Tag Archives: oops

Authorized Lyrics Sites Kinda Suck

A little over a year ago, we talked about the first legal lyrics repository on the internet. Turns out, these legal sites are realizing they cannot compete with unauthorized sites that actually give the user what they want: searchable, copy-and-pastable lyrics.

“We’ve had what we call modest success,” said Michael Spiegleman, senior director of Yahoo Music, the first company to adopt Gracenote‘s lyrics content more than a year ago. “It provides a fairly decent level of traffic, but it didn’t take off quite to the extent that we originally projected.”

So-called “rogue” lyrics sites — which display song lyrics without any permission from, or payment to, the publishers that hold the copyrights — still dominate the field. Because they’ve been around longer, they rank higher in Internet search results and therefore get the majority of traffic.

“The fact is, we don’t rank that highly,” said Howie Fung, senior product manager for Rhapsody.com, which licenses the LyricFind service. “There are so many illegal sites out there that it’s kind of tough to break through the rankings, so that hasn’t worked out as well as we would have liked.”

It’s not because “they’ve been around longer” that the unauthorized lyrics sites rank higher; it’s because their pages actually contain the text of the lyrics that the consumer is searching for. The authorized sites are crippled with a kind of DRM that renders them virtually useless by displaying what is in effect just a graphic image of the lyrics: not actual text. Search engines index text, and rank their results based on matching text (among other things).

The National Music Publishers’ Association is an atavistic relic of a bygone era that predates recorded music. The reality of the matter is that lyrics are just facts. And the Supreme Court has already decided that you can’t copyright facts.

Lou Pearlman Sentenced to 25 Years

Lou PearlmanThe guy who gave us the Backstreet Boys and N*Sync has been sentenced to 25 years in the joint for bilking investors out of millions of dollars.

According to the AP, it was the maximum sentence the boy band mogul could receive for allegedly swindling some $300 million from investors and banks since the early 1980s.

The judge will allow Lou Pearlman to reduce his sentence by one month for every $1 million he returns to investors. Prosecutors allege Pearlman scammed individuals out of an estimated $200 million, and banks out of another $100 million, so a complete repayment will buy his way out of jail, but his lawyer thinks that is unlikely to happen.

“I want to say clearly that there’s no pot of gold out there,” defense attorney Fletcher Peacock said.

Old Lou better hit the weights.

Previously: Boy Band Creator/Diddler Outed.

eMusic Loses the Stones

Mick JaggerHope you snatched them while you had the chance. A few weeks ago, we told you about eMusic’s coup of landing the ABKCO catalog. It seemed too good to be true, and unfortunately it was. Alert GLONO reader Baltimucho pointed out that now when you search for the Rolling Stones, you get the following response: “Due to events outside of our control, we no longer carry the Rolling Stones catalogue on eMusic. We are sorry to see it go, but hope to get them back in the future.”

Ars Technica looked into it:

All ABKCO would say is that eMusic “executed an excellent promotional campaign” but that the label “has decided that at this point in time we wish to further evaluate this area of the digital marketplace.”

eMusic, for its part, expressed frustration. “Unfortunately, during this time of transition in the music industry, customers are often caught in the middle as traditional music companies determine how to adjust to new opportunities in the marketplace,” it said in a statement.

This sucks, obviously, in general. But it sucks even more for people who put off downloading as much Stones stuff as they wanted, assuming it would still be there next month.

Continue reading eMusic Loses the Stones

LA Times Totally Retracts Tupac Story

They’ve already apologized, but now they’re making it official. The Los Angeles Times retracts Tupac Shakur story and has removed the article and related materials from their web site:

The Times specifically retracts all statements in the article, and in its related publications, that state or suggest in any way that Rosemond, Agnant and Sabatino orchestrated or played any role in the assault on Shakur or that they lured him into an ambush at the Quad studios.

To the extent these publications could be interpreted as creating the impression that [Sean “Diddy”] Combs was involved in arranging the attack, The Times wishes to correct that misimpression, which was neither stated in the article nor intended.

The Times also reported that Sabatino told Combs in advance that Shakur was going to be attacked. The Times now believes that Sabatino had no involvement in the attack and that he never spoke to Combs about it. Any statements or implications suggesting that Combs was given advance knowledge of the assault on Shakur, or played any role in it, are specifically retracted.

If something sounds to good to be true, it probably is…

Oops: LA Times Duped in Tupac Story

Oops. Remember that story we posted last week from the LA Times written by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Chuck Philips? Well, the Smoking Gun has discovered that the whole goddamn thing was based on forged “FBI” documents created by a fat, white nerd who happens to be a compulsive liar and attention seeker:

The Times appears to have been hoaxed by an imprisoned con man and accomplished document forger, an audacious swindler who has created a fantasy world in which he managed hip-hop luminaries, conducted business with Combs, Shakur, Busta Rhymes, and The Notorious B.I.G., and even served as Combs’s trusted emissary to Death Row Records boss Marion “Suge” Knight during the outset of hostilities in the bloody East Coast-West Coast rap feud.

The con man, James Sabatino, 31, has long sought to insinuate himself, after the fact, in a series of important hip-hop events, from Shakur’s shooting to the murder of The Notorious B.I.G.. In fact, however, Sabatino was little more than a rap devotee, a wildly impulsive, overweight white kid from Florida whose own father once described him in a letter to a federal judge as “a disturbed young man who needed attention like a drug.”

Doh! Sorry for passing along the bunk. But we assumed that a Pulitzer Prize winner (or at least his editor!) would do his homework. So, um, never mind. And… please don’t shoot us, Mr. Combs, we meant no harm…

Update: The LA Times “will launch an internal investigation into the authenticity of [the] documents…”

Update #2: The LA Times apologizes. “In relying on documents that I now believe were fake, I failed to do my job,” Philips said in a statement Wednesday. “I’m sorry.”

FBI Documents Say Diddy Killed Tupac (pretty much)

Update: Oops: LA Times Duped in Tupac Story

The Los Angeles Times has obtained FBI records that show that Sean “Diddy/Puffy/Puff Daddy” Combs was behind Tupac’s 1994 ambush at the Quad Recording Studios in New York. An attack on Tupac Shakur launched a hip-hop war:

Now, newly discovered information, including interviews with people who were at the studio that night, lends credence to Shakur’s insistence that associates of rap impresario Sean “Diddy” Combs were behind the assault. Their alleged motives: to punish Shakur for disrespecting them and rejecting their business overtures and, not incidentally, to curry favor with Combs. […]

The records — summaries of FBI interviews with the informant conducted in July and December 2002 — provide details of how Shakur was lured to the studio and ambushed. Others with knowledge of the incident corroborated the informant’s account in interviews with The Times and gave additional details.

As if Diddy’s music wasn’t crime enough to lock him up…

Billboard saw Ghostface at Pitchfork

Billboard’s Charley Rogulewski has seen a ghost!

According to the original version of his Pitchfork piece (Sonic Youth, GZA, Slint Kick Off Pitchfork Fest), posted July 14, 2007, 7:10 PM ET, GZA “was flanked by fellow Wu member Ghostface Killah for abbreviated versions of most of the album tracks.” Rogulewski even got a quote: “It was a very free spirited performance,” Ghostface said afterward. “We were feelin’ the crowd.”

Google cache still has the original version. View a screen grab.

The article since been half-corrected. Now, GZA “was flanked by Wu associate Cappadonna for abbreviated versions of most of the album tracks,” but the quote is still attributed to Ghostface, who as far as we can tell, was not actually in Chicago this weekend. Wasn’t he in Amsterdam with the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan (youtube)?

Continue reading Billboard saw Ghostface at Pitchfork

Pay for Play: Buy Ad, Get Reviewed

This is so wrong. Percolator reprints an email exchange between a record label and Amplifier magazine wherein Joe Joyce, Publisher & Dir. Advertising (!) of Amplifier, comes right out and says, “if you’re never going to advertise with us I can’t justify the cost of covering your releases.”

This might be unfortunately common, but it still breaks the #1 rule of reputable publications: the wall of separation between editorial and advertising.

Pot/kettle disclosure: Here at GLONO, we do not have a separate advertising staff. But we never allow advertisers to influence our content. And since we launched our record label, we’ve placed ads in several publications including Magnet, the Fork, and Chromewaves, none of whom ever reviewed our releases.

Via Wired.

Bob Lefsetz on YouTube, Napster

The YouTube Deal by industry legend Bob Lefsetz: “Despite all the chest-thumping by Edgar Bronfman, Jr. and Eric Nicoli, the failure to license Napster was single-handedly the worst decision ever made in the history of the music business. And it will haunt the major labels forever.”

Bad Apple – An Open Letter

RottenWhat do you do when you plunk down several hundred dollars on media players that shit out on you within 18 months? The only thing we, the people, can do in Corporate Amerika: Complain.

Apple

1 Infinite Loop

Cupertino, CA 95014

May 29, 2006

To whom it may concern (and that should be anyone who works at Apple),

I know most consumer protection agencies recommend a calm, non-threatening tone be taken when filing business complaints in writing, but it’s awfully difficult to maintain a cool composure when you’re staring at $800 worth of electronic equipment that’s up and crapped out short of 18 months from the purchase date. But I’ll try to be the bigger man.

Continue reading Bad Apple – An Open Letter