CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 13th April
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Warner back away from new hybrid CD/MP3 service
- EMI settlement leads to more Beatles digital speculation
- Madonna not adopting another child, OK?
- Police did not use excessive force in Rush guitarist fracas
- Phish man offered plea deal over drugs charges
- Mr J Lo to pay $2.5 million in back taxes
- Akon tops ringtone pops
- BBC Music Magazine Award winners
- New Frank Black promised
- Rarities to appear on new Nick Drake album
- Traveling Wilburys box set planned
- US editions of Ozzy album to include Ozzfest code
- Bon Jovi to open revamped Dome
- Latitude additions
- Online petition over live music licensing
- Sony/ATV promote Simon Aldridge to Head Of A&R
- PPL sign bilateral agreement with Russian collecting society
- Bids in for Famous Music
- Brazil music and film industries collaborate in fight against piracy
- Virgin Radio gets floated
- Virgin go legal over Sky dispute
- CBS, launch video site, sack Imus
- Muse man questions carbon footprint of global warming fest
- Doherty and Barat perform together

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HOT OFF THE PRESS>>

ROCK SOUND MAY ISSUE OUT NOW
Biffy Clyro grace the cover of this month's Rock Sound. The Scottish trio have overcome many obstacles to get to where they are today and we get the full story of their rise to fame. Elsewhere, we bring you an rxclusive Nine Inch Nails poster/feature pull-out, plus interviews with Lostprophets, who are celebrating their 10th anniversary, Linkin Park, AFI, The Academy Is, Shadows Fall, 65daysofstatic, 30 Seconds To Mars, Within Temptation, Poison The Well and much, much more. And dont forget the FREE Sound Check CD featuring 15 new and exclusive tracks from bands featured in this month's issue. Rock Sound 96, on sale now from all good new stockists. See http://www.rock-sound.net for more details

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JOBS N STUFF>>

EDITORIAL, DESIGN, SALES AND MANAGEMENT ROLES ON NEW CAREERS WEBSITE
We are looking for motivated people to take on editorial, design, sales and management roles at an exciting new graduate careers website which will launch in Autumn 2007. This is a brand new graduate careers website, and a brand new kind of graduates careers website. Full time roles would suit second or third job media people looking for the opportunity to work for a vibrant company on an exciting new venture. Starting salaries from £18-22K depending on role. If you are interested email a CV and an short outline of the kind of roles you're after to careerswebsite@gmail.com

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INTERNSHIPS N STUFF>>

JOIN THE THREEWEEKS IN BRIGHTON PRODUCTION TEAM THIS MAY
ThreeWeeks in Brighton is the main media at the vibrant Brighton Festival, that takes place in Brighton throughout May - published by the makers of CMU, UnLimited Media. While our review team is Brighton based, the production of the ThreeWeeks magazine and website takes place at UnLimited's London offices. We are looking for students or recent graduates who might be interested in joining our production team - getting involved in editing, scheduling, admin and design, according to their interests. These are voluntary internships, but are a brilliant opportunity to gain hands on media skills in an exciting environment, working on a well respected magazine that discovers, champions, supports and enables cultural innovation at the Brighton Festival. For more details about ThreeWeeks check http://www.threeweeks.co.uk. To join the production team send a CV to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Club Class at Ministry Of Sound, London
The original superclub forges ahead - and this weekend Club Class goes for it techno style. In the box, Detroit legend Robert Hood gets all dex and efx on us, while Paul Woolford, Riton and Jesper Dahlback will all add their bits to the mix. Breaks are in abundance in the bar with the Fingerlickin Crew, featuring no less than Lee Combs, Soul of Man and Mark Fanciulli. Meanwhile, in the Baby Box you'll find the Rebel Beat Faction and in the Lounge Bar will be the RPM magazine posse. All adds up to a damn good night.

Saturday 14 Apr, Ministry Of Sound, 103 Gaunt St, London, SE1, 10pm-6am, £15 (£12 concs), press info from ablackett@ministryofsound.com

VIGSY'S LIVE TIP: Bajofondo Tango Club and Capitan Melao at the Barbican, London
Bajofondo Tango Club is an electronic tango project lead by Gustavo Santaolalla, who scored for Brokeback Mountain, Amores Perros and 21 Grams among other things. Direct from Buenos Aires, with the fastest virtuoso musicians, stunning visuals and extraordinary pace and poise, BTC will bring you the past, present and future of tango, all in the plush surroundings of the refurbed Barb, making this a definite tip. For support you get Capitan Melao, the side project of Sterophonics' Javier Weyler. The Argentinean/Venezuelan drummer will be presenting his debut album - a Spanish speaking singer songwriter project - and the set should include poetic lyrics, music and visuals with the sounds of bossa and bolero fused with rock and electronic... should be interesting.

Saturday 14 Apr, Barbican Hall, Silk Street, London, 7.30pm, tickets £15-£25, press info from Barbican Press Office or Gerry Lyseight at Mambo - gerry@mambo.eclipse.co.uk.

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WARNER BACK AWAY FROM NEW HYBRID CD/MP3 SERVICE
Warner Music yesterday announced it had terminated its agreement with a new digital music website almost as soon as it had launched, because the major was seemingly unaware the service would be essentially a DRM-free download platform.

The service is called AnywhereCD and is really rather interesting. It has been founded by Michael Robertson, the man behind one of the early and controversial digital music services MP3.com. The new website sells physical CDs of mainstream releases like other online mail order operations, but once you have ordered a CD it also allows you to download the tracks off the album you have ordered as non-DRM protected MP3 files, presumably following the logic that once a consumer has bought a CD they can rip the music off it as MP3 anyway, so there is no reason not to make those MP3 files available via a download.

It is not clear which labels have licenced albums to the new service, but much of the big name artist content we can see on there does seem to come from Warner's catalogue. It seems that while the major had entered into a deal with Robertson's new company, there was some confusion as to what they were signing up to, and as the service went live the major announced it had ordered its content to be removed from the website.

It is unclear how Warner expected the new service to work when agreeing to participate. Some reports suggest that on launch AnywhereCD offered an option whereby users could save the postage and packaging costs by just buying the MP3s and not a physical CD - something which would alter the proposition considerably from Warner's point of view. But it is unclear if it is that functionality Warner object to, or the entire concept of allowing users to download MP3s at all - it is possible the major thought AnywhereCD would simply offer a tool that simplified the process for user's to rip MP3s off their physical CD once it had arrived in the mail.

Either way, the major, which has been a proactive supporter of DRM technology, even following EMI's announcement it was moving away from a DRM-only policy, told reporters yesterday that the AnywhereCD service "flagrantly violates" their agreement with the company and that: "Accordingly, we have sent them a notice of termination and they are required to immediately remove all of our content from their site".

We're assuming there is no controversy surrounding the other digital content deal Warner announced this week. This one is with Joost, that new web TV service we've so far failed to report on. Warner will make videos available to the service in return for a cut of ad revenues generated by the content - in something akin to the other YouTube style deals (though with no equity as a sweetener in this case).

Confirming this deal, Warner's Senior VP Digital, Michael Nash, said these here words: "The creators of Joost have done a brilliant job of including all the key players involved in distributing video content on the internet, and we are excited to be a part of the development of this new platform. Partnering with them gives us a great opportunity to capitalize on the momentum of video-based content distribution and offer consumers the breadth and depth of our music video catalog as well as exciting new video content created for the platform. As we continue to transform Warner Music Group into a more dynamic, interactive provider of music-based multi-media content, this partnership helps us offer new and broader audiences more of our artists' content, while benefiting our artists and protecting copyrights".

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EMI SETTLEMENT LEADS TO MORE BEATLES DIGITAL SPECULATION
More information on that Beatles/EMI settlement we reported on yesterday. Actually, no more information at all really, the specifics of the deal remain confidential, but lots of speculation as to what the deal might mean re the long awaited arrival of the Fab Four online.

As previously reported, EMI yesterday confirmed it had reached an out of court settlement with the Beatles relating to a royalties dispute which the band went legal over in 2005. A spokesman for the major revealed little about the deal, except to say: "I can confirm that we have reached a mutually acceptable settlement and that we are not going to say anything more than that".

The deal ends eighteen months of legal wranglings which began after Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison launched a £30 million lawsuit that in turn followed two years of unsuccessful negotiations with EMI regarding royalties the former band members claimed they were due.

The deal is the latest in a string of stories which have fueled speculation that a digital release of the Beatles catalogue is imminent. As much previously reported, that settlement of the long running trademark dispute between the Beatles' company Apple Corps and iTunes owners Apple Inc was seen as one step towards the digital release. The forging of closer links between EMI and Apple in relation to the major's DRM-free catalogue has added to gossip iTunes is busy negotiating some kind of exclusivity deal regarding the digital launch of the Beatles, while the replacement of Apple Corps chief Neil Aspinall by former SonyBMG man Jeff Jones earlier this week has also been seen as pre-empting the release of the Beatles online. All of which means everyone now seems convinced a date will soon be set for the arrival of the Beatles on iTunes.

All of which is great news for all the Beatles fans who haven't already ripped every Beatles album to their PC or downloaded everything via P2P. Both of them.

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MADONNA NOT ADOPTING ANOTHER CHILD, OK?
Madonna's spokeswoman has denied that the singer is planning on adopting another Malawian child this weekend. Although the singer is planning another trip to Malawi, it is not, as some newspapers reported, with plans to adopt another sort of orphan. Madonna courted controversy last year, of course, when she adopted a baby boy called David Banda, seemingly, or at least allegedly, avoiding some of the legal processes others must go through to adopt in the country.

On the rumours in the Sun that Madonna was planning on adopting a three year old girl called Grace on her next trip to Malawi, the singer's spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, told reporters yesterday: "Madonna is going to Africa to continue her work with the Raising Malawi organisation. She is overseeing the building of a children's healthcare centre. She is absolutely not adopting another baby".

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POLICE DID NOT USE EXCESSIVE FORCE IN RUSH GUITARIST FRACAS
Police officers in Florida did not use excessive force while arresting Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson during that previously reported New Years Eve altercation that took place way back in 2003, or at least that is the opinion of a US federal court.

As previously reported, Lifeson and his son had a run in with police officers after being asked to leave a 2003 New Years party at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida. Tasers were used on the pair who allegedly forcibly resisted the police officer's attempts to escort off the hotel premises. The father and son were arrested and charged over the fracas, and despite initially claiming mistreatment by the police as a defence, the pair eventually agreed to a plea bargain which saw them pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges, meaning they could avoid jail time.

Despite that deal, Lifeson proceeded to launch civil proceedings against the police and the hotel's security officers, again claiming mistreatment. But US District Judge Paul Magnuson, considering the lawsuit last week, concluded that the police officer's actions while dealing with Lifeson and son were "objectively reasonable", while adding that there was no negligence on the part of the hotel or their security guards in relation to the case.

Lifeson's lawyer said yesterday that the guitarist plans to appeal the decision.

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PHISH MAN OFFERED PLEA DEAL OVER DRUGS CHARGES
More from the pop courts, and former Phish frontman Trey Anastasio has been offered a plea deal which means he could avoid jail time over those previously reported drugs possession and DUI charges, which followed an incident in December when police pulled the singer/guitarist over and found various unprescribed prescription drugs in his vehicle. It's alleged Anastasio admitted to smoking hash before driving during the search of his car.

Anastasio has pleaded not-guilty to all charges, but Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright told reporters on Wednesday that his office had told the Phish man that if he pleaded guilty to the felony charge of attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance they would settle the case without going to trial. He would be required to serve 12-15 months on the New York drug court programme, make weekly court appearances and submit to regular drugs tests, but crucially he would avoid the jail time he risks serving if the case goes to trial and he loses (which could be up to 14 years - this being America and all). The Phish man is yet to respond to the plea deal.

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MR J LO TO PAY $2.5 MILLION IN BACK TAXES
Marc Anthony, who we follow because of his excellent salsa music and salsa monga ballads, but who you might more commonly refer to as Mr Jennifer Lopez, will have to pay $2.5 million in back taxes after it turned out he'd not filed tax returns between 2000 and 2004. However, New York tax officials will not prosecute over the unpaid taxes because they are satisfied that the singer genuinely thought his accountant had submitted all required financial reporting to tax officials, and that taxes due had been paid. So that's all fine. Though two of Anthony's associates, including his brother Bigram Zayes, who acted as General Manager for Anthony's companies between 2000 and 2003, have pleaded guilty to tax felonies. So that's less fine. For them, anyways.

J Lo's financial affairs were not involved at all in the tax investigation because the couple do not and have never filed joint tax returns.

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AKON TOPS RINGTONE POPS
Akon's 2006 album 'Konvicted' went double platinum in the US this week, meaning sales of over 2 million, of course, but who cares about record sales when you're also being proclaimed 'best selling ringtone artist of all time'? US phone firm Cingular gave that title to the R&B star this week after confirming that ringtones of two of his songs - 'Smack That' and 'I Wanna Love You' - were both also double-platinum. And that's what really counts, surely?

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BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE AWARD WINNERS
Talking of awards (sort of), it was the BBC Music Magazine Awards this week, which isn't an awards event for music magazines staged by the BBC, but the annual awards bash of the Beeb's classical music mag, BBC Music Magazine. Got that? Good. And here's the winners:

Jury Voted Awards
Disc Of The Year: Soile Isokoski & Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra - Lunnotar, Orchestral Songs
Premiere Recording: Charles Koechlin - Vocal Works With Orchestra
Technical Excellence In Recording: Capriccio Record Label
Newcomer Of The Year: Pavel Haas String Quartet
DVD Of The Year: Giulio Cesare - Handel, Opus Arte

Public Voted Awards
Vocal Award: Soile Isokoski
Orchestral Award: Mariss Jansons
Opera Award: Jean-Christophe Spinosi
Choral Award: Sir Colin Davies
Chamber Award: Smetana Trio
Instrumental Award: Luiza Borac

Normally I'd pretend to know something about classical music and make some comment, but I'm running very late today, so won't bother. (Actually, team CMU knows quite a lot about classical music, but unfortunately most of it lies with Caro, who is currently in a tunnel somewhere between London and Brighton, so unable to share it with you, but I'm sure you'll all survive without it, just this once).

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NEW FRANK BLACK PROMISED
The always busy Mr Frank Black has not one but two albums on the way.

The first, which will come out under the Black Francis moniker, is called 'Bluefinger' and will come out via Cooking Vinyl in September. A single from it, 'Threshold Apprehension', will be out digitally on 7 May with a limited edition single release on 25 May. The single and aspects of the album have been inspired in one way or another by the paintings of Herman Brood. Or something like that - here's what Black says: "I used a couple of Herman Brood's painting titles for songs of my own for my new record 'Bluefinger'. I have my own impressions as to what his painting 'Threshold Apprehension' was all about. My song 'Threshold Apprehension' has nothing to do with the painting except that it, and my record 'Bluefinger', has everything to do with my impressions of Herman Brood". So that's all clear.

The other album is a best of, a double CD featuring tracks from Black's solo career, mainly between 1993 and 2003, though we hear the aforementioned 'Threshold Apprehension' will be on their too, which is very much from 2007. Though that might be on the second live tracks and rarities CD, which would make more sense. Sort of.

All of this follows the late 2006 release of 'Christmass', a double CD of recent Black tracks and live recordings, and with promise of a new Pixies album and a greatest hits, as I say, he's always very busy that Mr Black.

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RARITIES TO APPEAR ON NEW NICK DRAKE ALBUM
A new album featuring music by the late Nick Drake is promising a few rarities - including some very early recordings and some previously unreleased cover versions, which should all make it quite a must have album. Called 'Family Tree' it is due out in June. Here's a tracklisting...

Come In To The Garden
They're Leaving Me Behind
Time Piece
Poor Mum
Winter Is Gone
All My Trials
Kegelstatt Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano
Strolling Down the Highway)
Paddling In Rushmere
Cocaine Blues
Blossom
Been Smokin' Too Long
Black Mountain Blues
Tomorrow Is A Long Time
If You Leave Me
Here Come The Blues
Sketch 1
Blues Run The Game
My Baby So Sweet
Milk And Honey
Kimbie
Bird Flew By
Rain
Strange Meeting II
Day Is Done
Come Into The Garden
Way to Blue
Do You Ever Remember?

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TRAVELING WILBURYS BOX SET PLANNED
Talking of rarities, a new Traveling Wilburys triple disk set is set to be released, also in June, combining the supergroup's two long players, 'Volume 1' and 'Volume 3'. The rarities will come in the form of four bonus tracks, the previously unreleased 'Maxine' and 'Like A Ship', plus 'She's My Baby' b-side 'Runaway' and 'Nobody's Child' from the 'Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal' benefit album. The third disk will be a DVD featuring videos for 'Handle With Care', 'End Of The Line', 'Inside Out', 'She's My Baby' and 'Wilbury Twist'.

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US EDITIONS OF OZZY ALBUM TO INCLUDE OZZFEST CODE
Ozzy Osbourne will release a new solo album, 'Black Rain', his first in six years and reportedly the first he's ever recorded sober, via SonyBMG next month (which is interesting, I seem to remember him parting company with Sony a couple of years back). In the US the album will be used as one of the channels for distributing tickets to this year's Ozzfest tour. As previously reported, the Osbourne's annual North American touring festival will be free this year, paid for by sponsorship and with tickets given away through various competitions. Initial pressings of 'Black Rain' will reportedly contain a code which will enable owners to enter the first of those ticket competitions via a Live Nation website.

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BON JOVI TO OPEN REVAMPED DOME
Ah, so that's why The O2 people were so cagy when I asked them whether the previously reported Justin Timberlake shows would be the first to take place at the revamped Millennium Dome. Because no they won't. Timberlake plays there in early July, but it was announced yesterday that Bon Jovi will play the first gig at the new bumper arena on 24 Jun, following the 11 Jun release of their new album 'Lost Highway'.

Whether the decision to open The O2 with a Bon Jovi concert is a little dig at a rival venue on the other side of the capital, I don't know. As you'll remember Bon Jovi and the Dome's owners AEG had planned to stage the first ever concert at that other big new London venue, the revamped Wembley Stadium, back last June, Bon Jovi having been the last band to play the old Wembley Stadium. But, of course, new Wembley wasn't ready (and only just is) so the Bon Jovi gig was moved away from the capital to the Milton Keynes Bowl. With the all new The O2 seemingly going to be ready on schedule, unlike its rival, it is perhaps apt they open it up by bringing Bon Jovi back to London.

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LATITUDE ADDITIONS
Albert Hammond Jr and Rodrigo Y Gabriela have both been added to what I believe is commonly referred to as the lovely Latitude Festival. Both acts will play the Uncut stage at the festival. Also just added to the music programme at Latitude are Tinariwen, Wallis Bird and Karma Francis - with the bill already including Jarvis Cocker, CSS, Wilco, Arcade Fire, The Good, Wilco, Midlake, The Bad & The Queen, Patrick Wolf and Explosions In The Sky. Latitude takes place in Suffolk from 12-15 Jul.

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ONLINE PETITION OVER LIVE MUSIC LICENSING
You remember how some in the live industry have been reporting to the government founded Live Music Forum that new(ish) licensing rules are hindering grass roots live music in the UK by increasing the amount of bureaucracy involved in staging small pub gigs? Well, if you share their opinion, someone has set up a petition on that previously mentioned government petitions website calling on Tony Blair to address the negative effects of said rules on grass roots musicians. You can 'sign' it here...

http://petitions.PM.gov.UK/licensing

I'm not sure one of these petitions has ever actually achieved anything, though I see 6,263 are now signed up to the campaign to have the national anthem changed to 'Gold' by Spandau Ballet, so I've got my fingers crossed that if the site only makes one slight change on British life, that this is it. You've got till 15 May to add your name to that one...

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/goldanthem/

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SONY/ATV PROMOTE SIMON ALDRIDGE TO HEAD OF A&R
Erm, Sony/ATV Publishing have promoted Simon Aldridge to the role of Head Of A&R. That's it really. Except for this quote from Sony/ATV UK chief Rakesh Sanghvi: "Simon is an extremely valuable member of our team here at Sony/ATV and this promotion is in recognition of the excellent contribution he has made during the time he has been at the company. I am confident that the A&R team under Simon will provide the breadth of repertoire which will build on the great success that Sony/ATV Music Publishing has enjoyed in recent years".

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PPL SIGN BILATERAL AGREEMENT WITH RUSSIAN COLLECTING SOCIETY
Erm, recording royalties body PPL have signed a bilateral agreement with Russian collecting society RPA. That's it really. Except for this quote from PPL Head Of International Laurence Oxenbury: "Russia is a growth market for our repertoire and whilst we are all aware of the problems associated with working in Russia, RPA is doing a tremendous job at driving up its collection levels which have more than doubled in the last two years. PPL is also keen to ensure that the media services which serve the Russian population in the UK are properly licensed and this agreement facilitates this by adding to the repertoire which PPL controls".

Oh, that's not it though. I've just done some more research (OK, read to the end of the press release) and discovered that PPL has also renewed and extended its agreement with the Japanese performers' society Centre For Performers' Rights Administration. The extension means the agreement will cover music rental as well as broadcast royalties (music rental is apparently still a big earner in Japan). Look, there's a Laurence Oxenbury quote on this one too: "In addition to the broadcast revenues and private copying income, this now means that PPL collects for all sources of local revenue. Japan is the second biggest market in the world and this new extension now means that record companies and performers are compensated for the use of their music in that country".

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BIDS IN FOR FAMOUS MUSIC
If you'd said "did you, CMU, previously report on the fact Viacom are selling their music publishing firm Famous Music" I'd have said "oh yes, we definitely did". But I can't find it in the archive, so perhaps I dreamt it. It's the sort of thing I'd dream about I'm afraid. Anyway, the New York Post reports Viacom are planning on selling Famous to the highest bidder, and that Sony/ATV, Primary Wave Music Publishing, ZelnickMedia, Warner, Universal and a private-equity consortium led by former EMI publishing man Charles Koppelman are all submitting offers. The Post's Peter Lauria reckon that Sony/ATV, where recently recruited top man Marty Bandier is known to be planning a programme of acquisition, are favourite to get the Famous catalogue.

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BRAZIL MUSIC AND FILM INDUSTRIES COLLABORATE IN FIGHT AGAINST PIRACY
The music and film industries in Brazil have announced they will combine their efforts to combat content piracy in the country. The country's music industry body APDIF will join with the movie industry's ADEPI to launch the Associacao Antipirateria Cinema and Musica. The two bodies hope that by combining their anti-piracy efforts they can more effectively fight the country's significant music and movie black market, which industry execs say currently supply about half of all CDs and DVDs sold in the country.

Confirming the partnership, Antonio Borges, who will be General Director of the new body, told reporters: "Piracy in Brazil is undermining the ability of the music and film industries to invest in the next generation of local talent. The music and film industries are teaming up to help the police in their investigations into the criminal gangs involved in both physical and online piracy".

The move is backed by the music and film industries elsewhere in the world, who also lose out because of high levels of piracy in the Brazilian market. Iain Grant, Worldwide Head Of Enforcement for the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, is quoted by Billboard as saying: "Seeking strategic partnerships to achieve common goals is part of our approach to fighting piracy and defending intellectual property rights. This is a step forward for recording industry rights holders in Brazil".

John Malcolm of the Motion Picture Association of America adds: "We are enthusiastic about this union, the first of its kind in Latin America and the first in a country with a market both as large and as with as much potential as Brazil. We firmly believe that by uniting forces in Brazil, we will be able to leverage greater results than either entity could achieve on its own".

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VIRGIN RADIO GETS FLOATED
The Scottish Media Group is planning on floating Virgin Radio. On the stock exchange. Not down the Thames (or the Clyde, I suppose). The move follows that previously mentioned rejig at the top of the Scottish ITV company, which followed something of a shareholder coup last month. The company has been refocusing its energies on its original business - television - for a while now, and the sell off of its radio business demonstrates that that refocusing continues (as does SMG's plans to sell off their only other non-TV companies, advertising firms Pearl & Dean and Primesight).

Confirming the Virgin Radio flotation plans, SMG chairman Richard Findlay told reporters: "This is the right strategic decision for SMG, increasing our focus on TV whilst reducing debt. Virgin Radio is one of the great brand names in media with an attractive national audience, strong relationships with advertisers and a clear growth strategy. As a quoted company it will have the best management and capital structure to support its future growth, and will make for an attractive pure radio investment opportunity".

Analysts reckon a Virgin Radio flotation could generate £85 million for SMG, and insiders there say that would be enough to clear the TV company's debts.

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VIRGIN GO LEGAL OVER SKY DISPUTE
Elsewhere in Virgin media news, though an entirely different Virgin media, Virgin Media in fact, the Virgin branded cable TV/mobile firm has confirmed it is going legal over its much previously reported dispute with Sky.

As previously reported, Sky pulled its non-premium stations off the Virgin cable TV network last month after the two media companies failed to reach an agreement on how much Virgin should pay Sky to carry Sky One, Sky News and the likes. The dispute over the value of the Sky channels followed an earlier agreement between the two firms regarding the inclusion of Virgin proprietary channels - Trouble, Living, UKTV etc - on the Sky network, in which Virgin was forced to accept a much smaller fee from the satellite firm than they had hoped.

Virgin claim that Sky are abusing their dominance in the pay TV market to force companies like them into unfavourable deals. Sky argue that Virgin are penny pinching over the cost of including the Sky channels in their cable packages because of the excessive amounts of money they spent rebranding from NTL to Virgin Media.

Discussions between the two firms pre and post the removal of Sky's channels off Virgin have achieved little, with the cable firm pushing for arbitration, but only if the signed Trouble / Living / UKTV deal can be reviewed as well as the disputed Sky One / Sky News deal. Sky knocked back that proposal, which is why Virgin are now going legal.

They are bringing action under the UK Competition Act 1998 and Article 82 of the EC Treaty, and said in a statement yesterday: "Sky, which accounts for almost 70% of the country's pay TV subscribers, is dominant in the UK Pay TV market and has engaged in a strategy to stifle competition by using its dominance against Virgin Media". Sky, needless to say, deny those allegations.

Quite how quickly it will now all enter the court room isn't clear. Could be fun if and when it does, given how bitchy this dispute has already been.

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CBS, LAUNCH VIDEO SITE, SACK IMUS
Two bits of news from the wacky world of US media conglom CBS. First up, news that CBS TV is planning on launching its own video on demand service to rival YouTube, the previously mentioned Joost and other similar online video thingimies. News of the CBS online service, which will include webcasts of top US shows like CSI, follow news last month that CBS rivals Fox and NBC Universal are planning a joint venture that will deliver a similar service.

Meanwhile, over at CBS Radio, bosses have announced they have fired controversial broadcaster Don Imus over that previously reported outrage that followed a racist comment he made on his radio show, in which referred to the mostly black members of the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos". The station suspended the presenter and he himself delivered several apologies for his remarks, and bosses there hoped that that would be enough, despite demonstrations outside their head offices and calls by key civil rights groups for a boycott of the sponsors of the Imus show. But in the end that pressure proved too intense for the network, and they announced yesterday the show was being permanently pulled from the schedules. CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves told reporters: "From the outset, I believe all of us have been deeply upset and repulsed by the statements that were made on our air".

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MUSE MAN QUESTIONS CARBON FOOTPRINT OF GLOBAL WARMING FEST
We're big Al Gore fans here at CMU, so we didn't like to question the specifics of his previously reported Live Earth global warming awareness raising concerts, which are due to take place on 7 Jul in cities around the world. But Muse's Matt Bellamy, whose band are not due to play at the awareness fest, has raised one issue that did occur to me - how many of the artists booked to play will be flying in on private jets? Because the jet set lifestyles of the rich and famous surely have one of the biggest non-corporate impacts on global warming. On the possibility of taking part in the Live Earth thing, Bellamy told reporters: "Private jets for climate change? Not sure about it, that seems to be a bit on edge really - that's an issue really, so we need to think about it!"

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DOHERTY AND BARAT PERFORM TOGETHER
Former bandmates and feuders Pete Doherty and Carl Barat performed together at one of Doherty's solo shows at the Hackney Empire last night, and without any fist fights or slanging matches. Doherty didn't even nip out to break into Barat's house during any of the songs, it's all wonderfully heartening.

According to the NME Doherty initially teased his audience by saying: "You've been waiting for this moment. Ladies and gentlemen Mr Carlos Barat...only joking! What do you expect for 25 quid?" But then Mr Carlos Barat did appear, and the duo performed what the NME describe as "thirteen Libertines classics" (which must have included eight "Libertines classics" I'm not aware of).

The love in apparently continued after the show when the duo performed 'Can't Stand Me Now' behind the venue (an actual Libertines classic, IMHO) with Doherty's other half Kate Moss watching on. Which is all lovely. So that's the Doherty/Barat feud over. And no one got shot. They could teach those hip hop types a thing or two, these indie kids.

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