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Business News (more headlines) 05-27-2004

KUFALA RECORDINGS CHALLENGES CLEAR CHANNEL’S LIVE MUSIC PATENT AS A “CLEAR” EXAMPLE OF TRAMPLING THE LITTLE GUY

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Email: karla@purepublicrelations.com

Los Angeles, (May 27, 2004)— Recent headlines report that corporate mega giant Clear Channel Entertainment has announced they have purchased a patent making it illegal for any band to record their own live show, and sell that recording day of show at the venue, unless the band pays Clear Channel. Now virtually all performing artists including bands like the Pixies, Billy Idol, and even Bruce Springsteen run the risk that if they record their own shows at any venue in the country, then sell the CD’s that same night, Clear Channel can and will go after the artists and make them pay. Clear Channel’s Instant Live director Steve Simon has made it very clear that, “It is a business, and it's not going to be ‘we have the patent, now everybody can use it for free.’”

The “David” to Clear Channel’s “Goliath” is independent live recording label Kufala Recordings. Led by label president, Brady Lahr, an outspoken champion of the ‘indie artist’, Kufala actually stands the most to gain by Clear Channel’s outrageous assertion. Kufala Recordings provides a major loophole for fans and artists who do not want to be manipulated and controlled by Clear Channel Entertainment. Through Kufala, fans can place orders at the venue and the product is delivered within 2 weeks. Kufala’s releases are multi-track live mixes recorded at the show, that have been studio mastered and creatively approved by the artist--most albums are double disc sets and all come in a sleekly designed eco-friendly sleeve, each featuring unique artwork. These high quality ‘authorized bootlegs’ are also available for download on all major music sites from I-tunes to Net Music, an independent digital music distributor.

Lahr explains, “Unlike the Clear Channel model of recording and burning CDs at the venue, we simply record the music, take it back to our studio for a proper mix and master, then ship the live show recordings out to our artist’s fans. Fans place CD orders at the venue before, during and after the show. They know they will be getting a great recording and that the artist has approved the master. They also know that the band actually owns the recording and will be paid for sure. As artists and fans begin to figure out just how evil the Clear Channel patent is, our business will open up even faster.”

Kufala has drawn a fighting line in the sand and is now calling on independent artists and labels as well as artist organizations to challenge Clear Channel’s patent and its grave monopolistic implications in the music industry. Kufala, a “David” among entertainment industry “Goliaths” is now the only label with the ability to give artists a real alternative to Clear Channel. Kufala and other leaders in the music industry believe that the antitrust implications of Clear Channel’s live recording patent are far reaching. “Clear Channel Claims to own the patent but it will most likely be struck down in court at the first law suit. Lawmakers need to take heed because in fact, Clear Channel is really using their monopoly in the market to powerfully restrain trade above and beyond the patent issue,” explains Lahr. The Kufala business model is not directly affected by Clear Channel’s recent patent however Kufala has experienced first hand Clear Channel’s ability to restrain trade when they barred Kufala from recording at one of their venues—a restrain which occurred regardless of the fact that the venue did not have recording capability not to mention that the artist, their major label, and a non Clear Channel affiliate Radio Station all requested Kufala’s Services.

Lahr is making it known loud and “clear” to every label and artist that Kufala offers the definitive alternative to Clear Channel’s claim to a monopoly on live show recordings, with their own ‘Authorized Bootlegs System.’ Jason Pinsky, another principal at Kufala points out, “We may be the little independent guy here but Clear Channel is laying claim to be able to control an artist’s ability to record and sell their music at their own shows. This is the most outrageous example of Clear Channel’s monopoly in the music industry yet, especially since Clear Channel has already taken over all the major outdoor venues and most of the radio stations and related play lists. Next Clear Channel will claim it has a patent on allowing artists to sing in their own showers!”





About Kufala Recordings:

Kufala Recordings is based in Santa Monica, CA and has been in releasing ‘Authorized Bootlegs’ since July 2002. The founding fathers and self-proclaimed music fanatics include Khalid Al-Faisal, chairman of Kufala and Brady Lahr, President / A&R, who oversees all the day to day business from international distribution deals to signing new artists. The most recent addition to Kufala’s management team is Jason Pinsky, who heads up the East Coast division of the company and manages all technological infrastructure. Kufala has released ‘Authorized Bootlegs’ for a multitude of artists, such as New Riders of the Purple Sage, Soul Coughing, The Rockfords (featuring Mike McCready of Pearl Jam), and the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey—as well as a number of deals on the table with both indie artists and those signed to majors.

The extensive distribution offered by Kufala includes--
Indie Retail Distribution: working with the Indie Coalitions (CIMS, AIMS, MusicMonitor, LINCS,) as well as a network of about 250 indie stores nationwide they sell directly to.
Digital : Apple iTunes, Real / Listen.com, MusicMatch (Dell and Gateway digital stores), Liquid (Walmart), MSN, Sony Connect, MusicNow, AliveAudio.net, DiscLogic, Napster, NetMusic, Emusic, and Audio Lunchbox
(Artist branded players for direct sales off artist and KUFALA sites), EMEP3.com – Latin American Digital Distributor
International: UK/ Fundamental, Japan /MusicCamp, Portugal /Nucolour Records, Benelux (Belgium, Denmark, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, and stores in Germany) – Records are distributed through Bertus, Italy /IRD, New Zealand/Migraine Distribution as well as deals in the works with Australia, Sweden, and Germany.


For further detailed information or to set up an interview with Kufala Recordings President Brady Lahr, please contact:

Karla Braun
Pure Public Relations
p) 323-651-4883
m) 310-382-6169
f) 323-443-3501
Or via email: karla@purepublicrelations.com


###

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