Monday, June 22, 2009

Price of 24 songs: $2.9m

Image representing Kazaa as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

How much is a song worth? See below for price details…


05:55 AM Jun 20, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS (Minnesota) - A United States jury on Thursday ordered a 32-year-old woman to pay nearly US$2 million ($2.9 million) in damages for illegally downloading 24 songs over the Internet in a high-profile digital piracy case.

Ms Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a single mother of four from the Minnesota town of Brainerd, was found liable of violating music copyrights for using the Kazaa peer-to-peer file-sharing network to download the songs.

The jury ordered Ms Thomas-Rasset to pay US$1.92 million ($2.8 million) - or US$80,000 per song - to six record companies: Capitol Records, Sony BMG Music, Arista Records, Interscope Records, Warner Bros Records and UMG Recordings.

In his closing arguments, attorney Timothy Reynolds said Ms Thomas-Rasset had made copyrighted music available to "millions on the Internet" through Kazaa.

Ms Thomas-Rasset said that her former husband or her children may have downloaded the music but her arguments apparently did not sway the jury.

Ms Thomas-Rasset had been convicted previously, in October 2007, and ordered to pay US$220,000 in damages but the judge who presided over that trial threw out the verdict, calling it "wholly disproportionate" and "oppressive".

Describing the $1.92 million figure as "kind of ridiculous", Ms Thomas-Rasset said: "There's no way they're ever going to get that. I'm a mom, limited means, so I'm not going to worry about it now."

The case was filed by the Recording Industry Association of America, which has sued some 35,000 people for online music piracy since 2003. Most of those sued agreed to settlements of between US$3,000 and US$5,000. AGENCIES

From TODAY, World – Weekend, 20/21-Jun-2009; see the source article here.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Susan Boyle back on stage after missed gig

Posted: 16 June 2009 0705 hrs

090616-0705hrs A woman watches a YouTube clip of Susan Boyle's appearance on television programme 'Britain's Got Talent'.

LONDON: Scottish singing star Susan Boyle was met with rapturous applause as she took to the stage in Glasgow on Monday, defying new fears for her health sparked by her withdrawal from a show the previous night.

Boyle, a 48-year-old church volunteer whose frumpy appearance hides a soaring voice, sang her signature tune "I Dreamed A Dream" from musical Les Miserables as part of a tour of the talent show that made her famous.

There were doubts as to whether she would perform in the "Britain's Got Talent" live show in the Scottish city after she pulled out of an event in Manchester, northwestern England, on Sunday night.

Two weeks ago, Boyle was rushed to a London health clinic suffering from exhaustion. Her treatment followed her defeat in the talent show, despite a global following on video-sharing website YouTube.

However, her fans in Glasgow were not disappointed on Monday night, with one, 39-year-old Audrey Hinde, saying afterwards: "I thought she was fantastic. She brought tears to my eyes. She didn't seem under pressure at all."

A clip of Boyle singing "I Dreamed A Dream" is now reportedly one of the most watched ever on YouTube.

- AFP/so

From; see the source article here.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Backstreet Boys, Chaka Khan to perform during Singapore GP

By Ian De Cotta, TODAY | Posted: 12 June 2009 1028 hrs

The Backstreet Boys: (L-R) Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Howie Dorough

SINGAPORE: It did not take much to convince top-selling American boy-band group Backstreet Boys to perform again in Singapore.

When they heard that their gig would be held at the Padang during the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix night race, they gave a resounding yes.

The best-selling boy band - with record sales of over 100 million records - and multi-Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan were two of the entertainment acts that race organisers revealed on Thursday as part of the entertainment package for the event from September 25 to 27.

"Both the Backstreet Boys and Chaka Khan normally perform at concerts... they see a sexy element to the night race and reckon they will have a blast," said Singapore GP director of operations Sarah Martin.

The third big name will be released next month but the group will appeal to all age groups, said Ms Martin. Among other events to be announced then will be two of the world's top 10 DJs.

"I can honestly say we have revolutionised the way people view entertainment at any Grand Prix," said Ms Martin. "Without a doubt, we will be giving the best experience that any Grand Prix has seen."

Although all ticket holders will be able to watch the Backstreet Boys on both weekend nights at Zone 4, only spectators at the grandstands facing the paddock at Zone 1 will have the privilege to watch Chaka Khan after the main race on Sunday.

Tickets there are priced at S$1,388 each.

"We felt that ticket holders who are paying a lot more... deserve some exclusivity and this is the best way to give it to them," said Ms Martin.

Other top performers include Senegalese legend Youssou N'Dour - listed in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People - and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Mavis Staples.

To cater to the large number of foreign visitors, two key theatre acts will be staged along the lines of the world famous Cirque du Soleil.

"About 40 per cent of the fans at the race will come from overseas and we want to bridge the language barriers," said Ms Martin.

The acts will be at the Padang and the floating platform. One of them has worked in partnership with Cirque du Soleil and is planning something special for the Grand Prix, she said.

- TODAY/yb

From; see the source article here.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Vienna Teng: From software designer to soulful singer

By TODAY | Posted: 04 June 2009 1314 hrs

Vienna Teng

Sarah McLachlan may have started the whole female singer-songwriter trend back in the late '80s, but she's more or less semi-retired and few have emerged who seem worthy enough to take over that mantle.

Well, Vienna Teng might just be the one. Don't worry if you've never heard of her. She isn't.

When we told that we hadn't heard of her first three albums and only managed to get her fourth, Inland Territory, she said chirpily: "It's okay. I'm glad that you actually heard (this one)!"

Yes, Vienna Teng is a stage name - her real name is Cynthia Yih Shih.

And, yes, she got her first name from the city in Austria, but, no, she didn't get her last name from Teresa Teng.

"That's just a rumour, although I like that story," said the Taiwanese-American over the phone from California where she was visiting family.

Since she started her music career, the 30-year-old has slowly been going from strength to strength.

She recently completed her headlining tour ("That was fun, one great adventure to another, because it started on a cruise ship in the Caribbean"); and she's also shared the stage with the likes of Shawn Colvin, Marc Cohn and Joan Baez ("I'm glad we performed first, because you really can't do anything after she's performed, really").

Yeah, but is Baez named after a European capital city? We think not.

Somebody called your album "good honest music". Agree?

Whenever I write songs, I'm always trying to tell an interesting story inevitably drawn from my own emotions and experience, but not exactly as they happen to me, because I don't think it's as interesting as trying to tell a story that will resonate with somebody else.

This album has a lot of very different styles. Was that deliberate?

That was a pretty deliberate decision that Alex (Wong, producer) and I made. We deliberately wanted to get an eclectic collection of songs, because that's the kind of album that we like. I think our favourite (albums) are the ones where you get to see the musical range of the songwriters and producers.

What's this about you ditching a computer keyboard for piano keys?

Actually, I started playing piano when I was five. My parents are both from Taiwan - and they pushed really hard in school. Actually, they always compared us to Singaporean kids. Like, "look how hard those children are studying, they're so smart!"

So I actually went to college for computer science, designing software. I still have a techie nerd personality. I enjoy locking myself up in a room and working on a problem and I have to remember to go out and talk to my friends and make new friends.

So you're a geek?

I think "nerd" is the word I'd use. I'm very excited about academic stuff. I think I've always enjoyed the brainier side of things.

How do your parents feel about this job then?

I think they find it a very insecure profession and I think they still worry about what I'm going to do when I'm 50 - what career options I'll have! But I think they know this is very important to me, so they're pretty supportive, which is impressive, considering their background!

From; see the source article here.

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Susan Boyle ‘not suffering from mental issues’

Ms Boyle is concerned about her future after failing to win the top prize in Britain's Got Talent. AFP

LONDON — Britain's Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle appears to be recovering from nervous exhaustion after she was admitted to a London mental health clinic on Sunday, according to her brother.

Ms Boyle, 48, had finished second behind a male dance group in the show's finals, despite being the favourite.

Mr Gerry Boyle told reporters in an interview that his sister "seems to be coming back to her old ways".

"She's fine. She's anxious to come home, and she's starting to be a bit more like herself, I'm pleased to say — eager to come home to Scotland from London."

Ms Boyle became an overnight singing sensation when she auditioned for the reality show. The video of her singing I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables was viewed online by millions around the world.

But after failing to win the top prize, she is concerned her career may be over almost before it's started.

"Her biggest worry, after Saturday night, is ... will people still want to hear her sing?" Mr Boyle said.

One of the show's judges, Ms Amanda Holden, said Ms Boyle's breakdown is not the result of "underlying mental issues" but purely down to fatigue. AGENCIES

From; see the source article here.

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