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Rap Wars: 50 Cent I’ll Quit if Outsold by Kanye!…..
50 Cent believes his new album will outsell Kanye West’s upcoming disc, and he’s betting his solo career on it. Both 50 Cent and West have albums due out Sept. 11. 50 Cent, who has sold better than West, has been riled by forecasts that sales of West’s “Graduation” could rival those for his “Curtis” CD. “If Kanye West sells more records than 50 Cent on September 11, I’ll no longer write music” — 50 cent.

Epic teams up with Koch: Being that Epic Records lacks a staff to market urban songs specifically to hip-hop/ R&B radio stations and music video outlets has hired New York-based Koch Records to market rappers. The question was: how do we be in the urban business without having to rebuild an entire team and being delayed a year or two,” Walk said. “A lot of what we are doing now as a label is outsourcing to the best people in certain areas. (NYPOST)

Universal to buy V2 Music: Universal Music Group will buy V2 Music Group for about 14 million in a deal that would add artists Paul Weller and Stereophonics to the Universal portfolio.

Apple is now offering iTunes-related widgets for social-networking profile, websites and blogs.

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It seems there is no end in sight when it comes to piracy.

In November, Universal Music filed a lawsuit against MySpace, accusing the largest social-networking site of copyright infringement. At issue are the thousands of music videos uploaded by MySpace users.

Songs being uploaded are no longer the real issue, but songs being stolen.

While MySpace is kind enough to let artists select which songs they would like to have available for download, it seems they don’t really have a choice at all. Backdoor sites are cropping up which allow anyone to download any song from MySpace instantly in MP3 format, despite the status thats been chosen by the artist.

This web site allows individuals an illegal hack into Myspace and others.

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New Music and Recommended Listening…

Stop By Delorentos

Guarantees by PooPan

Maybe Dead at 27 by Overview

That Aint Me by the Love Willows

I Wonder Why by Maggie Mcclure

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Universal has announced that it will test the market for DRM-free, high-quality downloads offering them through digital retailers including Rhapsody, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Real Networks, Transworld, and PureTracks —but not the iTunes Music Store.

Universal will be selling the DRM-free downloads for 99 cents on other retail outlets instead of the $1.29 price for EMI’s high-quality, DRM-free music on iTunes.

According to sources, the label wanted to compare DRM-free sales from other outlets against protected sales from iTunes. Other sources conclude this is just simple a face off and that Universal wants to take away the iTunes monopoly by building more retail outlets for consumers. Universal refused to enter into any long-term licensing deals with iTunes, and opted for a month-to-month arrangement.

UMG says the test is designed to measure various factors such as consumer demand, price sensitivity and piracy effects of selling unprotected files versus those locked by DRM.

This is unknown territory — Will removing copyright protection increase sales? No one knows. I also  believe consumers will  typically gravitate to one site like iTunes when purchasing music. Regardless, this is just another step into the future.

(Billboard)

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AT&T censored portions of Pearl Jam’s live concert cybercast on Sunday.

Pearl Jam performed a portion of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” during which frontman Eddie Vedder sang, “George Bush, leave this world alone” and “George Bush, find yourself another home.” Those lyrics were missing from the broadcast.

Vedder also ranted against oil giant BP during the set, and later, brought a disabled Iraq War veteran onstage to call for an end to the conflict. Neither of these segments were edited.

AT&T attributed the bleeping to “a mistake by a Webcast vendor”. According to AT&T they do not censor performances, but they do consider editing excessive profanity.

The company also said it was “working with the band to post the song in its entirety,” a sentiment echoed by Pearl Jam on its official Web site (http://www.pearljam.com).

The incident has garnered hundreds of posts on Pearl Jam’s web forum as well as a response from the Future of Music Coalition, a strong advocate for “net neutrality” laws that ensure free speech online.

Lastly, Pearl Jam  rants against the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media….

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