Thursday, July 24, 2008

Myspace to Launch a New Music Service

According to Fortune, Myspace will launch a new music service this September. The music service will enable MySpace members to listen to free streaming music as well as purchase song downloads, ringtones, T-shirts and concert tickets. Read the article here.

50 Cent sues Taco Bell

Rapper 50 Cent is suing Taco Bell after Taco Bell launched a new hip hop themed ad campaign encouraging 50 Cent to change his name to "79 Cent","89 Cent", or "99 Cent" to coincide with Taco Bell's value meal. No surprise here that the company did not ask permission from 50 Cent to use his name in the ad campaign. 50 feels that this commercial hurts his legitimacy as an artist. You can read Rolling Stone's thoughts on this here and watch the ad below:

FCC to approve XM-Sirus Merger

According to the Wall Street Journal, the FCC will approve the merger between satellite radio companies XM and Sirius. Read the article here or check out this video discussion about it:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Best Buy to push unsigned artists

Best Buy has launched a new program to stock their shelves and online store with regional and local artists. The promotion is a partnership with Regional CD, a indie distributor which will allow bands to sell music directly without their own distribution or even a label.

Approved artists are considered based on Myspace/Facebook page, fan base, and local performances, and will be paid for every CD sold.

You can submit your own music via this page.

Thursday, July 10, 2008 to compensate artists; Myspace labled sellouts

UK-based Social Music site announced today that they would start sharing ad revenue with artist on their site. will give artist a cut of the ad revenue from ads displayed on their site next to the artist's streaming music. Both big and small artist will receive a revenue share from (unlike Myspace who only cuts deals with the major record labels). More information on this announcement can be found on Wired.

Rock the Vote battle of the bands


Rock the Vote has announced their 2008 band competition. Dubbed "DemROCKracy," the competition allows bands to sign up to win a change to play at Rock the Vote's Ballot Bash 2008 in Denver, CO; other bands will win some huge prizes as well, in the order of new Gibson guitars, and placement on TouchTunes digital jukeboxes around the country..

This competition is a great way for smaller up-and-coming bands to gain national exposure while doing something positive as the group works to register two million young voters in one of the most important elections in years.

Any musician or band can sign up by visiting here. More than 2000 bands have already signed up.

High Gas Prices Continue to Hurt Touring Bands has done a detailed article on how high gas prices have been affecting touring bands. With bands spend upwards of $200 a day to get from show to show, small bands can only make their money back on merchandise sales. So if you are going to a show, pick up a t-shirt or two if you really want to support the bands. You can check out the article here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Canadians get "unchicken" from KFC


Controversial fast food company KFC has responded to PETA's wide ranging Kentucky Fried Cruelty campaign, but only in Canada. The campaign, which included Rise Against, Thursday, Silverstein, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, The Sleeping, Story of the Year, Alkaline Trio, Anti-Flag, Hawthorne Heights as well as actors Pamela Anderson and Ryan Gosling, has been pushing the chain to clean up their treatment of animals.

While many of the participants are vegan or vegetarian, they have repeatedly stated that the campaign is not anti-meat, but only seeks to see more humane treatment of animals in slaughterhouses.

According to a report from (who else?) the The Kentucky Post, the chain will improve its chicken slaughter conditions and introduce vegan menu options, but only in Canadian restaurants. Of some note is that the vegan option will use a chicken substitute often called "unchicken."

Though PETA is controversial for what some percieve as a hardline stance, the group has a huge number of supporters, particularly in the punk and hardcore scenes. KFC has been widely criticized for what many see as inhumane treatment of animals in their factory farms.

Peer to Peer programs cause leaky computers

It appears that file-sharing programs such as Limewire are not that safe. Many of these programs allow people to access information on your computer other than what you allow them to access. Many files, including records on social security numbers, have been leaked onto the internet through the use of these programs. Check out the Washington Post's article about this.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Music sales down for first half of 2008

According to recent data from Nielsen Soundscan music sales dropped 11 percent in the first half of the year compared to 2007 figures. CD sales have dropped 16 percent while digital sales have increased 34 percent (but only make up 15.5 percent of the market). For more details check out this article.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Stealing Books Lowers Student Loans

College students have been illegally downloading textbooks which have been scanned and put on torrent sites and the publishers are starting to fight back. An interesting article on this can be viewed here.

RIAA says evidence is not need for infringment cases

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) urged a federal judge on Monday to leave intact the $222,000 verdict against Jammie Thomas in the first file-sharing suit to go to trial. The RIAA argues that evidence of actual distribution (people downloading the files from a shared folder) is not needed, only evidence that the files were available (the files were available in the shared folder to be downloaded) is needed. This brings out an interesting point, the court has said that it is legal to download copies of copyrighted material, and the question remains whether it is illegal to merely upload copyrighted material or to upload it and have evidence of some one downloading it from you. So if you are going to file-share, not making your files available in your shared folder may keep the RIAA off your back. A public hearing is set for August 4. Read more about it at Wired.