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Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
Top Stories
So, who is going to buy EMI?
In The Pop Courts
Napster back in court, lose
Awards & Contests
Gold Panda wins Guardian First Album award
In The Studio
Chase & Status spurn Rihanna to work with UK artists (and Cee-Lo)
Release News
Datarock to release "most extravagant single in history"
Mirrors announce debut album
Books News
Patti Smith to write detective novel
Gigs & Tours News
Patrick Wolf announces tour dates
Demdike Stare announce Brighton sermon
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Liverpool (Deluxe) (ZTT/Salvo)
The Music Business
Proud takes over Matter space
AEG Live to programme ULU venue
Wilco launch own record label
Twenty First Artists appoints new manager
The Digital Business
Google starts to introduce promised new anti-piracy measures
The Media Business
Artrocker to give away flexi-disc - woo
New launch date for The Daily
And finally...
US store "protects" shoppers from Elton John

Hey ho, here it is, Friday people. And I told you seven days ago that this week I would be able to name some of the bands that are due to play The Great Escape this May, and look, this is me making good on that promise.

As you may have already seen earlier this week, a big bunch of bands have already been stuck on the bill for Europe's leading new music festival, with Katy B, Brother, Worriedaboutsatan, Little Dragon and Wave Pictures among the reasons to be excited. The first of the 'Dome shows' that take place during TGE has also been announced. These are open to TGE wristband holders for just six quid, and the first band confirmed in this part of the programme is the marvellous Friendly Fires. Hurrah.

And then, of course, there's Warpaint. Team CMU caught these girls playing in that little bar at the end of Brighton Pier at TGE last year and got so excited that Andy went on to include them in his artists of the year top ten last month. If you missed them in 2010, well you need to do some catching up, but you'll find them quite a bit higher up the TGE bill this coming May, one of the Great Escape's great success stories.

You'll find the full band line up as confirmed so far over there at escapegreat.com. And now for another promise. This time next week, I'll be able to start telling you about the first few confirmed panellists, speakers, topics and other delights confirmed for the TGE convention that we here at CMU are programming this year. So, see you in seven days to make good on that promise. Meanwhile, here's your week in five.

01: VEVO's UK launch was confirmed. Actually, Sony Music digital man Thomas Hesse said at the launch of that IFPI Digital Music Report last week that the Sony/Universal owned online music video service would go live in the UK this year, but with the digital firm now recruiting its British sales team VEVO's sales chief David Kohl told Media Week that launch would come in the next "few months". Everyone seems to think April. Elsewhere in digital news, Sony's Omnifone-powered cross-device streaming music service, Music UnLimited with Qriocity, already live in the UK, expanded into a number of other European territories this week. CMU report | Marketing report

02: The Pirate Bay promised a new file-sharing service. Which was nice of them. The file-sharing group has put up a webpage at fear.themusicbay.org, with an insider telling TorrentFreak the current TPB team are planning on launching an uber new file-sharing service to coincide with the upcoming 78th birthday of the aforementioned IFPI. The music industry should be "afraid" the anonymous source added. CMU report | TorrentFreak report

03: A Chinese file-sharing service started to block illegal content, presumably because the authorities in China recently published details of new penalties for online piracy, with up to seven years in jail for the worst offenders. VeryCD started blocking links to unlicensed content last Friday. Its owners have hopes to relaunch as a legitimate music platform, though will presumably have lost most of their users by the time that happens. CMU report | Variety report

04: ACS:Law's main man stepped back from sue-the-fans litigation. Lawyer Andrew Crossley - whose London law firm led the way in sending legal letters to alleged file-sharers last year demanding damages from the accused - told the judge hearing the 27 cases that were actually taken to court that he wanted nothing more to do with file-sharing litigation. He said he was quitting because of harassment by the file-sharing community, and not because the judge had previously said his firm's legal arguments in court were flawed on all sorts of levels. ACS most notably worked for porn firms, but had a few small music clients. CMU report | Guardian article

05: Live Nation settled its long running delivery fees case. The live giant's ticketing firm Ticketmaster was sued years ago by two consumers who claimed the ticketing agency misled customers by implying so called "delivery fees" covered the cost of delivering tickets, when the firm actually made a profit on them. The lawsuit became a class action last year. Although not admitting fault, Live Nation agreed to compensate confused customers and cover all legal costs, to the tune of $22.3 million. CMU report | ABC News report

And that is it. Do look out for your CMU Weekly, complete with Go! Team compiled Spotify playlist and the second ever CMU podcast, out this afternoon – www.theCMUwebsite.com/weekly.

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU

Tomorrow sees the first Muak night of 2011 take over Egg in London for fourteen straight hours of top notch house music, beginning at 10pm and finishing at midday Sunday, just in time to go and grab a Sunday roast.

By that time, you will have danced your feet raw to various DJs, the main draw being teutonic soulful tech house master Ian Pooley (who looks like he's had few roast dinners himself in his latest press shot - OK, he has never been of small frame). Pooley shot to fame with the classic album 'Meridian' in 1998. Oh God, can it be that long ago?

Also on the bill and worth staggering into the other room for is Frankie Feliciano, who's recorded for Masters At Work, King Street, Nervous and various other NTC labels. He'll be bringing in soulful deep house all the way.

Saturday 29 Jan, Egg, 200 York Way, London, N7, 10pm-10am, £13 adv/£15 door, more info at www.muakparty.com, press info from Jo/Nix at Phuture Trax.

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

With everyone now seemingly certain that Citigroup will take over control of EMI this spring - with the major's current owners Terra Firma unable or, more to the point, unwilling to provide an extra cash boost to ensure the music firm meets the covenants of its mega-bucks loan with the US bank - the Wall Street Journal has moved on to writing lists of which buyers Citi execs might then sell the British music major on to.

Most we already knew about, with equity firm KKR, co-owners of the ever expansive BMG, and long time EMI suitor Warner Music, leading the list of potential buyers Citigroup has supposedly had contact with. It's been mooted for sometime that the KKR-backed BMG might buy the EMI music publishing business, leaving the EMI record companies for Warner to snap up. Though there is still a chance BMG might bid for the labels instead, or that either buyer might go for the whole shebang.

Of course, there is the question as to whether Warner Music, without a cash rich parent company or backer, could afford to bid for EMI at all. Though, as previously reported, the company does have Goldman Sachs in the house as we speak reviewing all its options, leading to speculation it might sell off its publishing business Warner/Chappell to fund an acquisition of some or all of EMI.

KKR is also thought to be a potential bidder for Warner/Chappell, though the Telegraph reported this week that Sony's publishing division Sony/ATV is also interested. Or it was late last year when, the broadsheet claims, it put in a call to Warner Music supremo Edgar Bronfman Jr to float the idea of him selling Warner/Chappell to them.

The Telegraph also claims that, having heard about that Sony/ATV call, Terra Firma boss Guy Hands then suggested to Edgar he use the money to buy the EMI record labels, Hands allegedly hoping a quick deal could be done to pre-empt Citigroup from taking control. Though for Terra Firma to sell the EMI labels to Warner would have needed Citigroup approval anyway.

Anyway, most of that is old news, who else is the WSJ tipping as possible EMI bidders if and when Citigroup take control and put it up for sale? Well, the other two music majors for starters - so Sony and Universal - though any attempts by them to buy EMI would surely interest competition regulators in the US and Europe which might make any sale slow, tedious and expensive (even a Warner deal might come with those strings attached, it certainly would have done five years ago).

Like the Mail last weekend, the WSJ also says that Citigroup has spoken to Terra Firma - despite the bitter legal battle the two firms were embroiled in late last year - about the it buying the company back, in a deal which would enable the equity group to keep EMI in its portfolio but with nearly half the debt burden; in that the £3 billion Citigroup debt would be written off, but Terra Firma would have to borrow another £1.8 billion from someone else to buy the music major back.

Quite where Hands would get the £1.8 billion from isn't clear, though the WSJ claims he has spoken to Canadian pension fund CPP about them helping to finance the deal, it possibly being the Terra Firma-backing Canadian institution that was rumoured to have been most supportive when Hands last needed to raise cash to inject into EMI last year.

If that doesn't work, one City source has told The Journal, Citigroup might even consider helping out by providing Hands with a brand new loan. Which would be brilliant. Citigroup seize EMI from Terra Firma because of an old bank loan gone bad, and then sell it to Terra Firma by providing it with a new bank loan. It seems unlikely, but it would be a crazy turn of events if it were to happen.

Talking of crazy rumours, The Journal's last bit of EMI-related gossip is the suggestion that Simon Cowell's Syco might bid. I have a feeling this is a rumour primarily created to inject a bit of celebrity in the proceedings, but the WSJ says that "people familiar with the matter" claim that the top guard at the Sony-backed Cowell-controlled music and telly firm have discussed the idea.

Even if that's not true at all, perhaps Cowell could turn all of this into a reality TV show - EMI's Got Talent - in which a public phone vote decides which gullible suitor gets to buy the London music firm. If the 'Citi sells it back to Terra Firma' thing is really an option, that would make quite good telly.

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Ah, Napster losing in court, it's like the good old days all over again. Except, of course, this is a totally different Napster to the one that dominated the early file-sharing court battles in America.

Yes, Napster v2.0 may be a legitimate digital music service, but it's not immune to the occasional legal squabble. This one relates to Napster's licensing deals with US independent label Rounder Records, and more specifically the publishing royalties due on tracks released by the indie and then sold or distributed by the digital service to its customers.

Napster has had two licensing deals with Rounder. The second, struck in 2006, specifically mentioned the mechanical royalties due to a song's publishers whenever a Rounder recording was sold, and said it was the label's job to ensure those were paid, and to indemnify Napster against any related claims. The original deal from 2001, however, did not saying anything so explicit about those royalties, meaning some initially went unpaid.

In 2006, copyright administration company MSC Music America arrived on the scene claiming to represent the owners of some of the songs on which publishing had not been sorted, and promptly sued. An out of court settlement followed two years later, but by that point Napster had run up $1.3 million in legal bills.

Napster promptly sued Rounder Records to recover that money, I think on the basis that under the first contract the label had an implied duty to sort out mechanicals, and under the second they had an stated obligation to cover any legal costs the digital firm incurred related to publishing royalty disputes on their recordings.

But, according to the Hollywood Reporter, a New York judge this week found in favour of Rounder Records, saying that it was the 2006 contract that mattered - it superseding the original agreement - and that in the section of that document that dealt with indemnity it was agreed Napster would get Rounder's prior "written consent" before running up any costs. It didn't, so no damages were due.

The original Napster, of course, was sued into bankruptcy. Roxio bought the brand name, eventually spinning it off into a separate company, which is now a subsidiary of Best Buy.

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Well, this is good news. Gold Panda's debut album, 'Lucky Shiner', hasn't won nearly enough awards, if you ask me. The Guardian has now gone some way to redressing that but giving the producer its First Album Award.

Guardian music writer, and one of the award's judges, Alexis Petridis said: "The prosaic reason that Gold Panda won is because it was the album the judges found themselves listening to most. It sounds very warm and human and inviting - it's someone using synthesisers and samples to give you a sense of themselves, rather than rock a dancefloor".

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Chase & Status have revealed that they knocked back the chance to have guest vocals from Rihanna on their new album, 'No More Idols', choosing instead to work exclusively with UK vocalists. And Cee-Lo. But Cee-Lo's a nice guy, so it's OK to make one exception.

Saul 'Chase' Milton told The Sun: "There was talk about working with Rihanna and other names linked to Roc Nation but we weren't tempted. We wanted the album to showcase fresh and cutting edge UK talent. We're known for working with new artists such as Plan B and that's what really excites us. On the album we've worked with Clare Maguire - who just has this amazing voice and will appeal to everyone - Mali, Delilah and Tempa T, all of whom are wicked. We've also got tunes on there with White Lies and Tinie Tempah. Tinie is like your archetypal English gent but the track we've got him on is quite raw".

He added: "Admittedly Cee-Lo isn't British but he sings on a track called 'Brixton Briefcase', which is about London in the 80s when guys used to walk around with ghetto blasters on their shoulders. That's what a Brixton briefcase is and Cee-Lo loved it. There was no ego at all. He was just like: 'I'll do whatever you want me to do'. Working with him was cool".

'No More Idols' is out on Monday.

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Norwegian electro duo Datarock have announced plans to release 'Catcher In The Rye' in March, which they claim is the "most extravagant single in history". What's more, it'll come on that always popular format for record releases, the USB stick.

Still, squished inside the 4GB portable data storage unit, as well as the single's lead song, will be over 100 bonus tracks, 1500 photos, 20 music videos and an hour long concert film. Among the bonus track will be a new album called 'Music For Synchronization'. Which does seem quite extravagant. Or stupid, depending on how you want to look at it.

More information on the release can be found at www.datarockmusic.com

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Mirrors have announced that they will release their debut album, 'Lights And Offerings', through Skint on 28 Feb. I'm listening to it now, it's very good.

For a little taste, take a look at the video for the next single, 'Into The Heart', which will be released on 14 Feb: http://youtu.be/YBubVjmDXdE

The band create their music using, amongst other equipment, a large collection of vintage synths, lending a warmth and unpredictability to the songs. Says frontman James New: "We like that whole idea that your art is your life, you are what you make. We love old synths - they only play one note at a time. They go out of tune. They're a nightmare to program. But that's why we like them. We don't want everything completely polished and produced".

On the subject of the album's inspiration, he said: "We are disappointed in the society around us. Everything has become boring, socially and politically. We were bored of our Blackberrys and bored of our laptops and bored of groups making absolutely no effort to do anything creative. With Mirrors we wanted to build something from the ground up and create something completely different".

The band will head out on a headline tour next month, followed by a March tour with fellow Brightonians Fujiya & Miyagi.

Here's the tracklist for the album:

Fear Of Drowning
Look At Me
Into The Heart
Write Through The Night
Ways To An End
Hide And Seek
Somewhere Strange
Something On Your Mind
Searching In The Wilderness

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Having published various volumes of her poetry, art, lyrics and an autobiography, Patti Smith has revealed that her next book will be a detective novel set in London and inspired by Sherlock Holmes and American crime writer Mickey Spillane.

Speaking to the NME, Smith said that the book was 68% complete, explaining: "For the last two years ... I've been working on a detective story that starts at St Giles-in-the-Fields in London".

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Patrick Wolf has announced that he will tour the UK in March, ahead of the release of his new album, 'Lupercalia', in May. On 14 Mar, he'll also release the second single from the album, 'The City'.

Of the single, Wolf says: "'The City' saved my life. Living in central London, I woke up one broody morning having booked some studio time. It was a hot summer's day and in the midst of the protests against the banks and BBC 6music closing down. Seeing how the recession had worked its way into people's relationships and ambitions, I went to my piano and started to fight against the negative by writing in the positive".

Watch the video for the single here: youtu.be/3hBJIbSScBM

Now, how about these tour dates...

23 Mar: Glasgow, Oran Mor
24 Mar: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
25 Mar: Birmingham, Academy
26 Mar: Manchester, Club Academy
28 Mar: Bristol, Thekla
29 Mar: London, Koko


Experimental techno duo Demdike Stare have announced that they will appear at The Outer Church, a monthly audio/visual event at Komedia in Brighton, on 10 Feb. The duo will play tracks from their 2010 trilogy of albums - 'Forest Of Evil', 'Liberation Through Hearing' and 'Voiced Of Dust' - with live visuals.

Speaking of that album trilogy, having previously only been available on vinyl, the records have now been compiled into a three CD set with 40 minutes of bonus material by the Modern Love label.

Here's the video for 'Hashshashin Chant' from 'Voiced Of Dust' to give you an idea of the sort of spooky brilliance to expect: vimeo.com/17764352

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LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY, various venues, Liverpool, 19-21 May: Cast, Black Lips, Jamie xx, The Whip, Spank Rock and Willy Nelson are to head up this year's Sound City bill. Local heroes Wave Machines will also perform. The three day event will feature showcases by some of the most exciting indie labels around at the moment, with Bella Union, Young Turks and Moshi Moshi slated to present their choicest artists. www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

REWIND, Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames, 19-21 Aug: 80s synth-popsters The Human League will headline the English leg of the 80s nostalgia fest, which will also feature Kim Wilde, Bananarama, Ali Campbell's UB40, Toyah, Haircut 100, The Original Bucks Fizz and a further list of just about every artist and band who ever made music in the 80s. Most exciting of all, The Village People will be out-camping the campsite with a set of singalong faves. www.rewindfestival.com

WAKESTOCK, Abersoch Bay, Wales, 8-10 Jul: Matt Cardle's best pals Biffy Clyro will be bringing their brand of Scots rock to this year's watery Welsh wakeboarding event. The Wombats are set to co-headline, with lovely department store poster girl Ellie Goulding also confirmed to play. Taking care of the dancier side of things will be Example, Jaguar Skills, DJ Fresh, Jaymo & Andy George and Danny Byrd. www.wakestock.co.uk/abersoch

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ALBUM REVIEW: Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Liverpool (Deluxe) (ZTT/Salvo)
Originally released in 1986, 'Liverpool' was often dismissed as an expensive flop, given its high recording costs and poor sales when compared to 1984's 'Welcome To The Pleasure Dome'. In truth, the music world - and the tastes of the public - had simply changed in those two years, with Live Aid being the pivotal moment when all the adventurous new pop of the previous five years gave way to conservatism, with the new romantics and futurists struggling artistically and commercially (see: The Human League, Heaven 17, OMD, Duran etc).

So 'Liverpool' is no dud, even if it lacks the sense of fun and playfulness of its predecessor, in part reflected by the music, which is far rockier here, and shows the group weren't just puppets of Trevor Horn and Paul Morley (with the fingerprints of both placed only sparingly here), although with only eight tracks, you suspect there wasn't an abundance of great ideas. But what we have is at worst competent, and at best, brilliant (see the three singles, the electronic proto-Balearica of 'Maximum Joy', or 'Is Anybody Out There?', which revisits similar territory to 'The Power Of Love' and, whilst not quite that memorable, is still a decent piece of epic stadium balladry in its own right).

Completists will welcome the bonus material on the two CDs here, including all the b-sides (mostly just respectable cover versions), alternate versions and two twenty minute cassette mixes, which allow Horn and co to satiate their remix hunger. Sadly, the astonishing twelve-inch mix of 'Rage Hard' is absent and, whilst it does appear on ZTT's new 'Art Of The Twelve-Inch' compilation' (which perhaps explains, if not excuses, its absence), it really should have been a bonus track here too, especially given some of the jams and demos were probably best left on the cutting room floor really.

Aside from that small gripe though, this is a welcome re-issue. MS

Physical release: 7 Feb

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Well, any of you who read the CMU job ads section could have worked this one out for yourselves earlier this month. The Proud Group, best known for operating Camden's Proud Gallery, is taking over the running of the club under London's Dome, previously the Fabric-managed Matter.

The club venue in AEG Live's The O2 complex will become Proud2, hosting weekend club nights and circus-themed productions - something between Manumission and a Vegas cabaret, I think. Maybe with some La Clique-style nonsense thrown in for good measure. The space has been dramatically revamped for its new remit.

Of course, Fabric's efforts to operate a more conventional superclub under the Dome failed, almost pushing the wider company out of business altogether last year, despite the new venue being well received by artists and clubbers alike.

The recession hit plans to host corporate parties early in the week, while never ending engineering works on the Jubilee line at the weekends hindered the core club programme. Plus, of course, the whole O2 complex still has the issue that many Londoners perceive North Greenwich as being just this side of Amsterdam, and not as much fun.

It was rumoured last month that AEG would be more directly involved in the relaunch of the club space, and it's not entirely clear if that is the case; if so, Proud will enjoy more secure funding than Fabric did. Either way, presumably both parties are hoping a more cabaret approach will get the audiences in. It might just work. And on the travel side, the new venue will operate its own Routemaster buses between the Dome and central London.

Confirming his new venture, Alex Proud told CMU: "I am thrilled to extend the Proud brand to a venue that offers clubbers something completely different. Proud2 will bring Vegas-style clubbing to London with a combination of theatrical shows, live music and big name DJs in a club that not only aims to serve but take care of our customers. There won't be any experience like this in the city".

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Elsewhere in London venue news, and more from the world of AEG Live. The company has just announced it will take over the running of the 800-capacity venue at the heart of the University Of London Union's central London building.

Jan Chadwick, formerly General Manager of the Hammersmith Apollo and most recently at AEG's Indigo2 venue, will take over bookings at the students' union space. Jan told CMU: "I am extremely excited to be booking the next wave of up and coming artists, the venue has such a enormous history where all bands want to play on their way up before taking the next step on their journey to huge success".

It's increasingly common for the larger students' unions to hire the services of established venue owners and promoters to manage and/or book their gig spaces. As previously reported, the Academy Music Group are most active in this space, though MAMA Group's Barfly did formerly programme gigs at ULU.

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Wilco have launched their own label, dBpm Records, to put out the band's future releases. Run by the band's manager, Tony Margherita, distribution and label services will be provided by Epitaph's Anti- division.

Margherita told CMU: "Wilco's independent streak is well documented and nothing new, and this is the culmination of what we've been working towards for the last fifteen years. As we reached the end of our last deal, it felt like it was time for a change and the one thing we were certain we did NOT want to do was to sign another traditional recording agreement. Our discussions with Anti-, coming on the back of a great experience working with them on the Mavis Staples record, led us to thinking we might be able to come up with something quite different from the norm that could potentially be better for us and, frankly, a lot more interesting. And that's exactly what happened...."

Frontman Jeff Tweedy added: "This is an idea we've discussed for years. We really like doing things ourselves, so having our own label feels pretty natural to me. And, to be working with Anti- - a label that has its roots in a label that was started by a punk rock guy to sell his own records - seems like a perfect fit for us".

The band are currently working on the follow-up to their 2009 LP, 'Wilco (The Album)'.

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Twenty First Artists, the Universal Music-owned artist management firm, has announced the recruitment of Alex Katter to its London team, who will bring his existing management clients, including Leah Weller, Paul Lewis and Mr Wayne, with him. He previously spent four years at Safe Management before going it alone last year.

Twenty First Artists boss Colin Lester told CMU: "Alex is an excellent artist manager who will bring energy, enthusiasm and an exceptional track record of spotting exciting new talent to our company. He comes to us with several great artists and we are looking forward to helping him develop those while providing him with the support and infrastructure to expand his current roster".

Katter, meanwhile added: "I'm delighted to be joining Twenty First Artists at such an exciting time for the company. Colin Lester is very ambitious and has a clear vision for taking the company forward and that's something that really appeals to me. This move will allow me to continue developing my current roster while working with the team here to discover new artists who can have long-term careers and global, crossover appeal".

As previously reported, Twenty First Artists recently announced an expansion into the Nordic market with the appointment of Sandji Tandan. At MIDEM earlier this week Lester said he had ambitions to make Twenty First Artists a truly global management agency.

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Some of the anti-piracy measures announced by Google last year have gone into action.

As previously reported, the web giant last month made various pledges to ensure Google services don't actively support websites that exist solely to enable piracy. Some of those pledges were about making existing anti-piracy efforts more effective, others dealt with little bug bears that have frustrated content companies for some time.

One of those bug bears was that when you typed an artist's name into the Google search engine it would automatically recommend additional search terms that would likely lead to illegal content - terms like "torrent". And that's one of the things Google is addressing this week, stopping those terms from being recommended. Of course, that's not to stop users typing in "torrent" themselves, and torrent sources of content will still then come up in such search results.

Some argue Google's new anti-piracy measures are token gestures to smooth the way for licensing talks with the big record companies regarding the web firm's planned new music service and won't have a huge tangible impact. While on the other side of the equation some say the new measures go too far, for example, what if there is a legitimate torrent source of some content?

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Indie music mag Artrocker is giving away the first free limited edition seven-inch flexi disc since the 1980s.

Or at least that's what the press release claims. That's the sort of statement that usually results in 37 overly-informed CMU readers emailing in evidence that actually Slob Mag in Croydon has been giving away flexi-disks every week for two years now. And I know for a fact American metal mag Decibel starting give away the flexible records late last year.

But still, I love flexi discs, so hurrah for Artrocker. This is what someone at the magazine said (I don't know who, they were speaking from the shadows): "People are accessing music for free on the net, so we thought we may as well give them a flexi disc so they can discover something different... it's exciting, like you just found something. And it's something that you need a two pence piece to play properly".

The flexi-disc will be stuck to the front of the next Artrocker, which is out next week. Though take note, this only applies to copies of the mag bought in WH Smith, which will be stocking the mag with a different cover to everyone else. If you actually listen to the disc you'll find music from new band Hold Kiss Kill.

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The Daily, the new iPad-only newspaper from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, originally due to go live earlier this month, will now arrive on 2 Feb.

The launch was originally going to be in San Francisco, presumably because Apple boss Steve Jobs was meant to there. But with him on sick leave and unable to attend, the launch party has been moved to New York's Guggenheim. iTunes man Eddy Cue will represent Apple at the bash.

As a Murdoch-owned media, I am looking forward to reading some quality chauvinism illegally sourced from the voicemails of football commentators.

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US readers may have noticed that Elton John and David Furnish are on the cover of the new edition of Us Weekly with their new baby son. Except those who shop in the Harps grocery store in Arkansas, where the cover has been wrapped in the same kind of wrapper that obscures the front of porn magazines in order to "protect" customers.

Presumably it was feared that children might see the picture and turn all gay, rather just thinking, 'Oh look, there's two men and a baby'. Or, more likely, 'Where are the comics?' Either way, the shop said it wasn't their fault, it was their bigoted customers. A spokesperson said that "several" people had complained about the image, adding: "[This decision] in no way [reflects] our opinion on this issue. We do not have an opinion on this issue".

In other news, Elton John has been speaking to someone about record label bosses. According to The Sun, here's what he had to say: "I think most heads of record companies are idiots. About 5% are any good. They're only in it for themselves. They don't care about artists. They're all about the next fix, the next single. It's like they're having a hit of cocaine every fifteen seconds. And if someone falls by the wayside, they're by the wayside. They're not allowed one blip. In America, most of them are idiots. They're sickening actually. They sicken me. They're thick as shit".

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