-- BMI and the Radio Music License Committee have agreed on an interim fee starting August 1 that will reduce the radio industry’s fee to $192 million from $217 million. BMI had previously agreed to the lower fee (reduced 7% from $233 million) starting January 1 and on a provisional basis. Now, a court will determine an appropriate fee that will be retroactive to January 1. (All Access)

-- As a part of a catalog initiative to mark John Lennon’s 70th birthday (October 9), EMI will reissue eight of his solo albums that have been digitally remastered. A compilation titled “Power to the People: The Hits” will be joined by two box sets of Lennon material.
Conspiracy theorists may point to this news in tandem with the appointment of Roger Faxon as head of EMI Music as proof the company is becoming a catalog company. But if news on Lennon was just released, the project was in the works well before Faxon’s appointment a few weeks ago. And besides, if you have the catalog of a legend like John Lennon and an incredible sales history with Beatles reissues, who wouldn’t reissue the stuff? (Press release)

-- In an op-ed, the San Francisco Chronicle says YouTube’s victory over Viacom is an opportunity to overhaul copyright laws in the U.S. No advice is given on exactly what needs to be changed. That’s typical – calls to change copyright law are typically void on specific remedies.

“Our copyright laws have been in need of an overhaul for years,” it concludes. “They stifle business and confuse consumers and creators. The drive to overhaul them has been gathering steam for many years, and we urge creators to join it - as long as the copyright laws reflect the new realities of the Internet. We can't expect people to create things for free - unless we believe that the only people in our society who can be creative are those who are already rich.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

-- White-hot location-based app company Foursquare has received a $20 million round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz (a $300 million technology venture fund co-founded in 2009 by AOL founder Mark Andreessen) and original investors Union Square Ventures and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. The company says the money will be used to hire additional engineers improve its infrastructure. Foursquare has 1.8 million users, according to this latest blog post.

At his blog, Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz explained the firm invested in Foursquare because of its leadership (co-founder/CEO Dennis Crowley), it’s a “killer product” and it operates in a “gigantic market” where over 200 million people have smartphones. “As importantly,” he adds, “we are very excited about Foursquare’s ability to make money in a way where all parties win: users, merchants, venue owners, brand advertisers, and more. In fact, users have been so excited about the product that they’ve actually been signing up local businesses to run promotions for Foursquare’s mayors and active users. This natural enthusiasm is happening even before Foursquare has added specific product features to help businesses run campaigns.” (Foursquare blog, Ben’s Blog)

Assorted Links
-- Sound Around, a new low-cost iPhone app creator, has launched. (

-- In the wake of Lilith Fair cancellations, Terry McBride issues an open letter to critics. (McBride Blog)