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INFORMATION
Jobs
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
No refunds for Dublin GnR gig
In The Pop Courts
Former Diddy employee accuses rapper of ageism
TI arrested for cannabis possession
Awards & Contests
BMI to make Don Black an icon
In The Studio
Dizzee Rascal talks Shakira collaboration
Release News
Squarepusher announces new album
Dirty Projectors to re-release expanded Bitte Orca
Bad Religion announce fifteenth studio album
Books News
Robbie Williams talks new book
AC/DC to publish illustrated history
Gigs & Tours News
Tom Jones to perform Praise & Blame live
McFly tour dates
Amiina announce shows to coincide with new album
Reviews
Festival review: Leeds Festival 2010
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Welsh Music Foundation celebrate ten years
Brands & Stuff
Snoop says "hack is wack"
The Music Business
BIS three-strikes report delayed
The Digital Business
Are Apple considering longer iTunes previews?
And finally...
"What does the Pogues' 'farewell' mean?" Wonders a Pogue


 
FRIDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER
MARK CHADWICK
Mark Chadwick formed The Levellers in 1988, after future bandmate Jeremy Cunningham tried to sell him his bass guitar in a Brighton pub. The pair hit it off and, along with a group of like-minded musicians from the local area, created a band that has since released no less than six top 40 albums (including a number one) and fifteen top 40 singles. The band has led to other ventures too: their Brighton-based HQ, Metway Studios, provides low cost recording space to other Brighton-based musicians, and in 2003 they launched their own festival, Beautiful Days, which continues to take place annually.

 
This month, Chadwick branches out on his own for the first time, with his debut solo album, 'All The Pieces', due for release on Stay By Records on 6 Sep. Featuring songs written over the last two decades and produced by Sean Lakeman, a number of guests also make contributions, including Lakemen's brother Seth, Clearlake's Toby May and Equation's Kathryn Roberts. We caught up with Mark to ask the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Busking around Europe in an old ambulance, mostly starving to death.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
The last twenty years of my life in a band, and all the trials and tribulations therein. But the kind of things that don't really get sung about by the band that I'm in.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

Composting ideas in the back of my mind in the hope that they grow into something bigger, so that when I come to sit down and write music, they've come to full fruition as a song.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I can't think of any artists I've heard that haven't influenced me in some way, but for this particular album the folk revivalists of the late 60s and 70s from both sides of the Atlantic were particularly influential.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Turn it up and listen, as if you really like real music.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
To entertain and to inform all those gracious enough to take the time to listen to it.

MORE>> www.markchadwickofficial.co.uk
 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Paul Woolford at The Stiff Kitten Bar & Club
This week we head out of London, and even manage to cross a bit of water, in pursuit of Paul Woolford, aka Bobby Peru from 2020 Records, whose doing a session in Ulster.

Leeds man Woolford has held residencies in Ibiza at Space, Manchester at Sankeys and in his home town at Back To Basics, so presumably knows a thing or two about DJing by now! No doubt he'll be rocking the floor big time with his blend of tech-infused house at this rather strangely named venue on the other side of the Irish Sea.

 
Also on the bill are local resident Senor G and Bobby Murray who, I'm reliably told, will be playing some warped and twisted party house beats. And why not, I ask you?

Should be a good one.

Saturday 4 Sep, The Stiff Kitten Bar & Club, 1 Bankmore Square, off Dublin Road, Belfast, BT7, £8 adv, more from www.thestiffkitten.com or 028 9023 8700


 
  INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC PERFORMANCE, SALES EXECUTIVE
The ICMP is widely recognised as being one of Europe's leading schools of modern music. As part of our ongoing expansion, the Institute is recruiting a Sales Executive who will report to our Admissions Manager, salary 25K-29K OTE.

The role of the Sales Executive is to primarily ensure that student recruitment and enrolment targets for the business are met. This generally involves taking initial enquiries, pro-actively managing the student contact database and guiding students through the process from enquiry to enrolment.

The successful applicant will have previous sales experience and be a confident self-starter. Experience in both telephone and face-to-face sales would be preferable, as well as a keen interest in modern music and musicianship.

How to Apply: Please complete the ICMP application form available at www.icmp.co.uk/about-us/job-opportunities.aspx and return to us along with your CV and a covering letter to enquiries@icmp.co.uk
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  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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NO REFUNDS FOR DUBLIN GNR GIG
Dublin-based concert promoter MCD and the management of the city's O2 venue have issued a joint statement following the previously reported Guns N Roses show on Wednesday night, which saw the band storm off stage just five songs into their set after fans, angry that the band had not come on stage until 10.30pm, threw bottles at Axl Rose.

The statement goes into detail about the evening's events, but makes no mention of refunds for those who left the venue during the 30 minute period before the band were coaxed back on stage. Although announcements during that period told the audience talks were underway to get Axl to return to the stage, after 20 minutes - possibly for safety reasons - the house lights were turned on. Some gig goers - the "majority" according to entertainment.ie - took this to mean the show was over and left. The band came back on stage ten minutes later.

Yesterday's statement confirmed: "During the second song Axl requested members of the crowd who were throwing plastic glasses containing unknown substances to immediately stop or he would have no option but to leave the stage. He confirmed band's wish to perform stating 'we want to stay... [but] one more bottle and we go home'. Despite his continued appeals, having tried to continue performing for 22 minutes, people continued throwing unknown substances leaving the artist with no choice but to leave the stage".

After the band stomped off, and following a previous announcement that organisers were attempting to convince Axl and co to recommence their performance "MCD Promoter Denis Desmond again appealed to the audience to refrain from throwing items and stated that the band would be back on stage shortly. Following backstage discussions Guns N Roses went back on stage at 23.20 hrs and performed their full set until 00.53 hrs".

The statement added that "while the artist has a long history for being late on stage, NO artist should be subjected to missiles and unknown substances being thrown at them" and concluded: "MCD and The O2 wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused due to late running of the show".

You can watch a video of these very events unfolding here: http://youtu.be/nxLUUQdqA0I

In related news, Reading and Leeds Festival boss Melvin Benn has said he anticipates a fine may be charged for Guns N Roses playing past the Council-set curfew at the Leeds Festival last Sunday night. Whereas at the Reading Festival on Friday the power was cut to the main stage to ensure Axl and co were finished before curfew, despite their late arrival on stage meaning that their set was cut short as a result, at Leeds they were allowed to finish their show.

But Benn has told Billboard that the decision to let Guns N Roses play on could result in a fine of up to £20,000 being charged by the local authority. He added that any such fine will be deducted from the band's fee because they were aware of the curfew before the show. As previously reported, Rose, or one of his reps, made a blog posting this week saying Guns N Roses' late starts at both the Reading and Leeds festivals were down to the over-running of the previous bands and not any tardiness on their part. That possibly means they'll dispute any pay cut resulting from a curfew fine, though that remains to be seen.

Between their Reading and Leeds shows and the Dublin shambles Guns N Roses played in Belfast on Tuesday night. We're pleased to report that gig went ahead without incident, other than the band taking to the stage the customary 43 minutes late.

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FORMER DIDDY EMPLOYEE ACCUSES RAPPER OF AGEISM
A former employee of Sean 'Diddy' Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment has accused the rapper of firing her on the grounds that she was too old. Francesca Spero, who is 51, filed an age discrimination lawsuit in New York on Wednesday.

In court documents, Spero states that she met Combs in 1988 and got a job at Uptown Records after he introduced her to owner Russell Simmons. A decade later, she moved to Bad Boy Entertainment, where she worked for twelve years before being fired in March after undergoing hip surgery and admitting to a company executive that she was being treated for drug dependency.

Combs' publicist told reporters: "There are many reasons why Ms Spero is no longer employed by Bad Boy, but age discrimination is not one of them".

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TI ARRESTED FOR CANNABIS POSSESSION
Rap man TI and his wife, former Xscape signer Tameka Cottle, were both arrested in LA on Wednesday on suspicion of drug possession. They were arrested after a sheriff's deputy thought he smelled cannabis smoke coming from the couple's vehicle during a traffic stop.

According to the Associated Press, the couple were released at 4am yesterday morning after they both presented $10,000 in bail money. Specific details of the charges they face have not been released.

TI could really do without any run ins with the police just now, given he is still on probation after spending six months in jail last year relating to gun charges. According to WENN that probation includes regular drugs counselling.

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BMI TO MAKE DON BLACK AN ICON
US collecting society BMI will celebrate songwriter Don Black at their European awards event, which takes place in London next month. Black will be declared a BMI Icon at the event, an honour previously given to the likes of Donovan, Van Morrison, the Bee Gees, James Brown and Willie Nelson.

Black is best known for penning songs for film soundtracks, and his biggest hits come from the movies, even if some of those songs are now more famous than the films they accompany, in particular Michael Jackson's 'Ben'. He also wrote the lyrics to a number of James Bond theme songs, including 'Thunderball', 'Diamonds Are Forever', 'The Man With The Golden Gun', 'Surrender' (from 'Tomorrow Never Dies') and 'The World is Not Enough'.

London-based Black is a member of PRS For Music, but represented in the US by BMI. The awards take place on 5 Oct at London's Dorchester Hotel.

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DIZZEE RASCAL TALKS SHAKIRA COLLABORATION
Dizzee Rascal has been talking to BBC Newsbeat about his upcoming collaboration with Shakira. 'Loca' is the first single from the Colombian singer's new album, 'Sale El Sol', which is due out in November.

The rapper said: "I know it sounds a bit mad now, but you'll see it and see what's going on. It's me doing something different man, on a merengue tip".

As for the recording of the track, Dizzee said: "[Shakira's a] nice girl to work with - it was easy. It was one of those ones off the cuff, 'Oh, do you want to work with Shakira, she's in town?' Yeah!"

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SQUAREPUSHER ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
Squarepusher will release a new album, entitled 'Shobaleader\One - d'Demonstrator', via Warp on 18 Oct. That's pretty much all the information we have right now, though if the short trailer up on the musician's website is anything to go by, there will be much distortion, tapping, slapping and bright lights.

Watch it here: www.squarepusher.net

This week, Squarepusher also released a new single, 'Cryptic Motion', through French electro label Ed Banger.

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DIRTY PROJECTORS TO RE-RELEASE EXPANDED BITTE ORCA
Dirty Projects will release a new two-disc edition of last year's 'Bitte Orca' album later this month, it has been announced. Included in the new version are live acoustic tracks recorded at New York's Other Music, b-sides and stand-alone single 'Ascending Melody'.

The band will also play London's Koko on 6 Dec, which is nice. Tickets are on sale for the show now.

Here's the full tracklist for the repackaged album:

Disc One ('Bitte Orca'):

Cannibal Resource
Temecula Sunrise
The Bride
Stillness Is The Move
Two Doves
Useful Chamber
No Intention
Remade Horizon
Fluorescent Half Dome

Disc Two (Extras):

Fluorescent Half Dome (Live at Other Music)
Temecula Sunrise (Live at Other Music)
Two Doves (Live at Other Music)
Cannibal Resource (Live at Other Music)
No Intention (Live at Other Music)
Ascending Melody
Emblem of The World
Wave The Bloody Shirt
Bitte Bitte Orca
Stillness Is The Move (Lucky Dragons Remix)
As I Went Out One Morning

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BAD RELIGION ANNOUNCE FIFTEENTH STUDIO ALBUM
As they continue to celebrate their 30th year in existence, Bad Religion have announced that they will release their fifteenth studio album through Epitaph Records later this month. Entitled 'The Dissent Of Man', the album's first single, 'The Devil In Stitches', is up on the band's MySpace player now at www.myspace.com/badreligion.

Speaking about the new album, frontman and Epitaph owner Brett Gurewitz said: "These are some of my favourite songs I've ever written. A few of them took me way outside my comfort zone as a writer to a place I haven't gone since 'Recipe' or 'Stranger Than Fiction'. I feel like the last couple of records have been amongst our most conservative, never straying too far from a Bad Religion sound. Whereas on this one we're taking the songs to a lot of different places, exploring our influences and trying out some new things in a way we haven't done in years".

Here's the album's tracklist:

The Day That The Earth Stalled
Only Rain
The Resist Stance
Won't Somebody
The Devil In Stitches
Pride And The Pallor
Wrong Way Kids
Meeting Of The Minds
Someone To Believe
Avalon
Cyanide
Turn Your Back On Me
Ad Hominem
Where The Fun Is
I Won't Say Anything

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ROBBIE WILLIAMS TALKS NEW BOOK
He's got a best of compilation coming out, he's rejoined Take That for a new album and tour, what more could we want from the man? How about a new book filled with pictures of him. Oh, okay, if we must.

Entitled 'You Know Me', the 288 page book features 250 photos of the pop star, along with 38 pages of words written with the help of "close and personal friend" Chris Heath, who also worked with Williams on his 2004 official biography, 'Feel'.

In a video message posted on his official website, Williams said: "We got thousands of images of me, and I sat with Chris Heath once again, we had a recorder recording my words and we went through each image and I spoke my words that are in my head onto this tape. He took the tape, took my musings and my observations and my memories and added his own inevitable twist on top of them, which quite frankly are better than my musings and more intelligent and articulate than I could possibly offer up. Therefore it's not a bad book! Pictures of me... actually, it's a very good book!"

Due for release on 20 Sep, 'You Know Me' will be available exclusively through Tesco, with a limited edition deluxe version being made available through the singer's website later in the year.

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AC/DC TO PUBLISH ILLUSTRATED HISTORY
It seems that pictures are the new words. Following in the recent footsteps of Jimmy Page, Justin Bieber and Robbie Williams, AC/DC have announced that they will publish a big book featuring pictures of themselves this year.

'AC/DC: High Voltage Rock N Roll - The Ultimate Illustrated History' will be published by Voyager Press on 15 Oct and spans the band's entire history, right back to their early gigs in Australia, with over 400 photographs, posters, backstage passes and other such visual treats. There's also an afterword from Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott. Yes! This book has EVERYTHING!

The written portions of the book were overseen by journalist Phil Sutcliffe.

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TOM JONES TO PERFORM PRAISE & BLAME LIVE
Tom Jones has announced that he will perform his latest album, 'Praise & Blame', live at the Union Chapel in London on 15 Sep.

Tickets are available now and will set you back £30.

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MCFLY TOUR DATES
McFly have got a new album coming out soon, and their new single, 'Party Girl', was released this week. Musically, I think it's fair to say they've shot off is something of a different direction. To celebrate all that, they've announced a list of dates and another of UK venues, which, when combined, go together to make some tour dates.

18 Oct: Southampton, Guildhall
19 Oct: London, Shepherds Bush Empire
21 Oct: Bristol, Colston Hall
23 Oct: Manchester, Apollo
24 Oct: Edinburgh, Playhouse
26 Oct: Leeds, Academy
27 Oct: Derby, Assembly Rooms

Before all that the band will launch a new subscription-based fan website called Super City offering their fans all sorts of gubbins in return for a £6 a month or £50 a year fee. While some are cynical as to whether McFly still have the level or sort of fanbase that will pay that much for privileged access to the band, if it was to work Super City could provide a template for other musicians and managers who think the glorified fan club system is the future of the music industry.

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AMIINA ANNOUNCE SHOWS TO COINCIDE WITH NEW ALBUM
Icelandic band Amiina have announced that they will be in the UK and Ireland to perform three shows around the release of their new album, 'Puzzle', which is due out on 27 Sep.

You can download a track from the album, entitled 'Over And Over', for free from the band's website - www.amiina.com.

Tour dates:

25 Sep: Dublin, Fringe Festival
27 Sep: Birmingham, Glee Club
28 Sep: London, XOYO

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: LEEDS FESTIVAL 2010
At the Northern end of the double-edged festival experience that is the Reading/Leeds weekend, 85,000 people flooded into Bramham Park, milling between any of five different stages and a multitude of non-musical entertainment.

Apart from a few short showers, the weather held up, and the sun even came out on occasion, though not enough to stop it being really cold by nightfall. Still, no one seemed to mind. Music-wise 'eclectic' was the word. Ranging from avant-garde techno-pop to heavy hardcore metal, there really weren't many genres left untouched, and even the headliners covered a number of bases, from the indie sensibilities of Arcade Fire to the fun pop-punk of Blink 182 to one the greatest bands of rock history - Guns N Roses.

With this in mind, I tried to keep my weekend pretty eclectic also, starting off with something electric. Well, electro, with 3OH!3 and Hadouken!, both of whom secured an amazing crowd response on the NME/Radio 1 stage - with seas of waving hands and unison chants - setting the scene nicely for this stage's headliners Pendulum, who performed impressively.

Over on the Main Stage, Modest Mouse played a criminally short but solid set, paving the way for The Maccabees and The Cribs, who in turn made way for an entertaining and massive set from Dizzee Rascal, who brought on an impressive entourage with him, complete with backing vocalists, a full band and even a brass-section to top it all off.

Canadian upstarts The Cancer Bats followed for me, assaulting the Lock-Up Stage with their visceral blend of metal and punk, and performing their brilliant cover of the Beastie Boys' 'Sabotage'. Then it was back to the Main Stage for The Libertines.

A huge crowd had gathered to see how this reunion would turn out, presumably anticipating a drug-fuelled Pete Doherty doing what he does best. They were disappointed. I don't know what was missing (maybe the prerequisite drugs), but the reunited Libertines lacked nearly all the qualities that made them popular back in the day. Not good. So much so, the crowd had dwindled significantly by the time headliners Arcade Fire came to the stage. Still, they managed to whip up a storm anyway.

Saturday's more alternative line-up brought All Time Low and You Me At Six to the Main Stage, providing crowd-pleasing performances that whetted the majority of the appetites present for an awesome set from nu-metal rockers Limp Bizkit. Fred Durst was looking aged and portly, but that didn't affect his voice and they played a strong set chock-full of classic tracks that had thousands of people singing along.

Latino hip hop purveyors Cypress Hill followed, inviting the crowd to light up and get high with them before playing 'I Want To Get High' and 'Dr Greenthumb' - clearly a group driven by life's herbal remedies. Weezer played well, including a competent mash-up of MGMT and Lady Gaga, as well as many of their own classic songs. Paramore were also good, but by that point everyone was too busy anticipating headliners Blink 182.

And they, I'm pleased to say, were positively fantastic. Fresh from a five year hiatus that included a near-death plane crash for drummer Travis Barker, Blink are living proof that being over 40 and still massively immature can pay off. Their set consisted of all the classic songs that we fell in love with as teenagers, executed perfectly.

Following such an epic Saturday night, Sunday had a lot to live up too. The Lock-Up Stage offered a series of heavy punk and hardcore acts including a punishing, breakneck set from Hatebreed and an emotive yet upbeat slot from Alkaline Trio.

The Main Stage, meanwhile, played host to Billy Talent, Lostprophets and NOFX, who all played phenomenally, instigating great crowd participation and getting everyone in just the right mood to listen to a well-rounded set from Queens Of The Stone Age. Josh Homme's band of stoner-rockers played well, including crowd pleasers 'No One Knows' and 'Go With The Flow' in the mix.

Headliners Guns N Roses came out half an hour late (of course), played a poor set, and then Axl proceeded to insult the crowd that had tolerated their tardiness. The 'arrogant thing' worked well for William Bruce Rose back at his band's height, but now he just comes across as a pompous, overweight and obnoxious middle aged man. I don't suppose he'll ever accept that his band just aren't as good sans Slash, but live it really really shows.

Still, these days you mainly go to see GnR for a shambles, and in that respect Axl delivered. Either way, his set couldn't dampen our spirits, this had been another awesome Leeds Festival, with a huge range of quality music to cater to all tastes. I look forward to seeing if it can be topped in 2011. Maybe if they booked a band rather than an ego for Sunday night, they might just manage it. TC

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WELSH MUSIC FOUNDATION CELEBRATE TEN YEARS
The Welsh Music Foundation is ten years old this year and will celebrate with two days of seminars and networking events in Cardiff next weekend, 10-11 Sep.

Seminars will cover topics like royalties, radio and digital, plus there will be opportunities to meet PRS, the Musicians' Union and the Association Of Independent Festivals. We will also stage two of our widely acclaimed (if we do say so ourselves, which we do, look, we just said it) CMU music business seminars, which will be free to attend to delegates at the WMF event.

On Friday, we will run our business models seminar, looking at how you can make money out of music. This session looks at how traditional ways of monetising music are shaping up in the digital age, at new revenue opportunities including the potential of sync, brand partnerships, and direct-to-fan retail, at alternative investment options, including fan funding, and will offer tips for how rights owners and artists might want to structure their businesses in the future.

On Saturday, we will run our hugely popular music promotions seminar, which includes an in depth review of the music media in 2011, a recap of the traditional music marketing approach, tips on press relations based on a survey of 100 journalists, tips for new ways to approach music promotions for both labels and artists, and a beginners guide to using social media to build fan relations and sell music.

All events are free to attend, though places are limited, especially at the CMU seminars. So, all you lovely Welsh music people should get to www.wmfis10.com asap for details on how to sign up.

In addition to all that, on Friday night there'll be a special gig to celebrate WMF's birthday featuring Future of the Left, We//Are//Animal and Exit International.

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SNOOP SAYS "HACK IS WACK"
You know, I used to think spam, PC viruses and all kinds of computer hacking were kind of cool, but now I know otherwise, thanks to Snoop Dogg, who has educated me that "hack is wack". I shall now take a stroll down Shoreditch High Street to spread the word. See you shortly.

OK, I'm back. To be honest the people of Shoreditch didn't seem keen to join in with my chanting of "hack is wack, hack is wack", but then I'm no Snoop Dogg. And that's presumably why virus protection software makers Norton have signed him up as a spokesman and not me.

Yes, Snoop Dogg has teamed up with Norton in the US to head up their 'Hack Is Wack' campaign. Aspiring rappers are invited to submit a two minute rap on why all forms of cybercrime are clearly "wack".

The writer/performer of the best rap will be flown to LA to meet Snoop's 'management' who will provide career advice for said cybercrime hating rapper (presumably starting with "stop entering shit competitions like this and do something that will get you some street cred"). The winners will also get tickets to a Snoop gig and a fully Norton-protected laptop.

But before you all rush to make your rap, we should stress this competition is only open to US citizens. And before all you American readers of the CMU Daily start writing your cyber-crime rhymes, please note the rules: "The entry may not contain obscene, lewd or inappropriate images or text, including no nudity, acts of violence or acts that appear to cause harm or are illegal/dangerous, as determined in sponsor's sole discretion". Given the sponsors are Norton, presumably that includes opening an attachment sent by an unknown source.

More at www.hackiswack.com

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BIS THREE-STRIKES REPORT DELAYED
Yesterday we reported that the government's Department For Business Innovation & Skills was about to publish the findings of its consultation on who should pay for any three-strikes anti-piracy system as set up by the Digital Economy Act.

As previously reported, it was originally suggested the content owners who use the system to target file-sharers should cover 75% of the costs, with said file-sharers' internet service provider covering the other 25%. Although both sides want their share to be lower, the BIS department, who have been consulting all concerned, are expected to stick with the 75/25 proposal.

But we won't know that for certain for at least another week because their report, originally due out today (actually, originally due out last week), now won't be out for at least another week. It's possible the BIS are delaying their report so they can publish at the same time as another consultation on three-strikes being undertaken by media regulator OfCom, which was originally also due out this week but which has been pushed back to later in the month.

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ARE APPLE CONSIDERING LONGER ITUNES PREVIEWS?
Yesterday we remarked that the new Ping social network and music recommendation functionality that has been added to iTunes put the Apple music service into more direct competition with the likes of mflow and MySpace Music though with one weakness, both those other services allow full-track previews of any songs recommended, whereas iTunes still only offers pretty useless thirty second clips.

Presumably Apple are aware of that weakness but don't want to pay the royalty that is due on any full track previews - both labels and publishers usually let thirty second clips go without a licence fee when linked to a retail platform. Now rumour has it that the IT giant was hoping it could find a middle ground to overcome their new service's big weakness without incurring new expense.

According to a CNET report actually published before the launch of Ping on Wednesday, Apple have been trying to get labels and publishers to increase the length of their track previews from thirty to ninety seconds, presumably without incurring any royalty. Whether ninety seconds of preview is really any more attractive I'm not sure but, if the rumours are true, Apple presumably hoped getting to hear about half a track free would make Ping a better music discovery platform.

On Monday, CNET speculated the lengthening of iTunes previews might be among Steve Jobs' announcements on Wednesday. Given it wasn't, either the rumours weren't true or, probably more likely, the labels and publishers wanted more in return for longer previews than Apple were willing to give (who bets the line "but this will help you sell more music" was used at least twice by Apple execs?).

Given Apple seemingly recognise that Ping would be better with a proper preview function, it will be interesting to see if said option is added in due course. Presumably the likes of mflow and MySpace will hope not.

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"WHAT DOES THE POGUES' 'FAREWELL' MEAN?" WONDERS A POGUE
So, earlier this week The Pogues announced that they would stage their Farewell Christmas Tour this December, leading some to wonder if this was The Pogues last ever public outing, or just their last Christmas-themed venture, or maybe the end of Christmas as we know it.

Members of the band seem similarly confused. Well some of them do. Given Shane MacGowan doesn't seem ready to disband his band again just yet, guitarist Phil Chevron was a bit confused when the Farewell Tour was announced. So much so, he took to the band's website to declare the tour's name a shameless marketing trick designed to confuse fans into thinking the band were splitting and this was the last chance they'd have to see them live.

Calling the tour a "marketing ploy" by others in the band he wrote on the band's site: "This claim does not come from me and I will neither be supporting it nor discussing it".

But, alas, one of those "others" did force Chevron to discuss it a bit by coming to the defence of the 'Farewell' word in the tour's name. Founding member Peter 'Spider' Stacy clarified: "This is the last Christmas tour for the foreseeable future. That's not to say we won't be showing up at festivals here and there, or maybe even the odd gig around the UK and Ireland and certainly in Europe. But we're tired of dragging our weary, freezing carcasses around these drowning islands every December, so we're going to give it a rest before you get tired of it, too. Go and see The Libertines. They're the best".

So, confusions resolved. But Chevron wasn't completely happy with Stacy's response, returning to the message board to say: "As you can see, opinion is not uniform on the matter. Spider is using the royal 'we' here".

Stacy fired back: "Using the royal 'we'? God forbid a band member would come on these pages and do something like that!"

With fans now worried that, even if the 'Farewell' on the tour poster didn't really mean 'Farewell', that intra-band disputes online might lead to a 'farewell' anyway, Stacy returned online one last time to write: "Don't get yer kecks in a twist. Take a deep breath and flick back a couple of pages and read slowly. Does it say we're splitting up? No it doesn't. And sorry to disappoint but there's absolutely no internal arguments going on, spirits are high in the Pogues camp".

So, that's that resolved then. And with that, farewell.

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
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Office Drunk

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