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CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Digital booming, though so is file-sharing: IFPI digital report
CMU says: Putting IFPI's figures into perspective
Government propose 75/25 split for three-strike costs
Rufus Wainwright pays tribute to mother
In The Pop Courts
Record industry to take civil action against Oink man?
Citigroup want Terra Firma lawsuit moved to London
Reunions & Splits
No Genesis Hall Of Fame reunion, says Gabriel
In The Studio
We Are The World 25th anniversary single planned
Butler excited about new Arcade Fire
Release News
Gorillaz announce new album details
Films & Shows News
Spice Girls musical is on
Gigs & Tours News
Slayer reschedule UK dates
Delphic announce tour dates
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Radiohead's O'Brien to tell MIDEM file-sharing's not the problem
The Music Business
Warner promote Chatterjee
CISAC boss to lead SOCAN
Music law firm offers auto-contract service
The Digital Business
Verizon backtrack on three-strike disconnection claim
The Media Business
Billboard appoint new editor
And finally...
Vanilla Ice not an old school Jedward fan


 
FRIDAY 22ND JANUARY
EDITORS
Starting out back in 2002, Editors have since released three studio albums, two of which have gone platinum. Their debut album 'The Back Room' was released in 2005 to critical acclaim, receiving, as it did, a Mercury Prize nomination and propelling the band into the singles chart top ten with the re-release of 'Munich'. Their second album went to number one in 2007 and earned the band a Brit nomination. The band's latest single 'You Don't Know Love', taken from album number three, 'In This Light And On This Evening', is released on Monday (25 Jan). We spoke to bassist Russ Leetch to ask the Same Six Questions.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
We all come from musical backgrounds apart from our drummer Ed, that's usually the case in a band. We met on a music course and wanted to write weird pop songs. It was destiny.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We watched sci-fi films when we were twelve years old. They all said "in the near future" or "the year is 2010" in a monotone deep voice. We created the soundtrack to that image, but in the year they used to call "the future".

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Tom writes the lyrics and the basic chord structure. It could be recorded at that point, but then the rest of us try to bastardise it and make it into a collective song.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Elvis, Echo And The Bunnymen, Elbow. Anything E.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Listen without prejudice.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We are really pleased with how our latest album turned out so we just hope as many people as possible get to hear it! For the future, we are looking forward to making another record and getting back into the studio as soon as we can... and on a personal level, I'd like to buy a nice piano!

MORE>> www.editorsofficial.com

Russ has also compiled a Powers Of Ten playlist for this week's CMU Weekly, in which he has selected ten of the songs that keep the Editors tour bus running for you to listen to. It's a very good playlist. Get it delivered straight to your inbox this afternoon by subscribing here.

 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Lost & Found at Madame JoJo's
A fair chunk of modern music is just a rehash of the past that rarely improves on the original. But, on Saturday, DJ Keb Darge ropes in someone both present and past, the one and only Paul Weller, to bring you some proper R&B and soul, with a focus on their favourite underground dance music from black artists of the fifties and sixties. The whole thing is to celebrate the launch of their upcoming 'Lost & Found' compo on BBE. Darge has a large record collection spanning all the way from his Northern Soul sets at the Wigan Casino back in its glory days. Combining with the Modfather, this should create a great alternative vibe, and judging from Darge's Deep Funk nights we can expect a glorious selection of shouters and talc dusted floorshakers at this cosy venue, slap bang in the heart of Soho.

Saturday 23 Jan, Madame JoJo's, 8-10 Brewer Street, London, 10pm-3am, £8, more info from www.bbemusic.com, press info from lee@bbemusic.com




 
  CONSUMER/ENTERTAINMENT PR AGENCY, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES
This is a great opportunity to join a fast-paced consumer PR environment based in London. You will have some existing experience of working on high profile events and have an entirely proactive nature. There will be lots of opportunities to learn, and some really stimulating clients to learn from, however a good attitude is required to really be able to make your mark. This predominantly consumer but also full-service agency offers the full range of client services, with PR and event management forming a large part. Clients include a wealth of entertainment and film companies, plus show business awards and consumer brands and products. To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to jobs@unicornjobs.com quoting reference code TF94 in the subject line.
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  LET THE MAKERS OF CMU DO SOMETHING CREATIVE FOR YOU
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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National Theatre's Travelex £10 ticket sponsorship extended
Danny Boyle to direct Frankenstein for the National Theatre
Wayne McGregor to choreograph routine for 2012 Olympic dance thingy
 
Appeals court upholds Competition Commission ruling on Sky's ITV stake
New York Times to erect pay wall next year
Rock Band opens up Network store
 
London Roundhouse launches circus festival
La Linea announces initial festival line up
Lost Theatre to open new south London venue
 

DIGITAL BOOMING, THOUGH SO IS FILE-SHARING: IFPI DIGITAL REPORT
Digital is booming, with global single track download sales up 10% in 2009 to 1.5 billion units, while the digital album saw sales rise by 20% in terms of volume; digital revenues overall were up 12% to $4.2 billion. Super cool disco party, right? Well, that's all the good news used up in the first sentence, I'm afraid.

The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry published its annual Digital Music Report yesterday, looking back at all things digital in 2009. Despite all that growth - globally digital now accounts for 27% of record industry revenues, and has grown some 940% since the arrival of the iTunes Music Store in 2003 - download and streaming services are still not compensating for the all round slump in CD sales, meaning overall revenues generated by recorded music continues to fall. Overall revenues were down 12% in the first half of 2009, and the record industry has seen a sales slump of some 30% since the aforementioned launch of iTunes.

Of course, the continued growth of widespread non-commercial piracy - file-sharing - is at least partly to blame. Or majorly to blame, if you speak to the IFPI. Their new report focuses on three markets in particular - Spain, France and Brazil - where they say rampant piracy is in danger of obliterating the local record industry and, therefore, all investment in local music talent.

In Spain, where, as previously reported, the courts have generally proved unhelpful to record companies trying to stop file-sharing, IFPI say sales of music by native Top 50 artists slumped 65% in the second half of the last decade. In France, album sales have slumped 60% since 2003, while in Brazil sales of albums by local artists are 80% down on 2005 figures. File-sharing is, of course, prolific in all three.

As previously reported, after a year of hard lobbying from the creative industries, the Spanish government this month announced plans to introduce new copyright rules that would make it easier for content owners to take action against websites that infringe their intellectual property rights, though three-strikes is not on the agenda there.

For Universal Music digital chief Rob Wells, who spoke at the launch of the IFPI report in London yesterday, unless such rules are introduced very fast it will be too little too late for the Spanish record industry.

Billboard quote him thus: "I think Spain runs the risk of turning into a cultural desert. Spain as a territory used to export vast quantities of domestic repertoire into Latin America. I think it's a real shame that people in authority don't see the damage being done not on a commercial basis, but on a cultural basis within their territory. From a sense of national pride I think it's appalling. Drastic action has to be taken to save the Spanish industry".

Of course, drastic action is already taking place in France, where a three-strikes system for combating illegal file-sharing is already on the statute book, albeit not as yet actually up and running. France has suffered more than most in the wider European music market - a couple of thousand album sales can top the chart there these days - and the country's record labels will be hoping the new three-strikes system, considered horribly draconian by some outside the music industry, will help them reverse the ongoing decline of their sector.

Giving said French labels a bit of hope will be other IFPI data that shows that in those countries where anti-piracy laws have been stepped up record sales have seen an increase.

This includes South Korea, which was the first country to introduce a three-strikes style system last year, and Sweden, where new rules making it easier for content owners to discover the identities of and therefore sue individual file-sharers, coupled with the media coverage and result of last year's Pirate Bay trial, has resulted in a decline in recorded online piracy.

Digital sales were up nearly three times the global average in South Korea last year, 32%, leading to an 18% increase in music sales overall. Sweden saw a whopping 98.6% increase in digital sales, resulting in a 10% revenue boost for the country's record industry overall.

IFPI boss John Kennedy: "Much more urgency is needed [by governments]. Piracy is a massive disincentive to invest in the market. When [politicians] do engage [with legislation], we've seen in Sweden, Taiwan and Korea that when new laws come in it makes a difference, and that would be our message for 2010". Presumably in a bid to bolster the case for new anti-piracy laws worldwide, Kennedy reminded everyone that file-sharing is now an issue affecting the movie and television industries as much as the record companies.

All of this is relevant in the UK, of course, because the politicians are already 'engaging' in the form of the copyright section of the Digital Economy Bill, which includes a form of three-strikes. Though said proposals are still strongly opposed by some, and, even if ultimately approved by most parliamentarians, may not get through the legislative process before the General Election. And while the Tories are mainly in favour of the DEB's proposals on piracy, they oppose enough of the rest of the bill that it would likely be back to the drawing board for the entire venture if the Conservatives win the election.

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CMU SAYS: PUTTING IFPI'S FIGURES INTO PERSPECTIVE
Of course, even if the extent of illegal file-sharing is as big as the record industry claims - the FT says IFPI figures show 95% of downloads worldwide are illegal - legitimate digital music sales seem likely to continue to grow significantly in the next decade anyway. In fact, if you assume that the legitimate digital market didn't really get going until the major record companies finally agreed to let legit services sell MP3s, or provide properly on-demand streaming - which wasn't until 2008, remember - then the digital market is still very much in its infancy. File-sharing, meanwhile, got going properly in 1999. Which means illegal music services had a ten-year head start. It seems certain legal services will now grow much faster than illegal ones in the coming years.

And, of course, once the CD format is completely withdrawn from the equation, a record company's costs regards any one album release will be significantly cut. And major music firms are already starting to tap into other revenue streams associated with the artists they sign. And they could still make more efficiencies, principally by merging their record company and music publishing divisions, whose operations are getting more similar as the years go by; both soon will be primarily involved in the creation and licensing of music rights rather than the former being in the business of selling small plastic disks.

All of which means there is no reason why the record industry - or, rather, that part of the music industry that provides most start-up investment in new talent - shouldn't start to see their revenues increase again by the end of the decade. And let's face it, once the money starts rolling back in, the industry will learn to turn a blind eye to the file-sharing that will no doubt continue unabated, in much the same way the record industry learned to ignore rampant home taping in the 1990s.

But, that said, if tougher anti-piracy rules - whether that be more clearly stated liabilities for the providers of file-sharing services, or three-strikes style systems to deter more causal file-sharers - can be shown to speed up that revival of the industry's fortunes, as IFPI stats seemingly do, then you cannot blame the industry for persevering in getting such rules introduced in pretty much every market around the world. And especially those markets where piracy-fuelled decline has taken the local industry to the brink.

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GOVERNMENT PROPOSE 75/25 SPLIT FOR THREE-STRIKE COSTS
Talking of the three-strikes anti-piracy system proposed in the UK's Digital Economy Bill, as previously reported there remains much debate as to how much running such a system would cost, with the content owners saying £8.5 million a year, the more sensationalist of the internet service providers £500 million. But yesterday the debate wasn't on how expensive three-strikes will be, but on who should pay for it.

Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention, the government's digital blokey Stephen Timms revealed details contained within a new statutory instrument that deals with this issue. And the government's proposal is that the content industries cover 75% of the costs, while the ISPs will be billed for the remainder.

According to Music Week, Timms told the Convention: "I have not been convinced by the arguments of rights holders that the internet companies should bear much of the costs [of three-strikes]. It is the rights holders who benefit. So this week, we have issued a draft statutory instrument setting out a 75-25 per cent split between rights holders - the primary beneficiaries - and internet service providers for the costs of enforcement action on copyright infringement".

Needless to say the record companies aren't impressed by this proposal. They say that Timms has ignored the fact that the actual monitoring of file-sharing activity isn't included as part of the government's three-strikes system, and that the cost of such activity will be incurred by the rights holders. Plus the ISPs also benefit from cuts in file-sharing, because file-sharers eat up more bandwidth than most other web users. Which is why they reckon the ISPs should saddle at least half of the main costs associated with three-strikes.

Look, here's a BPI spokesman saying so: "A 50/50 share of the costs of processing notifications is the only fair way forward, particularly as ISPs freely admit they will benefit from a reduction in file-sharing traffic".

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RUFUS WAINWRIGHT PAYS TRIBUTE TO MOTHER
Rufus Wainwright has posted a brief message on his website paying tribute to his mother, Kate McGarrigle, who died this week. As previously reported, folk musician McGarrigle had been suffering with a rare form of cancer for the last three and a half years, but continued to perform, playing a three and half hour show at the Royal Albert Hall just last month.

Wainwright wrote: "When inevitably I read today in the papers that my mother lost her battle with cancer last night, I am filled with an immense desire to add that this battle, though lost, was tremendously fruitful during these last three and a half years of her life. She witnessed her daughter's marriage, the creation of my first opera, the birth of her first grandchild Arcangelo, and gave the greatest performance of her life to a packed crowd at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Not to mention travelling to some of the world's most incredible places with both my sister, her husband Brad, my boyfriend Jorn and myself".

He continued: "Yes, it was all too brief, but as I was saying to her sister Anna last night while sitting by her body after the struggle had ceased, there is never enough time and she, my amazing mother with whom everyone fell in love, went out there and bloody did it".

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RECORD INDUSTRY TO TAKE CIVIL ACTION AGAINST OINK MAN?
Back to Oink briefly, and back also to the aforementioned launch of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry's big digital music report.

Billboard took the opportunity at that launch to specifically ask IFPI boss John Kennedy for his response to the ruling in Teeside Crown Court last week which said that Alan Ellis, founder of the Oink file-sharing community, was not guilty of conspiracy to defraud the music industry.

Kennedy told the trade mag: "I cannot sleep at night while that man has still got £200,000 sitting in his bank account, so we will find other ways of going about it, [even] if it has to be civil proceedings".

As previously reported, while the prosecution never had a great case against Ellis for fraud, there is a much stronger case for doing him for copyright infringement. But because the Oink website did not actually host any infringing content itself, that would require taking an action under the English law concept of authorising infringement.

While related to the American concept of contributory infringement, which Napster, Grokster and, as of last month, BitTorrent tracker isoHunt were all successfully pursued for through the American courts, it isn't 100% clear what would happen if an authorising infringement claim was made through the English courts in relation to an Oink style service.

The case against Kazaa in the Australian courts would be the most convincing legal precedent as to why Ellis should be liable for copyright infringement by operating Oink - authorising infringement exists in Australia too - but when feeding into the UK government's Gowers Review of copyright law back in 2006 record label trade body the BPI admitted any authorising case in this country would probably have to go all the way to the Supreme Court, and even then success would not be assured for the record companies.

Which is possibly why that route was not taken first time round with Oink. The problem if a civil infringement action is now launched against Ellis - which Kennedy implies it might - is that, because of the nature of the conspiracy to defraud investigation in 2007, the record companies didn't go through the sending cease and desist letter stage that normally precedes a copyright action.

Ellis could argue that had the labels formally told him his service was infringing copyrights he would have taken action to rectify that the situation. That isn't necessarily a defence in itself - the labels could still claim the £200,000 that Ellis apparently amassed - but it would weaken the record industry's case, making the outcome even more uncertain.

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CITIGROUP WANT TERRA FIRMA LAWSUIT MOVED TO LONDON
EMI owning Terra Firma's previously reported lawsuit against Citigroup continues to go through the motions, the US bank having recently forced the case to move from a State Court to a Federal Court in New York. Now, according to the New York Times, the bank is trying to have the case moved to a London court, arguing that the private equity firm's purchase of EMI was a British transaction so any dispute relating to it should be heard in a UK court.

As previously reported, Terra Firma, having failed to persuade Citigroup to knock a billion dollars off the figure EMI owes the bank, launched a legal action late last year saying that the bankers gave them dodgy advice in 2007 ahead of their purchase of the London-based major music company.

They allege Citigroup had an interest in the takeover going ahead at a higher asking price, which resulted in a conflict of interest that led to the provision of bad advice and incorrect information. Had Terra Firma and its top man Guy Hands had correct up to date information from his bankers - they argue - they would never have bought EMI in the first place. The audacious acquisition, coming so soon before the credit crunch, has proved disastrous for the once booming Terra Firma.

Citigroup deny all the charges against it. Why they want the case heard in a London court isn't clear - presumably moving the case here would be legally beneficial for the bank, either in terms of their chances of winning the case, or with regards the potential damages they might have to pay if they lose.

Lawyers from both sides are expected to meet today to discuss a schedule for the lawsuit, though the motion to move the case to London won't be considered by the judge hearing the case until next month.

In other Terra Firma news, the private equity group saw its profits slump in the financial year ending March 2009 - down 43% to £1.87m. That said, much of that was because of the costs associated with moving the primary base of the company from London to Guernsey to avoid the Labour government's new high end tax regime.

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NO GENESIS HALL OF FAME REUNION, SAYS GABRIEL
Since the announcement that Genesis are to be inducted into the US Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in March, there has been speculation that Peter Gabriel might perform with his old band for the first time in almost three decades. But now he has told Rolling Stone that this is not going to be the case, and that he might not be able to go to the ceremony at all.

Said Gabriel: "As far as I know, I'm definitely not going to sing. I learned at our last reunion [in 1982] that you can't just get up there. You have to rehearse". He added that rehearsals for his upcoming European solo tour will clash with the ceremony, making any such reunion rehearsals impossible, and even just attending the awards party in New York difficult. He said: "I'm trying to find a way to do it. It's not easy. If I can work it out, I'll go".

Asked if there was any possibility of a reunion at all, he said that they had met five years ago to discuss the possibility, but reluctance on his part and, now, Phil Collin's previously reported health problems make it doubtful. He explained: "Initially I was open to it. But then it seemed to be growing. I know what it's like once you're in it - these things tend to expand. I always describe it as going back to school, since this was a school group for me. It's a fun place to visit and see your old friends, but it's not a place you want to live. [Now] Phil has had trouble with his wrists and his back, so it's pretty unlikely [that we'd ever get back together]".

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WE ARE THE WORLD 25TH ANNIVERSARY SINGLE PLANNED
Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie and AEG Live are planning a new recording of charity single 'We Are The World' for the song's 25th anniversary, reports Roger Friedman. The original version, recorded in 1985, was put together by Richie, music manager Ken Kragan and Michael Jackson.

Stars, including Usher, Natalie Cole and John Legend, have been asked to stay in LA for one extra day after next week's Grammy Awards to record the song at the Nokia Theatre on 1 Feb. With so many big name singers in town anyway, it's expected that the finished song could turn into quite a star-studded affair. Profits will go to the Haiti relief effort, even though plans for the 25th anniversary re-record preceded the earthquake there.

According to Friedman, plans are a little sketchy at the moment, but organisers hope to "invoke" Michael Jackson in some way on the recording. Rumours that they're flying Derek Acorah over for another séance are completely made up. By me. Just now.

In other charity single news, Simon Cowell's song for Haiti, which, as previously reported, he is putting together at the request of Gordon Brown, will be a cover of REM's 'Everybody Hurts'. So far, Rod Stewart, Leona Lewis, JLS and Michael Buble are all on board. According to The Sun, Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Take That and Paul McCartney have also been approached to appear on the song.

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BUTLER EXCITED ABOUT NEW ARCADE FIRE
Win Butler has said that he's very excited by the prospect of a third Arcade Fire album, which, as we revealed last November, will be released later this year.

Butler told Rolling Stone: "I'm just really excited about writing new songs. There's still nothing better in the world than writing a new song and hearing it for the first time and playing a song with a band, and when it starts to come together - that's never going to get old. I love this band, and I really have always. I feel like there's no solo albums in the near future".

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GORILLAZ ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM DETAILS
Gorillaz will release their third album, 'Plastic Beach', on 8 Mar via Parlophone, it has been announced. The first single from the album, 'Stylo', featuring Mos Def and Bobby Womack, will be available as a free download at www.gorillaz.com from 26 Jan. That's next Tuesday.

Other guests on the album include, Snoop Dogg, Kano, Gruff Rhys, De La Soul, Mark E Smith, Lou Reed, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon. Not bad.

The tracklist looks like this:

Orchestral Intro (feat Sinfonia ViVA)
Welcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach (feat Snoop Dogg and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
White Flag (feat Kano, Bashy and The National Orchestra For Arabic Music)
Rhinestone Eyes
Stylo (feat Bobby Womack and Mos Def)
Superfast Jellyfish (feat Gruff Rhys and De La Soul)
Empire Ants (feat Little Dragon)
Glitter Freeze (feat Mark E Smith)
Some Kind Of Nature (feat Lou Reed)
On Melancholy Hill
Broken
Sweepstakes (feat Mos Def & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
Plastic Beach (feat Mick Jones & Paul Simonon)
To Binge (feat Little Dragon)
Cloud Of Unknowing (feat Bobby Womack and Sinfonia ViVA)
Pirate Jet

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SPICE GIRLS MUSICAL IS ON
It's been rumoured for some time, but Simon Fuller has now confirmed that a Spice Girls musical is in the works. The show is being put together by 'Mamma Mia!' producer Judy Craymer. I was going to make a joke about the title probably being something really half-arsed, like 'Viva Forever', but apparently that actually is the title.

Announcing the project, Fuller said:
"The girls and I are very excited to be working with Judy Craymer. What Judy has achieved with her all conquering box office smash hit 'Mamma Mia!' and what the Spice Girls created with their powerful record breaking mix of 'girl power' and hit songs, has influenced pop culture more than anyone can imagine. Now with this incredible new project 'Viva Forever' we all come together as partners with a combined focus to create something really special for this next decade."

Craymer added: "I'm delighted that Simon Fuller and The Spice Girls are so supportive of the idea of 'Viva Forever'. I want to create a unique celebration of the band and its music, with its own flavour and joyful message. It is important to me that the excitement, style and humour of The Spice Girls is well represented on stage".

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SLAYER RESCHEDULE UK DATES
Let's hope it's third time lucky for Slayer's UK tour. The band have again rescheduled their UK tour dates, which have twice been postponed because of frontman Tom Araya's ongoing back problem.

Here are the new dates:

26 May: Leeds, Academy
27 May: Glasgow, Barrowlands
29 May: Birmingham, Academy
30 May: Manchester, Academy
31 May: Nottingham Rock City
2 Jun: London, Forum
3 Jun: London, Forum

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DELPHIC ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Delphic have announced their first headline tour of the UK in March, plus new single, 'Halcyon', which will be released on 15 Mar.

Tour dates:

11 Mar: Edinburgh, Studio 24
12 Mar: Newcastle, Digital
13 Mar: Birmingham, Academy 2
14 Mar: London, Heaven
15 Mar: Cambridge, Junction
16 Mar: Manchester, Sankeys
19 Mar: Sheffield, Leadmill
20 Mar: Southampton, University

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RADIOHEAD'S O'BRIEN TO TELL MIDEM FILE-SHARING'S NOT THE PROBLEM
Back to file-sharing, and perhaps it's not really a problem after all. Well, that's what Radiohead guitarist and Featured Artist Coalition director Ed O'Brien reckons. And he'll say so, in a short video interview to be played out at MidemNet in Cannes tomorrow.

He says in the interview: "I have a problem when people in the industry say 'file-sharing is killing the industry, it's the thing that's ripping us apart'. I don't actually believe it is ... [Pirates] might not buy an album, but they're spending their money buying concert tickets, a t-shirt, whatever. It's an analogue business model in a digital era. The business model has to change. You've got to license out more music - have more Spotifys, more websites selling more music. You've got to make it slightly cheaper to get music in order to compete with the peer-to-peers".

He adds that is shouldn't be difficult to compete with file-sharing if well priced engaging services can be developed. He says: "BitTorrent is very utilitarian, it's deeply unsexy. The Richard Branson of nowadays would be able to set up a really amazing website for fourteen to 24 year olds that deals with their music ... and do something really innovative and make it really easy for people to buy music, and cheap. A lot of fourteen to seventeen year olds don't have credit cards, so how are they going to get music digitally? These are very, very, very basic issues - I find it staggering that the industry seems to be really dragging its heels on this - this is stuff that you could do in one week. Move quicker! That's been the whole problem in the last ten years. Why are we here now? Because the recording industry dragged its feet over digital".

If you're heading to the Cannes party, you can go see the full interview tomorrow morning at 10.55am, and nod furiously or throw things at the screen, depending on your viewpoint. O'Brien's video-style opinions are also available online at www.midem.com. Midem kicks off tomorrow.

PS: Pete Wentz is among the celebrity names to be speaking at Midem this weekend, talking about fan engagement. He's down in the programme as "musician, entrepreneur and activist". Well, that's better than "mouthy bass player and celebrity husband", I suppose. You know, I read somewhere letting pictures of your genitals slip onto the internet is one way to engage fans.

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WARNER PROMOTE CHATTERJEE
Warner Music yesterday announced the promotion of Raoul Chatterjee to the role of SVP Commercial within the major's UK division, reporting straight to Warner UK CEO Christian Tattersfield. He will be responsible for the major's relationships with all of its UK retail partners, physical and digital, and at investigating new opportunities for flogging music to willing punters.

Confirming the promotion, Tattersfield told CMU: "Raoul's understanding of today's commercial landscape is second to none and the breadth of his experience gives him a unique perspective on how to develop products and shape retail experiences that appeal to music fans. Raoul is an exceptionally original thinker with a keen sense of the business opportunities open to us and I believe he will provide very strong leadership for the Commercial team".

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CISAC BOSS TO LEAD SOCAN
Canada's publishing rights collecting society, the Society Of Composers, Authors And Music Publishers Of Canada, or SOCAN to its close friends, has announced the appointment of Eric Baptiste to the role of CEO. Baptiste is currently the boss of globally focused publishing rights body CISAC.

Confirming his new role, Baptiste told reporters: "SOCAN is a remarkable performing rights organisation, with a proud history of innovation and outstanding success throughout its 20 year history. It's a great honour to join its leadership team and have the opportunity to build on its success".

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MUSIC LAW FIRM OFFERS AUTO-CONTRACT SERVICE
Entertainment law firm Wiggin is planning a new online service which will enable music firms to prepare their own artist and licensing contracts using templates prepared by the Wiggin legal types, templates that will take into account any recent changes in entertainment or corporate law. The new service, called Widget and due to be showcased at Midem this weekend, will be available at a basic level for just £100 a month to independent record labels and publishers.

The service is due to go properly live in March at www.wiggin.co.uk.

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VERIZON BACKTRACK ON THREE-STRIKE DISCONNECTION CLAIM
American technology news site CNET is standing by its story from earlier in the week - reported on in yesterday's CMU Daily - that US internet giant Verizon has said it is pursuing a three-strikes policy against prolific file-sharers and has disconnected some of its customers who ontinued to illegally file-share despite warnings.

As previously reported, despite distancing itself from the Recording Industry Association Of America's attempts to get US ISPs to adopt a 'graduated response' system against illegal file-sharers, a spokeswoman for Verizon, Bobbi Henson, this week confirmed that her company had started sending out warning letters to suspected infringers. CNET reported that she also revealed a handful of people who had ignored the warnings had had their net connections cut off, though that most people stopped file-sharing once they had received a written warning.

Henson subsequently backtracked on that yesterday, saying she had been misquoted by CNET and that while warning letters were being sent out by Verizon, not disconnections had as yet occurred. That would mean Verizon are on a level with many UK ISPs - who have voluntarily sent out warning letters to suspected file-sharers but so far refused to back up the warnings with the stick of net disconnection (or suspension).

Dslreports.com quote Henson as saying: "I'm not aware that we've ever terminated anyone's account for excessive consumption, although we reserve the right to do so. That part of the CNET story is wrong. I did not say 'we've cut people off'; I said we reserve the right to do so".

But CNET stand by their story, accusing Verizon of backtracking because they don't want to be seen as the one US net provider going hardline on the piracy issue, sending file-sharers fleeing to their competitors. They claim Henson definitely said "we've cut some people off" as well as "we do reserve the right to discontinue service" in a phone interview, while when asked by email for exact numbers of disconnections, Henson said "we don't give out these numbers, but I can tell you that they are small" - ie small, not non-existent.

Make of all that what you will.

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BILLBOARD APPOINT NEW EDITOR
The recently sold Billboard have announced they have a new editor. Craig Marks is being brought in to oversee the development of both the print magazine and the US trade mag's online operation, which its new owners see as having much potential for growth as sales of print-based B2B titles continue to decline.

Marks was founding editor of Blender magazine, which he continued to oversee until 2008, and has also had editorial roles at various other US music titles, including Spin, CMJ and Rolling Stone. He has more recently worked as Editor-In-Chief of music for CNET. His appointment follows the acquisition of the US record industry weekly by media start up E5 Global Media last month.

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VANILLA ICE NOT AN OLD SCHOOL JEDWARD FAN
Vanilla Ice has revealed that he has only recently become aware of Jedward. So, while he might appear on their version of his 1991 single, 'Ice Ice Baby', he can never know what the Jedward phenomenon was really like for the original fans way back in the day. Oh, those memories, how far away they seem.

Ice told ITN: "I think they're great. I didn't know anything about them until a couple of weeks ago, but YouTube is a great thing. I got the invite to come over here. The song is great and it is a compliment to me".

Well, I suppose you have to take your compliments where you can. Which must be why he also said this about their hair: "I had my hair like that. That is why it is such a huge compliment".

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Andy Malt
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