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CMU Info
Top Stories
Is Apple's new subs system great news, terrible news, and/or an anti-trust lawsuit waiting to happen?
In The Pop Courts
Scottish bootlegger jailed
Awards & Contests
Remix David Lynch and win
In The Studio
Soundgarden making a record
Release News
Foo Fighters announce new album, and more
The-Dream brings album forward, eyes collaborators
Lenny Kravitz signs to Roadrunner for new album
Gigs & Tours News
Thai Deftones fans riot after gig cancellation
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Akron/Family - S/T II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey Of Shinju TNT (Dead Oceans)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Music Tank to think viral
More speakers announced for Liverpool Sound City
Brands & Stuff
Mike D becomes wine blogger
The Music Business
Borders US files for Chapter 11
New ticketing firm to launch next month
Imagem promotes sync chief to the board
EMI to administrate Endemol's music rights
The Digital Business
Topspin to offer new service for grass roots artists
The Media Business
BRITs beaten by Big Fat Gypsy Weddings in ratings battle
And finally...
Rolling Stone asks Justin Bieber questions. Everyone laughs
At last! Paris Hilton to release second album

Having first appeared on the scene back in the early nineties, London-based DJ Seven began producing and mixing as a teenager. Having released tracks on a variety of underground labels, including Tempa, One Gun Salute and Subway Recordings, in more recent years Seven has become recognised as a pioneer of the dubstep genre. He's also known for his dynamic live shows and technical agility on the decks, his recent mix podcast for Rinse FM being much downloaded. Doing his bit to showcase the genre he helped shape, Seven has just compiled a compo called 'Dubstep Dubplates Vol 1' which is out now on Live Beyond. Which makes this seem as good a time as any to fire our same six questions in his general direction.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I had been DJing from age nine, learning to beat match. But I was about fourteen when I produced my first tracks. Through my passion for mixing on my turntables I had been embraced by a social circle of friends who were established DJs and producers, and was totally influenced by them. It was a logical progression for me to move into production.

Studio equipment was way out of my price range, so I hired studio time and an engineer with money I accumulated from my family for my birthday. I went to Birmingham, to his studio at The Custard Factory. I made a three track EP called 'Tales From The Darkside', which was released on Dubtronix Records later on in 1994. So began the hunger to do more in the way of music production.

I finished school and then graphics academy, and acquired jobs to get money for studio kit. As soon as I saved enough money I bought the EMU e6400 sampler and eight channel Mackie mixer that I needed for the studio. I then quit my design job and began to put the time into learning how to produce music.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

The idea and inspiration behind the compilation is to show dubstep in its full spectrum. Dubstep is very versatile. It's easy to hear music these days as a trend and gain a false impression of it. So I tried to choose tracks that would lay down a foundation for new listeners, to educate and innovate them, but at the same time keep avid followers interested and intrigued. We have included tracks by well established artists, as well as brand new up n coming talent who I believe will one day be substantial people within the scene. The compilation takes the listener on a journey from deep and cinematic vibes, to full on dance floor focus. I think there is something for everyone on this album.

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

I treat every track as a unique journey into sound. I use a combination of outboard synths and computer plug-ins to make my tracks in Logic Studio. I guess my only process is in the beats I make, I have a certain formula which I always use. Apart from that, I don't really have a process. I just try to put my heart n soul into everything I do and keep things to a high standard. I try to vary everything I make, so production stays fun and I learn something new every time. It's all too easy to make the same tune over and over again, but I think I'd go stale and lose interest if that was the case for me. If I make deep dubstep, it's usually dark and cinematic with clever vocals that I sample from movies which reinforce my ideas. When focusing on the dance floor tracks I like to have big impact in the drops, without being over the top and too noisy. I think music should be music and not just a collection of noise.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

No particular artist influences my work, but many influence me as a producer. I rate many artists very highly, for both their production and attitude towards it. Massive Attack, Deadmau5, Diplo, Pharrell Williams, Quincy Jones, Chase & Status, Dillinja etc. There's too many to list really.

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

I hope you love this as much as I loved making it. SO TURN IT UP!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I have high ambitions for the compilation. I want to introduce many new people to dubstep and please long term fans alike. Take it to places where it hasn't reached to yet and captivate new audiences. My ambitions for my future are similar, I want to rise to the top of my game and continue to promote my music to bigger audiences. Captivate new listeners and express my self through my music. Summed up in seven words... I plan to take over the world!

MORE>> www.myspace.com/sevendubstep
Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin first began to gain traction as Cults nearly a year ago, when they posted three dreamy, scratchy 60s influenced pop tracks to Bandcamp. The songs quickly spread around the internet via blogs, including a few influential ones, like Gorilla Vs Bear. They liked them so much they made a limited edition Cults EP the first ever release on their spin-off label, Forest Family. The single quickly sold out, and the duo subsequently bagged support slots with the likes of Best Coast and Male Bonding.

Having been the first release on Forest Family, Cults are now set to be the first release on another new label venture, the Lily Allen-led Sony imprint In The Name Of. They will re-release the opening track from the aforementioned EP - 'Go Outside' - as a single next week, and you can catch them supporting Yuck tomorrow night at Bush Hall, followed by two headline shows in London at Madame Jojo's and The Lexington on Tuesday and Friday next week.


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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

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There's been a mixed reaction to the new app subscription system unveiled by Apple yesterday.

As previously reported, the new system will enable those companies that sell subscription-based content services via an iPhone or iPad app to charge any regular subscription fees via the Apple app store, rather than having to have a direct billing relationship with a subscriber. However Apple will charge a 30% commission on any such transactions.

As Apple was very keen to point out yesterday, the 30% commission will only apply when a subscription fee is taken via the app store. Any subscription monies taken via a service provider's own existing billing system will not be subject to any commission. Which is nice of them.

But - and this is the big but - any subscription-based app made available via Apple's store will have to offer customers the option to pay for their subscriptions via the Apple platform at the same price as if they chose to have a direct billing relationship with the service provider.

Meaning that anyone offering an app-based content service to iPhone or iPad users will have to accept paying a 30% commission on at least some of their subscription revenues. And given the whole point of the app store subscriptions system is that it makes the payment process simpler for the customer, and therefore will be an attractive option for new subscribers, the commission might end up applying to a sizable portion of subscription revenues.

Some in the media sector are unphased by the size and compulsory nature of Apple's commission fee. Newspapers and magazines are used to a sizable portion of subscription revenues going to a distributor and retailer, and for them 30% is a favourable cut to have to hand over. And any new system that makes it easier for customers to subscribe is good news, given that media owners are already facing the challenge of convincing customers to pay for content they've been previously receiving for free.

But for other businesses - especially those in the streaming music space - Apple's proposals could be disastrous. For a number of digital music providers, Spotify and We7 among them, it is the mobile app versions of their services that entice customers to sign up to premium subscription packages. But for these companies, who have to pay licence fees to record labels and music publishers for the content they carry, profit margins are tiny (and in some cases non-existent), and the thought of having to pass three pounds of every ten pound subscription over to Apple will be very worrying.

US music service Rhapsody was most vocal in expressing its disappointment at Apple's subscriptions system yesterday. The company's boss Jon Irwin said he had no problem paying Apple a commission for subscriptions charged via the IT giant's app store, but that 30% was way too much. Or "economically untenable" to use his words.

He told reporters: "We have to pay rights holders (the music labels and publishers) for our content. With all those fees that go out, [adding] Apple's 30% will exceed the revenue on our product. It's not a matter of making less money, it would be zero profit. Our position isn't that Apple doesn't deserve a take, they provide a valuable service [with the App Store], but there's a fair value that they should receive for that".

Some, especially in the US, have raised new anti-trust concerns over Apple's latest innovation. Any content service providers wanting to reach iPhone and iPad owners - which is all content service providers - are forced to sign up to Apple's new subscriptions system at the 30% rate because the IT giant's app store is the only way to reach customers using those devices, because of the closed-shop nature of the Apple platform. And that, when coupled with the compulsory status of the new system, is, some would argue, anti-competitive.

An increasing number of legal commentators, again especially in the US, see Apple as a multi-billion dollar anti-trust lawsuit just waiting to happen, as increasingly arrogant management at the ever-powerful IT giant seem to employ the same approaches to business as used by the guys who ran Microsoft back in the 1990s.

Whether the app store subscriptions system could be what ignites such an anti-trust battle - which could lead to Apple being broken up or, at the very least, being forced to open up its platforms - remains to be seen. Certainly the Rhapsodys of this world were consulting their lawyers yesterday, and may well use the threat of such action in any negotiations on the compulsory nature of the app store subscription system and the 30% rate. Though the Apple bosses who hide behind all that trendy marketing and a cuddly, ailing CEO, are so arrogant these days, they'd probably call said lawyers' bluff.

Apple's legal men would presumably point to Google as proof they are operating in a competitive environment. And their web giant rival yesterday launched its own subscriptions system - Google One Pass - which will enable signed up customers to pay for access to multiple content services, accessed via the web or apps on the Android platform, through one account. Google will only take a 10% commission.

Though, of course, Google's system won't work for services accessed via apps on the iPhone or iPad, so its existence and lower commission isn't necessarily a motivation for Apple to offer a more competitive rate, and therefore not necessarily a sufficient counter-argument to any allegations of anti-trust behaviour.

Unless, of course, enough content owners would dare to pull their services from Apple's app store making the burgeoning Android market place more attractive. Few will want to take that risk though, if they did, they'd reduce both Apple's market dominance, and the potential of an anti-trust case being filed against Steve Jobs et al.

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A CD and DVD bootlegger in Edinburgh has been jailed for sixteen months after admitting to making and selling illegal copies of albums and movies between 2007 and 2009. Police found 4000 fake CDs and DVDs worth £200,000 when they raided Paul McPhillips Edinburgh home. He had been selling the dodgy products online.

McPhillip's lawyer stressed that this was her client's first offence, that he had been struggling to support his seven children after losing his full time job, and the piracy venture had started as a small-time enterprise to make ends meet. She asked that her client be given community service rather than be jailed.

However, judge Frank Crowe of the Edinburgh Sheriff Court insisted that the scale McPhillips' piracy operation had reached over those two years, even if such a scale was not originally intended, was sufficiently grand that "prison is the only option".

The Minister For Intellectual Property, Judith Wilcox, welcomed the ruling, adding that the government remained committed to the principle of custodial sentences for those involved in criminal copyright infringement.

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Having released his debut double A-side single back in December, film director David Lynch is now attempting to break the record for the most competitions run in relation to a single release.

Following that previously reported 'make me a video' competition, Lynch's label Sunday Best has teamed up with dance digital store Beatport to stage a remix contest. Bedroom mixers are invited to remix Lynch's track 'Good Day Today', and to then upload their attempts onto website Beatportal. Users of that site will then be invited to vote on the best.

The lucky winner will have their remix released on Sunday Best Recordings, and will be given a grand prize package of leading DJ software and an online music-production course.

For additional details on the voting process, schedule and prize info, visit: www.beatportal.com/feed/item/announcing-the-david-lynch-good-day-today-remix-contest/

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I remember when Soundgarden split up in 1997, Kerrang! asked Chris Cornell why. He told them it was partly because they'd released five good albums and they didn't want to spoil it by recording a bad one. Whether Cornell is now confident his band have another good album in them, or he's just lowered his standards, isn't clear.

But either way, the band issued a statement via their website on Tuesday saying: "Over the past few months, we've been busy jamming, writing and hanging out together - exploring the creative aspect of being Soundgarden. It feels great. We have some cool new songs that we are going to record very soon".

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A release date has been announced for the next Foo Fighters album which, as previously reported, was made with a back to basics approach, recorded to analogue tape in Dave Grohl's garage. The result is said to be (albeit by their PR) Foo Fighters' "strongest and most cohesive effort" yet.

Featuring guest appearances by Hüsker Dü axe-man Bob Mould and one-time Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, the album is now due for UK release on 11 Apr via Sony Music. Although there isn't any preview material to listen to just yet, you can possibly get a feel for the new lo-fi Foos in this slightly surreal VHS-shot video: youtu.be/ebJ2brErERQ

In other Foos-news, it's been confirmed a feature length Foo Fighters documentary will be released in alongside the new LP. Directed by Oscar-winning director James Moll, the film will chronicle the band's history.

Meanwhile, have a track listing.

Bridge Burning
Dear Rosemary
White Limo
These Days
Back & Forth
A Matter Of Time
Miss The Misery
I Should Have Known

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As previously reported, The-Dream is planning to release a new album this year. Although he told Quddus it would be out in August last week, he's now confident it'll be on shelves in June. 7 Jun, to be exact. And it'll have lots of guests on it. Oh, and he's changed the title from 'Love Affair' to 'The Love IV'.

Speaking to MTV, the R&B fella said: "This album is gonna have more [guests], which is unique for me, cause I usually don't carry a lot of [guests]. I'm calling it out now. I'm cashing in my chips. I'm gonna try to get everybody, Wayne, Kanye, Jay, Drake, Mary, anybody that I've worked with or [lent] a hand to, I'm trying to get on my album".

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Lenny Kravitz will release his ninth studio album through Warner's Roadrunner Records, it has been announced, making it the first in his career not to be released by EMI's Virgin Records. Entitled 'Black And White America', the album will be released at some point over the summer. The first single, 'Come On Get It', will be released next week.

Kravitz told CMU: "I am really excited for everyone to hear the music on 'Black And White America'. Musically and lyrically, I feel it is the most diverse album of my career".

Speaking about the new deal, Roadrunner President Jonas Nachsin added: "Roadrunner is thrilled to welcome Lenny Kravitz to our family. Lenny is a consummate artist who has achieved critical and commercial success, and we plan on promoting his new music as some of the most compelling work in his illustrious career".

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According to reports, Thai Deftones fans rampaged through the streets of Bangkok on Tuesday after a Deftones gig in the city was cancelled an hour after the band had been due on stage.

Police Lieutenant Tawatchai Jongyingcharoen told the AP: "They started throwing bottles at the stadium building, breaking windows and vandalising tents and beer booths outside the venue. Some of the tents were set on fire".

Here's a video of some people shouting and knocking a gazebo over: youtu.be/V4hPyxOthy8

Yesterday the band issued a statement, saying: "Due to local power issues that threatened the safety of the band and their fans, Deftones were forced to cancel their show last night at the Thunderdome in Bangkok, Thailand. Deftones would like to apologise to those that were inconvenienced and hope to return to Thailand in the near future".

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BILBAO BBK, Recinto Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Spain, 7-9 Jul: Organisers of this picturesque Spanish weekender have announced a rather odd but good assortment of additional acts for their Coldplay and Amy Winehouse-topped bill, including Blondie, TV On The Radio and Beady Eye. Something for everyone, I suppose. www.bilbaobbklive.com

EXIT, Novi Sad, Serbia, 7-10 Jul: Underworld and Beirut are the latest acts set to storm this fortress-based Serbian celebration, joining other acts including Arcade Fire, Portishead, Grinderman and Hadouken!. www.eng.exitfest.org

FIELD DAY, Victoria Park, London, 6 Aug: Wild Beasts, The Horrors, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and The Coral are amongst the initial group of artists revealed to appear at the alt-music hoopla that is London's Field Day. Also set to perform this year is Velvet Underground founding-member John Cale, who will be joined by acts including fellow Welshman Gruff Rhys, the newly reformed Electrelane, Willy Mason, Cocknbullkid, Jamie Woon, Twin Shadow and Factory Floor. www.fielddayfestivals.com

ISLE OF WIGHT, Seaclose Park, Newport, 10-12 Jun: The Courteeners, Band Of Horses and We Are Scientists are among the latest acts announced to play at this year's Isle of Wight Festival, they will all play on the Friday before headliners Kings of Leon. Meanwhile punk band The Cult and girl group Wonderland are new to the Saturday bill, with Edei, Various Cruelties and Springbok Nude Girls added to the line-up for the final day. These newbies join such already-confirmed old hands as Tinie Tempah, Foo Fighters, Pulp, Alexandra Burke and Little Boots. www.isleofwightfestival.com

OPEN AIR ST GALLEN, Sitterobel, Switzerland, 30 Jun - 3 Jul: This Swiss fest has just added Dizzee Rascal, The National, Hurts, Beirut, Warpaint, Digitalism, The Vaccines, Lissie and the brilliant Janelle Monáe to their 2011 line up. They join headliners Linkin Park and local fantastic four-piece Die Fantastischen Vier. www.openairsg.ch/en/

SLAM DUNK, Leeds University, 28 May/University of Hertfordshire, 29 May: Ska punk heroes Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake are amongst those confirmed to headline this two-site university-based Slam Dunk festival, which takes place at two different locations on successive days. Amongst those acts set to accompany them on the roster are US electro-rock types 3OH!3, reformed pop-punksters The Starting Line, Deaf Havana, Anti-Flag, Framing Hanley and MC Lars. www.slamdunkmusic.com/slam-dunk-festival

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ALBUM REVIEW: Akron/Family - S/T II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey Of Shinju TNT (Dead Oceans)
Akron/Family play spaced-out, woozy, country-fried psych rock. That's what they do. And on 'S/T II' they offer up some suitably odd moments of sublime American wilderness music.

Campfire drums and bird song mix with subaqueous basslines and Animal Collective rip-off semi-ecstatic chants (on 'Island'). Delicate chords and doo-wop harmonies mingle with face-melting guitar leads ('A AAA O A WAY'). And Hans Zimmer-esque glockenspiel road movie melodies and creamy vocals share a bottle of late night beer with endless summers pounding out schaffel-stomps on 'Light Emerges'.

'S/T II' is an odd thing: in its attempt at sounding like an effortless late afternoon wander through a meadow, it comes across as an exercise in creating the mood, rather than inhabiting it. The aforementioned very good songs are lumped in with a series of go nowhere tracks that clearly desperately want to live up to the "cosmic" word in the title, but the attempt at conveying joy and a sense of naïve awe at the natural world in the vocals and lyrics comes across as trite. And the overstuffed mix is cloying at times.

Though in Akron/Family's defence, this isn't music intended for overcast English Februarys. Perhaps an afternoon by a lake in Portland, Oregon, with a flowing-haired-floral-dressed babe, would wipe out any reservations I had about the authenticity of the band's intentions. JAB

Physical release: 14 Mar

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Viral marketing, and engaging fans through social media networks, will be the focus of the next Music Tank event, taking place at the University Of Westminster in London on 3 Mar.

Already confirmed to join the debate are Matt Smith from marketing agency and viral video experts The Viral Factory, blogger and film-maker Dan Nixon, and Darren Hemmings from the digital marketing unit of [PIAS], whose is always particularly insightful on this topic.

More info from www.musictank.co.uk/events/it-started-with-a-click-how-to-spawn-a-viral-hit

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Organisers of Liverpool Sound City have announced details of some of the digitally-focused sessions that will take place during their music business convention this year.

First up, Alex White, the man behind US-based Next Big Sound, which was awarded the Most Innovative B2B Start-up prize at MIDEM, will be giving a keynote, while a panel on all things apps will feature insights from Mark Rock of AudioBoo, Robert Thomas of Reality Jockey, Adam Perry of BandApp and Stephen O'Reilly of Mobile Roadie.

Yesterday's conference speaker announcements came alongside another batch of acts being added to the bill for the Liverpool Sound City festival, including Frank Turner, Steve Mason, Funeral Party, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Mona, Three Trapped Tigers, Yuck, The Chapman Family, Veronica Falls, Lower Than Atlantis, Zeus, Niki & The Dove and worriedaboutsatan.

This year's LSC takes place from 19-21 May, and you'll find all the info you need over there at www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

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Mike D is clearly reading from the Manic Street Preachers book of promotion in the run-up to the release of the new Beastie Boys album. No, he's not going on 'Strictly Come Dancing', but he has become a blogger for wine merchants James Suckling. You've gotta get that middle class dollar.

In his first post, the rapper said: "I had a half bottle of 2006 Jean-Marc Morey Santenay La Comme Dessus last week at Momofuku Ssam Bar here in New York during a late and delicious lunch break from the studio. We are putting the finishing touches on a new album. Fortunately, we have been working closely with our esteemed colleague Mr Zdar, so we have been sticking to his French work ethic of strong coffee and lengthy sit-down lunches".

He continued: "The red Burgundy was really good actually, especially when you don't expect much out of a restaurant half bottle. I can't say the spicy cuisine did the wine any favours. But still, after properly cleansing the palate, this was surprisingly ready to rock - ripe fruits, earthy notes, even a little bit of refined funk. Elegant and restrained with well-balanced tension. 93 points".

So, there you go. More wine bloggery here: jamessuckling.com/blog.html

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American books and CD seller Borders has, as expected, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Though, unlike it's one time UK sister company, which disappeared from the high street at the end of 2009, Borders US hope to come out of all this as a going concern, albeit a much smaller one. 200 of the firm's 644 firms will shut straight away while management use a so called "debtor in possession" loan from GE Capital to restructure the finances and operations of the rest of the company.

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A new ticketing company will launch in the UK next month rising from the grave of the Seatem Group, which quietly went into receivership last year.

Ingresso has bought various of the assets of the old Seatem Group, including TicketSwitch, Keith Prowse Tickets, Applause and First Call, and is being spearheaded by Seatem's founder and former CEO Paul Burns. Also playing a key role in the new company is Nick Blackburn, a former Ticketmaster executive and the founder of See Tickets.

It is thought it is the TicketSwitch system that will be at the heart of the new company, which, according to a statement from Ingresso, "empowers producers, promoters and ticket vendors to increase their sales revenues by facilitating low cost access to a vast array of previously untapped channels and customers". Whatever that means.

According to The Stage, the system allows multiple agents to have live access to one central box office, and would make it easier for third parties, such as travel agents and airlines, to sell tickets to theatre and music shows.

They quote Blackburn as saying: "I have sought to bring innovative solutions and high service levels to the market. I believe that, with the increasing importance of electronic sales and distribution in the event ticketing market, TicketSwitch will offer a hugely compelling service to providers and distributors reaching previously unavailable sales channels, which will increase their sales and lower their costs".

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Independent publisher Imagem has promoted Natasha Baldwin, the head of its sync and creative services division, to its board of directors. Baldwin began working in the sync domain after joining music publishers Boosey & Hawkes in 2001. By the time Imagem bought B&H in 2009 she was Group Head Of Music Consultancy. She subsequently moved to a similar role for the whole of the Imagem group.

Confirming the promotion this morning, Imagem CEO John Minch told CMU: "Natasha is an extremely talented executive who has an excellent track record of success. She is one of the most admired creative services experts in the music publishing industry and a huge asset to our company. We are delighted to announce her elevation to full board member status within the Imagem Group".

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EMI Music Publishing has been appointed to handle the administration of music rights owned by media giant Endemol, which includes the themes to TV shows like 'Big Brother' and 'Wipeout' as well as a big stack of library music. The partnership will be overseen on Endemol's side by Tracy Davis, who works within the Endemol Worldwide Brands division.

Confirming the deal, EWB CEO Olivier Gers said these words: "Music is a critical component to the brand of each Endemol show and there is great potential to unlock further value from this. Partnering with a world leader like EMI Music Publishing strongly positions us to most effectively harness our music archives around the world and build new revenue streams for our local companies, for the group and others who partner with Endemol to develop their brands".

For EMI's side, the major's VP of Media Business Development, Jonathan Channon, added: "Leading media companies are increasingly realising that they have a genuine opportunity to make their music assets work harder for them, and that's particularly true for a business like Endemol with such global reach and success. We're looking forward to working with them on both an international and local level to deliver real value for their impressive music catalogue and library".

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US-based Topspin is entering the DIY end of the direct-to-fan market by offering a new low-cost option aimed at individual artists or bedroom labels.

Although a leading provider of digital tools to promote and sell music directly to fans over the net, Topspin has mainly sold its services to more established labels and artist managers to date. The new service, which will be both cheaper and, it is thought, easier to use, will put Topspin in the same market as more grass roots services like ReverbNation, Bandcamp and Music Glue.

Topsin has also announced a new competition to find the best direct-to-fan business model developed in the last year. The winner will get a five grand grant.

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So, more people watched 'Big Fat Gypsy Weddings' on Channel 4 on Tuesday night than tuned into the BRIT Awards on ITV1. Nearly two million more, according to the almost entirely made up TV ratings from that night. In fact, the awards ceremony came in third, after 'Holby City' on BBC One.

The BRITs averaged 4.8 million viewers, while 'Big Fat Gypsy Weddings' took 6.5 million. Which is reasonable, I suppose. The BRITs may allow you to satisfy various deeply held prejudices in the safety of your own home, but not on the level 'BFGW' manages. Also, last week Channel 4 showed people bare knuckle fighting, while the BRITs just threatened that Jessie J might sing her acceptance speech. No contest, really.

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I'm not sure we are really qualified to take the moral high ground on this, but fuck it, I'm going to do it anyway.

The new issue of Rolling Stone features one Justin Bieber as its cover star, and contains an in-depth interview with the sixteen-year old pop tyke in its pages. "Why would Rolling Stone do such a thing?" you may well ask. Clearly Bieber's music is of no interest to their core readership. Oh, but what it they were to ask him a load of questions about tricky ethical issues that he - like the majority of sixteen year olds on the planet - will surely get confused or embarrassed about. Well that would be funny, wouldn't it?

Kicking off with something basic, the magazine asked the sixteen year old if he believed in sex before marriage, before moving on to his thoughts on abortion in the case of rape. Dickheads. Still, how did the Biebster respond?

On sex before marriage, Bieber said: "I don't think you should have sex with anyone unless you love them". Pressed further on whether one should be married to that person before the sex begins, he added: "I think you should just wait for the person you're... in love with".

On the more politically sensitive (especially in America) issue of abortion, the Biebster remarked: "I really don't believe in abortion. It's like killing a baby". Remembering Bieber is just sixteen, and almost certainly doesn't really know what he himself believes (or beliebs, possibly?) about the really big moral questions, it takes someone with a pretty strong desire to make a child look stupid to then ask: How about in cases of rape? "Um", poor Justin bumbled. "Well, I think that's really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that".

Nice. Still, here's one we can all laugh at. What political party will Bieber support when he's old enough to vote? "I'm not sure about the parties. But whatever they have in Korea, that's bad".

Yep. But at least in Korea you're not allowed to do this to pop stars:youtu.be/0e50vqY7Szo

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Can it really be five years since Paris Hilton released her unforgettable debut album? Yes, it can. Released in 2006, 'Paris' was far and away one of the most creative and visionary albums of that year, or any year since. So respected as a cultural turning point was it that Banksy created a parody version and placed it alongside the original in branches of HMV in the hope that some of Hilton's artistic power would rub off on him. His debut film has since been nominated for an Oscar. Coincidence?

Speaking to Billboard at Usher's pre-Grammy party last week, the hotel chain heiress said that she hopes to release the follow-up "in the next few months", and that it would feature some "surprise" producers and guest artists. Hopefully Katie 'Jordan' Price will be one of them, that would be a dream come true.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Lady Gaga
Minature Stonehenge Attendant

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