Sound Bites: Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, Napster

Still the Boss

Rocker Bruce Springsteen has successfully blocked a British label from releasing Before the Fame, an album featuring 19 songs he recorded in his pre-stardom 1970s days. The New Jersey native was not present at the London Court of Appeals hearing, in which three judges upheld a 1998 decision by the London High Court. Springsteen has always fought for creative control over his music and has said that the material — which features him singing and playing guitar and piano — was never intended for commercial release.

Mariah's $117 Million Deal

Mariah Carey's blockbuster recording deal with Virgin Records is worth an all-time high of $23.5 million per album, for a total of five albums, according to the New York Daily News. The deal, which begins with this summer's soundtrack to All That Glitters, is the largest ever per album fee in the industry. Both R.E.M. and Janet Jackson take in a reported $20 million per album. Carey recently left Columbia Records, where she began her career, after divorcing label boss Tommy Mottola in 1998.

Napster Tightens Clampdown

Song-swap service Napster has filed its third compliance report with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, claiming it has blocked more than 1.7 million files and improved its filtering technology. The company said it is devoting almost a third of its workforce to the task of filtering and says it has begun to warn users who appear to be actively circumventing filters. Since a court injunction ordered Napster to prevent users from accessing copyrighted songs named by the record industry, many users have continued to use the service, modifying file names so the files would not be blocked by Napster's filters. Representatives from Napster and the recording industry will meet with District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel today to discuss compliance issues. (Reuters contributed to this report.)