen.
SPOTIFY DEFENDS ROYALTY PAY OUTS, DIY BAND HONE IN ON THE SECRECY
That said, the latest debate was initiated by a self-releasing indie-folk outfit called Uniform Motion and was based around the royalties they earn on their sound recordings (as both label and recording artist) rather than their publishing (as songwriters). They posted a long blog about the economics of being a DIY artist, providing some interesting insights into what artists can make from the various digital services out there (both download and mail-order).
The blog post led to an online debate comparing the money artists can make 'per download' via a la carte music services, and 'per stream' via Spotify et al. But that's not the right way to assess the Spotify model, or so say Team Spot, who were asked about the debate by Hypebot. They responded: "Spotify does not sell streams, but access to music. Users pay for this access either via a subscription fee or with their ear time via the ad-supported service - they do not pay per stream. In other words, Spotify is not a unit based business and it does not make sense to look at revenues from Spotify from a per stream or other music unit-based point of view. Instead, one must look at the overall revenues that Spotify is generating, and how these revenues grow over time"
They then repeat various stats, that Spotify has paid out $100 million to rights owners, that they are the second largest source of digital revenue for European labels, and that they are turning file-sharers into music consumers, etc etc. Much of which is fair argument on Spotify's part.
Though, interestingly, Uniform Motion has since noted on their blog that their problem with Spotify and other streaming services isn't so much how much they get paid per stream, but rather how that fee relates to what the streaming firms earn for ad sales and subscriptions. They say: "What we dislike about Spotify, is the lack of transparency in their business model. With Apple, it's simple. They take 30%. With Spotify, we don't know if we're getting a fair deal or not".
Of course, Spotify's business model is more complicated than that of Apple's iTunes, plus most streaming services are currently operating loss-making businesses that they would probably rather not expose to the world (and potential buyers and dotcom investing idiots). And, of course, some of the secrecy surrounding the likes of Spotify comes from confidentiality clauses put into licensing contracts by the big rights owners. But it's also a fair point that, while Spotify's exact business model is only known by insiders and, possibly, the top execs at the majors and collecting societies, it's hard for the average artist to judge whether they are being ripped off or not.
Check the Uniform Motion blog here: uniformmotion.tumblr.com
COLDPLAY ALBUM TITLE JUST LOOKS NICE ON PAPER
Asked about the new LP title, Martin told MTV: "It doesn't mean anything, it just represents the album's music somehow. It was an attempt to... it just felt fresh to us. And it sort of has a nice appearance to it".
Adding that the totally made up name had been on a list of possibles for two years before they went with it, he added: "Maybe in the old days before anyone knew what a Snickers was, that word would have sounded weird as well, or Google... or Yahoo! So why not try and invent something new?"
Answers on a postcard please.