News Posts matching "Music"

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Microsoft Rolls Out 2012 Xbox LIVE Update

Today we’re starting to roll out the official release of the update to Xbox LIVE subscribers around the world. To ensure a stable release, this will be a gradual deployment across subscribers and regions over the course of the next week. Our initial deployment will reach approximately three million consoles worldwide, with additional users being updated over the course of a couple weeks. Don’t panic if you don’t see an immediate update, just keep checking back in.

Koss Introduces STRIVA: First Wi-Fi Headphone System to Get Music Directly from Web

Koss Corporation, the U.S.- based creator of the world's first SP3 Stereophone in 1958, has unveiled STRIVA, a revolutionary new headphone and in-ear monitor system with Wi-Fi technology that receives music directly from the Internet without wires.

"54 years ago my father revolutionized personal listening with the first Koss SP3 stereophone," Michael J. Koss, President and CEO said. "Today, thanks to the Internet, the revolution is in the air. Now all of your favorite music can be streamed directly from the Internet to our new headphones and in-ear monitors without wires using Koss STRIVA technology."

Hurt Locker Copyright Extortion Racket In Tatters, Plaintiffs' Hypocrisy

Voltage Pictures, producers of movie Hurt Locker attempted to use a reverse class action tactic to extort hundreds of millions in 'settlement' claims aka extortion demands over alleged 'losses' due to 'piracy' – something that has never and can never, be quantified and proved. However, their attempt has failed miserably – plus read on for how Voltage Pictures did a little content 'theft' of their very own to make the movie.

The idea was to use the services of the US Copyright Group (USCG) to extract personal subscriber information from ISP's via subpoenas and then send demand letters averaging US $2,000 to hapless victims, with the hope of racking in a grand total of around US $94 million - way more than the film ever made, about US $12.6 million.
The USCG quickly unloaded lawsuit claims against 47K members of the unwitting American public, even as Voltage Picture spewed a stream of vitriol suggesting that the children and families of file sharers would hopefully "end up in jail".
explained DailyTech, putting it very well. Yes, let's get the kiddies in the name of corporate copyright and profit...

Ditch The Restrictive DRM: Happy Customers Equals More Profit

Rice University and Duke University are the latest in a long line of educational institutions to fund research on the effect of using restrictive Digital Rights Management (DRM) to try and control levels of so-called "piracy", which is allegedly reducing sales of content-only, infinite goods/virtual products, such as music, movies, computer games and books. (Some observers writing about DRM replace the word "Rights", giving us the phrase Digital Restrictions Management, which seems a more accurate description of what it's really about and removes the veneer of legitimacy from it. When buying DRM'd content, you are buying digital handcuffs, nothing more, nothing less.) The universities sponsored a study called Music Downloads and the Flip Side of Digital Rights Management Protection and what it found is that contrary to popular belief amongst the big content companies, removing DRM can actually decrease levels of piracy and increase sales. The fact is that DRM is always broken by hackers and pretty quickly too, often within a day or two (there isn't a single one still standing) leaving legal users who work within its confinements with all the restrictive hassles that it imposes, while the pirates get an unencumbered product to do with as they please. How is this progress?

The Pirate Bay in Legal Soup, Owners Fined and Jailed

The Pirate Bay, one of the largest BitTorrent tracker websites, that allows peer-to-peer file sharing and is infamous to host torrent links to copyrighted content on users' computers, is in legal soup vide a verdict from a Swedish Court of law. The Court has convicted four men responsible for running the website after its founding anti-copyright group, Piratebyran gave up control. The four men, Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde were found guilty of multiple counts of copyright infringement, and sentenced to one year's imprisonment. A fine of around US $3.5 million was further issued, with each of the four having to pay around $905,000.

The verdict comes as a victory for record companies, that welcome it, despite the fine imposed not being anywhere close to the $17.5 million + damages, several groups of record companies were pushing for. Speaking in a video address hosted on the website, Peter Sunde described the verdict as "bizarre". "It's so bizarre that we were convicted at all and it's even more bizarre that we were [convicted] as a team. The court said we were organized. I can't get Gottfrid out of bed in the morning. If you're going to convict us, convict us of disorganized crime" he said. Speaking about the fine, he said "We can't pay and we wouldn't pay. Even if I had the money I would rather burn everything I owned, and I wouldn't even give them the ashes."

Linksys Intros Multiroom Wireless-N Home Audio System

Cisco today announced the Linksys by Cisco Wireless Home Audio system at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. From the world leaders in networking, the Wireless Home Audio system utilizes Wireless-N technology to deliver a rich audio experience to any room in the home. Users can create a party atmosphere with immaculate synchronization when listening to the same song throughout the entire home, or send different music to customized “zones”. The Wireless Home Audio solution also puts millions of songs at your fingertips through integrated Internet services such as Rhapsody, AudioLounge, and RadioTime. An optional Docking Station for iPod enables your content on Apple iPods, including Podcasts, Audio Books, and purchased iTunes content, to be played through any Wireless Home Audio device on the network. Wireless Home Audio products also work great with the newly announced Linksys by Cisco Media Hub that gathers and presents the available media on a network.

Activision-Blizzard planning a Music Store

The 'newly-wed' Activision-Blizzard is reportedly planning a music store and content delivery service to directly compete with Apple's iTunes service. For now nothing is even close to concrete, Activision-Blizzard is considering launching its own download store on its Guitar Hero game platform for now. Says CEO Robert Kotick: “When you think about the potential for what we will be able to do together, there have not been many viable alternatives to iTunes.” in an interview to Reuters. He adds: “If you're downloading a song to play on your 'Guitar Hero,' there's no reason why you can't download the performance also. So there's all kinds of things you can think about.”

Vivindi currently owns the World's largest music publication company, Universal Music. This could serve as a content source for this delivery platform.Source: Reuters

Apple to Offer Unlimited Music Downloads?

According to the Financial Times, Apple is currently in discussions with music companies regarding the possibility of providing users with unlimited access to music downloads. The plan would most likely involve customers having to pay a premium for iPods/iPhones and then being able to download as much music as they want – essentially embedding the cost of music into the price of the player itself. However, the discussions are apparently stalling a bit at present as the companies negotiate over pricing. Apple is reportedly offering only $20 per device, which is much lower than companies like Nokia, which is paying almost $80 per handset for a similar plan. Another possibility is that users may pay a subscription fee each month to have unlimited downloads, with the capability of keeping 40 to 50 tracks each year even if the subscription is cancelled.Source: MacRumours

Norwegian Police Pwn MPAA Lawyer

"Pirate chasing" lawyer Espen Tøndel works for the MPAA, and would love to see everyone who's ever used a file sharing network/client to download or upload copyrighted content either make reparations or go to jail. Tøndel was most recently seen in Norway, chasing a bunch of IP addresses. When Tøndel took this list of IP addresses to the police, they flat out told him that they will not chase petty criminals when murderers, rapists and other baddies roam Norwegian streets. Tøndel, infuriated, decided to take his case to higher court. He requested a meeting with the Norwegian department of justice. He instead got a flat "no" answer, and was effectively told that he might as well file suits against the pile of IP addresses, because no Norwegian police agency was going to bother itself with solving the petty piracy cases. It is unclear whether or not Tøndel has actually tried to sue the IP addresses, or if the suits utterly failed because he never could tie the IP addresses to a name.Source: TorrentFreak

Record Label 'Quits', Uploads Music Directly to Pirate Bay

Piracy really needs no introduction. The RIAA is on it like a fat kid to cake, and a sizable chunk of internet users do it. Artists and record labels are caught in the middle of things, the victim in both cases. If pirates win, they make no money. If the RIAA wins, nobody will pay for their music. And so, in what is likely to be the only time this happens, an independent record label is hoisting a white flag. All music that German record label Dependent Records owns will be uploaded directly to The Pirate Bay. Dependent Records attracted mainly aggrotech, electro-industrial and futurepop artists. Dependent Records is doing this because they had to close shop recently, but still want the artists to see some exposure.

Update: The record label Dependent has informed us that this news posting is not true and that the owner Mr. Herwig has been an opponent of file sharing for a long time. Apparently the original news source Torrentfreak did not do their research properly.Source: TorrentFreak

Yahoo! Shuts Down Yahoo! Unlimited Music Service

For a while, you could only get your legal music from three main music distributors: Napster, Real Rhapsody, URGE, and Yahoo. However, there have been a lot of changes. With restriction-free music gaining momentum, with distributors like Wal-Mart providing cheaper music, and distributors like Amazon simply offering more music, business is awful hard to come by for any of those distributors. Yahoo, which at one point offered more than two million songs, has been forced to shut down the Unlimited music service. Yahoo has officially sold the Unlimited music service to Real Rhapsody, and current subscribers of Yahoo will be given a migration notice very soon, if they haven't been already. Yahoo will still be in the music business, though, and is considering offering a very limited catalog of subsidized free music, much like competitor Spiral Frog.Source: DailyTech

Apple to Lower UK Music Prices

Apple today announced that within six months it will lower the prices it charges for music on its UK iTunes Store to match the already standardized pricing on iTunes across Europe in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. Apple currently must pay some record labels more to distribute their music in the UK than it pays them to distribute the same music elsewhere in Europe. Apple will reconsider its continuing relationship in the UK with any record label that does not lower its wholesale prices in the UK to the pan-European level within six months.

“This is an important step towards a pan-European marketplace for music,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We hope every major record label will take a pan-European view of pricing.”Source: Apple

More Music Labels Considering Selling DRM-Free Music

EMI started the anti-DRM movement by being the first major record label to sell their music without DRMs. Fortunately, Universal Studios caught on quick, and now offers the majority of their library sans DRMs to select retailers. And thanks to a recent promotion of the Amazon DRM-free music selling service, and a new partnership of said music service with Pepsi, more record labels are planning to sell DRM-free music. Warner Music Group, who owns material from famous artists such as Black Sabbath, is planning to put their music on Amazon. Sony BMG is also planning to place their material on Amazon. The main reason behind this sudden adoption of DRM-free material is the recent success behind DRM-free music. A symbol of this success is Universal making 85% of their music available as an unprotected MP3 file. Universal is all but confirmed as staying in the DRM-free MP3 market, pending final results of the market trial due in mid-January.Source: PC World

Record Labels Replacing CD Single Albums for USB Sticks

Well, according to some analysts, the CD simply isn't cool anymore among 12-24 year olds, the demographic most record labels target. And so, they're trying to make it 'cool' by replacing the 'square' CD with a much sleeker USB stick. The USB stick would include songs, videos, and some multimedia content from the artist. Keane and The Pussycat Dolls will be the pioneers in USB stick single albums, with their latest stuff coming out before Halloween on the USB stick. While USB sticks may be smaller and sleeker than CDs, they don't appear to be much cheaper. The average USB single album would cost about £5 (€7/$10) per stick, about £2 more than the CD single album. The fact that most car radios do not have a USB slot may also restrict adoption of the new media format.Source: Reg Hardware

Led Zeppelin: 'I Wish EBay Would Drop Dead and Die.'

EBay is known for selling all sorts of interesting goodies. Among them are tickets to the Led Zeppelin reunion show. When Led Zeppelin promotor Harvey Goldstein heard about this, he tried to get eBay to stop selling these tickets. According to Goldstein, eBay "basically told us to **** off". And so, in response to this, Goldstein vowed to seriously mess with the lives of the people selling these tickets on eBay. Goldstein plans on messing up the lives of these people by declaring the tickets purchased off eBay null and void, which will cause a nightmare for a lot of hardcore Led Zeppelin fans. Checking whether or not a ticket was purchased off eBay is surprisingly easy, all they have to do at the box office is deny entry to anyone who bought the ticket with a different credit card than they have. The Led Zeppelin Reunion show will take place on November 26 at London's 02 Arena.Source: Neowin.net

Woman Fined $222,000 for Music Sharing

Jammie Thomas, a single mother from Minnesota, has been ordered to pay $222,000 in damages after being found guilty of illegally sharing music over the internet. Thomas was found to have shared over 1,700 files via Kazaa under the username Tereastarr, of which 24 were named in court. As a result she was ordered to pay $9,250 for each of the 24 songs, which totalled to $222,000. Thomas’ defence attorney argued that there was no proof she was behind the keyboard sharing the songs, and forensic scientists were unable to find any evidence on her hard drive because it has been recently replaced. However, based on the fact that Thomas used the nickname Tereastarr for a number of internet services and that the sharing had been traced to her modem’s MAC address the jury found her guilty of the charges. At the end of the case RIAA attorney Richard Gabriels said “This is what can happen if you don’t settle.”Source: DailyTech

Demonoid Back Online; Blocks North American Users to Avoid Legal Troubles

Last week, Demonoid was down for quite some time, and everyone seemed to think it was due to the Canadian Recording Industry Association. Demonoid is back with a vengeance, and proudly proclaims they were not shut down, rather, they merely had a bit of server trouble. However, to avoid future issues with the CRIA (and possibly the American RIAA), they are prohibiting anyone from North America to access their tracker. ISOHunt.com and it's partners have followed suit, presumably for the same reasons.Source: DailyTech

Hacker's Project Gives Soldiers Access to Digital Goldmine

Not all hacking is bad, or that's at least what the hacker "Deviant Ollam" wants us to think. His "Traveling Terabyte" project takes an ordinary hard drive, adds a large volume of music, videos, and other content to it, sends it overseas with USB cables and international power adapters in a standard Pelican case, and asks soldiers to add their own content before sending it to another soldier. Soldiers who have received the kits thus-far have loved the idea, especially considering that digital content is little and far between in the middle of the desert. There is no word as to whether or not the digital content is legal.

Source: EnGadget

Nine Inch Nails Lead Singer Tells Fans to Pirate Their Music

During a recent concert, Nine Inch Nails lead singer Trent Reznor decided to let his fans know exactly what he thought of CD prices.
STEAL IT. Steal away. Steal and steal and steal some more and give it to all your friends and keep on stealin'. Because one way or another these mother****ers will get it through their head that they're ripping people off and that's not right.
Universal Media is not very pleased with Trent Reznor's comments. You can see the full version of the rant here.Source: The Inquirer

Wal-Mart to Begin Selling DRM-Free Music

It doesn't matter how much DRM-free music EMI Group PLC. and Universal Music Group make, if nobody sells it, there's no point. Thankfully, Wal-Mart realized this, and quickly remedied that problem. For $0.92 per song, or $9.22 per album (slightly less than iTunes, Napster, and other competitors), you can get yourself DRM-free songs from the previously mentioned record labels. Songs will be distributed as Windows Media Audio (WMA) files, and there is no mention as to what the bit-rate will be.

Currently, iTunes and Amazon are the only vendors selling DRM-Free music, but they will soon be joined by Wal-Mart, iTunes, and hopefully several others.Source: Nordic Hardware

LimeWire to Sell DRM-Free Music

LimeWire is well known throughout the pirating world as one of the most common file sharing engine. Recenly, LimeWire has faced lawsuits from the RIAA, Universal Music, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Music. It seems as though LimeWire is making some attempt to go straight. The LimeWire Music Store will sell DRM-free 256Kbps MP3s from IRIS distribution and Nettwerk Productions. The LimeWire Store will have popular artists available, such as Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, and Paul Van Dyk. The LimeWire file sharing client will still be available, however, future versions will have links in them to the LimeWire Music Store.

There is no word on when the store will launch, how much money each song will cost, and whether or not other record labels will join LimeWire.Source: DailyTech

ALLOFMP3.COM No Punishment

Denis Kvasov has just manged to get off with no charges for his wildly known site ALLOFMP3.com. The site has been shut down by Russia, because of the conditions set by the World Trade Organization. For that reason Denis Kvasov had to face Russia's court, and face all sorts of fines and jail time for breaking copyright laws. In the end it seems that he lucked out with weak, and poorly written copyright laws in the country. The charges simply could not be held against him, and he has been let go without any kind of punishment held against him.Source: The Inquirer

Universal Music Group to Offer DRM-Free Music

EMI tested the idea of DRM (Digital Rights Management software) free music by offering their DRM-free music to Apple's iTunes Plus store and Microsoft's Zune store a few months ago. Finally, other music groups are following suit. Industry giant Universal Music Group is planning to offer an unknown amount of their vast library to Real's Rhapsody, Wal-Mart, Amazon, and even Google. However, they are not offering any DRM-free music to Apple's iTunes Plus store at this point. We will start seeing these restriction-free tracks in January 2008, if all goes well. In January, Universal will closely monitor sales, increases in piracy, and other factors before "going all in".

Source: EnGadget

Most insurance policies do not cover digital music

As we know, CD sales are dropping like flies in a house full of bugzappers, and services like iTunes can sometimes crash under the load of music downloaders. However, a new reason to stick with analog CD's has come to light: analog CD's are insured while digital copies of songs rarely are. If a fire or burglar were to snatch a computer full of music, chances are the actual owner of the PC would not be able to make a claim for that music.

The chances of a digital music collection getting lost/stolen/destroyed is about 24% in the UK, which would make backing up a music collection sound advice. Unfortunately, making a backup of any DRM-infested music is hardly worth the trouble, as you will not be able to listen to the backup copy anyways. And even if a backup did succeed, chances are that the backup would be destroyed/stolen with the original.

Fortunately for the future, the number of insurers covering digital property is increasing. While some insurers, such as Churchill Insurance, will cover up to £1,000 worth of music claimed "in good faith" (aka without a receipt), companies such as Zurich refuse to insure digital property at this time.Source: Reg Hardware
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