Billboard Bits: Soribada, Innocence Mission, and more

Stories on South Korean download site Soribada, Innocence Mission, and a donation made by the estate of late "Peanuts" cartoonist Charles Schulz.

SoribadaThe prosecutor's office of Seoul, South Korea, has indicted the operators of local peer-to-peer MP3 download site Soribada for copyright infringement, Billboard Bulletin reports. Soribada, which is similar to Napster, has become South Korea's most popular music download service. Local record companies claim that it and other peer-to-peer services have cost the local industry tens of millions of dollars in lost sales.

Named in the indictment are two U.S.-educated brothers, Yang Il-hwan and Yang Jung-hwan, who launched Soribada in May 2000. The Yang brothers weren't detained because neither reaped a sizable economic gain from their operation of the Web site, according to Hwang Kyo-ahn, deputy director of the computer investigation department of the prosecutor's office. Neither brother could be reached for comment.

Soribada will be permitted to continue operating until a final ruling in the case is handed down by the Seoul District Court, Hwang says, adding that the Ministry of Information and Communication also has the authority to shut down the service. A court date has yet to be set.

-- Louis Hau, Seoul

Ethereal pop veterans the Innocence Mission will on Sept. 25 issue a collection of previously unreleased material, "Small Planes," via the What Are Records? label. The group, led by the husband/wife duo of Don and Karen Peris, is also working on a new studio album for release next year. That set will be the follow-up to 1999's "Birds of My Neighborhood," Innocence Mission's final album for RCA. In the meantime, Don Peris has completed a 12-track solo album, "Ten Silver Slide Trombones," which is available for sale through the group's official Web site . He will play solo tonight (Aug. 15) at Zoetropolis in the group's Lancaster, Pa., hometown, and on Friday at the Tin Angel in Philadelphia.

The Schulz Fund, endowed by "Peanuts" cartoonist Charles "Sparky" Schulz, has donated $1 million toward a $75 million music center at Sonoma State University in Santa Rosa, Calif. The money will go to the Santa Rosa Symphony, which has set a goal of raising $10 million for the planned Green Music Center. The Schulz donation is set up as a matching gift. Each dollar donated by individuals and businesses will be matched by $2 from the Schulz Fund, which was set up when Schulz died last year at age 77. "Sparky derived great pleasure from the symphony, and I know he would be very pleased by this challenge," said Schulz's widow, Jean Schulz.

Copyright 2001 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.