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INFORMATION
Jobs
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
PRS man proposes piracy monitoring and net firm levy
Jacko fanclub offer to clean up grave-side graffiti
In The Pop Courts
US labels sue over porn syncing
RIAA wants LimeWire founder's assets frozen
Awards & Contests
The Playground offers £15,000 for new bands
In The Studio
Snoop recording new album "for the ladies"
Release News
Mcfly go R&B
Lee Ryan album to be released after all
Kano announces new album
Films & Shows News
Spice Girls musical "going great"
Gigs & Tours News
Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold announce co-headline tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Single review: Four Tet - Angel Echoes Remixes (Domino)
The Music Business
Rihanna concerts latest to be cancelled by faltering US live industry
RIAA's sue-the-fans campaign not only achieved nothing, it cost millions too
The Digital Business
MP3tunes launches new cloud storage service
Amazon planning to relaunch MP3 service
And finally...
Bret Michaels not engaged
Lydon refused Gorillaz collaboration


 
THURSDAY 15TH JULY
MATTHEW & THE ATLAS
Hailing from the small town of Aldershot, Matthew & The Atlas are an alternative folk band led by Matthew Hegarty. Drawing inspiration from the likes of M Ward, Joanna Newsom and Sufjan Stevens, the band mix guitars and banjo with Matthew's graveling, emotive voice, which has seen them described as a cross between Bon Iver and Ray Lamontagne. The band spent the beginning of this year touring as support for Mumford & Sons as well as releasing their EP 'To The North'. The are now set to play at the Flowerpot tonight as part of the week-long Communion takeover. Ahead of their gig, we put the Same Six to frontman Matthew.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I picked up a guitar when I was fifteen or sixteen and taught myself how to play. I've been writing music pretty much from the start, playing in different bands. The process really changed for me when I got a twelve-track, I'd just been writing simple guitar songs, the recorder allowed me to layer more vocals, I started trying different instruments on my songs like piano and banjo. This really started the song writing process for me, and it helped me develop me ideas and sound.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
The last EP 'To The North' was a pick of a collection of songs I'd been working on. We developed the songs structurally in pre-production, 'I Will Remain' especially. That was just a simple folk song before, and we decided to make it bigger and more raucous, which it really benefited from. I wanted the EP to have levels, so when you listened to it, you start of in one place, and end somewhere else by the end. Having a bigger track at the beginning allowed me to put some gentler songs after and do something more epic with the finale.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
The writing process has changed for me over the last few months, and I think it will continue to change. I've been writing and performing on my own for a while, so having a band to work with now has affected that. I still start out with strumming on a guitar and trying to find a melody that interests me. I start working on lyrics, and then do a rough demo, trying out banjo, vocal harmonies and beats, trying to get ideas out of my head and into the song. I'll then send them to the band, and they sit with them for a bit, then we rehearse and see what the guys bring to it.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I seem to listen to Americana a lot, people like M Ward, Micah P Hinson, Joanna Newsom and Sufjan Stevens are artists I'm always listening to. I listened to Nick Drake, John Martyn and Jeff Buckley when I first started playing guitar, they've definitely had an impact on me, I still love 'Pink Moon', 'Soild Air' and 'Grace', they're all timeless. Johnny Flynn, John Smith and Fionn Regan have really influenced me as well.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I do drink whisky in the morning and smoke 50 cigarettes a day to get my voice like that.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Well, we are doing another EP next. The first one was written by me and the band kind of evolved around it. I want them to have more of a input now and see how that develops. Hopefully it will sound bigger, but will still have its quieter moments. Everyone else in Matthew & The Atlas writes their own music as well, so we might try introducing a song that is more collaborative. In terms of immediate future, we are playing the Green Man Festival, then into the studio in September. Then we'll be supporting Mumford & Sons again on their UK tour, which we're really excited about. The new EP will be out in Oct/Nov followed by more touring we hope.

MORE>> www.matthewandtheatlas.com

Catch Matthew & The Atlas supporting Marcus Foster tonight at The Flowerpot in Kentish Town as part of Communion's week-long takeover of the venue. Entry is free, more details here
 
DEMS
Originally from south London, and now back in the capital after a stint living in Edinburgh, Dan Moss is a DJ and music writer, who as far as I can tell launched himself as a musician under the name Dems just two months ago. His appearance on the scene may have been very recent, but I suspect the project is something he's been quietly working on for some time, because tracks as good as this don't just come out of nowhere.

 
With a sound that sits comfortably with the very healthy Scottish electronic music scene he has been heavily involved with in recent times, his music actually most reminds me of LA-based Active Child (albeit more lo-fi, less choral and without the harp). Two tracks are available for free from the Dems Bandcamp page, both of with are staggeringly beautiful, particularly the hot-off-the-press 'Lioness'. Moss says he's "trying to create electronic, lo-fi pop that sticks in the head" and so far he's been very successful in doing just that.

dems.bandcamp.com


 
  THREEWEEKS MEDIA-SKILLS PROGRAMME: EDITORIAL TEAM OPPORTUNITIES STILL AVAILABLE
Fancy seeing the Edinburgh Festival right from the inside, while picking up invaluable experience in how the publishing industry works? As part of the ThreeWeeks media-skills programme we still have opportunities available for students or aspiring media or publishing people to work at ThreeWeeks HQ in Edinburgh as on editorial or admin assistant.

These are voluntary roles, but you get to work alongside leading media professionals, who will provide formal training and on-the-ground advice and guidance. You'll also get to be part of a hugely exciting Edinburgh Fringe project and may have the option to review a show or two.

To apply send a CV, 100 words on why you want to join the team and a 120 word review of something cool to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk. Put 'Editorial Team' in the subject line.
       
  ACADEMY MUSIC GROUP RECRUITMENT
Academy Music Group is currently recruiting for the following positions:

O2 Academy Leicester: Venue Manager, Venue Marketing Co-ordinator, Technical Manager (2011 start).

O2 Academy Islington (London): Assistant General Manager, Bars Manager.

O2 Academy Oxford: Technical Manager (immediate start).

Academy Music Group Nationwide: AMG welcomes interest from candidates with at least three years experience of live and club venue management to join the expansion of its venue estate across the UK. Individuals must be enthusiastic about the industry and hold the following roles or equivalent: General Manager, Assistant General Manager, Technical Manager, Bars Manager.

Forward CV, covering letter and position you wish to apply for to: Rita Garavan, Human Resources Manager at rita@academy-music-group.co.uk or Academy Music Group, 211 Stockwell Road, London, SW9 9SL

Closing date: Friday 23 Jul 2010
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  INTERESTED IN SELLING YOUR RECORD LABEL?
Music Gain is acquiring record labels and catalogue. If you are thinking of selling, or have a large catalogue you want managed on your behalf, then please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us - www.musicgain.com
       
  BESPOKE MUSIC, MEDIA AND PR TRAINING FROM CMU
The team behind CMU's acclaimed seminars programme are now offering their services to music and media companies, educational bodies and membership organisations looking for bespoke professional training courses. CMU's existing courses on music rights, music business models, music PR, media and social media can be run specifically for an organisation's employees, students or members, or bespoke courses can be developed according to an organisation's specific needs. For more information contact Chris Cooke on 020 7099 9050 or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.
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PRS MAN PROPOSES PIRACY MONITORING AND NET FIRM LEVY
PRS For Music's economist man Will Page has suggested British internet service providers should pay a levy into the content industries based on how much piracy occurs on their networks.

The proposal would partly compensate the record industry (and TV, film and gaming industries who, Page notes, will experience increased levels of piracy as broadband speeds increase), but ultimately provide an incentive for ISPs to find ways to ensure their users only access licensed content. This distinguishes Page's idea from previous proposals that a levy should be applied to ISP subscriptions that legitimises all file-sharing.

The proposal, which would likely send the ISP sector's rage levels to new heights if it were to be seriously considered by the music industry and/or government, comes in a paper penned by Page and a bloke called David Touve from Washington & Lee University.

It takes as its starting point a line in the Digital Economy Act which obligates OfCom to officially monitor piracy on the net, so to formally ascertain the level of the problem (most existing piracy figures come from agencies hired by record labels and film studios). Page and Touve's logic is that if you are measuring piracy anyway, then it should be possible to quantify what each net firm should pay to compensate the content industries.

Page told CMU yesterday: "What co-author David Touve and I have been working on developing are market-based solutions to the harm caused by illegal file sharing over the internet. More importantly, we explore what legal options exist for recovering the value of that harm, and offer an economic framework that can be considered when structuring a resolution".

The net firms, most of whom oppose the obligations already placed on them by the DEA with regards policing piracy, would likely lobby hard against any such compensation levy system if it were to be seriously considered. The most vocal ISP on this issue, TalkTalk, have already told Sky News that monitoring piracy on a level like that described by Page and Touve would pose huge technical problems and breach European privacy laws.

Meanwhile, a government spokesman wouldn't comment on Page's paper, except to tell the FT that he thought any monitoring and compensation system like that proposed would require new legislation, and such legislation has no place on the government's current agenda. Still, Page's ideas - even if not likely to become a reality - are interesting to consider, as are most of the things that come out of his office at PRS HQ. You can download the paper from this URL:

www.prsformusic.com/creators/news/research/Pages/default.aspx

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JACKO FANCLUB OFFER TO CLEAN UP GRAVE-SIDE GRAFFITI
Members of a Michael Jackson fan club have offered to clean up the graffiti left on the building where the late king of pop was interred, amid concerns the people who own the cemetery that houses the singer's body might stop fans from getting close to his tomb.

As previously reported, management at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California earlier this week expressed frustration at the messages to Jackson that have been scrawled by fans on the walls of their Great Mausoleum. A spokesman for the facility said that management were "evaluating the level of access to the various entrances of the Great Mausoleum" as a result of the graffiti. Some Jacko fans fear this means they'll be banned from getting close to their hero's grave.

With that in mind, several members of the Official Michael Jackson Fans Of Southern California, who visit the cemetery on a regular basis, have offered their services to the cemetery to clean up any offending graffiti. According to TMZ, one fan said the group wants to "fix this mess" so Jackson fans aren't banned from the cemetery completely.

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US LABELS SUE OVER PORN SYNCING
A group of US record labels are suing a porn company over the use of their music in pornographic videos distributed on the internet.

The lawsuit, Warner Bros Records Inc v RK Netmedia Inc, claims the porn firm uses music owned by the various claimants in their videos without a license. Although in theory background music used to give the impression the sexual activities depicted in the films are happening in a club, the labels claim the music is central to the videos in question, and that in some participants in the sex acts lip sync to the songs.

The lawsuit notes that RK Netmedia, who operate a range of porn websites, are in no way ignorant of copyright law, because they themselves are copyright owners and have used litigation and take-down notices under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act to protect their own rights. The labels say that they suspect RK Netmedia has used their music without permission not because they are unwilling to pay for it, but because they know most labels won't license music to pornographic films.

An attorney for RK Netmedia, Marc Randazza, says the porn firm plans to fight the labels' litigation, using the defence of fair use. The defence will seemingly claim the offending porn flicks are actually filmed in real life nightclubs and that the music featured is basically just background noise.

He told reporters: "If you're going to film in a live night club, you're going to absorb some of the ambient sounds". He added that if one of RK's porn films appeared in the background of a reality TV programme they would never sue those show's producers.

The labels are sure to object to that defence and argue their music is not just ambient background noise in the offending porn films, but an integral part of the soundtrack. It will be interesting to see how this one turns out. Given every possible revenue stream is needed these days, perhaps Warner et al should just start licensing music for RK's films. They could add a download store onto their websites and everything. Hmm, might go and register musictowankto.com right now, just in case this one actually results in a licensing agreement.

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RIAA WANTS LIMEWIRE FOUNDER'S ASSETS FROZEN
The Recording Industry Association Of America last week asked the US courts to freeze the assets of LimeWire and its founder Mark Gorton.

As previously reported, the long running legal tussle between RIAA and LimeWire seems to be reaching its conclusion, with the courts very much swinging in the record industry's favour.

With a judge having ruled that LimeWire is indeed guilty of widespread copyright infringement for providing file-sharing services, the record labels have a court request pending for an injunction forcing the Lime Group to cease all its P2P operations. Most commentators seem to expect US District Judge Kimba Wood, who has been hearing the case, to grant that injunction, possibly any day now.

With that in mind the RIAA is now looking towards a damages claim which, as also previously reported, could be for some silly amount like $150 billion based on the amount of music files shared via LimeWire over the years. Of course, neither the Lime Group nor Gorton have $150 billion, but everyone seems to think that the latter has been making millions from his file-sharing operation in the last few years, and they want to make sure they get as much of that as they can.

As previously reported, record industry lawyers have previously complained Gorton has been pumping most of his money into family trusts to deliberately put it out of the reach of copyright owners claiming damages, and they want the court's help in circumventing those arrangements. The claim last week to have Gorton's assets frozen - not the first time such a claim has been made - is a bid to stop any further hiding of cash from going on.

Judge Wood is yet to comment on the RIAA's latest application.

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THE PLAYGROUND OFFERS £15,000 FOR NEW BANDS
London-based creative company The Playground has launched a competition which will see two new acts receiving recordings and marketing packages worth a total of £15,000.

The first prize act will receive a package worth £10,000, which will see them record an EP with an internationally known producer who has worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Babyshambles, Whitey, Theoretical Girl, Kylie Minogue and Squarepusher. The Playground will also promote and market the release. Second prize is a recording and PR deal for a single worth £5000.

The competition is open to UK-based bands who set up a profile on www.theplayground.co.uk. Fans can then vote for their favourite act, with the two most popular taking the prizes. The deadline for entry is 4 Oct, with the winners announced on 6 Oct.

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SNOOP RECORDING NEW ALBUM "FOR THE LADIES"
Few people have been labelled a misogynist as often as Snoop Dogg. And, frankly, he's done little to remedy that situation over the years, some of his more lighthearted lyrics include this from 2004's 'Can U Control Yo Hoe': "You got a bitch that won't do what you say / She hard headed, she just won't obey / You've got to put that bitch in her place / Even if it's slapping her in her face".

However, Snoop says his next album has been written specifically for ladies and will contain none of that "bitch" and "ho" business. He told BBC Newsbeat: "I gotta tone it down a little bit. You wanna make something for all your fans and there's never been a moment I've given them a whole record. I've always given them [his female fans] bits and pieces and I feel like I owe them a whole record. Whether it's my grandmother, my wife, my daughter, my mother - the women of the world that mean something to me - I owe them that".

The album, pencilled in for a November release, is to be called 'A Woman's Touch' and will apparently have some tie in with a movie.

Staying on the subject of ladies, Snoop said that he was "honoured" to have been asked to work with Katy Perry on her rubbish new single 'California Gurls', and said there would be further collaborations from the pair in the future: "She was fun to be around. She gave me her direction on what she wanted and I put it into effect for her. [I'm] looking forward to working with her on my new album - don't think that was it! There's more to come".

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MCFLY GO R&B
McFly have apparently taken a drastic change of direction for their latest album, ditching pop rock for R&B after they hooked up with Britney Spears producer Dallas Austin, who introduced them to tequila, strip clubs and Elton John, and Taio Cruz, who just wrote some songs with the band.

McFly boy Danny Jones told The Sun: "Our influences have been people like Bruce Springsteen and The Beatles, but this time we took inspiration from artists we'd never tapped into".

On the subject of working with Austin, Danny's co-frontman Tom Fletcher added: "Dallas introduced us to Patron tequila. He almost killed us on a couple of occasions - it's lethal. He also really likes strip joints, so we'd hammer the tequila and then head off to these clubs. One night we ended up going round Elton John's house in Atlanta for dinner with Dallas. It was a great time".

The album, entitled 'Here Comes The Storm', is due for release in September via the band's own Super Records label. The first single, 'Party Girl', will be out on 4 Sep.

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LEE RYAN ALBUM TO BE RELEASED AFTER ALL
Geffen has apparently reversed its decision not to release Lee Ryan's new solo album, after a petition set up by fans reportedly received 174 signatures.

As previously reported, Ryan told fans earlier this week that the album had been shelved after the first single from it, 'I Am Who I Am', only reached number 33 in the singles chart. The singer then told fans he would give it away as a free download instead.

It seems that it won't now come to that, though. Ryan tweeted on Tuesday: "I think your petition has worked! The record label have said they will release it now! So happy! Thank you everyone for helping me!"

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KANO ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
Kano has announced details of his fourth studio album, which sees the UK hip hopper collaborate with the likes of Hot Chip, Chase & Status, Boys Noize, Diplo, Wiley and more. Entitled 'Method To The Maadness', the album will be released on 30 Aug, preceded by the single 'Upside' on 23 Aug.

Kano will also be touring the UK in September, kicking off with an album launch party at London's Bush Hall on 1 Sep.

'Method To The Maadness' tracklisting:

2 Left: Topic Of Discussion (produced by Boys Noize)
Get Wild feat Aidonia & Wiley (produced by Boys Noize)
iPod Generation (produced by Kano)
MAAD (produced by Kano & Fraser T Smith)
Spaceship (produced by Chase & Status)
Upside feat Michelle Breeze (produced by Craigie Dodds)
All + All Together feat Hot Chip (produced by Hot Chip)
Lady Killer feat Ghetts (produced by Hot Chip)
Bassment (produced by A13)
Crazy (produced by Boys Noize)
Slaves feat Why Why Peaches (produced by Craigie Dodds)
Jenga feat Vybz Kartel (produced by Boys Noize & Diplo)
Dark Days (produced by Craigie Dodds)

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SPICE GIRLS MUSICAL "GOING GREAT"
The wheels have apparently not fallen off the previously reported Spice Girls musical just yet, though why it's taking so long to attach a weak story to a load of the group's songs is beyond me. I mean, presumably a wannabe wants to spice up a life, or something. Whatever, Emma Bunton says work on the show is "going great".

Bunton told Digital Spy: "It's all going great. We've all been getting together for meetings. We're working with Judy Craymer, who worked on 'Mamma Mia!', the musical and film. She's great! It's lovely for us girls as well to have a project to work on again".

On the subject of the 'story', she added: "It will be a very different story and not based on our actual lives, so we won't be looking for people to play us, but we are going to be involved in the casting. So, don't worry, the girls will make sure there are plenty of good looking boys in there!"

For the record, the only pop-based musical CMU approves of is the Son Of Dork one: vimeo.com/10906298

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STONE SOUR AND AVENGED SEVENFOLD ANNOUNCE CO-HEADLINE TOUR
Metallers Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold have announced a co-headline tour which will see the two bands make their way around the UK later this year. Tickets for the shows go on sale tomorrow.

Avenged Sevenfold release their new album, 'Nightmare' on 26 Jul, while Stone Sour's latest LP, 'Audio Secrecy', is out on 6 Sep.

Tour dates:

26 Oct: Glasgow, SECC
27 Oct: Manchester, Academy
28 Oct: Birmingham, NIA
30 Oct: Hammersmith, Apollo
2 Nov: Newcastle, Academy
3 Nov: Leeds, Academy
4 Nov: Manchester, Academy
6 Nov: Plymouth, Pavilion
7 Nov: Brighton, Centre

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

LOVEBOX, Victoria Park, London, 16-18 Jul: Jay Electronica has been confirmed to play the main stage at Lovebox this Saturday, joining the previously announced Dizzee Rascal, Roxy Music, Grace Jones, Wild Beasts and Empire Of The Sun. www.lovebox.net

OFFSET FESTIVAL, Hainault Forest Country Park, Essex, 4-5 Sep: Trash Talk, Rise And Fall, Your Demise and Throats head up the latest acts announced to play at this summer's Offset, along with Dead Swans, Devil Sold His Soul, Our Time Down Here, Lonewolves, Last Witness, Brontide and many more. www.offsetfestival.co.uk

WATCHET FESTIVAL, Parsonage Farm, West Somerset, 27-29 Aug: Adrian Edmondson And The Bad Shepherds head up the acts announced to play at West Somerset fest, along with The Beat, The Stones and Brandon Block. www.watchetfestival.co.uk

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SINGLE REVIEW: Four Tet - Angel Echoes Remixes (Domino)
This remix 12" of Four Tet's 'Angel Echoes' sees the track's onomatopoeic glory showcased from two incredible new angles.

The Caribou remix turns the 'less is more' maxim on its head, by doubling the length of the original track and, in turn, simply extending its beauty by another four minutes. The stripped-back mournfulness and yearning are intensified into a looming silhouette. The track echoes with fear and gloaming: the angel is now fallen, it seems, and on its descent has brushed alongside more sinister celestial forces.

The other remix comes courtesy of producer/DJ Jon Hopkins, and acts as the ambient antidote to Caribou's rather stunning sojourn to the dark side. The female vocals become marginalised in favour of a more elevating beat, interspersed with the sound of a sharp intake of breath. Quite fitting, really, for the end of two tracks that manage to wrench sheer, delicate beauty from your speakers like very few songs can. EG

Physical release: 19 Jul
Press Contact: Domino IH

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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RIHANNA CONCERTS LATEST TO BE CANCELLED BY FALTERING US LIVE INDUSTRY
Rihanna cancelled a concert in Denver this week, and US media are pointing out this is the sixth such cancellation on the R&B songstress's current tour.

Given that no official reasons seem to have been put forward for the cancellations, and there have been no reports that Rihanna is ill, there is widespread speculation the Rihanna shows are being canned due to poor ticket sales. This links in to the wider and previously reported story about the state of the US live industry which, some reckon, has seen a significant down turn this summer after years of growth.

As previously reported, some in the live sector argue that there have not, actually, been any more gig cancellations this year than in past years, but with Rihanna now being added to a cancellations list that also includes the Jonas Brothers and Simon & Garfunkel, it does seem things aren't especially rosy in the US live industry just now. As reported on Tuesday, we know for a fact that revenues from the ten biggest US tours are down, because the sector's trade mag Pollstar has published stats showing that is so.

If the commentators' fears about the state of the live sector are true, presumably the slump is a result of recession hit music fans rebelling against year's of ticket price hikes and extra fees.

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RIAA'S SUE-THE-FANS CAMPAIGN NOT ONLY ACHIEVED NOTHING, IT COST MILLIONS TOO
That report on the Recording Industry Association Of America's 2008 finances that has been circulating this week - from which we know the boss of the trade body, whose main achievement has been to make the entire world hate the major record companies, was paid $2 million - provides some other fun stats.

The one most people were centring on yesterday was the revelation that the major labels' American representatives handed over $17 million to the three legal firms who spearheaded the organisation's self-harming sue-the-fans anti-file-sharing lawsuits campaign in 2008. In return, they recovered $391,000 in damages.

On his Recording Industry vs The People blog, Ray Beckerman checked out the same figures for 2006 and 2007 and claims that the trade body spent a total of $64,000,000 on legal and investigation firms involved in their sue-the-fans campaign during those three years, and brought in a total of $1,361,000 in damages. You can see why Guy Hands expressed concerns over the record industry's trade bodies when he took charge at EMI.

As previously reported, the RIAA's sue-the-fans strategy totally failed to deter file-sharers and instead further damaged the major labels' public image, and in doing so probably encouraged more web-users to go the illegal route when accessing music, so they could kick it to the "evil men" who they assume control the record industry. The association eventually dumped the strategy after years of costly failure.

Of course, to be fair to the RIAA, various suppositions are made to reach the 64 million for one million return statistic, and they might argue that costs in 2006-2008 resulted in extra damages income in 2009. But even if you give the trade body some benefit of the doubt, these stats clearly prove that the US record industry's strategy for combating file-sharing was not only totally counter-productive, it was also incredibly expensive.

The sad thing is that countless music business people told the RIAA that this would be the outcome of their sue-the-fans strategy before it even began, and those people were routinely ignored. And many of the record industry chiefs who did the ignoring are still in charge of the major record companies.

The big record labels have come a long way in recent years in adapting to the digital era, but further shifts are still required, and you do sometimes worry that - with the people who got it so very wrong five years ago still in control - those shifts won't be made until another $64 million has been pissed up a wall. Still, it's not my money.

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MP3TUNES LAUNCHES NEW CLOUD STORAGE SERVICE
MP3tunes, the digital music service owned by Michael Robertson, the original founder of MP3.com, earlier this week launched a new cloud storage service in the US that is designed to make it easier to sync music bought from any download store to any device. Called Buy Anywhere, Listen Anywhere, users upload their MP3 collections to a central storage point online, which can then be synced with numerous MP3 playing devices, including mobiles running the Android or Apple's iOS4 operating systems.

Robertson has been an advocate of so called cloud storage since launching MP3tunes in 2005, not that the 'cloud' word was attached to such things until more recently. Originally called 'digital lockers' by Robertson, the online storage model hasn't been without its critics, with some content owners - EMI in particular - arguing that users uploading copies of their music to an online locker infringes their copyrights, even if the content is only accessible to said user (which, technically speaking, it does, but in a way that probably isn't worth worrying about).

Confirming the US launch of the latest MP3tunes storage service, Robertson said this week: "Apple wants to lock you into their store and devices. But what's best for consumer is to be able to shop at any store and use it with any device and that's what is now possible with MP3tunes' Buy Anywhere, Listen Everywhere".

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AMAZON PLANNING TO RELAUNCH MP3 SERVICE
Word has it Amazon will relaunch its MP3 download service in early 2011, adding a whole stack of new functionality. These rumours are based in part on the fact the etailer is hiring a lot of new people to work on its digital content services at its offices in both Seattle and San Francisco.

Though giving further credence to the re-launch rumour is a report in TechCrunch that says companies which make use of Amazon MP3's APIs are being advised to hold off doing any new development on API-using widgets because of upcoming changes in the way they work.

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BRET MICHAELS NOT ENGAGED
Contrary to what some shoddy publications have been saying, Bret Michaels is not engaged thank you very much. As previously reported, erm, somewhere or other, I can't quite remember where I saw it, a source told US mag Star that the Poison frontman had proposed to his girlfriend of sixteen years Kristi Lynn Gibson during Independence Day celebrations earlier this month.

However, Michael told CBS yesterday, he'd just bought her a "promise ring", which is apparently some kind of pre-engagement thing. Michaels said: "No, we are not engaged yet, it's a work in progress. She has a beautiful promise ring - it's a promise ring, or a friendship ring, with benefits. That's what we call it".

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LYDON REFUSED GORILLAZ COLLABORATION
John Lydon has revealed that he knocked back the opportunity to appear on the latest Gorillaz album, 'Plastic Beach', suggesting those who did - including Bobby Womack, Lou Reed, Mark E Smith and Snoop Dogg - only did so for commercial, rather than artistic reasons.

Lydon told the Daily Star: "They gave me a bell but the answer was 'no'. I really don't want to be dabbling in other people's gene pools. I've worked with many so-called famous people over the years but it's never been for any deliberate financial motivation. If I did it wouldn't be a business phone call followed by a management agreement and then for an album manufactured and marketed as to what the current popular trends were".

He added that he was a bit annoyed that Public Image Ltd had not been asked to play at any of this year's UK festivals, saying: "We haven't had any offers. They have been quite negative, which has astounded us because PIL is the perfect festival band. You don't want U2 - that's a band that never should have existed, there's no life experience in any of their songs".

You can, however, catch PiL on tour in the UK from next week.

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Paul the Psychic Octopus
Head Of Strategy

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