USA Today
April 26, 1999

Added April 26, 1999


There is an article online at the USA Today web site about the upcoming tour with Tori and Alanis. The article focuses on the fact that the controversial web site MP3.COM is promoting the concert and working out some kind of deal with Alanis and perhap's Tori's camp as well.


Morissette, Amos plug into MP3

By Bruce Haring, USA TODAY

NEW YORK Pop superstars Alanis Morissette and Tori Amos on Tuesday are expected to detail an alliance with controversial Internet site MP3.com.

The deal, the most significant to date by major artists with the MP3 camp, will include tour sponsorship, audio files posted on the Web site and promotion by electronics retailer Best Buy, co-sponsor of the tour. The tour starts Aug. 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and is scheduled for 26 shows.

MP3.com is the leading advocate of the software known as MP3, which compresses songs from compact discs into files that can be downloaded easily from the Internet. Some users illegally have posted free copies of tunes by popular artists.

The recording industry says pirated songs steal revenue from artists and record labels. MP3 advocates say that downloads promote artists and that piracy complaints are an excuse to delay releasing music on the Net until labels devise their own downloading systems.

MP3.com deals strictly in legitimate licensed music, but the strident anti-establishment comments of its CEO, Michael Robertson, anger many in the entrenched music business.

"There's no question an alliance with MP3.com sends a signal to the record industry," says Marc Schiller, CEO of Electric Artists, a Net marketing and promotion firm. "It could wake them up that labels need to experiment more."

The deal, which included plans for a free Central Park concert at one point during negotiations, reportedly includes stock for Morissette in MP3.com.

Reports indicate that Morissette will post live versions on MP3.com of songs recorded on the tour. But it has not been revealed whether the songs will be available for download (meaning they can be kept on a hard drive or transferred to a portable device) or be "streamed" in a format that allows listening only on the computer.

Amos' plans for posting songs are not known, but she likely will be governed by the same rules as Morissette. Both record for labels owned by Time Warner, which prohibits artists from offering any music on the Internet other than 30-second streams.

A downloadable version of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' You're a Free Girl Now, a cut from their new album, Echo, was ordered removed from MP3.com after three days by Warner Bros. Records.

The song, allegedly posted in early April by Petty management without label approval, was downloaded more than 164,000 times. Many observers credit the resulting buzz for the album's debut at No. 10 on Billboard's pop chart when it was released last week.


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