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iTunes enter Sweden finally

Written by tevensso on May 10, 2005 to .

Today Apple’s very successful legal downloading service iTunes opened its gates in Sweden. It features all of Per Gessle’s solo work, some of Gyllene Tider’s, some of Roxette’s and quite a few Marie Fredriksson songs.

  This first day only one related album was found among the top 100 and that was Gyllene Tider’s “GT25 Live!” at #68. “Finn5fel!” isn’t available, at least not yet.

Ifpi Sweden fights online piracy with an open letter

Written by tevensso on April 18, 2005 to .

STOCKHOLM (UPDATED) - Ifpi (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) issued today an open letter that has been published in several Swedish newspapers. The purpose of the open letter is to address the copyright issues and downloading. 112 Swedish artists have signed the letter, among them Per Gessle, Göran Fritzon, Clarence Öfwerman and Lasse Lindbom.

  “For us artists it’s totally unacceptable to have a debate where the general meaning is that it is OK for people to steal records and films, or for that matter the newspaper Expressen, in a store. But somehow some leading voices think it’s OK to steal via the Internet,” reads an excerpt from the letter.

  Other artists like Håkan Hellström and Nanne Grönwall feel that an open letter from Ifpi is the wrong way to do it. They are both happy that people want to download their music and say that the music industry should try other ways. Nanne says to Expressen “This is just about the same thing like when the cassette tape arrived. The record companies blasted out that this was the death of the record industry. And it surely wasn’t.” Anders Nunstedt, pop columnist of Expressen, says that the record companies should see Internet downloading as the solution, not the problem.

Hundreds of song swappers sued in Europe

Written by roxeteer on October 7, 2004 to .

LONDON - The record industry trade group IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) has recently filed 459 lawsuits against users of file sharing networks in Europe. IFPI claims that they have specifically targeted their actions to “uploaders” or users who don’t just download music for their own but share large collections of copyrighted music. The lawsuits were filed against Kazaa, eDonkey, and Gnutella users in the UK, France, Austria, Germany, Italy and Denmark.

  “We are taking this action as a last resort and we are doing it after a very long public awareness campaign,” says IFPI chairman Jay Berman in a Reuters article. He adds that their own statistics show 15 percent of file sharers are responsible for supplying 75 percent of the illicit files to these networks.

  The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed thousands of similar lawsuits in the US during the past year. RIAA’s methods have had little or no effect to the popularity of the file sharing networks, but have caused a large movement against the music industry.

Compact Disc format rocks on in Europe

Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on September 28, 2004 to .

LONDON - The compact disc has at least another five years as the most popular music format before online downloads chip away at its dominance, a new study said on Tuesday.

  Technology consultancy Jupiter Research said in its annual report that in 2009 European music fans will buy 836 million euros ($1 billion USD) worth of music in the form of digital downloads and subscriptions to internet radio services.

  At that level, digital music revenues will account for roughly 8 percent of Europe’s estimated 10.2 billion euro music market. The study does not take into account the surprisingly successful market for mobile-phone ring tones. Read more…

“Poplife” is born

Written by tevensso on June 16, 2004 to .

STOCKHOLM (UPDATED) - The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet decides to start a new record store on the Internet. They are looking in the direction of Apple’s iTunes. Aftonbladet’s site will be named Poplife.

  Initially the site will contain 100,000 songs by Elvis, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Gyllene Tider, David Bowie and Magnus Uggla, to name a few. By the end of December Aftonbladet counts on having more than half a million songs for sale. Poplife will be open for Windows users to start with, Mac users will follow.

  The songs will cost 15 kronor (€1.65) to download and the songs will be in Windows Media Format which will allow the user to burn them on three CDs. The site opens this Friday.

  Apple launched the European version of their iTunes Music Store earlier this week. The store is available for customers in Germany, France and the UK. The songs cost €0.99 (£0.79 in the UK). An EU-wide iTunes Music Store is expected to be opened in October.

Polar Studios forced to close after 26 extraordinary years

Written by ChrisWilliams on March 18, 2004 to .

STOCKHOLM - The historic Polar Studios in Stockholm will close its doors on May 1st after 26 years of operation. Nearly every major Swedish artist has recorded at Polar, including Roxette, Robyn and the Cardigans. Owners Lennart Östlund, Marie Ledin and Tomas Ledin have failed to reach terms that would allow them to continue leasing the facility’s space.

  “We have been in long negotiations with the private landlord but have not been able to reach an agreement, so we have to shut down the so-called ’ABBA studio,’” Marie Ledin says. “For us and many in the music world, it is the end of an era.”

  Stig “Stikkan” Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson bought the building and opened the studios in 1978 to consolidate recording for ABBA and other Polar Music artists in one location. Several artists worked there before ABBA, including Led Zeppelin, which used the studio to record its album “In Through the out Door.”

Article by Jeffrey de Hart for Billboard magazine. Publicity photo from December, 2000, shows Roxette (Marie, Ronny Lahti, Per, Clarence Öfwerman and Christoffer Lundquist) at Polar Studios working on the “Room Service” album.

Read more…

Belgian consumer organization sues record companies

Written by tevensso on January 5, 2004 to .

BRUSSELS - Copy protection of CDs is illegal, claims the Belgian consumer rights organization Test Aankoop, who sued EMI, BMG, Sony and Universal for copy protecting their CDs. The companies will have to defend their position regarding copy protection in court. “This kind of protection violates the consumers’ statutory right to copy. The words ’copy control’ do not free the record companies of the law,” the organization says in a press release.

  According to Test Aankoop today’s CD protection misses the target when it comes to hacking and record piracy, while it undermines the consumers’ rights to use the CD as they want for private purposes.

  Their Norwegian counterpart Forbrukerrådet follows the case closely. “We find it positive that the question has been asked, and we’ll monitor the upcoming lawsuit with excitement,” Paal Bjönness, legal councelor of Forbrukerrådet says. “This will probably not be the last lawsuit of this kind,” Bjönness continues.

  Last year both a French and an Australian consumer rights organization sued record companies.

Per and Marie candidates for a special award of the Swedish Grammis jury

Written by daniel_alv on December 19, 2003 to .

STOCKHOLM - Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson are both nominated for the jury’s special Honorary Award at the Swedish Grammis awards 2003. At the moment the jury is looking for artists to nominate in the different categories.

  Other nominees include ABBA’s Benny Andersson, record company manager Bert Karlsson and singer Magnus Uggla, among others.

EMI and UK file-sharing network offer back catalogue online

Written by steven on October 27, 2003 to .

LONDON - UK based file sharing network has signed a deal with EMI to legally offer its entire music back catalogue on-line. Subscription to the London based is available for annual fee of £30 per year or £3.99 per month. For this amount they can potentially, legally download about 100,000 songs from EMI’s vast back catalogue, which also includes Pink Floyd, Radiohead and of course Roxette.

  Wippit said it was “delighted” with the deal, which will take effect from the middle of November. They added “We are determined to become the number one in the UK and Europe.”

  Wippit already offers its 5,000 subscribers 60,000 tracks from 200 independent labels, including Richard Branson’s V2, Telstar, Domino and Grand Central.

  Wippit now faces stiff competition from Apple’s iTunes which last week launched a Windows version of their rapidly growing Apple based download service. Wippit’s service is only available to users of Windows operating system.

Selling songs online in growth

Written by roxeteer on October 11, 2003 to .

While using the file swapping services such as Kazaa is decreasing, more and more legitimate online music stores are launched. One of the first was Apple Computer’s iTunes Music Store which sells songs in AAC format 99¢ per piece. Apple reported in September selling over 10 million songs through their store in just four months - even though it’s only available for customers using Mac OS X software and located in the USA. However, Apple has said they are creating a Windows version of the iTunes software and the rumor has it that it would be released as soon as next week. Apple is also working hard to get the store opened in Europe, but contract negotiations with record companies have delayed the opening.

  Apple’s biggest rival in music store business is Their store is available for only Windows users and the songs are sold in Windows Media Player 9 format, also 99¢ per song. Both iTunes and are going to get new competition as Roxio launches their store, Napster, on October 29th. Roxio bought the rights to the name after the free file swapping service was closed.

  For Roxette fans these online music stores don’t have much to offer. doesn’t have any Roxette songs in their 315,000 song catalog and iTunes didn’t have any until recently, when they added several, but not all, songs from the “Look Sharp!” and “Tourism” albums.

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