Tuesday, April 20, 2004

WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?: The overcrowded download market is starting to really resemble the high street, with the launch of War Child Music, the equivalent of the box of vinyl tucked away in the corner of the Scope shop. Due to come onstream in June, the site plans to offer 99p downloads of exclusive tracks from artists (Badly Drawn Boy, Travis, Spiritualized - you know the sort) with the cash raised going directly to help War Child. The site itself is a cheeky spoof of the MyCokeMusic site, and the team behind it are determined that it's going to function as a music site rather than using the music as a way of bringing up issues. Good news for anyone who had to stand through one of David Icke's Glastonbury lecturettes back before he became Jesus. No word yet on exactly what format the music will be made available in, though; but it's going to be hard to complain about shitty Digital Rights Management systems when buying the tracks will be helping out small children who've got caught up in the NeoCon project.

In other online secure legal download news, Apple have pushed back the launch of iTunes in Europe, apparently because the record labels are proving reluctant to actually make their music available to the service, thereby providing a legal download option and helping stem the tide of illegal music sharing. Apple are trying to suggest the problems are more about tax harmonisation - "taxes vary across Europe" - but sales taxes in Idaho and Califonia are different and that does't affect the US iTunes. Could it be that Sony Music, say, is being told to squeeze Apple for as long as possible while Sony Electronics prepares its digital Walkman for entry?

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