CMU Daily - on the inside 6 Jul 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Connect launch in Europe
- Parlophone deny Jameilia death threat stories
- Farrell responds to Addiction split
- MCPS and BPI reach agreement over DVD royalties
- South African family sue Disney over lion song rights
- More secrecy as defence respond in Jacko case
- HMV sale influences album chart
- Album Review: Various - Pathaan's Global Sunset
- Roskilde 2004 best yet
- Elvis fans around the world celebrate
- Saga Glasgow to launch in sep
- NME's post Glasto poll
- System of a Down on new album
- BBC drop websites after online report
- Music Week launch e-newsletter alert
- Kings of Leon cancel festival date after drummer slips
- Andre says "album marketing was shit"
- Usher to give Q&A at East London college
- Sugababe not bothered if band mates not bothered
- Blue to take a break

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CONNECT LAUNCH IN EUROPE
And then there were - erm - actually, we've lost count. Hot on the heels on last week's announcement that Sony are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Walkman brand by launching a new iPod style digital music player, confirmation yesterday that the entertainment and electronics conglom was launching its download platform in the UK, France and Germany.

Sitting at http://www.connect-europe.com the new service launched with a catalogue of 150,000 tracks available to download for 79p or 99 cents each. The full catalogue of 300,000 tracks is expected to be available in the next few weeks.

The news means all three of the big players in the download sector are now operational here in the UK. Apple's iTunes, Roxio's Napster and Sony's Connect will now compete with the recently enlarged OD2 (now part of US digital media giant Loudeye) and a plethora of niche players for the ever growing download pound.

Although the last of the major players to reach market, Sony will be hoping their high profile among the mainstream audience and consumer familiarity with Sony music players will help them gain dominance once the download world expands beyond the 'early adopters' and 'youth market' who, some insiders say, are more prone to opt for iTunes and Napster respectively.

Taking an obvious dig at iTunes, who are yet to secure licensing deals with many key independent labels in Europe, Sony Connect's Robert Ashcroft told reporters yesterday: "We're very pleased we've signed not only all the majors but also the independents."

Meanwhile those concerns among European Commission officials that Sony Connect would work in collusion with Sony Music giving the record label (especially if it were merged with BMG) unfair advantage didn't seem to ring true yesterday. As the Connect service went live the only mention of digital music on http://www.sonymusic.co.uk was the promotion being run by arch-rival iTunes in the run up to the sale of the 100 millionth download via the Apple platform.

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PARLOPHONE DENY JAMELIA DEATH THREAT STORIES
EMI label Parlophone have denied media reports circulating yesterday that Jamelia was pulling out of the Birmingham edition of the Party in the Park charity concert because she had received death threats.

Reports quoted friends of the singer as saying Jamelia had received threatening phone calls, perhaps from a Birmingham gang who were linked to the stabbing of her brother nearly a decade ago. Said reports suggested local police were taking the threates seriously and that as a result the singer had been forced to pull out of the show.

However a spokesman for Parlophone told reporters yesterday that Jamelia had never, in fact, been confirmed for Party in the Park Birmingham and that it was European tour commitments that made it impossible for her to perform at the event. The label added it has no idea how or why the death threat stories had circulated.

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FARRELL RESPONDS TO ADDICTION SPLIT
Surely we were all waiting with bated breath for Perry Farrell's response to the rest of Jane's Addiction running off to form a new band? Well we were. And yesterday it came.

As previously reported, just two days after the cancellation of Farrell's Lollapalooza Festival last month the rest of Jane's Addiction announced the band was splitting because the band was too "volatile a combination" to continue. Then a few days later the rest of the band, minus Farrell, announce they were launching a new band together with a new frontman.

Responding at last to all that news, Farrell has spoken to the Rolling Stone about the split and confirmed he intends to go solo. Saying that Jane's Addiction had been taken over by "new owners" and "went astray, falling into shallow holes" - whatever that means - Farrell told the magazine: "Music that was once relevant and graceful had become clumsy as a circus seal tooting his horns. I wish for Jane's Addiction to be remembered as one of the seminal bands of her era. She laid a foundation for unbridled underground music to rise up on."

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MCPS AND BPI REACH AGREEMENT OVER DVD ROYALTIES
Royalties body MCPS has reached a settlement with the BPI regarding the royalties due to songwriters and publishers from the sale of music DVD.

Music DVDs have been a growth area for some time now, accounting for 4% of the UK music business in 2003. There had been some disagreement between the royalties body and the record labels based on the perceived value of non-music content that record companies generate for DVD releases. That argument was in danger of going unresolved, forcing the two sides to go through the expensive process of taking to dispute to a copyright tribunal.

But following intensive talks last Friday both sides yesterday announced they had reached an agreement. In a two year deal the record labels have agreed to pay the publishing rights holder a royalty of 6.25% of published dealer price on standard DVD music products, 7.25% on DVD releases with some audio-only content and 8.5% on DVD releases with predominantly audio-only content.

Announcing the agreement MCPS's Executive Director Sandra Cox told reporters: "I'm pleased that the industry has been able to reach this agreement, which provides the framework for composers, songwriters and music publishers to now receive royalties for the use of their works and which maintains a simple royalty basis with no pro-rating for non-music content."

BPI boss Peter Jamieson added: "This agreement is good news for record companies who produce music DVDs. It provides commercial certainty on licensing terms for new releases and allows producers to settle past obligations on improved terms. It will help encourage further growth in the exciting music DVD sector and other new audio formats."

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SOUTH AFRICAN FAMILY SUE DISNEY OVER LION SONG RIGHTS
Here's an interesting one. A South African family are suing Disney for $1.6 million relating to the use of the song 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' in its various Lion King franchises.

The famous pop song was originally created by one Solomon Linda, a migrant Zulu worker who recorded a version of the song with a group called the Evening Birds in 1939. Linda sold the rights to the song to a local company for $15,000. After that time the song came to global attention through folk singer Pete Seeger who adapted it into the song 'Wimoweh', and later via American songwriter George David Weiss who rewrote the track as 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'. Because of its subsequent use in Disney's The Lion King it is estimated the song has now earned its rights holders in excess of $15 million.

Although Linda sold the rights to the song South African copyright law is based on the British system. That means that 25 years after the songwriter's death the rights to the song revert to his family - which means the Linda family should have been receiving royalty payments ever since 1987. It is on those grounds that the family now plan to sue both Disney and three South African royalty firms over the continued use of the song.

The family's lawyer told reporters yesterday: "We believe our legal position is very sound. The family are entitled to royalties. There has also been a misappropriation of South African culture - the song is thought to be American."

If the family are successful in using the British copyright law rule in securing themselves the royalties to 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' it is thought a number of other South African families may come forward to claim the royalties they inherited from their songwriting ancestors.

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MORE SECRECY AS DEFENCE RESPOND IN JACKO CASE
More developments, more secrecy. Michael Jackson's lawyers were back in court last Friday in their first attempt to dismiss the charges against the singer. However, as with everything to do with the Jacko trial (and in this case at his lawyer request), the grounds on which Jackson's lawyers think the indictment against the singer is flawed will not be released to the media. Needless to say the US media's legal people are already vowing to fight that decision - presumably, judging by past efforts anyway, to no avail.

Commenting on the particularly high secrecy being adopted by the judge coordinating the Jacko trial Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson told reporters this week: "This is as close to a secret trial as I have ever seen in a high profile case. The fact that the judge wants to keep a lid on the media is not an overriding interest. He's made the media the enemy. The inherent problem is not recognizing the valid function the media serves and the public's right to know the facts."

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HMV SALE INFLUENCES ALBUM CHART
Weird things a happening in the album chart this week. The Stones Roses' eponymous debut at number 9? The Streets' debut album 'Original Pirate Material' at number 10? Michael Jackson's 1979 classic album at 'Off The Wall' at number 13? What is going on?

Actually no mystery at all when you consider those three albums are currently retailing for £3.99, £3.99 and £2.99 respectively in the current HMV sale. Great news for new music. Perhaps, like compilations, the bargain basket should get its own chart to make way for new artists in the main chart.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various - Pathaan's Global Sunset (Ministry of Sound/Altura Music)
This is actually a two CD set, one called Global Sunset and one called Global Sunrise. Which means that in theory I could play the former in the evening and the latter in the morning, thereby feeling a great sense of completeness. As it was, I played them both on Sunday morning, and whilst it felt slightly wrong, the album itself sounded pretty right. The press release calls it eclectic, and in some ways it is, and was bound to be, given the global theme and variety of material, but eclectic also calls to mind the sort of collection where one track jars horribly with the next, and this does anything but that; each seems to ooze effortlessly in to the next, combining exotic world music with electronic beats as easily as milk and tea. Contributions are from Massive Attack, Oi Va Voi and Souad Massi to name but three and every track sounds like it was born to be on this album. The result is a mix that seems to evoke the heat of the summer and the still of the night... sunset is a perfect chill-out CD, and Sunrise, whilst a little more invigorating, is essentially not a great deal less chilly. Good morning, good evening, and good night... CM
Release date: 19 July
Press contact: Arrowsmith on 01903 502 644

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ROSKILDE 2004 BEST YET
Organiser's of last weekend's Roskilde festival have said this year's proceedings were hugely successful - and like Michael Eavis a week earlier they were heard on at least one occasion to use the words "best yet". Talking to reporters yesterday a spokesman for the festival said: "The general audience consensus, in the festival's experience, has been thumbs up all the way through. Despite the mud, the concerts drew extremely large crowds. A few highlights bear particular mention: Korn, who supported Roskilde Festival's humanitarian focus 'Make Peace, Not Walls' by signing the wall, and playing a cover of "Another Brick in The Wall." The Royal Opera, who brought even hardcore metal rockers to tears. Fatboy Slim, who was so wild about the alternative mid-crowd stage-setup that he's considering making it a permanent fixture of his live shows. And Morrissey who claimed it was his best festival job in Europe ever".

The whole major incident of the weekend was the death of one Swedish festival goer, who was found unconscious in his tent and declared dead at the onsite hospital. Police have not released details of the cause of the festival goer's death, but say there are no indications that any crime occurred.

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ELVIS FANS AROUND THE WORLD CELEBRATE
While Elvis fans in the UK gathered in HMV stores yesterday to get their hands on one of those limited edition 50th anniversary copies of 'That's All Right Mama', the great and good of rock music (and Justin Timberlake) gathered in Sun Studios in Memphis to celebrate the anniversary of what some call the birth of rock 'n' roll - the day Presley recorded that first single.

At 4pm our time Scotty Moore, the guitarist who worked with Elvis at the Sun Studios on that day, pressed the play button on that first track which was then played on some 1500 radio stations around the world.

Needless to say, many an Elvis fan gathered around the studio complex and waxed lyrical to the media about the importance of that first recording in creating the music of today. Celebrations will continue throughout the summer, with the possibility of Elvis scoring his 19th UK number one this Sunday with that 'That's All Right Mama' re-release.

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SAGA GLASGOW TO LAUNCH IN SEP
Saga Radio have announced they will launch their new radio station for the Glasgow area on 7 Sep. Targeting primarily the over-50s, the 65% of airtime dedicated to music will, unsurprisingly, centre mainly on easy listening and classic rock and roll.

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NME'S POST GLASTO POLL
Better bands, better ambience, more sex. That was Glastonbury 2004 - or at least Glastonury 2004 seen through the eyes of the NME reader. Results of the magazine's post-Glasto reader's survey as follows:

How would you describe your Glastonbury 2004?
Amazing - 60%; Worth The Money - 30%; OK - 7% ; Overrated - 3% ; Rubbish - 0%

How would you describe the Glastonbury vibe this year?
Chilled - 39%; Shroomadelic - 13% ; Crazy - 14%; Buzzing - 31%; Headfrying - 3%

Who was the best band?
Oasis - 6%; The Killers - 5%; Franz - 23%; Macca - 30%; Muse - 36%

Who was your unexpected hit?
Muse - 17%; Macca - 21%; Scissor Sisters - 36%; Snow Patrol - 15%; The Zutons - 11%

Did you have sex at Glastonbury?
Yes - 27%; No - 73%

Was it with someone you knew before you went to the festival?
Yes - 57%; No - 43%

Where did you do it?
A tent - 70%; In a field - 17%; In a car - 8%; In the bogs -5%

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SYSTEM OF A DOWN ON NEW ALBUM
System of a Down's Daron Malakian has been talking about the band's new album - the follow up to 2001's 'Toxicity' - which is now in the final stages of post-production in Hollywood.

On the influences for the album Malakian says: 'There is a wide array of influences in our new songs. They range from Kraftwerk to Dark Throne to the Zombies to the Beach Boys, but it all fits together, it works."

On the recording plans he continued: "We'll play a song through and record it, listen to it and decide what could make it even better - repeat a chorus, simple rearrangement, we all spark off of each other. Some of the new songs have really great moments, we want to make the entire song a really great moment."

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BBC DROP WEBSITES AFTER ONLINE REPORT
The government have released their report into the BBC's online activities - the Graf Report - and its findings means that five BBC websites will close immediately. The report said that certain parts of the BBC's online activities were not distinct enough from commercial competitors to justify licence fee funding. The sites picked for the immediate axe are The What's On events listings site, Fantasy Football, the Games portal, the Surfing portal and the Pure Soap site.

On a more long term view, the report recommends the BBC's online unit should prioritise news and information over entertainment, that two governors should be given specific responsibility for online, and that the Beeb should aim to ensure at least a quarter of its online content is produced by independents by the end of 2006.

The BBC's director of New Media and Technology, Ashley Highfield, confirmed the closure of the five BBC sites explaining that "their market impact might be greater than their public value". But he added: "Importantly, [the report] also says it cannot be proven that our online services have had a negative impact on the market and that it's unlikely that bbc.co.uk has eliminated effective competition across any large areas of online content."

Although welcoming the report Hugo Drayton of the British Internet Publisher's Alliance - who don't really like BBC online - called for tougher restrictions to be put on the Beeb's online arm: "We want a proper independent regulator, and a proper remit for BBC Interactive. Any new services being subjected to the same approvals process as radio or any other form of broadcasting."

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MUSIC WEEK LAUNCH E-NEWSLETTER ALERT
A daily e-newsletter for the music industry? That'll never catch on surely? Music Week launched a new 'alert' email service yesterday which provides you with a daily late afternoon headlines round up of all the music industry news stories that have broken on MusicWeek.com that day. Music Week subscribers can then click on the headlines to access the full story at MusicWeek.com.

Launching the service Music Week Editor told reporters: "We launched Musicweek.com 12 months ago this week, and today we launch the Music Week Daily. This is an important extension of the service we offer our readers, both in the UK and overseas. We hope that you like it - as always your feedback is gratefully received."

Anyone working in the industry can subscribe to receive the alerts at http://www.musicweek.com

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KINGS OF LEON CANCEL FESTIVAL DATE AFTER DRUMMER SLIPS
Kings of Leon have had to pull out of a midweek European festival because drummer Nathan Fallowill injured his wrist after slipping during the band's set at Roskilde this weekend. Fallowill was due to see a doctor yesterday and the band hope he will be given the all clear to go ahead with the band's T in the Park and Oxegen dates this weekend.

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ANDRE SAYS "ALBUM MARKETING WAS SHIT"
If you're wondering why Pete Andre's new album - which was released on 7 Jun - is yet to go Top 40 despite the singer scoring two Top 3 singles this year it's all down to bad marketing, and nothing to do with the fact that Andre is a bit of a novelty act who appeals mainly to single buying teenagers - oh no.

Andre told Radio 1 this weekend: "Basically what happened was Mysterious Girl came out at number one, Insania went in at number three, the same week the album comes out, we're doing a sell-out tour, but something happened on the marketing front and it didn't debut very high. Someone did a shit job on marketing - I don't care to say it! Now they've got to rectify the problem -which they will."

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USHER TO GIVE Q&A AT EAST LONDON COLLEGE
Well, if you're trying to promote your music industry course that targets teenagers in East London you can do a lot worse than recruiting one of the biggest selling artists in the world to help. Newham College are staging a Q&A session for local school children with chart topping Usher. The event aims to promote the college's Get On Track programme which targets teenagers with few conventional qualifications who are interested in a career in the music business.

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SUGABABE NOT BOTHERED IF BAND MATES NOT BOTHERED
Keisha from the Sugababes has told Radio 1 she wrote the majority of the tracks on last album 'Three' because her band mates couldn't be bothered. She admits: "I wrote quite a few songs on the 'Three' album, and that wasn't because I'm probably their best writer, it was only because sometimes Mutya couldn't be fucked to come in because she had a hangover, and sometimes Heidi was ill, and vice versa." That said, Keisha didn't seem to bothered that her bandmates were a little slack during the songwriting / recording process: "We just don't come in if we've had a rough night, and that's what I think the great thing was."

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BLUE TO TAKE A BREAK
They're not splitting OK, they're taking a break. So that's alright then. Hot on the heels of that dreadful new single 'Bubblin', Blue have confirmed they will be taking a break once their up coming UK tour finishes next Mar 2005. That tour will be preceded by a greatest hits album. Confirming the band would take a break, a spokesman for Blue told reporters yesterday: "They have been working solidly for four years and feel it is time to take a break".

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