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CMU Info
Top Stories
Might EMI mortgage its catalogue in the US to pay bankers?
Sharkey defends three-strikes at SxSW
In The Pop Courts
Viacom's YouTube action relates only to pre-2008 infringement
Gaga responds to lawsuit
Murray didn't mention propofol to paramedics
Artist Deals
Big Boi signs to Def Jam
In The Studio
Deamau5 asks fans to help with new track
Gigs & Tours News
Artists pay tribute to Chilton at SxSW
AC/DC gig may be cancelled because of bomb concerns
New Dreadzone album, tours
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Single review: Wild Beasts - We Still Got The Taste Dancin On Our Tongues (Domino)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Latest City Showcase Apple Store session announced
The Music Business
Sony appoint new UK sync chief
Comes With Music heading to India
The Media Business
C4 dissed by MPs
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Journey man denies using or celebrating the N-word
Cowell planning Caribbean wedding

You want a forecast for this week? Okay, here's one: less Quality Street. There have been far too many sweets in the CMU office lately. At this rate, I'm going to have to enforce some kind of exercise regime, and no one wants that. Least of all me. Anyway, enough about the poor diets of CMU employees, what about more music-related things that are happening this week. Oh, what, you mean like these?

01: Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis. The Dillinger Escape Plan's fantastic fourth album, 'Option Paralysis', is released today via their own Party Smasher label. You can hear the whole thing right now on MySpace, but don't go and listen there, the sound quality's rubbish, pop out and buy it on your lunch break instead. In the meantime, check out this playlist put together by bassist Liam Wilson for last week's CMU Weekly. www.theCMUwebsite.com/playlists/dillingerescapeplan.html

02: The Great Escape launch party. Each year The Great Escape festival and conference partners up with a country to show of its musical talent. Last year it was New Zealand, and this year they're staying in the Antipodes with Australia. First thing on the agenda is a launch party, which will be held at Australia House on The Strand this Thursday in conjunction with the country's music export specialists Sounds Australia. After that, The Great Escape will be well and truly launched for 2010. www.escapegreat.com

03: CMU's supreme guide to music rights. There's a second chance to attend CMU's beginners guide to music copyright this Wednesday. An introduction to copyright law, a review of music rights ownership, and guides to collective licensing, collecting societies and copyright enforcement, it's perfect for independent label owners or music publishers, self-managing artists, junior execs at bigger music firms, or more experienced music people looking for a catch up. Very limited places are available, so be quick. www.thecmuwebsite.com/events

04: White Mischief third birthday. To celebrate their third birthday, neo-Victorian promoters White Mischief are holding two very special events in London this week. The first, The White Mischief Revue takes place at Proud Cabaret on Friday and will feature vaudeville acts, live music and vintage DJing. The main event, The Great Exhibition, takes place the following evening at The Scala and promises to be "a multi-room steampunk extravaganza" and will include a live performance from CMU favourite Thomas Truax. www.whitemischief.info

05: Save 6 rally. Okay, this isn't happening between now and Friday, but it is happing just about within five days of you reading this, thus not entirely breaking the rules of this column. Anyway, enough rambling, we need action. The BBC want to shut down 6music and force us all to listen to stuff we don't like. If you think that sounds like a bad thing, head down to BBC Broadcasting House in London on Saturday at midday and wave a stick, or something. www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=378610730420

There you have it. Other things you may enjoy this week include: drinking tea, scratching, puffing your cheeks out and feeding bread to ducks.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU Daily

ChatRoulette is generally a terrifying place that we don't recommend you visit. However, a few people in the last week have tempted us back to the world of watching random men masturbate. As mentioned in the CMU Approved slot last week, Holy Fuck announced details of their new album via the chat service, which sounded like fun, but the thing that we really enjoyed was unknown piano-playing musician Merton improvising songs about the people he met on the online chat platform.

With his face partially disguised by a hood and some glasses, many speculated that the guy behind the piano improvs was actually CMU favourite Ben Folds. It clearly wasn't, but on Saturday Folds fulfilled the dream by having a crack at it live on stage at The Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina. The results, like those of Merton, are quite marvellous. I assume this means that ChatRoulette will now become a haven for copycat musicians singing to penises.

Merton: www.youtube.com/watch?v=32vpgNiAH60
Ben Folds: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfamTmY5REw

Academy Music Group is looking to recruit a Marketing Partnership Manager to manage the delivery of the company's key marketing partnership with O2 and our other partners. The role is based at AMG's Head Office at the O2 Academy Brixton.

Applications to: Rita Garavan, Human Resources Manager, O2 Academy Brixton. Email: rita@academy-music-group.co.uk. Closing date: Friday 2nd April 2010.

For a full job description, please visit:
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Polanski's lawyers file new appeal
Bullock's husband sorry about affair allegations
Dr Who previews kick off
Neon apologise for made up Beyonce interview
6music even popular in Ambridge
New board members at RadioCentre
Twelve week cultural festival planned for Olympics year
Music festival line-up update - 19 Mar 2010
Edinburgh's International Festival announces programme

There were reports in the business press this weekend - starting in the Sunday Times, I think - that EMI's last ditch attempt to avoid defaulting on its big bucks loan with Citigroup is to try to sell a five year North American licence on its entire recordings catalogue, most likely to one of its rival major music firms, or a cash rich equity fund. It's thought EMI could get up to £100 million a year through such a licensing arrangement, which would mean the first year's payment would get close to covering the sum of money the struggling music conglom will have to pay to its bankers in May.

As much previously reported, EMI must pay Citigroup in the region of £120 million in May to avoid defaulting on the multi-billion dollar loan its owners Terra Firma saddled it with in 2007 when they bought the music firm. If they default, it is likely Citigroup will take ownership of the company and then sell it off, possibly by splitting up its various divisions and selling them off to the highest bidders.

Given Terra Firma are currently taking Citigroup to court over the original EMI deal, it seems unlikely the bank will be open to any pleas for leniency from bosses at the music major. Which means the survival of EMI as a stand alone entity requires either a big cash injection from Terra Firma's financial backers, or a radical plan that will raise big cash quickly.

Mortgaging EMI's recordings catalogue in the US market is one such radical plan. Rumours that bosses at the major - now headed up by its Chairman Charles Allen following the sudden departure of CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti earlier this month - were talking to their rivals about such a deal this weekend, led to speculation as to whether there were any potential hurdles for such a deal, assuming the aim is to have an agreement in place by May.

If the rights in EMI's recording catalogue did go to Universal, Sony or Warner, then US competition regulators might take an interest, though experts reckon that it is unlikely such a licensing deal would really be blocked on anti-trust grounds (not least because, these days, it's unlikely even a full merger would be scuppered by competition authorities, and certainly not in the US). Some also wonder whether such a deal would need Citigroup approval under the major's loan agreement with the bank.

There was differing opinions on this in the business media yesterday, some saying such approval would definitely be needed, others less sure. Given the aforementioned legal squabble, if such approval was needed, the bank would only likely give it if they believed it was in their own interest long term.

Given the 'mortgage-the-catalogue proposal' appears to be new, some also wonder if such a complicated deal could be completed in six weeks even without any regulatory or banking hurdles, and even if there was real interest from possible licensees. Aside from the time it takes to negotiate a deal, write the contract and sort out payment, there is the issue as to whether EMI's agreements with its more high profile artists even allow such a licensing deal, which would in theory allow another major label or equity outfit to control the distribution of music by the Beatles, Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Queen, Radiohead and Coldplay in the US market. Some scrutinising of key artist contracts may be required.

EMI, of course, are yet to comment.

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UK Music top dog Feargal Sharkey told an audience at last week's South By Southwest that be believes Britain's Digital Economy Bill will become law before May's General Election.

An increasing number of commentators seem to think the controversial Bill, which includes the UK version of three-strikes plus increased powers for the High Court to shut down copyright infringing websites, will be sped through the House Of Commons so it can be passed before parliament shuts down for the big vote; this despite some of the more controversial elements of the proposed legislation not really be resolved in the House Of Lords, even though the upper house has passed the Bill.

Some cynics reckon that the Tories will help the government get the Bill through quickly, mainly because they support many of its more controversial elements, but recognise how unpopular the new laws will be in some circles, and would rather that unpopularity be attached to a dying Labour government rather than the young Conservative government which may well be in power by late May.

If the Tories blocked this Bill now they'd have to resurrect it in some form themselves once in government, meaning all the opposition to the proposals that is thrown around by the likes of Talk Talk and Google and Stephen Fry would start to be aimed in their direction. Which is probably why Labour and Conservative MPs are busy compromising on those areas of the Bill where they disagree, in particular dealing with public service broadcasting, rather than the controversial copyright section.

As well as expressing some confidence the Bill would become law before May, Sharkey also used his SxSW spot last Thursday to defend the proposed legislation, and accuse its opponents of "scaremongering". According to the Telegraph, Sharkey objected to the use of words like "criminalise" and "disconnection" by those who oppose the Bill, stressing that the highest sanction to be used against persistent file-sharers under the British three-strikes systems is temporary net suspension.

As previously reported, that has always been the case in the UK - it's the French government who advocate all out disconnection - but when that point was clarified in the Lords some reported the government had done a u-turn by rejecting full disconnection as a penalty. Sharkey: "I think it's astonishing that anybody is still using the word 'disconnecting'. One national newspaper was running a headline saying 'government does u-turn' but the government had never used the word in the first place".

Sharkey went on to call on US legislators to also consider some sort of three-strikes system that puts liabilities on internet service providers to take action against persistent illegal file-sharers. Of course, having ended their 'sue-the-fans' strategy, the Recording Industry Association Of America have been courting ISPs in the US regarding them voluntarily signing up to some sort of three-strikes system, albeit with limited success. However, there has been a lot less lobbying of political types to help in this regard in the US, whereas in the UK such lobbying has been going on for years.

According to Music Week, Sharkey told SxSW: "In a globalised, networked economy, the UK has never been so impacted or affected by the decisions of corporate America. In the UK, we are on the verge of new legislation and government support that, I believe, could transform the digital market. And I am heartened that there seems to be a growing recognition in the US that the UK's cooperative approach is the right one".

In a final rallying cry for those web firms opposing three-strikes and other DEB measures in the UK to start collaborating with the music industry, he added: "To win the hearts and minds of music fans, not only do you have to make the best music possible - that's a given - you have to deliver it how those fans want it and on whatever platform that they want it. The UK Government is clear on that. Their support comes with the tacit condition that everyone adapts: creative companies, tech companies, ISPs and fans".

Sharkey concluded by announcing that UK Music will launch a strategy document predicting the future of the music industry later this month. 'Liberating Creativity' is set to be launched at the Houses Of Parliament on 29 Mar.

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Most coverage of the release of court papers relating to the ongoing Viacom v YouTube legal squabble last week centred on the allegations that, in the early days of the video sharing website, MTV-owners Viacom (and the digital marketing agencies they hired) actively uploaded content owned by the TV firm to the YouTube platform, which they used as a free promotional tool. YouTube's lawyers are using said allegations to rubbish Viacom's claims of copyright infringement relating to that era.

But perhaps more important in the legal documents was the revelation that Viacom are now only suing for alleged infringement that preceded May 2008. In terms of legal precedent, this is important, because in May 2008 YouTube launched its Content ID System which in theory blocks the upload of any registered unlicensed content.

This system allows copyright owners to make the YouTube system aware of content they own which they do not wish to see on the video-sharing website. The system, when it works, will automatically stop said content from being uploaded. YouTube has always taken down copyright infringing content once it is aware of its existence, but inevitably under a manual take-down system there will be a period, between upload and take-down, where the infringing content is available. That method also requires copyright owners to monitor the YouTube network for uploads of their content. The Content ID System solves many of these issues.

Viacom's legal papers say: "We do not ask the Court to address potential liability for post-May 2008 infringement in this motion and, if Viacom's summary judgment motion is granted, do not intend to do so at trial". This means that Viacom's lawyers recognise that, with the Content ID System operational, YouTube and its owners Google are fulfilling the requirements set out in the US's Digital Millennium Copyright Act to avoid liability for infringement, even if some infringing content still circumvents the filters and goes online.

Of course, YouTube would argue that their original manual take-down system, without the automated wizardry of the Content ID System, was already sufficient to enjoy the protection of the DMCA's so called safe-harbour clauses, and some similar cases in other US courts - in particular those involving the now defunct Veoh - have generally backed that viewpoint.

But Viacom's recognition of the significance of the Content ID System means that even if the MTV owner won its case relating to pre-2008 infringement (and not just in regards the allegations of wilful infringement by YouTube's original top guard, but all infringement that occured under the manual take-down system), while Google might have to write a large cheque, they wouldn't have to change anything about the way YouTube currently operates. Which, in the bigger picture, is significant.

It also means that any YouTube competitors nervous that their own manual take-down systems may not be sturdy enough to ensure zero liability for any infringement they inadvertently enable, could feel more assured if they copied the Google service's Content ID System.

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The Gaga has spoken. Well, her lawyer has. It's possible her telephone isn't working on account of it being a large hat. Yes, a legal rep of the chart topping shock-popster has responded to those allegations made by one of Gaga's early collaborators last week that he is owed a big pile of cash after she reneged on a business agreement that gave him 20% of all her revenues.

As previously reported, songwriter and producer Rob Fusari claims that he transformed Gaga from a wannabe rock chick into a bankable pop star, coming up with her stage name and writing her early hits. He adds that the couple - they were romantically involved at the time - set up a company that was meant to handle all of the Gaga's business ventures, in which he had a 20% stake. But, he says, once worldwide stardom beckoned Gaga cut him out of her life, leaving him with just a handful of songwriting credits and a few hundred grand in royalties. He is suing her for $35 million

But, according to the Associated Press, the Lady's lawyer Charles Ortner has filed a response with the court, claiming Fusari's contract with the singer was "unlawful" because it was "structured in such a way as to mask its true purpose - to provide to the defendants unlawful compensation for their services as unlicensed employment agents".

But Fusari's lawyer has hit out Ortner's claims, saying to position his client's relationship with Gaga as that of agent/client is totally wrong, rather, Robert S Meloni argues, the couple were business partners, for which no licence is required. Fusari adds: "Rob was no more of an 'agent' for her than she is a Roman Catholic nun".

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The News Of The World this weekend published extracts of the Emergency Service Medical Report documenting the involvement of paramedics in various futile attempts to resuscitate Michael Jackson last June, after they were called to the late king of pop's home following his cardiac arrest.

The report says that when paramedics got to the house where Jacko was living they found his personal doctor, Conrad Murray, performing CPR, having attached an intravenous drip to the singer's left leg. Jackson was basically dead already, but the ambulance staff tried to resuscitate the singer twice at his home, and a third and final time as they drove him to hospital. All efforts, of course, failed.

But, other than satisfying our morbid curiosity regarding every detail of Jackson's final hours, the most important part of the report is that it says Murray only told the paramedics that he had administered the sedative lorazepam and fluids to rehydrate Jacko after a sleepless night - ie he failed to mention the shot of the highly dangerous surgical drug propofol administered a few hours earlier which, coroners ruled, was what killed the pop star.

Murray, of course, admitted to having given Jackson the drug when later interviewed by police. The fact he failed to mention it while fellow medics tried some last minute life-saving suggest that even then he knew the propofol shot had killed his patient, and that for him to have administered the drug in a domestic setting as a cure for insomnia was irresponsible.

As much previously reported, prosecutors have charged Murray with involuntary manslaughter, basically accusing him of negligence in administering propofol. The doc is pleading not guilty.

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Universal's Def Jam have signed up OutKast's Big Boi, and will release his new solo album 'Sir Luscious Left Foot', which is set to be unleashed on the world in May.

The OutKaster had previously announced his intent to leave his current label, Sony's Jive/La Face, and to move to the legendary hip hop label last year, seemingly so he could again work with LA Reid, who headed La Face when OutKast first signed to the label, but who has been with the Universal division since 2004.

Despite that intent being known, it took time for the paperwork to be done to release Big Boi from his Sony contract. But last week he tweeted: "THE INK IS ON THE PAPER!!! 'BREAKING NEWS!!!!' It's OFFICIAL! BIG BOI signs SOLO album DEAL with DEF JAM!!! More details to come..."

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Deadmau5 is asking his fans to help create the final track on his forthcoming new album.

For a few more hours, anyone can submit a piece of music that is 128bpm and in the key of C. Deadmau5 will then put together a track using these submissions and then ask for people to submit overdubs to complete it. The track will then be debuted on Deadmau5's UK tour in April and May, before being released as part of the new album later this year.

To get involved, go to: community.thepublicrecord.com/index.php?fgid=23

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REM'S Mike Mills, the Meat Puppets' Kurt Kirkwood, The Watson Twins and The Lemonheads' Evan Dando were among the artists to pay tribute this weekend to Big Star frontman Alex Chilton, who, as previously reported, died last week.

Chilton had been due to play with his band at South By Southwest this year, so his former bandmates used their slot at the music convention to stage an impromptu tribute gig, with various artists stepping forward to perform with the band singing Big Star songs.

According to Reuters, fellow Big Star founder Jody Stephens told the show he was still "stunned and shocked" by Chilton's sudden death, but added that he and his bandmates really appreciated the support of fellow musicians at SxSW, adding: "It feels like the whole, broad music community has wrapped its arms around us".

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Well, everyone likes a gig to go off with a bang, which is a tediously predictable way to begin this report, but more or less unavoidable given the story.

An AC/DC concert at an Austrian airport could be jeopardised after local officials raised concerns there might be unexploded bombs on the land where the 80,000 fans are set to congregate for the event, the first of its kind to be held on the site. Local officials say the airport was heavily bombed during World War II, and there might be unexploded bombs on the site which may be dangerously disturbed if the gig goes ahead. Environmentalists had already hit out at the planned concert because it will disturb varies colonies of rare birds who nest in the land around the airport.

Bomb disposal experts are now evaluating the site, and will report back to local government officials who will decide whether the gig can go ahead. No word on whether the rare nesting birds will get to input on the report into the viability of the event.

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The mighty Dreadzone will return with a brand new album on 26 Apr called 'Eye On The Horizon', which is sure to be brilliant. There'll be gigs too, two of which take place later this week. Brill.

Tour dates:

26 Mar: Southampton, Joiners Arms
27 Mar: Hitchin, Club 85
16 Apr: York, The Duchess
22 Apr: Salisbury, Arts Centre
23 Apr: Stroud, Subscription Rooms
28 Apr: London, Cargo - album launch party
14 May: Pontardawe, Arts Centre
15 May: Wolverhapton, Little Civic
20 May: Tunbridge Wells, The Forum
21 May: Luton, The Hat Factory
22 May: Manchester University
4 Jun: Brighton, Komedia
5 Jun: Cardiff, Millennium Music Hall

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2000TREES FESTIVAL, Upcote Farm, Withington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, 16-17 Jul: The Brute Chorus have been announced for the early entry Thursday line-up at 2000Trees, along with SixNationState, Lets Tea Party, Wojtek Godzisz, Che, John Crampton and Howard James Kennedy. www.twothousandtreesfestival.co.uk

GLOBAL GATHERING, Long Marston Airfield, nr Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire, 30-31 Jul: Global Gathering have launched a little game thing that reveals part of the line-up for this year's main event before the official announcement. It reveals that the likes of 2manydjs, Andy C, Booka Shade, Carl Cox, Chase & Status, Doorly, Digitalism, Nero and The Count & Sinden will all play. www.globalgathering.com

LATITUDE, Henham park Estate, Suffolk, 16-18 Jul: Richard Hawley and Jonsi have been added to the line-up for this summer's Latitude, joining the previously announced headliners Florence And The Machine, Belle & Sebastian and Vampire Weekend. www.latitudefestival.co.uk

THE WICKERMAN FESTIVAL, Dundrennan, Scotland, 23-24 Jul: Ocean Colour Scene, The Futureheads and The Undertones lead the first acts confirmed to play at Scotland's Wickerman Festival. They will be joined on the main stage by The Futureheads, The Saw Doctors, Codeine Velvet Club, Sons and Daughters and The Grass Mountain Hobos. www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk

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SINGLE REVIEW - Wild Beasts - We Still Got The Taste Dancin On Our Tongues (Domino)
The third single taken from Wild Beasts' exemplary second album, 'Two Dancers', is another lascivious and intoxicating treat for the senses. Hayden Thorpe hoots and howls (pun mildly intended) his way in as the 'spirit kicks' and the bobbling drum beat follows suit. It has much the same feel as the previous two singles with Thorpe's prominent falsetto arranged over shimmering guitar sounds and a convulsive, heaving rhythm reminiscent both in sound and feel to Gang Gang Dance's 'House Jam'. Borrowing on that playful energy that is so bountiful in 'House Jam', Wild Beasts titillate and tease the listener bringing them in to their deftly crafted sensuous world.

Lyrically, too, the theme is concurrent with previous singles, part bawdy, part harmless gambol - indeed Thorpe decries any criticism by puritan hands singing "what's so wrong with a little fun?" Once on the town the lyrics play out like an updated version of a DH Lawrence short story, removed from the Black Country and projected onto to the streets of any modern town or city in England. It is this romanticism and common ancestry that gives it such playfulness. Lines like "trousers and blouses make excellent sheets, down dimly lit streets" are so full of sentimentality of both youth and location that it makes us wonder whether they themselves are not the "oldies in their dressing gowns". It's a beautiful summation of the fleetingness of youth; an exciting, cursory, moment in the moon shine.

'We Still Got The Taste...' is a uniquely Wild Beastian spectacle, erotic and entertaining, yet strangely sensitive and tasteful. SJS

Digital release: 22 Mar
Press contact: Domino IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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As reported this time last month, organisers of the City Showcase - the new music festival which takes place in various locations around London in early May - are staging monthly events at the Apple Store on Regents Street.

Last month it centred on a brand new band (producer Steve Levine's latest discovery Patch William), whereas this time round it is a band with much more experience under their belts who have certainly "been there, done that". Yes, the re-emerging Toploader will be doing a Q&A about their careers to date, the highs, the lows, the planned comeback, and so forth, before singing some songs. It takes place on 23 Mar at 7pm.

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Sony Music has announced the creation of a new sync-tastic role called Director Of Music For Film, TV, Advertising & Computer Games, the occupier of which, as well as requiring a very large business card, will presumably seek out sync deals and commercial partnerships for music owned by the major.

Ian Neil will take on the role in May, he coming from a music supervision background having worked on the soundtracks for 'Control', 'St Trinians 1 & 2', 'Kidulthood', 'Adulthood', 'Nowhere Boy', 'Ashes To Ashes and 'Skins' through his own specialist agency. Prior to that he had similar licensing roles at Polygram Records and, after that, at Warner's publishing business.

He will report to Sony Music's COO Paul Curran in his new job. Curran told CMU: "Maximising the value of our rights must be a core activity for us as a company. Synch licensing remains a challenging environment and one where it's essential we punch our full weight. Ian brings to this new role a wealth of experience, a fantastic network and great energy. He will be a great asset to this company".

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Good news for CMU readers in India, very soon you too will be able to enjoy Nokia's totally shit all you can eat music service, Comes With Music. You lucky lucky people. The handset company will launch its DRM-heavy music service in India in the first half of the year.

As previously reported, Comes With Music enables unlimited music downloads from a large catalogue which are, in theory, permanent, though are locked to the handset or PC to which they are downloaded, so in reality the service gives users a short lived digital music collection. The cost of the downloads is bundled into the price of the Nokia handset. While response to the service has been somewhat negative in the UK, Comes With Music has had more success in some other territories, such as Singapore, and the Indian digital music market is very much mobile orientated.

The arrival of the service in the Indian market comes as the country begins to upgrade its mobile networks so to offer 3G mobile internet access. The country's mobile firms are currently bidding for control of the 3G network.

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Such is the hoo haa around the Digital Economy Bill and the BBC's proposed cut backs that many media commentators are only just getting round to reading the report published by parliament's Media Select Committee last week regarding the running of Channel 4, in which the state-owned commercially-funded broadcaster got quite a slating.

MPs had a lot of criticism for C4's former CEO Andy Duncan, which might explain his sudden departure late last year.

The report slagged off the TV firm for failing to fulfil its promise to invest £10 million in programmes for older children, for investing so much in the Project Kangaroo TV-on-demand venture given said project was likely to fall foul of the Competition Commission (which it did), and for covering up just how much was wasted on the broadcaster's doomed efforts to launch a digital radio network (described by C4 bosses as "modest", but running up to £10 million when more heavily scrutinised). C4 management were also insufficiently transparent, the MPs said, when it came to declaring the costs of their digital-only channels.

MPs also questioned the way Channel 4 is regulated, and suggested firstly that a BBC Trust type set up should perhaps be considered for C4 rather than just leaving the regulation to OfCom (despite the BBC Trust being much criticised itself), and secondly that the impact of C4's operations on the commercial market should be given more consideration, again in line with BBC regulation.

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Oh, that Lady Gaga. It's like someone's tied a bungee rope to her. Not only has she bagged her fourth number one single with 'Telephone', but her debut album is back at the top of the album chart for a third time.

In last week's midweek chart, it was looking like Tinie Tempah would hold on to the top single spot again, while 'The Fame' was only at four in the album chart. Official Charts Company boss Martin Talbot squealed giddily: "It's a phenomenal achievement for Lady Gaga and shows just how much the chart can change in only a matter of days".

All other chart information seems boring by comparison, but let's have a quick look at this week's new entries anyway. In the singles chart, Inna is at eight with 'Hot', Skepta is at 26 with 'Bad Boy' and the cast of 'Glee' are in at 35 with 'True Colors'.

In the album chart, the second volume of songs from 'Glee', which had been set for number one until everyone starting buying Lady Gaga's album again, is new at number two (volume one is at number six). The current batch of Sugababes are new at fourteen with their seventh/debut album 'Sweet 7', and The White Stripes' new live album, 'Under Great White Northern Lights', is in at 25.

The charts are compiled, crossed out and then compiled again by The Official Charts Company.

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Interviews in Playboy have been causing all sorts of trouble of late. Following the backlash to John Mayer's interview with the magazine, now Journey frontman Steve Perry has hit out at an interview between the mag and comedian Sarah Silverman.

In it Silverman claims that an unnamed rocker had once told her "you're my favourite comedian - you have the best nigger jokes". Although the identity of said rocker was not revealed, Silverman said it was the frontman of a big eighties band, and that after the conversation she "stopped believin". So, not especially hard to guess she was talking about Perry, most famous for his band's big hit 'Don't Stop Believin'.

While acknowledging that he had spoken to the comedian about her use of the N-word, Perry is angry at the suggestion he'd use the word itself, or celebrate her use of it.

Giving his side of the story, he told Rolling Stone: "I'm really shocked. She was so friendly and so nice. I don't understand why she would go there, it's so bizarre. I don't use that word, are you kidding? That's so derogatory. I walked up to her after the show and I said, 'I can't believe that somehow you seem to be getting away with all these slurs and the N-word, I just can't believe how you're doing this', and I looked at my friend and I said, 'I can't believe how she's getting away with this', and she looked at me and kind of smiled. It wasn't like I was condemning her or condoning her".

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Have we mentioned that Simon Cowell is getting married? Probably not. Well, presumably you all knew anyway that the Syco chief is set to marry Mezhgan Hussainy, an 'American Idol' make-up artist. The latest gossip is that the wedding will take place just off the Caribbean island of St Barts, possibly on a new yacht that the always modest music mogul reportedly plans to name after himself, though Tedious Shit Peddler seems like an odd name for a boat.

Anyway, despite reports that Cowell's mum Julie wants him to wed at her local church in East Sussex, word has it the 'X-Factor' man plans to fly his friends to Barbados, then ship them to St Barts on the aforementioned Tedious Shit Peddler.

Showbiz Spy quote a source thus: "Simon sees Barbados as his home from home. It would be such a great place to get married, and the plan is to do it at sea. The idea is to pick up all the guests in Barbados and then sail to St Barts and get married there. Then they'd all sail back to Barbados for a huge party. It would just be close friends and family on the yacht".

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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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