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Last week I went to The Great Escape's Balearic showcase in London, as tipped in this very column, and had my mind opened to a world of indie-rock from those Mediterranean islands . Who knows what treats could be awaiting this week? Well, me. I do. Because I've trawled the world of music and found them all. And because I like to be helpful, I've written them all down for you here more>>
Throughout December, we will be revisiting some of our favourite artists to have appeared in the CMU Approved column this year. Today it's Paul Thomas Saunders, who was featured ahead of the release of his debut EP. This Approved piece includes a brilliant live video of his song 'Appointment In Samarra', which we were lucky enough to see performed at this year's Apple Cart festival more>>
- Scandal hits Dutch collecting society over anti-piracy tune
- Conrad Murray lawyers begin appeals process
- Bieber accuser may allow DNA test of baby this week
- BBC announces Sound Of 2012 long list
- Happy Mondays reunion in the pipeline
- US commentators wonder what happened to last week's Van Halen announcement
- Limp Bizkit part company with Interscope
- Blonde Redhead enlist Interpol, Deerhunter for Japanese charity LP
- Lana Del Rey's debut LP officially announced
- Sleigh Bells tease new LP
- Willow Smith to release debut album
- Rizzle Kicks tour
- The Rapture announce shows; two standard, one special
- Charlie Simpson announces tour
- Festival line-up update
- Swiss government report critical of other countries' anti-file-sharing moves
- ACM announces new Bournemouth base
- VEVO in talks with MTV
- Will.i.am to judge on British Voice show
- McFly boy wins I'm A Celeb
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So, a bit of a scandal involving Dutch collecting society BUMA/STEMRA garnered some mainstream media attention in the Netherlands last week, as one of the body's board members was accused of demanding a 33% commission for helping a composer and BUMA/STEMRA member in a long-running royalty claim.

This all relates to a piece of music composed by one Melchior Rietveldt to accompany a short film created by a Dutch anti-piracy group, widely reported to be the high profile organisation BREIN, although it has since been confirmed it was actually another anti-piracy body, working in the film space, that commissioned the track.

Rietveldt was told the film, featuring his music, would be shown at a small film festival in 2006, and that's all the composer's contract with the anti-piracy group seemingly allowed. But a year later he discovered the short film, with his composition, had been included at the start of millions of DVDs sold in the Netherlands. Reckoning he was due at least a million euros for the use of his music in that way, he began legal action.

A substantial portion of the money he was due should seemingly have come to Rietveldt via his collecting society BUMA/STEMRA, so he contacted the norganisation asking that it went after the royalties. But, according to Dutch broadcaster PowNed, the society was reluctant to help, or even respond all that much to his claim. Until he got a call from one Jochem Gerrits, a board member of the collecting society, who told the composer he could use his influence to ensure he'd receive the million plus euros in royalties due for his work on the anti-piracy video. But in return Gerrits would want a third of any money paid in relation to the claim, and ownership of the track for his publishing company.

In a conversation between Rietveldt's financial advisor and Gerrits, recording by PowNed, the BUMA/STEMRA board member says that he has a reputation for getting things done in the Dutch music industry, and that while Gerrits would have to hand over a third of his royalty "he would make 660,000 euros and now he has nothing".

As the story hit the mainstream media last week Gerrits claimed his conversation with Rietveldt's rep had been "misinterpreted". He subsequently resigned from the BUMA/STEMRA board, saying he needed to concentrate on defending himself against the claims made by Rietveldt. The whole scandal has resulted in local media digging up various other complaints made by songwriters and musicians against their collecting society, some accusing the body of operating a culture of "secrecy and fear", while others question the size of some board member's salaries. Meanwhile, one Dutch MP has called on the country's competition watchdog to look into the collecting society's operations.

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Lawyers for Dr Conrad Murray, the medic found guilty of causing the death of Michael Jackson through criminal negligence, filed court papers on Friday indicating plans to appeal both their client's conviction and his four year jail sentence.

Murray received the maximum sentence available for his crime last week, after an angry statement from the judge who oversaw the case, Michael Pastor, who called the doctor a "disgrace to the medical profession", and who criticised the defendant for showing no remorse, and for giving his side of the story to a TV documentary crew rather than in court.

Murray's legal team filed papers with the LA Superior Court on Friday, which is a precursor to them lodging a formal appeal at the California Appeals Court.

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Mariah Yeater, the woman who accuses Justin Bieber of fathering her child during a brief backstage sexual liaison last year, will allow a DNA sample to be taken from her baby this week, it was reported online this weekend.

As previously reported, Bieber agreed to submit a DNA sample last month to prove Yeater's paternity claims were a nonsense. But then the popster's lawyers couldn't get Yeater to agree to a time to bring in her young son, so that a DNA sample could be taken from him to compare with Bieber's sample. Legal reps for Yeater then demanded Bieber take a new DNA test in their presence.

While it's not clear whether Team Yeater are now accepting Bieber's original sample as genuine, it is thought the accuser may allow doctors to take a saliva sample from her son this week.

This comes as Star magazine, which originally broke the story about Yeater's claims, ran a new story saying it had footage of the Bieber accuser smoking dope in front of a three year old, possibly filmed while she was pregnant. Yeater apparently says in the video "we're about to get high - burning weed, burning weed". Meanwhile, an ex-boyfriend of Yeater is seemingly claiming that he is actually the father of her son, and that he has text messages in which she admits that to be so, presumably the text messages Yeater was believed to have been trying to have deleted as her big Bieber claims went public.

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So, here it is people, the BBC Sound Of 2012 longlist. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, "what's blah blah doing on there, surely they were the sound of 2011, hey, that dude's just been nominated for three Grammys, why are nearly all of these on major labels".

But don't blame the Beeb, blame the movers and shakers and music media types who voted on this. Apart from CMU Editor Andy Malt, obviously he only voted for genuinely new, totally independent and wonderfully innovative bands.

Anyway, here's the fifteen tipped acts, look out for the final five and overall winner being announced in early 2012:

A$AP Rocky
Azealia Banks
Dot Rotten
Dry The River
Flux Pavilion
Frank Ocean
Jamie N Commons
Lianne La Havas
Michael Kiwanuka
Niki & The Dove
Ren Harvieu

Hey, imagine a 2012 where British dubstep really does step aside to allow Skrillex's shit take on the genre dominate. Perhaps next year really will see the end of the world as we know it.

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The original line up of Happy Mondays are set to reform next year, presumably keen to capitalise on the renewed interest in the whole Madchester thing the Stone Roses reunion will create. Some are suggesting the Mondays may actually support the Roses, while other reports say the band's 1990 album 'Pills N Thrills And Bellyaches' will also be re-released to coincide with the reformation.

Apparently Sean Ryder is close to having all his former bandmates on board, and a meeting to finalise money splits will take place this week. It's thought the whole thing may be filmed for a documentary, which is likely to be a whole lot more interesting that the reunion gigs themselves.

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Various US commentators are wondering what is happening with the big Van Halen reunion, because it was widely expected a big announcement would be made at last week's Grammy nominations concert in LA.

Certainly the Recording Academy promised "a special live announcement from a truly iconic group regarding their historic reunion at the Grammys 2012". Not especially cryptic clues on official Grammy tweets prior to the event then suggested that the announcement would be about Van Halen. But no such announcement was forthcoming. Recording Academy chief Neil Portnow said after the big noms show, "in the world of creativity, everything is fluid ... there was the expectation that the artist involved and we would be ready to announce, but the artist was not quite ready".

A Van Halen reunion including original lead singer David Lee Roth has been expected for a few months now, with a tour and a new album, and a possible new record deal with Universal's Interscope. Of course with Roth having separate legal representation to the rest of Van Halen, any deals will take some time to complete, and that the band's big announcement has had to be postponed doesn't mean the reunion is off. Though it does mean there could as yet be legal complications that could hinder the grand plans.

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Universal's Interscope definitely has room to squeeze Van Halen into its camp, given that the company has just parted ways with Limp Bizkit, seemingly because of good old "creative differences". Some are reporting that the band have been dropped, though the band's frontman and one-time Senior Vice President of Interscope Records Fred Durst insists he is happy with the turn of events.

He told the Poolside With Dean Delray podcast: "One of the things with [new record] 'Gold Cobra' was that it was a record for us to do for ourselves, for the core fans, for some of the people that we know in the industry. It wasn't our step forward to make a big pop, smash radio record; we just didn't want to make that record at that time. We have been working for a while now to re-navigate where we are going to take Limp Bizkit and finally we have been able to get off our label and become independent".

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As the Japanese people continue to feel the effects of the natural disasters that befell their country earlier this year, alt-rock trio Blonde Redhead have put together a compilation in support of recovery efforts. Entitled 'We Are The Works In Progress', the album features exclusives and unfinished tracks by the likes of Liars, John Maus, Deerhunter and Interpol.

With proceeds from sales going to Architecture For Humanity and the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, the LP will be the inaugural release on Blonde Redhead's new label, Asa Wa Kuru - Japanese for "morning will come" - on 10 Jan.

As suggested by the album's title, the significance of the incomplete pieces is to symbolise Japan's potential for regeneration. Blonde Redhead frontwoman Kazu Makino, who hails from Kyoto, says this: "Unfinished things often carry more energy... the possibility of it eventually becoming something great is infinite without having to be quite yet".


Four Tet - Moma
Karin Andersson - No Face
Terry Riley - G Song
Nosaj Thing - Nightcrawler
John Roberts - Berceuse
Blonde Redhead - Penny Sparkle (Drew Brown Remix)
Pantha du Prince - Bird On A Wire
Broadcast - In Here the World Begins
Liars - Drip (Blonde Redhead Remix)
Deerhunter - Curve
Stalactite - Stalagmite
John Maus - Castles In The Gravev
David Sylvian/Ryuichi Sakamoto - Bamboo House
Interpol - Song Seven

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So, the official word is out on Lana Del Rey's debut album, 'Born To Die'. It will be released via Polydor on 30 Jan, preceded a week earlier by Del Rey's next single, also the album's title track, which will come complete with remixes by Damon Albarn, Woodkid and Clams Casino. Del Rey herself has billed the LP as "a homage to true love and a tribute to living life on the wild side", which, given the tenor of past singles 'Video Games' and 'Blue Jeans', sounds just about right.

To accompany the news, here's Lana, nestling peevishly in the arms of a tattooed extra, in the 'Born To Die' trailer. The proper video, which will apparently feature a tiger, is expected out soon.


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US noise-pop twosome Sleigh Bells have used their first ever tweet to name the successor to their debut album 'Treats'. It's going to be called 'Reign Of Terror', as this noisy trailer will illustrate. Hype. reignofterror.tv

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Pre-teen pop star Willow Smith, who is signed to Jay-Z's label Roc Nation, has announced news of her debut album, 'Willow'. Set to feature, amongst other tracks, Smith's breakout single, 'Whip My Hair', and 'Fireball', her new collaboration with Nicki Minaj, the album's due date is on 2 Apr.

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Soon to be resume touring by popular demand, those Rizzle Kicks have rolled out a second set of live dates for the new year. This springtime outing comes in continued support of the Brighton-based 'brithop' duo's debut album, 'Stereo Typical'. Since several stops on the Kicks' February/March tour still have tickets available, you might want to snap those up too: www.gigsandtours.com/gat/index.asp

Tour dates:
26 Apr: Leamington, Spa Assembly
27 Apr: Cardiff, University
28 Apr: Liverpool, Academy
29 Apr: Brighton, Dome
1 May: Southend, Cliffs Pavilion
2 May: Bournemouth, Academy
3 May: Exeter, Lemon Grove
6 May: Lincoln, Engine Shed
7 May: Folkestone, Leas Cliff Hall

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Having released their first post-hiatus album, 'In The Grace Of Your Love', earlier this year, The Rapture will be stopping by for a two-date UK jaunt next May. But wait, there's more, because the band are also set to play an exclusive interactive London show on 12 Dec.

Presented by Dell, Intel and Vice Magazine's joint live venture, Noisey, as part of their Special Engagement Concert Series, fans will get the chance to choose the band's encore track, design merchandise for their new single 'Sail Away', and even join them on stage. The entire set will be streamed live on the Noisey website. Details on how to secure entry to that show, which goes off at Rowan's Bowling Alley in Finsbury Park, can be found here: www.noisey.com/

Say The Rapture, in sweet and perfect unison: "Thanks to Noisey, we feel quite lucky to engage in far reaching ways to fans all over the world. This sounds like it should be a damn good concert".

Meanwhile, here are the regular old 2012 dates:

1 May: Oxford, Academy
2 May: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire

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Thanks, in no small part, to the fan-funded PledgeMusic campaign that firmed up the fairly recent release of his debut album 'Young Pilgrim', Charlie Simpson is now a real and proper solo prospect. And to prove it, he's gone and announced a score of headlining tour dates for 2012, including his biggest show to date at London's Koko.

Dates as follows:

21 Mar: Ipswich, Corn Exchange
22 Mar: London, Koko
24 Mar: Birmingham, Academy 2
25 Mar: Liverpool, Academy
27 Mar: Sheffield, Academy 2
28 Mar: Newcastle, University
30 Mar: Edinburgh, Liquid Rooms
31 Mar: Dundee, Fat Sams
2 Apr: Portmouth, Pyramids Centre
3 Apr: Cardiff, Solus
5 Apr: Falmouth, Princess Pavillion
6 Apr: Exeter, The Phoenix

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BILBAO BBK LIVE, Bilbao, Spain, 12-14 Jul: Radiohead are the first headliner confirmed for next year's edition of this hilltop fiesta, with more acts to be announced across the weekend line-up in due course. www.bilbaobbklive.com

ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight, 22-24 Jun: Elbow, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Biffy Clyro head up the latest additions to a bill that's also set to welcome the likes of Example, The Vaccines, Madness, and previously announced headliners Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. www.isleofwightfestival.com

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As different governments around the world consider how to help copyright owners protect their rights online, the Swiss government has thrown a novel approach into the pot for consideration - let's do nothing. Or at least that's what a government report published last week proposed.

As previously reported, legislators in various countries are considering, or have recently considered, ways to help rights holders combat online piracy. The content industries have become increasingly vocal about the need for new anti-piracy laws in recent years, insisting that existing options don't work.

The main two existing options being suing individual file-sharers, or suing the makers of software or websites that assist others in infringement. The former would involve suing millions of people which is impractical, and suing just a few hundred or few thousand has never acted as a deterrent, even in those countries where the courts have always ruled against the file-sharers. The latter is costly and time-consuming, and even though the rights owners usually win in court, even if that court win results in a file-sharing service going offline, there are always competitors ready to take over.

There are two main alternative measures proposed by the content industries, both requiring the help of internet service providers, who will generally only assist if forced to by law. The first is good old three-strikes, or graduated response, where file-sharers are sent warning letters telling them to stop accessing unlicensed music, with the threat of some sort of reduction of their net service if they do not comply. The second is high-speed web blocking, providing content owners with a quick and easy way to secure an injunction that orders ISPs to block access to copyright infringing websites.

As much previously reported, in the UK the Digital Economy Act set in place the framework for both these options, though prioritised three-strikes over web-block injunctions, so much so the latter would require additional legislation to be put into action. Though ironically, while media regulator OfCom is still agonising about how exactly graduated response should work, web-blocking has been achieved through the back door, under the precedent set in the Newzbin case, argued under existing copyright law.

Whether it be the DEA in the UK, Hadopi in France, The Sinde Act in Spain, the Skynet Law in New Zealand or the increasingly contentious SOPA in the US, efforts to introduce new anti-piracy rules are always met with fierce opposition, outside the legislative hall if not inside. Opponents argue neither three-strikes nor web blocks will work (more net-savvy file-sharers can hide their online activity and circumvent blocks), and that they breach the freedom of speech and privacy rights of web users. Some also throw in the old "file-sharing is free marketing for content owners" argument for good measure.

In most Western countries, even those where the courts have previously proven pretty unhelpful in the fight against file-sharing, generally the content industries' arguments have won the day. But not, seemingly, in Switzerland. According to a Torrentfreak translation, a government report recently published there remarked: "Every time a new media technology has been made available, it has always been 'abused'. This is the price we pay for progress. Winners will be those who are able to use the new technology to their advantages and losers those who missed this development and continue to follow old business models".

The report says that although about a third of Swiss citizens over fifteen years old now routinely download music, movies or games over the net, there is no evidence that this activity affects the overall sum of money these people spend on entertainment, suggesting the entertainment industry is earning as much money as before, even if the cash is entering the industry via different routes. The report also cites Dutch research which recounts the old "file-sharing music fans spend more on live" argument.

Having questioned the need for new anti-piracy rules, the report then questions the two methods considered in most other countries for combating file-sharing. On three-strikes, the report looks to France whose government, it says, has spent twelve million euros on its Hadopi graduated response system, which is far too big an investment given the returns, the Swiss argue. They also question whether any system that can ultimately deprive individuals of access to the internet complies with United Nation's human rights rules.

On web blocks, they point out that more technically competent file-sharers can get around them, while also citing free speech concerns.

As we say, none of these arguments against new anti-piracy laws are new, but it is interesting to see them set out so undisputed in an official government report. Of course government reports don't always stand - the UK government's Digital Britain report recommended not proceeding with three-strikes in the short term, yet graduated response was included in the subsequent Digital Economy Act. However, while a number of countries push through new laws to help content owners combat file-sharing, it's worth noting that's not a universal development worldwide.

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The Academy Of Contemporary Music has announced it will launch a new regional centre for the South Coast in Bournemouth, basically replacing existing local music school The Music Factory, and offering a number of its music courses in the town, the first time they have been available outside ACM's core base in Guildford. It is all part of ACM's ambitions to make its courses available further afield through other colleges.

Confirming the new Bournemouth venture, ACM Commercial's Executive Director Julia Leggett told reporters: "ACM Regional represents another initiative that fulfils our objective of bringing the ACM curriculum and ethos to a wider audience. Each Regional Centre will mirror the main centres within each country, creating an outreach programme that will allow more young people access to our award-winning music-learning programmes. Coupled with the successful launch of the youth franchises, we are ever closer to achieving our goal of international access to contemporary music education the ACM way".

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VEVO is reportedly in talks with MTV owner Viacom about it providing music videos for the broadcaster's websites, including MTV.com.

VEVO's catalogue includes official videos from Universal, Sony and EMI, the YouTube-powered music video site being co-owned by the Universal and Sony music companies. MTV already has a deal in place with Warner Music, meaning that with a VEVO deal it would have video catalogues from all four majors on its websites. Under both deals MTV can sell advertising around the record companies' videos, passing a cut of ad revenue back to the labels.

Of course VEVO is arguably in competition with the MTV websites, though presumably VEVO bosses reckon that licensing on their content to rival sites, thus getting a cut of their ad revenues too, is the best option for both their own business and their parent companies.

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Will.i.am has been confirmed as a judge-come-coach on the British version of The Voice, the latest music talent show franchise coming to UK screens via the BBC next year. The Black Eyed Peas man joins Jessie J as a judge on the show, which is set to be hosted by Holly Willoughby and Reggie Yates.

Confirming his involvement in the show, Mr Am told reporters: "I'm proud to be doing 'The Voice UK' because the UK was the first place I saw success, it's the place I'm the most creative outside of home".

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Well, we managed to get through the whole of this year's 'I'm A Celebrity' farce without giving it a mention in CMU, but now McFly's Dougie Poynter has only gone and won the ITV mediocrity fest, beating Mark Wright of pretend reality show 'The Only Way Is Essex' in the final vote. So I guess that makes this pop news.

After being declared overall winner of the show, the McFly bassist said: "I'm lost for words... it's been the best couple of weeks of my life, I wish everyone in the world could experience that". Poynter's bandmate Tom Fletcher was then on hand to welcome the winner out of the fake jungle, and seemed pleased to see him, despite him just saying that ten days with a bunch of y-list and nearly-dead former d-list celebs was more fulfilling than anything he'd ever experienced with McFly.

Fletcher, of course, is now the only member of McFly to have not done a reality TV show, Danny Jones having appeared on 'Popstar To Operastar' and Harry Judd currently competing in 'Strictly Come Dancing'. Though given it's mainly reality TV keeping these guys in the public eye, presumably Fletcher's time will come.

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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 [email protected] or [email protected].

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