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AUSTRALIAN MOVIE INDUSTRY FAILS TO FORCE ISP TO ACT ON PIRACY
As previously reported, Aussie film and TV industry group AFACT began legal proceedings against ISP iiNet in 2008, arguing that the net firm knew some of its customers were accessing illegal sources of content via its servers, but did nothing to stop it, and that, under Australian copyright law, that amounted to so called authorising infringement.
Had AFACT won the legal fight, the ruling would have forced iiNet to routinely monitor the activity of its customers, and to put blocks in place to limit the accessing and sharing of unlicensed files. Quite how that would work isn't clear, but that isn't relevant anyway because at all stages the courts ruled against the movie industry body. Judges found in favour of iiNet at first instance in 2010, on appeal in 2011, and last week at Australia's High Court, the last route of appeal for the anti-piracy organisation.
Authorising infringement is a similar concept to contributory infringement, that wider concept having been used to hold various file-sharing technology providers around the world liable for the infringement their services enable, even though they themselves do not get involved in distributing unlicensed content.
However, ISPs have generally been immune to authorising/contributory infringement claims, partly because in the US the Digital Millennium Copyright Act specifically protects them, while in Europe they can claim protection from certain bits of European Union law. But in Australia no such explicit protection exists, hence this being a test case.
Though with the precedent set in all three stages of this lawsuit, it's now pretty clear that Australian ISPs do not have obligations in this domain - and at the final appeal hearing in the Australian High Court last week, all five judges ruled in the net firm's favour. Distinguishing that opinion from the Kazaa case (the one P2P legal action that was successfully pursued under Australian law) the judgement said that, unlike the providers of P2P services, iiNet had "no direct technical power to prevent its customers from using the BitTorrent system" to infringe copyright.
Needless to say, iiNet welcomed the ruling, with its CEO Michael Malone telling reporters: "iiNet has never supported or encouraged unauthorised sharing or file downloading. [But] increasing the availability of licensed digital content is the best, most practical approach to meet consumer demand and protect copyright. We have consistently said we are eager to work with the studios to make their very desirable material legitimately available to a waiting customer base - and that offer remains the same today".
Although a movie industry case, the final ruling in the AFACT lawsuit will further motivate both the film and music industries in Australia to push for some sort of three-strike system to be introduced in the country, as in France and neighbouring New Zealand (and technically in the UK, though the system is yet to go live), so that while ISPs may not be forced to monitor their users' activities, they will be forced to send out warning letters to those customers rights owners suspect of accessing illegal content.
With that in mind, AFACT MD Neil Gane told reporters: "Now that we have taken this issue to the highest court in the land, it is time for government to act. We are confident the government would not want copyright infringement to go on unabated across Australian networks especially with the rollout of the NBN [National Broadband Network]".
RECORD STORE DAY REPORTS BOOM IN SALES
Record Store Day coordinator and manager Rough Trade East Spencer Hickman said: "I can't believe just how busy RSD was again this year, there were queues round the block with fans both young and old enjoying the unique atmosphere indie stores provide ensuring that RSD has become the date music buyers are marking in their diaries. With vinyl sales again on the rise for the fifth year in a row indie record stores and RSD are proving to be more relevant than ever for the discerning music buyer".
SLAYER WORKING ON NEW ALBUM
Speaking to Loudwire, King said: "We've only been working on it for a couple of weeks right now, since our producer [Fidelman] had a small window. Me and Dave [Lombardo, drums] are working on nine songs, so we thought we could get in and finish two or three and demo everything else, so that's what we're trying to do now".
He added that fans may be able to hear a new track before the band head out on this year's Mayhem touring festival: "I don't know if anything will come out by Mayhem or not. Hopefully we'll get two done and we can get it out to Mayhem".
IGGY POP DETAILS COVERS ALBUM
Most of its component tracks - which include standards written by Serge Gainsbourg, Edith Piaf and Georges Brassens - are homages to French artists, a decision avid Francophile Iggy says was taken because "French culture has most stubbornly resisted the mortal attacks of the Anglo-American music machine".
He adds: "All popular music forms of today get their strength from the beat. Rap, hip hop, metal, pop, and rock producers will tell you that the beats they use imitate the human heartbeat and that is where the power lies. I've always loved this other feeling, one that is intimate, sometimes a little sad, and does not try to beat me on the head".
Et Si Tu n'Existais Pas (Joe Dassin)
CAT POWER ANNOUNCES NEW LP
"I HAVE FINISHED MY RECORD", she wrote shoutily. "IT IS CALLED 'SUN'". Quizzed further by a fan, she wrote: "OUT 11 SEP BUT WILL GIFT ANOTHER SONG".
That last part I take to mean that she'll precede said LP with a single, perhaps a free download. So here's to the tentative prospect of costless new Cat Power music. Hurrah again!
ALUNAGEORGE RELEASING DEBUT VINYL EP
In addition to the CMU approved sounds of its title track, the set also features 'Put Your Hands Up' and 'Just A Touch', the latter of which you can preview here:
COLDPLAY, ED SHEERAN, THE WANTED BOOKED FOR CAPITAL FM BALL
Tickets, which went on sale yesterday, can still be purchased at www.capitalfm.com/summertime-ball/
And here are Capital DJ Dave Berry's comments: "The secret's out... the best ever line-up for the Summertime Ball is finally out there. It doesn't get much bigger than this and I can't wait to be there!"
SPRITUALIZED TO PLAY LONDON ROUNDHOUSE
You'll also find the video for first 'Sweet Heart' single 'Hey Jane' beneath the following dates:
1 Nov: Gateshead, The Sage
FLUX PAVILION PLOTS TOUR
The producer and multi-instrumentalist, real name Josh Steele, is to release his Example-featuring new single, 'Daydreamer', next week. Why not view the track's official video after you've scanned the tour dates in question:
4 Oct: Cardiff, Solus
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
AFRICA OYÉ, Sefton Park, Liverpool, 23-24 Jun: Britain's foremost African/Caribbean music extravaganza will mark its 20th anniversary with assistance from The Rasites, Brinsley Forde, Yaaba Funk, The Endless Journey and Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra, who so far share an internationally-sourced roster with Samba Mapangala & Orchestra Virunga, Jaliba Kuyateh and Diabel Cissokho. Oh, and the entire two-day festival is free to enter. www.africaoye.com
BINGLEY MUSIC LIVE, Myrtle Park, Bingley, 31 Aug - 2 Sep: With Nero, Maverick Sabre, Kids In Glass Houses, Stooshe and Skinny Lister all brand new to the Bingley bill, festival-goers can also anticipate sets from the already announced Hard-Fi, DJ Fresh, The Charlatans, The Pigeon Detectives, Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls. www.bingleymusiclive.com
RELENTLESS BOARDMASTERS, Watergate Bay, Cornwall, 8-12 Aug: Zinc, Clement Marfo & the Frontline, The Jezebels, Sissy And The Blisters, Jenny O and Gabrielle Aplin add extra pep to proceedings at Relentless's most energetic live event, supplementing a line-up also given substance by Ed Sheeran, Dizzee Rascal, The Ting Tings, Maximo Park, The Big Pink and Lissie. www.boardmasters.co.uk
IBIZA/MALLORCA ROCKS, Spain, 5 Jun - 19 Sep: Plan B, Spector and The Milk are newly added to the line-ups of both dance-based Spanish fiestas, while Ibiza gains The Maccabees and Rob Da Bank, and Axwell is allocated to Rocks' Mallorcan edition. Acts previously announced across the two rosters include Professor Green, Chase & Status, Tinie Tempah, New Order, Bloc Party, Azealia Banks and Two Door Cinema Club. www.ibizarocks.com / www.mallorcarocks.com
OFF FESTIVAL, Katowice, Poland, 3-5 Aug: Metronomy, The Antlers, High Places and Andy Scott are amongst those enlisted to OFF's 2012 roster, as has hitherto starred Iggy And The Stooges, Battles, Death In Vegas, Iceage, Kurt Vile, Shabazz Palaces and Thurston Moore. www.off-festival.pl
T IN THE PARK, Balado, Scotland, 6-8 Jul: Acts including Here We Go Magic, Blood Red Shoes, Dog Is Dead, Ren Harvieu and Stooshe are new entrants to this year's T running, further extending a line-up that also hosts co-headliners Snow Patrol, The Stone Roses and Kasabian alongside the pop-tacular likes of Nicki Minaj, Tinie Tempah, Calvin Harris and David Guetta. www.tinthepark.com
SZIGET, Budapest, Hungary, 8-13 Aug: As crowned by closing headliners The Killers, the most recent bookings for this high-profile Hungarian happening also include Saint Etienne, Wild Beasts, Flux Pavilion, DJ Fresh, High Contrast feat Dynamite MC, Azari & III, Lamb and The Black Seeds. This lot join those confirmed in prior announcements, namely The Stone Roses, Placebo, The xx, LMFAO, Korn, Friendly Fires, Noah And The Whale, The Vaccines, The Horrors, Two Door Cinema Club, Paolo Nutini and Glasvegas. www.sziget.hu
WAKESTOCK, Abersoch, North Wales, 6-8 Jul: Welsh locals Funeral For A Friend are notable on Wakestock's latest line-up listings, with Straight Lines, Ifan Dafydd, Al Lewis, Sen Segur, and Y Bandana also set to join such fixed festival features as Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris, Dizzee Rascal, Rizzle Kicks, Azealia Banks, Katy B, Flux Pavilion and Disclosure. www.wakestock.co.uk
MIKE SMITH DEPARTS COLUMBIA RECORDS
Confirming the news, Sony Music UK CEO Nick Gatfield told reporters: "I want to thank Mike for his contribution to Columbia Records over the last six years. He is a strong creative executive and I wish him well in all his future endeavours. We are actively exploring ways for us to work together in the future".
Meanwhile Smith himself added: "I have really enjoyed my time at Columbia Records running this legendary label for six years. This is a really exciting time for the music industry and I am looking forward to widening my horizons and embracing new opportunities and challenges".
BMG AMONGST BIDDERS FOR UNIVERSAL'S SONGS FOR SALE
As previously reported, Universal is selling three collections of songs owned by its publishing company - a catalogue of classical works, another of gospel music, and a third of German schlager music - to help fund its acquisition of the EMI record companies.
As the catalogues come from Universal's publishing rather than recordings business, the sale isn't intended as a concession to competition regulators who are assessing whether or not the major's acquisition of the EMI labels would give it too much market dominance in the record industry.
Bloomberg's sources say that both BMG and Providence Equity Partners are in talks with Universal about acquiring the songs and compositions. Some other independent publishers (very possibly Imagem) and equity groups have also expressed an interest, though one company expected to bid, Warner Music, has not come forward.
Of course if Sony and Universal's bids to buy the EMI publishing and recordings businesses respectively go ahead, Warner will be dwarfed by its two remaining major label rivals - the opposite of what Warner's top guard hoped for when they also bid for the EMI labels.
But nevertheless, while Warner bosses are presumably eager to grow through acquisition down the line, the company's owner Access Industries seemingly remains keen to not enter races where it may be forced to overbid for catalogues, a policy which forced it out of the bidding for EMI.
DEEZER ANNOUNCES ARTROCKER PARTNERSHIP
The streaming music service will sponsor the reviews section of Artrocker online, making streams of featured albums available for free through the browser. A 'jukebox radio' service featuring tracks selected by Artrocker journalists will also be available via both the Artrocker site and within the Deezer platform.
Deezer's announcement of the partnership notes that where its player is embedded on the Artrocker site, music will play through the browser without the user having to install any software, "unlike certain other streaming services", a reference, of course, to Spotify's recently launched Play Button widget, which let's media embed playlists, but which then opens up the Spotify player to actually stream the content (forcing an install for those not already using the streaming service). That said, a sign-up is required on the Deezer/Artrocker service if users want to listen to any more than a 30 second preview of any one track.
Confirming the partnership with Deezer, Artrocker's Commercial Director Chris Hornby told CMU: "We are excited about working with Deezer as they not only provide us the perfect platform to broadcast our reviews sections, which we are very proud of, but the partnership also allows us to extend our brand to a larger and more diverse audience. The launch of Artrocker Jukebox Radio is something we have always wanted to do since starting Artrocker, so we are over the moon that people will be able to visit www.artrocker.tv and listen to the non-stop brilliant cutting edge music we so passionately champion".
Meanwhile Deezer UK's Mark Foster said: "We are thrilled to be entering into this partnership with Artrocker. Always at the forefront of new music, Artrocker is the go-to destination for discovering the best music and as such this partnership marks an exciting new chapter in Deezer's commitment to helping users discover new artists, and songs they will come to love".
JAZZ FM'S PORN BLAST BROKE BROADCASTING RULES, SAYS OFCOM
As previously reported, the incident happened during an edition of 'Funky Sensation with Mike Vitti' at 7.15pm on 18 Feb. Jazz FM initially said it had been due to an "unauthorised access to the live feed", which was vague enough to make it sound like someone might have hacked into the station's system and piped the sex noise in maliciously. Although later Vitti said that "there was unauthorised activity and behaviour in the studio".
In it's response to OfCom, Jazz FM explained that a member of studio staff, who has since left the company, had opened a personal email during the broadcast which contained a link to pornographic content. When they clicked on the link they had accidentally left the fader on the sound desk up, which was how the audio from the video they were watching came to be made available for all listeners to hear.
Unfortunately, it was then not possible for an on air apology to be issued, said Jazz FM, because the show had been pre-recorded. Therefore, it had to wait until the following week's edition.
OfCom found that while the station had not broken rules regarding the content of broadcasts to which children may be listening, due to the target audience of the show and the time at which it was broadcast, Jazz FM did however breach rules which state that "broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context".
The regulator noted that due to "repeated instances of the most offensive language in the context of the clearly audible sounds of sexual activity" this porny section of the show was "likely to have gone beyond the expectations of the audience for a DJ-led weekend, early evening programme of this type".
It was also concerned that, although an apology had been issued on the Jazz FM website and via social networks within 40 minutes, it did not have appropriate systems in place to offer an on air apology in a more timely fashion.
But cheer up, Jazz FM. At least you're not on TV. Imagine if you were broadcasting the news at, say, 9.30am and suddenly the programme was accidentally replaced by three minutes of hardcore porn. Imagine! That would be much worse. So spare a thought for Canadian channel CHCH, which did just that last Friday.
In the case of CHCH, the problem was due to something which occurred off site. Head Of News at CHCH, Mike Katrycz explained in an on-air apology: "This was a problem that originated, not at CHCH, but at a cable company. Apparently some cable lines had been cut, and in the splicing back together some inappropriate content went to air. Again it was beyond the control of CHCH, but we do apologise to our viewers".
That's right, someone accidentally fired a load of porn down the news pipe. Who knew that could even happen? Seemingly the cable company in question, Shaw Cable, isn't sure either, as CHCH has stated that it is still waiting for an answer.
CHER'S KEY TO ADELAIDE APPEARS ON EBAY
The key and accompanying plaque were presented to Cher in 1990 after she performed at the Formula One Grand Prix in the city. Now, 22 years later, it's clearly been decided that Cher doesn't need to go back there.
Adelaide's former mayor, Steve Condous, who presented Cher with the key, was not impressed, telling local newspaper The Advertiser: "I think that's pretty poor. I'm disappointed. I would have thought that getting the key to a city like Adelaide would have had some value to her, but obviously it doesn't because she wouldn't have got rid of it. I've been given a couple of keys to cities and I felt pretty privileged to be given those. If she didn't want to keep it she should have returned it back to the city".
The city's current mayor, Stephen Yarwood added: "[I am] exceptionally disappointed. I just think that it is more a reflection on her than the city of Adelaide. It must be very embarrassing for her if she is selling it because she needs the money".
Cher, however, insists that she doesn't know how the key came to be up for auction on eBay. Presumably she'd been turning her house upside down looking for it until the matter was brought to her attention. She tweeted: "I'm upset too and trying to get to [the] bottom [of this]! I think my office fucked up".
For all of that, the auction is still live, so if you have a spare £60,000 you could have Cher's freedom of Adelaide for your very own: www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CHERS-PERSONALLY-OWNED-KEY-CITY-ADELAIDE-ENGRAVED-PLAQUE-/180864864183
HOLOGRAM TOURS: TUPAC HAS NO PLANS, JACKO MULLING IT OVER
Thankfully then, Dr Dre has said there are currently no plans to take his Tupac Shakur hologram on tour. Speaking in a video recorded backstage ahead of his second performance with the virtual Tupac at the second outing of the 2012 Coachella festival at the weekend, he said that the much talked about projected computer animation of the long dead rapper was "strictly for Coachella", despite rumours of a tour being planned.
"It was strictly for Coachella, get it right", he said. "I want to get rid of all the rumours out there. This was not done for a tour".
Before you all breathe a sigh of relief though, he did add: "If a tour happens, we'll see". So, basically, Tupac is probably going on tour.
Also rumoured to be heading out on tour via the not-really-a-hologram technology is Michael Jackson, who may 'join' his brothers for a Jackson Five reunion. Speaking about all the chatter that erupted around Tupac's digital appearance on stage, Jackie Jackson said that it could quite easily have been his brother who caused all the fuss. He told The Sun: "It could have been Michael - absolutely. Wouldn't that be wonderful? As a matter of fact, we had that idea two years ago for Michael's Cirque du Soleil show".
Of course, where Jackson Five reunions tread, disputes generally follow, which could delay or put a stop to any hologram shows. Though if it looks like it could generate a lot of money (which sadly it could) then the possibility of it happening shouldn't be ruled out.
Watch Dr Dre's video message here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwjkaMJVwus