People across the country spent a portion of Thursday trying to decide what news items were real and which weren't. Here are a few of the April Fools' Day pranks that hit the music industry.
One prank that may have snared a few people who thought it was still march was an e-mail from commentator Bob Lefsetz proclaiming that Apple had acquired EMI, which the day before had failed a debt covenant test and failed in attempts to license its catalog for sales and distribution by a competitor.
The deal... Just like with Apple's purchase of Lala, no hard numbers have been released. But both Citi and Terra Firma are happy. Citi gets its money back, and Guy Hands gets to save face, Terra Firma's covenant breaches become irrelevant, there's no need to raise and inject new capital and by selling to Jobs, et al, Hands gets to spin the concept that this was his plan all along.
Nimbit, a direct-to-fan platform, had a little fun with its bogus press release announcing that it had joined with peers Topspin and ReverbNation to acquire the RIAA.
"We could have simply purchased EMI," notes Nimbit's Bob Cramer, "but Lefsetz already did that." This move saves countless housewives, frat boys, and 3rd graders from the threat of massive lawsuits brought on by the major label's biggest and only supporter: the RIAA.
Historically, the RIAA has served as the lobbying arm of the major labels. Under this new joint ownership, the RIAA will actually be lobbying for artists seeking accurate royalty statements, an end to "free goods and breakage," and the music industry's first ever 361 deal. "This promises to be at least 1 higher than LiveNation's 360 deals with Madonna and Jay-Z," jointly declares Jeff Price, TuneCore CEO and Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap.
Indaba Music shied away from policy and politics when it announced a remix contest for John Cage's legendary song "4'33."" Here's the catch: the song is actually four minutes and 33 seconds of absolute silence. The winning remix, says Indaba, will get the track streamed on the official MySpace page for the society of experimental music and noise.
Finally, it may seem a bit far-fetched that a torrent site would send personalized condoms to various media industry like the RIAA and MPAA (with the message, "We wish your parents had used it"). But this appears to have actually happened. Photos of the UPS receipts, along with a missive against "the largest companies fighting against free information exchange in the Internet," have been posted at Vertor's blog.