Sony’s board has rejected Third Point CEO Daniel Loeb’s proposal that it sell part of its entertainment business. Loeb, who’s known for shaking up Yahoo, wrote to Sony Corp. in May proposing the sale of up to 20% of the movie and music division; his Third Point owns about 6.5% of Sony. Loeb said money from the sale should be used to strengthen Sony’s ailing electronics arm, which has suffered from intense competition in the global TV manufacturing business. In a letter to Loeb, Sony said that continuing to own 100% of Sony Pictures and Sony Music is “fundamental” to its success. Sony also said that content is increasing in value and the entertainment business will benefit through time from the proliferation of new distribution platforms, high-speed Internet access and mobile devices.
One of punk’s iconic band names has provoked a lawsuit. Fans may be confused to see two different groups performing this year under the name of Hermosa Beach, Calif., act Black Flag — one fronted by founding guitarist Greg Ginn and another touring as FLAG with Ginn’s former bandmates Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson. Ginn claims that he and his label SST Records own the rights to the band’s name (and “Flag” variation) and logo, which FLAG uses on tour. Ginn is seeking an injunction against FLAG’s tour, which began in May and will stop in Los Angeles (pending this case) for the FYF Fest on Aug. 24. Also named as a defendant is former Black Flag singer Henry Rollins.
Pulselocker, a new music subscription service targeting DJs, plans to make it easier for customers to browse its catalog by making it available through HTML5. The company also announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with Merlin, the Amsterdam-based global rights agency that represents more than 20,000 labels and distributors. Pulselocker’s service lets customers use songs they’ve added to their “locker” — a set number of songs they’re allowed to store locally for offline use, the amount of which is determined by a tiered subscription system that starts at $9.99 for a 25-track locker and goes up to $59.99 for 1,000 tracks.