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CMU Info
Top Stories
Amazon servers struggle to meet demand for one dollar Gaga
Awards & Contests
Biffy Clyro to receive Silver Clef for Best British Band
Billboard award winners
Release News
Rastamouse to release debut album
The Bug compiles Soul Jazz compilation
Gigs & Tours News
Gary Kemp to appear at first Standard Session
Gruff Rhys announces tour dates
The Leisure Society announce tour dates
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Live review: Sufjan Stevens at Royal Festival Hall in London on 13 May
The Music Business
More CMU training dates announced
Warner teams up with Tong to relaunch FFRR
BMG appoints Irish chief
The Digital Business
Norway government publishes anti-file-sharing proposals
The Media Business
Radio 4 listeners to choose top Desert Island Discs
Q mag celebrate 300th issue
Students invited to review at world's biggest festival
And finally...
Bob Dylan admits heroin addiction
Flu causes Diddy to change name to Swag

Finnish indie auteurs Rubik started out playing shows in their hometown of Helsinki in 2003, making their studio debut two years later with a six-track EP entitled 'People Go Missing'. Having signed to native label Fullstream, first full-lengther 'Bad Conscious Patrol' came out in 2007. The band made their international breakthrough with 2009 album 'Dada Bandits', the success of which led to extensive touring in the US and Europe.

They were pretty self-sufficient in recording and producing their new album 'Solar', but roped in the services of Animal Collective and Deerhunter collaborator Ben Allen for the final mixing. With 'Solar' emerging earlier this year, Rubik can be caught live by those attending Barcelona-based Primavera Sound or Helsinki's Flow Festival this year.
Ahead of all this summer festival-related mayhem, we took a quiet moment to address our Same Six variety of questions to vocalist Artturi Taira.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Well, we're from a pretty small town originally, so it was either that or getting beaten up by the hockey guys. It was and still is born out of friendship and mutual interests, basically. And from a strong will of creating a world of your own.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
To cut it short: the songs we'd written and the sun and the space and echo. Rooms that reverberate. The fact that it was +30 degrees Celsius outside but we were both working and living in a large brickwalled room with no natural light at all for a few months, so it was almost like being in a different universe, out of our heads and with no idea about the time going by elsewhere. Also, for the first time we actually felt we had written really strong, touching and emotional songs. We felt we didn't have to over-fill them with too many details.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It's a lengthy process indeed. We write songs in our studio, so we're not leaning on the usual "let's grab our instruments and jam a little" mantra except on some occasions. That leaves the egos out of the process; if you're a drummer, you can still come up with cool guitar parts. Or a bass line. That's very liberating. We already practiced this method on our earlier album, but this time all of the songs were pretty much written in the studio. Of course, I usually come up with the core idea - the melody, the lyrics and a certain song structure perhaps - but the way they are executed are never the same. It's as exciting as it is a mindfuck.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
When recording an album I personally avoid listening to contemporary colleagues. If we talk about artists within pop music only, I would mention The Beatles, Bowie, Finnish progressive rock from the early 70s, Talk Talk and John Coltrane. I'm also aware of the fact that our music doesn't sound like any of those I mentioned but... I guess that's just how it goes, isn't it?

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Don't be afraid to dive in deep. It's pop music but with a twist; please give it a few spins before giving up.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Expectations, dreams of huge success and all that are left for the record company to worry about. We're only interested in making good music, good records, playing good shows to good people. I think that is as ambitious as one can get.

MORE>> www.rubikband.net
There's not really a huge amount I can say about Jakwob - aka James Jacob - that I haven't before. You probably know the story by now anyway: made a name for himself with an Ellie Goulding remix, followed by others acclaimed reworks and eventually original tracks, with his official debut single, 'Here With Me', released last year. Jakwob signed to Mercury at the end of 2010 and is currently working on his debut album, as well as producing other artists (and juggling all that with finishing his final year of university).

This will be the third time Jakwob has made it into the CMU Approved slot, the first time was with that Ellie Goulding remix, the second with 'Here With Me', and now with his latest single, 'Right Beside You', which you can stream on SoundCloud ahead of its release on 20 Jun. The reason he appears with such frequency is simple: he's one of the UK's most exciting new producers, and his work is notable for its consistent high quality. Like 'Here With Me', 'Right Beside You' takes dubstep down interesting, melodic avenues that few others are exploring.

Band2market offers a simple and effective platform for acts at any stage of their career to self release, keep their rights, invigorate their fanbase, and make more money. We help orchestrate the whole process - sourcing funds, formation of budgets and P&Ls, campaign management, marketing, manufacture, sales and distribution, whistles and bells... you name it.

Our clients include: Badly Drawn Boy, Charlie Simpson, Chilly Gonzales, Dananananaykroyd, Feeder, New State, Nusic Sounds, Penguin Prison, Stranger Records, The Rifles, and Thomas Tantrum

We provide campaign management for everything you need up to release and beyond. Contact us at [email protected]

Warp Records is looking for a new UK in-house PR manager to work across Press, Online, Radio and TV. They will have the opportunity to work as part of a progressive, international promotion team at a leading creative company, and represent a globally renowned roster of Artists. The ideal candidate will have: A real passion for music, events, developing artists' careers and making things happen, experience of running music PR campaigns (particularly at press and online) with a proven track record of securing national features and helping break acts, the knowledge and creativity to develop meaningful, long-term PR campaigns with a range of promo partners - from small tastemaker blogs to major national media, the drive and enthusiasm to continue developing skills in all areas of PR, staying on top of the latest trends and opportunities, the excellent communication skills that will make them able to build strong artist and media relationships and work successfully with the Warp team, and the ability to write engaging press releases and artist biographies.
To apply, please send an up to date CV and covering letter explaining your suitability for the role to [email protected].
The closing date for applications is Monday 6 Jun. The position is based in London.
Senior publicist is required for leading PR company with minimum 3 years experience working national press campaigns. The role will entail building your own client roster alongside working closely with the existing team. This is an ideal opportunity to progress in a vibrant growing business. All applicants must have excellent industry contacts and be able to deliver creative campaigns. Some online PR experience would also be an advantage.
Skills Required include national press experience, online experience
and client management. Salary negotiable dependent on experience. Please email a CV and covering 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 1 Jun 2011

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 15 Jun 2011

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

So, many in the music business were unhappy when Amazon launched its unlicensed music storage service recently without even trying to get the music companies on board as partners. Others dislike Amazon's habit of gaining competitive advantage by selling big releases at slashed down prices, taking a hit (ie the company still pays the full wholesale price to the label) in a bid to score some new customer accounts. While fans undoubtedly benefit at Amazon's expense, some argue it devalues the music itself. 

Yesterday Amazon combined both, selling Lady Gaga's new album 'Born This Way' to US consumers for a mere 99 cents, seemingly in a bid to push its new digital locker service. Many of those who flocked to Amazon's MP3 store to take advantage of the bargain basement deal would have been exposed to the web firm's new music storage service for the first time, and all of them were told that by buying the Gaga album, even at 99 cents, they'd be eligible for a free upgrade to a full 20GB storage account, which normally costs twenty dollars a year. 

With all that in mind, some in the US music business possibly smiled when they heard that the complaints were mounting. Even Amazon's mega-servers were struggling to cope with the volume of Gaga fans flocking for the bargain offer, causing the Amazon MP3 service to falter, and leaving some customers disappointed (and not because the second Gaga album is in itself a bit disappointing, but because, as downloads failed or took an age, they didn't have the opportunity to experience the disappointing songs for themselves). 

Not all Gaga-buying Amazon customers experienced delays or failing downloads, but many did. Amazon issued a statement yesterday morning admitting: "Amazon is experiencing high volume and downloads are delayed. [But] if customers order today, they will get the full Lady Gaga, 'Born This Way' album for $0.99. Thanks for your patience". 

So, did Amazon's grand plan to flog its unlicensed locker service by devaluing one of the record industry's biggest releases of the year backfire? Possibly. Though the record industry itself was maybe also a loser on this one, as Billboard noted, one Amazon customer left a comment on the etail website saying "this experience is horrible and is why people are stealing music instead of buying".

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Biffy Clyro are to receive a Nordoff Robbins Silver Clef award for being the best band in Britain, it has been announced. They take the trophy from Scouting For Girls, who after just twelve months have been deemed to not actually be that good.

Upon hearing the news, the band squealed: "We follow in the footsteps of some great bands who've received this award and we couldn't be happier with this honour. Music has been a massive part of our lives - just like it is for all the people Nordoff Robbins help".

As previously reported, Annie Lennox will take home the flagship Silver Clef award, which supersedes all the other Silver Clef awards because it's more silver and clef-y. 

The awards will take place on 1 Jul at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane in London.

Some winners are yet to be announced, but here's the current list:

Silver Clef Award: Annie Lennox
Lifetime Achievement Award: Status Quo
Best British Band: Biffy Clyro
Best Newcomer Award: Tinie Tempah
Classical Award: Alfie Boe

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The Billboard Music Awards took place in Las Vegas on Sunday. We probably should have mentioned this yesterday, but we got distracted by the BAFTAs, which also took place on Sunday. Did you see them? God, they were tedious. 

Can we stop having awards ceremonies soon? Let's all just get together and decide, once and for all, who's best and then we can stick to that list. Doing it every year just looks like you can't make up your mind. OK, I guess stuff like 'the best album of the last twelve months' isn't something you could stick to forever, unless a label agreed to re-release one particularly good album that we all liked once a year. That would save a lot of time. 

Anyway, here's who won at the Billboard Awards. If you don't like lists, basically Justin Bieber won most of them. 

Top Artist Of The Year: Eminem

Top Album Artist Of The Year: Taylor Swift

Digital Artist Of The Year: Justin Bieber

Top Female Artist Of The Year: Rihanna

Top Male Artist Of The Year: Eminem

Viral Innovator Of The Year: Cee Lo Green

Radio Artist Of The Year: Rihanna

Fan Favourite Of The Year: Justin Bieber

Icon Award: Neil Diamond

Millennium Artist Award: Beyonce

Top New Artist: Justin Bieber

Top Rap Artist: Eminem

Top Pop Artist: Lady Gaga

Top R&B Artist: Usher

Top Country Artist: Taylor Swift

Top Latin Artist: Shakira

Top Dance Artist: Lady Gaga

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Everyone's favourite Rastafarian mouse, Rastamouse, will release his debut album, 'Makin A Bad Ting Good', on 4 Jul. He'll also release a new single, 'Hot Hot Hot', on 26 Jun to coincide with his performance at Glastonbury. 

As ever, he will be backed by his band, The Easy Crew. I say "as ever", not having children, all I really know about this is some stuff I noticed out of the corner of my eye on Twitter a while ago and something I heard on Radio 4. I'm pretty sure the kids all like him, though. And he's a real talking mouse, not like that fraud in the 'Stuart Little' movies. 

There's probably some more helpful information at www.rastamouse.com.

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Two things that are exciting are 1) Soul Jazz compilations, and 2) anything involving The Bug. With that in mind, prepare to soil yourself as I tell you that The Bug is responsible for compiling the latest Soul Jazz compilation, which will be released on 16 Jun. 

Entitled 'Invasion Of The Killer Mysteron Sounds' and put together with Soul Jazz Records boss Stuart Baker, the collection features tracks by some of Jamaica's most forward-thinking 80s dancehall producers, in particular King Jammy, plus tracks by contemporary artists influenced by them, like Roots Manuva, Diplo and The Bug himself.

Here's the very long tracklist:

Steely & Clevie - Street Sweeper
Redrose - Now Thing
Roots Manuva - Doogoo Dub
Dave Kelly - The Return
Harvel 'Gadaffi' Hart - Summer Bounce
Max Glaser - Flatlands Dub
Steven 'Lenky' Marsden - Diwali
Matt Shadetek - Yoga Rhythm
Steroetyp - Alleycat
Da Grynch And Tippa Irie - Agony
Fresh Ear Productions - Hummer
Diplo - Diplo Rhythm
Mark Pritchard - Bazooka Riddim
Marlon Williams - Pitbull
Redlight - MDMA
The Bug - Aktion
Fat Eyes - Clothes Pin
Steven Ventura - Throw Your Hands Up
Sly Dunbar And Christopher Birch - Corners Boy
David Jahson - King Of Kings
Fat Eyes - Steel Plate
South Rakkas Crew - Red Alert
Parara And McCoy - Them Can't Hold Yuh Girl
King Tubby - Fat Thing
World Beat - Goldmine
Andre 'Suku' Gray - Sign
Henfield And Shadowman - Babatunde
Firehouse Crew - No False Hair
Computer Paul - World Talk
Fat Eyes - Overdose
Prince Jazzbo - Great Dub
Kickin Productions - What You Gonna Do
Pliers - I'm Your Man Dub
Wiz Kidz Team - In My Heart Version
Jammys Jam2 James - Peenie Peenie

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The Evening Standard is teaming up with PR firm The Outside Organisation, PRS For Music and the London Film Museum to stage a number of gigs in the rarely used debating chamber in County Hall on London's Southbank. 

Artists will perform and be interviewed during the Standard Sessions, the first featured artist being Spandau bloke Gary Kemp on 7 Jun, who will chat to music journalist Will Hodgkinson, read from his autobiography and give acoustic performances of some of his oeuvre. 

Only 200 tickets will be available, which possibly explains the rather pricey ticket price of £28. More at this URL: store.digitalstores.co.uk/garykemp/Standard-Sessions/

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Gruff Rhys will be back on the road this October, following the release of his latest solo album, 'Hotel Shampoo', back in February. He's also got a new single out this week. It is called 'Honey All Over'.

Here are the dates:

2 Oct: Llandudno, North Wales Theatre
3 Oct: Dublin, Olympia Theatre
5 Oct: Cardiff, St David's Hall
6 Oct: Leeds, Irish Centre
7 Oct: Manchester, Central Methodist Hall
8 Oct: Edinburgh, Bongo Club
9 Oct: Middlesborough, Crypt
11 Oct: Reading, Concert Hall
12 Oct: London, Shepherds Bush Empire
13 Oct: Ashford, St Mary's Church

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Having just completed their latest UK tour, The Leisure Society have only gone and announced another one. As well as various festival dates, the band will head out on a headline tour in October. First on their itinerary, though, is an appearance at the Ray Davies curated Meltdown festival on London's Southbank on 12 Jun.

The band also release a new single, 'You Could Keep Me Talking', digitally through Full Time Hobby on 11 Jul.

Tour dates:
12 Jun: London, Royal Festival Hall (Meltdown)
2 Jul: Hop Farm Festival
9 Jul: Eastleigh Festival
17 Jul: Latitude Festival
23 Jul: Deer Shed Festival
19 Aug: Green Man Festival
2 Sep: End Of The Road Festival
15 Oct: Norwich, Arts Centre
16 Oct: Cambridge, Junction
22 Oct: Clitheroe, The Grand
23 Oct: Sheffield, The Harley
24 Oct: Newcastle, Cluny
25 Oct: Birmingham, Glee Club
27 Oct: Belfast, Black Box
28 Oct: Dublin, Whelans

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THE BIG MIX, various venues, Shoreditch, London, 18 Jun: Performances from Cocknbullkid and The Pipettes, and a DJ set from Frankmusic, are all new on the cards at this charitable music bash, which was already set to host an impressive roster of acts including Clare Maguire, Newton Faulkner, and folk-rockers Treetop Flyers. With all proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Trust, those supporting the worthy cause can also catch DJ sets by Edith Bowman, Tim Burgess and Zero 7's Sam Hardaker. www.thebigmix.org.uk

GLASTONBURY, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 22-26 Jun: Eavis and co have revealed the full line-up for Glastonbury's late night entertainment hub Shangri-La, confirming Neneh Cherry, Rob Da Bank and Shy FX & The Ragga Twins amongst the huge raft of performers. A DJ set from Breakage is also scheduled, as is a Prince-inspired show by Bobby Friction. Ultimate Glasto headliners are U2, Coldplay, and Beyonce, but that's very old news. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

RADIO 1'S HACKNEY WEEKEND, Hackney Marshes, East London, 23-24 Jun 2012: Held in honour of some little-known sporting event, this Radio 1-hosted hoopla will feature performances from Plan B and local girl Leona Lewis, plus a score of as-yet unconfirmed supporting acts. Free tickets will be dished out through a lottery system, with the majority allocated to long-suffering local residents. Hurrah! www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/events/hackneyweekend2012/

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LIVE REVIEW: Sufjan Stevens at Royal Festival Hall in London on 13 May
Picture the scene: a crowd full of people with their hands in the air, swaying slowly to the sound of music that lifts and lifts and lifts, a man in the middle of it all, white crooked wings tied to his back, his outfit bright and grand. It sounds like a pastor - no, an angel - addressing a crowd of worshippers, and he has them all in rapt attention. Sufjan Stevens is the man at the front of the crowd. He isn't an angel. He's not even a pastor. One thing's for certain, though: he's brilliant. 

At the centre point of a set that's so colourful and visually alive, with its silver rockets, neon tape, backing dancers and two enormous drum kits, it's a wonder that Sufjan stands out from it and does not allow anyone - or himself - to be distracted by it at any point during the show. Sure, my eye wanders to the big screen behind him every so often, but that was kind of the point - each song is beautifully illustrated with an animated or photographed story, from the official stop-motion video for 'Too Much' (which features our young hero body popping in a Nike tank top and Kanye sunglasses, something, as a long worshipping fan, I never thought I'd see), to the absolutely beautiful hand silhouettes and floating stars that turned the atmosphere from a sweaty hipster party to a children's fairytale. And not to forget 'Get Real Get Right', which was heavily contextualized with a fascinating slideshow before its performance while Sufjan told us the main inspiration of 'The Age Of Adz' - Royal Robertson, a preacher and artist from the deep South who believed he was sent to Earth to prophesise the very galactic end of it, who told stories about angels with lasers shooting out of their eyes (something that reminded me of a very childhood-scarring scene in 'The NeverEnding Story').

Running well over the two hour mark, Sufjan offers us mainly new material which I must say is a treat to hear live. 'Adz' is a magnificent album but it really comes to life onstage. Watching the backing dancers - and Sufjan himself - move in choreographed dance to the songs is at once amusing, bewildering and brilliant. It adds to the atmosphere, which was undoubtedly one of sheer joy. It calms down in places as he plays some old favourites and self-proclaimed 'folk songs', including the incredibly beautiful 'Concerning The UFO Sightings Near Highland Illinois' and 'Casimir Pulaski Day', a song so incredibly close to my own heart that I found myself shedding a tear or three. 'Chicago' plays us out - of course, what else would it be? Confetti explodes from the stage and a mass of multicoloured balloons spill from over our heads. At the end, Sufjan Stevens is standing on the tallest point in the centre of the stage, something that should be precarious and clumsy, but with him - well, it just isn't. He's graceful, he's owning it. He's absolutely and utterly worshipped. TW

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A raft of new dates have been announced for CMU's ever popular music business training courses, one day courses aimed at music business professionals at all levels looking to brush up on their knowledge of both traditional and new approaches to, and current trends in, music rights, music PR and promotions, and music business models and artist deals. 

The courses are run by CMU Business Editor and experienced trainer Chris Cooke, who says: "Many people fall into the music business by accident, and get a few years into their careers before realising they've never had any formal training, to fill any gaps in their knowledge. Others may be well trained, but are aware this industry is changing dramatically, and feel the need to catch up on the latest developments. Our courses are the perfect, quick and cost effective way to re-evaluate what you already know, to fill any gaps, and to catch up on the very latest trends and developments".

The CMU Training courses cost just £95 plus VAT, and all take place in Shoreditch East London. The following dates have been announced, and bookings are being taken: 

Promoting Music - Media, Social Media & More: Wed 1 Jun - Wed 13 Jul - Wed 21 Sep 

Music Rights - Insight & Out: Wed 15 Jun - Wed 27 Jul - Wed 5 Oct

Music Business Models - Making Money, Finding Investment: Wed 29 Jun - Wed 7 Sep - Wed 19 Oct

For more information about each course, and to book your places, get your web browser set in the general direction of www.thecmuwebsite.com/training/

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Warner Music yesterday announced it is teaming up with Radio 1 dance music chap Pete Tong to relaunch the FFRR record label, which Tong originally launched in the mid-eighties. The BBC deejay will work closely with Warner Music UK CEO Christian Tattersfield on the revived dance imprint, whose first signing are London-based duo Paper Crows. 

FFRR was originally a subsidiary of London Records, which was in turn a subsidiary of Polygram, but both FFRR and London were sold to Warner Music when Universal bought Polygram back in 1988, all of which means Warner are also sitting on much of the FFRR back catalogue. 

Confirming the relaunch, the Tong-meister told CMU: "I'm very excited to be working on the front line again as an A&R man. It's a very exciting time for artist development and music in general and I think I can make a positive contribution. I have been lucky enough to have been educated by some of the all time great producers and record company executives during my career and I want to make that count. Warner Music Group has a fantastic heritage and working with Christian again is a real pleasure. The music and the new artists are already on the way!"

Tattersfield, meanwhile, added: "I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work with Pete again. His experience, influence and credibility are second to none and make for a fantastic addition to our A&R mix. Dance is a genre that constantly redefines itself, so someone of Pete's calibre, who embodies that dynamic and experimental spirit, is going to be a huge asset to our artists and our company. Paper Crows are a very exciting band, and them joining FFRR underlines that the label is a home for extraordinary talent with the potential to build large, loyal fan-bases".

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Still-rather-acquisitive-even-if-they-didn't-manage-to-buy-Warner music rights firm BMG has announced the appointment of Mary Ann Slim to the role of MD for its Irish division. 

Slim, who previously worked for the old BMG music publishing company (which is now part of Universal), became part of the new BMG team after they acquired London-based Stage Three Music, where she had worked since 2003. In her new role she will oversee all of BMG's interests in Ireland, most of which come from their acquisition last year of Chrysalis Music, and which includes S1 Songs. 

Confirming the new appointment, BMG top dog Hartwig Masuch told CMU: "Mary Ann has extensive experience in the marketing of music publishing catalogues and in building new businesses. Her skills will be invaluable to S1 Songs and BMG Chrysalis in Ireland".

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Norway is the latest country to propose amendments to its copyright law to make it easier for content owners to tackle online piracy, though the Norwegian government has shied away from any sort of three-strikes system, instead making it legally easier for rights owners to identify individual file-sharers, and to get injunctions to order ISPs to block copyright infringing websites. 

The former will relax data protection rules which, in Norway, currently limit who can monitor the activities of individuals on the internet. They will also simplify the process by which rights owners can force ISPs to reveal the name and contacts of suspected file-sharers based on the IP address they are using. 

More interesting, though, is the newly proposed injunction system which will make it easier for the content industries to get websites guilty of rampant copyright infringement blocked (at least to those not savvy enough to work their way around ISP instigated blocks). 

Such a system is also included in the UK's Digital Economy Act alongside the British take on three-strikes, though with a proviso that, unlike with three-strikes, further parliamentary consideration must be given to any injunction system before it goes live. Some other countries, most notably Spain, have also decided to go the speedy injunction route instead of establishing some sort of three-strikes process that targets actual individual file-sharers.

The big debate in most countries is whether government regulators should have the power to order such website blocking, or whether injunctions should only be available via the courts system, albeit via some sort of fast-track judicial process. And the Norwegian government's proposals put forward both these options. Those who fear any web blocking could lead to excessive censorship generally oppose both options, though will oppose the former much more vehemently. 

Norway's government is now asking for those affected by any change to copyright law to comment on the proposals, so it remains to be seen what is actually passed down the line.

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After 69 years on air, the makers of 'Desert Island Discs' are to open up the choice of records to its listeners. Some of the public's choices will be played on a 90 minute special show celebrating the series which will be broadcast on 3 Jun.

Presenter Kirtsy Young said: "Every castaway is unique, but the one thing they all say to me is how difficult it is to choose their eight discs. Now the nation has a chance to share in the agony and ecstasy of making their very own selection".

Submit your choices and check out the archive of playlists from over 500 shows at www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/desert-island-discs.

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Q magazine is celebrating its 300th issue with a big Adele interview and photos of the songstress taken by that Rankin bloke, a celebration of the photography that has appeared in the music monthly over the years, and a foreword from the mag's first ever cover star Paul McCartney. Keith Richards, Liam Gallagher, John Lydon and Dolly Parton also appear within the anniversary issue's pages. 

Q overseer Paul Rees told CMU: "At Q we continue to believe that music is as exciting now as it's ever been and our most essential service to be that of discovering great music. The Adele exclusive provides the definitive perspective on music's newest superstar - replete with Rankin's outstanding images. It is a landmark issue that crystallises all that is, has been and will continue to be great about Q". 

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CMU's sister publication, ThreeWeeks, is currently accepting applications for its acclaimed (and not just by us, by real people) media-skills programme which takes place at the Edinburgh Festival, the world's biggest cultural festival, in August. 

ThreeWeeks is the flagship reviewer at the Edinburgh Festival, covering hundreds more shows than any other media, and especially those new, grass roots and alternative performers and companies at the Fringe which many other publications are unable to reach. This is possible because ThreeWeeks has the biggest review team at the festival, made up of participants in the title's media-skills programme.

These reviewers are young people at the start of their media or arts careers, looking to hone their skills, gain on-the-ground experience, and showcase their work to a global audience. Although ThreeWeeks reviewers are volunteers, they all receive formal training and one-to-one advice from ThreeWeeks' experienced editorial team, as well as having the opportunity to see the world's most exciting festival in a totally unique way.

Says ThreeWeeks co-Publisher and co-Editor Caro Moses: "The best way to become a better writer is to write frequently, to deadline, and to someone else's style guide. To do that well you need interesting subjects to write about and a framework to work within. ThreeWeeks provides all these things. Some participants have referred to the ThreeWeeks experience as 'extreme reviewing'! Either way, every year we see numerous aspiring writers hone and develop their writing skills in just a few weeks, sometimes days, as a result of their involvement in our programme".

Anyone interested in joining the ThreeWeeks review team this year should check the information at and download an application form from www.threeweeks.co.uk/jointhereviewteam. The deadline for applications is Friday 3 June.

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Newly uncovered tapes of an interview between rock critic Robert Shelton and Bob Dylan recorded in 1966 apparently see the musician reveal that he was for a time addicted to heroin.

Dylan, who turns 70 today, is reported to have said: "I kicked a heroin habit in New York City. I got very, very strung out for a while. I mean really, very strung out. And I kicked the habit. I had about a $25 a day habit and I kicked it."

He adds: "Death to me is nothing. Death to me means nothing as long as I can die fast. Many times I've known I could have been able to die fast, and I could have easily gone over and done it. I'll admit to having this suicidal thing, but I came through this time. I'm not the kind of cat that's going to cut off an ear if I can't do something. I'm the kind of cat that would just commit suicide. I'd shoot myself in the brain if things got bad. I'd jump from a window".

Shelton uncovered the tapes while working on an updated version of his 1986 Dylan biography, 'No Direction Home'.

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Sorry, we're a little late with this news, so you only have a few days left to call P Diddy by his new name, Swag. Swag? Yes, Swag. The rapper has announced via Twitter that he's changing his name to Swag for a week. Then he'll be Diddy again.

'Swag', apparently, is US slang for 'good' or 'cool', and it turns out Diddy is feeling both good and cool having just recovered from a bout of the flu, which, he reports, had him bedridden "under the covers with a fever". 

Celebrating his good health with some good friends and a good-sized platter of strawberry shortcake, Diddy announced: "I've gone as Puff, Puffy, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy, King Combs - my real name is Sean Combs - and for a week, this week only, you can call me by my new name, Swag".

Take advantage of this limited chance to refer to Diddy as Swag by following him on Twitter at twitter.com/iamswag, or simply commemorate the occasion by checking him out in this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzgeKrXk-08

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
You Know Who
Head Of Affairs

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  CMU Publisher and Business Editor Chris Cooke is available if you need independent industry comment for your media on any developments in the music business or music media, or the wider music world.

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