Sony/ATV Sues Karaoke Companies for Copyright Infringement, But No One Sues Karaoke SINGERS for Being Assholes
FYI, folks. Every time you sink enough Red Stripe to find the idea of waltzing up to your neighborhood bar's Karaoke machine intending to conjure a rousing "everybody sing-a-long!" version of "Hey Jude" to be logical, you're not just hurting yourself and others with your off-the-mark impressions of McCartney's Little Richard-channeling yelps. Hell, you're not even just hurting McCartney, either. Nope, your wounded caterwauling is pissing off the big guns. How big? Try SONY/ATV Music Publishing, asshole.
So before you pick up that stale beer-stenched mic, consider this: Sony/ATV, a.k.a. a GIANT music publishing company that owns the publishing rights to countless hot[t] jams, is suing karaoke companies and individuals(!) based in California, Korea, and the Cayman Islands for -- you guessed it -- copyright infringement and "unfair business practices." The publisher claims that more than 200 karaoke CD+G and SCG+D recordings are being used without proper licenses from the music publishers or their agents, which, naturally, violates our old friends, the U.S. Copyright laws. ("CD+G" and "SCG+D" recordings are re-recordings of hit songs either without the lead vocal or with a vocal track by sound-a-like singers. But you already knew that, didn't you? I thought everybody knew that...)
Anyway, the suit, filed in the federal District Court in Nashville (the place where Sony/ATV administers most of its catalog), names California-based Cavs USA, Aaron Han, Ace Karaoke, David Su, Nutech Digital (Karaoke Klub, Magic Tracks, Nutech Party Paks, Nutech Nikkodo), and Lee Kasper as defendants. Also invited to the conjecture party are Seoul-based Cavs Multimedia and the Cayman Islands-based Three Boys Ltd. So, you know, if any of these guys happens to handle your neighborhood's Wednesday night sing-a-long fixes, do us all a favor and stand clear!
So what's in a karaoke license anyway? Glad you asked! Here's the skinny, booze-bag: see, karaoke use generally requires a sort of holy trinity of permission: a synch license for graphical display of the lyrics, a mechanical license for reproducing the song, and (if lyrics are reprinted in a booklet, anyway) a print license. Sounds simple enough, right?
Now, most publishers generally grant all of these rights in a single, negotiated license with the various karaoke manufacturers and distributors (and yes, sadly, they ARE various, indeed). And this past January, a federal Court of Appeals in California held that a compulsory mechanical license does not include the right to graphically display or print lyrics for karaoke use. The companies must also obtain, brace yourselves now, a synch license from the music publisher at a negotiated rate.
The complaint claims that the defendants were involved in "manufacturing and distributing the unlicensed recordings in physical formats as well as online." It claims they also streamed unlicensed samples on websites. Richard Greenberg, president of the Nutech (you know, one of the defendants named in the suit?!? Sheesh, pay attention, bro), has stated that the company's counsel is reviewing the matter. He then prattles on rather ambiguously about how the suit involves a "variety of issues" that arose before the company was acquired by the current owners. Once they determine what went on, he says, the issues will be resolved. Sounds like he runs a very tight ship there, doesn't it?
Sony/ATV lists 201 songs allegedly infringed upon by the defendants, including the always-popular "Hey Jude," the mildly popular "Eleanor Rigby," the show-stopping "King of the Road," the pathetic "I'm a Believer," and the fairly lukewarm "I Should Have Known Better."
Oh yeah, and did I mention that the suit seeks an injunction and damages up to $150,000 per infringement??? Try putting THAT on your bar tab...
Leonard Cohen Is On Tour, Yes, But The Important Thing Here Is That You Recognize How Much Allen Ginsberg I’ve Been Reading And That I’m Currently Bumming Around New York
Not five minutes ago I snuck into the Chelsea Hotel and am now standing in silent, wide-eyed awe outside the door of room #424.
#424- Where Leonard Cohen lived for years
#424- Where Janis Joplin came to copulate from down the hall (room #411)
#424- Where some schmuck now pays two grand a month to live, saying "Yeah, Leonard Cohen used to live in the same room. Pretty cool I guess."
But does Leonard Cohen really mean anything to such a Chelsea district ultra-lounger? Has he heard every unofficial live bootleg version of Chelsea Hotel #2, as I have? Has he taken Leonard's last name in trying to solidify a fantasy of love and happiness, together forever that consumes his every waking moment, as I have? Does he know that Leonard Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March, and was he cuffed, booked, and held overnight for temporary insanity when he broke down screaming and sobbing "LEONARD I LOVE YOU!" at the ceremony, as I was? I bet he hasn't even sacrificed EVERYTHING to follow Leonard throughout the world, as I have. Oh god, have I.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, "Well never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music":
Dweezil Zappa to Play Frank Zappa’s Music; First Public Performance of His Work Since Frank’s Death (Just Kidding)
Dweezil Zappa has spent the past year holed up and hiding away in preparation of a tour in which he will play his father's music. You know, his pops: Barry Manilow. Or Frank Zappa. Same thing. But more importantly, this marks the first time I have ever accidentally text messaged someone announcing that Frank Zappa is touring. Unfortunately, of all the friends I could have chosen to text, I selected another music journalist and will now be subjected to assorted teasing remarks for the next week or so. God, I'm a hack.
On gearing up to take his show on the road, thus spake Dweezil: "Prepping for the tour has been like preparing for a medieval battle where going into it your sharpest weapon is a spoon. But I'm pretty deadly with that spoon now." Just wait till he gets his hands on some salad tongs.
Guesses about where Pamela Des Barres will show up may be sent to my attention:
Dr Pepper, which has everything to do with Guns N' Roses, has announced that it will give a free can of Dr Pepper to "everyone in America," if the should-be-mildly-but-is-hotly anticipated Chinese Democracy sees release this year.
"It took a little patience to perfect Dr Pepper's special mix of 23 ingredients, which our fans have come to know and love," says Jaxie Alt, director of marketing (of course). "So we completely understand and empathize with Axl's quest for perfection -- for something more than the average album. We know once it's released, people will refer to it as ‘Dr Pepper for the ears’ because it will be such a refreshing blend of rich, bold sounds - an instant classic."
Poetry right there.
Dr Pepper even created a blog dedicated to the offer. The first post reads: "We are on the verge of economic collapse, the housing market is beyond repair and rock n' roll has been taken over by wannabe singers and musicals about high schoolers. Never before in the history of time has the world needed a savior as badly as we do now. That savior is Guns N Roses."
That said, here are some things to consider:
1. Dr Pepper is shamelessly trying to tap into the music blogosphere with this campaign.
2. Anyone who posted about this offer is a fool and are playing right into Dr Pepper's hands.
3. We're fools.
4. Dr Pepper is owned by Cadbury Schweppes.
5. Cadbury Schweppes owns these soft drinks: 7Up, Bournvita, A&W Root Beer, Cactus Cooler, Canada Dry, Cherry R.C., Cool Ridge, Coolah Energy, Country Time, Cream Soda, Crush, Deja Blue water, Diet RC Cola, Diet Rite, Dr Pepper, Dry Lemon, Ginger ale, Gini, Grapefruit Soda, Granadilla Twist, Hawaiian Punch, Hires Root Beer, IBC Root Beer, La Casera, Lemon Sour, Mistic Brands, Mott's apple juice, Nantucket Nectars, Nehi, Orangina, Peñafiel, Quinine Tonic water, ReaLemon/ReaLime, R.C. Cola, Ricqlès, Russchian, Schweppes, Schweppes Cola, Slush Puppie, Snapple beverages, Solo, Sparberry, Spring Valley Juice, Squirt, Stewart's Soda, Sundrop, Sunkist, Tahitian Treat, TriNa, Vernor's Ginger Ale, Welch's, Wink, Yoo-hoo, Jeranium, Woodroofe
6. Cadbury Schweppes also owns these chocolates: Boost, Bournville, Premium Dark, Brunch Bar, Caramilk, Fudge bar, Thins, Caramello Koala, Cherry Ripe, Chomp, Creme Eggs, Crispy Crunch, Crunchie, Curlywurly, Dairy Milk, Dairy Milk Melts, Dairy Milk Giant Chocolate Buttons, Dairy Milk Buttons, Dairy Milk Tasters, Double Decker, Dream, Cadbury's Chocolate Eclairs, Fingers, Five Star, Flake, Freddo Frog, Freddo Frog with Caramel, Fuse, Gems, Jaffas, Marble, Milk Tray, Mini Eggs Cadbury Mini Eggs., Mini Rolls, Miniature Heroes, Moro, Old Gold, Perk, Picnic, Roses, Snack, Snaps, Spira, Star Bar, Sweet Marie, Time Out, Twirl, Wispa, Wunderbar
7. Cadbury Schweppes is on the verge of de-merging into two separate entities.
8. Pining for a Guns N' Roses release is equal parts nostalgia, sarcasm, and romanticism.
The Green Man Reveals First Fruits of Festival Lineup From Its Gigantic Tree-Like Limbs and Leafy Loins; Beirut, Iron & Wine, The National, Black Mountain, and More Grateful to Be Discharged to Wales for Momentous Event
Every year, the organizers of the Green Man Festival in Wales announce a spectacular lineup of living legends, perennial folkish favorites, and up-and-coming leftfield acts. And every year, I write a story about it because it is the closest I ever get to experience the wonder that takes place annually in the Brecon Beacons, Wales. I seriously considered going this year. I even had a flight booked to the picturesque Glanusk Park Estates for August 15-17, but now I’ve been told that my services at TMT HQ are needed that very same weekend. Like Mr P can’t outsource his latrine cleaning and fluffing requirements to street urchins and adult newspaper carriers looking to supplement their income! Yeah, and I can’t wait to get paid in "smiles" like last time either, P! Grumble, grumble...
If it is scrubbing fun you want, then join me for the time of your life! If it is mesmerizing sets by artists surrounded in breathtaking scenery and unequaled atmosphere, then you should join the throngs who make the pilgrimage every year to the Green Man Festival in Wales instead of those who stay home and write about them. With DJs (Richard Noris/Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve, Andy Votel/B-Music), and cinephiles (7 Inch Cinema) playing obscure psych nuggets and a bounty of communal family fare to be had, the Green Man ain't your Grandad's festival. Actually, come to think of it, it is exactly like your Grandad's festival, before these kinds of events started to be frequented solely by your younger bro and his frat brothers and sponsored by Red Bull and Bank of America, "Ass in the Tub" Hot Sauce and the GOP.
Here’s who will be dancing around the maypole August 16-18 in Glanusk Park:
Super Furry Animals, Richard Thompson, Beirut, Iron & Wine, The National, Black Mountain, Nina Nastasia, Drive By Truckers, School of Language, Howlin Rain, The Cave Singers, King Creosote, Caribou, Magik Markers, Jennifer Gentle, The Yellow Moon Band, Devon Sproule, Alela Diane, The Accidental, The Drift Collective, Cath and Phil Tyler, The Moon Music Orchestra, One More Grain, Duke Garwood, Threatmantics, Mugstar, Radio Luxemburg, Cymbiant, Beth Jeans Houghton, Brygyn
On April 1, Bad Brains will release a 7-inch box set, titled Build a Nation, via Megaforce Records. Produced by Adam Yauch (Beastie Boys), the set contains four 7-inch colored vinyls and one 7-inch picture disc, which includes the full 15 tracks from Build a Nation and bonus track "Married Again." You can pre-order the set here.
Wet t-shirts ready, ladies? In spirit of Spring Break, Bad Brains plan to take on South America. The upcoming tour, “Bad Brains From Tequila (LOL), Tans and MTV Wet T-Shirt Contests,” will kick off April 9 in Brazil. Sponsors of the tour include Tab Energy Drink, MTV, and Hawaiian Tropic.
WHY WOULD I LIE:
As recently nailed down by our scrappy old staff, Mount Eerie (a.k.a. P.W. Elverum) will be unleashing a wet dream's worth of material this spring, such as a self-described "metal" album called Black Wooden Ceiling Opening (5/27), the blue-baller mess of songs Elverum wrote in Norway in 2002/2003 as a book/CD release, DAWN ("later in 2008"), and as we obsessively, uh, I mean, responsibly reported last year, a reissue of The Microphones' The Glow Pt. II (4/8). Sir Elverum has become a bit of a bookbinder as of late, so expect to find nice visual companions to go along with DAWN, as well as the double-sided 21"x21" poster on recycled paper that accompanies Black Wooden Ceiling Opening.
And if that weren't enough, P.W. Elverum & Sun recently revealed a couple more releases. For those of you upset about DAWN containing only CD versions of the Norway songs, there are now plans for the music to be pressed on double vinyl later this year (with no book). And after that? Mount Eerie plans to release Song Islands Vol. 2, a Mount Eerie singles and rarities compilation, presumably in the same spirit as The Microphones' Song Islands, which was released by K back in 2002.
But that's not the real story here! What should really flame your yons is the announcement of a tour! Yes, you and yours will be completely enamored of and baffled by Mount Eerie (who has been known for playing mind games with his audience, that weasel) all across Europe and briefly, OH SO briefly, in Canada and the U.S.!
My best friend has told me that Mount Eerie pts. 6 & 7 makes him "aroused," which is not an unfamiliar feeling of the TMT staff:
04.05.08 - Vancouver, BC - Hoko's Sushi/Karaoke Bar (Edgefest) *
04.17.08 - Seattle, WA - The Vera Project (The Glow Pt. 2 Re-Release Party) @
04.18.08 - Tacoma, WA - Helm Gallery
05.07.08 - Bergen, Norway- Strædet #
05.08.08 - Oslo, Norway- Spasibar %
05.09.08 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Koloni @ Kulturhuset Underjorden %
05.10.08 - Copenhagen, Denmark- TBA %
05.11.08 - Berlin, Germany - Volksbuhne (10 Jahre 10 Monate 10 Tage HQ) %
05.12.08 - Leipzig, Germany - UT Connewitz % $
05.14.08 - Nurnberg, Germany - Hafenklang/K4 %
05.15.08 - Dresden, Germany - Scheune %
05.16.08 - Darmstadt, Germany - TBA %
05.17.08 - Brussels, Belgium - Recyclart %
05.18.08 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Theater Kikker %
05.19.08 - Paris, France - Flech D'or %
05.20.08 - Turcoing, France - Le Grand Mix %
05.21.08 - London, England - PLAN B @ Corsica Studios %
05.22.08 - Bristol, England- Start the Bus %
05.23.08 - London, England - Cafe Oto %
05.24.08 - Dublin, Ireland - Whelans %
05.25.08 - Nottingham, England - Dot to Dot Festival %
05.29.08 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Festival &
05.30.08 - 06.05.08 - Poland (venues TBA)
06.06.08 - 06.07.08 - Paris, France (venues TBA, website reads: "help?")
06.08.08 - 06.09.08 - Lille, France and/or Belgium (venues TBA, again: "help?")
06.12.08 - Montréal, Québec - Casa del Popolo (part of Suoni Per Il Popolo)
07.18.08 - 07.20.08 - Anacortes, WA - What the Heck Fest
@ Why?, Generifus
$ Gregor Samsa
& Eric's Trip
* International Falls, No Gold, Octoberman, The Centres, Candles, Joel Tong, more
% NO KIDS (Note: At first glance, I took this literally and grumbled to myself about the lack of inclusiveness at Mount Eerie shows, and then concluded that maybe kids at a show weren't such a good idea. But by the time I reached this epiphany, I re-read the tourdates and yelled, "OHHHHHHH," completely befuddling my roommate.)
Chicago’s Mike Kinsella has released four proper LPs under the Owen label, LPs that contain the kind of music that companies like Coca-Cola, Disney, McDonald's, Pfizer, Kraft Foods, Marlboro, Johnson & Johnson, Honda, and Mars Inc support wholeheartedly. You see, on top of making delicious snack foods, cigarettes, medicines, toys, shampoos, and one-minute macaroni and cheeses, these companies also shine their flavor-giving light on independent music. It’s no coincidence that every morning when I drink my Chock Full o’Nuts Coffee and eat my Cheerios with Craisins sprinkled on top, I also listen to independent music. Independent music like Owen. Which is why it makes me so glad he’s touring.
# Casey Baker & The Buffalo Sinners, Paper Rival
$ Unwed Sailor, Brooke Waggoner
New data is pouring in and trickling down at professional pirate headquarters, TorrentFreak. The reports are largely positive, but that, of course, is all relative to which side you're on. For big business and "anti-piracy outfits" -- for instance, the infamous RIAA and the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) -- things look bleak. In a breakdown of the Top 25 torrent sites as of March 27, TorrentFreak is noting "explosive growth," with 21 of the piracy-aiding websites moving up in the rankings according to Alexa, the web information company that lists the top 500 sites globally.
The Pirate Bay, no stranger to threats and even litigation (TMT News), has seen an approximately 40% rise in traffic over the past three months. Elsewhere, sites like Torrentz.ws, Torrentvalley.com, and Newtorrents.info have also experienced large jolts in their online popularity. Mininova.org, the most popular torrent site, has jumped ten places to become the 53rd most popular site on the internet as of March 2008.
This is all in the face of a "crackdown" on illegal downloading, with many U.S. universities, for example, being targeted by wide-reaching litigation letters. Is it starfish that regenerate limbs? Hydra-heads? Lizard tales grow back, right? What's that one game -- whack-a-mole? Yeah.
You're gonna need a bigger boat.
Here's the top 10. You can check out the rest of the list here.
How does Japan always manage to beat the United States to anything remotely related to technology? Face it, whether it's sweet cellphone credit cards or the heralded replacement to the original Xbox controller, Japan has the USA licked. And now in 2008, Japan rolls out its latest and greatest announcement in the technology field: threats to file-sharers!
Yes, the four major ISP providers in Japan reportedly plan on implementing a system to track illegal file-sharing among its users. They plan to send e-mail warnings to first-time offenders, eventually escalating to account termination if the user continues sharing files. TorrentFreak reports that the number of Japanese file-sharers has increased by 180% in a single year. That's a lot of J-pop floating around in those tubes.
Representatives for the ISPs quickly responded to the reports, claiming that no current plan exists to punish file-sharers; however, the ISP providers and the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers, and Publishers (or JARSAC!!!!!! JARSAC CANNON ACTIVATE BREAOOWOW PPOWP POW!) plan to meet in April to discuss the possibilities.
Next up on Japan's docket: The much-anticipated response to America's Thrillhammer EC01.