../ Yahoo! Buys MusicMatch
Yahoo! has agreed to purchase MusicMatch for $160 million in an all cash deal. The move gives Yahoo! a prominent position in the digital music download and
subscription space which is predicted to grow from a $271 million dollar industry today to $1.7 billion in 2009 according to Jupiter Communications.
The acquisition makes Yahoo! instantly competitive in two key areas, an online music store and a sophisticated Windows-based jukebox. MusicMatch's online
music store offers both a-la-carte downloads of individual songs and albums as well as a $7.99 dollar per month subscription service. According to reports,
about 225,000 customers are currently enrolled in the unlimited access subscription service. MusicMatch's store contains over 700,000 individual songs for
download. Futuremusic regards MusicMatch's jukebox as the leader in the field for Microsoft's Windows operating system. Easy to use, mature and comprehensive,
MusicMatch's jukebox is the reason that many customers utilize their store and service.
Yahoo! expects its music audience to double to about 24 millions users once the deal is completed later this year. MusicMatch has 170 employees based out of
San Diego, California and is said to gross about $50 million per year. Just as the digital music services heat up, Yahoo's purchase of MusicMatch is well timed,
economical and makes it instantly competitive with adversaries such as Microsoft's MSN and AOL. However, much of MusicMatch's success has been from bundling
it's software with other established internet properties, will these deals erode now that Yahoo! is the parent?
The Future: Under Yahoo's savvy branding, marketing and advertising eye, MusicMatch should blossom nicely. The deal is real bargain for Yahoo! and gives
it a huge lead over Microsoft's and Sony's immature services. Is Roxio's Napster the next acquisition target for a major concern?
../ Futuremusic's DJ Mix Contest Ignites Winner's Career
The nationwide DJ talent contest THE NEXT BIG THING came to a thrilling conclusion this past weekend as Winner Hac Le opened for super start DJ John Digweed
at the Denver Colorado stop of his Endless Summer Tour. "This experience has been such a validation of my dreams and hard work," said an astounded Hac after
receiving a personal phone call from Digweed revealing he was the contest winner.
Close to 2000 contestants were vying to be THE NEXT BIG THING, sending in 60 minute DJ mixes from all across the United States. Futuremusic hosted the contest
and screened the entries. "It was a tough decision," says Futuremusic President Dan Brotman, "we had dozens of our staff listening round the clock to all the
CD's that came in. We narrowed it down to 5 semifinalists, and then John Digweed personally selected the winning mix."
"It was very exciting to take part in this special event. I was totally blown away by the amount of DJ's entering The Next Big Thing, and the standard of the
mixes were very high. This just shows that DJ culture is still very much a career path that many young people want to follow," stated John Digweed.
In fact, Digweed was so enamored by Hac Le's winning entry, that he is going to feature the mix in its entirety on an upcoming episode of his internationally
syndicated Kiss 100 radio show.
So what was it like for Le to be flown out to The Church, one of America's premier clubs? "DJing at the Church was incredible," Hac Le recounted. "You feel
like you are transported into another world with the architecture, lights and dŽcor. The crowd, the vibe and the staff were amazing. Denver really has a hot
scene!" However, the true highlight of the evening for Hac was meeting John Digweed. " John Digweed has been my favorite DJ for a very long time." Hac revealed.
"His musical influence was pivotal in my development as a DJ. He is exactly the type of DJ I want to be. So to have the opportunity to meet the role model that
I respect and admire the most in the industry, leaves me kind of speechless."
Hac continued, "Digweed was everything I was expecting. He was very nice, grounded, and seemed pretty humble. A class act. Qualities you don't often see from
a superstar of his magnitude."
John Digweed and Hac Le, winner of The Next Big Thing 2004
The feeling was reciprocal, John Digweed was also quite impressed with Hac Le. "As well as a great DJ, Hac is really down to earth guy who loves his music I
wish him all the best in the in the future and I hope that winning this contest gives him the break he deserves."
The contest winner not only got to be the opening DJ for John Digweed, one of the top 5 DJ's in the world, but was showered with enough DJ gear and music
production technology to make any musician swoon. Contest sponsors included Alienware, BeatPort, Ableton, Peavey, Technics, M-Audio, Native Instruments, The
Dubhouse, IK Multimedia, Propellerheads, and FreeFloat, making this is the largest collection of prizes ever assembled for a DJ mix competition. The prize
package included 150 free tracks from dance music's best digital download site, Beatport.com, an Ozma Digital Audio Workstation from Alienware, the Komplete2
software suite from Native Instruments, DJ gear from Technics, Reason 2.5, Ableton's Live 4, a Radium 49-Key USB MIDI controller from M-Audio, a complete
turntable suspension system from FreeFloat, The Grabber from Peavey, 100 promotional CD's of their mix from The DubHouse, and more. So what's Hac going to
do with all this gear?
"I plan to dive in headfirst into the production side of things and bang out some tracks. Winter's coming up in Chicago so it will be perfect. I'll just
hibernate in my apartment, learn the tools of the trade and hopefully have some decent tunes by spring. I've been talking about acquiring a proper studio
to my friends since forever and now I finally have one. This is a Godsend! Thank you! Thank You! THANK YOU!"
To Hac Le, a first-generation American who's parents emmigrated from Vietnam, this opportunity has already spring boarded his DJ career. With the overwhelming
positive response to his incredible DJ set, Hac was immediately invited to play at the after hours, and THE CHURCH has invited him back to play again this fall.
Hac also received local media attention in his hometown of Chicago, and has been asked to open for James Zabiela and Lee Burridge in Milwaukee. In addition, Hac
was also hired to play in Cancun, Mexico where he will be interviewed by DJ Concept magazine.
"I'm thrilled that Futuremusic was able to give Hac Le this opportunity of a lifetime. His graciousness, humility and great attitude has made all the hard work
worth it!" Dan Brotman, President of Futuremusic commented. "As the premier DJ Mix Contest, The Next Big Thing allows Futuremusic to give an up and coming DJ's
everything they've always wanted. What could be better than that??"
"I would like to thank Futuremusic and everyone involved with organizing this contest as it really helps motivate new talent to push themselves," Digweed added.
The Future: The Next Big Thing - Experiments In Sound...coming soon!
../ P2P Networks Not Liable For Copyright Infringement
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that distributors of Peer-To-Peer
(P2P) software that are used by people online to exchange files cannot be held liable for copyright infringement. The ruling
upholds an earlier decision made by the US District Court of California last April.
The cases' title, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, didn't reveal the magnitude of the force behind the plaintiffs, "MGM"
encompassed practically every major film studio, record label and publishing house and pitted them against the defendants.
It's no wonder that Grokster, Streamcast and Sharman Networks labeled themselves "David" against the massive combined muscle
of the film and music industries' "Goliath." Wayne Rosso, former president of Grokster, used that comparison as part of his
public relations campaign to gain support and even stated, "David's won another round," when the decision was unveiled.
The three judge panel of the US Court of Appeals decided that "David" was indeed not liable for infringement with this
statement: "This appeal presents the question of whether distributors of peer-to-peer file-sharing computer networking
software may be held contributorily or vicariously liable for copyright infringements by users. Under the circumstances
presented by this case, we conclude that the defendants are not liable for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement
and affirm the district court's partial grant of summary judgment." You can read the full
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster decision here.
What this case hinged on was the fact that Grokster and Morpheus, the name of the file-sharing service from StreamCast,
have decentralized servers. Unlike Napster, which had a centralized server that users utilized to connect to each other,
Grokster and Morpheus users connect to each other directly. Because of the decentralized technology, Grokster and Morpheus
claimed that they have no way to monitor or control the activities of their users and thus were not liable for their actions.
Although the music and film industry claimed that the services could still monitor their decentralized users, the court felt
that they were not obligated to do so. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) responded by stating that the ruling,
"does not absolve these businesses from their responsibility as corporate citizens to address the rampant illegal use of
The ruling provided this analysis of the copyright infringement on P2P networks. "The question of direct copyright
infringement is not at issue in this case. Rather, the Copyright Owners contend that the Software Distributors are liable
for the copyright infringement of the software users. The Copyright Owners rely on the two recognized theories of secondary
copyright liability: contributory copyright infringement and vicarious copyright infringement. Ellison v. Robertson, 357 F.3d
1072, 1076 (9th Cir. 2004). We agree with the district court's well reasoned analysis that the Software Distributors' current
activities do not give rise to liability under either theory."
The Future: Congress. Now that the appeals process is over, the RIAA will put serious heat on their allies in
Congress to introduce legislation to combat illegal file exchange online. And don't thing that the RIAA's campaign of suing
individuals will stop anytime soon. You have to understand that the suits actually make them feel like they're accomplishing
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Copyright © 2004 Futuremusic® All Rights Reserved.
As the name correctly implies, Experiments In Sound, is Futuremusic's latest endeavor for pushing electronic music technology into the far beyond. Experiments In Sound grew out of Futuremusic's cutting edge events in
New York City that featured DJ's taking mixing and sound to a whole new level with the very latest gear and software. Be the first to hear
about Experiments In Sound by joining Futuremusic Direct.
Part of Experiments In Sound, TestDrive will feature the lab results of our DJ Experiments so that everyone can get in on the action. Take the latest electronic music releases, mix vigorously
with bleeding-edge DJ technology in a large beeker, and then cook the hell out of it! Be the first to hear
about TestDrive by joining Futuremusic Direct.
Futuremusic wants to thank everyone who participated in The Next Big Thing 2004. John Digweed, Beatport, Alienware, M-Audio, Native Instruments, IK Multimedia,
PVDJ, PK Graphics, Ableton, The DubHouse, Propellerheads, Technics, FreeFloat, The Church, PCDJ and every DJ who entered this year's event thank you. From the sheer number of
quality mixes, we can tell you that dance music is thriving in the United States. The amount of outstanding talent and creativity really blew us away, and every DJ who's putting
their heart, mind and soul behind the music is a winner. John Digweed has
made his decision and the winner is...