Stories about an RIAA loss in court, OutKast and Polaroid, and Johnny and Rosanne Cash.
The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled today (Dec. 19) that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has no authority to compel Internet service providers to turn over the identities of their subscribers who use peer-to-peer file-sharing services and are suspected by the trade group of infringing copyrights.
The decision sides with Verizon, which challenged a January District Court ruling in favor of the RIAA and stops the organization's 6-month-old program to halt illegal file sharing by using a so-called information subpoena law.
While the court says it sympathizes with the music industry's plight, it ruled that the RIAA's argument that ISPs are liable as "mere conduits" to disclose the identities of its subscribers "borders upon the silly."
"This is a disappointing procedural decision, but it only changes the process by which we will file lawsuits against online infringers," RIAA president Cary Sherman says in a statmnet. This decision in no way changes our right to sue, or the fact that those who upload or download copyrighted music without authorization are engaging in illegal activity."
-- Bill Holland, Washington, D.C.
Now that OutKast has put the phrase "shake it like a Polaroid picture" into the pop culture vernacular, the instant photography company's ad agency has used it as an opportunity launch a guerrilla "buzz trend" campaign. With the line from the hip-hop duo's infectious hit "Hey Ya!," putting Polaroid on the lips of a new generation of picture takers, New York-based MVBMS has put cameras into the hands of Andre 3000 and Big Boi, among others.
"Our intrepid group got in touch with OutKast's manager before their [November] appearance on 'Saturday Night Live' and gave them and some of the dancers Polaroid cameras for their performance of the song," a MVBMS spokesperson tells Billboard.com. "As things have gone on, they've made sure that OutKast and others have Polaroids on hand to capture the moment on stage, at parties and other events."
The agency is putting cameras into the hands of so-called "Polarazzi," celebrities and other trendsetters, according to Billboard sister publication Adweek. They plan to hit high-profile events on New Year's Eve as part of "The Polaroid Ambush."
"Hey Ya!" has been No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 for two weeks and on top of the Hot Digital Tracks chart for 16 weeks.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
A photo montage of Johnny Cash and his family set to his duet with daughter Rosanne on "September When It Comes" that was shown at last month's tribute to the late country icon, will be released as a music video next week. The clip will air on CMT beginning Wednesday (Dec. 24) and on Rosanne's official Web site.
Written by Rosanne with husband/producer Jon Leventhal, "September When It Comes" is featured on her latest album, "Rules Of Travel." The set, which is nominated for the best contemporary folk album Grammy award, peaked in April at No. 16 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.