-- Borders reported a greater operating loss and an improved net loss in the first fiscal quarter ending May 1, 2010. The net loss of $64.1 million was a fair improvement over the $86 million net loss in the previous year’s first fiscal quarter. Revenue dropped to $547 million from $650 million. Comp store sales in the company’s domestic segment were down 6.8%. The chain closed six stores during the quarter and finished with 680 locations, a sharp drop from 894 locations last year. (Earnings release)

-- As expected, Apple pulled the plug on Lala on Monday. All that’s left is instructions on how to redeem credits and refunds. Apple acquired Lala in December 2009 but has not yet indicated how it will incorporate either its people or product into existing or future Apple products. (Lala.com)

-- On Friday, the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 224 to 170 (with 16 abstain votes) the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010. The bill includes a provision that will increase the taxes paid be venture capitalists. It needs to be passed by the Senate and signed by the president to become law. Carried interest, or the venture capitalist’s share of profits earned from an exit, is typically taxed as capital gains – which currently gets taxed at 15%. The new bill will require 75% of carry to be taxed as ordinary income. Legislatures argued venture capitalists should not be taxed at the lower rate because they are using other peoples’ money. What this will do to venture capital is anybody’s guess. The venture capital industry calls the provision a job killer and says it will reduce investment in innovation. (New York Times, VentureBeat)

-- Buzzmedia has acquired three music-related websites and signed ad partnership deals with three others according to a company rep. The sites acquired are PureVolume, Gorilla vs. Bear and Concrete Loop. The ad partnership deals are with RCRD LBL, the Hype Machine and PopMatters.com. The press release regarding the news didn't mention the ad partnership deals - it referred to all six sites as as "additions" - but that fact was disclosed to TechCrunch and confirmed by Billboard.biz. In addition, the deal with Gorilla vs. Bear is an investment with a right to buy the remaining stake. PureVolume, The Hype Machine and RCRD LBL are not the typical editorial-based sites of Buzzmedia. Already in Buzzmedia’s portfolio are Absolute Punk, Stereogum, Idolator, JustJared, and Buzznet. (Press release, TechCrunch)

-- Of the four majors’ division in Australia, only Sony Music Entertainment recorded a profit in 2009, according to accounts filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Universal Music Group posted a $2.3 million loss, Warner Music Group had a $5.9 million loss and EMI lost $1.65 million. Sony Music’s profit fell to $1.8 million from $7.2 million. (Herald Sun)

-- Last week, Canada’s Copyright Board maintained the per-unit tariff at 29 cents for each domestic sale of a blank CD or MiniDisc. Blank audio cassettes of 40 minutes or more are no longer subject to the tariff. One modification concerned the distribution of monies. The tariffs, less operating costs, will be split as follows: 58.2% to collection societies, 23.8% to recording artist and 18% to record label. Previously, the split was 75% to collection societies, 13.7% to performers and 11.3% to record companies. (Supplement to the Canada Gazette PDF)

Assorted Links
-- What should Ballmer do with Zune? Focus on phones, bundle Zune Pass with phones, stop Zune brand creep, no more Microsoft Points. (Digital Noise)

-- The four best iPad apps that can make you a better musician. (Music Think Tank)

-- LA’s underground rave culture is hardly underground these days. (Los Angeles Times)

-- Live Nation’s oddly named Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza will revert to its original name, Irving Plaza. (New York Times)

-- “Hurt Locker” producers sue 5,000 over digital piracy. (The Telegraph)

-- New Zealand’s Copyright Tribunal has raised performance royalties to 3% of revenue – a 58% increase. (NZ Herald)

-- 924 Gilman Street is danger of closing due to rising rent, bad economy. (SF Chronicle)