|WHAT IS THIS? The CMU Daily - to which you are subscribed. Unsubscribe information is at the end.
NOTE: Make sure you 'enable images' to see this e-bulletin properly. CLICK HERE to read this online.
MPAA SUPPORTS RETURN OF LOST MEGAUPLOAD DATA - BUT WITH PROVISO THAT WILL PROBABLY MAKE SUCH A THING IMPOSSIBLE
As much previously reported, the MegaUpload platform was taken offline without warning by the US authorities in January amidst allegations that the company and its management were guilty of mass copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering.
While a lot of the content stored on the Mega servers by its customers was unlicensed movies, TV programmes and music files, some utilised the cloud-locker service to store legitimate files they themselves had created, and when the MegaUpload site was switched off they lost access to that content too.
Various affected parties have been trying to retrieve that data, most notably filmmaker Kyle Goodwin, whose case has been backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. But the US authorities who shut down MegaUpload have not been especially sympathetic, mainly pointing out that the digital firm's terms and conditions did not guarantee permanent access to files stored on its servers.
Meanwhile the MPAA has also expressed concerns about the public being given full access to the former Mega servers, even on a temporary basis, and in particular objected to a proposal that lawyers working for the defunct file-transfer company be given access to both seized funds and their client's switched-off hardware to coordinate the return of lost data.
But the movie industry trade body has now clarified its position, saying it is happy for former Mega customers to be reunited with their lost files, providing any copyright material belonging to its members is first removed. The MPAA was responding to a court submission by Goodwin last week, which called on the federal court of Virginia to address the lost data issue directly after interested parties failed to reach a voluntary arrangement.
Adding that it wouldn't block moves to reunite former customers with their files in principle, the submission continued "if the court is willing to consider allowing access for users such as Mr Goodwin to allow retrieval of files, it is essential that the mechanism include a procedure that ensures that any materials the users access and copy or download are not files that have been illegally uploaded to their accounts".
Another proviso for the MPAA is that no former MegaUpload executives be granted access to their former platform, though presumably said execs' legal representatives would want such access, as those attorneys have already said they need to see those files in order to prepare their clients' defence. The MPAA also wants unrestricted access for itself to the former Mega servers to prepare its civil action against the former bosses of the MegaUpload business.
Of course a cynic might argue that, while it's good for the MPAA to, in theory, support the return of legitimate files stored on the MegaUpload platform, its demands that all unlicensed material first be removed possibly makes any such return of data, in reality, impossible, given the scale of operation that would be required to first clean the former Mega servers of copyright infringing files.
However, presumably it would be possible to make it so that former Mega customers could only access the files they themselves uploaded (ie ban the world at large from accessing files others were sharing), and if that was the case, a cleverer MPAA might support a 48 hours data amnesty, even if that allowed many Mega customers to reclaim illegally obtained movie files, given that one great way for the content industries to win grass roots support regards the importance of copyright is to help the man of the street protect his own intellectual property. But, of course, content industry giants are notoriously not clever when it comes to winning public support on copyright issues.
RIAA CHIEF CALLS ON GOOGLE TO DO MORE TO BLOCK LINKS TO PIRACY
He made a speech as part of a Congressional hearing on 'The Future Of Audio' yesterday, and indicated that he would like search engines to automatically block all links to websites which notoriously enable copyright infringement, such as The Pirate Bay. Google has always resisted blanket takedown requests aimed at entire websites, arguing that goes way beyond its obligations under America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
But, Sherman says, advertising agencies have drawn up black lists of entire websites to ensure they don't inadvertently buy ad space alongside unlicensed content, and he thinks search engines should have a similar approach to those websites that have, through one process or another (maybe a judicial one) been shown to be liable for contributory copyright infringement.
Said Sherman: "Major advertisers and ad agencies announced a series of voluntary best practices so that their valuable brands are not associated with rogue internet sites that offer illegal goods, and advertisers don't inadvertently enrich rogue website operators. We hope other intermediaries like search engines will follow suit in negotiating voluntary marketplace best practices to prevent directing users to sites that are dedicated to violating property rights".
Sherman's speech follows a blog post last week by the RIAA's Brad Buckles which responded to that previously reported paper from Google listing which organisations had submitted the most link takedown requests in the last year, and which websites had been most commonly targeted with takedown notices. The RIAA's 31,922 takedown requests were tiny compared to the number submitted by its UK counterpart the BPI, which had submitted 182,805 takedown notices, which was in turn dwarfed by the 536,716 requests made by Microsoft.
But, Buckles argues, those numbers - while spun as "huge" in a lot of the coverage of Google's report - are small compared to the number of links to illegal content sources listed by the web giant's search engine, figures which the firm is less forthcoming with. And that's partly because the web firm puts limits on how many takedowns copyright owners can submit, the RIAA man said.
Writes Buckles: "Google acknowledged that fighting piracy is very important and that it doesn't want search results directing people to materials that violate copyright laws. It is good to see that Google agrees with this fundamental principle and continues to take steps to deter infringement. Transparency is also important - knowing which infringing sites receive the most notices presents an important red flag regarding those sites".
But, he added: "Even more transparency is needed to fully understand the scope of the problem. Knowing the total number of links to infringing material available and the limitations Google imposes on rights owners to search for infringements reveals how meagre the number of notices is relative to the vast amount of infringement".
While usually expressed in polite terms, and with some customary commendation for certain measures already introduced, both the RIAA and the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry have been increasingly critical of Google in the last eighteen months, possibly as file-sharers have increasingly started to rely on the search engine to find sources of unlicensed content. As previously reported, last year the two trade bodies reviewed the web firm's own previous commitments on copyright protection, concluding a lot of work still needed to be done.
With regards Sherman's remarks, Google is unlikely to accept the principle of blocking out right certain domains from its search engine on the basis of copyright infringement, though The Pirate Bay, for one, doesn't seem too bothered about such a suggestion. Responding to Sherman's speech, the Bay says that only 10% of its traffic comes from search engines like Google, and that if the web giant was forced to remove all file-sharing services from its search results, it reckons it would encourage more people to go directly to the Pirate Bay.
The file-sharing site's current operators wrote on their blog: "Our competitors at the Recording Industry Assholes of America are trying to make sure that the search engines that compete with us have to stop linking back to us. This is really great news! Right now about 10% of our traffic comes from these competing search engines. With that ban in place that means that our traffic numbers probably will increase. Users will go directly to us instead and use our search instead. We'll grow even more massive. It's really hard to compete with Google, but if they can't index media search engines like us, we'll be the dominant player in the end. So from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU RIAA".
ANDY BURROWS SIGNS NEW PUBLISHING DEAL WITH STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
Strictly Confidential CEO Pierre Mossiat told CMU: "We're very, very happy to work with an internationally acclaimed artist with Andy Burrows' level of talent - he's a unique songwriter who has an incredible future before him. His new songs are among the best he has ever written. We are absolutely thrilled to see Andy join the Strictly Confidential family".
Burrows recently signed to Play It Again Sam for the release of his new solo album, the first single from which, 'Keep On Moving On', is due for release on 18 Jun. Watch the video for the single here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvhgQpYgxKc
MUSE ANNOUNCE ALBUM
Playing on an oblique reference to science's second law of thermodynamics, the promo features a collage of hyper-political images and culminates in a dubstep-style breakdown. Yes... Muse are doing dubstep (or something like it) now, and it's all very radical.
If the trailer is to be believed, 'The 2nd Law' is set for general release in September.
GRIZZLY BEAR OUTLINE NEW LP
The band will also play the first of several UK-based live dates on 28 Aug, appearing at The Junction in Cambridge. They'll be back for a more substantial run in the autumn, beginning Gateshead's The Sage on 17 Oct and finishing on 22 Oct at the Brixton Academy, London.
Why not absorb all this info to the sounds of LP opener 'Sleeping Ute', which is noted as part of the album's tracklisting below: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hk3tURx8a2Q
KID CUDI NAMES NEW LP
Detailed via the rapper's Twitter account earlier this week, it will mark his first lone output since 2010's 'Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr Rager'.
Billing it as his version of Dr Dre's '2001: The Chronic', Cudi added that he'd play a variety of roles across the long player, saying "Some songs I'll produce, others I'll feat and/or play songwriter".
CLAMS CASINO SHARES SECOND MIXTAPE
It features soundtracks custom-made for rap types A$AP Rocky and The Weeknd, plus remixes of Lana Del Rey's 'Born To Die' and Washed Out's 'Amor Fati', and you can download it for free via this Clams-supplied link.
WARNER'S RHINO LAUNCHES EBOOK SERIES
Initial releases in the new series, which is available via the iBookstore and Amazon's Kindle store, include ebooks about Duran Duran, Beastie Boys, Chic, The Grateful Dead and The Planets, the latter of which is available for free for a limited time.
ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES ENDS RELATIONSHIP WITH BUTLINS
It seems Butlins bosses have "decided to end their six year relationship" with ATP organisers, thus meaning that the festival will now be staged at rival holiday camp Pontins' Camber Sands branch, which incidentally was the setting for ATP's Mogwai-hosted inaugural event way back in 1999 (and the Bowlie Weekender that preceded and inspired the entire ATP venture).
In a statement, ATP said: "Butlins have decided to end their six year relationship with the festival. In reaction to this ATP will move The National's event to our original home - the recently refurbished Pontins holiday camp in Camber Sands - on the same dates this December".
Those dates are 7-9 Dec and the festival will feature performances from overall hosts The National alongside Sharon Van Etten, The Antlers, Perfume Genius, Kurt Vile, Youth Lagoon, Deerhoof and Menomena. All tickets for the original location will remain valid, and refunds will be available until the end of June for those who no longer wish to attend.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
BANGFACE WEEKENDER, Trevelgue Holiday Park, Newquay, Cornwall, 14-16 Sep: Die Antwoord and the Amen Allstars accompany the previously announced likes of Aphex Twin, Egyptian Lover, Dave Clarke, 2 Bad Mice and Venetian Snares on the overall Bangface bill, with further names to be added to the annual rave-up in the coming months. www.bangface.com
BLOC WEEKEND, London Pleasure Gardens, Royal Victoria Docks, 6-7 Jul: Last minute additions Luke Vibert, Ben Sims and Al Tourettes are amongst those just inducted to the highly-regarded Bloc roster, which already hosts Richie Hawtin, Gary Numan, Flying Lotus, Steve Reich, Snoop Dogg, and Amon Tobin. www.blocweekend.com
EXIT FESTIVAL, Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia, 12-15 Jul: Elektra Monsterz, The Middle Beast, Playground Syndicate, The Zombie Kids and Dutch DJ collective Boemklatsch Records are newly listed to showcase across Exit's Suba Stage, with acts including Erykah Badu, Guns N Roses, New Order, Richie Hawtin, Laurent Garnier, Lone, Azari & III and Duran Duran also featuring on the festival's line-up at large. www.exitfest.org
FESTIVAL SEMIBREVE, Braga and Guimarães, Portugal, 2-6 Oct: Ben Frost, Pole, Grischa Lichtenberger and Jacob Kirkegaard are the latest artists to align with existing bookings Vladislav Delay, Mouse On Mars, Roly Porter and Ryoji Ikeda on Semibreve's select 2012 programme. www.festivalsemibreve.com
STANDON CALLING, Standon, Hertfordshire, 3-5 Aug: A brand new Standon summons decrees that Shy FX, Toddla T, Union, Julio Bashmore, Kode9, Dark Sky and Urban Nerds will host a variety of sets and parties at the festival's all-new and secretly-situated Meantime Discovery Stage. This lot now share space on the line-up with Fat Freddy's Drop, Death In Vegas and Beardyman, plus Casiokids, Field Music, Stealing Sheep, Dub Pistols and King Charles. www.standon-calling.com
MOG AND FORD ANNOUNCE ALLIANCE
Says Ford's John Ellis: "MOG offers a great mobile app experience, and now, using SYNC AppLink, we've enhanced it even further for in-car use by adding voice command and control. And, thanks to the 320 kilo bits per second streaming quality unique to MOG, users will still get the high audio resolution they expect when listening to their favourite music".
The MOG/Ford partnership is the latest in a number of deals between digital music providers and car companies, MOG already working with BMW, and Ford having similar alliances with MOG competitors like Pandora and Clear Channel's iHeartRadio.
TRANSCEND ANNOUNCES REVAMP AND EXPANSION
Confirming the changes, Transcend boss Rob Ferguson told CMU: "We recognise that the music industry is changing, and our business model has been re-drawn in order to embrace these changes. The focus of our business is the talent we are nurturing and we firmly believe that our current roster represents some of the very best in classic and contemporary rock and metal artists".
He continues: "We are not a record company in the traditional sense and we are not just a management company. We are a total music company offering positive solutions to enhance, encourage and grow the careers of those who work with us. We have an amazing team of fiercely passionate and enthusiastic individuals who are ready to take on the world!"
7DIGITAL EXPANDS US TEAM
They all report to 7Digital's North America President Vickie Nauman, who told CMU: "In our complex business, we need people with a mix of technical, music, business and product skills. Jon, Matt, and Kyle all come from complementary rich digital-music backgrounds, and I'm confident that each is going to contribute significantly to building 7Digital-North America. We are highly partner-centric and in order to grow our operations here in the US and Canada, we need to leverage the global rights and platform, that will continue to be based in London, by building our partner relationships on the ground. Our business is everywhere, and I felt it was critical to have a great team that can work independently and collaboratively regardless of location".
VEVO LAUNCHES MILLION-VIEWED VIDEO AWARD
All have had multiple videos viewed over 100 million times, with the Bieber having eight certified - sorry, CERTIFIED - videos. Other artists with similarly well viewed videos will presumably get their bit of paper in due course, while videos passing that milestone anew will now be honoured every quarter.
VEVO man Doug McVehil told CMU: "VEVO is the authority on music video view counts. We receive hundreds of new music videos every month and, out of our catalogue of more than 7500 artists, an elite group of just 34 have videos that have exceeded 100 million views. Reaching that threshold is a huge achievement that merits recognition. CERTIFIED was born to salute these artists and the most popular videos of all time in the same way audio releases are awarded for sales achievements".
To celebrate the launch of VEVO CERTIFIED, we got straight on the phone to the Bieber, who told us: "To have eight VEVO CERTIFIED videos means the world. I always say the internet is where I got my start. I posted videos and now to have it come full circle - and now I'm getting CERTIFIED - it's amazing".
Also on the phone (aka the VEVO press release) was Katy Perry, who said: "I just want to thank all my friends and fans online that have watched my music videos so many times that I can barely count. Thank you all for your attention and for your love and support. I will always try my best to give you something special. Rock on!"
MILEY CYRUS ENGAGED TO HUNGER GAMES HEMSWORTH
A demure Cyrus, nineteen, had this to say of her soon-to-be-legalised relationship to Hemsworth, 22: "I'm so happy to be engaged and look forward to a life of happiness with Liam".
Honestly, I'm so happy I could weep. And speaking of things that bring a tear to one's eye, here's the official trailer for Miley's new movie, 'LOL': www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4XmycID4eE
RIHANNA: SOCIETY NEEDS TO GET OVER WHAT CHRIS BROWN DID
When the topic was initially broached the singer, according to a transcript published by Hollywood Gossip, said: "The whole thing caught me a little off-guard to be honest... especially the amount of... negative attention. Because it never occurred to me how this was going to be a problem, you know. It really didn't".
When pushed the exchange became more heated, especially when the journalist suggested that she had "gone back to someone who put you in the hospital", to which Rihanna responded: "Okay. [But] in a completely professional environment. And on a completely professional note. I mean, if I went back to him [as a girlfriend], then that's a whole different discussion. And if I ever do, then that's something that y'all have to talk to me about when - if - that ever happens. Until then, look at it for what it is. I think a lot of people jumped to an assumption that was incorrect and they ended up looking stupid".
Rihanna went on to blame "society" for having "a lot of shit y'all can't get over". And maybe she's right, maybe it is really our problem. Though if the problem is being horrified that a man who beat his girlfriend unconscious in the street has been able to proceed with his career almost without pause, and to become even more celebrated by his industry, despite showing only token gesture remorse and seemingly having not addressed his anger issues, then that's surely a good problem to have, right?