Weird Al claims Sony underpaying on Internet music
"Weird Al" Yankovic accelerated a trend that may see musicians get better pay for their Internet content after suing Sony Music Entertainment for at least $5 million. The suit, filed in New York City on Friday, followed a similar pattern to the Eminem dispute, where the Straight Outta Lynwood producer and his company Ear Booker alleged that Sony had deprived him of sales revenue at iTunes and elsewhere by counting them as sales rather than licenses, which would give him a 50 percent cut of what the publisher receives. He also argued that fiscal stake in YouTube Sony has in return for its content deal also means he should get a proportionate amount of money for plays on his videos.
iTunes Match coming in second half of 2012
The Japanese iTunes Store has gained several other features in addition to iTunes in the Cloud, Apple has announced. This includes access to ringtones, downloading music over 3G instead of just Wi-Fi, and the Complete My Album option. All music on the store is now in iTunes Plus quality, meaning DRM-free, 256kbps AAC files. In some cases, tracks have been specifically mastered for iTunes.
Jacked wholesale price causes spike on iTunes
Sony Music briefly inflated the price of a Whitney Houston album -- The Ultimate Collection -- only hours after the singer's death on Saturday, a Guardian report notes. The company is said to have initially raised the album's wholesale price at about 4AM on Sunday, causing its price to automatically jump at places like the iTunes Store. At the UK iTunes Store, the cost rose from £5 to £8; the album is actually an old one, a best-of compilation dating back to 1997.
Sony, Warner join in on Grooveshark lawsuit
Sony Music and Warner Music have now joined the copyright infringement lawsuit Universal Music started against online music service Grooveshark. The lawsuit was first filed in November and alleges that Grooveshark execs uploaded copies of songs to which they didn't have rights and thus broke the DMCA. The lawsuit was also amended with a detail that claims Grooveshark knew it needed a license for the material it offers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Warner Music adds videos to Hulu service
Warner Music Group announced this past Tuesday that it will provide its music videos, concerts and other related content to Hulu's free online video service. At the same time, Hulu users will now be able to access artist interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of recording labels that include Atlantic Records, Rhino Records and Warner Bros Records. Muse will be the first band to get their music content displayed on Hulu.