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US SUPREME COURT REFUSES TO HEAR TENENBAUM CASE
As much previously reported, Tenenbaum was one of the few people targeting during the Recording Industry Association Of America's big sue-the-fans lawsuit party last decade to actually let his case get to court. He lost, and was ordered by a jury to pay $675,000 in damages.
The judge hearing the original case felt that was way too much and tried to cut the damages payment down to size. But she did so on constitutional grounds - arguing that such a high pay out for an act that in itself caused nominal damage to the plaintiffs was unconstitutional, despite it being based on parameters set out in US copyright law - rather than using a more complicated damages review process called remittitur. An appeals court subsequently criticised the judge's process, and reinstated the $675,000 damages sum.
Tenenbaum's legal rep Charles Nesson hoped to persuade the Supreme Court that his client's damages were indeed unconstitutionally high, to such an extent that Judge Nancy Gertner was right to go straight to constitutional considerations when reviewing the file-sharer's obligations, rather than going down the more time-consuming route of considering remittitur first.
But the Supreme Court declined to hear Nesson's arguments yesterday, meaning Team Tenenbaum will have to continue to fight the damages sum in the lower courts, which could involve several more hearings and appeals yet.
Of course Tenenbaum doesn't have $675,000, and has previously suggested he'd have to bankrupt himself if that figure stuck. Though for both sides there are points of principle at play here, even if the chances of the record companies ever getting anything near $675,000 from arguably America's most famous file-sharer are almost zero.
DOTCOM WON'T REVEAL PASSWORDS IN SECOND MEGA DATA DISPUTE
While the debate rumbles on in the US about what should happen to all the files stored on the old MegaUpload servers, which are currently off limits and filling up now unusable computers owned by an increasingly tetchy server company, in New Zealand the courts have been considering digital data belonging to Mega chief Dotcom, taken when his home was raided in January as various execs linked to the controversial file-transfer and video-sharing site were arrested.
Dotcom's lawyers have complained that they are being denied access to that data, which is hindering their efforts to defend the Mega chief against America's attempts to extradite him to face criminal charges in the US. The legal men add that while it is Auckland authorities who are holding their client's computer files, they suspect it is America which is insisting he be deprived access.
But a chunk of the data on the seized computers is encrypted, and Dotcom says he won't reveal the passwords required until he is assured access to the files himself, and that police acknowledge that some of the data is subject to privacy and legal privilege.
As much previously reported, Dotcom and various other Mega execs are accused of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering in the US, where authorities seized MegaUpload servers in January taking the service offline.
GEORGE CLINTON SETTLES OUT OF COURT WITH BLACK EYED PEAS
As previously reported, Clinton sued BEP in December 2010, claiming a remix of their 2003 hit 'Shut Up' sampled his band Funkadelic's classic hit '(Not Just) Knee Deep' without his permission.
When the case reached court earlier this month the Peas claimed that they believed (albeit incorrectly) that they had licensed the sample. The judge in the case then lowered the threshold for any damages Clinton could claim. This seemingly prompted the settlement.
Neither side has commented as yet, but the mediator in negotiations told Reuters that the settlement had "fully" resolved the matter.
JOHN BUTLER TRIO WIN YOGHURT DISPUTE
Poptent has now been forced to remove the sample from the advert, though it's not clear what, if any, financial reparation is due for plays of the advert up to this point.
A spokesperson for the band said: "The advertisement will no longer contain this particular piece of music and both parties are happy this issue is behind them. We thank all JBT fans worldwide for their support on this matter. No further comment will be entered into".
The ruling comes after Beach House spoke out against a new VW advert which uses a piece of music apparently written to sound very similar to their 2010 song 'Take Care', after they refused to allow the original to be used itself. News of the copycat track came, much to their dismay, just as the band were releasing their new album, 'Bloom'. Hence, when commenting on it last week, they said: "We will release a proper statement weeks from now when we don't have more interesting things to do/talk about".
It's not clear at this stage if Beach House plan to launch legal action, but it would be an interesting case if they did.
BLACK SABBATH'S WAR OF STATEMENTS RUMBLES ON
As previously reported, Ward claims that he is unable to take part in Sabbath's current reunion (despite having been part of its announcement back in November) due to having been given at "unsignable contract". Last week Ward issued a statement announcing that all negotiations for him to be involved had now collapsed and that he would definitely not be taking part, despite very much wanting to play live again with his former bandmates, particularly at last weekend's hometown show in Birmingham.
But Butler wrote: "To our surprise, Bill issued a statement on his site [in February] saying he'd been offered an unsignable contract. He hadn't told any one of us he was having contractual problems, and frankly those things are worked out between our representatives, and never between the four of us, let alone in public".
He also claimed that Ward had asked for "an amount [to play the Download festival] that was so unrealistic that it seemed to have been a joke", and complained that after the band announced the Birmingham show, which they would use to raise money for the Help For Heroes charity, "Bill put out a further statement saying he'd been ready to play the Birmingham show, but he was expected to have to do it 'for free' - well, I think that's basically how you raise money from gigs for charity - you play them 'for free'".
He concluded: "All I am saying is that there are two sides to everything".
And thus proving that rule, Ward issued a further statement via his Facebook page yesterday, responding to the various points raised by Butler. In it he said that he "had indeed notified Ozzy, Tony and Geezer, well before my first public statement, that I was having contractual difficulties".
He continued: "I came out into a public forum to be accountable to the fans primarily, and to say at a public level there's a problem. The band members stopped talking and corresponding with me some time ago, with the exception of a nice letter from Tony on my birthday. Prior to that, Geezer and I were corresponding, but that stopped abruptly in late February after I emailed a specific question to him".
He also said that his proposed Download fee "was not an extravagant amount" and that during negotiations it had not been the fee for this show that had been a problem but rather "there were other parts of the offer that were unsatisfactory".
Meanwhile, on the subject of the Birmingham show, he pointed out that "in my statement of 15 May, I clearly stated I would play Birmingham for free".
Ward finished by saying that he would "confront any untruths about me, and any fault finding missions aimed at me that come to my attention", so you can no doubt expect to hear more on this subject in the near future.
Read Geezer Butler's blog post here: www.geezerbutler.com/2012/05/heavy-heart/
And Bill Ward's Facebook post here: www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=389640204414979&id=109213359124333
THE WALKMEN, SIGUR RÓS, ALT-J STREAM NEW ALBUMS
Representing the second part of today's triple streaming featurette are Iceland's own Sigur Rós, whose unsurprisingly great new LP 'Valtari' is also previewing at NPR prior to its EMI-assisted release on Monday. Defined by Jónsi Birgisson as "a new beginning" for the band, you can get started on the album here: www.npr.org/2012/05/20/152841839/first-listen-sigur-r-s-valtari
Meanwhile, buzzy "folk-step" types Alt-J are also streaming their debut long player, 'An Awesome Wave', ahead of its release on 28 May. You can hear that here: soundcloud.com/alt-j/sets/an-awesome-wave/s-mMqmU
DRAKE, NICKI MINAJ, LUDACRIS GUEST ON JUSTIN BIEBER LP
Despite the notable absence of a cameo by Kanye West - who was photographed in the studio with Biebs earlier this month - the LP will co-star rap types Ludacris, Big Sean and Drake, while Nicki Minaj appears on 'Beauty And A Beat'.
The new record closes with 'Maria', which is presumably that previously mentioned ode to Mariah Yeater, the woman who claimed to have had a baby by the singer last year. Which means any other Beliebers who want a name check on future Bieber albums now know what they need to do.
'Believe', of course, is out 18 Jun. And look, here's its tracklisting:
All Around The World (feat Ludacris)
MICHAEL KIWANUKA TO PLAY ROYAL ALBERT HALL
The concert will take place on 5 Dec, thus falling just shy of six months since the initial issue of Kiwanuka's debut LP, 'Home Again'.
And here's the video for his new single, 'I'll Get Along', which is out next week:
KURT VILE BOOKS PRE-ATP SHOW
The band, who are still touring in prolonged honour of their fourth studio LP 'Smoke Ring For My Halo', will take live support from Lower Dens and Dark Dark Dark.
Vile et al will appear on 6 Dec, the eve of the aforementioned ATP festival, which is this year curated by The National and runs from 7-9 Dec.
EVERY TIME I DIE ANNOUNCE TOUR
24 October Southampton, The Brook
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
BESTIVAL, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight, 6-9 Sep: Friday night headliner Florence Welsh will be accompanied by her ever-present Machine as the latest act added to this year's wildlife-themed Bestival bill, with Swedish alt-pop trio Miike Snow also set to join the afore-announced New Order, Stevie Wonder, Orbital, The xx, Sigur Ros, Justice, Two Door Cinema Club, Hot Chip, Friendly Fires, Death In Vegas, Nero, The Horrors and Gary Numan. www.bestival.net
BLISSFIELDS, Woodmancott, Hampshire, 29 Jun - 1 Jul: It's just been confirmed that opera-star-to-pop-star Charlotte Church will make a rare festival appearance at Blissfields 2012, as will 'Britain's Got Talent' newcomer Lauren Thalia. They join existing roster guests like Patrick Wolf, The Noisettes, Guillemots, Toddla T, Spector, Toy, Theme Park, Clock Opera and Charli XCX. www.blissfields.co.uk
BUSHMILLS LIVE, Bushmills Old Distillery, North Antrim, Northern Ireland, 20-21 Jun: Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Marcus Foster, The Staves, General Fiasco and David C Clements are new to proceedings at Irish whiskey brand Bushmills' first ever live bash, thus sharing roster room with the first-booked Snow Patrol, For Vance and Iain Archer. www.facebook.com/Bushmills1608
SUPERSONIC, Custard Factory, Birmingham, 19-21 Oct: Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth's new outfit Body/Head represent another line-up update to Supersonic's tenth anniversary programme, as also houses Tim Hecker, JK Flesh, Dylan Carlson, Dope Body, Six Organs Of Admittance, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore. www.supersonicfestival.com
SUMMER SERIES AT SOMERSET HOUSE, London, 7-17 Jul: Listings for Somerset House's traditional open air summer time concert series now include one night with Charlotte Gainsbourg, who'll cast a nostalgic glance across her past discography during a headline date - her only UK appointment this year - on 19 Jul. She aligns with Tim Minchin, Katy B, Paloma Faith and M83 on the festival's overall line-up. www.somersethouse.org.uk/music/summer-series-2012
POWER'S PLC ADMITS FESTIVAL MARKET IS SLOW THIS YEAR
As previously reported, Power floated his latest festivals company on the Alternative Investment Market last June to create Music Festivals plc.
In a statement to investors in the company this week, according to The Independent, Power has admitted ticket sales for his firm's two flagship events, the UK's Hop Farm Festival and Spain's Benicassim are "currently slower than last year", despite some big name bookings.
The statement adds: "The festivals market in general has been affected by the continued depressed economic climate and the availability of strong revenue-generating acts".
The company added that it would look to cut costs to help counter slower ticket sales.
Shares in Music Festivals plc are now 42.5p, having opened at 65p last summer.
BIEBER MANAGER COMMENTS ON HIS NEW UNIVERSAL ALLIANCE
Grainge is backing Braun's business enterprises, which include representing The Wanted and Cary Rae Jepsen as well as Bieber, as part of a wider Universal initiative to form alliances with next-generation music entrepreneurs, able to recognise the opportunities that exist for pop acts in the digital age. Or something like that.
Says Braun of his Universal JV and admiration for UMG boss Grainge: "As a young man, you always look for more than just a business venture, but mentors. Lucian has offered me both the opportunity to work with an amazing company with amazing resources, but even more so, the opportunity to draw from his vast amount of knowledge, having been in the business as long as he has. Lucian doesn't just look at the business as a music business, but as a worldwide multimedia business. He's allowed me to be as creative as I want with my artists so that we can build for the future to come".
Meanwhile Grainge says: "With the barriers of entry to our industry nearly non-existent thanks to the global reach of the internet, it's now easier than ever for music entrepreneurs to get started. And we want to be at the forefront of that expansion. Through our global creative investment programme, we put real resources and creative support behind entrepreneurs such as Scooter".
He continued: "This is a win-win: entrepreneurs benefit from our support and expertise, while our artists and business partners benefit from their innovation. And there is no one more representative of this than Scooter. He is among the very best in the next generation of entertainment executives and the fact that he's accomplished so much at such a young age is testament to his vision and drive. I'm looking forward to our collaboration and the level of talent and creativity that will surely accompany it".
SPOTIFY ARRIVES IN AUSTRALIA
Also talking particularly fast today is Spotify's boss man Daniel Ek on account of him being unbelievably excited. Look, here he is saying "we're unbelievably excited to be here", just in case you thought I made that up. Without even pausing for breath, Ek continued: "Australians are massive music fans and we've created a service that we know they'll love - Spotify offers everything you could possibly want from a music service: it's free, it's fast, it's easy to share and with more than 16 million songs we have one of the biggest on-demand music libraries in the world - plus music is inherently social, so that's why we built the best social features into Spotify for easy sharing and the ultimate in music discovery".
So there you go Australia, listen, discover, share and be social, because suddenly every part of me needs to know every part of you.
BONO PROBABLY MADE NO MORE THAN TEN MILLION FROM FACEBOOK IPO
As previously reported, as various media claimed Bono could be making $1.5 billion from the Facebook flotation, noting that would make him the world's wealthiest pop star, ahead even of Paul McCartney, many took to Twitter wondering whether the rocker would practice what he preaches, and give his new found wealth away to charities combating poverty around the world.
But as we noted yesterday, while the IPO valuation of Facebook on Friday may have meant the stake Bono's investment outfit Elevation Partners bought in the social network in 2009 was now worth $1.5 billion, the U2 man's personal windfall would very much depend on various factors - in particular how many of its shares Elevation sold, and how much of any share sale loot would be passed back to the investment firm's owners.
According to Peoples' digging, Elevation only sold about 11.5% of its stake in Facebook, Bono is one of seven partners in the firm, and profits from deals like this will be shared amongst a whole community of investors, so the rocker's personal windfall will be much more modest than $1.5 billion.
There's an element of guess work to be done too, because even if you can work out - as Peoples does - that Elevation probably made about $30 million from the deal, you can't know for certain how much of that would reach Bono's bank account. The Billboard digger reckons anything from $4 million to $10 million.
You can check People's full analysis at the link below. Meanwhile, the social network's first full day of trading saw shares in the company slip, as low as $33 at one point (they went on the market at $38) before closing the day at $34.03.
OFCOM RAPS XFM OVER MILK MOTHERFUCKER
The Sun's Gordon Smart, who was presenting at the time, immediately apologised after the track was broadcast, and Xfm said in its submission to OfCom that the track had been labelled a "clean radio edit" by the band's record label, Simon Fuller's Sony Music imprint Sign Of The Times. The station added that although all songs are checked for language by its staff before being broadcast, the person reviewing this particular song had removed their headphones before the offending word, which features at the end of the final chorus, had appeared.
In its ruling, OfCom said: "We noted that the licensee acknowledged that the broadcast on Xfm London of this example of the most offensive language on a Sunday afternoon was inappropriate and that the presenter made an on-air apology as soon as convenient. We have also taken into account all the background circumstances that led to the track being played as explained by Global Radio. Nonetheless, this was a clear example of lack of diligence in the application of compliance procedures leading to the broadcast of the most offensive language at a time when children were particularly likely to be listening, and a failure to apply generally accepted standards".
CONFIRMED: THERE'S NO WANTED/ONE DIRECTION FEUD
And that's probably true. Though the pop press's efforts to make the seemingly unstoppable British boy band phenomenon of 2012 even slightly interesting to people over fourteen years old was aided by The Wanted's Max George telling Metro: "I don't think people [in America] really look at us as the same kind of band [as 1D], because I think people look at them more like a Jonas Brothers sort of band, that are very TV and children's magazine based. They make magazines instead of you actually hearing them on the radio".
And then the group's Nathan Sykes told The People [before 1D made US chart history by having their debut album top the US chart]: "If you look at One Direction's chart position and then look at ours, they're not really even our rivals. They have different fans to us. We don't want their fans, they're too young. We laugh and say that their fans are our fans' younger sisters".
But if you're reading tensions between the two British boy bands in those quotes, then you're just trying too hard. Because Sykes has assured Hollyscoop: "I think it's expected from the media, [they are] always trying to put two bands together and trying to start a rivalry. We have no issue with [One Direction] whatsoever".
In fact, Sykes added, his group would even consider collaborating with their rivals, though probably only in the name of charidee. Says Sykes: "I think the collaboration between the two bands could generate a lot of cash maybe and we would actually be willing to do it for charity".
So, consider this clarified - there are no petty tensions between The Wanted and One Direction. The Wanted boys are leaving all the petty toys-out-of-the-pram fun times to bosses at their management company Global, whose sister operation Capital FM is still - as far as we are aware - ploughing on with its 1D ban after Harry Styles mistakenly thanked Radio 1 when picking up the Capital sponsored Best Single BRIT Award back in February.
A$AP ADVISES AZEALIA TO "CHILL OUT WITH THE BEEFIN"
Noting Azealia's propensity for choice beefing, rising rapper A$AP Rocky has warned Ms Banks to respect her "older generation" genre peers and "stay out of trouble" before it's all too late.
Speaking to Fuse magazine, A$AP - real name Rakim Myers - said: "I like her for what she's worth. [But] I do think she gotta chill out with the beefin, and all that other stuff, and disrespecting the OGs. She's the homegirl, so it ain't nothin but a little talk to her. I think if she stays out of trouble, she'll have longevity".
Wise words there from A$AP, who - being three years Banks' senior at the wise old age of 23 - must surely know what he's talking about.
THIS JUST-IN: BIEBER ON SEX (OR NOT) AND JERRY
Well, the paper's interviewer brought up sex briefly, but failed to score any scoops (or any information whatsoever) as the pop teen predictably and sensibly waved on the unnecessary intrusion into his personal life with a simple "next question". Denying made up paternity claims aside, overt references to sex and sexual matters in interviews is not part of the Bieber brand of course, otherwise there'd be no room in the market for some slightly more candid British boy bands, which would never do.
Bieber did discuss his genitalia though, noting that the Beliebers have apparently started referring to his penis as 'Jerry'. In the Biebster's words: "The fans named my penis 'Jerry'... which is funny". Funny indeed, though surely Scooter, that's another business venture right there - I expect the 'Justin & Jerry' cartoon series to be on the air within the year. There's always YouTube if Nickelodeon passes.