CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 9th June

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- MGM v Grokster ruling expected
- US courts get strict on sampling
- Capleton gigs cancelled after gay rights groups protest again
- Doherty says Libertines most manufactured band ever
- Capital promote regional chief to London station job
- Manchester licence winner to be announced today
- OfCom not happy with BBC plans
- So Solid Harvey gets community service
- iTunes competing well with P2Ps
- MusicGremlin gets tracks direct to your player
- Midge says "George it's not enough"
- Bob says "Oy, Spice Girls, no"
- Unknown Bach composition rises from flames
- 'X&Y' cover is telegraphic alphabet
- Lawler remixes Skeleton Key
- Jobs demos podcasting iTunes
- Lemon Jelly live dates
- Paul Weller tour dates
- Jack White names side project
- My Chemical Romance add extra dates
- London Calling showcase line up

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MGM V GROKSTER RULING EXPECTED
The US Supreme Court is expected to rule on that long running MGM v Grokster case sometime this month - a ruling could come a soon as this Monday. As previously reported, this case once again puts to the test the good old Betamax plea that has been used by the makers of P2P file sharing networks to avoid liability for the copyright violation committed using their software.

The Betamax plea relates to a way-old court case in which it was ruled that the makers of Betamax video recorders could not be held liable for people who used their technology to pirate movies. The same logic has been applied to the makers of any technology used for copyright piracy - providing said technology has legitimate uses. So far the courts have been keen to uphold the principle, even in light of the scale of global piracy P2P software can enable. So much so, some reckon the latest case is the entertainment industry's last chance to get the concept overturned without instigating an actual change in the law. Meaning that, while the plaintiff is a film studio, the outcome of the case is very important to the music industry.

Which will be why the US record labels have their big names on stand by to steal the news agenda when a decision is reached - oblivious of what that decision might be. The Digital Music News website has got itself a copy of a letter sent by one label to the management of one of its senior artists which runs thus: "The Supreme Court will be announcing their determination as early as next Monday, Jun 13 or any consecutive Monday this month. It is absolutely crucial that the music community, including individual artists, weigh in and react to the decision to set the tone and get the message out to the public and the media on what the Court decides. Of course, no one knows what that decision will be. However, it is safe to say that a good decision should be trumpeted to the public and other possibilities given reaction so that the public is aware of the effect on those who create music". Activity the letter suggests artists may want to undertake include: "appearing on major news outlets, including morning shows, as soon as the decision is reached" and "taping an on-camera statement for a video news release." Whatever the result, the music industry doesn't want to be represented by dull lawyers when the media focuses on the story. Much better the millionaire rockers who stand to lose a few quid through P2P file sharing.

As previously reported, should the Supreme Court decide against the content owners, moves are already under way to persuade US Congress to change the law to remove the Betamax plea. The industry has a lot of sympathy in the American political community, though attempts to change the law might be hindered by the lobbyists hired by the big electronics firms who worry they too might find themselves liable for copyright theft should the law change.

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US COURTS GET STRICT ON SAMPLING
Elsewhere in the pop courts - copyright division - the US Court of Appeals For The 6th Circuit have reaffirmed an earlier decision that a two-note sample from a music recording is enough to amount to copyright infringement. The decision came in an appeal hearing of the Bridgeport Music v Dimension Films case, and means a past defence of "de minimis" - in which lawyers argued some really small music samples were too small for the courts to be bothering itself about - can no longer be used. Which means, in the US at least, whatever you sample, however short, make sure you've got a licence.

Of course it's not quite that simple - because the US courts distinguish between 'sound recordings' and 'musical compositions'. The copyright on the former is seemingly tighter than the latter - meaning borrowing two seconds from a piece of music is probably OK, but sampling two seconds from a recording of that composition isn't, because "sound recordings and their underlying musical compositions are separate works with their own distinct copyrights." So that's that sorted.

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CAPLETON GIGS CANCELLED AFTER GAY RIGHTS GROUPS PROTEST AGAIN
More from the 'gay rights v dance hall' file. Six French gigs from Jamaican reggae star Capleton have been cancelled after a gay rights group called Coordination InterPride France hit out at the singer's use of homophobic lyrics, including allegedly inciting violence against gay people. Some other gigs, however, will go ahead, including one at Paris' Le Zenith venue.

Daniel Colling, director of Le Zenith, explained to reporters: "My responsibility is to react if an artist makes illegal comments on stage. At the same time, I am bothered by the idea of judging and condemning someone before the act."

Not all gay rights groups in France have called for Capleton's gigs to be completely banned - with the Actions Gay LGBT Association arguing an all out ban will: "just increase the level of hate". However they are looking for the singer to give a written assurance that he will not use homophobic lyrics, and have indicated they too may call for an all out ban if no such commitment is made. Le Zenith have also indicated they will reconsider proceeding with the gig if Capleton is not forthcoming with a commitment of this kind.

The Capleton cancellations are the result of an increasingly proactive campaign by gay rights groups against dance hall artists who, they allege, use their lyrics to incite violence against homosexuals. A number of gigs from different artists were cancelled in both Europe and the US last year, although some in the genre hoped some kind of truce had been reached when UK gay rights organisation OutRage called off its anti-dancehall campaign after certain reggae labels committed to not releasing or re-releasing any tracks containing homophobic lyrics, and to pressure their artists into not using homophobic lyrics at live shows. However some in the gay community point out the artists themselves were not party to that deal.

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DOHERTY SAYS LIBERTINES MOST MANUFACTURED BAND EVER
Pete Doherty has said that his new Babyshambles album is the best work he has ever done, adding that The Libertines are "probably the most manufactured band ever". What, more manufactured than Girls Aloud? Westlife? The Monkees?

Speaking to Xfm, Doherty said of the nearly finished album: "We've got a load of songs, about 30. It's sounding good. You'll like it, there's a couple of surprises on there, a couple of brand new ones we wrote when we were in there. We might call it 'Up The Morning', maybe, but we don't know yet. Same with The Libertines, it's always the last day when we have to get the artwork sent off. It's the best record I've ever made by a long shot."

Doherty went on: "Apart from the Sex Pistols, The Libertines were probably the most manufactured band ever. Me and Carl signed to Rough Trade as songwriters and then pieced together a band from the miscellaneous. It was just a case of let's get the best looking people and be as much like The Strokes as possible. That was the idea at the time."

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CAPITAL PROMOTE REGIONAL CHIEF TO LONDON STATION JOB
The lovely Capital Radio have appointed their regional programming chief Nik Goodman to tackle the challenge that is maintaining the always-at-risk market leader status of their flagship London station Capital FM. He takes over from Keith Pringle who has been promoted from his role as MD and Programming Chief of the London station to a job higher up at the newly merged GCap Media Group.

Despite some criticism along the way, Pringle's leadership at Capital FM has been generally successful - if nothing else he successfully steered the station through the one thing everyone at Capital had been dreading for years, the departure of Chris Tarrant from the breakfast show. Goodman will need to continue the battle against key rivals Heart and Magic, while ensuring the increasing of number of niche radio stations in the digital age doesn't have too negative an impact on one of GCap's least niche brands.

Confirming his appointment, Goodman told reporters: "Capital FM is at the top of the programming tree, there's a great team there and I can't wait to be a part of it".

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MANCHESTER LICENCE WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED TODAY
Talking of all things radio, more or less everyone in the UK radio industry will have their eyes on OfCom today as the winner of the new city-wide Manchester analogue licence is announced. No less that 19 companies bid for the new licence, meaning that pretty much everyone working in the industry has some interest in which bid wins. If that's not you, and your eyes aren't on OfCom today, we'll let you know who wins in tomorrow's Daily.

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OFCOM NOT HAPPY WITH BBC PLANS
And talking of OfCom, the media regulator is said to be increasingly annoyed with certain aspects of the government's plans for the BBC - in particular giving the Beeb exclusive rights to licence fee funds and the way in which the BBC's board of governors will (or won't as the case may be) reformed.

On the former, in its response to the government green paper on the future of the Corporation, OfCom now says that if the government allows licence fee rises above the rate of inflation then the new funds should be available to commercial broadcasters with public service ventures. This differs from past comments in which OfCom distanced itself from calls to make a portion of licence fee revenues available to the commercial sector.

On the latter, it seems OfCom wants the government to go further in creating independence between the BBC and its own regulatory body. The Beeb is not regulated by OfCom, but by its own governors. That system came in for criticism during the whole Hutton Inquiry shenanigans and as a result is being reformed in the government's latest review of the BBC. However it seems they will not force the governing body to be quite as independent from the Corporation itself as OfCom would like.

Despite OfCom's concerns, the consensus seems to be that the government isn't likely to back down on either the licence fee or BBC regulation issues.

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SO SOLID HARVEY GETS COMMUNITY SERVICE
Back to the pop courts - 'having fights with police men' division - So Solid Crew member Harvey has been banned from driving for nine months, fined £815, and ordered to do 150 hours of community service for assaulting a Hertfordshire police officer who tried to stop him from using his mobile phone whilst driving. During the incident, which happened in Welwyn Garden City on 17 Jan, the Police Constable in question, Keith Harron was forced to use CS gas in order to restrain the So Solid man.

District Judge Alistair Perkins said: "You are clearly a very talented person with a bright future ahead of you." But added that " the police officer is a public servant, he is entitled to look to the courts for protection and I intend to make sure that officer will get that protection."

On leaving the court, and making reference to his past involvement in projects encouraging young people to be more law abiding, Harvey said: "I will get on with my community punishment and get back to reality. I have learned my lesson and it is a bad example to kids. You live and learn, everyone makes mistakes in life, I won't be the first celebrity to get into trouble. You can't make one rule for one and one for everyone else."

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ITUNES COMPETING WELL WITH P2PS
Well, some good news for the legitimate download industry, and especially Apple boss Steve Jobs. iTunes has come joint second in the chart of most used online music services in the US getting more users in Mar than nasty P2P networks Kazaa and iMesh.

I have no idea how they work these things out, or how accurate the research is, but it is the first time legit download platforms have been seen to properly compete with the file sharing networks in terms of number of users. Although P2P network WinMix boasted 2.1 million users in Mar, iTunes got 1.7 million, the same as file sharing network LimeWire. Napster and Real Network's Rhapsody also appeared in the top ten.

Commenting on the findings, Russ Crupnick of the research firm behind the survey, NPD, told reporters: "One of the music industry's questions has been: when will paid download stores compete head-to-head with free P2P download services? That question has now been answered. iTunes is more popular than nearly any P2P service, and two other paid digital music offerings have also gained a level of critical mass."

Of course pessimists might say the growth in the number of P2P networks means that no one service will boast as many users as before - hence the latest results in favour of iTunes et al. Though optimists might say the same is also true for legit platforms, so that shouldn't affect overall stats. Either way, the survey surely shows the legit download sector is maintaining considerable momentum as digital music goes more mainstream.

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MUSICGREMLIN GETS TRACKS DIRECT TO YOUR PLAYER
More digital music news, and download back-end supplier MusicNet have done a deal with a company called MusicGremlin which will provide technology which allows the downloading of music direct to your MP3 player over a wireless internet connection - in theory cutting out the PC stage of the equation. The new technology, expected to be rolled out later this year, will also mean users can transfer tracks from one MP3 player directly to another via WiFi.

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MIDGE SAYS "GEORGE IT'S NOT ENOUGH"
Live 8 organiser Midge Ure has criticised George W Bush's pledge of £370 million in aid to Africa saying it's "not enough". According to the Star, Ure was announcing details of the extra Live 8 concert to be held in Edinburgh when he heard about Bush's offer. He said: "I've been trying to put bands together for this event and I'm gobsmacked. It's not enough, but I suppose it's a start."

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BOB SAYS "OY, SPICE GIRLS, NO"
And now over to that other Live 8 organiser, Bob Geldof, and on to a rather confusing issue. Despite reports from relatively reputable sources which suggested that Bob had been trying to engineer a Spice Girls reunion for next months anti-poverty concert, and that it was looking pretty hopeful, other sources now appear to be suggesting that the former rat (Boomtown, clearly) has no interest in using the Spice Girls at Live 8, and that it was the girls themselves who were trying to make it happen.

Geldof is alleged too have said: "I can't afford to have bands who won't pull the crowds. This is a political event, not a cultural one. If I get people who are currently selling 15 million albums, then there's an audience of at least 15 million people for the concert. It's a question of who is popular right now; that's the way it is. The whole thing with the Spice Girls isn't about my personal taste - my kids sing their stuff. But there just aren't enough people out there who would want to watch them."

Incidentally, though, we've reported the first three lines of that quote before, only that time it was Bob's response to criticism over Live 8's dearth of minority artists, which the Spice Girls frankly aren't. Either Geldof is getting very repetitive, or people are applying the same quote to different issues. Don't ask me. I'm as at sea as you are.

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UNKNOWN BACH COMPOSITION RISES FROM FLAMES
A previously unknown piece of music, apparently by Johann Sebastian Bach, has been discovered by researchers in Germany. The piece, a musical accompaniment to a 12 verse poem composed for the Duke Of Saxony in 1713, was found amongst papers removed from the Anna Amalia library in Weimar before a devastating fire hit the collection last Sep.

The authenticity of the find has been verified by handwriting experts who compared it with other Bach manuscripts, and plans are being made for a first performance helmed by English conductor Sir John Elliot Gardiner. Announcing the find, the head of the Bach Foundation, Christoph Wolff, said it was not a major work, but "an occasional piece of exceptional quality".

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'X&Y' COVER IS TELEGRAPHIC ALPHABET
Have you been puzzling over the meaning behind those geometric colour patterns on the cover of new Coldplay album 'X&Y'. Oh, we know you all have. Well, puzzle no longer, for NME.com says that the apparently random blocks of colour are in fact a 19th century telegraphic code, the Baudot Code - or the International Telegraph Code No. 1, a predecessor of Morse Code. The centre pages of the album's inlay shows a full telegraphic alphabet, whilst the cover spells out 'X&Y' and the message at the back of the album's booklet says 'Make Trade Fair'

Incidentally, this week's NME features art experts trying to analyse the patterns, so maybe they'll all feel a bit silly now. But I doubt it.

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LAWLER REMIXES SKELETON KEY
DJ and producer Steve Lawler has remixed the title track for a new thriller movie called 'The Skeleton Key', which is due for release next month. Lawler was approached by the film's British director, Iain Softley, who was a fan of his work, and asked to create something special based on the soundtrack of the film. Softley explains: "The music is always a very important element of a film and in 'The Skeleton Key', the music carries a secret coded message that lies at the centre of the film's mystery. I wanted an underground and modern equivalent of this message and it struck me that Steve would be able to take it and run with it. Which he has - the track compliments the film perfectly. It's dark, tribal and hypnotic."

Despite its haunting theme, Lawler says the track will still be one for the dancefloor. He told CMU: "You can really go to town with a soundtrack because they use the best quality sound - using pro-tools and DBX -and when you listen to it, it's full on and so much sharper. When I got the track, it was like in a hundred parts and you could hear all kinds of things - nails scraping down blackboards, screams and there's a chilling lost tribal chant going on. I've really gone to town on that! It was nice to get some big tribal drums out again!"

Press info on the track from Up PR.

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JOBS DEMOS PODCASTING ITUNES
After promising the next generation of iTunes would embrace the new podcasting phenomenon, Apple boss Steve Jobs demoed version 4.9 of his media player earlier this week, which includes podcasting subscription functionality. The aim is to simplify the way consumers subscribe to podcast programmes which - when done correctly - automatically arrive in your PCs media library once you are signed up. iTunes 4.9 will also include a directory of podcast shows - podcast makers can register their shows to appear in this directory via Apple's iTunes Music Store.

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LEMON JELLY LIVE DATES
Hurrah. The marvelous Lemon Jelly will be playing a series of live shows this summer, and we here at CMU intend to catch each and every one of them. Well, maybe not. Here are the dates:

10 Jul: London Jazz Cafe Picnic In The Park @ Kenwood House
17 Jul: Bristol Ashton Court Festival
13 Aug: Summer Sundae Festival, Leicester
26 Aug: Reading Festival
27 Aug: Leeds Festival

And not only that; they release brand new single 'Make Things Right' on 18 Jul. Brilliant.

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PAUL WELLER TOUR DATES
Paul Weller is to tour the UK after the release of new album 'As Is Now' in Oct. The dates are:

10 Nov: Edinburgh Usher Hall
11 Nov: Dundee Caird Hall
13 Nov: Glasgow SECC
15 Nov: Doncaster Dome
16 Nov: Leeds University
18 Nov: Brentwood Leisure Centre
19 Nov: Cambridge Corn Exchange
20 Nov: Newcastle Arena
22 Nov: Brighton Centre
23 Nov: Birmingham NI Arena Academy
24 Nov: Manchester Arena
26 Nov: Cardiff Int Arena
27 Nov: Oxford New Theatre
29 Nov: Bournemouth Int Centre
30 Nov: Bristol Colston Hall
2 Dec: Blackpool Empress Ballroom
4 Dec: Nottingham Arena
5 Dec: London Alexandra Palace

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JACK WHITE NAMES SIDE PROJECT
Jack White has decided to call his previously reported collaboration with Brendan Benson the Raconteurs. On the project White told Billboard: "We'll probably be coming out with a new record next year. We're almost done with it. It's something totally new for me - two songwriters working together. Dual vocals, dual lead guitars, dual songwriting duties."

White also told the magazine that the Raconteurs wouldn't be just him and Benson - Jack Lawrence will play bass while Patrick Keller is on drums: "It's a brand new band. It's not just me and Brendan. Patrick and Jack are very talented musicians. The songs are giant. They're really large."

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MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE ADD EXTRA DATE
My Chemical Romance have added two extra dates to their sold out UK tour, so that the dates in full now run thus (new dates are starred):

1 Nov: Wolves Civic Hall
2 Nov: Portsmouth Guildhall
3 Nov: Brixton Academy
*4 Nov: Brixton Academy
6 Nov: Glasgow Carling Academy
7 Nov: Newcastle Carling Academy
8 Nov: Manchester Apollo
*9 Nov: Manchester Apollo
10 Nov: Dublin Ambassador
11 Nov: Newport Centre

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LONDON CALLING SHOWCASE LINE UP
The London Calling convention kicks off at Earls Court tomorrow - as previously reported this is a celebration of the dance and electronic industries combining talks and seminars with showcases and a trade fair type thing. We reported on the seminar line up the other day, so here's details on what artists will be performing showcases, and who is taking part in the A&R advice sessions. Full info at http://www.londoncalling2005.com

Showcases

Friday: Black Boy & Shock-E (Pitu records), Tyger Vinum (Vinumous), Nam Nam (DMC World Champion), Mike Monday (Whoop records), Mousse T feat Emma Lanford (Free2 air), Jump Off TV, Dreadzone (Functional Breaks), Parallel Sounds (Hope Recordings), BCML (Secret Planet), Bermuda Triangle (Planet Noise), Audiodrive -Hypnotise / Young Lee & Jake The Sax - Baby Blue (Pear Music), Blue Foundation & Y-not (Danish Dance Export) and Mark Loader (Progression Records).

Saturday: Suicide Sports Club DJ set, Audio Fly (Plastic Fantastic), Jump Off TV, Evil Nine (Marine Parade), Chris Coco (Distinctive/Radio 1), D'Stephanie (Bubbletrax), Etostone (Erase Music), JDS (TCR), ILS (Distinctive), Birdy Nam Nam (World DMC Champion), M.A.N.D.Y (Get Physical).

A&R Pitt

Friday: Phil Sagar (Ministry Of Sound), NV (Eastside records), David Dollimore (Ministry Of Sound), Stuart Knight (Toolroom), Mark Brown (Cr2), Biff (Functional Breaks), Jason Ellis (Positiva) Luke Simmons (Nice Tunes), Ben Cook (Ministry Of Sound), Joel Xavier (Whoop), Craig Dimech, Ritchie 'Dogzilla' Kayvan.

Saturday: Chris Sills (A7 Music), Matt Rickard (Hope Recordings), Andy Simpkins (Whoop), Scott Simons (Nice Tunes), Rennie Pilgrim (TCR), Darren Tate (Mondo), Ben Cherrill (Positiva), Luke Allen (Fourtwenty/Marine Parade), Jonathan Lisle (Bedrock), Heather Moul (East Side), Ben Lost (Lost Language), Simon Burke-Kennedy (Distinctive).

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