Opinion and analysis of the day's music news.
Court Rules 'Three Strikes' Law Not Enforceable
-- UPC, the Irish ISP, won a legal victory when an Irish court ruled that laws to identify and punish users suspected of copyright infringement are not enforceable in the country. The four major music groups had attempted to impose a “three strikes” system for dealing with repeat infringers.
Even though the judge recognized the damage being done by piracy (“destructive of an important native industry"), he said laws were not in place to enforce disconnections as sought by record labels. Further, he said the lack of such laws meant Ireland is not complying with European law.
Predictably, record labels will now push for the required laws. Said the head of the Irish Recorded Music Association, “We will now look to the Irish Government to fully vindicate the constitutional rights of copyright holders and we reserve the right to seek compensation for the past and continuing losses from the State.”
Elsewhere in Ireland, another ISP has undertaken voluntary measures that UPC has resisted. Eircom has taken a tough stance on repeat infringers and has already begun sending letters to subscribers who have been identified by rights holders as illegal file sharers. (Irish Times)
Live Nation, AEG Go Head-To-Head Over Olympic Stadium
-- Live Nation and AEG are competing against one another for the rights to London’s Olympic Stadium after the 2012 summer games are over. Live Nation has a deal with soccer club West Ham to put on concerts if the club wins the rights to move in after 2014. AEG has its own deal with Tottenham Hotspur, which put in a bid for the use of the stadium. AEG already has the O2 Arena in London.
The latest development is the chairman of UK Athletics, the governing body for athletics in the country, has thrown his support behind West Ham and Live Nation. Reports say AEG’s plans not to leave a track in the athletics stadium angered UK Athletics. (BBC News)
Faith In The Album Format
-- Universal Music Group Nashville chairman Luke Lewis on Jamey Johnson new double album "The Guitar Song": “One of the reasons I'm so hopeful for the success of this record is that it will re-affirm a lot of people's faith in the album as an art form.” (USA Today)
Out of Business: Halifax's Power Promotional Events
-- Halifax concert promoter Power Promotional Events is going out of business and is blaming weak ticket sales. Said president Harold MacKay: “The Black Eyed Peas wasn't as great as we had hoped, and we hoped a couple of weeks later, the country show would pull us out of it, and it wasn't enough to do it. So, you have good and bad in this business. It's a very risky business, and we know that.” (CBC)
Metallica Exclusive Goes To Records Store Day Retailers
-- Stores that support Record Store Day will get a cool new release for Black Friday, the big shopping day after Thanksgiving. Warner Bros. Records is releasing Metallica’s “Live at Grimey’s” to this select group of independent retailers. The recording is from the band’s June 12, 2008, performance at The Basement, a 150-capacity venue underneath the Grimey’s record store in Nashville. The album will be released on CD as well as a double-10” limited edition vinyl. (Noise Creep)
Handset Manufacturer Plans Spotify Integration
-- Mobile handset manufacturer INQ says it is working with music service Spotify to create a phone that makes it easy for owners to use music service. Actually, since Spotify’s mobile app is already so easy to use, one can assume deep integration with INQ will make Spotify even easier. Device manufacturers are a good distribution partner and help services get and retain customers. A phone with tight Spotify integration would help expand the music service’s potential reach. But with the Spotify app already available for iPhone, Android, Symbian and Palm, mobile phone owners get to pick their phone first and then pick which services they want.
Two-year-old INQ is a London-based subsidiary of Hutchinson Whampoa. Its smartphones are sold in the UK, Canada, India, Singapore, Ireland, Honk Kong, Sweden, Italy and Australia. INQ’s current mobile phones are focused on integration with Facebook, Twitter and Skype. (BusinessWeek.com, via MusicAlly)