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adStream: Notes on Slacker’s mobile ads

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adStream is a journal of ad-stalking and interesting commercial sightings in online audio services. It had been a while since we had turned our ad-stalking attention to Slacker Radio. We wanted to see whether Slacker deployed a similar full-court press as Pandora, which frequently covers our phone screen with a graphic ad that must be manually closed to see what's playing.

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Editor’s Notebook: eMusic’s long road and changing identity

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by Brad Hill

Once a pioneer, subscription music-download site eMusic is striking out afresh with news of a change its music catalog to focus on indie labels and artists. The service will discontinue major-label recordings. In doing so, eMusic circles back to its roots as a champion of indie music, and of users who dig deeper than the hit charts.

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New survey shows radio needs better streaming to attract young listeners

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Mark Kassof shared data from a recent survey about the attitudes of teenagers toward FM radio. The 506 online surveys of respondents aged 13 to 20 revealed that only 7% listened to FM radio the most for music. Even online streams of terrestrial stations had limited reach. Just 16% of respondents said they listened to online radio station streams often, while 31% said the did so sometimes. Twenty percent hardly ever listened and 26% have never done so. Smartphone apps for AM and FM radio stations also had limited reach: 49% have never listened on those services.

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Judge finds Grooveshark liable for copyright infringements

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It seems yesterday’s news was just the tip of the iceberg in Grooveshark’s copyright woes. Today, a district court judge ruled that Grooveshark is liable for copyright infringement because its employees uploaded tracks without the labels’ permission. The judge determined that these uploads were not protected by the DCMA safe harbor provisions.

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Judge reduces punitive damages against Michael Robertson in MP3Tunes.com case

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In March we covered the first ruling in a years-long court case against Michael Robertson, founder of MP3Tunes.com. The verdict went badly for Robertson, who faced a bill for $48-million in damages and punitive compensation. Now the presiding judge has reduced the punitive component of the verdict to one-tenth of its original size -- from $7.5-million to $750,000.

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Spotify now available to all listeners in Canada

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After several weeks on an invite-only basis, Spotify has made its official entrance into Canada. The Swedish streaming platform staked a claim to “one of the most extensive Canadian music catalogues available,” with access to more than 20 million songs in the market. It noted a “comprehensive Quebecois library” within those millions of tunes, according to VentureBeat.

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Where is the (musical) drama? Big data answers

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Monday distraction: Paul Lamere, Director of Development Platform at The Echo Nest, which is owned by Spotify, has created an entertaining hack that anyone can try -- Where Is the Drama? The idea is to use waveform analysis to identify a song's climactic section. The experiment is fun, if nothing else. Read how Lamere accomplished this hack, and where you can test it.

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Universal seeks summary judgment against Grooveshark in pre-1972 copyright case

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Sirius XM was on the receiving end of some bad copyright news last week, and this week the recipient is Grooveshark. Universal Music Group is pushing for a summary judgment, claiming that it is the owner of pre-1972 recordings played on the streaming service. Since Grooveshark’s users are the ones uploading content and since labels can issue takedown notices, the platform has argued that it is covered by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbors and thus is not liable for infringement. Universal is arguing that this provision should not apply to the music dating before 1972.

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