Saturday, September 29, 2012

With A Budget Almost Cut In Half And 40 Percent Staff Cuts Can The RIAA Survive?

With A Budget Almost Cut In Half And 40 Percent Staff Cuts Can The RIAA Survive?

August 23, 2012 - Posted By James

RIAA’s budget comes from music labels and distributors. In theory it represents the interests of the music industry. Therefore, it depends on their willingness to pay them to represent music in all its forms. That’s not going so well.

TorrentFreak obtained its latest tax filing and the RIAA is facing the same difficulties as the major music labels. Its budget has been cut to $29.1 million for 2010-2011 from $51.35 million two years earlier. Yet, the most important shift comes from the anti-piracy strategy adopted by the RIAA.

Instead of spending tens of millions of dollars in legal fees, the RIAA is supporting the copyright alert system and its six strikes, a policy inspired by the unpopular and ineffective French anti-piracy law called Hadopi.

In other words, the RIAA is still wasting a lot of money that could have been better used to foster novel Internet services or music experiences and to create new sources of revenues for the artists.

With that new-found austerity, the RIAA cut its staff by nearly 40% from 117 to 72 employees. A budget item stays stable over the years, however. Their lobbying activity is still active to the tune of $2.3 million a year.

But legal fees represent the major expense reduction, from $16.5 million to $2.34 million. Over the years, the RIAA has drastically limited the number of lawsuits for illegal music downloading and will probably stay this course.

RIAA is currently undertaking the rollout of the copyright alert system in the U.S. Based on an agreement between ISPs and copyright holders, infringers will receive up to six alerts. If they fail to change their behavior, their connection may be throttled or even suspended for a few days.

After three years in the planning, the copyright alert system is still not implemented.

There have been previous examples of piracy monitoring laws and frameworks with mixed results. In France, the three-strike Hadopi law was introduced in 2009. An important aspect of the law was to foster legal digital services, but it was mostly abandoned — they only approved legal services with a PUR label in order to identify them.

But the dissuasive part didn’t work either. Instead of downloading movies or music using the BitTorrent protocol, illegal streaming services and direct downloading through file lockers became de rigueur. Given the failure of this plan, the undertaking will probably be stopped in the coming months, when the government finds another way to tackle the issue.

In Sweden, the IPRED law enticed illegal downloaders to massively use a VPN service as a way to anonymize their Internet traffic — another example, another failure.

The major music labels are right to cut the budget of the RIAA because they cannot win the fight against piracy by suing a few downloaders. Nevertheless, backing a multiple-strike IP-collecting strategy is not the answer.


Jimi Hendrix Original "Electric Ladyland" LP Cover

From Rusty at

Aah, that Polydor CD pressing is VERY valuable. Deep Hendrix fans and audiophiles would go crazy over that one. I have the first two US Reprise CD pressings (2CD and 1CD) and if you show them to specific people, they will have sound battles, Jamaican style. "This mastering of Midnight Lamp is far more superior than your Midnight Lamp, listen to the tonalities of Jimi's fluctuations. WAH WAH WAH WAH!"

Amnesty International's Double donations end Sunday

Double donations end Sunday

Dear KDTN Radio One,

All this month, artists and human rights activists like me have proudly raised our voices to defend human rights with Amnesty International.

Now, it's your turn.

Sunday is your last chance to double your gift.Please join me by becoming a member of Amnesty International right now.

Your gift matters – collective action releases people from prison, torture and execution:
"I don't regret a single moment. I celebrate the work that I do and the people I work with...We are in it together."
That's Jenni Williams, the inspiring co-founder of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise. She's been arrested 43 times and been beaten severely for defending human rights in her country. Jenni credits Amnesty International members with saving her life multiple times.

Jenni is right – we're in this together to shine a bright light on the horrific acts of violence committed by Syrian security forces against their own people, in the hopeswe can help end the atrocities.

We're in this to fervently declare love a right, not a wrong, and work to overturn the discriminatory "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA).

We're wholeheartedly taking part in this because we refuse to yield to oppression and to hate, and we will not let slip our hard-fought gains.

With the world facing unprecedented assaults on human rights, Amnesty's mission is more relevant and urgent than ever.

Your membership today will help Amnesty rise to these challenges. Join us.

Very truly yours,
Joan Baez

P.S. Amnesty is so close to meeting its goal of inspiring 50,000 gifts this month. Donate before midnight on Sunday and a generous donor will automatically double your gift.


Become a monthly donor in September to receive Amnesty’s amazing tribute album, "Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International." 

This "jaw-dropping" compilation of songs from 80 influential musicians is a testament to music’s power to transcend boundaries — just like Amnesty.

Do you want to double your impact? Make a donation to Amnesty before September 30 and your gift will be matched.*
*Up to $200,000
© 2012 Amnesty International USA | 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001 | 212.807.8400

Mia Mind Music is an entertainment promotion and marketing company and we're hired by either record companies or artists who have records out

Mia Mind Music
Promotion & Marketing
254 6th Street, Suite #2
Hoboken, NJ, 07030

Mia Mind Music is an entertainment promotion and marketing company and we're hired by either record companies or artists who have records out. Within our promotion division we are concerned primarily with radio tracking and specialize in working with close to 2000 BDS, CMJ, MediaBase as well as CRC surveyed radio stations across the United States and Canada. The services we provide are broken down into the following arrangements.

Radio campaign packages begin at $800.00 and range to $1600.00 per four week period with advance payment. Radio campaigns usually extend to at least 8-12 weeks. The activities involved in working a radio campaign include tracking and promoting the record to the broadcasters, arranging interviews, stations IDs, contests and promotional "giveaways" with the stations to obtain maximum exposure for the Artist and their recordings. Getting our client's record on the charts is what it's all about. The following radio packages are available:

1) 150 CMJ market broadcasters: $800.00/4 weeks.

2) 150 Commercial, Community, Public and CMJ broadcasters: $1100.00/4 weeks.

3) 400 CMJ market broadcasters: $1,300.00/4 weeks.

4) 400 Commercial, Community, Public and CMJ market broadcasters: $1,600.00/4 weeks.

This does not include the cost of postage or mailers, which are either provided by or reimbursed by the client. Before accepting an assignment our policy is to review the material to assess if it is appropriate for the market our company handles.

Additional services we offer include national press coverage, record distribution, video promotion, Internet services, retail consulting, providing tour merchandise and a state of the art concept and design graphics department. You may retain us to perform each service separately or in conjunction.

The goals of a Press campaign include obtaining features, reviews or articles about our clients and/or their sound recordings with our various press contacts. Press campaign packages begin at $1,100.00 and range to $2,200.00 for each four weeks of service and press campaigns usually extend to at least 12-16 weeks. The following press packages are available:

1) The press retainer is usually $1,100.00 per four week period with one PR staff member assigned to your project. During each four week period we'll target a minimum of 25 and up to 50 press targets across the United States.

2) $2200.00 per four week period to have the full PR team working on your project.

Again, this does not cover mailing costs, which are either provided by or reimbursed by the client (all press kits must be provided by and assembled by the client). Before accepting an assignment our policy is to review the material to assess if it is appropriate for the market our company handles.

We are able to offer national Retail distribution for your CD through our associate, Select-O-Hits Distribution. Select-O-Hits is one of the three largest independent record distributors in the United States with active sales representatives in most major markets. Select-O-Hits maintains accounts with virtually every large record store chain in the U.S. including, but not limited to, Best Buy, FYE, Wherehouse, Strawberry's, and Newbury's as well as non-traditional markets like Wal-mart or Target stores. Through Select-O-Hits' affiliates such as Baker & Taylor and AECS we can provide retail coverage to independent or "Mom & Pop" stores across the nation as well as Internet retailers such as, iTunes or Rhapsody.

We will not only act as your distributor but will work with you as your "co-op" label offering guidance to in-store retail programs and co-op advertising. Mia Mind Music will assist you in creating your retail one-sheet, determining a SRLP, establishing a street-date and placing your record information in the distribution catalogue the stores and sales reps will receive. We'll also send out your promo CDs and one-sheets to the Select-O-Hits sales reps in addition to providing stores with the required amount of promo CDs for any in-store retail programs. In exchange for a recoupable advance of $2,500.00 we not only provide a pipeline for retail placement in record stores but we are also able to advise our clients whom to employ for marketing and promotion for their records and to coordinate the promotion, marketing, advertising and merchandising of the records. Distribution clients are able to recoup this advance from the first monies otherwise retain able by sales through us. Once you've recouped your distribution fee sales thereafter are usually split on a 20%-80% basis during the remaining term of the contract. As well, our clients maintain 100% of the ownership rights to their masters.

Video campaign packages range from $1100.00 - 2200.00 per four week period with advance payment and video campaigns usually extend to at least 16-20 weeks. The activities involved in working a video campaign include tracking and promoting the music video to the broadcasters, arranging interviews, stations IDs, contests and promotional "giveaways" with the stations to obtain maximum exposure for the Artist and their video.

Advertising: Internet banner advertising FEATURED ARTISTS campaigns (includes a 30 day run with a minimum of 25,000,000 impressions) on web sites such as MySpace, YouTube, Facebook.... When the viewer clicks on the banner it takes them to a page that has more information about the artist or their product and enables viewers to direct-link to CDBaby, and/or artists' web site for more information and/or to purchase their products.We also launch monthly INDUSTRY SERVICES FOR INDIE ARTISTS campaigns providing the same exposure. When the viewer clicks on the banner it takes them to a page that has more information about your company and enables them to direct-link to your company's web site for more information about and/or purchase your service and products. The cost is only $700.00. That's a value of less than $.00003 per impression and a great way for you to brand artists or products.

General production services per hour costs: Additional hourly cost based upon client request(s) to supplement any of the above-described services. For example, graphic design of CD artwork, physical retail one-sheet set-up & design, Gracenotes CD data input, Internet banners creation, posters, ads or postcards, additional digital recording(s), conversion(s) and/or editing(s) as well as web site or MySpace design and update(s). COST: $75.00/hr. (minimum of 2 hrs.).

Internet services include setup and design of web sites (beginning at $750.00 for a basic site), tracking and promoting sites, web site updates and graphic design and multi-media services ($60.00/hr.).

Tour merchandise includes setup, design and manufacturing of posters, stickers, T-shirts, hats on other items with a client's name, image or logo. Prices will range according to item and design.


CD Free Radio Campaigns targets Internet radio broadcasters as well as terrestrial radio broadcasters who also stream their programs on the Internet. This includes Commercial, Community, Public and College radio broadcasters. It’s a great way to get radio exposure for your music while saving a significant sum of money on CD manufacturing and shipping. All we need is your MP3 file, your cover artwork and your bio or one-sheet then we’re all set to go.

The activities involved in working a radio campaign include tracking and promoting the release to the broadcasters. During the course of your campaign you’ll receive weekly written report that detail related activity such as rotation levels as well as comments from the stations. Your weekly report will also detail any requests from broadcasters to arrange interviews (both in-studio as well as phone interviews), opportunities for artist station IDs or drops as well as setting up promotional spotlight giveaway programs with the stations to obtain maximum exposure for you and your recording. Getting our client's record on the charts is what it's all about and any copies of these charts that we can obtain will be forwarded to you with your weekly reports.

Campaign packages begin at $875.00 and range up to $1440.00 per four week period with advance payment. Radio campaigns usually extend to at least 8-12 weeks. The following radio packages are available:

1) 200 CD Free Broadcasters: $ 875.00/4 weeks.

2) 250 CD Free Broadcasters: $1,050.00/4 weeks.

3) 300 CD Free Broadcasters: $1,200.00/4 weeks

4) 350 CD Free Broadcasters: $1,325.00/4 weeks

5) 400 CD Free Broadcasters: $1,440.00/4 weeks

CD Free Radio Campaigns Coupled with Internet Banner Advertising is designed to increase exposure and assist in supporting your retail activities. Internet banner advertising campaigns include a 30 day run with a minimum of 25,000,000 impressions on social network sites such as MySpace or YouTube in addition to many, many other entertainment tastemaker web sites. During the course of your CD Free Radio Campaigns Coupled with Internet Banner Advertising you’ll receive weekly written report that detail related activity such as rotation levels as well as comments from the stations as well as bi-weekly ad reports detailing number of impressions and ad clicks.

When the viewer clicks on the banner it takes them to a splash page that has more information about the artist or their product and enables viewers to go directly to CDBaby, Amazon, iTunes and even artists' web sites for more information and/or to purchase their products. The cost is only an additional $700.00 on top of the costs of any of the CD Free Radio Campaign packages. That's a value of less than $0.00003 per impression and it’s a great way for you to brand yourself or music.

Traditional TV/Press/Radio advertising is not only much more expensive but also necessitates remembering all the details concerning you and your music that the consumer needs when they want to purchase your music from a point-of purchase retailer. With Internet banner ads a viewer, fan or potential consumer only needs to look, listen, click and buy. Building your fan base or selling your music couldn’t be easier, more cost effective or yield potential results than this!

1) 200 CD Free Broadcasters with Internet Ads: $ 1,575.00/4 weeks.

2) 250 CD Free Broadcasters with Internet Ads: $1,750.00/4 weeks.

3) 300 CD Free Broadcasters with Internet Ads: $1,900.00/4 weeks

4) 350 CD Free Broadcasters with Internet Ads: $2,025.00/4 weeks

5) 400 CD Free Broadcasters with Internet Ads: $2,140.00/4 weeks

It’s a brave new world with a brave new money saving way of promoting yourself and your music.

So are you finally ready for the future

Past and present clients include (but are not limited to):

Artist Roster
+ Madonna
+ Men At Large
+ Master P
+ Smithereens
+ Black Sheep
+ Alex Chilton
+ Wrens
+ Tyler Hilton
+ Blotto
+ David Peel
+ Larry "Bud" Melman
+ Danny Saber
+ Forte
+ Youth Gone Mad
+ Mr. Dogg
+ Lee Feldman
+ L A Star
+ Tommy James
+ Chris Butler
+ Wolfgang Muthspiel
+ Two Man Advantage
+ Kennedy (MTV)

Industry Roster
+ Universal
+ PolyGram
+ Polydor
+ Virgin
+ Victor
+ Decca
+ Sony
+ Verve
+ CBS/Profile
+ Mercury
+ Bar/None
+ Webster Hall NYC
+ Select-O-Hits
+ Watchtower/Koch
+ Royalty
+ Ghetto Gold
+ Brave New World
+ Warlock

I trust this information will be sufficient in determining if Mia Mind Music is the right company to meet your needs. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to call, email or fax us. We're looking forward to hearing from you.

Apple wanted to build its Internet radio service into the iPhone 5

Friday, September 28, 12:16 PM Apple (AAPL) wanted to build its Internet radio service into the iPhone 5 from the start, but was unable because of stalled licensing talks with music publisher Sony/ATV (SNE), the NY Post reports. Sony/ATV is said to want a higher-than-normal royalty rate for Apple's service, for which Apple is seeking to include features not supported by Pandora (P) and others. Among the features are the right to play a particular artist more often, and the promoting of tracks favored in a given month by music labels.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. (More...)
Shares of Pandora (P) have had a rough month of trading in September. Actually, shares have had a rough patch of trading since the $20 IPO price in June of last year. But given Apple's recent comments on entering into internet radio, Pandora shareholders may have something to look forward to. As the tech giants Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG),Facebook (FB) and Amazon (AMZN) all look to leap over one another and drive more users to their websites, Pandora's rapidly growing user base may be one piece of the puzzle.
As consumers shift their preferences away from traditional media outlets and instead turn to smart phones, tablets, and even in-car communication displays, the topic of internet radio heats up. Pandorafinished August with 56.2 million active listeners; this was a 48% increase from the same period last year (note: Pandora has 150 million registered users). Additionally, the company accounted for 6.3% of all US radio listening in August, an increase from 3.67% in the same period last year. This is no small company, and although the financial statements have remained in the red for the past few years, the access to this rapidly growing consumer base is what the big players want to acquire.
Proof of this growth is confirmed on the top line of the income statement and expectations for future revenue growth continue to be geared towards the upside. As of the company's fiscal second quarter earnings report, management's guidance for full year revenue is between $425 million and $432 million. This is a mid-50% jump from the last fiscal year. As you can see in the chart below, many analysts are calling for revenue to top $600 million by the end of calendar year 2013 (Pandora's fiscal year ends in January). As more and more subscribers sign up, more and more advertising revenue will accrue.
Source: Bloomberg
Although the Apple announcement a few weeks back was very vague, it is likely the new services would come in the form of a pre-installed app for iPhones and iPads. The service will likely be able to pull data from the users iTunes account and create custom radio channels, very similar to Pandora. Apple can then sell ads through their iAd platform and keep consumers directed towards what they deem most relevant. A radio service is just another piece of the total Apple package that the company is swiftly developing.
This is a major threat to rival Google. When Apple dropped Google Maps on its new products, a line was drawn in the sand, and the battle of these tech giants dramatically increased. There is no doubt that Google is heavily evaluating the internet radio growth space and how they can get a foot in the door. Given their massive cash position, roughly $44 billion, scooping up a company like Pandora whose market cap is currently $1.8 billion wouldn't even dent the balance sheet. Google could then integrate their AdWords and AdSense services with Pandora to create a much more enjoyable user experience (Google is the company that knows the most about our individual tastes and preferences on a wide variety of topics). The integration with Android devices, which are easily surpassing iPhone sales, is another major selling point.
Amazon, which sits on roughly $5 billion in cash, is another potential bidder for Pandora. With the launch of Kindle fire HD tablet, being able to integrate a unique internet radio service may prove a major selling point to consumers when evaluating the tablet market. Imagine you are listening to your favorite song and an ad from "Amazon MP3" pops up reminding you that you can purchase that song in addition to over 20 million songs through Considering that Pandora is the number one referral source to iTunes, Amazon can quickly change the way we purchase music. Rumors of Amazon developing a smartphone also cause the mind to wonder.
Pandora represents 74 percent of all internet radio listening, and according to EMarketer Inc, generates more revenue from mobile-device ads in the United States than every company except for Google. Facebook's biggest criticism since becoming a public company has been their inability to monetize Facebook. Pandora could be a great way to keep users connected to Facebook and provide relevant ads based upon what you and your friends like. You could have posted pictures of yourself at the recent Dallas Cowboys game and the next day Jerry Jones pops up on an ad after your song finishes, letting you know the Cowboys are offering discounted tickets to the next home game. This is a very brief example: Facebook could leverage Pandora to a much greater magnitude than many of the other companies mentioned.
Maybe it's not worth getting into this discussion yet, since Apple has not officially declared their intentions of launching an internet radio station. Considering the fact that estimates place the total revenue of internet radio under $1 billion annually, the tech giants would barely feel a dent from this added service. So is it worth investing in Pandora today? Should you wait until more clarity develops in the internet radio industry?
Shares of Pandora have been beaten down since their IPO, and the market apparently feels they could fall further. Short interest (see graph below) has done nothing but rise over the past few months, and currently 46% of the float is sold short!
Source: Bloomberg
Before you get scared off by the short interest, consider the fact that any positive news from Pandora could create a short squeeze. And with so many investors betting against this stock, the squeeze could shoot shares higher, similar to Yelp (YELP) back on August 29th. One potential approach is to scale into positions in Pandora. This way you don't risk moving all your capital into a "dead" investment for the next few months, but if any announcements are made, at least you have some skin in the game.
If any of the big tech companies move, the others will likely follow. Whether they decide to create a radio service internally or make an acquisition, the industry will likely be making a shift very soon. Given that the share price of Pandora has been roughly cut in half since the IPO, and they have the largest presence in internet radio, bidders may be lining up to grab an attractive company.
*Note: All data reported and graphed is pulled directly from Pandora Media's SEC filings and press releases.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

We talked a lot about DNS but what exactly is DNS

On September 10th our service experienced big DNS outages that impacted our main website and free radio pages, this resulted in a downtime of 5 hours for the aforementioned services. 

Our sites were one of more than 5 million websites that were affected by this DNS outage. The clients and users that use our services are our top priority and we know that any downtime can really hurt your stations. To make sure that something like this doesn't happen again we have decided to do something that no one else in our industry has done. We partnered with DYN and Amazon to bring the best possible DNS solution to our clients. Some of the world's biggest companies have their DNS handled by DYN, companies like Twitter, 37 Signals, CNBC, The Guardian, and many others. 

Amazon isn't just the world's biggest online retailer, they are also responsible for managing the DNS of Nasa, IBM, Newsweek and many other industry leaders. We felt that only the best in the field of DNS management would suffice for our needs, because for our clients and users the best is just good enough. Because of that we decided to take not just one of the industry leaders in DNS management, we wanted two so that we can provide 100% DNS uptime to anyone using our service. By using two companies to manage our DNS we have a backup in case that one of them has an outage. 

What does this mean for the listener ? 

The first thing that anyone will notice is that the pages will load dramatically faster resulting in shorter waiting times when opening the site. The second improvement is DNS uptime. Because of our new system we now have 100% DNS uptime so that you and your listeners know that no matter what happens, your radio will be there. 

We talked a lot about DNS but what exactly is DNS ? 

DNS stands for Domain name System and in simplest of terms it acts like the Internet's phone book. DNS maps the IP address (eg., to something that humans can easily remember (eg., 

Thank you, 
Listen2MyRadio Team

* if you want to unsubscribe from l2mr updates just close your account here

Internet Radio Fairness Act is better path to growth for webcasters and artist royalties

RAIN 9/27: Royalty fairness advocate Villasenor explains IRFA in Slate

Paul Maloney
UCLA professor John Villasenor has penned columns for Forbes, and a white paper for the Brookings Institution (where he's a nonresident senior fellow) that bring clarity to the matter of Internet radio royalties, calling for fairness in how actual rates are determined (we've covered these in RAIN here).
The idea Villasenor advocates, by the way, is the central goal of legislation introduced last week by Reps. Jason Chaffetz (pictured) and Jared Polis, and Sen. Ron Wyden, called theInternet Radio Fairness Act of 2012. That is, to instruct Copyright Royalty Board judges to base their determinations for Internet radio royalties on the same standard that is used for satellite and cable radio royalties -- known as 801(b).
This week Villasenor has an excellent and easy-to-understand piece advocating IRFA, published by Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, the New America Foundation, and Slate (read it here).
The 801(b) standard is a set of four criteria the U.S. Copyright Office has historically used to determine royalty rates for various uses of copyright, including all prevalent forms of digital radioexcept Internet radio. They are:
  • Maximize the availability of creative works to the public;
  • Insure a fair return for copyright owners and a fair income for copyright users;
  • Reflect relative roles of capital investment, cost, and risk, and;
  • Minimize disruptive impact on the industries involved.
Read 801(b) of the Copyright Act here.
By the late nineties, "the music industry, traditional broadcasters, and Congress were struggling to come to grips with the growth of then-new communications technologies enabling the delivery of perfect digital copies of songs to consumers," Villasenor explains. "But as so often happens when policy decisions are motivated more by fear of new technology than by recognition of the opportunities it creates, the resulting legislation ended up impeding growth rather than fostering it."
At the time, what was to become the Internet radio industry had little to no representation in Washington, certainly not like that of the music industry. Incumbent broadcasters, at the same time, while owning an even louder voice in Washington than the music industry, paid little attention to upstart digital technologies. So, not surprisingly, law crafted to manage music and digital technology was heavily influenced by the wants and needs of music labels, who saw the digital delivery of music as dangerous to their traditional business model.
The result was 1998's Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which put noninteractive digital audio services (Internet, cable, and satellite) "into two categories based on, among other things, a snapshot of the digital music broadcasting industry taken on July 31, 1998."
Services like Sirius and XM (now Sirius XM), Muzak, and Music Choice that existed by that time were "grandfathered in and given access to the 801(b) standard." The music industry, however, convinced lawmakers to abandon 801(b)'s aims to maximize the availability of works to the public, fairness to both sides, and minimum disruption, and change the standard for the new Internet radio medium. Thus, royalty judges were to decide royalties using a new standard, called "willing buyer/willing seller."
Villansenor explains, "Despite the innocuous-sounding name, willing buyer/willing seller requires identifying 'market' rates in the absence of a true competitive market. Unsurprisingly, this has produced skewed results."
The result can be seen in today's royalty landscape. The CRB-determined rates for SiriusXM using the 801(b) standard require 8% of the company's gross revenues for royalties in 2012 (up from 6% in 2008 and 7% in 2010). Pandora's 2012 royalty obligation, on the other hand, is almost 50% of its revenues. "And that is after a 2009 agreement provided a substantial discount to CRB willing buyer/willing seller rates that risked driving Pandora and other webcasters out of business."
Villasenor concludes, "For these reasons and more, the Internet Radio Fairness Act of 2012, which would move to a uniform 801(b) standard, is the far better path forward... Setting music royalty rates too low is unfair to recording artists, and lowers the incentive to create music. But if royalty rates are too high, as has occurred with Internet radio, companies providing broadcasting services will continually struggle to turn a profit, impeding market—and ultimately royalty—growth."
Again, read the entire article here.
Paul Maloney
Serial entrepreneur (and frequent RAIN Summit speaker) Michael Robertson (MP3Tunes, has launched UberTalk, a portal for online talk radio designed to allow listeners to find the content they like, regardless of its originating broadcaster.
"My premise is radio stations are a quaint artifact of regional spectrum licensing which made sense when slicing up AM/FM spectrum," an arrangement which "makes little sense on the world wide web. A more logical way of looking at radio would be to focus on the contentwhich is what attracts people," Robertson said today.
So, instead of sorting and searching by station, UberTalk steers users to find the programs they like, with a design that mimics the television "EPG," or electronic program guide. Listeners can find shows through the popularity-based rankings, or by category (sports, politics, etc.) and tune in instantly (via the site HTML5 player) to any show currently airing on any of thousands of radio stations.
Robertson explains, "Due to rebroadcasts and time zone shifts this means that many popular shows are available all throughout the day making radio programs more on-demand feeling." To listen to shows that are not currently airing, UberTalk uses time-shifting functionality from Robertson's
Try UberTalk here

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Crewman dies on Johnny Depp's new movie Set of "The Lone Ranger"

LOS ANGELES - Authorities are investigating the apparent drowning of a crew member who was working on a set for upcoming "The Lone Ranger" film.

Coroner's spokesman Ed Winter says a 48-year-old man was pronounced dead around 10 a.m. Friday. 

He was cleaning a pool that was going to be used in the film in Acton, which is in northeast Los Angeles County. 
Winter says it appears the man suffered a heart attack.

The man's identity was not released.

Walt Disney Studios is producing the film starring Johnny Depp.  They expressed its condolences, saying the studio's thoughts are with the man's family, friend and co-workers. 

The studio is also cooperating with the investigation, which will include an autopsy to determine 

William Michael Dillon - Black Robes and Lawyers

My name is William Michael Dillon and I spent almost 28 years in prison for a crime I did not commit! I was cleared through DNA testing in Nov 2008 Ive been working on getting a CD released since that time and I'm finally there. I write all my songs and play them as much as anyone wants to hear them. Its quite a switch from where I was. I'm looking to tour through FL,GA,NC,VA,Chi,Ny. I would love some insight on places that anyone may know about that they consider a good Gig.

William Dillon's redemption song
Wrongfully imprisoned 27 years for murder, a Florida man has a story to tell in song. An Evanston-based producer is helping him tell it.
October 07, 2010|By Mark Caro, Tribune reporter
William Dillon was a good kind of jumpy as he prepared to take the stage. He had performed live, but this crowd, unlike prior audiences, wasn't made up of criminals doing time.
In those earlier performances, Dillon was one of them, and yet he wasn't. He'd been convicted of murder without having committed the crime. He made this point from behind bars repeatedly. For years.
"I'm ready to get it on, no doubt," said Dillon, 51, who at 6-foot-4 resembles a strapping, more chiseled version of the late comedian Phil Hartman. He wore a black T-shirt with the words "NOT GUILTY" emblazoned on the front. "I mean, I've done this in front of hundreds of 'hardheads.' If you can put on a show for them guys and they cheer for you, then you can make it happen."
At Dillon's side was Jim Tullio, the man who brought him from Florida to Evanston and who would accompany him on acoustic guitar that late-summer night opening for folk singer Tom Paxton at the Evanston nightclub Space. A veteran music producer who has recorded Mavis Staples, Steve Goodman, members of the Band and many others, Tullio, 57, owns a studio in a converted Evanston butcher shop. In a back room above a doorway is mounted a TV screen that Tullio keeps tuned to the Investigation Discovery cable channel.
Taking a break in late May, Tullio glanced up to catch an "On the Case With Paula Zahn" report. Typically Tullio would watch for a couple of minutes before returning to his mixing board, but this story hooked him. It was outrageous, heartbreaking, inspiring — certainly to Tullio, who called the show's producers to try to contact the subject of the report, William Dillon.
What Tullio saw was the story of a 22-year-old man convicted of first-degree murder under bizarre circumstances: He was tied to the crime by an eventually discredited evidence-sniffing dog, a witness who recanted her testimony after admitting she was sleeping with the case's lead detective, and a jailhouse snitch who later admitted he'd fabricated his account of Dillon's confession in exchange for a dropped sexual-battery charge.
Dillon was sentenced to life and moved to Florida State Prison, which houses many of the state's most violent criminals, and within an hour of entering his cell he was sexually assaulted by several inmates.
Twenty-seven years passed, years during which Dillon said he seriously considered suicide. Then DNA evidence finally confirmed what he'd known all along: He had nothing to do with the slaying. In at 22, out at 49. Have a nice life.
Oh, and because at age 19 Dillon had been arrested for having a Quaalude in his pocket — a felony, though he later said he didn't knowingly plead guilty to that offense — Florida declared him ineligible to receive any financial compensation for those lost years.
One way he survived, Dillon had told Zahn, was by writing songs, and now he wanted to record them, perhaps to launch a music career at his relatively advanced age. A light bulb flashed in Tullio's mind.

William Dillon was freed from a Florida prison in late 2008 after serving nearly 27 years for a murder DNA proves he didn’t commit. He was wrongfully convicted in 1981 based on a questionable eyewitness identification, unreliable testimony from the handler of a scent-tracking dog and testimony from a jailhouse informant.

The Crime
In the early morning hours of August 17, 1981, James Dvorak was beaten to death in a wooded area near Canova Beach, in Brevard County on Florida’s east coast. Later that morning, a driver picked up a hitchhiker near the beach wearing a bloody yellow T-shirt with the words “Surf It.”

The driver was able to see the hitchhiker by his truck’s interior light, and he later told investigators that the man was sweaty and had blood on his T-shirt and smeared on his leg and shorts. He agreed to drive the hitchhiker to a tavern three miles away. On the way to the bar, he stopped the car and performed oral sex on the hitchhiker. He then dropped the hitchhiker at the tavern. Later that morning, the driver found that the hitchhiker had left the bloody T-shirt in his truck and he disposed of the shirt in a trash can near a grocery store.

The Investigation
The victim’s body – nude and severely beaten – was found that morning in the wooded area near the beach. Law enforcement officers collected the victim’s discarded clothing and other items from the crime scene. Later the same day, the driver saw a news story about the murder and called police to tell them about the hitchhiker. Police recovered the T-shirt from the trash can and collected other evidence from the driver’s truck.

Five days later, Dillon was with his brother at the beach when they were questioned by two law enforcement officers. Although the case had appeared in the media for five days, the officers said they were suspicious that Dillon knew about the murder and they brought him to the station for further questioning.

As part of the investigation, authorities hired John Preston, a purported expert in handling scent-tracking dogs. Eight days after the crime, Preston and his dog, Harass II, conducted two tests which he said linked the T-shirt to the crime scene and Dillon to the T-shirt. In the second test, a “paper lineup” which allegedly linked Dillon to the T-shirt, Preston allowed his dog to sniff the T-shirt and then pieces of paper, including one Dillon had touched. Preston said the dog selected Dillon’s paper, and Dillon was arrested and charged with the murder.

The Trial
Prosecutors presented four main witnesses against Dillon at his trial.

A former girlfriend of Dillon’s testified that she was with him on the night of the crime and had seen him standing over the victim’s body wearing the yellow T-shirt. Her testimony was contradictory at times, however, and she admitted to being confused on the stand.

Preston, the dog handler, testified that his dog had connected Dillon with the crime scene and the T-shirt worn by the perpetrator. The driver, who was legally blind in one eye, identified Dillon in court as the hitchhiker he had picked up near the crime scene. His initial description of the hitchhiker, however, did not match Dillon’s physical characteristics. He originally said the hitchhiker was six feet tall and had a mustache. Dillon is 6-foot-4-inches and is physically unable to grow a mustache. Other aspects of his description also did not match Dillon’s features.

A jailhouse snitch also testified that Dillon admitted guilt to him while in jail awaiting trial. Several details of the alleged confession didn’t fit with the crime and, despite the presence of other prisoners at the time, there were no other witnesses to the confession. After Dillon’s trial, rape charges pending against the snitch were dropped by prosecutors.

Dillon took the stand in his own defense and testified that he had been miles away from the beach on the night of the crime, and witnesses corroborated his alibi. After a five-day trial, he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Unreliable Testimony
Less than two weeks after the trial, Dillon’s ex-girlfriend recanted her testimony. She said she had fabricated the story about seeing Dillon at the crime scene because law enforcement officers had threatened her with 25 years in prison as an accessory if she didn’t testify against him. Later, it was revealed that she also had sexual intercourse during the investigation with the lead officer in the case. The officer was suspended in connection with the incident and would eventually resign.

Just three months after Dillon was sentenced, another Brevard County man – Wilton Dedge – was convicted in Brevard County of a murder based on an unreliable identification, a jailhouse snitch and the testimony of dog handler John Preston. Dedge, an Innocence Project client, was exonerated by DNA testing in 2004 after serving 22 years in prison.

Two years after Dillon’s conviction, questions began to arise around the country about Preston’s qualifications. By this time, Preston had participated in hundreds of cases and his testimony helped lead to countless convictions. His dog failed an accuracy test conducted by a Brevard County judge. The Arizona Supreme Court called him a “charlatan.” In 2008, a Brevard County judge said Preston was used by prosecutors “to confirm the state’s preconceived notions.”  Dillon’s attorneys have alleged that prosecutors had doubts about the reliability of Preston’s testimony before Dillon’s trial but did not share these doubts with defense attorneys at the time. Dog scent identification is not a validated science and has played a part in other wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA testing.

Post-Conviction Appeals and ExonerationDillon filed several appeals in the five years following his conviction; all were denied. In 1996, he began to seek access to biological evidence for DNA testing, but these requests were also denied. In 2007, with the help of public defenders and attorneys at the Innocence Project of Florida, Dillon again requested DNA testing. This time, officials determined that most of the evidence from the investigation – including fingernail scrapings from the victim and blood and hair from the crime scene – had been lost or destroyed. The yellow T-shirt, however, had been saved. A judge ordered testing on the remaining evidence.

The results of DNA testing showed that the yellow T-shirt was conclusively tied to the killer and had not been worn by Dillon. Blood on the T-shirt matched the DNA profile of the victim. Biological material of another man was discovered on the collar and armpit of the T-shirt, indicating sweat or skin cells from the man who wore the shirt. The DNA profile developed from these areas of the shirt excluded both the victim and William Dillon.

Based on the results of these DNA tests, Dillon was released from prison on November  18, 2008, and his exoneration became official when prosecutors dropped all charges against him on December 10.

Artist:  William Michael Dillon    Album: Black Robes and Lawyers 
Artist Name:William Michael Dillon     Album: Black Robes and Lawyers
First/Last Name:William Dillon
Hometown:Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Style of music:Americana

Amy Weirich Speaks at Memphis TN VECA Town Hall Meeting

By Kenneth Howard Smith
KDTN Radio One Networks

 MEMPHIS TN (IFS)-- Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich did not miss a beat when she re-stated her intention to drive down crime in our communities. The VECA meeting was attended by fifty (50) local area residences and VECA members of the Vollintine and Evergreen Community Association (

 The Vollintine Evergreen Neighborhood Association's quarterly meeting and potluck this past Friday, September 21, 2012, was attended by DAG Amy Weirich. Also in the meetings were Memphis Police Departments' Lts. Carlos Woods and Gerald Ware who reported on police activities in the community. Under the direction of VECA Board members, Lilly Gilkey, Gloria Singleton, Maric Hendrix and many of the community, it was very informative and a good time by all and the food was very great.

Standing less than 10 feet away and in front of the eager and modest group, DA Weirich in live and living color delivered her war on crime and she stated that she could not do it alone, and needs each and everyone of us to help do our part and be the eyes and ears of the community.  Basically, ". . . If you see something, say something. Pick up the phone and make a call to help your neighbor.  You have to get involved in your community to help solve these crimes.  The days of hiding behind the blinds and "not seeing" anything is long gone."

By being the Shelby County DA, she places herself at the front of the battle along with Memphis' finest who carry the war to the streets on a 24/7 basis without a break.  Crime never stops and they find ways to always exploit each and every one of us.

One of the main questions from the group was the war on gangs and gang violence in our streets.  The questions lead Lts. Wood and Ware to point out that parents must take up diligence to example what their children are doing.  They said, that all rooms in your house belong to you, and you should monitor your children's friends, their habits, their literature, the color of the children's clothes, if they are wearing one color of clothing on an everyday basis too much.  If their demeanor changes.  Tattoos of gang type drawings, etc.

 The meeting started off with Lts. Carlos Woods and Gerald Ware of the Memphis Police Department's burglary division report of what was transpiring in the area. The program of collecting weapons off the street is one of their number one priorities, among others, as mugshots of recently apprehended suspects were displaced among the audience.

Memphis Police also dispelled true and untrue rumors about situations going on in the neighborhoods, and again warned the association to be on the look out for persons, who should be in school, are actually bugulars poising as students and bicycle gangs that do quick hit and run attacks on citizens walking the streets and homes.  Police also suggested that video cameras, motion sensor lights and a good dog is a vital offense to deter crime. 

Lt. Ware told the audience that with the new technology of GPS from the local cell phone carries, it was easy for parents to place borders as to where children could go and if they kids went beyond those points, then an email or instant telephone call to alert the parents will be triggered to inform them.  These services are available now.

 It In the last several months, DA Weirich's office has been pursuing the guilty and protecting the innocent in many ways. One area is by pushing for tougher legislation. Several new laws went into effect last week (or will in the coming months) that make our community safer.

In the war on drugs, law enforcement will have quicker access to pharmacy databases, allowing them to get meth makers and prescription drug sellers off the streets sooner. Additionally, combining the war on drugs with our responsibility to protect our children, tougher sentencing is available for those who manufacture meth in the presence of children.

 On the roads, those stopped for suspected DUI with prior DUIs or vehicular homicides will not be allowed to refuse a blood test. If you have a child in the car, you have no right to refuse. Third and fourth DUI offenders will have their license suspended for 6 or 8 years respectively. Those convicted of child rape, will face nothing less than 25 years at 100% up to 60 years depending on the defendant’s record.
 We have tougher sentencing options for those convicted of drive-by shootings and those parents/guardians guilty of “educational neglect”, i.e., not getting their children to school. Juveniles ages 14-18 convicted of certain violent sexual offenses and found to be at high risk for re-offending, will be placed on a sex offender registry. These are just some of the laws enacted.

A complete listing of the new legislation is available here from the General Assembly website. I am honored to serve as your District Attorney and promise you that my office will continue to pursue those whose mission it is to weaken our community.

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