EmptyDeal in U.K. file-sharing
The British record industry has achieved a breakthrough in its ongoing engagement with Internet service providers to help rein in illegal file-sharing. Virgin Media and the British Phonographic Industry have agreed on a new education campaign to help the media group's broadband customers legitimately download music on their network. Through the campaign, Virgin Media customers who have been found to distribute music files in breach of copyright will receive informative letters, one from each party. Virgin Media will distribute the letters, without the need to disclose customer names and addresses to the BPI. ISPs in Britain are under government pressure to find a voluntary solution with the industry or face legislation that could begin early in 2009.
Maffitt at Live Nation
Live Nation has tapped Noah Maffitt as executive vp and GM of LiveNation.com. A 15-year veteran of the digital space, Maffitt recently drove Office Depot's e-commerce strategy to nearly $5 billion in online revenue, making it one of the five largest e-commerce companies in the world.
Wolf Boards Uber.com
Uber.com, the Web publishing platform co-founded by former NBC executive Scott Sassa, has named former MTV Networks president and COO Michael Wolf to its board of directors. Joining Wolf on the board are Josh Freeman, executive vp digital media at Discovery Communications, and Ted Meisel, executive-in-residence at private- equity firm Elevation Partners and former CEO of the Yahoo-acquired Overture Services. Meisel also is chairman of Web video service Veoh's board of directors. Uber has received funding from Discovery and Universal Music, and Sassa said the company is working with Discovery to build sites around shows from its TLC channel. Sassa said Uber also is talking to "a number of other companies" about building destinations.
Last.fm loses WMG
Warner Music Group has pulled its music from Last.fm's free on-demand music streaming service in an apparent dispute over compensation rates. Last.fm began removing WMG artists from its service last week at the label's request. "We are currently negotiating a new agreement with Warner Music Group and are working hard to build the most comprehensive music service on the Web," Last.fm parent CBS said.