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Confessions Of A Music Thief

Confessions of a music thief

By on August 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM.

Confessions of a music thief

I have stolen music. A massive amount of music, in fact. Over the past decade or so, I have illegally downloaded hundreds of songs from various file-sharing networks. Even thousands, most likely.

In the past couple of years, however, I have completely stopped stealing music as my listening habits shifted from album-based listening to services like Pandora and Spotify. The painful irony here, however, is that recording artists and music labels earn far less money from me now that I have gone legit than they did when I was a thief.

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Music industry’s anti-piracy playbook revealed: Site blocking, app removal and litigation

By on July 25, 2012 at 6:00 PM.

Music industry’s anti-piracy playbook revealed: Site blocking, app removal and litigation

Anti-Piracy Strategy Music Industry

A leaked confidential report from the archaically-named International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has revealed a wide range of strategies being employed by the recording industry to fight piracy, including petitioning for the removal of third-party music apps from app stores and petitioning ISPs to block sites that offer pirated music. The report, obtained by TorrentFreak, shows that the IFPI is advising the music industry to attack piracy with multiple tactics that are divided into five broad categories:  Take down, Disruption, Investigation, Lobbying and Litigation. More →

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Music streaming royalties finally begin to add up

By on June 19, 2012 at 8:05 AM.

Music streaming royalties finally begin to add up

Music Streaming Royalties

Digital music has become increasingly popular over the years, and now it looks like new methods of digital music distribution are finally starting to pay off. SoundExchange, which processes royalty payments for online music streams, confirmed on Monday that it has paid artists and record companies a total of $1 billion since being founded in 2000. “The way the industry is going, it is about multiple revenue streams, not just one,” Michael Huppe, SoundExchange’s president, said in an interview with The New York Times. The company’s quarterly payments to artist and record companies exceeded $100 million for the first time this year. SoundExchange collects money from Sirius XM Radio, Pandora and other forms of Internet radio, and then pays royalties to both artists and their labels. While Internet streaming royalties have increased, they still remain a relatively small percentage of music royalties as a whole. More →

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BitTorrent piracy found by study to boost music sales

By on May 17, 2012 at 11:35 AM.

BitTorrent piracy found by study to boost music sales

BitTorrent Piracy Study

A recent study found that contrary to arguments repeatedly posed by major record labels — and perhaps contrary to logic as well — BitTorrent piracy has a direct correlation to increased album sales. Between May 2010 and January 2011, North Carolina State University assistant professor Robert Hammond tracked BitTorrent download statistics for new albums ahead of their releases. He then compared his data to music sales figures and found what he believes to be a connection. “I isolate the causal eff ect of file sharing of an album on its sales by exploiting exogenous variation in how widely available the album was prior to its official release date,” Hammond wrote in his paper. “The findings suggest that fi le sharing of an album benefi ts its sales. I don’t fi nd any evidence of a negative e ffect in any specification, using any instrument.” Of course, the case may simply be that popular music is popular music; whether consumers steal it or buy it, massive marketing budgets help ensure that people are exposed to labels’ premier acts as much as possible, thus promoting demand. More →

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Former Microsoft exec says Apple killed the Zune before it even launched

By on May 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM.

Former Microsoft exec says Apple killed the Zune before it even launched

Apple iPod Killed Microsoft Zune

A former Microsoft executive in charge of the company’s Zune division has admitted its music players were a mistake, GeekWire reported. “The portable music market is gone and it was already leaving when we started,” Robbie Bach said at an entrepreneurs’ event in Seattle last week. “We just weren’t brave enough,” he said, admitting that Microsoft had been targeting Apple “and there wasn’t a reason for somebody to say, oh, I have to go out and get [Zune] that thing.” Bach regrets that he never pushed the company’s Zune software to Microsoft’s Windows Mobile team to “produce the coolest music service for your phones ever.” The former executive also blamed the Zune’s failure on a music industry that was “hooked” on Apple. “The music industry just didn’t get it,” he said, adding that Microsoft’s Zune marketing message was also very confusing. “I don’t think people walked away saying, this is what Zune is and this is why it’s different. This is why I have to have it. We did some really artsy ads that appealed to a very small segment of the music space, and we didn’t captivate the broad segment of music listeners,” Bach concluded. More →

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EMI Group forces file-sharing service MP3tunes into bankruptcy

By on May 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM.

EMI Group forces file-sharing service MP3tunes into bankruptcy

MP3tunes Bankruptcy

As the company’s court battles with major music label EMI Group, file-sharing service MP3tunes was forced to file for bankruptcy in a United States court earlier this week, Reuters reports. Mp3tunes, which bills itself as “a Music Service Provider (MSP) and the home of MP3tunes Locker: the only secure, online music space to feature unlimited listening,” is one of a number of online services targeted by major labels and the MPAA for allegedly facilitating the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials; Megaupload was shuttered earlier this year after authorities raided the home of company founder Kim Dotcom, who was arrested and now awaits trial. A federal judge ruled in 2011 that MP3tunes and its CEO, Michael Robertson, did not violate the Digital Millenium Copyright Act when they allowed users to download music from the service, except as pertaining to music files that were identified as having been pirated. The judge also said that Robertson was personally liable for a number of pirated songs downloaded from other file-sharing services and hosted by MP3tunes. The case is still pending. More →

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Google ready to spend billions to make Google Play Music a success

By on May 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM.

Google ready to spend billions to make Google Play Music a success

Google Play Music

Google is reportedly breaking out its massive checkbook in an effort to gain blanket rights to major labels’ music catalogs. Following unconfirmed reports that Google’s music offering was floundering and losing users each week, music industry insider Wayne Rosso says that the Internet giant is now holding negotiations with at least one major label in an effort to gain access to its entire catalog. According to Rosso, Google is willing to spend more than $1 billion for such access. More →

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Pandora touts more than 150 million users

By on May 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM.

Pandora touts more than 150 million users

Pandora has more than 150 million listeners

According to CEO Joe Kennedy, Pandora has surpassed 150 million users in the United States and is the second most downloaded app in the history of Apple’s App Store, CNET reported on Wednesday. The Internet radio service has big plans for the future and is working with automakers to integrate the service into virtually all future vehicles. “We truly believe this is just the beginning,” Kennedy said at the CTIA Wireless trade show in New Orleans. Over the past year, the company has faced increased competition from streaming service Spotify, however it doesn’t seem to have affected Pandora’s continued growth. More →

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Happy 'International Day Against DRM'

By on May 4, 2012 at 6:15 PM.

Happy 'International Day Against DRM'

Celebrate the International Day Against DRM

The Free Software Foundation has created a campaign in an effort to eliminate digital rights management (DRM) and embrace DRM-free media. “While DRM has largely been defeated in downloaded music, it is a growing problem in the area of eBooks, where people have had their books restricted so they can’t freely loan, re-sell or donate them, read them without being tracked, or move them to a new device without re-purchasing all of them,” the campaign’s website reads. “They’ve even had their eBooks deleted by companies without their permission. It continues to be a major issue in the area of movies and video too.” The foundation is hoping to raise awareness surrounding what it views to be a growing problem, and it scheduled the “International Day Against DRM” protest for May 4th as a result. A list of local events can be found on the group’s website. More →

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Spotify for iPad now available [video]

By on May 2, 2012 at 7:30 AM.

Spotify for iPad now available [video]

Spotify for iPad now available

Spotify on Tuesday announced that its highly anticipated iPad application is now available for download in Apple’s App Store. The free app allows premium Spotify subscribers to access the company’s huge portfolio of music, stream tracks and playlists, and share songs. The new Spotify iPad app also features gapless playback, a crossfade function and AirPlay integration, allowing users to stream music wirelessly from the iPad to AirPlay-compatible devices. Spotify’s full press release follows below along with a video. More →

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Spotify reportedly prepping Pandora competitor

By on April 26, 2012 at 8:15 PM.

Spotify reportedly prepping Pandora competitor

Web-based streaming music provider Spotify is reportedly preparing to launch a new service that will add new radio and content discovery elements to its portfolio. Citing multiple unnamed sources, Bloomberg on Thursday reported that Spotify is developing a new online radio service that will compete directly with Pandora. Due to launch by the end of this year, the ad-supported service will allow users to stream unlimited music through Spotify’s software, and the service may launch with new music content that is not currently available to Spotify customers. It is unclear exactly how the new offering will differ from Spotify Radio, which was unveiled late last year as an artist-based streaming radio service available for free to all Spotify users. The company’s current core product allows Spotify’s 10 million users to stream music from its online catalog in an iTunes-like player that also allows subscribers to search for content, create playlists and share content with friends. More →

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Microsoft reportedly readying cross-platform streaming music service

By on April 25, 2012 at 11:00 AM.

Microsoft reportedly readying cross-platform streaming music service

Microsoft is reportedly preparing to unveil a new streaming music service at the annual E3 conference later this year. Citing unnamed sources, The Verge reports that the new streaming service will work across several platforms including Xbox, Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS and Android, accessible through a native app or a web browser. Code-named “Woodstock,” the service is reportedly comparable to Spotify, potentially allowing users to stream unlimited music. The service will also seemingly feature deep Facebook integration and a “scan and match” cloud locker feature similar to iTunes Match. According to The Verge, the service will be part of a larger effort to shift away from Microsoft’s Zune brand. More →

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