news digest


Court to hear Baidu infringement suit

BEIJING — The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court has agreed to hear a copyright-infringement suit against Web portal Baidu. The suit was filed Feb. 4 by Universal Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment Hong Kong and Warner Music Hong Kong, the IFPI said Monday. Citing the Beijing-based portal's practice of "deep-linking" to Web sites offering unauthorized music downloads, the labels are seeking damages totaling $9 million for infringing copyright on 127 music tracks, the maximum statutory compensation under Chinese law of 500,000 yuan ($71,352) per track. "Baidu is China's largest violator of music copyrights, generating huge revenue by deliberately providing access to illegal content," IFPI chairman and CEO John Kennedy said.

Radiohead headlines Lollapalooza

NASHVILLE — Lollapalooza officially revealed this year's lineup, which features about 120 acts led by Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West and Wilco. The three-day festival is set for Aug. 1-3 at Chicago's Grant Park. Also on this year's bill are the Raconteurs, Love and Rockets, Gnarls Barkley, Bloc Party, the Black Keys, Broken Social Scene, Flogging Molly, Mark Ronson, Cat Power, Lupe Fiasco, G. Love & Special Sauce, Brazilian Girls, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Dierks Bentley, John Butler Trio and more. Advance three-day passes are on sale at $190 for a limited time, then will be available at $205, with no service fees and a print-at-home option.

BMW in promo lane with 'Mad Men'

NEW YORK — AMC has signed BMW as an exclusive premiere sponsor and series partner for Season 2 of "Mad Men." AMC said it will spotlight BMW through each of its multiplatform marketing initiatives, including on-air and online promotions, and within the network's off-channel marketing campaign through tagged exposure in advertising. AMC also will incorporate BMW into its MAD-Vertising campaign, in which the network creates custom content for "Mad Men" advertisers that airs as part of commercial breaks.

Pickup for Parks' 'Place' script

FilmCrest and Kid Gloves Prods. have acquired a script from writer Rick Parks based on Robert M. Murphy's book "No Better Place to Die." The story centers on the battle for the La Fiere Bridge during D-Day in World War II, when a small group of 82nd Airborne American paratroopers held off the German army for three days. Doug Stebleton is producing, with David Williams executive producing. Parks ("Sweet Home Alabama") is repped by New Wave Entertainment and attorney Lev Ginsburg.

Disney Channel likes 'Timmy'

Disney Channel programmers from North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia are teaming to acquire the rights for Aardman Animations' "Timmy," a stop-motion animated series from the studio behind "Wallace & Gromit." "Timmy" is set to premiere internationally on Playhouse Disney in 2009.

'Sprout' grows at PBS Kids

PBS Kids Sprout, a 24-hour television destination for preschoolers, will debut "The Sprout Sharing Show" — an afternoon block that offers fans the chance to be the stars of the show by featuring viewer-submitted videos. In addition, "PICME," which debuts May 5 as part of the block, will feature a new child every weekday to "appear" alongside their favorite characters.