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THURSDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2011
FEATURE: PLAYLIST - INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS
Tonight sees AIM's first ever Independent Music Awards ceremony take place in London, recognising some of the indie world's finest artists and labels. Fourteen awards will be handed out, with performances from some of the nominees too. Ahead of the ceremony, CMU Editor Andy Malt explores some the nominated artists and labels for this week's Powers Of Ten playlist more>>
APPROVED: VAGINA VANGI
Dark, a bit over the top, very, very loud, and emanating from Russia, Vagina Vangi is the work of Moscow-based producer Ilya Arhipov. Often slapped with the witch house brush, he's opted for 'holy pop' as his genre tag. I'm not sure if that's better. What lies at the heart of all of these songs is straight-up electropop. Just electropop designed to be played closer to the end of the world than the 80s more>>
TOP STORIES
- Channel Islanders respond to LVCR abolition
- Citigroup now compromising to speed up EMI sale
- Syco confirms it will withdraw Rhythmix trademark application
IN THE POP COURTS
- Pitbull countersues Lindsay Lohan
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- Lots of music people in Standard's influential Londoners list
RELEASE NEWS
- Kelly Rowland secures UK album release
- Indie guests galore on new Sharon Van Etten LP
- Factory Floor announce single, live show
FILMS & SHOWS NEWS
- Original Spider-man director sues producers
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Kasabian announce audience controlled lighting for new live show
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival line-up update
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- Warner announces senior management rejig
- RIAA increasingly unhappy with DMCA
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- Jackson estate urges broadcaster not to air Conrad Murray doc
AND FINALLY...
- Wanted boy finds teen mag photoshoots embarrassing
IN HOUSE PRESS, MUSIC PRESS OFFICER
In House Press is a music press and promotion company based in Manchester, UK. We represent a varied range of artists to national press, online, radio and TV including Avi Buffalo, Beth Jeans Houghton, Deerhoof, Donovan, Field Music, Fuck Buttons, The Go! Team, Gold Panda, Los Campesinos!, Low, Nathan Fake, Panda Bear, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Toro Y Moi, Tracey Thorn and Tunng.

We are looking for a music press officer to join our team and look after all aspects of music press. The position offered is based in Manchester and full-time with a competitive salary based on experience.

To apply please send a cover letter and CV to: will@inhousepress.com
   
EVENTIM, MARKETING MANAGER
Eventim UK is part of CTS Eventim AG, the leading ticketing company in Europe with operations in 20 countries selling more than 100 million tickets to over 140,000 rock & pop, sports, classical music and other events every year.

We are looking for an experienced Marketing Manager to join our team in London and look after all aspects of marketing. You should have experience of digital marketing, social media, affiliate and partner management, and content generation. You should also be able to implement a strategy, develop marketing campaigns and build brand awareness.

A passion for live entertainment is essential.

To apply please send a cover letter and CV to: jobs@eventim.co.uk
   
CLASH MUSIC, BEVERAGE SECTOR SALES EXECUTIVE
Clash Music Ltd publishes Clash Magazine, operates ClashMusic.com and numerous live music events and club nights, and is looking for an experienced, enthusiastic individual to join the Clash commercial team at our Old Street office.

Candidates should have a strong contacts list within the drinks industry, and a proven track record of successful activity with previous employers or as a freelance broker. Great presentation skills & sales experience is essential and time spent working across PR, media and or experiential marketing will be considered advantageous. The role will involve a mixture of sales, project planning and managing delivery of integrated marketing solutions across Clash print, digital and live event platforms.

The Clash commercial team has an enviable reputation for its entrepreneurial spirit and ability to offer client’s creative excellence and value for money. The successful candidate will be required to match the existing teams energy and enthusiasm by living and breathing the Clash brand.

The position offered is full time with a competitive salary. If you believe that you are the ideal candidate for this role email jason@clashmusic.com with a CV.

CHANNEL ISLANDERS RESPOND TO LVCR ABOLITION
The CEO of a Guernsey-based mail-order company called Healthspan has said that he plans to challenge the UK government's decision to end so called Low Value Consignment Relief for goods sold from the Channel Islands into the UK.

As previously reported, for years LVCR has meant that mail-order operations based in the Channel Islands have been able to sell low value goods (originally under £18, now£15), including CDs and DVDs, to customers in the UK without charging VAT. This gives Channel Islands-based operations a 20% advantage over firms based on the UK mainland, and as mail-order boomed when the internet went mainstream ten years ago numerous companies set up business in the English Channel to capitalise of the loophole.

Those who have campaigned to have the loophole closed argue that the rapid growth in VAT-free retailers selling into the UK over the last decade made it hard for traditional high street retailers here to compete, and also meant that independent record sellers, who couldn't afford an offshore base, were unable to capitalise on the boom in the mail-order strand of their business, which could have compensated for the decline in high street CD sales.

After years of both the British and Channel Island governments paying only lip service to concerns about the growth in VAT-free online retail - growth that arguably breached EU tax rules that forbid the use of tax relief programmes to seriously distort a market place - the Coalition government started to act last year and announced earlier this week that they would phase our LVCR relief for the Channel Islands next April.

Although, as more and more companies exploited the loophole, the eventual demise of LVCR was inevitable, many mail-order firms based on the Channel Islands have criticised the UK government's decision this week. Most hone in on the fact that LVCR will only be axed on imports from the Channel Islands, but not other countries outside the EU, meaning companies currently using the tax dodge from Jersey or Guernsey could just move their operations to, say, Switzerland or Hong Kong, and carry on benefiting from the VAT relief. That, some argue, is discrimination against the Channel Islands.

The UK government says its axing of LVCR only applies to Channel Island imports because that's where use of the tax relief system is excessive. It's a legitimate point. The reason LVCR exists is because the quantity of low value goods imported into the UK used to be minimal, so that the amount of sales tax generated by low value goods was nominal, and therefore not worth collecting once admin costs were taken into account.

But by definition, if a large number of businesses then capitalise on the loophole, then the number of goods ceases to be minimal, therefore the total sales tax that could be collected ceases to be nominal, so therefore the logic for the relief in the first place no longer stands. Added to the obligation under EU law that tax relief systems shouldn't skew the market - and there needs to be mass use of the relief system for that to happen - there is a logic to government only targeting those places where LVCR is used to excess.

Though, of course, this means the government will be obligated to act if and when exploitation of LVCR in other countries becomes excessive, and the campaigning group which has led on this - RAVAS - has pledged to continue campaigning to ensure this happens.

Either way, Healthspan boss Derek Coates told the BBC that he had been advised by lawyers and accountants that there was a case for fighting the government "on the basis of discrimination against the Channel Islands". While admitting the end of LVCR wasn't a complete surprise, he continued: "What is surprising and disturbing for all the Channel Islands is the way the UK have treated our islands with such disdain. They have taken no steps to stop LVCR imports from any other country outside the EU including Switzerland, Cyprus, Hong Kong, the USA or China". He concluded: "We are in the process of launching a legal challenge, perhaps in the form of a judicial review".

While it's expected many of the Channel Islands-based mail-order operations may now relocate, either back to the UK or to another country where LVCR is still available - likely leading to up to 1000 job losses - Coates added that he planned to stay put, saying: "Healthspan is a Guernsey-based business that I started here in the island because I am a Guernseyman".

Elsewhere the Guernsey Bulk Mailers Association was blaming the island's own government for the end of LVCR, arguing that if it hadn't let the big CD sellers set up shop on the island, then use of the tax relief would not have become so big or high profile back in the UK, and the campaign to abolish it may have never got off the ground. Though according to the BBC, the island's Commerce & Employment Department argued back that had it not let the big British mail-order firms in, they would have joined the lobbying efforts to have LVCR phased out and the tax relief would have ended much sooner.

Don't forget, you can read the CMU interview with Richard Allen, a key campaigner against LVCR, exploring the history of the tax relief system and the campaign against it here: www.thecmuwebsite.com/article/qa-richard-allen-ravas/

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CITIGROUP NOW COMPROMISING TO SPEED UP EMI SALE
Citigroup is finally budging on some key stumbling blocks in its ongoing talks to sell on EMI, or so insiders are saying. Turns out walking away from the negotiating table was a clever move by teams representing Warner and Universal.

As previously reported, both Warner and Universal are interested in buying the EMI record companies, but both withdrew their bids late last month amid disagreements with the British major's current owners over price, pension and lease liabilities, and the costs of any regulatory investigations into a takeover of EMI's labels by an existing major player in the music space.

Universal returned to the negotiating table last week, and it's thought that this time the US bankers have been more flexible, possibly accepting a lower up front price in return for Universal taking on the various risks and liabilities associated with the acquisition. As also previously reported, a Universal purchase of the EMI labels is likely to result in a rigorous competition regulator investigation in Europe, and pan-European indie labels trade body has already called on the EU to pursue every avenue in investigating that deal, should it happen.

Of course there have been various rumours throughout the bidding process for EMI that Citigroup might just keep hold of the music firm in the short term, and have another go at selling when the credit markets improve, perhaps allowing more private equity types to bid, which would possibly up the asking price.

Though, while still a possibility, it seems that's the worst case scenario option for the bankers, especially as a deal to sell EMI's publishing business seems likely to be in place in the next few weeks, and it would be a pain for that to fall through just because no deal can be done on the less valuable record labels (just holding onto the labels alone would be the worst worst case scenario).

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SYCO CONFIRMS IT WILL WITHDRAW RHYTHMIX TRADEMARK APPLICATION
Simon Cowell's Syco company has confirmed it is abandoning its attempts to trademark the name Rhythmix. As previously reported, the music firm put in an application to trademark the name in the music space after a girl group created on the 'X-Factor' show picked it as their moniker. But the name is already used by a music education charity, which feared that if 'X' got the trademark in music it could hinder its fundraising activities.

After initially dismissing the charity's objections, and following an online campaign and open letter from the charity's boss to Syco chief Simon Cowell, Team X finally announced the girl group would use an alternative name, Little Mix. But earlier this week the Rhythmix charity issued another statement complaining that Syco hadn't actually withdrawn its trademark application, and that reps for 'X-Factor' had stopped responding to the charity's correspondence.

A spokesman for Syco yesterday told reporters: "Syco are happy to withdraw the application for the trademark, as initially offered at the time of the name change [by the Rhythmix girl group] to Little Mix".

The music and telly company added that the initial delay in withdrawing the trademark application came about because it offered to transfer the trademark to the Rhythmix charity. Bosses at the charity confirmed to The Guardian that they did receive said offer, but added that they immediately knocked it back because it came with conditions that would prevent them from commenting on the conduct of the various companies involved in 'X-Factor', and that they had since heard nothing more from Syco or its lawyers.

Having confirmed the Rhythmix trademark application would definitely be withdrawn, the Syco spokeswoman said that the company now considers the matter closed. Though it might not be just yet. Rhythmix boss Mark Davyd says the charity has run up legal bills of £8000 dealing with 'X-Factor' producers on this matter, mainly because they initially refused to change their girl group's name, and he wants the show to cover those costs so it won't impact on his organisation's educational work. Team Syco are yet to respond about that.

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PITBULL COUNTERSUES LINDSAY LOHAN
A single isn't really a single these days without a guest rap from Pitbull on it. Maybe now a lawsuit won't be a lawsuit without a countersuit from the rapper too. Getting the ball rolling is Lindsay Lohan, who prompted him to react legally after she sued him for defamation after he referenced her many recent encounters with the law in his song 'Give Me Everything'.

Actually, all he said was "Hustlers move aside, so I'm tiptoeing, keep flowin/I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan", but she got upset and set her lawyers on him like, er, pitbulls, or something.

Although he later apologised for the lyric, saying he didn't mean to "defamate, degrade or hurt" her, she still didn't back down (possibly because "defamate" isn't actually a word), so he's now countersuing, claiming that she brought all this on herself because she tends to go around breaking the law a lot. His lawsuit also claims she is not allowed to file legal papers in New York (as she has done) because she's a resident of California, so the whole thing should be thrown out anyway.

Fun, fun, fun.

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LOTS OF MUSIC PEOPLE IN STANDARD'S INFLUENTIAL LONDONERS LIST
Random list of people put together by a newspaper anyone? The Evening Standard has published its annual list of the 1000 most influential Londoners, and there are a fair number of music types in there. Look, we've grouped them into handy lists, though if you want a couple of sentences about each of them courtesy of Team Standard, you'll have to click on this link: www.thisislondon.co.uk/2011-one-thousand.do

Artists, musicians and producers: Adele, Alex Da Kid, Chase & Status, Chris Martin, Damon Albarn, Florence Welch, George Michael, Laura Marling, Mark Ronson, Mick Jagger, Tinie Tempah, Wretch 32.

Label dudes: Christian Tattersfield, CEO, Warner Music; David Joseph CEO, Universal Music UK; Laurence Bell, Founder, Domino Records; Nick Gatfield, CEO, Sony Music UK; Richard Russell, Director, XL Recordings; Roger Faxon, CEO, EMI.

Live music geezers: Cymon Eckel, Director, XOYO; Harvey Goldsmith; Jay Marciano, CEO, AEG Europe; John Gilhooly, Artistic Director, Wigmore Hall; Jude Kelly, Artistic Director, South Bank Centre; Marcus Davey, CEO, Roundhouse; Nicholas Kenyon, MD, Barbican Centre; Peter Millican, CEO, Kings Place; Paul Latham, UK President, Live Nation; Simon Moran, MD, SJM Concerts; Tony Hall, CEO, Royal Opera House; Vince Power, CEO, Music Festivals plc.

Geeks: Daniel Ek, Spotify; Ian Hogarth, Songkick.

Music Media darlings: Annie Mac, Radio 1; Ashley Tabor, CEO, Global Radio; Geeneus, Founder, Rinse FM; George Ergatoudis, Head Of Music, Radio 1; Jeff Smith, Head Of Music, Radio 2/6music; Peter Robinson, Editor, Popjustice.com; Rio Caraeff, CEO, VEVO; Roger Wright, Controller, BBC Radio 3; Simon Cowell, Syco; Steve Wright, Radio 2; Tim Davie, Director, BBC Radio; Zane Lowe, Radio 1.

Classical types: Antonio Pappano, Music Director, Royal Opera House; Benjamin Grosvenor, Pianist; Charlotte Bray, Composer; Edward Gardner, Music Director, English National Opera; Esa-Pekka Salonen, Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser, Philharmonia Orchestra; Gavin Henderson, Principal, Central School Of Speech And Drama; Graham Sheffield, Arts Director, British Council; Janis Susskind, Publishing Director, Boosey & Hawkes; Kathryn McDowell, MD, London Symphony Orchestra; Mike Volpe, General Manager, Opera Holland Park; Nicola Benedetti, Violinist; Nicholas Collon, Conductor; Oliver Knussen, Conductor Laureate, London Sinfonietta; Valery Gergiev, Chief Conductor, London Symphony Orchestra; Vladimir Jurowski, Principal Conductor, London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Those I'm referring to as miscellaneous: Feargal Sharkey, CEO, UK Music; Kanya King, Founder, MOBO Awards; Nick Williams, Principal, BRIT School; Simon Frith, Mercury Music Prize.

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KELLY ROWLAND SECURES UK ALBUM RELEASE
Kelly Rowland has finally confirmed a UK release date for her third solo album, 'Here I Am'. I could, as per her well-worn 'X-Factor' catchphrase, say she's officially 'put it down' - the release date, that is - in her list of important things to remember. But then that'd mean I'd have to admit that I watch 'X-Factor', which would be embarrassing.

Anyway. The LP, which came out in the US back in July, will constitute Kelly's first full-length release for Universal's Island Records, to whom she signed last year after being dropped by Sony label Columbia. It features raunchy duets with vari-sized rappers Lil Wayne and Big Sean, as well as a slightly less raunchy collaboration with DJ David Guetta.

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INDIE GUESTS GALORE ON NEW SHARON VAN ETTEN LP
Having signed to Jagjaguwar earlier this year, Sharon Van Etten is set to release 'Tramp', her debut album on the label, on 6 Feb. Marking her third LP overall, it was recorded in a studio belonging to Aaron Dessner of The National, who also appears on the album.

Auspicious-sounding guest contributors also include The Walkmen's Matt Barrick, Zach Condon of Beirut, Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak, Julianna Barwick and Doveman. I think it's safe to assume this album's going to be very good.

Tracklisting:

Warsaw
Give Out
Serpents
Kevin's
Leonard
In Line
All I Can
We Are Fine
Magic Chords
Ask
I'm Wrong
Joke Or A Lie

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FACTORY FLOOR ANNOUNCE SINGLE, LIVE SHOW
Post-industrial soundsmiths Factory Floor, who recently took up residence at DFA, are all set to release their new single 'Two Different Ways' on 14 Nov. The trio will be making sounds from this, and the other tracks from their drone-prone disco arsenal, when they headline the launch of the Fred Perry-sponsored night Sub Sonic at London's Garage on 18 Nov.

As a fitting visual accompaniment to this piece of news, here's the official video for 'Two Different Ways'.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4T2K-dkxA4

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ORIGINAL SPIDER-MAN DIRECTOR SUES PRODUCERS
I've no desire to ever see the U2-penned 'Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark', but when they make the movie about its making, I'll be there. Actually, apparently a documentary has been made about all of this, so that's something to look forward to. Anyway, in the latest chapter in this long saga, Julie Taymor, the Broadway musical's original director, is suing the show's producers for a million dollars claiming she is owed money for her work on the production, and that her creative rights have been violated.

As previously reported, Taymor - best known for her work on the 'Lion King' stage show - was eased out of her role on the hugely expensive Spiderman-themed musical after various technical problems and a negative critical response during a long drawn out preview period forced a rethink. New director Philip William McKinley stood in during a three week closure of the show and revamped various elements of the production before an eventual official launch in June.

According to the BBC, Taymor's lawsuit is seeking half of all the profits from the original version of the show, and a permanent ban of her name and likeness being used in connection with the aforementioned 'Spider-Man' behind the scenes documentary. A spokesman for the show's producers said that Taymor had been properly compensated for her work on the project, and that they are glad that "the court system will [now] provide, once and for all, an opportunity to resolve this dispute".

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KASABIAN ANNOUNCE AUDIENCE CONTROLLED LIGHTING FOR NEW LIVE SHOW
Should Kasabian bomb at any of their upcoming shows, they might find it hard to find their way off stage, unless they're booed off. The band have announced that the lighting in their stage set has been designed to become lighter or darker depending on how loud the audience is.

Frontman Tom Meighan told The Daily Star: "Serge [Pizzorno, guitarist] and Aitor Throup, who did our album artwork, and a guy called Nick, who's a fucking genius at lighting, came up with it. It's going to look great. The idea the stage will react to fans will be cool. It's never been done".

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

ATP'S I'LL BE YOUR MIRROR, Alexandra Palace, London, 25-27 May: Taking the curatorship mantle from this year's hosts Portishead, Mogwai have invited the likes of Slayer, Guided By Voices, Mudhoney, Codeine, Sleep, Melvins and Yuck to perform across what's sure to be three memorable nights of live music at the Ally Pally. And, FAO thrash fans: Slayer are slated to perform their 1986 album 'Reign In Blood' in its entirety during their set on Friday. www.atpfestival.com/events/news/1111091500.php

BENICASSIM, Valencia, Spain, 12-15 Jul: Hurrah! The resurgent Stone Roses are spearheading the announcements for next year's Benicassim bill, with more headliners and acts set to be revealed in the coming months. www.fiberfib.com

FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL, NAEBA SKI RESORT, JAPAN, 27-29 Jul: Hurrah! The Stone Roses book another date for their first festival summer as a band since reuniting. More acts tbc. www.smash-uk.com/frf11/

HIDEOUT FESTIVAL, Zrce Beach, Pag, Croatia, 29 Jun - 1 Jul: Dance types Skrillex, Skream, Caribou, Annie Mac, Erol Alkan and Jack Beats lead the first raft of acts booked for next year's edition of this Croatian bash. www.hideoutfestival.com

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Scotland, 6-8 Jul: And thrice hurrah! It's those Stone Roses again, headlining away as the first act on the 2012 T roster, with the remaining line-up yet to be announced. Personally, I quite like it as it is. www.tinthepark.com

WIRELESS, Hyde Park, London, 6-8 Jul: Pop pistolette Rihanna seems primed to head up proceedings at next year's Wireless fest, delivering this inspirational message to prospective ticket-buyers: "I'm so excited to be headlining Barclaycard Wireless next year! My UK fans rock and I can't wait to see them at Hyde Park!" www.wirelessfestival.co.uk

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WARNER ANNOUNCES SENIOR MANAGEMENT REJIG
Warner Music has announced a significant rejig of the management structure of its recorded music division, which has resulted in the abolition of the European management team and the departure of Warner Music Europe CEO John Reid.

The rejig is being led by Lyor Cohen, whose control of the Warner record labels has increased since Access Industries bought the company and former CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr took a more backseat role as Chairman. Bronfman's replacement, Access Industries man Stephen Cooper, is much less hand on.

The aim of the revamp is to simplify the company's regional management structure, and to have more global focus on key areas such as digital, finance, catalogue, distribution and the expansion of Warner's business outside traditional record sales. Execs with global responsibilities in the new look team include Steven Bryan (digital), Matt Signore (finance), Kevin Gore (catalogue), Mike Jbara (distribution) and David Marcus (360 deals).

The removal of a European level of management will see France, Germany and the UK reporting directly into Cohen, with Spain reporting into Latin America chief Iñigo Zabala and other European markets to Stu Bergen.

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RIAA INCREASINGLY UNHAPPY WITH DMCA
A legal rep for the Recording Industry Association Of America has confirmed that the trade body's members are increasingly frustrated with the way the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is being interpreted by the US courts, and that they might want to start lobbying US Congress to refine the Act at some point in the future. According to CNet, Jennifer Pariser made the comments at a recent law conference in New York, though she stressed no actual lobbying on this matter is currently taking place.

America's DMCA was a bit of post-internet copyright legislation designed to balance the rights of content owners with those of technology companies who were afraid of liability for copyright infringement if their technology was used by others to infringe. It's the DMCA that provides so called safe-harbour protection to some technology providers, and in particular sets in stone the principle that content-sharing services like YouTube cannot be liable for copyright infringement, even if they inadvertently host infringing content, providing they have a system in place by which a content owner can order infringing material be removed.

Although YouTube now has a pretty damn effective takedown system in place with technology which, in theory at least, means content owners no longer have to monitor the platform 24/7 to spot infringing uploads, many of its competitors - who also plead DMCA protection - have much less efficient and effective systems in place. The problem is it's not clear how good a takedown system has to be in order for the safe harbour protection to kick in - though the ruling in Viacom v YouTube, based on the rather shoddy takedown system the video sharing platform operating in its early days, implied the quality thresholds are quite low.

That is almost certainly one of the areas where the RIAA believes the courts are incorrectly interpreting the DMCA, and where some legislative clarification may be needed. As previously reported, Grooveshark claims it is not liable for copyright infringement - despite hosting large amounts of unlicensed content on its system - because of the DMCA takedown provisions. But many in the industry are dismissive of Grooveshark's commitment to its takedown system (some going so far as to claim it doesn't actually operate one at all), and if it looks like a court may side with the Groovesharkers, that would almost certainly be enough for the major labels to start urging Congress to refine the DMCA safe-harbour clauses.

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JACKSON ESTATE URGES BROADCASTER NOT TO AIR CONRAD MURRAY DOC
The executors of the Michael Jackson estate have urged US TV network MSNBC to not broadcast the previously reported British-made documentary which follows Dr Conrad Murray as he prepared for his involuntary manslaughter trial. The programme, due to air on Channel 4 over here, includes footage of and interviews with Murray, conducted after Jackson's death on his watch back in 2009.

The programme is due to air in both the UK and the US shortly, capitalising on the media coverage of the doctor's conviction for criminal negligence this week. But the Jackson estate has branded the decision to air the programme now as "irresponsible".

In a statement calling for the documentary to be pulled from the schedules, the estate says: "Like so many of Michael's fans, the estate is also disgusted by MSNBC's irresponsible and inexplicable decision to air a Conrad Murray 'documentary'. The co-executors, John Branca and John McClain, are sending a letter to the top executives at Comcast, NBC Universal and MSNBC to express their disdain for their actions".

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WANTED BOY FINDS TEEN MAG PHOTOSHOOTS EMBARRASSING
One of The Wanted has admitted that doing all those cheesy photoshoots for their teenage fans to drool over is a bit embarrassing. The non-descript boy band's Max George told Metro: "I find the teenage magazine photoshoots a bit cringey. They once asked us to blow feathers out of our hands and we just said: 'No, we can't be doing that'. When they ask you to do those boyband poses where you're all laughing - we can't do them. It's a bit embarrassing".

Asked to name one of the best moments since boy band fame began, he said: "My highlight was the V Festival. It was awesome. It's not like doing a pop gig - there were proper musos there. It was an older audience who got right into our music". Yep, that's right, V Festival, that annual gathering of all the musos. I tried getting tickets for V once, but all the musos had snapped them up as soon as they went on sale.

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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