Billboard Bits: Kraftwerk, John Frusciante, P2P

News on Kraftwerk, John Frusciante, P2P

KraftGerman electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk have confirmed a rare tour of the U.K. and Ireland, beginning March 15 at the Dublin Olympia Theatre. The five-date visit will conclude at the Brixton Academy in London on March 20. These shows will be the group's first in the region since 1997, and its first tour overall since 1991.

The first tour date will coincide with the release of new single "Aero Dynamik," through EMI. The label says the single will be a different version than the one that appears on Kraftwerk's latest album, "Tour de France Soundtracks," and will be accompanied by a selection of remixes.

-- Lars Brandle, London

RedRed Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante will release a new solo album, "Shadows Collide With People," Feb. 25 via Warner Bros. The set features guest appearances from bandmates Flea and Chad Smith, as well as the Bicycle Thief's Josh Klinghoffer. It will be the follow-up to 2001's "To Record Only Water for Ten Days," which debuted at No. 30 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.

Frusciante also contributed five songs to the soundtrack for Vincent Gallo's controversial film "The Brown Bunny." The album will be released only in Japan this week.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Six U.S. senators have written to executives of peer-to-peer networks, calling on them to protect copyrights and cease their role in the distribution of pornography,
Billboard Bulletin reports.

The letter -- sent Friday to executives of Grokster, Bearshare, eDonkey2000, Blubster, LimeWire and Streamcast Networks -- says the companies "have a legal and moral obligation to conform to copyright laws and to end the pornographic trade over these networks." It calls for sites to incorporate "effective copyright and pornography filters" and post clear warnings to consumers about the legal risks of using P2P software.

It also asks P2P companies to change the "sharing" default setting of their software. "The only way to avoid being a forced distributor, and thereby avoid being subject to a copyright-infringement lawsuit for 'sharing,' is to change the default settings," the missive states.

The letter is signed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.); Gordon Smith (R-Ore.); Dick Durbin (D-Ill.); Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.); and John Cornyn (R-Texas).

-- Bill Holland, Washington, D.C.