CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 9th January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- EMI UK chief goes
- EMI submit conditional resignation from IFPI
- Private copy legalisation under consideration
- Glasto ticket registration to take place next month
- Possible motive identified in Ramones manager murder investigation
- Eminem recovering from pneumonia
- Prodigy hospitalised ahead of jail term
- Domestic abuse claims against Shins man dropped
- Kid Rock waffle hearing postponed
- Violinist hopes to get new audience via free download
- Greenwood wins award for film score
- Dave Davies denies Kinks reunion rumours
- Kooks to preview new material at US gigs
- Album Review: Paul Leonard-Morgan - Filmtales
- Harvey cautions over-confident live sector
- Sony/ATV retaliate after DiMA mechanical motion
- EMI Pubs promote Morrell
- Stage Ticketing buy See Tickets
- Macca declines Babyshambles invite
- Lily gets MySpace friends involved in TV show

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TOP BIT
So, the rather bizarre laws that mean that anyone who has ever ripped a track off a CD so they can listen to it on their PC or MP3 player has technically speaking broken the law are being reviewed as part of the government's response to that much previously reported Gowers Report on intellectual property laws. The proposal is to change the rules regarding making 'private personal copies'.

Of course in real terms any change in the rules on private copying will change little, because everyone already makes such copies anyway, and no record label is ever going to sue anyone who does so (former BPI boss Peter Jamieson said as much during pre-Gowers discussions). But arguably the change would still be worthwhile, because by removing aspects of copyright law which are redundant (and, let's face it, a bit stupid) it arguably makes other rules (such as those against making copies for others or P2P file sharing) more credible.

As such the review has been cautiously welcomed by the UK record industry, though the key word there is "cautiously". Some are expressing concern that the change could be misinterpreted and/or abused by the general public as legitimising the sharing of music online, while others have expressed disappointment the government's review has so far not raised the idea of a private copy levy.

As much previously reported, the private copy levy exists in many other European countries and is a charge added to the sale of blank cassettes and CDRs which is passed back to the music industry in recognition of the fact most of those recordables will be used for making secondary personal copies of their music.

There have been moves in the UK industry to have such a levy over here for a while, especially by those who advocate a wider levy system that would mean any technology firms who arguably, if indirectly, commercially benefit from the distribution of music (including MP3 player makers, PC makers and internet service providers) would be made to pass a fee back to the music owners for every customer they have, in recognition of the fact those customers will be using their technology or net access to receive and share music.

But that whole domain, while possibly an avenue worth pursuing for the record industry, remains, to my mind, rather tricky to crack - with the questions of who should pay when, what such levies would legitimise, and why those who do not use music services should be forced to pay, far from satisfactorily answered. Let alone the opposition the move would face from the technology and internet firms.

The basic issue of a more traditional private copying levy is also more complicated in this day and age. As sales of blank cassettes and even CDRs fall, some have suggested an iPod tax on MP3 players on similar grounds, though that becomes more controversial because some MP3 player owners may exclusively fill their players with tracks music download platforms, and would be unfairly penalised if forced to pay a private copy levy.

Certainly, those record labels which advocate the levy should be careful. The PR damage of a story sure to be spun as "evil record labels screw more money out music fans" could outweigh the financial rewards any levy system delivered. They might be well advised to let an anomaly in our copyright laws to be resolved without turning it into a PR battle with Apple and the ISPs who can be sure to fight any levy system that does or may in the future affect them.

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JOBS N STUFF

CD POOL AND XPRESSBEATS REQUIRE A DESIGNER
We are looking for a young, enthusiastic and creative designer. You must have good knowledge using both Adobe Photoshop & Macromedia Flash. DreamWeaver or other html creation software knowledge preferred but not essential. Training will be provided to perform basic tasks in Freehand and Quark. Design based duties will include regular creation of advertisements in the form of static and animated web banners, magazine adverts and email templates and creation of template based CD artwork. The successful candidate is likely to be fresh out of Uni and MUST have a love of dance music! In addition to the design responsibilities the candidate will also help the technical team ingest music for our range of download stores. Please e-mail your CV to admin@cdpool.co.uk. Interviews will be conducted this month.

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SNAP OF THE DAY: ROX
While every newspaper/TV show/awards panel in the known world has been fussing over 19-year-old Adele - tagged "the new Amy Winehouse", no less - in their rush to tip her for the top in 2008, we've been rather more excited by fellow Brit School graduate, Rox. Also 19, Rox creates heartfelt ditties that she categorises as 'theatrical jazz', a description certainly merited by her standout offering, 'Shoot Me Down', which starts with a soulful "da da da da dowwwn", before forming a foot tapping, 50s-smoke-filled-New-Orleans-club-vibe with the chorus, powerfully belted out in an inimitable style: "Shoot me down, twice as sad". Unfortunately, despite protests that her live experience needs to be seen, she's just cancelled all upcoming gigs, so best make do with a visit to her Myspace site, a listen to all six songs on offer and the inevitable following friend request.

http://www.myspace.com/roxmusik

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EMI UK CHIEF GOES
The radical overall of EMI post the arrival of new owners Terra Firma continued yesterday with the announcement EMI Music UK top man Tony Wadsworth was "stepping down".

In a short statement, the major said Wadsworth's departure was "part of the ongoing restructuring of EMI Music". Terra Firma boss Guy Hands added: "We would all like to thank Tony for his tremendous contribution to EMI over the years and to wish him well for the future".

The former UK chief's A&R role will be taken over by Roger Ames, the former Warner Music chief who has been head of EMI Music North America since April last year. Wadsworth's more operational responsibilities will be taken over by Mike Clasper, the former airports chief who joined EMI's 'investor board' last November, and who has already assumed the responsibilities of EMI Music's COO Ian Hanson who departed last month.

It is unclear if Wadsworth's departure was caused by professional or personal clashes with the new top guard at the major, possibly over their probably radical restructure plans, or whether it is part of Hands' attempts to reduce the costs of senior management. Such costs are often high at major record companies because of their tendency to have highly paid senior execs at the top of their regional divisions, their operational divisions and their different label divisions, which is arguably more levels of senior management than is really necessary.

If reducing excessive manpower at the top of the organisation is one of Hand's priorities, then we can probably expect to see further integration of the major's label divisions - EMI Records, Parlophone and Virgin in the UK - where there is arguably still some duplication in non-frontline activity.

Hands is arguably right to thin out the expensive senior management level at his record company, especially if he is planning on bringing in expertise from outside the old school record industry which will add to the wage bill. The risk, of course, is that the 'artist relationships' which Hands is seemingly so keen to capitalise on actually exist less between said artists and EMI and more between artists and specific EMI execs. The challenge for Hands is to streamline his executive costs without losing too many valuable personal relationships with artists.

Wadsworth had been with EMI since 1982, rising up the Parlophone division before being EMI Records UK President in 1998 and then CEO of EMI Music UK in 2002. He is currently chairman of UK record label trade body the BPI. It remains unclear whether his departure from EMI will effect that role.

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EMI SUBMIT CONDITIONAL RESIGNATION FROM IFPI
And more interesting developments from the wacky world of EMI.

Billboard has got its hands on a letter from the major's General Counsel, Chris Ancliff, to the boss of the IFPI, John Kennedy, tendering EMI's resignation from the global trade body. Guy Hands is wondering why he's paying to be in the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry when EMI haven't sold phonographs for years. No, not really, this is linked to the Terra Firma chief's recent whinings on the amount of money the record companies invest in their trade bodies, which Hands thinks is far too much.

The resignation is conditional, and won't come into effect until 31 Mar, but EMI's continued involvement in the trade organisation is dependent on reducing its costs, which requires agreement from the other three majors. While all the major record companies would, presumably, support cost cutting, insiders say Hands' proposals to cut costs are - as with most of the Terra Firma chief's proposals - pretty radical, basically involving the merger of the IFPI and the US trade body the Recording Industry Association Of America, certainly in part, possibly in whole (so that the latter would essentially become IFPI USA). And Hands seemingly doesn't just want a vague commitment to considering such a move, but a concrete timetable for how and when it would be achieved.

Billboard quote a source close to the negotiations between the record companies thus: "What can be accomplished by one global trade group would be preferable and more cost-efficient than two. The challenges are structure and operation: how the global group would communicate with regional groups, what their mandate would be, how they would be organized, who would lead it. The initial sense is it would be neither [RIAA CEO Mitch] Bainwol or Kennedy. But it's obviously very early in this process".

It is unclear if EMI plan a similar resignation from the RIAA if no merger agreement can be reached. And there is no word regarding the future of EMI's involvement in UK trade body the BPI, and whether Hands would subsequently look for a similar integration between IFPI and BPI if any IFPI/RIAA integration was achieved.

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PRIVATE COPY LEGALISATION UNDER CONSIDERATION
A change in UK copyright law could revolutionise, well, nothing really. But it would mean millions of music fans who currently infringe copyrights on a very regular basis would no longer be on the wrong side of the law. The proposed law change would end that bit of copyright law that says you infringe a record label's copyright when you rip a track off a CD you have legitimately bought so that you can listen to it on your PC or MP3 player. Or when you make a back up copy of a CD, perhaps for use in the car.

Intellectual Property Minister Lord Triesman is proposing the changes to the UK's Copyright, Designs And Patent Act, which would stop so called private copying from being illegal. The change would, obviously, be limited to personal private copies, and would not legalise the making of copies of recordings for other people, or for sharing via the net, both of which would still amount to infringement.

The changes received a cautious welcome from the UK record industry, who recognise the private copying rules are outdated, but who fear a change in the law may be misinterpreted as a sanctioning of P2P file sharing, and some of whom want a private copy levy like that that exists elsewhere in Europe (charged on blank recordables like tapes and CDRs) to be considered as part of the law review. The post-Gowers recommendations will undergo public consultation until 8 Apr.

In related news, the Washington Post has said it got it wrong when it accused the Recording Industry Association Of America of saying private copying was illegal there. As previously reported, late last year an RIAA lawyer involved in a P2P action seemed to imply that the trade association believed the making of a private copy of a track to be illegal under US copyright law.

While American law is somewhat confusing on this point, arguably private copies are allowed under so called 'fair use' exemptions to infringement rules (something we failed to point out when we last reported on this story - but something several of the copyright law fans out there in CMU land were keen to point out to us!). That, coupled with the fact the RIAA had said it wasn't concerned with private copying in the famous MGM v Grokster case back in 2005, made the latest statement from the RIAA newsworthy, and after much debate in blog land the Post picked up on the seeming change of heart from the trade body.

But the RIAA has claimed their lawyer's comments have been misunderstood and that they never said the defendant in the P2P case had acted illegally by making private copies, but that the illegal act was sharing those files via a P2P network. The Post initially argued that that wasn't what the RIAA had said, but this week accepted there had been a misunderstanding, and the trade body had not been inconsistent in its copyright statements. The trade body responded thus: "We appreciate that the Washington Post cleared the record".

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GLASTO TICKET REGISTRATION TO TAKE PLACE NEXT MONTH
Some dates for your diary. If you want to go to Glastonbury this year you need to register with the festival's website next month in order to be eligible to buy tickets when they go on sale on 6 Apr, because Glasto boss Michael Eavis yesterday announced the festival would be doing the two stage ticket process again, in a bid to beat those evil, evil ticket touts.

He told the BBC: "I agree it is a tedious business, but people appreciate why we're doing it. We did it last year and it was perfect. The only thing is some of the photographs weren't quite good enough so we're sharpening up the pictures".

Ticket registration will open at 9am on 1 Feb and run until midnight on 29 Feb. Wannabe festival-goers can register via the festival's website, or by picking up a form from a branch of camping store Millets.

So take note. Well, unless you're far too important to be bothering with such bureaucracy and plan to blag your way in as usual.

Unsigned bands too lazy to go through the registration process but not important enough to blag their way in, could try to win one of the unsigned slots at the festival. You can still upload demos for consideration via Q magazine's website until 27 Jan.

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POSSIBLE MOTIVE IDENTIFIED IN RAMONES MANAGER MURDER INVESTIGATION
The former assistant of former Ramones manager Linda Stein may have murdered her employer after an argument over missing money.

As previously reported, Stein, a former artist manager and more recently estate agent to the rich and famous, was murdered at her New York home last October. Her PA Natavia Lowery is accused of the murder. She reportedly confessed to killing Stein at one point, but is now pleading not guilty to the murder charges.

Reports this week suggest police have now found a motive for the murder. It is alleged Lowery had been withdrawing tens of thousands of dollars from her bosses bank account, and sending the money to a boyfriend in Virginia. It is thought Stein may have discovered the theft and challenged Lowery about it, leading to a violent clash that left the former dead.

According to the New York Post, police have now enlisted a specialist from its fraud division to help with their investigations.

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EMINEM RECOVERING FROM PNEUMONIA
There has been speculation as to the state of Eminem's health after it was revealed the hip hop star was recently hospitalised in Detroit to receive treatment for pneumonia. A spokesman told TMZ.com: "Over the holidays, Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, was under doctor's care at a Detroit-area hospital for complications due to pneumonia. He has since been released and is doing well recovering at home".

Although the rapper is now out of hospital, there are reports that while he was there he was seen by doctors with regards a serious heart condition. Other reports are saying Eminem's weight has increased to 15 stone in recent months, further exacerbating his ill-health.

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PRODIGY HOSPITALISED AHEAD OF JAIL TERM
Elsewhere in hip hop hospital news, Mobb Deep rapper Prodigy was also hospitalised earlier this week after being admitted to casualty at a New York facility on Monday night. It is unclear what the rapper was suffering from, although reports suggest his illness may have been caused from complications from Sickle Cell Anemia. The hospitalisation meant that the rapper's upcoming incarceration was postponed. He was due to begin a three and half year prison term after pleading guilty to firearm charges back in October.

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DOMESTIC ABUSE CLAIMS AGAINST SHINS MAN DROPPED
From the pop emergency room to the pop courts, and the previously reported charges of domestic abuse made against Marty Crandall of The Shins have been dismissed after a court hearing yesterday.

As previously reported, Crandall was accused of beating up ex-girlfriend Elyse Sewell during an altercation last Friday. She was also charged after biting her ex during the scrap, though in a widely reported blog entry she said that was self-defence and accused her ex of insisting she be arrested too when police were called to deal with the fall out.

But after the case against her was dismissed in court yesterday on the grounds of lacking evidence, Sewell seemed less pissed off with her ex in a new blog entry, which read: "The DA has rejected the case against me. I am free. I wish the same outcome for Marty and have no intention of pursuing any further legal action. I would not wish entanglement in the widening gyre of the American legal system upon my worst enemy".

On her original blog entry about the incident, which was removed before the court hearing, she continued: "It was incredibly naive of me not to realize that my blog entry about this incident would become tabloid fodder. That was not my intention. I consider the small circle of people who frequent this LJ to be a support group; the much larger world of tabloid readers is certainly not. I will never speak of this again, nor malign Marty in this space. And tomorrow this'll be fishwrap".

She concluded: "Expect few updates to this journal in the next couple of weeks as I will be untangling the web of seven years of cohabitation with my ex-boyfriend, packing up my shit, and thickening up a plot to travel and work in more temperate climes".

The case against Crandall was dropped on the same grounds.

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KID ROCK WAFFLE HEARING POSTPONED
More from the pop courts, and a scheduled court session where rocker Kid Rock would have been formerly informed of the charges against him regarding that previously reported fracas in a Waffle House in Georgia has been postponed to allow prosecutors more time to prepare their case against him. The rock star was due in court on Monday, but the hearing was postponed to 4 Feb. Rock faces a misdemeanour charge for battery after he and his posse had a run in with another customer at the Waffle House after a gig in Atlanta.

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VIOLINIST HOPES TO GET NEW AUDIENCE VIA FREE DOWNLOAD
A classical violinist is hoping to garner some new fans by making her latest recording available via free download. While the move isn't getting quite the blanket media coverage that Radiohead's free download got, the story has been picked up by many news media, so the plan to reach new audiences may just work - and the fact her website is down as I write this might suggest large numbers are trying to take up the offer of some free classical music.

Commenting on the decision to make her latest album, 'The Naked Violin', available for free download, Tasmin Little told reporters: "Throughout my career I've been totally committed to bringing the violin and its infinite variety of music, which I feel passionate about, to as wide an audience as possible. The advent of new technology has enabled musicians to reach out to a global public. I wanted to take that one step further so I am providing a completely free opportunity for people who may not have previously enjoyed any violin music to see whether this new concept may be more approachable."

She continued: "Many people who are new to classical music are understandably reluctant to take the plunge of spending money on a commercial CD which, in most instances, will focus on a single composer or on pieces which are stylistically linked in some way. I wanted to create an accessible product on as many fronts as possible in which listeners who are familiar with my style of playing and those who are completely new to the solo violin can enjoy a recording of the violin as in concert."

You can download the album (server wobbles permitting) from http://www.tasminlittle.net

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GREENWOOD WINS AWARD FOR FILM SCORE
Radiohead's Johnny Greenwood took the prize for Best Composer at the US's Critics Choice Awards in LA on Monday for his soundtrack to the Daniel Day-Lewis movie 'There Will Be Blood'. The movie, and Greenwood's menacing soundtrack, is set to do well at all of the upcoming movie awards events, including the BAFTAs and Oscars.

Talking of movie awards, as you may have seen, the US's Golden Globes have been cancelled this year because of the ongoing writers' strike that is crippling Hollywood at the moment. Organisers of the awards event cancelled their annual bash after it became clear actors would boycott it in support of the writers, who are striking over syndication and online royalties. A press conference will now be held where the list of winners will be read out. The decision has led to speculation that the strike may have a similar impact on next month's Oscars.

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DAVE DAVIES DENIES KINKS REUNION RUMOURS
Dave Davies of The Kinks has released a statement denying rumours that the band are about to reform, rumours which seem to have stemmed from comments made by his brother and former bandmate Ray Davies.

Dave, who suffered a stroke four years ago but who is now working as a solo artist again, said in his statement: "To be honest, Ray and I haven't even spoken in over 6 months. So not only hasn't a tour been planned, it hasn't even been discussed. I am focused on my solo career right now and that's all I'm concerned with at the moment".

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KOOKS TO PREVIEW NEW MATERIAL AT US GIGS
The Kooks will play two gigs next month to preview content from their upcoming new album 'Konk', though you'd have to travel to LA or Brooklyn to attend, so don't expect CMU to be attendance. To be honest I'm not sure we'd stretch out to Camden for a Kooks showcase, nevermind crossing the Atlantic.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Paul Leonard-Morgan - Filmtales (EMI)
It's a bit early to be talking about albums of 2008, and this long player was actually quietly released last year, before being re-released this week, but this captivating debut from Paul Leonard-Morgan makes the leap from good to great that so many recent albums failed to bridge, so could appear on album of the year shortlists for last year or this one. If your tastes start and end with NME's latest overhyped indie losers, this won't be the album for you. And whilst the (not particularly exciting) list of past collaborators (Snow Patrol, Mark Lanagan, The Young Knives) on the press release reveals some indie connections, it's Leonard-Morgan's work with composer Craig Armstrong that yields a much bigger clue as to this album's sound. You could call it modern classical, although the smattering of trip hop beats and electronica, plus the contribution from four guest vocalists, do give it an accessible feel. The title is the real clue - every track could provide the evocative soundtrack to something on screen in film, TV or advertising - all of which media PLM has worked in - and if they haven't been picked up by the time you read this, they soon will be. Opener 'Wilderness', featuring Isobel Campbell, is a dreamy, noirish late night ballad redolent of Portishead or Mono minus the haze of smoke, but 'Seen From The Outside' is a better indicator of things to come, the lush orchestration, mournful piano and swirling strings all building to a fierce crescendo as some frenetic beats add even more drama to the proceedings. Similarly, 'Like A Bullet Through The Head' is just breathtaking. The twangy guitars recall Lalo Schifrin and 'Bullit', but the sweeping strings suggest John Barry at his imperious (James Bond) best. The instrumental tracks generally fare better than the vocal ones, which are pleasant enough diversions (albeit safe ones) from the drama elsewhere; perfect background music for the dinner party if you want something in between Dido and Massive Attack. Too involving to be classed purely as chill-out music, 'Filmtales' is an epic, kaleidoscopic journey revealing a precious talent at work. Little wonder that the 25 year old has already composed the music for a number of TV programmes (eg Spooks) and will be scoring the new US Olympic anthem. Bond 22 producers take note - if you're looking for someone to replace David Arnold, then this is your man. MS
Release date: 7 Jan
Press contact: Zest PR [all]

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HARVEY CAUTIONS OVER-CONFIDENT LIVE SECTOR
Concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith says the booming live industry needs to be careful not to become over confident. Speaking to Billboard, he observed: "The live music market is in danger of being overpriced and oversaturated, and the secondary-ticketing business will kill the golden goose". That said, he says touring will always play a key role in any recording artist's career, and that managed carefully live activity will make good returns. He says: "Nothing beats the live experience. Once you've got a live following, everything else falls into place".

Asked about the not-really-booming-at-all recorded music sector, he continued that the major record companies "have to accept that life isn't what it used to be and rethink their policy for signing-up acts. They are panicking. Normally, when someone comes out with a great song, kids download the pirate version for free, but a lot also go and buy the CD". Moving forward he says the majors will have to "rethink their policy with artists. They used to act as if they owned the artists. Today, they need to have a different relationship and form partnerships".

However, he says he believes the majors are not ultimately doomed because "they will always be needed to prop up the sector's financial needs. There is still no alternative to the large amounts of money provided by the major labels. And you still can't make large amounts of money from digital sales alone; so the major labels are not going anywhere".

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SONY/ATV RETALIATE AFTER DIMA MECHANICAL MOTION
Things are kicking off in the complicated world of music licensing in the US, where the Digital Media Association has filed a motion with the country's Copyright Royalty Board saying that streaming music services should not have to pay both mechanical and performance royalties to the music publishers (those royalties being due to different collecting societies in the US, rather than the combined MCPS-PRS over here).

At the moment streaming music services in the US need licensing agreements with the organisations who represent songwriters' mechanical interests, and those representing performance interests, because while the service offers a broadcast style listening experience (subject to performance royalties), technically speaking a mechanical copy of a song is made in order to deliver the stream (even though the copy is also deleted as part of the process) hence the argument by the publishing sector that a mechanical royalty is also due.

The publishers are expected to fight DiMA's motion, and to that end Sony/ATV Music Publishing yesterday instructed the Harry Fox licensing agency to stop licensing any of its catalogue to streaming services. The move, which will also affect so called 'limited play' downloads, could affect a range of US online music channels, including RealNetwork's Rhapsody, Napster and those operated by back end digital music service MediaNet (the new name for MusicNet, by the way).

Sony/ATV are seemingly pissed off at DiMA because many of the association's members have previously entered into agreements with the Harry Fox Agency which essentially allowed them to run streaming services for next to nothing, in terms of mechnical royalties, on the condition they would pay royalty fees in retrospect once an industry wide agreement on rates had been agreed. New moves to now have the mechanical royalty abolished completely in the streaming sector are, Sony/ATV insiders say, "underhand".

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EMI PUBS PROMOTE MORRELL
EMI Music Publishing has announced the appointment of Declan Morrell, former SVP of A&R at the publisher's UK division, to the role of Senior VP East Coast Creative at the company's US business. The new role will see Morrell move to New York.

Confirming the appointment, EMI Pubs' Exec VP Dan McCarroll, Morrell's new boss, told reporters: "Declan's ability to recognise songwriting talent at a very early stage, and then nurture that talent over the course of their career is something that marks him out as one of the best A&R executives working in rock and pop today. He has a real commitment to the artists he signs, and as everybody has seen through his work with James Blunt among many others, that attitude really pays off".

Among the artists Morrell signed to EMI during his time leading UK A&R were, as that Dan said there, James Blunt, plus Take That, Bullet For MyValentine and Busted.

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STAGE TICKETING BUY SEE TICKETS
Amsterdam based Stage Ticketing International has bought See Tickets off Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, giving the Dutch firm an entry into the UK ticketing market, as well as providing See Tickets with new opportunities in Continental Europe. See Tickets is the UK's second biggest ticketing company and is used by lots of music types as well as the theatre industry.

Confirming the takeover deal, Stage Entertainment CEO Henk Kivits told reporters: "This acquisition is a major step for Stage Ticketing International and will further strengthen our position in the highly competitive ticketing and live entertainment markets. We strongly believe that these combined activities will benefit our customers and clients and increase our share of the business in the UK and Continental Europe".

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MACCA DECLINES BABYSHAMBLES INVITE
Paul McCartney reportedly turned down the offer of VIP tickets to a Babyshambles gig because he decided it "wasn't his thing". Macca reportedly met Pete Doherty during a joint magazine interview, and the Babyshambler invited the former Beatle to his band's gig at the Wembley Arena. One version of this story says Macca couldn't attend the gig because of previous commitments in the US, but my favourite version has a spokesman for the singer saying McCartney decline because he decided "going to a sweaty Babyshambles gig wasn't really his thing".

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LILY GETS MYSPACE FRIENDS INVOLVED IN TV SHOW
When do you cross the line from innovative interactive audience involvement to "relying on your fans to do your work for you" laziness? It's a fine line. Lily Allen has asked her MySpace friends for ideas for a title for her previously reported new social networking come music come chat show for BBC3. The programme has a working title of 'Lily Allen And Friends', but the singer has asked her MySpace buddies for suggestions of something better. Said buddies will also be asked for suggestions of questions to ask guests, as well as being given a chance to appear in the programme's studio audience. Hey, who needs researchers and producers in the age of user generated content?

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