RIAA vs. a woman from Minnesota: guess who was ordered to pay $222,000

RIAA vs. a woman from Minnesota: guess who was ordered to pay $222,000 http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-09-riaa-minnesota-piracy-fine.jpg

Memo to my future self, and a word of advice to all you pirates out there: if you find yourself bent over, on the receiving end of a lawsuit from the RIAA, for god’s sake, take the settlement. As far as I know, of the relatively few who have actually tried to resist the RIAA’s litigious efforts, absolutely none have come out alive. Well, they’ve come out alive, but they may as well be dead, because many (if not all) of the defendants have found themselves owing the RIAA hundreds of thousands of dollars, as opposed to just a few thousand, which is what the settlements have averaged around.

In 2008, the RIAA supposedly abandoned its practice of suing individuals, but one case in particular, from 2006, was finally (more or less) closed this week. The suit in question involved a woman from Minnesota named Jammie Thomas-Rasset, who was initially accused of sharing more than 1,700 music files via the now-defunct p2p program KaZaA. That number was reduced to 24 songs, to which the RIAA offered her a $5,000 settlement. You know what happens next…

Thomas-Rassett rejected that settlement, as well as a separate offer in 2009 for $25,000, and now faces a $222,000 bill, following an appeals court ruling on Tuesday. A district court had previously reduced the damages to $54,000 from $1.9 million, but the appeals court saw it fit to revise this number to the amount reached at the first trial in 2007, assigning a $9,250 value to each individual song. Thomas-Rassett is also forbidden from making available “sound recordings for distribution,” as if that really needed to be specified.

In a statement issued following the ruling, the RIAA said, “We are pleased with the appellate court’s decision and look forward to putting this case behind us.” Thomas-Rassett, meanwhile, offered no comment, with her mouth agape.

• RIAA: http://www.riaa.com

Pussy Riot to be freed? Russian Prime Minister calls for the band’s release

I know, I know, and you were just getting used to the idea that rock bands who speak ill of their country’s government should be hastily tossed in jail! Looks like you just might have to adjust your expectations once again, though, as Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated today that he thought the three-piece punk group’s two-year sentences were, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, “too harsh and he doesn’t see any point in keeping them behind bars”.

Recall that, following a five-month detainment after an anti-Putin demonstration in Moscow’s main cathedral, the group was found guilty last month of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” and sentenced to two years in prison. While such statements are certainly no guarantee of what’s to come; it is nonetheless encouraging news to the band and its many supporters around the world in the weeks leading up to their October 1 appeal.

Speaking at a regional United Russia party meeting, Medvedev stated that, in his view, “prolonging their time in prison in connection to this case seems unproductive,” noting that the six-plus months during which they’ve been in the slammer already is probably more than adequate punishment. Check it:

The term is very strong. I would even say a terrible burden. I don’t want to replace the judge … but the time they have already served is, in essence, more than enough to make them think about what happened, whether it was from their own stupidity or for other reasons.

Medvedev also added that he was still “sickened” by the band’s actions, though. Just so you know.

• Free Pussy Riot: http://freepussyriot.org

The circus is in town… or something: The Intelligence tour with King Tuff

The Intelligence have relocated from Seattle to the sweat-filled dream factory that is Los Angeles (seriously, it’s hot here right now, and we don’t have AC), and so mastermind/garage rock wizard Lars Finberg (ex-The A-Frames, now-Thee Oh Sees and Wounded Lion) has put together a brand new City of Angels band lineup, and like a denim-jacket (or possibly leather, I dunno what they like) becloaked (it’s a word NOW, deal with it) P.T Barnum, Finberg’s taking his show on the road to perform daring rock ‘n’ roll feats in order to promote the band’s recent In the Red Records release, Everybody’s Got It Easy But Me. Audiences from Denver to San Diego will spend the fall The Intelligence tour oohing and aahing and clutching their pearls and their daughters.

The Intelligence have been together since 1999, and with a few handfuls’ worth of singles, splits, EPs, and albums to their name, the band has spent quite a bit of time together. And so on this latest album, Mr. Finberg’s got the Seattle lineup playing some tracks and the Los Angeles lineup playing some tracks. Yes, there are two different lineups. How baller is that? And there are even tracks that’ s just our pal Lars doing songs on his own. WHAT ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO?!?!? You just don’t know. Don’t trip out, though, it’s all cool. It’s all The Intelligence. The Intelligence, in whatever incarnation Finberg rustles onto the circus train, are touring with King Tuff, as well as playing a date or two here and there with the likes of Mike Watt, footballs, Poor Moon, and Man or Astroman?.

10.04.12 - Los Angeles, CA - The Satellite
10.06.12 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
10.08.12 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
10.09.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club
10.10.12 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
10.11.12 - Detroit, MI - The Lager House
10.12.12 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison
10.13.12 - Montreal, QC - Il Montore
10.14.12 - Quebec City, QC - Le Cercle
10.15.12 - Burlington, VT - Signal Kitchen
10.18.12 - New York, NY - CMJ
10.19.12 - New York, NY - CMJ
10.20.12 - Providence, RI - AS220
10.21.12 - Purchase, NY - Whitson’s
10.22.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
10.23.12 - Washington, DC- Black Cat (backstage)
10.24.12 - - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse
10.25.12 - Atlanta, GA - Earl
10.26.12 - St. Augustine, FL - Nobby’s
10.28.12 - Orlando, FL - Will’s Pub
10.30.12 - Tallahassee, FL - Retrofit Records
10.31.12 - Birmingham, AL - Bottle Tree
11.01.12 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
11.02.12 - Beaumont, TX - Victoria House
11.05.12 - Albuquerque, NM - Low Spirits
11.06.12 - Tucson, AZ - Topaz Tundra
11.07.12 - Phoenix, AZ - Yucca Tap Room
11.08.12 - San Diego, CA - The Griffin

• The Intelligence: http://www.intheredrecords.com/pages/intelligence.html
• King Tuff: http://www.subpop.com/artists/king_tuff.html
• In The Red: http://www.intheredrecords.com

Google censors The Pirate Bay, stealing it from the public in a fashion similar to a pirate

Like you, when I hear the word “pirate” I think of someone using censorship (mostly because the word “ship” is in there, but I don’t know, I’m on a lot of painkillers). Sure Google is cool because it turns into a Moog every once in a Bob Moog birthday, but God-Ra (my name for the god-like Mothra creature I just conjured in my mind) knows that Dogpile is the shit.

Unfortunately, Google controls all and also decides to censor certain words that can be detected by the Autocomplete and Instant features. For example, if you type in “peni,” “clown por,” or even “mantittyfuc,” the Autocomplete feature doesn’t even show the obvious results. Interesting, right?

Wrong! It is interesting. Even more intriguing is how, since January, Google has censored “piracy-related” terms, such as “Megaupload,” “Rapidshare,” “BitTorrent,” and more, thus aligning the massive company with the never-ending political debate. Now you can also add “The Pirate Bay” torrent site to the blacklist, including iterations of “thepirate,” “thepiratebay.org,” “thepiratebay.se” — all of which will not appear as a suggested search in Google.

Clearly, this underhanded attempt helps to drop search results, and Google no longer has a guilty conscience about planting the suggestive seed of piracy. Will users really be deterred from The Pirate Bay? I really have no idea, which is why I Googled that last question — 3,130,000 results.

Note: I also used Google to see if Dogpile was still a running search engine. It is!

• Google: http://www.google.com
• The Pirate Bay: http://thepiratebay.se
• Dogpile: http://www.dogpile.com

Andy Stott’s problems are Luxury Problems, new album due in October

A spaceship sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Inside, electronics break, and Andy Stott knows how they sound in slow motion. He strung the sounds together on last year’s EPs, We Stay Together and Passed Me By.

What about Luxury Problems, Stott’s new album on Modern Love? According to FACT, Stott has invited Alison Skidmore to record live vocals (a Stott first!), so we can probably expect something slightly different. But what won’t be different is the care that Modern Love will bring to its packaging, which will come as a six-panel Digifile CD and gatefold 2xLP. Can’t wait.

Luxury Problems is due October 29 via Modern Love.


01. Numb
02. Lost and Found
03. Sleepless
04. Hatch the plan
05. Expecting
06. Luxury problems
07. Up the box
08. Leaving

• Andy Stott: http://www.myspace.com/andystott_modernlove
• Modern Love: http://www.modern-love.co.uk

The Weeknd signs to Universal sublabel, announces Trilogy, and quickly gets back to singing the clothes off of people

Music for love-making sounds so much sweeter when it’s backed by the burly (if not blood-stained) hands of a major record label, doesn’t it? Don’t answer that — just assume that’s the case for the sake of this particular article, okay?

In this instance, the envoy of said music-for-love-making is Abel Tesfaye a.k.a. The Weeknd, who, last year, almost single-handedly inspired flashbacks to the 90s, when traditional R&B artists actually enjoyed sustained popularity. The Weeknd’s three albums/mixtapes, House of Balloons, Thursday (TMT Review), and Echoes of Silence, all received a rather astounding degree of attention — astounding not because they were undeserving, but because they were all limited to digital downloads via The Weeknd’s website.

Naturally, that kind of musical appeal doesn’t often go unnoticed, which is why The Weeknd has since signed with Universal Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group. Just announced, his first release on the label will be the aptly-named Trilogy, which will include mixed and mastered versions of all of the aforementioned mixtapes, alongside unreleased material. It comes out November 13, which is just in time for some Thanksgiving ugly bumpin’. And no, I most definitely do not mean with the turkey. Sickos.

• The Weeknd: http://the-weeknd.com
• Universal Republic: http://www.universalrepublic.com