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Quick Takes: James Patterson sets e-book milestone

Also: Men at Work, Jimmy Buffett, Kent Nagano and more.

July 07, 2010

James Patterson's publishing company says that he's the first author to exceed 1 million sales in electronic book delivery.

The Hachette Book Group says Patterson has moved 1.14 million units of his books for devices like Kindle and the iPad. The big seller, by far, is the most recent: Patterson's novel "I, Alex Cross," which was published both electronically and in hardcover last fall. Since his first novel in 1976, Patterson's books have sold more than 205 million copies.

There's no third-party monitor of e-book sales, so Hachette used its own figures and checked other prominent authors. The publisher didn't find any others who had cracked the million mark.

—Associated Press

Band fined for borrowed riff

A judge ordered Australian band Men at Work on Tuesday to hand over a portion of the royalties from their 1980s hit "Down Under," after previously ruling its distinctive flute riff was copied from a children's campfire song.

But the penalty — 5% of the song's royalties — was far less than the 60% sought by publishing company Larrikin Music, which holds the copyright for the song "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree."

In February, Australian Federal Court Justice Peter Jacobson ruled that Men at Work had copied their song's signature flute melody from "Kookaburra," written more than 70 years ago by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair.

On Tuesday, Jacobson ordered Men at Work's recording company, EMI Songs Australia, and "Down Under" songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, to pay 5% of royalties earned from the song since 2002 and from its future earnings. A statute of limitations restricted Larrikin from seeking royalties earned before 2002.

—Associated Press

Museum finds Kirchner work

A German museum has discovered what it believes to be a previously unknown work by German Expressionist artist Ludwig Kirchner that languished in its cellar for decades.

The Staedel Museum in Frankfurt announced the find on Tuesday, saying that it had discovered it as part of its renovation. The canvas is painted on both sides, with a rare nude, believed to have been painted in 1910, on the back.

The museum plans to restore the work and put it on display for the first time when it reopens in the fall of 2011. It did not give an estimate of the painting's value.

—Associated Press

Jimmy Buffett to sing on gulf

Singer Jimmy Buffett is just another mad Gulf Coast native when it comes to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but with an exception: He's got millions of fans and a way to help lift spirits over the seemingly endless crisis.

Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band will play Sunday on the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala., which has been sporadically hit by oil for weeks. The show already has been postponed once because of Hurricane Alex, and Buffett is hoping bad weather lurking in the Gulf doesn't create problems this weekend.

Known for laid-back tunes like "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise," Buffett was born in Mississippi and raised in Alabama, and has lived all over the Gulf Coast.

"I have pretty much surrounded myself with Gulf Coast influences for a long time, and … if you listen to those songs, I think it's pretty much in there," said Buffett, 63.

The concert will be

simulcast on CMT and Radio Margaritaville, which is available on Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio. It also will be streamed live on http://www.CMT.com.

—Associated Press

Nagano exiting German post

Conductor Kent Nagano will be stepping down as music director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, according to reports Tuesday from the German media.

Nagano was quoted as saying that he won't renew his contract with the opera company, which is set to expire in 2013. The conductor joined the company in 2006 after serving as principal conductor and music director at the Los Angeles Opera from 2001 to 2006.

—David Ng

Finally

On the radio: "The Side Show With Nikki Sixx," a two-hour music and interview program hosted by the former Motley Crue bassist and songwriter, will join the lineup at KYSR-FM (98.7), airing from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturdays beginning this weekend.

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