Judge Rules RIAA Damages Excessive in Teenage Girl’s “Innocent Infringement” Case, Does Not Deal Blow to RIAA So Much as Playfully Slap It

Whitney Harper, a teenage girl sued by the RIAA for downloading music over Kazaa, will have to pay substantially smaller damages than those initially demanded by the RIAA, Ars Technica reports. Judge Xavier Rodriguez ruled that RIAA-requested damages of $750 per song were inappropriate because this was a case of "innocent infringement." According to an affidavit submitted by Harper and quoted by Rodriguez in his ruling, the teenager had "no knowledge or understanding of file trading, online distribution networks, or copyright infringement" at the time of her actions and was not aware that what she was doing was illegal.

However, the judge also ruled that Harper did infringe on the RIAA's copyrights, and thus should pay a reduced fine of $200 for each of the 37 songs noted in the RIAA's motion. Harper had over 500 songs in her Kazaa share, yet only 37 songs were cited because they were discovered by MediaSentry downloads, MediaSentry screenshots, and a search of Harper's hard drive. Interestingly, the lawsuit was initially directed against Harper's father, who in all likelihood could not have been found to be "innocently infringing." Once it was discovered that the Kazaa share in question was Harper's, however, the lawsuit proceeded with her as the defendant rather than her father.

While the case represents a slight victory for the concept of "innocent infringement" and may prove useful in future RIAA cases against underage defendants, the ruling still ultimately favors the RIAA and does not measure up to the several recent cases (1 - 2 - 3) that remarkably damaged both the RIAA's arguments and its practices in filing file-sharing lawsuits.

RIP: Jerry Wexler, Music Journalist, Music Producer

From Jerry Wexler's Wikipedia entry:

Gerald "Jerry" Wexler (January 10, 1917 – August 15, 2008) was a music journalist turned music producer, and was regarded as one of the major record industry players behind music from the 1950's through the 1980's. He coined the term "Rhythm & Blues", and was integral in signing and/or producing many of the biggest acts of the last 50 years, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Wilson Pickett, Dusty Springfield, and Bob Dylan. Wexler was inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

- Jerry Wexler Wikipedia entry
- Associated Press article: "Jerry Wexler, famed record producer, dies at 91"
- Billboard article: "Industry Legend Jerry Wexler Dies At 91"

The Kooks to Tour, Me to Wonder If I Was Destined to Fall In Love With a Less Quirky British Version of Myself With The Same Last Name, Or If This Is Another One of Those Things I Just Convince Myself Out Of Compulsive Boredom

Dear Adam Pacitti,

I think I may be The Girl From Your Dream That Saved You From A Zombie That You Are In Love With.

Anyone who knows me can attest that the sketch you have drawn bares an almost uncanny resemblance to my visage. And yet, I doubt I will email you.

See, Adam, if you had met me in another moment, I confess I probably would have sent something charmingly confusing your way.

But, Alas!

Adam Pacitti, you are the right gent at the wrong time. Current circumstance keeps me shackled! Sweet Adam Pacitti, my vested commitment belongs to another, so it must suffice that for me you will exist as The One That Got Away, and to you, I shall exist as The Shrew Not To Be Tamed!

I have platonically noticed, though, your photograph with the bloke from the Kooks-. If you’d like to mosey over to D.C. September 8 for the Kooks show, I’d be happy to show you around the monuments, platonically, and pay for your lunches on my meal plan and let my roommate make us breakfast whilst we watch cartoons together in our pajamas, deeply yearning to succumb to the passions of Saturday’s sweetest morn over eggs and bacon.

Do not let the passions overtake us, sweet Adam Pacitti! I have loved you, oh I have loved you!

Yours,
Amanda Pacitti

Kook’s tour in support KONK:

# The Eruption of Adam Pacitti and Amanda Pacitti’s Undying Passion Oh Oh Baby But I Mustn’t I Belong To Another Oh Oh Oh Oh OH OH OH ENGLAND OH OH OH OH ! ! !

GZA to Release New LP, Recaptures Title of Genius

Witty Unpredictable Talent And Natural Game. Also Known as W-U-T-A-N-G. Nine men coming together to utterly destroy the world of rap. Sounds difficult, right? Not when you have one of the most brilliant artists to ever come out of Shaolin (Staten Island) running the show.

Wu-Tang Clan pioneer and appointed leader The GZA is planning to release his latest album, Pro Tools, August 19 on Babygrande Records. The album will be The Genius’ first solo album since 2002’s Legend of the Liquid Sword and will ride off the success of the Clan’s powerful last effort, 2007’s 8 Diagrams (TMT Review).

Here’s my favorite part: The GZA will be going on tour throughout August and September to help promote the album.

Grab a Rod and a Case of High Life, Ya’ll! Dean Ween’s Got a Fishin’ Show!

I don’t need to tell you how much Ween rules. You already know. You don’t need any damn journalist telling you about shit that you already know too rule. Nevertheless, it is my privilege to inform you that Ween has found a way to rule even harder – with a fucking fishing show.

Apparently Dean Ween is quite the angler, as evidenced by the inaugural episodes of the Brownie Troop Fishing Show. Watch in awe as Deaner turns the New Jersey coast into his personal fish factory, pulling all kinds of dogfish, flukes, and striped bass. And yes, America, that is Gibby Haynes of The Butthole Surfers holding that beautiful bass. You’d be a sucker not to watch episode five.

But Deaner doesn’t want to fish solely with his famous friends. He wants to go fishin’ with you, the common rabble! Over the course of their recently completed tour, Dean fished with fans all over the world, and now you can be one of the lucky ones, too. Head over here for all the info on how to turn your dream Ween fishing trip into a reality. Man, do these dudes love making friends or what!

Blender Takes on the Big Issues for November; Obama and McCain List Their Top 10 Songs, But Who Fucking Cares?

In a move seemingly intended to further alienate the young people of the United States with taste and intellect, Blender magazine has decided to get to the deepest root of what matters in the current race for the U.S. throne.

No, they didn’t ask Obama why his campaign says he “had the judgment and courage to speak out against going to war” in 2002 while he continued to vote for measures that gave billions of dollars to “ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Nope, didn’t ask McCain to elaborate on the “policies” he apparently intends to use like a sprinkling of magical money-dust to bring about “a stronger economy, a stronger dollar and greater purchasing power for oil, gas and food” or if he sees how desperate he looks with his campaign’s transparent attempt to paint Obama as an aloof international celebrity.

Because who needs to talk about that stuff anyway?

Instead, Blender took this opportunity to speak with our potential future leaders to find out what everybody is dying to know. They called ’em up and asked “YOOO warm-daddy, whasson yo ‘Pod?” The resulting feature is a list of each candidate’s 10 favorite songs. (This, of course, coming after the editor-in-chief rejected the original pitch of having Dane Cook interview the candidates about whether they prefer J-Lo’s ass or Jessica Alba’s boobs.)

McCain’s top tunes includes a little country, a little rock ‘n’ roll, and 20% ABBA. Here we find a good serving of cheery songs about how fantastic everything is, from “Good Vibrations” to “What A Wonderful World” to “Sweet Caroline.” His absolute OMG fav though is “Dancing Queen.” Obama’s list has some songs about how fucked up everything is: “Gimme Shelter,” “What’s Going On,” U2’s “City of Blinding Lights,” – and a couple messages of hope -- Kanye’s “Touch the Sky” and will.i.am’s “Yes We Can.” Some completely surprising and unexpected choices here.

You can see the full list at NPR.com, but I suggest you don’t because it doesn’t fucking matter.

Updated: Jerry Finn, Producer for Morrissey, Green Day, Taken off Life Support

From an article on Billboard:

Blink-182 and Morrissey producer Jerry Finn has been taken off life support after suffering a massive brain hemorrhage last month. According to a post on the Prosoundweb forum reprinted on Morrissey-Solo.com, Finn's family made the decision on Saturday.

"Even though he did make snail-like improvement these past 31 days, he is not any better for words and has not had any consistency in the tests that the medical team have done for him," a close Finn friend wrote on the forum. "At this time the hemorrhage has done massive damage to his body which will leave him severely disabled and in need of acute care for the rest of his life. We know Jerry wouldn't want to live like this in a vegetative state."

- Jerry Finn Wikipedia entry
- Billboard article: "Producer Jerry Finn Taken Off Life Support"

Jenny Lewis Announces Tourdates, Needs To Pick Some New Openers

I don’t know what the deal is with the entire past and present Saddle Creek roster (TMT News), but it seems like once they pick a few opening bands for a tour, those bands stay their openers for all of eternity. The same can be said for Jenny Lewis who has probably toured with Whispertown2000, like, five million times already. We get it, Jenny, they live in Los Angeles and you probably all hang out together a lot, but please take my opinion into consideration here: they’re not really that good of a band. If you’re going to repeat opening acts, at least bring your boyfriend Jonathan Rice on tour again -- he’s much easier on the eyes.

Lewis’ new album, Acid Tongue, is due for release this September.

% Whispertown2000, Jonathan Wilson

$ Conor Oberst

Hold Steady Add Three Winter Dates with Counting Crows, Every Music Site Forced to Write a Whole New Story About It Even Though Their Fall Tour Was Recently Reported

Man, if Adam Duritz thought that he had a long December that one year, he ain’t seen nothing yet. Because when you’ve got Craig Finn and the bear-battered boys from The Hold Steady as your backstage roommates and bus buddies the week before Christmas, I’m guessing there’s not going to be much in the way of sleeping.

As previously reported (TMT News), The Hold Steady will woozily embark upon one hell of a fall tour of the U.S. and Europe following the success of their latest barroom-evangelical smash, Stay Positive (TMT Review). But after drinking Europe dry for a few months, America’s new favorite band will pair up with America’s old favorite band, Counting Crows, for a few shiny, new dates, which should make both Duritz’ lyrics and Finn’s voice sound pretty weak when compared side by side. So if they do this right, audience members won’t really be a fan of either band by the time they leave the theater. Merry Christmas, rock fans.

Nerd Glasses and Dreadlocks Tour ’08:

* Counting Crows

CMJ TMT Announces Initial Lineup for This Year’s CMJ Music Marathon

From an article on CMJ by Tim Gunatilaka, with some editing:

CMJ TMT is thrilled slap-happy to announce proclaim the first initial round square of performers playing CMJ's] [Music Marathon 2008. This year's highlights performers include: A Place To Bury Strangers, Beach House, Broken Social Scene, Cool Kids, Crystal Castles, Del McCoury Band, Deerhoof Deerhunter (not for real), Donavon Frankenreiter, Gang Gang Dance, Jay Reatard, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Lykke Li, Minus The Bear Pedro the Lion (jk), Roisin Murphy, The Dears, They Might Be Giants and Yo Majesty. Be sure to hit strike the Marathon Artists page for a full complete list of acts peeps.

CMJ TMT is also proud boobs!! to report announce that this year's daytime program of panels will include thought-provoking "things that may you go hmmmm..." topics like Essential Resources For Independent Labels, Internationally Licensing The Future, Artist Managers: The New Labels?, A New Media Fat-Trimming Session, and Bands As Brands. Rounding Squaring out the daytime programming schedule are Marathon's annual yearly College Day and the first ever College Radio Mixer. For more additional information shit, visit the Panels and College Day pages.

These announcements The stuff that I just said in the last two paragraphs about CMJ's Music Marathon Fest 2008 arrive just five days before the final badge discounts of the summer end. Fans who order badges by August 19 pay only $415 ($245 for students douchebags).