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Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
Top Stories
Could Terra Firma buy EMI back off the bank?
In The Pop Courts
Warner boss fined for insider dealing at Universal parent firm
Katherine Jackson stands by her AEG Live lawsuit
Awards & Contests
IMPALA launches awards
Artist Deals
BMG signs Yusuf Islam
Release News
Remastered Suede albums to be released
New Young Knives
Festival News
Fringe programme announced for Camden Crawl
EP Review: Dave Id - Gangs EP (!K7/Off The Uncertain Button)
Brands & Stuff
New girl group announce partnership with rubgy team
Ralph Lauren celebrates OneRepublic partnership at Sundance
The Music Business
Vivendi boss: Governments should do more on piracy
Imagem does deals with Epitaph man
The Digital Business
Major label reps talk up Sony's streaming service
Omnifone announces GEMA deal
DDEX extends membership
The Media Business
Bristol's Star Radio to become The Breeze too
YouView could be delayed until 2012
And finally...
Canadian regulator calls for review of Money For Nothing ban

Hello and good morning. Or afternoon, if you're reading this later in the day. Maybe that's how you choose to live your life. Whatever, hello. How are you? This morning is an unusual Monday because, for the first time, as well as being able to read words that I've written, you can also hear words that I have spoken. That's right, as promised last week, the first CMU podcast went online on Friday. You will find that in streaming and downloadable form here. But before you go and listen to that, let's take a look at what's coming up this week.

01: First Great Escape band announcement. Obviously, we've been banging on about the conference section of The Great Escape in recent weeks – that being the part we're programming – but let's not forget that they have bands there, too. Lots of bands. More than 300 of the world's most promising new bands. Last year I saw the likes of Warpaint, Hurts, Darwin Deez and Esben And The Witch on stages far smaller than those they now command. The first line-up announcement of bands playing this year's festival will arrive this week. Stay tuned for conference announcements in the near future, too.

02: ACS:Law back in court. For a boring story about copyright law technicalities, this whole ACS:Law thing isn't half entertaining. The legal firm's main man Andrew Crossley, of course, has been making a living by writing letters to people who may or may not have downloaded files illegally and demanding damages from them. He most notably works for porn companies, though there are a few smaller music and film clients on his books too. Many people have settled with ACS out of court, but now that a few cases have reached a judge Crossley's legal arguments and process is being severely questioned. The latest hearing is due to take place this week. We're hoping Crossley will show up this time. Fun.

03: Crime At Major Music Festivals conference. Not a conference for criminals, rather one for festival bigwigs who want to stop thieves from making their ticket-holders' lives a misery. So, that's nice. Organised by Festival Republic, this is the third time the summit has taken place and will allow festival promoters, security companies and police forces to meet to discuss how they can further step up crime prevention at major music events. A key topic to be discussed at tomorrow's forum will be how festival promoters and police forces around the country can better share intelligence regarding criminals who tour the festival circuit.

04: New releases. Adele takes the prize for the biggest release this week, I think. Her second album, '21', goes on sale today and is very likely to be near the top of the album chart on Sunday. Also out are new albums from Iron & Wine, Joan As Police Woman, Cold War Kids, Gang Of Four and Harrys Gym, plus a compilation of Blue Note legends (called 'Blue Note Legends'), an EP from Modestep and a re-issue of 'This Nation's Saving Grace' by The Fall.

05: Gigs. There are some good bands knocking about the place this week, who you might want to go and see play live. That very popular poppy pop type Bruno Mars will be playing an album launch show at the Café de Paris in London tonight. Very swish. Also playing one-off shows in London are Shea Seger, who plays The Borderline tomorrow night after ten years of being AWOL, and the fantastic Losers, who headline The Lexington on Friday night. On tour around the UK you'll find Band Of Horses, Jack Beats and The Shoes, all of whom will ensure you have a kickass time. Yes, I said "kickass time", I do apologise.

There we go. That's plenty to be getting on with. Now, I'm off to try to make that podcast appear in iTunes. Well, I'm going to kick someone and make them do it for me, but it amounts to the same thing, I think.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
Detroit-based multi-instrumentalist Alex Winston is a trained opera singer. The cynic in me always nudges my ribs at this stage and warns me that I shouldn't take any interest in this sort of fact. I don't now how far she got with her training, maybe she only went to one lesson. But the cynic in me can piss off, because I love the idea of people with any sort of classical training – especially opera - going into quirky pop music. Okay, at 21 it's unlikely she'd carved out any sort of career in opera, but that doesn't stop me imagining her breaking off in the middle of an aria and screaming, "No! I may have trained my whole life for this, but have another calling!"

Now, I'm absolutely sure that's not what happened, and right now I'm trying to block out my memory of Charlotte Church's career, but it's a nice thought nonetheless. And I'm sure opera has had some influence on Winston's unusual voice. Perhaps not noticeably, though. In fact, there are a huge number of far more blatant influences that I'm sure we could all write down on a piece of paper while listening to her MySpace page. Still, her debut single, 'Choice Notes', which was released last year, and new mini-album, 'Sister Wife', out on 7 Feb, show much promise. You can also catch her supporting Egyptian Hip Hop at Bush Hall in London on Thursday.


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We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:

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For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training

If and when - and everyone still seems to think it's "when" - Citigroup seizes ownership of EMI from Guy Hands' equity outfit Terra Firma later this spring, one of the potential buyers for the London-based music major that they may enter into negotiations with might be, erm, Guy Hands' equity outfit Terra Firma. Well, that's according to the Mail On Sunday.

As much previously reported, EMI will need a new £100 million cash injection from Terra Firma this spring if it is to meet financial performance covenants linked to a three billion pound debt to Citigroup, a debt created by the equity firm when it bought the music major in 2007. Everyone seems convinced Terra Firma's backers won't let Hands provide any new cash injection, allowing Citigroup, under the terms of its loan to EMI, to take control of and then sell the music company.

It's long been mooted that, if and when such a sale occurred, Warner Music would bid for the EMI record company, while BMG co-owners KKR would buy the EMI music publishing operation. Though that prediction has been confused in recent months, partly because BMG boss Hartwig Masuch has expressed an interest in the EMI recordings catalogue rather that its publishing business, and partly because Warner Music's owners have hired bankers Goldman Sachs to investigate the possibility of selling some or all their company to KKR.

That said, it is thought Citigroup is still talking to both Warner Music (via Goldman Sachs) and KKR about them buying some or all of EMI. But now, the Mail says, Terra Firma itself has also been invited to bid to buy the music firm back. Given it is thought EMI will fetch about £1.5 billion in any 2011 sale, that would basically enable the equity group to keep ownership of the music firm while cutting its debt liabilities in half.

Of course, such a deal would only really be of value to Hands and his backers if they believed EMI had the potential to double in value in the next few years. So that a future sale of the company could pay back both the £1.5 billion needed to buy the firm from Citigroup now, and the £1.5 billion Terra Firma has already sunk into the music company.

Even if Hands himself really does buy EMI CEO Roger Faxon's grand plan for turning the company around, it's doubtful his backers would be willing to take such a risk, even with the carrot that such a deal might allow them to claw back that investment they have made into EMI to date, an investment that they will be forced to write off when Citigroup takes control.

But if the bankers seizing control of EMI later this year did result in this kind of deal, well, that would be an extraordinary turn of events, especially given the ongoing acrimony between Terra Firma and the US bank stemming from last year's court battle over the latter's role in the former's 2007 purchase of the music major. And if, as the Mail claims, such a deal is even a possibility, well, perhaps EMI will still exist as a stand alone business led by Faxon by the end of the year after all.

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Warner Music big boss man Edgar Bronfman Jr has been fined a neat five million euros after being found guilty of insider trading by the French courts in relation to his time as Vice-Chairman of Universal Music parent company Vivendi between 2000 and 2002.

As previously reported, Bronfman Jr became Vice-Chair of and the largest shareholder in Vivendi after the French conglom bought his Seagram entertainment company - aka Universal - in 2000. Vivendi acquired the various Universal companies as part of a massive acquisition spree led by then CEO Jean-Marie Messier. It was a period of rapid growth that backfired, and almost drove the French firm into the ground. After Messier was fired many of Vivendi's previous acquisitions, including most of the Universal companies (but not Universal Music) had to be sold off.

Messier was accused of misleading his investors as the Vivendi empire began to spin into oblivion, and the criminal case against him reached the French courts last year, despite a Parisian prosecutor recommending the case be dropped, Messier having already been investigated and fined by the French financial regulator.

Bronfman Jr was caught up in the same criminal case because he was accused of using insider information he received as Vice-Chair of Vivendi to sell his shares in the firm at just the right time, ie before oblivion day. Bronfman Jr - now boss of Warner Music, of course - denies any wrongdoing.

But on Friday both he and Messier were found guilty of dodgy dealings. Messier was given a three year suspended sentence and fined 150,000 euros for misleading investors, while Bronfman Jr was given an eighteen month suspended sentence and the very steep five million euros fine for insider trading.

Both men have already confirmed their intent to appeal the rulings. Bronfman Jr told reporters on Friday: "I will appeal today's decision to the Paris court of appeal and continue to vigorously defend myself against this charge. As I have consistently stated, my trades were proper".

A spokesman for Warner Music said the firm's board of directors were disappointed with the decision, but continued to fully support Bronfman.

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Katherine Jackson has challenged a motion by live music giant AEG Live to dismiss her lawsuit that accuses them of liability for the premature death of her son Michael Jackson.

AEG Live, of course, was the promoter of the doomed 'This Is It' O2 residency that Jackson was rehearsing for when he died in June 2009. Mrs Jackson says the company is in part liable for her son's death because it hired the personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, who administered the shot of Propofol that killed the late king of pop. The criminal negligence case against Murray is ongoing.

But AEG maintains that Murray was hired at Michael Jackson's insistence, and that the medic reported direct to the singer even though AEG was paying his bills. Therefore, it says, the company is in no way liable for his actions, and Mrs Jackson's legal claim should be dismissed as a result.

But the Jackson matriarch has defended her lawsuit, insisting the promoter had regular contact with Murray in the run up to her son's death, and that part of his brief from the live music firm was to ensure Jackson could attend rehearsals and perform, for which he received $150,000 a month.

The implication is that Murray was instructed to use whatever means necessary to ensure Jackson could perform. Her lawsuit adds: "AEG should have known that the course of treatment being administered by Dr Murray was unorthodox and unsafe".

Elsewhere in Jackson litigation news, the Michael Jackson estate is suing Canadian businessman Howard Mann, a business associate of Katherine's who has been pursuing various Jacko ventures since the singer's death. The estate argues that these ventures infringe intellectual property rights that it administers, and is suing to try and stop all of Mann's Jackson-related projects.

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Pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA has announced details of two new annual awards it is launching as part of is tenth anniversary celebrations this year. It presented one and announced a shortlist for the second during the MIDEM junket in Cannes this weekend.

The first is an outstanding contribution to independent music prize, the first winner of which is Mario Pacheco, the Spanish record producer and label owner who died last November after a long career as a key player in Spain's indie label community. Through his Nuevos Medios record label, Pacheco worked with a string of new wave and jazz musicians, including a number of British artists, but was probably best known defining the "new flamenco" movement in his home country and beyond.

The second is a Mercury-style European Independent Album Of The Year prize, for which indie releases from across Europe will be eligible. A shortlist of twenty long players was announced this weekend, with the overall winner due to be confirmed in February. The short list is as follows:

Aeroplane - We Can't Fly (Eskimo Recordings)
Dubioza Kolektiv - 5 Do 12 (Menart)
Bambi Molesters - As The Dark Wave Swells (Dancing Bear)
Arryan Path - Terra Incognita Pitch (Black Records)
Efterklang - Magic Chairs (Rumraket/4AD)
Paleface - Helsinki Shangri-la (XO Records)
Various Artists - Nonplace: 10th Anniversary Edition (Nonplace Records)
Irie Rock Trio - Kickout (CLS Music)
Caro Emerald - Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor (Grand Mono)
Bjørn Eidsvag - Rundt Neste Sving (Petroleum Records)
Delorean - Subiza (Mushroom Pillow)
The Concretes - WYWH (Licking Fingers)
The National - High Violet (4AD)
Agnes Obel - Philharmonics (PIAS)
Skunk Anansie - Wonderlustre (EARmusic)
Field Music - Field Music (Measure) (Memphis Industries)
Feloche - La Vie Cajun (Ya Basta Records)
Underworld - Barking (Cooking Vinyl)
El Guincho - Pop Negro (Young Turks)
Junip - Fields (City Slang)

Commenting on the outstanding contribution award, IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith told CMU: "Mario Pacheco was an inspiration to artists and labels across Europe. He had an innovative approach in whatever he did. He will be sorely missed". On the album prize shortlist she added: "These awards recognise talent and great music irrespective of sales. The 20 albums demonstrate the diversity of the European independent sector and are a great start to this European Mercury-style award".

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BMG has signed up that Yusuf Islam fella to an exclusive worldwide publishing deal which will see the North American division of the acquisitive music rights company administrate and represent the singer songwriter's entire songs catalogue past, present and future. The deal includes Islam's 1970s output as Cat Stevens and his more recent projects too.

Confirming the arrangement, BMG's North America COO Richard Blackstone told CMU: "To say that we are very excited to work with Yusuf is an understatement. His music has always been an essential part of our musical foundation. He remains a treasured and unique storyteller, reaching us with his inspired melodies. We look forward to supporting him in this next stage of his career as he shares his newest stories with a new generation of artists and music lovers".

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Suede have announced they will release remastered versions of their five studio albums in June, following a three night residency at the Brixton Academy in May during which they will perform three of the long players in full. The new version of the albums will come with the customary previously unreleased extras and previously-unseen DVD footage.

Says Mr Frontman Brett Anderson: "This is the definitive collection of pretty much everything we released in fourteen years together and includes unreleased, never-before-heard oddities and gems which even I'd forgotten about. It's the complete audio history of a band and it's flawed, strange and sometimes beautiful".

The May shows will see the band play the following albums on the following dates. Tickets for these go on sale at the end of the week...

19 May: Suede
20 May: Dog Man Star
21 May: Coming Up

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Young Knives' third (or fourth, or fifth, depending what you count) album, 'Ornaments From The Silver Arcade', will hit stores on 4 Apr, it has been announced. The new record will come out via PIAS and Gadzöök.

According to the press release, for this album, produced in LA by Nick Launay (Talking Heads, Grinderman, Yeah Yeah Yeahs), "instruments were swapped in rehearsals; new instruments were introduced and songs were approached from multiple directions ... the band filtered into the recordings their love of dance music in all its myriad forms and pushed the experimental button at the right times with nods to the motorik influences of krautrock".

If you're unable to imagine what that might sound like you'll have to wait for the April release or the UK tour set to accompany it.

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Organisers of the Camden Crawl have announced details of some of the daytime 'fringe' events that will take place during this year's festival, which sees even more comedy, theatre and other such artistic nonsense thrown into the mix as the Crawl becomes even more of a cross-arts event.

On the comedy side a bunch of Edinburgh Fringe promoters will host stages, with Best Medicine, the guys behind Edinburgh's Five Pound Fringe, taking over The Wheelbarrow, Get Comedy at the Lock 17 Canalside Bar, Phil McIntyre Entertainments at the Lyttleton Arms and Really Lovely Comedy at The Camden Head, while two regular London comedy nights, Fat Tuesday and Old Rope, will also stage special Crawl events.

Elsewhere Bang Said The Gun will be doing the stand up poetry thing, Litro Live will present a mix of spoken word type entertainments, there'll be magical goings on at The Enterprise, and the marvellous John Robb, long time music journalist and Goldblade frontman, will be interviewing various music types on stage at The Bucks Head.

And this is just the start. Full details of Fringe events already confirmed can be found on the Camden Crawl website over there at www.thecamdencrawl.com

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EP REVIEW: Dave ID - Gangs EP (!K7/Off The Uncertain Button)
From the knife sharpening sounds on the opening track ('Only Me I Can Save') through to the dystopian south London aggro on 'Memory Loss', there's a feeling Dave (if that is his real name) has been listening to These New Puritans' rightly acclaimed 'Hidden' album, although he's been around for a few years too, so maybe it's simply a case of two highly talented acts emerging with a similar attitude at the same time, with the angst and uncertainty of our (fucked up) times being reflected by the music.

Amid the swirling atmospherics and clattering militarised percussion, there are yelps of anguish in the tormented vocals, which suggests Dave is a serious young man indeed, though he does know his way around a memorable tune, thankfully.

'Marvel' has a kind of mutated dubstep beat that you'd probably find on an Autechre album, but elsewhere it's just as industrial as the rest of the EP, which frequently calls to mind Alec Empire jamming with PIL in a crackhouse at the edge of the universe. Or Thom Yorke fronting a less electronic, more stoned version of Detachments.

Apocalyptic, decidedly gloomy post-punk this may be, but it's intriguing stuff and makes for compelling, invigorating listening. MS

Physical release: 31 Jan

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A new girl group called Fanfair has entered into a marketing partnership with the London Irish Rugby Club, and will be utilising the rugby team's various communication channels to promote their music. Amongst other things, the group will perform at all London Irish home matches, and record a cover of one of the club's anthems, the Thin Lizzy track 'The Boys Are Back In Town'.

The whole thing has been conceived by 84 World, a marketing and talent agency with links in both the entertainment and sports sectors, and which has former Syco exec Dan Parker on its management team. Commenting on the tie up between his latest pop creation and the London rugby team, he told CMU: "I am delighted to announce this groundbreaking co-marketing partnership with London Irish. With the club having such fantastic values and a global support base it is a wonderful opportunity and one that is mutually beneficial".

London Irish CEO Andy Martin added: "Finding fresh ways to promote rugby in order to win new supporters and boost attendances at games is vital for the future of the sport. Collaborating with a brand new group that is just about to hit the UK charts offers us the perfect opportunity to bring rugby to the attention of untapped audiences. We hope that our existing supporters will also enjoy the benefit of even better match day entertainment".

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Ralph Lauren threw an interactive, tweeted-up party for American pop rock types and sometime Timbaland collaborators OneRepublic at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend as part of an ongoing brand partnership between the fashion firm and the band, which kicked off with the latter soundtracking an ad for the former last summer.

A short film created by photographer Bruce Weber and featuring music from OneRepublic was shown at the bash, on day two of the Utah film fest, while the band also played a gig.

They also found time to tell the Wall Street Journal how genuine their partnership with the Ralph Lauren enterprise is, with frontman Ryan Tedder explaining: "Our collaboration wasn't disingenuous. We weren't hawking toasters. We came by it honestly. I've been wearing Ralph Lauren since I was a kid".

So that's that sorted. Though still not entirely sure what a fashion-brand-advertising promo soundtracked by an Interscope-signed rock band has to do with an art house film festival.

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The boss of Vivendi, the French parent company of Universal Music, told MIDEM this weekend that governments around the world needed to step up their efforts to combat piracy.

Being interviewed by FT journalist Ben Fenton at the Cannes music business conference, Jean-Bernard Levy said: "I'm amazed by the continued unavailability of strong legal solutions that could be enforced in most countries in the world". He noted that there had been some progress in some territories, recognising that the Hadopi laws in his own country had albeit as yet unproven potential, and that in Sweden new anti-piracy rules combined with the boom of Spotify had led to a fall in file-sharing levels.

But, he said, more should be done. He told the conference: "The problem we have is music is popular, music is global, and it's up to us to get consumers, with the support of government, to pay for it".

But other than sitting around waiting for governments to crack the anti-piracy whip, what else should music companies be doing? Think global says Levy, and try to engage the 80% of the world's population that have never been "a significant part of the music industry". Mobile could play a key role here, he said, pointing to Universal Music's partnerships with mobile operators in India, Brazil and the Middle East. He said: "We are now deriving revenues which are not a substitution from record sales, but a new stream of revenue".

Levy was speaking as reports began to emerge of significant layoffs within the Universal Music Group, especially in the US. These, presumably, are part of new CEO Lucian Grainge's promised overhaul of the music major's operations.

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Independent publisher Imagem Music has announced two deals with Bad Religion guitarist and Epitaph Records owner Brett Gurewitz.

First, Imagem has bought the Dutch music publishing company Eastbeach in which Gurewitz was a shareholder. Second, the company has entered into a worldwide (excluding North America) administration deal for FIG Music, the publishing division of Epitaph.

Imagem big cheese André de Raaff told CMU: "I'm very excited that we are now associated with Epitaph Records and Brett Gurewitz, who has a long and impressive track record in launching new artists on both the Epitaph and Anti- imprints".

Meanwhile Gurewitz added: "I'm delighted to be in business with André de Raaff and the world's leading independent music publishing company Imagem, whose experience and innovation make them an ideal partner".

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All four of the major labels had reps on stage at MIDEM this weekend to big up Sony Corp's new streaming music service Music Unlimited, which, as previously reported, comes as part of the electronics and entertainment giant's Qriocity content-on-demand platform. The service, already live in the UK, pumps out music to all net-connected Sony devices, including PCs, Blu-Ray players, TVs and PlayStations, with plans to role it out to Sony and any Android-powered smartphones.

Discussing the new service at MIDEM this weekend, Sony Network Entertainment president Tim Schaff told delegates: "We are trying to do something at Sony that hasn't happened in the past very well: to take a look at the full range of assets of the company and try to create a really exciting set of propositions that address an extreme need of consumers". The 'extreme need' being internet services that work on multiple devices.

And while Universal's digital chief Rob Wells aired some caution about the potential of all digital services while piracy remains rampant, he conceded that platforms like Music Unlimited were attractive in that they potentially appealed to a customer base not yet consuming digital music.

It was a viewpoint shared by Warner Music digital strategy man Michael Nash, who said: "When you see this service demonstrated... you realise how exciting the service is going to be, particularly in the digital living room. And I see it as significantly additive. We're potentially talking about tens of millions of consumers who are largely not digitally migrated at this point".

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Talking of which, London-based digital music provider Omnifone, which powers the Sony service, used MIDEM to announce a new deal with German collecting society GEMA this weekend which will not only enable Music Unlimited to launch in Germany, but will ensure it can do so at the same price point planned for the rest of the European market. GEMA is known to be among the most demanding of all collecting societies, and is yet to license Spotify in Germany, arguing that the Swedish streaming service's business plan is untenable.

Confirming the new deal with GEMA, Omnifone CEO Jeff Hughes told CMU: "This landmark deal negotiated with GEMA for Sony by Omnifone brings the cost of subscription based music licensing in Germany into line with the rest of Europe for the first time. Omnifone's experienced commercial team enables partners to roll out cloud based music services globally, opening up new markets through innovative licensing agreements around the world".

GEMA chairman Harald Heker added: "We are very pleased about the successful agreement with Omnifone. The signing of the contract illustrates that it is possible after all to license innovative business models in the field of online".

Elsewhere in Omnifone news, the digital firm announced it has hired Jez Bell, formerly with UK collecting society PRS For Music, to the role of Director Of Licensing.

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And another digital announcement from MIDEM, this one related to the Digital Data Exchange Consortium, that previously reported project which encourages everyone in the digital content domain, from content makers and suppliers to sellers and distributors, to use the same metadata systems, so to simplify the communication of data relating to digital content, and therefore reduce the costs associated with it.

The news this weekend was that Google, EMI and the aforementioned Omnifone have become 'charter members' of the consortium, and have taken seats on its board. I thought EMI was already involved, but presumably not. Anyway, the new announcement means all four majors are now on board, as well as a stack of collecting societies, distributors and tech and tel co firms, including Nokia, Apple and Orange.

Confirming the new recruits, DDEX chair Kirit Joshi said: "The additions of Google, including the YouTube service, EMI Music and Omnifone to the DDEX Board are powerful indicators of the growing support for the DDEX standards among the leaders in music and technology around the world".

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As expected, Celador Radio has confirmed to Radio Today that Bristol's Star Radio will become The Breeze as of next month.

As previously reported, Celador bought the Bristol station last September, and media regulator OfCom subsequently allowed programming changes so to bring Star more in line with Celador's The Breeze station in Southampton, leading to speculation the two stations would soon share the same brand.

The Breeze in Bristol will go live on 14 Feb.

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YouView, the TV-on-demand service backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and BT, among others, which plans to bring on-demand services over the net to Freeview viewers, looks likely to not now launch until 2012, despite initial plans to launch early this year. The problem, it seems, is that the set top box that will power the service just doesn't work.

A source has told the Daily Telegraph: "It just doesn't work when you turn it on and keeps crashing. You would think that after at least eighteen months of development and at least six million pounds worth of investment from each shareholder, the box would actually work when being shown to its owners!" Ouch.

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The Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission, or CRTC, which is the country's media regulator, has called on the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council to review its previously reported decision to ban the playing of Dire Straits song 'Money For Nothing' in its unedited form on radio stations in Canada.

As previously reported, the CBSC banned the 80s track after receiving a listener complaint that it uses the word "faggot" three times. Since the ban came into effect numerous radio stations have criticised the ban, pointing out the 'Money For Nothing' lyrics are meant to be the words of an unseemly character who is basically mocked by the song, and therefore use of the word 'faggot' isn't overtly offensive. But the CBSC has defended its decision, despite various radio stations ignoring the ban, and 'Money For Nothing' therefore probably getting more airplay now than for years.

The CBSC is a non-statutory body that is recognised by both the CRTC, a government agency, and the country's commercial radio sector as an upholder of broadcasting standards, but the Dire Straits decision is affecting its credibility with some of its stakeholders.

Which is presumably why the CRTC is suggesting the CBSC give the 'Money For Nothing' issue more consideration. Or it's possible they are just a little annoyed that some people have got it into their heads that it is them - the Commission rather that the Standards Council - that has instigated the ban, a spokesman said they'd received 250 letters on the issue. The Commission has said it is forwarding the complaint letters on to the Council, to aid their review of their decision.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Andy Coulson
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