CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 28th June

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- A short essay on Grokster
- Biggie Smalls trial on hold because of new evidence
- Jackson thanks fans
- Elton to sue over guest shunning claims
- New Dandy Warhols album
- Patti Smith wows fans at Meltdown
- Glastonbury crime at all time low
- James Brown to play Edinburgh Live 8
- Gallagher wishes he could play Live 8
- EMI sign up Live 8 DVD rights
- Mars Volta cancel European tour
- Lil Jon wants out of TVT
- Ibiza lifestyle magazine now online
- Futureheads, Faithless join Ibiza Rocks line up
- Album review: Varano - Step Up
- BBC sell off broadcast unit
- George Clinton starts own label
- LIPA honours Gibb, Wheeler and Chambers
- Bobby Brown on that reality show
- Eminem saves Detroit
- Lavigne to marry Sum 41 rocker



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So, presumably you spent most of yesterday on the edge of your seats, sweating in anticipation as to what the nine judges of the US Supreme Court would say regarding the long running MGM v Grokster court case? No? Well, there's a slight chance you should have been cos in the whole scheme of things it turned out to be quite an important event. It might not make the blindest bit of difference, but it was important nonetheless.

As copyright law fans out there will remember, this case was all about whether or not the people who make P2P software like Grokster should be held liable for the widespread copyright theft their technology enables. Needless to say, the technology companies in question say "no", and to date the courts have tended to agree with them.

With the exception of the original Napster, which was found guilty of copyright violation because they had a central database through which music fans illegally accessed copyrighted music from other member's record collections, most of the other P2P companies have been able to distance themselves from copyright theft charges thanks to the Betamax principle. This stems from a US court ruling from the early days of video recorders in which judges said Sony Electronics (who made the Betamax recorders) could not be held liable if customers chose to use their new technology to pirate movies because, after all, Sony's video recorders had a legitimate use too. If the courts held Sony liable for copyright theft, the legitimate use of video recorders of the majority would be hindered because a small minority were using the technology for illegitimate purposes.

The P2P companies claimed the same principle should apply to them. Because they didn't have any Napster-style database through which all file sharing traffic was routed they had no way of knowing what content was being shared with their software. And because the P2P software had legitimate uses - the sharing of non-copyrighted music by unsigned bands for example - the companies that made the software couldn't be held liable if some (well, OK most) of their customers chose to use their product for the illegal distribution of copyrighted content. Because the Betamax principle backed that defence the lower courts in the US sided with the P2P companies, even though the movie studios and record labels insisted the circumstances in their case against illegally filesharing online are very different from the circumstances that surrounded the Sony Betamax case.

That legal principle was so strong that few expected the Supreme Court to take a different viewpoint. For some time now it seemed likely that the only way the content owners could use the courts to take on the P2P companies would be to first instigate a change in US copyright law. Considerable moves had been made in that domain - although any proposed changes in copyright law were likely to be heavily scrutinized and quite likely opposed by the major technology and IT firms who will be concerned that any rejections of things like the Betamax principle might result in them being found guilty of copyright violation too.

But in the end the Supreme Court judges unanimously decided to reject the rulings of lower courts and side with the content owners. They did this, as you'd expect, not by rejecting the Betamax principle - but by interpreting it slightly differently. For the Supreme Court judges the fact your technology has a legitimate use isn't enough to side step all responsibility for illegitimate usage - it is all about the way you sell and distribute your technology. The Supreme Court say that Streamcast, the makers of Grokster, promoted their P2P software with the implication that customers could (and possibly should) use it for the illegal sharing of music and film online. Therefore, the court said, they can be held liable for that copyright violation, even though the Grokster software can be used for the legitimate sharing of non-copyrighted content.

In the ruling Justice David Souter wrote: "The question is under what circumstances the distributor of a product capable of both lawful and unlawful use is liable for acts of copyright infringement by third parties using the product. We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright ... is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties."

The ruling is quite a victory for the music (and film) industry, so you can't blame the top guard For lining up to gloat a little. BPI chairman Peter Jamieson told CMU: "This decision makes it clear that companies who distribute file-sharing software to promote and profit from the stealing of music are liable for their actions. It is good news for everyone who loves music. The record industry has never been opposed to new technology. What we have been against is people taking music without permission. Unfortunately the growth of illegal filesharing networks has acted as a disincentive for companies to invest in new legal services. With the rule of law now made clear, this should allow all kinds of new legal services - including P2P - to develop and grow. That has to be good news for artists, for the record industry - and for the consumer."

John Kennedy, head of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, told reporters: "It quite simply destroys the argument that peer-to-peer services bear no responsibility for illegal activities that take place on their networks."

While EMI boss Alain Levy said: "The Court's message couldn't have been clearer-businesses based on infringement are not protected under the law. This is a major win for the creative community, for those companies committed to building legitimate businesses and for law-abiding consumers."

SonyBMG boss Andrew Lack meanwhile considered what the ruling will mean for the ongoing war between content owners and P2P makers, telling the BBC: "The court made it very clear that we can go after damages and that we can chase them out. We will do that if necessary but my hope is that we will find new bridges to legitimise a lot of services that formerly were confused about what was right and wrong, legal and illegal."

So, what does all this mean for that the aforementioned war against P2P? Well, one thing for certain, it's good news for the legal profession. Insiders seem to think a plethora of lawsuits against the companies who make P2P technology is sure to follow the Grokster ruling. And God knows those lawyers need more money.

It is also good news for those desperately looking to create a legit P2P business model - ie, one where you pay a subscription fee which gets passed on to the content owners. Which, somewhat ironically, means it is a good day for the man who arguably kicked off this whole mess to start with - Shawn Fanning - the creator of the original Napster, whose new business Snocap provides P2P networks with a song tracking service which is certainly required for any kind subscription based P2P system to work. Snocap is supported by most of the major labels, but needs to sign up P2P networks to have any hope of succeeding - does the Grokster ruling mean those networks will now be knocking on Mr Fanning's door in a bid to avoid business-crippling litigation?

But what about the war itself - are we any closer to winning it? Well, perhaps there is some justification for those that have been fighting the anti-filesharing war to feel a little more optimistic. Perhaps a combined legal assault against P2P makers (Kazaa are still in court in Australia remember) and the customers that commit copyright violation with their technology, coupled with the continued flooding of P2Ps with bogus spoiler tracks and the growth of the legit download sector, might be enough to quash the vast majority of illegal online file sharing.

Success would require the extension of the new ruling to cover the internet service providers. Many of the P2P networks are run by shady companies outside the jurisdiction of the US (and most Western) courts, so the content owners will need to persuade (or force) the ISPs to block access to these non-native P2P facilities. It would also require the content owners to work with Grokster, Kazaa et al to build a viable consumer friendly legitimate P2P model, which means resisting the temptation to force the P2P firms into bankruptcy over past grievances (all bar BMG did just that once the courts ruled against Napster, and in doing so pissed away access to the biggest online music community in the world, most of whom quickly found an alternative illegal P2P network and carried on happily violating copyright as before).

And on that point I have the backing of Hilary Rosen, the former Recording Industry Association Of America boss who oversaw the assault on the original Napster. Writing on her blog following yesterday's Supreme Court ruling, she said: "Does the court win help? Maybe, but only if this victory is seen as gaining leverage in business negotiations rather than an invitation to only pursue more litigation and enforcement". Recalling how the industry responded to Napster back in the day, she admits: "the result was lots of back and forth and leverage hunting on both sides and continued litigation and then a great service shut down to make room for less great services".

But, without wishing to sound like a stuck record, once again we say "don't get stuck with records". That is to say, even if the battle against the evils of P2P enjoys some strategic successes, don't lose sight of the bigger picture. Is the future of the music business predominantly based on the sale of 'records' - physical, digital or otherwise? There's lots of other untapped (or under tapped) revenue streams out there too, many of which are probably the real future of the music business. And while everything is focused on the P2P battle and the legal fees required to fight it, those revenue streams remain untapped, which is, in the long run, to no one's advantage, least the record labels, their artists and their shareholders.


Elsewhere in the pop courts, the previously reported trial hearing the wrongful-death lawsuit brought against the LAPD by the family of the late rapper the Notorious BIG was halted after the claimants received an important new tip. The lawyer representing the late rapper's family, Perry Sanders, revealed that on Friday they received important new information from a Louisiana man relating to the 1997 shooting. The informant in question apparently alleges that former police men David Mack and Rafael Perez, jailed for unrelated crimes, both confessed to fellow prisoners that they had murdered the rapper. As previously reported, proving the theory that then LA police man Mack was behind the murder (allegedly working for Death Row Records boss Suge Knight) is crucial to the late rapper's family's case - they say the LAPD were negligent in allowing their officers to moonlight as security guards for hip hop gangs - a practice which meant the police department was not in a position to properly investigate the Notorious BIG's murder, which remains unsolved eight years on.


No longer in the pop courts, Michael Jackson yesterday thanks his family and friends for their support during his recent child abuse trial. In his first public statement since being found not-guilty of all the charges brought against him by the Arvizo family, Jackson posted a message on his website yesterday reading thus: "Without God, my children, my family and you, my fans, I could not have made it through. Your love, support and loyalty made it all possible. You were there when I really needed you. I will never forget you. Your ever-present love held me, dried my tears, and carried me through. I will treasure your devotion and support forever. You are my inspiration." Don't mention it.


And coming soon to the pop courts - Elton John v Daily Mail. Representatives of Elton yesterday confirmed the singer is suing the Mail over allegations they made that guests at his charity White Tie And Tiara Ball were told they were not allowed to approach him unless summoned. The singer's spokesman says the allegations, which were also published in the Times (who also face litigation), were "categorically untrue". The spokesman continued: "Anyone who knows Elton or who has been to the ball knows that he greets everyone as they arrive, works the room and talks to every table". The lawsuit will claim that the story affects both Elton's personal image, and the reputation of his AIDS Foundation, which the event was held to support. As yet neither the Mail or Times have responded.


Former CMU cover stars The Dandy Warhols are to release a new album, 'Odditorium Or Warlords Of Mars' on 13 Sep. Hurrah. The band are also to appear at the Lollapalooza Festival in Jul, and can also be seen shortly on our cinema screens in acclaimed documentary 'Dig'.

Anyway, those of you who like to read tracklistings before hearing what the songs sound like, here is what's on that new album:

Colder Than the Coldest Winter Was Cold
Love Is the New Feel Awful
All The Money or the Simple Life Honey
The New Country
Holding Me Up
Did You Make a Song With Otis
Everyone Is Totally Insane
Smoke It
Down Like Disco
There Is Only This Time
A Loan Tonight


Patti Smith performed seminal album 'Horses' in its entirety at the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday, as part of the previously reported line up of the 2005 Meltdown festival, curated by Smith herself. The singer brought the festival to its climax dressed in clothes identical to those worn in the photograph on the cover of the album, which was shot by legendary photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

A source told "There was complete hero worship from audience and a massive rush to front of stage as soon as she began singing. All aisles remained packed for the entire performance. She was bantering with the audience a lot - lots of people shouting out at her from the crowd. She got so carried away doing side two of the album that at the end of an awesome version of 'Land' she left the stage forgetting to do the final track 'Elegie'."

Rest assured she returned for an encore to play that final track, however, as well as a cover of The Who's 'My Generation'. During the course of the evening she also paid tribute to "friends who couldn't be with us tonight" and mentioned Robert Mapplethorpe, William Burroughs and Jim Morrison. A 'fan' said "She hasn't lost any of the passion, energy and raw power. It was a totally visceral and unapologetic performance."

The festival ended on Sunday, with 'Songs Of Experience: The Work Of Jimi Hendrix And The Music That Inspired Him' an event featuring contributions from the aforementioned Patti Smith, Jeff Beck, Flea and John Frusciante.


Avon & Somerset Police have reported that crime at this year's Glastonbury Festival was particularly low - so well done all you law abiding Glasto types. There were 133 reported crimes (excluding drug offences) over the weekend, which is down from 188 during last year's event. There were 195 reported drug offences, two robberies and 19 reports of theft from the person - down 60 per cent on 2004. There were just 16 reported vehicle crimes, which is quite impressive when you consider there were 45,000 cars and vans on site.

Commenting on the impressively low crime rates, police spokesman Supt Adrian Coombs told reporters: "We are very pleased with how the festival has run this year. Police, GFL [Glastonbury Festivals Limited] and Mendip District Council have spent many months preparing for the event and it has certainly paid off. It particularly pleases me to see crime reduce by one third again and it emphasises what a safe event the Glastonbury Festival is. Every year we have a debrief from every agency on site and we will no doubt still have some learning points from Glastonbury 2005. When the event applies for its licence again in 2007 we will no doubt be looking to reduce crime still further and work with all partner agencies to ensure the festival's success in the future."

Insiders say the increasingly strict ticketing regulations instigated by Glastonbury organisers and their partner promoters Mean Fiddler have helped to cut on site crime in recent years. As it gets increasingly hard to get onto the Glastonbury site without a genuine ticket the number of people who go to the event with casual crime in mind has fallen dramatically.


James Brown is to take part in Edinburgh's Live 8 concert on 6 Jul at the city's Murrayfield stadium. The soul legend told reporters at a media conference in London "I know that people need help and I want to be a part of it in any way I can. The concert will raise awareness of the problems in Africa and will make people think about humanity."

As previously reported, organiser Bob Geldof has come under fire over the lack of black artists on the Live 8 bill, but Brown said that colour was irrelevant: "I'm not going to perform as a black artist, I'm going to perform as a man who makes music. You don't segregate. I've fought against that years ago. I don't care if children are black, white, red or yellow, I care that they are hungry."

Brown is on a European tour, and says that he has not been slowed down by the prostate cancer he was diagnosed with last year, for which he underwent successful surgery. "When I'm ripping and running I don't have time to worry about the situation," he said. "A lot of people have the same thing and I pray for them."

About 50,000 people are expected to attend the Edinburgh Live 8 concert, which coincides with the G8 summit in Gleneagles and anti-poverty protests in Edinburgh.


Talking of things Live 8, Liam Gallagher has told Canadian magazine Chart that he's sorry that Oasis aren't able to play the Live 8 concert, and not just because of the starving children. Gallagher said that if they had not been already playing a concert on the same day, his band would "have been there without a doubt," not least because it would be an opportunity to try and humiliate Robbie Williams. Gosh, it's just like old times.

Gallagher continued: "And, I'd love to. Y'know why I'd love to do that gig? First of all, it's fucking awareness and all that stuff. I'd just love to go on and do four fucking songs and really fucking rip it up. Come in and fucking bang it with fucking four of your classics. And walk off. And fucking flick Robbie Williams in the eye and say: "Follow that, you dick!""

So there you fucking go.


But enough on who will (or won't) be playing at Live 8 - what you really want to know who "who's got the DVD rights?" Well, as the headline somewhat implies, EMI have.

The major label has worked out a deal with Live 8 organisers which will see them release a DVD of the event in all territories around the world. The DVD release will vary around the world, taking footage from each of the various Live 8 events planned to take place this Saturday. It will be released in Nov in time for the Christmas market. The Live Aid organisation will receive what EMI describe as a "major financial contribution" from the DVD deal.

Confirming the deal, Live 8 organiser Bob Geldof told reporters: "I hope this will be the biggest-selling DVD of all time. It deserves to be. More importantly perhaps, it should be, for it will help us achieve our goal of changing the lives of the extreme poor for the better and making our generation the one that helped end the disgrace of poverty. We are very grateful to EMI for their financial contribution which helped to make the July 2 concerts happen everywhere on the planet and thus nudge the world a little closer towards our shared aim."


The Mars Volta have cancelled their European tour due to the illness of frontman Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. The band hope to resume touring in the Autumn.

A spokesperson for the band said: "The Mars Volta regretfully announces the cancellation of the remainder of its current European tour due to health issues. Band Leader Omar Rodriguez-Lopez began experiencing abdominal pains at the tour's outset that have since become severe to the point of hampering his live performance and requiring immediate medical attention."


NY Daily news has reported that Atlanta based rapper Lil Jon has fallen out with his label, TVT, and as well as ceasing to promote multi platinum album 'Crunk Juice', plans not to record another album with the label. The tabloid claims that a source said "He's unhappy. It's about money."

Label head Steve Gottlieb, however, has rejected the claims, saying, "Lil Jon and TVT have had huge success building the crunk movement together, and we fully expect to enjoy even greater success in the future."


The second 2005 issue of Ibiza lifestyle magazine Pacha - published by, erm, Pacha - is out at the end of the week with the usual mix of music, fashion and Ibiza style shenanigans. You need to be in Ibiza to get your hands on a copy, but you can check out the whole thing online, page by page, at the following URL (this links to the first issue of the season):


Talking of Ibiza, The Futureheads, Faithless and buzz band Hard-Fi have been added to the line up for Ibiza Rocks, the previously reported series of gigs taking place at Manumission this summer. The events start on 4 Jul and tickets are available now from or from

The line-up thus far is as follows:
4 Jul: Babyshambles, Fischerspooner, Eddy Temple Morris, Glimmers & Barry Ashworth
11 Jul: Whitey, Fischerspooner, Ewan Pearson
18 Jul: Fischerspooner, Do Me Bad Things, Tom Middleton
22 Jul: Maximo Park, Zane Lowe & Paul Epworth
25 Jul: Fischerspooner, Freeform Five, Ewan Pearson
29 Jul: John Kennedy, Anu Pillai (Freeform Five)
1 Aug: Annie, Fischerspooner, Eddy Temple Morris & Adam Freeland
5 Aug: Manumission Birthday with Mylo, Hard-Fi, Breakfastaz & Eddy Temple Morris
9 Aug: Hot Hot Heat, Fischerspooner, Ladytron
12 Aug: Faithless, Goldfrapp, The Futureheads, Rob da Bank, Zane Lowe, Paul Epworth, Jacques Lu Cont
22 Aug: The Rakes, Wall Of Sound, Fischerspooner, Mark Jones, Alvin & guests
26 Aug: Rob da Bank
29 Aug: Infadels, Fischerspooner, Eddy Temple Morris, Krafty Kuts, Freestylers
2 Sep: Kaiser Chiefs, Mylo, Eddy Temple Morris, Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol), Jagz Kooner
5 Sep: Fischerspooner, Ewan Pearson
9 Sep: The Bravery, Zane Lowe, Tom Middleton
12 Sep: Fischerspooner, Optimo
19 Sep: Juliette & The Licks, Fischerspooner, Ewan Pearson, Eddy Temple Morris


ALBUM REVIEW: Varano - Step Up (Murena)
Varano, as you might expect, is one half of Danish duo Puddu Varano, who split last year after three albums. This new LP has a loungey jazz funk feel to it, and Morten Varano has got some great vocalists in to help out. Unfortunately the tunes don't always employ those vocalists as well as they might, as in the fairly average title track 'Step Up' - things get better, however, when Moby regular Diane Charlemagne flexes her chords well in 'Music Is My Soul'. The album sees a whole range of styles emerging, from the rap-tinged 'Trouble's Behind' to the folkier, mellow tones of 'Better Of You', with Latin, Afro, Jazz and funk influences permeating through, alongside liberal use of sitar. This is not bad at all, and certainly far from run of the mill in the quirky world of nu-easy listening. PV
Release date: 20 Jun
Press contact: Rocketscience IH [all]


The BBC's broadcast unit, imaginatively called BBC Broadcast, has been flogged off to Macquarie Capital Alliance and Macquarie Bank for a cool £166m. The deal will need government approval but BBC bosses claim the sale is needed because the division can only properly develop and expand in the private sector. As part of the deal the new owners are guaranteed an ongoing contract to provide services to the Corporation. For their part the new owners have made assurances regarding BBC Broadcast employees' contracts and pensions.

A spokesman for broadcasting union BECTU said the announcement was a "shock," and called for urgent talks between the union and the government. While they welcomed Macquarie's assurances on pensions and stuff, the union accused the BBC of "selling the family silver" in spinning off units like Broadcast into the private sector.


Funk legend George Clinton has started his own label, called The C Kunspyruhzy. Which looked quite confusing to me earlier this morning until I put on my spectacles and realised it was just 'conspiracy' but spelt funny. Anyway, the label will launch Clinton's new album 'How Late Do You Have 2 B B 4 U R Absent', which is due in September. Clinton is also planning a 50th anniversary concert for later this year.


Gigwise reports that The Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts are to award honorary degrees to Robin Gibb, Tim Wheeler (of Ash fame) and former Robbie Williams collaborator Guy Chambers. The ceremony is to take place at in Liverpool and word is the awards will be given out by none other than Paul McCartney. Similarly honoured music-types have in the past included Malcolm McClaren and Anthony Wilson.


That previously reported brand new reality show, 'Being Bobby Brown' starts next month on Bravo, and Brown has been talking about the show in an interview with NBC. He and wife Whitney Houston, who recently completed a course of drug rehabilitation, have been the subject of tabloid coverage for years, of course.

On why he decided to allow cameras into his life for six months he said "it's easy for people to just have the freedom to be able to say things about me, and me not say anything. That's the easy part. But the hard part is to show them me, because I'm scared of being myself, sometimes."

On that incident a couple of years back when Whitney called the police claiming that her husband had hit her, Brown said "Me and my wife play a lot. It was just a misunderstanding. I mean, we slap box, and she hits hard, hard."

Asked how Whitney felt about the reality show, he said: "When she saw how much fun I was having with the cameras, I mean, because it's like, I didn't change when the cameras got around... I think it brought us close together, because it showed us that we're just normal."


Not really. But apparently he is helping to save the annual Detroit fireworks display, held jointly with sister city Windsor in Canada, which is in danger of being cancelled due to recent budget cuts. Eminem has offered to perform one song at the opening of the annual International Freedom Festival on Wednesday and tickets are now selling for $175 each.

Eminem said: "The fireworks are a big part of summertime in Detroit, and I want to support them and the mayor. I've come downtown to watch them since I was a kid, and I'll get involved in something that helps the city any way I can."


Avril Lavigne is reportedly marrying Deryck Whibley, frontman of Canadian rockers Sum 41. According to Us Weekly, Whibley proposed over the weekend while Lavigne was finishing the European leg of her tour. Back in Sep last year Whibley pretended to propose to Lavigne in full view of the paparazzi in a bid to fool the tabloids into reporting on the engagement - which they duly did - but this time Us Weekly say publicists representing both of the couple have confirmed the engagement.

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