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TODAY'S NEWS

MySpace Music launches in US

DMX misses court date
Jacko nervous about album, says Ne-Yo
Diddy wins naked pic court case
DIOYY man breaks ankle
The Police are top earners
About Bono's blog
Sway signs to Akon's label
Oasis give away free track
Single review: The Count & Sinden - Hardcore Girls EP
Kayne West brings forward album release
Radiohead expand fan remix project
The Rapture announce mix album
McCartney's Israel gig
Futureheads tour dates
Album review: Babel - Crooked Timber (People Tree Records)
The Jammie Thomas P2P case continues – retrial now a possibility
More details releases on British Music Experience
HMV join British retail consortium
Keane's management firm relaunches
Jarvis Cocker to speak at In The City
It's nearly too late to be a SXSW early bird
OfCom propose reducing ITV's regional and new commitments
Spears sells LA home
Michelle Williams denies Destiny plans
ON THE NETWORK...
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CMU Directory
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THURSDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER

KILL HANNAH
The first incarnation of Kill Hannah was a solo project for singer and guitarist Mat Devine in 1994. After signing to Atlantic in 2002, the by-then-a-four piece band made their name touring with numerous big name rock and metal bands, including Evanescence, Papa Roach and HIM. Their fourth studio album, 'Until There's Nothing Left', was released in the UK by Roadrunner Records earlier this year. The band will be in the UK for a string of tour dates from this week, so we decided it was time to speak to Mr Devine.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
My older sister's boyfriend taught me 'New Year's Day' by U2 on his guitar, then I was hooked. For a year I begged my parents for a drum machine for my 16th birthday. Every day I begged. When the day finally came, I got two shirts from the Gap.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
'Lips Like Morphine' was inspired by a famous actress in Los Angeles. One night I met her at a party, and without saying a word she slammed me against the wall and started making out with me. I almost got a concussion... but the adrenaline masked the pain

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I usually start by listening to 'Fascination Street' by The Cure about 100 times - kidding! The origin of every track is different, but I can say that by the time a song makes it on a finished Kill Hannah album, it's gone through a process of being recorded at least four separate times in four separate studios.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
The Cure, Catherine Wheel, NIN, Marilyn Manson, Peter Gabriel, Psychedelic Furs, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Bjork, Massive Attack, Ride, Slowdive, others. Is David Hasselhoff an artist?

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Turn it up. I like this song.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
I'm working on a song right now that will realign the planets and refreeze the icecaps. I'm just so tired of hiding indoors from the sun. Plus, I have a new fox fur coat I'm dying to wear.

MORE>> www.killhannah.com and www.myspace.com/killhannah

 
ISIS
I have a weird relationship with Isis. When I listen to them, I listen to them almost obsessively for weeks at a time. There's something about their songs that drags me in and takes hold of me. And I am completely unable to resist. I think it's something to do with the way they play with dynamics, moving between beautiful ambient post-rock to dense, roof-lifting, doomy metal. There are many others like them, but no others quite do it the way Isis do. So, it's very good news that they're back in the studio working on their fifth album, the follow-up to 2006's fantastic 'In The Absence Of Truth'. If you've not yet had the Isis experience, check out their MySpace right now.

http://www.myspace.com/sgnl05
 

 


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Don't forget you can now check out CMU favourites old and new on CMU-Tube, our online music video service powered by MUZU.

Set up your own MUZU channel, select tracks from the MUZU catalogue, and embed your own MUZU Player on your own website or blog - simple. Sign up here.

 

 

WANTED: SENIOR PRESS OFFICER / ACCOUNT MANAGER
Get Involved are seeking an experienced Senior Press Officer / Account Manager with solid print and online contacts. Must have at least 2 years experience in house or within an agency with a proven track record of working diverse music campaigns. Experience of working events would be good but not a deal breaker...We are looking for someone special to join our vibrant West London offices. Must be hard working and results driven with a keen eye for a story and the ability to write engaging press releases. CVS to claire@getinvolvedltd.com

--

OUTPOST OPPORTUNITIES

ONLINE ACCOUNT MANAGER
Our online department has handled campaigns as far reaching as Madlib, Red Stripe, Bomb The Bass and The Big Chill. We're looking for an online genius to take it to the next level. We'd expect you to live your life on the web in addition to displaying an excellent knowledge of music and consumer websites, social networking, video sites, seeding, viral campaigns and forums. A minimum two years proven online experience and a trainspotter's knowledge of music is required for this role. Web design skills and consumer PR experience a distinct advantage. £17k-£21k + bonuses.

RADIO PLUGGER
Looking after our key radio projects, you will have an outstanding knowledge of cutting edge music as well as possessing excellent radio contacts. You will be hardworking, motivated and intelligent with first-class writing skills and a good standard of computer literacy. With a flexible attitude and an eye for detail, you will be a confident team-player with a strong understanding of the inner workings of a radio station. A minimum of one years experience is required. The role will also include some TV plugging and press work.
£15k-£18k + bonuses

Both roles require event attendance outside normal working hours as well as a strong desire to search out new and exciting music/projects! Please apply in writing, including CV, to letitia@outpostmedia.co.uk clearly stating which role you are applying for.

 

 



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MYSPACE MUSIC LAUNCHES IN US
So, people, the long talked about MySpace Music arrives today. Well, it does in the US. Us Brits will have to wait a bit longer I'm afraid, though there is talk of a UK launch before Christmas, and the MySpace player looks a bit different today as a result of the launch of the US service. EMI, the only major record company so far not involved in the Murdoch-owned social networking site's musical venture, yesterday officially came on board just hours before the US launch.

As expected, the major change the new venture brings to the MySpace website is the number of tracks streaming - both on artist pages and the pages of individual punters. Artists, most of whom were previously limited to having just six tracks streaming on their artist profile page, can now post as much as they like and, in theory, their entire back catalogue. And with the majors on board, artists whose labels were previously nervous about making too much music available for free via MySpace artist pages, will presumably now be able offer much more.

Meanwhile, fans, who previously could only add a link to one of those streaming songs from their personal page, will now be able to have ten tracks publicly linked, while a new personal playlist function means each user can actually access 100 songs at any one time via their personal player. With peer-to-peer recommendation the big thing in all new music services, when fans add new songs to their playlists all their friends will be alerted to the fact, which sounds pretty irritating to me, but there you go.

Of course the other innovation with the new look MySpace Music is the introduction of sell-through. Despite their past alliance with Snocap which aimed to add download sales to the social networking site, in the main few artists have sold music directly from their MySpace page. Actually, they won't sell tracks directly off the page now either, however, alongside every song that is streaming will be a 'buy' button which will enable them to properly download the track from Amazon MP3. Ringtones will also be offered where they are available via MySpace's sister company Jamster.

Billboard points out that some of the features previously promised by MySpace Music are not currently available. There is no ticket sell-through, though that's expected to follow. There's also no last.fm/Pandora style recommendation service that tips tracks based on fan's past listening history. And once a user has created their public ten track playlist it can only be viewed on a user's MySpace profile page - ie they can't syndicate or embed their MySpace playlist anywhere else, like on a social network page they actually use. That said, more upgrades are expected.

The other thing lacking, of course, is some content. EMI's last minute arrival to the venture means there won't be any noticeable increase in their artists' content for a little while. Plus there are major gaps in the independent catalogue. Although deals have been done with some aggregators, deals directly with the big indie labels, or their digital rights representative body Merlin, have not been done.

Merlin boss Charles Caldas last night criticised MySpace for leaving indie deals so late, telling CMU: "It is incredibly disappointing that MySpace will launch their new service without having finalised a deal with the world's most important independent labels and artists. It certainly makes [MySpace co-founder] Chris DeWolfe's public statements, that the "indie bands are really the heart of MySpace", ring extremely hollow".

Despite the various new services listed above, there is actually very little that is particularly innovative about the all-new MySpace Music, from what I can see. The service's potential, of course, is in its huge existing membership, and the fact that so many bands use their MySpace as their primary fan communication tool. The biggest innovation, of course, is behind the scenes - the fact that the new music service is being run by a separate company in which the major record companies - including EMI now - have an equity stake, a strategy previously employed by YouTube in order to get more favourable licensing deals.

But the fact the majors are part-owners of the new service - and the fact a similar proportional equity offer hasn't been made to the indies - is seemingly one of the stumbling blocks in the service's late-in-the-day discussions with the independent labels. Caldas continues: "What is absolutely clear is that any independent deal struck without an equity component (as was done with the majors), will see independent labels face a situation whereby their major competitors will profit from the use of their repertoire without an appropriate upside opportunity being extended to them by MySpace Music and its major label equity partners. Whilst Merlin continues our negotiations, we remain extremely concerned that with MySpace Music the major record labels are acting not only as competitors, but through their equity stakes in the venture, as the clients/end user as well. Without an equitable participation by independents, that creates a situation that is both unhealthy and dangerous".

Travis Katz, MD of MySpace International, told The Times that the new MySpace Music service would arrive in the UK "as soon as possible". It's not clear if that would coincide with the launch of Amazon MP3 over here, or if another download partner would be sought for this market. Or if the download bit would just be disabled until Amazon does launch its digital music offer over here.

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DMX MISSES COURT DATE
DMX missed another scheduled court date on Tuesday, though, arguably, he had a reasonable excuse for getting on the wrong side of the law this time. He's ill. Though I have a feeling he's used that excuse before.

The rapper, real name Earl Simmons, was reportedly admitted to hospital on Monday, and his lawyer Bradford Cohen says that he's in a serious condition, but is expected to make a full recovery. Cohen told Billboard.com: "It was serious enough for him to be brought and taken into a treatment facility. He spent the night there last night, and he will probably spend tonight there as well. I don't think it's going to be an ongoing thing or a life-threatening situation. He's going to be alright."

Simmons, as previously reported, was recently extradited from Florida to Arizona to face a number of charges, including those of drug possession, theft and animal cruelty. The Tuesday court date related to the drug possession issues.

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JACKO NERVOUS ABOUT ALBUM, SAYS NE-YO
According to The Mirror, Ne-Yo has said that Michael Jackson is putting off the release of his new album because he's scared of what people will think of it. Which is possibly a reasonable fear and one which affects many artists, but, as the R&B star points out, Jackson probably has more to fear than most.

The new Jacko LP was originally set for release by the end of this year, but it now looks as though it's more likely to be out in 2009. Ne-Yo, who is one of the other artists whose work appears on the long player, is quoted as saying: "He keeps putting it off. Michael is very nervous as he knows he's the underdog and people want him to fail. It's tough when all eyes are on him and there is so much young competition out there. This album needs to be better than 'Thriller'. He wants killer melodies".

Elsewhere in Jackson news, that family who were suing the Marian Medical Centre in California, because they claimed the facility had caused distress to a dying woman in order to make room for Michael Jackson, have dropped their suit. As previously reported, the family of Manuela Gomez Ruiz brought the action after their relative suffered a heart attack the same day that the pop star was admitted to the centre suffering from flu like symptoms (during his much reported child abuse trial). They say that Ruiz, aged 73, was denied critical care and moved from a double room so that Jackson could occupy it alone, subjecting her to what they call a "outrageous, circus-like atmosphere".

It appears that the case has been dropped because it became too stressful, but also because the family feel their point has been made regarding the fair treatment of patients. Their lawyer James McKiernan, told The Associated Press: "The defendants made it clear that it was going to be bare knuckles to the end. I'm representing people who have families and jobs, and the constant stress of this lengthy process was too much".

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DIDDY WINS NAKED PIC COURT CASE
Sean Diddy Daddy Doddy Combs has triumphed in court this week, as a New York judge dismissed a suit brought against him by a woman who took exception to the fact that a picture of her, topless at a party held by the rapper, was published in Vibe magazine. Hedge fund manager Maria Kristina Dominguez sued the magazine, and Combs, for $3 million after the image, featuring three bare breasted women, and captioned "Mermaids Gone Wild," was published alongside an article on Combs. Her complaint hinged on the fact that she had not given permission for the photograph's publication, but the judge seems to have ruled that she had basically had no right to privacy in this case. She's apparently reviewing her options.

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DIOYY MAN BREAKS ANKLE
Does It Offend You, Yeah?'s James Rushent has broken his ankle. The bassist sustained the injury during the band's recent gig in Los Angeles, the final set on their US tour.

Drummer Rob Bloomfield explained what happened: "He was going crazy during the second to last song. James went up on a monitor and somehow a mic stand fell over, trapped his ankle and then he fell full weight on his leg and snapped his tibia. He went upstairs and when we came up he said, 'I've broken my leg,' and then we said, 'Shall we go on and do another song anyway?' It was a massive sold out show and the crowd wouldn't let us go without doing an encore. So he hobbled back on stage even though he was in agony. I was quite proud of him. If it was me I'd have cried and said, 'Take me to hospital now'".

So well done him. And the good news is that the band plan to continue their tour despite Rushent's injury, with upcoming dates planned for Australia and the UK. "We're still going to carry on touring and I guess we'll do the gigs with James sitting down. I'm really excited about the UK tour. Last time we were here there was always 15-20 people singing down the front. I'm hoping everyone will know the words this time and everybody will be going crazy".

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THE POLICE ARE TOP EARNERS
The Police have been judged the best-paid music act of the last year, thanks, of course, to the profits generated by their one-off reunion tour, which contributed to the trio earning a combined $115m between 1 Jun 2007 and 1 Jun 2008.

The band appear at the top of Forbes' annual music rich list. Beyonce Knowles came in second, with $80m, and was followed by country star Toby Keith, who garnered $48 million. In fourth place was Justin Timberlake with $44m, and fifth was Madonna, who took home $40m.

It's a disgrace, really, when people are starving and all that. Come on, rich rock types, stop telling us to support your charities and just give some of your own dosh away.

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ABOUT BONO'S BLOG
Bono is writing a blog for the Financial Times about the Millennium Development Goals summit in New York. He says he'd like to meet US Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama in the near future, and reveals details of his meeting with French president Nicolas Sarkozy: "Sarko is a real physical presence in a room, he might even be taller than me...animated, funny one minute; annoyed the next". It's fascinating stuff.

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SWAY SIGNS TO AKON'S LABEL
UK rapper Sway has become the first European artist to sign to Akon's Kon Live record label. The multi-album deal covers his releases worldwide, apart from in Europe, where he will continue to release via his own Dcypha Productions imprint.

Sway's new album, 'The Signature LP', will now be released on 6 Oct. The release date has been pushed back in order to include a collaboration with Akon, 'Silver & Gold'. You can download a mixtape featuring tracks from the album for a limited time from www.sway.uk.com.

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OASIS GIVE AWAY FREE TRACK
On the off chance you're thinking of paying for a digital copy of Oasis' new album, and not just downloading a copy now that it's been leaked on P2P, take note that if you pre-order 'Dig Out Your Soul' on iTunes you will get a Liam Gallagher-written non-album track, 'I Believe In All', for free on the day of the album's release.

The song was recorded during the 'Dig Out Your Soul' sessions, but wasn't good enough to go on the finished product. Or, er, there was just too much great stuff on there already. Something like that. iTunes pre-orderers will also get a copy of 'Falling Down' straight away, ie before the album's release next month. Which is nice. If you haven't already downloaded it from Limewire.

The band have also announced that they will be releasing two download versions of the album. The full version will feature eleven tracks, and fans who buy it through www.oasisnet.com will also get a half hour documentary on the making of the album. There will also be a slimmed down, ten track version available for £5, which will not feature the song 'Get Off Your High Horse Lady'.

Confirming the cheaper version, Big Brother Recordings' General Manager Emma Greengrass said: "It's right that there's a 'no brainer' version of the album. It's aimed at people who are looking to test the water [with digital music] who are prepared to take a flyer at that price. It was Noel Gallagher's idea that you should pay less and get less rather than pay more and get more, which is what everyone else seems to be doing".

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Count & Sinden - Hardcore Girls EP
It's a good artist who can nail so many different styles on the same release yet still keep a discernable sound. The Count & Sinden manage this magnificently. Taking all types of club music and presenting it in their own dirty, modern way they give us three instant dancefloor classics whilst showcasing three excellent vocalists and giving them space to shine. 'Hardcore Girls' will sit absolutely fine in today's electro climate, with youngster RyeRye bouncing around the track's pounding beat like Missy Elliot Jr. Next, forlorn soul songstress Ny helps make second track 'Fool In Love' an excellently brooding breaks track, and the Audio Bullys-esque strut of 'Industry' rounds things off nicely. An excellent collection of rave tracks, this short and to-the-point release should be destined for decks the world over. ME
Release Date: 13 Oct
Press Contact: Domino IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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KAYNE WEST BRINGS FORWARD ALBUM RELEASE
Kanye West has revealed via his ever-informative blog that his new album, '808 & Heartbreak' will now be released in November, not December, as had previously been announced.

West wrote: "I changed my album to November something cause I finished the album and I felt like it. I want y'all to hear it as soon as possible".

The first single from the album, 'Love Lockdown', is available now via iTunes.

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RADIOHEAD EXPAND FAN REMIX PROJECT
Radiohead are giving fans the opportunity to remix a second track from their 'In Rainbows' album. The band made the constituent parts of 'Nude' available via iTunes earlier this year, and are now doing the same with the song 'Reckoner'.

For more information, and to listen to and vote on other fans' remixes, go to www.radioheadremix.com.

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THE RAPTURE ANNOUNCE MIX ALBUM
The Rapture have announced that they will release their first ever mix album, 'Tapes', via !K7 on 20 Oct. The band's eclectic tastes are well-represented on the compilation, with various rare and cult tracks from around the world and spanning three decades making the cut.

Tracklist:

The Undisputed Truth - Earthquake Shake
Ghostface Killah - Daytona 500
Junkyard Band - The Word
The Bar-Kays - Holy Ghost
Vaughan Mason & Crew - Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll
Northend - Tee's Happy
Don Armando's Second Avenue Rumba Band - I'm An Indian Too
Martin Circus - Disco Circus
Arcade Lover - Fantasy Lines
Thomas Bangalter - Club Soda
Kiloo & Phonique - The Passion (Phonique Mix Down)
Armand Van Helden - Flowerz
Cajmere feat. Dajae - Say U Will
Syclops - Where's Jason's K
DJ Mujava - Township Funk
Donk Boys - Cpstyre
Dances With White Girls - Everybody's Got To Make A Living
Alter Ego - Why Not?!
Paul Johnson - Get Get Down (Extended Mix)
Kid Creme - Austin's Groove
Richie Havens - Going Back To My Roots
Galaxy 2 Galaxy - Afro Arps And Minimoogs (S2)

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MCCARTNEY'S ISRAEL GIG
Paul McCartney was yesterday preparing for his previously reported first gig in Israel, which is set to take place tonight, despite pleas from protesters for him to boycott the gig over the country's West Bank occupation. Presumably he has a lot of enemies this morning, because one Muslim speaker Omar Bakri Muhammad, told reporters that he would become "the enemy of every Muslim" if he went ahead with the concert.

McCartney has also visited Palestine ahead of the gig, despite the view held by many residents that he was not welcome. "I have come here to Bethlehem deliberately to see Palestine with my own eyes," he said. "Anyone who knows me knows I support peace for all people. This visit is meant to counter those that criticise me for going to Israel".

On his website he also said that he hoped the concert would convey a message of peace. A hope which I suspect may be a vain one. Though Bono and Bob Geldof did make poverty history, so perhaps Macca can solve the Middle East crisis.

Anyway, here's what he wrote: "The world knows about the conflicts that have been in that region and I like to think that if I go to a place it becomes evident that my message is a peaceful one and I hope that the idea will spread", he wrote, "It often does happen you know - you'll go to a place and it can affect the audience. It reawakens the idea - so that is definitely my message and when I am talking to people, that will be my message and I am sure it is a message shared by a lot of the audience too. People ask this question through the years. 'Do you think music can change things?' I think it can. I think it's good for people's souls".

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FUTUREHEADS TOUR DATES
Upcoming Futureheads tour dates, anyone? Here you go:

29 Nov: London Astoria
30 Nov: Whitehaven Civic Hall
2 & 3 Dec: Glasgow ABC 2
5 Dec: Cardiff Point
7 Dec: Norwich Waterfront
12 Dec: Sheffield Academy
19 Dec: Gateshead Sage
20 Dec: York Duchess

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ALBUM REVIEW: Babel - Crooked Timber (People Tree Records)
The first album proper from Bristolian sextet Babel is a blessed relief after listening to a lot of Hoxton electro recently. Not that I'm against that kind of thing per se, it's just that after a while you like a bit of musicianship and songwriting to counteract the day-glo and boundless enthusiasm. 'Crooked Timber' is a lovely listen, unlikely to offend, and with a strong potential to be a repeated favourite as autumn comes around, when sitting around watching leaves fall and listening to string tinged folk is the order of the day. Reminiscent of John Martyn and, at times, Julian Cope, the band tackle subjects from relationships to war, parenthood to school days and in the closing track 'It's So Hard To Love You' a choral testimony to unrequited love. So, it isn't all about electro pop, after all... IM
Release Date: 13 Oct
Press Contact: Freeman PR [all]

Buy from Amazon

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THE JAMMIE THOMAS P2P CASE CONTINUES - RETRIAL NOW A POSSIBILTY
So, the long running Jammie Thomas P2P legal case continues. As previously reported, Thomas was the first recipient of the Recording Industry Association Of America's many P2P legal actions to go before a jury, and that jury found her guilty of copyright infringement for illegally making 24 songs available to share via that ah-yes-remember-the-old-days P2P file sharing network Kazaa. As a result she was ordered to pay $222,000 in damages to six affected record companies.

But, as also previously reported, some legal experts said that the judge in the case - US District Judge Michael J Davis - gave incorrect instructions to the jury before they considered their verdict, and that those instructions "substantially prejudiced" her rights. Davis yesterday admitted that he had, indeed, made an error in his briefing of the jury, and as a result said Thomas could opt to have a retrial.

There has been some concern in parts of the legal community also as to the size of the damages Thomas was ordered to pay, and Davis yesterday also called on Congress to cap such damage payments so that in future similar cases individuals guilty of sharing a handful of tracks via P2P won't face such steep financial penalties. He didn't, however, overrule Thomas' original fine, though given she now has the option of a retrial there was possibly no need.

On the size of the damages, he said that while he recognises that record companies have lost out because of illegal file sharing, and that "the Court does not condone Thomas' actions" that "it would be a farce to say that a single mother's acts of using Kazaa are the equivalent, for example, to the acts of global financial firms illegally infringing on copyrights in order to profit in the securities market".

The issue on which Davis incorrectly briefed the jury was the old chestnut of whether a record company has to prove that someone actually illegally downloaded the music which the defendant, ie Thomas, made available via P2P. The labels downloaded copies themselves - so the potential to download was undeniably there - but the law is a bit grey on whether being responsible for enabling potential infringement is sufficient to be found guilty of actual infringement. The labels say it is, but those who support those accused of P2P copyright infringement argue that the law does not go that far.

Of course it's a technicality really, though in theory if a court found that enabling the potential for infringement wasn't sufficient, it could have an impact on past and future legal cases where the RIAA has only gathered evidence that files were made available, not that those files were actually downloaded.

Thomas's legal rep Brian Toder is yet to comment on Judge Davis's ruling, or on whether Thomas will request a retrial. The RIAA says it is reviewing the ruling and will comment later this week.

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MORE DETAILS RELEASED ON BRITISH MUSIC EXPERIENCE
More details have been announced about the permanent rock and pop exhibition that is being planned for The O2 complex's exhibition space, previously occupied by the Tutankhamun exhibition and which is due to host the Body Worlds show this Autumn.

The planned music exhibition was originally dubbed as a UK version of America's Hall Of Fame museum, with rumours that the whole thing might be linked to the now redundant Channel 4 Hall Of Fame annual awards show, but what is now planned to launch in the new year will be called the British Music Experience. That said, it is likely to be similar to the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, in that it will include a big rock n pop memorabilia collection, including a Noel Gallagher guitar, a Ziggy Stardust constume, the Union Jack outfit Annie Lennox wore at the 1999 Brits and a trumpet the late Humphrey Lyttelton played on VE Day in 1945, plus video interviews with artists as diverse as Cliff Richard, Dizzee Rascal and Acker Bilk, and various interactive displays involving music.

Promoter man Harvey Goldsmith is behind the venture, and he was quoted by the Evening Standard this week as saying it was "amazing" no such show currently exists in Britain given how much "fantastic talent" has come out of the UK music industry over the years. The Experience is due to open at The O2 in March.

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HMV JOIN BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM
HMV has joined the British Retail Consortium which is news because [a] I never knew such a Consortium existed or [b] that HMV had never before seen the need to join it.

It's really of interest because it's possibly a sign that HMV now sees itself more as a general retailer rather than a specific music retailer, and therefore that its interests cannot be fully represented by even the expanded music retail trade body the Entertainment Retailers Association (formerly the British Association Of Record Dealers).

Confirming their membership of the body, HMV boss Simon Fox said this: "It is important that our industry unites behind a strong, single voice. HMV Group is pleased to be joining the BRC as it has an excellent track record and the contacts to convey the realities of retail to politicians at every level".

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KEANE'S MANAGEMENT FIRM RELAUNCHES
The management firm who represent Keane and Laura Marling, among other people, Tudhope Hawkins Management, has relaunched as Everybody's. Yes, that's its name: Everybody's.

The company, who also represent writer director Ed Roe and digital content firm Monterosa Formats, say they plan to become a multi-dimensional agency working in the artists management, recording, music publishing, film, TV and interactive content domains - brokering deals and collaborations between people and companies in the music, TV, digital and brand worlds.

Co-founder Adam Tudhope is quoted by Music Week thus: "There are many opportunities and benefits for musicians to work with TV producers, scriptwriters, artists, digital experts and brands. We have an extensive network of contacts and our aim is to act as a catalyst in encouraging new relationships by bringing different perspectives to projects".

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JARVIS COCKER TO SPEAK AT IN THE CITY
Former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker has been announced as a keynote speaker at this year's In The City, which takes place at The Midland Hotel in Manchester on 5, 6 & 7 Oct.

Cocker will give a lecture on the function of lyrics in songs, called 'Saying The Unsayable'. It promises to be a "completely biased and subjective" exploration of some of his favourite lyrics from other people's songs, as well as a few of his own.

Taking the viewpoint that lyrics don't actually matter very much, he will nonetheless give his opinions on what makes a good lyric and how they should be presented, with subjects covered including, 'Should Songs Rhyme?', 'Are Songs Poetry?', 'Is There Anything You Can't Write Songs About?', 'Which Phrases Should be Avoided at All Costs?' and 'Great First Lines'.

Artists who will have their words deconstructed will include Leonard Cohen, Pete Doherty, Hot Chocolate, Amy Winehouse, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Neil Sedaka, Dory Previn, Katerine, Rozalla and The Arctic Monkeys. There will also be an in-depth deconstruction of the lyrics of 'Louie Louie'.

Other speakers at this year's In The City include former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, Sire Records founders Seymour Stein and Richard Gotterher, Warners legend Lyor Cohen, Big Life founder Jazz Summers, the UK Culture Secretary Andy Burnham MP, iconic music photographer Kevin Cummins and legendary film-maker Dick Carruthers.

More info from www.inthecity.co.uk

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IT'S NEARLY TOO LATE TO BE A SXSW EARLY BIRD
Early bird rates for next year's SXSW end today, meaning that, from Friday, ticket prices will rise from $550 to $600. The other reason for getting your tickets for the Austin, Texas concention today is that, despite there still being six months to go until the event, 12 of the hotels around it are already sold out.

There will be another price increase on 16 Jan, and the door price will be $695.

More info on how to register from www.sxsw.com

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OFCOM PROPOSE REDUCING ITV'S REGIONAL AND NEW COMMITMENTS
More on OfCom's review of the public service commitments of the terrestrial commercial broadcasters, and the media regulator has said that ITV will be able to cut back on its regional and current affairs programmes.

Regional programming, once a key part of the ITV proposition, could be cut by up to 50%, while the cuts in news programmes will come during off-peak times. Combining the two cuts - regional news programmes will also be reduced, though only slightly. ITV argues that regional programming is expensive to make - because it means having production teams in each region - but are not especially attractive to advertisers and sponsors.

As previously reported, ITV says the costs of the public service commitments that come with its ITV1 terrestrial licence are making it hard to compete in the increasingly competitive mutli-channel TV industry, and OfCom recently admitted that the value and prestige of having the third channel slot on the terrestrial TV network would soon not exceed the cost of fulfilling the public service demands made on ITV.

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SPEARS SELLS LA HOME
Britney Spears is selling her home in California and is planning to find somewhere a bit more private to raise her young sons (which she does sometimes). The six bedroom house, now on the market priced at $7.9 million, has been her home for less than two years. Spears' dad Jamie, who, as previously reported, is still in control of his daughter's estate, asked permission back in June to sell the property, as the singer wished to find a home that was in a quieter neighbourhood with better access to parks and recreational facilities.

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MICHELLE WILLIAMS DENIES DESTINY PLANS
Michelle Williams has denied that a Destiny's Child reunion is on the cards, despite reports that the girl-group's Kelly Rowland recently said they'd be back in 2009 with a new album. Williams says: "I haven't heard anything about a Destiny's Child reunion. I'm focusing on me now and want to stand on my own two feet. I'm definitely carving out my own niche. I don't look to them for anything. I've got a long way to go cos I'm starting over but I'm happy for it to build slowly."

Elsewhere, Williams has said that she doesn't mind sharing her name with the other Michelle Williams, actress, because she gets sent her gifts by mistake. Which is a shame for the Brokeback Mountain star. Although, perhaps she gets sent mistake gifts too, so it evens out. Anyway, the singer says: "We must have the same finance people, because I keep getting calls about her phone bills. I even received a toddler's play set worth thousands of dollars once that was obviously for her little girl Matilda".

Honestly, these rich famous people never have to pay for fun things, do they? So unfair.

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