CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 26th January

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Trade organisations back MGM in case against Grokster
- Labels bid for Oasis
- Jacko prosecution deny leaking testimonies
- New Carey delayed
- Ringo Starr the superhero
- Alice Cooper tour
- DJ Format tour
- Album Review: Longview - Mercury / Subversions
- We Are The World to be re-released
- REM to headline IOW fest
- Sanctuary issue profits warning
- Feds set to charge hip hop mogul
- Malaysia legislators review piracy penalties
- Lennox and Melua added to 46664 bill
- Moloko Roison sets date for solo outing
- Beck on the new album
- QOTSA to play two gigs in one night
- Student music awards kick off tonight
- Single Review: Doves - Black And White Town
- Ben Folds returns
- Radio 4 return
- Volkswagen to sue over controversial fake ad
- Charlatans fans infected with vomiting disease at gig
- Mcfadden hadn't heard of Goodrem before duet
- Busted boy gets over double split

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TRADE ORGANISATIONS BACK MGM IN CASE AGAINST GROKSTER
Numerous trade organisations representing copyright owners across the entertainments industry have filed a 'friend of court' brief to the US Supreme Court urging them to reverse an appeals court decision regarding the Grokster MGM case. Which is nice of them.

This is the latest attempt by the entertainment industry to stop P2P companies like Grokster from using the 'Betamax plea' when charged with enabling mass copyright infringement - that is to say, they argue that they make technology with legitimate uses, and can therefore not be held liable should the public choose to use that technology to illegally share copyrighted material. The US courts have generally accepted that excuse, much to the annoyance of music, film and games companies who want the courts to force the P2P makers out of business.

With the Grokster MGM case due to go before the Supreme Court this Spring, the 'friend of court' brief, signed by organisations representing content owners in over 100 countries, including the Recording Industry Association of America and International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, argues that the lower US court's decision in favour of Grokster denies international rights owners effective protection in the US against copyright infringement on a 'massive and unprecedented scale', which in turn sets a negative precedent across the globe.

It remains to be seen how the Supreme Court respond. Many feel only a change in the law will enable content owners to properly challenge P2P companies. As previously reported, some work on that front is already under way in Congress.

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LABELS BID FOR OASIS
A bidding war is underway to sign up Oasis, who complete their current deal with Sony on the release of their forthcoming album this May. Word is both EMI and V2 have offered three album deals reportedly worth more than £15 million, leading to speculation that Sony will come in with a bigger offer sometime soon.

Ireland Online quote one industry insider as saying: "Various record labels have been waiting patiently for the contract to end. Now it's a question of who puts the most money down on the table. Everybody wants Liam and Noel. They are still an act who can sell millions of records."

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JACKO PROSECUTION DENY LEAKING TESTIMONIES
The Santa Barbara Sheriff's department has denied being the source of those leaked grand jury documents relating to the ongoing Michael Jackson child abuse case. As previously reported, US TV network ABC earlier this month reported on the testimony Jacko's accuser gave to the grand jury investigating the case - a testimony which was covered by Judge Rodney Melville's strict media gag order.

In a statement issued this week Santa Barbara Sheriff's department - the prosecutors in the Jacko case - said that they considered the leak of the testimony a violation of the law, that they were investigating the leak, and that media reports someone in their department was responsible for the leak was untrue. Their statement ran thus: "We consider the release of these materials to be a violation of the law. Some media commentators have alleged that we are responsible for these leaks. We are not. These accusations are irresponsible, unfounded and untrue."

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NEW CAREY DELAYED
Bad news for all you Mariah Carey fans out there. The release of her comeback album - 'The Emancipation Of Mimi' - has been put back a month because bosses at Universal's Island Def Jam Records reckon they need more time to promote the new long player, which includes collaborations with bankable acts like Snoop Dogg, Kanye West and Jermaine Dupri.

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RINGO STARR THE SUPERHERO
From our 'bizarre stories involving Ringo Starr' file (you'll remember how we reported at the end of last year how Ringo was tracking Santa Claus' Christmas Eve journey across the UK for US defence agency Norad), and news that legendary comic book pioneer Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment company is to launch an original cartoon series featuring the Beatles drummer as a reluctant evil-battling, earth-saving superhero (with a great sense of rhythm of course). Lee's company will develop the superhero project with Ringo and his entertainment company Rocca Bella with„TV, DVD, publishing and merchandising extensions planned.

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ALICE COOPER TOUR
Well, get this in your diaries - Alice Cooper will be touring the UK in Nov, supported by Twisted Sister. Dates as follows:

5 Nov: Brighton Centre
6 Nov: London Wembley Pavilion
7 Nov: Cardiff International Arena
9 Nov: Birmingham NEC
10 Nov: Manchester MEN Arena
12 Nov: Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
13 Nov: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
15 Nov: Sheffield Hallam FM Arena
16 Nov: Nottingham Arena
17 Nov: Bournemouth BIC

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DJ FORMAT TOUR
Well, there we were discussing what DJ Format was up to and, as if by some kind of clever email style telepathy, a press release arrived in the in-box telling me he was releasing a new album in Apr, that a limited edition one sided 12" of a track called 'Rap Machine' was out now, that the first proper single off the album would be '3 Feet Deep' on 14 Mar, and that before that Mr Format will be playing live with MC Abdominal & D-Sisive for a small bunch of low key dates as follows:

6 Feb: Nice n Sleazy, Glasgow
7 Feb: The Roadhouse,Manchester
8 Feb: Borderline, London

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ALBUM REVIEW: Longview - Mercury / Subversions (14th Floor Records)
Longview make slightly morose, stadium-esque Manc rock that marks them out as a more earnest, albeit less memorable, version of Doves. This re-release of their debut album comes with 'Subversions', a bonus CD of remixes culled from the album's singles. With only five remixers given the source material to re-interpret, it's a little bit of a missed opportunity, but nonetheless there's some interesting fare here. Jack Knife Lee houses things up a bit on 'Further'; the results are akin to New Order having caught a severe case of flu-rock. Andy Votel's oompah glamscape on 'I Would' is quite fun, whilst Mogwai and Elbow turn in more sedate efforts, the former a filmic piano instrumental on 'In A Dream'; the latter's 'Further' a gorgeously dubby lullaby.
Shining out brightest through the gothic murk though are the gem-like remixes of 'Can't Explain' and 'Will You Wait Here' by rising electronica star Ulrich Schnauss. The German does his usual trick of piling on shimmering layers of resplendent electronic sound, conjuring up images of the best stuff Slowdive might've released had they fully realised their brief electronic adventures. As the waves wash over you it's impossible not to luxuriate in the aural radiance. Like a floatation tank for the ears. MS
Release date: 31 Jan
Press contact: Warner IH [all]

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WE ARE THE WORLD TO BE RE-RELEASED
The track created by the American version of the original Band Aid project - 'We Are The World' - is going to be re-released in the States to raise cash for AIDS research and tsunami victims. The re-release of the track, which featured Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen among others, will coincide with the track's 20th anniversary. It will be re-released as a two disk set on 1 Feb, including a DVD with footage of the recording of the track. No word yet on whether it will get a UK release.

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REM TO HEADLINE IOW FEST
An Isle of Wight website has revealed that REM will headline this year's Isle Of Wight festival in Jun. That date will slot into the band's current world tour, which features a number of arena dates next month, then a series of open air dates in Jun and Jul.

Those tour dates look a bit like this:

19 Feb: London Carling Apollo Hammersmith
21 Feb: Sheffield Hallam FM Arena
22 Feb: Glasgow SECC
23 Feb: Birmingham NEC
25 Feb: Belfast Odyssey
26 & 27 Feb: Dublin Point Theatre
17 Jun: Lancashire County Cricket Ground
18 Jun: Loch Lomond Balloch Country Park
19 Jun: Dublin Ardgillan Castle
5 Jul: Hull The KC Stadium
6 Jul: Nottingham Forest Football Club
8 Jul: Ipswich Town Football Club
9 Jul: London Hyde Park
10 Jul: Cardiff Millennium Stadium

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SANCTUARY ISSUE PROFITS WARNING
Sanctuary Music have blamed losses made by its book publishing division and a £11.4 million bad debt for the profit warning it issued yesterday, the first such warning it has had to issue since becoming a public company. Shares in Sanctuary fell by 14% after the surprise announcement regarding profits, two days ahead of the release of the company's preliminary financial results, expected tomorrow.

Sanctuary's books business, which specialises in both sport and music titles, lost £2.1 million last year when analysts expected it to break even. The bad debt relates to the sale back in 2003 of children's TV production company Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment, the new owners of which are yet to enjoy the success required to fulfill their payment obligations to Sanctuary.

The effect of the book publishing loss and bad debt is that the group's pre-tax profits for the last financial year are likely to be £2 million less than the anticipated £18 million. However Sanctuary's management stress the group's core businesses - artist management, live events, merchandising and its record labels - all "performed to expectations", and overall things remain healthy, which is just as well given that Sanctuary are pioneering a business model what we reckon is the future of the music industry - single companies that operate in all of the key sectors of the music world.

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FEDS SET TO CHARGE HIP HOP MOGUL
Here's an interesting one - we're hearing rumours that the FBI are close to moving in on a prominent hip hop mogul on charges of money laundering. That's all we know - more when we get it.

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MALAYSIA LEGISLATORS REVIEW PIRACY PENALTIES
One of the countries with a particularly bad record for cracking down on major music and video piracy is reviewing its copyright violation laws. Legislators in Malaysia will next week review the country's Copyright Act and are reportedly considering adding a mandatory jail sentence to anyone involved in the making or selling of pirated music or movie releases.

In theory piracy in Malaysia is already punishable by up to five years in jail, however the way the law is written and enforced means those caught in the act generally receive much lesser sentences. Both the local and global music industry hopes the law review will raise both fines and sentences, and at the same time that legislators will increase law enforcement efforts to catch and prosecute the pirates.

Lending his support to the law review, Tan Ngiap of the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia told reporters this week: "This will be an effective deterrent to get the retailers of the pirated products off the streets. Offenders are not bothered by fines as they are supported by organised crime syndicates with lots of money."

In reality the sale of bootleg CDs is a much bigger problem for the music industry than the higher profile issue of online piracy, and moves such as those being made by Malaysian authorities will be welcomed by record labels the world over.

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LENNOX AND MELUA ADDED TO 46664 BILL
Annie Lennox and Katie Melua are the latest acts to be confirmed on the bill for the second 46664 concert, which is due to take place in South Africa on 19 Mar in aid of Nelson Mandela's campaign to tackle the AIDS crisis in Africa. Queen and Paul Rodgers are already confirmed to play at the fundraiser.

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MOLOKO ROISON SETS DATE FOR SOLO OUTING
Moloko's Roison Murphy will release her debut solo album in May, which a series of three limited edition EPs released in between now and then - the first one, 'Sequins 1', is out now.

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BECK ON THE NEW ALBUM
Beck has been speaking to Rolling Stone magazine about his long awaited new long player 'Guero', the follow up to 2002's 'Sea Change', which is due out on 21 Mar. Having worked with former collaborators The Dust Brothers word is the album sees a return to the 'classic', funk-based Beck sound. The man himself told Rolling Stone: "It's pretty aggressive. I've been working on it for a while, but I ended up doing 'Sea Change' first. I've been wanting to do a record with loud guitars for a long time."

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QOTSA TO PLAY TWO GIGS IN ONE NIGHT
Queens Of The Stone Age have confirmed they will play two London gigs on the same night on 3 Mar, ahead of the release of new album 'Lullabies To Paralyze' on 21 Mar. The first of the two gigs will take place at the Camden Underworld (teatime-ish) - they will then head to Koko for a 9pm gig.

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STUDENT MUSIC AWARDS KICK OFF TONIGHT
The National Student Music Awards are back! Yep, the 2005 NSMA's kick off tonight at ULU with a special launch party featuring Skinny Sumo, the winners of the 2001 awards. Then, throughout Feb and Mar, heats will take place involving the 30 bands picked from the hundreds of demos send in by college bands over the last three months - each of the heats will be followed by a headline set from Chikinki. Winners of each heat will them go through to semi-finals, before a full final on 11 May. Tonight's party is by invite only - for info drop an email to info@nsma.com
Tonight's party also sees the official launch of NSMA's collaboration with SUBtv, the college TV network beamed into students' union bars across the country. Each of the finalists will be filming a SUBsession for SUBtv which will be premiered tonight, before being screening in colleges around the country. Press enquiries on the SUBsessions to SUBtv on 020 7881 2536.

Talking of battle of the bands contests, the winners of the unsigned band competition run by independent music retailer Fopp last year will play at a special bash in Bristol on 3 Feb - more on that tomorrow.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Doves - Black And White Town (EMI/Heavenly)
Doves' long-awaited third album should rightly be the most feverishly-anticipated guitar album this year, but the first single from it is curiously muted. It's brilliant in its own way, just frustratingly not as monumentally inspiring as some of their previous singles. A confident, jaunty Northern Soul track, it lacks the sprawling majesty of 'There Goes The Fear', say, or the relentless, anthemic genius of 'Pounding'. As a mere pop song, 'Black And White Town' is fine, but, purged of the melancholy that defined much of their first album in particular, it does worryingly suggest that with contentment (and who wouldn't wish them that after all they've been through?) they might've lost some of the edge that made them great. (Oh, just ignore me, I'm probably worrying over nothing...it's just I expect so much from the boys.) A Single Of The Year by anyone else's standards, maybe, just not by theirs. But a very welcome return, obviously. MS
Release date: 7 Feb
Press contact: EMI IH [all]

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BEN FOLDS RETURNS
Ben Folds returns with his long awaited new album 'Songs For Silverman' in Apr, and about time too. The much anticipated new album (well, we've been much anticipating it) is due on 25 Apr on Sony.

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RADIO 4 RETURN
Given that a health scare forced Radio 4 to cancel their November tour, the band are playing a special London gig at ULU on 17 Feb ahead of the release of new single 'Nation' on 21 Feb. The band's Anthony Roman told CMU: "During The Libertines US tour in October, I experienced stomach ailments that got increasingly worse. Upon doctor's orders we were forced to take two months off. Now that I've been given the all-clear, we are very excited to return to the UK."

The new single comes complete with remixes by Mad Professor / Darkfantom & Stilzy, featuring Lee Scratch Perry, something the band, as serious fans of dub and reggae, are very excited about. Roman: "The idea of working with Lee Perry seemed so ridiculously improbable that I thought the label was joking! Everyone in Radio 4 has been big fans of his music for a long time. We used to listen to 'People Funny Boy' every day and thought about adding it to our live set. Blackboard Jungle is one of my favorite dub records ever and the tracks he did with Bob Marley are the best things Marley did by far - check the version of 'Sun is Shining'. I even named my cat after Scratch Perry!"

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VOLKSWAGEN TO SUE OVER CONTROVERSIAL FAKE AD
Volkswagen is due to take legal action against the mystery duo who made that controversial fake Polo car advert that has been doing the rounds on the web. The ad features an Arabic looking man who drives his Polo car up to a London restaurant where he sets off a suicide bomb. However, the car contains the bomb blast, leading to the slogan "Polo: small but tough" (it's funnier than it sounds but, needless to say, is really rather sick).

Volkswagen say they have decided to take legal action against the creators of the fake ad because it damages their reputation and falsely links VW with terrorism. The only snag is, they're not sure where the duo of ad creatives who created the ad live. In an official statement the company says: "We are taking legal action but because it's early stages we cannot comment further". Meanwhile, in a memo revealed by the Guardian the company says: "We are prepared to pursue the two individuals but need to locate them to ensure the success of our legal claim".

The ad's creators have apologised for any offence caused by their spoof, while its director has told the Guardian it was intended for a showreel and never meant to be seen by the public: "I just wanted it for show reel purposes, not seen by millions of people around the world. I don't want to offend people, I just want to make advertisements. I wanted to show it to the Saatchis and BBHs of this world. Little did I know that the advert that I made would be sent out on the internet and create such a fuss - it's shocked me."

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CHARLATANS FANS INFECTED WITH VOMITING DISEASE AT GIG
You see this is why I don't go to gigs. An inquiry into why hundreds of Charlatans fans suffered from the wonderfully named Winter Vomiting Disease after a gig in Aberdeen has discovered that the outbreak began with one fan suffering from food poisoning. That fan threw up on the steps outside the venue hosting the gig. Other fans then walked through the vomit bringing it into the venue. Germs in the vomit them got into the air conditioning infecting a third of the audience. Wonderful.

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MCFADDEN HADN'T HEARD OF GOODREM BEFORE DUET
Brian McFadden has admitted he had never heard of new girlfriend Delta Goodrem before they worked together on a track. He heard one of her songs on the radio in a taxi and asked the driver who it was. He then approached her record label about a possibly duet - who said no. So he then sent a demo tape straight to the Aussie singer, and she agreed to collaborate.

McFadden told Radio 1: "I made a demo and I sent it straight to Australia to her. She received it and she had no idea who I was, because Westlife were never big in Australia. So she listened to the song and she loved it, we got a phone call about four days later saying she wanted to do it. I suppose the song is how we met. But when we're doing the song now it's still a professional relationship. We're going out promoting together and whatever happens in our private life is a separate thing altogether."

The McFadden / Goodrem duet, 'Almost Here', was released on Monday.

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BUSTED BOY GETS OVER DOUBLE SPLIT
For future reference, here's what you do if your girlfriend dumps you the day after your bandmate forces your chart topping pop band to split up. According to the Mirror, ex-Busted singer James Bourne spent the night with four girls in a flat above a strip club after his girlfriend dumped him shortly after the Busted split. According to the paper James, who was seen kissing the girls at London's Pangaea nightclub, was having "such a good time" that he then joined the harem for a private party after the club closed. And why not?

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