1 FEB 2013

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Things had gone a little quiet in the world of HMV by yesterday, we were all just waiting around for some more concrete news about a buyer. And waiting is boring. Luckily, someone recognised that the excitement was waning and decided to sack 190 people at the company's HQ in one go. Now, in this here modern age, if you were an administrator for or executive at a collapsing company about to axe a third of its back office operations, you might think it a good idea to change the passwords to your social media accounts first more>>
One of the London clubbing scene's more flamboyant events, Pushca presents yet another OTT production, this time around a secret agent theme. Joining the party will be German househead Tom Novy, the rather good Seamus Haji and Paul Gardner, while live diva action will come from Abigail Bailey, who launches her new 'OCD' single with a midnight performance. There will also be a stage production to add to Pushca's reputation for putting on a big show, with dancers, pyrotechnics and more more>>
- Some sources reckon three remain in bidding for AEG
- HMV administrators negotiate with labels over stock, as 190 staff axed at HQ
- Mega moves to stop unlock code exchange
- Saint Lou Lou say 'name-change'
- RCA signs Miley Cyrus
- Scooter crash delays Tool album further
- Iron & Wine records jazz record
- Charles Bradley to loose Victim Of Love
- Vondelpark detail debut LP
- Festival line-up update
- Ministry Of Sound remains at risk from flat development
- Agency Group appoints new UK VPs
- Swedish label Service closes
- IMPALA says loan guarantee initiative moving along
- NME publisher to cut 150 roles
- Spotify blocked in House Of Representatives
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The five biggest stories in the music business this week...

01: Martin Mills called for more political support for the rights industries. The Beggars chief spoke as he was presented with an Icon Award by Billboard at MIDEM in Cannes. He said that political decision makers were too often wooed by shiny new tech companies, despite some of those firms having dubious business models and paying nominal taxes, while the creative industries were often unfairly portrayed as "dinosaurs" with an outdated approach. Mills conceded that the music industry had made mistakes when digital platforms first emerged, and that work still needed to be done to simplify cross-border licensing, but added: "I don't believe that the present day music industry is a reluctant licensor". He also stressed that he believes the future of the music industry is based around solid partnerships between content makers and tech providers, but added: "We do not need to have control of our rights taken away from us, to be forced to licence that in which we have invested at uneconomic prices, to simply allow huge tech firms to make even huger profits". CMU report | Full speech

02: The indies hit out at MySpace. Actually meeting at MIDEM to launch a worldwide indie label manifesto, reps from key independent labels hit out at MySpace, for relaunching as a music-centric service but without a deal in place with Merlin, the digital rights body representing the bigger indie labels. "There is an impression, a complacence, and I would suggest an arrogance which is offensive" Alison Wenham of the Association Of Independent Music said of the new MySpace company, while a press release included similar sentiments from various indie label bosses. Neither MySpace, nor its creative advisor Mr Justin Timberlake, have as yet responded. CMU report | MusicAlly report

03: HMV axed 190 back office staff, while talks with possible buyers for the flagging retailer continued. The redundancies represented about a third of the workforce at HMV's HQ and distribution operation. A spokesman for Deloitte told reporters the cuts were "a necessary step in restructuring the business to enhance the prospects of securing its future as a going concern". Meanwhile some of those being fired but still with access to the official HMV Twitter feed documented the process, telling the retailer's customers "We're tweeting live from HR where we're all being fired! Exciting". Behind the scenes, Deloitte also negotiated with the music and DVD companies who technically own much of the stock sitting in HMV's stores, but who arent't really in any mood to retrieve it. HMV's administrators have offered to just buy the stock, though there's been some disagreement on price. CMU report | FT report

04: The Office Of Fair Trading investigated AEG's Wembley contract. The live music firm quietly won the contract to manage the North London venue off its main rivals Live Nation last year. But AEG already runs London's other arena venue at The O2, and last year acquired the Hammersmith Apollo, one of the capital's bigger theatre venues for music and comedy, and some in the live sector have therefore raised concerns about the new contract. To that end the deal is being considered by the OFT, which will be asking if the Wembley contract leads to a "substantial lessening of competition". If the OFT decides the concerns are valid, it may pass the case onto the Competition Commission for further consideration. CMU report | Guardian report

05: The Music Producers Guild announced a new standard for embedding ISRCs into WAVs. The exact specifics of the initiative are not yet known, but the producer trade body says it has been working with European Broadcasting Union on a standard way of including a sound recording's unique code in a WAV file, so that that information can be passed through the supply chain to broadcasters and digital services. It's hoped that if adopted, that system - linked to a database of ISRC data - could ensure the better crediting of individuals who have worked on any one track, and make royalty reporting simpler and more transparent. MPG will reveal more at a launch event tbc. CMU report

On CMU this week, we chatted to Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit, Widowspeak compiled us a playlist, and the CMU Insights team explained how copyrights are monetised. Approved were Kitty Pryde, Milk Music, This Is Head and Veronica Falls.

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According to Billboard, some sources are saying that just three bidders remain in the running for the Anshutz Entertainment Group, which includes the AEG venue network, myriad sports interests and the AEG Live tour and festival business. A deal could be done as soon as late March say those insiders. Though the US trade mag admits that another source says no such shortlist as yet exists.

But if we believe it does, the original leakers said that those still in the running are Guggenheim Partners, a ColonyCapital/Qatar Sovereign Fund JV, and a consortium involving Goldman Sachs, Ron Burkle and Patrick Soon-Shiong, the bio-tech billionaire whose interest in AEG's sporting assets was reported on pretty much as soon as Anshutz Inc put its entertainment business on the block last September.

As previously reported, AEG top dog Tim Leiweke recently told Billboard of the sale: "We're getting down to the final straws here. The kind of people and companies interested are very good, and they share our vision for the future of the company. Now it's just trying to get [owner] Mr [Phillip] Anschutz and [potential buyers] together on the right deal". Leiweke wouldn't comment on who was bidding.

While sources differ on whether the likes of Goldman Sachs, Burkle and Soon-Shiong have formed an alliance, Anschutz Inc did indicate at the start of the sale process that it was looking for a party to buy AEG as a going concern, and who would keep the venue/sports/entertainment group in tact. Most of the individual billionaires linked to a deal are primarily interested in the sporting side of the business, but a grouping of parties could widen those interests as well as increase the pot of money available.

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HMV's administrator Deloitte has been wrangling with the record labels and DVD distributors over the value of their in situ product, according to the Financial Times.

As previously reported, a year ago HMV renegotiated its terms with many of its suppliers, reducing the flagging retailer's upfront costs when acquiring stock. Those deals are what arguably kept the retail firm in business in the run up to Christmas 2012.

In theory the suppliers have some security when offering HMV such favourable credit terms in that disks remain the property of the labels and DVD companies, meaning they can retrieve that stock if HMV should completely collapse. Though the logistics of retrieving that stock are quite complicated, given discs from all suppliers have been mixed up and are currently being stored in 230+ sites around the UK.

What would be easier - especially while it looks like an albeit streamlined HMV could emerge from the current administration - is for the retail company to buy all the stock it is currently sitting on at knock down prices. And in the main most suppliers agree, depending on the price administrators offer.

According to the FT, Deloitte's first offer was 12p in the pound, something most suppliers predictably balked at. Though, say the FT's sources, the price was negotiated upwards, and it is thought Universal and Warner Music have now reached a deal with the firm, which will also allow them to start supplying the retailer with new stock.

Elsewhere at HMV, a third of the retail firm's back office staff were made redundant yesterday. That puts 190 employees from the retailer's head office and distribution operation out of work. News of the sackings emerged via HMV's consumer-facing official Twitter feed, because some of those being laid off still had access to it.

"We're tweeting live from HR where we're all being fired! Exciting!" the aggrieved employees tweeted, before criticising senior management, and then revealing "Just overheard our Marketing Director (he's staying, folks) ask 'How do I shut down Twitter?'" The rogue tweets stopped shortly afterwards and were deleted, though not before multiple amused bystanders had screengrabbed the tweets for online sharing.

Confirming the redundancies later, a rep for Deloitte said the cuts were "a necessary step in restructuring the business to enhance the prospects of securing its future as a going concern".

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Well, we said that the all new Mega's insistence that its auto-encryption system would reduce the chances of its file-storage platform becoming a hub for piracy would lose all credibility as soon as someone launched a parallel service trading links to copyright material stored on the digital firm's servers, complete with the unlock key required to unencrypt files.

And this week, that very thing happened, in the form of, though it was a short-lived link/code exchange after Mega quickly blocked the search engine from monitoring its platform.

Mega's predecessor MegaUpload became a massive hub for the unlicensed sharing of music and movie files, of course. Movie and music companies accused Mega's management, led by founder Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz, of deliberately turning a blind eye (and possibly contributing) to the piracy in a bid to maximise traffic and profits. And, as much previously reported, the US authorities shut MegaUpload down on those very grounds.

While denying the charges against them in the MegaUpload case, Dotcom and his lawyers reckon the all new Mega, launched last month, couldn't be targeted with the same allegations as its predecessor, because of the auto-encryption system, which means any file uploaded to Mega can only be opened if someone has the accompanying unlock code. That encryption [a] makes it much harder for people to raid other people's open Mega lockers for free music and movies and [b] means Mega management theoretically can't know what content is stored on their servers (so can't be held liable for what's there).

The former claim only stands as long as unlock codes aren't traded as readily as unlicensed content files stored on the Mega site, and that's seemingly what did. Though Mega's speedy (and apparently successful) attempts to stop from operating shows the file-transfer firm is ready and, perhaps more importantly, willing to try to stop such services from developing. Which could score Team Mega some brownie points when trying to convince judges in New Zealand and/or America that, while their business ventures may have aided piracy in the past, that's never been their core intent.

Mega's lawyers recently filed new papers with the courts in the US, again accusing the American government of misbehaving with regard to the MegaUpload shutdown and subsequent delays regards bringing its allegations to court. Team Mega want access to the frozen funds of the original MegaUpload business - if only to pay legal fees and cover the costs of restarting up the firm's old servers, shut down by the US government a year ago, so to access evidence for the company's defence, and maybe to reconnect old customers with any legitimate (ie non-pirated) content stored in their now inaccessible lockers.

The filing read: "More than a year has now passed since MegaUpload was branded a criminal, with no opportunity to date to clear its name or to challenge the charges against it. More than a year has passed since every penny of the company's assets was frozen, yet there has been no pre- or post-seizure hearing for MegaUpload to contest the propriety of that action".

"MegaUpload's servers - which house the universe of relevant evidence against which the government's allegations against MegaUpload might potentially be fully and fairly assessed one day - have been taken offline for lack of funding, gathering dust and in danger of deteriorating. And MegaUpload's innocent consumers have been forced to go more than a year without any access to their property".

"The government's conduct of this case is ... raising grave questions about whether the government is intent on being judge, jury, executioner, and asset collector without benefit of the adversarial process and protections. Certainly the prosecution to date ... has denied MegaUpload any semblance of due process. MegaUpload asks this court to right that wrong".

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Swedish gemini Saint Lou Lou have made a non-drastic alteration to their name, changing it to... Say Lou Lou. Perhaps they had non-secular pop fans - or God - in mind when they did that, who can say? Perhaps they'll clarify things when they play that NME Awards show in London on 7 Feb.

Anyway here are Sain... I mean, Say Lou Lou enacting their 2012 alt-hit 'Maybe You'.

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Cat Power-alike Miley Cyrus has signed to Sony's RCA division in the US, or so says Billboard, and will release her tba new studio LP - the sequel to 2010's 'Can't Be Tamed' - as and when it's done.

Gabbing over cocktails with Cosmopolitan (as part of the mag's March cover story), Cyrus claims to have recently collaborated with Mary J Blige, and Odd Future's Tyler, The Creator. And she isn't even lying about Tyler, The Creator. And yes, that is Pharell Williams in the photo too.

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As established last year, Tool are working on a follow-up to their 2006 album '10,000 Days', but they're not doing so particularly quickly. And now recording has been delayed further after a member of the band was involved in Scooter crash.

Reports the band's website: "The new year started off on a bad note as far as writing and arranging sessions for Tool's next record. For the most part this was due to a 'minor' accident on a Vespa scooter (slick road conditions being the cause) by a certain band member that resulted in several broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder".

The message continues: "Because of the physical nature of the musical instrument involved, nine days of jamming were lost, although I'm happy to report that the person involved is recovering nicely, so much so, in fact, that writing sessions resumed last Monday (21 Jan), despite it being a holiday for many".

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Texas-based artist Sam Beam, alias Iron & Wine, is releasing a new LP on 15 Apr via 4AD, which is and will be nice to hear. 'Ghost On Ghost', as follows 2011's acclaimed 'Kiss Each Other Clean', features Antony & The Johnsons' Doug Wieselman, jazz drummer Brian Blade, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, cellist Anja Wood, and Tony Garnier (aka Bob Dylan's bass player).

Hear all that jazz manifest in 'Ghost On Ghost' track of note, 'Lovers' Revolution'.

Caught in the Briars
The Desert Babbler
Low Light Buddy of Mine
Graces for Saints and Ramblers
Grass Windows
Singers and the Endless Song
Sundown (Back in the Briars)
Winter Prayers
New Mexico's No Breeze
Baby Center Stage

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All-time soul great Charles Bradley is busy trailing his new long playing disc 'Victim Of Love' - astonishingly, after over 60 years 'in the game', only his sophomore LP after 2011's 'No Time For Dreaming' - via its first track 'Strictly Reserved For You'. He'll release it (and the LP at large) care of fabled Brooklyn label Daptone Records on 1 Apr.

Bradley's live/studio collaborator Thomas Brenneck, who produced the new record, says this: "I've been calling 'Victim Of Love' the 'New Direction Daptone'. People are not going to expect this. There's a lot of psych influences on this record, a lot of fuzz guitar. I'm pushing the band and the arrangements further out, which in turn has to make Charles go further out".

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London trio Vondelpark, who are one of only several 'bands' (in the traditional, guitar-playing sense) in the R&S Records artist pool, are set to release their first LP 'Seabed' via the label on 1 Apr.

The 'face' of Vondelpark, one Lewis Rainsbury, gives this mini-commentary on what we're to make of it all: "It's supposed to be the ultimate bedroom listen. There's a lot of closure on the record, about feelings to do with being young and in love".

After taking a look at the 'Seabed' tracklisting, you can compare and contrast the 2011 (circa the 'Sauna' EP) and 2013 LP versions of Vondelpark's new single 'California Analog Dream', as will precede its long playing parallel on 25 Mar:

Blue Again
Come On
Always Forever
California Analog Dream
Bananas (On My Biceps)
Outro 4 Ariel

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As Mick Jagger 'teases' (yuck) a potential Stones appearance at this year's Glastonbury, and tickets go on sale for ATP's shiny new Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Grizzly Bear co-curated I'll Be Your Mirror, what else have we to say in terms of festival developments?

Well, lots of large-scale internationals (Primavera Sound, Coachella and Bestival, for instance) having now had their days revealing initial artist listings of late, several mid-sized events have taken their chance to do the same.

Take Austria's ultra-niche Donaufestival, as will host Portishead man Geoff Barrow's BEAK> and Drokk projects, plus en vogue alternative acts like Andy Stott, Laurel Halo, Holly Herndon, How To Dress Well, The Haxen Cloak and Actress.

Meanwhile, picturesque Welsh fest Gottwood adds Move D, Ben UFO, Extrawelt, Luke Vibert and Crazy P; Manchester's ambivalently-sited Parklife calls on Hot Natured (aka Jamie Jones, Lee Foss, Ali Love and Luca C); and Farnham's Weyfest clasps The Stranglers to its milky bosom (ie live bill).

Read on for all relevant info on those, and others besides:

DONAUFESTIVAL, various venues, Krems, Austria, 25-27 Apr/2-4 May: BEAK>, Drokk, Simian Mobile Disco, Girls Against Boys & David Yow, Andy Stott, !!!, Laurel Halo, Actress, The Gaslamp Killer, Ghostpoet, Holly Herndon, Darkstar, Omar Soleyman, How To Dress Well, Martin Rev, Suuns, Michael Rother, Evian Christ, Wife, oOoOoo, :Zoviet*france:, The Haxan Cloak, Peter Weibel & Hotel Morphila: The Origin Noise, NHK' Koyxen, Lee Gamble, Bill Kouligas, SND, Buke & Gase, Bastards Of Fate, Bosse-de-Nage, Robert Hood, Demdike Stare, Emptyset, Raime, Pete Swanson, Ruin, Manorexia, William Basinski, Phillip Quehenberger, Mi Ami, Gatekeeper, Mia Zabelka, Biosphere, Marcel Du Swamp, Thunderdrone, Skweee Club.

GOTTWOOD, Carreglwyd Estate, Wales, 20-23 Jun: Extrawelt, Ben UFO, Move D, Bicep, Maribou State, Crazy P, Luke Vibert, Waze & Odyssey, Marcus Intalex, Detroit Swindle, Tom Demac, Microtrauma, Ryan Davis, Wolf Music, KRL, Bareskin, Futureboogie, Christophe, Chimpo, Cera Alba, Alex Jones, Eton Messy DJs, Van Did, 2 Bad Mice, General Roots, The Scribes, Strategy, Charlie Banks, Sion, 808 DJs, Acre, Adrian Forster, Alec Function, Ambitur, Angus Cowen, Andy B, Archie Hamilton, Atlas, Autophase, Blackhall & Bookless, Brinsley Kazak, Brothers of Jah, Butterside Up DJs, Butler & Murt, Ca$h Back, Cedric Maison, City Fly, Clerical, Croz, Cubiq, David Moran, Dan Jordan, Digby, Ed Mackie, Ed Steele & Kostas G, eLDOKO, Eoin Thomas, Farrer, FEO, Gearo, George A.G., Guy Richards, Hannah Hammond, The Hat, Hayden, Hesseltime, Hizatron, Hugo Heathcote, Hunter Giles, Jackie Baxter, Jackson, Jigsaw, Jimmy V, Joey Nelson, John Scudamore, City Fly, Jonny Dub, and Josh T, KAG, Kanjira, Kris Le Vay, Leitmotif, Leon Riley, Liam Vance, Lizzle, Luvian, Medlam, Moris Cowan, OJ Smooth, Owen Howells, Preacha, The Pushamann, Real Nice, Rich Reason, Richard Rowell, Rollo Maschietto, Rob Amboule, Ron E, Ryan Pickering, Setaoc Mass, Sharkbait, Solus, Spam Chop, Sparkz, Ste Waite, T-Man, Theo Wainhouse, Thieves, Thomas, Tom Rankin, Toyboy & Robin, Transmission Collective, Tweak.

NOW WE ARE WEEKENDER, The Public, New Street, West Bromwich, 25-26 May: Allo Darlin, Darren Hayman, Johnny Foreigner.

PARKLIFE, location tba, Manchester, 8-9 Jun: Hot Natured.

PURBECK FOLK FESTIVAL, Wilkswood Farm, Langton Matravers, Swanage, 23-25 Aug: Show of Hands, Dizraeli & The Small Gods, Karine Polwart, Carrie Rodriguez, Urban Folk Quartet, Sarah Savoy & The Francadians, Sheelanagig, Martha Tilston, Dyer:Cummings, The Klezbians, Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston.

WEYFEST, The Rural Life Centre, Farnham, 30 Aug - 1 Sep: The Stranglers, Snakecharmer, King King, John Coghlan's Quo, Strawbs, The Temperance Movement, Merry Hell, John Waterson, Heavy Metal Kids, The Jackie Lynton Band, Japanese Fighting Fish, Tiny Dragons.

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The future of Ministry Of Sound's flagship nightclub is still uncertain, owner James Palumbo has told the Evening Standard, as Boris Johnson considers a planning application to build an apartment block right next to the South London superclub.

As previously reported, Ministry previously succeeded in blocking the plans by property developer Oakmayne in October 2011, after the property firm's proposals were unanimously rejected by Southwark's planning committee. Ministry successfully argued that it was an important employer in the area, that it played an important role in the capital's clubbing culture and local community, and that the planned residential development would cause problems because future residents would be certain to make demands on licensing officials regards noise at the venue.

But despite winning at the local authority level, a few months later London Mayor Boris Johnson's office agreed to reconsider the decision, placing the club under threat once again. Johnson will make a final decision on the planning application next month.

Speaking to the Standard ahead of that decision, Palumbo said: "The bottom line is if they build that block of flats, we are going to close. If you've got a flat in the second floor in that building, you'd object to the noise".

Back when Southwark was considering the original planning application, it was reported that Oakmayne had offered to pay for better soundproofing at the club venue. But, says Palumbo, aside from the commercial impact of any new building work at the Ministry venue, the noise issue wouldn't come from music playing inside the venue (much of which current soundproofing successfully keeps inside), but from the noise of crowds queuing up or smoking outside the club.

Palumbo continued: "We've had [advice from] noise experts, wind experts, architects, property professionals ... It's emotionally and physically exhausting because we could have sat down with the developer four years ago and said, 'Let's do a deal, in the normal way'."

As previously reported, when MoS first raised concerns with Oakmayne in 2010, its boss Christopher Allen allegedly remarked that "nightclubs come and go".

Still annoyed by that comment, Palumbo said: "London's going to have no nightclubs left, just champagne clubs for hedge-fund people. We've never been about paying Kim Kardashian a few hundred thousand dollars [to come on] New Year's Eve. We don't give a shit about that. Yes, there's a VIP room. Yes, famous people come here. But this club has always been about the music, the dancing, the big audience. If you take away the club, it's not a good look for us. That's why we're fighting like dogs".

He added that his company is contributing more to London's economy than the property development firm, saying: "We pay tens of millions in PAYE, corporation tax, national insurance, VAT. That property is owned by a British Virgin Islands company which is owned by clients of a Swiss bank ... I don't see why my business should die to facilitate an offshore company making profits from luxury flats".

Palumbo's latest plan to win Boris Johnson over is to invite him down to the club on a Saturday night to see how it operates and what threat it faces if the new block of flats is allowed to be built, ahead of his decision on 26 Feb. The club has also reopened its petition against the development, which you can sign here.

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The Agency Group's UK unit has announced that three of its agents have been promoted to the role of Vice President: Paul Ryan, Natasha Bent and Heulwen Keyte. They will work alongside Company Director Geoff Meal in developing the firm's UK operations.

Agency Group CEO Neil Warnock told CMU: "Having such talented people joining Geoff in the management of the UK company will ensure that The Agency Group will continue to be an outstanding powerhouse of talent in Europe and across the world".

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Swedish record label Service - which released music by artists like Jens Lekman, The Tough Alliance and The Whitest Boy Alive during its ten year history - has announced that it is closing. A message on the label's website cited "desire ... spreading along new lines".

The message reads: "Service lived forever. There is no "cause" for this. Except, possibly, the effect: desire already spreading along new lines, multiplying endlessly. Service was a free zone, pop lab, gang turf and permanent vacation. Never an object, always a territory, like the uncertainty principle. That's the main lesson I've been teaching. In that sense I gave to you my life, my ambition, my hope. And some haine of course. And, as promised, Service is deterritorialising. Both are carbon, remember: the diamond turns into a pencil. It's traces shaping nomadic paths. And I hope the music become weapons in the hands of new partisans. Now take it, it's yours".

As a parting shot, the label is giving away a thirteen track compilation of music from its roster, which is available to download here.

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Pan-European indie labels trade body IMPALA has commented on a meeting it led at MIDEM earlier this week involving reps from both the independent music and finance sectors to discuss a proposed new loan guarantee scheme being considered by the European Commission for the music sector.

It is hoped that the scheme, led by the European Investment Fund, could make in the region of 210 million euros available in guarantee loans, reducing the risk for banks and such like investing in music ventures. Those involved in the initiative reckon the loans could actually help smaller and middle-sized music companies unlock about one billion in loans across Europe.

It's hoped the initiative can be finalised this year for launch next January. IMPALA Exec Chair Helen Smith told CMU: "If this scheme generates the one billion euros estimated, it could transform the independents' ability to grow and level the playing field".

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IPC, publisher of NME and Uncut amongst many other titles, will cut about 8% of its workforce, or 150 jobs, in the near future CEO Sylvia Auton has told staff at the London-based magazine company. The news follows an announcement by IPC's parent company Time Inc that about 500 jobs would be cut worldwide.

It's not yet clear where the cuts will be made in terms of titles, or how they will be distributed between editorial and commercial roles. But the redundancies will be accompanied by "organisational changes", as well as a revamp of the firm's terms of employment for subsequent new recruits and, on maternity arrangements, for current staff too.

Confirming the pending cuts, Auton said in a memo to staff: "Earlier this month, I informed you of some of the difficult decisions the IPC board has had to make in order to develop our strategy to focus on activities that will ensure our future growth, as well as help weather the challenging market conditions. Today, I am writing to you again to advise you that, in line with similar measures being taken across Time Inc, we have this morning advised the staff council of a number of planned organisational changes that may result in up to 150 fewer roles at IPC".

She added: "Of course, no one likes the uncertainty that such changes bring and I thank you for your patience and understanding over the forthcoming months. But I believe strongly that it is the quality of IPC's people and the content we create that sets us apart from our competitors and makes us the successful business we are. I know that I can continue to count on your talent, creativity and hard work to ensure we achieve our future goals in the constantly changing media landscape in which we operate".

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Ah, while P2P, or 'peer-to-peer', is something the big entertainment companies, and therefore the political types they lobby, associate with online piracy, plenty of legitimate content distribution services also use P2P technologies (in much the same way BitTorrent the technology is in itself entirely legit, despite that term's negative connotations in content industry circles).

But no one seems to have told IT bosses on Capitol Hill in Washington, which means anyone connecting to the net from offices at the US House Of Representatives can't use Spotify, which, it has emerged, is blocked because of the P2P elements of its technology.

This has come to light via US politics paper Politico, to whom a House spokesman said: "To help protect House data, our IT policy generally prohibits the use of peer-to-peer technologies while operating within the secure network. While Spotify is currently not authorised, we will continue to work with outside vendors to enable the popular services that improve member communication capabilities".

Asked about the ban, a Spotify spokesman in America told the political publication: "It is a sad day when a few bureaucrats can block our nation's leadership from enjoying free, secure access to over 20 million songs. Music is a common language that all political parties speak and should be used to bring the legislators of this great country together so they can solve the serious issues facing our nation".

To be fair to House IT, I'm not sure unblocking Spotify is going to single-handedly solve any issues facing the nation. But given that lip-syncing is clearly in vogue in Washington at the moment, the streaming service would be useful for any office worker wanting to mime along to the new Destiny's Child track while at their desk.

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