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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Could unearthed emails aid Viacom in its YouTube lawsuit?
In The Pop Hospital
Yauch feeling "healthy and strong"
Awards & Contests
Record Of The Day awards launched
Soul Train awards to return
Donovan named icon by BMI
Reunions & Splits
Davy Jones: no more Monkees reunions
In The Studio
Machine Head cover Pantera
Release News
Dre pushes back Detox
Maths announce debut album
Sparrow And The Workshop announce new album
Gigs N Tours News
Ewen explains Sugababes cancellation
Japandroids to play Rough Trade East
Festival News
Pavement to curate ATP
Sonisphere announce 2010 dates
Reviews
Album review: Ingrid Michaelson - Everybody (Cabin 24 Records)
The Music Business
American Idiot producer becomes Warner CCO
The Digital Business
Napster launch new subscription package
U2 angling for videogame
The Media Business
UTV drop out of RadioCentre
Sky's Songbook returns
And finally...
George Michael denies split
Usher singing instead of signing his papers
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
THURSDAY 8TH OCTOBER


JOSHUA RADIN
From Cleveland via New York and LA, Joshua Radin released his debut album 'Simple Times' back in August. Starting out as a painter and screenwriter in New York and performing at open mic nights, Radin's singing career took off after friend and actor Zach Braff heard his demo and placed it on hit TV show 'Scrubs'. Radin's anthems for the heartbroken have since appeared on numerous TV and film soundtracks. Following a sold-out European tour, Radin plays Manchester's Club Academy tonight. We spoke to Joshua to ask our Same Six Questions.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I picked up a guitar in 2002 and started learning Beatles songs as a way to quell my frustrations with my screenwriting. Then the hobby became the job.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Everything in my life inspires my writing. A conversation, a book I'm reading, a relationship, my family, falling in love, a painting I walk by in a museum. They're all journal entries set to music.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Every track requires a different approach. There is no formula. You just have to serve the song.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Picasso, Kandinsky, Sam Cooke, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Thomas Mann...

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I'd say... "I hope you dig this".

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I'd like to stay happy. Who knows if I will? Hopefully this record will make people feel. Then I've done my job.

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

 
STRANGE ANIMALS
There's plenty of promise in the collection of tracks on Strange Animals' MySpace, ranging from the hypnotic, mainly instrumental repetitiveness of 'The Fight' to 'A Good Songwriter', which flips from hushed acoustic guitar to a slow paced electronic drum beat and looped electric guitar that's been coarsely fed through an effects pedal. Imagine a singer-songwriter creating My Bloody Valentine songs, with the trick to many of the tracks lying in looping the same core sounds and gradually adding in other elements before fading out without any defined peak being reached. 'I Don't Think So!' follows a similar construction, yet sounds far closer to American alt-rock band Pavement than the others, with the laid back vocal delivery and nodding rhythm abruptly ending the track. At times it can sound frustrating then, but there are too many good ideas afoot to get overly critical.

www.myspace.com/mystrangeanimals
 
Visible Noise and DC Recordings are looking to recruit some new people:

LABEL MANAGER: Music Industry all rounder to look after the day to day running of two small but expanding independent labels - one rock and metal based and the other electronica. Duties would include liasing with Uk and European distributors, production, handling the 2 label online stores and other various duties involved with the running of small labels.

NEW TECHNOLOGY, WEB AND ONLINE SPECIALIST: An experienced individual looking to expand their responsibilities in the mobile, digital and new technology sphere with an aim to setting up their own department, working across film, music and fashion. Experience of licensing and synchronisation an advantage.

WORK EXPERIENCE: We are looking for young and enthusiastic people to help out at Visible Noise across press, promo, online. Please note these positions are unpaid and would require availability of at least 3 days a week.

PLEASE SEND CVS AND COVERING EMAIL TO: Julie@visiblenoise.com by 13 Oct.

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DESK SPACE TO RENT IN SHOREDITCH
A bright Shoreditch third floor 4 desk unit, ideal for a start-up. You'll be sharing with 4 other small media enterprises (film, publishing, PR and design). The space comes with four desks, chairs and shelving units and is ready for you to move in today. Office has internet, wifi and is fully air-conditioned. In a very desirable location 5 minutes from Liverpool Street station and 10 minutes from Old Street station. Rent is £250 per desk, per month, including rates and service charge. Please contact rachel@devenportpr.com

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FILM PRODUCTION STUDIO TO RENT IN SHOREDITCH
A fully equipped film production studio in the heart of Shoreditch. An ideal temporary studio to meet all your freelance and overspill needs, with access to 2 cameras (Z1E and HC1E) with 2 sound kits, an HD edit suite with FCP Studio 2, HD deck, HD monitor and sound station. Full specs available on request. Includes a working space for up to four people. The space with production and post-production equipment is £200 per day, minimum hire of three days; 7 days is charged at 5 days. Discounts available for hire of 4 weeks plus. Please contact jobeda@fairknowledge.co.uk or 07809601366.

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COULD UNEARTHED EMAILS AID VIACOM IN ITS YOUTUBE LAWSUIT?
So, an interesting development in the ongoing and previously reported Viacom v YouTube legal squabble courtesy of CNET.

As much previously reported, MTV owners Viacom are suing YouTube over allegations of copyright infringement. Viacom claim that the Google-owned video service infringed its copyrights by allowing punters to upload clips of MTV and VH1 shows onto the YouTube website.

Many content owners have expressed similar concerns - and a consortium of smaller content firms are pursuing a similar legal action - though most of the other major media and entertainment conglomerates, including all four major record companies, have done licensing deals with YouTube rather than sue for any current or past infringing content that may appear on the video site.

Viacom have chosen not to do a deal but to plough ahead with legal action. That may or may not be because, with YouTube positioning itself as a one-stop on-demand music video jukebox, and with their obvious appeal to the youth demographic, the Google service is just too big a competitor to MTV for the original youth telly service to form any kind of formal partnership, even though Viacom channels have used the video sharing platform for marketing purposes.

Of course YouTube frequently hosts all sorts of content that has been uploaded by punters without a copyright owner's permission, and in the early days that accounted for a bulk of the content on the video service. However, Google's lawyers argue that, while there may be infringing content on their website, they are not liable for any infringement themselves because they follow provisions set out in US copyright law whereby they remove any infringing content as soon as they are made aware of it.

Viacom's litigation has been working its way through the US courts for sometime. They are expected to question Google's interpretation of the so called 'safe harbour' provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that stop them being liable for infringing content they unknowingly host (mainly by asking whether the obligation should really be on the content owner rather than YouTube to spot infringing content). They will also question whether YouTube followed even its own interpretation of the safe harbour rules in its early days.

It's on that last point that CNET have an interesting update. They report that Viacom have gathered internal emails exchanged by YouTube employees in the early days of the video service which show that staffers there were very aware of infringing content on their website but chose to ignore it, presumably because it's the 'user stolen content', rather than 'user generated content', that often generates the most traffic. Not only that, but these emails suggest YouTube employees themselves were uploading infringing content to their platform.

If those practices can be proven in court, arguably YouTube would lose the protection of the safe harbour provisions in the DMCA, which obliges web service providers to act to stop access to infringing content as soon as possible once they are aware of its existence.

Roger Goff, an entertainment lawyer not involved in the Viacom v YouTube case, told CNET this week: "The facts you described could very well be the smoking gun that puts a hole through Google's case. [If the facts are accurate], Google will have a very difficult time claiming that [its staff members] don't undermine its protection".

Viacom and others have often questioned YouTube's claims that it has always acted quickly to remove infringing content off its website. While the video service's content removal system has definitely been honed in more recent times, and is being increasingly automated to reduce the workload of copyright owners in monitoring the presence of their content on the site, in the early days quite blatantly infringing content sat on YouTube for months, often appearing in the most viewed lists on the home page. YouTube staff, Viacom would argue, would have had to have been pretty dumb to not realise said content shouldn't be there.

For their part YouTube argue that it was never as easy to spot infringing content as some make out, not least because many content owners quickly started using YouTube as a marketing channel, legitimately uploading content that sat next to that which had been illegitimately uploaded by punters. Viacom has itself admitted its channels were among the first to utilise YouTube for promotional purposes. The evidence CNET's sources talk about, though, could make YouTube's claims of innocence harder to swallow.

A spokesman for the video site, though, thinks not. Aaron Zamost told CNET: "The characterisations of the supposed evidence, made in violation of a court order, are wrong, misleading, or lack important context and notably come on the heels of a series of significant setbacks for the plaintiffs. The evidence will show that we go above and beyond our legal obligations to protect the rights of content owners".

The lawsuit continues to work its way though the system. It was originally thought that Viacom v YouTube would be a big test case on the lengths to which services like YouTube, which do aid copyright infringement in some ways, have to go to in order to avoid liability for that infringement. That said, some now question how big a precedent the case will set, even if Viacom were to score some level of victory.

Firstly, some of the disputes regarding interpretation of the DMCA have been addressed in less high profile lawsuits involving other video sharing sites and content owners, the main ones of which have been reported on here. Generally, the YouTube clones have been victorious.

Moreover, YouTube's content take-down system has developed hugely in the last year, with past promises of technical solutions finally coming to fruition (in fact there were new developments in this domain just this week). Chances are the video site is now already operating a system that surpasses any specific obligations the court would prescribe in a ruling on the Viacom case. Therefore a Viacom win, while maybe necessitating some kind of damages payment for past infringement, wouldn't necessarily require any change to the way YouTube operates as of today.

In related news, Google top man Eric Schmidt has admitted his company probably paid too much for YouTube in 2006. Their 1.6 billion dollar purchase of the video site was one of the first silly money web deals post the original dot-com collapse. He admitted this week the service was probably only really worth $600 million when they bought it in 2006. Still, what's a billion between friends?

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YAUCH FEELING "HEALTHY AND STRONG"
Hurrah for some good news, for a change. Beastie Boy Adam Yauch has said he is "healthy, strong and hopeful" that he has beaten his cancer.

Revealing he has been in India seeking help from Tibetan doctors to recover from surgery in July to remove a cancerous tumour from his left parotid gland, Yauch told Beastie Boy fans: "I'm feeling healthy, strong and hopeful that I've beaten this thing, but of course time will tell. I'm taking Tibetan medicine and at the recommendation of the Tibetan doctors I've been eating a vegan/organic diet, surprisingly enough [that] was harder to do in India than it is now that I'm back home".

The Beastie Boy also provided fans with an update on the group's new album 'Hot Sauce Committee Part 1', the release of which was postponed after Yauch's cancer was discovered. He wrote: "We have not set a new release date for the record yet, but I'm hoping it'll be in the first half of next year".

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RECORD OF THE DAY AWARDS LAUNCHED
Details of this year's Record Of The Day Awards for Music Journalism, Photography and PR have been announced. They will take place on 26 Nov at London's Gibson Rooms.

Most of the awards are voted for by people working in the media or music publicity, but three outstanding contribution awards are presented by the RotD team. This year they go to Mojo Editor-In-Chief Phil Alexander, for outstanding contribution to music journalism, to Kevin Cummins, for outstanding contribution to music photography, and to Outside Organisation top man Alan Edwards, for contribution to music PR.

Commenting on the awards, RotD chief Paul Scaife told CMU: "The main aim of the Record Of The Day Awards is simple: to celebrate great music writers, great photographers, great music magazines, and also give a deserved pat on the back to the music PRs and label staff that we journalists rely on day-in-day-out".

We'll let you know how you can vote once voting is live, meanwhile for ticket information for the big bash email paul@recordoftheday.com.

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SOUL TRAIN AWARDS TO RETURN
America's Soul Train Awards, which commend key names in the world of soul and R&B, will return next month, after a year off last year.

There was no 2008 event, partly due to the American Writers' Strike, and partly due to a change in ownership of the Soul Train franchise. The TV show from which the awards show takes its name ended in 2006, and a 'best of' archives show also went off the air last year. But the new owners of the Soul Train name and archive, MadVision, have done a deal with Viacom who will air next month's awards bash on their recently re-launched Centric (formerly BET-J) channel.

Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds, Chaka Khan, Charlie Wilson and Island Def Jam chief LA Reid are all expected to be honoured at the awards bash.

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DONOVAN NAMED ICON BY BMI
Folk singer Donovan has been named an 'icon' at one of the annual award bashes held by US songwriting collecting society BMI. They handed him the gong for "transforming" music in the 60s.

After receiving the award, he told BBC 6music: "It's a very special honour because there's so few of them given out. It's a very, very beautiful honour because it's not for records sold and it's not for good looks and it's not for the best-dressed man, it's for song-making and that's a wonderful distinction and I'm very proud of it tonight".

He's probably a worthy winner of the icon prize. Yes Donovan was responsible for things like 'Mellow Yellow', but he also did things like this, which redeem him in my eyes: open.spotify.com/track/6kGeWEHGLpFewYUtOGTPcw

Other winners at the BMI bash included Natasha Bedingfield, whose track 'Pocket Full Of Sunshine', which went top five in the US but was not released in the UK, was named Song Of The Year, and AR Rahman, who won the Best Film Music award for his 'Slumdog Millionaire' soundtrack.

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DAVY JONES: NO MORE MONKEES REUNIONS
Former Monkee Davy Jones has said he has no interest in seeing his former group reform, and just to ensure that never happens went on to diss each of his former bandmates.

Speaking to the National Enquirer, Jones said of Mike Nesmith: "He's not an entertainer in the sense that Micky, Peter and I are. He has his back to the audience half the time. [He's] a brilliant businessman [but] as a person, I haven't got time for him. He's very aloof and separate. And his head is firmly up his ass".

Peter Tork, meanwhile, is "too disagreeable to work with" while Mike Dolenz, well: "I couldn't imagine sharing a stage anymore with Micky Dolenz - he doesn't want to play the drums and wants to play the guitar at the front of the stage".

Concluding on the question of another Monkees reunion (the last full one was in 1997), he says: "It's not a case of dollars and cents. It's a case of satisfying yourself. I don't have anything to prove. The Monkees proved it for me".

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MACHINE HEAD COVER PANTERA
Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn has revealed that the band have recorded a cover of Pantera classic 'Fucking Hostile' for a future single release.

Flynn told fans: "We've found time to hop into Trident Studios with Juan Urteaga and record a Pantera tune for a b-side. We're doing 'Fucking Hostile'! Dave [McClain] is done with drums (nailed it on the second take!), and I finished guitars yesterday and got vocals in the bag. Phil [Demmel, guitar] comes in tomorrow, then Adam [Duce, bass], then it'll be mixed and mastered by the end of the week. Mike Sloat has been documenting, so we'll probably have video snippets up when the whole thing gets closer to release".

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DRE PUSHES BACK DETOX
Well, this is turning into a saga. Dr Dre has decided that a decade isn't quite enough time in which to record his new album 'Detox', and so has pushed the release back to next year.

As previously reported, Dre has been planning to release the follow-up to 1999's '2001' at the tail end of this year, after production work on the latest albums from Eminem and 50 Cent had already delayed its completion. However, he told ABC News this week: "I've been working on ['Detox'] for the last ten years. Hopefully I'll get it done at the end of this year and we can hear it next year".

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MATHS ANNOUNCE DEBUT ALBUM
Norfolk screamo band Maths release their debut album, 'Descent', via Holy Roar Records on 9 Nov, the label have announced. They've also assured us that it's the album of the year, describing it as "gutsy heartwrenching intensely emotional music that isn't cheesy or shit".

You can check out some of that neither-cheesy-nor-shit music here: www.myspace.com/mathsband

Tracklist:

Belief In Sorrow
Culpa
Wilderness
Guarded
From Her Journal
Boundless
Sleep Deep
To Be Frozen
......And Left To Die
This is Forever
Branches
Belief In Hope

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SPARROW AND THE WORKSHOP ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM
Folky trio Sparrow And The Workshop will release their second album, 'Into The Wild', on 23 Nov, through Distiller Records. They will precede it with a new single, 'A Horse's Grin', on 16 Nov.

Way back in June, the band's vocalist Jill O'Sullivan told us: "When we all started making music together it felt magical right away. I had a couple of songs and played them for [drummer] Gregor [Donaldson], and he started interpreting them really uniquely on drums, in a way I couldn't have imagined. Then he started harmonising and I've never seen anyone who can harmonise so nicely. He also has a compelling voice, so the duets were born".

She continued: "Nick [Packer, guitar] first got involved when we needed some bass on a song, but it quickly became evident that his amazing slide riffs, guitar parts and interesting bass lines elevated the music and sort of stretched our possibilities for playing and songwriting. So the three of us went ahead and started making music based on our individual strong points and shared love in music".

The band are currently on a co-headline tour with Kill It Kid.

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EWEN EXPLAINS SUGABABES CANCELLATION
Jade Ewen has explained that the Sugababes were forced to cancel their first show with their new line-up as the contract for the gig was signed by the previous line-up, which she was not a part of. As previously reported, the group pulled out of their headline slot at the Scottish Royal Variety Performance at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall due to "legal issues".

Ewen told The Sun: "I haven't signed a contract so we can't perform as Sugababes. The previous line-up signed up to do the show and there's money involved. Until lawyers get this sorted I can't sing with the band. It's really annoying - I'm raring to go".

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JAPANDROIDS TO PLAY ROUGH TRADE EAST
Buzzy two-piece Japandroids have announced that they will play an in-store at Rough Trade East on 28 Oct.

Speaking to CMU earlier this year, drummer David Prowse explained how the band came together: "We started jamming together after Brian [King, guitar] moved to Vancouver, when he finished university. That was about four years ago. It was pretty relaxed at first, just hanging out and playing whenever we felt like it. We started being more of a 'real' band - playing shows and recording and taking it a bit more seriously - a year after that. Our obsession with playing steadily grew from there, up to the point where we were playing almost every day. It's been like that for a solid couple of years now".

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PAVEMENT TO CURATE ATP
Pavement will curate and headline the second of ATP's festivals at Butlins in Minehead next year. As is the norm in these situations, the band will select their favourite artists and then attempt to convince them to join the line-up. This tends to lead to an eclectic and exciting collection of artists, and occasionally a surprise reunion. Though Pavement are already a bit of a surprise reunion themselves, so maybe they won't need to try so hard on that front.

Tickets go on sale for the event, which will take place from 14-16 May, on Friday from www.atpfestival.com

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SONISPHERE ANNOUNCE 2010 DATES
Sonisphere will be touring its way around Europe for a second time next year, with the UK finale at Knebworth House on 31 Jul and 1 Aug 2010.

Announcing the news, the festival's organisers said: "We are really excited to announce that the first steps are being made to map out our 2010 tour across Europe and with that we are pleased to confirm our UK dates".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Ingrid Michaelson - Everybody (Cabin 24 Records)
Already fairly well known in her own home across the big pond, New York-based bespectacled hottie Ingrid Michaelson is looking to replicate that success in Europe and the UK with the release of sophomore album 'Everybody'. Don't let the rather bland cover fool you - this isn't exactly another mild, listless contemporary adult pop album (contemporary adult pop?! Jesus Christ, there's a phrase that makes me shudder) - I promise you, Ingrid is a little more Regina than Norah. Good pals with my imaginary boyfriend, Jason Mraz, her sound is the female counterpart to his - very poppy, but quality pop with clever lyrics and interesting melodies. 'Everybody' opens with the excellently executed 'Soldier', a song that fully represents the fresh American acoustic pop that forms the solid backbone of the entire album, before moving onto pop-folkish fare such as 'So Long' and 'Sort Of' and Tori Amos-esque tunes like 'The Chain' and 'Men Of Snow'. 'Everybody' is a welcome addition to my album collection, and I don't think I've ever appreciated pop so glossy and sweet. TW
Physical release: 19 Oct
Press contact: Partisan PR [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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AMERICAN IDIOT PRODUCER BECOMES WARNER CCO
Warner Music has announced the appointment of record producer Rob Cavallo to the role of Chief Creative Officer. The producer, perhaps best known for producing Green Day's 'American Idiot', but also the production talent behind the new Paramore album, has had a long professional relationship with the major, in particular in A&R roles.

Confirming his new appointment, he said this: "WMG has been my musical home since I started as an intern in 1987, and I am so proud to be working there again. The company's artist- and art-first approach to the business is unmatched and their artist roster is a deep and exciting pool of talent that I am excited to add to, work with and help develop more fully. Throughout the years I've done some of my finest work with WMG and I have been consistently impressed with the company's ability and willingness to drive success by supporting the creative process and giving artists and producers the freedom they need to achieve greatness. In the end, it's the people that make the difference, and I am so proud to be in the WMG family".

Warner important bloke Lyor Cohen added: "Rob is one of the most successful producers of our time and is not only a natural fit for our company but will also serve as a terrific resource for our artists and labels and, on a selective basis, for outside projects with other artists and labels. Having worked with Rob on numerous albums in a variety of genres, I have seen first-hand the creative brilliance he brings to the studio and the passion he brings to every project. I am excited we'll have the ability to benefit from his exceptional talents and look forward to a long-term collaboration that will benefit many WMG recording artists".

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NAPSTER LAUNCH NEW SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGE
Napster UK have announced a new-fangled subscription service that recommunicates the company's various offers in the context of the 2009 digital music market - basically it's Spotify with free MP3s.

The new five pound a month offer provides access to Napster's online streaming service, which is in some ways much bigger than that offered by Spotify in that it has over 8 million tracks, several years worth of expert-created playlists and its own catalogue of live sessions. Subscribers will also get to download and keep five MP3s a month.

The service, similar in many ways to that which Sky will launch this Autumn, and to Ericsson's competes-with-Comes-With-Music package, is based on research that suggests people still want to own permanent copies of some tracks, but are happy with temporary access to most.

Crucially, Napster's new push moves away from its original primary service, which was DRMed Windows-based downloads that only played while a subscription was valid. That service was always horribly limited by the fact it only played on compliant Windows-based digital music players. The Microsoft DRM used was clunky and unpopular, so much so Microsoft themselves chose not to use it when they launched their own Zune player and store in the US. Ironically, though, Spotify's recently launched off-line service, for premium users, uses DRM that, while not clunky and unpopular, is based around the same principles.

Although the new Napster offer really competes with Spotify, We7 and the soon to launch Sky Songs, their press release goes to great lengths to point out the service's benefits over Apple's iTunes. That might be because Napster recognises Apple is still the biggest competitor in the digital music space, or because the company still hasn't quite got over the fact it was trounced by the IT giant during the first significant stages of the legit digital music market back in 2004.

Also of interest is that while Napster is undercutting Spotify by a fiver in terms of subscription rates (and even more if you give the free MP3s a monetary value), it hasn't chosen to compete with the relative newcomer by providing an extensive ad-funded free-to-use streaming music service. That may well be because Napster's last dabblings with the ad-funded model didn't go so well.

The lack of a free-to-use variation will make Napster's offer harder to market. That said, with its current owners Best Buy using its co-ownership of the Carphone Warehouse chain to push the new subscription package - free month-long trials will be distributed in store - as well as tie-ups with PC makers, such as the previously reported partnership with Dell, they might be more successful in reaching mainstream consumers than in the past.

Commenting on the new package, Napster's European VP Sales & Marketing Thorsten Schliesche said these words: "With this new service model, Napster once again reflects the needs of today's music consumers. We listened to our customers and developed a service that provides music lovers with a flexible, best-value service that allows them to tailor their digital music experience to their personal requirements. Whether users want to build on their own collection of tracks, discover new music or simply stream their favourite songs into their own space - Napster has worked hard to provide an environment where music lovers can create their own easy-to-use experience, all available under one fixed and best-value cost".

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U2 ANGLING FOR VIDEOGAME
U2 bassist Adam Clayton has said that the band would like to follow in the footsteps of bands like The Beatles and Metallica and have their own videogame.

Clayton told USA Today: "We definitely would like to be in there, but we felt some of the compromises weren't what we wanted. That could change. I love the idea that that's where people are getting music, and we'd love to be in that world. We'll figure something out. What The Beatles have done, where the animation is much more representative of them, is what we're interested in, rather than the one-size-fits-all animation. We didn't want to be caricatured".

I look forward to the release of 'Bono Kong' and 'Sonic The Edge Hog'.

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UTV DROP OUT OF RADIOCENTRE
The radio division of UTV Media has quit RadioCentre, the trade body for the UK commercial radio sector, claiming that the organisation has become too dominated by the big boy of British radio, Global.

Global Radio, of course, is a relative newcomer to UK radio, but has become the major player by acquiring both Chrysalis Radio and GCap. A number of execs new to the radio sector dominate at Global, and UTV seem to think those people are now in control of RadioCentre and are using the trade body to lobby on their behalf.

Confirming their decision, UTV Media GB boss Scott Taunton told the Guardian: "I am genuinely disappointed to be standing down from RadioCentre, not least given the great work carried out by the many talented and dedicated staff I have worked with at the industry body since its inception. Following the merger of GCap and Chrysalis, it is clear to me that the governance of RadioCentre is no longer reflective of the wider industry interests, an issue which, despite considerable effort, I have been unable rectify".

An official statement from the company clarified the specific areas in which it felt RadioCentre was no longer representing its interests. It said: "This move is a result of UTV Media's increasing concern that RadioCentre has, on a number of critical industry debates and in particular issues surrounding digital switchover, moved away from representing the interests of the wider commercial radio industry to the point where its policy agenda is too heavily influenced by the interests of its largest member [Global Radio]".

RadioCentre wished UTV well, while stressing that it still represented the "vast majority of commercial radio stations across the UK, with almost 300 member stations using our services. This is a broad collective with large or small stations, major groups or independents and digital or analogue operators all in membership".

The body also suggested that it had evolved in the last two years as the industry it represents had changed - in particular with the move of most UK radio businesses into private ownership, rather than companies trading on the stock exchange. UTV is still a plc. The Centre said: "Inevitably, the size and shape of our sector moves with changes across the industry and the entire sector is now in private hands with the exception of UTV".

Global Radio commented: "We're not saying anything, but given we control the RadioCentre you can assume what they say is what we think, ha ha ha ha ha". Actually they didn't.

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SKY'S SONGBOOK RETURNS
Sky has announced its songwriting programme 'Songbook' will return to the Sky Arts channel next month, looking at the work of a whole string of great songwriters and James Blunt. The show is sponsored by PRS For Music, who like it when songwriters get the big up, and confirming their continued support for the show, their acting CEO Jeremy Fabinyi said this: "We've been behind 'Songbook' since the very beginning, showcasing the writing and composing talent we have in this country. The writer is at the heart of every great song and we're thrilled the series is entering its third run, profiling such renowned song writers".

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GEORGE MICHAEL DENIES SPLIT
Now we never reported that George Michael had split from his partner Kenny Goss, but some did. I seem to remember seeing a big story on it in The Mirror. Anyway, Michael has denied there have been any problems in his relationship with Goss, though the latter has been working in the States recently.

A spokesman for the singer said this: "There is no truth in the matter at all. Kenny has been away in Dallas where he owns a gallery but is scheduled to return home this Friday. They are planning a lovely weekend together".

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USHER SINGING INSTEAD OF SIGNING HIS PAPERS
Usher is rumoured to be stalling on signing divorce settlement papers to formally bring to an end his marriage with Tameka Foster. This is being reported on mainly because the R&B star's new single is called 'Papers' and is loosely based on the collapse of his marriage, and contains the line "I'm ready to sign them papers, papers, papers".

Usher and Foster split earlier this year after two years of marriage, and filed for divorce in June. RadarOnline.com cite a source as saying the R&B man is pissing off his ex by procrastinating in signing off the divorce paperwork. Said source says: "Tameka thinks that it's ironic that 'Papers' is his comeback single when she just wants him to sign the paperwork and finalise the divorce. The terms and conditions have been agreed on for around a month but he keeps stalling on them, and she's the one that wants to move on with her life".

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