CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 27th April
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Ames to lead EMI US
- Science will provide the proof: Spector trial update
- Bobby Pickett dies
- Eve arrested for DUI
- Snoop Dogg's attorney on Aussie ban
- Bez refused visa for Coachella
- Arctic Monkeys may set singles chart records this weekend
- Album review: Grand National - B-Sides, Remixes & Rarities
- TV's Sitek to produce Foals
- Kraftwerk join Nuclear protest
- Pet Shop Boys DVD soon
- Beastie Boy on new album
- Winehouse and Ryder to get Babyshambling?
- Jay-Z mixes rehab
- Townshend says Moon made him legendary
- Allen, Stewart, West, Quo added to Diana gig
- Electric Gardens line up
- Latitude preview tour
- 070707 line up news
- Xzibit tour
- More on hip hop backlash
- MCPS-PRS appoint new CEO from within
- RIAA fail to sidestep paying Foster's fees
- Caroline cutting US regional team
- Jobs not into subscription model
- US politicians may provide life line to web radio
- MTV hire people
- Scurrilous lesbian Mel B stories
- Bobby Brown is not engaged
- Lily Allen hates The View


Got to run all this by you one more time. The next edition of London's greatest breaks and most CMU Recommended all nighter, Breaking Ground, takes place on the May Day weekend, Friday 4 May, at the seOne Club underneath London Bridge station, and it's gonna be so damn good, I hear the OED are planning on using it as their illustration of 'damn good' in their next edition.

In the main arena you will get Hybrid doing a DJ set and TC Evolution live, plus Elite Force, Precision Cuts (Live), Tayo, K-Swing and DJ Campus. In the next vault along our old friend Eddy TM will be hosting the Bootie Breaks Arena with Freestyler Matt Cantor, DJ Deekline, Skool Of Thought and Coburn doing their stuff. On top of that you've got a Bassline Arena hosted by MC Rage and presenting Dillinja, Sub Focus, Chase & Status, Noisia and The Qemists. Oh, and a DJ Mag hosted VIP Arena featuring Helene Stokes, Heath Holmes and Ron Speed. Oh, and a Chill Out Arena with lots of sofas and movies and things.

You sold? Good. Oh, but here's the extra special bit. Tickets are £15 in advance, but we have some special limited edition discounted tickets for CMU types at just a tenner. To take advantage of this offer (you can get you and nine friends in at the special rate) go to this URL and hit the guest list button:



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VIGSY'S LIVE TIP: Bebel Gilberto with Kassin-Moreno-Domenico at the Roundhouse.
Brazilian music, courtesy of the rather good La Linea festival. Joao Gilberto's lass, Bebel, had her 2000 album 'Tanto Tempo' sell a million copies, it captivating audiences with its mix of classic
"effortlessly sexy" bossa nova vocals all blended in with some cool electronica. She returned with a brand new LP - 'Momento' - at the start of the month, which means this new show will have plenty of new stuff in there with the classics. This is likely to be her only London appearance for a while, so is definitely worth going out of your way for. In support are Rio's cult producer Kassin, and Moreno Veloso and Domenico Lancellotti, supplying off kilter pop from their new LP.

Friday 27 Apr, Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1, doors 7pm, £25, info at, press info from Gerry Lyseight at Mambo.

CHRIS' CLUB TIP: Kill All Hippies at Carling Islington Academy
I told you all this yesterday, but I'll tell you again, just to be certain. The CMU Recommended Kill All Hippies takes place in London tonight and headlining is that very buzzy Calvin Harris (you know, signed to SonyBMG, supporting Faithless, counts Kylie in his fanbase) who will be performing live - which is all kinds of exciting. Add to that there will also be live sets from These New Puritans and Theoretical Girl plus DJ sets from No Pain In Pop and KAH regular Gavin Nugent, while room two will be the We Smoke Cigars Lounge featuring elPLATE, The Cleft Palettes and, of course, We Smoke Cigars. Will be good.

Friday 27 Apr, Carling Academy Islington, 9.30pm to 3am, £6 in advance, £10 on door, tickets from, press info from Leyline

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Universal Vibes at Dust Bar Shoreditch.
Dust hosts the UV crew, with Paddy Freeform headlining, together with some of the Trouble DJ crew from way up North, most likely Hobbes and Ratty B. Expect future soul grooves and freestyle nu-jazz flavas, amid some broken beat and funky vibes. Should be a goodun in this rather swank Sosho venue.

Saturday 28 Apr, Dust Bar, 1 Curtain Road, London EC2, 7pm - 4am, £3 before 9, £5 after, more info at or


EMI yesterday announced that former Warner chief Roger Ames has been appointed as head of EMI Music North America.

There had been speculation that Ames, who has been a senior level consultant to the major since March 2005, would take a full time senior role at EMI ever since that axing of EMI Music heads Alain Levy and David Munns at the start of the year. Munns had overseen the major's US business as part of his Vice-chairman role, with overall EMI chief Eric Nicoli filling in on an interim basis since Munns' sudden departure.

Ames will report to Nicoli in his new job, and will oversee all of the major's US divisions, with the heads of the company's North American labels reporting to the new chief, including the recently expanded Capitol Music Group (which now includes Virgin US), whose chief Jason Flom previously worked with Ames at Warner. Those divisions which have, since Munn's departure, been reporting to EMI North America's COO Ivan Gavin will also now report to Ames, because Gavin is to leave the major and, according to Billboard, is not expected to be replaced.

Ames ran Warner, pretty damn successfully by all accounts, before its acquisition by Edgar Bronfman Jnr in 2004. He was quickly sidelined after the takeover, staying on in a consulting role before formally quitting the major six months later. While running Warner he was involved in EMI Warner merger talks that got very close to completion, but which fell foul of EC competition regulators, who were concerned about further consolidation in the music industry (the same regulators who then went on to approve the SonyBMG merger, of course).

Ames' appointment means that Nicoli's top team is now in place - with Ames overseeing the US and Canada, Tony Wadsworth overseeing the major's native territory, the UK, and JF Cecillon heading up the recently created International division, which includes continental Europe, Asia and Latin America.


"It's not supposition, it's not hypothesis, it's scientific fact". So that's you told. The defence concluded their opening address at the Phil Spector murder trial yesterday, claiming that evidence from the scene of the crime will back their claim that actress Lana Clarkson was not shot by the legendary music producer, but that she shot herself.

Having begun his opening remarks on Wednesday by trying to dismiss the reliability of the witnesses the prosecution plan to present in a bid to prove that Spector had a history of violence against women, defence lawyer Bruce Cutler turned his attention yesterday to forensic evidence that he claims will prove that Spector could not have fired the gun that killed Clarkson.

He said that evidence would show that Clarkson died of a "classic self-inflicted type of injury", adding that: "There's no evidence that a gun was forced in her mouth. There were no broken teeth in. The gun was in her mouth, put there by her".

Cutler's co-defender Linda Kenney-Baden added that said evidence showed that Spector was not close enough to Clarkson at the time the gun went off for the producer to be holding it. That evidence seems to be based around the amount of gunshot residue on Clarkson after the shooting or, more importantly, the small amount of residue on Spector's clothes, and especially his gun holding right hand and arm (where there was none), which you might expect to be covered in the stuff if he was holding the gun that was in her mouth. Kenney-Baden: "It proves that this means he did not shoot that gun. He was too far away to be holding the gun and get GSR [gunshot residue] on his clothes. The science will tell you that Phil Spector was not holding the gun in the decedent's mouth, that he was [simply] not close enough. It's not supposition, it's not hypothesis, it's scientific fact".

From their opening remarks there seem to be three strands to the defence's argument. Firstly, that all the forensic type evidence favours their case. Secondly, that the police assumed Spector's guilt from the word go and therefore ignored that evidence. And thirdly, as a result, the prosecution is relying on circumstantial evidence that portrays Spector as a "sinister" man capable of murder because of the lack of evidence that he is actually guilty of it. Or something like that.

Presumably the prosecution will endeavour to throw doubt on the forensics as the trial continues (or argue that even a small amount of residue and blood spots on Spector's hands and clothes is enough to prove he was holding the gun), while in addition to pursuing their main agenda of portraying Spector as a man who "when he is confronted with the right circumstances ... turns sinister and deadly".

That said, as the trial moved on from the opening addresses yesterday they continued with that agenda, by calling one of the women who are all set to testify that they have each had run ins with a drunk, gun wielding Spector. The first was Dorothy Melvin, a former manager of Joan Rivers and ex-girlfriend of the producer, who claims that on one night in 1993 a drunk Spector brandished both a revolver and a shotgun in her direction, twice struck her on the head and then tried to make her strip at gunpoint. Describing the incident, she told the court: "I was sobbing and I said: 'Why are you doing this Phillip? Why are you doing this?' I was crying. I was terrified".

Melvin said the incident occurred after she had spent a "lovely" night at his Pasadena home in July 1993. She said Spector was charming, despite consuming nearly an entire bottle of vodka, but that after she fell asleep on a couch outside the house she was abruptly woken by Spector who was pointing a gun towards her Mercedes in the driveway, demanding to know where "she had gone". Melvin: "He took his right hand that was holding the revolver and smacked me on the side of the head, and at that point I knew I was in trouble".

Melvin says that Spector then forced her back inside, accused her of "snooping" and stealing from him, and then ordered her to strip, back-handing her in the head again when she refused. But then once she had given Spector her jacket he told her to leave. That was easier said than done because the gates to her house were closed. She said that as she agonised over what to do with the gates she "saw Phil coming down the driveway and I heard the pump of a shotgun. He was screaming, 'I told you to get the F out of here'. And I was screaming, 'The gate won't open'". She says Spector then opened the gate, letting her drive away. She then called the police who escorted her back to the premises so she could retrieve her purse.

The defence are keen to weaken these testimonies against Spector by questioning why, if these women thought Spector was a danger, they continued to keep in contact with him after the incident. Under questioning Melvin admitted that she had maintained an email relationship with the producer, and that they had seen each other in person several times since the incident, but she did point out that she ended her dating relationship with Spector straight after the gun incident, and that she had never let herself be alone with him again.

The trial will take a day off today, so is set to resume on Monday. Commentators reckon the whole proceedings could take up to three months. It remains unclear whether the reclusive Spector, who has remained pretty sombre and at times looked rather frail throughout the first two days of his trial, will be called to the stand.


Bobby Pickett, the one hit wonder known for singing and co-writing novelty Hallowe'en anthem 'The Monster Mash' has died at the age of 69 from leukemia. According to his manager, Stuart Hersh, his daughter Nancy and sister Lynda were at his bedside at the time of his death at the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital.

'Monster Mash' charted three times in the US, on its debut in 1962, again in 1970, and again in 1973. It didn't chart in the UK until 1973, when it got to number 3. It was originally rejected by four major labels before Gary Paxton, lead singer with doo-wop band The Hollywood Argyles, released it on his own label. Pickett released a modified version of the song, 'Climate Mash', in 2005, to protest about inaction on global warming.

Pickett apparently never resented the track for defining his whole career. He told People magazine in 1996: ''When I hear it, I hear a cash register ringing".


US rapper Eve, full name Eve Jihan Jeffers, was arrested in Los Angeles yesterday on suspicion of driving under the influence. The hip-hopper was driving along Hollywood Boulevard when she crashed her vehicle and was subsequently apprehended and taken to the LA county prison. She was released shortly after posting bail, according to


Snoop Dogg's attorney has told reporters that the rapper is pretty upset by the Australian government's decision to deny him entry to the country, and plans to appeal that decision. As previously reported, Aussie immigration minister Kevin Andrews confirmed that Snoop, aka Calvin Broadus, has failed to pass the Australian character test which takes previous convictions into account.

Attorney Donald Etra said in a statement: "We are very disappointed and hope that the minister will reconsider his decision. Snoop just completed a very successful European tour where he was able to spread his message of peace to his fans and hopes to continue it around the world. Snoop has no gang ties and this is evident through his ongoing efforts to get kids off the streets and out of gangs via self funded programs such as his youth football league. Snoop loves Australia and Australia loves Snoop. He truly hopes to have the opportunity to perform for his fans".

The rapper was due to co-host the Australian MTV Music Awards this Sunday, and MTV are still hopeful that they can work something out. Apparently the network has six immigration specialists on the case. MTV Australia MD Dave Sibley says: "We're putting a lot of energy in to making a case for how popular Snoop is and the fact he's been here before without incident... we're hopeful that when people tune in to MTV at seven o'clock on Sunday, they'll see Snoop Dogg on the red carpet".


Not that it will help him get into Australia, but if Snoop wants to get back into the UK perhaps we could arrange some kind of 'music stars refused visa' exchange on a mid-Atlantic island, where we'll take Snoop if they'll take Bez. Because yes, the Happy Mondays dancer and former Celeb Big Brother winner has been refused a visa to enter the US in order to join the band at this weekend's Coachella Festival. Though we should add that the reasons for Bez's failure to secure a visa are not clear - it certainly doesn't involve any run-ins at any major American airports.

Here's what the band said yesterday: "Due to tightening immigration and working visa legislation, Bez was not, unfortunately, able to secure a visa to perform at Coachella this weekend. Happy Mondays apologise to all their US fans that they will not, on this occasion, be able to enjoy the spectacle of Bez shaking his stuff for them at Coachella".


Arctic Monkeys may set a new chart record this weekend by having eighteen songs in the singles Top 200 at the same time.

The record will be aided, of course, by the change in UK chart rules at the start of the year which means that single track digital sales are now counted in the singles chart, even if there is no equivalent physical release. This means that anyone buying single tracks off either of Arctic Monkeys' two albums from chart returning download platforms - rather than downloading the albums as complete packages - are helping those songs get into the singles chart.

The band already reportedly have ten tracks off new album 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' in the Top 75, and another in the Top 120. With the hype surrounding the new album boosting digital sales of tracks from debut long player 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not', chart experts say the band could have 18 songs in the Top 200 by the weekend. In fact, such is the demand for Arctic Monkeys this week that reports suggest that for every seven singles being bought in the UK, one is an Arctic Monkeys track.

Commenting on the band's single selling success, HMV's chief chart cheese Gennaro Castaldo told reporters yesterday: "The Arctic Monkeys are currently on course to have a total of 18 songs in the top 200 when the next Official UK Charts are announced on Sunday. You'd probably have to go back to the heyday of the Beatles in the early-mid Sixties to find anything that could come close to matching this record".

He continued: "On the chart albums front, sales of 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' continue to power ahead. The album looks set to go through the 250,000 mark by the end of the week - making it the fastest selling album since the Arctic Monkeys' Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'. This not only underlines the growing iconic status of the Arctic Monkeys as the UK's leading rock act, but visibly demonstrates how the recent changes to the rules governing chart eligibility have impacted on the make-up of the charts".


ALBUM REVIEW: Grand National - B-sides, Remixes & Rarities (Sunday Best)
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before - maybe not, I don't know - but later this year we are all going to be treated to some brand new Grand National. Oh yes. How exciting is that? At long last we get to enjoy the long awaited and much anticipated follow up to 2004's truly brilliant 'Kicking The National Habit', and for reasons I won't begin to explain, I enjoyed a sneak preview of it pre-mastering a couple of months back, and it's going to be another goodun. But while we wait for that, here's something to get you well and truly in the mood - a little collection of Grand National b-sides, remixes and rarities. Given I've been sitting on my copy of this for at least six weeks, you'd have thought I could have done my research on which of the ten tracks are b-sides and which are rarities, though I'm assuming the two with (remix) in brackets after them are the remixes - and very fine remixes they are too, especially the wonderful Glimmers Glimmmix of 'Playing In The Distance'. But as those good at maths will have figured out, that means eight tracks are of the b-side/rarity kind, making this a much more important album than just a remixes package, because there were a number of tracks on here I'd never heard before. Or at least I don't think I had. Grand National are, of course, one of those bands with a really distinctive sound, which means those new tracks sounded strangely familiar even on first listen. Most of the non-remix tracks here are of the 'upbeat yet chilled out' kind that the Grand National boys especially excel in, and while some of them don't perhaps have the immediate infectiousness that all of the songs of 'KTNH' possessed, they should, nevertheless, quickly start to seep into your subconscious until they become yet another Grand National favourite. So, unless you're such a fanatical Grand National fan that you already own all b-side's, rarities and remixes that appear here, I'd say this was a must get album. And let's face it, if you're that fanatical, you'll probably want it anyway. CC
Release date: 30 Apr
Press contact: Trailer [all]


Dave Sitek from TV On The Radio is going to produce Foals' debut album, apparently. The former MySpace Of The Day (TM) nominees are to get to work on the long player at Sitek's studio in Brooklyn during June and July. The band released a single - 'Hummer' - last week, and are expected to release a new one in the summer.


Kraftwerk are supporting a campaign against nuclear reprocessing by releasing a free download of their track 'Radioactivity'. The campaign is being led by a Japanese organisation, Stop Rokkasho, which aims to highlight the dangers of the country's Rokkasho-mura nuclear plant, and the dangers of nuclear reprocessing generally.

The song can be downloaded from, apparently, but I'm having difficulty locating it myself.


Pet Shop Boys are to release their new live DVD, 'Cubism Live', on 21 May. It's a recording of their November 2006 show at Mexico City's Auditorio Nacionale. As previously reported, the duo have a series of upcoming tour dates, as follows:

24 May: Gateshead The Sage
25 May: Wolverhampton Civic Hall
27 May: London Hammersmith Apollo
28 May: Manchester Apollo
30 May: Brighton Centre
5 Jun: Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
6 Jun: London Hammersmith Apollo
7 Jun: Swindon The Oasis


The Beastie Boys Mike D has been talking to NME, and apparently revealed to them that their new album is called 'The Mix-up'. The record's expected out in June.

Mr D also went on to say that it's a bit of a departure from their earlier work, explaining: "We play instruments on the whole album, as opposed to sampling. There's more rock on there. If you know us you can trace the influences and they're not completely surprising. Someone who listens to us casually might think 'What the hell are these guys doing?' It might make you flip your wig right off, or your hairpiece, if you're a casual listener."

As previously reported, the band appear at the Wembley Live Earth gig on 7 Jul.


Amy Winehouse and Shaun Ryder may be making guest appearances on the second Babyshambles album, according to the band's bassist Drew McConnell, who told Xfm: "There's talk of Shaun Ryder maybe doing something on it, and Amy Winehouse as well may be doing a little collaboration. She's a friend of ours. The Shaun Ryder one is in negotiation at the moment. Our people are talking to their people hopefully... we'll see what happens".

Bandmate Adam Ficek commented on their planned arena tour, set to take place in November to coincide with the release of the new long player: "We've been called an underachiever sort of band. Hopefully after the arena tour we'll be in the position where we can rightfully say we're one of the best bands in Britain".


Talking of Amy Winehouse, Jay-Z has apparently remixed her hit single 'Rehab', which is yet to be released in the US. The singer told MTV that the remix is: "really, really good... is wicked. I'm flattered that he liked it enough to do something with it".


Pete Townshend says that it was The Who's late drummer Keith Moon who gave the band its legendary status, due to his wild antics. Moon died back in 1978 at the age of 32, of course, after overdosing on prescription drugs.

Speaking at the launch his new online thingy The Method, Townshend said: "Keith would say things like, 'I'll dress as Joseph Goebbels, someone else can dress as Hitler and we'll go to a Jewish restaurant.' It was all just to get on the front page of a newspaper. I suppose it helped me because it made my music legendary and added to the myth surrounding The Who".

The Method, by the way, is that previously reported new software system created by Townshend, software engineer David Snowdon and mathematician and composer Lawrence Ball. It apparently allows users to create personal pieces of music using photographs and the sounds of the user's voice, amongst other things. It launches on 1 May at


Lily Allen, Rod Stewart, Kanye West and Status Quo are amongst the latest acts to be added to the Diana memorial show at Wembley on 1 Jul. Also added to the bill are Natasha Bedingfield, The Feeling, James Morrison and Orson. They join previously confirmed acts such as Elton John, Bryan Ferry and Pharrell Williams.

Organisers are releasing a new batch of 10,000 tickets today for the previously reported event, which marks the late princess's 46th birthday, and the upcoming tenth anniversary of her death. The concert's project director Geoffrey Matthews says that Princes William and Harry would appear, but said that the likes of the Queen and Prince Charles won't be there because, and I quote, this is "more of a fun-filled, younger generation event".

Presenters and running order are yet to be confirmed, but the concert will be broadcast on BBC1 and in 140 countries around the world.


Talking of the Happy Mondays, which we were, just recently, news on this year's Electric Gardens now. Taking place from 4 - 5 Aug at the lovely sounding Mount Ephraim Gardens in Kent, the headliners have just been confirmed as Happy Mondays and Supergrass. In total there will be over fifty acts appearing on four stages plus lots of DJs, and other fun stuff. Early bird tickets go on sale a week today, and we're told there'll be some more headliner announcements next week, so look out for them, won't you? More at


Ah, this is fun, the people behind the Latitude Festival are staging a little tour showcasing some of the acts set to appear at this year's event. On the bill are Findlay Brown, Angus and Julia Stone, Alberta Cross and Paris Motel. The show will play the following venues on the following dates...

30 Apr: London Soho Arts Theatre
1 May: Birmingham Glee Club
3 May: Manchester The Late Room
5 May: Bristol Thekla Social
6 May: Leeds Brudenell Social Club
7 May: Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
8 May: Glasgow Oran Mor
11 May: Norwich Arts Centre

Press info on the tour from Press Counsel. As everyone knows, the Latitude Festival itself takes place from 13-15 Jul somewhere in Suffolk.


More on that 070707 electro fest we very briefly mentioned a couple of months back. This takes place from 6-8 Jul this year, so takes in 07.07.07, of course, hence the name. Anywhere here are some of the acts/DJs already confirmed to play: Infected Mushroom (Full Live Band) Hallucinogen (Live), Astrix (Live + DJ Set), Ambidextrous, Coldcut, The Bays, Utah Saints Dex n FX, Andy Farley, Digitalism, DJ Food, Layo & Bushwacka, Paddy Freeform, Paul Arnold and Valentino Kanzyani. Tickets are a hundred quid and are, I believe, on sale now from


Xzibit has announced three UK/Ireland tour dates for this summer following the release last year of his latest album 'Full Circle'. The ride-pimping rapper will be bringing his winning smile and a bit of hip-hop too, presumably, to the following locations on the accompanying dates:

14 Jun: London Astoria
15 Jun: Glasgow Barrowlands
16 Jun: Dublin Ambassador

If you want press information on Mr Xzibit, contact Mr Lucius at Outpost.


An interesting commentary on the whole hip hop backlash that's going on right now - from New York Times music critic Kelefa Sanneh: "[Sacked US shock jock Don] Imus has one thing in common with rappers, after all. Like him, many rappers have negotiated an uneasy relationship with the mainstream: they are corporate entertainers who portray themselves as outspoken mavericks; they are paid to say private things (sometimes offensive things) in public. It's an inherently volatile arrangement, bound to create blow-ups small and big... it wouldn't be surprising if the big record companies eventually decided that brash - and brilliant - rappers like Cam'ron were more trouble than they were worth". Don't necessarily agree, but interesting nonetheless.


Publishing royalty collecting society the MCPS-PRS Alliance has announced that current MD Steve Porter has been promoted to the role of CEO, a role he takes over from Adam Singer, who, as previously reported, left the society at the end of last year. The society said it had decided on the internal appointment after an "exhaustive search process" in which they considered over 200 applicants. Which sounds a bit like spending all day trekking round department stores and then buying the first thing you saw, but there you go.

Confirming the appointment, PRS Chairman, and Co-chairman of the Alliance, Ellis Rich, said: "I'm delighted that Steve Porter will be leading the Music Alliance. Throughout the exhaustive search process, Steve was the outstanding candidate. He possesses the best combination of experience, business acumen and leadership skills to drive the Music Alliance forward".

MCPS Chairman, and the other Co-Chairman of the Alliance, Tom Bradley, added: "Steve's credentials coupled with his proven track record of working with our customers, members and other societies globally, make him the perfect choice to help us reach our full potential. We are particularly pleased to have promoted from within the Music Alliance, validating the overall strength of the executive team".

Porter himself told reporters: "It's a privilege to lead the Music Alliance on behalf of our 50,000 composer, songwriter and music publisher members. We face incredible opportunities and huge challenges as we seek to transform the collective rights management industry within the dramatically changing landscape of the wider music industry".


The Recording Industry Association Of America has failed to avoid paying the legal fees of one of the mothers it sued over allegations of illegal file sharing. As much previously reported, the RIAA sued Deborah Foster when it identified illegal file sharing activity was taking place on her PC. However, Foster argued, quite convincingly, that, while such activity may have been going on via her PC, it wasn't her doing the sharing.

Given that defence, the RIAA decided to drop its case against Foster last year, rather than push on with the as yet unproven argument of 'secondary liability' (where PC owners are liable for any copyright violation committed by others on their computer), and instead launched a lawsuit against her daughter who had been doing the actual filesharing - a case they won by default.

After dropping their litigation, Foster sued the RIAA for compensation to cover her legal costs, arguing the trade body should never have sued her in the first place. The courts agreed and ordered the RIAA to pay Foster's legal fees. The RIAA appealed, arguing that their case against Foster was, in fact, not flawed (because of the secondary liability thing) and that they could have won had they proceeded with the lawsuit. But ruling on that appeal, the courts said this week: "The plaintiffs assert that had the case continued, they would have proved their secondary liability claims. That may be so. The plaintiffs, however, chose not to pursue the claim. They moved, voluntarily, to dismiss their claims after the defendant had already made a substantial investment toward defending against those claims".

The RIAA do their best to play down judgments like this, but those who oppose the trade body's litigious approach to P2P say they are important because they increase the financial risk the record industry takes when it sues suspected file sharers - because it is always possible that whoever is registered as owning an IP address where file sharing is taking place is not themselves participating in, or even aware of, said copyright violation. Of course the RIAA will argue that if it can successfully demonstrate the principle of 'secondary liability' then this isn't really a risk at all - but that's a principle as yet unproven and there is some dispute as to whether current copyright law would allow it to exist.


Billboard reports that EMI's US independent distribution division Caroline will be cutting its regional sales force by the end of next month, with the division's regional business handled by regional reps in its sister company, EMI's main distribution division EMM. Caroline will keep a national sales team based in New York.


You know how we mentioned that the FT had reported that the majors were trying to persuade Apple to launch a subscription based service in their latest iTunes negotiations? Well, I don't think they'll succeed. Asked about a subscription based iTunes, Apple boss Steve Jobs told Reuters this week: "Never say never, but customers don't seem to be interested in it. The subscription model has failed so far. People want to own their music".


With the US Copyright Royalty Board resolute that the previously reported hike in royalties that American webcasters have to pay is not negotiable, said web radio firms probably need to look for a political rather than legal solution to their royalty problems, and that solution may now be on the table in the form of the Internet Radio Equality Bill, which has been proposed by Representatives Jay Inslee and Donald Manzullo.

As previously reported, the CRB recently increased the amount of royalties web radio firms have to pay to play music on their services, so much so that many in the web radio sector say smaller niche services may go out of business when the new rates come into being next month. With the CRB refusing to hear an appeal, the legislative proposals could be the webcasters best hope. The bill proposes linking web radio royalties to the royalty system that covers satellite radio and jukeboxes owners - which is based on a percentage of revenues system, rather than a per play system, something which would be much more friendly to webcasters - especially the smaller ones.

The proposals have been welcomed by SaveNetRadio, a consortium of web radio types. They told reporters: "This bill is a critical step to preserve this vibrant and growing medium, and to develop a truly level playing field where webcasters can compete with satellite radio. The Internet Radio Equality Act is the last best hope webcasters, artists, and listeners have to keep the music playing".

Of course the political process isn't especially known for its speed, so even if this bill was successful, it might not be in place in time to help the smaller web radio stations that will face new higher royalty bills next month. Jonathan Potter of the US Digital Media Association, which represents the likes of AOL, RealNetworks, and Yahoo!, said this week: "This bill may be internet radio's last best hope. We are hopeful that Congress will move forward quickly to enact this groundbreaking legislation - and offer a lifeline to the industry".


MTV have announced the recruitment of former NTL/Virgin Media Director Of Broadcasting David Booth to a programming chief role at its UK network. He will be responsible for programming strategy and will be involved in the commissioning process.

The network has also just recruited Philip O'Ferrall to the role of VP Digital Media. He will cover part of the role previously undertaken by Angel Gambino, MTV's former VP Commercial Strategy And Digital Media, who left the broadcaster earlier this year.


Closer magazine is telling stories about a couple of Mel B's alleged sexual encounters with the ladies. A so-called friend called Christa Parker apparently told the gossip rag: "We had drunk quite a lot and it was late, so Mel suggested I stay over. Mel started complaining that she hadn't had sex for a while and was feeling horny. Mel said she needed sex and asked me if I wanted to. I'd had a bit to drink and said yes".

They also report that she had a go at actress Elizabeth Rodriguez, who was then working part time as a sex toy consultant. Really? Is that a real job? Is this what happens in the real world? Shit, I don't know, but here's what Closer quote Ms Rodriguez as saying: "Mel begged me to come around to her house to demonstrate some of the toys. I thought it was good fun so went to Melanie's bathroom. I let her - but only for a second. The whole experience was very bizarre".

And just in case you didn't know this yet, Mel B's new baby is called Angel Iris Murphy Brown, not Fortuna Daphne Bay, as reports originally suggested. The singer says the child looks just like its dad. Allegedly Eddie Murphy, who's a bit in denial over it, for those of you not keeping up.


Bobby Brown's people have been denying reports that the singer is to marry again, just a week or so after his divorce from Whitney Houston came through. US mag In Touch Weekly claimed that Brown has been shopping for a ring with his girlfriend Alicia Etheridge, but insiders have since said that's not true, actually, one source being quoted as saying "There's no wedding or engagement planned".


Lily Allen, never one to keep quiet if she don't like something, has said she really don't like buzz band The View. She told Pitchfork: "I hate that band The View: they're the worst new band. I think they sound like a cross between The Proclaimers and Arctic Monkeys. But I like the Arctic Monkeys".

So, she must really hate The Proclaimers, right? What a bitch.

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