CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 31st August

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In today's CMU Daily
- CMU in Edinburgh
- Osbourne / Maiden row continues
- Beta Band man considered quitting music
- Adam Green postpones tour
- Jacko in Dubai shocker
- West sues over old recordings
- HMV and Virgin get ready for digital launch events
- File sharers go from BitTorrent to eDonkey
- Casino boss tells court Stewart should return fee
- Bay City Rollers man denies drugs charges
- Garfunkel arrested on dope charges

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CMU IN EDINBURGH
Well, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is now over, though T on the Fringe continues till the end of the week and we're still here - though mainly because MusicWorks kicks off in Glasgow today and we'll be nipping over tomorrow for a bit of a chat about podcasting. More Edinburgh Festival reviews are appearing now at http://www.threeweeks.co.uk. Expect the CMU Daily to be a bit erratic for a few more days, with normal service back next Monday (we hope!)

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OSBOURNE / MAIDEN ROW CONTINUES
The already tedious row between Iron Maiden and the Osbournes continued yesterday as Sharon Osbourne again hit out at the rock band following their stint on the recent Ozzfest US tour. As previously reported, the public row followed Iron Maiden's final Ozzfest performance in San Bernardino on 20 Aug during which there were a number of interruptions, including the throwing of eggs, cutting of sound and stage invasions. The band said Sharon Osbourne, who has criticised frontman Bruce Dickinson for undermining Ozzy, deliberately sabotaged their set because of her grievances with Dickinson. Sharon yesterday admitted those allegations were true, but defended her decision to ruin the band's set.

In an open letter to the band and their manager Rod Smallwood, Osbourne writes: "I did cut Iron Maiden's sound. This is the way I look at it: Ozzfest is our tour. We built it into something that's lasted 10 years now. We've been responsible for breaking many new bands and resurrecting the careers of former superstars. Part of our success stems from the fact that when a band is on Ozzfest we treat them with nothing but kindness and respect just as if we had invited them into our home. You can ask all of the bands who have been on the tour. They all describe it as the 'ultimate summer camp'. It's like one big family."

"Unfortunately Dickinson doesn't have the manners to realise that when you are invited into someone's home, are seated at their dinner table, are eating their food and drinking their wine, you shouldn't talk disrespectfully about them otherwise you just might get your ass handed to you. Every action has a reaction. Was Dickinson so naïve to think that I was going to let him get away with talking shit about my family night after night? I don't think he realises who he's dealing with. I will not endure behaviour like this from anyone."

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BETA BAND MAN CONSIDERED QUITTING MUSIC
Former Beta Band frontman Steve Mason has told the always groovy BBC that he nearly quit music altogether after his former band split up. But now he feels lucky being able to release music again - this time as a solo artist using the name King Biscuit Time.

Mason said he considered quitting music for primarily financial reason: "We earned enough to pay our rent and eat and that was really it every month. None of us owned a house, none of us had anything really to show for it. The older you get the more you start to think about the future. All of us were only a month away from the dole when the group finished. I went and worked on a building site for a week to pay my rent and Rich (bassist Richard Green) is now a joiner."

Mason will release his first single 'C I Am 15' as King Biscuit Time on 26 Sep.

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ADAM GREEN POSTPONES TOUR
The rather wonderful Adam Green has postponed his up coming UK tour because of somewhat mysterious "recording commitments". The dates will now take place next Mar.

In a statement Mr Green said: "Unfortunately I have been touring constantly this year and have not been able to get in the studio to finish my new album. The decision to postpone these dates was not taken lightly, I just realized if I was to do these dates I would never get the album finished in time for its scheduled release in Mar next year. I hope you can understand the predicament I was in."

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JACKO IN DUBAI SHOCKER
Michael Jackson is reportedly in Dubai socialising with his new mate, rally driver Mohammed Bin Sulayem, the son of king of Bahrain. Which is lovely for both of them.

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WEST SUES OVER OLD RECORDINGS
Hip hop star Kanye West has begun legal proceedings in a bid to win back ten unreleased tracks that he made before he was 18 which, he claims, are being illegally offered for purchase by a Chicago DJ called Eric 'E-Smoove' Miller.

Miller worked with West before he became a global hip hop star. Miller is now apparently saying he has a contract that allows him to distribute those early tracks, but West denies any such contract exists. The lawsuit claims Miller has being trying to sell the ten tracks, which includes the songs 'Ho!!!' and 'Stop Frontin', using a fake contract to prove ownership.

West's lawsuit is looking for a commitment from Miller that he will never use West's name or voice in any of his master recordings, as well as $1.3 million in damages.

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HMV AND VIRGIN GET READY FOR DIGITAL LAUNCH EVENTS
Both HMV and Virgin are lining up the gimmicks for the launch of their respective download platforms in the next week. For HMV, The Who are teaming up with McFly to record a new version of 'My Generation', while Richard Branson is planning on launching the Virgin service via a hologram version of himself, which is just as well because the launch is in London and he's in the Caribbean.

Bigging up the 'My Generation' project, HMV Head of Digital Mark Bennett told reporters: "One of the wonderful things about music is the way it spans all generations to bring fans together, whatever their age and background. 'My Generation' is, without doubt, and all-time classic... I can't think of a better iconic anthem for HMV's new download service as it reaches out to existing fans and a new generation of music buyers alike."

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FILE SHARERS GO FROM BITTORRENT TO EDONKEY
File sharers are apparently ditching the BitTorrent P2P networks because of the legal crack down being pursued by the music and film industries against those people illegally sharing music on them. But there's no big victory for the anti-download war here, because they are just switching over to rival networks, and in particular eDonkey. All these facts are according to a new study by internet analysis firm CacheLogic.

Commenting on the research, CacheLogic boss Andrew Parker told reporters: "History is repeating itself. File-sharers moved from Kazaa to BitTorrent and now to eDonkey. It's proof that legal pressure from industry groups results in the mass migration of file sharers to an alternative network, whether old or new. People are migrating to Gnutella as the attention of the record and movie industry is elsewhere. The conduit is irrelevant. People are after content. This cat and mouse game will continue."

Make of all that what you will.

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CASINO BOSS TELLS COURT STEWART SHOULD RETURN FEE
The head of the Las Vegas casino suing Rod Stewart over a deposit they paid for gigs that the singer never performed has taken to the witness stand in the Vegas court hearing the case. Before speaking in court, Harrah's Entertainment boss Gary Loveman told reporters, simply, that Stewart had an obligation to return that money. Loveman: "We don't wish Mr Stewart any ill will. He was paid a lot of money to do something he did not do. It's merely a contractual matter."

As previously reported, Stewart's representatives are disputing the lawsuit, saying that although the original concert was cancelled after the singer was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, offers to perform a rescheduled concert have subsequently been knocked back by the casino. By offering to play there, Stewart claims, he fulfilled his side of the contract and therefore can legally keep the fee already paid. Stewart has said he intends to "defend his honour" on this case and could be in court later this week to do just that.

But Loveman said a rescheduled date was no use to the casino, and that the contract did not allow for such delays. Loveman told the court that the contract was "quite clear", stating "in plain English" that "in the event Mr Stewart didn't perform, he would simply return the money".

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BAY CITY ROLLERS MAN DENIES DRUGS CHARGES
Drugs news, and the former lead singer of the Bay City Rollers is to deny those drug offences he's been charged on. As previously reported, Les McKeown has been accused of conspiring with four other people, including the band's drummer Pat McGlynn, to supply cocaine. But prosecutors told Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday that they expect McKeown to plead not-guilty.

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GARFUNKEL ARRESTED ON DOPE CHARGES
And staying with druggy stories, Art Garfunkel has been charged with marijuana possession, again. This is the second time in 18 months, someone really ought to have a stern word with him. The singer was apparently charged after a police officer found a joint in his car in New York State.

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