CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 17th February

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Napster respond to hack reports
- Jacko out of hospital
- Lopez too ill to promote new film
- Doherty news
- Kid Rock bailed after DJ assault
- Motley Crue man talks up legal victory
- Hanson update
- Live Review: Patrick Wolf at The Borderline
- 3 do deal with SonyBMG over mobile video
- Deeley quits CD:UK
- Gorillaz update
- Italian DJ faces major bill for copyright violation
- Hendrix guitar goes for thousands
- Urban music awards pushed back
- Bloc Party on a roll
- New Motorola phone won't have iTunes function
- George Michael says new film marks his retirement
- Rowland's fiance fluffs his lines

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NAPSTER RESPOND TO HACK REPORTS
The Napster men spent much of yesterday playing down those reports that the web geeks had found a way of hacking their DRM so that music fans could make permanent copies of tracks from the download platform's extensive music libraries which, according to the company's subscription model, are only meant to be available to consumers as long as they pay their monthly subs. As reported yesterday, this hack doesn't seem to be anything new, however an existing hack is getting extra attention because a step-by-step guide to accessing free music using the hack is circulating on the web.

In a bid to quash the stories Napster CTO Bill Pence posted a message on the Napster website yesterday, reading thus: "There is a program that allows a user to record the playback of tracks directly from the computer's sound card. This process can be likened to the way people used to record songs from the radio onto cassette tapes, but instead of capturing the music on a tape, the file is converted into a new, unprotected digital format. This program does not break the encryption of the files, which can only be recorded one at a time making the process quite laborious. It would take 10 hours to convert 10 hours of music in this manner. It is important to note that this program is not specific to Napster; files from all legal subscription and pay-per-download services can be copied in this way."

As far as we can see Napster are right in saying this hack can be used to record music accessed via any download platform. However subscription based platforms are more vunerable because music fans have access to their entire catalogue for a relatively small sum of money. That access is meant to be temporary of course, but if subscribers use this recording method they could get permanent copies of all the tracks they want during a short membership.

All that said, as we reported yesterday, all DRM is flawed to a certain extent and the consensus has always been that providing hacks are complicated or time consuming then most people won't use them - at the end of the day accessing free tracks via a Kazaa style P2P is much easier than hacking one of the legit download platforms. The fact this hack exists shouldn't come as a surprise to any label execs - though some senior players are said to be concerned the fact this hack exists is getting so much press.

Recognising that fact, the boss of Napster's main rival, Apple's Steve Jobs, was reportedly on very good form when the Napster hack stories started appearing in the press. According to the LA Times, he quickly sent off an email to major label bosses saying "thought you should know if you haven't heard about this" and providing the execs with a link where they could themselves download a copy of the copyright-crashing software.

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JACKO OUT OF HOSPITAL
Jacko's out of hospital, though is apparently still recovering from that bout of flu which caused the Jacko trial to be postponed another week. A spokesman for Jackson told reporters yesterday: "He's still not feeling well, but he's going to continue his recovery at home". The trial is now set to resume next Tuesday. Meantime Jacko's legal team are bracing themselves for another Jackson documentary from dreadful TV presenter Martin Bashir, which is due to air on ABC this Friday night.

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LOPEZ TOO ILL TO PROMOTE NEW FILM
Also under the weather is Jennifer Lopez, who had to cancel an appearance at the UK charity premiere of her new movie because she was "too ill to fly". J Lo (not that she's called that anymore of course) is quoted as saying: "I very much wanted to be in London but unfortunately I'm not well. At the advice of my doctors I'm unable to travel." The illness means Lopez will not take part in any of the European promotion for the new film 'Shall We Dance' .

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DOHERTY NEWS
Back to the Doherty desk, and word is that the singer is hoping to go to tonight's NME Awards bash where Babyshambles are up for two awards, and The Libertines are nominated for four gongs. A spokesman for Doherty is quoted as saying: "Pete really wants to go to the awards and we're hoping that he will be attending". However, the Mirror has reported that the rehab centre where Doherty is currently staying in a bid to kick his drug habit has said that if he does go to the awards they will kick him out which, the tabloid reckons, could be a violation of the singer's bail terms, meaning he could end up back in jail. No verification of any of that, but it will be interesting to see if he does show at the awards later today.

Meanwhile, no word on whether the powers that be have any opinion on the fact Babyshambles are due to play a gig at London's Garage on Monday night, a warm up for their Brixton Academy gig the next night. According to NME the Garage gig will take place at 8.45 (doors open at 7.30pm) with support from The Cazals.

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KID ROCK BAILED AFTER DJ ASSAULT
Into the pop courts proper and news that Kid Rock was yesterday bailed for $3000 after getting himself arrested for his involvement in a fracas at a Nashville strip club. The singer was charged with simple assault, a misdemeanour offense punishable by up to a year in jail, for allegedly attacking a DJ at the club.

Kid Rock was in Nashville to perform at a memorial service for songwriter Merle Kilgore. After that event he went into town, and eventually arrived at Christie's Cabaret. It is there that he had the run-in with the DJ, named as Jay Campos. After the incident a police spokesman told reporters: "Inside the establishment there was a squabble concerning, I guess, the selection of music. There are no major injuries but an assault did take place."

TV footage from outside the club showed the DJ with a red mark on his face and holding broken glasses. Rock made a quick getaway, but was later arrested at the apartment where he was staying. The rocker was said to be "very cooperative", saying he gave police the slip earlier on simply so he could sober up before going in for questioning.

On leaving the city's Criminal Justice Center after being bailed Rock told reporters: "Everything is wonderful. It was a beautiful night".

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MOTLEY CRUE MAN TALKS UP LEGAL VICTORY
Elsewhere in legal news, and Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx has commented on his recent court victory against trainer makers Vans over their use of his picture in their marketing print without his permission. The jury at Los Angeles Superior Court Central District ruled that Vans were wrong to use photos of the rocker without his permission, even though they were taken at the Skater Of The Year event they sponsored. The image was used in magazine ads, online and in stores with the slogan 'Live Fast, Die Young' which, Sixx's people claimed, was chosen to sound like Motley Crue's first album 'Too Fast For Love'.

Sixx, who kicks off a reunion tour with his band in Fort Lauderdale tonight, said of his court win: "I'm happy, not so much for myself, but for all artists who are unfairly taken advantage of by major corporations. I hope this encourages other performers to stand up to those who would exploit them without securing the necessary rights."
The rocker's lawyers, meanwhile, told reporters: "This outcome will hopefully deter other large companies from trying to get away with appropriating artists' images without securing proper permission and offering compensation."

As previously reported, that reunion tour will reach the UK in mid-Jun to coincide with the release of the band's forthcoming album 'Red, White & Crue'. Press info from Mercenary PR.

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HANSON UPDATE
If I remember correctly I still haven't got round to reviewing the Hanson album. Despite the fact one of my colleagues specifically asked for it to be turned off the other day, I think it's fab. Anyway, Cooking Vinyl have confirmed the next single release off that album, 'Underneath', will be 'Lost Without Each Other'. Released on 28 Mar the new track has been co-written with Gregg Alexander - he of the short lived yet fabulous New Radicals. The single release will follow the band's upcoming UK tour dates, which are as follows:

24 Mar: Glasgow Academy
25 Mar: Manchester Academy
27 Mar: London Astoria
28 Mar: Birmingham Academy

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LIVE REVIEW: Patrick Wolf at The Borderline on 14 Feb
It's Valentines Day and 21 year old Patrick Wolf has no truck with this particular saint's celebration, going so far as saying it's a cursed day. This is something of a surprise though as he gives the impression of being a passionate type. He's like a troubadour from another century singing songs about romantic outsiders; pirates, gypsies, circus girls and libertines. He has the air of a Byronic hero, but with charm and warmth to temper the moodiness. The predominantly young, glamorous audience crane their necks for a better look at the gothy young man with his Sharleen Spiteri style androgynous mop top of black hair. His unique sound defies categorisation; apart from a general folkiness, there is really no one you could compare him directly with, although one song, the melodramatic 'Tristan', is very reminiscent of 'Infected' era The The. Several tracks from his second album 'Wind In The Wires' use electronic backing but tonight everything is played acoustically. His rich vocals revel in the vivid and poetic lyrics - "When the birds fly south, I'll reach up and hold their tails," he sings on 'Teignmouth' (most of the album was written in a cliff top chalet in Cornwall and the songs are riddled with storm tossed sea birds, galleons sailing and other references to the sea). Patrick alternates between sitting at the piano and playing a variety of unusual instruments, a ukulele, a lute, etc. One of the stand out songs is recent single 'The Libertine' which is his take on celebrity culture. Lyrics running 'The Libertine is locked in jail' (who can he mean?) are accompanied by a vibrant jazzy sound. All in all it's a magical spectacle, and given enough exposure Wolf could do for alternative folk what Ryan Adams has done for alt.country. JW

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3 DO DEAL WITH SONYBMG OVER MOBILE VIDEO
The 3 mobile phone people have revealed that some 10 million music videos have been watched by their customers on their mobiles since the company launched their video jukebox service six months ago - which is rather a lot. The tel co revealed the stats as they announced a new deal with SonyBMG which will extend 3's existing agreement with BMG across the merged major's whole catalogue. The phone network is hoping to further develop their relationship with the major to win their customers a few exclusives - the 3 network got the premiere of the new video of SonyBMG's Natasha Bedingfield.

Announcing the new deal 3's Chief Operating Officer Gareth Jones told CMU: "Thanks to our innovative jukebox service, we've created a significant mobile audience for music videos in just six months. We're offering the latest music videos, on demand, straight to your mobile, and our customers are lapping it up."

Clive Rich, a Senior Vice President at SonyBMG added: "The company has been at the forefront in recognising the potential of this format. It's clear now that there is huge consumer demand for mobile music and it is our policy to deliver our artists' videos and music to their fans anyway, anyhow, anywhere - at any time. This market will continue to grow and it is entirely logical for us to renew the original agreement following last year's merger of BMG and Sony Music."

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DEELEY QUITS CD:UK
Media news now, and according to the Mirror Ms Cat Deeley is quitting ITV's CD:UK - she will present her last show on 5 Mar. The paper quotes Deeley as saying: "I've had a great few years, met some incredible people and been given wonderful opportunities. While obviously i'm really sad to say goodbye, I'm immensely excited about the future." The presenter will continue to host ITV1's Stars In Their Eyes and is apparently in talks with the channel about other show ideas. The show will have a series of guest hosts before a replacement is appointed. Super.

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GORILLAZ UPDATE
Gorillaz drummer Russell Hobbs has told NME that the animated combo's new album will be called 'Demon Days', and should be out in May. The mag quote Hobbs as saying: "We've noticed that some people have picked up on 'Reject False Icons' as being the new Gorillaz album title. This was actually more like the motto we used while we were working on the tracks to keep us fresh. The album title now is 'Demon Days'. We've pretty well finished. Noodle and Dangermouse are just trimming the last bits of the back and then this cut should be razor sharp. I guess we're looking at a May date for this thing to drop."

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ITALIAN DJ FACES MAJOR BILL FOR COPYRIGHT VIOLATION
A "well-known" Italian DJ is facing quite a big bill for using a stack of pirated videos and CDs, and a rather large collection of illegally obtained MP3s, to fuel a night club in Rieti, just outside Rome. The pirated music was found by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry's piracy police when they raided the club. Because the MP3s were stored on the DJ's personal computer he will be fined 1.4 million euros (about £700,000 at current exchange rates) for using pirated music at the club without paying any royalties. Officials hope the record breaking fine will scare other clubs with similar practices into getting legit copies of music and appropriate public performance licences.

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HENDRIX GUITAR GOES FOR THOUSANDS
More mad pop auctions. A guitar which belonged to Jimi Hendrix has sold for £100,000 at a London auction. The 1965 Fender Stratocaster was used by Hendrix both in the studio and on tour and was said to be one of his favourites.

Elsewhere at the Cooper Owen organised auction, a poem written by Hendrix two weeks after his infamous appearance at the Monterey Festival where he set light to his guitar went for £10,000, while a signed copy of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's first single Hey Joe was sold for £2,000.

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URBAN MUSIC AWARDS PUSHED BACK
The UK Celebration Of Urban Music event we reported on yesterday (I think!) has been postponed to 31 Mar because ITV have rescheduled its broadcast date to 3 Apr. Therefore don't get in touch with the British Black Music people for guest list spots just yet - we'll let you know when the list making begins!

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BLOC PARTY ON A ROLL
Boy, is it all coming together for the those Bloc Party types. Such is the buzz around the band their debut album 'Silent Alarm' has already shipped gold (ie retailers have ordered over 100,000 copies between them) and venues for their up coming US tour are being upgraded such is the demand for the tickets. Oh yes, and they're currently top five in Japan. All of which means getting in to one of these UK gig dates will be more or less impossible unless you already have tickets in your hands:

1 Mar: Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
2 Mar: Sheffield Leadmill
4 Mar: London The Forum
5 Mar: Portsmouth Pyramid Centre
13 Apr: London Astoria
14 Apr: London Astoria
15 Apr: Glasgow Barrowlands
17 Apr: Manchester Academy

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NEW MOTOROLA PHONE WON'T HAVE ITUNES FUNCTION
Now, don't get too excited about Motorola's E1060 phone - the one we reported on as having iTunes capabilities. Although when that phone was demo-ed at this week's 3GSM mobile phone convention in Cannes there was an iTune player on it, those phones won't actually have the player installed when they go on sale. The phone company say the demo was designed to show the potential of the iTunes player they are working on - not to say the E1060 would come with that functionality. Motorola bosses remain tight lipped on which phone will make iTunes mobile available to the public, or when it might be released. Those mobile expert types reckon more will be revealed at the forthcoming mobile industry events in New Orleans or Miami - we'll see I guess.

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GEORGE MICHAEL SAYS NEW FILM MARKS HIS RETIREMENT
George Michael has said a new film about his life will mark his retirement from public view. As the singer introduced the new documentary, called 'A Different Story' (actually, it's the one the BBC screened last month), at the Berlin Film Festival he told reporters "I thought I should explain myself before I disappear, I'm still going to be making music, but I'm not going to be around".

On the film, which follows the highs and lows of Michael's career from his days in Wham, through his arrest for lewd conduct in an LA toilet in 1998 and up to more recent times, Michael said: "It's almost as much for me as for my fans, in terms of trying to make sense of the last 22 years and bring it to a close in a proper way".

Michael, who has long hinted that he wants to step back from the limelight, continued to explain his decision to keep his future music projects low key, telling reporters: "I don't really think that there is anyone in the modern pop business who I feel I want to spar with."

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ROWLAND'S FIANCE FLUFFS HIS LINES
And finally, Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland has revealed that her fiance, American Football player Roy Williams, fluffed his lines when he proposed to her. She tells Modern Bride magazine that the nervous sportsman asked her: "Would you do me the honour of being my husband - I mean wife!".

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