CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 13th November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- EMI sue MP3.com founder over MP3tunes.com
- More Prince fan site nonsense
- Kanye West's mother died of surgical complications
- Four Tops win case against misrepresenting tribute band
- Leona Lewis has biggest selling single of the year
- Winehouse's husband in court
- Kylie channels anger into new material
- Duran Duran affected by Broadway strike
- Ladytron sign to Nettwerk
- Weezer set release date
- Radiohead put webcast online
- NME Awards tour
- MCR drummer apologises for Maine cancellation
- Joe Satriani tour
- Single Review: The Grid - Put Your Hands Together
- Charisma partner I-Vu
- Concert For Diana beneficiary resold guest tickets online
- Another non-music appointment to EMI investor board
- Louis disses Robbie

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TOP BIT - VOTE FOR YOUR TRACK OF THE YEAR!
Well, we've been putting this off for as long as we could, but even we have to accept that 2007 is now on its way out. Yes, the year is almost done and dusted, and that means it is time for the much anticipated (you were anticipating it, right?) CMU Track Of The Year thing. Who, you are all surely asking, will win this time? Well, that, ladies and gentlemen, is in your hands.

Here is how it works. We want you to email us the name of the track you most rated in 2007, and the artist behind it, plus some words on why you think it was so great. It can be any track that first surfaced this year - a single, album track, remix, mash up, TV theme tune - whatever. Email your votes, with your name, company and job title to 2007@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk. We will feature some of your votes and reasons here in the Daily during December, and will then release an overall top ten, on which you can then vote a second time so that we can select an overall track of the year. It's all very exciting. If a bit complicated.

So, to put this more simply, email us the name of your favourite track of 2007 to 2007@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk now. Well, unless you have a sneaky suspicion the best track of the year hasn't been released yet, in which case feel free to wait until mid-December to vote.

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EMI SUE MP3.COM FOUNDER OVER MP3TUNES.COM
The man behind the original MP3.com, one of the early flagships of online music of course, has been sued by the EMI Group over allegations two of his newer online ventures - http://www.sideload.com and http://www.mp3tunes.com - infringe their copyrights.

Robertson is no stranger to record label litigation of course. While MP3.com was predominantly a service built around unsigned and independent artists, their My.MP3.com service, which enabled users to upload and manage their CD collections, pissed off the then embarrassingly paranoid majors leading to litigation, a court defeat for Robertson, and a $200 million settlement from which MP3.com, then faced with the challenge of weathering the dot.com collapse, never really recovered. Vivendi Universal, ironically the parent company of one of the majors who had sued Robertson, then bought MP3.com, though they then also went through financial collapse and the service was eventually sold to current owners C-Net, who relaunched it as a more generic music website.

But none of that is really relevant here, accept that EMI's lawsuit notes that after Robertson sold MP3.com he "ultimately started this one [MP3tunes] as a vehicle to achieve a comparable infringing purpose". It continues: "MP3tunes, however, does not own the music it exploits; nor does MP3tunes have any legal right or authority to use or exploit that music".

Robertson, a longtime critic of the major record companies' litigious approach to digital music, says he has not yet seen EMI's legal papers, but has told Billboard he suspects that the litigation is "retaliatory" because MP3tunes sued EMI back in September over a take-down notice the major had issued against its Sideload service, which is basically a guide to legal free music on the net.

EMI's action is not related to Robertson's other newish venture, AnywhereCD, which, as previously reported, was essentially a DRM-free MP3 download platform which boasted at launch that it had DRM-free music from DRM-obsessed Warner Music - the twist was that in theory the site sold you mail order CDs, but then let you download MP3s of tracks off the CDs you bought on the basis you could rip them anyway once you got the physical CD. The service quickly became controversial when Warner announced they had been misled about the nature of AnywhereCD and they ordered their music be removed. Another legal spat followed, though Robertson and the major subsequently settled out of court. It should be noted AnywhereCD is seemingly now offline, possibly because without Warner's involvement, and with other download platforms now offering MP3 downloads from EMI and Universal signed artists, the new venture wasn't viable.

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MORE PRINCE FAN SITE NONSENSE
So, more on the ongoing dispute between Prince and three of his fan community websites.

As previously reported, representatives of Prince have sent cease and desist letters to three fan sites - princefams.com, housequake.com and prince.org - claiming they and their subscribers are infringing various copyrights owned by Prince and his associates (mainly on lyrics and photos). The owners of the three fan sites have hit back and formed a new website called http://www.princefansunited.com, alleging that Prince and his people are using the copyright claim to close down their sites because they don't like it when members of the fan communities criticise the singer - an allegation Prince's representatives have strongly denied.

Those representatives issued their own statement at the end of last week defending Prince's right to protect his copyrights, and accusing the fan communities of falsely positioning themselves as representatives of the singer's fans, most of whom, they claim, would support the singer and not the fan communities in this dispute.

Responding to that, the people behind Prince Fans United posted their own new statement on their website on Friday, reading thus: "Many members and visitors will doubtless have seen the wildly inaccurate statement today by AEG that 'Prince is not suing his fans' and referring to the Prince Fans United sites as "phoney". Not only is this statement confusing, libellous and misleading, we have actually been informed by Prince's representatives that his PR company (Outside PR) sent this in error last night and it has been picked up by a few key media organisations today. We will shortly be issuing a (heavily) revised joint statement, however in the meantime please be aware that stories circulating on the internet that refers to "phoney" fan websites are wildly inaccurate and should not be taken at face value. Outside PR have assured us that every measure is currently being taken to withdraw these articles".

That statement does imply that despite the legal letters, Prince's management are working to reach an amicable settlement with the fan sites, and the people behind PFU have confirmed talks with the singer's people are ongoing, saying: "PFU has been contacted by Prince's Management and we are currently in discussions. We are hopeful that an amicable resolution can be reached wherein all can co-exist peacefully on the internet. However, if the talks are unsuccessful, the Prince Fans United Group vows to continue its fight".

Meanwhile, while the legal people do legal things, and the PR people do PR things, Prince himself has responded to the whole thing through the medium of song. I'm not really sure what's he's warbling about, but hey, it has a funky beat. You can check his musical statement at http://www.princefamsunited.com.

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KANYE WEST'S MOTHER DIED OF SURGICAL COMPLICATIONS
Reports suggest that Kanye West's mother died this weekend as a result of complications during cosmetic surgery. Coroners said yesterday that an autopsy was now planned to ascertain specific cause of death.

As previously reported, Dr Donda West, who also managed her son's hip hop career, died suddenly this weekend. Kanye, who had just arrived in London on hearing of his mother's death, travelled straight back to LA.

Meanwhile Jay-Z held a moments silence in honour of Mrs West at a New York concert on Sunday night. According to People, Jay-Z told the audience at his Hammerstein Ballroom show: "Let's get serious for a minute. This show is dedicated to Kanye West who had a death in the family. We got you, Kanye, stay strong".

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FOUR TOPS WIN CASE AGAINST MISREPRESENTING TRIBUTE BAND
Abdul 'Duke' Fakir, a founder member of The Four Tops, has won a legal action in the High Court in London against one Viscount Oliver Miller, who has been touring the UK under then name Viscount Oliver's Legendary Four Tops. It is unclear why Miller did so because, according to Fakir, the defendant had never had any association with the actual The Four Tops, in a recording or performing capacity.

Fakir began action against Miller after being made aware of the Viscount Oliver Legendary Four Tops tour by a UK fan. Fakir then discovered that Miller had trademarked 'Viscount Oliver's American Dream The Legendary Four Tops'. When the Viscount refused to stop touring under The Four Tops banner, or to surrender his trademark, Fakir sued.

Miller issued a defence to the litigation, but that was struck out seemingly because of "persistent and serious breaches of Court Orders" on the defendant's part. As a result the court found in Fakir's favour, issuing an injunction to stop Miller from performing under The Four Tops name and a declaration invalidating the defendant's trademark. Miller will also have to pay the real The Four Tops undetermined damages.

Legal firm Magrath & Co, representing Fakir, told CMU: "Today's judgment totally vindicates Duke, whose primary concern has always been that the Four Tops' loyal fans should not be short-changed by Miller's misrepresentations", while Fakir himself added "Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby !"

Miller's band was, of course, a The Four Tops tribute band, and this case adds to a previously reported debate that has had most attention in the US of late - ie how much tribute bands should communicate the fact they are not the real deal. As previously reported, a number of artists, most notably The Supremes' Mary Wilson, have been lobbying for the introduction of new State laws in the US to force tribute bands to clearly state that they are not the real thing in their publicity. Fakir's case may provide a precedent that forces tribute bands to be similarly clear of their status in the UK.

The tribute band issue is bigger, of course, when original members of a legendary group still tour under that group's banner - as is the case here. Fakir still tours as The Four Tops and as it happens is in the UK at the moment on a co-headline tour with The Temptations.

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LEONA LEWIS HAS BIGGEST SELLING SINGLE OF THE YEAR
It's no use when X-Factor winners go on to have hugely successful careers - there are loads of gags in reality pop show winners disappearing without a trace after huge amounts of TV generated hype, less when the hype is translated into a genuinely successful career. Anyway, last year's X-Factor winner Leona Lewis' current chart topping single 'Bleeding Love' is officially the best selling single so far this year, outselling previous best seller, Mika's 'Grace Kelly', by 10,000 units. And Amazon have said that her debut album 'Spirit', released yesterday, is their most pre-ordered long player of the year - the most pre-ordered release since Arctic Monkeys debut 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'. So, well done her. Though personally I still prefer Steve Brookstein - there's much more comedy potential in his post-X Factor career.

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WINEHOUSE'S HUSBAND IN COURT
Amy Winehouse's other half, Blake Fielder-Civil, was in court yesterday to face that assault charge relating to an incident back in June though, as expected, the trial was postponed because he now also faces those new charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The new charges relate to allegations Fielder-Civil and others tried to bribe the pub landlord who had made the original allegations against him. A new date for a trial for both sets of allegations is tbc.

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KYLIE CHANNELS ANGER INTO NEW MATERIAL
Kylie Minogue has said that she channelled the "anger" she felt after her breast cancer into making new music. Speaking to Jo Whiley on Radio 1 she said: "I think the anger came out as energy and I wanted to know that I could do what I had done before. I kind of went nuts in the studio for a week which was cathartic. I just wanted to record anything and everything".

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DURAN DURAN AFFECTED BY BROADWAY STRIKE
Duran Duran have been affected by a strike that has hit Broadway where stagehands are striking over pay and working conditions.

The strike kicked off half way through the band's ten night residency at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theatre. The venue was affected by the strike and forced to close, causing Saturday night's gig to be cancelled. Last night and tonight's gig, meanwhile, have been moved to the Roseland Ballroom which is not effected by the strike, though a picket line at the original theatre has stopped them from moving their stage set to the new venue, meaning the show has had to be reinvented at the last minute.

Commenting on the move, Simon LeBon told reporters: "We are really disappointed that we weren't able to finish up the run on Broadway, which has been in the planning for months. However, we are relieved that there was somewhere else available to us so that we don't have to disappoint our fans by not playing".

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LADYTRON SIGN TO NETTWERK
Ladytron have signed a new deal with Nettwerk Records in North America which will see the US independent release the band's next album, due out next year. The new deal follows the end of their relationship with Rykodisc, who landed the band on their roster when they acquired the Emporer Norton label.

The band seem generally pleased to be with their new record company. Here's what the band's Daniel Hunt told Billbaord: "Our manager was the one who introduced us to Nettwerk. We are in an unusual situation because we're an established band, but we didn't want to work with a traditional major label. We wanted to work with people who really understood where we were. The best thing about the Nettwerk deal is that the band and the management will have the ability to be really hands-on with the marketing and planning. This time around, nothing will be left to chance".

On Rykodisc he continued: "We were not on Rykodisc by choice. They wanted to keep us and we said no. The only reason our last record did so well was because we worked really hard and toured on it for two years. The label really did nothing".

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WEEZER SET RELEASE DATE
Weezer will release their next album on 22 Apr according to website albumsix.com, a website seemingly set up by the band to promote both frontman Rivers Coumo's previously reported solo album and the band's next long player which will be, obviously, their sixth. The 22 Apr is a Tuesday making that a US release date, obviously. Whether we'll get it here on 21 Apr I guess is tbc.

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RADIOHEAD PUT WEBCAST ONLINE
Radiohead put a webcast online this weekend featuring the band playing a number of their own songs plus a Smiths cover, and doing some quirky nonsense too. On the webcast Yorke explained: "This is our way of celebrating the fact that we have finished a record. Yeah Yeah Yeah. So, we've been doing some stupid stuff the past few weeks knocking some things together. Don't expect any high quality cause there is none except of course when the professionals are involved because we need them". So there you go. You can link to the webcast from http://www.radiohead.com.

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NME AWARDS TOUR
Details are out about next year's NME Awards Tour. The bands due to appear are The Cribs, Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong, Does It Offend You Yeah? and The Ting Tings. The dates go as follows...

29 Jan: Belfast Mandela Hall
30 Jan: Dublin Ambassador Theatre
1 Feb: Glasgow Barrowland
2 Feb: Manchester Academy
3 Feb: Newcastle Carling Academy
4 Feb: Lincoln Engine Shed
6 Feb: Birmingham Carling Academy
7 Feb: Liverpool University
8 Feb: Leeds University
11 Feb: Sheffield Octagon
12 Feb: Nottingham Rock City
13 Feb: Norwich UEA
15 Feb: Cambridge Corn Exchange
16 Feb: Leicester University
17 Feb: Oxford Carling Academy
19 Feb: Bristol Carling Academy
20 Feb: Cardiff University
21 Feb: Portsmouth Pyramid
22 Feb: London Brixton Academy

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MCR DRUMMER APOLOGISES FOR MAINE CANCELLATION
My Chemical Romance have apologised for pulling out of that show at Maine University. As previously reported, the students' union who had staged the gig, which was cancelled at the last minute after MCR drummer Bob Bryar hurt his wrists, threatened to sue the band until they agreed to cover the union's losses.

Writing on their MySpace, Bryar has said: "We are very sorry about canceling our recent show in Maine. I have been having many problems with my wrists over the past few years. They have been getting worse but I kept playing. I have seen many doctors to get some relief so I wouldn't have to stop playing. I guess I pushed it too hard this time. During our show at Maxwell's I got a golf ball-sized lump in my wrist, I started to not only have pain, but lose control and feeling in my fingers. I went through a process to control the swelling and attempted to play the show with Bon Jovi the next day. The Bon Jovi show was really bad for me - I was dropping sticks and could barely hit my drums. After that show we decided I had to go get immediate treatment. I had to leave the tour. Being the stubborn person I am, I made a last minute decision to give it another shot on the second Bon Jovi show. It didn't work, we had to cut the set in half. We have a fill in now as I am getting treatment - he learned the songs in one day. We will try our hardest to make the show up to you when the specialists give me the okay."

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JACK PENATE TOUR
London type Jack Penate has announced a UK tour for 2008, continuing support for his recent top 10 album 'Have I Been A Fool?'. The plaid shirt lover, renowned amongst the indie faithful for his frantic wobbly leg dancing, will take his live show all over the country. Penate's tour will shimmy down to:

28 Feb: Hull University
29 Feb: Liverpool Carling Academy
1 Mar: Glasgow Abc
3 Mar: Newcastle University
4 Mar: Manchester Academy
6 Mar: Norwich Uea
7 Mar: Wolverhampton Wulfrun
8 Mar: Leicester University
9 Mar: Southampton Guildhall
11 Mar: Cardiff University Solus
12 Mar: London Shepherds Bush Empire

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JOE SATRIANI TOUR
Gutair star Joe Satriani has just announced details of a tour for next May, tickets for which go on sale on Friday. We hear a new album will coincide with this, more on which when we get it. Dates as follows:

12 May: Birmingham Symphony Hall
13 May: Newcastle City Hall
14 May: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
15 May: Manchester Apollo
17 May: Bristol Colston Hall
18 May: Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre
19 May: Cardiff St. David's Hall
20 May: London Hammersmith Apollo
21 May: Nottingham Royal Centre

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Grid - Put Your Hands Together (Some Bizarre)
The Grid are best known for their insanely catchy 1994 Top Five hit 'Swamp Thing', although they were always at their best and most interesting when they worked with guest vocalists and produced the sort of Balearic pop as seen on their first two albums. Dave Ball and Richard Norris have been doing their own thing for the last ten years, but have got back together of late and this single is the first taster from their forthcoming new album. The press releases promises that 'PYHT' is "the classic sound of The Grid brought up to date", but to be honest whilst the track does bear some resemblance to the duo's sound, this rather tired and uninspired sounding single could have been released at practically any point in the 90s, something the derivative rave-lite title sadly gives away. The remixes generally fare slightly better (but haven't got much to work with, so can't be blamed for not delivering miracles), MHC's being the best of the bunch with an invigorating concoction of fizzy techno and progressive house. MS
Release date: 19 Nov
Press contact: Sliding Doors Publicity [all]

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CHARISMA PARTNER I-VU
EMI's Charisma Records have announced a deal with i-vu, an interactive digital screen provider, which will see Charisma artists promoted via i-vu's network of screens around the country, mainly in hair salons.

The deal means that videos by Charisma signed acts like DJ David Guetta, recent chart botherers Plain White T's and UK-based singer songwriter Tom Baxter will be gracing the walls of hairdressers everywhere, with an additional interactive bit on offer where hairdressers/clients will be able to access further info about each artist, such as tour dates and album releases.

Speaking about the deal, Mark Poston, Charisma's Director said: "Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for consumers to access our artists and music. The powerful interactivity of the i-vu screens really closes the distance between artist and fan and we're very happy to be the first music company to partner with i-vu".

Meanwhile, i-vu CEO Mike Anstey seemed equally pleased with the deal, commenting: "The interactive screens will also allow Charisma Records to break away from traditional music formats as the interactive non-static nature of i-vu's screens gives viewers the ability to choose what music and information they would like view. The combination of new release artists and additional interactive advertising will add significant value to the i-vu channel".

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CONCERT FOR DIANA BENEFICIARY RESOLD GUEST TICKETS ONLINE
There's an interesting story in Music Week this week regarding the wacky world of secondary ticketing which reveals that one of the charities that benefited from the Concert For Diana event staged to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Princess Diana's death earlier this year used a secondary ticketing site to sell off their allotment of complimentary guest tickets in order to maximise the money the charity made from the project.

The unnamed charity secretly resold its tickets via online ticket agency Get Me In! The move was potentially controversial because the UK live industry has been increasingly proactive in its opposition to the resale of tickets at marked up prices via so called secondary ticket websites, or auction sites like eBay. Promoters of the Concert For Diana themselves made moves to stop the resale of tickets by members of the public for the benefit concert.

The boss of Get Me In!, Andrew Blachman, has told Music Week his company originally refused to resell tickets for the event because it was in aid of charity, but that they changed their position when they were approached by one of the charities benefiting. Blachman: "Since the event itself, or a charity affiliated with it, was not willing to work with us, we blocked sellers from listing for the event. Then, one of the charities involved in the Diana event came to us and asked to sell tickets on our site. They came to us anonymously because they were concerned about the promoters finding out".

The news comes ahead of a government review on the growth of secondary ticket sales, which is expected to not recommend outlawing such sales, but to propose restrictions that would mean secondary tickets sites could not resell tickets to certain major events, most likely events in aid of charity. Music Week now speculates as to whether the fact one of the beneficiary charities of a major event of this kind collaborated with a secondary ticket seller may affect the case for introducing such restrictions.

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ANOTHER NON-MUSIC APPOINTMENT TO EMI INVESTOR BOARD
EMI Group has announced it has recruited the former boss of Northern Foods, Pat O'Driscoll, to its investor board, which is great news, because we've always said that what EMI needed was more food stuff knowledge at the top.

Confirming he appointment, EMI top bloke Guy Hands told reporters: "She is taking on the vital role of ensuring that EMI makes the most of its people and the vast amounts of talent available to it".

As previously reported, Hands has recruited a number of non-traditional record company types to advise of the future direction of the company, including a former BAA CEO.

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LOUIS DISSES ROBBIE
Louis Walsh has been dissing Robbie Williams claiming he was the "most talentless" member of Take That. He told reporters this week: "I much prefer Gary Barlow. It is not necessarily the most talented people who make it to the top in the real world. Robbie is a great showman but I just don't like his voice".

Ah well, being a great showman pays nevertheless. There were reports yesterday that Williams earned £32 million in 2006 by simply playing 44 concerts. Or at least that's the spin being put on the news that his own company, The In Good Company Co Limited, paid him £32 million in that period. Financial reports from the company also reveal Williams has earned £67 million from his music since the company was set up in 2002. So I guess Louis Walsh not liking your voice really doesn't matter.

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