Megaupload lawyer accused by US government of conflict of interest; defendants respond, “Yeah, well your mom has a conflict of interest.”

Megaupload lawyer accused by US government of conflict of interest; defendants respond, "Yeah, well your mom has a conflict of interest."

Who’s ready for some prosecutorial quibbling and litigious nuance? Please resist the urge to repeatedly slam a door on your head; I’ll try to make this as painless as possible.

We’re all familiar with the US government’s shut-down of file-hosting service Megaupload, and the subsequent indictment of several of its executives (including founder Kim Dotcom), right? Well, in an arguable display of their own pussification, the government is now claiming a conflict of interest in the defense’s retention of Andrew Schapiro, a “superstar” attorney who just happens to be a partner at Quinn Emanuel, a top law firm that has represented companies such as Walt Disney Co., Fox, Time Warner, Paramount, YouTube, and Google. The government says that, in the coming prosecution, it intends to call as witnesses numerous Hollywood and tech executives, including individuals who work for the aforementioned companies. Schapiro himself has previously represented YouTube.

Last Thursday, defendants verbally brought out the steel chair in response to all of this:

“[I]f the Government is to have its way in this case, the only lawyers before the Court will be those representing the Government. If the Government is to have its way, the only evidence available to the Court would be that cherry-picked by the Government, for the Government, from the universe of relevant servers slated to be wiped. If the Government is to have its way, in sum, Megaupload will never get its day in Court and the case will effectively be over before it has even begun…

[The government] knows that no such counsel would realistically be willing to litigate this case through to trial for free or without sufficient resources - or that any such counsel, even if willing, would have litigated at least a prior copyright dispute or two involving a work or a client somehow implicated within the ocean of ESI stored by Megaupload, which the Government would then claim is itself disqualifying. Knowing all this, the Government appears unwilling to litigate fair and square. Instead, it is acting to vitiate Megaupload’s defense before the merits are ever reached….

Any law firm that knows its way around intellectual property litigation will presumably have handled a case involving a client or work that can be spotted somewhere amidst the sprawling electronic repository. Of course, only the Government has had meaningful opportunity to scour the relevant servers, and only the Government knows precisely what is in its resulting discovery files. This leaves the Government positioned to play “Gotcha” with any firm that may step up to make an appearance.”

The perceived conflict of interest is just one reason among several that the US government opposes Schapiro’s appearance. Another includes an alleged procedural violation, in which the government states that it has been approached by four different US law firms, all claiming to represent Kim Dotcom. Go here for more information. I mean, if you’re into this sort of thing.

• US Government:
• Dead Megaupload URL:

Baroness announce tour to celebrate having announced new album Yellow & Green for July

From John Hawkes’ The Baroness:

“Well, Milkmaid, how many cows have you milked this morning?”

“Five, Mein Herr,” she said. Her arms were pimpled with a curious raw color as if they had been sunburned the day before but now were cold. The girl tugged at her shawl, trying to hide the hump of her spine below the yoke. She seemed to know that I, Baroness of Savannah, of Relapse, of Blue (TMT Review) and Red (TMT Review), would miss nothing. She took the lid from one of her buckets — a steam rose from the white milk lying flat now inside — and offered me a ladleful small and thick.

“But it is still warm,” I exclaimed.

“Yes,” she laughed, “I have only now stripped it from them.” And she made a milking motion with her hands and peered up at me.

I put the wood to my lips and quickly drank down the milk still raw with the warmth of the cows that gave suck to this community. I paid her and she walked again to the road, herself sloshing like a cow. Long and carefully I wiped my mouth.

Then, having drunk of the rich countryside, I climbed behind the wheel of my car and started the engine. I leaned from the door: “Auf Wiedersehen, Milkmaid!” I put my foot on the accelerator, once, twice, and the engine rocked full throttle in several explosions of cylinders and exhaust. Smoke filled the yard. I raced the engine again and took hold of the hand brake; the pressure of the automobile filled the dashboard; vibrations possessed the automobile in all its libertine mechanization, noise, and saliency.

It was July 17. The traffic light turned both Yellow & Green.

04.25.12 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups *
04.26.12 - St. Louis, MO - Firebird *
04.27.12 - Nashville, TN - The End *
04.29.12 - Houston, TX - House of Blues #
04.30.12 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues #
05.01.12 - Austin, TX - Emo’s East #
05.03.12 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre #
05.04.12 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues #
05.05.12 - West Hollywood, CA - House of Blues #
05.06.12 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore #
05.08.12 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom #
05.09.12 - Seattle, WA - Showbox at the Market #
05.11.12 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre #
05.13.12 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue #
05.15.12 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues #
05.16.12 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrew’s Hall #
05.17.12 - Toronto, ON - Sound Academy #
05.18.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts #
05.19.12 - Worcester, MA - The Palladium #
05.20.12 - Montreal, QC - Olympia de Montreal #
05.22.12 - Silver Spring, MD - The Fillmore Silver Spring #
05.23.12 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 #

* Royal Thunder
# Meshuggah headlines

• Baroness:
• Relapse:

Chris Corsano to self-release new album Cut, embarks on solo tour today; crowd goes nuts

If you’re a regular reader of TMT (subscribe now: $11.99 for one year, $18.99 for thirty), you know we get all wide-eyed about drummer/noise-maker/young cricketer Chris Corsano. Not only has he collaborated with many of our favorite artists — Oren Ambarchi, C. Spencer Yeh, Jim O’Rourke, Paul Flaherty, Evan Parker, Greg Kelley, Michael Flower, Björk, etc. — but he’s also released some stunning solo albums, like The Young Cricketer, Blood Pressure, and Another Dull Dawn, all of which should be, like, sold at Virgin megastores and archived by the Library of Congress or something.

So, of course, our eyes couldn’t be any wider (and I’m Asian!) with the news that Corsano has announced a new album, Cut, due April 24 on Hot Cars Warp Records. The album is 43 minutes long, features 19 tracks, and is all acoustic with no overdubs. According to Corsano, it’s “musically along the lines of The Young Cricketer — drum set augmented by various re-purposed metal objects, modified reed instruments and bowed strings stretched across drums.”

Head over to the Chocolate Grinder for jaw-dropping™ footage of Corsano recording tracks off Cut, and then check below for info on his solo tour, which starts today. The April 15 show in Oberlin, OH, which also features Hubble, sees Corsano collaborating with Aaron Dilloway. Corsano is also planning a tour in late May/early June as Malus (with Hugo Antunes and Nate Wooley) and with Steve Baczkowski and Bill Nace. Details forthcoming.

Solo dates:

04.13.12 - Rochester, NY - The Skylark Lounge !
04.14.12 - Cleveland, OH - Pat’s in the Flats ^
04.15.12 - Oberlin, OH - Fairfield Chapel *
04.16.12 - Toledo, OH - Robinwood Concert House (
04.17.12 - Cincinnati, OH - Ice Cream Factory )
04.18.12 - Columbus, OH - It Looks Like It’s Open &
04.19.12 - Pittsburgh, PA - Garfield Artworks @
04.20.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Brickbat Books +
04.21.12 - Allentown, PA - Good Weekend =
05.03.12 - New York, NY - The Stone

* (Aaron Dilloway-Chris Corsano), Hubble
! Licker, Bloody Noes, Finkbeiner
^ Drake-Henry-Scheible Trio, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman
( Mike Khoury
) Wasteland Jazz Unit with Ryan Jewell
& Ben Bennett, Scenic Railroads
@ Antithesis (Capa High School’s New Music Ensemble), Satyr/Elfheim
+ Willie Lane
= Brian Douglas, David Sutton, Spinal Honey, Slow Tongued Beauty

• Chris Corsano:

X-Ray Spex benefit covers comp features Titus Andronicus, Franz Nicolay, and more

Permanent Wave, a network of feminist artists and activists started by former Titus Andronicus member Amy Klein (and, full disclosure, which also features some ex-TMTers), has just dropped a fantastic new compilation in dedication to X-Ray Spex’s frontwoman Poly Styrene, who passed away roughly a year ago. The comp, titled REBEL ON THE UNDERGROUND: A Tribute to X-Ray Spex, features Titus Andronicus, Franz Nicolay, Pink Flag, WOJCIK, and more. It’s a measly $10 via Bandcamp, with all proceeds going to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, “an organization that works to provide funds to working musicians with health problems who don’t have health care.” You have very little reason not to pick up and/or “grip” this right now.

Preview the album here:

Also be sure to check out Permanent Wave’s post-punk dance/release party April 27, next Friday, at Brooklyn’s The Hive. There’ll be DJs, an X-Ray Spex covers set by Bad Credit No Credit, and maybe some blueberry muffins. Proceeds from the party will also go to Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.

Meanwhile, read more about Permanent Wave here, okay?

REBEL ON THE UNDERGROUND: A Tribute to X-Ray Spex tracklisting:

01. XXY Lemon, “Plastic Bag”
02. Pink Flag, “I Can’t Do Anything”
03. MINDTROLL, “Age”
04. Delta Hotel, “Germ-Free Adolescents”
05. Top Buzzer, “I Live Off You”
06. No Fun, “I’m a Cliche”
07. PS XO, “Let’s Submerge”
08. Ben Wood & The Bad Ideas, “Obsessed With You”
09. Titus Andronicus, “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!”
10. Franz Nicolay & Emilyn Brodsky, “Party”
11. Doll Fight!, “The Day the World Turned Day-Glo”
12. WOJCIK, “Warrior in Woolworth’s”
13. Vonesper, “Art-i-ficial”

• Permanent Wave:
• Permanent Wave:
• Bad Credit No Credit:

N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton likely to be directed by Friday’s F. Gary Gray; alright, where’s my commemorative 40 oz?

American film and music video director F. Gary Gray recently dropped out of contention for the directorship of the upcoming sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger (TMT Review), and considering his previous credits, is it any wonder why? Besides people who want to earn multiple boatloads of money (as opposed to the plebs who remain satisfied with their single boatload), what personal benefit is there in directing a cinematic circle jerk of patriotism, whose central character was initially conceived as a facilitator of propaganda? Oh no, as Friday, Law Abiding Citizen, The Negotiator, and A Man Apart have demonstrated, Gray is much more interested in less glamorous and stylized portrayals of American life than he is with metaphorically humping the American flag.

In accordance with that sentiment, Gray is in serious talks to direct Straight Outta Compton, a biopic of influential West Coast rap group N.W.A. According to a press release, the project has been in the works since 2009, with Ice Cube and Matt Alvarez being tasked with co-producing via the film company, Cube Vision. Likewise, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Eazy-E’s widow, Tomica Woods, is also producing. Obviously, assuming Gray does end up directing, this would mean a professional reuniting of him and the frozen Friday star, who has all but abandoned the lifestyle, shall we say, that he exhibited during the late 80s and early 90s. Is Ice Cube capable of objectively portraying the demise of the group, which was decidedly contentious? Will he, instead of offering useful, producer-like advice, devolve into a repeater of Coors Light slogans? Time will tell.

• F. Gary Gray:
• Cube Vision:

RIAA, NMPA, DiMA, and TMT agree on new digital music rates, pizza toppings

Good news, everyone! It was announced yesterday by a bunch of organizations you didn’t know existed that the music publishers, songwriters, record labels, and digital music services whose livelihood you never consider have agreed on how to divvy up the money you’re hardly ever spending! At least for the next five years, which, as David Bowie already knows, is all we’ve got left on this backwater shitrock anyway.

According to the solid dudes from Billboard and Hypebot that I just shared a cab with, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), and Digital Media Association (DiMA) filed the joint agreement yesterday with the US Copyright Royalty Board (yes, okay, the CRB). The new deal, which only covers 2013-2017 — because who knows how music will be disseminated after Moore’s Law breaks — spins a fantastical tale of a 9.1 cents-per-song rate for old-fashioned things like downloads, CDs, and other physical formats; 24 cents for ringtones; and a whole mess of new models for the breeds of ‘roided-out interactive streaming services out there. “Tell me more about those new categories, Nobodaddy!” Oh, no, I couldn’t… “Aw, come on, do it, man! You ROCK!” Well, if you you insist. Take it away, Billboard dot biz:

— For the paid locker services like the one iTunes offers consumers, music publishers will get a mechanical rate of 12% of revenue or 20.65% of total content cost or 17 cents per subscriber, whichever is greater.

— For digital lockers that provide free cloud storage with a download purchase, music publishers will get 12% of revenue or 22% of the total cost of content, whichever is greater.

— For the third category, called a mixed bundle (such as when your cell phone service’s subscription rate comes with a music service), music publishers get 11.35% of revenue or 21% of total content cost, whichever is greater.

— The fourth new category, called limited interactive service (such as when a subscription service can offer limited amounts of music to, say, one genre or playlists that the user can access at a lower price), music publishers will get 10.5% of revenue or 21% of total cost or 18 cents per subscriber, whichever is greater.

— Finally, for the fifth category, called a music bundle (such as when a CD album comes with a download), music publishers will get 11.35% of revenue or 21% of total content cost.

“Today’s agreement paves the way for our members to continue developing exciting new business models that satisfy consumers,” said DiMA executive Lee Knife. Golly, I don’t know how much more exciting they can get than this one! HA. No, seriously though, this is good news for us consumers, because it means that we don’t really have to do anything for all those hardworking artists-pricks, publishing-dweebs, and techno-nerds to get paid. And that’s always great. If I could “Like” not having to do anything on Facebook, I totally might.

• DiMA:


  • Recent
  • Popular


Click here to apply