MTV Video Music Awards

Aid, Damages, Cancellations Continue After Tragedy

Vivendi Universal (VU), AOL Time Warner, and Sony joined the wave of corporations pledging funds to help aid victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. VU chairman Jean-Marie Messier announced the com

Vivendi Universal (VU), AOL Time Warner, and Sony joined the wave of corporations pledging funds to help aid victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. VU chairman Jean-Marie Messier announced the company will make a $5 million contribution for disaster relief to The Fund, New York's multi-agency primary donation vehicle. He also urged employees to contribute individually and said the company will match contributions two for one.

AOL Time Warner chairman Steve Case and CEO Jerry Levin pledged $5 million to be distributed among six relief organizations: American Red Cross, September 11th Fund, International Association of Fire Fighters, New York Fraternal Order of Police WTC Fund, The National Organization for Victim Assistance, and The Twin Towers Fund.

The two also reported that in less than 24 hours, AOL members have donated more than $4 million by enrolling and using the service's "card-on-file" feature to make one-click donations.

Sony Corp. and Sony Corp. of America are contributing $4 million to relief organizations. The New York chapter of the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund is to receive $3 million; the remaining $1 million will go to the New York City Public Private Initiatives, which aids the families of police, firefighters, and other city employees involved in relief efforts.

Meanwhile, damage from the attacks is being felt throughout the industry. Access has been cut off to New York's Knitting Factory club and its parent, KnitMedia, which are located just north of the World Trade Center. A spokesman says the shutdown -- which follows major financial hits due to digital investments and the launch of a club in Los Angeles -- has put the company "at death's door."

Music events outside the U.S. continue to be affected. Organizers have called off the planned U.K. Farm Aid 2001 concert, which was to take place Oct. 27 in Cardiff, Wales, to aid U.K. farmers. Also, as expected, MuchMusic in Canada has cancelled its annual Sept. 23 MuchMusic Video Awards.

The plenary session of the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) international e-commerce conference is to go ahead Wednesday (Sept. 19) through Friday in Geneva. A WIPO spokesperson says there may be changes to the program.