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Lost MegaUpload data back in court, yet again
As much previously reported, when the US authorities shut down MegaUpload in 2012 accusing its operators of money laundering and copyright infringement, they not only cut off a ready supply of pirated music and movie content, but also disconnected legitimate users of the file-transfer platform from the files they had uploaded to it. In Goodwin's case, that meant he lost access to a load of videos of local sporting events that he had filmed.
Those legitimate users of the service have never been reconnected with their lost data, despite some sympathy from the judge overseeing the case. For their part, the US authorities have never seemed to care much about Goodwin's predicament, pointing out that the MegaUpload terms advised users to keep local back ups of their files.
Meanwhile the music and movie industries have always insisted that if the file-transfer platform was ever turned back on, even for a short time, all the illegal content would have to be removed first, a requirement that basically makes a temporary reactivation impractical and therefore impossible.
This isn't a good look for the entertainment business, given that Goodwin is a fellow copyright owner who just wants to get his content back. Indeed the whole debacle suggests that, despite what their lobbyists might say, the major labels and big movie studios don't in fact care all that much about the principle of copyright, the only thing that really matters is their copyright.
Of course, nearly fives years on, a temporary reactivation of the old MegaUpload platform is all the trickier, because some of the old servers rented by the ex-file-transfer service have already been wiped, while others are stacked gathering dust in warehouses. A company who last year bought one of MegaUpload's main server providers, Carpathia Hosting, sought court approval to repurpose those old machines, while noting that - having sat idle for so long - there was a chance half those servers wouldn't work properly anymore anyway.
Goodwin, supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has filed numerous requests with the court seeking help in getting access to his lost videos. This week yet another filing was made.
Noting their client's original 2012 motion to secure a return of his property, Goodwin's lawyers write in their latest filing: "As a result of the government's actions, Mr Goodwin and many other former MegaUpload users lost access to their valuable data, and that data remains inaccessible today. Mr Goodwin's motion remains pending. Further delay may mean the complete loss of Mr Goodwin's valuable property and that of other former MegaUpload users".
The legal rep for MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom supports Goodwin in his bid to regain access to his old files. Ira Rothken told Torrentfreak: "MegaUpload looks forward to having the court determine whether or not the US acted appropriately by turning off all consumer access to their data stored in the cloud. The Department Of Justice should avoid elevating Hollywood interests over consumer interests and do the right thing for consumers like Kyle Goodwin who wants access to youth soccer videos he stored in the MegaUpload cloud".
Beatles company disputes rival copyright claim for Shea Stadium footage
As previously reported, the company of late concert promoter Bernstein, who promoted the 1965 show, recently launched legal proceedings over the new documentary film 'The Beatles: Eight Days A Week', which included about thirty minutes of footage of the Shea Stadium gig. The Bernstein company claims it owns the copyright in that footage.
The original film of the concert was actually made by Ed Sullivan's Sullivan Productions and Brian Epstein's NEMS Enterprises, and those entities were always of the opinion that they were the copyright owners. Beatles-owned companies Apple Corp and Subafilms then seemingly acquired the rights off Sullivan and NEMS.
Sid Bernstein Presents now argues that it was always the rightful owner of the copyright in the film because Bernstein himself instigated and paid for the show to take place. The other companies involved in the filming, therefore, were never rights owners and were never in a position to assign any rights to Apple Corps or Subafilms.
In its legal response, Apple Corps disputes the Bernstein company's claim to owning any copyright in the Shea Stadium footage, insisting that, in fact, at the time of its original production NEMS Enterprises had the "sole and exclusive right" to the film. Bernstein just "observed the filming and recording", the legal filing adds, and was not actively involved in the film side of the production. Apple Corps lawyers then point out that Bernstein himself never made any claim to the copyright in the film before his death in 2013.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the attorneys write that the plaintiffs themselves concede that "Bernstein, throughout the nearly 50 years after the Shea Stadium concert until his death in 2013, never asserted any claim of authorship or copyright ownership in the film of the concert - which first aired nationally in 1967 - despite the consistent, notorious, and exclusive claims of ownership by NEMS, Apple and Subafilms, all of which excluded Bernstein from any receipts from their various exploitations of the film".
It remains to be seen how the judge responds to Apple Corps' bid for dismissal.
StubHub welcomes proposed ticket bot legislation, attempts to make friends with the music industry
As previously reported, Adams has called on Prime Minister Theresa May to support his proposals to ban the use of software that is employed by touts to hoover up tickets for live shows before fans have a chance to buy them. As is her tendency, she said something quite firmly, but at the end it wasn't really clear what she was actually talking about. Despite half agreeing with Adams, it sort of sounded like she was saying no, and that it should be left to the market to sort touting issues out. Because that has proven so effective already.
Clamping down on the use of bots by touts is the one area of regulation in the secondary market that ticket resale sites like StubHub generally don't immediately shout down. It is, after all, quite hard to argue in favour of such technology.
To that end, StubHub told CMU yesterday: "StubHub supports legislation to tackle bot misuse. The misuse of these programmes harms all aspects of the ticketing industry, most importantly fans. We have consistently supported anti-bots legislation and recently gave evidence to the US Senate Commerce Committee on this subject".
"This is one of the biggest issues that the ticketing industry faces", it continued. "However, legislation alone cannot solve this. Professor Waterson's review into the secondary ticket market concluded that event organisers and primary ticketing companies need to develop better technology in the fight against bots, which we fully support".
The statement is StubHub's latest move to attempt to make friends with the music industry, which is what its controversial sponsorship of this year's Q Awards was also supposed to be about. Apparently. Speaking to IQ, the company's Aimee Bates said that that alliance is all about investing in the live music industry.
"Our goal is to seek out partnerships where we can use our global reach to give event organisers, artists and promoters another channel to sell their tickets at face value", she said. "The Q Awards partnership is a good example of us investing in the live industry, and we continue to seek more opportunities to continue this".
Anti-tout group the FanFair Alliance recently accused the company of attempting to "buy legitimacy" through its Q sponsorship deal. But that's not the case, insists Bates. StubHub's true aim is the make ticket buying better for everyone, and to end the trend of resold tickets being stupidly expensive, by "providing a safe and secure ticket marketplace for resale [while] increasingly working with partners to offer them another channel to sell primary, face-value tickets".
"This is a win-win", she maintains. "Because it gives our customers more choice and gives the rightsholder another route to market for tickets. The primary inventory on the site also drives down prices in the secondary market, as sellers have to compete with face-value prices".
The real problem is the existing primary ticketing industry, she says. Bloody idiots, trying to sell tickets to people. "It's clear that the primary market is not functioning as well as it could, as outlined by Professor Waterson", she says. "Transparency is deliberately lacking in terms of how many tickets are available to buy at face value at any given point. The public never have this information".
Of course, transparency - of a lack thereof - is one of the main criticisms levelled at the secondary ticketing sites too. Despite new rules brought in by the Consumer Rights Act, sites often do not include information such as the seat number or seating blocks of tickets being resold, or who the actual seller is. Ambiguities in the new law mean that there is still some dispute over whose responsibility it is to provide this information (although StubHub does generally now provide some seating info).
But whatever, it seems like StubHub still has an uphill struggle ahead of it, if it genuinely wants to be seen as a friend of the music industry.
Strategic considerations remain the biggest challenge in direct-to-fan
The article itself notes: "The single biggest impact that mainstream adoption of the internet has had on the music industry is the direct-to-fan relationship, the fact that artists can now connect directly with core fanbase. Yet it seems like the music business in general has taken a long time to truly capitalise on the new opportunities here".
Scoullar continues: "Artist management get this nagging feeling that perhaps they ought to try a PledgeMusic campaign, because they are hearing about how successful others have been. But they may not grasp the planning and work and resources that go into executing for success. There are many tools to support fan engagement, but managers are so busy with every other aspect of the tasks before them that they don't have the time to figure out what they want to achieve, which is the best platform for those goals, and how to go about reaching them in an effective way".
It seems that one of the key challenges in capitalising on the opportunity of direct-to-fan is working out who should lead on this side of an artist's business, and where other key business partners like the label and promoter fit in. Could the label, in fact, lead on all things D2F?
"This is always going to depend on the artist's unique situation", Scoullar says. "It depends on how active the label is in day-to-day marketing, and where the initiative lies for product management".
She goes on: "For some artists, management will have very developed ideas about the campaign and what they hope to achieve, and will rely on the label for resources to assist with execution. For others, management and the label may work with a third party - such as the platform's own team or an external specialist such as Wicksteed Works - to help tease out goals, advise on strategy and to assist with getting things done on a day-to-day basis".
Scoullar was speaking to CMU following the launch of the second edition of her 'Which Platform' report, which compares and reviews the various different and differing direct-to-fan tools and channels available to artists and their business partners. The new version of the report comes two years after the original.
"Many of the featured platforms have made incremental changes to their service offerings", Scoullar says of what has changed between the two editions. "For example, as they look to appeal to major labels and bigger artists, more are offering chart reporting in more territories. And more have responsive or mobile-ready template store offerings, in an effort to keep up with our shift to mobile browsing. Some platforms are also offering a greater level of administrative support addressing changes to the law, like the EU VAT digital goods requirements, in keeping with the rule change in Jan 2015".
Premium readers of CMU can read the full CMU Trends article 'What challenges remain to truly unlock the power of direct-to-fan?' here.
Meanwhile you can buy the latest edition of 'Direct-To-Fan: Which Platform' here for just £29.
Bob Shennan named director of BBC Radio
"Radio is a jewel in the BBC crown and continues to thrive in spite of the changing technological times", insists Shennan. "BBC Radio is world class and it will be an honour to lead it and make sure it stays that way".
"I'm delighted to appoint Bob to this important post", the aforementioned Purnell declared. "Bob has an outstanding breadth of experience and has made a huge contribution to BBC Radio over many years".
Mr Director Of Radio & Education continued: "He has proven, through Radio 2, that BBC services can be both distinctive and popular, has brought digital-only services 6 Music and Asian Network to record audiences and has successfully launched BBC Music. I am looking forward to working with him on the next chapter for BBC Radio".
Shennan is a fan of Liverpool FC, if you were wondering.
First material from Prince's vault to be released next month
The compilation, due for release on 25 Nov, will feature 39 of the musician's best known songs, in addition to 'Moonbeam Levels'. The song (which has actually been floating around outside the vault for several years) was originally recorded during sessions for the '1999' album, and was later considered for the also unreleased 'Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic' album.
As well as this, Warner Bros and NPG Records have confirmed that a remastered edition of the 'Purple Rain' album will be released at some point in the near future, featuring a disc of unreleased material.
UK Music Video Awards presented
Says the event's Editorial Director David Knight: "Since 2008, the UK Music Video Awards has celebrated music videos as a form of creative expression, as entertainment, and as an effective way to bring music to the world. This year's winners and nominees reflect the extraordinary extent of talent and craft that's been applied to the making of music videos in Britain and around the world, and we're honoured to be a part of celebrating that".
Best Production Design: David Bowie - Blackstar
Video Of The Year: Jamie XX - Gosh
Best Video Artist: Massive Attack
Outstanding Achievement Award: Mike O'Keefe
BBC leads at all-new radio industry awards
It does mean that - as the Audio And Radio Industry Awards - the new back-slapping bash shares its name with the Australian record industry's big awards event the ARIAs. Though maybe the Aussie radio industry could now launch the Broadcast Radio And Internet Transmission Awards, and then we'll be even.
It was a good night for the Beeb, with the following all taking away the top prizes...
Best National Speech Breakfast Show: Today, BBC Radio 4
Best News Coverage: The Buncrana Pier Tragedy, BBC Radio Foyle
Best Digital Audio Service: audioBoom
Audio Moment Of The Year: The Boy Who Gave His Heart Away, TBI Media for BBC Radio 4
Speech Broadcaster Of The Year: Stephen Nolan, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio 5 Live
Best Local Station: Hallam FM
Eventim, Backstage Academy, Kobalt, more
Other notable announcements and developments today...
• Former Ticketmaster exec Simon Presswell has stepped down from his role at the top of UK CEO of Eventim, less than a year after taking the job, reports IQ.
• Muse tour manager and Cato Music founder Glen Rowe has been appointed MD of the Backstage Academy, bringing his own 'roadie school', the Cato Academy, together with the Backstage educational venture. Cato Music allied with Production Park, home of the Backstage Academy, earlier this year.
• Former BMGer Laurent Hubert has been hired to run Kobalt's new B2B rights management division. "So, I'm THRILLED", says CEO Willard Ahdritz.
• Deezer has launched a new dedicated grime channel, to promote new talent in the genre with playlists, podcasts and videos. "It's time", says Roman Tagoe, Head If Content And Editorial, Deezer UK & Ireland.
• Janet Jackson's 'Nasty' reportedly got a 250% boost in Spotify streams after Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton a "nasty woman". Although, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's probably a normal week-by-week or even day-by-day fluctuation for that song. Stats are stupid.
• Eminem has released a new Donald Trump diss track, called 'Campaign Speech'.
• The video for Little Mix's new single, 'Shout Out To My Ex', is now online.
• Sky Ferreira has been cast in a new film about Norwegian black metal band Mayhem, based on the book 'Lords Of Chaos', reports Deadline. The film is being directed by former Bathory drummer turned pop video maker Jonas Åkerlund.
• Radiohead are headlining Poland's Open'er festival next year. And some other festival too, but I forget which one.
• In a busy week for award giving, Music Week presented its annual Sync Awards last night, an event where I'm sure everyone in the room was perfectly synchronised. Here's the list of all the winners. Well done all of you, for syncing like the best of them.
CMU Beef Of The Week #328: Bob Dylan v Nobel Prize
"I am very sad", said Alfred. "Blowing up rocks and buildings and people is not as much fun as I thought it would be. I will give all my money away to people who have done things that are much more fun, and maybe less killy".
So Alfred sent out his helpers across the land and far away, looking for people who had done nice things, so he could give them prizes and throw them big parties. People got prizes for being nice, helping out, doing good science experiments and writing very interesting stories. Later there was a prize for Economic Sciences too, but that prize was frankly bullshit and should not be mentioned ever again.
Every year for a very, very, very long time nice people got nice prizes and had big parties paid for by all the dirty money that Alfred had earned in his evil lifetime. And forever he was remembered as being the nice man who liked nice things. That was nice, because nice things are nice, especially if you give people those nice things as a way of saying sorry for being naughty.
Then one day, all the clever people in charge of the now very well known award for being good at stories decided that they should give a prize to a man called Bob. Bob had written lots and lots of stories in his long, long life. Almost too many to count. And lots of people said that he was very good at it. But a lot of people also said that Bob should not get the big prize for being good at stories, simply because Bob sang those stories in a nasal voice, instead of writing them down in a book like a proper story person.
Other people said that it didn't matter that Bob turned his stories into songs and sang them in a style that had increasingly seemed like a parody of himself, because the stories were still really, really good and made lots of people feel very happy in their tummies. Anyway, it had been decided now that Bob was definitely going to get himself the story award, so there really was no point arguing about all this.
So the prize people started getting ready to throw a big party for Bob. They put up streamers, and made cakes and jelly and brownies, and sorted out a minor administrative issue when the deposit on the hall borrowed for the party didn't go through, and then they blew up balloons, and hired a mobile DJ, and made up party bags, and got into a slightly tedious email exchange when it turned out that the hall had now been double booked because of the previous payment issue, but they still found time to buy new party clothes and send out party invitations.
They sensibly sent the first party invitation to Bob himself, because the party was, after all, being thrown for the benefit of Bob, to show him how much everyone loved his very good stories. But Bob did not write back. That was OK though. Bob was very busy singing his songs that were actually very good stories. He had big story-singing concerts to think about. He'd probably get around to replying once those were finished. Maybe he would even use one of those concerts to say that he would definitely be coming to the party.
But Bob did not do that. Bob didn't even mention the party or the prize or anything at all at those concerts. He just sang his story songs and went home. But that was fine. Bob didn't like to talk much when he wasn't singing his songs, everyone knew that. And he hadn't had time to write a song about winning a prize and having a party yet. Yeah, that was probably the problem.
Or maybe the invitation had got lost and Bob didn't even realise that he'd won a prize or that there was going to be a party for him. Oh, how sad! It would be terrible if there was a party for Bob and Bob didn't even know about it. So, just to be certain, the prize people sent another invitation. And another. And another. But Bob still did not reply.
"Right now we are doing nothing", Sara, one of the top prize people, told Ben and Alexandra from the New York Times after they got worried about Bob not showing up for his party. "I have called and sent emails to his closest collaborator and received very friendly replies. For now, that is certainly enough".
But Bob still said nothing. Some people got temporally excited when the prize was mentioned on his website, but it turned out that website was managed by his story song label, and not Bob himself, and it was on a press release about a new book of his stories, so was really just a bit of marketing and not any formal kind of RSVP. Which made sense. After all, Bob was not a computer man. Or a marketing man. Bob just liked to sit at home writing really good stories. And the next day they took down the mention of the prize anyway.
"I think he will show up", Sara told Hannah from the Guardian, who was just as worried as Ben and Alexandra. "If he doesn't want to come, he won't come. It will be a big party in any case and the honour belongs to him".
Yes, said everyone. Bob will have the prize whatever he decides to do. That will always be his for all eternity. Maybe Bob just doesn't like parties. Did anyone think to ask him first if he actually likes parties and jelly and cake and balloons and streamers?
Anyway, it's starting to seem like, if Bob did turn up to the party he'd be a bit of a bloody misery guts and spoil it for everyone anyway. He might write very good stories, but he can be a right grump. Thinking about it, maybe it would just be better if he stayed at home and we all told him what a nice time we had afterwards.
"Oh Bob, we had such a lovely time", we would all say. "We had jelly and cake, and there were balloons and streamers, and the minor administrative issues about venue arrangements were not much of a problem at all in the end, although some people did turn up expecting a different party to be happening, but, really, what can you do in that situation?"
And Bob would sit silently.
"Oh Bob", we'd say. "We laughed and danced all night. No, we didn't play any of your records, because we thought that would bring the mood down a bit, although we did play the Red Hot Chili Peppers version of 'Subterranean Homesick Blues', which was really a lot of fun and showed just how good you are at writing very good stories".
And Bob would just sit silently.
"Oh Bob, we love the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bob", we'd say. "Don't you? We think they write stories almost as good as yours. Next year we might give the prize to them. I bet they'd show up to the fucking party. And they could sing some of those songs that seemed like fun back in the olden days, but in hindsight are just mind-blowingly sexist and make us feel embarrassed that we used to play them in our cars to our mums while she drove us to the shops".
And Bob would just sit silently, or maybe blinking, or something like that, because you can't just sit staring all the time, it is very bad for your eyes.
"Oh Bob", we'd say. "Even with the incredible misogyny that runs through his lyrics, it's undeniable that Anthony Keidis is a great poet. A great poet like you, Bob. Just like you. He's kind of like the next generation version of you, isn't he, Bob? He's very good at stories just like you are very good at stories. And he sings them in a way that's sort of like not actually singing too. Just like you, Bob. Just like you".
And Bob would smile.
"Heeey", he'd say. "I forgot to saaay... that there's no waaay... that I could take any prize that hadn't also been given to the guy who wrote 'Give It Awaaaay'".
"Oh Bob", we'd say. "Bob, Bob, Bob. You are so very good at stories".
And we'd all live happily every after.
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