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The Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) has released a new proposal to charge Canadian Internet and wireless users $5 per month to compensate for losses due to file sharing.

The new right would make it legal to share music on peer-to-peer networks. In return, the SAC is proposing a license fee of $5.00 per Internet subscription per month.

The songwriters claim that this approach would legalize peer-to-peer file sharing, while generating new revenue (420 Million) for creators and the music industry. Songwriting and publishing associations have an opposing critical view, pointing out that many of those they represent only write music and do not perform live. (Billboard)

This proposal may look good on paper but what about the Canadians who don’t file share? Other Canadians should not pay for the crimes committed by thieves. Regardless, the governments must maintain property rights for artists even though others want to vote them away. We need legislation to protect artists and the structure of entire creative industries.

CD Sales…

Josh Groban Noel 538k
Eagles Long Road 312k
Alicia Keys As I Am 257k
Celine Dion Taking Chances 92k
Carrie Underwood Carnival Ride 89k
The Killers Sawdust 20k
Paramore Riot! 18k
Avenged Sevenfold Self Titled 12k
Finger Eleven Them Vs. You 12k

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Myspace To Sell Performance Videos: Myspace has rolled out another revenue model and now allow the sale of exclusive musical performances. The New York Times reports ‘It could be perceived as an Internet variation of the popular series “MTV Unplugged,” but with a revenue stream built in. When musicians participate in the MTV series, their work is sometimes released as albums months or years later. On Myspace, the work will be available immediately’. Unlike a iTunes who demands a flate rate of .99 cents a song, MySpace will let distributors set their own prices.

Will this create new revenue for Myspace? Once again, Myspace needs well known national artists directing fans over to the site. Currently, Myspace is struggling to find the next big ‘widget’ that connects with artists and fans alike.

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LimeWire Antitrust Thrown Out: Limewire claimed the record labels conspired to monopolize the online distribution of music and refused to license their songs to the peer to peer file sharing site in an effort to put it out of business. The federal judge concluded Lime Group didn’t show any facts to suggest the record companies’ actions were “anything other than independent decision-making by each company to refrain from doing business” with Lime Wire. (AP)

Universal Music 90 Second Song Policy: All artists signed to Universal must comply with the new policy and must swap the songs on Myspace for 90 second clips. This is largely due to the fact that thieves steal music by ripping the songs off of myspace and downloading the tracks on their hard drive.

Some illegal myspace hack sites include http://myspacegrab.com/. KOAR tested the program and it successfully rips the track from myspace but the song quality sucks – almost unlistenable. I would rather pay the .99 cents.

New Music: Carolina Liar is a new Atlantic signing. The band moved from South Carolina to California and worked with some of the best songwriters including Max Martin (Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne, Pink, Def Leppard, Britney Spears). Ironically, they sound indie.

Internet Advertising: Read the Times Online post that claims the internet will overtake magazines to become the world’s third-largest advertising medium by 2010.

Lastly, check out Hypebots nominations for music blogs…

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Holiday Layoffs: Universal Music Group’s Island Def Jam label let a dozen people go on Friday. Among the axed were ‘vice president’ of promotion Greg Thompson and A & R hitters Paul Pontius and Rob Stevenson. Island Records also ended it’s relationship with record label Stolen Transmission. Also, Silicon Alley Insider reports that Sony-BMG is cutting its mid-level exec ranks by 40-70 while revenues at the label dropped 10% to $851 million in Q2 and the company was able to save $8 million profit before taxes, which was largely because it wasn’t spending money promoting many new releases.

EMI and the Titanic: Check out this lengthly article that discusses the recent woes inflicting EMI. My favorite lines include ‘What’s the difference between EMI and the Titanic? The Titanic had a good band on board when it went down’ and ‘Under the watchful eye of Sir Martin Sorrell and his peers, lapdancing bills and cocaine fuelled creative sessions have been replaced by careful cost management.

Can you call it a comeback? The music industry is relying on old stars to bring in new business. Nothing gets investors more excited seeing older artists like Whitney Houston preparing for a comeback. Check out her sing her signature hit signature song, I Will Always Love You at a concert in Malaysia and decide for yourself.

WMG — the M stands for Miscellaneous, Mismanagement or Muck: This is what Fox’s columnist Roger Friedman calls Warner Brothers. Friedman says Warner is a disaster and that other companies are toughening out rather than blaming the usual suspects including “the decline of the record industry” or “the unanticipated rise in popularity of downloading,”. Friedman talks about the wins among other companies like Epic Records’ home run with Sean Kingston, New Line’s “Hairspray, A&M/Interscope success with Amy Whinehouse, and Hollywood Records homerun with the Plain White Ts hit single, “Delilah.

Friedman pulls the rug under Warner and proclaims:

The problem is that nobody at WMG is really in the record business. They are in the hit-and-run business. By now, the executives have pulled their millions out of the company and fired as many staffers as they can get away with.

Meanwhile, it’s fairly clear that WMG is indeed turning into a management and concert firm, with only viable CD sales in their catalog.

Edgar Bronfman Jr. has put his money into Irving Azoff’s Front Line Management, Chris Lighty of Violator and now Bulldog Entertainment’s luxury concerts. No new act would sign with WMG now, and the old standbys will probably give third and fourth thoughts to sticking around.

Damn, that hurts….

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Live Nation moves forward: The expansion of Live Nation is talked about today in the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Rapino said Live Nation needs to do more than simply run its concert operations better.

Terra Firma raising equity: Terra Firma is close to completing a £250 million equity fundraising, after telling would-be investors that it can lift profits in recorded music from £61 million in 2007 to £528 million in 2012. Read the details here. Terra Firma claims it can increase EMI profits by cutting costs – how original…..

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Facebook draws privacy concerns: More than 50,000 Facebook members have signed a petition objecting to the controversial new advertising program, which sends messages to users’ friends about what they are buying on Web sites like Travelocity.com, TheKnot.com and Fandango. These sneaky models track where people are going online and send them ads based on the sites they have visited and the searches they have conducted. “Just because I belong to Facebook, do I now have to be careful about everything else I do on the Internet?” says a former college student. Two privacy groups said this week that they were preparing to file privacy complaints about the system with the Federal Trade Commission.

The best-selling album of 2007: “High School Musical 2” will become the year’s top-seller with 2.3 million copies sold, SoundScan reported. For the third year in a row the final sales total will likely be down more than a million units. At least the kids are no longer embracing Britney Spears.

The De-Evolution Since 1991:
‘Come On Over’ – Shania Twain – 15.4 Million
‘Metallica’ – Metallica – 14.8 Million
‘Millennium’ – Backstreet Boys – 12.1 Million
‘High School Musical 06’ – 3.7 Million
‘High School Musical 07’ – 2.5 Million

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In 2006, AIB (Attack in Black) signed to Dine Alone Records (home to City and Colour, Bedouin Soundclash). AIB have shared the stage with the Cancer Bats, Death By Stereo, and embarked on a major national tour with Alexisonfire and Every Time I Die. AIB recently won at the annual ‘Casby Music Awards’ in Canada for ‘Best New Artist’, as well as ‘Best new indie release’ for their record “Marriage”, beating out the likes of Arcade Fire and Tokyo Police Club. In November of 2007, AIB released their new record exclusively on Vinyl/Digital Download. Check out the track Hunger Of The Young.

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