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TODAY'S NEWS
US courts say OK to resell promo CDs
Motley Crue sue another manager
The truth be told, there is no mole: R Kelly trial update
Civil rights protesters get Ashanti website removed
Metallica express regret at review censorship
Coldplay sales going rather well
Robbie brings dungeon victim out of coma
Winehouse drug dealers arrested
Madonna's brother to publish book
Jackson to create clothing line
Simmons says Radiohead need to be more interesting
Album review: Less Than Jake - GNV FLA
CMU festival weather report (it's gonna rain)
Manilow to play London arena
Heaven 17. Live album and tour
Lay offs at Univision following Universal takeover
Orange launch unlimited listen subscription service
MPs submit early day motion on copyright extension
Benn joins Wembley stadium board
PPL confirm full deal with Swedish equivalent
AOL radio comes to the iPod
Album review: The Presets - Apocalypso
Boyzone docu to air on Sky One
Martin says songwriting sends him to sleep
Eminem pranks radio show
Lennox on Winehouse
Lily Allen causes ruckus in LA
ON THE NETWORK...
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Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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FRIDAY 13TH JUNE

Time, everyone, to get some dates in your diary. Well, one date. The next edition of the CMU Social will take place at 229 in London on Tuesday 1 Jul, and will be another top night featuring as it does two of our very favourite new bands of the moment, your attention for which is both recommended and, frankly, a requirement.

First up, Maths Class, who are attracting an ever-growing fanbase, thanks partly to support from the likes of Steve Lamaq, NME, Artrocker and Vice - and CMU, of course - but mainly because they have a stack of great punked-up indie songs and a reputation for highly-charged live shows that leave audiences stunned and sweaty, which is exactly why we asked them to come and play for us. The band release their new EP, 'Now This Will Take Two Hands', on 21 Jul.



 

Go check more at www.myspace.com/mathsclass

Next, Vessels who, hailing from Leeds, have been rocking the CMU office ever since we discovered them last year. The band recently recorded their debut album (out 11 Aug) with Explosions In The Sky producer John Congleton, in the same studio that Nirvana's 'In Utero' and PJ Harvey's 'Rid Of Me' were recorded. The epic mix of rock and electronica contained within 'White Fields And Open Devices' truly come alive when performed live. This band are simply jaw-dropping.

Go check more at www.myspace.com/vesselsband

As well as the music, there's the important business of catching up with everyone else in the good old music business, and, of course, putting your brain to the tricky CMU Pop Quiz. You really need to get your company up their on the leader board with past winners Sunday Best, Something In Construction and Olswangs/Glastonbury, and the best way to do that is book a table (drop an email with your details to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk to do so - first come first served) and bring your posse down for 7pm, and get answering those questions while drinking beer at £1.50 a pint and having some well priced burgers.

The CMU Social is free for all you CMU Daily readers. To come just email your name, company and details of what guests you'll bring to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

 

 

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Movement
Movement turned 11 in January, so that's over a whole decade of experience for this weekly club, synonymous with London's Drum and Bass scene, and they are still packing them in. Residents on rotation like Bryan Gee, Ray Keith and Ruffstuff ensure continued success, plus this week there's a special guest set from Infra-Red's J Magik, plus the UNCZ boyz having a launch party, with MCing from Fun and Skibba. Bar Rumba is one of my choice clubs - it's a small yet perfectly formed venue, with a kick ass sound system - expect some killer b-line bizness.

Thu 19 Jun, Bar Rumba, Trocadero, Shaftesbury Avenue London W1D, 8pm till 3.30am, £5 NUS £7 normal, all free before 9pm and ladies free before 11pm, www.barrumba.co.uk, press info from Bulldozer Media.

 
 

INTERN OPPORTUNITY AT LEYLINE
Leyline Promotions are currently looking for a web-savvy intern to join their team in west London. Main duties include managing online communities and liaising with agents, artists and press during the build up to events. Applicants must have an interest in indie and electro and be available to work some nights. Leyline's events include: The Remix, Twisted Licks, The Insomniacs Ball, The (wonderful) CMU Social and they also look after the PR for the Glade, 229 the venue and seOne.
More info: tamsin@leylinepromotions.com


US COURTS SAY OK TO RESELL PROMO CDS
With somewhat interesting timing, given the news yesterday that British police had arrested a London based DJ and music reviewer for selling promo-CDs sent to him by record labels before release on eBay, a court in the US has said Universal Music do not have a copyright infringement case against a man who was, erm, selling promo-CDs on eBay.

The defendant in this case, one Troy Augusto, wasn't actually a music journalist in receipt of promo-CDs from labels or their PR reps, rather he bought the promo-CDs at second hand record shops (where, presumably, music journalists have been selling or exchanging the promo-CDs they have been sent) and was then selling them for a profit on the auction website. The major argued the promo-CDs were not approved for sale and therefore he was guilty of copyright infringement by reselling them - why they weren't targeting the second hand record shop that had sold the CDs to him in the first place I'm not sure.

The US judge hearing Universal's case said that as far as he could see Augusto, having bought the CDs from the second hand record store, was perfectly in his rights to then resell it online at profit. The resale, the judge said, was protected by the "first sale" doctine in copyright law, which says that if a content owner gives away a CD (or DVD or book etc), then the person who receives said CD has the right to sell it on. Labelling the CDs with statements like "for promotional use only" and "not for resale" - as record labels often do on promo CDs - did not, the judge say, override the first sale rights.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, who supported Augusto in his case (I'm not sure why - it's not really a digital case after all, even though eBay is a website I suppose - but the EFF like pissing off the major labels, which was possibly their motivation), welcomed the ruling, with the body's Corynne McSherry telling reporters: "This ruling affirms and protects the traditional balance between the copyright owners and the rights of the public".

Universal, needless to say, were less keen on the ruling, telling reporters they planned to appeal and that "We believe that the court's analysis is incorrect in a number of critical respects".

The US court ruling does not, of course, necessarily have any impact on similar cases in the UK - such as that involving the DJ arrested this week - and there are differences between the two cases - ie in the US case the defendant did not receive the promo CDs directly from the label. But it will be interesting to see if the American ruling on the matter has any bearing on the UK criminal case if and when it comes to court.

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MOTLEY CRUE SUE ANOTHER MANAGER
More pop litigation, and Motley Crue have sued their former manager Burt Stein, and his companies B Entertainment and Gold Mountain Entertainment, alleging that he cost the band large sums of money by putting his own interests, and/or the interests of a specific band member who he also managed on an individual basis, ahead of the general interests of the group.

The lawsuit, filed in the LA Superior Court on Wednesday and seen by US entertainment website TMZ, is seeking both damages from Stein, and also court backing to their claim that Stein's activities put him in breach of contract, thus rendering the manager/band agreement void and removing any obligations for the Crue to pay a cut of their income to him.

This dispute is separate, I think, to the previously reported legal dispute between the band and another former co-manager Carl Stubner, who was accused of damaging the band's career and reputation, in the main by prioritising the career of Tommy Lee, who he had a separate individual management relationship with. The band and Stubner settled that dispute last month.

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THE TRUTH BE TOLD, THERE IS NO MOLE: R KELLY TRIAL UPDATE
Jurors began deliberating in the good old R Kelly trial yesterday having been shown for a second time the graphic sex tape at the heart of the case as part of the prosecution's summing up.

As previously reported, it's hard to tell the identities of the man and woman in the tape, though the prosecution claim it is Kelly and a then 13 year old girl, and have presented witnesses who know one or the other (especially the alleged victim) who say they reckon so too. The defence deny that it is Kelly or the girl in the tape, and have presented family members of the alleged victim who agree. There has also been discussion about whether or not the tape could have been manipulated to frame Kelly, and as to whether a mole on Kelly's back is present on the man in the tape - the prosecution say it can be seen, the defence say it cannot, and that what the prosecution say is a mole is just a smudge on the tape. And then there was the woman who claimed to have had threesomes with Kelly and the underage girl - Lisa Van Allen - a star witness for the prosecution whose credibility has been greatly questioned by the defence, who say she is lying for financial gain, or to ensure her boyfriend gets leniency from the authorities in an unrelated criminal case.

While the sex tape played once again in the court room, Robert Heilingoetter for the prosecution summed up by reminding the jury of the charges Kelly faces, and adding: "During this trial we have heard from 14 people that personally identified [the girl]. Twelve of them identified R Kelly".

In a more dramatic summing up, Sam Adam Jr for the defence returned to the mole - "The truth be told, there is no mole. That means one thing. It ain't him, and if ain't him you can't convict"; again questioned the reliability of Lisa Van Allen - "Second Corinthians 11, verse 14. And Satan shall come disguised as an angel of light. That is what she is. She is a liar. She is an extortionist"; and finally stressed that the alleged victim's family were in absolutely no doubt that the girl in question did not appear in the tape, concluding: "If this was really their daughter, if they saw what you just saw, we would not be having a trial. Any solid man in that family would have gone round there and broken his legs. How many of the family even came in here and said they confronted him. Zero".

The jury will continue deliberating today.

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CIVIL RIGHTS PROTESTERS GET ASHANTI WEBSITE REMOVED
Universal/Motown executives have bowed to pressure from civil rights activists over a website publicising Ashanti's new single 'The Way That I Love You', and removed the offending pages. The promotional site for the track, the video of which portray the R&B star as a wronged woman who ends up stabbing her cheating boyfriend to death, opened with news stories about a fake murder, whilst visitors were able to personalise the site by selecting a murder weapon and choosing a victim.

The aforementioned activists staged protests at the label's LA offices. Head of Project Islamic Hope Najee Ali, one of the organiser's told MTV that the site was a "career mistake", and continued: "There are a lot of outraged parents who feel that the type of message and imagery that promotes violence as a tool for solving domestic relation problems is inappropriate. Universal should recognise that they have corporate responsibility for promoting their artists and material that they want us to purchase".

The star's publicist Michelle Huff immediately released a statement defending the singer, saying: "The website... is not controlled by Ashanti nor is it her creative work... It is important to point out that Ashanti's history of creative expression does not glorify violence at all".
Later, the label took the decision to remove the site, and visitors are now being redirected to the star's official site. The label released a statement which said this: "Following discussions with Ashanti, we have jointly decided to remove the TheWayThatILoveYou.com website that hosts the Gotchagram [the fake report]. Ashanti and her music have always been about self-empowerment and addressing the issues that are most meaningful to her. We stand by our artist and her creative choices".

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METALLICA EXPRESS REGRET AT REVIEW CENSORSHIP
Metallica have apologised for the fact that a number of people who had written reviews of a rough mix of their upcoming new album were told to remove them from their sites, a move which had angered the blogging community. They seem to be saying that it wasn't their policy to do this, just that someone at their management company made a mistake in attempting to censor the write-ups. Hmmmm.

Well, you make up your own mind. Here's what they said on Metallica.com: "Once we re-surfaced on Tuesday after a few weeks on tour in Europe, we were informed that someone at Q Prime (our managers) had made the error of asking a few publications to take down reviews of the rough mixes from the new record that were posted on their sites".

Anyway, they've re-posted the reviews on their site, and welcomed future ones. The album is due sometime soon...

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COLDPLAY SALES GOING RATHER WELL
You see, it only needs me to go on the 'Today' programme and proclaim that the new Coldplay album is "quite good" and they're shifting 100,000s of units within hours. Yep, first day figures suggest that Coldplay's new album 'Viva La Vida' could sell 400,000 this week, about the same as 'X&Y' did in 2005, possibly indicating Chris Martin et al's new long player could equal the 10 million sales scored up by that album, which would be useful for their label EMI, and its newish boss Guy Hands, who could do with a big global hit on his hands to motivate his troops and financial backers. Coldplay will easily beat the previous fastest selling album in the UK this year - Duffy's 'Rockferry' - which sold 183,000 in week one. Though it's some way off Oasis 'Be Here Now', which shifted 695,000 in its first week of sale in 1997, what is now known by historians as "the big week of all round disappointment". Unless something very very odd happens, Coldplay will top the albums chart on Sunday.

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ROBBIE BRINGS DUNGEON VICTIM OUT OF COMA
Kerstin Fritzl, the Austrian teenager whose admission to hospital led to the uncovering of a dungeon where she, her mother and siblings had been kept prisoner by her grandfather and father, Josef Fritzl, for nearly twenty years, has been brought out of a two month coma after she was played Robbie Williams songs.

Doctors played the singer's hits to Fritzl via headphones for three days, before she woke up and asked them to stop. Actually, it seems she likes Williams' music and has expressed a desire to see him live once she's released from hospital. Her doctor, Albert Reiter, told reporters: "She was sitting up in bed, waving her arms and dancing. One night I had to order her to finally go to sleep at 3am as she kept listening to Robbie Williams' CDs".

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WINEHOUSE DRUG DEALERS ARRESTED
Celebrity drug dealers John Blagrove and Cara Burton have been arrested by police and charged with two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, namely cocaine and MDMA, a spokesman for Scotland Yard said. The charges follow a police investigation in which officers seized a USB stick from the couple's house, reportedly containing video footage of Amy Winehouse smoking crack and Peaches Geldof purchasing drugs.

The couple have been released on bail and will appear at Thames Magistrates' Court in east London on 1 Jul.

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MADONNA'S BROTHER TO PUBLISH BOOK
Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone is to release an "extraordinary" book about his life with the pop star. Entitled 'Life With My Sister Madonna', the book will be published by Simon & Schuster in July.

Now, you might think this is one of those books where a distant family member cashes in on the fact that they have an association with someone famous. However, Ciccone has worked with his sister as a creative advisor on her live show. So, he presumably does actually know what he's talking about to some extent. That said, her spokeswoman Liz Rosenburg did tell reporters that the siblings aren't close anymore, adding : "Madonna has not cooperated with any biography about herself".

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JACKSON TO CREATE CLOTHING LINE
According to reports, Michael Jackson is planning to create a new clothing line with designer Christian Audigier. The singer was photographed at Audigier's birthday party in LA a wee while back, so that lends weight to the rumour, but at the moment, it's those inside sources who are saying that "it's going to be big". Here's hoping, for him, that it is, it might help solve his cash-flow crisis. Anyway, that anonymous tipster said this: "This will be a major comeback for Michael. He's dedicating a lot of his time and money to this venture".

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SIMMONS SAYS RADIOHEAD NEED TO BE MORE INTERESTING
Kiss star Gene Simmons has been talking again, as he does, and this time has criticised Radiohead for not doing interesting live shows. He thinks that there's no point in just standing there with a guitar, you've got to engage your audience visually as well. He may have a point there, really. A number of times I've been at gigs and thought that I might as well be listening to the music in an adjacent another room, having a nice sit down and a drink, and instead of standing staring at four men virtually immobile on a stage.

Anyway, here's what Mr Simmons says: "I admire bands like Radiohead, but the idea of being that serious? Fuck that, get up on stage and blow shit up. If you're not fulfilling the visual part it's like watching a movie with your eyes closed. One of the biggest compliments we get is, 'I fucking hate their music but that's the best show I ever saw in my life'".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Less Than Jake - GNV FLA (Sleep It Off Records)
Florida - the Sunshine State, home to the Walt Disney World Resort and more old people than Bournemouth and the village in 'Last of The Summer Wine' combined. FLA also boasts the spiritual home for third-wave ska - Gainesville, or GNV. This ska-punk Mecca is the hometown and source of inspiration for Less Than Jake's tenth studio album 'GNV FLA'. Packing more brass and horns than a Mark Ronson wet dream, 'GNV FLA' sees the band return to their roots in spirit and style. The lyrics deal with stereotypical pop-punk subjects, like living in a small town with big dreams, but they are handled with such deft ability it's hard to find fault. "Condition my small town / Prognosis: Let's get out," sings Chris Demakes, sometimes whining like Tom Delong, sometimes singing like an alternate Brandon Boyd. Whereas the ska-punk lyrics and singing is business as usual, 'GNV FLA' sees the band return to their traditional sound, mixing off-beat ska, stinging punk riffs and even a bit of heavy metal shredding. For every song with a happy-go-lucky ska vibe ('City Of Gainesville') there's a harder punk track ('Settling Son'), forming a healthy mix of styles, like the music from every Tony Hawks game distilled into one long skank. It is unlikely 'GNV FLA' will see the band cross into mainstream commercial success, but the album is such a glorious archetypal ska-punk outing it will please anyone with even a vague interest in the genre. RL
Release Date: 23 Jun
Press Contact: Cooking Vinyl [all]

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CMU FESTIVAL WEATHER REPORT (IT'S GONNA RAIN)
In our sister publication ThreeWeeks we have a reputation for dwelling quite a bit on the weather, but that's because we find festivals, which ThreeWeeks covers, are quite a bit more fun when the sun shines, even those festivals which get to use proper indoor venues. With the whole festival sector struggling this year in part because of the large number of wash outs last year, welcome to a new feature in the CMU Daily, your festival weather report, including warnings for those with mud phobias regarding when and when not to head forth into festival land.

This weekend is arguably the first big weekend of the UK music festival season with both the Isle Of Wight and Download festivals and a load of others taking place. If you are thinking about partaking, well, heere's our quick weather guides for festivals taking place this here weekend...

Big Session Festival 2008, Leicester (Fri - Sun)
Cloudy today, showers and sunny spells over the weekend, top temperature on Sunday 18 degrees.
Clothing tip: Waterproofs and layers - stay dry but strip off when sun comes out.
www.bigsessionfestival.com

Download Festival, Donington Park, Leicestershire (Fri - Sun)
Oh dear, rainy all weekend, though with some sunny spells. Top temperature 17 degrees, though rather chilly over night.
Clothing tip: Waterproofs and something warm for the nightime.
www.downloadfestival.co.uk

Isle Of Wight Festival, Isle Of Wight (Fri - Sun)
Oh dear again, really rather rainy today, and more rain all weekend.
Clothing tip: A waterproof hat and wellies.
www.isleofwightfestival.com

NASS, Shepton Mallet, Somerset (Fri - Sun)
Dry and sunny today, hurrah. Rainy with sunny spells over the weekend. No good. High 18 degrees.
Clothing tip: T-shirts today, cagoules for tomorrow and Sunday.
www.nassfest.com

Out To Graze, Shabbington, Buckinghamshire (Fri - Sun)
Dry and sunny here today also, but showers over the weekend also. No good.
Clothing tip: As NASS.
www.outtograze.co.uk

Southern Lights Festival, Holton Lee, Dorset (Fri - Sun)
Oh dear, lots of rain today, and more rain over the weekend. Some sunny spells though.
Clothing tip: A waterproof hat.
www.flamefireshows.com

Wimborne Folk Festival, Wimborne, Dorset (Fri - Sun)
Unsurprisingly given their geographic closeness - pretty much as Southern Lights.
www.wimbornefolkfestival.co.uk

Winterwell, Gloucestershire (Fri - Sun)
Secret location this one, so can't be too precise. But Gloucestershire is going to be rainy this weekend too, so wear that hat. Mistys Big Adventure are playing though, so probably worth getting wet for.
www.winterwell.co.uk

Escape Into The Park, Swansea (Sat)
Dry today so probably will be OK underfoot - but expect rain during the festival itself. Shame this isn't taking place on Monday - weather is looking glorious in Swansea on Monday.
Clothing tip: Go with a cagoule.
www.escapefestival.com

Leamington Peace Festival, Leamington Spa (Sat - Sun)
Yeah, more rain with sunny spells, top temperature 17 degrees.
Clothing tip: You're getting the theme here, right? - layers, hats, waterproofs - ie prepared for warm, wet and chilly.
www.peacefestival.org.uk

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MANILOW TO PLAY LONDON ARENA
Barry Manilow is to take time out from his Las Vegas residency to play two shows at London's O2 Arena on 4 and 6 Dec, which is exciting. Can I go? Here's what Manilow says: "The British public and I have had a long standing love affair for over 30 years. There is no audience for me like the people who party with me at a concert in the UK. I am creating a show that I can only do in Britain. If I tried to do the show I'm putting together for the December concerts anywhere else in the world, the audiences would think I was nuts! But my British fans and I know better. We'll have a ball!"

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HEAVEN 17. LIVE ALBUM AND TOUR
Heaven 17 are set to release a live album, a recording of a set which took place at the SECC in Glasgow back in 1999, and which features the band's original line-up of Glenn Gregory on vocals, Martyn Ware on keyboards and Ian Craig Marsh on guitar and synths. The LP, entitled 'Live At Last', will be released on 18 Aug.

Martyn Ware says this: "This live album is from a tour we did with Erasure. It was a 40-minute set, so it's basically a greatest hits package with a couple of new songs. Because of the nature of the way we are on stage, it has to be by necessity - and we want it to be - very electronic. Certain songs adapt to that, and songs from 'How Men Are' onwards don't adapt is well, because that was more real instruments. So that's why they're generally from the first two albums and more recent stuff".

The band have also announced a series of new UK live dates, as follows, more to be announced:

12 Jul: Shrewsbury, The Quarry
19 Jul: Norwich, Blickling Hall
26 Jul: Exeter, Powderham Castle
31 Aug: Westbury, Moonfest, Storridge Farm
30 Nov: Glasgow, Academy (Sheffield Steel Tour)
1 Dec: Newcastle, Academy (Sheffield Steel Tour)
3 Dec: Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall (Sheffield Steel Tour)
4 Dec: Norwich, Uea (Sheffield Steel Tour)
5 Dec: Brighton, Brighton Centre (Sheffield Steel Tour)
6 Dec: Swindon, Oasis (Sheffield Steel Tour)
8 Dec: London, Hammersmith Apollo (Sheffield Steel Tour)
10 Dec: Manchester, Apollo (Sheffield Steel Tour)
11 Dec: Wolverhampton, Civic (Sheffield Steel Tour)
13 Dec: Sheffield, Arena (Sheffield Steel Tour)

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LAY OFFS AT UNIVISION FOLLOWING UNIVERSAL TAKEOVER
US major label division Universal Music Latin Entertainment has made 20 former Univision Music Group employees redundant following its recent acquisition of the Latin music independent. Among those to go was Alfonso Larriva, who was VP and General Manager of Univision's Fonovisa and Univision Records labels. Other label coordinators, sales reps and assistants were among the 20 former Unvision types to go. No further lay offs are now expected as a result of the merger of Univision and Universal's Latin music operations.

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ORANGE LAUNCH UNLIMITED LISTEN SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
Orange France has launched an eMusic style download platform which combines the a la carte and subscription based download models. Users pay a monthly subscription of twelve Euros and can download up to 500 tracks a month from a catalogue including music from all four majors. Once downloaded they have permanent access to those tracks, even if they let their subscription lapse.

The service will be available both via Orange's broadband network and via Orange mobile phones - the latter service will let users sync their mobile and PC music collections, so tracks bought over the air to a mobile can be easily transferred to a PC. The only downside to all this is that - unlike eMusic - the files come with digital rights management embedded which means that [a] users can only copy the tracks to five devices and [b] they won't play on an iPod. All four majors and some indies are on board though the French music publishers - via Sacem - haven't completed their deal with the tel co, though an Orange spokesman told Billboard that a deal was close.

Similar services for Orange customers in the UK, Poland and Spain are reportedly in development.

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MPS SUBMIT EARLY DAY MOTION ON COPYRIGHT EXTENSION
A group of those MP types, led by SNP MP and former Runring man Peter Wishart, have tabled an Early Day Motion in the Houses Of Parliament calling on the government to extend the sound recording copyright from fifty to 95 years. As previously reported, there has been much lobbying on the part of the record labels and some artists and musicians for the recording copyright to be extended, [a] to bring it in line with the US recording copyright (95 years), [b] to bring it closer to the songwriter copyright term (life plus 70 years), and [c] to stop those big rock n roll releases of the sixties coming out of copyright next decade. The government's own Gowers Review of copyright law advised against an extension, but the extend-the-term lobby have the support of EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy who, at a European level, is calling for the extension to 95 years.

Six MPs have signed the motion, which proposes the following: "This House welcomes the proposal by the EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services [McCreevy] that copyright terms for sound recordings should be extended from the current 50 years to 95 years; notes that performers will be the main beneficiaries of an extension through the provision of a fund for musicians from the extra money earned in the long-term; further notes that the proposal requires copyright holders to publish their works or else license others to do so, which will ensure that music remains available to consumers; believes that the proposal will mean that British and European musical creativity is properly rewarded and will redress some of the existing unfairness faced by perfomers compared to composers and songwriters in the copyright system, while giving European performers the same rights as those enjoyed by performers in most other countries; and calls on the government to give the proposal its full support at future meetings of the European Council".

Early Day Motions don't generally achieve much in terms of either forcing debate in the House Of Commons or making government change policy (it's possible that the best way to do that is resign as an MP and force a by-election on a single issue - though I'm not convinced that will work either, we'll see I guess), but it puts those MPs who sign's opinion on the record. Which is nice.

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BENN JOINS WEMBLEY STADIUM BOARD
Festival Republic top man Melvin Benn has joined the board of Wembley Stadium as a non-exec director, and will sit alongside mainly sporty types representing the music world on the top team at the North London venue.

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PPL CONFIRM FULL DEAL WITH SWEDISH EQUIVALENT
UK recording royalty society PPL has announced a full reciprocal deal with their Swedish counterparts SAMI, ensuring better representation of the royalty interests of British artists there and Swedish artists here. I know this because PPL's Head Of International, Laurence Oxenbury, has just said so, adding: "Sweden has a long history of making great international pop music and we are pleased to be working with a society that represents these artists".

Stefan Lagrell, MD of SAMI, added: "We are very glad that the negotiation has come to this good result. The UK repertoire is very popular in Sweden and the UK is an important country for many Swedish performers. We have been exchanging revenue for a while and this agreement puts the exchange on a contractual level".

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AOL RADIO COMES TO THE IPOD
Over 200 radio stations currently streamed via AOL in the US will become available on the iPhone and WiFi-enabled iPod Touch with the launch of a new app that will bring net radio to the Apple devices. Some radio fans noted that the even the next gen iPhone does not include a radio receiver - digital or otherwise - as some would like. The addition of net radio may overcome that weakness a little. In the US at least.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Presets - Apocalypso (Modular)
This Sydney-based electronic duo are signed to the incredibly hip Modular Recordings and feted by label mates and fellow Australians, Cut Copy. You'd think this suggests The Presets are quite a cutting edge and interesting outfit. Not so. Unfortunately the bulk of 'Apocalypso' is incredibly underwhelming and unimaginative. Take the first two singles for instance; 'My People' wants to be a call to arms, an anthem, but comes over as the least successful attempt to speak for a generation since Fred Durst regrettably tried. It's not helped by an exceptionally annoying vocal sample throughout the chorus. 'This Boy's In Love' is very much an attempt to widen the band's musical spectrum and ambitions; obviously aiming for a crossover appeal, but sounds like a second rate Depeche Mode at their most pompous. The chorus with its falsetto vocals and sombre piano is infectious, but then so is the common cold. Both tracks highlight the conflicting influences the band obviously have; on one hand a darker electronic sound that even hints at industrial ('Kicking and Screaming') and on the other hand, a more serious and polished sound ('If I Know You'), but in all honesty, I'm not sold on either. I'm all for bands having quite obvious influences and this emerging through their music, as long as they do something new with them. Cut Copy are one of those bands who do this. The Presets don't however and quite obviously wear their influences on their sleeves and demonstrate little invention of their own. It's regrettable that I have to review the album so negatively; it's just that there's very little to recommend. KW
Release date: 23 Jun
Press contact: Darling Department [all]

PS: Kevin may not be particularly impressed with the album but can I just say the Presets snow globe that came with it was much appreciated, and has been placed at the centre of the UnLimited Media snow globe collection.

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BOYZONE DOCU TO AIR ON SKY ONE
Very exciting news, this, I bet you'll all be scrabbling to put this in your diary as I type. Sky One are to air a documentary about boybland Boyzone later this month, focusing on their recent comeback.

A statement says: "The Boyz Are Back In Town features exclusive footage of the band at home with their families, their secret reunion talks with former manager Louis Walsh and their rehearsals for this summer's 24-date tour. Talking candidly about their separation, Ronan, Stephen, Keith, Mikey and Shane will look back on their careers as they reveal their reasons for reuniting".

Can barely contain myself.

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MARTIN SAYS SONGWRITING SENDS HIM TO SLEEP
Chris Martin has said that writing Coldplay songs often sends him to sleep, something I can relate to, as Coldplay songs oft have a soporific effect on me. Martin claims it's because he takes sleeping pills, though, which is slightly worrying. I mean, that he has to take a pill in order to get some rest.

Anyway, here's what he said: "My problem is that I often take a sleeping pill in order to go to sleep, but then I get excited about a song, so I go and play music, and then it kind of kicks in halfway through. I have a little corner where nobody can hear me in the middle of the night, and that's where I spend most of the night times. 'I wake up the next morning and find these strange notes to myself... I'm a little bit ashamed about it".

On a slightly different subject, he spoke about the pressures of being Mr Paltrow, referencing her brief engagement to one Brad Pitt, and saying "you've got to be hungry. If your wife went out with Brad Pitt, you'd want to prove yourself, you know what I mean?" Gosh, poor lad. No wonder he needs sleeping pills. If it's any consolation, Mr Chris, I never thought he was that hot.

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EMINEM PRANKS RADIO SHOW
According to reports, Eminem made a prank call this week to a show on Sirius Satellite Radio on which LL Cool J was appearing as a guest. He phoned in to Shade 45, presented by Tony Touch, pretending be a rapper named Jason and challenging LL to a game of 'name that tune'. After revealing his true identity, Eminem invited LL over, saying: "Listen, man, you got this relationship with Dre. You're cool with 50, so when are we gonna hang out? I got cable at my house, and the game is on."

The programme's host made the most of the opportunity, asking Eminem about his musical plans, news of which has been very vague in recent years. "Everything is good" the rapper told Touch. "I'm just in the studio now working on songs".

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LENNOX ON WINEHOUSE
Annie Lennox has said that she wishes everyone would stop printing pictures of Amy Winehouse looking like crap. Writing on her blog, the singer said: "I'm very upset about Amy Winehouse right now. I just want to see her turn it around. She's a major talent, and it's so harrowing to see her spiralling out of control like a car crash. I wish somebody could just put a stop to everybody taking pictures of her, and get her out of the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. I want to see her healthy...not wrecked. I wish somebody could just get her the help she so desperately needs to save her life. It's so not right".

I also wish someone would get her the help she needs. Trouble is, as always, she's gotta want it.

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LILY ALLEN CAUSES RUCKUS IN LA
According to tabloid gossip, Lily Allen has been causing trouble in LA by making too much noise one night when she was saying at the posh Chateau Marmont hotel. A 'source' told the Daily Mirror: "Lily invited a group of eight people she met at a restaurant back to her bungalow at 1am. They were playing music until around 4am, until the hotel called and asked Lily to turn it down."

The group reportedly consumed several bottles of wine, vodka and champagne. Shocking.

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