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Music Collaboration Site Indaba Introduces Newest Version of Its Session Console July 12, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Indaba is a music community for musicians looking to share and collaborate with other musicians around the globe. The site offers artists a suite of online tools to help record and develop tracks in real-time.

Indaba has launched a new version of its Session Console, which is a digital audio workstation that lets musicians record, mix and edit music together from different locations. What makes Indaba’s newest version of its Session Console unique is that it brings high quality recording software to the web platform.

For more on this matter:
http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/09/indaba-lets-musicians-collaborate-through-revamped-digital-music-workstation/

Future Of Music Coalition Releases Data-Driven Study On Independent Music Airplay On New York State Radio Stations July 12, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Artist education, research and advocacy organization Future of Music Coalition (FMC) announces the release of a new report that analyzes New York State radio playlists to determine whether the policy interventions resulting from 2003-2007 payola investigations have had any effect on the amount of independent music played on terrestrial radio.

Then, in April 2007, the Federal Communications Commission issued consent decrees against the nation’s four largest radio station group owners – Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Citadel and Entercom – as a response to collected evidence and widespread allegations about payola influencing what gets played on the radio.

In April 2009, FMC released a comprehensive, data-driven report called Same Old Song. Using data licensed from Mediaguide and a similar methodology, it examines playlist data from music stations licensed in New York State, broadcasting in a variety of formats, from 2005-2008.

Specifically, the data shows that:

* Playlist composition for music stations in NY State has remained remarkably consistent over the past four years. Neither the statewide airplay charts nor the majority of commercial stations demonstrate measurable change in major label vs. non-major label airplay share, despite specific policy interventions designed to increase access for independent artists. * Radio relies on “the hits.” * Indie label access has not increased. The playlist data show that major labels remain moderately more successful than indie labels in getting new songs added to station playlists, but vastly more successful in getting more spins for their songs.

For more on this matter:
http://www.futureofmusic.org/research/playlisttrackingstudy.cfm

ASCAP Makes Outlandish Copyright Claims On Cell Phone Ringtones July 12, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged a federal court Wednesday to reject bogus copyright claims in a ringtone royalty battle that could raise costs for consumers, jeopardize consumer rights, and curtail new technological innovation.

Millions of Americans have bought musical ringtones, often clips from favorite popular songs, for their mobile phones. Mobile phone carriers pay royalties to song owners for the right to sell these snippets to their customers. But as part of a ploy to squeeze more money out of the mobile phone companies, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) has told a federal court that each time a phone rings in a public place, the phone user has violated copyright law. Therefore, ASCAP argues, phone carriers must pay additional royalties or face legal liability for contributing to what they claim is cell phone users’ copyright infringement. In an amicus brief filed Wednesday, EFF points out that copyright law does not reach public performances “without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage” — clearly the case with cell phone ringtones. If phone users are not infringing copyright law, then mobile phone service providers are not contributing to any infringement.

“This is an outlandish argument from ASCAP,” said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. ASCAP has responded by saying that it does not plan to charge mobile phone users, just mobile phone service providers. But if ASCAP prevails, consumers could find themselves targeted by other copyright owners for “public performances.” “Because it is legal for consumers to play music in public, it’s also legal for my mobile phone carrier to sell me a ringtone and a phone to do it,” said von Lohmann.

Doing the Sun Valley Spin, Murdoch Proposes New Direction for Myspace July 12, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Could Murdoch be doing a little Sun Valley spin?

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., said he is looking to reshape MySpace into an “entertainment portal.” This statement, made at the Allen & Company Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, comes as Facebook continues to overshadow MySpace in almost every relevant metric

The Journal reported that MySpace will enable the site’s users, the number of which is quickly shrinking, to access entertainment and related information. The big question is how much would a facelift, like the one proposed by Murdoch, help the site?

First, MySpace is already heavily geared toward entertainment. News Corp. helped create MySpace Music in a joint venture with the four largest record labels. Los Angeles-based MySpace has long provided users with a means to upload their own video clips, so user-generated video is covered.

Sources in the music, television, and movie sectors said they were unaware of any new deals regarding MySpace.

Facebook Says It Will Fight Power.com Countersuit July 12, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Facebook said it will fight a countersuit filed by Power.com, saying the company puts Facebook’s member information at risk.

Power.com bills itself as a “social inter-networking site,” in which users can sign on to their other social accounts, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace. That list once included Facebook. But the popular Palo Alto, Calif., site, which has more than 200 million active users, blocked Power.com and sued it late last year, accusing it of copyright and trademark violations.

Power.com responded with a countersuit today, saying that sites allowing users to log in to other sites are commonplace on the Web — indeed, even on Facebook, where members can log in to their email accounts to “friend” address-book contacts.

“Today’s lawsuit seeks to put a stop to Facebook’s attempts — in violation of California’s unfair competition laws and federal antitrust laws — to block Power.com from helping users access their own data,” Power.com said in a statement.

Facebook said it has made numerous attempts to work with Power.com, including encouraging it to implement Facebook Connect, a service Facebook members use to log in to third-party sites with their Facebook account. Although Steve Vachani, Power.com’s founder, mentioned implementing Facebook Connect after the initial lawsuit, the company hasn’t done so, a Facebook spokesman said.

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“Users rely on us to protect their data and enforce the privacy decisions they make on Facebook. Facebook called Power.com’s claims “without merit” and said, “We will fight them aggressively.”