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EFF CALLS ON US COURT TO ACT OVER MEGAUPLOAD DATA IN LIMBO
As much previously reported, while the majority of the content stored on the MegaUpload servers in January, when the feds switched off the service after ordering the arrests of seven of the company's executives around the world, was almost certainly copyright infringing material, a portion was original work created by MegaUpload's customers, and by switching of all of the site's cyber-lockers off without warning those people have now lost access to their own content. Goodwin, who films high school sporting events, is one such former customer.
The American company that MegaUpload hired server space from, Carpathia Hosting, is still sitting on all that data, but is keen to wipe it because it is filling up a warehouse full of computers that are currently unusable. Though the firm has so far not pressed the delete key, mainly because of fears that the likes of Goodwin might sue down the line if they do.
Meanwhile lawyers for MegaUpload, fighting charges against their client of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering, have suggested that the Mega company could start paying Carpathia rental fees again, or just buy the servers outright, and then return legitimate data to its former customers, though it would need access to seized funds to do so. Both the US authorities and the American movie industry have opposed that proposal though, fearing the Mega chiefs may simply take the servers outside of the USA and relaunch their service.
However, the Motion Picture Association Of America doesn't want the old Mega data to be deleted either, because it reckons content on there is needed as evidence for when it launches the inevitable civil proceedings against MegaUpload and its owners. But Neil MacBride, the US Attorney for the Eastern District Of Virginia, has said he doesn't care if the files are wiped, because he has all the evidence he needs, and former MegaUpload customers like Goodwin should have read the small print of the now defunct service's terms, which warned that data might just disappear overnight.
All these arguments went before a US judge in mid-April, and he expressed sympathies with most parties before proposing everyone sit down outside the courtroom and reach a deal. Judge Liam O'Grady originally set a two week deadline, but six weeks on no agreement has been reached, and Goodwin has seemingly lost all patience, believing that all the other key players in this squabble have no incentive to get a deal done quickly because it's not their data that is currently inaccessible.
For the EFF, which is helping Goodwin, this issue has wide-reaching implications for the rapidly growing cloud-storage sector, because if legitimate users of such services are in danger of losing their data when government departments or rights owners swoop on illegitimate uploaders, then people are going to stop using those services altogether. And with neither the US government nor the rights owners sticking up for the legitimate little guy who's lost his data, the EFF says it's the court's job to champion his cause.
According to C-Net, in a new court filing last week, the EFF said that it "is of paramount importance" that people like Goodwin are reunited with their data, "not just to preserve Mr Goodwin's rights, but to address the government's apparent disregard for the effects its increasing use of domain and other digital seizure mechanisms may have on the innocent users of cloud computing services".
The campaigning group added: "Given that the use of cloud computing services is already widespread and poised to grow exponentially in the next few years, this court should establish procedures to ensure that such innocent users do not become regular collateral damage. The government has refused to even consider Mr Goodwin's proposals".
Actually, the US government might be about to change its stance on the MegaUpload data, and particularly the viewpoint that it can all be deleted, given reports this weekend that FBI officials have found footage of child abuse amongst some of the files that were previously seized. While the presence of such material will not be relevant to the criminal proceedings against MegaUpload and its bosses, given there is no evidence they were aware of its existence, it could result in a second set of criminal proceedings being launched with regards the former MegaUpload servers, which would likely mean the data on those computers would be rescued from deletion, though would only further complicate matters with regards reconnecting former customers with their files.
Finally in MegaUpload news today, a German magazine called Stern has run a piece on its founder, German entrepreneur Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz, who is currently living in New Zealand and fighting attempts by the American authorities to extradite him to the US. Quoting various former associates and even a former teacher, Schmitz is portrayed as a childish, narcissistic attention seeker who spent money "like a big kid who wanted to amuse himself with no thought about the consequences". Presumably none of those sources will be called as character witnesses should the criminal case in America ever come to court.
ROBIN GIBB'S SON DISCUSSES HIS FATHER'S DEATH
Says Robin-John Gibb: "The end was peaceful and dignified, there were no theatrics. It was only later that I cried and cried. It wasn't the cancer that killed my father; those reports are wrong. Dad had actually gone into remission and the cancer was completely unrecognisable, it was too small to detect. No scan could see it. He actually died of kidney failure".
Explaining the seeming ups and down in his father's health in the months before he died, during which time Gibb and those around him frequently seemed optimistic he was past the worst, Robin-John says that his father had fought off both his cancer and survived the bout of pneumonia that left him in a coma for over a week, but then had a seizure that led to a sharp worsening of his condition.
He continued: "Three days before [he died], he was sitting up and watching DVDs and then suddenly he had a seizure. He was then dosed with sedatives to deal with the side effects of his chemotherapy and his liver just couldn't process them. He deteriorated to the point where it started to affect his kidneys as well. Basically my father died of kidney and liver failure. It was a really sudden downturn".
Robin-John concluded: "I was sitting next to his bed with my mother and we saw that his heart had started to give out. We knew it was the end. We called my brother and sister and they came in. I was cradling his head and holding his right hand, and my mother was holding his left. I gave him a kiss... We watched him go and told him we loved him".
The late Bee Gee will be remembered at a private funeral next month with a public memorial service planned for September.
BIEBER COULD BE QUESTION OVER PAPARAZZO ALTERCATION
Anyway, the Bieber could be facing charges of misdemeanour battery after an alleged run in with a photographer in LA County. According to TMZ, eyewitnesses say that an altercation erupted between a photographer and Bieber, who was with celebrity girlfriend Selena Gomez, after the snapper stood in the way of the singing star's car. The Biebster seemingly got out of the vehicle and asked the photographer to move, but when he refused a "scuffle ensued".
Police weren't immediately called, but once the presumably pretty short lived altercation was over the paparazzo contacted officers complaining of a pain in his upper torso and fingering Bieber as the pain deliverer. Though before you feel too sorry for the injured snapper, TMZ says some witnesses have claimed that it was a lawyer at the scene who advised the photographer to call for an ambulance and file a police report, predicting that the man could make lots of money out of the incident.
The Bieber camp are yet to respond to the allegations. It remains to be seen if the paparazzo will claim his run-in with the pop star made him pregnant.
SWEDEN WINS EUROVISION
The Swedish singer's victory will no doubt have pleased organisers of the Azerbaijani edition of the big song competition, who issued a statement criticising Loreen ahead of the event after she met with protesters in the country who used the big contest to highlight various human rights concerns. Not least allegations that some residents in the capital Baku had been forced out of their homes so they could be knocked down to make way for the big venue that hosted the Eurovision show.
The authorities in Baku said it was inappropriate for Loreen to use a musical event to make political statements, but the singer noted: "Human rights are violated in Azerbaijan every day. One should not be silent about such things".
Though after winning the show, the Swedish songstress refrained from making additional political statements (despite having said in a brief interview during the voting period that she would), instead thanking her fans and those who voted for her, saying: "I wouldn't have been able to do this without you. Thank you so much".
Loreen is signed to Warner Music in her home country, and 'Euphoria' has already topped the charts there, as well as enjoying chart success elsewhere in Europe. Björn Lindborg, General Manager of Warner Music Sweden, told CMU: "Loreen is a unique talent and the Eurovision Song Contest has provided a great platform from which to launch her career as an international star".
But how did good old Engelbert Humperdinck do for Britain? Well, he didn't come last, that much is true. Rather, his twelve points secured him the second to last spot. The veteran crooner didn't seem too upset though, telling reporters: "I've had highs in my career and Eurovision has been a wonderful experience. I want to thank everybody, especially my fans around the world, for their support".
Organisers of the British entry into Eurovision had hoped that picking Humperdinck to represent the UK at the big contest, rather than a younger set of pop wannabes or has-beens, would help boost the country's chances, because Humperdinck still enjoys a sizeable following in some of the Eastern European countries that increasingly swing the vote.
But such sneaky tactics failed on the night. Perhaps next year we should break with recent convention, and just enter a song that's not shit. Though I thought Jedward's song for Ireland, 'Waterline', was pretty good Europop, and they only managed nineteenth place, some way behind last year's eighth place ranking for the duo's first Eurovision attempt 'Lipstick'. So, on second thoughts, perhaps we should follow second place Russia's lead and have a load of old women singing along to a noisy dance track. Or maybe just lay the opening five minutes of any episode of 'Loose Women' on top of some dubstep.
As this year's winner, of course, Sweden gets the honour and incredible financial burden of hosting next year's Eurovision show. They might have to bring Abba out of retirement to fund it.
FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR ROCK THE HOUSE, PLUS HOUSE THE HOUSE LAUNCHED
As previously reported, with Rock The House Weatherly's fellow parliamentarians are invited to nominate artists, bands and small venues from their local constituencies for the three categories in the contest, and then a panel of artists, journalists and industry types pick the finalists. In the musician categories, the ten shortlisted acts will then play at a battle of the bands evening on Wednesday where overall winners will be selected.
165 MPs made nominations in this, the second year of Rock The House, and from the 195 artists, bands and venues nominated, the following finalists have been picked (with nominators and their constituencies in brackets):
The overall artist winners will get a stack of kit and other useful prizes, plus bookings at various festivals and a shindig in the Houses Of Parliament. Commenting on this year's competition, Weatherly told CMU: "It is fantastic that Rock The House has such widespread support from the Prime Minister and Ed Vaizey, the minister for the creative industries, to music legends. Rock The House has been all about bringing together musicians, parliamentarians, the music industry and government and I'd like to think this paves the path to ensuring we protect our world-leading creative economy".
And if you're a DJ thinking "but why don't I get the chance to play in the halls of power?", well, never fear, because a new DJ competition has been set up by dance music charity Last Night A DJ Saved My Life called House The House, the prize of which will be a parliamentary gig, plus a range of other music production goodies and an Ibiza booking. The competition will be launched in London on 19 Jun with submissions accepted from 25 Jun. The parliamentary DJ party won't take place until next March though. More at lastnightadjsavedmylife.ning.com/page/house-the-house
CHILLY GONZALES ANNOUNCES SOLO PIANO II
The album features fourteen new instrumental piano pieces, which were recorded over ten days at Studio Pigalle in Paris earlier this year. You can watch a video featuring a medley of all fourteen tracks here: vimeo.com/41982255
And here's the tracklist:
BEAT CONNECTION PREVIEW FIRST LP
And before all that the band will release 'The Palace Garden, 4am' - not to be mistaken for the long player itself - as a single on 19 Jul.
It sounds very pleasant indeed - all balmy and apt for the summer season - as you'll note by streaming it here: soundcloud.com/beatconnexion/the-palace-garden-4am
CFCF RELEASING INSTRUMENTAL MINI-ALBUM
'Exercises', as he's chosen to title it, succeeds Silver's debut long player 'Continent', and can be streamed in its entirety just here: soundcloud.com/dummymag-com/sets/cfcf-exercises-ep
JAY-Z TO SOUNDTRACK WILLOW SMITH IN 'ANNIE' REMAKE
In lieu of having any 'Annie' info beyond the above basics to share, here instead is the video for Jay-Z's 'Annie'-sampling 'Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)': www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxtn6-XQupM
THE NATIONAL SCORE 'GAME OF THRONES' EPISODE
Apparently, Castamere is (or rather, was) "a castle in the Westerlands and the seat of House Reyne. It was destroyed by Tywin Lannister when House Reyne rose in rebellion against their liege lord, Tytos Lannister". And thanks to the 'Game Of Thrones' Wiki for that information. Not that I'm any the wiser.
But whatever Castemere is (or was), here's The National's Matt Berninger muttering earnestly about it: www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn2l2_v6Ur8
Since we're on the subject of Mr Berninger, I may as well mention that the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter last week also announced he'd be narrating new children's 'story app' called 'Dragon Bush'. He has said of the project, which will feature music by his bandmates Aaron and Bryce Dessner, that "the story has all my favourite things. Waterfalls, magical dragons, and the sound of my own voice".
GAGA'S JAKARTA SHOW DEFINITELY CANCELLED
But it seems talks to reach a compromise have not achieved the desired result, and this weekend a legal rep for the show's promoters Big Daddy told reporters: "Lady Gaga's management has considered the situation minute to minute, and with threats if the concert goes ahead, Lady Gaga's side is calling off the concert. This is not only about Lady Gaga's security, but extends to those who will be watching her... Gaga's camp did not want this show to cause any harm to anybody".
Gaga herself said via Twitter: "There is nothing holy about hatred".
THE WEEKND BOOKS BRITISH LIVE DEBUT
You can purchase tickets for it via this link: www.livenation.co.uk/artist/the-weeknd-tickets
JAPANDROIDS PLAYING FOR FREE TONIGHT
They're appearing as 'secret' headliners as part of a night staged by This Is Fake DIY, as also features grunge types Splashh and Oxford band Gunning For Tamar. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis, so you'd be advised to arrive in time for doors at 8pm.
Even if you can't make it this evening, why not just have a listen to the band's new single, 'House That Heaven Built': soundcloud.com/polyvinyl-records/7-the-house-that-heaven-built/
HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF ANNOUNCE ALBUM AND TOUR
Following the release, the band will also be over for a big old tour of the UK, the dates for which are here.
30 Aug: Glasgow, The Bay
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
BELSONIC, Custom House Square, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 15-26 Aug: Backed by Absolut Vodka, Belfast's headiest music happening is newly to host Newton Faulkner, Duke Special, Alesso, Brian Kennedy, Oberhofer and Congorock, all of whom will serve as supporting acts to such main attractions as Paramore, Skrillex, Emeli Sande, Tom Jones, Thin Lizzy, David Guetta and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. www.belsonic.co.uk
SHAMBALA, secret location, The Midlands, 23-27 Aug: Beth Rowley, Bison, Black Roots, David J, Dizraeli & The Small Gods and Gabby Young & Other Animals are amongst a horde of acts just added to the secretly-situated Shambala roster, and therefore join Roots Manuva, Billy Bragg, Luke Vibert and many more besides. www.shambalafestival.org
V FESTIVAL, Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex/Weston Park, Staffordshire, 18-19 Aug: The Twang, Jack Beats, Dodgy and Lawson prove an eclectic quartet of last minute updates to V's twin listings, pulling level with subjects of prior roster revelations, not least The Stone Roses, The Killers, Snow Patrol, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Nicki Minaj, Beverley Knight, Cher Lloyd and Tinie Tempah. www.vfestival.com
WAKESTOCK, Abersoch, North Wales, 6-8 Jul: Wakestock's latest influx of artists includes AlunaGeorge, Koan Sound, A Plastic Rose, Smiler and Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, who align with existing bookings Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris, Annie Mac, Katy B and Funeral For A Friend. www.wakestock.co.uk
WICKERMAN, East Kirkcarswell Farm, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland, 20-21 Jul: The introduction of Bwani Junction, Big Fat Panda, Kevin Gore, Horndog Brass Band and the Dumfries Community Choir to Wickerman festivities serves to further fill out the festival's diverse 2012 bill, as stars Scissor Sisters, Texas, The View, Levellers, Newton Faulkner, The Blockheads, Bad Manners, Human Don't Be Angry and Cast. www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk
WOMAD, Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, 27-29 Jul: Femi Kuti, Khaled, Gurrumul, Toddla T & Serocee and Spoek Mathambo trail the already announced Robert Plant's Sensational Space Shifters, Jimmy Cliff, Hugh Masekela and Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club in a mass trek towards WOMAD's worldly 2012 totem, which will this year mark its thirtieth year in existence. www.womad.org
EDM INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO BOOM, THOUGH NEW OPPORTUNITIES SHOULD BE PURSUED
In particular the latest IMS Business Report was presented, authored by dance music journalist Kevin Watson, and providing some insights into what has certainly been a growing genre of late (especially if you include all that shit dancey-pop music that's been doing the rounds in the EDM camp, which many people do).
Amongst the many interesting stats in the report were these:
So, all good news, though research also presented at IMS by EMI showed that only 30% of EDM's customer base was really active and passionate about the genre.
With that in mind, the major's data experts suggested that perhaps too much effort was put into marketing artists and products to the already passionate bit of the market, while opportunities were missed to maximise the revenues that could be generated from the 70% of more casual consumers, most of whom are probably buying releases from the more pop end of the market. Those consumers will be as interested in the lifestyle as the music, meaning that, for artists who appeal to that demographic, the opportunities possibly lie in product extensions more than the actual music itself.
You can download a copy of EMI's presentation to IMS here:
VIAGOGO HIRES NEW PR CHIEF
The ticket resale platform has been courting controversy anew in recent months, of course, firstly via that 'Dispatches' exposé on the whole online ticket touting market, and more recently by liquidating its UK company and reincorporating itself in Switzerland, some might say to avoid any future clamp down on touting by the British government (though the company told Music Week that its growing European operations required a more central HQ). Whether recent bad press is behind the decision to hire a new communications chief isn't clear.
According to PR Week, Wheeler told reporters: "It was a huge decision to leave Freud having spent almost all my working life at the agency. However, I have worked with Viagogo for the past six years and it is a very impressive, consumer-focused business. I am excited to be joining a company that is not only the leader in its field, but also one of Europe's most successful internet companies".
HMV APPOINTS NEW NON-EXEC DIRECTOR
Confirming the appointment, HMV Chairman Philip Rowley said: "I am delighted to welcome David to the HMV Board. David's knowledge of the retail sector will be of great value to HMV as we move the business forward".
Meanwhile Adams added: "I look forward to working with the HMV team. I am encouraged by the progress they have made in stabilising the business and look forward to playing a part in the company's ongoing transformation".
HMV is operating in an ever challenging marketplace of course, and losses for the last financial year should top £16 million. A previous plan to diversify into other parts of the entertainment business has been shelved in favour of focusing on revamping the HMV high street stores. With that in mind, we expect any day now an announcement regarding the sale of the retailer's live music business the MAMA Group.
As previously reported, it's thought AEG Live will buy some of MAMA's venues, while the rest of the business will either be held onto by HMV or, more likely, be sold to another party, very possibly a management buyout.
GOOGLE REVEALS WHICH RIGHTS OWNERS HAVE REQUESTED LINKS BE REMOVED
Also filing a lot of requests in that period were NBC Universal (165,662), the Recording Industry Association Of America (31,922) and various agencies that work for other content owners. In terms of the record labels directly, according to Billboard the numbers were as follows: Universal Music Group (9,299), Sony Music (8,074), EMI (6,020), Warner Music (3,977), and Beggars/XL Recordings (855). On the other side of the equation, the domains most complained about by rights owners and their reps are Filestube, Torrentz.eu and 4shared.com.
Although some in the music industry have criticised Google for not going far enough to stop its search service from directing users to illegal sources of content, the web giant insists that "we don't want our search results to direct people to materials that violate copyright laws so we've always responded to copyright removal requests that meet the standards set out in the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act".
Though, and hitting back at the rights industries a little, Google said that it also wanted to ensure that only genuine copyright complaints resulted in links being removed from searches, noting that some companies, mistakenly or deliberately, request content be removed which they don't own. Google wrote in a blog post: "We've seen baseless copyright removal requests being used for anticompetitive purposes, or to remove content unfavourable to a particular person or company from our search results".
It added: "We believe that the time-tested 'notice-and-takedown' process for copyright strikes the right balance between the needs of copyright owners, the interests of users, and our efforts to provide a useful Google Search experience. Google continues to put substantial resources into improving and streamlining this process. We already mentioned that we're processing more copyright removal requests for search than ever before. And we're also processing these requests faster than ever before; last week our average turnaround time was less than eleven hours".
SCIENTISTS NAME SPIDER AFTER LOU REED
Sightings of the "dark and shiny" Loureedia spider, pictured here contemplating an unlistenable collaborative LP with Metallica, are said to be very rare, though various forms of it reside in Africa, Asia, Europe and Brazil.
Other rock icons with their own namesake arachnids include Neil Young and Frank Zappa, the latter chosen for the resemblance between his signature facial hair and the moustache-like markings noted on the Pachygnatha zappa. Though not a rock icon in any shape or form, Angelina Jolie also gives her name to the Aptostichus angelinajolieae, a trapdoor crawler from the coastal dunes of Northern California. Who knows why, perhaps it has a very spindly right leg: oldghost.tumblr.com/post/18368533150/i-got-bored
And that concludes today's spider-themed science seminar.