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FREED ON A TECHNICALITY
Reading This Tech Roundup Is Just Like Being In Prison, Minus The Soap On A Roap
AIMSTER AIMS AT RIAA
Controversial file-swapping/Instant Messaging software developer/teenage Aimster filed a lawsuit Monday against the Recording Industry Association of America in hopes of dodging the legal woes faced by Napster. Aimster is a file-sharing application that uses instant messaging systems to browse swapping networks like Gnutella and Napster, allows users to search Aimster member hard drives, and even encrypts transferred files. The RIAA sent the company a cease and desist letter to Aimster, ordering it to block file-sharing of RIAA member labels' works or face copyright infringement litigation. Aimster is now asking for protection of its file sharing system under the "safe harbor" provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The company says its system is legal because it does not monitor or control the information being shared. According to Aimster attorney George Carpinello, a conference has been set for mid-August to meet with a judge, but no trial date has been set yet. We’re sure the Billboard Bulletin will offer gavel-to-gavel coverage once a press release is issued.

NAPSTER: STILL OVER 1.6 BILLION SERVED
Napster swapping fell 36% in March, according to a report from Webnoize. Though the number of songs exchanged fell by more than a third, the report says that nearly 1.6 billion files were still swapped during that time. Napster’s file-swapping activity has been in a steady decline since its peak in February, mostly because of the federal ruling that the company block copyrighted files in response to a lawsuit from the five major record companies. "The number of files shared per user has fallen by more than 80% since the filters were put in place," said a Webnoize analyst. "At this stage the amount of music available is pretty minimal…but you can still get some great 'William Shatner Sings' titles."

EMUSIC GETS VIOLENT, EVEN WITH LOOMING FEDERAL CRACKDOWN
EMusic is releasing the new MP3-only Violent Femmes album, "Something’s Wrong," exclusively to its subscribers. Following MP3-only releases from Rancid, Arrested Development, They Might Be Giants, and others, the exclusive release features Violent Femmes classics, rare demo recordings and live tracks. Non EMusic subscribers won’t miss out either. The title track is available for free download. On the news, EMusic’s stock rose to $.55 a share.

UP A CREEK WITH MORE PEDDLE
ARTISTdirect has partnered with Microsoft Corp. to sell music merchandise at Microsoft’s WindowsMedia.com’s online audio and video guide. The newly revamped WindowsMedia.com, currently houses music and artist information and features links to CD retailers, and has added content from Interscope, EMI Christian Music Group, among others. Come mid-May, ARTISTdirect will add thousands of officially licensed artist products and merchandise to the pool o’ goodies. "Our goal is to provide the best music experience online," said Microsoft Digital Media Div. GM Dave Fester. "But we hooked up with ARTISTdirect anyway."

PICK ME, PICK ME!
Pick the Hits announced a partnership deal with SiteShell that will place Pick the Hits content on SiteShell’s network of radio station websites. Through this deal, Pick the Hits—a site that test markets new music by popular and emerging artists—will be able to bring new music directly to radio stations’ listeners for testing. Pick the Hits’ current roster of 22 major record labels includes Jive, Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, and Universal. Pick the Hits is not to be confused with pickthehitsnoses, which is what we’ve been doing all morning.

CD SHRINKAGE
Philips
today announced the expansion of its popular eXpanium portable MP3-CD players. The company will launch five new MP3-player products beginning in July. New features include extended playing time, the ability to play pre-recorded MP3 CDs and playlist preferences. Phillips also will be launching a miniature CD player in the fall, which will play smaller discs, as well as MP3s. The 8cm (3 inch) eXpanium, EXP 401, plays CDs that can store up to 200Mb of music and weighs about half a pound, which Phillips attributes to a healthy diet and lots of hours in the gym.

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE CAKE AND
THE CANDLES
Marketshare machers. (10/27a)
KENDRICK INKS WITH UMPG
Lamar enters the House of Jody. (10/27a)
YTD MARKETSHARE: AND THE WINNER IS...
It's a lock. (10/27a)
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, PART 8,761: SURGERY IN THE TIME OF COVID
Planning for an Election Day hopped up on painkillers. (10/27a)
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
Vote. Do it now. (10/27a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
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