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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
French Constitutional Council passes three-strikes
Government to exempt small venues from licensing rules
Lil Wayne pleads guilty to gun charge
Labels should help "troubled" musicians, says ex-Island boss
Moir responds to Gately column critics
In The Pop Hospital
Former Kiss man discusses his breast cancer
Awards & Contests
Robbie to get outstanding contribution Brit
Charts, Stats & Polls
Boyle breaks Amazon US pre-order record
Reunions & Splits
The Rakes split
In The Studio
Rolo Tomassi record with Diplo
Dillinger man comments on Reznor rumours
Release News
Warp release unheard tracks
Films N Shows News
Run DMC musical planned
Gigs N Tours News
Will Young announces greatest hits tour
Reviews
Album review: Osso & Sufjan Stephens - Run Rabbit Run (Asthmatic Kitty Records)
The Music Business
Warner chief j'accused over Vivendi
The Digital Business
Nokia sue Apple over iPhone
More Google music speculation
Band release album via Rapidshare
The Media Business
Absolute do well at radio promotion awards
And finally...
Spice Girls not launching TV show
TLC held label boss at gunpoint
"Amy's boobs are great", says Mitch
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Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
FRIDAY 23RD OCTOBER


TAIO CRUZ
A successful solo artist, Taio Cruz is also in demand for his songwriting and production skills, working on music for the likes of Leona Lewis, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Pussycat Dolls, JLS, Anastacia and Alexandra Burke over the last two years, and most recently on Cheryl Cole's debut solo album. This month, he released his second album, 'Rokstarr', via Universal/Island, which features his number one single 'Break Your Heart' and his top three collaboration with Tinchy Stryder, 'Take You Back'. We spoke to Taio to find out some more.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started singing as a kid, and began playing the piano at school. I then started producing music at the latter end of school and college and eventually got into the music industry through word of mouth.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
I'm mostly inspired by electro and dance music, which I'm really into at the moment. I'm also inspired by indie and rock music, which I've loved since a kid - that wasn't really shown as much on the last album so with the new album I just wanted to go with it.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It usually depends on the day. Sometimes I'll get an idea and build it from a vocal. Other times I'll go into the studio and lay down some ideas and arrangements and then build it from there.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
There aren't any specific artists or bands that influence my work, as there's so many different people that I listen to. I'm influenced by certain producers, like Quincy Jones and John Shanks, and loads of different genres like hip hop, R&B, indie and rock.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Good choice in music. You've got good taste and you're probably very good looking and probably very popular because you're listening to Taio Cruz.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I'd really like for the album to go platinum, as the last album went gold so it would be a step up from that. I would love to have a number one album and also for every single to do as well as 'Break Your Heart'. I'd also like people to be open minded towards me as an artist - as a writer and producer as well as a singer

MORE>> www.taiocruzmusic.co.uk and www.myspace.com/taiocruzmusic

 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Promised Land at seOne
One of all you old skool fans, like me. Am I getting old do you think? Yes, the guys behind the back-in-the-day rave night Promised Land are taking over the cavernous seOne club at London Bridge promising lazers, pyrotechnics and a party straight out of 1988, though with out Thatcher and oversized mobile phones. Squirrel, Philgood & Ram, Huckleberry Finn, and Devious Dave & Ed Smooth will take over the main room, while in room two - and, with me not being that old, this is probably the really exciting bit - you'll get some very fine hardcore and junglism courtesy of the Raindance boys, with Rat Pack, Nicky Black Market and Lukozade. If you're interested, there's also funky and electro house in Room 3. A night of flashback joy for all I reckon. Go.

Saturday 24 Oct, seOne, London, SE1, 10pm - 6am, £17 in advance, more info from www.seone-london.com

 
FLO AT THE PROMS
So, it seems like everyone was keeping an eye on events at the BBC last night, though across town from 'Angry Accustation & Predictable Denial Time' in the perhaps ironically named White City, the BBC's Electric Proms continued to provide something much more tasteful over at Camden's Roundhouse. What was probably, for me, the highlight of this year's slightly stripped down Electric Proms line-up took place in the little studio space at the Camden venue. Perversely, given the name of the festival in which the initimate gig took place, Florence went for an acoustic performance. Alas I couldn't be there (not because I was dissing facists in West London, rather I was learning about wills in the East), but fortuitously the Beeb have plonked the show on their Electric Promos website. Go check out.

tinyurl.com/flomacproms


 

 


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FRENCH CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL PASSES THREE-STRIKES
The French Constitutional Council has approved the much previously reported Creation & Internet Law, which is the legislation that includes all the three-strikes nonsense. It means that the Higher Authority For The Distribution Of Works And The Protection of Copyright on the Internet (or Hadopi for short), which was established by the first stage of this legislation, could be sending out warning letters to suspected file-sharers by early next year.

As previously reported, the Constitutional Council rejected the first set of three-strike proposals because of concerns that giving the Hadopi, a government department not a court of law, the power to disconnect the net access of file-sharers was unconstitutional. The revised proposals being considered this time round will see the Hadopi refer persistent file-sharers who fail to heed warnings to a special judge who will be able to pass an 'ordonnance pénale' which will order the disconnection and/or payment of a fine.

The Council ruled those proposals were in line with the French constitution, though interestingly said it was for parliament to decide how exactly the system would work. It's not clear if that necessitates more parliamentary approval of the specifics of the three-strike plans, or whether, having already got its Creation & Internet proposals through both houses of the French legislature, the French government can now get on with introducing the system without consulting the country's legislative bodies.

As much previously reported, under the new system anyone suspected of file-sharing unlicensed content (probably large amounts) will get two warning letters from the Hadopi. If they continue to file-share, the aforementioned 'ordonnance pénale' may instruct the file-sharer's internet service provider to disconnect their net connection. It remains to be seen how many of those orders are issued in reality. Net users who believe they have been falsely accused of copyright infringement can appeal at each stage.

A sort of three-strikes system is currently being considered over here, of course, though the UK version would result in bandwidth restrictions and net suspensions rather than all out disconnection. Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw also announced this week that any UK three-strikes system would also include a judicial stage, with a British equivalent of the 'ordonnance pénale' actually ordering net suspensions.

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GOVERNMENT TO EXEMPT SMALL VENUES FROM LICENSING RULES
Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe yesterday told parliament that he planned to exempt venues with a capacity of under 100 from the live music licensing obligations introduced by the 2003 Licensing Act.

The move was announced in a parliamentary debate of the Culture, Media & Sport select committee's recent review of the 2003 legislation, which sided with live music types in their conclusion that the new rules had had a negative impact on grass roots music venues, in particular pubs who stage small live music performances. Sutcliffe said that, providing the exemption proposal had cross party support, he'd rush it through parliament. That said, a consultation will now be held to assess parliamentary views on the matter, which some fear could mean nothing is done before the next General Election.

Actors union Equity and the Musicians' Union staged a demonstration outside parliament ahead of the debate, though their efforts were somewhat overshadowed as far as media coverage was concerned by that other demo being staged at the same time right outside the BBC HQ. Nevertheless, they will have been pleased with Sutcliffe's announcement regarding the so called "two-in-a-bar" rule.

That said, the chair of the select committee, John Whittingdale, probably summarised the live music community's general view on the government's response to the 2003 act when he said the 100-capacity exemption was a "late and fairly small" concession. Other recommendations by Whittingdale's committee, such as the abolition of the 696 form, have been rejected by government.

Given concerns no changes may now get through before the next General Election, Tory arts man Ed Vaizey said his party would instigate its own strategic review of entertainment licensing if it took power. Which presumably would mean more reviews, chatter and consultation before anything was done.

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LIL WAYNE PLEADS GUILTY TO GUN CHARGE
In a dramatic turn of events, rapper Lil Wayne changed his plea on charges of illegal weapons possession to guilty yesterday.

As previously reported, Wayne was arrested in 2007, following a search of his tour bus when a police officer discovered a .40 calibre handgun. Wayne's lawyers argued that the police officer had illegally boarded the bus. But she said she boarded the vehicle because she had reason to believe marijuana was being consumed on it. She admitted she never saw anyone smoking the drug, but said she could smell it and did see smoke.

Wayne has always previously denied the gun charges, his manager even went so far as to claim that the gun was his on a VH1 TV show. Menawhile, whether or not the gun itself could be submitted as evidence has been a topic of much debate in the courts. However, following the news, which we reported yesterday, that the prosecution believed it had DNA evidence that could link Lil Wayne to the gun, which a judge subsequently ruled could by used in court, it seems the rapper got cold feet.

Had he continued to plead not guilty, the trial was due to begin on 20 Jan. If found guilty, Wayne faced a minimum of three and a half years in prison. Having changed his plea to guilty, it is now expected that he will serve between eight months and a year in jail.

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LABELS SHOULD HELP "TROUBLED" MUSICIANS, SAYS EX-ISLAND BOSS
Former head of Universal/Island, now CEO of Sports Entertainment Group UK, Marc Marot has said that labels should do more to help artists suffering with problems such as addiction and depression, proposing a clause covering personal problems should be inserted into an artist's recording contract.

Following a debate at this week's In The City on this very issue, Marot told the BBC: "The industry has no safety net for artists, or executives, who fall off the wagon and find themselves in trouble. We light fires underneath them and we just fuel the fire with endless promotion. We ought to look again at some of the clauses that would allow a record company or an artist manager to open up a possibility of suspending a contract which would then remove a fire that's causing the stress for the artist".

The proposal has met with a mixed reaction from musicians, with frontman of The Invisible, Dave Okumu, saying: "If I were presented with a contract which contained a clause allowing the record label to intervene in the event of 'personal troubles' I would be naturally suspicious. I find it hard to accept the idea that record companies are equipped to define what constitutes 'personal troubles' in a way that would reflect the best interests of the artist".

However, Metronomy's Joseph Mount said: "Your Pete Dohertys and Amy Winehouses - people would love the opportunities that those people get. When Amy Winehouse went off the rails she should have been dropped. It would have been a pretty big gesture if the label had said, 'We do not condone drugs use or bad performances'. It's irresponsible to let someone get like that. In any other profession hopefully your employer would be responsible enough to help you, otherwise you'd just get fired".

Others would, of course, argue that some artists make the music they do because of their personal problems, not in spite of them, and might suggest that by helping troubled artists back on track, you risk being left with a lot of watered down, unemotional, unchallenging music.

Not so, says Marot: "We're certainly not trying to take the rock 'n' roll out of the music industry. This is about people who have genuinely slipped into depression, anorexia, drug abuse - any number of self-harming areas of which there are just legions of stories. As an industry, the music industry is pathetic compared to other industries. Would there be a record company that would take advantage of an artist that would smoke a little bit of spliff or something just to put them into a position of power and put them into suspension? Of course, it's not there for that".

He also said that there are many within the industry who would agree with him, concluding: "We've weakened the record company contracts so much that they don't have very much teeth if an artist isn't capable of performing, or they go AWOL or they're so out of it they're not able to promote it or whatever. So there's a lot of support from across the industry".

But, come on, who doesn't think The Saturdays would be massively improved if just one of them would develop a little bit of a smack habit?

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MOIR RESPONDS TO GATELY COLUMN CRITICS
Mail columnist Jan Moir has responded to all the outrage about her piece last week about the death of Stephen Gately. As with her original apology, she says her piece - or at least its homophobic undertones - were simply misunderstood, while once again accusing pressure groups of orchestrating a campaign against her which, she says, explains the sheer scale of the formal complaints made about the piece.

Which is something of a compliment to the albeit unnamed 'pressure groups' - the idea that they would be capable of orchestrating and delivering some sort of campaign in the space of a few hours. What really happened was an unorchestrated outpouring of anger from an informal network of people, aided by Twitter and Facebook, and possibly the fact there's a sizable part of the population conditioned to despise the Daily Mail by default.

In her new piece, she adds: "As the torrent of abuse continued, most of it anonymous, I also had thousands of supportive emails from readers and well-wishers, many of whom described themselves as 'the silent majority'. The outcry was not as one-sided as many imagine. Their view, and mine, was that it was perfectly reasonable of me to comment upon the manner of Stephen Gately's death, even if there are those who think that his celebrity and sexuality make him untouchable. Can it really be that we are becoming a society where no one can dare to question the circumstances or behaviour of a person who happens to be gay without being labelled a homophobe? If so, that is deeply troubling".

The fact all that she misses at least three points is pretty obvious, so I won't mention it. So instead I'll answer the question Moir asks half way through her column. She writes: "I accept that many people - on Twitter and elsewhere - were merely expressing their own personal and heartfelt opinions or grievances. This said, I can't help wondering: is there a compulsion today to see bigotry and social intolerance where none exists by people who are determined to be outraged? Or was it a failure of communication on my part?" Yes Jan, the latter. Get ye to journalism school, they'll tell you about communications.

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FORMER KISS MAN DISCUSSES HIS BREAST CANCER
Former Kiss member Peter Criss has told reporters he kept his diagnosis of breast cancer a secret simply because he was embarrassed about suffering from a disease that most people associate more or less exclusively with women.

Admitting that he was diagnosed with the disease after finding a lump on his left nipple in December 2007, he told CNN this week: "I was petrified. I kept thinking, 'This is not happening to me'. I went into total shock. My wife and I discussed it a lot and we were like, we can't let anyone know this because the tabloids are vicious".

But he said he had decided to go public, having successfully fought the disease last year, in case it would help other men who may be suffering from the illness to get an early diagnosis. Criss: "[I thought], so, it's embarrassing, but somebody should [say something]. I think you should open your big mouth and say something. Even if only one or two guys get this, or their wives say to them 'I think there's something wrong, I think we should check this out'. Then I have achieved something more than a People's Choice award or a gold record".

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ROBBIE TO GET OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION BRIT
Robbie Williams has been announced as the winner of the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award at next year's BRITs, in the ceremony's 30th year.

Robbie has won more BRITs than any other artist, having picked up 31 nominations during his career, winning eleven as a solo artist and four as a member of Take That. He will pick up this latest one at Earls Court on 16 Feb.

Ged Doherty, Chairman of The BRITs Committee said: "Robbie is one of the outstanding artists and performers of his generation. It will be an absolute thrill to have him at the BRITS 30th anniversary show receiving the Outstanding Contribution Award. We are delighted".

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BOYLE BREAKS AMAZON US PRE-ORDER RECORD
Susan Boyle has broken Amazon.com's record for the highest number of copies of an album sold on pre-orders ever, knocking Norah Jones' 2007 album 'Not Too Late' off the top spot. The album is due for release on 23 Nov.

Amazon.com's Senior Manager of Music, Craig Pape said: "We're thrilled by how passionate Susan Boyle's fans have been. Although it's normal to see early enthusiasm for artists who have come off of television shows, the response from our customers to Susan Boyle's upcoming album has been unprecedented".

Here's the full top ten most pre-ordered albums on Amazon's US site:

1. Susan Boyle - I Dreamed A Dream (2009)
2. Norah Jones - Not Too Late (2007)
3. U2 - No Line On The Horizon (2009)
4. Bruce Springsteen - Magic (2007)
5. Dixie Chicks - Taking The Long Way (2006)
6. Coldplay - Viva La Vida (2008)
7. U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (2004)
8. David Cook - David Cook (2008)
9. Diana Krall - Quiet Nights (2009)
10. Clay Aiken - A Thousand Different Ways (2006)

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THE RAKES SPLIT
The Rakes yesterday announced that they have decided to split, cancelling their upcoming tour dates in the process. They cited no longer being able to give their all as the reason for the split, though the poor performance of their third (yes, third) album, 'Klang', which was released earlier this year, can't have helped.

In a statement, the band said: "After much deliberation we have come to the shared conclusion that we can't give it 100% anymore and regret to announce that The Rakes are calling it a day. We are sorry to let down all the people who were coming to see us on the UK and US tours. Writing your own obituary is a surreal thing to do but we want to give particular thanks to our much-loved fans, all the great people we've worked with over the years, our management and loyal record label. We feel privileged to have had the opportunity to write music together and perform around the world. Genuinely, thanks for the good times... That was one hell of a party! But now, we really must get some sleep".

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ROLO TOMASSI RECORD WITH DIPLO
Rolo Tomassi have announced that they are recording the follow-up to their brilliant debut album, 'Hysterics', in LA with producer Diplo. An artist in his own right, of course, Diplo has previously produced artists including MIA and Santogold, and was behind Major Lazer with Switch.

Speaking to Drowned In Sound, Rolo Tomassi synth player James Spence said: "I'm hoping that it'll be a clear and definite progression from 'Hysterics'. I'm very happy with the songs we've written for it and to have a producer who's out of the realms of what we're used to will hopefully bring a new, fresh element to our sound. We've never really worked with a 'producer' as such before, so all it's new and exciting for us".

The as-yet-untitled album is set for release via Hassle Records in March.

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DILLINGER MAN COMMENTS ON REZNOR RUMOURS
Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Ben Weinman has commented on rumours that Trent Reznor will appear on the band's new album which, as previously reported, they are currently in the process of recording.

Speaking to Rock Sound last week, ahead of Reznor's marriage to fiancé Mariqueen Maandig last weekend, Weinman said: "A lot of people are asking me if Trent Reznor is going to be on the record because we've been seen hanging with the guy a few times of late".

He continued: "People are always trying to bleed that guy dry, the fact that we've built some kind of relationship that's real is more important than trying to use every single contact we have to boost Dillinger because that's never what we've been about. Honestly, I don't even want to think about recording with him at the moment, he just finished touring, he's about to get married, I'm really happy that he can be a real person now for a little bit and start another life. In time I'm sure we'll work together though, it's just not right now".

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WARP RELEASE UNHEARD TRACKS
Warp have announced that they will release one of the discs from their limited edition 20th anniversary boxset as a standalone album next month. 'Warp20 (Unheard)' features eleven previously unreleased tracks from the label's archive, including music from the likes of Boards Of Canada, Autechre, Broadcast and Nightmares On Wax.

The compilation was previously only available on 10" vinyl in the £100 boxset, but will be available on CD and download from 9 Nov.

Tracklist:

Boards Of Canada - Seven Forty Seven
Plaid - Dett
Autechre - Oval Moon (IBC mx)
Elecktroids - Elecktroids Bonus Circuit
Clark - Rattlesnake
Plaid - Sam Lac Run
Nightmares On Wax - Mega Donutz Dub
Nightmares On Wax - Biofeedback Dub
Flying Lotus - Tronix
Broadcast - Sixty Forty
Seefeel - As Link

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RUN DMC MUSICAL PLANNED
Hey, everyone else has got one, so why not Run DMC? The surviving members of the rappy trio, Joseph 'Rev Run' Simmons and Darryl 'DMC' McDaniels, are set to meet Hollywoood producer Paula Wagner next week to discuss turning their story into a musical.

Wagner told the New York Times: "[Run-DMC's] lyrics and music are infectious. It's vibrant, it's alive. Who they are and what they did was a culturally defining moment. It embraced everybody. Their rise to fame is innately theatrical. [It] speaks to everybody. I couldn't be more thrilled to be working with them".

She added that most of the music in the show, if it goes ahead, would come from the group's back catalogue, with some new pieces "very possibly" composed by Simmons and McDaniels.

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WILL YOUNG ANNOUNCES GREATEST HITS TOUR
Will Young has announced tour dates to coincide with the release of his greatest hits compilation, 'The Hits' on 16 Nov. The compilation will feature two previously unreleased tracks, one of which, 'Hopes & Fears', will be released as a single on 8 Nov.

Tour dates:

9 Nov: Belfast, The Waterfront
10 Nov: Dublin, The Olympia Theatre
12 Nov: Glasgow, SECC & Clyde Auditorium
13 Nov: Aberdeen, Music Hall
15 Nov: Manchester, Apollo
16 Nov: Manchester, Apollo
17 Nov: Blackpool, Opera House
19 Nov: Newcastle, City Hall
20 Nov: Liverpool, Empire
21 Nov: London, Hammersmith Apollo
22 Nov: London, Hammersmith Apollo
24 Nov: Bristol, Colston Hall
25 Nov: Swindon, Oasis
27 Nov: Ipswich, Regent Theatre
28 Nov: Harrogate, International Centre
30 Nov: Sheffield, City Hall
1 Dec: Birmingham, NIA Academy
2 Dec: Cardiff, CIA
3 Dec: Oxford, Apollo
5 Dec: Bournemouth, BIC
6 Dec: Brighton, Brighton Centre

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ALBUM REVIEW: Osso & Sufjan Stephens - Run Rabbit Run (Asthmatic Kitty Records)
Sufjan Stevens' 2001 album 'Enjoy Your Rabbit' was, to the casual Stevens fan, a little jarring. Rife with plinky-plonky electronics and other oddities, it kind of faded into the background in light of his contemporary, more accessible albums. Eight years after its release, it's been rehashed, cut-up, made-over and re-named - and all for the better.

Now laced with strings and orchestral richness provided by string ensemble Osso (who have also worked with the likes of My Brightest Diamond, The Polyphonic Spree and The New Pornographers) and a whole host of extremely talented composers from Nico Muhly (Bjork) to Maxim Moston (Joan As Police Woman), 'Run Rabbit Run' is a breathtaking journey of symphonic grandeur.

Final Fantasy-esque in its almost crude approach to the contemporary-classical genre, it doesn't quite bow a head to the likes of Mike Oldfield, but in its own quirky way, its content is just as extravagant. Inspired entirely by and named after the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, the album's concept is organic and not at all contrived; 'Year Of The Dragon' and 'Year Of The Rooster' are stand-out stellar songs, but are tied so tightly to the rest of the album that it's really hard to chose what track is the best.

'Run Rabbit Run' is an intense album that may be a little too left-field for some singer-songwriter fans, but is sure to be a cult classic. TW

Physical release: 2 Nov
Press contact: Million PR [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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WARNER CHIEF J'ACCUSED OVER VIVENDI
Universal Music owner Vivendi has announced that its former CEO Jean-Marie Messier and other former top execs have been ordered to stand trial in relation to the French conglom's financial woes back at the start of the decade.

As reported way back when, Vivendi nearly collapsed after a period of excessive expansion and amid allegations of false financial reporting. Saving the company involved, among other things, selling off most of the Universal entertainment businesses, with only Universal Music remaining fully within the Vivendi group.

Now a French judge has decided to put Messier et al on trial over allegations they misled their investors. This despite recommendations from Parisian prosecutors to let the whole thing lie.

The story has an interesting music industry angle, over and above Vivendi's ownership of Universal Music. One of the other former top execs named by the French judge is Warner Music chief Edgar Bronfman Jr, who ended up heading up Vivendi after merging the Universal entertainment giant he'd created with the former water company. From 2001, and during the firm's initial financial woes, he was Vice-Chair of the conglom.

Both Messier and Bronfman Jr deny any wrong doing. The latter's legal man, told Reuters: "We are just now reviewing the court filing, but as we've said all along Mr Bronfman's transactions have at all times been proper and at no time did he contravene any French laws or regulations".

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NOKIA SUE APPLE OVER IPHONE
And now an intellectual property dispute of a different kind to that on which we usually ramble. Nokia have filed a complaint against Apple with the Federal District Court in Delaware accusing the IT firm of infringing its patents in the creation of their iPhone.

According to Billboard, Nokia claim that among the ten patents infringed by the iPhone are those relating to GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN standards. The alleged infringement has occurred ever since the iPhone was launched - I think Nokia have spent the last two years trying to persuade Apple to pay it a licence fee for allegedly using said patents.

Confirming the legal action, Nokia said that it has developed "one of the strongest and broadest patent portfolios in the industry, investing more than 40 billion euros in R&D during the last two decades. Much of this intellectual property, including the patents in suit, has been declared essential to industry standards".

Nokia legal bod Ilkka Rahnasto added: "The basic principle in the mobile industry is that those companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for. Apple is also expected to follow this principle. By refusing to agree appropriate terms for Nokia's intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation".

Apple are yet to respond.

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MORE GOOGLE MUSIC SPECULATION
According to Digital Music News, both Imeem and Pandora may be partners on Google's planned new music service, which may or may not launch next week. Lala and iLike are also thought to be involved in the new Google offer, which will enable users to preview music directly via the search engine and then click on directly to sell-through.

It's thought both iTunes and Amazon will be sell-through partners, though not necessarily from launch. All four majors are on board for the Google service, and it's thought indie aggregators like IODA and The Orchard will participate. No word yet on whether the all important Merlin approve.

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BAND RELEASE ALBUM VIA RAPIDSHARE
Thrash metal band Gama Bomb and their label, Earache, have announced that they are teaming up with file-transfer site RapidShare to release their new album, 'From The Grave In Space', as a free download through www.earache.com. The album will also be available on CD (for money) from 5 Nov.

It's not really any different to any other free download/paid physical release that has been offered in recent years, though teaming up with RapidShare, a site often cited as a major player in the world of illegal downloading, will undoubtedly get a few people's backs up.

Earache Records MD Digby Pearson told Music Week: "The idea is for the greater good, to give fans a taste of Gama Bomb for free, legally. It's got the permission of the label and the band - here's the album for free and please take it, spread it, pass it on. Actually, the cost saving of distribution through the internet is a big incentive for us. Piracy is not a problem, because if a fan passes on the download link it can also be seen as free promotion for the band. In the future we expect digital music to be ubiquitous and the payments made to the artists or those who look after the artists to be small but consistent".

Gama Bomb frontman Philly Byrne added: "It's an open-handed gesture that reflects the room the download revolution has created in the music business; the label is up for it, which would have been impossible ten years ago. Also, it's a box-breaker for us - taking away the many restrictions of a physical-only traditional release opens us up to a new and wider audience".

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ABSOLUTE DO WELL AT RADIO PROMOTION AWARDS
It was the Radio Academy's Promotions & Marketing Awards last night, and it was a good night for Absolute Radio who won three prizes, including the overall Gold Award. The Beeb also took home three gongs, while Bauer Media's radio division got two. The awards congratulate radio types for their on-air promotions, station identity and marketing initiatives.

Commenting on the awards, Radio Academy main man Trevor Dann told reporters: "Absolute's entries were a testament to the innovative work being done at 1 Golden Square. But our judges were impressed by the overall high standard of creativity and execution in this year's entries, which were the best for some years. Stations from across the BBC and Commercial Radio demonstrated deep understanding of the power of marketing and showed new creative ways of connecting with their audiences - on many platforms from AM to FM, and from DAB through to social media".

The full winners is as follows.

Best Local/Regional On-Air Promotion: Forth One, Clyde 1, Mfr, Tay Fm, Northsound 1, Radio Borders and West Fm for 'SNBTS New Donor Challenge'

Best National On-Air Promotion: Absolute Radio for 'Benjamin Button'

Best On-Air Sponsorship: Talksport Creative for 'The Damned United'

Best On-Air Imaging: BBC Radio 1

Best Local Or Regional Marketing Campaign: Radio City 96.7 for 'Makes Your Day'

Best National Station Or Marketing Campaign: BBC Radio 3 for 'Purcell: Composer Of The Year'

Best Use Of Online For Marketing A Station Or Network: Absolute Radio for 'The Rock Off'

Best Radio Station Event: Real Radio for 'Kids Out For Summer'

Best "Street" Marketing Campaign: Trent Fm for 'Christmas Credit Crunch Parking'

Best Cross-Media Promotion Or Campaign: BBC World Service for 'Save Our Sounds'

Gold Award: Absolute Radio

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SPICE GIRLS NOT LAUNCHING TV SHOW
The Spice Girls aren't launching a new TV talent show. Mel C has denied rumours that they are. So, er, yes. Here's what she told The Sun: "No, no, no. I think it sounds like a great idea but at the moment we've got nothing in the pipeline". Glad that's all cleared up.

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TLC HELD LABEL BOSS AT GUNPOINT
TLC's Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins has revealed that the group once held the executives of their record label, Arista, at gunpoint in a dispute over royalties. The group felt that Arista were not giving them their fair share of profits from their 1994 album, 'CrazySexyCool', and the courts are quite slow, so they took matters into their own hands.

Watkins told US talk show host Mo'Nique: "We held the record company, [including founder and president] Clive Davis, hostage with guns. Guns with bullets. Because TLC had generated on 'CrazySexyCool' $75 million and they gave us $50,000 a piece and I was like, 'What the hell!' So, of course, Lisa ['Left Eye' Lopes] was the ring leader. We had a limo driver, and he was the getaway car".

And they would have gotten away with it, too. If it wasn't for that pesky P Diddy: "We got up there and held everybody hostage and Puffy was the one that snitched us out. He caught us because we kicked him out of the meeting. We interrupted Puffy's meeting. We were like, 'Sorry we really gotta handle this'. We were getting sick and sweating, really working hard for this money and wanted to know who the hell had our cheque. [LA Reid, who was then Arista's CEO] said Clive did, so that's where we went".

The matter was resolved peacefully in the end, and no charges were pressed. Watkins admitted that it didn't resolve their royalty issues - see kids, violence is never the answer, no matter how good a story it gives you for subsequent TV appearances. She concluded: "They did give us some money, but they still took it back and recouped it. You live and learn in the business - it worked out well, we didn't go to jail - thank God".

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"AMY'S BOOBS ARE GREAT", SAYS MITCH
Mitch Winehouse has been talking about his daughter's breast a lot since the results of her £35,000 enlargement surgery were seen on her recent 'Strictly Come Dancing' appearance. Now, this is already a tricky area, so you'd have thought Mitch would have thought pretty carefully about what he should say on the matter.

However, on Wednesday morning's edition of 'This Morning', he managed to blurt out: "Her boobs are great!" Before adding: "I shouldn't have said that, should I?"

Recomposing himself, he went on: "She looks absolutely fantastic, she's doing great. To look back to how she was last year, we're on a different planet, a different space, a different time, and a different person - we all are. She's fantastic".

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