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Grocking Sony BMG's Move

Usher, Linkin Park Multiple Radio Music Award Winners

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Reprinted with permission from Hits Magazine

Cold # 1 rock song of the year and continues to get action while So Far Away gets adds at: KIOZ, WTFX, WQBK. Spins: WAAF, KBPI, KOMP, KQRC. Massive fourth qt retail push. VH1. Alter Bridge dates now! 225k+ shipped. Mgmt: Chris Long Mgmt.

HITS magazine is the most powerful information vehicle in the music industry, and is read religiously by all the top executives and everyone else.

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Reprinted with permission from Hits Magazine

October 29, 2004

In a move reminiscent of BMG breaking ranks with the industry to make a deal with Napster almost four years ago to the day (see, 10/31/2000), Sony BMG's reported alliance with Grokster raises all sorts of issues for the record biz and its uneasy partnership with burgeoning peer-to-peer networks.

Several industry competitors have questioned the timing of the move, which comes less than two weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court was set to hear an appeal by the RIAA, MPAA and National Music Publishers' Association on Nov. 8. The organization wants the Court to overturn the August 19 decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a lower court's ruling exonerating Grokster and Streamcast's Morpheus of copyright infringement (see, 8/20).

Many are asking if there is indeed a deal in place, and why the story appeared only in the L.A. Times. Did Grokster jump the gun in alerting the media?

One industry insider insisted the development of Digital Rights Management companies like Shawn Fanning's Snocap and Audible that can track and fingerprint legitimate files as opposed to illegitimate ones, as well as the recent resolution of the iMesh case, will hasten the record industry's partnership with P2P compaies.

Others are saying Sony BMG's Andrew Lack jumped the gun, or was "naïve" in giving the Court a chance to dismiss the appeal and allow the marketplace to work itself out, which could place the record industry in a precarious position in its attempt to control the online market.

"It is the most serious issue facing the music business this year," said one industry insider at a competitive company.

The RIAA, MPAA and National Music Publishers' Association filed suit against Grokster and StreamCast in 2001.

The reasoning behind the Court's recent decision had to do with Grokster and StreamCast's software not involving centralized indexing servers the way Napster did, meaning the P2P companies have less ability to know about and prevent copyright infringement from taking place. Also, the fact that P2P software has "substantial non-infringing uses" (the Betamax theory), impacted the court's opinion.

With the introduction of a comprehensive tracking system, though, these non-centralized P2P systems would be hard-pressed to say they have no control over their users' allegedly illegal actions.

HITS magazine is the most powerful information vehicle in the music industry, and is read religiously by all the top executives and everyone else.

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By Kenny Kerner

October 26, 2004

Usher was the big winner at Monday night's Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas, scoring three nods for Hip-Hop/Rhythmic Artist of the Year, Hip-Hop/Rhythmic Song of the Year (for "Yeah!" featuring Lil' Jon) and Cingular Artist of the Year, meaning he's big with people with cell phones, or something like that.

Linkin Park took home two awards, for Rock Artist of the Year and Rock/Alternative Song of the Year, for "Numb."

Destiny's Child opened the show with a performance of "Lose My Breath," while other performers included Train, Chingy, Elton John, Tim McGraw, Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson and Alanis Morissette.

But the most anticipated performance of the Clear Channel-sponsored awards show had to be that of Ashlee Simpson, whose Saturday Night Live vocal-augmentation debacle is still receiving widespread media attention. Simpson sang "Autobiography," but not before punking the audience by saying "It's the wrong song!" after her band started playing. After a few seconds, she said she was kidding and launched into the tune.

Host Carson Daly previously had assured the audience Simpson would be singing live.

And the winners are:

Hip-Hop/Rhythmic Artist of the Year: Usher

Top 40 Artist of the Year: Beyoncé

Country Artist of the Year: Tim McGraw

Rock/Alternative Song of the Year: Linkin Park, “Numb”

Hip-Hop/Rythmic Song of the Year: Usher, “Yeah!”

Rock Artist of the Year: Linkin Park

Modern Adult Artist of the Year: Train

Legend Award: Janet Jackson

Cingular Artist of the Year: Usher

HITS magazine is the most powerful information vehicle in the music industry, and is read religiously by all the top executives and everyone else.

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By Kenny Kerner

Recently, a Federal Court of Appeals in Nashville ruled that a mere two-second sample of a song, with no authorization for use, is enough of a sample to constitute copyright infringement of an artist's SR (Sound Recording) copyright. BRAVO! This US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Nashville should have their collective heads added to Mt. Rushmore. Sampling without authorization is stealing, plain and simple.

Déjà Vu All Over Again is the title of John Fogerty's latest CD from Geffen Records. This is John's first new studio effort in seven years. Those of you who aren't aware of Fogerty, he was the leader of incredibly successful Creedence Clearwater Revival who had more hits than you can shake a stick at. Fogerty will be performing live with Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band backing him.

Fasten your seatbelts because in January the Michael Jackson case goes to trial. If you thought the O.J Simpson case turned into a zoo, you ain't seen nothin' yet... Britney Spears greatest hits CD out for the holidays and it'll do millions in sales. If you're gonna give in and buy one of her CDs, this is the one. At least you get all the hits.

Look for an acoustic John Lennon box set for the holidays with new versions of tracks from his Rock & Roll CD of years past plus acoustic versions of classics from Double Fantasy. This one's a must.

Eighteen year-old Kalan Porter was voted in as the newest Canadian Idol besting Theresa Sokyrka. Kalan was immediately signed to BMG Canada.

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