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Total Music: Two major labels have been served notice of a antitrust investigation due to a new project called Total Music. Total Music is a yet to be launched subscription service backed by Universal and Somy BMG, has prompted notices from the US Department of Justice.

According to the Music Ally newsletter, the DoJ has served Universal and Sony/BMG with notices to find out more about Total Music, and has also requested information from Warner Music Group and EMI.

Spin Goes Live: Spin Magazine made its debut on Myspace posting it’s pages on the web for free. Access to Spin Digital will be offered free for the next 12 months to registered users of MySpace Music.

New Music: Check out the track Sundowner by Streetside Symphony. We love this track. In 2007 Streetside Symphony who hails from Memphis gained the attention of Atlanta producer/engineer Rick Beato (Trey Anastasio, Shinedown). A few months later, they entered the studio to record The Curse, the first release on Beato’s Ten Star label. The Curse will hit streets Feb. 29th.
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God or Julie has been picked as BMI’s band of the month for February 2008. The band will performing at The Mercury Lounge (NYC) February 12th.

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Fighting Piracy: The New York Times article ‘Verizon Rejects Hollywood’s Call to Aid Piracy Fight‘ shows us how much work needs to be done and how big companies are reluctant to change and effectively position themselves in a new era.

“We generally are reluctant to get into the business of examining content that flows across our networks and taking some action as a result of that content. “We don’t want to solve any network congestion issues by restricting the flow of certain kinds of traffic” says Tom Tauke, Verizon’s executive vice president for public affairs.

The truth is Verizon only wants to fight battles that inherently affect their corporate profits. For instance, Verizon sued and literally bankrupt Vonage over alleged patent infringements. Music piracy does not cut into Verizon’s profits and would actually cost them money to police the flow of traffic.

AT&T understands the new era and is talking about developing a system that would identify and block illicitly copied material being sent over its broadband network.

New York’s New Rock Station: Radio station WQCD (101.9) pulled th plug on Jazz and re-emerged as WRXP, “New York’s Rock Experience.” WRXP describes itself as a mix of classic rock, new music, alternative and local rock.

Ours: KOAR received an interesting press release today regarding the indie band Ours. Ten years after signing with Dreamworks, having never sold many records, perceived as uncompromising and difficult, four record companies later…Why has Rick Rubin made Ours a priority at Columbia records? read the full press release in our comment section.

New Streams: You can now stream the new Simple Plan record here. The self titled record will be released 2/12.
Listen to the tracks The End and Love Is Lie.

Counting Crows has posted a song called “You Can’t Count On Me” that can be streamed here.

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Last week was the first of a 4-week hearing from the Copyright Royalty Board to determine new mechanical royalty rates. The National Music Publishers Association proposes a royalty increase for physical music, from 9.1 cents to 12.5, and a digital rate of 15 cents per track. And in the other corner are the RIAA and DiMA. The RIAA proposes a cut to 6 cents per physical track, while both groups support a digital royalty under 5 cents. Someone slept through economics.

CONTINUE READING

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Death Row: Warner Music is offering $25 million to buy the catalog of bankrupt Death Row Records. Death Row is home to Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur.

Round Two: EMI is planning to make a second-round bid for Chrysalis by today’s deadline. Others considering second-round bids for Chrysalis include Warner Chappell and Sony ATV.

Piracy Crackdown: Legal proceedings were filed against China’s biggest Internet company, Beijing-based Baidu, as well as Web portal Sohu for their practice of “deep-linking” to Web sites offering unauthorized music downloads. Bloomberg says 99% of all music files in China breach copyright laws.

New Music: Richmond, Virgina rock act Conditions is currently touring the UK supporting breakthrough act Paramore. Listen to the track Keeping Pace With Planes.

Alternative rock band, 10 Years who hails from Knoxville has a posted a new track called Beautiful.

New Jersey rock band The Pennyroyals just finished writing some songs with Mitch Allan (SR-71, Daughtry) and will begin recording with producer Mike Plotnikoff.

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U2 Remains On Universal: Roger Friedman reported that the band was in talks with the concert industry’s biggest player Live Nation and could walk away from their 28-year relationship with Universal. But in a statement to EW.com, U2 manager Paul McGuinness says, “This is untrue. As I said in my MIDEM speech, U2 has an excellent relationship with Universal. We have recently re-licensed both masters and copyrights to them.”

Next Major Milestone: Microsoft made an unsolicited $44.6 billion cash and stock bid for Yahoo, setting the stage for a deal that would shake up the competitive market for online advertising.

Montana Mania: Disney’s Hannah Montana “Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour 3D” a concert tour movie, had an impressive $8.6 million at 683 locations, putting the pic on track to make box office history according to Variety. “Hannah” also owned yesterday’s best theater average of $12,550.

Wired Mag: Read the column ‘Want Better Music? Don’t Stiff the Songwriters‘ that discusses the battle being fought over royalties between songwriters and publishers. The Copyright Royalty Board has begun hearings to determine publishing royalties for CDs, downloads, subscription music services, and ringtones.
“Why should you care? Because music is bad enough already. Cutting songwriters out of the equation not only means that manufactured bands that rely on them will sound worse. It also means bands that do their own songwriting will have a tougher time surviving.”

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New Music: listen to the track Hearts and Minds by Ivory Line. Their new record, “There Came A Lion” will be released February 5th through Tooth and Nail.

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