Thursday, October 28, 2010

LimeWire Gets Shut Down

~ What do you all think about this?

A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday granted the music industry’s request to shut down the popular LimeWire file-sharing service, which had been found liable for copyright infringement.

The ruling by Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan federal court halts one of the world’s biggest services for letting consumers share music, movies and TV shows for free over the Internet.

Saying that LimeWire’s parent Lime Wire LLC intentionally caused a “massive scale of infringement” involving thousands of works, Wood issued a permanent injunction that requires the company to disable its “searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality.”

Record companies “have suffered — and will continue to suffer — irreparable harm from Lime Wire’s inducement of widespread infringement of their works,” Wood wrote.

She called the potential damages “staggering,” and probably “well beyond” the New York-based company’s ability to pay.

The signed ruling was made available by The Recording Industry Association of America, which represents music companies. It has said Lime Wire has cost its members hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. A copy of the ruling was not immediately available on the public court docket.

In a statement, Lime Wire expressed disappointment at the ruling. “While this is not our ideal path, we’re working with the music industry to move forward,” it said.

Lime Wire said the injunction lets it continue testing a service that allows users to buy music from independent labels. The company said it hopes to negotiate agreements with the entire music industry ahead of a full launch.

Founded in 2000 by Mark Gorton, Lime Wire has been a thorn in the side of record companies because millions of fans used it as an easy means to find and download music for free.

U.S. recorded music sales have fallen in value to $7.7 billion in 2009 from $14.5 billion in 1999 according to the RIAA. The music industry blames online and physical piracy as the primary reasons for the decline.

Tuesday’s injunction “will start to unwind the massive piracy machine that Lime Wire and Gorton used to enrich themselves immensely,” the RIAA said in a statement. It said the court will consider damages at a January trial.

The RIAA represents labels owned by Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Group, owned by the Terra Firma private equity firm.

LimeWire has said it has more than 50 million monthly users. These users accounted for 58 percent of people who said they downloaded music from a peer-to-peer service in 2009, a survey by NPD Group showed.

As technology and broadband speeds have improved, LimeWire has also been used to illegally share movies and popular TV shows, attracting criticism from Hollywood as well.

Wood’s decision to shut the LimeWire service followed a unanimous 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling against file-sharing service Grokster Ltd.

In that ruling, the court said companies could be sued for copyright infringement if they distributed services designed to be used for that purpose, even if the devices could also be used lawfully.

The case is Arista Records LLC et al v Lime Group et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 06-05936.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Some Great Advice

~Here is some good advice pulled from a much longer interview with Neil Patel that I found on Musician Coaching. You can check it out HERE.
Last question, if you had a group together and were trying to get their music heard online and offline what would your (very basic) strategy be for getting heard? I know the core music business isn’t your expertise but the music business is disarray at the moment. I figure you might have some great ideas.

I would first create band pages with my music on all of the major social networks. After I have done that I would go to all of the other popular bands that are similar and make them my friends. And lastly, I would then interact with other bands through their social profiles. I would do this through commenting, which is a great way to drive their visitors back to my band profile page.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I Want To Meet You!

Well, if a life of being hungry and tired sounds like a good idea, I would definitely like to help you achieve your goals... seriously, if you would like to chat about your music and / or a career in music I am now available to do so. Music180 is a brand new company that I am proud to be a part of. You can check out my profile here
I look forward to meeting you!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Get Signed to RoadRunner Records

Yup kids, ya heard it here first... now get uploading!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ask Blasko

October... a great time of year. I must be feeling inspired. I made a few changes around here. Some of you may notice a new Blog title and this months poll. Social networking: how important is it to you? I recently deleted my MySpace, Twitter and Facebook as I found them to be distractions. I felt my focus was better served here and on my company.

That being said, the new Blog plan is to be more interactive. I want you to email me at and send me some pertinent questions that you would like to get some perspective on. I am also going to bring on some guest bloggers (peeps from the business) to tackle some answers as well.


So Ya Wanna Be a Rockstar?

~ I nabbed this off of the Music Think Tank blog. Originally penned by Jonathan Ostrow (his info is at the bottom of the post). Enjoy...

The idea that any emerging artist can become the next multi-platnum recording artist is null and void. Save for very rare instances, there is just not the level of demand in music that creates the necessary environment for a superstar to develop, and those who do break through at that level either had the connections or the marketing team that was smart enough to mold the musician to look and sound exactly how the labels want them to. But this is nothing new.

As the DIY Musician movement strengthens, musicians are continually gaining more understanding as to how they can sustain a career in music without the need to sign to a record label and sell over 1 million copies. There is a seemingly limitless way for musicians to use their knowledge of any and all aspects of music to create a sustainable career doing what they love:

Music Licensing

Music licensing is a great opportunity for any aspiring musician to get paid for their recorded works to appear in TV and film. Helen Austin, a musician who has dedicated her career in music to licensing her works has put together a wonderful article on laying out the 4 Steps to Film and TV Placement.

Live Performance

The live performance sector is seen by many as the new focal point of the music industry. Although ticket giant Live Nation reported a drop in ticket sales for the summer of 2010, the live performance scene surrounding the emerging music scene has been flourishing. A new trend for musicians, especially in the upcoming hip-hop scene is to forgo signing with a record label, only to sign with a major booking agency who can effectively act as the liaison between the artist and other, well established artists and venues.

Studio/ Session Musician

There is always a demand for highly trained, highly qualified musicians to step in and add support on an album. This is not limited to any instrument or genre and can range from freelance work to working contractually for a major label. However, as the demand is high, so is the competition - in order to work as a studio/ session musician, you MUST be able to read music at a fluent rate and be able to adjust your playing to suit the needs of the client.

Band Manager

The negotiation skills and industry understanding gained from your own endeavors are the perfect skill set to get you started as a new band manager.

Music Teacher

Teaching music can be done at quite a few different levels of understanding and pay-grade, ranging from private in-home lessons up to collegiate-level music study. While it is certainly an attainable goal to establish a few clients and teach out of your own home without having a degree in music, it is almost guaranteed that you will need to have a degree in music and possibly even teaching in order to teach in any sort of professional setting.

Pit Band For Off-Broadway Productions

Although most broadway productions use classical music and orchestras, there are many off-broadway productions that contain much more contemporary forms of music. National Shows like Cirque De Sole and Blue Man Group, as well as many other smaller performances have scaled down from the orchestra to a smaller, Rock n’ Roll oriented music section.

Instrument Repair Technician

This can be done as either a part-time or full time job, and depending on your level of specialization, it can greatly range in pay-scale. Though you may be able to find work based on understand you’ve gain from your own research, this is one of those jobs that typically requires some sort of apprenticeship before you are fully hired as a professional technician. If this is something you are considering, there are quite a few resources out there, such as NAPBIRT that provide a free exchange of information for instrument repair technicians.

Book Bands For a Local Venue

Booking other music acts for a local venue is a great way to not only learn the inter-workings of the live music industry, but to gain some potentially valuable contacts should you ever decide to give it a go yourself.

Ghost Songwriter

Many musicians and artists have forged especially lucrative careers out of ghost songwriting for singers, performers and pop-stars. It is a fact that while Britney Spears was at the height of her fame, a woman named Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was writing the songs for her. More recently, Stefani has gone on to become one of the most successful pop stars of all time under the name Lady Gaga.

House Band/ Residency

There are clubs, bars, theaters, restaurants, hotels, resorts and even cruises all over the world that look for groups or solo musicians willing to act as the resident band. These residencies can range from nightly to weekly to monthly and offer a steady stream of income while you take the time needed to write and establish a fan base.

Page Turner

This one seems a little ridiculous, but there is actually a demand for ‘page turners’ who can literally sit and read along with musicians, turning the pages of sheet music at exactly the right moment. Check out this article from NPR that explains how it all works.

Music Transcriber

There are plenty of musicians and singer-songwriters who lack the understanding of music theory to be able to transcribe their music. Many musicians have found freelance work by charing an hourly rate to sit down with other musicians who play back what they’ve written while it is all transcribed on sheet music. Not a bad gig if you enjoy listening to music at an extremely slowed-down rate…

Film/ Video Game Scoring

Similar to music licensing, there is a plethora of major and indie film and/or video game makers looking for musicians to score their work.

Freelance Music Journalism

There is no one with more potential to become a freelance music journalist than a musician. The understanding of music theory and the music industry as whole can be just the qualifications needed to write insightful reviews of albums or live performances or maybe even essays for about the current trends or state of the music industry.

Music Production

Of course, with the DIY music movement becoming so contagious, many musicians have begun to take the many aspects of music production into their own hands. Ranging from recording to mixing to mastering, many musicians have created sustainable careers in the field of Music Production, allowing them to then later fund their own projects with their own money and experience.

These are just a few of the many, many ways to use your love for music to establish a sustainable career. While not all of the possibilities are glamorous or even all that lucrative, meaning it may take a few different revenue streams to make this music-filled lifestyle sustainable, you can at least rest assured knowing that your life is fueled by what you love… Music.

Written by Jonathan Ostrow (@miccontrol); he is the co-founder of MicControl, a music blogging network based on a social networking platform. This article originally appeared on the MicControl Blog on Sept. 21, 2010.