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Top Stories
Abba hit out at right wing Danes adopting 'Mamma Mia'
Government order independent review of UK music education
In The Pop Courts
Sugababe confirms drink drive charge, but no boyfriend bust up
Jermaine Jackson pleads poverty in child support case
Apple's fight to keep 'pod' for itself to go to court
Terra Firma v Citigroup: It's all in three phone calls
Eddie Fisher dies
DJ Trend dies
Artist Deals
Editors sign to Strictly Confidential
Films & Shows News
Billie Joe to appear in American Idiot live show
Feist doc to premiere at Raindance
The Music Business
Reeperbahn Campus: The geeks are here to stay - where next for the music business?
Reeperbahn Campus: How important is sponsorship to festivals?
!K7 announce partnership with legendary Latin label
More major label departures
PPL and MCPS collaborate on new dubbing licence
The Digital Business
Everyone's talking about Mulve
And finally...
More on Perry-Elmo-gate

Hello everyone. Team CMU is back from Hamburg, and what a lovely time we had, too. We saw loads of great bands (not one duff gig in three days!) and met some very nice people. Hooray for all that. Now we just need to think of some things to see and do this week that will keep us floating on that high. Hmm, how about these...

01: Pirate Bay Four appeal. Time for a big cheer, as the pop courts are about to get entertaining again. Well, if prior form is anything to go by, as The Pirate Bay Four will be back in front of a judge in Sweden to appeal their 2009 conviction on copyright infringement charges. No one came out of it well last time, unless you count the fact that none of the defendants has paid the fines nor served the jail time they were sentenced with, so that was an up for them. If they lose this time around, those things might catch up with them.

02: Ninja Tune 20th anniversary party. There are a lot of great gigs happening this week, the biggest of which is Ninja Tune's 20th anniversary celebration at the Ewer Street Carpark on Saturday, which will feature live performances and DJ sets from a huge number of the label's artist, including Coldcut, Toddla T with Serocee, Amon Tobin, Daedelus, Roots Manuva, Mr Scruff, The Bug with Flowdan, Kid Koala, XXXchange, DJ Food & DK, Bonobo, King Cannibal, Dorian Concept, Jammer, Floating Points, The Qemists Soundsystem, Eskmo and more.

03: Glastonbury tickets go on sale. It's looking like summer is officially over now, so time to start planning the next one. If you want to go to Glastonbury's massive 41st anniversary celebration next June, you need to move fast. Registration to be able to buy tickets closes this Friday at 9am sharp. Tickets will then go on sale on Sunday, also at 9am. What you do in the intervening 48 hours is up to you. If you fail to heed my words of haste, the registration site will open again on Monday for any unsold tickets.

04: New releases. So, the two albums you should definitely be checking out this week are Glasser's debut, 'Ring', and Deerhunter's latest, 'Halcyon Digest'. Also on the shelves and worth a listen are Ben Folds and Nick Hornby's 'Lonely Avenue', 'Lies' by Fenech-Soler, 'The Dissent Of Man' by Bad Religion, Soundgarden's best of, 'Telephantasm', the re-issue of 'Bitte Orca' by Dirty Projectors, Dam Mantle's new EP, 'Purple Arrow' and Seeräuber Jenny's debut single, 'Push It Away'. Carl Barât's autobiography, 'Threepenny Memoir', is also out and might be worth a read.

05: Gigs. As I said above, there are a lot of great gigs happening this week. I'm most excited about Blonde Redhead's one-off show at the Shepherds Bush Empire, but over the next week (and beyond, in many cases), you could also be watching Grinderman, Mumford & Sons, Mark Ronson, Fenech-Soler, The Buggles, Everything Everything, Crystal Fighters, and DJ Yoda. And let's not forget 6 Fest, which will celebrate the saving of 6music with a day of 6-friendly live performances for charity this Saturday.

That should keep us all going. Looks like this is going to be another busy week.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
One of the highlights of last week's Reeperbahn Festival was the first band we went and saw. Actually, they weren't even the band we'd gone to see, but we got confused and ended up in the wrong venue. Lucky for us. Torpedo, from Sweden, mixed repetitive krautrock basslines with upbeat angular indie, and delivered amazingly overblown banter between songs, which included announcing that "our days are numbered" and that their music is the only thing that can save us. Plus, two of them had very impressive moustaches.

The band's new single, 'An Invention', was released last week. Though not in the UK, I don't think. Still, it's worth attempting to track it down for the simple reason that it's produced by Justin Timberlake. The Justin Timberlake. If you find yourself in a situation where you don't want to know what a krautrock-influenced band produced by Justin Timberlake sounds like, then something has gone wrong with you. Let's all go and listen to the track on their MySpace now.


Domino Recordings, home to some of the most exciting music around today, is seeking an International Promotions Manager. The successful candidate would be responsible for all aspects of international promotion for the label.

This would include press, radio, TV and on-line - working closely with our international partners. At least two years experience working with artists, record labels, managers, agents and a general knowledge about international media is absolutely required.

The position is based in our London office. Applicants should send an e-mail including their CV and cover letter to: internationalpromotions@dominorecordco.com. Note - the cover letter needs to include a personal statement about your understanding of Domino and Domino artists.

Closing Date 15 Oct.
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Abba men Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus have revealed that they recently threatened to sue a right wing political party in Denmark after they used their song 'Mamma Mia' at political rallies, though a spokesman for Universal Music has since confirmed an out of court settlement has been reached.

Denmark's People's Party had reworked the song so the main lyric was 'Mamma Pia', and it was sung in honour of the organisation's chief, Ms Pia Kjaersgaard. A recording of the reworked song was played at the party's rallies, and the organisation's youth wing performed a live version.

Abba are the latest in a string of musicians around the world to object to politicians adopting their songs, with the likes of Keane, MGMT, Heart, Dido and Don Henley also complaining and/or getting legal on this issue in recent years. Generally, it's political types on the right who face the wrath of pissed off songwriters.

As previously reported, if a song is only used at political rallies - and not synced with a campaign video - often there is nothing artists can do other than complain, because the public performance of songs at events is generally covered by blanket licences.

However, it's thought that the Abba dudes might have had a legal case because members of the People's Party had adapted the lyrics of their song, and such adaptations need specific licences from the relevant rights holders.

Confirming that the songwriting duo had handed the matter to their lawyers, Andersson told reporters last week: "Firstly, you cannot just rewrite songs as you like and secondly we want them to understand that we have absolutely no interest in supporting their party. Abba never allows its music to be used in a political context. This is something that we have pointed out to the Danish People's Party".

But Universal Music, who manage the Abba catalogue, has since said that legal action will not be necessary because the party have committed to stop using the song. A spokesman for the major told Danish media: "The Danish People's Party has agreed to stop using the song and that means the matter is concluded as far as we're concerned".

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The boss of Classic FM will lead a government review on the state of music education in the UK because, of course, the classical sector are leading experts on engaging and enthusing young people.

The Global-owned station's MD Darren Henley has been recruited by the Tory's only slightly weird (no, okay, very weird) education man Michael Gove to lead the independent review, which will consult parents, teachers and music specialists (though no actual real life young people it seems) on how to better encourage and enable the kids to stop pretending to play musical instruments on their Xboxes and learn how to play a proper instrument instead.

The review will look at how to improve opportunities inside and outside of school for kids who want to play, on how better teaching can be provided, on how more music professionals can be brought into schools, on how young people can be better offered live music experiences, and how to pay for all of that. The aim, really, is to ensure all aspiring young musicians are offered the right opportunities, oblivious of where they live, what school they go to and whether their parents can afford private tuition.

The Gove-ster said this: "It's a sad fact that too many children in state schools are denied the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument. Evidence suggests that learning an instrument can improve numeracy, literacy and behaviour. But more than that, it is simply unfair that the joy of musical discovery should be the preserve of those whose parents can afford it".

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Sugababe Amelle Berrabah has confirmed that she was charged with drink driving last week, but accuses newspapers of reporting on the story in a misleading way, adding that the coverage is "sending her rock bottom again".

She was arrested in north London on Thursday morning after police stopped her and found she was over the drink drive limit. Some reports claimed she'd got in her car while drunk after a "boozy bust up" with her other half Tom Benn.

But she insists that was simply not the case. She'd been drinking with friends the previous night and, as it turned out, the alcohol was still in her system the next morning. She was pulled over by police while she was on her way to meet her personal trainer, she says. Well, I've always said having a personal trainer is never a good idea.

The Babe tweeted this weekend: "I can't believe what's being said! I'm so sad this has happened to me. I got up to do my normal 6am jog, you guys know this as I Twitter about it all the time! I'd been out the night before for drinks with friends and got stopped on the way to meet my personal trainer and it was obviously still in my system. I'm so angry with myself [but] I felt fine and had [had] a coffee. Why do papers always write horrid stuff on me? I feel like I'm going rock bottom again".

The singer is due in court on 8 Oct to face the DUI charge. Fancy leaving the house early in the morning still a bit drunk from the night before. They should give her Sarah Kennedy's old slot on Radio 2.

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Jermaine Jackson last week filed papers with the LA courts to say he simply can't afford the three grand a month child support he is meant to pay his ex-wife. Presenting papers to prove he is basically broke, he's asked for his monthly commitments to be cut to just $215.

Jackson argues that his ex, Alejandra, earns more money that he does, plus she and the couple's two sons Jaafar and Jermajesty live rent free at Katherine Jackson's home. Despite living with Jermaine's mother, Alejandra sued her ex last year claiming he owed her $35,550 in child support.

According to TMZ.com, the legal papers show that while the makers of 'Celebrity Big Brother' here in the UK paid the singer $450,000 to appear on the show in 2007, it didn't lead to any new work, and he has earned very little since.

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A legal squabble between Apple and a small US tech firm called Sector Labs over the 'Pod' word will go to court next month, the first time one of Apple's various trademark disputes with other techie firm's using the term has reached trial.

Sector Labs makes a video projector called the Video Pod, which Apple argues will confuse consumers, who will assume it is made by them because of their iPod range. Sector Labs argues that it has been working on the Video Pod product, using that name, since 2000, ie since before the launch of Apple's digital music player. The company adds that the iPod did not have video functionality when launched in 2001, and even now Apple has no plans to enter the video projector market. Therefore, Sector Labs reckons, Apple has no claim over the 'pod' trademark in their specific sector.

The company's founder, Daniel Kokin, told Wired: "My team started working on the Video Pod in 2000, and it took us years to go from prototype to funded. At that time, Apple didn't even enter our minds as a competitor. Now it's 2010, and I still don't think Apple is interested in video projection, but I'm supposed to rename our product because Apple also uses pod?"

Meanwhile, Kokin's lawyer is taking a wider view on the case, claiming it is important smaller companies don't let the tech giants claim ownership of everyday words. Ana Christian told the magazine: "I'm trying to look at it on the big picture. What I'm hoping to do with this case is to really reach a lot broader of an audience and make it so entrepreneurs and small businesses can use the English language as they see fit in branding their products".

Judges are due to consider the two sides of the argument from the middle of next month.

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According to City AM, when EMI owner Gary 'The Guy' Hands goes to court next month to try and have his bankers Citigroup severely beaten around the head with spanners, his case will rely on three phone calls that he claims to have had with the head of the US firm's investment banking division David Wormsley back in 2007.

As previously reported, Hands claims Citigroup gave him dud information and advice ahead of his equity group's audacious acquisition of the flagging London major. The equity man says Wormsley incorrectly informed him a rival bid was about to be made at 262p a share, and then badly advised him to better that offer by bidding 265p a share.

Hands argues that had he not received this bad info and tip he may not have bought EMI at all, or certainly not at the price he paid for it. He adds that Wormsley had a vested interest in seeing the EMI takeover happen, because Citigroup earned fees on the deal and on the multi-billion dollar loan they provided to enable it to happen. That loan continues to cripple EMI three years on, and requires Terra Firma to keep having to pump more money into its music asset.

Hands will say that Wormsley provided this dud information in three separate phone calls shortly before Terra Firma made its offer for EMI. Citigroup isexpected to argue that one of the three phone calls never took place, and that while Wormsley did call Hands on the other two occasions, he did not get through and left voicemail messages.

The banks lawyers are expected to show phone logs showing that Wormsley's calls were only thirty seconds long, as well as records of Hands' private jet journeys which, they say, coincide with the alleged phone conversations and explain why the banking chief couldn't get through to the equity dude.

The court case is due to start on 18 Oct.

For legal reasons, we must stress that Gary has not requested the bosses of Citigroup actually be beaten with spanners, even if he wins his litigation. It would be more of a metaphorical beating with spanners, you understand. You know, like the beating EMI staffers must experience every time they receive a memo from the top.

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Fifties American teen idol Eddie Fisher has died aged 82.

First discovered in the late 1940s, Fisher became a big star in the US in the early 1950s, with a string of hit records and TV shows to his name. That said, he is possibly best remembered for his personal life, and in particular his acrimonious divorce from first wife Debbie Reynolds at the end of the fifties and subsequent marriage to Elizabeth Taylor, who had previously been married to Fisher's best friend Mike Todd, who had only recently died in tragic circumstances. The divorce was a big celebrity scandal at the time, and arguably tarnished both Fisher's TV and music careers.

That said, he continued to perform well into the 60s as both an actor and singer, though never matched the heyday of the 50s in terms of success. He attempted a comeback in the early 80s, but it wasn't successful. He did, though, continue to perform and occasionally record, and in 1995 recorded some sessions with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, though they were never released.

He had five marriages and four children, including Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia in 'Star Wars', of course. Another daughter, Tricia Leigh Fisher, confirmed that her father had died to the Associated Press last week. He died from complications that occurred during hip surgery at a hospital in Berkeley, California.

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DJ Trend, aka TNT, and real name Gifford Noel, possibly best known for his work with The Streets, Sugababes and Dizzee Rascal, has been found dead in his apartment in Tenerife. He was staying there while working at the local Oasis nightclub.

Linked to the drum n bass and garage scenes in the 90s, Gifford scored a number of club hits with the likes of 'Jungle Fever' and 'Transmission'. He also worked in a producer capacity with a string of urban talent in the UK, including the Roll Deep Crew, Shola Ama, Wiley and Daniel Bedingfield, as well as the aforementioned Streets, Sugababes and Dizzee Rascal. As well producing, he was also a respected DJ, both in clubs and on pirate radio in London, appearing on both Kool FM and Rinse in their early days.

It is unclear how Noel died, though local police have said it was natural causes. His family became aware of the sad news after logging on to his Facebook page and seeing a message for family members to contact the DJ's friends.

Paying tribute this weekend, Dizzee Rascal told the audience of Sky's 'Must Be The Music' show: "I have got to say rest in peace DJ Trend, a never forgotten drum n bass specialist, a legend. He was one of my big inspirations as a youth".

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Editors have signed a global publishing contract with Strictly Confidential Music, it was confirmed this morning. They are the biggest UK singing to date for the Brussels-based indie publisher, which is a sister company to the [PIAS] Group.

The publisher's top man Pierre Mossiat told CMU: "This is an exciting time for us, dealing with such a high calibre band puts us right on track for the kind of growth we've been working towards. We hope Editors will be the first of many artists with such an international profile to be lured to the shores of Strictly Confidential. It's nice to see that our development policy has allowed our collaboration with a band of that level. Thomas De Mot, our head of A&R and International, has been instrumental in the deal".

Speaking for the band, their manager Rob Whitaker added: "Strictly Confidential came to Editors as fans of the band, with a deal and set of creative ideas that recognised and matched the artists' vision and integrity. Editors already have a strong relationship with [PIAS] Records and are now looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Thomas, Pierre, and the rest of the Strictly Confidential team".

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Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong will appear in the stage musical based on his band's 'American Idiot' album for eight performances this week.

According to the Associated Press, Armstrong will fill in for a regular cast member who has taken two weeks off from the Broadway show for personal reasons. He will play the role of persuasive drug dealer St Jimmy.

The musical version of 'American Idiot', which was originally staged in California last year, opened in New York back in March.

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A documentary following Feist as she made and promoted her 2007 album 'The Reminder' will premiere at London's Raindance Film Festival next weekend.

The movie is called 'Look What The Light Did Now' and also focuses on the various creative partnerships the singer formed while making the album, with what she calls her "amplifiers".

Says Feist: "When you're making records and in the odd position of people actually hearing them, suddenly something hopefully simple is getting amplified in so many different ways. This small thing can ripple out beyond recognition, so it becomes all the more important to have amplifiers who are people you trust. How do you find these people? Who are the amps?"

Among the amps to feature are Chilly Gonzales, Clea Minaker, Simone Rubi, Mary Rozzi and Patrick Daughters.

The Raindance Film Festival runs from 30 Sep to 11 Oct, more info at www.raindance.co.uk

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Artists and labels need to think more about user rights, develop a more global outlook and get a geek on their team. These were the key conclusions at a debate on the impact of all things digital on the music business in 2010 at the Reeperbahn Campus in Hamburg on Friday afternoon, under the title 'The Geeks Will Kill Creativity'.

Shying away from discussing the fight against file-sharing - except to agree that it should probably stop before the point you're suing teenagers directly, something the German record industry has enjoyed doing in recent years - the panel quickly refuted the panel's title, deciding that, while the geeks had certainly made things difficult for the traditional music business, if anything they'd made it more creative.

Taking part in the panel, CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke, mused: "The geeks haven't killed creativity, but they have seriously shaken up the industry behind the musical community. In many ways this is good thing; by the late 1990s that industry had become very predictable and systematic, and was controlled by a handful of big players who knew the system best. But those systems are collapsing, which makes the whole music space more exciting, and more creative. There are ever more ways to monetise music: artists and labels, large and small, just need to work out what they are".

"There are lots of revenue streams out there for artists and labels to tap into", Robert Britz of brand entertainment company Casino Royale agreed. "My area, branded entertainment, is one, but only one. The secret, I think, is to look at all the opportunities on the table - digital or otherwise - and work out which combination works best. And think globally. Many music companies outside the UK and US focus too much on their local market, when those opportunities I mentioned may be elsewhere in the world. And the internet, of course, makes these things easier to grasp".

But given many of those commercial opportunities will still be based around the intellectual property that exists in music, are current copyright systems fit for purpose?

"Yes and no", reckoned Wolfgang Schulz of the Hans-Bredow-Institut, the legal expert on the panel. "Just because the copyright system is 200 years old doesn't mean it is totally redundant in the internet age. Does it need enhancing? Yes. And the law hasn't been very good at this process so far, partly because in Europe were constrained by European harmonisation laws that take years to change".

"But some interesting reforms are happening in some territories", he continued. "And I think each country should look at what its neighbours are doing to inform any honing of their own copyright systems. Rights holders should probably also invest more time into considering other users' rights. Copyright reforms get a bad name because they are seen to benefit the rights holders over everyone else. In the long term, those rights holders would benefit from considering what user rights should be solidified in law too - whether those users are broadcasters, digital firms or music fans".

Legal reform will always be slow, of course, while the digital market is growing and developing fast. With so many new opportunities out there, the industry should focus on new business models more than copyright reform, the panel felt.

"For the industry the biggest challenge is sorting out the future of its new talent investment model, not reforming or strengthening copyright law, though that's not to say such reform should be ignored completely", Cooke said. "But the real issue is this: for all its sins, the basic record label model, where commercial organisations have a commercial incentive to invest in brand new talent - traditionally secured on sound recording rights, of course - is at its core a good system. No other creative industry has a new talent investment model that good".

"The challenge for the industry is this: it needs a total revamp to capitalise on all the new digital opportunities we have spoken of, opportunities which can become big earners despite file-sharing. But what happens to the new talent investment system during and after that revamp? It would be a real shame if we lost it along the way. Work is already being done on overhauling the way the industry, and new talent investment, works - some of it label driven, some artist management driven - though it's too soon to tell how it will end up".

Any advice in the meantime? Cooke concluded: "The digital world moves fast, you need to keep up. We've always told new bands, get yourself a manager as soon as you can. Now, as well as the manager, get yourself a geek on your team. He won't kill you, rather, he'll make you more creative, and possibly more profitable".

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The festivals sector has had more than its fair share of the music sponsorship pound over the years, but just how important are cash-generating brand partnerships to major music events these days? Well, according to the festivals panel at the Reeperbahn Campus conference last week, sponsorship remains a "nice to have" rather than essential revenue stream.

"It's true that ticket revenue alone won't take our event into profit", admitted Eric van Eerdenburgh of Dutch festival Lowlands. "But it is bar revenue, not sponsorship, that we rely on. Obviously, sponsorship is nice to have, but it's not a major earner. And you've got to consider what the brand wants in return. We've turned down sponsorship from companies who wanted too much. The atmosphere of our event is key to our business, so that can never be compromised for a sponsor's benefit".

The other festival directors on the panel - including the people behind Denmark's Roskilde, Switzerland's OpenAir St Gallen and the UK's Summer Sundae - agreed that while they did have some sponsorship income, it wasn't something they especially relied on when planning their budgets.

Could a festival operate with no sponsorship money whatsoever, as veteran promoter Vince Power vowed to do when he returned to the festival market in 2008, wondered moderator Allan McGowan of VIP News? Carlos Zarmutek of German reggae festival Summerjam said it could, because "with my event, given the genre we focus on, we've never been a big target for sponsors, and we have been able to operate just fine without them".

So, really it all comes down to the booze. A fact which has, in itself, caused issues for some European festivals, included some of those represented. "We, like a number of festivals, have tried to limit the amount of alcohol our ticket buyers bring with them on site", OpenAir St Gallen's Christof Huber revealed. "And that's a tricky one, especially when you're an established event that hasn't previously had such restrictions".

Huber, and others, implied that the need to regulate the amount of cheap booze festival-goers bring with them had become more of an issue of late, possibly because, given the economic climate, ticket buyers are looking to cut their personal expenditure when doing the festival thing.

"We know we lost some ticket sales because of the new drink quota rules, even though our competitors have similar restrictions", Huber said. "But bar revenues are an essential part of our business, so we need to find a balance that means things work commercially without annoying our customers".

Solutions to that challenge were left for another day, though all seemed to agree relying on increased sponsorship revenue to make up for a bartake shortfall wasn't a viable option.

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Legendary New York-based Latin music label Fania, first launched in 1964, has announced a new international partnership with !K7, which will see the German indie handle Fania's distribution in Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. The first project under the new partnership is the re-release of 'Salsa Explosion', an out of print compilation documenting New York's salsa revolution from the late 60s and 70s.

Stuart Livingston of the Codigo Group, who now own Fania, told CMU: "We we're thrilled to find an organisation like !K7 with the depth and reach around the world to help us market and distribute this incredible catalogue. The !K7 team has impressed us with their ability to make things happen in today's challenging music industry environment".

!K7 boss Horst Weidenmueller added: "We are still overwhelmed about the endless possibilities to exploit such a pearl of a catalogue and to introduce it to a new audience".

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Warner Music has confirmed that their London-based Senior VP Of International Marketing, Matthieu Lauriot-Prevost, has left the company. He's the latest in a string of senior level Warner exes to leave the major in recent weeks, following the departure of the record company's Aussie chief Ed St John and one of their top American execs Tom Walley.

Confirming Lauriot-Prevost was leaving, Warner Music International's Vice-Chairman John Reid told reporters: "Matthieu has been instrumental in making our network of marketeers the progressive, cohesive global team it is today. Above all, though, it is his passion for music and his commitment to artist development that has shone through in everything he has achieved".

Elsewhere in major label restructure news, Sony Music has announced a big revamp of its Asian operations, following the departure of Daniel DiCicco, previously President For Asia & Middle East. His job will be carved up and handed to other execs operating in the region, including Aussie chief Denis Handlin, China-based Adam Tsuei and Mumbai-based Shridhar Subramaniam, all of whom will report directly to the major's President Of International Richard Sanders.

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Recording rights society PPL is teaming up with the mechanical rights bit of PRS For Music - so MCPS - to relaunch the Limited Manufacture Licence for those making audio-visual productions.

The collaboration will allow certain customers to use any commercially released music under a blanket licence. With PPL and PRS working together, the licence will cover both sound recording and publishing rights, which makes things much easier for those licensees who qualify. It's the third such collaboration between MCPS and PPL.

Confirming the new licence, PRS For Music Marketing Manager, Darren Haynes, said: "This licence is a great example of the two royalty collection societies working amicably together to create a solid, straightforward one-stop licensing shop, ensuring that music creators are duly paid for their work".

For PPL, Head Of Dubbing Richard Stewart said: "It's great that the two societies have been able to come together and agree a blanket licence scheme to make licensing much simpler for individuals and small organisations".

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So Mulve, the latest illegal music service to reach the internet, has suddenly become the talk of the town, despite being initially launched earlier this summer.

Mulve is a bit of software which can be downloaded to any PC, and which then provides access to a load of free music. The tracks come from mysterious servers somewhere on the internet, believed to be hosted in Russia.

It's been set up by two guys seemingly without commercial motives, with the costs of operating the software met by donations and, it seems to be hoped, advertising. It's estimated there are some 10 million songs available via the platform.

It is, of course, a service that totally infringes the copyrights of those who own the music featured in its catalogue, and given the buzz surrounding the service late last week - enough to overwhelm the Mulve website - one assumes the legal teams at the major record companies will be on the case this morning.

Given the mysterious origins of the source content the Mulve client accesses, the service's operators could distance themselves from those servers and claim they are not guilty of direct infringement. Still, the case for contributory or authorising infringement would be pretty uncontroversial, though any legal action could take months or years to go through the motions.

Which was why the BPI was pushing for a faster injunction system to be included in the Digital Economy Act for targeting such unlicensed services as they appear on the scene. As previously reported, while the final Act does outline how such a system might work, it doesn't actually make it law.

It's reckoned Mulve may prove popular with those looking for free downloads simply because it's not a P2P file-sharing platform, meaning use of it is less likely to be picked up by content owners who monitor the net for piracy. Which in turn means Mulve users are less likely to be targeted if and when the three-strikes warning letters go out.

That said, others point out that Mulve's catalogue, while big, isn't really any bigger than free streaming services like Spotify and We7, and some people use P2P file-sharing because you will always find content that the labels haven't yet got around to (or just aren't planning on) digitising that way.

Though given many file-sharers download mainstream content anyway, and many still prefer downloads over streams, there is probably a market there for Mulve to tap into, for as long as they can keep the record industry's lawyers away from the door.

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So, Elmo was shipped into the studios of 'Good Morning America' on Friday morning to assure the worried world that, while his previous sing-along with the lovely Katy Perry could no longer be aired (because, it transpires, the singer has breasts), he planned to get Ms Perry back into the 'Sesame Street' studios sometime very soon to record another song, this time with his co-star's body properly hidden from view.

Though whether bosses at the kids TV show will still be keen to welcome back Perry after this weekend's 'Saturday Night Live' remains to be seen. Mocking the outraged American parents who demanded her performance with Elmo not be screened, and the TV bosses who complied, the singer appeared in a spoof daytime TV show sketch playing a sixteen year old librarian in a very revealing Elmo t-shirt. The show's Amy Poehler's character remarked: "Looks like today's show is brought you by number 38 and letter double D".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Katy Perry
Creche Manager
Chris Moyles
Milk Monitor

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