CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 18th April
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Lutfi restraining order extended
- Pete Doherty prison update
- Danny Federici dies
- Slash ignored Weiland
- Operator Please lose keyboardist
- Akon unmasked
- Lily splashes out on Clash art
- Carbon Logic offer Glade slot
- The Hold Steady sign to Rough Trade
- Hella drummer to release solo album
- Bowie to release 35 year old Ziggy recording
- Gnarls Barkley free backwards download
- Timberlake signs up to brand partnership agency
- Brighton pipe organ showdown
- Jay-Z announces UK tour
- Montreux line up and sponsor news
- No Knowsley fest this year
- Rizla Players announce festival appearances
- Osmonds best of news
- MAMA buy an Angel
- ERA Digital publish five-point plan
- ASCAP publish ten point bill
- Kennedy calls for Northern Irish collecting collective
- RIAA spent lots on lobbying
- Lots of executive changes at SonyBMG
- New boards and promotions galore at EMI
- Yep, it's another video-on-demand social network video whatnot
- Universal take stake in Buzznet
- Tiscali set deadline for takeover bids
- Watchdog questions Elton John's campaign contributions
- Bass records message for anti-bullying day
- Pensioner evicted over gangsta rap
- Kylie hates kids
- Kanye West 'likes big tits'

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TOP BIT - INDY AWARDS UPDATE
OK, time for an update on the CMU Recommended INDY Music Awards which take place in London this time next week. Well, next Friday. Not at quite this time.

As much previously mentioned, these are the awards that celebrate brand new music talent, and which use the independent gig promoters of the UK as a way of discovering that new talent. Said promoters put forwards bands for awards, fans then get to vote in a bid to identify shortlists in each category, and then industry and media types (including CMU) select the overall winners.

Said winners will be announced and celebrated at a special show at London's Forum next Friday, 25 Apr. And it's going to be special for many reasons. Among the shortlisted bands set to play at the event are Dawn Kinnard, Thee Vicars, Shuffle, Vimala, Little Fish and The Penny Black Remedy, who will provide support to the established artists who will headline the show - which are Starsailor and The Buzzcocks, the latter of which will be presented with a new INDY Inspiration Award.

Tickets for the awards show are just a tenner and can be bought right now at this here URL: http://www.wegottickets.com. Press types looking to attend should get in touch with Burt Greener asap - kirsty@burtgreener.co.uk.

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JOBS N STUFF

BOSTER GROUP - PA AND OFFICE MANAGER - £20K (London, W1)
Do you have a passion for arts, culture and luxury brands? Boster Group is a unique strategic arts consultancy with a blue chip client list. We are looking for a PA to work with our Managing Director. You will enjoy real variety and be responsible for diary management and drafting correspondence, along with managing the office and assisting with events. You must be bright, articulate and well presented with excellent attention to detail, a real interest in the arts and a positive attitude. Previous administration experience would be an advantage. To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to jobs@unicornjobs.com quoting ref: SS13

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VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Global Beats at Guanabara
This slightly fancy Brazilian bar, off Drury Lane, will be host to some quality Global Beats from none other than DJ Russ Jones tomorrow night - he being part of the Future World Funk crew. Jonesy has had a good innings in the club scene - bringing forth such nights as the rather good No Room For Squares and the wicked London Calling in the mid 90s. Tonight he'll be joining the dots from all over the world, perhaps even dropping in a few Balkan Bangers from his own Romany inspired compo, and he may even have a few live players adding to the vibe. Prepare for World Traveller Plus from the Hackney Globe Trotter!

Sat 19 Apr, 9-2.30am, free before 9pm, £6 after, Guanabara, Parker Street, London, WC2B 5PW, info at http://www.guanabara.co.uk

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LUTFI RESTRAINING ORDER EXTENDED
OK, let's deal with today's Britney news first. Spears' one time manager Sam Lutfi has had that previously reported restraining order against him extended for a further three months. Lawyer Vivian Thoreen, appearing on behalf of the singer, told the judge that extending the order was "in the best interests" of her client. Lutfi's lawyer Michael Sands said: "Sam and the family are co-operating and trying to do what's best".

As you will remember, Spears' mother Lynne obtained the restraining order earlier this year, claiming that Lutfi had drugged her daughter and taken control of her life and finances. Lutfi insisted the latest hearing on the matter went before a proper judge, rather than the court commissioner who had previously put the order in place.

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PETE DOHERTY PRISON UPDATE
It seems everyone's got something to say about Pete Doherty's recent incarceration on drugs charges. Yesterday, you might remember, it was Ann Widdecombe. Today it's the turn of his manager, Adrian Hunter, who, admittedly, probably has a greater right to have an opinion on these matters. He's commented on those news stories claiming that Pete is taking heroin in jail. He told reporters: "In our contact with Peter since his incarceration he has been healthy, lucid and positive. Peter is trying to carry out his sentence with dignity and should be allowed to do so without intrusion". So, meet you back here with more idle speculation this time Monday?

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DANNY FEDERICI DIES
Danny Federici, a long term member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, has died at the age of 58 after suffering from melanoma for three years. According to Springsteen's website, the keyboardist passed away at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center yesterday.

A life long colleague of Springsteen, Federici grew up in New Jersey and started to play accordion when he was seven years old. As his experience grew, his mother booked him into parties, clubs, and radio slots. Towards the end of the 1960s, he formed a band, Child, with future E Street colleague Vini Lopez, and they took Springsteen on as singer. Federici and Springsteen were also to collaborate on projects such as Steel Mill prior to the formation of the E Street band in 1972. During E Street's period of inactivity in the nineties, Federici recorded a solo jazz album, 'Flemington', later released as 'Danny Federici'. In 2004 he released a further solo effort, 'Sweet', reissued as 'Out Of A Dream' in 2005.

In November last year, Federici was forced to withdraw from the band's Magic Tour in order to get treatment for his condition. Bruce Springsteen said at the time: "Danny is one of the pillars of our sound and has played beside me as a great friend for more than 40 years. We all eagerly await his healthy and speedy return". He did return briefly, for one performance in Indianapolis in March. Two upcoming gigs have been cancelled due to Federici's death, and will be rescheduled.

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SLASH IGNORED WEILAND
In slightly childish rock news, Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash has revealed that prior to kicking the Scott Weiland out of the band, he and his other bandmates ignored him for the entire duration of their UK tour. He also revealed his amusement when the singer told fans that the band was splitting up, not realising that the others intended to continue without him.

Slash said: "We basically didn't speak a word [to Weiland] that whole time. We gave him the cold shoulder in the UK like nobody's business. There were a couple of arguments around the stage but, other than that, nobody spoke to him. I imagine he was quite uncomfortable. No wonder he didn't have a good time. Then, he told everyone in Glasgow that the whole band was over. We were like, 'Oh well, I guess we've got a surprise coming for you'".

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OPERATOR PLEASE LOSE KEYBOARDIST
Buzzy Australians Operator Please have announced the departure of band member Sarah Gardiner. The keyboardist's final work with the band was shooting the video for their next single 'Two For My Seconds'. She apparently posted a message announcing her departure on the band's Facebook page, but it's not there now. Luckily, for us, the NME saw it and report that she said: "The video features myself truly playing the piano on a busy street in Sydney, an oddly appropriate send off!" The band added that the split was amicable and was decided during her recent two month break from touring.

The band are now auditioning for a replacement ahead of their forthcoming European tour, which starts at the Camden Crawl this weekend and includes shows with Lightspeed Champion. Dates are too numerous to mention here, check their MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/operatorplease.

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AKON UNMASKED
Rapper Akon has long traded on his criminal past in interviews and songs. Or at least that's what I'm told, personally I hadn't noticed. But we're told he has, which is why it is news that TheSmokingGun.com has revealed those claims are untrue.

Akon has claimed in many interviews and the supposedly autobiographical song 'Locked Up' that he was once head of a "notorious car theft operation" but was sent to jail for three years after jealous members of his gang turned him over to police. In prison, so the story goes, he became a "champion" fighter, feared by other inmates because "I knew where to hit you to knock you out, so I didn't fear you". A formidable story that has helped the rapper to become a big name in hip hop, but, say TheSmokingGun, completely false.

According to the website, while Akon's rap sheet does list half a dozen arrests, he has only ever been convicted of illegally possessing a firearm, to which he pleaded guilty in 1998 and was given three years probation. The reality of the big bust that he claims sent him to prison for three years is, in fact, that he was arrested for possession of a single stolen BMW, again in 1998, and held in the DeKalb County jail for several months before prosecutors dropped all charges against him.

In a lengthy article, The SmokingGun says: "Akon's deceptions have gone unchallenged and unexamined by the music press, which has been happy to promote him as one of the beleaguered recording industry's few bright lights. With the single exception of a Washington Post reporter, entertainment journalists have played right into the manipulation".

To read the full report and watch a video compilation of Akon's claims, go to http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0416081akon1.html

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LILY SPLASHES OUT ON CLASH ART
Lily Allen has spent £23,500 on two paintings by former Clash bassist Paul Simonon, including one as a present for Elton John. So, everyone's a winner.

The singer (and goddaughter of late Clash frontman Joe Strummer) told reporters: "I am looking to fill my bedroom with some art. I've already got a bit of an art collection including a few Damien Hirsts and some interesting prints. I'm very into my art. I wish I could paint but I'm rubbish. I've bought a few paintings because I'm still doing up my flat. Plus I wanted to get one for Elton to say thanks, as I am going to his house in the south of France".

Elsewhere in Lily Allen news, a source 'close' to her and new boyfriend Robertson Furze has been telling Closer that their relationship is doomed: "Things just aren't going well for Lily at the moment. She and Robertson aren't getting on brilliantly. He says she's too demanding, over-emotional and dramatic. They've been seeing each other for a few weeks but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. She's saying she doesn't see him as a serious long-term boyfriend material. It's fizzling out before it really started".

Another source also claims that she isn't over former boyfriend and Chemical Brother Ed Simons, from whom she recently split after she suffered a miscarriage. "Lily doesn't seem to care too much about Robertson because she still misses Ed. But she really wants a man. She says nothing makes her happy since losing the baby, and she feels empty".

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CARBON LOGIC OFFER GLADE SLOT
'Upload your music and win studio time' website Carbon Logic have announced that the winner of their current competition will also get a slot at the popular Glade Festival. To that end, the latest competition will be judged by Glade co-founder and Nano Records boss Anselm Guise. Presumably this competition will favour the electronic genres that Glade specialises in, though I don't know if that's a foregone conclusion.

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THE HOLD STEADY SIGN TO ROUGH TRADE
Rough Trade Records have announced that they have signed a licensing deal with US label Vagrant to release The Hold Steady's fourth album in the UK and Europe. The new album is, of course, the follow-up to the band's highly-acclaimed 'Boys & Girls In America'.

Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn says: "We are really excited to begin this relationship with Rough Trade. From The Smiths to The Strokes, they have consistently released music from great artists and we are honoured to be a part of the roster. Rough Trade Records have been part of my own collection since I started buying my own records in the early 1980s".

The band will play the following dates next month:

11 May: ATP Festival
13 May: Dublin Academy
14 May: Belfast, Spring and Airbrake
16 May: Brighton, The Great Escape Festival

More dates to be announced.

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HELLA DRUMMER TO RELEASE SOLO ALBUM
Hella drummer and serial collaborator Zach Hill has announced that he will release his debut solo album, entitled 'Astrological Straits', via Mike Patton's Ipecac label on 26 Aug. That seems like an awfully long way off, doesn't it?

Joining Hill on the album will be numerous musicians, including Marnie Stern, Hella bandmates Carson McWhirter and Josh Hill, Les Claypool of Primus, and Deftones frontman Chino Moreno. Do I really have to wait until August for this?

Ah well, I do at least have a tracklist:

Iambic Strays
Toll Road
Street People
Dark Art
Keep Calm and Carry On
Hindsight Is Nowhere
Ummer
Stoic Logic
Uhuru
Momentum
Unseen Forces
Tick On
Astrological Straits
Necromancer (bonus track)

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BOWIE TO RELEASE 35 YEAR OLD ZIGGY RECORDING
David Bowie is to release a live 'Ziggy Stardust' album this summer, the recording of a gig that took place at Los Angeles' Santa Monica Civic Auditorium thirty five years ago. The LP is entitled 'David Bowie, Live Santa Monica '72' and is out on 30 Jun and the tracklisting is as follows:

Hang On To Yourself
Ziggy Stardust
Changes
The Supermen
Life On Mars?
Five Years
Space Oddity
Andy Warhol
My Death
The Width Of A Circle
Queen Bitch
Moonage Daydream
John, I'm Only Dancing
I'm Waiting For The Man
The Jean Genie
Suffragette City
Rock N Roll Suicide

Bowie says of the performance: "I can tell that I'm totally into being Ziggy by this stage of our touring. It's no longer an act; I am him. This would be around the tenth American show for us and you can hear that we are all pretty high on ourselves. We train wreck a couple of things, I miss some words and sometimes you wouldn't know that pianist Mike Garson was onstage with us but overall I really treasure this bootleg".

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GNARLS BARKLEY FREE BACKWARDS DOWNLOAD
Favourite story of the week is this one. Gnarls Barkley have put their latest album, 'The Odd Couple', online as a free download, though it's a backwards version called, of course, 'elpuoC ddO ehT'. If you give away your recordings backwards, does that mean whoever owns the publishing has to pay you? Anyway, go download it at this URL:

http://www.fronttobackbacktofront.com/

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TIMBERLAKE SIGNS UP TO BRAND PARTENRSHIP AGENCY
Justin Timberlake has signed a worldwide deal with agency IMG who will represent him in all matters brand partnership and endorsement. CAA will continue to look after his live bookings of a non-advertising kind. IMG's Sandy Montag told reporters: "We look forward to partnering with a superstar of his calibre and global appeal to further build his brand and expand his relationships with sponsors through endorsement partnerships".

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BRIGHTON PIPE ORGAN SHOWDOWN
I don't think I'll ever get the chance to write a better headline than that. So, thank you Fujiya and Miyagi, British Sea Power and The Go! Team, all of whom are in the running to have their songs played on a pipe organ as part of this year's Brighton Festival.

Organisers of the show, entitled 'Manic Organic', are asking fans to vote for two songs to be performed by William Whitehead at the Brighton Dome on 15 May. Also performing are The Necks, Robert Lippok, Paul Ayres, with a programme that will also cover freeform jazz and happy hardcore - all played on the pipe organ.

For more information and an opportunity to vote on the songs played, go to http://www.brightonfestival.org/event_details.aspx?eid=2715

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JAY-Z ANNOUNCES UK TOUR
Just yesterday I was thinking to myself that all these Jay-Z festival appearances were all well and good, especially for fans of not selling tickets, but wouldn't it be better if he'd announce a proper UK tour, too? And look - today, he's announced five UK tour dates in July in addition to that previously reported co-headline slot with Linkin Park at their Projekt Revolution show at Milton Keynes Bowl in June. Hurrah.

Those tour dates in full:

29 Jun: Projeckt Revolution, Milton Keynes Bowl
15 Jul: Bournemouth International Centre
19 Jul: Cardiff International Arena
20 Jul: Glasgow, SECC
21 Jul: Aberdeen Exhibition Centre

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MONTREUX LINE UP AND SPONSOR NEWS
Gnarls Barkley, Babyshambles, Alicia Keys, Paul Simon and Lenny Kravitz are all on the bill for this year's Montreaux Jazz Festival, which sounds good, if not that jazzy. The Swiss festival, which runs from 4-19 Jul, will also include a celebration of Quincy Jones' 75th birthday which will involve Herbie Hancock, Petula Clark, Al Jarreau and Patti Austin. More at http://www.montreuxjazz.com

Those who prefer their festival news to focus on sponsorship will be pleased to know that BT has signed a three year deal to be the event's main partner and official communications provider. BT's Global Services CEO Francois Barrault says this: "Music is a universal language understood by all so we are delighted to be able to support this event, which embodies all that is great about jazz and music in general. This partnership brings together BT as the leading enabler of global communications with one of the music worlds showcase festivals".

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NO KNOWSLEY FEST THIS YEAR
The Knowsley Hall Music Festival, which launched last year, will not take place this year, because promoters couldn't find a big enough headliner to make the event work. Last year's event at the Merseyside stately home included headline sets from The Who and Keane.

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RIZLA PLAYERS ANNOUNCE FESTIVAL APPEARANCES
The Rizla Invisible Players - the Rizla sponsored DJ collective has announced their 2008 line-up and festival dates. The outfit will this year consist of one of last year's original players, Greg Wilson, plus Kid Acne, Justin Robertson and Annie Nightingale. They'll appear at Rockness, The Big Chill and Bestival as well as a series of club nights across the country. The members play from a musical van and have a very free remit for what they play.

Returner Greg Wilson says this: "Last year was really special, the whole tour received such an energetic and positive reaction, culminating in the memorable finale at Bestival, undoubtedly one of the highlights of 2007 for me and the perfect way to top off the summer. Given the success of last year, and the anticipation that's built up towards this years dates, 2008 could be even better! Needless to say that I'm very much looking forward to playing in the Rizla van again".

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OSMONDS BEST OF NEWS
The Osmonds have announced that they're all going to get back together for the first time in twenty seven years for a series of stage shows in support of the release of a best of album featuring tracks by the family band as well as solo tracks from Donny, Marie and Jimmy, and from Donny and Marie as a duo. The collection is out on 19 May via UMTV.

The tracklisting for 'The Very Best Of The Osmonds' is as follows:

Crazy Horses (Osmonds)
Love Me For A Reason (Osmonds)
Let Me In (Osmonds)
One Bad Apple (Osmonds)
Down By The Lazy River (Osmonds)
Having A Party (Osmonds)
Goin' Home (Osmonds)
I Can't Stop (Osmonds)
The Proud One (Osmonds)
Puppy Love (Donny)
Young Love (Donny)
The Twelfth Of Never (Donny)
Why (Donny)
Where Did All The Good Times Go? (Donny)
Too Young (Donny)
When I Fall In Love (Donny)
I'm Leaving It (All) Up To You (Donny & Marie)
Make The World Go Away (Donny & Marie)
Morning Side Of The Mountain (Donny & Marie)
Long Haired Lover From Liverpool (Jimmy)
Paper Roses (Marie)

And here are the UK tour dates

20 May: Glasgow SECC
22 May: Newcastle Metro Arena
23 May: Sheffield Arena
24 May: Manchester MEN Arena
26 May: Birmingham NIA
27 May: Cardiff CIA
30 May: Wembley Arena
1 Jun: O2 Arena

Press info from Hudson PR.

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MAMA BUY AN ANGEL
The ever acquisitive MAMA Group, owners of the Barfly network and Mean Fiddler venues, amongst other things, yesterday announced it had bought a 70% share of the Angel Music Group, that's the clubbing and festival promoter, not the EMI label division. The deal gives MAMA a majority stake in the Godskitchen, Global Gathering and Escape Into The Park brands, and various club venues, including Air in Birmingham.

Commenting on the purchase, MAMA bosses Adam Driscoll and Dean James told CMU: "We are delighted to be making this investment in the AMG Group, the operations of which perfectly complement those currently provided by MAMA. The AMG Group has a remarkable reputation for producing high quality music events which attract internationally acclaimed artists and for attracting blue chip customers to its creative services division. The acquisition presents a unique opportunity to increase the company's investment in the music festival market whilst also creating exciting opportunities to work with the shareholders and employees of the AMG Group to produce world class music events. We expect this investment to be revenue enhancing for MAMA in our current fiscal year and believe that there are significant opportunities for this investment to generate substantial additional value for MAMA in the coming years".

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ERA DIGITAL PUBLISH FIVE-POINT PLAN
ERA Digital, the previously reported digitally focused bit of the Entertainment Retailers Association, have announced a five point plan which they reckon will help maintain and further the growth of the digital music market.

With the support of the likes of hmv.com, Play.com, 7digital.com, Orange, EUK, digitalstores.co.uk, Playlouder MSP and Trackitdown.net, the five-point plan doesn't contain too many surprises, though it does call for a commercial rather than legislative solution to the current music industry v internet service provider stand off over policing P2P file sharing. Other points make the usual demands on record companies and the publishing collecting societies to be more helpful, call for DRM in the a-la-carte download market to be dropped once and for all, and for the music business at large to invest some time into "understanding the digital music consumer".

The full five-point plan reads as follows...

One: A commercially-driven and collaborative approach to ISPs.
ERA Digital believes that illegal file-sharing and the unwitting role played in facilitating it by internet service providers are best addressed commercially.

Two: A more open approach to new models from the recording industry.
While ERA Digital notes and supports the progress made by the record industry in supporting new models beyond the a-la-carte download, it believes a step-change in openness is required. Too often the starting point for discussions is custom and practice in the physical world.

Three: Encouraging competition among collection societies.
Collection societies acting on behalf of songwriters and music publishers and record companies and artists are key to the successful development of many new business models. They should be encouraged to further modernise and improve efficiency to reduce costs. Where it makes sense, global licensing should be encouraged.

Four: Digital Rights Management
DRM should be abandoned for a-la-carte downloads. It is confusing and inconvenient for the music fan and hampers music sales. ERA Digital continues, however, to support DRM where it is needed to enable new models.

Five: Clearer understanding of the digital music consumer.
Much more work is still required to better understand consumer attitudes to and requirements from digital music services. It also sees a need for new charts tracking digital music consumption.

Launching the plan, ERA Digital chair Russel Coultart told CMU: "Too often the debate about the future of music is dominated by the interests of producers rather than of consumers. As the link in the chain closest to the consumer, it is right and appropriate that ERA Digital should align itself with the interests of music fans. Our five-point-plan goes a long way towards identifying the areas of keenest interest to music fans".

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ASCAP PUBLISH TEN POINT BILL
This was obviously the week for launching x-point plans, though US publishing rights society ASCAP had ten points and it was more of a claim to rights than a plan. In fact they called it a 'Bill Of Rights'. Launched this week, the ten point document hopes to remind (or, possibly, persuade) the wider music industry, legislators and the public at large just how important songwriters and their ilk are. Among the ten points are things like "we have the right to be compensated for the use of our creative works, and share in the revenues that they generate" and "we have the right to license our works and control the ways in which they are used".

Commenting on the 'bill', ASCAP chief Marilyn Bergman told reporters: "Given the many issues surrounding the music industry today, it can be all too easy to overlook the source of it all - individual songwriters, lyricists and composers. That is why ASCAP has launched this Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers. Our goal is to remind lawmakers, the general public and music creators themselves of the rights that are inherent in their art. We simply cannot allow the original source of all music to be lost in the shuffle".

Those wanting all ten points go get them here: http://www.ascap.com/rights/billtext.aspx

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KENNEDY CALLS FOR NORTHERN IRISH COLLECTING COLLECTIVE
Also doing some lobbying this week was Belfast born singer songwriter Brian Kennedy, who went to the Northern Irish Assembly at Stormont to call for the creation of a Northern Irish collecting society. He reckons that neither the British nor the Irish collecting societies properly represent songwriters from Northern Ireland, and musicians based there could be losing out on millions of royalties a year as a result.

Kennedy says this: "This is a very important issue. When I arrived at Stormont today I saw all these children being shown around and I thought there's the future. I thought down there is our musical future, in that group there could be the next Van Morrison, the next Snow Patrol or even the next Brian Kennedy, God help them. That's why it's important we give them a bills of rights for their musical future".

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RIAA SPENT LOTS ON LOBBYING
And talking of lobbying, it has been revealed that the Recording Industry Association Of America, the US's record industry trade body, spent nearly $2.8 million lobbying American political types on Capitol Hill last year, which is rather a lot. Among the topics being lobbied on were internet radio royalty rates, and general measures to stop copyright infringement, especially oversees in countries where it is harder for US music firms to pursue cases through local courts. We know this because of a US law that forces lobbyists to disclose their activities that could influence how political types vote.

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LOTS OF EXECUTIVE CHANGES AT SONYBMG
Possibly jealous that EMI and Universal have been dominating the always popular 'executive reshuffle' slot in the CMU Daily this week, SonyBMG yesterday announced a not insubstantial reshuffle all of their own.

First up, Barry Weiss has been announced as the new CEO of the major's US-based BMG Label Group, which incorporates all the former BMG labels. He takes over that role from J Records chief and US record industry veteran Clive Davis, who will become Chief Creative Officer of SonyBMG Worldwide, whatever that means.

Weiss' promotion comes at the same time as the departure of two other senior SonyBMGers. BMG Label Group President and COO Charles Goldstruck is departing, as is Tim Bowen, SonyBMG's COO, who enjoyed a wide operational remit at the major.

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NEW BOARDS AND PROMOTIONS GALORE AT EMI
More changes in executive structure over at EMI too, though not the recruitment of new people, or the axing of existing people, but the creation of two new boards. It's all very exciting stuff.

You may remember that when he took control of the major, Terra Firma chief Guy Hands set up a number of 'boards' to coordinate different parts of the business. One was the 'music management board'. Well, that's going, to be replaced by the 'chairman's board' and the 'operating board'. The former will be run by Hands and be charged with long term strategy, while the latter will be headed up by Terra Firma man and EMI COO Chris Roling and have a day to day operational focus.

The memo announcing the boards also included details on some executive promotions. Perhaps most interesting was confirmation of Roger Ames' new role in the company, his A&R role for the UK and US having gone to former Island chief Nick Gatfield this week. Ames, it seems, will now work closely with Hands and Terra Firm on strategic acquisitions, presumably of the music kind.

Other exec promotions include Chris Kennedy, who goes from CFO of EMI International to a global CFO role for the whole of EMI Music; Mike Clasper, the former BAE chief who is COO of EMI Music, and who will now also take on the role of Deputy Chairman of the operating board; Mark Hodgkinson, the former Virgin Money boss who is currently Consumer Development Director, and who will become President Of Business Development; and finally Sam van der Feltz who will become President of Global Marketing.

Which is all nice and lovely, but when are these major EMI job culls that have been promised going to kick in? Very soon, we hear.

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YEP, IT'S ANOTHER VIDEO-ON-DEMAND SOCIAL NETWORK VIDEO WHATNOT
Another video based music website for you all. A Californian based company, whose main claim to fame seems to be that movie star Will Smith is one of its backers, has launched PluggedIn.com, which will provide access to 10,000 high quality music videos and recordings of live performances. Universal, EMI and SonyBMG are all signed up to participate. Needless to say, there's some kind of social networking component to it all.

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UNIVERSAL TAKE STAKE IN BUZZNET
It's been confirmed that Universal Music Group recently invested in Buzznet, the US-based social network come blogging service. Rumours of Universal's stake in Buzznet followed news the social networking firm had gathered $25 million in funding, a cash boost that enabled it to go on an acquisition spree of its own, buying up music blogs Idolator and Stereogum among other things. It is unclear how much of the $25 million came from Universal, or what stake in Buzznet the major music firm got for its investment.

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TISCALI SET DEADLINE FOR TAKEOVER BIDS
Tiscali has set a 5 May deadline for people interested in buying its UK internet business. As previously reported, Carphone Warehouse, Sky, BT and Orange are all reportedly interested in acquiring the ISP. Vodafone are also reportedly interested in bidding, and may bid to buy both Tiscali's UK and Italian operations - it already has a broadband business in Italy which it may look to expand, and a Tiscali purchase would enable them to launch themselves in the UK broadband market for the first time. Tiscali bosses are known to be keen to keep their European business together as a whole, so Vodafone's two country bid may prove attractive.

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WATCHDOG QUESTIONS ELTON JOHN'S CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS
A US watchdog group has questioned the validity of Elton John's New York fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign on the basis that the singer is not a US citzen.

The group, Judicial Watch, have complained that because John is British, his fundraising activities are illegal, breaking the law which prohibits the raising of funds for election campaigns by foreign nationals. They have asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate the matter, saying in a statement: "Sir Elton John is not a citizen of the United States and is therefore prohibited from making any contribution to Senator Clinton's presidential campaign".

Hillary's people say it's perfectly legal, however, telling the New York Times: "Hillary's campaign has complied with the law. Since 1987, the FEC has consistently held that foreign nationals may volunteer their time for campaigns on an uncompensated basis.
Elton John is simply volunteering his uncompensated time to appear at the concert. This appearance is consistent with past FEC rulings".

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BASS RECORDS MESSAGE FOR ANTI-BULLYING DAY
N Syncer Lance Bass has recorded a public service announcement for the US-based Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network which will be aired in American schools next week as part of an anti-bullying National Day Of Silence. In the broadcast Bass, who came out in 2006 after achieving worldwide fame through *Nsync, says: "I think it's time for me to stand up ... and help educate, because I'm lucky enough to have been given a voice to be able to talk and grab the attention of people". Responding to an incident in which a Californian fifteen year old called Lawrence King was shot at school by a fellow student for wearing feminine clothing, he said: "I heard about Lawrence on the news, and it was just incredible to me that kids that age that would have such an issue ... with the subject of being gay".

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PENSIONER EVICTED OVER GANGSTA RAP
A 65 year old in Crawley, West Sussex has been evicted from his flat after blasting neighbours with gangsta rap. Peter Coles, who invited young friends to listen to the music nightly for two years, told the Daily Mirror: "The council should never have put me there. Everyone there is 80 to 90 years old. I am a lively person".

One of his former neighbours said: "I don't mind Vera Lynn but not music at that volume - certainly not that foul-mouthed stuff".

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KYLIE HATES KIDS
Okay, maybe that headline's a little sensationalist. Okay, it's a lie, Kylie hasn't said anything about hating kids. She has told German Vogue, though, that she thinks that, with her 40th birthday coming up next month, she might have left it a bit too late to start a family.

She said: "I never had the feeling I was made for a conventional marriage with a house in the suburbs. Media interest in 'supermothers', who are simultaneously on stage and bringing up children, is understandable. But for many that is too much of a good thing. There are artists such as Debbie Harry or Dolly Parton who have managed to have an unbelievable career without a family. Above everything else, it comes down to how much love you have in you and if you are ready to give that love. How things will turn out for me with regards to family I simply can't yet say".

The singer also promised a stylish new look for her new tour, which kicks off in Paris next month: "The showgirl and feathers are behind me. I want a new direction. Jean Paul Gaultier is designing my costumes for the tour - all couture".

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KANYE WEST 'LIKES BIG TITS'
Is this news? You decide. Kanye West has revealed to New York Magazine that he likes large breasts. He said, "I have liked big tits ever since I was a kid. I was breastfed for too long I think. It messed me up". As previously reported, West is headlining this year's Global Gathering. Um, that's it.

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