CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 1st April
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Global takeover approved by GCap board
- Virgin in talks with BPI regarding filesharer warning system
- No they're not
- New York courts say simply making tracks available is infringement
- Envy on their record label experiences
- Jean calls in Haitians to reject crime culture
- Simpson on the mend
- Jazz singer Wilson recovering from collapsed lung
- ITV excused over Brit complaints
- 24 star to direct Feeling vid
- Big Boi to produce Diddy protege
- New single from assumed Green Day side project
- Reading headliners announced
- Summer Pop additions
- Har Mar Superstar returns, touring with Sia
- Scouting For Girls gigs postponed
- Warner/Chappell sign up to Spiral Frog
- HMV to open service station store
- Napster offer Stones preview
- Sharkey suggests BMR could take wider representative role
- Wembley Arena expand standing capacity
- Rapture lose appeal in Sky EPG listing case
- Slash, likes Jack White, respects Muse, hates emo
- Astley approves of the Rick-rolling

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TOP BIT - CMU SOCIAL TONIGHT, YOU'D BE A FOOL TO MISS IT
You see, when part of your media operation is what they call news gathering - ie monitoring the stories everyone else has deemed newsworthy in the last 24 hours - things get tricky on 1 Apr, because there's always a risk you'll be duped into reporting on someone else's April Fools story as fact. We have a whole team of specialists to try and ensure this doesn't happen - so let's just hope they've done their job.

One of my favourite April Fools of history took place on that Saturday morning show they called 'Going Live' way back in the day. They had a little plastic device which they claimed could store hundreds of music tracks, the whole album Top 40 in fact, and that you got tracks to play by saying its name out loud. I seem to remember they had Richard Branson talking the device up, and saying he was going to put them on all his planes. Viewers were then invited to enter a competition to win one, but the following week it was revealed as an April Fools joke - what a ridiculous suggestion, the presenters joked, that a little plastic device could hold that much music - who'd believe that? Yet, speed up to today, and surely the voice activated iPod is just around the corner - the 'Going Live' producers were not, in fact, great practical jokers, but predictors of the musical future. Which means that if we do accidentally report on any April Fools as fact today, it's because we believe they are predicting the future of the music business, and not because we're stupid.

Anyway, enough April Fools, let's get onto something that is definitely for real. The CMU Social launches tonight and we are all very very excited about it. This is the new 'come and say hello and enjoy some great music' night from CMU which will take place at 229 opposite Great Portland Street tube station on the first Tuesday of every month. As well as a chance to network with other music types, you'll get to enjoy some of CMU's very favourite artists, which tonight are the brilliant Sportsday Megaphone and the just as brilliant Big Strides. For more info go check www.cmusocial.co.uk. If you want to come, for free, email your name to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk - but do it quick, guest list closes at 3pm.

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JOBS N STUFF

NEW MEDIA COORDINATOR
Cherry Red Records, a West London based independent record company founded 30 years ago, is looking for a New Media Coordinator to look after it's fast growing catalogue. The ideal candidate would be very organised, have good initiative, a decent level of new media knowledge, and a genuine affinity with, and enthusiasm for, the unique and very diverse Cherry Red catalogue. Please write with a detailed CV and name your favourite Cherry Red album to adam@cherryred.co.uk

KUDOS RECORDS REQUIRES A SALES AND LABEL MANAGER
Based in our busy Kentish Town office, core responsibilities include developing our distribution roster, project managing releases for our distributed labels, and maintaining sales to a selection of UK and overseas accounts. The successful candidate will be scrupulously organised and an effective communicator. He or she will posses relevant industry experience, a genuine enthusiasm for the music we distribute, along with a passion for discovering new music. Salary will be based on experience. We also offer a generous performance related bonus scheme. Application by email only, attaching a copy of your CV to labelmanager@kudosrecords.co.uk.

OUTPOST FREELANCER/TEMP REQUIRED
Outpost is a successful music and events PR agency based in London. A raft of new business wins means we are looking for a freelancer/temp with AT LEAST 6-12 MONTHS MUSIC PRESS/PR EXPERIENCE to assist in some of our key music and event campaigns. You will be tenacious, enthusiastic and willing to get stuck into a variety of projects. Computer literate and possessing first-class writing skills, you will also have an outstanding knowledge of cutting edge music. The post is temporary in the first instance and may lead to a more permanent role.__Please apply in writing to letitia@outpostmedia.co.uk, with cover letter and CV explaining why we're right for each other!

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CMU CLASSIFIEDS

ALIVE ADVERTISING - ACCESS ALL AUDIENCES
Reach the audience of Camden Crawl via advertising in the official programme or placing your swag in the official goodie bag. Deadline for this highly targeted opportunity is this Friday and we have just a few opportunities available starting at just £195. Call us now to find out about advertising opportunities in Plan B, Fact, Loud and Quiet, Disorder and Super Super, plus over 20 festival programmes this season starting with the Camden Crawl. Contact Gary@alive-advertising.com 07966 555 857

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SNAP OF THE DAY: NICOLE ATKINS
Hailing from New Jersey, Nicole Atkins is part of a growing circle of musicians that have - at one point or another - dominated my listening for weeks on end. Not only has she toured with excellent Danish garage-rock types The Raveonettes, but last year she also shared the stage with members of The National, New Pornographers and Broken Social Scene as part of the choir providing backing vocals for Feist's performance of '1, 2, 3, 4' on US chat show 'Letterman'. Playing the tiny Soho Revue Bar in London at the end of the month (29 Apr), expect to hear much more of her this year, particularly with songs as jaw-dropping as Edith Piaf-a-like number 'The Way It Is' and the rousing 'Maybe Tonight', which could come straight from Jenny Lewis's songbook. Unquestionably worth your attention, she has four of her album's highlights available at the MySpace provided below.

http://www.myspace.com/nicoleatkins

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GLOBAL TAKEOVER APPROVED BY GCAP BOARD
Global Radio will buy rivals GCap Media in a cash deal worth a reported £375 million. The board of GCap, which had initially resisted takeover offers by Global, announced yesterday evening that it would recommended Global's offer to their shareholders, an offer which sees the buyer paying 225p per share, an 86% premium on the firm's share price as of the day Global first made the offer.

Confirmation that the deal had won board approval came just an hour after the City's Takeover Panel announced it had given the two companies another extension on its commitment to close the deal - to close of play today - though in the end the extension wasn't required.

Confirming the deal, Global boss Charles Allen told reporters: "We are delighted that the board of GCap has unanimously agreed to recommend our acquisition of GCap. We believe that this is a very strong business with brands and assets that are highly complementary to those of the Global Radio Group. We are excited by the opportunity to build on GCap's position as the leading commercial radio player and are committed to providing the best platform for both our advertisers and listeners".

It remains to be seen if any of GCap's shareholders resist Global's offer, though given that a number of key shareholders had been known to be encouraging their board to accept the rival's bid, no major problems are expected there.

Of more interest is whether media regulator OfCom or the Competition Commission will have any problems with a merger that puts half of the UK radio advertising marketing into one set of hands, as well as giving one company two of the big commercial stations in London (Capital and Heart) and a considerable dominance in the local radio market in Birmingham.

It will also be interesting to see if Allen adopts any of the plans put forward for GCap by their recently appointed CEO Fru Hazlitt. She is expected to stand down once the Global takeover is completed. Whether her plans to withdraw from digital audio broadcasting and to sell off the Xfm regional stations will be adopted or rejected by the new owners remains to be seen.

Privately owned Global Radio is a relative newcomer to UK radio, of course. They entered the market by acquiring Chrysalis Radio last year, giving them Heart, Galaxy and LBC, but it's there GCap acquisition that will make them a formidable force in UK radio.

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VIRGIN IN TALKS WITH BPI REGARDING FILESHARER WARNING SYSTEM
Virgin Media is set to become the first internet service provider to take a more proactive role in policing illegal file sharing on the net. The cable company is reportedly working with record label trade body the BPI to set up a 'warning letter' system through which Virgin customers who use their internet connections to illegally access or share unlicensed content would receive letters telling them that they are infringing copyrights and making them aware of the legal implications of doing so.

The arrangement does not go as far as some of the net policing schemes discussed in the media recently. Firstly, Virgin itself will not monitor file sharing committed on its own servers, rather the record industry will employ agencies to do the monitoring (as they already do) and will pass the IP addresses of those who they suspect of accessing or providing the unlicensed content back to Virgin, and they will then send the warning letters out. In many ways this is similar to the role taken on by many US colleges, who are alerted to students who are file sharing via university internet connections by the Recording Industry Association Of America, and who then issue warning letters to those students.

Secondly, it's not known what will happen if Virgin customers do not heed the warnings - ie whether the ISP will go as far as some have proposed and cut off customers who persistently fileshare.

All that said, the announcement from Virgin Media is still an important sign that a major player in UK internet provision is genuinely committed to finding a voluntary system that placates the content owners and, presumably, the government ministers who have threatened to force ISPs to take on a policing role if they cannot agree a voluntary scheme with the record companies.

Confirming that they are currently working with the BPI in a bid to set up such a voluntary scheme, a spokesman for Virgin Media told reporters: "We have been in discussions with rights holders organisations about how a voluntary scheme could work. We are taking this problem seriously and would favour a sensible voluntary solution".

As previously reported, the internet service providers have been generally wary of taking on any policing role regarding copyright infringement committed by their customers. Although they have revealed the identities of customers accused of file sharing when told to do so by the courts, they have generally resisted taking on a day-to-day role, and have in the main been critical of the record company's suggestions that they should monitor content distribution on their networks and that they should issue warnings to and ultimately cut off persistent file sharers.

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NO THEY'RE NOT
We were just about to press send on today's Daily and this statement from the BPI popped through the door. So, update (and where necessary negate) everything we just said based on this...

"Unfortunately it simply isn't true that we have agreed a pilot - or any sort of deal - with Virgin Media, though we continue to work towards that. We think that every socially responsible ISP should help their customers avoid the illegal use of their broadband account. It is true that the BPI is talking to major ISPs, including Virgin Media, about how we can work in partnership to create a richer legal music downloading experience that benefits everyone and reduce online music theft. And while we are encouraged that Virgin Media agree illegal downloading is a serious problem that they should help us address, years of talks have not been backed by action. Time is now of the essence".

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NEW YORK COURTS SAY SIMPLY MAKING TRACKS AVAILABLE IS INFRINGEMENT
More P2P nonsense, and a possibly important ruling in the New York courts to strengthen the record companies' legal argument against individual file sharers, should they wish to have such an argument.

As previously reported, the Recording Industry Association Of America has pursed a huge number of lawsuits against individuals who illegally share unlicensed content online. In the main the people they target in these lawsuits normally settle straight away, but in a handful of cases the defendant mounts a defence, normally employing one legal technicality or another.

One such defendant is Tenise Barker, who said in her defence that all the record companies had proven was that she put tracks into a folder on her computer, and gave access to that folder to others via a P2P client - in her case good old Kazaa. Her lawyers argued that that act in itself did not amount to infringement, because moving digital tracks into a folder on a PC does not infringe one of the 'rights' awarded to copyright owners by US copyright laws, ie the exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, perform or display the content to the public (moving the files, they argued, didn't amount to any of those things).

Barker's people asked to have the claim against her dismissed on the grounds infringement hadn't been proven. It was an optimistic defence, but had the courts chosen, like Barker's lawyers, to interpret US copyright law so narrowly it would have thrown a spanner in the works for the RIAA, whose evidence in many P2P lawsuits is the fact people have simply placed unlicensed music in a folder accessible to others via Kazaa.

Fortuitously, for the labels, not Barker, the court chose not to interpret US law that way. The Court said that the current law could be interpreted so that Barker's actions amounted to infringement, though it added that the labels, in their lawsuit, had expressed the infringement in the wrong way. Judge Kenneth Karas said that the labels' legal papers should allege that a defendant "made an offer to distribute, and that the offer to distribute was for the purpose of further distribution, public performance, or public display".

Despite the bad wording, Karas let the lawsuit stand, because there were other allegations of infringement in the claim that did not rely on the Kazaa folder. The labels were also given 30 days to fix the wording of their lawsuit using the judge's guidelines.

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ENVY ON THEIR RECORD LABEL EXPERIENCES
More bands chattering about the benefits, or rather not, of being signed to a major record company. Envy & Other Sins, winners of that Channel 4 'mobileAct Unsigned' telly show, have been talking to DrownedinSound about the Universal record deal they got as a result. It seems the major has taken a hands off approach to their new signings which, while welcomed when the band were recording debut long player 'We Leave At Dawn', is starting to piss the band off now it is being released (it was out yesterday) because they feel their label is doing little to promote the album.

Keyboard player and vocalist Jarvey Moss told the website: "We won [the show], and that was very surprising, but since then it's been really interesting. We're pretty cynical anyway, and pretty much all of our cynicism has been rewarded with reality that matches it. We'd never seen Simon Gavin, our A&R man who was on the show, without cameras being there, and still haven't. We've made an album, but they [Universal] didn't know what songs were going on it. In a way that's a good thing - we were left to ourselves, despite being on a major label. We thought there would be interference, but they didn't bother us at all. In a way that was really good, but there were intonations from that - perhaps we should be worrying about things. Now [the album] is coming out and there's no press..."

Drummer Jim Macaulay added: "The way they've scheduled the release, despite the fact we were on schedule for everything, we've missed the press deadlines".

While Jarvey concluded: "We're being crucified for being on the show, and now we're not able to get the press that might salvage that. This sort of thing is going to happen more. You have to bend over and take it, you don't have a choice. I see loads of stuff on DrownedinSound saying 'Stick it to the man', but you just can't..."

So, another happy customer.

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JEAN CALLS IN HAITIANS TO REJECT CRIME CULTURE
Wyclef Jean has recorded a radio message asking people in his home country Haiti to take a stand against the culture of crime there, and also calling on men in the country to better respect women's rights. Speaking in Creole, he says in the radio ad: "If you love Wyclef that means you love Haiti. So you should not be raping women, kidnapping people and children. I reject these evil practices. There can be no excuse for doing them".

As previously reported, the former Fugee is already a 'roving ambassador' for his home country, and has been involved in various projects to bring about economic and social stability there.

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SIMPSON ON THE MEND
Occasional pop star Jessica Simpson is reportedly feeling "much better" after being hospitalised last week with a "minor kidney infection". Simpson's rep told the Associated Press that the singer/actress was on the mend after In Touch magazine reported on the hospitalisation.

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JAZZ SINGER WILSON RECOVERING FROM COLLAPSED LUNG
Grammy winning jazz singer Nancy Wilson (not to be confused with Nancy 'guitarist in Heart' Wilson) is in hospital after suffered a collapsed lung. A spokesman for the singer, said she is expected to make a full recovery, and is in good spirits, though the illness will mean a planned Memphis performance will be postponed. The 71 year old has had a singing career of over fifty years, and although semi-retired has enjoyed recent successes with her recorded work, with her album 'Turned To Blue' winning Best Jazz Album at last year's Grammys.

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ITV EXCUSED OVER BRIT COMPLAINTS
ITV1 has escaped criticism from media regulator OfCom over Sharon Osbourne's previously reported sweaty rant against poor Vic Reeves at this year's Brit Awards, despite it garnering many viewer complaints, on the basis that it was after the watershed, and the Brits are renowned for such behaviour. The live TV screening of this year's big music awards show got 128 viewer complaints, over Osbourne's language and the "portrayal of the use of alcohol" on the show.

Responding OfCom said yesterday: "While we understand that this language may have been offensive to some viewers, it was broadcast after the watershed and in a programme with a particular reputation. We believe that regular viewers would have been aware of the likelihood of this kind of material. Further, Ofcom research indicates that the examples of language quoted are generally considered quite mild".

It added that use of alcohol on the show was "limited and incidental" and that overall the programme "did not condone or glamorise alcohol misuse". Pictures of embarrassingly drunk pop stars, they concluded, "were more likely to be cautionary than attractive".

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24 STAR TO DIRECT FEELING VID
'24' star Kiefer Sutherland is reportedly going to direct a music video for The Feeling because he's such a big fan of the band (and that's no April Fool, apparently). The band's Dan Gillespie told the tabs: "He [Sutherland] is pretty fanatical about music. He says he like us because he gets where we are coming from. He pretty much wants to get involved with it all, which is fine with us".

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BIG BOI TO PRODUCE DIDDY PROTEGE
Outkast's Antwan 'Big Boi' Patton has signed up to produce the debut album from P Diddy protégé Janelle Monae for Diddy's Bad Boy company. Patton will be a co-exec producer on the new long player, to be called 'Metropolis'.

Confirming his involvement in the project, Patton says: "What I love about Janelle is that she has a magical ability to bring folks together. And she's one of most inspiring performers ever. I'm proud to be partnering with Puff and the Wondaland Arts Society to introduce her to the world".

Diddy added: "Janelle Monáe is one of the most important signings of my career. Over the years, I've been blessed to work with some of the most influential artists in modern music - from Jodeci to Mary J to Biggie - and there is no doubt in my mind that Janelle is the kind of artist that changes the game. She is a true visionary, with an original sound and a mesmerizing presence. I can't wait to watch the future unfold for Janelle".

If any of that's true, we should all await her new EP out in June and debut long player due in September with a certain degree of anticipation.

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NEW SINGLE FROM ASSUMED GREEN DAY SIDE PROJECT
A new single has appeared online which I'm told is from a Green Day side project. The track is credited to Foxboro Hot Tubs and is called 'The Pedestrian', and can be downloaded for free from http://www.foxborohottubs.com/

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READING HEADLINERS ANNOUNCED
Rage Against The Machine, The Killers, Metallia, Queens Of The Stone Age and The Raconteurs will all play this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, a line up that has been noted for its US bias, though you'll also get The Editors, Dirty Pretty Things and Babyshambles, so the Brits will be represented. Festival chief Melvin Benn had already revealed that the event's three headliners were all American, something on which he said: "The interesting thing this year is that - probably for the first time, in my memory - we're actually going with three American headliners".

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SUMMER POP ADDITIONS
Blondie and The Stranglers have been added to the bill for this year's Summer Pops programme in Liverpool, the line up for which is now looking somewhat like this.

1 Jul: Mick Hucknall
2 Jul: Meat Loaf
4 Jul: The Australian Pink Floyd Show
8 Jul: Counting Crows
9 Jul: Crowded House
11 Jul: Deacon Blue
12 Jul: Diana Ross
15 Jul: Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Thunder
19 Jul: Michael Ball
20 Jul: Michael Buble
22 Jul: Blondie, The Stranglers
25 Jul: Jools Holland And His Rhythm And Blues Orchestra
26 Jul: The Australian Pink Floyd Show

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HAR MAR SUPERSTAR RETURNS, TOURING WITH SIA
Ah, and there you were, thinking to youself, "what did ever happen to Har Mar Superstar". Well, he's going on tour supporting Sia this very month. So now you know. Dates as follows, press info from Mercenary.

3 Apr: Edinburgh, Studio 24
4 Apr: Glasgow, Oran Mor
5 Apr: Manchester, Manchester University
7 Apr: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
8 Apr: Brighton, Komedia
9 Apr: London, Koko
11 Apr: Liverpool, Liverpool Academy
12 Apr: Oxford, Oxford Academy
13 Apr: Sheffield, Plug
15 Apr: Dublin, Crawdaddy
18 Apr: Bristol, Carling Academy

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SCOUTING FOR GIRLS GIGS POSTPONED
I take responsibility for this. Having realised that I wasn't able to make any of Scouting For Girls' upcoming London gigs at the Shepherds Bush Empire, one of my favourite middle-sized venues, I carelessly remarked that I wished someone would push them back onto another date. God was obviously listening. Now frontman Roy Stride has got laryngitis meaning his band's shows at the Birmingham Academy, Reading Hexagon and the Empire have been postponed.

Stride wrote on the band's MySpace: "I cannot physically speak. My mouth moves but nothing comes out. It is the weirdest, scariest feeling in the world, and has never happened to me before. It will be OK for Bristol next Sunday, but it means we will have to reschedule Birmingham, Reading and all 3 London dates. I want to apologise to everyone for the short notice of the Birmingham gig (Sunday) cancellation. If there was anything I could have done, I would have done it".

Not wishing to push my luck, but I'd like it to be known that I hope the rescheduled dates fit in with my diary, and that my name magically appears on someone PRs guest list. I'll leave that with God.

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WARNER/CHAPPELL SIGN UP TO SPIRAL FROG
Publishing major Warner/Chappell has entered into a deal with ad-funded download enterprise SprialFrog, giving the digital venture rights to make songs in its catalogue available to its users. Confirming the deal, Warner/Chappell Exec VP Ann Sweeney told reporters: "We are continually seeking out new revenue streams for our artists and songwriters and want to support innovative new distribution methods. We hope our premiere catalogue of classic and contemporary songs finds a wider audience on SpiralFrog's growing digital platform".

SpiralFrog, meanwhile, has claimed to be the third biggest player in the US download market, based on the fact it has signed up 850,000 users since its launch in America last September. The ad-funded service obviously thinks claiming third place is safe - as previously reported, there is some disagreement as to whether Amazon or eMusic can claim second place in the US digital music space after iTunes - a debate confused by the fact some reckon Real Networks' Rhapsody service is actually second biggest in America. In reality, the differences in the business models of these competing services coupled with the fact that there is no independent measurement system means it's pretty hard to know how big any one download service is in relation to another, other than that Apple's iTunes is much much bigger than everyone else.

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HMV TO OPEN SERVICE STATION STORE
For me the whole point of shops at service stations is that the only CDs they sell are those classic rock compilations you never see anywhere else - though I'm told most service stations have a much better range of CDs to buy these days. And that's likely to improve even more so with the news that HMV is opening a service station store. The music retailer will open a shop at the Stop 24 service station just before the Channel Tunnel on the M20.

Confirming the move into service station retail, HMV Property Director Mark Bowles told reporters yesterday: "We thought this was a really interesting opportunity that was worth exploring. Our existing travel-based outlets in airport terminals and train stations all trade successfully, so it's evident there is an appetite for purchasing music, films and games on the go in this way. Stop 24 is very well located for the high volume of traffic passing through to the Eurotunnel and the ferry ports, and if it performs to our expectations, it may well encourage us to consider other auto-route locations in future".

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NAPSTER OFFER STONES PREVIEW
Following the news last week that music social networking thingy Imeem was offering a pre-release preview of the new Rolling Stones album in the US, news this week that subscription-based download thingy Napster are offering a pre-release preview of the new Rolling Stones album in the UK. The album, the soundtrack to the Stones concert film 'Shine A Light', is coming out a week later in the UK than the US because the film is opening in cinemas here a week later. 12 of the 23 tracks off the album will be available for free streaming to Napster users. Napster's UK Head Of Programming Ian Greave told reporters: "We are delighted about the chance to offer a release of a major band exclusively to our customer base. Pre-listening parties are just one of the many advantages of subscribing to the Napster service that pay-per-download stores cannot offer".

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SHARKEY SUGGESTS BMR COULD TAKE WIDER REPRESENTATIVE ROLE
Once upon a time when anyone wanted a media quote on the music business their starting point would be the BPI, even if the story wasn't actually related to the recordings industry which the BPI represents. Then British Music Rights appointed Feargal Sharkey as their Chairman, who brings a bit of celebrity to a media interview, and now everyone goes there for a quote. Even if the story isn't actually related to the music publishing industry which, if I'm not mistaken, is what BMR represents. I say 'if I'm not mistaken' because pre-Sharkey BMR was a very low key outfit not prone to returning phone calls, so it's never been properly explained to me what exactly they do.

Presumably aware that he is taking on an ever-expanding spokesman role on all things music, Sharkey has suggested that BMR might expand its remit to become a more wide-ranging representative of the wider music industry (something BMR and Sharkey are already doing, to a certain extent, regarding the industry's response to the government's Gowers Review on copyright law). A wider representative remit for BMR would presumably mean [a] the association would represent more than just the publishers, [b] they would officially comment on a wider range of issues and [c] they might start returning phone calls from time to time.

Sharkey has told Music Week: "There is the potential that BMR will become a greater voice within the industry, because there is a need for this industry to engage in a way that it has never really done in the past".

He's right about the better need to engage, of course, and while BMR has been pretty rubbish at doing that in the past, he is a brilliant spokesperson for the industry, so it might be right for the body to take a more general representative role for the wider music business - though given the tendency for different parts of the music industry to diss and distrust each other, it may prove to be a tricky role on some key issues.

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WEMBLEY ARENA EXPAND STANDING CAPACITY
Good news for, erm, fans of standing. Wembley Arena has extended its standing capacity to 5000 for fully standing shows, making it the largest standing capacity in London. The venue's Emma Bownes told CMU: "It's great to have this extra capacity, especially as more and more artists are wanting to play to a standing audience".

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RAPTURE LOSE APPEAL IN SKY EPG LISTING CASE
Youth telly channel Rapture TV has lost its Competition Appeal Tribunal case against OfCom and BSkyB.

As previously reported, Rapture claimed the satellite network breached its regulatory obligations when it demanded £76,800 off the TV channel to be listed on the Sky electronic programme guide system. When Rapture originally complained, OfCom ruled that Sky had reached the rate in a "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" way, even though they were asking for half of the independent channel's annual turnover.

The TV indie appealed that ruling last year, but yesterday the appeal hearing backed the original OfCom ruling on the matter. The new ruling means Rapture will not return to the Sky Digital network, but more importantly for Sky means that other niche channels - who could have use a ruling in Rapture's favour to renegotiate their EPG fees - will have to continue to pay at current rates.

The appeal court argued that Rapture had failed to demonstrate why Sky's prices were too high. Rapture boss David Henry argued he did not have sufficient access to Sky's figures to put together a stronger case, though the court said if he needed such access he should have asked for it in court. Henry told the Guardian he found the ruling "unbelievable" adding that it might mean the channel, which has broadcast on the internet since losing its Sky spot, may now close down.

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SLASH, LIKES JACK WHITE, RESPECTS MUSIC, HATES EMO
Slash has told the Daily Star that there are "no identifiable guitar players in rock 'n' roll any more", adding that "the new breed of bands aren't bringing out decent guitarists, rock 'n' roll is so diluted in this millennium, you just don't hear good solos. And I hate emo". He did, however, admit that he rated some younger musicians, saying "an exception is Jack White - who is great" and that: "I did a gig with Muse recently and those guys can really play. It's not really what I'd call proper rock 'n' roll, but they do something pretty special".

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ASTLEY APPROVES OF THE RICK-ROLLING
Rick Astley has welcomed a trend that is apparently called 'Rick-rolling' in which YouTube users set up intriguing or newsworthy sounding postings on video sharing websites which actually link to Astley's eighties hit 'Never Gonna Give You Up'. As a result the video has been getting millions of hits.

Asked about the phenomenon, he told the LA Times: "It's a bit strange to have videos of when you were a young guy out on the internet. It makes me laugh - I'm sure it annoys a lot of other people. [But] it's a bit spooky. It's just one of those odd things when something gets picked up and people run with it. That's what's brilliant about the internet".

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