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INFORMATION
Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
More ACS:Law – what are the implications for three-strikes?
Cameras to be allowed to film Murray trial
In The Pop Hospital
Moore died of suspected heart attack
Awards & Contests
PJ Harvey honoured for outstanding contribution to music
Radio 2 Folk Awards presented
Reunions & Splits
Axl confirms: No desire to reform with former bandmates
Release News
TV On The Radio ready new album
Pantha du Prince announces Black Noise remix album
Films & Shows News
Spike Jonze's Arcade Fire film to premiere next week
Gigs & Tours News
Death From Above 1979 announce London show
Clare Maguire tour
Seeräuber Jenny to tour in March
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: Rainbow Arabia - Boys And Diamonds (Kompakt)
The Music Business
Warner revenues down, but Edgar still upbeat
EU commissioner calls for simpler digital licensing (again)
The Media Business
Radio 7 rebrand given go ahead
And finally...
Stryder disappointed with Tinchy sales figures
Fergie defends Christina


 
WEDNESDAY 9TH FEBRUARY
MEN
MEN was founded in 2007 by JD Samson and Johanna Fateman, one-time members of radical fem-punk band Le Tigre. With the duo writing material while their other band was on hiatus, Samson then came together with Michael O'Neill and Ginger Brooks Takahashi to form what was to become the core MEN line-up, with Fateman continuing on as an occasional producer and artistic contributor.

 
Band figurehead Samson's subtle yet attitude-filled vocal stylings came to the fore on debut single 'Credit Card Babies', released by Trouble Records last year. The band then dabbled in teasing electronica with next release, pop track 'Off Our Backs'. First album 'Talk About Body' is now due for release next Monday, 14 Feb, through Sony/Columbia.

In the midst of a European tour, which includes a sold out NME Awards Show appearance with Sleigh Bells at London's Heaven, also next Monday, we spoke to Samson to glean her answers to our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

I started playing the classical guitar when I was a kid but I didn't really start writing my own music until I was actually in Le Tigre. It was an incredible punk move for me to push into that world without much classical training, but it was also really exciting to be able to have the opportunity to write on a real record so soon after the beginning of my career.

Q2 What inspired your debut album?

Freedom, collaboration, bodies, and being broke inspired a lot of the ideas that we discuss on the album. But we were inspired to make it because we all love music. We can't stop making it and we love hearing it loud in our ears on stage.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

Every track is different. Usually we have an idea - whether it be a chord progression, a drum beat, a vocal melody, or a content idea - then we push through that and start adding the rest. We are major perfectionists so we push and push and push and push until one day we decide any more work would just be crazy. Then it's done.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

So many different artists and genres influence our project. We work between so many barriers. Dance music, pop music, rock music, indie music, world music, women's music, hip hop, folk. I mean, we really we don't put ourselves in boxes. We are ready for anything. So our influences are too many to name. We are punk and we are polished. We are MEN.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

I wouldn't say anything, I don't think. I would want them to hear it. I might say: "Close your eyes". I might say: "Fall in love with music". I might say: "I hope you just smoked a joint".

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?

I think we want people to fall in love with music again. We want people to lose their ideas of what music genres are supposed to be. We want to celebrate music that has come before us and believe in the equality of women and queers.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/men
 
BASTILLE
Bastille is the work of a guy called Dan, that much I can tell you. That, and also that a rapidly growing number of people are quite excited about him. Dan is seemingly quite a secretive chap, providing no biographical information about the project anywhere, and only uploading three original tracks and a remix to the internet in the last six months. But I do like a bit of mystery. I also like great pop songs, which all three of those original tracks most definitely are.

 
The first seeds of the project arrived last year in the form of 'Icarus' and 'Laura Palmer', which you can hear on the Bastille SoundCloud page. Built on solid percussion, pianos and strings underpin Dan's voice, which carries everything. It's the kind of voice that wraps itself around words, rather than simply allowing them to slip freely into the world. But those songs are now six months old. If you want the new shit, you have to head to YouTube to watch the video for 'Flaws', which went online last month. Still in the same vein, though with a more electronic feel, it could very well be the foundation of something big.

soundcloud.com/bastilleuk
youtu.be/dgITTJCESAw



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MUSIC BUSINESS MODELS - MAKING MONEY, FINDING INVESTMENT
How to make money out of music - both now and in the future, with a look at alternative investment and revenue streams, and a new approach to monetising artists and their music. Wed 9 Feb 2011

MUSIC RIGHTS - INSIDE & OUT
A beginner's guide to music copyright - everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 23 Feb 2011

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




MORE ACS:LAW - WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THREE-STRIKES?
Both ACS:Law and its clients MediaCAT may have gone out of business, but the file-sharing litigation they instigated continues to rumble on in court, even if reps for the two firms choose not to attend.

As previously reported, London legal firm ACS:Law, leading advocate of the sue-the-fans approach to tackling file-sharing, took 27 cases to court last year on behalf of porn companies represented by piracy monitors MediaCAT. But the cases pretty much immediately fell apart as the judge picked holes in the process and legal arguments of ACS main man Andrew Crossley.

Panicked by the judicial criticism, Crossley tried to withdraw the lawsuits, then announced he was stepping back from file-sharing litigation altogether, and then shut down his company. Nevertheless, Judge Birrs insisted that the cases - and the whole approach of lawyers sending intimidating letters to suspected file-sharers in the hope they'll quickly settle out of court, providing said lawyers with a commission - continued to be reviewed in court.

The latest hearing took place yesterday. With ACS:Law and MediaCAT now no more, Birrs gave the actual copyright owners whose intellectual property rights have possibly been infringed here fourteen days to step in and fight the cases themselves, otherwise the lawsuits - as Crossley has already requested they be - will be dismissed. At that point the judge will rule regarding whether and how defendants in this case can recoup their legal costs from the plaintiffs.

Birrs again criticised the ACS:Law approach, ie building a business based on the assumption most people targeted with stern legal letters will settle out of court, especially if the content they are accused of illegally accessing online is pornographic. And again the judge accused Crossley of trying to operate away from judicial scrutiny.

According to TorrentFreak, he told the court: "[ACS:Law had] a very real interest in avoiding public scrutiny. Whether it was intended to or not, I cannot imagine a system better designed to create disincentives to test the issues in court. Why take cases to court and test the assertions when one can just write more letters and collect payments from a proportion of the recipients?"

But with ACS:Law dead in the water and its letter-writing approach well and truly bashed to the floor, probably of more interest in yesterday's hearing was Birrs latest thoughts on whether someone who pays for an internet connection can be held liable for copyright infringement if, unbeknownst to them, a third party uses their connection to illegally file-share, whether after being given permission to use the bill payer's computer, or by tapping into an unprotected wi-fi network. Birrs seems to think not.

According to The Guardian, he said: "Does the process of identifying an IP address in this way establish that any infringement of copyright has taken place by anyone [officially] related to that IP address at all? Even if it is proof of infringement by somebody, merely identifying that an IP address has been involved with infringement [does not make it] clear to me that the person identified [ie the bill payer] must be infringing one way or another. The fact that someone may have infringed does not mean the particular named defendant has done so".

He added: "What if the defendant authorises another to use their internet connection in general and, unknown to them, the authorised user uses P2P software and infringes copyright? Does the act of authorising use of an internet connection turn the person doing the authorising into a person authorising the infringement within s16(2) [of the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act]? I am not aware of a case with decides that question either".

He's right, this issue - ie the liability of an ISP customer for third party copyright infringement - has not been addressed in any UK file-sharing court cases, mainly because there haven't been many, and in the 100 or so pursued by the BPI back in the day it never came up, mainly because the vast majority of people targeted with file-sharing litigation quickly fess up to having accessed unlicensed content online.

It did come up a few times in the US during the Recording Industry Association Of America's file-sharing litigation campaign, most notably in the Santangelo case, and in the main judges there were unwilling to extend liability for infringement to internet account holders who had not personally accessed unlicensed content.

For a finding in the other direction, we must look to the German courts, where one court did rule that there was an obligation on internet customers to password protect their wi-fi connections in order to avoid liability for any infringement conducted by third parties on their network, though that case would not be especially persuasive in the English courts.

Of course, we say again, in most file-sharing cases the accused quickly admit to having file-shared. However, Birrs' comments do demonstrate there is a lot of ambiguity in English law if and when a defendant claims they are not personally aware of any file-sharing conducted on their net connection. And, of course, in the wi-fi age such a claim is more believable.

That fact has implications beyond ACS:Law's shenanigans, in that if and when the three-strikes component of the Digital Economy Act reaches the stage at which the net connections of persistent file-sharers are suspended or restricted, the appeals system which will presumably be part of the 'graduated response' process will have to cope with "but it wasn't me guvnor" claims. And if said appeals system is going to have to rely on precedent in common law, then things are going to be tricky.

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CAMERAS TO BE ALLOWED TO FILM MURRAY TRIAL
According to Reuters, LA Judge Michael Pastor has confirmed that TV cameras will be allowed to film the upcoming involuntary manslaughter trail of Michael Jackson's former doctor Conrad Murray, providing said filming does not interfere with the proceedings.

Murray, of course, is accused of acting negligently in administering the drugs that killed the late of king of pop back in 2009. He denies the charges. The trial is due to kick off on 24 Mar and could run for up to six weeks.

Jury selection will not be filmed, but local TV firms have been invited to submit proposals for filming the main part of the trial, and Pastor says he has no problem with cameras being in court providing they do not intrude on the hearing.

Public interest in the case remains high, and if the proceedings are likely to be aired on TV the whole trial will probably become something of a media circus.

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MOORE DIED OF SUSPECTED HEART ATTACK
A preliminary post-mortem has found that Gary Moore most likely died of a heart attack. The former Thin Lizzy guitarist was found dead in a Spanish hotel room on Sunday while on holiday with his girlfriend.

A Spanish police spokesperson told reporters: "Mr Moore died of natural causes and his death is not in any way suspicious. An investigating magistrate has opened a standard inquiry to determine the exact cause of death".

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PJ HARVEY HONOURED FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO MUSIC
PJ Harvey is to receive the Teenage Cancer Trust-sponsored Outstanding Contribution To Music gong at this year's NME Awards ceremony, due to take place at Brixton Academy on 23 Feb. She will collect the much-coveted award in person and will later perform live, as will My Chemical Romance and Godlike Genius Award recipient Dave Grohl as part of Foo Fighters.

NME editor Krissy Murisson sums up Harvey's lengthy and influential career when she says: "From the sheer rawness of her 1992 debut album 'Dry' to the compelling honesty of her new album 'Let England Shake' which tackles war and global conflict, Harvey has always remained uncompromising and individual in her approach to music. But despite her willingness to experiment and push herself to artistic extremes, PJ Harvey is no fringe act. She has played to giant crowds at the world's leading festivals, received praise from many music legends (including Radiohead, Patti Smith and Captain Beefheart) and won a Mercury Prize for a million-selling album".

She concluded: "In short, PJ Harvey is a true artist, able to challenge and entertain, provoke and thrill. Her contribution to music is unique and unrivalled and NME is proud to pay tribute to her with this special award".

Fair enough.

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RADIO 2 FOLK AWARDS PRESENTED
So, it was the Radio 2 Folk Awards on Monday night, and the BBC really stepped up its coverage of the ceremony this year, meaning performances and clips are now available online and on the BBC red button, or you can listen to the whole thing radio style on the iPlayer. Donovan was presented with a lifetime achievement gong, so expect lots of clips of him singing songs.

Meanwhile, here's a quote from Radio 2 boss Bob Shennan, and then look out for a full list of this year's winners: "The Folk Awards are a highlight of the Radio 2 music calendar and perfectly exemplify the network's commitment to a rich and diverse range of music. As the folk scene goes from strength to strength I'm really proud of Radio 2's involvement in the genre".

Best Group: Bellowhead
Folk Singer Of The Year: Chris Wood
Musician Of The Year: Andy Cutting
The Roots Award: The Levellers
Best Duo: Nancy Kerr & James Fagan
Best Live Act: Bellowhead
Young Folk Award: Moore/Ross/Rutter

Best Traditional Track: Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson - Poor Wayfaring Stranger
Best Original Song: Chris Wood - Hollow Point
Album Of The Year: Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson - Gift

Horizon Award: Ewan McLennan
The Good Tradition Award: Port Issac's Fisherman's Friends
Lifetime Achievement Award: Donovan

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AXL CONFIRMS: NO DESIRE TO REFORM WITH FORMER BANDMATES
Just in case there was any doubt about the fact that an original line-up reunion of Guns N Roses will never happen, which there wasn't, Axl Rose has taken to Twitter to remind everyone he has no desire to perform with his old bandmates again.

This followed those previously reported comments by Slash who recently told the LA Daily News that if Axl called him up to make amends he would give a reunion serious consideration. But the guitarist admitted that wasn't a call he ever expected to receive.

And now Axl has confirmed on Twitter that inviting Slash et al back to the GNR party is not on his agenda. He tweeted thus: "Contrary to anyone's claims there are no concrete plans, nor were there ever for a [reunion] tour, and certainly not to replace anyone in the [current incarnation of the] band, beyond a collection of random ideas thrown out by various individuals without any real foundation".

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TV ON THE RADIO READY NEW ALBUM
TV On The Radio have announced that they will release their new album, 'Nine Types Of Light', this spring.

And if you like looking at websites with even less information than the above sentence, well you're in luck: www.tvontheradio.com

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PANTHA DU PRINCE ANNOUNCES BLACK NOISE REMIX ALBUM
Pantha Du Prince will release a compilation of remixes of tracks from his 'Black Noise' album (one of the best albums of 2010, by the way), entitled 'XI Versions Of Black Noise', on 18 Apr. Amongst the producers included, most of whom seem to have elected to rework 'Stick To My Side' or 'Welt Am Dragt', are Four Tet, Animal Collective, Walls and Pantha Du Prince himself.

Here's the tracklist:

Welt Am Draht (Moritz Von Oswald Remix)
Welt Am Draht (Die Vögel Remix)
Stick To My Side (Lawrence Version Remix)
Stick To My Side (Four Tet Remix)
A Nomad's Retreat (The Sight Below Remix)
Stick To My Side (Efdemin Remix)
Satellite Sniper (Hieroglyphic Being Remix)
Stick To My Side (Carsten Jost Remix)
Welt Am Draht (Animal Collective Remix)
Lay In A Shimmer (Pantha Du Prince Remix)
Stick To My Side (Walls Remix)

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SPIKE JONZE'S ARCADE FIRE FILM TO PREMIERE NEXT WEEK
A short film directed by Spike Jonze, co-written with Arcade Fire's Win and Will Butler and based on the band's 'The Suburbs' album will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, which begins tomorrow.

To be screened four times over the course of the festival, 'Scenes From The Suburbs' stars Sam Dillon, Zoe Graham, Zeke Jarmon, Paul Pluymen, Ashlin Williamson. More information here.

According to various reports, the film will be included in a re-released version of 'The Suburbs' in May.

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DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW
Look at that, this Death From Above 1979 reunion doesn't just amount to a few festival shows, they'll also be playing a one-off show in London. How nice.

You'll be able to catch them at The Forum on 5 May. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

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CLARE MAGUIRE TOUR
Hotly-tipped sultry warbler Claire Maguire has announced she will make a headline tour of the UK. Following some recent support slots, and an upcoming HMV Next Big Thing and Birmingham date, she will head out to mainland Europe, but will be back for those headline show in late March, following the 28 Feb release of her debut album, 'Light After Dark'.

Meanwhile, watch the video for new single 'The Last Dance' (out on 21 Feb) here, which features pillars of light and slatherings of red lipstick: youtu.be/qtdsqUlPdCk

Tour dates:

14 Feb: Birmingham, Academy 3
25 Mar: Manchester, Band On The Wall
26 Mar: Glasgow, King Tut's
28 Mar: Dublin, Sugar Club
30 Mar: Leeds, Cockpit
31 Mar: London, Kings College
1 Apr: Bristol, Thekla
3 Apr: Birmingham, Glee Club
4 Apr: Nottingham, Glee Club
5 May: Oxford, Academy

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SEERÄUBER JENNY TO TOUR IN MARCH
Former CMU Approvees Seeräuber Jenny are a British alt-folk duo comprised of singer-songwriter Fran Barker and some-time Mint Royale man Neil Claxton. Another thing to know about them is that they are to release a second single, 'Avalanche', on Faith & Hope Records on 7 Mar, a wholesome portion of acoustic melancholia that you can sample here by watching the video: youtu.be /nrYm2H5W42o

The single release will coincide quite neatly with some forthcoming UK tour dates, which are as follows:

2 Mar: Manchester ,The Ruby Lounge
3 Mar: Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
4 Mar: Bristol, Start The Bus (supporting Hjaltalin)
7 Mar: London, Lexington
8 Mar: Nottingham, Bodega
9 Mar: Cambridge, Portland
10 Mar: Hull, Fruit
11 Mar: Glasgow, King Tut's

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

BILBAO BBK, Recinto Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Spain, 7-9 Jul: Kasabian and The Kaiser Chiefs complete the letter 'K' portion of newly-announced acts at this year's Spanish fiesta. Also joining the roster are !!! and Jared Leto's rock foray 30 Seconds To Mars, who will perform amongst such towering musical giants as Coldplay, Amy Winehouse, The Chemical Brothers and Crystal Castles. www.bilbaobbklive.com

ØYA, Middelalderparken, Oslo, Norway, 9-13 Aug: It has just been revealed that The Grand Pulp Reformation Tour is to stop off in Norway, with Jarvis and co set to perform at this year's ØYA. Amongst those already confirmed are Fleet Foxes, Warpaint and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. www.oyafestivalen.com/pages/eng/

RHYTHM FESTIVAL, Old Warden Park, Bedfordshire, 26-28 Aug: Having relocated the festival to Biggleswade for its sixth edition, organisers have announced that Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper will appear alongside his band The Animals at this rustic Bank Holiday bash. Also just added to the bill are folk-rockers Oysterband, Sandi Thom, From The Jam and The Blockheads. www.rhythmfestival.com

SASQUATCH, Gorge Amphitheatre, Washington, USA, 27-30 May: Lots of very good bands are to head for the hills of Washington for the tenth annual Sasquatch celebration. Headliners Foo Fighters, Death Cab For Cutie, Wilco, The Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse will be amongst those paying hairy homage to the festival's simian mythological namesake. Highlights of the extensive recent line-up announcement also include Bright Eyes, Robyn, Yeasayer, Beach House, Deerhunter, Sleigh Bells, Tokyo Police Club, Best Coast, Gayngs, The Drums, Smith Westerns and also that bloke with the handlebar moustache appearing both as part of Death From Above 1979 and MSTRKRFT. Though hopefully not at the same time. www.sasquatchfestival.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Rainbow Arabia - Boys And Diamonds (Kompakt)
Danny and Tiffany Preston of Rainbow Arabia may be from LA, but their take on psychedelic pop electronica is full of subtle African and Middle Eastern influences that make this debut album an invigorating listen. If the mention of anything vaguely 'ethnic' is likely to make you run off with horrifying visions of WOMAD righteousness or Andy Kershaw's voice, then stay put, because this duo's gift for memorable melodies make this anything but tiresome listening.

As for other reference points, 'Without You', with its tribal percussion and shimmering synths, has a new wavey innocence about it (suggesting that the post-punk/dub interface is just as much an influence as anything else), and could even be an unlikely hit single, whilst 'Jungle Bear' similarly has a nursery rhyme-like tweeness amid its beguiling electronica.

Meanwhile, the clattering, hallucinogenic bossa nova of 'Papai' sounds like The Knife heading to a deep, cavernous underwater rave, simultaneously beautiful but unnerving and perhaps the best thing here.

Experimental but accessible and constantly fun, this manages the impossible trick of sounding genuinely fresh and exciting. MS

Physical release: 28 Feb

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WARNER REVENUES DOWN, BUT EDGAR STILL UPBEAT
A quick summary of the latest set of financials from Warner Music - "down, down, down". A quick summary of top man Edgar Bronfman Jr's investor call - "smile guys, there's some light ahead".

Yes, Warner Music's revenues in the last quarter of 2010 were down 14% year on year, with operating income also down 19.6% and net loss up from $16 million to $18 million. CD income continued to slide, obviously, though more interestingly - and worryingly, possibly - digital revenues, although up year on year, were down on the previous quarter. Publishing income was also down 14.9%. Aren't digital and publishing meant to be the saving grace for major music companies? Oh shit.

But no, there's light ahead remember.

In his investor call Bronfman said that while digital had slipped in the last quarter, the digital market still had a lot of growth potential, particularly in the streaming service domain. This is interesting because Bronfman has previous expressed concern about Spotify's business model, albeit mainly the ad-funded free element. The Warner chief wouldn't comment on how close his firm was to licensing Spotify in the US, but said such services would become "ever more meaningful" in the major's financials moving forward.

Talking of future potential, probably most interesting of all the things Bronfman said was his claim that about 55% of Warner's active artist deals now cover more areas that just sound recordings, up from about 0% five years ago. We knew Warner had been quietly moving into so called 360 degree deal territory for a while now - more by negotiating interesting deals and partnerships with new talent rather than the Universal method of buying up key players in management, branding, live and TV - but this comment suggests such an approach is more extensively applied than we possibly realised.

Bronfman admitted that such deals are yet to deliver big revenues to Warner, but said that as they come of age in the coming years they - as much as new digital revenues - could help the major finally stop revenue slides and enable a new era of expansion.

Although I don't know the specifics of all of those 360 degree deals, Bronfman is probably right to be mildly optimistic about what they may deliver long term, though the best quote to come out of the investor call was a negative one, so I'm going to go with that instead.

According to Billboard, Deutsche Bank's Doug Mitchelson observed: "It seems like this industry has always been two to three years away from returning to growth, and it seems like it's been that way for four or five years".

As previously reported, Warner has consultants from Goldman Sachs in the building reviewing the company's options, which might include buying a chunk of EMI, selling off a chunk of the current Warner empire, or looking for a buyer for the whole of the Warner Music Group. With Warner, EMI and HMV all facing possible acquisitions and split ups, is anyone up for constructing the Warner Chappell Parlophone Virgin MAMA Music Group, or WarChapParGinMa as I'm thinking we might call it?

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EU COMMISSIONER CALLS FOR SIMPLER DIGITAL LICENSING (AGAIN)
Neelie Kroes, the EU's Commissioner For Digital Agenda, yesterday called on content owners of Europe to construct a "simple, consumer-friendly legal framework" for making digital content available across the Union. Yeah, good luck with that.

Speaking at an event in London alongside the bosses of Amazon and BT, and the government's culture monkey Ed 'The Man' Vaizey, Kroes said that the traditional content industries had not developed their licensing models fast enough to cope with the new demands of internet services.

She told the event: "Digitisation has fundamentally changed content industries, but licensing models simply have not kept up with this. National licensing can create a series of Berlin cultural walls. The price, both in pounds and frustration, is all too real, as creators are stifled and consumers are left empty-handed. It is time for this dysfunction to end. We need a simple, consumer-friendly legal framework for making digital content available across borders in the EU".

Of course, in the music domain, EU officials have long called on the collecting societies of Europe - mainly those representing publishing rights - to start offering more pan-European licenses for digital services, so that in theory a new digital music platform could get just one publishing rights licence for the whole continent.

Although moves have been made my music publishers and collecting societies to satisfy those demands, in many ways those moves have confused things even more. And that's before you consider the fact some major publishers have split up the way they licence performing and mechanical rights to digital services, so that the former go through a collecting society, and the latter through another agency.

And in the recording rights domain, of course, while rights holders may offer pan-European deals, they generally licence directly rather than via collecting societies, meaning digital services must do at least five deals (with each major and Merlin), and some of those rights holders will insist on a big deal sweetener in the form of both cash and equity.

So, quite some way to go to achieve Kroes' ambitions in the music domain then. Though the number of people within the industry calling for more dramatic moves in this area is increasing, some fearing that if the music business doesn't sort things out for itself, eventually governments could introduce compulsory licensing in the digital domain taking the matter out of rights holders' hands.

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RADIO 7 REBRAND GIVEN GO AHEAD
The BBC Trust has approved plans to rebrand Radio 7 as Radio 4 Extra and to create a permanent online on-demand archive of classic Radio 3 and Radio 4 content. So that's nice.

Radio 7 mainly broadcasts drama and comedy from the Radio 4 archives, with some comedy also coming from Radio 2 and occasionally olden days Radio 1. The appearance of old shows on the station often instigates the digitalisation of archive BBC content that has otherwise sat in dusty containers. Plans to rebrand the station as Radio 4 Extra, to better communicate the service's links to the Beeb's flagship speech station in a bid to boost audience, was first proposed early last year.

The BBC Trust report was complimentary of the services offered by Radios 3, 4 and 7, though encouraged station bosses to extend their audiences while retaining their channel's distinct identities. It also noted that children's content on 7 did not have a huge audience. With that in mind, the Corporation's overseer green lighted plans to reduce the amount of kids shows on what will become Radio 4 Extra, instead making more such content available to download via the CBeebies website, and licensing it to other parties to broadcast, such as digital station Fun Kids.

Welcoming the Trust's rulings, the boss of BBC Radio, Tim Davie, told reporters: "We welcome this report and the Trust's recognition that listeners enjoy these distinctive services which also represent value for money. I am pleased that the Trust has approved the rebranding of Radio 7 as Radio 4 Extra and hope we can build on the success of Radio 7 and bring its content to an even wider audience".

He added: "We also welcome the Trust's recommendation that we continue to build the appeal of Radio 3 and Radio 4 amongst potential new listeners in a way that preserves the quality and distinctiveness of the services and considers their existing, loyal audiences".

However, not everyone is happy with the findings. Commercial radio trade body RadioCentre accused the Trust of encouraging the BBC stations to become more populist when that's not really their remit, while also questioning whether the regulator had properly considered all the implications of the Radio 7 rebrand.

Their top man Andrew Harrison told reporters: "The BBC Trust's call for Radios 3 and 4 to extend their appeal, whilst retaining their distinctiveness, is a contradiction in terms. It's like asking a station to become more popular and less popular at the same time. Radio 3 and Radio 4 should be proud of their unique character and do all they can to retain it".

He added: "The rebrand of Radio 7 as Radio 4 Extra may well prove to be an important step in the radio industry's drive to digital. However, by not following due process, the BBC Trust has undermined its own governance framework. We therefore call for an open and transparent consultation, in order to understand the nature and impact of these proposals".

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STRYDER DISAPPOINTED WITH TINCHY SALES FIGURES
Tinchy Stryder is a bit miffed that more people didn't buy his third album, 'Third Strike', which was released last November and peaked at number 48 in the UK album chart.

He told BBC Newsbeat: "To be honest, how I wanted people to hear it, it might not have got to as many people. 'Catch 22' - the previous album - the success of that commercially compared to 'Third Strike', it hasn't matched up. It's weird because the music on 'Third Strike' is much more musical and powerful and deeper".

It's alright, though, he's learned from this error of trying to make better music: "You learn more from failure than success, that's real key. When a couple of things don't go your way you understand and learn, and adjust what needs to be adjusted".

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FERGIE DEFENDS CHRISTINA
Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie has rushed to the defence of Christina Aguilera, who, of course, is now the scourge of America after fluffing a line in the national anthem at the Super Bowl on Sunday. BEP also performed at the major advertising event this year, and Fergie herself has come in for some criticism on the vocal front.

Fergie told WENN: "I did [feel for her] because, you know what, it's such a huge venue, your nerves just take a hold of you, so I completely understand. She's one of the best singers of our time, so nobody can take that away from her. You get nervous at these things; she's human!"

On her own singing, presumably hoping that you remember what she said above, she continued: "Some of my notes were pitchy to me, but that was just over-excitement, I was nervous. But it's just exhilarating, the whole thing was so big. That's a once in a lifetime thing, it was just so exciting".

In other Aguilera news, rumour has it that she will open The Grammy Awards on Sunday. She will reportedly perform a tribute to Aretha Franklin with Jennifer Hudson. Let's just hope she doesn't mess up again, I'm not sure the world could cope.

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Andy Malt
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Chris Cooke
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Paul Vig
Club Tipper
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