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Recording Industry

May 18, 2007
IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE a consumer-goods company refusing to sell the most popular version of its product, but that's just what the world's largest record companies have been doing. While consumers and independent artists made the MP3 format the lingua franca of the Digital Age, the major music labels offered downloadable songs only in formats that were scrambled to deter copying. At least until this year.
May 16, 2007 | Randy Lewis
A U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles has dismissed Beach Boys co-founder Mike Love's 2005 lawsuit against his cousin and former band mate Brian Wilson. Love argued in the lawsuit that he and the group had been harmed financially by the 2004 distribution in the United Kingdom of a free CD featuring Beach Boys songs rerecorded by Wilson in conjunction with the release of Wilson's "Smile" album. The suit claimed that the free CD also hurt potential sales of future Beach Boys releases.
May 1, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Warner Music Group Corp. agreed to use technology from Napster founder Shawn Fanning to sell song downloads on websites including Warner is the first major recording company to sign such an agreement with Snocap Inc., Fanning's San Francisco-based digital-rights technology firm, the companies said in a statement.
May 1, 2007 | From the Associated Press
China, Russia and 10 other nations were targeted by the Bush administration Monday for failing to sufficiently protect U.S. producers of music, movies and other copyrighted material from widespread piracy. The Bush administration placed the 12 countries on a "priority watch list," which will subject them to extra scrutiny and could eventually lead to economic sanctions if the administration decides to bring trade cases before the World Trade Organization.
April 18, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
U.S. music sales declined 6.2% in 2006, as higher digital revenue failed to counter illegal copying and a drop in purchases of compact discs. Retail music sales decreased to $11.5 billion last year from $12.3 billion in 2005, the Recording Industry Assn. of America said Tuesday. In contrast, sales of albums downloaded to computers doubled.
April 13, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Universal Music Group revived its Mercury label in the U.S. and named Sony BMG Music Entertainment executive David Massey as president. Mercury, whose roster once included John Mellencamp and Kiss, will be part of the New York-based Island Def Jam Music Group, Universal said. Mercury will operate separately in Britain.
April 6, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
U.S. album sales fell 17% in the first quarter as rising online piracy and fewer new hits accelerated the music industry's decline. Retailers sold 117.1 million albums in the three months that ended April 1, researcher Nielsen SoundScan said Thursday. Nielsen said Universal Music Group retained its lead with 32% of U.S. new-album sales. Although online purchases rose, they failed to make up for rising piracy and declining demand for compact discs. Album sales fell 4.9% last year after a 7.
March 14, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
About 5 billion songs were downloaded illegally last year, far outnumbering the more than 500 million purchased legally, market researcher NPD Group said Tuesday. The number of U.S. households participating in illegal file swapping rose 8% to 15 million, Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD said. The growth in the number of households involved slowed from 2005. At the same time, legal online purchases of music jumped 56% and the number of U.S. households buying legally rose to 13 million, NPD said.
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