12 FEB 2013

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If 2013 carries on as it has been so far, it's going to be a very busy year for this column. Over the last few weeks the speed and utter ridiculousness of press statements issued by artists and brands as they enter mutually beneficial partnerships has gone into overdrive. Most recent announcements can be split into two categories - 'creative directors' and 'people who think drinks understand them' more>>
I love Kurt Vile, so when I heard that 'Waking On A Pretty Day', the first single featuring on his similarly-named new LP 'Waking On A Pretty Daze', lasts an extravagant nine-and-a-half minutes, I was nothing if not pleased. Favouring levity over brevity, the new track takes its sweet time and so isn't concise by any means, but its beautiful and hazed with all kinds of nuance and the ribbon-like guitar sprays that are Vile's signature trait more>>

- Drake settles Marvins Room legal squabble
- Fisherman's Friends tour manager killed and band member injured in gig venue accident
- NME to declare Johnny Marr a godlike genius
- Spotify publishes list of streamers' favourite love songs
- Adele "not very far along" with new album
- Cher Lloyd working on second album
- New Warpaint LP on its way
- Deerhunter's Bradford Cox talks "nocturnal garage record"
- Drake to release Nothing Was The Same
- The-Dream changes LP title to... Fourplay
- The Postal Service record new track for Give Up reissue
- Frida Sundemo sets date for EP release
- Deftones and Isis collaboration album release date set
- James Blake adds London, Manchester, Glasgow shows
- Toro Y Moi to tour
- Great Escape's first line-up announcements made
- Festival line-up update
- PRS reaches out to dance community
- YouTube app to be included on new Freesat box
- Tunetribe expands team
- Fans complain as Prince charges for new video
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Drake has settled a royalties dispute with Ericka Lee, the woman who claimed to be an ex-girlfriend of the rapper, and who said she co-created his track 'Marvins Room', but had yet to get a proper credit or a cut of the royalties generated by the track, the first single to be lifted from 2011 album 'Take Care'.

Drake didn't deny Lee's involvement in the making of 'Marvins Room', but said that she "consented to the use of her voice in the song for no compensation", and that she only asked for a credit on the record under the pseudonym Syren Lyric Muse, which she was given.

But Lee's lawsuit, called "frivolous" and "entirely without merit" by Drake's reps, demanded a full co-writer credit on the track, a stake in the copyright and royalties from the record.

Drake didn't seem in any mood to reach a deal with Lee when he formally responded to the lawsuit last March, while the rapper also indicated that his former collaborator's claim that they'd had a romantic relationship was also bollocks.

But seemingly negotiations have been occurring between the two camps ever since and, according to TMZ, a deal has now been reached. The terms of the settlement are not known, but the lawsuit was formally dismissed at the request of both parties on 2 Feb.

All of which means we can get back to wondering what exactly happened to the apostrophe that traumatic night in Marvin's room.

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The tour manager for vocal group The Fisherman's Friends Paul McMullen was killed, and band member Trevor Grills was critically injured, following an accident at the weekend. A metal door fell on the two men as they prepared for a gig at the G Live venue in Guildford on Saturday.

Speaking in the ten-piece group's hometown of Port Isaac, singer Jon Cleave told reporters: "The Fisherman's Friends are very touched and moved by the concern and support shown for our friends, Trevor and Paul. We would like to express our and Port Isaac's thanks to everyone for that. It's part-and-parcel of our Cornish community to pull together, one-and-all, in such times; and that is what we are doing. Trevor is fighting for his life in the presence of his family in hospital in Tooting. All our love and thoughts are with them at this time".

G Live is owned by Guildford Borough Council. The council said in a statement: "A full investigation has already begun and at the moment this is the responsibility of outside agencies. This is a complex area for investigation and our health and safety team will continue to offer any necessary assistance. Our building control team will also continue to advise on ensuring the site remains safe. We are helping in any way we can during this very difficult and sad time".

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The NME will officially declare the masterful Johnny Marr as a Godlike Genius at this year's NME Awards, which take place at The Troxy in East London on 27 Feb.

And if you don't believe me, you better get ready to eat some humble pie when I present NME Editor Mike Williams who is about to concur with my summation of events. Says Williams: "All hail Johnny Marr, NME Godlike Genius 2013 and the newest recruit into NME's holy order of music legends. And what a legend he is! Not content with rewriting the history of music with one of the world's greatest ever bands, The Smiths, he's continued to push boundaries and evolve throughout his career, working with some of the best and most exciting artists on the planet. So it gives me great pleasure to announce Johnny as our Godlike Genius. Never has anyone been so utterly deserving of the title".

Marr himself told CMU: "It is a very nice thing to be getting this award and I am honoured. The NME seems to be good at giving this award to people I like so I'm in good company. I guess it means that some things are alright with the world".

Indeed yes. You can still vote for the non-Godlike categories at this year's NME awards bash via this here URL.

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With Valentine's Day a looming, that annual celebration of overpriced restaurants, flowers and chocolate, the folks at Spotify have scanned the streaming service's listening data and come up with a list of the ten most listened to tracks that appear on 'love song' playlists.

And what a big bucket of musical shit they've uncovered. You don't want to knock this lot over, or you'd have a natural disaster on your hands. Has Spotify stopped screening new customers for taste, or do even credible music fans start playing out Richard Marx tracks when they get all loved up? If so, there's your grounds for banning Valentine's Day right there.

Coming up, that bucket of shit in list form, but first go read this amusing article about the Chicago-based journalist who found himself being Twitter-stalked by Marx after he called the 'Right Here Waiting' geezer "shameless" in a blog post.

1. Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting
2. Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is
3. Elton John -Your Song
4. Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On
5. Diana Ross - Endless Love
6. Michael Jackson - I Just Can't Stop Loving You
7. George Michael - Careless Whisper
8. Ronan Keating - When You Say Nothing At All
9. Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U
10. Adele - Someone Like You

Talking of Spotify, the streaming service has just launched in Italy, Poland and Portugal. Though take note CMU readers in said countries, use your Spotify to listen to Richard Marx, Celine Dion and Ronan Keating, and we might have to take it away from you.

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Having not really done much to promote her music and still been the most successful artist of 2012, Adele is perhaps unsurprisingly "not very far along" with her next album. Actually, we assumed she hadn't even started thinking about it, so maybe these few developments are a surprise. Even if they mainly consist of non-descript LA meetings and singing nursery rhymes to a baby. Though an Epworth hook up is planned, and that could get things kick-started.

Speaking to Rolling Stone at the Grammys on Sunday, she said: "I'm not very far along at all. I'm having lots of meetings. I've been in LA the whole time since the [Golden] Globes and I'll be here till the Oscars. So I'm having lots of meetings, but I've been out of the loop, really. I've just been singing my baby nursery rhymes, so I don't really know what's cool and what's not. I'm definitely going to visit with Paul Epworth and talk about doing that again".

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Cher Lloyd has begun work on the follow-up to her excellent debut album 'Sticks & Stones', the 'X-Factor' alumnus has revealed. And among the people she's working with is producer Max Martin, who has previously worked on hits for artists like Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Will.i.am, Pink and Kelly Clarkson.

Speaking to MYFM 104.3, Lloyd said: "It's going very well. I'm going in every single day with different producers trying things out. It's kinda crazy. You kind of look back at the people you're working with and are like, 'Wow, I'm working with some pretty amazing people'. I'm friendly with Max Martin. He's so great and his whole team is amazing. That's the team I've been working with. I've been writing because I want this album to be me. It's not always right to just have a song given to you".

Watch the whole interview here.

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Warpaint are officially "at home" making what will, once its 100% done, mark the band's first LP since all the way back in 2010 when they released 'The Fool'. But wait, can this really be fact? Why yes, because vocalist Emily Kokal said so. She added that they "can't wait to share it", so that's nice.

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The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' ATP co-hosts Deerhunter have revealed they've spent time in a studio in Brooklyn, finessing a sequel to their last LP circa 2010, the acclaimed 'Halcyon Digest', and filming silly neon trailers to go with it.

So far, the band's Bradford Cox says to Rolling Stone, they have chosen twelve tracks from a cache of over 250 potentials. 'Dream Captain' and 'Pensacola' are titles to have made the final edit. And, he adds: "It's a nocturnal garage record. I'll tell you this. It's a very avant-garde rock n roll record".

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We're all aware that Drake loves change, which may or may not explain why his new LP is titled 'Nothing Was The Same'.

According to Billboard, the Canadian MC and winner of the 'Best Rap Album' award at this year's Grammys, revealed the name of his new long player while on the red carpet at the awards show, saying: "I think that with [last album] 'Take Care' I really found myself, found my stride. And I'm excited to continue on with the new album... the album is titled 'Nothing Was The Same'".

"I'm just excited about life in general", he added. Well, aren't we all?

Talking of excitement, this is the thrill-a-minute 'vid' for Drake's new single 'Started From The Bottom'.

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Having made a show of himself at The Grammys by wearing a hat on top of another hat, R&B machine The-Dream has assigned a new and nightmarish name to his forthcoming solo LP, as was once titled 'Love IV', and that new name is 'Fourplay'.

Once released, it'll represent his fourth such collation to date, and... well, it's pretty blatant what he's up to with the wordplay there.

Billboard has printed an official sell-by-date for the new long player of 7 May, which presumably means us Britons will be able to share in the various noises featuring on 'Fourplay' on 6 May. Oh and by the way, The-Dream's sensual new single 'Slow It Down' 'lands' this Thursday, so that's one to look forward to. Isn't it?

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Having insisted on reforming for the tenth anniversary of the release of their one and only album, 'Give Up', The Postal Service have now seen fit to record some new music too. Thankfully it's only one track so far, but who knows where it will end?

Anyway, the song is called 'A Tattered Line Of String' and will feature on the tenth anniversary edition of 'Give Up', which, as previously reported, is due for release in April via Sub Pop. Have a listen here, if you like.

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Polydor-signed alt-pop artist Frida Sundemo's CMU Approved new EP 'Indigo' has a brand new 8 Apr release date, which is nice. What's just as nice is its tracklisting:

Indigo (Strings Version)

Oh, and also the info that Frida will play live twice in deference to 'Indigo', appearing first at London's Sebright Arms on 27 Mar, and again the following night at the capital's Hoxton Bar & Kitchen.

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Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and former Isis members Aaron Harris, Clifford Meyer and Jeff Caxide are edging closer to the release of their debut album under the name Palms.

Announced last year, the album was initially scheduled for release before 2012 was out. But now a release date has been announced for 24 Jun this year via Mike Patton's Ipecac label.

Announcing the formation of the new outfit last year, Moreno said: "Being a huge Isis fan I've always dug the moods these dudes convey with their sound. I am excited to combine my sense of creativity with theirs, and to have fun doing so".

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James 'Blakey' Blake has added a triple complement of shows to his live listings, which prior to the new April dates consisted of an appearance at London's ICA.

As apt AV accompaniment to details of said new April dates - which are at London's Heaven (9 Apr), Manchester's Academy 2 (10 Apr) and Glasgow's The Arches (11 Apr) - this is the promo for James' new single 'Retrograde', the lead track off his 8 Apr-dated new LP 'Overgrown'.

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Face-of-Toro-Y-Moi Chaz Bundick is taking off on one of those fashionable 'mini tours' to back-promote his new LP 'Anything In Return', which has been in shops since late last month. Have you bought it? No, I didn't think so. Well, here are the relevant dates anyway:

4 Jun: London, Koko
5 Jun: Brighton, Concorde 2
6 Jun: Bristol Thekla
7 Jun: Birmingham, Academy 2
8 Jun: Glasgow, The Arches

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So, ladies and gentleman, it's time to reveal a little something about this year's Great Escape, Europe's leading festival for new music and the UK's premiere music business conference, the latter part of which is programmed by the CMU Insights team.

Look out for the very first convention announcements on Thursday, but in the meantime the first flurry of bands to play the Brighton-based showcase festival have now been confirmed, and include the wonderful likes of Unknown Mortal Orchestra and the triple CMU approved AlunaGeorge, plus Tom Odell, King Kule, Title Fight, Eddi Front, David Rodigan, Scrufizzer and Chvrches.

The first batch of artists from TGE's featured country for 2013, Poland, have also been confirmed in the form of Tres B and Brodka.

Bastille will also return to TGE, having played in a tiny little Brighton venue at the event two years ago. This time they'll grace the Great Escape's biggest stage under the Brighton Dome, with one the festival's Dome Shows (guaranteed access to which is available with a £7 top-up ticket).

Confirming the first helping of line-up adds - the full list of which is in the FLUU below - Great Escape's Festival Director Kat Morris told CMU: "The core aim of The Great Escape is to champion new music, and it's great to be in a position where we can give festival-goers an exciting cross-section of new artists to engage with. In our eighth year we are completely focussed on delivering another programme that wholly embodies this ethos, and our initial line-up is full of promise for this year to be one of our best to date".

Delegate passes for TGE, which gain industry types access to three days of panels, conversations, parties and networking events, plus priority access to the festival, are currently available for £145 from this here link.

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So, guess what? Yes, that's right, The Wanted have signed on to play Northampton pop party Alive At Delapre. They're the third and final headliner to be named, the others being James Morrison and Paul Weller.

The boyband's Nathan Sykes has this to say: "We're really looking forward to our show at Delapre Park. It should be a really great evening, especially with our mates Lawson as our very special guests".

Oh yeah, I forgot Lawson. As Nathan just said, The Wanted's rivals/BFFs Lawson are playing too. Congratulations to all involved.

And with that it's over to a similarly inspirational speech by Fatboy Slim, composed to coincide with his new booking at this year's Rock Ness (the festival which began life in 2006 as a sort of Scottish version of his Brighton Beach Party).

He says: "Comin home to baby on the shores of Dores. RockNess I've missed you... feels so good to be heading back to see how my wayward child has grown. Roll on June, roll on The Scottish Highlands, roll on the party".

Yeah, roll on Rock Ness. And roll on The Cheltenham Jazz Festival, whose HQ has just unveiled its first phase of players; not least Van Morrison, Madeleine Peyroux, Laura Mvula and Lianne La Havas. And roll on the Ramsgate-based and non-insular Sound Island, which will this year host Jessie J, Rita Ora and 'X-Factor' victor James Arthur (and Lawson).

And roll on The Great Escape, Nozstock, Osfest, SunceBeat and a Horrors-headlined Truck, who've also just shared their own artist revelations:

ALIVE AT DELAPRE, Delapre Park, Northampton, 19-21 Jul: The Wanted, Lawson. www.aliveatdelapre.co.uk

CHELTENHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL, Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham, 1-6 May: Van Morrison, Madeleine Peyroux, Noisettes, Gregory Porter, Laura Mvula, Lianne La Havas, Georgie Fame & The Guy Barker Big Band, BBC Concert Orchestra, Alan Price, Zoot Money, Madeline Bell, Ravi Coltrane, Gary Burton, Julian Lage, Jorge Roeder, Antonio Sanchez, Dave Douglas & Heather Masse, Mike Stern & Bill Evans Band, Roller Trio, Polar Bear, Sons Of Kemet. www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz

THE GREAT ESCAPE, Brighton, 16-18 May: The 1975, Allah-Las, AlunaGeorge, Awaken I Am, Bastille, Bear's Den, The Black Heart Rebellion, Blackeye, Blaudzun, Brodka, Caitlin Park, Charlie Straight, Childhood, Christine And The Queens, Chvrches, Cloud Boat, Cousins , Cub Scouts, Dan Croll, Dark Star, David Rodigan, Del Barber, Dingus Khan, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Drenge, Dune, Eagulls, Echo And The Empress, Eddi Front, Ed Harcourt, Eliza And The Bear, Fist City, Foam Lake, Gallops, How To Dress Well, Humans, Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Indians, Jacco Gardner, King Krule, Lab Coast, Lawrence Arabia, Lewis Watson, Luke Sital-Singh, Mac Demarco, Made In Japan, Marmozets, MØ, The Naturals, The Neighbourhood, Neighbourhood Youth, Nick Mulvey, Night Engine, Phosphorescent, Portasound, Rainy Milo, Royal Canoe, Ryan Keen, San Zhi, Skaters, Skip&Die, Sleepmakewaves, Snakadaktal, Soak, Spectres, Stonefield, Superfood, Sweet Baboo, Swim Deep, Teleman, To Kill A King, Tom Odell, Tomorrow's World, Towns, Tres B, The Trouble With Templeton, The Upskirts, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Velcro Hooks, Velociraptor, Wall, Wolf Alice, Young Rival. www.escapegreat.com

NOZSTOCK, The Farm, Bromyard, Herefordshire, 26-28 Jul: Chas & Dave, Dub Pistols, The Beat, Andy C & MC GQ, The Strypes, Bhi Bhiman, Ava Leigh, The Computers, Velvet Stream, Wilkinson, Loadstar, Loko, MC Visionobi. www.nozstock.com

OSFEST - BREAK FOR THE BORDER, Oswestry Showground, Shropshire, 24-26 May: James Arthur, The Enemy, King Charles. www.osfest.co.uk

ROCKNESS, Loch Ness, Scotland, 7-9 Jun: Fatboy Slim, Above & Beyond, Madeon, Julio Bashmore, Steve Aoki, Benga, Skream, Booka Shade, Josh Wink, Pan-Pot, Jackmaster, Harri & Domenic, Gary Beck, Hans Bouffmyhre, Jaguar Skills. www.rockness.co.uk

SOUND ISLAND, Quex Park, Ramsgate, Kent, 27-28 Jul: Plan B, Jessie J, Rita Ora, James Arthur, Lawson, Union J. www.soundfestivalsuk.com

SUNCEBEAT, The Garden, Tisno, Croatia, 24-30 Jul: Moodymann, Mark Farina, Gilles Peterson, Gregory Porter, Derrick Carter, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Timmy Regisford, Joe Clausell, Osunlade, Kerri Chandler, Karizma , Kerri Chandler, Kenny Dope, Nicholas, Jimpster, Mad Mats, Atjazz, Lay-Far. www.suncebeat.com

TRUCK FESTIVAL, The Horrors, Ash, Gaz Coombes, Dan Le Sac v Scroobius Pip, Dry The River, Rolo Tomassi, Tall Ships, Gunning For Tamar, Toy, Crash Of Rhinos, Stagecoach, Axes, The Social Club, Salvation Bill, Lewis Watson, Jack Martello, Planes, The Bots, Ady Suleiman, Brother & Bones, The Computers, Wet Nuns, Arcane Roots, Max Raptor & The Physics House Band, The Family Rain, Fight Like Apes. www.truckfestival.com

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Publishing sector collecting society PRS For Music has launched a new initiative aimed at the dance music community after research showed that dance music producers and composers are often less connected to the rights body, meaning royalties they are due can't be paid out.

The society found that while 15% of Radio 1 output in 2011 was 'electronic music', nearly half of the publishing royalties paid by the BBC for that output couldn't be distributed to the rightful copyright owner, either because incomplete information had been provided when the track was registered with the society, or because the composer or rights owner simply hadn't joined PRS.

Dance acts may also be losing out from live events, with dance festivals often providing incomplete set lists, meaning that creators and rights owners aren't earning the royalties they are due, whether they are playing out their own tunes or those of their counterparts.

The new initiative, called Amplify, aims to better inform performers and managers in the dance music sector about the need to register with and report to PRS, as well as working with music tech companies to investigate the possibility of automating set list submission, while also reaching out to collecting societies around the world to check they too are tuned in to the recently buoyant dance side of the industry.

The launch of Amplify coincides with the recent creation of the Association For Electronic Music, and the co-founder of that organisation, Ben Turner, welcomed the new PRS initiative yesterday, telling CMU: "Issues around the payment of producers and artists have been a major factor in our thinking of the need for AFEM to exist, and we've had some valuable dialogue with PRS For Music on many issues around the genre. We welcome this initiative as a major part of a collective push from the electronic world to educate the genre and to get people paid and recognised for their work. We look forward to further discussions and building a strategy with those involved in the Amplify initiative".

Meanwhile Mark Lawrence, Director Of Membership & Rights at PRS For Music added: "I was converted to dance music in 1989 when I walked into the Zap Club in Brighton and was hit by the sound of 'Voodoo Ray' by A Guy called Gerald. This is a vital community, making a significant contribution to all creative industries. Its sound features heavily in television, advertising and film, alongside a long established but fast growing live sector. It is essential electronic music writers, producers and publishers are properly supported by joining PRS For Music, registering their songs and earning from their music".

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YouTube has confirmed that it will have an app on the new internet-connected set top box being launched by Freesat, the satellite telly equivalent of Freeview.

The app will enable Freesat users to watch YouTube content via their TV set and, although similar apps already exist for the Apple set-top box and Google's smart TV service, and even though the new Freesat box is at the more expensive end of the market, the new move is seen as a step into the mainstream for YouTube-via-your-telly.

Peter Sherman, Product Marketing Manager for YouTube told reporters: "We're happy to be working with Freesat so that Freesat users can now access YouTube from the platform. Our creator community is developing quality content that will delight and inspire viewers and we're pleased to be able to bring it to people in new ways".

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Tunetribe, one of the early players in the download space, but which has been pretty quiet for a number of years now, has recently started expanding its executive team again.

Last month Terry Boland, who has worked in both fashion and mobile retail over the last three decades, and most recently has run his own retail consultancy, was appointed as General Manager charged with the task of "consolidating and building on Tunetribe's existing success while implementing an ambitious strategy for growth".

And now the firm's IT development team has been expanded too with the appointment of Vinod Duraisamy and Vasanth Ramanathan as Senior Java Developer and Web Developer respectively. The new tech appointments come as Tunetribe completes an overhaul of its online platform and launches into the cloud-locker space.

Confirming Boland's appointment, Tunetribe's CEO William Haighton told CMU: "I have known Terry for many years and have always admired the way he has made a success of everything he has turned his hand to. There are very few executives who have the breadth of experience and in-depth knowledge of the UK retail sector than Terry, so to persuade him to come on board is a huge coup for our company. 2013 is all about us taking Tunetribe to the next level and we have an exciting strategy for major growth that Terry will be instrumental in implementing".

Meanwhile on his new tech colleagues, Haighton continued: "We have an absolute commitment to providing the best possible service to our customers at all levels of our offering. This new investment in state-of-the-art cloud based technologies is a statement of our intent to make Tunetribe the best user-experience in the digital entertainment sector. The addition of Vinod and Vasanth to our team of core developers is a real coup for us as they are both at the very top of their game and bring a huge amount of experience and creativity to their new roles".

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When people talk about innovators in the modern music industry, Prince is rarely mentioned. Mainly because in his search for new business models he's rarely come up with things that anyone else attempts to replicate. If he's not giving away albums with newspapers, he's suing babies. His latest ruse is to charge people to watch his new video.

Although, actually, selling music video downloads is nothing new, some Prince fans have complained (and some rather angrily) that the only way to see the video is to buy it from his website (takedown notices to people who do put it online seem to be heading out thick and fast at this stage).

Though this possibly says more about music fans' sense of entitlement than it does about Prince. After all, Prince has just decided that a thing he made has a value and just because it exists doesn't mean you have an automatic right to see it for free. By the way, you owe me a fiver for reading this news story.

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