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Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
Top Stories
Conrad Murray trial rescheduled
In The Pop Courts
Courtney Love settles Twitter defamation case
Pop Politics
Beyonce and Mariah speak about Gaddafi gigs
Awards & Contests
Cloud Control win the AMP
Stoute and Team Grammy talking
In The Studio
Biffy Clyro begin work on new album
Release News
Unreleased Eminem tracks leak
Girls Names announce debut album
Gigs & Tours News
Wiley announces album and tour dates
Festival News
Libertines not playing Glastonbury
Festival line-up update
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Gary Kemp to host songwriting masterclass
The Music Business
PPL aims to get better tracking with Soundmouse
Eurosonic gets funding for new band festival support programme
The Digital Business
Virgin's all-you-can-eat plan outdated, says Virgin's music man
The Media Business
Independent Sky News plan may get News Corp's BSkyB takeover plan the green light
And finally...
U2 fanclub members launch petition against shoddy service
Justin Bieber apologises for lewd hand gesture

So, at an FT conference in London this week Virgin Media's music man Richard Wheeler discussed the challenge of (unsuccessfully) convincing music companies other than Universal to sign up to the proposal of an unlimited all-you-can-eat subscription-based MP3 download service. He also admitted that Virgin was now thinking of launching a music offer more akin to Spotify - so stream-based, with the option to store cached tracks within a player on mobiles - rather than the original unlimited MP3s plan.

So two debates to be had there, and we will be discussing both at The Great Escape in May. First, which digital music business models have the most potential, will one of them win out in the end, or can they co-exist? And second, is the current digital licensing approach fit for purpose, or should the industry be looking to license more digital businesses through collecting societies? We've got some great digital and music execs on board to discuss these issues - who we will be announcing very soon - but if you want to be part of the debate get yourself a Great Escape delegates ticket right now at escapegreat.com.

Meanwhile, what else happened this week?

01: Sony Music recruited Doug Morris for its soon to be vacant CEO position. The 72 year old record industry veteran and Universal Music Chairman will join Sony on 1 Jul, having negotiated an early departure from his current employer. Morris emerged as a contender for the Sony top job earlier this year, he seemingly not enjoying the back-seat role he took at Universal last year after giving up the CEO job there. CMU report | MTV report

02: HMV issued another profit warning,
and admitted it is now unlikely to meet the financial performance terms of its £100 million+ bank loans. We already knew HMV was busy trying to renegotiate those terms, but this confirms that the next month is going to be very tense for the albeit profitable music and entertainment retailer. The fact that Chairman Robert Swannell quit this week will presumably only make it more so. Given the financial stresses, it seems more and more likely that HMV will accept shareholder Alexander Mamut's offer to by Waterstones, despite past insistence the books bit of the group wasn't for sale. CMU report | Telegraph report

03: A treasury minister said to expect an announcement on the mail-order CD VAT loophole in the next budget. James Sassoon told the House Of Lords that the government was reviewing the loophole that lets mail-order websites based in the Channel Islands sell goods under £18 without paying VAT, giving them a 20% advantage over mainland sellers. This has raised hopes among those who oppose the VAT dodge that Chancellor Georgie Osbourne will now stop it. Sassoon was responding to questions about the dodge raised by Tory Lord Ralph Lucas. CMU report

04: Warner Music's owners were considering over ten bids to buy some or all of the music major. The bids have come in via Warner's bankers Goldman Sachs. It is thought most bids are just for Warner's publishing business Warner/Chappell. Selling just that bit of the Warner Music Group is also thought to be Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr's preferred option. He wants to use some of the money made to buy EMI's record labels when they go up for sale later this year. CMU report | Hollywood Reporter report

05: IFPI announced an alliance with the City Of London police and credit card firms to fight rogue download sites. Moving forward, the global record industry trade body will alert to the City Of London authorities to websites they believe are selling digital music illegally. Credit card firms will then ask the banks providing those sites with payment services to demand to see their music licenses and, if there are none, to stop providing said services. The hope is this can hinder those rogue download sites based in places like Russia where it's hard to pursue copyright litigation. CMU report | Zeropaid report

And that's your lot. But do look out for our cuddly podcast where we'll chat about some of these stories, and some more, for your listening pleasure. It'll be online later today, so why not sign up now via iTunes.

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: WANG at Rhythm Factory
WANG breaks the habit of eleven years and moves to a Friday night, at east London's Rhythm Factory. The format will be the same though, with many WANG favourites waiting in the aisles: Bass Junkie, Dexorcist, Si Begg and Jerome Hill among them, plus Ceephax Acid Crew (pictured) makes an overdue return with his unique live show.

Elsewhere, and after performing an unannounced sneak preview of his forthcoming album at the club night's NYE party, WANG head honcho Electro Elvis will return to the decks once more, alongside Ben Lyford, CJ Marshall, Kirsti Weir, and not forgetting DJ Lula.

This venue apparently has a belting new sound system, a friendly door policy, and with reasonable bar prices, making this a right proper party night.

Friday 4 Mar, The Rhythm Factory, 16-18 Whitechapel Road, E1, 10pm - 6am, £6 door/£7 adv, more info from www.wanging.com

Anorak is looking for an exceptional, Senior Digital PR person with excellent press contacts and at least three years experience working digital campaigns to join our award winning digital department. All applicants must have extensive experience in strategy (and will be required to demonstrate this) plus a true passion for all things digital, a genuine love of music and the ability to work as part of a team. This role will only be suitable for someone senior. Good contacts are essential.

Please send CVs to: [email protected] and [email protected]

We are looking for a part-time designer and production manager to work on a number of upcoming print and online projects. You will need to know your way around InDesign, Photoshop and Dreamweaver, and combine a creative spark with the drive and attention to detail required to lay-out content-rich media to tight deadlines.

This is a part-time freelance role based at our Shoreditch HQ. You will be needed at least two days a week throughout March and April, though we can be flexible on exact days and times. This would suit a junior designer with great ideas and some experience in magazine and/or website design and layout. Daily rate £90.

Send CV and cover letter to [email protected].

"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

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


How to build a profile for your artists - the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. Wed 9 Mar 2011

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

The start of Dr Conrad Murray's trial over the alleged involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson has been put back by seven and a half weeks, which is no fun at all. Opening statements had been due to be made on 24 Mar.

As previously reported, there was a squabble at a pre-trial hearing last week when it emerged the main lawyer working for Murray had not prepared reports on the witnesses he plans to present during the trial. J Michael Flanagan told Judge Michael Pastor he never prepared notes on likely witnesses for trials like this, that he hadn't done so for ten years, and that he didn't have to under California laws.

But Pastor said he wanted the reports to be written, so they could be shared with the prosecution before the trial to avoid any nasty surprises in court. With none of those reports even started, Prosecutor Deborah Brazil said that would mean the start of the trial would have to be postponed.

Pastor initially resisted those calls, but ruled on Wednesday that the start of the trail should be postponed in order to give both legal teams more time to share information. Prospective jurors will still be called on the trial's original start date of 24 Mar, but the trial itself won't get underway until 9 May.

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Oh this is no fun at all, either. Courtney Love's legal squabble with fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir over the former's libellous rantings on Twitter has been settled out of court.

As previously reported, Simorangkir sued Love over a series of tweets posted in 2009 in which the singer accused the fashion lady of all sorts of things, seemingly after the pair fell out over a $4000 clothing bill.

Simorangkir said Love's comments on the micro-blogging platform, which included Love branding Simorangkir an "asswipe nasty lying hosebag thief", were untrue and damaged her reputation and business. She sued for defamation.

Love said her comments were merely opinions and not intended as statements of fact, while also arguing there was no tangible proof that the tweets had caused Simorangkir any actual financial loss.

The whole thing was due to go to court in January, and could have been a very interesting case, given it's the first real defamation lawsuit to centre on comments made via Twitter. But the hearing was postponed after out of court negotiations began.

A settlement was reached yesterday, with Love agreeing to pay Simorangkir $430,000 in damages over the next three years.

Simorangkir's legal rep Bryan Freedman told The Hollywood Reporter: "The amount of the settlement says it all. [Love's] reprehensible defamatory comments were completely false and $430,000 is quite a significant way to say I am sorry. One would hope that, given this disaster, restraint of pen, tongue and tweet would guide Ms Love's future conduct". Yeah, I'll believe that when I see it.

Meanwhile, Love's attorney James Janowitz told The Reporter he was also pleased with the deal, adding that Simorangkir had originally asked for substantially more in damages, and that the final figure agreed gave her team "bragging rights" but nothing else. Asked whether his client would be using Twitter in the future, Janowitz said: "I don't think she's using it any more. But I could be wrong".

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Earlier this week Nelly Furtado announced that she would donate the $1 million fee she received for playing the Gaddafi family's annual New Years party on the island of St Barts back in 2007 to charity, after the shock revelation that the family's patriarch, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, is a bit controversial. Who knew?

As well as Furtado, Beyonce, Usher and Mariah Carey have all played at the Gaddafi family's annual New Years bash in recent years, and pressure mounted on them this week to follow Furtado's lead. Now Beyonce has revealed that she got shot of that dirty cash ages ago, while Carey says the whole thing is very embarrassing.

Beyonce's publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said in a statement: "All monies paid to Beyonce for her performance at a private party at Nikki Beach St Barts on New Year's Eve 2009, including the commissions paid to her booking agency, were donated to the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti over a year ago. Once it became known that the third party promoter was linked to the Gaddafi family, the decision was made to put that payment to a good cause".

Meanwhile, Carey told Associated Press: "I was naive and unaware of who I was booked to perform for. I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess. Going forward, this is a lesson for all artists to learn from. We need to be more aware and take more responsibility regardless of who books our shows. Ultimately, we as artists are to be held accountable".

As for whether she would be donating her fee to charity, Carey's rep, Cindi Berger, said the singer already donates lots of money to charity, thank you very much: "Mariah has and continues to donate her time, money and countless hours of personal service to many organisations both here and abroad".

Usher, who also performed at a Gaddafi New Year show, and 50 Cent, who played a gig for the dictator at the 2005 Venice Film Festival, are yet to comment on what they may or may not do with their fees.

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Indie types Cloud Control have won the sixth Australian Music Prize for their debut album 'Bliss Release'. The AMP, of course, is a bit like an Aussie version of the Mercury Music Prize.

Commenting on the win, the band's bassist Jeremy Kelshaw told The Music Network: "It's great to win something like the AMP Award, especially when the history of the awards has so many great unbelievable artists. Also the cast of 2010 was so strong so to come out on top of that among so many other great acts on the shortlist was pretty unbelievable".

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A truce has been reached between Grammy hater Steve Stoute and Grammy boss Neil Portnow. As previously reported, Stoute recently took out a full page ad in the New York Times to rage about everything he thinks is wrong about the US music industry's big awards show, mainly that big urban acts are asked to perform but often don't win.

Grammy organisers The Recording Academy didn't initially respond to the rant, but yesterday it was announced Stoute and Academy chief Neil Portnow were talking about the former's concerns, and possible ways to overcome them.

In a slightly waffley statement, Grammy chiefs said: "The voices of artists and our creative community are at the heart of the missions of the Recording Academy and indeed the music industry itself. Expanding constructive and positive ways to continue to actively incorporate generational and artistic diversity in the Academy's development and good work serves those important missions".

It continued: "The participation of new and culturally diverse voices has and continues to be a goal which benefits our members, the creative community, and music fans everywhere. To that end, we have come together in a collaborative manner to discuss how the Recording Academy can continue to evolve in an ever-changing cultural environment. We invite others who share this agenda to join us in these discussions".

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Biffy Clyro have begun work on the follow-up to their 2009 album 'Only Revolutions', the band revealed this week.

Currently on tour in the US, frontman Simon Neil told BBC 6music: "I love writing songs at home, so we've got about fifteen or sixteen songs that we did over New Year, as soon as we get off the road we'll get the album done. We're always going to be a rock band, it's always going to be heavy, but hopefully there'll be some different elements too. Though it's going to sound like Biffy. It's not going to be a reggae record ".

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A nine track collection of songs by Eminem, thought to have been recorded between the releases of 'Relapse' in 2009 and 'Recovery' in 2010, has leaked online.

Assuming the dating of these recordings is correct, they may well be songs originally intended for 'Relapse 2'. That record was retitled 'Recovery' of course, and it's thought some of the tracks originally intended for it were shelved.

At the time, Eminem said: "I had originally planned for 'Relapse 2' to come out last year. But as I kept recording and working with new producers, the idea of a sequel to 'Relapse' started to make less and less sense to me, and I wanted to make a completely new album. The music on 'Recovery' came out very different from 'Relapse', and I think it deserves its own title".

Posted on studioleaks.info, it's not clear how the tracks made their way to the internet, but they've already been bundled together and called the 'Straight From The Vault EP'.

The tracklisting for the leaked EP is as follows:

The Peoples' Champ (Intro)
Get Money
Emulate (feat Obie Trice)
Ballin Uncontrollably
Going Crazy (feat D12)
Wee Wee
The Apple
It's Been Real (Outro)

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Post-punkers Girls Names have announced that they will release their debut album, 'Dead To Me', via Tough Love Records on 25 Apr. The first single will be 'Seance On A Wet Afternoon'.

Watch the video for it here: youtu.be/LMezuCATOzo

Here's the tracklist:

I Could Die
When You Cry
No More Words
Nothing More To Say
I Lose
Cut Up
Bury Me
The Kiss Goodbye
Seance On A Wet Afternoon

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MTV Base's fifth best UK rapper Wiley has unveiled some UK tour dates, along with the announcement that he's to release new self-produced album '100% Publishing' via Big Dada on 4 Jul. First single 'Numbers In Action' will come out first on 16 May.

Catch Wiley, if you can, at one of the following dates in his 'Elusive Tour':

5 Apr: Glasgow, Classic Grand
6 Apr: Newcastle, Academy 2
7 Apr: Sheffield, The Plug
8 Apr: Manchester, Club Academy
9 Apr: Cardiff, Millennium Music Hall
11 Apr: Birmingham, Academy 2
12 Apr: Brighton Concorde 2
13 Apr: Norwich, Waterfront
14 Apr: London, Islington Academy

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So, there's that rumour put to bed; Carl Barat has said that The Libertines will not be playing this year's Glastonbury.

Speaking to the Daily Star, Barat said: "Getting back together at Reading & Leeds was more than I could ever imagine and made me understand and realise what an impact the band had on a generation. In time I would be keen to do it again but Pete Doherty and I are busy doing other things. It's definitely not over between us, we're just waiting for the right time. The next thing will be something special".

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CAMDEN CRAWL, various venues, London, 30 Apr - 1 May: Tuneful Nottingham quintet Dog Is Dead are new introductions to the Summer Sundae stage at this sprawling two-dayer, as is rising country starlet Delta Maid. Other acts scheduled to appear include Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Lulu & The Lampshades, Dry The River and Beth Jeans Houghton, who join the likes of Lethal Bizzle and Little Comets on the bill. www.thecamdencrawl.com

FM4 FREQUENCY, Green Park, St Polten, Austria, 18-20 Aug: Festival organisers have announced a huge line-up for the tenth annual FM4 fest. Headed up by Foo Fighters, Kasabian, Interpol and The Chemical Brothers, the bill also includes Beady Eye, Hurts, The National and Rise Against. Meanwhile Two Door Cinema Club, Friendly Fires and Crystal Fighters will showcase the best in British indie at this scenic Austrian bash. www.frequency.at

GLASTONBURY, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 22-26 Jun: Newly announced Other Stage Friday night headliners are Primal Scream, with Mumford & Sons set to play just before them. Showing the youngsters how it's done will be venerable bluesman BB King, while Big Boi, The Chemical Brothers, Fleet Foxes, Anna Calvi and Crystal Castles are also booked to perform. As if that wasn't enough, Emily Eavis has also confirmed the additions of Warpaint, James Blake, Laura Marling and Janelle Monáe to the bill. Meanwhile a few impatient acts, including Elbow, Interpol, Biffy Clyro, Yuck, The Coral, Eels, Noisettes, Jessie J and Jimmy Cliff, have self-confirmed that they will appear at Glasto this year, the rascals. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

WOOD FESTIVAL, Braziers Park, 20-22 May: This fully-sustainable eco festival will this year host local folk heroine Thea Gilmore, as well as other recent announcements Cajun trio Mama Rosin, Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou, and Celtic group Uiscedwr. Existing headliners Willy Mason, Nick Cope and Eliza Carthy Band will further enrich the family-friendly acoustic atmosphere. www.thisistruck.com/about-wood-festival.aspx

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Gary Kemp, he of Spandau Ballet fame, will be doing a masterclass over there at the British Music Experience under London's O2 Dome on 28 Mar, which will include acoustic performances of some classic hits and a Q&A session with the man himself. Gary will also read excerpts from his 2009 autobiography 'I Know This Much: From Soho to Spandau'.

"Songwriting in the UK is something we should be proud of", enthuses Gary, "to get the chance to talk at the BME amongst the years of history gathered there will be a very proud moment. The exhibition shows the history of British music, something that I am very honoured to have been a part of for well over thirty years".

Visit www.britishmusicexperience.com/garykemp/ to buy tickets, and for more details.

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Recording rights collecting society PPL yesterday announced a partnership with a company called Soundmouse, who monitor music being played on TV and radio. The deal means the rights body will be able to monitor how reliable the airplay data provided by different broadcasters is, and to identify any slackness. The aim, of course, being to more accurately track what music is played so to more accurately pay out royalties to labels and recording artists based on how often their tunes get aired.

Mark Vermaat, Head of Business Development at Soundmouse, told CMU: "Our audio recognition system is the result of a significant period of investment in research and development within Soundmouse, focussing the brightest minds of our mathematicians and engineers on the complex challenges of automated music reporting. We are very pleased to be working with PPL and its members to bring to the industry a new level of accuracy and efficiency in music reporting which will see very real benefits to rights owners".

Meanwhile, PPL's Tim Silver added: "We looked at a number of companies operating in this field of broadcast music recognition but Soundmouse were clear leaders. The world of music licensing becomes increasingly complex and demanding, and it is critical that we meet the expectations of our membership who rightly look to us to provide them with the highest levels of information and reporting. At the same time, the addition of Soundmouse will assist us enormously with broadcasters as it will give us and them greater transparency moving forward as usage of music increases".

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Organisers of the Eurosonic Noorderslag convention have been awarded 2.1 million euros by the European Union towards their European Talent Exchange Programme, which aims to help new European artists secure gigs at festivals across the continent each summer. 60 festivals take part in the initiative, and since 2003 some 400 acts have benefited from it. The aim is to increase the number of participating festivals to 100 so to benefit even more bands.

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Virgin Media's music man Richard Wheeler this week admitted that trying to persuade record companies to sign up to his company's proposal of an all-you-can-eat MP3 download service had been "challenging".

Although Virgin announced a partnership with Universal Music in 2009 to launch a subscription service where users could download as many MP3s as they liked from a vast catalogue of tunes for a set monthly fee, the other majors and big indies have resisted signing up. So much so that the proposed service has never launched and the proposal itself has, according to some reports, been dropped altogether.

According to the FT Tech Hub, Wheeler didn't go so far as to confirm that at their conference this week, but he did say he thought the Spotify model - ie unlimited streaming with the ability to 'cache' tracks to a mobile player so they can be played offline - possibly meant the all-you-can-eat MP3 system was no longer needed.

He's quoted as saying: "I don't think it necessarily needs to be [all-you-can-eat]. Users' desire to cache tracks and listen to them on the go, that outdates the unlimited download model to a degree".

There have been reports that Virgin Media are in talks with Spotify to bundle the Swedish firm's premium streaming service in with their broadband packages.

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Plans by the Rupert Murdoch controlled News Corp to take complete ownership of BSkyB seem likely to go ahead after the government's culture man Jeremy 'Don't Say Cunt' Hunt said he thought a proposal to make Sky News a stand alone company would satisfy various concerns raised by various people about News Corp owning Sky outright in addition to its ownership of the Times and Sun newspapers.

As previously reported, Business Secretary Vince Cable asked media regulator OfCom to review News Corp's plans, and the opposition to them expressed by many of their rivals, last November. Responsibility for reviewing the takeover was subsequently handed to Hunt after Cable's independence in the matter was called into question after he expressed a desire to mount "war" against Murdoch to undercover reporters.

Most of the concerns raised about the takeover related to the Murdoch empire's potential influence over the Sky News operation. Although denying its acquisition of BSkyB outright would damage the editorial independence of Sky News, News Corp yesterday proposed making the news channel a standalone company trading on the London Stock Exchange in which News Corp would take a 39.1% stake, in the hope that would satisfy both OfCom and Hunt that a more lengthy Competition Commission review of their takeover was not required.

Most of the concerned competitors say the plan is just a bit of spin, while others wonder how long the loss making Sky News can operate as a stand alone entity, but Hunt seems to be thinking the proposal is sufficient to enable him to ignore opponents to the Sky takeover deal and let Murdoch get his way. Good times.

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U2 fanclub members have launched a petition complaining that they are paying $50 a year to be members, but receive little in return. Some might say that not paying $50 a year would be a better move, but those people are not true U2 fans. Poor Bono might starve without that extra fanclub money in his pocket.

In an open letter to the band and their management attached to the petition, which now has over 1000 signatures, "The Fans" say: "We are petitioning you today because recently, many of us have become dissatisfied with the way that U2.com is run. When U2 partnered with Live Nation in 2008, Bono said: 'With regards to U2.com, we feel we've got a great website, but we want to make it a lot better. We want a closer, more direct relationship between the band and its audience and Live Nation has pledged to help us with that'. However, since then many fans have felt ostracised from the band. Not only has the cost of subscription increased, but also many paid members now feel as if they are not getting value for the money that they are spending".

Amongst a long list of complaints, the petition's organisers say that they are no longer given access to ticket pre-sales, and that news content often lags behind the mainstream media. Comparing it to other fanclubs, they say: "REM subscription is $12 and members receive actual unreleased tracks. Pearl Jam's fan club, described by many U2 fans as one of the best that there is, gives streaming radio access, a magazine in PDF and hardcopy formats, free tracks for both download and vinyl, limited edition t-shirts, and a coupon that allows a user to download a free 'bootleg' Pearl Jam concert of their choice, in addition to all of the other perks that U2.com offers (full website access, some exclusive video and interviews, and pre-sale codes), for $40".

They conclude: "We know how much Bono, The Edge, Adam, and Larry care about their fans. Larry taking the time to personally sort out the ticket debacle at the beginning of the Vertigo Tour is proof of that. We also understand that this is a crazy time for U2 with Bono's injury, a tour, a new album and 'Spiderman'. But the fact is that we just can't justify continuing to spend $50 for a product that is embarrassingly sub par".

They are campaigning for 50,000 signatures on the petition. I still think they'd just be better off not paying, but what do I know?

Sign up here, if you feel short changed: www.petitionspot.com/petitions/u2fanclubpetition

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Now, you might say that this is a news story too far in the world of Bieber. But you're forgetting that we once wrote a story about him walking into a door. Actually, I think we've reported on him walking into doors twice. So, get over it. Justin Bieber raised his middle finger in the direction of some photographers this week, and then apologised for it, and that is news.

The incident happened on Tuesday after he left a restaurant where he'd been having dinner with his girlfriend Selena Gomez to celebrate his seventeenth birthday. Why he was spending his seventeenth birthday in a restaurant, rather than shotgunning cheap lager in a park like any other teenager, I don't know. But either way, the singer poked his finger out of his car window as he drove away from the baying paparazzi.

Upon reflection, he's now very sorry about the whole thing, and said so via Twitter, thus: "Had a great birthday and at the end of the night we got surrounded by paps and I reacted in a way I know better [than to do]. I'm sorry. It's not always easy but I know better than to react in anger".

Here is an example of Justin Bieber not reacting in anger: youtu.be/0e50vqY7Szo

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Colin Firth
Speech Writer

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