All Articles Tagged "sony"
Nina Simone’s heirs are going to battle against her former music label, Sony Music. According to the legendary singer’s estate, the company is operating a piracy ring. According to court documents filed by the estate, 80 albums of recorded Simone performances are being sold via iTunes and other digital venues without authorization.
This tug-of-war between the estate and Sony has been going on for a while. At one point it seemed the dispute over Simone song rights was resolved last fall, but it has now escalated.
The family claims that Sony is pirating the songs through Orchard, a distributor of independent recordings which feeds tunes to Apple’s iTunes store, Google Play, Amazon.com, and others. In March Sony acquired Orchard for $200 million.
There have been many legal fights over Simone rights, particularly between Steven Ames Brown, an attorney who represented Simone, and Andrew Stroud, Simone’s former husband, manager, and producer. “In the midst of the fighting, Sony got involved because its predecessor RCA had contracts with the singer that date back to 1966,” reports Billboard.
But last October, Sony Music, Brown, and the Simone estate came to a settlement deal. However two weeks ago, Sony Music filed a claim in court to rescind the agreement because the other parties allegedly didn’t live up to their part of the deal. According to Sony, Brown believed that only reproduction rights had been given to Sony; this would limit Sony’s use of the singer’s music.
In response, Brown and the Simone estate made copyright infringement claims against Sony and Orchard regarding more than 80 albums of recorded Nina Simone performances that have been uploaded to digital outlets without authorization.
Brown and the Simone estate also don’t like Sony’s authorization of tribute albums or how “Simone’s name and likeness” is being used for “recordings made by other recording artists.”
Brown and the Simone estate want an injunction that would stop “Orchard from exploiting Simone’s music, a declaration that Sony can’t enjoy anything of the $84 million judgment against Stroud’s estate, and additional general and exemplary damages over additional claims that cover whether Sony has breached contract,” reports Billboard.
Mariah Carey has signed with Epic Records, once again pairing her up with L.A. Reid, a Sony spokesperson has confirmed with Billboard magazine. The first project in the works is a greatest hits album, which is set to be released to coincide with her Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
That residency will be called “#1’s” and include 18 of her hits from the 1990s and through 2008’s “Touch My Body.” She’s said to be recording new music in Los Angeles and the upcoming album will include some new duets and reworkings of her previous hits.
The return to Sony comes at a good time. The record company helped with her 2005 comeback “The Emancipation of Mimi.” She can use another comeback after the belly flop that was her last album “Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse.” It debuted at number three on the charts after selling about 60,000 copies, the lowest debut of her career. She also split with manager Jermaine Dupri after the album. Then there’s been a string of embarrassing live performances. Her personal troubles probably aren’t helping either.
So maybe L.A. Reid and Sony will get Mimi a fresh sound and help her get back on track.
In two weeks, the Oscars will air and it has already been dubbed “the whitest Oscars” of them all. With only two nominations for the phenomenal film Selma, many are fed up with Hollywood’s perception of diversity. Namely, hip-hop legend and mogul Diddy. He decided to call out the Academy and entertainment industry for their lack of recognition towards African-Americans.
In an Instagram video clip of Halle Berry’s 2002 Oscar acceptance speech, Diddy captioned it by stating:
“As we celebrate our great African American thespians we would also like to take this moment to tell Hollywood wake up! The movies that you make don’t look like how the world really is. YALL still putting one or two black people in the movie! So on this black history month we want to tell Hollywood we don’t really like that sh*t, Because that’s not the way the world really is and YALL think nobody knows the black man oversees!! So dear Hollywood could you please open your eyes and see #Blackhistory #Blackhistorymonth #Allblackeverything @revolttv”
Diddy’s thoughts were posted a few day after Sony Picture’s co-chair Amy Pascal was asked to step down from her position because the Sony hack revealed she sent blatantly racist emails to other co-workers. Pascal’s position will be terminated in May but still has four-year production deal with the Sony corporation. Below is Diddy’s video clip of Halle Berry.
As we celebrate our great African American thespians we would also like to take this moment to tell Hollywood wake up! The movies that you make don't look like how the world really is. YALL still putting one or two black people in the movie! So on this black history month we want to tell Hollywood we don't really like that shit, Because that's not the way the world really is and YALL think nobody knows the black man oversees!! So dear Hollywood could you please open your eyes and see #Blackhistory #Blackhistorymonth #Allblackeverything @revolttv
What do you think about his statement?
Director and producer Jean Claude LaMarre has resigned from the Diversity Task Force spearheaded by Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network, citing differences in opinion over the fate of Sony co-chair Amy Pascal.
The Diversity Task Force launched last month in the wake of the email leak at Sony Pictures. In a number of emails, racially insensitive comments were made. Pascal vowed to take steps to both make amends and improve diversity at that company and in Hollywood at large. The Diversity Task Force pledged to do the same.
Among the members of the nine-person Task Force are actress Vivica A. Fox, CEO and founder of Hollywood Black Film Festival, Tanya Kersey; Nobel Laureate, Dr. Woodrow Clark; and Rev. K.W Tulloss of the National Action Network.
At the time of the launch of the group, LaMarre said in a statement: “As a 15-year veteran of this business, first as an actor then as a director, this is not only an important step in the right direction for Sony, it’s a necessary step.”
But now LaMarre has stepped down before the group could have its first meeting. In a new statement, LaMarre said:
“Firing Amy Pascal was not part of our proposal. I’m sure there were certain members that wanted her gone, but I’ve always appealed for moderation. I wanted us to engage Sony as partners, not as an adversary. That was always a source of contention within the group. I thank Rev. Sharpton, as well as the other members for asking me to serve, but at this time I’d like to focus on several film projects and my production company.”
Pascal and Sony have since announced that she will be leaving her position when her contract is up in May. She already has a four-year contract waiting in which she’ll work on projects including the upcoming all-female Ghostbusters and any new Spider-Man projects.
The task force was meant to have a meeting with Pascal on Monday. That meeting had been canceled for obvious reasons and has not yet been rescheduled.
The implication here that the Task Force may have had anything to do with Pascal being fired has not been confirmed by leaders in the Task Force nor with anyone at Sony. MadameNoire was in touch with Sony Pictures, but got no response.
We did, however, receive this statement from Rev. K.W. Tulloss, the National Action Network’s Western Regional Director who was convening the task force on behalf of Rev. Sharpton:
Jean Claude Lamarre was one of the many individuals who reached out to NAN in the aftermath of the Sony emails. His statement representing a task force that has not met yet was a misleading representation of the group’s goals.
The task force that NAN formed is set to meet to work on an agenda and a plan of action around diversity in Hollywood. We do know that some of our main goals addressing diversity in this industry include representation and hiring practices. Further specific points or calls to action have not been made by the task force. Our group is constructed of individuals committed to bringing real change to the industry and this is not something that can be done overnight. The task force’s first meeting is being rescheduled and the group will be meeting very soon.”
A source close to LaMarre who corresponded with MadameNoire via email says that there were other disagreements between him and the group that also led to his stepping away.
Even without Mr. LaMarre, the task force is moving forward.
Reverend Al Sharpton has announced the formation of the Hollywood Diversity Task Force in direct response to the racially insensitive emails Sony executives sent to one another about President Obama, Kevin Hart and other Black entertainers. For example, as we previously reported:
“In a leaked email exchange between Sony Pictures executives, Clint Culpepper rips into Kevin Hart and refers to him as a ‘whore’ for requesting more than the $3 million he was paid to appear in a film to tweet about the project.”
The Force plans to combat the systematic racism that still prevails in modern Hollywood by advising them how be more inclusive toward Black entertainers and audiences. The selected members of the Force are: former Fox head of diversity, Ron Taylor; CEO and founder of Hollywood Black Film Festival, Tanya Kersey; Nobel Laureate, Dr. Woodrow Clark; producer/director Jean Claude LaMarre; Rev. K.W Tulloss of the National Action Network; actress/producer, Vivica A. Fox; Pastor William Smart Jr, of Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and author/filmmaker Gary Hardwick.
In a statement actor Jean Claude LaMarre who was worked with Sony said:
“As a 15-year veteran of this business, first as an actor then as a director, this is not only an important step in the right direction for Sony, it’s a necessary step.”
The Task Force plans to meet with Sony executive Amy Pascal later this month to discuss how Sony can change their business practices in regards to people of color. Below is a picture of a few of the Task Force members.
Gone are the days when Walkmans were bulky audio players that heavily rotated our cassettes and CDs. This spring the Walkman will launch the latest model of the beloved audio player. The Walkman ZX2 is a sleek-black device Sony claims was designed for “audiophiles” reports The Vulture. Sony describes its latest product as “the fruit of continuous refinement in high audio quality technologies.” Storing 128GB, the Walkman ZX2 has a matte black leather case and gold-tone headphone jack.
The device also allows for a microSD slot if a consumer needs more space for their audio files. It works on the Andriod 4.2 system (which debuted in November 2012) giving users the ability to download apps from the Google Play. Nostalgic value aside, Vulture reporter Ross Miller says it does not compare to our current smart phone system. Despite the technical shortcomings, the Walkman ZX2 is compatible with DSD, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC, MP3, WMA to name a few. The Walkman also has Bluetooth services, dual-band Wi-Fi and allows the consumers to enjoy music stored on other DLNA enabled devices. So exactly how much is the new luxury product all music lovers are craving?
The Walkman ZX2 will cost you over $1,119! There’s always the iPod, when in doubt.
In this episode of Sony Against The World, TMZ asked actor-comedian Kevin Hart if he would still work for the major entertainment corporation after it was revealed that Sony executives don’t think highly of him.
In a series of leaked emails, executives called Hart a “whore” for requesting to be paid more to promote a new movie on his social media page. Even a Sony producer mocked Hart for being linked to a series of Black movies President Obama would prefer to watch in a racially-insensitive email.
Flashing his mega-watt smile, Hart responded to TMZ reporters noting he doesn’t answer questions about his career but he did conclude by stating “I’m politically correct.” Hart also took the time to promote his upcoming movies The Wedding Ringer and Get Hard with Will Ferrell. As for Sony, they are preparing to take legal action against Twitter for publishing their leaked private content on their social media site.
Check out the clip below by TMZ. Do you think Hart should continue to work for Sony?
In the latest news concerning the Sony breach saga, the entertainment corporation plans to sue Twitter if it does not police its users from posting its leaked information. USA Today says Sony asked Twitter to suspend accounts that shared screenshots of their leaked information. Despite their request, the Twitter accounts remains active.
Re/code reports that Sony complained specifically about musician Val Broeksmit who has been tweeting screen grabs of Sony emails on his Twitter account. Although Twitter prohibits its users from posting another person’s private information, it does not suspend its users from posting links to the source of the private information. Broeksmit shared with Re/code in an interview that the information he posted from the Sony leak was “fascinating, entertaining or interesting.” He also noted that he doubts he will stop posting Sony’s private documents because for the first time a corporation is made vulnerable, internationally, to the public.
Broeksmit says he did not know that sharing Sony’s emails would be illegal:
“I thought this stuff was all in the public domain. I figured it was so easy to get it must be in the public domain by now. I don’t know where the line is that things become public domain. This is all so different and strange.”
Though, Sony sent a legal dispute letter to him, Broeksmit has not received any legal advice yet. Sony has also sent legal letters to various media outlets, to stop publishing their “stolen” corporate content. If you’re doing it too, you’ll probably be getting something in the mail as well.
Sony Corporation was hacked on November 24 by the Guardians Of Peace; last week Friday the United States government announced the North Korean government ordered the attack because of the Sony film, The Interview. The movie’s plot is about the assassination of North Korea’s leader Kim Jeong- un.
In the latest news from the Sony hack, the hackers who go by the name Guardians Of Peace (GOP) sent Sony executives a message regarding the company’s new film The Interview. CNN reports GOP told Sony it was very wise of them to cancel the debut of the film. The controversial film is targeted by the North Korean government because the film’s plot revolves around an assassination plot North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. A plot that involves Seth Rogen and James Flacco.
The hackers requested Sony never release, distribute or leak the movie in any form, that also goes for DVDs or any type of piracy. GOP would also like for all The Interview trailers to be deleted from any websites that are hosting them to be played. If Sony obeys these requests, GOP will no longer harm their security system. They noted: “We still have your private and sensitive data… ensure the security of your data unless you make additional trouble.” The Sony security team believes the GOP’s message to be authentic and they will take heed to their request.
“I am sympathetic to the concerns that they face. Having said all that, yes I think they made a mistake. We cannot have a society where some dictator someplace can impose censorship here in the U.S.”
In the last week, the Sony hack has revealed several emails where executives mocked various celebrities including Denzel Washington, Kevin Hart, Angelina Jolie and President Obama. It also produced sexual harassment claims from a Black female employee. Civil rights group Color Of Change recently launched a petition for Sony Executive Amy Pascal to be fired because they believe the Sony corporation continues to marginalize their Black entertainers and audience.
Soon after damaging emails were revealed due to the cyber attack on Sony, exec Amy Pascal reached out to the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson in hopes of defusing the fallout.
Pascal actually met in person with Sharpton. The meeting, behind closed doors at the Greenwich Hotel, also included National Urban League president Marc Morial.
And as a result of that meeting, Pascal will now allow Sharpton to have a say in how Sony makes motion pictures. It’s in an effort to combat what Sharpton called “inflexible and immovable racial exclusion in Hollywood,” reports The New York Post.
“We have agreed to having a working group deal with the racial bias and lack of diversity in Hollywood,” said Sharpton.
According to Sharpton, Sony will work closely with his National Action Network, the National Urban League, the NAACP, and the Black Women’s Round Table to “see if we can come up with an immediate plan to deal with it.”
“Our interest is seeing to it that Sony is on the right side of changing Hollywood,” Morial said.
Sharpton said the meeting was “candid” and feels Pascal, who made racist remarks about President Obama with Hollywood producer Scott Rudin, should be given the chance to make changes.
“So the jury is still out on where we go with Amy,” Sharpton said. “We clearly are willing to deal with an immediate formula to see where we deal with breaking down the walls of inflexible and so far immovable racial exclusion in Hollywood.”
Sharpton was also displeased with the hackers, who the FBI claims were working on North Korea’s behalf.
“We are outraged by the bullying that is being done right before Christmas around this hacking,” Sharpton said.