Columbia/Legacy recording artist Willie Nelson parked the bus atSIRIUS satellite radio in New York City to do an exclusive interviewwith SIRIUS host Lee Arnold. Later, Nelson stopped in at BismeauxStudio (Austin, Texas) to record vocal and guitar tracks —produced by Ray Benson — for upcoming projects by The Mavericksand Toots and The Maytals, respectively. Cris Burns engineered.
ROXIO REVIVES NAPSTER NAME
With its recent $39.5 million acquisition of pressplay (the jointventure of Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment), Roxioobtained a legal digital music distribution infrastructure and catalogrights with the Big Five, with plans to launch a new legal online musicservice under the Napster brand.
“Online music is highly synergistic with our core business ofCD/DVD recording and digital media software and will be of greatinterest to our global customer base of over 100 million digital mediaconsumers,” Chris Gorog, CEO of Roxio, said. After adding newfeatures, enhancing functionality and improving usability, Roxio willlaunch its service; details about the service were unavailable.
INTERNATIONAL SITE PROMOTESLEGIT MUSIC SERVICES
A new international initiative to battle online music piracy, www.pro-music.org,offers plenty of information for the music consumer, including astep-by-step guide to the process of making music (and the numerousindividuals involved in each step), a piracy debate and FAQs aboutcopyright law.
NLE BUYER'S GUIDE UPDATED
Offering more than 200 different hardware/software products for prononlinear video editing, Sypha's new-edition online guide (http://syphaonline.com) is now available. The guideincludes turnkey systems, stand-alone appliances, video cards, softwarepackages, disk recorders and servers for post. Search criteria nowincludes application, system type, operating system, video I/O type,cost range, AAF support, manufacturer and product name.
REALONE À LA CARTE, SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE DEBUTS
At $0.79 a pop, RealNetworks' RealOne Rhapsody digital musicsubscription service offers 330,000 tracks (including those acquiredwhen Real bought Listen.com in April). Its biggest competitor, itseems, would be Apple's recently launched iTunes Music Store, whichoffers songs for $0.99 each; RealOne has a leg up, though, as ittargets PC customers: a much larger customer base. Subscribers can burnfull albums or custom-mix CDs, build their own Internet radio stationor listen to preprogrammed stations, and browse music info andeditorial recommendations. After a 14-day free trial, RealOne Rhapsodycosts $9.95 a month.
JUDGE RULES P2P FILE-SWAPPING TOOLS ARE LEGAL
Federal court Judge Stephen Wilson in Los Angeles in late-Aprilruled that Streamcast, owner of the Morpheus software, and Groksterwere not liable for copyright infringements that took place using theirsoftware. The RIAA and MPA sued these two sites in October 2001.
“Defendants distribute and support software, the users ofwhich can and do choose to employ it for both lawful and unlawfulends,” Wilson wrote in his opinion. “Grokster andStreamcast are not significantly different from companies that sellhome-video recorders or copy machines, both of which can be and areused to infringe copyrights.” According to the opinion, Wilsonused the 1984 Supreme Court ruling that upheld the legality of Sony'sBetamax VCR that helped establish the “substantial noninfringinguse” clause.
The MPAA said that it plans to appeal. If the decision is upheld,however, it would lead to more energy being invested in further effortsto halt illegal file-sharing, including the recent attempt to delugeusers' Instant-Messaging services with copyright warnings.
MY CABLE, MY MUSIC
Music Choice unveiled its My Music Choice service, which givesdigital cable subscribers the ability to construct custom musicchannels; the service is integrated with and available on the SeaChangevideo-on-demand platform.
Users simply scroll through a few television screens that promptthem to pick genres (up to three) and subgenres (eight available),along with the mix for each genre. The service also delivers targetedpromotions/s that do not interrupt the music. “Witha reach of 30 million homes nationally, coupled with unmatched viewerstatistics for television or radio, My Music Choice is the choice formarketing partners looking to reach their targeted audience,”said David Del Beccaro, president/CEO of Music Choice.
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