AT&T MAY LAUNCH SIX-STRIKES NEXT MONTH
The three-strikes style system is the result of that previously reported alliance between the US record and movie industries and most of the big internet service providers in America. First revealed in July 2011, under the alliance the ISPs pledged to help the content industries protect their copyrights online by sending copyright alerts to customers suspected of illegally file-sharing.
Under that agreement, customers who ignore warnings will be subject to sanctions, to be decided on by each ISP individually, though ultimately it will be for the rights owners to take legal action against the most persistent file-sharers, with a central information exchange enabling labels and studios to identify who those file-sharers are. It's thought five copyright alerts would be sent before action of that kind was pursued, making this basically a six-strikes system.
The 2011 deal between the American content industries and net companies was quite an achievement, given similar efforts to persuade ISPs to voluntarily introduce anti-piracy systems of this kind in other territories have in the main been unsuccessful, with the music and movie industries instead looking to governments to force the net providers into action. And the deal will be all the more impressive if it actually results in the launch of a widespread warning letters system against file-sharers.
The deal-making Stateside was presumably helped by the fact many of the country's key ISPs are also content owners or providers themselves, either as cable TV networks or part of bigger entertainment groups. Certainly in the UK, Virgin Media and Sky have generally been more willing to assist the British content industries, them having a vested interest in combating the unlicensed accessing of content, especially movies.
Because it has been initiated by a voluntary agreement in America, each ISP will instigate the six-strikes process in a slightly different way, though all would ultimately hand over data to the central Center For Copyright Information, which will enable rights owners to decide who to sue. It's thought that, before that stage, AT&T will block access to certain websites for those customers who persistently file-share, forcing them to read a copyright statement and complete a copyright quiz to unlock any blocks.
Neither the ISPs nor the music and movie industries have actually commented on any of this as yet, with TorrentFreak's report based on a confidential AT&T staff briefing that has been leaked. Though if a process is launched like that described in the TorrentFreak article, it would likely put the US ahead of even those countries where governments have forced ISPs to act, with countries like France and New Zealand, amongst the first to legislate three-strikes, now struggling to decide exactly how strike three should work.
Of course whether any of this will actually combat online piracy is another debate. Critics will always point out that prolific file-sharers are already good at hiding their activity from both rights owners and their own ISPs, and that other kinds of file-sharing (ie not P2P) have boomed in recent years that aren't necessarily being tracked. Though those who advocate three-strikes et al still reckon that more casual file-sharers not sufficiently tech savvy to circumvent the checks could be persuaded to use only legit music services with an appropriately written warning, and it is that bigger audience that is the target of this activity.
CLASSICAL SITE FOUND LIABLE FOR DISTRIBUTING RIVAL FIRM'S RECORDINGS
The website is called www.royalty-free-classical-music.org, and provides access to a plethora of traditional classical recordings, offering licences to use the music in various contexts for a nominal one-off fee. Of course the compositions themselves are old enough to be out of copyright, though a separate right will exist in the sound recording itself.
Project Management [Borders] Limited, which operates the website, says it owns the sound recording rights in the music it provides, and in most cases that may well be true, but another classical music distributor called Naxos claimed that the versions of Christmas carol 'Joy To The World' and Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' that the site provided were recordings it owned.
Keith Salmon, owner of Project Management, disputed that claim, but, based on expert evidence presented in court, judge Angus Glennie sided with the claimants. He ruled that the version of 'Joy To The World' and at least part of the 'Four Seasons' suite on Salmon's site were indeed the recordings owned by Naxos, adding that it seemed likely the recordings had been tweaked to disguise that fact, something with the judge reckoned damaged Salmon's credibility.
Project Management will now have to remove said recordings from its site (though actually I think it already had) and share information of any sales of those tracks to date, to enable Naxos to prepare a bid for damages.
NAS'S HOME REPOSSESSED AND AUCTIONED
ONE DIRECTION WIN BEST UK ACT AHEAD OF EMAS
They will now be pitched against similar winners in other nations across the continent for the title of Best European Act, which, if they won it (and they probably will), would put them on a shortlist for Best Worldwide Act, against artists representing North American, Latin American, Asia Pacifica, and Africa/India/Middle East. And all of that's got to happen before the EMAs actually take place in Frankfurt on 11 Nov.
Responding to the news, albeit from behind a tree (the squirrels were out in force, see, and none of those 1D boys want to go the way of bandmate Niall), the group's Louis Tomlinson told reporters: "We're so happy and incredibly honoured to have won this. Once again our amazing fans have done us proud - thanks so much as always to you all!"
GIRLS ALOUD TEASE REUNION AS SINGLE LEAKS
The single is expected to be officially released on 19 Nov, and will form part of a new greatest hits compilation. The group will also head out on tour to support this, after which their future is uncertain, thanks to comments in Cheryl Cole's new autobiography (or on Alan Carr's 'Chatty Man', depending on who you ask). She writes: "We'll be working on a tour and greatest hits album. Then I think that's it for Girls Aloud. We've achieved more than any of us ever dared to dream of".
Anyway, watch the teaser video here.
PRINCE AND GAGA TO SOUNDTRACK LUHRMAN'S GATSBY, MAYBE
Asked by Indiewire about the movie, whose premiere has been set back from its original December release to a tbc date in spring 2013, Clemens said: "They have some new music that's going to be added to the film. Some pretty huge artists have approached Baz and are writing songs for the film, and I don't think Warner Bros are going to turn down Prince and Lady Gaga knocking down your door".
"I don't know if I'm allowed to say that", she added.
No, she probably wasn't. But it does seem likely that, Prince/Gaga tracks or no Prince/Gaga tracks, Luhrman's 'Gatsby' will feature a contemporary-sounding score. I mean, its official trailer speaks - and practically yells - for itself.
CHRISTMAS RULES COMPILATION TO FEATURE PAUL MCCARTNEY, THE SHINS, RUFUS WAINWRIGHT
Hear mini samples of all its seventeen tracks via this SoundCloud player.
fun. - Sleigh Ride
BRYAN FERRY RECORDS INSTRUMENTAL JAZZ LP
Says Ferry, who co-composed the new arrangements with erstwhile collaborator Colin Good: "After 40 years of making records, both in and out of Roxy Music, I thought now might be an interesting moment to revisit some of these songs, and approach them as instrumentals in the style of that magical period".
He adds: "Most of the music I listen to nowadays is instrumental and I wanted to let my songs have a different life, a life without words".
Do The Strand
NOVELLA DETAIL NEW SINGLE
In Novella's words, it draws from "the rebellious, gang-like mentality of The Shangri-Las, contrasted with their sweet schoolgirl persona. Being in a band is a bit like being in a gang and we wanted to write a song about our favourite girl-gang".
Novella are breaking a pause from live performance this Wednesday (17 Oct) at Norwich's Take 5, and have some ad hoc further dates arranged through to late November.
SKY FERREIRA STARS IN SHORT FILM
Throbbing Gristle's Genesis P-Orridge, DIIV drummer Colby Hewitt and Brooklyn band Starred's Liza Thorn and Matt Koshak also act in the movie, while musicians John Holland and Aaron David Ross - of Salem and Gatekeeper respectively - compose its original score. Apparently the short will be premiered "soon", so keep track of updates via its official Twitter account. Meanwhile, the 'IRL' trailer.
And if you haven't heard it yet, you might also like to listen to Ferreira's new EP 'Ghost', as features the above-mentioned 'Everything Is Embarrassing', via her Tumblr.
MJ HIBBETT OFFERS DINOSAUR PLANET SHOW TO SCHOOLS
First performed as a one-man show by Hibbett in 2009, 'Dinosaur Planet' has since expanded its cast (to two) and toured the country several times, including two runs at the Edinburgh Festival. This year Hibbett and his band The Validators also released an album version of it.
Says Hibbett: "I've always thought it would make a brilliant school play. The songs are very easy to play and sing along to, and making the giant robots and space dinosaurs would be a lot of fun! It also contains a lot of educational information, such as the need for good academic research methods, and ways not to get eaten by space dinosaurs".
ROLLING STONES ANNOUNCE 50TH ANNIVERSARY SHOWS
Tickets for the UK shows will officially go on sale on Friday, though are available now to American Express customers or people who want to own an expensive boxset too. Whatever, the cheapest ticket from an official seller is going to cost you over £100. Oh, and tickets were already being resold on Seatwave for up to £11,000 yesterday. So, you'd best think quite hard about how much you want to go to this before you commit.
Maybe hearing the members of the band asking if you're ready will help. Do that here.
As also expected, the shows are the first project for new global touring enterprise Virgin Live, a joint venture between the Virgin Group and the Dainty Group.
Australian promoter Paul Dainty, head of the Dainty Group, told CMU: "I've worked with The Rolling Stones for many years and I still get a buzz every time I see them live, these four shows are without doubt a must-see event. I am extremely excited about this collaboration with Virgin. There will be a lot more to say about Virgin Live soon but, for now, it's all about the Stones..."
The band also have a new single out, which you can listen to here if you want.
HIT FACTORY FESTIVAL BACK ON
As previously reported, the original date for Hit Factory Live, designed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the launch of Pete Waterman's pop label PWL, was cancelled after Live Nation's Hyde Park stage area became waterlogged after weeks of heavy rain. The midweek bash was called off to allow the live firm to bring in a forest's worth of wood chip, to make the site usable for other weekend festivals and the subsequent Olympics gigs.
Although the weather-damage excuse for the cancellation of the original event was credible, there were rumours that ticket sales for the Hit Factory extravaganza had not gone as well as hoped. Whether or not that was true, a last-Friday-before-Christmas indoor bash actually seems more sensible for this event, which will feature sets from Jason Donovan, Rick Astley, Bananarama, Steps, Sinitta and more.
Whether the promised Kylie and Jason reunion can be delivered at the new date isn't yet clear. Asked about that by the Official Charts Company website (which is a media partner on the event for some reason), Waterman himself said, somewhat vaguely (given Kylie wasn't technically on the actual bill of the summer date): "Everybody's on the bill that would have been on the bill at Hyde Park. As ever, I can't give away too many secrets. The thing with all these things is, you have to wait and see!"
Tickets go on sale on Friday.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
PITCHFORK FESTIVAL PARIS, Grande halle de la Villette, Paris, France, 1-3 Nov: Breton. www.pitchfork.com/festivals/paris/2012
WYCHWOOD FESTIVAL ALLOWING FANS TO BUY SHARES IN THE EVENT
Anyone who invests a £1000 will get an albeit very small stake in the festival, meaning in the future they could receive dividends based on profit, though in reality it's the various other shareholder benefits that will be of value.
Those who invest will get a free pair of tickets to the event for life, discounts on tickets for friends, other benefits at the festival itself, and similar discounts to other ventures staged by promoters Tribe Festivals Ltd. And any investors will be able to get tax relief under the Enterprise Investment Scheme on the money they put in.
Organisers reckon that the innovative scheme could be a valuable new approach for smaller independent promoters always faced with cash-flow challenges, especially after a difficult year for the UK festivals market like 2012.
Wychwood Festival co-founder and Festival Director Graeme Merifield told CMU: "Just after the 2011 Wychwood Festival we had a big rethink about where we want to take the festival and our other projects. I'm very pleased to say that we have a new and exciting team on our board and we want to expand our Tribe business into a number of other events, so it seems only fitting that we invite those who have been loyal to our current festival portfolio over the last eight years, to come and join our Tribe".
AEG TICKETING PLATFORM TO ENABLE CUSTOMERS TO RESERVE SEATS FOR FRIENDS
Initially available at certain specific venues owned by AEG itself (in the US at first), it's the latest initiative by the live music giant to compete in the ticketing market, which it entered after its rival Live Nation bought Ticketmaster. AXS.com GM Tom Andrus told the Associated Press: "For us and for the artist and the venue, it's really about finding a way to sell more tickets. For the customer it's a way of making it more convenient".
CI ANNOUNCES DEAL WITH SECRETLY CANADIAN
Confirming the deal, Chris Welz, General Manager of SCD, told CMU: "We're thrilled to bring our labels a wider range of services via CI - who bring a level of access and ease of use to digital delivery that allows SCD a greater focus on our paramount goal: building our label and artist profiles across all retail platforms".
Meanwhile CI GM Kieron Faller added: "Having courted Secretly Canadian for some time, we're very pleased to bring them into the CI client community. CI are the clear market leaders in digital delivery for independents, helping them to compete on a level playing field with the majors. In the wake of the Universal-EMI merger this becomes ever more important. Our service allows indies to deliver to at least the same technical quality and speed as the majors, but without having to maintain the infrastructure and know-how on their own".
POLYDOR PLUGGER THOMPSON LAUNCHES NEW AGENCY
Thompson worked in Polydor's TV promotions department for six years, working with artists like The Saturdays, Elbow, La Roux, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Horrors, Gwen Stefani, White Lies and Kate Nash, and before that had a promotions role at independent V2.
The new agency is online at yespleasetv.com
MUSIC IDENTIFICATION TECHNOLOGY FIRM RECKONS 80% OF COMMERCIAL MUSIC USAGE BADLY REPORTED
Whether the use of music in television shows is licensed directly from labels and publishers, or via rights bodies, the reporting of such usage is, to a large extent, reliant on broadcasters being honest and competent, the constant manual monitoring of TV networks worldwide being impractical. But, says TuneSat, the majority of commercial use of music by the television sector is either unreported or misreported, hence the need for its technology, it says.
Indeed, a spokesman for the company told Digital Music News that he reckoned up to 80% of music "played commercially" is not fully reported to rights owners and bodies. Says the spokesman: "Musicians and songwriters all know that if their music is being played commercially, the reports they are getting back are more than likely wrong. Cue sheets and affidavits are routinely entrusted to interns to fill out - sometimes by hand. One misspelled song title and the artists wave goodbye to their royalties. In fact, over 80% of music played commercially is either unreported or misreported".
Quite where that 80% figures comes from, and how accurate it is, isn't clear, though either way, if technology can reliably track commercial music usage for rights owners and collecting societies cheaply, there does seem to be a market in that. After all, why not a tracking device in every shop, bar and café playing music, providing, for the first time, accurate data regards all public performance of songs and recordings? The technical know-how is more or less there now, though cost will surely remain a factor for a time, though if the use of such technology can increase income as well as reliability of reporting, that might be an incentive to invest.
REAL RADIO TO NETWORK DAYTIME SHOWS
From next month North West-based presenters Darren Parks and Debbie Mac will also have their respective late morning and early afternoon shows networked to Real stations in Wales, Yorkshire, the North East and Central Scotland, replacing local DJs in each of those regions.
The networking of daytime programmes in this way has become common in commercial radio of course, and is standard on the existing multi-region stations operating by Global Radio, such as Heart and Capital.
Indeed some reckon that if and when the Global acquisition of the Real And Smooth Radio networks is completed, the former will be rebranded as Heart stations, likely meaning the subsequent departure of Parks and Mac too, with existing Heart daytime programming taking over. Time will tell.
In the meantime, Andy Carter, MD of the interim company Real and Smooth Limited, is quoted by Radio Today as saying: "Advances in technology mean we know we can produce high quality programming which is relevant to the lives of our audience and maintain the local content that is important to them, such as news, travel and weather. Our recent experience with Smooth shows that you can grow audience by providing high quality content from a single source providing you continue to offer content that is relevant to their lives".
LEONA FOUND NO LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE
Speaking to the Daily Star, Leona said: "I worked with Calvin and we recorded 'We Found Love'. But he went touring with Rihanna and she ended up releasing it. I didn't commit to it because I wanted 'Trouble' to be my first single [from new album 'Glassheart'], so I think that was another reason they went with Rihanna. It was the same version and production, but mine's better. I still have the recording but I'd never leak it. That's so unprofessional".
Ah, spoil sport, leaks are fun. And, by the sounds of it, there could be a whole album of unreleased Lewis songs that fall into this category. See, this sort of occurrence is common it seems. Leona continued: "There are so many songs I've recorded, only to hear other people singing them. It happens all the time. It was a bit annoying to see how big a hit it was around the world, but if I'd released it maybe it wouldn't have done as well".
Yes, it must be tough suddenly discovering that someone's recorded a song you thought of as your own.