Jay’s Movie and Music Blog

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Archive for March, 2007

Music Publishers Sue XM Radio

Posted by Jay Medina on March 24, 2007

Looks like our favorite people in the music industry are at it again.  Where’s Lars?

Here’s the story:

Mar 23, 1:45 PM (ET)

By SETH SUTEL

NEW YORK (AP) – A group representing music publishers is suing XM Satellite Radio, saying that XM violates copyright laws by giving users the ability to store and replay songs on certain devices.The National Music Publishers’ Association claimed in a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York Thursday that XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (XMSR) offers an unlawful music download service that isn’t covered by the royalties it pays to music publishers for broadcast rights. The suit targets an XM service called “XM (plus) MP3,” which allows XM subscribers to store songs on portable players and play them back later. The songs remain on the device as long as the customer subscribes to XM.Like its rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (SIRI), XM offers dozens of channels of commercial-free music as well as talk and news channels for a monthly fee of about $13. Sirius has agreed to buy XM, but the deal faces a tough regulatory review in Washington.The music publishers’ lawsuit is similar to another filed against XM last year by a group representing major record label companies, the Recording Industry Association of America. That case is still pending.

Like traditional radio broadcasters, satellite radio services must pay the publishers of music and record labels royalties for the right to broadcast music.

XM spokesman Chance Patterson said the lawsuit by the NMPA “simply represents a negotiating tactic to gain advantage in our ongoing business discussions. ” He said the suit was without merit.

XM and Sirius were barred from merging under the licenses they were granted a decade ago, but they argue that much has changed since then, including the growth of other audio entertainment choices such as downloads from Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iTunes stores.

The music publishers group noted in their lawsuit that XM draws attention to the ability of its XM + MP3 service to store and replay music, describing it as a substitute for using an iPod playback device and iTunes to buy music.

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Spartan workouts readied ‘300’ star

Posted by Jay Medina on March 21, 2007

Ethan Sacks
New York Daily News
Mar. 10, 2007 12:00 AM

For all the computer-generated wizardry that went into the stylized look of Warner Bros.’ “300,” opening 0310300gym.jpgtoday, it was old-fashioned discipline and drudgery that turned actor Gerard Butler into a Spartan warrior king.

Realizing he would have to parade around bare-chested for most of the movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s (extremely) graphic novel, the 37-year-old Scotsman trained six hours a day for almost eight months. If Butler was to convincingly play King Leonidas, who led the titular small band of soldiers against a million invading Persians in 480 B.C., he wanted to look the part.

“I knew to get that extreme power, and exude that authority and leadership and that potential violence and brutality, that I wanted to earn that,” said Butler, best known for playing the title role in 2004’s “The Phantom of the Opera.”

“I wanted to really know that I had it and not feel like one of those public-school boy actors standing up there, pretending to be tough and pretending to be big, and having the men pretending to respect him.”

So Butler started his intense regimen four months before a one-month boot camp designed to turn Hollywood actors into Spartans, and continued throughout the 60-day shoot. There were two-hour sword-fighting sessions with the film’s stunt men; squat thrusts with weights and chains; having to watch the crew eat desserts off the catering spread while actors were on forced diets.

Worst of all was the dreaded bear crawl, in which the actors had to race around on hands and feet after their legs were quivering from squats. Butler tore his hip flexor muscle doing that drill.

“Pretty much anything Mark Twight (the production’s trainer) offered up was so difficult in the kind of way where you wish you had never been born – and even more than that, wished he had never been born,” said Butler.

“You don’t look at a bunch of Spartans and go, I wonder which guy is going to pop out and be the king,'” said Zack Snyder, the film’s director. “In one shot you want to go, OK, that’s him,’ and that was how I felt about Gerry.”

The strapping 6-foot-2 actor said he’s looking forward to doing physically safer romantic comedies, like the upcoming “P.S., I Love You” with Hilary Swank.

“After the last day, I think I didn’t go back to a gym for seven months,” said Butler. “I didn’t want to see another gym in my life.”

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