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CMU Info
Top Stories
Citigroup to step up EMI sale efforts, and why BMG might like it if new Warner owner was successful
In The Pop Courts
Black Keys sue ad agency
Awards & Contests
Kerrang! Awards awarded
Reunions & Splits
One Minute Silence reunion delayed
Release News
Wu-Tang Clan announce new album
Monarchy set date for debut album
The Deer Tracks announce second album
Films & Shows News
Pitchfork movie being planned, sort of
Gigs & Tours News
Scott Walker dance score to premiere next week
Arctic Monkeys announce tour dates
Festival News
Edinburgh Fringe programme launches
Festival line-up update
Brands & Stuff
Metallica get Monopoly game
Plan B teams up with HP for cinema ad
The Digital Business
PRS to use Soundmouse for airplay monitoring
Apple backtracks on app subscriptions rules
Chinese online music body launches
The Media Business
Parfitt defends BBC's Glasto staff levels
And finally...
Alice Cooper: Rock bands don't have attitude any more

So, this seems to have been a very long week to me, was HMV's big loan agreement announcement and the resulting commentary really only on Tuesday? Though it might seem that way to me because of my 48 hour round trip to Edinburgh, where preparations for this year's Fringe are now hotting up, meaning I get to wear my other hat as co-Editor of ThreeWeeks, the biggest reviewer at the world's biggest festival. It was lovely meeting up with the guys from The Edge Festival, the Fringe's big music strand, at one of the programme launches yesterday, I love it when my different projects collide and I can talk to people simultaneously as CMU and ThreeWeeks. Anyway, a long week it may have seemed, but we've still managed to get it down to five main stories.

01: HMV secured new loan agreements, but at a cost. The retail firm ended months of speculation about imminent doom by confirming its banks had agreed to a new two year loan facility based on the group's current financial performance. In theory it allows HMV chief Simon Fox to get back to the job of reinventing the entertainment firm, though some City types wondered if two years was long enough to bring about such a transformation, and focused in on the high costs of the loan facilities that have been secured. CMU report | Telegraph report

02: Apple launched its iCloud, the first licensed digital locker service on the market, albeit only licensed by the majors as yet. As expected, the new service will provide a back up of any tracks bought on iTunes, which can be downloaded or redownloaded to any Apple or iTunes-carrying device. From the autumn (or more likely early 2012 in the UK), for $25 a year, users will also be able to use the iCloud to store and access their whole MP3 collection, oblivious of its origin. Because it is licensed by the labels (unlike Amazon and Google's rival lockers), Apple will be able to offer a 'scan and match' service which means that in most cases you won't actually have to upload your MP3s, they will automatically appear in your iCloud once the Apple platform has scanned your hard drive, moved over from Apple's existing digital catalogue. CMU report | PC World report

03: PPL boss Fran Nevrkla announced he would stand down at the end of the year, with Peter Leathem, who is promoted to MD with immediate effect, due to take over Nervrkla's CEO role in 2012. The announcement was made at the recording royalty collecting society's AGM this week, where it was confirmed the body collecting a record amount of royalties in 2010. CMU report | The Stage report

04: A government report called for age ratings to be applied to music videos, in a bid to curb the "sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood". The Bailey Report, commissioned by David Cameron, made various recommendations about the music, TV and advertising industries, and how they can protect children from being exposed to possibly unsuitable content. It is thought the government will initially propose that affected industries adopt voluntary codes, but with the threat of new regulation if they don't. CMU report | Guardian report

05: A new UN report said three-strikes breaches human rights. The report by Frank La Rue was critical of the so called graduated response systems adopted in the UK and France to try and stop online piracy, by sending warning letters to copyright infringers and ultimately threatening to cut an infringer's net connection. The UN report said that disconnecting the net connections of infringers, even for a short time, was a disproportionate penalty. The UK government stressed that it would continue to implement the Digital Economy Act, which contains the British version of three-strikes, though stressed net disconnections were some way off and would require more input from parliament. CMU report | Ars Technica report

And that's your lot, see you next week.

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Wang Trax label launch party at Fabric
Helping launch Wang's new record label at Fabric this weekend will be their first signing, Radioactive Man (pictured), who will playing live, so expect wobbling bass business. Elsewhere Wang head honcho Electro Elvis will provide some electro and techno, while the DMX Krew will go live with some AV specialities. And as if that wasn't enough, Room One has Craig Richards, Damian Lazarus, and Guti live, while Terry Francis will be in Room Three. A great mash up of all things tech.

Saturday 11 Jun, Fabric, 77a Charterhouse St, Clerkenwell EC1, 10pm - 8am, £18/£12 NUS/fabric first, £6 after 3am, more info from www.wanging.com

We are a busy management company with a stable of established artists. We need an assistant who has some previous experience of working in an office environment. This person will be bright, friendly, quick to learn, have an eye for detail and a conscientious attitude to the work given them. They will be responsible for fielding calls and mail and ensuring the smooth running of the office, as well as assisting the artist managers in their day to day work. A good working knowledge of Entourage / Word / Excel would be useful and general computer literacy is essential.

Email CVs 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:

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

How to make money out of music - both now and in the future, with a look at alternative investment and revenue streams, and a new approach to monetising artists and their music. Wed 29 Jun

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

So, it's thought that Citigroup is close to having the papers ready to send to potential bidders for the EMI Group. According to The Wrap, the US bank's efforts to sell on the music major, which it ended up owning after private equity twonks Terra Firma failed to keep up with the terms of the multi-billion pound loan they'd taken out to acquire the company, will be stepped up this month.

Potential bidders will be given an outline of the business, including financial figures since Citigroup took over at the start of February. The bank won't take less than $2.5 billion for the music company, and a bidding war could take the asking price to considerably more than that. As previously reported, Citigroup has indicated to EMI chief Roger Faxon that it'd prefer to sell the company to one buyer rather than split up EMI's music publishing business and record labels to enable a sale. The number of bids recently made to buy Warner outright would suggest that that aim is not unrealistic.

That said, the favourite bidder as of now for the whole EMI Group is Len B's Access Industries, the new owner of Warner Music. That deal would ensure that Faxon's ambition to not have the EMI business split up came to be, though whether it would provide job security for the Fax man himself is another matter, given EMI would then be merged with Warner Music, and presumably be led by Warner chief and Blavatnik's good friend Edgar Bronfman Jr.

Of course, any deal that would combine EMI and Warner would be subject to a lot of regulatory scrutiny, and some have postured that the fear of regulatory hurdles might make Citi more likely to sell EMI to one of the other consortiums who bid for Warner, such as that led by the Gores brothers, assuming there was interest on their part to own the British music major.

Though, if the New York Post is to be believed, some are relishing the prospect of an EMI/Warner merger, and the resulting regulatory flim flam. The Post reports that BMG, originally one of the favourites to buy both EMI and/or Warner, but which, in the end, just didn't have enough cash to compete in the recent Warner bidding war, is hoping thar Access Industries does get EMI, and that there are regulatory conditions put upon that deal by the European Union. Preferably forcing Access to sell Warner's publishing business, Warner/Chappell, which BMG would quite like to acquire (and indeed in its original bid for Warner, that's what the company went for).

So, interesting times ahead.

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The Black Keys, or, rather, their record label, Warner subsidiary Nonesuch, have launched legal action against a New York advertising agency that goes by the rather wordy name of Della Femina Rothschild Jeary & Partners after the company used the band's song, 'Tighten Up', in adverts for the Valley National Bank earlier this year without permission.

According to Billboard, the label's lawsuit states: "For at least a two week period in February 2011, coinciding with the period leading up to and the aftermath of the 2011 Grammy Awards, the agency and VNB knowingly created and ran a television commercial incorporating significant portions of ['Tighten Up'] without having sought or obtained a license from Nonesuch to do so".

The lawsuit adds that Nonesuch sent cease-and-desist letters to both the agency and the bank when the ad first aired, but that these were ignored. No specific amount of damages has been requested, but the lawsuit also asks that judges judge how much the band and label might be due.

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It was the Kerrang! Awards in London last night, a little gathering to celebrate the heavier end of rock before all the metallers head off to Download for the weekend. And, to mark the occasion, we have got for you, with little thought for our own safety here, a list of the winners, a quote from the magazine's Editor In Chief, and another from one of the victorious bands. We spoil you, we really do.

The winners list in full:

Best British Newcomer: Asking Alexandria
Best International Newcomer: Black Veil Brides
Best British Band: You Me At Six
Best International Band: 30 Seconds To Mars
Best Live Act: All Time Low
Classic Songwriter: Biffy Clyro

Best Single: 30 Seconds To Mars - Hurricane
Best Video: My Chemical Romance - Na Na Na
Best Album: Bring Me The Horizon - There Is A Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let's Keep It A Secret

Devotion Award: Skindred
Kerrang! Icon: Alice Cooper
Inspiration Award: Def Leppard
Hall Of Fame: Korn
Kerrang! Legend: Ozzy Osbourne

The Kerrang! Editor In Chief quote from Kerrang! Editor In Chief Phil Alexander: "This year is a landmark year for Kerrang! [ie it's the 30th anniversary] In that sense it is fitting that from Alice Cooper to Def Leppard and on to Asking Alexandria there are at least three generations of musicians here picking up awards. Kerrang! is one of the few truly multi-platform brands in modern music, and we¹re pleased to have supported all the acts recognised this evening. As ever Kerrang! prides itself in looking forward and tonight¹s awards show tells us that the future is decidedly loud".

The victorious band quote from victorious band Skindred, who picked up the Devotion Award: "We are chuffed to bits to have received this award. It's great to receive recognition for what we do which has always been about drawing from many musical influences in the records we make and remaining true to the Skindred sound. So, it's really nice to see people are starting to sit up and take notice and this award is to us a celebration of this. Thank you to Kerrang! and to all those who have supported us".

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The recently reformed One Minute Silence have announced that they have pulled out of their comeback set at next month's Sonisphere festival in the UK, because they're just not ready to return to the stage.

In a statement, frontman Brian 'Yap' Barry explained: "We have tried so hard to get OMS back in shape in time for Sonisphere - music can be a funny path - our sounds were finding ground but then the ground just seemed to crumble - we have been working so hard to make it all come together but in truth it has be a real struggle, we tried so hard to be ready but the fact is that as it stands today we are not ready - we were desperately not wanting to let any OMS fans down but we sadly have to pull out of the Sonisphere gig on 9 Jul".

He continued: "Huge apologies from all of us if you bought a ticket especially to see us play - life is life folks and we are genuinely sorry. We want you to know that this is also just one gig we're cancelling - we are still focused as a band and will continue to write and rehearse new material as we have been for the past eight months and when we feel ready we will take the stage again and see you all in the pit".

The plan is to still get some new material out this summer, it seems, with a view to touring in the autumn and releasing a new album in due course.

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Wu-Tang Clan have announced that they will release a new collection of tracks featuring members of the group, similar to 2009's 'Chamber Music' in that it's not considered a Wu-Tang album proper, on 26 Jul in the US. As will that earlier record, founder member RZA acts as executive producer. He and artists such as The Revelations, Fizzy Womack, Andrew Kelly, and Noah Rubin provide music backing.

The first single from the album, 'Only The Rugged Survive', can be heard here: soundcloud.com/hypetrak/rza-only-the-rugged-survive

The full tracklist for the album is as follows:

Start the Show (feat Raekwon and RZA)
Laced Cheeba (feat Ghostface, Sean Price and Trife Diesel)
Diesel Fluid (feat Method Man, Trife Diesel and Cappadonna)
Played By The Game
The Black Diamonds (feat Ghostface, Roc Marciano and Killa Sin)
Legendary Weapons (Ghostface, AZ and M.O.P.)
Never Feel This Pain (feat Inspectah Deck, U-God and Tre Williams)
Angels Got Wings
Drunk Tongue (feat Killa Sin)
225 Rounds (feat U-God, Cappadonna, Bronze Nazareth and RZA)
Meteor Hammer (feat Ghostface, Action Bronson and Termanology)
Live Through Death
Only the Rugged Survive (feat RZA)

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After many, many delays, Monarchy have announced that they will finally release their debut album, 'Around The Sun', on 25 Jul via 100% Records. It will be preceded by new single, 'Maybe I'm Crazy', on 11 Jul.

Having released their debut single through Neon Gold in February 2010, Monarchy went on to sign to Universal and became the first band to broadcast live into outer space. But when the alien market failed to come knocking, the pop duo parted ways with the major label.

You can hear the band's music via their SoundCloud page here: soundcloud.com/monarchysound

The tracklist for the album is as follows:

Black, The Colour Of My Heart
I Won't Let Go
The Phoenix Alive
Love Get Out Of My Way
Maybe I'm Crazy
You Don't Want To Dance With Me
Around The Sun
Jealous Guy
Floating Cars
Gold In The Fire
Travelling My Ambulance.

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CMU favourites The Deer Tracks have announced the release of their second album, 'The Archer Trilogy Part 2', which cunningly follows their recently released EP, 'The Archer Trilogy Part 1'. The LP will come out through The Control Group on 22 Aug.

Of recording sessions for the new songs, the duo's David Lehnberg told CMU: "If you're locked up in a studio where everything is perfect and there's no wind or rain blowing in to destroy the recording - if you don't push the boundaries - it's gonna sound like you're not trying to do something that's real. But if you lock yourself up in a cabin in the woods, things start to happen. You'll start to find your way back to your inner core, back to life".

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The movie-making Duplass brothers, perhaps best known for the film 'Cyrus', are planning a movie with a working title of 'Pitchfork'. And while this isn't the music blogging equivalent of 'The Social Network', music blogging will be very much part of the story.

According to reports, the new film will centre on a middle-aged mother of a recently deceased young indie rocker who gets angry with a Pitchfork blogger who disses her dead son. She decides to find said blogger and give him a piece of her mind, but isn't expecting to find the online vitriol is pouring out of a teenager. With hilarious consequences, I'm sure. Actually, it's being pitched as more of a thriller than comedy, so possibly not.

Susan Sarandon is being tipped to play the mum, while Jonah Hill, who appeared in 'Cyrus', may also star in the new project.

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A new score composed by Scott Walker will premiere at the Royal Opera House in London next week as part of a dance piece. 'Duet For One' was written in collaboration with choreographer Aletta Collins, and is based on the Jean Cocteau monologue 'Duet For One Voice'.

Speaking about the piece, Walker said: "I must admit to not really being an admirer of Cocteau. I am, however, an admirer of Aletta Collins and her work. So, when Aletta asked me to collaborate with the intention of deconstructing the original script for dance, I was grateful for the challenge to help take what is essentially, in my humble opinion, an antiquated piece of misogyny (in this case, woman as willing victim) and try to turn it on its head and use its traces to create something new".

Following the performance of 'Duet For One', Italian soprano Nuccia Focile will take the lone role in Francis Poulenc's one act opera adaptation of Cocteau's 1930 play, 'La Voix Humaine'.

Both pieces will play at the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio Theatre form 17-25 Jun. More information here: www.roh.org.uk/whatson/production.aspx?pid=15100

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The Arctic Monkeys have announced that they will head out on a tour of UK arenas this October in support of their recently released new album, 'Suck It And See'. Tickets are due to go on sale on 17 Jun.

Tour dates:

28 Oct: Nottingham, Capital FM Arena
29 Oct: London, O2 Arena
1 Nov: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
2 Nov: Manchester, MEN Arena
4 Nov: Birmingham, LG Arena
5 Nov: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
6 Nov: Aberdeen, AECC
8 Nov: Glasgow, SECC Hall 4
9 Nov: Liverpool, Echo Arena

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The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world's largest arts festival, in case you needed reminding, launched its 2011 programme yesterday, and with 2542 shows in there, across the cabaret, comedy, theatre, dance, music, musicals and art genres, it's the biggest yet.

The Fringe is put together by hundreds of independent promoters, producers and venue operators, some of whom present just one show, while others offer whole programmes, strands or mini-festivals all of their own. All the shows of all these promoters appear in the main Fringe programme, which is open to everyone.

The flagship music strand at the Fringe is The Edge, created by T In The Park promoters DF Concerts. Taking over various gig venues around Edinburgh, including the Liquid Room, Cabaret Voltaire and The Picture House, among the acts due to play as part of that programme this year are Charlie Simpson, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Shonen Knife, Kristen Hersh, Luke Haines, Warpaint, Cage The Elephant, Willy Mason and the marvellous Amanda Palmer.

This year, for the first time, organisers of The Edge have allied themselves with the so called 'big four' venues of the Edinburgh Fringe, who annually produce a combined printed programme of their own - in addition to the aforementioned all-embracing main Fringe programme - and who refer to their combined comedy line-ups as the Edinburgh Comedy Festival.

Confirming that alliance, which puts The Edge music programme closer to the other art forms taking place at the Fringe each year, especially the comedy, DF Concert's Dave Corbet told CMU: "We're delighted to be joining forces with the Edinburgh Comedy Festival this year and are pleased to be in such good company. Music and Comedy have always been great bedfellows and from the feedback we've had previously, people attending the festival like to build an evening of entertainment so what better than to catch a comedy show AND attend a gig? We're announcing a great variety of acts so there will be something for everyone - roll on August!"

The Edge programme is online at www.theedgefestival.com

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END OF THE ROAD, Larmer Tree Gardens, North Dorset, 2-4 Sep: Fresh announcees M Ward, Beth Jeans Houghton, The Growlers, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Steve Smyth bolster a line-up of longer-standing residents including The Fall, Wild Beasts, Beirut, Joanna Newsom, Lykke Li, Laura Marling, Okkervil River and Best Coast. www.endoftheroadfestival.com

GOTTWOOD, Carreglwyd Estate, Holyhead, Wales, 30 Jun - 3 Jul: Organisers have enriched the Gottwood line-up with the addition of Mr Scruff, who will be occupy the decks for an epic five hour set. Fellow line-up newbies Jamie xx and A Guy Called Gerald also join an array of leftfield existing performers including Eat Your Brains, Louche, Jackmode and You Can Call Me Pelski. www.gottwood.co.uk

GREENWICH SUMMER SESSIONS, Old Royal Navy College, Greenwich, London, 26-31 Jul: Noisettes, Turin Brakes, Buzzcocks, Emma B and Ross Allen are all fresh in the running to perform across this six day event, supplementing an existing roster that stars the likes of Jose Gozalez, Status Quo, Squeeze and The Pogues. www.greenwichsummersessions.co.uk

HEVY, Port Lympne Wildlife Park, Kent, 5-8 Aug: Recent new bookings for Hevy's rock riot include Sonic Boom Six, Flood Of Red, Straight Lines, Steel Rules Die, The First, Turbogeist and The Bottlenex. Featuring highly amongst previous confirmations are The Dillinger Escape Plan, Architects, Bouncing Souls, We Are The Ocean, Zebrahead, Capdown and Your Demise. www.hevy.co.uk

IN THE WOODS, secret location, Kent, 3 Sep: Held in an as-yet undisclosed woodland setting, this Laurel Collective-curated bash keeps things young and trendy on a roster that boasts Dels, Man Like Me, Three Trapped Tigers, Pete & The Pirates and Post War Years. www.inthewoodsfestival.co.uk

SUPERSONIC, Custard Factory, Birmingham, 21-23 Oct: An eclectic mix of niche talent including oscillation pioneers Silver Apples and avant-rockers Circle join a list of prior additions like black metallers Wolves In The Throne Room and immersive live performers Lucky Dragons at this diminutive Birmingham-based weekender. www.supersonicfestival.com

WOMAD, Charlton Park, Wiltshire, 29-31 Jul: Brixton's best bluesy dub purveyors Alabama 3 lead the latest acts announced for Wiltshire's worldly WOMAD fest, as accompanied by Mongolian eight-piece Ana Moura, Dub Pistols, Kitty Daisy & Lewis and French electro types Chapelier Fou. They join the likes of Gogol Bordello, Rodrigo y Gabriela, I Am Kloot, and Baaba Maal on the billing as it stands thus far. womad.org/festivals/charlton-park

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I hate Monopoly, it's pretty much the worst board game ever invented. No one in the history of the world has ever finished a game of it, and the two main reasons for games being cut short are boredom or fighting. Not even a customised Metallica version of Monopoly could make me want to play it.

So, that's bad news for Hasbro, because next week they're releasing a customised Metallica version of Monopoly. You'll be able to buy it from the band's website at www.metallica.com.

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Plan B features in a new HP advert (computers not sauce) to be screened in cinemas, which sees him explain in the simplest terms possible how he wrote his song, 'She Said'.

Text at the beginning of the ad announces that it features 3D sound and is best heard on headphones, which is great for people watching it in a cinema. Presumably it's hoped that viewers will rush home to check it out again on their PCs, using some headphone like technology. Before you do that, I'll save you the disappointment and tell you that '3D sound' seems to mean 'stereo sound'. Unless HP laptops do something very special, which the ad seems to claim they do.

Watch the ad here for yourself: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3X1_Rmmafw

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PRS yesterday followed the lead of fellow collecting society PPL and announced it was hiring the services of Soundmouse, experts in music recognition technology, to help it more accurately monitor music being played on British radio. PRS For Music will start using Soundmouse's 'fingerprint' technology as part of its airplay monitoring operations in October.

Confirming the new deal with Soundmouse, PRS's Keith Hill told CMU: "Offering the highest levels of service to our members is paramount and it is critical we receive the best information and reporting to achieve this. After extensive research into music recognition technology we selected Soundmouse as they were the clear leaders in their field. The new technology will increase accuracy of distributions to members and further enhance the efficiency of royalty payments".

Soundmouse's Mark Vermaat added: "Our mathematicians have succeeded in delivering a significant leap forward in targeting the unique demands of music reporting, one of the hardest challenges for automated monitoring. We are therefore delighted to be working with PRS for Music and its members to provide our music monitoring services to benefit rights owners".

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Apple has seemingly removed one of the most controversial rules regarding the distribution of app-based subscription services through the IT giant's app store, just before it was due to come it effect.

As previously reported, Apple announced new rules regarding subscription-based apps earlier this year, which would force the operators of such services to allow users to sign up for a subscription within the Apple interface. The IT firm would take a 30% commission on said subscriptions, which would have to be offered at the same price as if the user subscribed with the content provider directly via the web.

This would mean that for services like Spotify to continue to offer its premium subscription service via an iPhone app, it would have to offer users the option to subscribe via Apple's App Store at the same £10 a month rate as if you sign up via the streaming service's own website. But given the profit margins on which services like Spotify operate, they wouldn't be able to afford to swallow a 30% commission. Meaning such services would either have to put up prices across the board or withdraw from the Apple platform.

The new rules caused a bit of outrage in some circles when announced earlier this year. US-based streaming service Rhapsody being most vocal, indicating that its lawyers were reviewing whether such a rule was an abuse of Apple's market power that amounted to a breach of competition law. Reports suggested the US Department Of Justice had also taken an interest on the same grounds. Meanwhile, earlier this week the Financial Times launched a new web-based mobile service to circumvent the Apple app store.

So, Team Apple have now backtracked, so that content providers will not be forced to take subscriptions through the app store, nor will they be forced to do so at the same price as elsewhere. So that's alright then, Apple isn't quite as evil as we all thought. Not quite.

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An association of internet music operators and providers has been launched in China, the country's government announced yesterday.

About 20 companies have joined the Internet Music Industry Development Consortium, all of whom have signed up to a protocol that encourages "the lawful production of music content and an increase of indigenous music products". It is also hoped the association can also offer guidance on "intra-industry competition and dispute settlement".

Among the companies signed up to the new body are Chinese music firms China Record Corporation and Ocean Butterflies Music Co, web firms like Tencent, Sina and Baidu, and tel cos China Mobile and China Telecom. It is not clear if there are any ambitions to include international music firms in the new body.

Both online and more traditional piracy has been rampant in China for years, of course, and Baidu in particular was criticised by Western music companies for aiding Chinese web users looking for illegal music content. But even they have started courting content owners of late with ambitions to launch a licensed music service, possibly following moves by the Chinese government to crack down on companies assisting in online piracy.

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BBC radio man Andy Parfitt has defended the BBC's decision to send over 250 staff to Glastonbury each year, amid the customary criticism from some quarters that the Corporation's coverage of the music festival is too vast, too expensive and basically a junket for BBC twonks.

The BBC's coverage of Glasto is immense, of course, with content pumped out on Radios 1, 1Xtra, 2, 4 and 6music, more on the BBC 2, 3 and 4 telly channels, not to mention red button and online coverage. Some say that that's far too much coverage for one event, though others - Parfitt included - would point out an estimated sixteen million people tuned in last year, and that many mud-adverse music fans now look forward to a weekend in front of the telly watching the festival as much as the Glasto faithful look forward to attending the event itself.

Assuming you respect the value of that output, Parfitt would then like you to know that 250+ people is not excessive to make it all happen.

Writing on the BBC blog this week, he wrote: "As a former sound engineer, I'm going to tell you about the main Pyramid Stage sound for the radio, TV and on-demand. We're talking about delivering some of the world's greatest artists (this year there's U2, Coldplay and Beyoncé) to your TV, radio and computer in super quality. I can tell you that mixing the hundreds of sound feeds does not happen on mobile disco equipment - Sound II is the BBC's big digital mobile music studio - a truck crammed with the highest possible quality mixing desk, monitoring and FX systems. Inside, our very best sound engineers work on a shift system to deliver great sound day and night; there are stage technicians who lay the cables and set the mics; and production assistants who log, time, quality check and upload hundreds of tracks so that the BBC radio stations can play out live music in their Glastonbury specials".

He continued: "This is only one stage and only the sound - across a sprawling site which is bigger than Bath. There's also the John Peel Stage, West Holts Stage, The Park Stage, Other Stage and BBC Introducing Stage with each one having dedicated technical points. And there are dozens more stages, tents and areas where music and comedy acts are doing their thing - so getting around the site with equipment and artists can be a real challenge. This is certainly no 'junket'. There's no BBC corporate hospitality and any BBC executives attending will also be working. Every member of staff onsite has a clear and accountable role - working hard and extremely long hours to offer unparalleled coverage. The people who work at the festival are some of the most dedicated, talented hard-working and professional crew I have come across in my career - and I have been around a long time!"

So take that nay-sayers.

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Alice Cooper isn't impressed with the current crop of rock bands, accusing them all of lacking attitude and showmanship and having been usurped by pop acts.

Speaking to the Daily Star, the aging shock rocker said: "I joined a band so you could wear leather, Levis, torn-up t-shirts and have attitude. Bands don't have attitude any more. They're all beige and have no showmanship. My generation was the opposite. Striving for normality was never an option. It's infinitely more fun watching somebody like Lady Gaga. The same with Katy Perry. She's got a great pop sense. Then you have Shakira, who is this bohemian animal".

Asked how he'd fix things, he continued: "Take Vampire Weekend: here's a great name for an act. If I was them I'd keep the squeaky clean music but have blood splashed over my shirt. [And] forget 'The X-Factor'. I'd like to see a TV show that discovers real songwriting rock genius. I'd call it 'Lunatic Fringe'".

Having said that all rock bands are rubbish, Alice Cooper will be hanging out with a sizeable number of them this week at Download, where he is headlining the second stage tomorrow night.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Tax Adviser

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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.

Chris regularly gives interviews on music business topics, and has done so for the likes of BBC News Channel, BBC World, BBC 5Live, Radio 4, Sky News, CNN and the Associated Press. Email [email protected] or call 020 7099 9050 for more details.

CMU music business expertise is also available on a consulting basis via UnLimited Consulting, click here for more information, email [email protected] to discuss a project.

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