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Showbiz Today

Digital Music May be in Jeopardy; Author of 'The Perfect Storm' Talks About Origins of Book; Singer Mya Soars to New Musical Heights

Aired July 10, 2000 - 4:30 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JIM MORET, HOST: Hi, everyone. I'm Jim Moret in Washington. Laurin Sydney is off today.

"Scary Movie" slayed the competition at the weekend box office. The raunchy horror flick spoof earned an estimated $42.5 million its debut weekend, making it the biggest opening for an R-rated film ever and the second-largest opening weekend of the year. "The Perfect Storm," which has already reached the $100 million mark, earned $27 million to land in second place. And Mel Gibson's "The Patriot" rounded out the top three, bringing in $15.5 million.

Movie studios were competing with bookstore magic over the weekend as that little wizard "Harry Potter" cast his spell on young readers. The much-anticipated book conjured up record-breaking sales for booksellers. Barnes & Noble reported its biggest weekend in history, selling over half a million copies of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." Even celebrities are fired up about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, ACTRESS: I've been reading them since she started, and she's just -- she's just a wonderful writer. It's great fun. So I'm very happy. You know, I know she's tired, but all great writers get tired, you know. And I know there a big fuss as to whether this is literature or -- yes, it is. You know, it's literature like Mark Twain was literature.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Kim Mathers, the wife of rapper Eminem, attempted suicide Friday night at the couple's suburban Detroit home. Eminem, who was not home during the suicide attempt, and his wife face legal trouble stemming from a fight in which he allegedly used an unloaded gun to smack a man his wife was kissing. Kim Mathers was evaluated and released from the hospital.

Diana Ross' "Return to Love" tour has been anything but "supreme" when it comes to ticket sales. As a result, the tour is coming to an early end. Tour representatives announced today the remainder of the tour is being canceled.

Diana Ross released a statement expressing her disappointment, saying she hopes to reconnect with fans as soon as possible. Now one thing that may very well be in jeopardy is digital music. Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the future of music which can be downloaded from the Internet. It's a copyright debate which has sparked controversy within the music industry.

Dennis Michael has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DENNIS MICHAEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The battle over Napster and the future of music distribution over the Internet will ramp up this week. On Tuesday, Napster CEO Hank Barry and Michael Robertson of MP3.com will address the Senate Judiciary Committee, as will Metallica drummer and Napster archenemy, Lars Ulrich.

LARS ULRICH, DRUMMER, METALLICA: We feel that every artist should have the choice to decide what happens to your own material, your own intellectual property, and that choice was taken away from us, and we will fight for that for a long time.

MICHAEL: Napster participants, using the Napster Web site, can share the contents of each other's libraries of MP3 music files free of charge. Since its inception, millions of music tracks have changed hands over the Internet, but the artists and the record labels have been cut out of the loop.

The Recording Industry Association of America is attempting to shut down Napster with a lawsuit. For its part, Napster has filed court papers basing its defense on sweeping legal principles, that its operation is protected as freedom of speech, and that the audio home recording act of 1992 makes file sharing, even by the millions, as legal as loaning a neighbor a videocassette movie, because it charges no fees.

Attorneys on the side of the RIAA have described these as "hail Mary" plays.

HILARY ROSEN, RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA: It started out that they didn't know what people were doing on their system. Well, that's been proven not to be true. Now, what they're claiming is they can't be responsible for something called contributory or vicarious copyright infringement because they claim that the individual users aren't infringing.

You know, it's simply not true. I don't think there's going to be a copyright expert they can find who would make that claim with them.

MICHAEL: Metallica has taken point among artists fighting Napster, alongside rapper Dr. Dre. Other musical artists are also up in arms over Napster.

RICHARD PATRICK, VOCALIST, FILTER: If I walked into a store, a music store, pulled three CDs out and tried to walk out the front door, I'd be put in jail for shoplifting. But yet, the Internet allows you to do whatever you want. MICHAEL: The stakes in the Napster case are very high, indeed.

ROSEN: This lawsuit has tremendous ramifications for the entire entertainment industry, for the entire intellectual property community.

MICHAEL: In a statement Monday, Napster defended its operation and denounced the RIAA lawsuit as -- quoting here in part -- "a cynical attempt to stifle a new technology that threatens the music establishment by empowering individuals to choose what they will listen to and when."

Dennis Michael, CNN Entertainment News, Hollywood.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORET: As you just saw, one of the most outspoken musicians in the Napster debate is Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, and he's here now to talk about his battle to maintain control of his music.

Lars, it's really about that, isn't it? Maintaining control of your own music.

ULRICH: It's maintaining control, and it's about the choice, the choice of what happens to -- my music should be mine. We write the songs. We pay for the recording of the songs. And we feel that it's our control. Napster and Napster-like companies take that control away from the artist, and that's really what the whole issue boils down to.

MORET: You've seen this issue, though, mushroom. This is an issue that I told you earlier I first discovered it when I was talking to a college student. And that's really where this all began: college students downloading day after day, some spending hours on the Internet downloading many of your songs and other artists, paying no royalties. And this is of great concern to you.

ULRICH: Yes, I mean, it's not so much about the payment of the royalties. It is really about like you said before the control.

Obviously, the Internet's the future. Let there be no question about that -- but on whose conditions. Should it not be on the artist conditions? Or if it's going to be -- if there's going to an involvement of companies like Napster, there should be a dialogue between Napster-like companies. That choice was taken away from us, and that's what we're so (UNINTELLIGIBLE) opposed to.

MORET: Do you think Congress will lend a sympathetic ear?

ULRICH: I think that the argument is very strong for us. I mean, obviously, Napster has a right to exist, and we support that and we support the fact that other artists want to give their music away for free. Not a problem They are the artist want to give music away from free -- not a problem. In the same way other artists want to give their music away for free, we want to have the choice of not having our music taken away from us for free. So we feel very strongly about tomorrow.

MORET: I want to make it clear: You don't shun technology. This just was released a couple of weeks ago.

ULRICH: Yes.

MORET: This is a double DVD where you're playing with a symphony orchestra.

ULRICH: Yes.

MORET: You are giving folks who buy this the choice of listening to Metallica alone, listening to the symphony or listening to it as it was actually played.

ULRICH: Yes, I mean, like you said about technology, I mean, we advocate as much advancement of technology as possible. On this DVD, we -- state of the art. This is the first DVD where we have the opportunity to basically separate a lot of audio channels. And they're so -- Metallica and the symphony playing together.

MORET: Is that basically a live version of this album?

ULRICH: Yes, it is. I mean, it's a film...

MORET: Right.

ULRICH: ... a 2 1/2 hour film. But what you can do on this thing for the first time is you can go in and you can separate Metallica, and just hear them, isolate it by itself, or if you so choose, you can hear the symphony.

MORET: So we want to be clear: You're not a technophobe. You're not saying that the Internet should go away.

ULRICH: Oh, no, not at all.

MORET: You just want to be able to control what it is you put out.

ULRICH: No. The future of music is definitely, I mean, through the Internet. I mean, that is the way to reach the fans. Let there be no question about that. It's on whose conditions.

MORET: And very briefly, your lead singer was injured recently in a jet-ski accident and you had to have...

ULRICH: Something like that.

MORET: ... you had to have a stand-in. Talk about this briefly for...

ULRICH: The three shows over the weekend that we played on the Summer Sanitarium Tour, our lead singer, James Hetfield, was not there. He was recuperating and getting his back, back together. We had members of Kid Rock and Kid Rock himself and members of Korn coming up and singing Metallica songs and stuff like that for about an hour and a half. And we're going back to the three cities -- Atlanta; and Sparta, Kentucky; and Dallas, Texas -- and making the shows up for free in about three weeks.

MORET: Good enough. Lars Ulrich, thank you very much. You're going to be testifying tomorrow.

ULRICH: Yes.

MORET: And we'll continue to follow the story.

ULRICH: 10:00 a.m.

MORET: More of SHOWBIZ right after this. Don't go away.

ANNOUNCER: A wave of critical acclaim for the author of "The Perfect Storm," and meet the kid in Disney's "The Kid."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORET: The hit summer movie "The Perfect Storm" might never have made it to theaters if a freelance journalist living in Massachusetts had not decided to write a book about dangerous jobs. Sebastian Junger's book turned out, instead, to focus on a deadly ocean storm.

Mark Scheerer talks with the author of "The Perfect Storm."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARK SCHEERER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They were just doing their jobs on board the ill-fated Andrea Gail, but working on a fishing boat is one of the most dangerous jobs there is, and that gave an idea to a Massachusetts freelance writer in 1993.

SEBASTIAN JUNGER, AUTHOR, "THE PERFECT STORM": Originally, I was going to write about the Andrea Gail just as a chapter in a book on dangerous jobs, and it sort of expanded.

SCHEERER: Sebastian Junger's book about the terrible storm of 1991 spent a full year on "The New York Times" best-seller list in hardcover, another two years in paperback. The movie rights were sold for $500,000.

(on camera): Were you ever formally offered a chance to write the screenplay?

JUNGER: I'm not sure what formally means out in Hollywood, but I was certainly asked if I was interested and I was not -- I couldn't have been less interested. I'm not a screenwriter. Also, I was quite burned out on the story. I'd written the book for four years. I was dying to go off and do something else.

SCHEERER (voice-over): The paperback rights for the book sold for $1.2 million. Some of Junger's newfound wealth went to the setting up of a foundation that offers educational opportunities to kids in fishing communities. Junger continues to write magazine articles about the kinds of real-life events that moviemakers increasingly turn to for story ideas.

JUNGER: I don't know if writers in Hollywood have run out of ideas or if people have just realized the real world, real events are tremendously compelling. I don't know what it is.

SCHEERER: As luck would have it, Junger's latest magazine assignment for "Vanity Fair" was in the African nation of Sierra Leone.

JUNGER: I was there, well, right during the craziness in early May by pure coincidence. I went there to do a background story on diamonds and three days later it really exploded and I was there until mid-May or late May. It was interesting. But that's the kind of stuff I love to do. And so, in a sense, it was a great piece of luck to have been there then.

SCHEERER: This time, Sebastian Junger found himself in the middle of the storm.

Mark Scheerer, CNN Entertainment News, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORET: Young Spencer Breslin knows what it's like to be in the eye of the storm. He recently starred in a TV movie about a major storm, and now he's making waves on the big screen alongside Bruce Willis.

Sherri Sylvester caught up with this energetic 8-year-old, and has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE KID")

SPENCER BRESLIN, ACTOR: So I'm 40, not married, I don't fly jets, and I don't have a dog. I grow up to be a loser.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHERRI SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Yes, 8-year- old Spencer Breslin knows how to deliver a line. Hard to believe that Disney's "The Kid" is his first feature film, and playing Bruce Willis' younger self was a role that brought 2,000 videotape auditions from pint-size wannabes. Once Breslin made the top five, he got to screen test with Willis, he brought along a gift.

BRESLIN: My mom told me he liked music a lot and I made a picture of a guitar for him.

JON TURTELTAUB, DIRECTOR: Bruce couldn't keep a straight face during the audition. He kept giggling at how wonderful and alive and funny Spencer was. SYLVESTER: Needless to say, he got the job.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE KID")

BRUCE WILLIS, ACTOR: I'm only 39.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIS: He's a real kid. He's talented and interesting to watch and hang out with. But he's un-Hollywoodized.

SYLVESTER: But he does know his way around a camera. Breslin has made more than 50 TV commercials, including a McDonald's spot in which he spoke these lines to Charles Barkley.

BRESLIN: Hey, I know you. You're the guy who can't stay twelve beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.

SYLVESTER (on camera): Did that take you long to learn?

BRESLIN: No, it was easy and I was 3-years-old when I did it.

SYLVESTER (voice-over): He also appeared in the TV miniseries "Storm of the Century" with Tim Daly. But Disney's "The Kid" reveals his comic talent. Willis actually studied videotape of Breslin in order to learn his mannerisms.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE KID")

WILLIS: Your mother's name is Gloria, your father's name is Sam.

BRESLIN: How do you know all this?

WILLIS: Your sister's name is Joanne.

BRESLIN: But everybody calls her Josie.

WILLIS: Josie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LILY TOMLIN, ACTRESS: Bruce and Jon and Spencer, like, always played on the set. They had a lot of fun, you know.

SYLVESTER: Jon is Jon Turteltaub, the director, who is keeping in touch with his young star on this long day of publicity.

BRESLIN: Hello, Jon?

TURTELTAUB: Hello.

BRESLIN: Hi, Jon. I'm in the middle of an interview now, I'll call you later, bye.

SYLVESTER: In the film, Willis feels sorry for the kid he used to be and the kid incarnate doesn't think too much of the grown-up Willis. In real life, Breslin can look ahead to 40, he knows exactly what he wants to be.

BRESLIN: Part-time actor and a part-time police officer.

SYLVESTER: Sherri Sylvester, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Bob Barker, come on down and celebrate "The Price is Right"'s 29th anniversary. And teen pop star Mya gets over her fear of flying.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORET: Another show that has consistently drawn in the viewers is "The Price is Right." Unlike its current game-show counterparts, there is no dramatic music, no fancy lights. A combination of loyal fans, consumer savvy and its white-haired host make "the price is right" for this show.

Gloria Hillard has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GLORIA HILLARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This has gotten to be a pretty common sight on the day they tape "The Price is Right." They get here early in the morning, they come from around the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I waited 50 years for this trip.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been watching it since I was a little kid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since she has been 8, she said, Mom, I would like to meet Bob Barker.

HILLARD: Once inside, it's a little bit like a revival meeting, or one of those self-help workshops. It's not just the chance to bid on that dinette set, there are three generations in this audience who have watched Bob Barker on "The Price is Right."

HILLARD (on camera): You remember that first day?

BOB BARKER, HOST, "THE PRICE IS RIGHT": The first day of "Price is Right"? Oh sure, yes. I wore a green suit I hope no one ever sees again.

HILLARD: Stage 33 at CBS, home to the "Jack Benny Show," the "Carol Burnett Show." And a couple of years ago, they renamed the stage the Bob Barker Studio.

(voice-over): And about all that's changed here over the years are car styles and the color of Bob's hair. They may not become millionaires, like on some games shows, but this enthusiasm is unparalleled in TV game show history. BARKER: Wherever I go, I hear, "Come on down, Bob!" "Hey, Bob, come on down!"

HILLARD: For 16 of those 28 years, that's been announcers Rod Roddy's job.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE PRICE IS RIGHT")

ROD RODDY, ANNOUNCER, "THE PRICE IS RIGHT": Linda Toddy (ph), come on down!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RODDY: When you go out and you travel around the country, around the world, people really identify it with you, and they are nicer to you because you give them new cars.

HILLARD: TV model Janice Pennington has been "The Price is Right" spa and car choreography since day one on the show.

JANICE PENNINGTON, MODEL, "THE PRICE IS RIGHT": Since the first day, yes. I am going to hang in until Bob says we're not doing it anymore.

HILLARD: The show has almost a cult following among college students, and you'll often see them sharing the stage with the 76- year-old host.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE PRICE IS RIGHT")

BARKER: When I pull this off, if it says yes. you are right. Yes!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARKER: I am probably as happy, if not happier, during the hour that I'm doing this show, than I am all day long.

HILLARD: Oh sure, he gives them a chance to win a new car. But most of all, the veteran host and TV's most energetic audience, seem to just enjoy playing the game.

Gloria Hillard, CNN Entertainment News, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYDNEY: Tuesday on SHOWBIZ, why historians and filmmaker Spike Lee are angry over what they call historical inaccuracies in "The Patriot." And P.J. Olsen (ph) expands the pop pallet with his musical hybrid.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORET: Her new album may be called "Fear of Flying," but R&B artist Mya is facing her music career with no fear at all. Mya is spreading her wings. And through her music, she is soaring her way over the radio waves and into feature films.

Paul Vercammen has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You may recognize the voice. Mya is her name, and at only 20, she is a superstar in her own right. Mya's contribution to the "Bulworth" soundtrack led to a meeting with musician Wyclef Jean.

MYA, SINGER: That was one of my favorite people to work with. He's a great musician, very talented performer.

VERCAMMEN: The Fugee frontman enlightens Mya with words of wisdom.

MYA: Take control, and write down things that you learn so that you don't forget them. And use them to your advantage.

VERCAMMEN: Mya's soulful voice was also featured in the song, "Take Me There" from the "Rugrats" movie. Her sophomore album, "Fear of Flying," has the young songstress soaring to new heights and maturing.

MYA: When you begin to experience new heights and great things, you sometimes get a little scared, because you want that forever, and it doesn't last forever, because what goes up must come down.

VERCAMMEN: Mya understands the law of gravity, and she has fashion savvy.

MYA: It's all about feeling, and attitude, and self-expression, of course, and character, playing roles. And that's how I look at fashion .

VERCAMMEN: With five top-ten singles and two albums in two years, Mya's providing her fans with a roadmap to success.

MYA: If I can do as much as I can to help people and inspire people and give hope, then I think I would feel a lot better about my career -- which I love -- but there are more important things than an album in this world.

Paul Vercammen, CNN Entertainment News, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORET: Well, we are out of time for now. In D.C., I'm Jim Moret. Here's more music from Mya.

See you next time.

(MUSIC)

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