WHAT IS THIS? The CMU Daily - to which you are subscribed. Unsubscribe information is at the end.
Make sure you 'enable images' to see this e-bulletin properly. CLICK HERE to read this online.

CMU Info
Top Stories
LAPD reportedly step up Notorious BIG murder investigation again
Speculation continues of imminent EMI sale
In The Pop Courts
The Chipmunks sue EMI
Miley Cyrus hacker charged over credit card numbers
RapidShare wins appeal in Atari copyright case
Promo CD case rules in reseller's favour again
In The Pop Hospital
Yauch cancer all-clear reports jumped the gun
Boney M girls pay tribute to departed bandmate
Charts, Stats & Polls
Jessie J tops BBC Sound Of poll
Peter Andre hardest working man in pop, no really
Artist Deals
Peermusic expands partnership with David Foster
Release News
New Badly Drawn Boy
New Vessels
Gigs & Tours News
Naked, Famous, live
Live review: Saint Etienne at The Forum, London on 18 Dec
The Music Business
[PIAS] revamps recordings division, resurrects Play It Again Sam label
Copyright amendment means PPL will now collect from charities
The Digital Business
CES round up
And finally...
Aerosmith: Now Steven can't find Joe

Hello there, it seems to be a new year. Happy New Year! I know we had a couple of Dailies last week, but let's make this the official start of 2011. Last week was still 2010. Right now is twenty eleven. Or two thousand and eleven. I haven't quite decided which I like best yet. Anyway, that's not important, did you all have a nice break? Did you get nice presents? Was Santa good to you? I can't believe he would have put you on the naughty list. Not you. Not after all you've done. No. Well, regardless of how a (close your ears, children) fictional character treated you over the festive period, I have some treats for you right now. Here they come...

01: New CMU website. Hey, look everyone, get online and over to www.theCMUwebsite.com, which is all shiny and new. Like a virgin – UH! – touched for the very first time. Or something. Anyway, over Christmas we gave our website a good polish, moved bits around and fixed all the bits that were broken. Actually, it's a totally new site altogether, but you get the idea. The important information you need to absorb here is that we've got a new website and you should go and look at it.

02: Eurosonic Noorderslag. It's the first music industry conference of the year this week. Eurosonic Noorderslag gets in early, don't you know. From 12 to 15 Jan, music industry folks from all over Europe will head to Groningen to debate and discuss what the future holds for the music industry, while the evenings on into the early hours will be filled with showcase gigs by a hefty number of Europe's up-and-coming new bands. As well as all that, the trophies at this year's European Festival Awards will be handed out. I'll be there, swanning around, and possibly reporting on a thing or two. Feel free to walk up and tell me how much you like the new CMU website. I might even let you buy me a drink to celebrate.

03: BRITs nominations launch. On Wednesday, the BRITs will officially announce their nominations for 2011 at a party in the IndigO2 venue under the O2 Dome. Amongst the live performances from Tinie Tempah, Ellie Goulding and The Wanted at the show, which will be broadcast on ITV2 on Thursday evening, Jessie J will do some singing and then pick up her Critics Choice award, which will go nicely with her BBC Sound Of 2011 backlash.

04: New releases. It's a fairly quiet week for new releases, though I notice that 'Sinitta!' by Sinitta is being reissued. Kanye West also claims that his collaborative album with Jay-Z, 'Watch The Throne', will be out this week, presumably only in downloadable form, but who knows. Definitely available physically is 'Valhalla Dancehall' by British Sea Power, which has had some very nice things said about it. In fact, our own Jane Wright called it a "triumphant return", and she's never wrong. Also out is the debut album from hotly tipped Montrealites Suuns, 'Zeroes, QC', while back on the reissues, Crass' very brilliant 'Penis Envy' album is available in spruced up form.

05: Gigs. It's a bit quiet on the gig front this week, too. As I already noted, quite a lot of bands seem to be heading for The Netherlands. But there are still good times to be had. The marvellous James Blake will be headlining Plan B in Brixton this Friday, while on Thursday you can catch the wholeheartedly CMU approved Talons at Vibe Bar on Brick Lane, and on Wednesday, buzzy singer-songwriter Idiot Glee will be playing The Deaf Institute in Manchester.

Right, I'd best start thinking about what I need to take with me on my Dutch trip. I currently have toothpaste and shoes written down on my list of things I will ultimately forget to pack and have to attempt to buy in a foreign language.

Don't forget, there's no CMU Weekly this week, but it will be back in an all-new form next Friday, along with the first edition of the new CMU Podcast.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
Formed in 2008, Giana Factory have quickly risen up the ranks of the Danish music scene. The trio released their debut EP, 'Bloody Game' in 2009, interest in which was boosted after they were chosen to support Glasvegas on their Scandinavian tour earlier the same year. Those with slightly longer memories might also recognise vocalist Loui Foo from 2008, when she briefly toured with The Raveonettes in place of her then pregnant sister, Sharin.

Back with Giana Factory, Loui, guitarist Lisbet Fritze and bassist Sofie Johanne make music that mixes electro beats and synths with spacious, echoing guitars. As a quick reference point, it's a sound that sits somewhere between The xx and Warpaint, particularly on 'Bloody Game', though their debut album, 'Save The Youth', develops things further and muddies that water slightly. The album was released in Denmark last year, and if you happen to be there, you can catch the band touring their home country next month. Otherwise, consider this an early tip for a band you need to catch at SxSW.


UnLimited Media is looking for a part-time (one day a week) accounts and admit assistant to work from its Shoreditch HQ. You will process bookings for UnLimited training events, send out and chase invoices, and assist the Managing Director with other administrative tasks.

Good organisation and phone skills and an attention to detail are a must, knowledge of Word and Excel also an advantage. Daily rate of £70. Send a CV to [email protected].

LA police are again proactively investigating the 1997 murder of rapper Notorious BIG, according to CNN. The news channel says that investigations have been stepped up after new information surfaced late last year that has "reinvigorated" the case. The LAPD is yet to formally comment.

The murders of Biggie in 1997 and his rap rival Tupac Shakur the previous year remain unsolved, although various conspiracy theories have circulated in the media, online and in hip hop circles ever since. The most convincing of the conspiracy theories being that the LAPD deliberately bungled the initial investigation into the death of Biggie, real name Christopher Wallace, because of evidence that some of its own officers, or ex-officers, were somehow involved.

The Wallace family were involved in years of legal wrangling with the city of LA over those allegations. In 2005, a court case on the issue ended in mistrial after it was discovered that the LAPD had, if nothing else, accidentally (it said) withheld a drawer full of important evidence from the Wallace family's lawyers. The dispute rumbled on until last year when a third lawsuit relating to the allegedly bungled investigation was dismissed after an out of court agreement between LA authorities and the Wallace family.

A new investigation into Biggie's murder was actually instigated in 2006, and a spokesman last year said that the Wallace family had agreed to put their legal action against the city of LA on hold mainly because of fears it was hindering that investigation. Quite how much the LAPD has now stepped up its efforts to solve this case based on the mysterious new evidence cited by CNN isn't clear.

back to top


It may be a new year, but this story isn't going away. And while the more pessimistic of recent speculation that US bank Citigroup could take possession of London-based music major EMI before the end of 2010 didn't come to pass, rumour is still rife that the bankers will be in charge at EMI HQ sooner rather than later.

As much previously reported, in order for EMI to meet the covenants of its multi-billion pound loan with Citigroup this spring, the music company will almost certainly need a hundred million plus cash injection from its owners Terra Firma, the equity group which landed the music firm with such a big bank debt in the first place, when it acquired the company back in 2007.

Terra Firma made a similar cash injection to keep EMI afloat last spring, but it was widely rumoured at the time that, while the equity firm's top man Guy Hands remained committed to his big music acquisition, many of his financial backers were less keen.

Following last year's court battle between Terra Firma and Citigroup over the EMI purchase, in which Hands unsuccessfully argued he'd been tricked into buying the music company by the bank, looking rather foolish in the process, gossipers say there is no way the equity chief will persuade his backers to put more cash into the music major this year.

That would mean EMI was in breach of its loan terms and Citigroup could seize ownership. Some City commentators are now saying that turn of events is so inevitable that Terra Firma is preparing to hand over the music major early, perhaps negotiating to keep a minority stake so that when the bank inevitably sells the music company it can recoup some of the billion odd pounds it has lost via its big EMI adventure.

Yesterday, The Observer cited a "well-placed City source" as saying Citigroup is likely to get control of EMI within six weeks. The source told the broadsheet "the endgame is fast approaching, Guy's backers don't want to put any more money into EMI, which means he has to cede control and admit defeat".

There is new speculation too that Citigroup is in talks with Warner Music and KKR, the equity group which owns half of BMG, about buying the constituent parts of EMI. The Observer report suggests that, as has been long assumed, Warner would take the EMI record company, for a mere £400 million, while KKR would buy the more lucrative EMI publishing business, for £1.1 billion, valuing the wider EMI Group at a rather disappointing £1.5 billion.

That said, while such a break up and said respective buyers have long been mooted, some commentators still question whether Warner could find £400 million at this time, even if it would enable its record company to grow to a size more equal to rivals Sony and Universal. And, of course, the boss of the KKR backed music rights company BMG, Hartwig Masuch, told Music Week last month he was more interested in the EMI record company that its publishing catalogues.

Either way, it seems the immediate future of EMI is more uncertain now than ever, the only positive for staffers there being that some sort of resolution regarding the firm's ownership must surely come in the first half of this year.

Meanwhile, I'm sure the news that Hands received a £12 million dividend pay-out from Terra Firma last year will warm the hearts of the average EMIer. It was the first mega pay-out from the equity company to Hands for years, despite 2010 being another tricky twelve months for the firm, albeit arguably more in PR terms than anything else. To be fair, it's thought that Hands has pumped much more of his personal fortune than that into EMI since the 2007 purchase, and that the twelve million he received last year was diverted straight into Mrs Hand's hotel business to help it reduce its debts. So, no big tea party at the Hands' Channel Islands home. Not even biscuits.

back to top

More woes for EMI, with the news it is being sued by a squeaky singing irritant. No, not Justin Bieber, but The Chipmunks. Or, rather, the son of the man who created the animated rodents, and their music and movie franchises.

Ross Bagdasarian, whose father created The Chipmunks in the late 1950s by speeding up his own singing voice, is suing the major over royalties due on a compilation of the animated group's songs. I'm assuming the suit relates to the 2007 edition of 'Still Squeaky After All These Years', which came out via EMI's Capitol division. Bagdasarian claims that a recent audit of royalties due on the album shows that EMI has been underpaying him.

The lawsuit reportedly claims both breach of contract and copyright infringement, presumably meaning Bagdasarian is seeking statutory infringement damages of up to $150,000 for each of the 24 tracks named in the legal papers, in addition to any unpaid royalties he reckons he is owed. Though assuming EMI did properly licence the tracks on the compilation - which seems likely - the case for infringement is arguably weak, even if it can be proven the major has underpaid on royalties.

The new lawsuit isn't the only one relating to The Chipmunks. Bagdasarian is already in the midst of a legal dispute with 20th Century Fox over the profits of last year's Chipmunks movie.

back to top


An American hacker who boasted about hacking into Miley Cyrus's personal MySpace and Gmail accounts back in 2007 has been arrested by the FBI on charges of possessing unauthorised credit card account numbers. And it seems that it was by boasting online, and to the media, that it was him who leaked revealing shots of Cyrus onto the internet in 2008 that brought Josh Holly to the attention of the Feds in the first place.

Holly, who worked for a spam-based online advertising company, admitted he hacked into the pop star's MySpace account from where he accessed passwords for her Gmail account, where he found the revealing photos that he promptly posted online. When interviewed by FBI agents, Holly not only formally confessed hacking Cyrus's online assets, but reportedly admitted to routinely hacking the social media and webmail accounts of other celebrities in order to harvest emails for his spamming work.

According to Perez Hilton, the FBI first started investigating Holly because of his admissions regarding the Cyrus hack. Although not as yet charged in relation to that hacking, the authorities seized Holly's computer as part of their investigations and found the illegally held credit card numbers. The hacker was arrested and charged last week and then released on bail.

back to top


Online file distribution service RapidShare has won another copyright case in the German courts in which it was accused of doing too little to stop its file-sharing network from being used to distribute infringing content.

As previously reported, the use of file distribution services like RapidShare to move unlicensed content around the internet is a growing concern in the music, movie, publishing and software industries, and RapidShare seems to have become a particular target for litigation. Most cases have been filed in the German courts, with RapidShare itself being based in Switzerland.

German court rulings have been a little inconsistent in deciding whether or not RapidShare is doing enough to stop its service from being used to distribute unlicensed content. Some have said the tech firm is obliged under copyright law to introduce stricter filters to stop unlicensed content being distributed, while others have ruled RapidShare's current anti-piracy measures - which many content owners would argue are minimal - are sufficient. In the latest case a first instance court said the former while an appeal court has said the latter.

This one is actually a gaming case. Atari sued RapidShare over the distribution of its 'Alone In The Dark' games on the Swiss firm's network. The primary copyright infringers, of course, were the individuals who uploaded the gaming software to the RapidShare system, but Atari argued there was a case for contributory infringement against the web firm as well because of its failure to stop the illegal distribution of the game franchise via its servers.

A lower court in Dusseldorf sided with the gaming company, ruling that RapidShare had to do much more to filter out Atari's content from its networks in order to avoid liability for copyright infringement. But RapidShare appealed and, according to a statement from the web company issued last week, it has won that appeal. The web firm said in a statement: "The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf acknowledged RapidShare's efforts against the distribution of material that is protected by copyright and deemed the additional measures required by Atari to be unreasonable or pointless".

RapidShare's lawyer Daniel Raimer told reporters: "The ruling demonstrates once again that RapidShare is operating a fully legal range and has taken measures against the misuse of its service which go beyond the level that is legally required. We are confident that copyright holders will gradually come to accept this conclusion".

Atari is yet to respond. It remains to be seen whether this case sets any precedents in other copyright challenges against RapidShare, including ongoing disputes between them and German collecting society GEMA.

back to top


Another interesting court ruling last week came from America's Court Of Appeals For the Ninth Circuit, where a long running dispute between a record seller and Universal Music regarding the resale of promo CDs was being considered. As previously reported, Universal took exception to Troy Augusto reselling promo CDs via eBay and took legal action against him back in 2007 on copyright grounds.

But Augusto said he was not sent the promo CDs directly from labels, instead he had bought them from second hand music stores, which had presumably in turn bought them from DJs or journalists selling unwanted promos on to earn some extra cash. This meant, his lawyers argued, that he was covered by the so called 'first sale' principle of US copyright law.

This says that if someone buys a legitimate copy of a copyrighted work, that someone can then sell that particular copy on to another person, and profit from the sale if they can, and there is nothing the copyright owner can do - ie once the 'first sale' has happened of any one copy, the copyright owner cannot control subsequent resale of the copy.

But Universal said this principle didn't apply on promo CDs that carried the 'promotional copy not for resale' slogan, even once you were two or three steps down the resale chain. But in 2008, at first instance, the US courts did not concur, finding in Augusto's favour. Universal's appeal reached court last June, and the appeals court announced its ruling last week. And it too sided with the eBay seller.

So, take that Universal. The major does still have further routes of appeal on this one - either by asking for second hearing in the Ninth Circuit court, or going straight to the Supreme Court, but doing so would be costly and time consuming.

And given victory in a higher court is by no means assured, and this case, after all, relates to the relatively small scale resale of promo CDs, which is likely to die out anyway in the next few years as labels move to digital promos, taking this case any further would be rather foolish. Then again, pursuing the case in the first place was pretty foolish, so further appeals could as yet be launched.

back to top

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch has issued a statement regarding his current condition following those reports last week that doctors had given him the all-clear regarding his recent cancer. He says that while his treatment is going well, the "all-clear" reports were exaggerated.

Says Yauch: "While I'm grateful for all the positive energy people are sending my way, reports of my being totally cancer free are exaggerated. I'm continuing treatment, staying optimistic and hoping to be cancer free in the near future".

As previously reported, the Beastie Boys will release a new album this spring, though promotional and touring activity is tbc depending on Yauch's health.

back to top

The original three female singers in Boney M reunited on stage for the first time since 1986 this weekend to pay tribute to the disco group's sort of frontman Bobby Farrell, who died over the Christmas holidays aged 61.

Originally harking from the Dutch-owned Caribbean island of Aruba, Farrell was working mainly as a DJ in Germany in the early seventies before meeting songwriter, producer and Boney M creator Frank Farian.

Recruited mainly for his dancing skills and on stage presence, Farrell didn't actually appear on the classic Boney M recordings, where the male vocals were recorded by Farian himself. However, Farrell became the public face of the disco band during their late seventies/early eighties height, and he did perform the group's hits on stage and on some later re-recordings of their songs.

There were various concurrent incarnations of Boney M in more recent years, some involving Farrell. When in died he was in St Petersburg in Russia where he had just performed such a gig. Russian authorities last week confirmed Farrell had been suffering from heart disease and that he died from an illness linked to that condition. Farrell's agent had previously revealed the singer complained of breathing problems shortly after his St Petersburg show.

Despite the fluid nature of the Boney M line-up, and the fact it was Farian who sang on the hits, when his original bandmates, Liz Mitchell, Maizie Williams and Marcia Barret, performed in Amsterdam on Saturday night they proclaimed that "without Bobby, there is no Boney M", adding "we will miss you, and your dance moves".

Farrell's coffin was on display at the memorial event, attended by some 400 mourners and Farrell's daughter Zanillya. After the event his coffin was driven to Amsterdam's Zorgvlied cemetery.

back to top

So, as pretty much expected, that Jessie J chick topped the BBC's annual Sound Of poll for 2011 on Friday, meaning she is the act most hotly tipped for success by the British music pundit brigade this coming year.

Like Ellie Goulding this time last year, Jessie J has topped both the BBC's Sound Of poll and won the BRITs Critics Choice award for tipped new talent. Though that's possibly not surprising, given both the BBC and the BRITs probably consult pretty much the same bunch of pundits.

The final five in the Sound Of 2011 poll looked like this:

1. Jessie J
2. James Blake
3. The Vaccines
4. Jamie Woon
5. Clare Maguire

back to top


Elsewhere in pop surveys, Peter Andre has been named the hardest working man in British pop by PRS For Music, which defines such a thing in terms of the number of arena concerts played in any one year. It seems Andre played more arena dates than anyone else in 2010, with 100,000 fans showing up to his 38 date 'Revelation' tour. I'm saying nothing.

The next busiest arena giggers in the UK last year were Status Quo, JLS, Westlife and Rod Stewart, which can only mean that lady pop stars are very lazy. In a similar poll for smaller venue gigs one lady did appear, Ellie Goulding, who sits just behind Example on that list, and alongside Tinie Tempah.

And now a quote from Peter Andre: "Nothing beats performing live. Performing in front of thousands of fans is my ultimate experience so I'm delighted to get this recognition from PRS For Music".

back to top

Canadian songwriter and producer David Foster, who has worked with a stack of a-list music talent over the years, mainly in North America, including Earth Wind & Fire, Cher, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Madonna, Josh Groban, Michael Jackson and Prince, not to mention scoring eighties movies like 'St Elmo's Fire' and 'The Secret Of My Success', has entered into a business deal with US-based independent music publisher Peermusic.

As part of the deal, Peermusic will take a majority stake in Foster's catalogue of over 500 songs, and in his various businesses, including Foster Frees Music, Air Bear Music and One Four Three Music. It will also exclusively represent Foster's future work in the publishing domain. The new deal, the terms of which have not been disclosed, expand on an existing fifteen year relationship between the producer and publishing firm.

back to top

Badly Drawn Boy, or Damon Gough if you prefer, will release a brand new single next week, but it's not for any of you LA twats OK, you can just fuck off.

The new single, 'I Saw You Walk Away', comes from the album 'It's What I'm Thinking Part 1 - Photographing Snowflakes', which was released last October. The download-only single release, like the album, comes via Gough's own label One Last Fruit, with a Denis Jones remix available in one bundle, and a bunch of live tracks in another recorded in Manchester and Glasgow, including one - 'Time Of Times' - that is a duet with his nine year old daughter Edi.

No tracks will be included from that previously reported LA gig just before Christmas where, after his audience got a bit restless after sound problems, Gough lost his temper somewhat, ranting thus: "Fuck off if you don't want to be here, fuck off you LA twats".

We should add, Gough did subsequently apologise for his outburst, though not to the twats. He later told fans: "I don't feel I owe an apology to those who heckled but I want to profusely apologise to those caught in the crossfire, especially a guy who had to leave with his young daughter and all of you who stuck by me to help turn things around".

back to top


Post-rockers Vessels will release their second album 'Helioscope' on 21 Mar, preceded by a UK tour in February. To get you in the mood for both the new long player and the live shows, the band have posted a live performance of one of the songs from the album, 'The Trap', on da internet here:


back to top

The hotly tipped The Naked & Famous have announced a UK tour for February, which will precede the release of new single 'Young Blood' on 7 Mar and debut album 'Passive Me, Aggressive You' on 14 Mar. Dates are as written down here:

15 Feb: London, Heaven
17 Feb: Sheffield, Leadmill
18 Feb: Nottingham, Bodega
20 Feb: Glasgow, ABC 2
22 Feb: Liverpool, Shipping Forecast
23 Feb: Oxford, Jericho
24 Feb: Cambridge, ARU
26 Feb: Southampton, Unit
28 Feb: Birmingham Academy 3
1 Mar: York, Fibbers
2 Mar: Leeds, Cockpit 2

back to top

LIVE REVIEW: Saint Etienne at The Forum in London on 18 Dec
On a day when London is blanketed by snow and transport failures cause misery and chaos for thousands, to quote the news, it seems a safe bet that this gig would be cancelled. But this is a Christmas shindig, and you can't just rearrange one of those for March, so the show must go on, and indeed it does. It's a measure of how much the trio are loved by their fans that the Forum sees a solid turn out despite the weather and the whole evening feels like a festive party with your favourite friends.

As such, it's basically a greatest hits affair, although we do get one new song, the fizzy 'DJ', and two album tracks from 1991's 'Foxbase Alpha', with 'Girl VII' feeling even more magical when it's heard in the capital, as Sarah Cracknell coos its list of places including Gospel Oak, Chalk Farm and London Fields.

Three songs also got an airing from the group's fan club only Christmas album 'A Glimpse Of Stocking' (which was released last November and, like Phil Spector's 'A Christmas Gift To You' before it, is an essential Yuletide listen): the sparkly 'Gonna Have A Party', a lovely, curled-up-by-the-fire 'Driving Home For Christmas' (which eeks out previously unrealised melancholy from Chris Rea's jaunty festive staple) and, inevitably, 'I Was Born on Christmas Day', which wraps up the evening perfectly.

Now, where's that new album? MS

back to top

Artist and label services company [PIAS] has announced a revamp of its recordings division, which includes, amongst other things, a revival of the label that gave the wider organisation its name in the first place, albeit in an acronymic fashion. I am talking, of course, about Play It Again Sam, the record company originally founded by Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot in 1983, and the forerunner of what is today the whole [PIAS] empire.

From today [PIAS] Recordings will have three main labels within it, with the relaunched Play It Again Sam sitting alongside electro label Different Recordings and the eclectic pop operation that is Wall Of Sound, which has been part of the [PIAS] group since 2006, and the company's main label operation in the UK for sometime.

Wall Of Sound founder Mark Jones will be A&R Director for the whole [PIAS] Recordings division, reporting into MD Edwin Schroter. Meanwhile Jo Horton, formerly of both Warner Music and Bella Union, will become Label Manager for the new Play It Again Sam set up.

Confirming the revamp, Schroter told CMU: "[PIAS] has always been committed to artist and repertoire development, whether through our own labels or those of others. Play It Again Sam has such a rich history having represented so many amazing and influential artists. I'm extremely excited and determined to create a new and exciting chapter for the Play It Again Sam label which, together with our other two other in-house labels, provides us with an important artist development opportunity in these dynamic times".

Jones added: "It's with great pride and passion that I'm taking on the new role of overseeing the Play It Again Sam and Different labels in addition to Wall Of Sound. My label experience has brought me in touch with all kinds of amazing and talented artists and I'm very excited to be opening up a new musical treasure chest. There's only two types of music for me... good... and bad".

back to top


Recording rights collecting society PPL now has a year to agree royalty rates with the not-for-profit sector after a provision in UK copyright law that said such organisations only had to pay royalties to publishers when they played music in public was axed at the start of the month.

PPL, which represents recording artists and labels, has been lobbying for sometime to have the royalty exemption for not-for-profits - which benefits charities, village halls and council buildings, amongst other organisations - removed, bringing the UK royalty system in line with the rest of Europe. Until now not-for-profit set-ups only needed public performance licences from PRS, which represents songwriters and music publishers, of course.

Presumably aware that lobbying for a change in copyright law that will create a new financial burden for charities comes with a few PR challenges, PPL boss man Fran Nevrkla was keen to stress that for him this was a point of principle rather than a bid to create a lucrative new revenue stream - ie that recording artists and record labels should enjoy the same royalty benefits as both their counterparts in Europe, and in the songwriting and publishing communities.

Nevrkla told Music Week: "From a business point of view the countless artificial exceptions and exclusions in existence [in UK copyright law] gave the excuse to many licensees to avoid payment for use of sound recordings. I was not prepared to accept a situation which meant that the rights of our constituents, both the performers and the record labels, were being constantly downgraded".

With the government's Department Of Business Innovation And Skills having amended UK copyright laws on this matter as of 1 Jan there will now be a year's grace period during which time PPL and affected groups will have to agree rates and such like. It is anticipated that a blanket licence will be available for the village halls and community centres used by many smaller not-for-profit organisations, so they themselves will not have to get a licence directly.

back to top

So, it was the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, and I think it's fair to say the music-related announcements were somewhat low-key this time round, with most attention being given to yet more tedious 3D video nonsense, net-connected tellies and the post-iPad revival of the tablet computer.

So much so, the biggest music-related event of the proceedings this time round was actually designed to sell cameras. At last year's CES, Lady Gaga was appointed Creative Director of Polaroid. I don't know how much creative directing she's being doing around Polaroid HQ in the subsequent twelve months, but she ensured the camera firm plenty of press last week by showing up in Vegas to demo the firm's rather snazzy new sun-specs-camera, yes, a pair of sunglasses that can take and display photos. Very Gaga.

There were, however, some CES announcements more directly linked to music products. US-based streaming music firm MOG, which is still planning a UK launch, announced that its mobile app would soon be preloaded on a selection of 4G smartphones sold by American tel co Verizon Wireless. The partnership will also mean Verizon customers can opt to pay their ten dollars a month MOG subscription via their phone bill rather than their credit card.

Said MOG man David Hyman: "The additional speed and bandwidth that Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network provides will make for an enhanced MOG experience. Users will be delighted by the high-quality sound and speed in which their favourite music is delivered. It's exciting to broaden MOG's reach and provide users with the ultimate listening experience. We're pleased to be aligned with a company such as Verizon Wireless".

Another US-based streaming service, the previously reported Rdio, which confirmed a partnership with Twitter last month, used CES to announce a new tie-up with Sonos which will see the Rdio service added to devices made by the consumer electronics company. I'm not sure of the specifics, though it may be similar to Spotify's tie up with the electronics firm, which makes the European streaming service work on Sonos's multi-room net-connected home hi-fi system.

Rdio's other big announcement last week (though slightly too late for CES, I think) was that it has done a licensing deal with indie label consortium Merlin, which had previously been conspicuous by its absence from the streaming service. Rdio launched with the four majors and the smaller indie aggregators on board, but not the bigger independent labels represented by Merlin.

Finally in music-related CES gubbins, musical metadata experts Gracenote announced the next generation of its Discover music recommendation technology, which uses all sorts of info about tracks to recommend similar music to users. The new Discover will tap into ever more data to make ever more advanced recommendations. Plus, via a hook up with Getty Images, it will also be able to suggest what pictures will complement a song best. Or something like that. I'm pretty sure that's what they said, though now I've written it down that sounds a bit daft.

Gracenote, of course, sells its technology to digital music providers rather than consumers direct, and also announced last week that the first company to use the new Discover technology will be London-based Omnifone. Says Omnifone boss Rob Lewis: "Gracenote Discover guides the consumer through the vast catalogue of repertoire provided by Omnifone's unlimited music services. Partnering with Gracenote enables us to provide users with relevant and engaging music choices for channel based services and 'you might like' recommendations".

And that's enough CES nonsense, I reckon. I wonder if our man out there will bring another Vegas snow storm back with him for the office collection.

back to top

Until recently it was Aerosmith's guitar man Joe Perry who was constantly complaining about frontman Steven Tyler's unavailability to record new music or go on tour, so much so Perry was considering finding a new frontman for the band. But now Tyler says it's Perry who has gone AWOL preventing Aerosmith from getting back into the studio.

Tyler told Rolling Stone: "I'm trying to rally the guys together. We're having trouble getting Joe. I don't know where he is, but [if he's reading this, he should] just come down to LA at the end of January sometime. I've had enough downtime. As far as Joe goes, look, the guy's got LSD - Lead Strummer Disorder. We've been brothers forever. He's just going through his thing. I think the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of unrecorded Joe Perry licks floating around in the ether somewhere".

Commenting on recent acrimony between the bandmates, most recently seen with Perry's criticism of Tyler's decision to become a judge on 'American Idol', the Aerosmith frontman continued: "We just have to get together and put the shit together. That's all. We're all musicians, and what does that say for itself? We're like peripheral visionaries. We don't see what's in front of us more often than not. We see what's off to the sides. I just need to get them all together and put it together to be a band that is. That's all".

back to top


Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Ronnie Mitchell
Child Care

  If you want to stop receiving this e-bulletin click the safe unsubscribe button at the bottom of this email and follow the instructions.

If you want to change the email address where you receive the CMU Daily, or to opt for the text-only version, click the update profile button at the bottom and follow the instructions.

If friends or colleagues want to receive the CMU Daily tell them to email their name, company, job title + email to [email protected], or to visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/subscribe

  CMU Publisher and Business Editor Chris Cooke is available if you need independent industry comment for your media on any developments in the music business or music media, or the wider music world.

Chris regularly gives interviews on music business topics, and has done so for the likes of BBC News Channel, BBC World, BBC 5Live, Radio 4, Sky News, CNN and the Associated Press. Email [email protected] or call 020 7099 9050 for more details.

CMU music business expertise is also available on a consulting basis via UnLimited Consulting, click here for more information, email [email protected] to discuss a project.

  Email press releases or random news to [email protected]

Email suggestions for CMU Approved to [email protected]

Email suggestions for Club Tip to [email protected]

To suggest bands for the Same Six Questions
email [email protected]

To discuss advertising and sponsorship opportunities email [email protected]

If you would like to syndicate our content email [email protected]

If you have a complaint email [email protected]

Send CDs for review to CMU, UnLimited Media, 221-222 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ.


Concept and content © UnLimited Publishing.

Published by UnLimited Publishing, a division of UnLimited Media,

Floor 3 Unicorn House, 221-222 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ.

UnLimited Publishing also publish ThreeWeeks, ThisWeek in London and CreativeStudent.net.

UnLimited Creative provides design, content, digital and communication services.

UnLimited Insights provides media, music and communications training.

UnLimited Consulting provides music, media, culture + youth expertise.