Business Matters is a daily column that offers insight, analysis and opinion on the day's news. Follow Billboard senior analyst Glenn Peoples on Twitter at twitter.com/billboardglenn .
-- Hip hop label Definitive Jux is going on a hiatus. As co-founder/artistic director El-P explained at the label's blog, the Def Jux Web site will still sell items and the label has a ten-year anniversary compilation coming up. "But then as a traditional record label Def Jux will effectively be put on hiatus," he wrote. "We are not closing, but we are changing." El-P will devote his time to producing and his solo career. (Def Jux blog )
-- Vivendi, the parent company of Universal Music Group, said it will appeal a jury's verdict that several public statements made by the company in 2001 and 2002 violated U.S. security laws. "Vivendi strongly disagrees with the findings against the company, which the company believes are contrary to the facts and the law," Vivendi said in a statement at its Web site, "in particular with respect to an alleged hidden liquidity risk." The class action lawsuit centered around statements and omissions about the company's liquidity position. Lawyers representing the shareholders have said damages could total more than $9 billion. That would be a maximum penalty. Some analysts believe Vivendi has a chance to avoid paying a heavy fine. (Vivendi )
-- Authorities in Sweden have put its tough IPRED anti-piracy law into action with an arrest of five heavy file sharers. Police made raids on Tuesday (Feb. 2) and arrested people suspected of making available between 9,000 and 17,000 music tracks. One of the persons arrested is thought to be the hub owner. IPRED went into effect in April 2009. File-sharing traffic in Sweden almost immediately dropped but resumed to pre-IPRED levels by the end of the year. That could be an indication Swedes were initially scared off but eventually realized IPRED did not pose a threat. That may not change if police target only suspects who make available thousands of files. A mainstream solution should address mainstream users, not people on the margins. (TorrentFreak )
-- Last year, Terra Firma chief Guy Hands moved from London to Guernsey to protest tax increases. But now Hands may face a predicament. Terra Firma has sued Citigroup for allegedly leading Terra Firma to think another company was also bidding for EMI in 2007. Terra Firma ended up buying EMI - and overpaid. If the trial is sent to London, Hands may forfeit his tax-exempt status by entering the country to testify in the country he has avoided for ten months. Terra Firma seeks to have the case heard in New York. (Financial Times )
-- Spotify has added a new "Related Artists" feature to its desktop client. In the past, Spotify used genre and artist tags from AllMusic to serve related songs. Now, the company has mined its own data to group related music based on historical listening patterns. If you're using a U.S.-based account, you may not see the change in the application. (Spotify blog )
-- "Digital Nation," Tuesday's episode of Frontline on PBS, is required viewing for people who want to understand how young people behave in an always-wired digital world. Much of the show deals with youths' inability to learn while digital multi-tasking and the addictive nature of the Internet. For those in music and media, "Digital Nation" may offer clues on how difficult it is to grab and keep the attention of a generation with little of it to spare. And one may ponder the formats that are most suitable for attentive-starved youths. The entire, 90-minute episode can be viewed online. (Frontline )