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RECORD LABEL NEWS: (Click on More to view all articles): UMG Cuts Independent Promoter Fees

Universal Music Group, whose labels consist of Def Jam, Interscope, MCA,
Universal Records and Lost Highway, has slashed its fees paid to independent
record promoters by 50 percent, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Universal Music, owned by troubled Vivendi Universal, will
cut its payments to about $200,000 per song. It will also limit the number of
stations that promoters can pitch songs to, thus cutting the amount paid out to the promoters.

Music Labels Drop Suit Over Chinese Site

NEW YORK, New York (AP) — The US recording industry has dropped efforts to compel four Internet service providers to block a Chinese Web site accused of distributing pirated music.

Thirteen record companies had filed suit Friday after failing to persuade the site,, to shut down on its own.

But in a surprise move, the companies dropped the lawsuit Wednesday, saying the site is now offline.

The Recording Industry Association of America said it may revive the suit if the site reappears with a new name or location.

Critics had complained that the RIAA was setting a potentially dangerous precedent by trying to force the Internet carriers to function as copyright police.

What happened to the site?

It's unclear what happened to the Listen4ever site, which has been inaccessible since at least Monday.

An e-mail from a representative for the site, identified as Mike Smith, said only, "For some reason, the site is closed and will never come back." The e-mail, sent using a Yahoo! account in response to a reporter's inquiry, did not elaborate.

The federal suit was filed by Arista Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Virgin Records America, Warner Bros. Records and nine other labels.

They said offered for illegal download thousands of copyrighted songs from Bruce Springsteen, Christina Aguilera and other popular artists. The suit said some of the recordings had not yet been commercially released.

Defendants in the suit were AT&T Broadband, Cable and Wireless, Sprint Corp. and WorldCom Inc.'s UUNet. Their representatives had no comment on the dismissal. The companies carry much of the Internet's long-haul traffic.

Meanwhile, the RIAA is suing Verizon Communications' Internet unit seeking to identify a customer who is allegedly running a computer "that is a hub for significant music piracy." Tuesday's lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeks enforcement of a July 24 subpoena to Verizon.

Verizon spokesman Eric Rabe questions the subpoena's validity because the files in question are not on the company's network, even if the customer's computer connects to it.

Quartararo Appointed EVP At EMI

Record company veteran Phil Quartararo, who left his presidency post at Warner Brothers Records in June, has been named executive vice president of EMI Recorded Music North America. Quartararo will oversee the company's sales and marketing divisions. He will also advise other areas of the company. From 1986-1997, Quartararo was president/CEO of Virgin Records (an EMI label).