Music Industry News Network [12-13-2005]

Fox News Censors Nico And The Velvet Underground

MI2N www.mi2n.com
News Corp Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch, Myspace.com “Unwritten Policy” Threaten Nico and The Velvet Underground Offline for Second Time: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Madonna images at Center of Cultural Firestorm.

New York, NY - Nico and The Velvet Underground were removed off the popular website, Myspace.com on Monday December 12, 2005. Ironically, it was the same day that Governor Schwarzenegger denied clemency for convicted murderer and former gang leader Tookie Williams. In its bidding war against NBC Universal, Paramount bought out rival Dreamworks for $1.5 Billion, wrangling entertainment giants Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Viacom, which owns Paramount, reportedly negotiated a purchase of Myspace.com before the shocking buy out from Fox News on July 19, 2005. Spokeswoman Anna Astley is concerned about these recent developments and commented on the censorship fiasco. "Myspace.com and Fox News made no warning that the band's account was being cancelled. Cancelling Nico and The Velvet Undergrounds' Myspace.com account is tantamount to censorship and a violation of their First Amendment rights."

Amidst the controversy and swirling allegations, the band had accumulated thousands of fans, with hundreds of thousands projected for 2006. PR spokeswoman Anna Astley also spoke of Nico and The Velvet Underground’s projected lost revenues from the XM and Sirius Satellite Radio MTV tributes scheduled for 2006-2007. Fox News' censorship of Nico and The Velvet Underground will likely threaten their efforts for their much-anticipated Video iPod syndication in the EU, American, and Asian markets. Having been forced underground by Fox News and Myspace.com, the band members fought to regroup under the band name “000000000001," and are topping at number 1 on Microsoft's popular online portal CNET.

Myspace.com seemingly disregards its policy that images not contain pornography, nudity, violence, offensive material, or copyrighted images. Arguably, Myspace.com contains thousands of nude pictures, violent and offensive material and copyrighted images ranging from Jesus Christ, Harry Potter, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, and Snoop Dogg.

Myspace.com is filled with flash images asking members to "slap" President George W. Bush, Paris Hilton, or Brad Pitt in order to win a free iPod.

Media giant Rupert Murdoch, who is the majority shareholder of News Corporation, recently bought out Intermix Media, owner of Myspace.com for 580 Million.

New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has accused Myspace.com of false advertising and deceptive business practices. Within the last year, Myspace was fingered for spyware attacks to redirect members to its search engine.

Intermix Media agreed to settle for 7.9M, having admitted no wrongdoing.

Anna Astley refused to comment regarding any future legal action against News Corporation, Fox News, and/or Myspace.com regarding Nico and The Velvet Underground's First Amendment rights. "We are pursuing all options," stated Astley. The investigation is ongoing and could result in an announcement in early January.

Anna Astley suggests that everyone reflect on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis' 1927 opinion that “Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.” — (1856–1941), Whitney v. California, 274 U. S. 357 (1927). Stay tuned for breaking developments.

Source: http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=85765

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