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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Eircom launches music service and recommits to three-strikes
Nick Cave involved in car crash, not injured
In The Pop Courts
Jammie Thomas lawyers push for zero damages
Viacom's YouTube appeal filed
In The Pop Hospital
Franklin may have cancer
Charts, Stats & Polls
Bieber second in Google's increased search chart
In The Studio
Hurts discuss Leona Lewis collaboration
Release News
Avril Lavigne announces new album
Skepta announces new album
Pixies greatest hits to get vinyl release
Films & Shows News
Pete Doherty prepares for film debut
Gigs & Tours News
Chase & Status announce tour dates
Reviews
Album review: Various Artists - Shapes 10:02 compiled by Robert Luis (Tru Thoughts)
The Music Business
Mute makes appointments
HMV losses widen
INgrooves makes promotions
The Digital Business
Twitter announces more multi-media partnerships
The Media Business
OfCom to investigate X-Factor download plugging
And finally...
Tommy Lee wages war on whale wanking
Katy Perry considers taking husband's surname
Cameron v Smiths spills over into parliament


 
THURSDAY 9TH DECEMBER
CMU ARTISTS OF THE YEAR 2010 - #5: WARPAINT
Warpaint's debut EP, 'Exquisite Corpse', released in the UK in December last year, started an infatuation with Warpaint's music at CMU that has only grown as 2010 continued, with gigs of increasing capacities and one astonishing debut album.

 
Our first taste of their live show was a packed gig in a bar at the end of Brighton's Palace Pier at this year's Great Escape. It was too hot, we were squashed into a corner where it was difficult to see the stage and the sound was passable at best, but something shone through.

Of course, it helped that we'd been playing that EP on a loop for some time by that point, six tracks of delicate ambient rock with ghostly vocals that sound like they're being sung through an electric fan. Live those songs jumped into life enough to override the discomfort of the setting and create a buzz of excitement amongst Team CMU that made them one of the bands we particularly enthused about for the rest of the weekend, and after the festival once we were safely back in London.

Their debut album, 'The Fool', was released in October, building markedly on the sound of that first EP (which, by that time, was actually more than two years old). Having ditched the weird vocal effects, the band more confidently pushed their multi-part vocal lines to the fore, on top of similarly intertwined guitar parts and solid but intricate drumming.

It instantly bobbed up the list of my favourite albums of the year but, once again, it was seeing the band play the songs live that really brought them to life for me. Seeing them at The Scala in London in late October was pretty unforgettable.

I'm sure it's one of those shows that, as time goes on, more and more people will claim to have been at. That night it was already one of the year's most talked about gigs, and with good reason. Having made a firm impression when a venue's sound was not at its best, when it was spot on at The Scala they were positively jaw-dropping.

Now with a clear view of the stage, I could finally see just what good musicians they are, particularly guitarist Theresa Wayman, whose unusual style is a huge part of the band's sound, and drummer Stella Mozgawa, whose movements when she plays are so fluid it makes her a joy to watch. Also, they dealt with a mid-song technical failure in the most unfazed manner I've seen in years - a guitar gave out, leading to an extended improvisation that actually improved the song they were playing. Most bands would have just stopped.

The show was so good, it all got a bit emotional, with their songs leaving me genuinely breathless at times. Their next trip to the UK will see them upgrade to a larger venue again, this time heading to the Shepherds Bush Empire. That venue's been the location for some truly great live moments for me, so it'll be very interesting how they go down there.

Website | iTunes | Amazon | Spotify
 
BEST OF CMU APPROVED 2010: BLONDES
Described by the duo themselves as "ecstatic trance", Zach Steinman and Sam Haar set about creating their semi-improvised sound in 2008, taking in all manner of experimental electronica genres, as well as a bit of krautrock and half a teaspoon of pop to ensure that the occasional hook appears.

 
The highlight of their debut EP, 'Touched', which was released in June through Merok Records [insert obligatory reference to the label releasing the first singles by Klaxons and Crystal Castles here], is 'Moondance'. Just shy of twelve minutes in length, it's easy to lose yourself in the track early on, only to wake up dancing three quarters of the way through.

www.myspace.com/blondeblondeblondes


 
  CMU, EDITORIAL INTERN
CMU is looking for a full time (Mon-Fri 10.30am-4pm) intern to assist with editorial tasks at its Shoreditch-based HQ.
Working closely with the Editor, the intern will manage the reviews database, input content into the CMU content management system, prepare photos for email bulletins, and assist with other editorial tasks. There will also be opportunities to write, including artist biogs and reviews.

Some writing experience and a passion for music are a must, while any admin, CMS and/or Photoshop experience will also be useful. Although unpaid, this internship role will provide excellent hands-on experience and some formal training. Zone Two travel will be covered. The post runs from one month minimum to three months maximum. Early January start.

Send your CV and two recent examples of your writing to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk, indicating how soon you could start and how long you would like your internship to last. Deadline 5pm Wednesday 15 December.
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EIRCOM LAUNCHES MUSIC SERVICE AND RECOMMITS TO THREE-STRIKES
The Irish internet service provider which has voluntarily (well, as the result of an out of court settlement in a legal dispute) introduced a three-strikes style system for combating file-sharing, Eircom, yesterday announced the launch of its own streaming music service, the carrot to accompany the three-strikes stick.

Eircom's MusicHub offers free Spotify-style streaming, but without the ads, to all of the net firm's existing customers. As you'd expect, playlisting functionality is also included. As well as the streaming music, the MusicHub will also offer a range of bundled download packages where the unit price for each track downloaded could be as low as 32 cents. The latter service will also be available to non-Eircom customers.

Although restricted to Ireland, the Eircom digital music platform is interesting beyond the country's borders because it is an example of an ISP collaborating with the record industry to create an engaging competitively priced music service in return for committing to crack down on file-sharers.

Many people, on all sides of the three-strikes debate, have long argued that if the record industry worked with ISPs to create compelling music services - giving the net firms a commercial incentive to crack down on file-sharing - then the music business would find internet companies much more willing to help on piracy issues.

In the UK there have been few such collaborations. The record companies would probably blame the ISPs for expecting too much for too little, while the net firms would probably argue the label's price point expectations are too high. The closest we've got to a high profile record industry/net company collaboration was Virgin Media's partnership with Universal Music, though their ambitions - unlimited MP3 downloads for a monthly subscription fee - were too grand to get enough of the record industry on board.

Launching the new service yesterday, Eircom's Stephen Beynon told CMU: "MusicHub is a major development for Eircom in the online content space. We are the first and only internet provider in Ireland to offer online streaming as part of a music service. Customers will not find a greater selection of music across all genres anywhere else in Ireland from their broadband provider".

In a separate statement issued yesterday, Eircom reconfirmed its commitment to operate a three-strikes - or "graduated response" to use their words - system for combating piracy. Warning letters will be sent to customers who content owners believe are illegally file-sharing. Those who fail to heed warnings will have their net connections suspended or ultimately disconnected. Eircom's statement stressed net suspensions was a "measure of last resort".

The net firm said that since trialling the three-strikes system in June they have been receiving approximately 1000 complaints a week from content owners about file-sharing customers. Of course, with only Eircom currently operating this system in Ireland, any file-sharers who are threatened with disconnection could take their business elsewhere. The Irish record industry is trying to both persuade and force other net firms to introduce a similar system, but so far without success.

Meanwhile, Eircom will be hoping that a portion of those file-sharing are still doing so in ignorance of the law and can be educated to stop. Another portion may be sufficiently impressed with the MusicHub to stop file-sharing so they can stick with Eircom. Any more committed file-sharers may be lost to rivals until any wider three-strikes system can be enforced (although more committed file-sharers are probably now using technology that hides their file-sharing from content owners anyway, so there's a high chance they'll not even be targeted under the three-strikes system).

Justifying its involvement in the three-strikes party, while insisting it would not breach its customers' rights in the process, Eircom added: "This company believes that it has a duty to ensure that the rights of artists and the laws of the state, including copyright law, are upheld, and to take action when illegal activity is brought to our attention. Our obligations to our customers remain paramount, and the primacy of their rights, in particular their rights to privacy, are reflected in the phased structure of the [three-strikes] protocol, and in the Eircom MusicHub service launched today. Eircom is of the view that these obligations are part of a role that all responsible companies must serve".

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NICK CAVE INVOLVED IN CAR CRASH, NOT INJURED
Nick Cave was involved in a traffic accident yesterday when he drove his Jaguar car into a speed camera and roadside barrier on the Hove seafront near his home. Details of what caused the crash are not known, though neither Cave nor his two sons, also in the vehicle at the time, were hurt, and no other car was involved.

Sussex police confirmed they had attended he crash scene, but confirmed no arrests were made. Regarding the damaged camera and crash barrier, a spokesman said: "The camera belongs to the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, not the police, and the railings belong to the local highway authority. Both agencies were informed. Nobody has been arrested but police inquiries are continuing".

A spokeswoman for Cave said she had no comment to make at this time.

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JAMMIE THOMAS LAWYERS PUSH FOR ZERO DAMAGES
Will Ms Thomas prove to be truly Jammie as her long running legal battle with the US record industry enters its final phase? Could one of the true celebrities of the Recording Industry Association Of America's sue-the-fans litigation campaign really get away with paying no cents in compensation for her file-sharing ways? Well, her lawyers are having a go.

As much previously reported, that Thomas infringed copyright when she downloaded 24 songs via Kazaa is not of debate, the question is what sort of damages should she pay to the companies whose rights were infringed? US copyright law allows damages to be awarded of anywhere between $750 and $150,000 per infringement. In Thomas's case, judges have tended to err towards the lower figure, while juries for some reason prefer the higher.

So when, at the end of her second trial, Thomas was fined $1.92 million by the jury, the judge hearing the case subsequently slashed the amount to $54,000. When Thomas refused to pay that (or half that, as the RIAA was offering in an out of court settlement), the record companies appealed the judge's ruling, and another jury plumped for $1.5 million.

Responding to that ruling, Thomas's lawyers this week made a filing asking the judge to cut the damages their client is due to pay to, well, zero.

Their argument goes like this. A $1.5 million damages payment (or even a $54,000 payment) bears no proportionality to the actual losses made by the record companies as a result of Thomas's file-sharing, and the US constitution demands proportionality be considered, whatever copyright legislation might say about minimum and maximum amounts.

They add that, in terms of proportionality, the record companies have failed to present any evidence as to what actual damage Thomas's specific file-sharing caused. They have spoken a lot about the general damage caused by the wider phenomenon of file-sharing but, the lawyers say, Thomas can't be held liable for the wider phenomenon, only for her own infringement. And, they conclude, in the lack of any evidence presented by the claimants, the judge should declare a "take-nothing" verdict.

It's a bold argument. The RIAA, which wants the most recent damages ruling to stand, will presumably argue that it is not for a judge to overturn a jury ruling that has been made on two separate occasions. Thomas' people may say the constitutional element of their argument trumps both juries' decisions. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

For its part, the RIAA also made a filing this week, though its focused more on demands for a permanent injunction against Thomas ordering her to never violate a record company's copyrights ever again.

In sort of related news, the court has rejected a submission from Professor Charles Nesson, the lawyer and academic who led (and, some would argue, bungled) that other high profile file-sharing case, RIAA v Joel Tenenbaum. In his new paper he presented legal arguments as to why it was wrong to find Thomas guilty of copyright infringement in the first place. Judges said the paper "would not be of assistance to the court".

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VIACOM'S YOUTUBE APPEAL FILED
So, MTV owner Viacom formally submitted its appeal in relation to its long running copyright dispute with YouTube at the end of last week.

As previously reported, Viacom says that, in its early days, YouTube turned a blind eye to the mass uploading of copyright infringing content to its servers because it was that content that drove most traffic, initially upping the price the service's founders could sell the site to Google for, and then enabling Google to secure a bigger slice of the then emerging internet advertising market.

Google argues that YouTube has always operated a takedown system so that if and when it is made aware of copyright infringing content it will remove it, and in doing so has protection from infringement claims under US copyright law. Viacom countered that in its early days YouTube only paid lip service to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's takedown system, deliberately operating said system in a slapdash way to ensure they continued to enjoy the high levels of traffic infringing content brought in.

Viacom also argued that YouTube's interpretation of the DMCA's takedown system put too much obligation on the content owners to track what infringing videos were being uploaded to its servers, and that the video service could be earning big ad fees until the point at which a content company spots its copyrights are being infringed.

Of course, YouTube has since developed a much more sophisticated take-down system which takes the strain off content owners somewhat, but Viacom argued that until those innovations went live YouTube was an infringer and should pay damages for infringements committed during that time. They would also presumably like a ruling that set a precedent that said any YouTube rival not currently operating an automated takedown system is still guilty of infringement, and should therefore pay damages too.

Anyway, as also previously reported, a US judge didn't buy Viacom's arguments, concurred with Google's interpretation of the DMCA, and ruled in the web firm's favour in a summary judgment. It is that judgment Viacom is now appealing.

And we now know a little of what Viacom has said in its appeal papers. It argues: "Nothing in the text or history of the DMCA even remotely suggests that Congress intended such absurd, disquieting, and disruptive results [as in the Viacom v YouTube case]. In fact, the text of the DMCA compels the opposite conclusion: internet service providers that not only are aware of pervasive copyright infringement, but actively participate in and profit from it, enjoy no immunity from the copyright laws and may be held to account for their theft of artists' creations".

Meanwhile, one of the lawyers added to Viacom's team ahead of the appeal, Theodore Olson, told the Litigation Daily last week: "This is an exceedingly important case - one that will set a precedent, good or bad. To allow someone to willingly take advantage of other people's violations of copyright law in order to build an enterprise based on that theft of copyright is not protected by the safe harbour provision and it is very important that the court say that".

Needless to say, Google has said it believes that the original ruling on this matter to be correct and will fight any appeal.

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FRANKLIN MAY HAVE CANCER
Aretha Franklin is battling cancer, according to reports. As previously reported, the queen of soul recently cancelled all upcoming tour dates and last week underwent "successful" surgery to treat an undisclosed illness.

It's Fox 2 News which has reported that the illness is cancer. The Detroit-based news channel cites three separate unnamed sources, one of whom confirmed Franklin had cancer, another said it was pancreatic cancer, and a third said the singer's family were "very concerned".

Franklin's people are yet to comment on the reports.

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BIEBER SECOND IN GOOGLE'S INCREASED SEARCH CHART
Justin Bieber was the second fastest rising person searched for on Google in the UK this year, if that makes sense.

That is to say, there was a huge increase in the number of Brits searching for his name on the search engine this year compared to last, he having only really become part of the public consciousness over here in the last twelve months.

There was an even bigger increase in Google interest for the late TV presenter Kristian Digby, though given that was presumably people searching for gossip on the strange circumstances surrounding his untimely death, seemingly the result of a badly thought out sex game, this is one poll where Justin will probably be happy with second place.

Other music people getting a lot more interest from Google users this year than last include
Nicki Minaj, Ellie Goulding, Kesha, Katy Perry and Enrique Iglesias, the latter possibly because of his promise to water ski naked after Spain won the World Cup.

These stats come from Google's latest Zeitgeist report offering all sorts of nuggets of information as to what people have been searching for on the search service this year.

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HURTS DISCUSS LEONA LEWIS COLLABORATION
Hurts have revealed that they may work on a goth-influenced track for Leona Lewis' next album.

Asked if rumours they were going to work with the singer are true by ITV's 'X-Factor' mini-site (the site doesn't say which member of the duo answered the questions, so I'm going to assume it was both in unison), they said: "Hopefully - it's a case of timing at the moment but we would love to do something. Her voice is like a national treasure. It would be interesting to write some dark songs with her - Leona the goth!"

Hurts release a Christmas single, 'All I Want For Christmas Is New Year's Day', next week. They described the song as being "about the worst Christmas of our lives, which we're releasing on the best Christmas of our lives". Aww.

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AVRIL LAVIGNE ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
Avril Lavigne with release her new album, 'Goodbye Lullaby' on 7 Mar via Sony/Columbia, it has been announced. The first single from the album, 'What The Hell', will be released on 31 Dec.

In a letter to fans last month, Lavigne complained that her label was dragging its heals with regards to releasing the album, saying: "This has been a really difficult record for me to create and to release. Not only is this the most meaningful and special record I have written, it is sincere, honest and close to my heart. [But] for the first time I experienced a bunch of bureaucratic BS ... people do their best work when they are doing what they want, love and is natural for them, not when you are forcing them to be something that they are not".

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SKEPTA ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
North London rapper Skepta has announced that he will release his third album, the follow-up to 2009's 'Microphone Champion', on 14 Feb. After that and his debut album, 'Greatest Hits', he's gone with a slightly less boastful title this time around, 'Doing It Again'.

Having previously released music via Boy Better Know, the label he co-founded with Wiley and his brother JME in 2004, for this album he moves to N-Dubz's label, Universal's All Around The World Productions. Skepta will also release a single with N-Dubz, 'So Alive', on 30 Jan.

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PIXIES GREATEST HITS TO GET VINYL RELEASE
More than six years after it was originally released on CD (going on to become a particularly successful Christmas present for my mum), Pixies singles compilation 'Wave Of Mutilation' will be released on vinyl by 4AD on 17 Jan.

The tracklist looks like this:

Side one:
Bone Machine
Nimrod's Son
The Holiday Song
Caribou
Broken Face
Gigantic

Side two:
Vamos
Hey
Monkey Gone To Heaven
Debaser
Gouge Away
Wave Of Mutilation

Side three:
Here Comes Your Man
Tame
Where Is My Mind?
Into The White
Velouria

Side four:
Allison
Dig For Fire
U-Mass
Alec Eiffel
Planet Of Sound
Winterlong

Let's all listen to Pixies right now. All of us. Now.

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PETE DOHERTY PREPARES FOR FILM DEBUT
Carl Barat's done a bit of acting lately, so it's only fair that Pete Doherty gets a crack at it, too. The Libertines and Babyshambles frontman will take the lead role in a new French film based on the life of nineteenth century writer Alfred de Musset. Obviously.

Doherty will star opposite Charlotte Gainsbourg, who is very good at both music and acting, so might show Pete up a bit. Presuming he actually shows up a bit, or at all. Sorry, that was quite a clunky way to link two sentences, let's just stop and think about how great Charlotte Gainsbourg is for a moment and forget the rest of this paragraph happened.

Old Pete apparently told The Sun: "We start shooting in Paris on 27 Dec. The storyline centres around a love triangle so it's pretty intense and romantic. I don't know if I'm a good actor but they say I am".

I hope the film's in French. I also hope no one's told Pete this.

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CHASE & STATUS ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Chase & Status have been making everyone misty eyed with their new video for 'Blind Faith', which features some archive footage of old ravers doing some old raving back in the old days.

The single is released on 24 Jan, ahead of the duo's new album, 'No More Idols', which is due out on 31 Jan. You can watch the video for the single and get all nostalgic about eating drugs and then larking about in a field here: youtu.be/TAHHW9YYpBo

Plus there are some tour dates, which is actually what I gathered you all here to talk about. Here are said tour dates in their chronological order:

9 Mar: Southampton, Guildhall
10 Mar: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
11 Mar: London, The Roundhouse
12 Mar: Yeovil, Westlands
13 Mar: Nottingham, Rock City
15 Mar: Bristol, Academy
17 Mar: Glasgow, ABC
18 Mar: Leeds, Academy
19 Mar: Manchester, Academy

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Shapes 10:02 compiled by Robert Luis (Tru Thoughts)
Brighton's Tru Thoughts recently celebrated ten years in the game, and judging by this compo they should be around for a few more years yet. Here the label co-owner showcases the diversity of the label, and there are no duds at all over the thirty tracks. The first disc is more lounge based, and the second heads more dancefloor.

Disc one really joins the dots - from a dubby take on the 'Dr Who' theme tune by Smerins, to the smashing urban-esque 'Further Away' by Maddslinky, and the folk feel of Nostalgia 77 in 'Beautiful Lie'. Up and comers Belleruche contribute '3 Amp Fuse' with front woman Katrin deBoer really coming trumps, while the trip hop of Azaxx and Lanu's delicate 'Jean Paul' is lush downbeat.

Disc two starts with the Latin energy of Quantic's remix of 'Mussum' by Sarvah Soul, and then a punchy remix of The Bamboos. There's almost a big band feel in the Hint remix of Kylie Auldist's 'Goodbye', while the Lanu remix of Ms Parks' 'Raise The Roof' is pure lush jazz and a real gem. Other stand-outs include the cut from Stonephace, which sounds like something that Soil and Pimp could conjure up.

If variety is the spice of life, this album is one hell of a tangy treat. PV

Physical release: 6 Dec
Press contact: DEC Promotions

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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MUTE MAKES APPOINTMENTS
Now independent again, Mute has just announced the appointment of a Group MD.

As previously reported, the Mute record label has regained its independent status after a period as a division of EMI. The move sees the Mute label rejoin with the Mute music publishing company, which has been independent throughout. The company also recently announced plans to launch a third division, a Mute artist and producer management company.

Founder and top man Daniel Miller yesterday confirmed that Angie Somerside will be MD of the new Mute Group, overseeing both the record and publishing companies as well as spearheading the launch of the new management agency. Although possibly best known for her various roles at Sony Music, Somerside also has management experience having spent a time as MD of QPrime Management.

Miller told CMU: "With Angie at the helm of the group of companies - recorded music rights, composition rights and a new artist/producer management company - I feel that we are in a great position to pool our collective experience and intelligence to best serve all aspects of our artists, writers and producers careers".

Andrew King will continue to head up the Mute publishing company. Meanwhile Anne Haffmans will oversee a new Mute office in Germany, while Mark Fotiadis will be in charge of the company's New York base.

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HMV LOSSES WIDEN
HMV's figures for the first half of the current financial year were released this morning, and while the City expected them to be a bit disappointing, the firm's share price still took a hit on the news that losses were higher than expected and dividend pay outs would be cut. CEO Simon Fox also admitted that recent bad weather had impacted on the retailer's all important Christmas sales period, which is so vital to a company like HMV that it's always the second half of the financial year - containing, as it does, the Christmas shopping period - during which HMV makes any real profits.

Despite diversifying the product range in its stores, HMV still faces increased competition from the supermarkets, mail-order websites and, with regards its traditional product areas of music, DVD and games, digital content platforms. The wider HMV Group has, of course, diversified even further by taking a stake in digital music service provider 7Digital and ownership of the MAMA Group of venues, festivals, talent management agencies and brand partnership businesses. Some speculate that those acquisitions actually make HMV's long term future more secure than most City types realise, possibly making the company - with its slumping share price - a possible takeover target.

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INGROOVES MAKES PROMOTIONS
Digital distribution company INgrooves announced two promotions yesterday. Ben Kline, previously VP Sales & Marketing, will take on the wider-reaching role of SVP Global Sales & Marketing, while Alex Branson has become SVP and MD for INgrooves International.

INgrooves General Manager Dave Zierler told reporters: "Ben and Alex have been vital in spearheading our international growth to date. 2011 will mark a year of tremendous opportunity and challenge in the global digital landscape and we feel poised to be at the head of the curve with the top notch team we have in place".

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TWITTER ANNOUNCES MORE MULTI-MEDIA PARTNERSHIPS
Twitter announced a new bunch of partnerships with multimedia services earlier this week which means more 'linked to content' can be shown within the micro-blogging service's own interface, rather than sending users off to other websites.

Such a partnership already existed with TwitPic, YouTube and iTunes. Over 20 new partnerships were announced, including with blip.tv, SlideShare, Dipdive and Rdio, the latter allowing full-track streaming music previews through Twitter.

That said, not all of the new partners operate in all territories, and the Twitter partnerships will only apply to markets where the partner operates. Rdio is only currently active in the US.

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OFCOM TO INVESTIGATE X-FACTOR DOWNLOAD PLUGGING
OfCom has confirmed it will investigate remarks made by Dermot O'Leary on ITV's 'X-Factor' show in which he encouraged viewers to buy tracks by Michael Buble and Diana Vickers, and not only because both songs are almost certainly awful.

There are lots of rules that govern overt selling of goods on TV shows, and some reckon O'Leary breached rules by telling viewers they could buy Buble and Vicker's tunes on the 'X-Factor' website. Generally mentioning said tunes were available to buy would probably be OK, but directing viewers specifically to the Nokia-powered download section of the show's own site is not. Although, somewhat confusingly, it is OK to tell viewers they can buy recordings of performances by 'X-Factor' contestants on said website.

OfCom confirmed yesterday they were investigating possible rule breaking on the 'X-Factor' with regards the promotion of downloads, though a spokesman for the show's makers insists that O'Leary's Buble and Vickers plugging was due to a one-off scripting error and was not a deliberate violation of the rules.

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TOMMY LEE WAGES WAR ON WHALE WANKING
Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee has written an angry letter to the president of SeaWorld in Florida, Terry Prather, condemning him for the conditions in which the marine park keeps one of its male killer whales, named Tilikum, and for the decision to "masturbate him with a cow's vagina filled with hot water" for breeding purposes. He calls on Prather to set the whale, who has killed several people while in captivity, free.

In the letter to Prather, published by TMZ, Lee wrote: "After learning about the bizarre way you breed killer whales, my friends at PETA and I are stumped about SeaWorld's announcement that no people will ever again have direct contact with Tilikum, the orca who has killed three people, including his trainer, this year. We understand that you refuse to release this frustrated whale because he is your chief sperm bank, and we know from SeaWorld's own director of safety (as well as videos on the web) that the way you get his sperm is by having someone get into the pool and masturbate him with a cow's vagina filled with hot water".

He continued: "Even during my wildest days with Motley Crue, I never could have imagined something so sick and twisted. Simply put, how can SeaWorld claim that trainers no longer have direct contact with this whale when they are jacking him off? This is about as 'direct' as it gets. I hope it doesn't take another tragic death for SeaWorld to realise it shouldn't frustrate these smart animals by keeping them in tanks".

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KATY PERRY CONSIDERS TAKING HUSBAND'S SURNAME
Katy Perry has said that she is considering taking the surname of her husband, Russell Brand. Which would be confusing for fans of rubbish ITV2 comedy shows.

Speaking to Ellen DeGeneres, Perry said: "When people try to get my attention, like if I'm at an event or something like that and they want special attention, they go: 'Mrs Brand!' And I go [turns head] shwoosh!"

Asked if she was considering taking the name officially, she replied: "I am, actually".

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CAMERON V SMITHS SPILLS OVER INTO PARLIAMENT
I'm sure when Johnny Marr tweeted last week: "David Cameron, stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don't. I forbid you to like it", he didn't expect us to still be talking about it a week later. It was only a joke, after all.

But after some people failed to get the joke, and complained that Marr was acting like a spoilt child and is not allowed to choose his fans, Morrissey came to his defence, saying that he doesn't like Cameron much either. Now Labour MP Kerry McCarthy has got in on the act.

During Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, and ahead of today's vote on whether to saddle future university students with even greater debts for increasingly meaningless degrees or not, McCarthy asked the Conservative leader: "The Smiths are, of course, the archetypal student band. If you win tomorrow night's vote, what songs do you think students will be listening to? 'Miserable Lie', 'I Don't Owe You Anything', or 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now'?"

Cameron shot back: "If I turned up, I probably wouldn't get 'This Charming Man', and if I went with the Foreign Secretary [William Hague], it would probably be 'William, It Was Really Nothing'". Which might have been mildly impressive if questions for the session weren't submitted in advance.

This morning, Marr got back in on the action, attempting (or perhaps not) to calm the situation, writing: "Dear Lord, please forgive me for making fun of the government. They are really nice and doth be very kind to poor people and students ... Oh, and also their fans doth have a brilliant sense of humour. Thank you. Amen".

Lucky no one noticed that over the weekend he also tweeted: "Nick Clegg, hand over your iPod..."

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
Eddy Temple-Morris
Columnist
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Julian Assange
Head Of Data Protection

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