NAPSTER BACK ONLINE PENDING TRIALNapster, the online, file-swapping software company, was granted a last-minute reprieve from an earlier U.S. District Court decision that issued a temporary injunction against the company. The federal appeals court, San Francisco, postponed a judge's order to discontinue all Napster services.
According to Shawn Fanning, who founded Napster as a 19-year-old college student, the company will continue to serve its customers until a final decision is made. "I am happy and grateful that we do not have to turn away our 20 million users and that we can continue to help artists," he says. "We'll keep working and hoping for the best."
The three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the stay against an injunction, issued by District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, that would have shut down Napster pending the outcome of a trial. The appeals' judges said "substantial questions" were raised about "the merits and form of the injunction."
The court decision continues the debate between the Silicon Valley upstart and the recording industry as it moves forward to a fall trial; no trial date has been set. The RIAA could still appeal the decision to the full Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court.
TEC AWARDS NEAR SELLOUTA limited number of seats are still available for the 16th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards, to be held Saturday, September 23, at the Regal Biltmore in Los Angeles. Hosted by the popular comedian Godfrey, the evening's festivities will include the induction of Sun Records founder Sam Phillips into the Hall of Fame and Paul McCartney receiving the Les Paul Award.
AES PARTY NEWSThe Autry Museum of Western Heritage, L.A., will host the 109th AES Convention party Friday, September 22, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The evening will provide musical entertainment, food and cocktails in an Old West setting.
Guests are invited to take advantage of an exclusive viewing of the museum's galleries. Tickets purchased in advanced are $45 a person; $50 at the AES Special Events Desk in the L.A. Convention Center.
GML PRODUCTS ONLINEGeorge Massenburg Labs announced that its entire product line is available for direct purchase on the Web, at www.massenburg.com.
Massenburg says, "We've cut our costs to the bone, and through the Internet are now able to make GML products affordable for those who need quality audio."
According to Audio Intervisual Design principal Jim Pace - the GML distributor since 1997 - the decision was based on a need to address a wider user base. "George has a significant presence online and has developed an extensive dialog with many people around the world." As a result of this decision, A.I.D. will no longer sell to dealers directly; product purchases will be handled by the factory through the Web site. However, A.I.D. will continue to handle GML products in Southern California.
MIXER MANAGEMENTNettwork Management announced the start of a producer-management division headed by Alia Fahlborg. This divison will represent producers, mixers, remixers, engineers and arrangers and allow them to take full use of the in-house staff at Nettwork America.
According to Fahlborg, Nettwork oversees numerous companies and wanted to start a management company dedicated to recording industry talent. "There are lots of people working on projects, and this allows us to go in-house for another source of talent to draw from," Fahlborg says. "It will be as full-service as possible."
The roster of participating producers includes Howard Benson, Carlos Bess, Paul Logus, Peter Zizzo, Rhys Fulber and remixers Groove Armada.
SHURE TURNS 75In the middle of a yearlong 75th anniversary celebration, Shure, microphone and audio electronics manufacturer, hosted the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland. The event featured the presentation of a Shure 75th Anniversary Boxed Set, an honorary award, to B.B. King; both Shure and B.B. King celebrated their 75th birthday this year.
According to organizer Jack Kontney, everything went exceedingly well. "B.B. King has one of the best bands I've ever seen," he said. "I knew it was gonna be great. B.B. did a really long set. In addition to his regular set, there was a full set of a blues jam."
The night also featured performances from Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Shemekia Copeland.
MUSIC ON THE WEBPopnuvo.com, a startup record company and publisher, has introduced a new model to distribute free music over the Internet. According to Popnuvo CEO Robin Kalmek, the distribution site was created in response to the Napster debate. "People love free music, and no lawsuit is going to stop a new generation of kids hacking into whatever `secure format' is developed."
Unlike Napster, Popnuvo has created a royalty system that is reward-driven; if an artist creates traffic on the Web site, he or she is rewarded accordingly.
The available music is produced by Popnuvo's artists under the title of "Digital Motown," though Kalmek said established artists are welcome to take part in this distribution opportunity. "Popnuvo can feature any artist in any genre - so long as the music is great and they're willing to subscribe to our ideals and system."
Other Web sites are popping up to supply the current demand for online music. DuckMusic.com offers indie recording artists an opportunity to create and develop its own Web sites for a fee. Musicians, through its site, have access to online CD sales, mailing list maintenance, tour date posting, news items, message boards and links to Real Audio applications. According to DuckMusic.com, indie music fans "can find out where the artists are going to be appearing next, read about the musicians, post messages and reviews and join mailing lists. This is way beyond an online record store."
SOUND BYTEIn the wake of consolidation, Liberty Livewire announced the acquisition of Soundelux post-production, sound and related businesses. A new division comprising the audio companies and personnel from Soundelux and previously acquired Todd-AO and 4 Media Company has been created as a result. Soundelux co-founder Lon Bender was appointed president of the Liberty Livewire Audio division, and the other Soundelux co-founder, Wylie Stateman, will serve as executive vice president.
CONFERENCE NEWSIMX, the Interactive Music Expo, has announced a preliminary list of sponsors for the event at the Los Angeles Convention Center on October 3-4. Sponsors include ASCAP, The Recording Academy, VIBE, Spin, Red Herring and Music Connection, among others.
Synergetic Audio Concepts announced its Sound Training Seminars on August 21 and 25 in Portland, Ore.; September 11-15 in southern Indiana; October 9-13 in Minneapolis, Minn.; and November 6-10 in Newark, N.J.
The first North American Going Live! seminar, hosted by Soundcraft, will take place at the Nashville Soundcheck rehearsal facility November 4-5. To reserve a spot, contact Jennifer Schanhals 615/360-0462 or e-mail jschanha@har mon.com.
JBL Professional, designer, manufacturer and marketer of professional loudspeakers (Northridge, CA), welcomed Ted Leamy as general manager of the JBL Custom Shop...Leitch Technology (Toronto, Ontario) began trading common shares on NASDAQ under the symbol LVID. The company also announced Don Bezenar as regional sales manager of Western Canada...David Gustafson assumed the role of CEO of EDnet (San Francisco) after acting as president for four years. He replaces industry veteran Tom Kobayashi...Soundtracs moved into a new home at The Clock House 4, Dorking Road, Epsom, Surrey KT18 7LX, England; 44/1372/845-600; fax 44/1372/845-656...Telex moved its corporate headquarters to 1200 Portland Ave. South, Burnsville, MN 55337; 952/884-4051...Xytech Systems Corporation (Burbank, CA), maker of facility management software, announced Hugh Heinsohn as general manager. He is based out of the Burbank office...Loudspeaker manufacturer Radian had a number of new appointments: Jim Chase will be the new director of sales and marketing, Dennis Goettsch director of engineering, Kennth Krenzelak director of manufacturing and Duvan Lopez controller...Sony Disc Manufacturing (Carrollton, GA) promoted Edward Ryan to director of North American sales; he will be based out of Nashua, NH...Steve Savanyu was hired as Audio-Technica's (Stow, OH) market manager for installed sound...Michael E. Beyersdoerfer joined Ultimate Support Systems Inc. (Fort Collins, CO) as general manager...Many new faces at Korg: Allan Julson district sales manager in North Central U.S., Mike Lundin district sales manager Great Lakes, Cosmo Watts district sales manager, Rocky Mountain states, and Gary Bruno marketing and product specialist...Don Hannah joins the HHB (Los Angeles) family as sales engineer...RPG (Upper Marlboro, MD) president and CEO Dr. Peter D'Antonio was elected a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America...SPARS (Society of Professional Audio Recording Services) has named Larry Lipman as executive director and Nicole Cochran publicist...Numark (North Kingstown, RI) announced the opening of its West Coast division at 15320 Valley View Ave., Unit #9, La Mirada, CA 90638; 562/483-8313; fax 562/483-7304. In other company news, Christopher Bastien was named marketing manger...Harris Corporation (Cincinnati) opened a new call center in Carlsbad, CA; the company can be reached at 800/622-0022...Behringer USA (Seattle) opened two new service centers located in New York and Northern California - dBm Pro Audio and Studio Maintenance Center, respectively. They can be found at 320 West 37th St., Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10018; 212/629-0326; fax 212/629-7889, and 655 DuBois St., San Rafael, CA 94901; 800/918-3300...Boyton Pro Audio (Morris, NY) welcomes Paul Fitzgibbons and Greg Harvey to its new Buffalo, NY, sales office. The new location is found at 1419 Kenmore Ave., Kenmore, NY 14217; 716/873-7961; fax 716/873-7985... Video Post & Transfer (Dallas) announced the addition of Timothy Nagle as audio engineer...Amphenol Australia has named Penn Fabrication as distributor of its hardware solutions in the U.S....Lexicon, the Waltham, MA-based manufacturer of digital audio processors, debuted its new online shop at www.lexiconstore.com. In other company news, John Rotondo was promoted to Web designer and Laurie Crawford to technical writer...Johnson Amplification (Sandy, UT) has updated its online image with a new Web site, www. johnson-amp.com...QSC (Costa Mesa, CA) amplifier manufacturer, has revamped its Web site; take a look at www.qscaudio.com.