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INFORMATION
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
PCC reject complaints over Moir's Gately ramble
Groups rush to save Abbey Road
Matthew Herbert responds to PETA criticism
In The Pop Courts
Sony sued over Beyonce's pants
In The Pop Hospital
Brandon Flowers' mother dies
Reunions & Splits
Lily confirms she's still on a break
Work progressing Girl Aloud Coyle's solo album
Release News
Hole album gets release date
Deftones announce new album
Gigs & Tours News
Primal scream to perform Screamadelica
Free RATM tickets all gone
Japandroids new dates and singles series
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Single review: Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip - Get Getter (Sunday Best)
The Music Business
Government back self-regulation on secondary ticketing
Ticketmaster reaches settlement with FTC over Springsteen ticket resale debacle
MMF launch committee to review royalty reporting
Universal promote marketing man Robert-Murphy
More MySpace chatter
Warner content pulled from French streaming service
The Media Business
This Is Fake DIY pilot print edition launched
Chart Of The Day
This week's student radio chart
And finally...
Rotten Side Of The Moon


 
THURSDAY 18TH FEBRUARY
TORO Y MOI
Toro Y Moi is the moniker of 23 year old singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Chazwick Bundick from South Carolina. Also the lead singer of indie rock band The Heist And The Accomplice, Bundick's solo project varies, in terms of sound, from folk to electronic to indie pop. Drawing influence from the likes of J Dilla and My Bloody Valentine, his synth-heavy style of music has been compared to artists such as Neon Indian and Memory Tapes. Bundick released his first single, 'Blessa', in 2009 after signing to Carpark Records, and is now set to release his debut album 'Causers Of This' on Monday, 22 Feb. We spoke to Chaz to find out more.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started when I was fifteen. Most of the songs then were on the guitar and pretty angsty. But I found out about making music with a computer three years later and that gave me a new perspective on song writing.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
This was the first "real" album that I ever made. So, I looked at other albums for reference, on flow and stuff like that. Because of the things I was trying, I wanted to make sure I didn't overdo any aspect of the production. I wanted to let the album breathe a few times. Sound-wise, I just tried to do a mixture of genres.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I usually start with the backing track and then the lyrics. The majority of the time I'll end up changing the music while keeping the recorded vocal track.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
My Bloody Valentine, J Dilla, French house and Arthur Russell. There are more, but for this album it was mainly those.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Headphones please, no laptop speakers, haha.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I'd like to think the album could appeal to many audiences, but if people don't feel it that's fine. For the future, I just want to make sure I don't force my songs out.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/toroymoi

 
CAPPO - PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE
I've long been a fan of Nottingham-based rapper Cappo. His heavy-accented vocals and always interesting production have had me hooked from the first time I heard his track 'The Looniest', nestled away on a UK hip hop compilation a decade ago. Which means it's very exciting that I can reveal exclusively that Cappo's long awaited second album will hit stores on 6 Apr, with details of some very interesting limited edition formats to be announced soon.

 
The first single from the album, the double A-side 'Loyalty/Gilgamesh II', will be released on 15 Mar, but ahead of that Caps is giving away an exclusive stand-alone track, which will not appear on the LP. A good indication of what's to come, so we're told, 'Psychological Warfare' is built around a well-selected vocal sample, and features all the trademarks of a great Cappo track while still moving his sound forward. If he's producing tracks of this standard that aren't making it to the finished album, then we should have something very impressive to look forward to.

cappo.bandcamp.com



 
  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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Hyde Pierce, Lumley and Rylance to star in revival of La Bete
Police arrest presenter Gosling following on air confession
London ticket agencies wound up by High Court
 
Seesaw launches today
Cambridge community radio station to close this month
All about Toyota's PR challenge
 
Tom Basden's Fringe First winning 'Party' to be broadcast on R4
Southbank Centre launches Latin festival
Merton criticises film festival for allegedly dropping him
 

PCC REJECT COMPLAINTS OVER MOIR'S GATELY RAMBLE
The Press Complaints Commission has rejected a complaint from the partner of Stephen Gately over that somewhat controversial column written by Daily Mail waffler Jan Moir.

As much previously reported, the newspaper regulator received a record number of complaints from the public at large over the piece, published just before Gately's funeral, in which Moir basically accused the former Boyzone star of dying from that most evil of diseases, "being gay". Ignoring the fact that, actually, it's not that uncommon for young people to suddenly die from undiagnosed heart conditions, and despite the column itself referencing various heterosexual celebrities with dangerous lifestyles, Moir concluded that Gately's premature demise "strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships".

It wasn't so much offensive, as it was a badly written incoherent argument from a mediocre food critic out of her depth, or, as journalism students would call it, a "Daily Mail opinion piece".

Anyway, after much outrage towards the article, and the timing of its publication, on both Twitter and the blogosphere, the PCC was deluged with complaints, including one from Gately's record label Polydor. However, it was the complaint from the Boyzoner's civil partner Andrew Cowles, submitted a few weeks later, that counted; the PCC only really having a remit to investigate when individuals personally affected by a newspaper article, or close relatives of that individual, make a complaint. Cowle claimed Moir breached three elements of the PCC's code of conduct, by intruding on private grief, by being inaccurate, and by writing homophobic remarks.

But, having now undertaken that investigation, the PCC has ruled that neither Moir nor the Daily Mail did, in fact, break the PCC code by writing and publishing the piece. Although it said it was "uncomfortable with the tenor of the columnist's remarks" and admitted there were flaws in the foodie hack's arguments, it said it feared censuring Moir or the Mail over the piece would represent "a slide towards censorship".

PCC Director Stephen Able added: "It would not be proportionate to rule against the columnist's right to offer freely expressed views about something that was the focus of public attention".

Regarding Cowle's specific complaints, the PCC said that while many complainants felt Moir's negativity towards Gately and Cowles was based on the couple's sexuality, the piece didn't actually contain any "pejorative or prejudicial language"; that while a subsequent post-mortem confirmed the Boyzone star did, indeed, die of natural causes, to describe the death as "unnatural" before the coroner had reported, while highly speculative, wasn't in conflict with the facts available at that time; and that while running the piece the day before Gately's funeral was "in questionable taste", that didn't constitute intruding on private grief.

While the PCC's ruling will probably be unpopular - and may well reignite the debate on how well equipped the body is to regulate the press, given it is funded and overseen by the newspapers themselves - I suspect it is the right decision given the body's remit. I'm not sure Moir did break any PCC rules with her piece - as I say, the piece wasn't so much offensive as it was terribly written. But it's not for the PCC to rule on bad journalism in that way, and with millions of Mail readers seemingly happy to pay for such drivel, I don't suppose there's much anyone can do about it.

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GROUPS RUSH TO SAVE ABBEY ROAD
Following that previously reported claim by the Financial Times earlier this week that the legendary Abbey Road recording studio had been put up for sale by EMI in an attempt reduce growing debts, it seems a bidding war may have erupted between people rushing to save it. There are concerns, of course, that the building might be converted into offices or apartments if sold, given that it would be hard to make money out of the complex if it remains as recording studio.

But Paul McCartney hinted on Tuesday that a group of people associated with the studios are mounting a bid to save the building and keep it in its current form. Speaking to BBC 2's 'Newsnight', he said: "There are a few people who have been associated with the studio for a long time who were talking about mounting some bid to save it. I sympathise with them. I hope they can do something, it'd be great. I have got so many memories there with the Beatles. It still is a great studio. So it would be lovely if somebody could get a thing together to save it".

Abbey Road is best known for its association with the Beatles, of course. As well as recording most of their albums there, they also named their eleventh LP (the last one they recorded, though their penultimate release) after the studio.

However, on Wednesday, a spokesman for The National Trust revealed that the organisation is also considering looking into purchasing the studio and retaining its current form, if public interest in them doing so is great enough. In a statement, he said: "It's not often that the public spontaneously suggests that we should acquire a famous building. However, Abbey Road recording studios appear to be very dear to the nation's heart - to the extent that we will take soundings as to whether a campaign is desirable or even feasible".

The Trust have invited comments about the proposal they buy the studios via email (abbeyroad@nationaltrust.org.uk), Facebook (www.facebook.com/nationaltrust) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/nationaltrust).

EMI are yet to confirm whether rumours of the sale are true or not.

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MATTHEW HERBERT RESPONDS TO PETA CRITICISM
Matthew Herbert has issued a response to that statement made by PETA, in which the animal welfare organisation criticised the recording of a pig being slaughtered for the producer's latest project.

As previously reported, Herbert has been working on his 'One Pig' project since May last year, with the aim of recording the life of a pig from birth to death, then turning the sounds he collected into music and releasing it all as an album. After initially struggling to find an abattoir that would allow him to record the pig being slaughtered, he posted a message to the blog where he is chronicling the project's progress last Wednesday, simply saying: "The pig is now dead".

Prior to the pig's death, PETA condemned the recording, telling Gigwise last week: "No one with any true talent or creativity hurts animals to attract attention ... Pigs are inquisitive, highly intelligent, sentient animals who become frightened when they are sent to slaughterhouses, where they kick and scream and try to escape the knife. They are far more worthy of respect than Matthew Herbert or anyone else who thinks cruelty is entertainment".

However, Herbert has disputed that the project is cruel, or that his intention was entirely entertainment-focussed. He told CMU this morning: "I'm puzzled and disappointed by PETA's assertions about 'One Pig', because this project is in part about dealing head on with the conditions and realities of a modern food industry. As I eat meat, I would have thought PETA would have been pleased that I am confronting the consequences of that choice".

He added: "Unlike most industrial pig farms, my pig was kept in excellent conditions but was always grown by the farmer for slaughter. My desire to listen in to that entire cycle and represent it as music is not, and never was intended to bem cynically repackaged purely as entertainment".

You can read more about 'One Pig' at thisisapig.blogspot.com

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SONY SUED OVER BEYONCE'S PANTS
Underwear manufacturer Triumph has successfully sued Sony Music over claims that a skimpy outfit worn by Beyonce in the video for her single 'Video Phone' is ripped off from one of their designs.

Triumph launched the lawsuit earlier this year, saying that the lingerie in the video bears a striking resemblance to a set created for them by Bulgarian designer Iskren Lozanov. Presumably Sony needed Triumph's permission to use the designs when making Beyonce's costume.

Sony disputed the claim, saying that Beyonce's outfit had in fact been inspired by the art of Pablo Picasso and not Triumph's products. However, a judge has now ruled that that claim was bollocks, because Lozanov's design was so distinct that coincidence was unlikely, and therefore ruled in Triumph's favour.

The record label is now preparing to appeal the decision.

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BRANDON FLOWERS' MOTHER DIES
Following The Killers' cancellation of the final dates of their Australian tour earlier this month "due to the severity of the illness of a close family member", it has been revealed that frontman Brandon Flowers' mother Jean died on Thursday, aged 64. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008.

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LILY CONFIRMS SHE'S STILL ON A BREAK
Lily Allen has confirmed that she's still on a break from making music and is instead concentrating on her new record label, despite her appearance at the BRITs to collect the British Female award on Tuesday.

The topic came up when she was asked what she thought about EMI's current financial woes. Lily's own records are, of course, released by EMI label Regal. She told BBC 6music: "I imagine it's quite worrying for them, [but] personally I'm leaving [them], so I don't really mind. I'm not really leaving [for good]. I'm just not making another album for a while. I'm moving on to pastures new, so record sales and stuff aren't really bothering me right now".

Being bothered about record sales will be something she'll need to do if she's to launch this record label, though. Asked how that was going, she said: "I'm in my office, I've got people working with me and we're making progress". She admitted, however, that she has not yet signed anyone.

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WORK PROGRESSING GIRL ALOUD COYLE'S SOLO ALBUM
Girls Aloud's Nadine Coyle is currently in a recording studio in Malibu working on her debut solo album, which is set for release later this year.

Coyle revealed that she was working on songs with a variety of writers, including Guy Chambers, last October, and has since recorded in London, LA, Nashville and New York. She confirmed the latest Malibu sessions via Twitter on Tuesday.

She tweeted: "I'm in Malibu writing and recording more songs for you all. I want a lot of choices".

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HOLE ALBUM GETS RELEASE DATE
The new Hole (and previously Courtney Love solo) album, 'Nobody's Daughter', will be released through Universal Music's Mercury and Island Def Jam divisions on 27 Apr. Unless it isn't. In which case it won't. Who knows?

Long in production, and only recently re-branded as a Hole album, it was co-written and produced by former Four Non-Blondes frontwoman Linda Perry, Smashing Pumpkin Billy Corgan and producer Michael Beinhorn, all of whom have since distanced themselves from the project. Beinhorn, who threw in the towel after almost a year working on the album, blaming Love's "fragmented focus", told Spin: "She had a lot of things going on in her personal life that made it impossible to do the sort of work that I wanted".

Meanwhile, former Hole bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur has against expressed her surprise and disappointment at not being asked to be involved in a Hole reunion, telling Kerrang!: "I'm so proud of my time in Hole and protective of the legacy of what I think is one of the most important female bands in a male-dominated landscape. At this point, it's clear that Courtney's made her decision to do it this way, and ultimately she's the master of her destiny and here I am releasing my own record ['Out Of Our Minds' via Roadrunner on 3 May] and that's the way its going to be".

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DEFTONES ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM
Hello, readers. Welcome to the most exciting new album news of the year so far. Deftones will release their sixth album, entitled 'Diamond Eyes', on 17 May.

The album is technically the band's seventh. However, as previously reported, they decided to shelve their sixth, 'Eros', last year, as it featured bassist Chi Cheng, who remains in a coma following a car crash in November 2008. Speaking about the new material last July, frontman Chino Moreno told Kerrang!: "I know that, deep down, Chi would be proud of us and, in a big way, we're doing this [new album] for him. We're trying to do the best we can for him, for us, and for the situation, and that's to bury our heads in music. If anything positive can come out of this, then working on this music has really brought the rest of us guys very, very close".

The band will release a track from the album, 'Rocket Skates', as a free download via their website - www.deftones.com - on 23 Feb.

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PRIMAL SCREAM TO PERFORM SCREAMADELICA
Primal Scream have announced that they will perform their 1991 album 'Screamadelica' live, in full, this November. The show will take place at Olympia in London on 27 Nov. Tickets go on sale on 26 Feb.

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FREE RATM TICKETS ALL GONE
All tickets for Rage Against The Machine's free gig in London's Finsbury Park on 6 Jun were snapped up in around three hours yesterday morning. High demand for the show put the See Tickets servers - which were processing the free ticket distribution - under considerable strain, meaning many fans were unable to get onto the website at all.

Organisers have warned those disappointed not to now purchase tickets from eBay and other third parties, as all tickets will sport pictures and address details of their intended holders. Anyone whose face does not match the ticket will be turned away. So, I'd avoid changing your haircut or growing any facial hair if you do have one.

There are other opportunities to see the band, though. This week they confirmed another show in Dublin on 8 Jun, as a well as a headline slot at Download.

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JAPANDROIDS NEW DATES AND SINGLES SERIES
Japandroids have announced a new run of UK gigs in May, in addition to their previously announced tour which will take place later this month.

Also, they've just announced a new five-part singles series. The first, 'Art Czars', will be released on 12 Apr, backed with a cover of Big Black's 'Racer-X'. You can pre-order it from Polyvinyl here: www.polyvinylrecords.com/store/index.php?id=1002

Meanwhile, the new dates are these:

13-15 May: The Great Escape
17 May: Sheffield, The Harley
18 May: Oxford, Jericho
19 May: Southampton, Joiners
20 May: London, The Garage

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BLOODSTOCK, Catton Hall, Walton-on-Trent, South Derbyshire, 13-15 Aug: Twisted Sister have been announced to fill the final headline slot at the tenth anniversary of Bloodstock this year, joining previously announced headliners Children Of Bodom, Heaven & Hell and Fear Factory. www.bloodstock.uk.com

EVOLUTION, Newcastle & Gateshead, 30-31 May: Line up just announced with Paolo Nutini, Enter Shikari, Calvin Harris, The Horrors, Delphic, The Unthanks and Donovan among the artists confirmed so far. www.evolutionfestival.co.uk

LARMER TREE FESTIVAL, Larmer Tree Gardens, nr Salisbury, Wiltshire/Dorset, 14-18 Jul: Toots And The Maytals and Robert Cray are the latest headliners to be confirmed for the Larmer Tree Festival, as well as special guest Alison Moyet who will be joining Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra. www.larmertreefestival.co.uk

SLAM DUNK FESTIVAL, University of Hertfordshire, 29 May, Leeds University, 30 May: Now a two-day event, the first acts to be confirmed for this year's Slam Dunk are New Found Glory, Capdown, The King Blues, Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals, RX Bandits, Every Avenue and Out Of Sight. www.slamdunkmusic.com

WYCHWOOD FESTIVAL, Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire, 4-6 Jun: Seth Lakeman has been announced as the Sunday headliner at this year's Wychwood, as well as The Travelling Band, Sleeping With The Fishes, John Otway and comedian Robin Ince all being added to the line-up. www.wychwoodfestival.com

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SINGLE REVIEW: Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip - Get Better (Sunday Best)
Once again, Scroobius Pip emerges as the voice of moral reasoning within the UK rap community, with another bit of thoughtful polemic backed by Dan Le Sac's percussive loops and simple, melodic synth dance. For, whereas Dappy from N-Dubz shines in stupidity with his mixed messages of sending abusive texts while fronting anti-bullying campaigns, this duo are the beacons of intelligent analysis in modern UK rap. Aware of the bleakness of "small town syndrome" and a lack of understanding in sex and alcohol, 'Get Better' encourages a genuine positivity amongst the duo's audience, emphasising choice and self-motivation. An over-simplified outlook maybe, and not quite as anthemic as 'Thou Shalt Always Kill', but few catchy four-minute pop songs will offer more this year. TM

Digital release: 28 Feb
Press contact: Freeman PR [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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GOVERNMENT BACK SELF-REGULATION ON SECONDARY TICKETING
The government's Department For Culture, Media & Sport has this week backed a new code of practice for the secondary ticketing market, which has been developed by the ticket resale sector itself, but which, the DCMS says, should overcome ministers' concerns about the growth of online ticketing touting, and the risks for consumers who buy tickets in this way.

As previously reported, as the resale of tickets to live events via online auction sites like eBay, and then websites specifically set up for ticket reselling, like Viagogo and Seatwave, started to grow in the middle of the last decade, government types called on the live sector to introduce measures to protect consumers, who might unknowingly find themselves handing over money to dodgy touts who might not actually have access to the tickets they are selling.

Ministers even threatened to introduce new laws regulating ticket touting if a voluntary code couldn't be agreed. It was initially a weak threat because many key tour promoters - who weren't especially happy to see an ever increasing number of touts profiting from the resale of tickets to their events - said they'd be more than happy to see the sort of rules that regulate the resale of tickets to football matches be applied to gigs and other live events. Having received this response from the live sector, ministers revealed that they weren't actually that keen to legislate in this area after all, and so government continued to push for self-regulation.

The good news for political types was that by this time the ticket-resale website sector was starting to grow, meaning there were now companies who had a vested interest in government not introducing new anti-touting laws, and which could spearhead self-regulation plans. Primary ticket sellers like Ticketmaster were also starting to dabble in secondary ticketing, so they too could be part of the self-regulation process.

Which is how the code of practice this week approved by the DCMS got to be written. The new code will be overseen by the UK's Society Of Ticket Agents & Retailers, with the support of the Association Of Secondary Ticketing. It was backed by the government in a DCMS report on secondary ticketing published this week.

Launching the report, Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe told reporters: "We wish to avoid the use of new legislative measures which could mean greater burdens for the events industry and sanctions against market participants and be against the interests of consumers. We look to the market to act responsibly and in the interests of the public...We naturally want to ensure that the secondary market provides the strongest possible safeguards for the public and the government will, if necessary, act to improve these".

Needless to say, the Society Of Ticket Agents & Retailers welcomed the government's report. Music Week quote the body's Jonathan Brown thus: "We welcome the DCMS support in bringing about improved standards in the industry to help ensure consumer protection. We hope this process will also encourage better standards in the secondary market and greater clarity and confidence for all ticket buyers, particularly when twinned with the current work being undertaken by the Office Of Fair Trading and Trading Standards to tackle online scams".

Though not everyone thinks this is the greatest news since the relaunch of the Wispa bar. Prominent artist manager Jazz Summers, a vocal opponent of the growth in secondary ticketing, told the FT: "[The government's] report is a whitewash - a waste of time and money. I do not think it is helpful for the health of the music industry, as it will mean concert-goers are likely to pay more for big name acts and not support the smaller acts of the future".

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TICKETMASTER REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH FTC OVER SPRINGSTEEN TICKET RESALE DEBACLE
In related news, Ticketmaster has reportedly agreed to refund money to fans who bought tickets for one of two Bruce Springsteen concerts in New Jersey last year at hiked up rates via the firm's US-based secondary ticketing website TicketsNow.

As much previously reported, The Boss lashed out at Ticketmaster when he learned that the ticketing giant - the official ticket agents for his gigs - had been pointing his fans to the resale of tickets for his shows on TicketsNow before Ticketmaster had actually sold out of tickets itself. Fans who followed the link to TicketsNow would, of course, end up buying tickets for the gig at a marked up price.

The incident was partly caused by Ticketmaster's policy of promoting its ticket re-sale website via its primary ticketing service, and partly by a glitch in the ticketing giant's system which made it appear the two New Jersey shows were sold out when they weren't. Springsteen and others accused Ticketmaster of ripping off the singer's fans, noting that the ticketing firm earned two commissions if tickets were sold on their own website, and then resold on TicketsNow.

A whole load of outrage followed, with both state and federal authorities getting involved. A deal was done quite quickly with New Jersey regulators, but the Federal Trade Commission's investigation into the whole thing has been ongoing ever since. It is thought the FTC will close that investigation today by announcing that Ticketmaster has agreed to give any fan who bought a ticket for one of the Springsteen gigs in New Jersey via TicketsNow a refund. Said fans will have any mark up they paid refunded, ie the price they paid for the ticket minus its face value. It's thought about 800 fans are due a refund, and its pledge to pay those refunds could cost Ticketmaster hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The settlement with the FTC is also likely to include new rules regarding the resale of tickets on TicketsNow and any linking between the main Ticketmaster site and the resale site, though said linking has stopped anyway, partly as a result of the ticketing firm's aforementioned deal with New Jersey officials. It's also thought that the FTC's report on the Springsteen debacle will result in some new rules for the US secondary ticketing market at large, ie it will have an impact on TicketNow's rivals too.

Ticketmaster, of course, is now a division of Live Nation Entertainment following the merger of the ticketing firm with the tour promoter and venue owner. Although said merger is now being re-reviewed by UK competition regulators after its original OK for the deal was successfully appealed by one of Ticketmaster's rivals, the combined Live Nation Entertainment is already operational. According to the company's new email signature line the combined LNE is "the world's first artist-to-fan vertically integrated live entertainment platform", which is great news, I've always been a big fan of live entertainment platforms that are vertically integrated when it comes to the artist-to-fan relationship.

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MMF LAUNCH COMMITTEE TO REVIEW ROYALTY REPORTING
The Music Managers' Forum has launched an 'audit committee' to review the ways record companies and collecting societies report royalty income to artists, with a view to promoting some industry standards for such reporting, especially of increasingly complicated digital revenues.

MMF CEO John Webster told CMU: "This committee came out of a meeting we had last week to discuss the way revenues are being reported to artists and their managers. Our members keep hearing about new revenue streams that their artists are due a share of, yet when they get a royalty statement from their record companies it can be hard to work out where that revenue is being declared, if at all. It doesn't help that, especially with digital things, different record companies are reporting things in different ways. We feel that the whole industry - artists, managers and labels - could benefit from some industry-wide standards in this area".

If nothing else, such standards might help reassure artists who suspect they are being screwed by their labels on royalty statements (or make it harder for labels to screw said artists, if that is the case), which would be a good start.

Artists can, of course, undertake their own audits of their label's royalty statements, but such audits are time consuming and expensive, and are only normally undertaken by major league artists, or certainly only by artists who have recouped and who can set the costs of an audit off against the extra royalty payments they may secure as a result of the review. Smaller artists can only despair, or blog about their royalty statements in an insightful way, as Too Much Joy's Tim Quirk did last year in a blog posting we reported on here:

newsblog.thecmuwebsite.com/post/Not-much-joy-The-tricky-issue-of-major-label-royalty-reporting.aspx

The MMF's audit committee will include managers, accountants and lawyers, and will begin its review of record industry royalty reporting later this year. The committee also hopes to feed in on that previously reported project being spearheaded by Intellectual Property Minister David Lammy and the government's IP Office which is looking into drafting a model contract for artists and songwriters that would aim to protect the rights of said creators when they do deals with labels or publishers.

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UNIVERSAL PROMOTE MARKETING MAN ROBERT-MURPHY
Universal Music yesterday announced that Olivier Robert-Murphy, currently VP of International Strategic Marketing for Universal Music International, will become Head Of Business Development for the major's international division.

His new job will be quite wide-ranging covering all sorts of new business activities, including strategic marketing partnerships, international research, new revenue streams, brand partnerships, premiums and the company's media-buying through its partner, Mediacom.

The promotion was confirmed by Universal Music International's Senior VP Digital Rob Wells, who Robert-Murphy will report to. Wells told CMU: "Business development is becoming broader than ever. From premiums and endorsements to full-blown strategic marketing and brand partnerships, Universal Music has been leading the way. With Olivier's leadership and his highly motivated team, I know we will continue to innovate and advance".

Robert-Murphy himself added: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to drive forward Universal Music's international business development, and help to shape the exciting future. In all of our territories, there are imaginative, forward-thinking people creating new business models, to generate even more success and reward for Universal and our artists".

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MORE MYSPACE CHATTER
According to TechCrunch, a number of senior execs at MySpace are planning to exit the tumbling social networking firm following the sudden departure (aka sacking) of CEO Owen Van Natta last week. The tech site says Senior VP Of User Experience & Design Katie Geminder will depart tomorrow, while a senior engineer, Monica Keller, has also announced she is quitting. While it's not entirely clear if these two departures are directly linked to Van Natta's axing, certainly Geminder was part of the former CEO's core team.

In related news, the Guardian reported earlier this week that Van Natta's axing was a direct result of interferences by the social networking site's ultimate owner Rupert Murdoch. It was widely reported that Van Natta, appointed as MySpace CEO last April, clashed with Jonathan Miller, the former AOL chief who was brought into MySpace's parent company News Corp at around the same time to sort out the media conglom's various digital ventures.

The Guardian says that Murdoch is increasingly frustrated that his big digital acquisition from back in 2005 is faltering in such a big way, being totally left behind by the likes of Facebook and Twitter in the social networking stakes, and, in Europe, by the likes of Spotify in terms of digital music distribution.

Some might wonder why it took til now (or, really, this time last year, when Van Natta was shipped in) for the News Corp top guard to notice that their social networking asset is losing the race for web dominance, given that the service was already well past its prime when the media firm acquired it in 2005. But, it seems, that the service actually did quite well in terms of ad sales shortly after the News Corp acquisition, benefiting from the sudden boom in web advertising that occurred a few years back, and the fact the site still enjoyed very high traffic (in the main because it had become the default home for most music artists' web presence).

But said web traffic has declined considerably in the last two years as the all round shitness of the MySpace platform continued while a plethora of new social networking, blogging and music services appeared on the scene - most with one big USP over MySpace, they actually work - and so Murdoch's big website started to haemorrhage both users and advertisers.

Many inside and outside the social networking firm wonder how long the whole thing can now continue before being cut seriously down to size, reinventing itself as a simple music service. Though even then it will need a serious technical overhaul to compete with newer digital music services like Spotify and Grooveshark - ie a scrap-what-you've-got-and-start-again overhaul.

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WARNER CONTENT PULLED FROM FRENCH STREAMING SERVICE
A French-based streaming music service called Jiwa has pulled Warner's catalogue from its service, saying that "Warner International is at war with [our] model".

The news follows those previously reported comments from Warner Music big cheese Edgar Bronfman Jr, who expressed concerns about the viability of ad-funded free-to-use streaming services. Said comments were interpreted by some as an indication Warner was about to bail on Spotify, though both the major and the popular streaming music service denied that was case and, as we pointed out at the time, Bronfman's comments were very much focused on the US market.

It seems unlikely Jiwa's failure to renew its licensing deal with Warner is directly linked to Bronfman's comments in anyway (certainly the major has denied any link to Billboard), rather Warner's European division seemingly got frustrated with delays it incurred in receiving royalty payments from the streaming service. In fact, Billboard says Warner only got paid when they went legal.

Still, the incident does again throw into question how viable, in the long term, ad-funded free streaming services are without a radical overhaul of the way the major labels licence music to such services. Certainly Jiwa co-founder Jean-Marc Pflueger argues that his company has only struggled to meet royalty payments because of the large upfront advances the majors demanded to even consider licensing their content.

With a message posted on the Jiwa site encouraging users to make donations towards the running costs of the service, some wondered if it was about to go under, though Pflueger insists that is not so, adding that the donations suggest "was more to send a message than to gather revenue".

Still, it is clear that the business model currently being employed by Jiwa and many of tits rivals can only work long term if a radical overhaul of digital licensing is forthcoming. The majors may argue that the problem is with Jiwa et al's business plans rather than the labels' licensing systems, and that such digital companies should be focusing on subscription services rather than freeplay systems. But given the state of the French record industry - where getting record sales into four figures is an achievement - surely any music service which generates any income for the labels is worth supporting.

Of course, in France, government moves to force collective digital licensing on the record industry might help the likes of Jiwa, certainly it would overcome the advance payments issue.

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THIS IS FAKE DIY PILOT PRINT EDITION LAUNCHED
Music website This Is Fake DIY have published a pilot edition of a new print publication, simply called DIY. Limited to 100 copies and mainly distributed in London, readers lucky enough to find one are encouraged to pass it on, after immortalising themselves on the inside cover.

Explains editor Stephen Ackroyd: "Each one has a special roll of honour (it's on page two, if you're not looking properly). If you find one, read it, scrawl your name, where you are in the world at the time, and pass it on to someone else, and ask them to do the same. If you could take a picture too, and send it to us at newspaper@thisisfakediy.co.uk, we'll love you forever, and maybe even send you a special thank you. We want to see how far and wide our beloved pilot issue can get. Entertain our mad old ways".

Here's a sneaky peak: www.thisisfakediy.co.uk/articles/blog/a-preview-of-diy-issue-0

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THIS WEEK'S STUDENT RADIO CHART
The songs most rated by student radio stations around the UK. The Student Radio Chart is compiled by the Student Radio Association and aired on student stations across the country, hosted by a different affiliated station each week. More at www.studentradio.org.uk/chart

1. Owl City - Fireflies
2. Ellie Goulding - Starry Eyed
3. Hot Chip - One Life Stand
4. Marina and The Diamonds - Hollywood
5. Biffy Clyro - Many of Horror
6. Plan B - Stay Too Long
7. Bombay Bicycle Club - Evening/Morning
8. Mumford and Sons - The Cave
9. Iyaz - Replay
10. Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
11. 3OH!3 - Starstrukk
12. Lady Gaga - Telephone
13. Vampire Weekend - Cousins
14. Groove Armada - Paper Romance
15. Ke$ha - Tik Tok
16. Example - Won't Go Quietly
17. Florence and the Machine - You've Got The Love
18. Alexandra Burke - Broken Heels
19. Glee Cast - Don't Stop Believin'
20. Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - Get Better

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ROTTEN SIDE OF THE MOON
John Lydon has revealed that he'd like to re-record Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' with the band. A statement which may seem odd for a man who once sported a t-shirt proclaiming: "I hate Pink Floyd".

Speaking to The Stool Pigeon, Lydon said: "I've no idea where I got [that t-shirt] from, it being green, which was an oddity... not my colour. It might have been something I nicked off a stall. You'd have to be daft as a brush to say you didn't like Pink Floyd. They've done great stuff. They've done rubbish, too. 'Dark Side Of The Moon', I love. But I go right back to when they were with Syd Barrett. But I grew up with all kinds of music".

He continued: "Two years ago when they came to LA, they asked me would I come on and do a bit of 'Dark Side Of The Moon' with them and the idea thrilled me no end. Well no, it would have been very, very neat but it stunk a little in my head of 'What am I doing here?' I came so close to doing it, [but] it felt like I was trying to set myself up as some kind of pretentious person. I'm very wary of the jam session end of things. I just don't want to do it. But I wanted to do it. But just not when 20,000 people were there. I'd have gone to a studio and played around with it there. But not for the bigger picture. Privately. I'd love to go into the studio and do something with the album with them".

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

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