A Note to my Friends – Why I am Boycotting the NCAA
By Dr. Boyce Watkins
Last year, I engaged in a short campaign on CNN, CBS Sports, ESPN and the LA Times to highlight major problems with “big time” college athletics. It is not my goal to anger anyone, but rather, to share what I have seen in my 15 years teaching at universities with major athletics programs. As a finance professor, I find the financial problems of the NCAA to be borderline criminal. As an educator, I find the educational mission of the NCAA to be fraudulent. As a black man who has seen what the NCAA does to the black community, I find myself simply offended.
The NCAA is in possession of an 11-year, $6 Billion Dollar contract for the rights to air March Madness. This does not include hundreds of millions of dollars earned each year from bowl games, regular season games, merchandizing agreements and concessions. Coaches earn as much as $4 Million dollars per year, while the players and their families, many of whom come from poverty, earn almost nothing. Coaches are allowed to jump from job to job, going to the highest bidder, while players who transfer lose a year of eligibility. Coaches and administrators earn millions from excessive commercialization of player images, while a player is not allowed to earn a penny from his/her own image. This does not include the fact that many institutions will praise and promote a winning coach with low graduation rates and quickly fire coaches with low winning percentages and high graduation rates.
I have witnessed students being taken out of class for an entire week to play in a nationally-televised football or basketball game, with academics (and the fact that the student’s grade has been jeopardized) becoming an afterthought. Players are treated like professional athletes, not students, and a weak performance on the field will cause them to lose their scholarship. Any institution operating as a government-sanctioned cartel, riddled with hypocrisy, disproportionate and exploitative compensation schemes, and glaring disregard for educational values should be scrutinized more carefully. Earning money is a wonderful thing, but I am not sure why coaches and administrators are allowed to earn billions each year from the labor of players with mothers who can’t pay the rent. I know how much tuition costs, and it is miniscule compared to the amount of money players generate for their coaches and universities. I say pay the players a fair salary, let them negotiate their own contracts and shoe deals, and then allow them to pay their own tuition.
If you believe in fairness for these young men and women, I hope you will consider joining our coalition to boycott the NCAA and March Madness. If you love sports like me, then feel free to watch a game or two. Just keep your views to a minimum and avoid watching the commercials. This may sound silly, but it is my effort to begin the process of helping us understand this complicated problem, and to hopefully have some impact on the bottom-line of the NCAA.
I am not trying to “raise hell” with these statements. I am simply asking for fairness. One star player (whose coach received millions in bonuses) saw his brother shot and killed in a housing project because his mother was too poor to move to a better neighborhood. Another player took money from a booster to help his family pay the rent, and then saw his scholarship taken away. I saw a player’s mother forced to beg her church to help her get to the Final Four to see her son play, while the coach’s family received first class accommodations. What is ironic is that even raising money from the church would have been an NCAA violation, causing her son to lose his scholarship.
If you don’t agree with me, I understand. But as a professor, financial expert and a human being, I cannot remain silent on such an injustice. Some don’t feel the athletes deserve anything better than what they already get. We all must agree that basketball games don’t happen without basketball players, so if a game earns millions in revenue, then the basketball player (and his/her family) is more deserving of this revenue than the coach. If that doesn’t make sense, then I’m sorry.
I hope you’ll join me in this effort.
With complete respect and sincerity,
Dr. Boyce Watkins
That’s right, Kid Squid AKA Keith Correa popped by Peace HQ with his Tailor, Paris, in tow. Here’s the first sneak peak of the cap, bandana, and blazer look that will have Calgary and The Junos on blast.
stevenash.org has relaunched, including updated information on the Foundation’s projects in Arizona, British Columbia, and Paraguay, as well as on-line giving tools, video clips, photo galleries, and tips to make the earth a little bit greener everyday. It features an auction page, too, beginning on Earth Day — all in support of their programs to help grow health in kids. The website is still stevenash.org.
The Foundation is enjoying its new Canadian charitable status — new grants were just issued this past winter, and more will be awarded in BC this coming autumn. With new projects developing in Paraguay as part of our Support Hope initiative, and in Arizona, they’re excited at what the coming years will bring, and appreciate your continued coverage and support.
Join the Steve Nash Foundation in celebrating our MVP!
Don’t miss the recap of the 2007 Charity Classic, Carats Diamonds at Sunset, and the Steve Nash Celebrity Roast, get your limited edition Charity Classic and Nash’s MVP’s t-shirts, and help grow health in kids through the new on-line donation page . . . .
With last year’s version being more of a (somewhat rushed) port-over version from the PS2, Sony’s crown jewel baseball title has officially moved into its new ballpark- PS3 stadium! Will MLB 08: The Show be beri beri good to us?
The overall presentation and gameplay is slick and most important, it runs smoothly (something that plagues its main counterpart MLB 2K8).
The much touted ‘Road to The Show’ mode has taken a few more steps toward perfection by fixing its small camera issues along with adding more goal orientated accomplishments; there’s a more detailed create-a player interface, a Third Base Coach giving you signs (while batting and baserunning), and now there’s the responsibility to cover second for steals and double-plays.
The new ‘My Music’ feature lets you use any songs that you have on your hard drive to add to the game’s playlist. Too bad these tracks are limited to menu screens or game transitions, so you won’t actually hear your songs blaring throughout the ballpark, but the debut of this feature is a sweet touch.
There’s also a lot more animations in the ‘bells and whistles’ department than ever before. Thinking about throwing high-and tight with A-Rod and he’ll charge the mound having your catcher get in his face, fans reach out to grab home runs or foul balls, watch your first baseman dive for a grounder and tossing the runner out from the seat of his pants. You can really enjoy a few more of these little nuances just by not doing anything (while pitching); everything from batters and catchers determining whether they feel raindrops to fielders checking the direction of the wind with blades of grass -very cool!
The inclusion of in-game saves (FINALLY) at any point in time is another feature that every sports game should’ve had five years ago. This save feature, coupled with the ability to fast forward action to just about any section of any inning is a superb addition.
The online SportsConnect interface returns with an additional feature called Scout which allows players to modify their preferences for an opponent to play and let the game instantly search for a match. This cuts down on continually patrolling through various lobbies looking for someone who’s up for a game.
The Loading Times seem a bit long.
While the players look great (esthetically), I found their body type and trademarked mannerisms weren’t as dead-on as MLB 2K8′s effort.
The replay vault feature which is a collection of game highlights listed by inning or player is a nice touch, but you can’t save (or export) any of the highlights to the PS3′s HDD.
We noticed some collision detection issues (again this year) when a player is sliding into a base and popping up through a baseman – and what happened to teammates colliding into each other?
Players will also still try to give teammates those funky handshake routines clearly missing the target.
HERE’S THE DEAL
Without a doubt, MLB 08: The Show is the most detailed, atmosphere rich, realistic Baseball game I’ve ever played. It’s really too bad though that this couldn’t be a multi-platform title – PS3, PS2 and PSP only. For everyone else, it’s…Steee-rike three yer out!!
There was a moment when legging out a triple, and watching a third baseman try to tag my player with the hidden ball in his glove trick, you’ll mutter to yourself on how cool this game is. 9/10
James ‘ElScientifico’ Stamos from
Consolecreatures.com launches this spring
THOMAS PARENT – VANS RIDER – GAGNANT VANS HALF TIME SHOW 2006 WINNER
The VANS Half Time Show at Shakedown is just around the block and we are now taking riders registration.
The VANS half Time Show will have of a 32 feet long rail with a maximum of 20 selected riders, $1500 WINNER TAKES ALL.
We will be very severe about the riders selection for this year as we realized that a lot of riders were claiming the rail in the previous years but ended up not stepping up to the plate, so we want to make sure that the VANS Half Time Show will have a flow with no dead time in between each riders and will be the most entertaining for the crowd.
Please send in your requested riders names at email@example.com, we will make a selection and will keep you updated through the blog at Shakedown.ca
L-R-G CLOTHING COMPANY along with Clinton Portis and Santana Moss, is proud to bring you The 3 Kings of Washington x L-R-G Windbreaker, a tribute to Sean Taylor. Taylor, before his untimely passing made a presence not only on the field as the Redskins prototype Safety, but also off the field with community events such as the 3 kings of Washington event, where Taylor, Moss, and Portis along with celebrity guests and players host a weekend of activities to show kids that they can one day become valuable participants and leaders in life.3_kings_press_web-3.pdf
NEW YORK CITY (March 20, 2008) – Starting this Friday, Mishka is releasing some exclusive gear, available only at the Pop Up Shop in Williamsburg and through their online store. All three pieces are new items, made in select quantities, and buyers should expect for them to go fast once released.
Another Inch x Mishka Maximum Madness
Limited to only 20 available, the Maximum Madness shirt is a collaboration between Mishka and Another Inch, one of Australia’s top shops. Another Inch had already released the white version of the T-shirt in Australia, while the black one will now be available stateside only in scarce quantities.
Mad Decent Tour Shirt
Another Mad Decent tour, another shirt! This time, Diplo & Mad Decent are touring with Justice and to celebrate Mishka is releasing an exclusive T-shirt featuring So-Me. Renowned for the Ed Banger illustrations and the animations behind Kanye West’s “Good Life” video, So-Me is an incredibly talented artist. Only 20 of these shirts will be available through Mishka, or buyers can grab one at one of the Mad Decent/Diplo tour stops with Justice.
Purple People Eater Keep Watch New Era Cap
A Mishka favorite makes a return for spring. Made in purple cotton with a glow in the dark eyeball, there are only 100 of these caps available. Guaranteed to disappear quickly, buyers can find the New Eras exclusively online and in the Mishka shop.
The Mishka Pop Up Shop is located at 218 Bedford Avenue (entrance on N. 5th). For those who can’t make it out to Williamsburg, all these goods can be found at Mishka online store, which has just been stocked with new items from the JK5 Capsule Collection as well. To get more info on the brand and what’s dropping next, please visit www.mishkanyc.com.
Wondering if the sole title responsible for keeping the PS2′s heart beating can cut the mustard on the PSP. You’ll wonder how they got all that bloody goodness in there! All in all, Kratos is still mighty grumpy and we couldn’t be any happier.
Chains of Olympus looks gorgeous and plays like a dream. I was amazed that the PSP’s version captured all the combat, level design, gore, and mythology that made GOW the hit franchise it’s become – oh, and the mini-sex game is in there too.
Kudos to Developers Ready at Dawn’s gargantuan feat of maintaining a solid frame rate during the fight sequences, the great lighting, particle effects, all the blood, and moving backgrounds!
Another huge plus for the PSP version is the very limited load times.
Once you finish the game, there are several extras like a bonus costume, concept art, and video sequence. You can also go back and play through on the ultra-hard god mode or try to complete the five deadly tasks in the challenge of Hades.
The game is like an episode of Entourage- it’s so good, just too short. You’re looking at a 6-8 hour bloodbath here.
Your weapons are also somewhat limited. Along with your blades of Kratos, you’ll get your bloody little paws on the Gauntlet of Zeus which you’ll come to love for its pummelling feature. You’ll also notice that on the PSP, the overall package of features comes somewhat stripped-down, but that’s no biggie.
HERE’S THE DEAL
Chains of Olympus was one of the PSP’s most anticipated titles and it’s delivered with flying colours. Although this GOW instalment doesn’t really come with any new types of gameplay I can easily chalk it up to the old ‘if it ain’t broke…’ philosophy. Don’t forget to headphone-up with this sucker; the soundtrack kicks butt and matches the games intensity. 8.9/10
James ‘ElScientifico’ Stamos
consolecreatures.com launches this Spring
At the tail end of last year Ace Reporter Jason Richards met up with Wyclef Jean, in the Elvis Room deep inside SonyBMG HQ, in downtown Toronto. Later that evening, Clef hosted a listening session for his latest magnum opus. Drinks were flowing, the crowd was live and Clef got so excited and carried away he burst into song and danced all over the room. Good times…
After a long period of silence, you have recently spoke up on Lauryn Hill. Going as far as to state she needs a psychiatrist, and between the lines she can’t put a beat together with a gun to her head and she’s trying to get a piece of your money by claiming undeserved songwriting credits.
Let me help you understand what I said. First all, she needs a psychiatrist, period. That’s a fact. That’s not dissing. That’s after years of evaluation. Coming up with the reality of the fact that at the end of the day it’s really not about the Fugees anymore, it’s about Lauryn getting help, and putting what I call shockwaves out there. Everyone around her has created a wall of fakeness so she can’t see clear. What we’re hoping in sending these shockwaves is she’s like ‘Yo!’. They’re that same group, whatever. They go back and say ‘Yo, Clef said this, ‘Clef said that.’ We call it therapy, so we don’t call it negative at all, so we takin’ Lauryn Hill through some therapy right now and that her parents will hear what we’re saying and basically get her help and put her in a reality situation, which means understand the difference between a Producer and a Writer. She understood all of that before. Right now when you looking at the Internet half her face is green, the other half is red. This is what is causing us as two friends, real friends…Who’s letting her come out on stage like that…
Yamaha’s new TENORI-ON turns old keyboard technology on its head by offering as its control pad a 16×16 grid of padded lights, a large square of exponential musical possibilities guided by repeating patterns of light and sound virtually anyone can program. This truly is music technology for the 21st century. Inspired by the MIDI controls that currently control complicated audio software, the TENORI-ON brings to life computer music by making it as intuitive as drawing.
The TENORI-ON looks something like a handcrafted high tech toy, and it certainly is as easy and fun to use as one, but in the hands of the right musician it is already revolutionizing the way music is performed. Kraftwerk, Matthew Herbert, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Four Tet, Jim O’Rourke, Battles, Atom TM… an ever-growing list of diverse musicians on the cutting edge of popular sound have all tried out the TENORI-ON and quickly adopted into their arsenal of live innovations. This machine is light and easy to carry, freeing up the performer to move around and interact with the audience.
TENORI-ON AROUND THE WORLD
Conceived by leading Japanese media artist Toshio Iwai in 2001 following six years of intense development, the TENORI-ON has already been showcased at major music festivals and media art festivals: Sonar (Spain), Futuresonic (U.K), Ars Electronica (Austria), and Art Futura (Spain). Now it arrives in North America via MUTEK.
The TENORI-ON has been road-tested by the best of the cutting edge: Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Matthew Herbert, Mouse On Mars, Cornelius, To Rococo Rot, Jim O’ Rourke, Rei Harakami, Taylor Deupree, Tortoise, Pole, The Books, Sutekh and Atom Heart. All agree that the TENORI-ON is one of the most innovative and exciting new instruments to be released in many years.
p2pnet news special | (C)RIAA News:- Canadian RIAA clone the CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association) has been forced to confess to a massive screw-up involving audiomaxxx.com, taken down in an RCMP raid.
When p2pnet posted a story on the incident, we thought it was an example of Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG successfully nailing a genuine counterfeiting crook instead of going after their own customers, whom they’re calling file sharing thieves and criminals.
Good work, we thought, and today, if you try to log on to audiomaxxx.com, it still says, “The server at audiomaxxx.com is taking too long to respond”.
Earlier, “Following a year-long investigation by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), the RCMP has shut down Audiomaxxx.com Ltd., a major alleged music counterfeiting operation in Winnipeg, and filed criminal charges against four individuals,” said the Winnipeg Sun.
We didn’t bother to mention the (C)RIAA in our first post. Why give it free PR? However, mouthperson Graham Henderson said the ‘operation’ was the largest he’d seen, according to the story, which continues >>>
This is the Big Kahuna,” said Henderson, whose organization helped investigate Audiomaxx, which RCMP say sent counterfeit product to thousands of international buyers every week.
Anytime you shut down something as big as this, it has an impact.
Audiomaxxx, “made its name selling reggae and house-mix CDs and a large catalogue of porn flicks for between US$3 and $6 a pop,” says the Winnipeg Sun, citing domain ownership records as saying, “the site was registered to Ramgotra, known as ‘King Raj’ to customers, in 2000.
“Sources say Ramgotra was one of four people arrested during the raid and now faces numerous charges.”
Sources, eh? Wonder who?
The story has RCMP sergeant Line Karpish (right) confirming a, “31-year-old man faces charges and was released on a promise to appear, while three others were released pending further investigation”.
[The] ‘CRIA regrets the error …’
In our post, we said, “At the bottom of the site, ‘© 2006 Audiomax Movements International / AudioMaxxx.com. All Rights Reserved.’
“In fact, nothing had been reserved. Or licenced.”
There have been no charges laid. Yet. From Alexa traffic they seem to have offended a lot of people while also apparently retailing via dance parties the DJ mixes … Did you think that maybe popular DJ’s use these guys for their stuff rather than making it themselves?
Note: I am not defending what they were doing. I just want to know who has been charged in this, facing criminal charges, like right now. The answer is apparently no one cause the evidence for the search warrant must have presented a challenge.
Check out www.audiomaxxx.net … where someone has used a proxy domain service to post a CRIA press release that the CRIA took down. There was a problem in the plans they had to publicize the event that I would suspect in the what evidence they actually found.
Check out my blog post too if you like: http://northworthy.blogspot.com/2008/03/put-finger-down-your-throat-at-media.html
That is my .02 cents. Don’t know anything just like … others.
TORONTO, March 7 /CNW/ – In the CRIA media release of March 6, it was erroneously reported that RCMP had filed criminal charges against four people in connection with the RCMP investigation into Audiomaxxx.com Ltd. CRIA has received information that no one has been charged with an offence in respect of this matter.
In the same media release, it was also reported that Raj Singh Ramgotra was among those arrested. CRIA cannot confirm the identities of any of those arrested and therefore retracts its statement to the effect that Mr. Ramgotra was arrested.
CRIA regrets the error.
On Northworthy, Lawrence gives chapter and verse on the entire farce, including this update >>>
The first CRIA “News Release” published March 6th, 2008 is no longer available from the CRIA’s website. The current correction they publish does not point to the prior publication because I think they are afraid of the private person they named suing them: if the police won’t name him, this has caused a challenge to the CRIA having named him. This is bizarre as Michael Geist picked up on in his blog.
Blogged Geist on March 6 >>>
I’m at Canadian Music Week in Toronto this week (where a representative of the RIAA urged Canadians to increase the “hassle” factor of P2P by launching lawsuits and polluting the P2P networks with fake files) where CRIA just issued a press release heralding the shut down and arrest of a major music counterfeiting operation in Manitoba. The release claims that 30 percent of pirated CDs seized in Toronto originate from the operation. CRIA’s Graham Henderson is quoted as saying that “today’s arrests send out a clear message that commercial piracy will no longer be tolerated in Canada.” I’m not sure that commercial piracy was ever tolerated in Canada, but I’m in agreement that this is good news. Commercial piracy – which can and should be distinguished from non-commercial cases – should not be tolerated and it is good to see that Canadian law and Canadian law enforcement are clearly up to the challenge of dealing with the issue.
Update: In a rather bizarre chain of events, CRIA issued a correction to this initial release last night indicating that there had been no arrests. Hours later, there is an RCMP press release indicating that there were arrests (using the Copyright Act), though the release is hosted at a private website and is currently not on the RCMP’s own site.
Interesting and interesting’r
On Northworthy, Lawrence goes on >>>
UPDATE 6: 8/3/2008 8:11 pm
The Globe and Mail has published an online correction to its print story, at some time today. I won’t cancel them out but I will tell their publisher what I think. He responds to crap like this.
They post at the moment:
Four people arrested March 5 by Winnipeg RCMP in connection with an alleged piracy scheme involving DVDs, compact discs and digital downloads have been released without charge. The RCMP says one of the four, freed on an undertaking to reappear May 26, may face “numerous charges” under the Copyright Act for offences that carry a penalty of up to $1-million in fines and five years imprisonment, while the other three remain under investigation. Incorrect information appeared in a story yesterday.
UPDATE 7: 9/3/2008 12:23 am
Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day releases press release 7/3/2008 at 20:16 ET, to offer his congratulations to the police officers on “arrests and seizures” like this.
He also links “piracy” with “organized crime.”
Minister Day Comments on the Largest Ever Seizure of Alleged Counterfeit CDs and DVDs in Canada
Read it if you care. Will it get pulled and be corrected? Interesting and interesting’r.
The use of “Alleged” in the title of the Minister’s press release, presents a hint here to the difficulty faced with a seizure of this size, with likely significant amounts of goods seized that were likely too circumstantial before analysis to lay the charges to come, if they do. The documentary requirements here I imagine are significant ($$$,$$$), throwing the wrench in the planned public relations campaign. There are likely the DJ Mixes involved too which are going to be a huge PITA, both for the analysts, alleged property owners, and the lawyers involved (read this very interesting post by Jason K on the DJ /club mixes in general). Add in the Adult industry porn, and the classification of it, by owner, and its pedigree, without the aid of a “CRIA” like organization (maybe) to help, and well you have some delay in the news here to the charges, if any result.
My sense of this is that we are not dealing with “replica’s” hence the charges not being laid. What the police were told and what they found are possibly a rather serious issue at the moment. I have to look for the news story to find out …
The CBC has some interesting video with only 3 or 4 inaccuracies in it. I love the way the host puts a certain visual opprobrium into it. From the scene, that CTV did not get access to, the CBC video feed shows none of the named artists in the audio commentary, that come from the CRIA press release, so far … one more video to watch …
The retracted press release BTW is hosted now by a proxy domain service that put it up at www.audiomaxxx.net with no traceable elements. Unless the CRIA the owner of the original content, puts up a fuss, with the proxy registrar, that is where it will be forever.
This one is the best account of it right from the RCMP themselves in a TV interview with some of the video feed of the “international” CBC version at Update 8. The host is referring to a list that only includes the CRIA news release artists. No video evidence of any of those artists named. The “hard core pornography” the CRIA had mentioned, is not mentioned in this interview.
David Gray interviews RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish (Runs: 5:11)
Play: QuickTime »
Play: Real Media »
UPDATE 10: 9/03/2008
There is a very interesting comment here on what is a missing element to this whole sorry tale:
Its from here: http://www.dancehall.mobi/2008/03/07/audiomaxxx-shut-down/
“This is NOT a good thing for reggae as a whole.
Yes he was selling material and not paying anyone … but he was organised and up to date and was beginning to stock a great collection of classics for a NEW artist AUDIOMAXXX was agreat tool to get known wihtout spending too much money or time…
anyone who is REJOICING over this, doesn’t know how the crooked reggae industry operates…
too many unorganised and half assed labels have been the main reason why reggae is not the biggest ting in the world’ artists like BUSY SIGNAL have benfited from Audiomaxxx…”
- Gappy Crucial, March 9, 2008
Will the RCMP sue the (C)RIAA for sending them on a wild-good chase?
Don’t hold your breath.
Will King Raj sue the (C)RIAA for defamation?
Now that could be interesting.
Definitely stay tuned.
The biggest snow storm in history has nothing on hip-hop. It was standing room only for both keynotes inside the Royal York Hotel Ballroom with KRS-One clogging the aisles. Hitting on the history of the artform and how it has come of age in the business world, Kris more than lived up to his name, The Teacher.
Big Will Strickland went one-on-one with The RZA. Old school friends from the forties, sometime around Prohibition, the duo who go back reminisced on days gone by. As for the future, a new Bobby Digital album is set for release in June. One can only wonder what sick tricks the man has up his wizards sleeve…
RCMP Raid Shuts Down Massive Alleged Music Counterfeiting Operation in Winnipeg, Following Investigation by Canadian Recording Industry Association
Police file criminal charges against four people and seize more than 200,000 music CDs and DVDs
Toronto, March 6, 2008 – Following a year-long investigation by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), the RCMP has shut down Audiomaxxx.com Ltd., a major alleged music counterfeiting operation in Winnipeg, and filed criminal charges against four individuals.
Raj Singh Ramgotra, the principal behind Audiomaxxx, was among those arrested during a raid yesterday at the organization, which for three years has allegedly manufactured pirated compact discs and hard core pornographic videos, and distributed them throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe and Jamaica. More recently, Audiomaxxx’s offerings have also included allegedly pirated digital downloads.
In addition to the arrests, police seized an enormous volume of suspected counterfeit goods. This includes more than 200,000 music CDs and DVDs, numerous movie DVDs and hundreds of thousands of blank discs. Police also seized five CD/DVD burning towers, each with 12 burners, which together are capable of burning well in excess of 10,000 CDs and DVDs a day. The raid also netted several computers and hard drives, two commercial CD printers, four colour copiers and other office equipment.
In the past 10 years, the raid closest in scale to the action against Audiomaxxx involved the seizure of about 10,000 counterfeit music CDs and DVDs – one-twentieth the volume netted yesterday.
More than 10 police officers were involved in yesterday’s raid.
“We sincerely thank the RCMP officers who have worked so hard to bring Audiomaxxx to heel, and to the federal prosecutors who have worked closely with them,” said Graham Henderson, President of the Canadian Recording Industry Association. “Today’s arrests send out a clear message that commercial piracy will no longer be tolerated in Canada.”
Audiomaxxx is suspected of being one of Canada’s leading music counterfeiters. In Toronto alone, approximately 30 percent of the pirated CDs seized allegedly originate from the operation. CRIA estimates that, at minimum, Audiomaxxx has been shipping tens of thousands of allegedly pirated CDs each month.
CRIA has received dozens of complaints concerning the operation from artists, music associations and music labels around the world, including numerous small, independent labels. In the past, when faced with demands by rights holders to cease its activities, Audiomaxxx has consistently ignored the demands or failed to fully comply.
The operation appears to be highly developed, with a significant catalogue of allegedly pirated CDs and music downloads offered for sale via the website www.audiomaxxx.com, including copies of tracks by famous artists like Shania Twain, Lionel Richie, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige and Nelly Furtado.
“The RCMP has again demonstrated that it stands side by side with artists and rights holders in the fight against intellectual property crime,” said Randy Lennox, President and CEO of Universal Music Canada Ltd. and Chairman of CRIA. “CRIA has a longstanding partnership with the RCMP and other police forces in fighting piracy, and today we have taken a big step together to stop one of the most flagrant examples of its kind in Canada.”
Audiomaxxx’s alleged piracy affects not just famous artists, but also new and independent artists – largely in the reggae, soca and hip-hop community – who are struggling to build careers. For example, Vancouver’s Utopia Records, one of the many independent labels to voice concerns, has seen new artist albums appear on the Audiomaxxx website on the day an album is released in stores or even before the legitimate launch date.
“The harm done by music piracy is especially troubling when it undermines a promising artist’s burgeoning career,” Henderson said. “We will continue to work with police and lawmakers to give these artists, and the organizations behind them, the opportunity to succeed.”
CRIA began investigating Audiomaxxx as part of an ongoing program to deter music counterfeiting and piracy. The operation came to CRIA’s attention because of the large volume of suspected counterfeit products openly offered for sale on the Internet and the owner’s failure to stop selling these products after the issuance of cease-and-desist orders.
Since CRIA began dedicated anti-counterfeiting operations more than a year ago, the association and police have seized more than 400,000 CDs and issued 80 cease-and-desist orders against retailers of illicitly copied music.
The Impact of Piracy and Counterfeiting on Canadian Artists and Rights Holders
Piracy and counterfeiting exact a steep toll on artists and rights holders in Canada. This is reflected in significant music sales declines since the advent of widespread unauthorized file-swapping in 1999 and the proliferation of CD and music DVD counterfeiting in recent years. In that time, retail sales of pre-recorded audio products (CDs, digital tracks, etc.) declined by 47 percent, from $1.3 billion in 1999 to $703.7 million in 2006.
For the 11 months ended November 2007, net wholesale shipments of CDs, music DVDs, and other “physical” recorded music formats dropped 16 percent to 37.9 million units from 45.1 million units in the year-earlier period, while the related net wholesale value dropped 20 percent to $382.4 million from $476.3 million.
A 2007 national POLLARA survey found that purchases of counterfeit goods such as music CDs displace legitimate commerce. About half of those who bought counterfeit music, movies or software would have purchased the genuine version had they not purchased a copy (for music, the figure was 43 percent; movies, 45 percent; and software, 44 percent).
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE – El Scientifico gets down with New Jersey Devils Goaltender Kevin Weekes on his fave Gaming & Tech toys
Fresh off their 4-1 trouncing of the Maple Leafs, it’ll be back to some next-gen video gaming for New Jersey Devils David Clarkson, Mike Rupp, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, and Paul ‘Guitar Hero’ Martin. All the while, backup netminder Kevin Weekes kicking his mint green Tetris, just might be the team’s ‘techy’ all-star.
Xbox360, PS3 or Wii?
PS3. But the Wii is good to keep people active.
What are you currently playing?
NBA Live. Not too much NHL, mostly NBA or Madden
MAC or PC?
I’m a MAC guy now -for about the last year and a half. Our trainer in New York got me into Mac and its awesome –love it. It’s the way to go. C’mon, you’re a tech guy you can appreciate the MAC a lot more I’m sure. It’s the way to go for you creative guys – it’s Artsy!
Do you Travel With a Laptop?
Always travel with my MacBook.
How often do you surf the net?
Every single day. I thought people were nerds who were on it before, but I guess I’m one of those nerds now.
Got a favourite Website?
I’d probably say TSN.ca um, ZAPPOS.com for sneakers and eastbay.com
You on Facebook or My Space?
Aaaah! Neither, Capazoo.com. Canadian style.
Ever purchase anything online?
Yes. Mostly clothes, shoes, sometimes gifts, and flowers.
Are you getting an iPHONE?
No. I won’t get an iPHONE. I love my LG 9900. It’ a flip out phone -its works well. I’m not on the iPHONE tip yet.
Most famous person in your phone list?
I would say…Michael Jordan’s right-hand-man, Fred Whitfield (President of the Charlotte Bobcats). That’s as close as you get to the man himself.
Do you have an iPOD?
I do have an iPOD –Yes.
Regular radio or Satellite radio?
Satellite radio. Sirius
Did you go the way of (the now dead format) HD- DVD or Blu Ray?
HD-DVD. Well, y’know how it goes.
Last DVD you watched?
Got GPS in the car?
GPS in all vehicles is a must Yes. Especially when not familiar with where yer at being in Jersey or whatever. It’s not Toronto.
You wouldn’t want to be late for Practice (a wink for Mr. Ray Emery).
Favourite thing about your new arena The Prudential Center?
There’s nothing uncool about the Prudential Center. We now have the best arena in Hockey, in the world and it reset the bar y’know so, we’re lucky to be able to call it home. We’ve got the best of the best, but hopefully, our ice gets a bit better. The amenities and facilities are unbelievable
Aaah, just like getting a new gadget to play with.
Check out Kevin’s website at www.kevinweekes1.com
Interview by Nova Browning
No one can deny that Bad Boy and Puff Daddy held a King Kong grip on hip-hop in the 90’s. Since then, a distracting Latina lover, manic multitasking, numerous court cases and a drastically changing industry have contributed to the highs and lows of the man and his music. When Puff claimed “…and we won’t stop!” 15 years ago, he wasn’t joking.
Diddy is now in full throttle on the reality show train by launching Making the Band: Season 4-Part Two. For our viewing pleasure, his Diddyness ensures the drama by housing Danity Kane, the female platinum artists spawned from Season 3, alongside solo artist Donnie J and Day 26, their Season 4 male counterparts. As expected Brian, Will, Robert, Qwanell, Mike and Donnie quickly create chemistry with the girls, deal with pressure and competition while recording their albums and try to adapt to life on camera.
Far from the amateur attitude that plagued the second season (remember Dyylan?) there are no fistfights or Brooklyn cheesecake treks this time around. The talent in MTB4 has real potential and focus, making it good to watch and, people are buying albums (which is really the point). PEACE was able to talk to Will from Day 26 about the groups new name, his first time with Wendy Williams, past industry experience and how he made it this far.
Recently you announced the name of your group, DAY 26! What were other options were entertained and why did DAY 26 describe the group the best?
WILL: First we came up with 8/26 since August 26th was the day that we became a band. We knew that we wanted to stick around the date because that was an important day for us, that was the day that changed our lives, and it was the same feeling for all of us, a milestone. We couldn’t get 8/26, we tried Project 26 but we liked Day 26. Diddy liked 26 Days better, but it wasn’t legal so we stuck to Day 26. With the name, this all feels official now!
How has your perception of Diddy changed through this process? From being a fan, watching him on past seasons of MTB, going through the entire audition process, and now as one of his artists?
W: I’ve always watched him growing up and admired that movement at Bad Boy. I’ve been around a lot of people in the music industry before so meeting him wasn’t something that would make me shake up or anything. That’s why it wasn’t really hard for me to sing in the first season because I was never flustered around him. I think that helped me out a lot. So now, just working with him, he’s cool, he knows what he wants, he’s just ready to work at all times, and he knows how to pull the best out of you. He’s a perfectionist and it’s been a blast working with him on this new project.
You write and arrange for a few other R&B acts.
W: Yeah I did some writing and arranging on Avant’s “Director” and some arranging on Marques Houstons “Naked” album.
Out of the people you worked with in the past, who did you learn the most from and how did it give you an edge throughout the lengthy MTB elimination process?
W: I think I’ve learned the most from Avant. I had more time around him and I got a lot of training from him, a lot of people say that our voices sound similar and he taught me a lot. Avant is a good friend of mine, so his advice really helped me through a lot of situations, especially when he found out that I was even going to do the Making the Band thing. He thought it was a good look with me going in, and said to let them know exactly who I am. But most of what I learned from him was studio related, since that was where we spent most of our time together.
After developing such a close relationship with Mike, Brian, Robert and Que how was the first morning, waking up without everyone around?
W: At first it was cool because I had just left them and I was home with my family and it was so good to see them and to see their reactions, to hear what they had to say and let it all sink in and get back to reality for a minute. But after that, I gave it a week or two and then I was like okay, let’s get back to work!
Where do you find yourself pushing the others to step up? Is it in dance rehearsals, the studio where you have more experience, or do those roles shift at different times?
W: Where ever it can be a help. Sometimes it’s in the studio, due to my experience and sometimes it could be with the dancing. Not that I’m the best dancer in the group but if I step back, I know what it’s supposed to look like. That push comes from every aspect ’cause we all can fall short sometimes, and being a new group we’re allowed to. We try and push each other along so that we can get through this project and be labeled as one of the number one groups in the world instead of a just a reality show group.
Looking back, did you think Diddy was harder on the guys or the girls?
W: Well, I’ve heard them say that he was harder on the girls. I wasn’t in the girls’ situation and I didn’t really watch the girls show, but I do know how hard he was on us!
Who has improved the most since the first round of auditions?
W: Que. Que has always been an amazing singer, Que’s voice is gifted, I think he’s one of the best singers that I’ve heard, but Que has grown so much because he listens so much. He listens, he learns, he knows he’s a great singer but he doesn’t really know exactly what he could be. He’s just learning and learning and he’s like a sponge so I think he’s by far going to be one of the best R&B singers in the world.
I know that some of the other members have had to deal with rumors and gossip and haters, have you had to deal with that?
W: We recently did the Wendy Williams show, and that was a wild experience because I didn’t know who Wendy Williams was until I actually got there. So she came in and the first thing she asks me, is am I gay! That kind of shocked me ’cause I had never, ever heard anything like that before in my life! I took it, I held it in and I answered the question, but it kind of shocked me that people would even start rumors about you in the first place. But I know it comes with the territory. I know that just because I sing, I’m in an R&B group, people will say whatever they want about you and you just gotta know how to take it, so that was definitely a learning experience for me. I’m open now, I got thicker skin now and I’m ready to handle whatever is put on me.
So it’s dealing with how the people around you are responding to the success of the group?
W: Oh yeah, because people expect more out of you once you get into the spotlight. You can be the same to that person as you were before, but with them expecting more from you, they feel like you’ve changed. Back in the days, if you asked me for a dollar, I’d have given it to you, now you ask me for a hundred-thousand dollars and I don’t give it to you and you say I’ve changed. I haven’t changed it’s just I’m not giving you a hundred-thousand dollars!
What personal trials have you had to overcome in order to adapt to your new success?
W: I had to move away from certain neighborhoods because I really try to be low key. I’m home now, I’m away from the guys and sometimes I walk in the house and there will be a lot of people outside so I try to always walk with a hoodie on. I don’t want anybody to know where me or my family are living. If you see me in the street I always say what’s up but at least in this neighborhood I try to be low because I actually live here. (sighs) This grind for me was so long and so deep. Sometimes I was broke, I’d be praying, asking God “Why?” and “Is this for me?”. I want to be clear and tell people that if you believe it in your heart, than you can achieve it. I’m an example of that cause I tried this for a long time. Before you ever saw me on Making the Band, I’ve been trying to be an artist and entertainer/writer so for me to get this opportunity, I’m definitely going to use it to the fullest and let nobody stand in the way of it.
Making the Band: Season 4 Part Two
is on MTV Canada Monday nights at 10pm.
Interview by Jay Swing
Intro by Morgan Gerard
Don’t believe the hype. Yes, the Octagon is finally coming to Canada, and the fastest sell-out in big-time Mixed Martial Arts history is cause for excitement.
But all of the flag-waving over UFC 83, taking place at the Bell Centre in Montreal on April 19? Forget about it.
The match isn’t about Long Island, NY vs. St-Isidore, PQ. It’s got nothing to do with an Italian-American vs. a French-Canadian. And while Van Damme vs. Pesci is a funny concept, it’s just another way to complicate a very simple set of facts:
One world title.
Five scheduled rounds.
Best fighter wins.
Still, history and circumstances make the second meeting between Georges “Rush” St. Pierre and Matt “The Terror” Serra more than one-dimensional. The last time they met, at UFC 69 in Houston, Serra TKO’d GSP in the third minute of the first round and the welterweight title of the world went south. Touted by fans and critics as one of the – if not the – greatest upsets in MMA history, few people (including PEACE in our March 2007 GSP cover story) expected Serra, then a 5-4 fighter in the UFC who earned his title shot by winning season 4 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, to defeat the 7-1 UFC’s pound-for-pound welterweight poster boy.
So how does it feel after all these years in the Octagon, and then going through the Ultimate Fighter series, to finally have that belt around your waist?
Man, it just feel great. I mean when it happened it just was indescribable. It was just a crazy feeling especially for the fact I was such an underdog against George. That just added to it man – it felt like I was living a Rocky movie. Cinderella Man – you ever see that one? The whole thing just played out perfectly man. It was so much sweeter that I was such a big underdog.
We’ll talk about your fight with GSP in a minute but let’s go back for a second. You’re the first American to get a BJJ Black belt under Renzo Gracie…
Ahh, that is true.
When did you first hook with Renzo and how long did it take you to get your black belt?
First I was Craig who was Renzo’s American business partner and he was a Black belt to I believe under Helio. I started training with him right out of high school when I was 19. A couple of years later Renzo came here so I’ve been with him since the mid 90′s. I got my black belt in 2000. Originally when he got here Renzo was only in Manhattan one day a week so I would just take what he taught me and take it home to my garage with my brother and we used to just rep and drill those moves to death so I had it in my arsenal next time I go to class a week later. Eventually he went to 3 days a week and then I’d drive to New Jersey on Sundays for private lessons – so that was basically my college. That’s what I wanted to do. Man, it seemed to work out huh!
A little bit! And that’s crazy because only one person can say they are the first.
That’s true and I’m very proud of the fact. Renzo is my mentor. He took me under his wing and I did night security and weekend shifts just so I can train jui jitsu. Renzo just said ‘look man, you’re tired on the mat, your training like crap, why don’t you just stop that and work here at the academy’. So I got there and I was teaching classes and I was cleaning bathrooms and I was happy to do it man. It got me out of that guard booth and I’ve been living the dream ever since man.
Where does that rank – talking about the being the first American Black belt under Renzo Gracie – where does that rank on your list of accomplishments? That list is starting to get pretty long…
Man, that’s up there at the top yaknowwhatimean? That’s such an honor. Renzo is family to me, you know, kind of like a big brother. He was my mentor. He took me in the fight game, not just with BJJ, but he took me over to Japan. He set up my stays in Brazil. You know, I know this will sound cheesy but he helped me become champion!
Ha – it only sounds cheesy if you aren’t a champion!
Right! I know man. (laughs)
So now that you have that belt does that take top spot in your list of accomplishments?
It’s not that it’s better than achieving my Black belt under Renzo Gracie because it all goes hand in hand. As far as my greatest sports moment, my great competition moment, my biggest time in the spotlight, the greatest thing I ever achieved in competition? Of course that’s the very highest you know. That’s the top of the top… I mean that’s just… you know, the UFC is the best fighters not in your neighborhood, not in your country but those are the best fighters in the world. I am so honored just to be a UFC fighter. You know, I had some ups and downs in my career and to get that title shot – and people talk ‘you know he got that title shot by not fighting this guy or that guy’. Hey man, I fought everybody under the sun and even the fights I lost you can make cases on but I don’t cry about that. I never complain about a decision, but I’ve proven I can go with the best guys bell to bell and you learn from your mistakes. I think it give hope to guys that have a couple of losses and don’t get into this sport if you don’t think you are going to pick up a couple of losses because sooner or later if you are fighting the right guys it’s just not gonna be your night.
There must have been a time during your first run with the UFC that you thought it might not work out for you as far as the belt goes.
To be honest with you I never said to myself that I gotta do this, that and the other thing to get that belt. I never once said that man. If it came along then great, but I just narrowed it down to I have my 2 jui-jitsu schools, I love teaching, I love fighting so I feel like a winner already. Let me go out there and just test myself in that cage against another guy that has trained specifically to try and take me out. I’m training and working on different strategies, getting in peak condition just to take him out. That’s what I’m in it for. I love that – just the rush of it. You know, how many times in life do you get to test your skills and courage and everything else? Just put it on the line. It’s such a raw feeling and it’s just great man!
How does your back feel after having to pull out of your fight against Matt Hughes?
It feels great man. I’m starting out of the gate nice man. I’m trying to do things the right way. I’m training hard but smart. Two and a half months down the road I’m going to be in phenomenal shape.
How hard for you was it to pull out of that fight?
I know you’re a big fan of Matt Hughes and you guys are good buddies…
Yeah right, of course… Naw, that was brutal and one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I know it wasn’t the fact of making the right decision because there was only one decision. I couldn’t have competed like that. My wife would have kicked my ass if i did! I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t do anything. It’s amazing what your lower back controls and I never felt anything like that. So I’m taking the proper precautions so nothing like that will ever happen again – at least not for this fight.
So what did you think about the Hughes/GSP fight.
I think it was good for GSP! The problem with Matt Hughes is he doesn’t like being in the danger zone. He doesn’t like to take one to give one that’s for sure. He just wants to take that guy down and lay the hammer on that guy and pound him out with minimum damage. And there is nothing wrong with that if it’s reasonable you know. I would love nothing more than for GSP to go in there and jump guard with me but you got to be realistic about it and you have to take chances. There are some guys you have to take chances with and that means you have to believe in other aspects of your game. The thing that GSP has over Matt Hughes is Hughes isn’t really talented off his back and he’s afraid standing up so what he does he does very well but now he’s going up against a guy who’s younger, more explosive and hard to get down. I don’t think GSP is a way better wrestler than Matt Hughes, I just thought the second Matt Hughes got a hold of GSP he got so stiff he did not want to let him go because he’d have to get back into that striking range so it allowed GSP to take him gown very easy. That’s what went down – he fought with the fear.
Is it any different training for GSP instead of Matt Hughes?
Naw. I mean I was making sure my guard was off the hook because of Matt Hughes, because you know, in case he tried to take me down and dry hump me (laughs). I’m gonna be ready on all fronts bro. Not trying to give away too much strategy but I’ll be ready on all front for GSP. I’m going to have to bring my A game and I’m just looking forward to a nice battle. The first fight went smooth but I think this one is gonna be more of a war but what the hell man – that’s what you’re remembered for – not just the beat downs but for the wars and I don’t mind being part of one.
So let me present this scenario to you. If you beat GSP in April, are you going to give Matt Hughes a title shot even though he just got destroyed by GSP?
You know what man, the question’s a good one and I see where you’re going but I have a rule of thumb where I never ever talk about a fight past the fight that I have right in front of me. I just personally don’t do it and I think it’s bad luck. The first time I was going to fight GSP everybody was talking about how the rematch with Matt Hughes and GSP is going to be in Canada in the summertime and I was like ‘oh that’s nice I DIDN’T EVEN FIGHT HIM YET YOU F….’ – I don’t want to curse but you see where I’m going with this. I’m already hearing people say that first BJ Penn has to clear out the Lightweight Division and then he’ll be able to fight GSP. Now wait a minute. Are you assuming the guy has the belt? I’m getting deja vu all over again! You want to hear something hysterical? I’m watching a clip on ESPN with Brock Lesner talking about the UFC and how he’s the new upcoming fighter and it just struck me as funny man – here we are a year later and I had a good night with GSP and I beat him down and still it’s like it never happened man. It’s hysterical because I’m watching this interview and all of a sudden you see Brock Lesner say how the UFC is the greatest and this is where all the best fighters are and at that moment they put on the screen images of the UFC champions and they show Rampage howling after he knocked out Chuck Liddell, you see Anderson Silva getting the belt put around his waist and they showed one more guy getting his belt put around his waist and that was George St. Pierre! I’m like hey man, not for nothing but you just showed the Light Heavyweight champ, the Middleweight Champ and then you show GSP. The last I heard I beat him! You know what I mean!! He beats my ass next time then show it to death but until then why don’t you show some respect. It’s kinda messed up. So they are already counting me out again man so that great. I love being in the shoes I’m in and i’d have it no other way. Good. You want to go ahead and count some chicken’s then go ahead and count them all you want but get ready to cry yourself to sleep in your GSP underoos man.
Well that brings me to my next question which you kind of just answered, but how do you feel about being listed at a 4-1 underdog?
I’m a 4-1 underdog? Well that’s a lot better than last time – what was I a 14-1 underdog or something? It don’t matter to me. All the hype and all the experts – the so called experts – it all means jack to me. What it boils down to is GSP and myself in the cage. That’s what it come down to and that’s all that it comes down to.
You two have been having a little bit of a war of words – where did that come from?
You know what? It’s funny man. I read an interview where he said he lost all respect for me due to some things I said. Now, you know I have a lot of friends so if you want to become an enemy that cool. That’s fine with me. Now, let’s think about this for a second. After that fight I did the right thing, and he did the right thing in the cage. We were both gentleman after that fight. You know, I’m sitting there saying he is the future of the sport. He’s saying I was the better man and that’s really the way it should be. Then you fast forward 4 or 5 weeks later – and I never said a bad thing about the guy ever, I always liked him – you fast forward 4 or 5 weeks later and here he is saying ‘oh well if it was Matt Hughes I wouldn’t have fought but it was Matt Serra and I figured I’d beat this guy easy and I wasn’t really training’. It’s like hey man, before the fight you were sitting there saying how you got to treat me like the number 1 guy in the world. That you were going to take me very seriously and maybe you were going to submit me. You know, he threw some cliches in there like ‘I’m going to fight like I’m the challenger trying to win the belt’ and you’re saying all this stuff and then you lose. So 5 weeks later you start talking about how you didn’t really prepare and how if it was somebody else you wouldn’t have took the fight but you figured you can beat me easy. How do you expect me not to get insulted? How do you expect me not to feel disrespected and how would you not expect me to retaliate? So I hear that and it’s like game on! Okay, I guess were not cool anymore dude. You’re gonna discredit what I did? Everybody thought I was walking to my doom and I took care of business like I should, then you gotta go that route with it? And the thing is that after I made some remarks back, you know, he’s making a big deal at the fact I said ‘F’ you Frenchy! Whatever dude. Look, I’m a big movie buff and I watch Talladega Nights a lot… if you didn’t see it you should rent it it will change your life. Did you see it?
Yeah – too funny!
Great movie man. Will Ferrell. But in the movie he has that battle with the french driver and he’s always calling him ‘Frenchy’. So that’s why that came flying out of my mouth but dude, do I give a rats ass if the guy is French? Please, oh yeah now I’m against the French. C’mon dude get a life. Here’s the deal. He said he lost all respect for me – I don’t believe him. I think that is what his sports shrink told him to say. His sports shrink laid him down on the couch and said ‘look, this what you need to do to win this fight. You gotta make this guy the enemy’. Basically put Matt Hughes head on my body and if that’s the way he wants to go with is fine, yaknowwhatimean? I’m disappointed in the guy. I used to like him. I don’t think all that was to hype the fight. I believe his sports shrink told him to look at me like the anti-christ so that’s cool.
You see I thought it was just because you made fun of hockey – you know how us canadians like our hockey!
Aw please man! First of all I grew up on Long Island – huge Islanders fan! Second of all, if he told me to eat a meatball hero and go watch Goodfellas I’m not gonna cry myself to sleep, youknowwhati’msaying?!!!