CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 11th March

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Get your PJs out for the big testimony: Jacko trial update
- Lil Kim sticks by her story
- Lifeson court date set
- Madonna's film company sued over sexual harassment
- Homelands update
- Album Review: Out Hud - Let Us Never Speak Of It Again
- McCartney gives painting to firemen
- Karma promote US service at SxSW
- Combined singles chart not so friendly to digital-only independents
- Rare early Morrison film to be aired
- The Ravonettes tour
- What state the college gig circuit?
- Live Review: The Camden Crawl, 10 Mar
- System Of A Down update
- English National Opera play down Glastonbury festival-goer remark
- Oliveri offers his services to QOTSA again
- SMG man says Virgin Radio will stay with him
- Go! Team tour
- Doherty will go solo on Streets support slot
- Mega-profits at Universal Music Group
- Sanctuary looking for major label investment?
- BBC job cuts begin
- Single Review: Kylie Minogue - Giving You Up (EMI/Parlophone)
- Australian anti-piracy body turns its attention to BitTorrent downloading
- Owner of Ozzy's childhood home sells his door



After a short break, legendary rock night Kill All Hippies returns in 2005 with a special music alliance with, fabulous new artwork and two new rooms!! In 2004 Kill All Hippies introduced some of the bands of 2005: Kasabian, The Duke Spirit, The Others, The Rakes, 80's Matchbox B-line Disaster and Little Barrie, to name a few. Watch out again because this year Kill All Hippies will be the nurturing ground for another clutch of fabulous British talent, destined for great things. This month the live line up includes Planet Of Women, Youth Of Britain, Riff Random and Elviss, with DJ sets from residents Eddy Temple Morris, Jeff Automatic and Syrinx, plus the NME DJs. All take place on Friday March 25th at Canvas, York Way, London, N1; 8.30pm - late; tickets £5 (£3 in advance). Full press release at:

Advertise your releases and events to CMU Daily's 6500+ readership - classified ad and online press release package just £50 a year. Email for details, or check:



VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: One Starry Night Third Birthday Party
As some of you may have noticed, the domain has been down much of the week because we are moving mail-servers and, as is always the case with anything involving IT, it's taken several days longer than we would have liked. It's back up now, but that was no use to Vigsy who couldn't send his Club Tip in yesterday. Which means this week's Club Tip comes via the voicemail on my mobile rather than email. So, here we go:

"Hello Chris, it's Vigs here, erm, I can't believe you've left the office, I don't know what to do about the Club Tip. Erm, here you go, it's One Starry Night's third birthday party at Neighbourhood W10, and it's, Ian Pooley's down there with Ben Watts, and its going to be sort of Afro soul beat hip hop Latin, no, no hip hop, erm, Latino edge kinda housey shit. So erm. Yeah, I think it goes from 8 till 2, it's about seven pound in, and then nine, so yeah, so if you can big that up for me tomorrow, I don't know the website address, I'm sure you'll find it, it's at Neighbourhood, W10." Sorted.

Saturday 12 Mar, Neighbourhood, 12 Acklam Road, London, W10, 8pm-2am, £9 (£7 b4 11pm, free b4 10pm), info 020 7524 7979


A very special day in the Michael Jackson trial yesterday - so special that Jacko chose to wear pyjamas. It was special because the singer's accuser, Gavin Arvizo, was back in the witness stand to give his testimony on the actual child abuse allegations around which the whole case kinda revolves.

So here we go. Before the sexual abuse - the alcohol (the latter often precedes the former after all). Gavin again confirmed that Jackson had given him a variety of alcoholic drinks while he stayed at the singer's Neverland ranch including vodka, wine and brandy, often in fizzy drink cans. Confirming one of Popbitch's favourite Jacko rumours, he described how Jacko introduced him to wine by calling it 'Jesus Juice'. Gavin: "He said, 'You know how Jesus drank wine, well, we call it Jesus Juice'. He said not to tell anyone about the Jesus Juice and said this is like a testimony that we'll be friends forever".

Moving on, Arvizo went on to recall the day when he and Jackson were in bed together and Jacko, after asking him lots of questions about sex, put his hand down Gavin Arvizo's pyjama bottoms and touched him. Gavin told the court that the experience "felt weird" and the he "felt bad about it". Jackson, he said, comforted him after the incident.

Jackson wore pyjamas to yesterday's instalment of the court proceedings not because he thought he might be asked to act out Arivzo's story, but because he had been to hospital on his way to court for treatment for a severe back problem suffered after the singer fell over while undertaking the never easy task of, erm, getting dressed. That injury meant he was an hour late for court, which pissed off Judge Rodney Melville something rotten. He was close to issuing an arrest warrant and seizing Jacko's $3 million bail when the singer finally showed up. However, he later told the jury not to allow his anger towards Jackson's lateness to effect their judgement on the case in hand.


Elsewhere in the very busy pop courts, Lil Kim took to the witness stand to again plead her innocence over allegations she lied to a grand jury. As previously reported, Kim stands accused of lying to a grand jury investigation into a shooting that took place outside New York radio station Hot 97 back in 2001 (that's the same radio station where posses of 50 Cent and The Game had a little shoot out last week - bosses are reportedly banning artists from bringing their entourages to the station). Kim told the grand jury that she did not know who was actually involved in the shoot out. However her former manager and a long term friend have subsequently admitted firing guns during the incident, and prosecutors say it is impossible Kim didn't know that.

In yesterday's testimony Kim tried to distance herself from those two men, calling them "greedy thieves", presumably to convince the court she would have had no reason to protect them when giving her original evidence to the grand jury. She claims that she had broken off her relationships with both of the men in question two years before the shooting took place: "They were taking advantage of me, they were stealing from me. It was having a major effect on my career. I just didn't want a bunch of negativity around me."

As expected, Kim's defence is trying to convince the court that the shooting kicked off so quickly, and the rapper was whisked away from the scene so rapidly, there is no way she could have seen exactly who it was that was shooting. Kim told the court: "It was definitely very traumatic. I was shaken by it. I couldn't believe it was happening at that very moment."

If found guilty Kim faces 30 years in jail, 9 years more than Jacko.


More from the pop courts. A trial date has been set for Alex Lifeson of Canadian rock band Rush who is charged with assaulting a police deputy during an altercation at a Florida hotel on New Years 2004. As previously reported, Lifeson had the run in with police at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida after he was involved in a fracas that seemingly followed attempts to force his son Justin off the stage at a New Years party. Police say Lifeson was violent when they tried to break up the fracas, throwing one female deputy down a flight of stairs. But Lifeson says it was the police who mistreated him. It remains to be seen if the police and defense can agree on a plea - if they can Lifeson could avoid the trial, which is set to start on 16 May.


Even more from the legal department. A former employee of Madonna's film company, Maverick Films, is suing the singer and her fellow execs over allegations she was sexually harassed and unfairly dismissed. Yael Oestreich's particular issues are with the company's CEO Mark Morgan, although she is naming Madonna and Maverick co-founder Guy Oseary in the lawsuit because they "failed to conduct a reasonable investigation into defendant Morgan's background before hiring him and knew or should have known of his propensity for sexual harassment and discrimination."


More from the wonderful world of Homelands. Added to an already bulging line up are The Human League, The Bravery and Australian style flexing break beat trio, Infusion. Once again Homelands is introducing more live and non-traditional dance elements into the mix. The festival's Darren Hughes explains: "The old formula of dance festivals doesn't work any more. Homelands came from the superclubbing phenomena, but we made changes to project in 2003. Since then Homelands has grown organically. We're rolling now, and the festival is a true representation of what's going on in clubland. Everyone loves good music - that doesn't change. What's exciting is the extremes between the acts we're bringing and the addition of The Bravery and The Human League only goes to prove this point'. This isn't solely a dance music event anymore - it's a real Festival."


ALBUM REVIEW: Out Hud - Let Us Never Speak Of It Again (K7)
The second album from this hip New York band is in the same vein as their 2002 debut; a combination of post-punk and disco inspired sounds, similar to the likes of !!! and LCD Soundsystem; bands which feature members of Out Hud in fact, though you could say that Out Hud have more of an eye on the dance floor. Their sound, which they self-describe as 'mutant disco' has more diverse influences that you'd think, incorporating dub and hip-hop, and proves that dance music can be more relevant and cutting edge. Whereas !!! featured the sneering and sardonic vocals of Nic Offers (who plays keyboards here), Out Hud are fronted by Phyllis Forbes, who brings a more subtle and settled approach. Her vocals are reminiscent of Sarah Nixey of Black Box Recorder, perhaps; quite nonchalant, you could say. The preceding single from the album, 'One Life To Leave' is an extensive funk work-out, led by an infectious bass line, and is one of the most immediately arresting tracks on the album. 'Old Nude' demonstrates the band's more dub and reggae influenced side, and the following track, 'The Song So Good They Named It Thrice' is a perfect example of electro-punk. Perhaps this album's more impressive track is 'How Long', which after a protracted introduction, really gets going, and showcases a terrific use of synths and a catchy-as-hell chorus. Much like !!! though, their integration of politics into their music seems a little cringe worthy. You have to wince at a track called 'Mr Bush, There Are Over 100 Words For Shit And Only One For Music. Fuck You, Mr Bush', even if you admire their confidence. Thankfully this track remains an instrumental; the lyrics on the !!! equivalent were incredibly embarrassing. Overall, I would describe this record as a successful and impressive amalgamation of genres, bridging the space between post-punk and dance culture, very much in the tradition of their predecessors, Liquid Liquid and ESG. KW
Release date: 14 Mar
Press contact: Outpost [CP, RP, NP] K7 IH [CR, RR, NR]


Paul McCartney and wife Heather Mills have donated a painting from their private collection to members of the Fire Department of New York, which should come in helpful next time they've got a tricky fire to put out. It's a 1974 painting by Ron Kleinman featuring a Mack truck once operated by the members of the FDNY's Engine Co. 33 on Great Jones Street. The gift came with a message from McCartney, whose father was a fireman in Liverpool: "A heartfelt thanks, and I hope that all of the firefighters will be able to enjoy its beauty once it finds its resting place." McCartney, of course, was one of the headline performers at the benefit concert for New York's firefighters that followed the 9/11 attacks on the city.


I seem to remember promising you news on's expansion into the US, which we have so far failed to deliver on. Well, consider that fact rectified. The London based independent download platform launched a US version of the site at the end of last month selling tracks for $0.99 each. The platform's bosses hope the American version will provide a great platform for UK independent labels and artists to get their music to US music fans who are eager for it. While the US site has already been promoted via a press campaign, bosses aim to grab more attention through their activity at SxSW, which kicks off today of course.

Karmadownload boss Jamie Estrin told CMU: "We already know there is a strong demand for British independent music across North America but the physical product is often hard to find and expensive. This is why the KarmaDownload service has become so popular with American music lovers and now, with all our great music available at US domestic prices, customers get value for money as well."

Press info on Karma from Arrested.


Talking of independent download type things, there is likely to be much disappointment among those artists currently making their music available exclusively by download following the news that only download sales for singles with a corresponding physical release will be counted when the main charts include digital music stats for the first time next month. The Official Chart Company confirm that download sales will only be counted once a single is in the shops. They argue that because some record labels release download versions of tracks earlier than they release the physical CD, if the chart counted download stats independently of CD stats then songs would start to have two peaks, one for each release - therefore download sales will only count in weeks where a physical CD is available in the shops.

Some in the independent sector reckon that that rule has come from the high street music retailers who are keen to protect their own interests, and don't want artists to be able to get high chart ratings without selling their records through their stores. Those suspicions seem to be pretty well founded, though you might argue that given that the record retailers own the chart (well, half of it) you can hardly blame them for ensuring it represents their own commercial interests.

Chart bosses stress that this is an evolutionary period for the music charts and that the addition of any download stats into the main singles chart so soon is a real achievement, and a considerable concession from the major record retail groups who, as yet, have made little in-roads into securing a share of the download market. Nothing, chart compilers say, is set in stone and further development of the chart in the near future is very likely.

Meanwhile, they say, record labels should make better use of the Download Chart, which will continue to be published even after digital stats are incorporated into the main countdown. Independents (or unsigned artists selling music via chart returning download platforms) with dedicated fanbases should be aiming to secure high positions in the Download Chart. That, the argument goes, might help those artists get the major label funding and / or media support required to enter the physical CD sales domain.

Steve Redmond, Communications Director for the BPI and a director of the Official Chart Company, told CMU: "The inclusion of downloads in the singles chart from April 10 will, we believe, be a huge boost both to the legal download business, but also to the notion of a single. We clearly had to ensure that High Street retailers weren't disadvantaged by being forced to use a chart that included download-only product they couldn't possibly stock. But it's also important to realise that this is a very fluid market, so we need to be prepared to review the situation constantly to ensure the chart remains as relevant as possible."


The State of Florida has found and restored what they believe is the earliest film of the late Jim Morrison. It is an early sixties promotional film made by the Florida State University in which Morrison, then a student at FSA, plays a prospective student who is denied enrolment at the school - seemingly because society at large haven't been investing enough in higher education. The digitally converted version of the film is being posted on the state's film archive website, and will be aired on VH1 in the US tonight.


Have we mentioned that The Ravonettes are in the UK for a headline tour ahead of the 18 Apr release of next single 'Ode To LA', the first single to come from forthcoming album 'Pretty In Black', which is currently scheduled for a 25 Jul release? I can't remember. Oh well, here's the remaining gig dates:

11 Mar: Leeds Cockpit
13 Mar: Manchester Hop& Grape
14 Mar: Norwich Arts Centre
15 Mar: London Islington Academy
21 Mar: Bristol Fleece
22 Mar: Stoke Sugarmill
24 Mar: Liverpool University
25 Mar: Newcastle Uni Global
26 Mar: Dundee Reading Rooms
28 Mar: Edinburgh Venue
29 Mar: Glasgow King Tut's


It is the International Live Music Conference in London today, tomorrow and Sunday and surely tomorrow everyone will be discussing the state of the college gig circuit. Well, I know for certain we will be. We've been surveying key plays in the college scene and will be presenting the results as part of a MusicTank organised session called All Tomorrow's Student Circuits. If you're at the conference, look us up. Otherwise, look out for a summary of that particular debate in Monday's Daily.


LIVE REVIEW: The Camden Crawl on 10 Mar
What a wicked idea. Get ten venues to put on more than forty bands in one postcode in one night. Make one wristband that gets you into any venue you want - like an urban festival. CMU, whose news department have given this thing criminally little coverage, went down to catch a few of the gigs. We were feeling a little too excitable and got mostly silly and nearly ejected from one venue, and definitely ejected from another. Here's the lowdown.

Hard Fi @ Lock 17
Everyone's a bit busy lavishing praise on the soon to be dead and forgotten, The Bravery, which gives Hard Fi a bit of breathing space to be good and gather a fan base of music fans, as opposed to NME readers. The Staines outfit were here to impress and with some solid tunes, including current single, 'Cash Machine' they made the most of the crowd and the stage, albeit in a fairly dour manner (remember, there's nothing wrong with being a studio band, Belle & Sebastian are happy enough). I look forward to the album.

Towers of London @ Electric Ballroom
I only have one new thing to say about the Towers. Never be the band who follow them on stage. You could be Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, Chris Patton, Marilyn Manson, Casey Chaos or Freddie Mercury, but you'd still have a hard act to follow if you succeeded the Towers Of London at a gig. If I was a band I wouldn't invite the Towers to support. Fuck that. I'd get someone shit. So I looked great. It's like having someone with big hands hold your willy: it looks pathetic.

Rev and Dirk informed me beforehand that they had been given their orders by Meanfiddler: no spitting, no swearing, no trashing gear, no throwing cans / fags / abuse. The threat was extended to never playing a Meanfiddler venue again if these rules were broken. Thank fuck they ignored that. Which reminded me of when Nirvana promised to play Lithium unplugged on The Johnathan Ross Show in '91, they came on and roared through 'Territorial Pissings' and trashed the set when they were done. Some incensed producer emphatically swore he would see they never play on BritishTV ever again. Right.

One of the best things about seeing the Towers is getting close up and frightening: being there for an eyeful of spit, sweat or a having a broken e-string whip you in the cheek. Being there for the spontaneousness of a band like none other in the year of our lord 2005. Which is why the Electric Ballroom made me shudder as I looked around the empty space like a puppy in a park, 'but, it's so huge... How can anyone get an intimate feel in somewhere like this... there's a huge iron fence that keeps the crowd six feet from the stage. I'll never get up there now...' I should have more faith.

The Towers filled the space like Vanessa Feltz fills a Nissan Micra: Donnie baiting the crowd; Snel standing - sticks in hand - on top of the kit like Dolf Lundgren in He Man; and Rev leaping from the drum rise, running around, spraying plumes of beer, and ripping though solos like Hellraiser's box through flesh. Is there nothing this band can't conquer?

Black Velvets @ Purple Turtle
I liked the CD, but having just seen the Towers and been asked to leave for refusing to calm down, it was going to be hard to be good. The Lead singer looks like Bombhead from Hollyoaks, and the others look like fat versions of Badly Drawn Boy and Captain Beefheart. The music was limp and lifeless and so were the band. One tune was a bit more invigorating, but it was over fairly quickly. Even making fun of the crowd couldn't keep me interested. But then it wouldn't take an ADD kid to get bored of these faux rockers. Yawn.

The Magic Numbers @ Koko
Why did Warner sign these guys for £350,000. I wouldn't give them 10p if they played East Ham tube station.

GLC @ Koko
Ruined by too many Billy Webb wannabes in the crowd. I hate it when everyone gets the joke. I'm a cunt, what can I say?

Nine Black Alps @ Bullet
While I hate jangly indie, especially the uber-derivative shite that passes for good music at the moment, there's nothing quite like being pleasantly surprised. Sure, Nine Black Alps aren't the Stone Temple Pilots or Jane's Addiction but there is an edginess that makes them stand out from bands like Bombhead And The Velvets. There are tunes and presence, and some nice wailing solos. Their game is tight, and there's a strong chance we may be hearing from these guys soon. JG


System Of A Down news galore. First of all the first single from new double album project 'Mezmerize/Hypnotize' will be 'BYOB' on 2 May. The first part of the album - 'Mezmerise' - will be released on 16 May. Disk two, 'Hypnotize', will follow later this year. The band's website, meanwhile, is being relaunched - They will tour the UK and headline the Download Festival in Jun - and have just announced a special pre-tour gig at the London Astoria on 4 Apr. Glorious.


The English National Opera has played down comments made by their chairman, Martin Smith, in relation to the company's acclaimed performance at last year's Glastonbury Festival.

Smith was talking at a closed seminar on increasing accessibility to opera. He made reference to ENO's performance of Wagner's 'Ride Of The Valkyries' at the music festival last summer, joking that this was a performance for people who "hardly knew how to spell opera". Some in the media have suggested those comments are patronising to the Glastonbury festival goer.

However a spokesman for ENO said the comments had been taken out of context. "The chairman was speaking with regard to the impact the ENO had going to Glastonbury. The seminar was about reaching new audiences, which is what the ENO is trying to do in different and unexpected ways."

They say Smith's full comment ran thus: "We put [The Ride of the Valkyries] on in front of 50,000 people who had never heard or hardly knew how to spell opera, and they were completely and utterly riveted by it. The audience were enraptured by what was going on. There was absolute silence."


More news on the renewed peace between Queens Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme and his former band mate Nick Oliveri. Apparently the latter has offered to rejoin the group he was sacked from last year when Homme said he had become just too damn erratic to be bothered working with.

Oliveri has told Billboard: "I told him last time I was hanging out with him, 'If anything falls through and you need somebody, you know where your bass player is, dude -- you know where the bass player for that band is. So pick up the phone.' It ain't about a money gig thing for me - I know which band I play bass in."

Oliveri also revealed he has had a preview listen of his former band's new album. He continued: "It's a good record. I was hoping for more of the first record with this one. I know there's growth, change and experimenting with music, so obviously I was caught off-guard a little bit. But I was hoping for something a little more guitar-heavy."


The boss of the Scottish Media Group has been dissing attempts for Lord Alli and the 3i investment people to force his company to sell them Virgin Radio. SMG chief Andrew Flanagan says the future of the rock station is with his company, adding that Virgin had "huge potential" under current management despite recent disappointments in revenues.

As previously reported, Alli had hoped to do a clever aggressive acquisition of Virgin Radio after SMG turned down his original takeover offer - but that would require the support of SMG's biggest shareholder - ITV - and they weren't interested in the deal.

On Alli's original offer to buy the station, Flanagan told the Guardian: "From our point of view, unless he has something to say or is more realistic about the value, there's nothing more to be said. There has been mudslinging but there's nothing further to say. The balance sheet valuation for Virgin Radio is supported, because it has to be to satisfy our auditors, by a detailed valuation of future revenue streams, and it's supported by the opinions of investment banks. It's a very robust calculation. What may or may not be offered to you is a different discussion. This business has huge potential and it's up to us to deliver that and demonstrate the paucity of the offer by Waheed Alli."


CMU favourites The Go! Team are going on tour. Hurrah. Dates as follows:
7 May: Manchester Academy 2
8 May: Birmingham Academy 2
9 May: Edinburgh Liquid Room
11 May: Norwich Waterfront
12 May: London Electric Ballroom


Pete Doherty will be supporting The Streets tonight, even though his band Babyshambles had to pull out because of a bereavement in drummer Adam Ficek's family. Apparently Doherty doesn't want to disappoint his fans, which is a first. In a statement Doherty told reporters: "After a lot of consideration I have decided that I don't want to let the fans down and so will go ahead with the show on my own."


As predicted by CMU yesterday (OK, so anyone who can count was predicting it too), the Universal Music Group have announced mega profits for last year. The company yesterday reported a 2004 income of $461 million on a revenue of $6.695 billion, with the company's annual EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) exceeding a billion dollars, the first music company to ever achieve this.
That news has helped boost the fortunes of Universal's parent company Vivendi, which has been suffering ever since it went into near financial meltdown back in 2002. The group achieved a net income of $1 billion, which is quite a turnaround given that they made a loss of $1.5 billion in 2003. The group's CEO, Jean-Rene Fourtou, said yesterday: "For the first time in four years, the company announces positive net income. Vivendi Universal has seen a turnaround and is in a solid and profitable position in its development."

Some in the US are wondering what impact Universal's financials will have on rival label Warner Music with regard their plans to plough ahead with a flotation. On one level Universal is so outshining its competitors in the music industry that some say it makes investing in Warners less attractive. However others say Universal's good fortune suggests the music business is in a period of recovery, and that that would make buying shares in a company like Warner Music a more attractive opportunity.


No confirmation on this one at all, but US industry website HitsDailyDouble reports gossip that the Sanctuary Music Group are looking to sell some equity to a major record label, and have so far approach EMI, Warners and SonyBMG about a possible deal. More when we get it.


The big job axe at the Beeb is under way following an announcement by Director General Mark Thompson that 1730 jobs will go in the Corporation's Professional Services unit. Of those jobs, 980 will be cut and 750 outsourced. Announcing the job cut Thompson said: "In December I talked about the creative prize for the BBC and our audiences - but the cost is nothing short of transformation. We have made a strong start, showing we are serious about change and ensuring we are maximising the value of our income for audiences' benefit. We need to make the BBC a simpler, more agile operation, ready to take the creative lead in a very different, very challenging digital future. Now clear you desk and get out."


SINGLE REVIEW: Kylie Minogue - Giving You Up (Parlophone/EMI)
'Giving You Up' is the second new track to be taken from Kylie's recent Greatest Hits compilation, the first was that superb Scissor Sisters' collaboration, 'I Believe In You'. One issue with recent Kylie albums is that the lead-off single is usually nothing short of spectacular ('Can't Get You Out Of My Head', 'Slow'), yet the following singles are progressively less impressive and interesting. So why should this be any different? Well, for one, Xenomania, the writing/production team behind Girl's Aloud's hits, are responsible for creating this single, which is clearly going to be a big hit. 'Giving You Up' is an impressive piece of electro-pop, with Kylie's trademark high-pitched vocals supported by an 80s inspired synthesizer sound. It's a sufficiently successful partnership between Kylie and Xenomania, even if it doesn't quite reach the standards of the likes of 'The Show', which is their peak. Kylie's more or less impervious to criticism in any case; even the serious music press speak of her with deep reverence, impressed no doubt with the endurance of her career; some 17 years and counting now, and it's set to continue for years to come. KW
Release date: 28 Mar
Press contact: EMI IH [all]


The clampdown on illegal file sharing in Australia continues. With the Australian Recording Industry Association still in court in a bid to make Sharman Networks liable for the copyright violation committed using their Kazaa software, the industry organisation's Music Industry Piracy Investigations unit has confirmed it raided a Perth based internet service provider called Swiftel Communications who were accused of enabling BitTorrent downloading.

Reports suggest the ISP, keen to avoid liability, handed over details of BitTorrent downloads that had been transferred via their networks. BitTorrent downloading, of course, transfers files in a special way, allowing the quicker transfer of large files. It is particularly useful when transferring movies, hence why in the US it has been the film industry who have been most proactive in their attempts to stop BitTorrent file share systems on the net. However, in Australia, the MIPI says there may be further raids on companies seen to be supplying or enabling BitTorrent downloading.

Not that everyone in the music industry is against BitTorrent downloading. Organisers of the aforementioned South By Southwest music convention in Texas are making a huge 2.6GB file featuring MP3s from some 750 bands who are performing at SxSW this year available as a BitTorrent download. The mega-file provides delegates with a 'soundtrack to the convention' which they can download onto their iPod before the event begins.


The front door of Ozzy Osbourne's childhood home in Birmingham is up for sale on eBay because the current owner is fed up with fans defacing it. Ali Mubarrat, told reporters that his home is something of a pilgrimage destination for Black Sabbath fans, and some of them scratch messages into his front door. He explains: "I need to change it on the wife's orders. But I don't know what to do with it. Maybe someone who is a great fan, I could pass it on to them, or I might put it on eBay and auction it and give the money to charity." Presumably by replacing the door he is just providing Ozzy fans with a fresh sheet on which to scratch new messages, though if he makes any decent money on the eBay auction perhaps he won't mind fans starting work on a second future collector's item.

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