Microsoft Brings $43 Million Lawsuit Against Lithuanian Torrent Site LinkoManija

Maybe I’ve got it all wrong, but I didn’t think you could earn $43 million running a torrent tracker out of Lithuania. Well, Microsoft seems to think you can. TorrentFreak is reporting that the software giant has filed a lawsuit to that tune against one Kestas Ermanas, a man it accuses of facilitating the theft of its Microsoft Office products by operating the widely used LinkoManija website. Ermanas stated in an interview with TorrentFreak that Microsoft never once contacted LinkoManija with a torrent takedown request.

Microsoft probably realizes that it’s unlikely, if not impossible, to get the full damages it’s seeking, as Lithuanian law limits possible winnings to a mere $53,000 dollars. Perhaps Microsoft is using the case to set precedent, so it can chase after, or just scare the bejesus out of, other torrent sites similar to LinkoManija.

The development comes at a time when other media giants, like the RIAA, have decided to slow down the lawsuits against file-sharers and find new ways to rein in the digital black market. To avoid reputation-tarnishing lawsuits, the RIAA has been increasingly working to forge agreements with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to limit or even cut off bandwidth to customers they suspect of downloading music illegally. So, for the moment, it looks like the media companies are using tricks both old and new to keep their intellectual property safe, but the battle for the internet rages on, with no clear end in sight.

The National Announce New Tourdates and Album, Can’t Decide on an Album Title

Every time a news story is published about The National’s forthcoming album, due in May on 4AD, it seems apparent that the band is having troubles picking a name for it. Since The National are all about the one-word album titles (see previous albums Alligator and Boxer [TMT Review]), I suggest they break that pattern and go crazy. How about a three-word album title? Or, gasp, why not make it five?! Have fun with this one, dudes.

In the meantime, check out The National on the road this spring:

04.22.10 - Richmond, VA - The National Theater
04.23.10 - Richmond, VA - The National Theater
05.06.10 - London, England - Royal Albert Hall
05.07.10 - Paris, France - Le Zenith
05.09.10 - Berlin, Germany - Astra
05.22.10 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
05.23.10 - San Diego, CA - Spreckels Theater
05.27.10 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
06.02.10 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
06.05.10 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
06.06.10 - Washington DC - DAR Constitution Hall
06.08.10 - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall
06.16.10 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall

Mom Rejects RIAA’s Settlement Offer, Goes to Third Trial with Middle Fingers In Air

As we previously reported, Jammie Thomas-Rasset was fined $54,000 on January 22 for illegally downloading 24 songs via Kazaa (yes, it was that long ago). The fine was delivered after Thomas-Rasset appealed the original verdict of $1.92 million, which Judge Michael Davis himself called “shocking.”

But it didn’t end there. The RIAA thought it was being even more reasonable when trying to settle with Thomas-Rasset by asking the file-sharing heroine to donate $25,000 to “an appropriate charity benefiting musicians” (and if they hear one more guffaw, they’ll sue your ass too!). However, the RIAA’s nemesis (and mother of four) has once again stuck her mighty middle finger up at the major labels by rejecting the settlement offer. This means the case will go to trial for a third time.

Joe Sibley, Robin to Thomas-Rasset’s Batman (otherwise known as her lawyer), said “Jammie is standing on principle here and will not accede to payment demands that the RIAA is making through an unconstitutional statutory scheme (that they lobbied for the creation of) and we will ride this train to its appellate end no matter how many future remittiturs are rejected.”

Brian Jonestown Massacre Defy New “Green” Legislation by Continuing Their Irresponsible and Non-Renewable Mining of the 1960s Touring in Support of Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?

If case you didn’t get the message in your pathetic Microsoft Outlook Action Item Blackberry Inbox List, The Brian Jonestown Massacre don’t have loser jobs. They are a cool, vintage-y, garage-psych band. They make their own luck with cool hands and hot sex. What I mean to say is: leather jackets are valuable status symbols in anarchist society. Sunglasses at night and all that shit. No, its cool to say “shit”; they swear a lot. They have attitudes and opinions and stuff. Like, about the Viet Nam War or something, I think.

Their new 4-track, 2-inch tape, cut-straight-to-vinyl-in-the-studio, heavily-Tibetan-influenced A-side radio single is called “Let’s Go Fucking Mental.” You can download it (whatever the FUCK that means, John F. Kennedy) over here. But you can’t download subversion. That’s in the air. That’s free. The song’s really repetitive, which is another way of saying that it has a really urgent social/socialist/Socialist message.

The band’s 10th album is called Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?, so you know it’s going to be at least as good as The Beatles were. It’s due on February 23 — at least according to the Capitalist Machine’s Commie Mind control Calendar — and their US tour kicks off May 28 in the most tuned-in and turned-on City on this existence plain: Minneapolis, Minnesota. Fuck, man. The doors of perception and shit. You know what I’m saying. I mean, don’t you just hate your day job? Thanks, Anton.

05.28.10 - Minneapolis, MN - Cabooze
05.29.10 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
05.30.10 - Chicago, IL - Metro
05.31.10 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
06.02.10 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Hall
06.03.10 - Montreal, QC - La Tulipe
06.04.10 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
06.06.10 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
06.08.10 - Philadelphia, PA - TLA
06.09.10 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
06.10.10 - Cincinnati, OH - Mad Hatter
06.11.10 - St Louis, MO - Off Broadway
06.13.10 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
06.14.10 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
06.15.10 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory
06.17.10 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
06.18.10 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
06.19.10 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
06.21.10 - -San Francisco, CA - Fillmore
06.22.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater

Check here for European dates, which start in February.

• Brian Jonestown Massacre:

Rocky Votolato Announces New Album and Tourdates

With a name like Rocky, you don’t have to try too hard to get people’s attention. Still, Rocky Votolato isn’t going to sit idly by and do nothing. Instead, he’s releasing a new album, True Devotion, due February 23 on Barsuk. True Devotion was mixed by Casey Foubert (Sufjan Stevens, David Bazan) and John Goodmanson (The Blood Brothers, Sleater-Kinney). Anyone who pre-orders the album before its release date will get access to a digital version of the album plus a bonus 7-inch single with two non-album tracks, and will be entered into a contest to win a private house show performance by Rocky himself. If you don’t win the private show, be sure to catch Rocky when he comes to a city near you:

02.13.10 - Reno, NV - Rainshadow CCHS !
02.24.10 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge (CD Release Show) !
02.26.10 - Chicago, IL - Schubas (CD Release Show)
03.02.10 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
03.04.10 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
03.05.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
03.07.10 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
03.08.10 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
03.09.10 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
03.10.10 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive (16+)
03.11.10 - Provo, UT - Velour
03.13.10 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s (CD Release Show)
04.01.10 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock
04.03.10 - Lansing, MI - Mac’s Bar %
04.05.10 - Toronto, Canada - Drake Hotel % (19+)
04.07.10 - Alston, MA - Great Scott %
04.10.10 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian %
04.11.10 - Washington, DC - DC 9 %
04.13.10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Garfield Artworks %
04.14.10 - Akron, OH - Musica %
04.15.10 - Newport, KY - Southgate House %

! My Flag Is on Fire, The Bindle Stiffs
% Brooke Waggoner

• Rocky Votolato:
• Barsuk:

Rhymesayers Entertainment Announce Charity Benefit Concert for Haiti Hosted by Slug on February 9; Brother Ali, Freeway, Jake One to Perform

Rhymesayers Entertainment and its roster of musicians, like most of the world, feel the pain of Haiti and its citizens and are determined to help in any way possible. Accordingly, and appropriately, the record label has released information on a benefit concert set for February 9 wherein ALL proceeds will be donated to various charities to aid with the relief effort. The list of performers set to help raise funds for the event include Brother Ali, Freeway & Jake One, Sage Francis & B. Dolan, I Self Divine, and plenty of others, with the whole night set to be hosted by Slug of Atmosphere.

The show will take place at Minneapolis’ own First Avenue, costs $20, and will make you feel better about not getting off your ass and doing something with your life. Tickets are already available at plenty of outlets, and more information can be gleaned off the Rhymesayers website.

Below are a few quotes from Rhymesayers artists about the tragedy in Haiti.

“This is one if the greatest tragedies of our lifetime. It’s time for all of us to help the people and families who are suffering.” - Brother Ali

“It’s embarrassing to admit how unaware I’ve been of the living conditions in Haiti. And that’s before the earthquake hit. I’m honored to be involved with this fundraiser and I’m thankful for the conditions that allow me to be on the giving end of this charity. I trust that our fans feel the same way.” - Sage Francis

“The great people of Haiti live in the poorest nation in our hemisphere and have been impacted by the largest disaster in our hemisphere this century. This isn’t about charity, this is about respect for humanity.” - Toki Wright

“At this moment Haiti needs the world’s assistance. It’s a privilege to be a part of something so special. Not only should we assist with donations for aid, food, and water, but let’s come together 6 months, a year from now and help with the rebuilding process.” - Muja Messiah

• Rhymesayers:



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