Pulse Music Flashback 12/20/2004: RIAA Isues New Wave of P2P Lawsuits

Inside Pulse launched on August 9, 2004, and has covered the world of music for over a decade. Every day, we take a look back at what was happening in the world of music 10 years ago, as reported right here at Inside Pulse!

[Beats] Hip-Hop News Bites

Self-proclaimed gangster Styles P. of The Lox plans to exhibit a gentler, more conscious side by expanding his lyrical material for his upcoming sophomore album Time Is Money, the Yonkers-bred rapper announced. “This album, I didn’t want to be as street as I usually am,” Styles told MTV.com. “Before, I was more wild. I’m trying to be more grown, I’m trying to go deeper. I don’t want to be classified for the same thing all the time.” Styles’ tentative first single is the Alchemist-produced “I’m Black,” which Styles said examines the often neglected experience of being black in society. “Sometimes people forget about who they are and where they came from,” Styles said. “Whatever happens, I’m black. I’m being conscious nowadays, being in the position I’m in to give consciousness to the kids.” That said, Styles collaborates with the ever-conscious Talib Kweli on a song that speaks to “the first generation of crack babies,” according to Styles. Havoc and Scott Storch also lend production to the album, expected to release in March 2005.

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[Tech] RIAA Isues New Wave of P2P Lawsuits

A recording industry trade group said Thursday that it has filed another wave of lawsuits against 754 people it suspects of distributing songs over the Internet without permission. The Recording Industry Association of America has now sued more than 7,000 people for distributing its songs over “peer to peer” networks like eDonkey and Kazaa, in an effort to discourage the online song copying that it believes has cut into CD sales. The RIAA typically settles copyright infringement suits for around $5,000 each. Despite more than a year of headline-grabbing lawsuits, peer-to-peer use has not declined. An average of 7.5 million users were logged on to peer-to-peer networks in November 2004, up from 4.4 million in November 2003, according to the research firm BigChampagne. The four major labels — Vivendi Universal, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, EMI Group Plc and privately held Warner Music — have recently begun to license their songs to a new generation of online services as a way to slash distribution costs and reach out to fans. But recording-industry officials remain at loggerheads with software makers like Grokster and Morpheus that allow users to freely copy their songs. “With legal online retailers still forced to compete against illegal free networks, the playing field remains decidedly unbalanced,” said RIAA president Cary Sherman in a statement. Courts so far have declined to declare peer-to-peer software makers like Grokster and Morpheus illegal because, like a photocopier, they do not permit copyright infringement but merely make it possible. The Supreme Court will hear the entertainment’s case against Grokster and Morpheus in March. The latest round of lawsuits included students at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Old Dominion University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Under pressure form the RIAA, many schools have taken steps to limit file sharing and at least 20 schools give students free access to industry-sanctioned download se

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The Nutcracker? Sweet!

Most great music is in some way based on the dramatic aspects of being human. It makes sense, if you think about it. If the composer is trying to make the listener feel something, the easiest way to achieve that is to draw from something that the listener might have experienced. Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony, for example, is a harrowing evocation of isolation, failure, loss, and sorrow. Listening to a good performance of the symphony puts you through all of those emotions, and it can be a very powerful experience.

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Summertime Blues, News, and Views: The Danger of Simplicity

I have actually heard precious little holiday music this year. In fact, I believe I have heard Adam Sandler’s “Hannukah Song” more than any Christmas songs. I can’t figure it out for the life of me; I live in a very Catholic town, and we’re mere days from the biggest holiday of the year. When I go shopping, the music is still a healthy mix of pop and holiday tunes. Even when I work out, the Christmas CD isn’t always playing. Although I have exchanged most of my gifts for the year (and am quite enthusiastic with what I have received, as well as the reactions of those for whom I bought presents), it still doesn’t seem like there is less than a week before everything is done and overwith.

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