CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 7th June
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Cherry Lane join YouTube litigation
- Caplan must testify proper: Spector trial update
- Rap wannabe steals Eminem's phone number
- Timberlake signs YouTube darling to his new label
- U2 working on new material
- Ben Lee album news
- Cold War Kids re-release
- New Girls Aloud album
- Chemical Brothers delay album release
- Richard Hawley album news
- New B-52s album
- Rolling Stones bring Werchter to a standstill
- Does It Offend You Yeah? support Hadouken!
- ADE dates set
- T On The Fringe programme out
- Last.FM founders face lawsuit from fellow founder
- VidZone sign up SonyBMG
- PPL chief pledges to continue copyright extension campaign
- Warner Japan finally sign up to iTunes
- BBC put Big Weekend downloads on iTunes
- Rockworld recruit McGee and Crowley
- UKRD chief criticises OfCom again
- More Blur reunion stuff
- Cocker on his Dad
- Joy Division trainers anyone?
- Kylie to guest on X-Factor
- Gates says he's unfairly labelled
- Beckham hopeful over Spice reunion
- Prince to play on Big Brother


Following all our idle speculation in yesterday's Top Bit regarding the much hyped new digital music service, Digital Music News have been doing some actual investigations into to how the new service will be providing apparently "DRM free" music from DRM lovers Warner Music.

DMN says that the's John Kuch has confirmed that tracks downloaded from the new service will be provided as watermarked AAC files, which will contain information about the person who bought them (a bit like the DRM free EMI music being sold by iTunes Plus). AAC files, of course, work on iPods, the iTunes proprietary DRM being based around the AAC codec. As reported yesterday, the system will download files directly to the iPod rather than initially to a player on the user's PC, seemingly to stop the user from uploading the unprotected (though watermarked) track to a P2P network, or emailing it to all their friends. However, Kuch has apparently confirmed that the user will be able to burn the track to CD via their online system, should they wish to. Which could be the whole system's flaw (that and the fact that, while iPod technology limits the distribution of AAC files stored on a player, my techy friends tell me some of the iPod back up services currently on the market side step all those limits).

It has to be said that while's AAC files won't have DRM encryption, all the complications about 'direct to player downloads' and watermarked AACs essentially amount to digital rights management (as does the watermarking of the AAC files sold by the supposedly DRM free iTunes Plus), which is presumably why Warner has seemingly signed up to the service. I can't help thinking that this is yet another case of IT types introducing expensive-to-implement processes that supposedly help paranoid labels restrict the distribution of their music, they're just not using the words 'digital rights management' to describe their techy processes this time.

But these expensive-to-implement processes, like all the others that have preceded them, will not stop people burning music to CD, re-ripping the music off the CD as MP3, and then sharing it with their friends via blue-tooth phones. So more money wasted on ultimately redundant technology.

Though an interesting proposition nonetheless, I should probably add.



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Having released three (if I've counted correctly) singles in 2006, this Brighton based duo are currently working on their debut long player for V2, and their first single for that particular label - 'It's Getting Boring By The Sea' - will be released on Monday, though it's currently streaming for you on this here MySpace. I have to say I wasn't that impressed on first listen, but then I realised the way the song stopped every nine seconds was the MySpace player buggering up and not a artistic device. And I can gladly report I enjoyed it a whole lot more on second listen, without the MySpace induced gaps. Two of the aforementioned 2006 singles - 'You Bring Me Down' and 'Can't Find The Door' - are also here and I can wholeheartedly recommend checking them out. Though I was less of a fan of the nose bleed pictures. Blood Red Shoes you're called, not Blood Red Nose. But don't let that put you off.


Cherry Lane Music Publishing has announced it is joining a class action lawsuit against YouTube and its parent company Google. They are joining that litigation launched against the video sharing website by music publishers Bourne Co and the Football Association Premier League in the New York courts last month. The two original plaintiffs in that case have moved to make their lawsuit a class action so that any content owners who believe the video service is violating their copyrights can rely on the litigation, assuming it is successful, to enforce their rights.

As previously reported, the Bourne/FA case, like the separate but similar lawsuit launched against the video site by MTV owners Viacom, should test whether YouTube and Google bosses are right in their argument that, because they pledge to remove any copyright content as soon as content owners alert them to its presence on their platform, they are operating in line with the US's Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Those pursuing legal action against YouTube argue that that is an incorrect interpretation of the law, and that content owners cannot be expected to monitor YouTube at their own expense in order to identify unauthorised content while the video site profits from that content's presence until it is discovered.

Google's general counsel Kent Walker recently issued a statement again setting out their interpretation of the law, saying: "These suits simply misunderstand the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which balances the rights of copyright holders against the need to protect internet communications and content. As a result, they threaten the way people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, and political and artistic expression over the internet. Most content owners understand that we respect copyrights, we work every day to help them manage their content, and we are developing state-of-the-art tools to let them do that even better".


Well, it seems Judge Larry Fidler has gone off Sara Caplan, the former member of Phil Spector's defence team who the judge described as being "completely credible" when she gave evidence regarding the allegations that Dr Henry Lee removed a bit of tooth from the crime scene. Now he's threatening to hold her in contempt of his court.

As previously reported, Caplan, no longer a member of Spector's defence team, was one of those called to court last month when the prosecution accused the defence of finding and concealing what could be key evidence after the police had left the crime scene. Caplan told a court session sans-jury that she had seen Lee, as a forensics expert called in by the defence, put a piece of tooth found on the floor of the room where actress Lana Clarkson was shot into a vial. Lee denies finding any such evidence, but after the court session to consider the prosecution's claims, Fidler ruled Caplan was the only legal type giving testimony who he believed to be "completely credible".

However, Caplan has now said that she is unable to give a more detailed testimony of what she found at Spector's Beverly Hills home when she visited it shortly after Clarkson's death because what she saw that day was covered by lawyer/client confidentiality rules. However, Fidler says he disagrees with that claim and that he'll hold Caplan in contempt if she now refuses to take to the witness stand in front of the jury. Commenting on Caplan's obligations, he said yesterday: "My sense of justice is not only to Mr Spector... but also to Miss Clarkson and to justice herself. She went to a scene and said she saw [someone] manipulate, conceal or destroy evidence. There is no privilege not to testify".

The long running Spector murder trial, in which the legendary producer stands accused of killing Clarkson, continued to concern itself with the crime scene yesterday. Detective Mark Lillienfeld, who on Tuesday described the scene police officers found when they were called to Spector's mansion after Clarkson's death, yesterday told the court that the minute he saw Clarkson's body he thought that she had been killed, adding that he felt the death had "sexual overtones". Spector, of course, claims Clarkson killed herself that night back in February 2003 - maybe by accident, maybe because of suicidal tendencies.

The trial continues.


A man has been arrested after he stole Eminem's phone number from a mobile owned by the rap star's ex-wife Kim Mathers. Kyle Spratt, a wannabe rapper, lifted Kim's phone from her handbag whilst she was down the bingo - Paradise Bingo, in fact, the company where Spratt was employed - made a note of Eminem's number and then replaced the mobile back in her bag. A few weeks later, Spratt made a number of phonecalls to the hip-hop superstar to try and get him to listen to his music demos.

Spratt apparently recorded one of the conversations he had with Eminem, and posted it as a track, 'Slim Sellout', on his MySpace page. The recording has since been removed, plus Spratt has been fired from his job at Paradise Bingo. No charges were filed over the incident, however.


That there Justin Timberlake has signed the first act to his previously reported new record label Tennman Records (which some people are spelling with just two n's, but those people are fools). The first signing is Esmee Denters, who has apparently been causing something of a stir on that old YouTube thing. Esmee is likely to join Timberlake on his European Tour ahead of releasing debut material via his label. The label's President, you know, the man really running things, that Ken Komisar, confirmed the signing, telling Billboard: "Esmee is a remarkable talent with a story that anyone with a dream can relate to - it is no wonder she has such an enthusiastic following already".


According to reports, U2 are in Morocco working on new material with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. The pair have previously worked with the Irish band as producers, but apparently this time, it's all about the songwriting. Website quote band member Larry Mullen Jr as saying: "It's the first time we've worked with Brian and Dan in a purely songwriting capacity. So it's very different, quite experimental and kind of liberating because of that."

Bono adds that there is no album planned as yet: "We have no plans for the music yet," he explained. "We're just going to make it until we can't not put it out!"


Aussie Ben Lee is set to release his sixth solo album in September. 'Ripe' features a host of guest appearances, notably from Benji Madden of Good Charlotte, and Mandy Moore, who takes part in a duet with the former Noise Addict man. Here's a tracklisting:

Love Me Like The World Is Ending
American Television
Birds and Bees
Is This How Love's Supposed To Feel?
What Would Jay-Z Do?
Sex Without Love
So Hungry
Just Say Yes


Cold War Kids have announced that they plan to re-release their single 'Hang Me Up To Dry' on 4 Jul via download, CD and 7". The band are appearing at numerous festivals this summer - to name them all, Glastonbury, T In The Park, Oxygen, Fllam, Latitude, and Leeds and Reading.


Girls Aloud have said that they are at work on a new album. The news came out because Kimberly Walsh was moved to reveal that they're in the studio as proof that they are not, as recent rumour has suggested, set to split. Asked to comment on those rumours, she responded: "Well, we're in the studio recording the new album. [The media] want to blow everything out of proportion just to make news. It is a bit annoying for us".


The Chemical Brothers have put back the release of their new album. 'We Are The Night' was due out on 18 Jun but will now not be released until 2 Jul, apparently due to problems with the LP's artwork. The first single, 'Do It Again', will get a physical release on 18 Jun, however, and is already available to download.


Richard Hawley has revealed a tracklisting for his previously reported new album 'Lady's Bridge', out 20 Aug. Here it is.

Roll River Roll
Tonight The Streets Are Ours
Lady Solitude
Dark Road
The Sea Calls
Lady's Bridge
I'm Looking For Someone To Find Me
Our Darkness
The Sun Refused To Shine

The singer's off on tour in September, as previously reported. Here's a reminder of the dates:

2 Sep: Southampton Guildhall
3 Sep: Cambridge Corn Exchange
4 Sep: Brighton Dome
5 Sep: London Roundhouse
7 Sep: Birmingham Symphony Hall
8 Sep: Liverpool Philharmonic
9 Sep: Oxford New Theatre
10 Sep: Bristol Colston Hall
12 Sep: Sheffield City Hall
14 Sep: Edinburgh Queens Hall
16 Sep: Glasgow City Hall
17 Sep: Gateshead Sage
19 Sep: Leicester De Montford Hall
20 Sep: Bradford St Georges Hall
21 Sep: Manchester Bridgewater Hall


Gosh, what a lot of album news today. But this is surely more interesting than all the other album news on the basis that this is regarding the first album of new material from The B-52s for fifteen years. Fifteen years. Crikey. Makes you think.

Anyway, the band are just finishing work on the new LP in their home town of Athens, Georgia. Singer Fred Schneider explained that the band had always intended to work on a new album, but had found it tricky to find time to get together due to the fact they are all now based in different parts of the US. "We all lived down there for two months and just got back in the swing of things," he said. "After the 'Cosmic Thing' and 'Good Stuff' tours [1989/1992], we were a little burned out. We just had our ins and outs and things going on. It took a while for things to fall back into place".

Talking about the album's content, he added: "There's more electronica on it. It's up-tempo and a bit sexed-up. It's sexier than ever".

The album is expected out early next year, but as yet the band have not found a label to release it. They are, however, planning US and European tour dates for this summer, as well as further live shows once the new LP is released.


Such was the interest in The Rolling Stones' gig in the Belgian city of Werchter this week, that traffic came to a standstill, with tailbacks stretching thirty miles back on the roads leading to the concert's venue, as fans numbering amongst the 33,000 ticket holders struggled to make the gig. Honestly. Are the Rolling Stones really that good?


Does It Offend You Yeah? are supporting Hadouken! on their current UK tour. You missed em last night in Cambridge, but you can still catch them on the following dates in the following locations, press info from Nile-On for DIOYY, and from Toast for Hadouken!.

7 Jun: Fez, Reading
8 Jun: Club NME @Koko, London
9 Jun: Concorde 2, Brighton
11 Jun: The Front, Cardiff
12 Jun: Academy 2, Birmingham
13 Jun: Academy 3, Manchester
14 Jun: Classic Grand, Glasgow
16 Jun: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham


Dates for this year's Amsterdam Dance Event, or ADE 2007 to its friends, have been announced. The big dance music fest and convention will take place from 18-20 Oct in venues all over Amsterdam. An initial line up of DJs set to play is expected soon.


The most high profile music strand of the Edinburgh Festival - T On The Fringe - launches its programme around about now. The T On The Fringe launch follows the launch of the full programme for this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe earlier today. We'll have more on that tomorrow. I wonder if we'll plug our sister publication ThreeWeeks in that story?


Music Week is reporting that the founders of London based music recommendation service could be facing legal action from a former colleague following that announcement last week that US media conglom CBS is acquiring them for $280 million.

Music Week says that it understands that Thomas Willomitzer, one of the original architects of, is planning on taking legal action against the company's existing owners, Felix Miller, Martin Stiksel and Richard Jones, who all stand to profit from the CBS takeover. He reportedly claims that he was one of the creators of the original system, but was "unfairly ousted" after the recruitment of Richard Jones. With the system now fetching $280 million he is expected to claim he is due financial compensation for his role in creating it.

The trade magazine says that the basis of the claim remains "unclear", but adds that Willomitzer's role in creating the music service is well documented, and that he was named as a creator of the service when it won a prize at the Europrix Top Talent Awards in 2002.


White label digital music service provider VidZone has announced a distribution deal with SonyBMG, meaning that music from the major's catalogue will now be available to the mobile and web based platforms that use the VidZone system. The label's music will be available via VidZone enabled streaming and downloading audio and video services, and also as VidZone supplied realtones and video ringtones (which exist, apparently).

I know all this because that Alex Vlassopulos, SonyBMG's Digital Business Development Manager, has just said this: "We are looking forward to working with VidZone Digital Media as one of our preferred mobile and online aggregators. They service excellent digital sales channels for our music and provide tremendous support for all our needs".


The boss of the UK's recording royalties collecting society, PPL, yesterday pledged to continue fighting for an extension of the recorded copyright term in the UK and EU, adding that the record industry would start lobbying our new Prime Minister as soon as he's in the job over the issue, even though it was said new Prime Minister who commissioned the recent report that said a copyright extension can't be justified.

As much, much previously reported, PPL is one of the organisations leading the campaign to have the current UK recorded music copyright term increased from the current fifty years. The campaign is focused mainly on the discrepancies between recorded music copyrights and those of songwriters and other creators, who enjoy a copyright term of life plus seventy years.

Speaking at PPL's AGM in London, the society's chief, Fran Nevrkla, said: "Can it really be right that not only the written music and lyrics but all the artwork and other images and designs featured on a CD's packaging are protected throughout the life of each creator plus 70 years, whilst the actual recorded performances, which are the main reason for the product being made available in the first place, lose all protection only 50 years after first release?" Some might argue that 'yes it can be really right', but Nevrkla, obviously, would disagree. He concluded: "This cannot be right and there is not justification for it. So what do we do? We fight on".

Of course, the campaign for extending the copyright term was dealt a blow at the end of last year when the Gowers Review of copyright laws which, as I say, was commissioned by PM in waiting Gordon Brown, said that it did not feel an extension could be justified. But the record industry is hoping to capitalise on a recent report by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee which dismissed the Gowers Report's findings and supported an extension.

Needless to say, Nevrkla praised that second report, telling his AGM: "The thoroughness, methodical approach and intellectual rigour which shines through this document is in sharp contrast with the results of other similar processes in recent times".

On winning the support of the new PM, Nevrkla continued: "Let us hope that the soon-to-be-appointed new British Prime Minister will listen too. Our message to our new Prime Minister will be: congratulations on your new post and we are here to help you turn your words into action by showing your support for British musicians, the creative industries and enterprise. By accepting the recommendation of the Culture Select Committee, you will allow our industry to continue to contribute to the creative economy in the upward economic and cultural growth of UK plc".

The PPL AGM also confirmed that last year saw the society score its best-ever license fee income, up 13% to £97.8 million. Obviously losing the copyright on those early fifties releases is having a big impact.


Warner Music Japan has signed up to the country's iTunes service, meaning only Sony Music Japan (which isn't part of SonyBMG, of course), continues to resist signing up to the Japanese version of Apple's download platform. Warner Music Asia Pacific president Lachie Rutherford said yesterday: "We're delighted to make the Warner Japan catalogue available on the iTunes Store for the first time. We're proud to be marking the event with exclusive content from some of our most exciting acts and look forward to music fans being able to download their favorite Warner artists from iTunes". Apple launched iTunes in Japan in 2005, but it has taken some time to get all the country's record labels on board, despite actually offering the variable pricing system that record company execs are desperate to get on iTunes elsewhere in the world.


Talking of iTunes, performances recorded at Radio 1's Big Weekend event last month are now available to download from the Apple download service, the first time music recorded at a BBC event have been available to buy as downloads through iTunes. Tracks from Big Weekend sets by The Gossip, Stereophonics, Dizzee Rascal and The View will all be released, each track available for the standard 79 pennies.

Salim Mukaddam, Legal and Business Affairs Manager for BBC Worldwide Music, told CMU yesterday: "This is a great example of BBC Worldwide working in partnership with the music industry to provide listeners with even more great content. The audience that enjoyed Radio1's Big Weekend the first time round, will now be able to purchase and keep these great live recordings and enjoy them over and over again, whenever they wish. We are working with record labels to ensure that this is just the first of many similar offerings and that tracks from BBC events are regularly made available in this way".


Alt music channel Rockworld.TV has announced two new shows featuring long term new music champions - former Creation Records chief Alan McGee and BBC London presenter Gary Crowley. The former will present a TV version of his Death Disco club night, the latter a new music show called Gary Crowley Presents.

This is what McGee has to say: "We've been running Death Disco club nights in London and around the world for some years now and they have become something of an institution. I've known some of the people behind Rockworld.TV for a long time and when they suggested doing a TV version of Death Disco it really appealed to me. It's a chance to showcase some great new music to a wider audience and that's got to be a good thing".

Crowley says: "I see the show as a rock family tree if you like. Mixing the very best of the new bands/ artists with the established. In an informal setting the music will always come first and hopefully we'll give the viewer a taster of what goes on behind the songwriting/ recording process as well as the influences that inspired our guests to want to make music in the first place with the occasional surprising cover version thrown in for good measure!"

On the new shows, Rockworld.TV boss Pete Hadfield told CMU: "To have secured the services of two of the most influential people in the world of UK indie and alternative music is a real coup for Rockworld.TV. We have given Alan and Gary a free reign to create TV shows that reflect their own unique takes on the UK music scene and both have risen to the challenge magnificently! Both shows have already exceeded our expectations and we hope this is the start of a long and fruitful relationship between both Alan & Gary and Rockworld.TV."


The boss of local radio company UKRD has had another dig at media regulator OfCom, who he says are failing to help the struggling radio industry, and especially smaller players in that industry, by adapting radio regulations in line with changes in the market. As you may remember, UKRD became the first commercial broadcaster ever to give OfCom back an FM licence when it closed down Star 107.9 in Stroud, claiming OfCom rules were stopping it from making a success of the station.

Speaking at the Westminster Media Forum, UKRD CEO William Rogers said this week: "It's like the lights are on at Ofcom but no-one is home. Acknowledging the difficulties, recognising the issues and delivering some interesting options and suggestions is only of any use if there is a will, a cultural desire, to act".

Others at the Forum said they reckoned OfCom's recent 'The Future of Radio' report did offer some good ideas as to how the regulator should change to cope with changing market pressures, but they agreed with Rogers that they regulator seemed to have "no sense of urgency" in implementing those changes.


Dave Rowntree and Alex James have been talking more about recording more Blur material, possibly with estranged band member Graham Coxon. The comments were addressed to The Independent in response to that previously mentioned report in The Mirror that suggested that the original line-up were planning to shortly head into the studio.

Rowntree says: "We will spend one week recording and see what happens. We're dipping our toes in the water. We have not made any decision but we'll see how we feel and if the spark is there".

On Coxon's return, James added, "I do sincerely hope [Coxon will reunite with the band] but there's no point doing it unless all of us want to because that was what was so good about it. I'm hoping that it'll happen but there's nothing set in stone".


Jarvis Cocker, who's in the news practically every day at the moment - presumably because he's curating Meltdown and that starts on 16 Jun - has spoken about his recent reunion with his father Mack, who he last saw when he was just seven years old.

Cocker travelled to Australia with his sister Saskia to meet with their Dad, and told The Radio Times that the meeting was a tough one, explaining: "If this happened on a TV show we'd all have been in floods of tears and declaring how much we loved each other. But although we are biologically related it was like meeting someone I didn't know. We didn't have a parent-child relationship. I had built up a picture of the man I thought he would be but then I faced the reality. It was difficult".


This seems a bit bizarre, if you ask me, but apparently trainers inspired by Joy Division are set to be manufactured by US based athletic shoe company New Balance. The shoes, featuring the mountain range type image that appeared on the artwork for the band's 1979 album 'Unknown Pleasures', have been designed by US artist Dylan Adair, and it's hoped that final clearance will be given for their distribution and sale in time to coincide with the general release of Joy Division film 'Control', premiered to critical acclaim at last months Cannes Film Festival.


Following the announcement that Dannii Minogue will be one of the new judges on the next series of talent show The X-Factor, The Daily Mirror is reporting that sister Kylie Minogue is to appear on the show to give the finalists a week's coaching for a 'Kylie week', when all the contestants will be forced to sing her tunes.

An 'insider' on the show told the tabloid: "Dannii knew Kylie would be perfect as a coach for the show. She's a superstar and it's a chance in a lifetime for the contestants to learn from such a pro".


Talking of pop talent shows, 2002 Pop Idol runner up Gareth Gates has said that the fact that he came to prominence as part of the reality show means that his subsequent career has been negatively affected. Of course, the winner that year, Will Young, did okay. As you may have not actually noticed, Gates released a new single back in April, bless him.

He told Popjustice: "I think the nature in which I was brought into the public eye has meant that I've been labeled unfairly. I'm aware that I'm not taken seriously and everyone that works with me knows that we've got a lot to do to try and shift that. We are on our way to doing that and we'll just wait to see what happens".


Victoria Beckham has added her voice to the will-they-won't-they Spice Girls reunion debate. As previously reported, the claim is that they are all up for it except Mel C, who seems to vacillate a bit on the issue. I suspect she'd do a one-off for the right cause or something like that. But I don't know. For I live not in Melanie Chisholm's head.

The current rumours are that they'll do some big gigs to accompany a greatest hits release at some point. And here's what the brand formerly known as Posh Spice has to say on the subject: "We'll see what turns out, but between you and me, I'm really hopeful that it definitely will happen".

So, dead conclusive.


I used to be a fan of Prince, and I don't mind the fact that he's a bit short, but here's some news that has made me lose all respect for the artist formerly known as a squiggle. According to reports, he's a fan of Big Brother. Not only that, but according to more reports, he's planning to appear at the Big Brother house this summer to play them an impromptu set, either in the Garden or via a video link to the house from a London studio.

A 'source' says: "Prince is a huge fan of 'Big Brother'. He has tuned in to every series of the show so far and loves the concept. His management are in discussions with producers Endemol to arrange a gig. Prince is hoping it will be an unforgettable moment that goes down in 'BB' history."

A Channel 4 type is quoted as saying: "Housemates like Tracey the raver and Shabnam the R&B fan will probably be appreciative of their own audience with Prince. But some of the others probably won't have a clue who he is and won't realise what an amazing opportunity they are being given. It will be hilarious to see the different reactions."

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