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MADONNA LEAK PROVOKES TORRENT OF ACCUSATIONS

"Music" Snippet’s Appearance On Web Raises Specter Of More Litigation—And Some Conspiracy Theories
The appearance of the upcoming Madonna single, "Music," on Napster and some other MP3-swapping sites has prompted Warner Bros. to threaten litigation against notorious file-sharing service and kindred Net entities. "Any site that does not remove our copyrighted material runs the risk of civil and criminal prosecution."

Yet some digital-music doyens believe the song—which a statement by Madonna's manager Caresse Norman calls a purloined "work-in-progress" not yet intended for popular consumption—was intentionally leaked to file-distribution sites to heighten anticipation for Madonna's pending album, also called "Music," slated for a September release.

The conspiracy theorists believe MP3-sharing applications are both a convenient way of generating free publicity and a handy scapegoat.

Since the song wasn't made available for advance reviews, some chatterers suspect someone inside the Material Girl's circle of leaking the track, which has been offered for download in its entirety and in excerpted form on the Web.

Warner, for the time being, is putting its fax where its mouth is, pointing all inquiring minds to an official statement featuring Norman's comments.

Meanwhile, anticipation for the steamy, Jonas Akerlund-helmed video of "Music" (filmed early to avoid showcasing the singer's increasingly obvious pregnancy) hasn't yet prompted any piracy we know about—yet. But we're still scouring.

HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/3a)
TAYLOR'S TREMENDOUS YEAR
She'd make one helluva CEO. (12/3a)
THEY CALL THE WINDFALL MARIAH (HOLIDAY EDITION)
Ch-chingle bells (12/3a)
SONG REVENUE:
BOWS OF HOLLY
Adele is money. (12/3a)
UTA MUSIC EXPANDS IN NASHVILLE
Reshuffling the deck (12/3a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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