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CMU Info
Top Stories
Universal US to cut fifty jobs today
Pop go the Lords
In The Pop Courts
Oink man didn't know he was an infringer
DJ AM wrongful death case settled
Reatard death a homicide, reports claim
Jay-Z loses restaurant name battle
Coldplay accused of more song theft
Awards & Contests
Choice shortlist out
Reunions & Splits
Suede to reform for charity show
In The Studio
Dr Dre delays Detox
Duffy gets to work on album #2
Blue working with Ne-Yo
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Agent talk at Eurosonic
The Music Business
HMV sales up, also in partnership talks with club firm which is also suing their live music arm
Weekender Records closes its doors
Edge announce three new investment funds
The Digital Business
Vevo scores high launch stats
Dimensional increase bid for Orchard ownership
EMI sign up to FreeAllMusic.com
And finally...
Dappy death text
Jay-Z is neither Satan nor Mason

Ungdomskulen are a prog-rock/new wave band from Bergen, Norway, consisting of Kristian Stockhaus, Frode Kvinge Flatland and Oyvind Solheim. The trio released their debut album 'Cry-Baby' on Ever Records in 2007, and have carried out tours both in Europe and the US including two appearances at the SxSW festival. Despite the band's rehearsal space burning down just a few weeks prior to recording, the trio remained eager and worked even harder to finish their second album 'Bisexual'. With the album out and a showcase gig at Eurosonic Noorderslag this very evening, we caught up with Ungdomskulen to find out more.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Growing up you are looking for your thing, that thing that stands out as your own. I guess you try out a lot of things, whether it's sport, smoking or ghosthunting. For us it was always music, it wasn't even a choice. We just picked up an instrument and never looked back.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
I guess we wanted to create something special and sincere, so the inspiration that we came surfing on was from people that have the same mentality or approach that we admire, people that make you proud to be a human, whether it's Britain finest rock-band Egg, Terry Richardson, or Norwegian multi-millionaire Christian Ringnes who puts his money in making Oslo a more magical place.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It's basically like throwing paint on a blank canvas and then see what sorta imagery comes out. We just turn on our amps and let it flow, and then it's survival of the fittest from there on. Whatever instruments make the most fulfilling noise lead the way for the song to come out.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
We are into a lot of different bands but it's hard to tell which ones make you sound the way you sound. We all like Nirvana, King Crimson, Yes, Frank Zappa, The Zombies, ELP, and Bowie, but we listen to all sorts of music all the time. Our minds are like gaping holes and we just suck it all in, even the bad stuff.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Ambitions are tricky, I guess something we always want is that the records reach the people that are interested and get the fate they deserves. We are all about the brick by brick concept. You know, getting to world domination when we are 80 years old.

MORE>> www.ungdomskulen.com

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Tru Thoughts present Steady On Launch at the Funky Buddha Bar
The Tip tends to be quite London-centric, so I thought I'd mention something a little further away for a change. Not that far I suppose, but definitely beyond the reach of an Oyster card. Brighton's Tru Thoughts label turned ten last year, completing a decade of showcasing some very good acts. More such showcasing will presumably occur at this new weekly club night, where Tru Thoughts boss Robert Luis teams up with Hint as residents, presenting a music policy akin to the label: beats, disco, drum and bass, funk, jazz and soul. Expect some good guests too; 4 Feb sees Maddslinky, aka Zed Bias, down there. It looks like the people of Brighton are going to have a really good Thursday night destination, and it's free, too. So, well worth dropping in.

Thursday 21 Jan, Funky Buddha Lounge, 169-170 Kings Road Arches, Brighton, 10pm-3am, free, more info from www.tru-thoughts.co.uk, press info from Rosie at Dec Promotions.

Get In! is a tried and tested PR agency based in East London serving the GLOBAL electronic dance music industry and beyond. Our expanding roster means we're looking for a Publicist to join our young and dynamic team. You'll be enthusiastic, have a least one-year's experience in PR, a real passion for and knowledge of dance music and that 'something extra' that makes you the right person for the job. An ability to write exciting, engaging copy and generate creative PR ideas is essential. This is an ideal opportunity to work with the best people in dance music. Salary negotiable depending on experience. Interested? Send a creative email explaining why you'd be a great addition to the Get In! team, along with your CV, to: jobs@getinpr.com
World Circuit Ltd is urgently seeking a part-time Royalty Manager. We are a small, friendly company home to the likes of world music superstars including Buena Vista Social Club®, Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.

The successful applicant will be responsible for the accurate and timely processing of our record and publishing royalties. This crucial role is a one-day-a-week position that would suit someone with solid royalty experience and meticulous attention to detail. For more information please contact Naomi Moran on 020 7749 3222 / naomi@worldcircuit.co.uk

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UnLimited Creative is the creative services agency owned by CMU publishers UnLimited Media. We work with music and media companies, consumer brands, and other marketing and PR agencies, providing these services:

Marketing & PR: We devise and run marketing and PR campaigns, specialising in the youth and student markets, music and cultural products and marketing partnerships.

Content: We provide entertainment content to brands and media. We develop content strands. We produce original content. We manage content delivery.

Design & Print: We provide design, print and contract publishing services. We create brand identities. We design and produce websites. We produce & print marketing materials and corporate media.

Media & PR Training: We provide PR, media and music business training. We offer a menu of seminars. We develop bespoke courses. We develop out-reach training as part of CSR programmes.

To read about past projects click here. To discuss how we can help your company or project, email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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Edward Hall is Hampstead Theatre's new artistic director
Peter Brook to give Directors Guild of Great Britain's first annual lecture
Cohen promises innovation from BBC3
ITV won't move X-Factor to spring
BBC admit U2 plugging was excessive
Influential think tank puts C4 privatisation back on the agenda
La Linea announces initial festival line up
Lost Theatre to open new south London venue
Ruth Mackenzie to be Olympic culture director

It's job cuts Friday for the Universal Music Group today, so that's fun. In the unfun sense of the word, obviously. Various sources say that about fifty US-based staffers at the world's biggest music company will be laid off later today. About half of those to be cut work for one of the company's distribution divisions, while redundancies on the label side are likely to occur in the Interscope unit, and at imprint labels Lost Highway and Verve.

It's not clear if there will be similar cuts in the near future elsewhere in the Universal empire, ie outside the US. In reality, all the major labels have been quietly reducing headcount for some time (or loudly, in EMI's case), partly as a result of declining profits, and partly because of the need for the majors to diversify into areas of the music business other than the release and distribution of sound recordings, something which arguably involves bringing in new talent from outside the traditional record industry.

Universal confirmed the job cuts to Billboard yesterday, explaining: "Universal Music Group is continuing to transform our organisation to better serve our artists and business partners. Given the current economic climate, we have to be as agile and efficient as possible. Unfortunately, these ongoing efforts have resulted in some redundancy. However, UMG will now be even better positioned to compete in the growing global, digital marketplace".

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So, Biffy Clyro played a gig in the Houses Of Parliament last night. While not the first musicians to perform in the home of British democracy, it has been billed as the first proper gig to ever take place there. It was staged by Absolute Radio to celebrate the fact that they are the first radio station to pass the 50% digital listening target set out in the government's 'Digital Britain' report last year - 51.5% of Absolute's listeners access the service via a digital platform rather than traditional analogue radio broadcasts, which compares with an industry average of 21.1% (presumably demonstrating that to turn British radio listeners digital we need to put all the music services onto shitty AM).

The timing of the Absolute gig was quite apt, given parliament, or rather the House Of Lords, is giving quite a lot of thought to musical matters at the moment. First, as previously reported, the Live Music Bill proposed by Lib Dem Lord Tim Clement-Jones will be debated again later today. As much previously reported, this bill proposes revising the 2003 Licensing Act to make it easier to stage small-scale music events, and includes some of the recommendations made by parliament's Culture Select Committee last year but subsequently rejected by the government (and some recommendations the government has, in fact, said it will pursue).

Commenting on his proposals yesterday, Clement-Jones told CMU: "The government says live music must be licensed to prevent public disorder. But pubs don't need a licence to show a live football match on TV. Do they really think people who listen to live music are more of a threat to public order than football fans? Small venues are vitally important to Britain's creative culture. Many successful musicians got their first break gigging in pubs or student unions. But the cost and time of applying for a licence means fewer small spaces are prepared to put on live music".

He continued: "My bill proposes that schools, hospitals, colleges and venues up to a capacity of 200 should not need a licence for a live music performance, and that the 'two-in-a-bar' exemption should be reinstated [where one or two performer gigs in pubs don't need a licence either]. Without these changes, we risk suffocating our live music scene in red tape. The government is out of tune with the live music scene, and has announced yet another long consultation. Supporting my Bill is the only chance to change the law before the general election".

Elsewhere in the house of the Lordy types, consideration continues of the Digital Economy Bill, the much previously reported proposed legislation which, among many other things, includes the three-strikes provisions for combating illegal file-sharing, and the sneaky Clause 17 which gives the secretary of state with ultimate responsibility for intellectual property - so Peter Mandelson at the moment - the right to introduce new copyright rules on a whim. As previously reported, Team Mandy have already promised to clarify the powers awarded by Clause 17 in an amendment following widespread opposition from political types on all sides, some of whom have called the provision undemocratic.

Anyway, the recently emerged UK-version of The Pirate Party has been watching all this rather closely, as you'd imagine, prompting the group's leader Andrew Robinson to pen a polemic on his website. While some journalists - cynical ones like, erm, us - have speculated that Clause 17 was really put in the Bill to distract attention away from the legislation's other controversial bits, and will ultimately be dropped to win support for everything else, he reckons the government really does want the catch all clause because it's the only way legislators have any hope in hell of stopping file-sharing.

He writes: "The problem for the government is that they know file-sharing is simply not going to go away without the terrifying powers that clause 17 would have granted them".

However, he adds that Mandelson's crew are, in fact, misguided in thinking that even powers to introduce new laws on whim will enable them and the content industries to stop the file-sharing kids. He adds: "Their big mistake, and the real problem with Clause 17, is the assumption if they did get Clause 17 through, they could stop file-sharing. The truth of the matter is that even if the whole internet were turned off tomorrow, kids would be swapping memory sticks in the playground the very next day, and what is more, they would be even more determined to share files than ever before".

He continues: "A war on file-sharing quite simply cannot be won, even if the government are prepared to throw out the presumption of innocence and commit the war crime of collective punishment as the bill proposes. The choice for the government is simple: legalise file-sharing, or criminalise and alienate every future generation of voters from now until you are inevitably defeated at the ballot box".

Hmm, that criminalising and alienating every future generation sounds like fun.

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The man behind the rogue BitTorrent community Oink has told Teeside Crown Court that he genuinely believed his service - which enabled others to illegally access and share all sorts of unlicensed content - did not in itself infringe anyone's copyrights. He should have read my in-depth report on authorising infringement. Though, to be fair, I haven't finished writing it yet, and he was busy setting up his tracker in 2004.

As previously reported, Oink man Alan Ellis is accused of conspiracy to defraud the record industry by setting up and running the invite-only BitTorrent service. Earlier this week he told the court how he originally set the website up as a part of self-teaching project in the final months of his degree, so he'd know some up-to-date web programming shizzle. That the site proved to be so popular among the file-sharing community happened by mistake.

During the second day of questioning in court, Ellis discussed the issues of copyright infringement. While the defendant has already admitted to personally sharing unlicensed music via his own community - therefore admitting to being a direct infringer - he said yesterday that it never occurred to him that operating the Oink service itself was also infringement, despite the fact the Oink servers never hosted any unlicensed content. He said he thought of the Oink service as being like a post office or telephone company - and therefore he could be no more liable for any illegal activity that occurred on his website than Royal Mail or BT would be if a criminal posted a letter or made a phone call.

According to TorrentFreak, Ellis told the court: "I didn't think the site was abusing the copyrights. If these people [his members] chose to download music and in doing so were breaking the law, then that was their responsibility, not mine. I never saw that I was responsible for them downloading music".

The concept of authorising infringement in the P2P domain is rather undeveloped in English law, as a result of all the landmark file-sharing cases occurring outside the UK (and, with the exception of the main Kazaa case, in jurisdictions with the related for subtly different concept of contributory rather than authorising infringement). Still, legal experts (well, me) think the case for doing the providers of file-sharing services for authorising infringement under English law is pretty strong, albeit with the constraints discussed in the Grokster file-sharing case in the US regarding the actions of the defendant in exercising powers to stop infringement and communicating copyright rules.

And, of course, ignorance of copyright law is no defence. Except, possibly, in this case. As previously reported, the specifics of what is and isn't authorising infringement is only a side issue in this case, because of the prosecution's decision to try Ellis for conspiracy to defraud - a decision presumably made to up the possible penalties the Oink man will face should he be found guilty. Given the jury will have to be convinced Ellis set out to deliberately defraud the record companies out of money, the fact he didn't know his service was illegal is relevant.

And so the case continues.

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A wrongful death lawsuit brought against various parties related to the 2008 plane crash in which DJ AM and Blink 182's Travis Barker were the only survivors has been settled. The case was brought by the family of DJ AM, real name Adam Goldstein, after his death from a drug overdose last year.

It was claimed that the companies involved in the crash, including plane owners Clay Lacy Aviation, plane tyre makers Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and plane makers Learjet, were ultimately responsible for Goldstein's death because it was surviving the crash and the injuries he sustained in it which led him to relapse back into drug addiction.

Details of the settlement have been kept confidential, but it comes two months after the same group of defendants settled a lawsuit with Barker over their responsibility for the crash.

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A Fox News-affiliated local news website in Memphis yesterday claimed the city's police were investigating the previously reported death of cult indie musician Jay Reatard as a homicide.

Although the story has subsequently been removed from the site, the original article said that police had been called to Reatard's home at around 3.30am CST yesterday morning and are treating the scene they found as suspicious. The site reported that a $1000 reward was being offered for any information relating to an arrest.

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Jay-Z has lost a court battle with a now defunct restaurant in Newcastle. The rapper launched court action against Rockafella, owned by the 2005 winner of ITV's 'Hell's Kitchen' Terry Miller, claiming that fans might think it was in some way associated with his Roc-A-Fella record label.

Thanks to the judgement, Miller now owns the exclusive trademark to use the Rockafella name in the UK in relation to restaurants and food branding. However, the Newcastle restaurant at the heart of the case actually closed down in 2008 due to financial problems. He now works as head chef on the private yacht of a Russian millionaire, anchored off the coast of Croatia. But he says he still has plans to use the Rockafella brand in the food domain.

Speaking to local newspaper, The Journal, Miller said: "I'm happy with the legal win because it's a moral victory as much as anything. Unfortunately, the restaurant is gone now, but I still hope to market my King Prawn Rockafella signature dish, possibly through supermarkets, and I want to keep the name".

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I usually go out of my way to avoid listening to Coldplay songs, but I think I'm going to have to go through their back catalogue and check if I wrote any of them. It seems everyone else has. Or at least claims they have.

The latest claim comes from unknown songwriter Sammie Lee Smith, who filed court papers at Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday claiming that he was responsible for writing three of the band's songs, 'Yellow, 'Clocks' and 'Trouble'. The somewhat optimistic lawsuit demands that the band stop playing the songs and pay him unspecified damages.

Of course this follows the case launched by Joe Satriani in 2008. The guitarist claimed that the band had used portions of his song 'If I Could Fly' for their song 'Viva La Vida'. The band denied any wrongdoing but settled out of court last year. Cat Stevens also noted similarities between the same Coldplay song and parts of his track 'Foreigner Suite' last year. However, he said they'd probably done it by accident and decided not to get all legal on their buttocks.

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The shortlist for this year's Choice Music Prize - the sort of Irish Mercury Music Prize - was announced earlier this week, and look, here it is.

And So I Watch You From Afar - And So I Watch You From Afar (Self-release)
Bell X1 - Blue Lights On The Runway (BellyUp)
Codes - Trees Dream in Algebra (EMI)
Adrian Crowley - Season of the Sparks (Chemikal Underground)
Dark Room Notes - We Love You Dark Matter (Gonzo)
The Duckworth Lewis Method - The Duckworth Lewis Method (1969 Records)
Julie Feeney - Pages (Mittens)
Valerie Francis - Slow Dynamo (VF)
Laura Izibor - Let The Truth Be Told (Warner/Atlantic)
The Swell Season - Strict Joy (Plateau)

The overall winner will be announced on 3 Mar in Dublin.

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Suede will reform for a one-off show as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust's annual Royal Albert Hall residency later this year, it has been announced. Original guitarist Bernard Butler will not be involved, Brett Anderson, Matt Osman, Simon Gilbert and Neil Codling will instead be joined by Richard Oakes, who replaced Butler when he left the band in 1994.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the charity concert series, with Depeche Mode kicking things off on 17 Feb. Tickets for that show sold out in just four minutes when they went on sale last month.

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Dear Dr Dre,

While writing the salutation in a letter to you is very enjoyable, that is not the reason I'm getting in touch. I wanted to talk about this 'Detox' album of yours. Do you have any idea how long you've been working on it now? Nearly six years. I realise that you're a busy man and there are other people whose albums you feel you should lend a hand with, Eminem, 50 Cent and the like, but all these delays are getting beyond a joke.

I read an interview with you in Slam yesterday, in which you said: "Well, I'm working on it, but also I've been working on other people's projects; you'll probably hear something in a year or so".

A year? So, a 2011 release, you reckon? Are you sure this album's not turning into an overworked disappointment? Sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but I worry you're losing sight of the prize. If possible, could you hurry up and get on with it, or just not mention it again until it's finished.

Many thanks,
Team CMU

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Duffy has begun work on her second album. She is reportedly writing new songs with Questlove and Albert Hammond Snr, father of The Strokes' Albert Hammond Jr, which makes this news slightly more interesting.

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I was just recently wondering what Ne-Yo was up to. Turns out he's working with Blue, who reformed last year. Oh well.

Speaking about their new material, the group's Duncan James told Radio 1: "We have been in the studio. We went back in last year. We went over to New York and recorded with Jay-Z's people, wrote with Ne-Yo and the stuff sounds really different to anything we've done before. It's a lot [more] up tempo, it's a lot dancier. It's fresh. And I think that if we do decide to release an album, then we have to step up again and come out with an album that is not what people expect".

Of Ne-Yo, he said: "The thing I didn't realise about Ne-Yo is that he is such a super talented person. He writes impeccably. It's all him. He does it all".

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So, Eurosonic Noorderslag, the first major music business convention of the year, kicked off in Groningen in the Netherlands yesterday, and later today will turn its attention to the world of the booking agent. Given this convention brings more agents together than pretty much any other music industry bash, this should be a stand out event.

The debate hopes to challenge the theory that the role of the agent hasn't changed much, despite radical changes elsewhere in the industry, by asking "with bands relying more on touring as they find it harder to make money from records, are agents having to think like managers, to identify and help with additional sources of revenue?"

Ahead of the debate we asked three of the agents who will sit on the panel to tells us what they thought the role of the modern booking agent involved.

First up, Lucy Dickins of ITB stresses that a good booking agent is - and probably always has been - more than just the person who books gigs into a band's diary. "The role of the booking agent is to successfully structure the live representation for their clients" she says. "This includes everything from headline tours to festival appearances to support tours, creating the right profile and exposure for your clients whilst making sure they receive the best financial offer".

Ned Beckett of Little Big says that the nature of the role varies depending on the band. He told CMU: "Agents are the middle men and women between the artist/manager and the promoter. The range of what that entails varies greatly depending on the act, whether they have a manager, what scene they are in, their profile, the promoter and the scale of the event. From contractual and tax laws to understanding excess baggage rules to building profile to mastering Excel ... the challenges are great, the rewards can also be too".

Finally Tim Windish of The Windish Agency concurs with the premise of today's panel, that the role of the agent is changing to an extent, and in doing so is becoming more important. He told us: "The sale of recorded music has been declining for decades yet the ability of band's to be discovered by the masses is easier than ever. The booking agent is more integral to an artist's career than ever before. Agents are one of the most steady suppliers of income to artists and increasingly live events are the foundation of an artist's marketing plan. As recorded music sales continue to decline, agents are providing and will have to provide more and more services formally considered the responsibility of the record label".

The Agents Panel takes place at Eurosonic Noorderslag today at 4.30pm local time. For more about the convention in general check www.theCMUwebsite.com/eurosonic2010 or at www.eurosonic-noorderslag.nl

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Sales in HMV record shops were up 13.4% year on year in the run up to Christmas, which you'd bloody well hope so, given that a year earlier both Zavvi and Woolies were still in business (albeit in closing down sale mode), whereas this year the little dog was the only music shop left on most high streets.

The retailer says that its so called pop-up stores, where they set up temporary shops just for the Christmas period in towns where they don't normally have a presence, were also a big success and helped ensure the sales boost. So that's all coolio.

Unfortunately the retailer's book chain Waterstones and its operations in Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore all saw revenues fall, so overall the HMV Group's retail operations won't show quite the uplift achieved in the main HMV UK chain.

In other HMV news, the busily diversifying retailer is reportedly looking into moving into the clubbing sector through a partnership with nightclub owners Luminar. Although initially a marketing partnership, the Times speculates that HMV might look to acquire Luminar in the same way it is currently trying to buy another of its partners in the live entertainment space, the MAMA Group.

The HMV tie up with Luminar comes despite a legal dispute between the clubbing company and the bit of MAMA in which the retail firm already has a 50% stake - the Mean Fiddler venue network. Luminar claim that MAMA have broken an agreement struck when the live music firm bought an Edinburgh venue off them - what is now the Scottish capital's HMV Picturehouse.

The clubbing people say MAMA agreed to not compete with Luminar's other Edinburgh hang out, Lava Ignite, when they got control of the Picturehouse venue, but that they have since staged non live music events there, ie moving into Lava Ignite's territory. Luminar's original breach of contract lawsuit against MAMA failed in court, but that ruling has just been overturned, so the legal dispute continues.

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Indie label Weekender Records has announced it will close down its UK operations.

Founded in 2006, and taking its named from the Weekender Club in Austria in which the label's founders were involved, the label worked with the likes of Subliminal Girls, DOGS, Eight Legs, The Lea Shores and The Indelicates. Last year it announced plans to move more into artist management than record releasing, though this new announcement seems to bring to an end those plans also.

Founder Justin Barwick says he will now refocus his time back onto the club in Austria. A statement from the label said: "After three years and over 70 releases Weekender Records has decided to close down in the UK. Justin and everyone at Weekender is extremely proud of our label's diverse output over the last few years. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us in this time".

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Entertainment investment management firm the Edge Group has announced the launch of two new entertainment-based investment funds plus an all-new football-based fund, which is the firm's first foray into the sports domain.

Edge hope to secure investors for their new funds on the back of their recent successes in the music investment domain, especially in the live music sector where they have invested in projects involving the likes of Kanye West, Bon Jovi and the Backstreet Boys. There's some important technical differences between the way the three new funds will work, but I won't pretend to understand what they are, because I have a feeling you wouldn't care even if I told you.

Announcing the new funds, Edge main man David Glick told CMU: "There's a long history of city investors dabbling in entertainment, and they have invariably come unstuck. Edge is the first of a new breed of investment managers who really come out of the entertainment industry and understand how it works. Having proven our approach with the VCT, we decided to extend the Edge Performance formula to the EIS market". Yeah, I don't know what that means either.

On the move into the sports sector, Glick continued: "Sport is a new sector for us to invest in, but we are doing the same as we have done in the music industry, coupling insider industry knowledge with tax-efficient investment vehicles to bring new working capital to the industry. In the lead-up to London hosting the 2012 Olympics we believe there will be numerous opportunities for sport and sport's entrepreneurs to benefit from our unique blend of investment and industry expertise".

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Vevo, the all-new online on-demand music video service from Universal and Sony which launched in the US last month (promptly falling over within 24 hours of a glitzy launch party after bosses forgot that most websites have a beta period before going fully live), topped the entertainment/music section of ComScore's US web traffic stats for December having scored 35.4 million unique viewings, putting it ahead of MySpace Music.

A fine achievement, unless you point out that 90 percent of that traffic was actually on the YouTube website - which also hosts Vevo content - and not the actual Vevo platform. Still, Team Vevo might say that is vindication of their decision to go into business with YouTube rather than launch a competing service. And the Universal/Sony platform still controls ad space on its content even when accessed via the Google-owned video website.

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eMusic owners Dimensional Associates has sweetened its offer to buy out shareholders of independent digital distribution firm The Orchard. Dimensional are already majority shareholders in The Orchard, but are keen to have complete ownership (again, they owned a previous incarnation of the firm outright). They previously offered $1.68 per share, and then $1.84 per share but now, according to PaidContent, have raised their bid to $2 a share. Sweet.

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EMI has followed Universal into doing a deal with FreeAllMusic.com, the previously reported new US-based ad-funded free music website, which is currently in invite-only beta. The site offers users a set number of free MP3s a week in return for them sitting through some tedious ads. EMI haven't officially confirmed their involvement, but insiders tell us it's a done deal, and Billboard have reported it as fact, so if it turns out not to be true I vote you kick them not us.

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N-Dubz's Dappy reportedly threatened a Radio 1 listener after she sent an insulting text message in to the Chris Moyles show during an interview with the group.

Chloe Moody sent a message in to the show calling the band "losers" and branding Dappy "a little boy with a silly hat". She later found two missed calls from an unrecognised number on her phone and sent a text message to the caller asking who they were. The response that came back, it's claimed, was: "Your gonna die, U sent a very bad msg towards N Dubz on The Chris Moyels show yesterday Morning and for that reason u will never be left alone!! If u say sorry I will leave u alone u fuck". More calls and abusive messages then allegedly followed.

Dappy later apologised, saying that he acted "in the heat of the moment when I was angry" and offered to donate money to a charity of Moody's choice. A spokesperson for the BBC added: "He must have taken the number down from the production team's text console in the studio. We were unaware of this but will ensure it doesn't happen again".

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Jay-Z has denied claims that the video for his track 'On To The Next One', taken from last year's 'The Blueprint 3', album, contains satanic and Masonic imagery. The Sam Brown-directed video, which features various symbols, including skulls, bull horns and people dressed in black and white costumes, has come in for a certain amount of scrutiny on the internet, but, says Jay, people are reading too much into it.

Speaking to US radio station Power 105.1, the rapper said: "I got a lot of money. When people get a lot of money, they start getting those rumours like Tom Cruise [and] Will Smith. That's ridiculous. That's crazy to me. I gotta remind people I'm from Marcy Projects. I can't get into a golf club in Palm Springs".

Because we all know that all Satanists are members of golf clubs in Palm Springs.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Owen Smith
Approval Officer
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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