Oasis Sets Date For New Album; Fans Sites Respond To Crackdown

May 16 [16:00 EST] -- While a debate concerning the band's crackdown on fan websites continues, Oasis has set a release date for its anticipated third album.

Epic Records has announced that work continues on "Be Here Now," but the album will be ready in time to hit stores on August 25.

Once again, production duties on the album are being handled by Noel Gallagher and Owen Morris, the team that manned the board for "What's the Story (Morning Glory)." The news comes just days after the band made headlines by announcing that it was moving to remove all copyrighted Oasis content from fan websites.

In a precedent setting move, the band and its management said that while they appreciate the effort that goes into fan sites, they feel that some sites are "taking advantage" of the Internet to use copyrighted material without proper authorization.

"A number of pages have been copying freely from the official homepage without bothering to ask permission or even give

the homepage a credit," the band's management said in a press release. "After all taking something without asking permission can be seen as theft and in this case the people concerned could be seen as stealing from the band they claim to support."

In response to the missive from Oasis' management, fan site producer Jack Martin (who heads an ad hoc group called Oasis Webmasters for Internet Freedom) issued a fax to the band that argued that the material used on his site (and many others) is protected under the legal umbrella of "fair use." He went on to say that, fair use issues aside, the websites aren't hurting anyone.

"The Oasis fan websites are just for fun," Martin writes. "Any fair-minded person will admit that the fan websites only help the band and do not deprive anyone with a financial interest in the band of any money. In fact, by generating more interest in Oasis, the fan websites may well be getting those people more money."

We'll keep you posted on this

story as it develops.