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Music Biz

THIS WEEK IN THE MUSIC BIZ
August 2, 2005 Edition


* MediaMax Targets Large Revenue Opportunities Beyond Traditional CD-Based Content
* AFM Calls For Pension Reform
* Music Industry Targets 765 Internet Thieves In New Round Of Lawsuits
* Dancers Sue New York City To Legalize Dancing
* ASCAP Promotes Jennifer Knoepfle To Director Of Membership, Pop/Rock
* The UK's First Internet Radio Licensing & Hosting Service
* The Sound Of Music
* The Music Managers Forum Canada Announces A New President And A New Office
* LAPD Scores Major Cache Of Pirate CDs In Weekend Raid

MediaMax Targets Large Revenue Opportunities Beyond Traditional CD-Based Content

MediaMax Technology Corp. seller of MediaMax, America's most accepted and best selling content protection and enhancement technology for audio CDs, has expanded its mission statement to include the delivery of a unified technology capable of protecting audio and video entertainment content across all file formats and distribution models currently used in the marketplace.

The core technology components to achieve this are already resident within SunnComm products being used commercially in the market. "Propagation of the MediaMax protection model for content found on DVDs, online music and music vended through kiosks is a natural progression of our proprietary MediaMax technology. The direction our technology development is taking is a direct result of feedback received from the collaborative working environment the Company has successfully nurtured with our current and prospective customers - the record labels and movie studios," declared Eric Vandewater, chief technology officer of SunnComm International, Inc., maker of MediaMax. "For years we have responded to specific requests from our entertainment industry customers and, in virtually every case, the results of our efforts have exceeded all expectations."

Vandewater continues, "Our accomplishments have placed SunnComm in an enviable position regarding the protection of entertainment content. MediaMax has become the only widely implemented technology of its kind to penetrate the U.S. market. The product has been universally accepted by CD buyers as verified by extensive consumer surveys as well as SunnComm's negligible customer service activity. Customer support issues related to the release of nearly 20 million CDs containing MediaMax are occurring at a rate of less than two-tenths of one percent (.002)."

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AFM Calls For Pension Reform

The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and Employers Pension Fund (AFMEP) is an important source of retirement income for professional musicians. The fiscal health and stability of the AFMEP is thus essential for their retirement security. The AFMEP is a multiemployer pension plan subject to federal regulation, and the US Congress is actively considering legislation to modify the funding rules applicable to such plans. According to AFM President Tom Lee, "We believe any modifications to funding rules should be designed to strengthen multiemployer pension plans like the AFMEP, and should not be allowed to undermine such plans or harm plan participants like the hardworking members of the Federation."

Proposals supported by the AFM, the AFL-CIO, and the National Coordinating Committee of Multiemployer Plans provide constructive reforms of multiemployer plan funding rules and avoid destructive changes to current rules. In that regard, the 96th Convention of the American Federation of Musicians calls on Congress to enact only those pension reform measures that are endorsed by the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans. Congress' overriding objective must be to reinforce multiemployer pension plansnot to weaken them.

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Music Industry Targets 765 Internet Thieves In New Round Of Lawsuits

Continuing its efforts to enforce its rights against the businesses and individuals engaged in the theft of music, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), on behalf of its member companies, announced a new round of copyright infringement lawsuits against 765 illegal file sharers.

With legitimate file-sharing networks a nascent part of the online music distribution marketplace their potential fueled in part by the Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in MGM v. Grokster RIAA executives said that redoubling efforts to level the playing field for all legal services is essential.

"Last month, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that businesses that encourage the theft of music can be held accountable for their actions," said RIAA President Cary Sherman. "For businesses and individuals alike, the authority and credibility of the Court's decision could not be more clear: downloading without permission is garden variety theft.' We will continue to send a strong message to the users of these illicit networks that their actions are illegal, they can be identified and the consequences are real."

These "John Doe" lawsuits cite individuals for illegally distributing copyrighted music on the Internet via unauthorized peer-to-peer services such as Grokster, eDonkey, KaZaA, and LimeWire. The litigations were filed in federal district courts across the country, including in: California, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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Dancers Sue New York City To Legalize Dancing

WKCR DJ/jazz historian Phil Schaap, New York City Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins, "Mad Hot Ballroom" instructor Yvonne Marceau, "Footloose" choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett, others support landmark case to overturn Prohibition-era statute as unconstitutional.

Four dancers Byron Cox, Ian Dutton, John Festa, and Meredith Stead and a social-dance organization, the Gotham West Coast Swing Club, filed suit June 23, 2005, in New York State Supreme Court, calling for the immediate repeal of the Cabaret Laws on the grounds that they restrict the state's guarantee of freedom of expression by legislating and limiting the act of social dancing at eating and drinking establishments.

The plaintiffs in the case are represented by a team of lawyers that includes NYU law professor Paul Chevigny and former New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Norman Siegel. The next court date in the case is September 2, when the city will offer its initial response to the suit. On October 18, the plaintiffs will file their response. The judge is Hon. Michael Stallman.

Prominent members from across New York's dance community are supporting the suit, demonstrating the Cabaret Laws' broad negative impact on dancing of every kind, and on dancing as a vital cultural influence. Supporters who filed affidavits for the plaintiffs include: Phil Schaap, WKCR FM on-air DJ and renowned jazz historian; Peter Martins, New York City Ballet Master in Chief; Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Footloose (the film) and Alvin Ailey choreographer; and Yvonne Marceau, who teaches ballroom dancing at the Juilliard School and the American School of Ballet, and whose New York City grade-school dance classes are the basis for the hit documentary film Mad Hot Ballroom.

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ASCAP Promotes Jennifer Knoepfle To Director Of Membership, Pop/Rock

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has promoted Jennifer Knoepfle to Director of Membership - Pop/Rock, it was announced by Tom DeSavia, ASCAP Senior Vice President, Membership Group - Pop/Rock. Based in Los Angeles, Knoepfle will report directly to DeSavia.

Since joining ASCAP in 1999, Knoepfle has been responsible for various artist development programs including the production of the ASCAP Presents CD samplers, featuring the hottest new and emerging songwriters/artists, that are circulated to key music industry decision makers. The CDs have included such artists as The Killers, Maxeen, the Kaiser Chiefs, The Decemberists, and Midnight Movies.

In addition, she coordinates the annual ASCAP Foundation Lester Sill Songwriters Workshop for advanced songwriters, which focuses on the discovery, development and education of a select group of songwriters featuring prominent guest speakers giving advice on a variety of music industry topics. Her role has expanded to include the planning of ASCAP's participation at national industry events such as SXSW, CMJ, and Bumbershoot, as well as several regional outreach programs. She has also been instrumental in forging ASCAP's relationships with a number of online and technology companies, and developing a variety of strategic partnerships.

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The UK's First Internet Radio Licensing & Hosting Service

LiveCast UK Ltd offers hosting packages that rival any other stream host in the UK and the US, but with the advantage of including royalty payments on top. Anybody with a broadband connection and a desktop computer, for as little as 50 a month, can run a fully legal internet radio station, playing any music that they like. Kevin Coy is the Managing Director of LiveCast UK, and has significant experience in the field, and he is joined by Steve Woods, Operations Director who holds vast knowledge in internet networking, server management, and commercial radio production.

Alongside the services described above, LiveCast UK Ltd also operates a fully functional newsroom, providing breaking news alerts, and rolling coverage of major news events to its clients. In addition to that, LiveCast UK Ltd offers software packages for broadcasting, and syndicated programming such as;

Saturday Goal Zone:- A fast paced live programme every Saturday from 14:00 until 18:00 bringing sports news, scores and analysis in real time.

The TOP 40 Chart:- An in-house chart show, counting down the top hits of the current time, for an internet-only audience.

In The Mix With Chris De Cool:- A live broadcast from a nightclub every Friday night, and into Saturday morning, covering five hours of live music entertainment.

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The Sound Of Music

More and more Internet users are taking the high road when it comes to music downloading. Earlier this month, iTunes announced it had sold its 500 millionth song, and the International Fdration Phonographique Industrie said the number of legal music tracks downloaded internationally tripled to 180 million in the first half of 2005.

The Informa Media Group estimates that digital music downloads will account for nearly $2 billion worldwide in 2010, and that in combination with hard format sales and subscriptions the music industry will realize over $6 billion in total Internet-derived revenue.

The IFPI postulates that the current surge in broadband use globally is benefiting the legal music business while illegal file sharing remains virtually flat.

Legal music downloads in the first six months of 2005 in the US, UK, Germany and France outstripped the total for the whole of last year. Single track downloads in those markets rose to 180 million in the first half of 2005 compared to 157 million for the whole of 2004. That is more than three times the 57 million downloads of the first half of 2004.

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LAPD Scores Major Cache Of Pirate CDs In Weekend Raid

Investigators from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) assisted detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department Vice Squad in seizing more than 122,000 pirated music CDs during a weekend raid. The law enforcement operation occurred Friday during the execution of a search warrant at 1781 North Indiana Street in East Los Angeles.

The commercial building was targeted by police as a site allegedly being used for distributing massive numbers of pirate and counterfeit CDs to street and flea market vendors, who were selling the product throughout greater Los Angeles. The investigation is part of ongoing efforts by LAPD Vice Units, targeting large-scale commercial replication and distribution of illegal music in Los Angeles.

"The Los Angeles Police Department once again made a remarkable effort in the fight against the piracy that can plague our streets. The product seized was apparently the tip of the iceberg -- it was a major hub for illicit music for vendors throughout Los Angeles.

"This type of piracy is particularly hurtful to local retailers. Street piracy shortchanges taxpayers and local governments who lose out on tax revenue, and deprives musicians of a return on their work. The Los Angeles Police Department sent a clear message today that piracy is a crime, and will not be tolerated in this community."

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The Music Managers Forum Canada Announces A New President And A New Office

The MMF Canada is very proud to introduce our new President Brian Hetherman of Cerberus Artist Management and Curve Music. Brian's experience and dedication to the industry are a compliment to the efforts of the MMF Canada and the International Music Managers Forum. In 1995 Brian became the director of A&R for MCA Records and MCA Music Publishing.

In 2001 Brian was offered the inaugural position as Executive Director of the Radio Starmaker Fund, the non-profit organization that administers funds to promote and market Canadian recording artists. After a two year stint there, Brian made his move into artist management and has since expanded into a record label as well. Cerberus Artist Management and Curve Music have grown steadily as has Brian's involvement in lobbying and education efforts in the industry, both of which are basic components of the MMF.

We are excited about the election of Brian to our board of directors and the position of president of the MMF Canada. We look forward to working with Brian on many new initiatives for our members in 2005 and 2006.

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Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © Tag It 2005 - Republished with Permission

Grand Stand


MusicDish Network Promotes 60's Love Child Astrella-Celeste


MusicDish, an Internet music magazine publisher and artist marketing/development firm, is proud to announce the addition of Pop/Jazz singer Astrella Celeste to the MusicDish Network roster. Combining a variety of online viral marketing strategies, the MusicDish Network will be coordinating a broad campaign in support of her debut album "Blue Star" (the Spanish translation of Astrella Celeste).
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SKY BOX

MusicDish At MIDEM: J-Music Distribution, France

J-Music Distribution describes itself as "the very first European distributor of Japanese music whose activities link Japanese artists and their management, Japanese record companies, and European distributors together to provide a stable framework of distribution from artists to music retail store."

Formed in December 2005, J-Music Distribution representatives brought their business vision to "MIDEM, The World Music Market's 40th Edition" conference in Cannes, France.

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