WEDNESDAY
24 APR 2013

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HOWDY PARTNER #6: IT'S NOT ALL SOFT DRINKS AND MINT-SWEETENED MILK, YOU KNOW
Well, it's been quite an exciting time in the world of music and brands over the last few weeks. This month the two biggest soft drink brands in the world went head to head with new videos featuring a couple of pretty popular popstars. I'm talking about Beyonce for Pepsi and Taylor Swift for Diet Coke more>>
 
APPROVED: THE GOOD NATURED
It feels like we've been waiting for The Good Natured's debut album for a long time. Yeah, we definitely have. First approved back in 2010, the trio signed to Parlophone in 2011. Earlier this year they released the Richard X-produced '5-HT', breaking a silence, and now latest track ‘Lovers’ comes with confirmation that a debut album will be out this summer more>>


TOP STORIES
- Appeals court overturns Grooveshark's win in Universal's pre-1972 technicality lawsuit
IN THE POP COURTS
- Will.i.am admits using track without permission
- Perry counter-sues former hair product partner
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- JLS confirm they will split after greatest hits tour
ARTIST DEALS
- Traams sign to FatCat
IN THE STUDIO
- Sky Ferreira finalises LP
RELEASE NEWS
- These New Puritans trail new LP, Field Of Reeds
- Mykki Blanco to release EP
- Wild Nothing shares new track
FILMS & SHOWS NEWS
- Rihanna to release 777 DVD
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival line-up update: Hop Farm, Berlin Festival, Land Of Kings and more
TALKS, DEBATES & CONVENTIONS
- LSE and PRS to host copyright debate
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- Omnifone appoints new CFO and Sirius XM alliance
- Believe confirms deal with One Little Indian
AND FINALLY...
- Brian May produces Badger Badger Badger protest song
[PIAS] COOPERATIVE - UK LABEL MANAGER
[PIAS] Cooperative, a division of the [PIAS] Music Group, are looking for a dynamic and knowledgeable UK label manager. This is an ideal position for someone with experience in label management, marketing, retail, and production. The successful candidate will approach the business with an independent mind, ambition and drive.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DOMINO - JUNIOR MARKETING MANAGER
Domino is looking for a junior marketing manager to join our existing marketing and project management department. Two years experience working in a music management company or a record label essential. Liaising with the project management team – the ideal candidate will be a meticulous organiser and be well versed in the day to day running of a modern marketing campaign.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

APPEALS COURT OVERTURNS GROOVESHARK'S WIN IN UNIVERSAL'S PRE-1972 TECHNICALITY LAWSUIT
An appeals court in New York has overturned a lower court ruling regards whether or not the safe harbour provisions of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act apply to works created before 1972.

As previously reported, in early 2010 Universal Music launched its first lawsuit against often controversial streaming music service Grooveshark, though the litigation related specifically to the distribution of sound recordings owned by the major that dated from before 1972.

Many in the record industry have accused Grooveshark of infringing copyright by allowing users to upload content to its libraries, meaning that at any one time plenty of major label content will be available via the streaming platform even though, unlike most of its competitors, it has no licensing arrangements with the big music companies.

Grooveshark insists that because it operates a takedown system, whereby it removes unlicensed copyright content when made aware of it, the company is not liable for infringement, because it's the uploading user who infringes, and the business is protected by the safe harbour provisions of the DMCA, which aim to absolve internet companies from liability for the infringing actions of their customers.

And while the record companies consider that an abuse of the DMCA, there's a high chance that Grooveshark's interpretation of the American copyright act would stand up in court (certainly that's what precedent in similar cases suggests, although the biggest of those cases, Viacom v YouTube, is still subject to further appeal).

However, the DMCA is a piece of federal law, and prior to 1972 copyright in America was covered by state law, hence Universal's pre-1972 lawsuit ruse. The mega-major argued that the safe harbour clauses of the DMCA did not apply to works covered by state-level copyright, and therefore it should be able to sue Grooveshark for distributing that content (even though it's a minority of the music made available via the streaming platform).

But at first instance last July that argument was rejected by the New York courts, where judges echoed an opinion made in the EMI v MP3Tunes case the previous year, where the same issue was raised. That opinion was that the DMCA should apply to all American copyrights, including those technically protected by state rather than federal law, because limiting the safe harbours to just post-1972 works would put an unfair obligation on technology companies utilising the safe harbours to know the date of origin of every piece of content stored on their servers.

But appeal judges considering the Universal v Grooveshark case yesterday reached a different conclusion, stating that the safe harbours of the DMCA were indeed limited to those copyright works protected by federal law. Which means that, technically, Grooveshark et al need to quickly remove any pre-1972 music off their servers, because otherwise they could be sued for infringement in the US, even if they operate effective takedown systems as described in the DMCA.

Unsurprisingly, Grooveshark's legal rep John Rosenberg quickly announced that his client would appeal the ruling, adding that the company also planned to lobby in Washington on the matter. The legal man told reporters: "The court's decision, if it stands, will significantly undermine the safe harbour protections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and may severely disrupt the operations of all internet service providers who, like Groovehark, permit access to user-generated music content".

Universal, of course, hasn't put all its eggs in the pre-1972 basket. It is also suing Grooveshark over allegations that staff of the company routinely uploaded unlicensed music, something that would deprive the firm of safe harbour protection, if it could be proven.

Grooveshark, meanwhile, has admitted that its various legal woes coupled with new competition in the streaming music space have taken their toll on the business, with the company's co-founder and CEO Sam Tarantino claiming to be "broke" in a new interview with Mashable.

However the various lawsuits turn out in the end, Grooveshark is certainly facing some tough challenges, it now competing head on with some very well funded rivals, while its own ability to raise new finance will be severely hindered by the risk of future liabilities stemming from Universal-led litigation. Which a cynic might argue is part of the mega-major's strategy - Grooveshark's legitimacy, or not, is based on various grey areas of American copyright law; but keep up the legal pressure long enough and Grooveshark might give up, even if ultimately it won the argument in court or Congress. These days we call that the Veoh strategy.

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WILL.I.AM ADMITS USING TRACK WITHOUT PERMISSION
Will.i.am has admitted that he used Arty & Mat Zo's track 'Rebound' as the basis for his new single 'Let's Go' without permission. However, he says it was a simple mix up and he thinks he's now "resolved the issue".

As previously reported, the similarity between the two tracks was first noted when Will.i.am's new album, '#willpower', was previewed on Vevo last week. 'Let's Go' features new vocals by Chris Brown, but the instrumental side uses Arty and Zo's original almost in its entirety.

Last week Zo said that he and Arty had known that Will.i.am was interested in using their track, but that they had decided not to work with him. There was then some confusion online over whether or not the track had subsequently been cleared for 'Let's Go', but Arty insisted that "there is no official licence agreement, signed contract or anything else between me, Mat Zo, [their label] Anjunabeats and [Will.i.am's label] Interscope".

Speaking to Kiss FM on the whole matter this week, Will.i.am said, only slightly confusingly: "Arty is a dope producer, so I wrote this song to 'Rebound' last year. I got in touch with Arty and showed it to him, did a different version to it, cos I asked him [to] make it newer, cos I don't just wanna take your song and rap over it. But we did that, we collaborated. But ... time's gone by [and] we [decided we] preferred writing over and using the [original] 'Rebound'. Something happened and the clearance... hopefully we resolved the issue".

He continued: "I'm a fan of Arty; I think he's great and the world needs to know about how talented those guys are. It's sad that it's turned into a fiasco but hopefully it's resolved because I'm a fan of those guys to the point where I wrote to their instrumental ... I heard his 'Rebound' and then wrote a song to it and then contacted them last year. A year has passed and we're fixing it now".

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PERRY COUNTER-SUES FORMER HAIR PRODUCT PARTNER
Katy Perry has hit back at hair-styling company GHD, which filed legal proceedings to formally end its brand partnership with the singer last week, in a new lawsuit in which she contends that the company has reneged on an agreement to renew said partnership in a multi-million dollar deal.

As previously reported, Perry and GHD have fallen out over whether the latter renewed its brand partnership deal with the former, after a two year alliance that began in 2011 reached its conclusion. Perry's reps say that an extension deal was done, finalised in a phone call last October.

But GHD counters that it never formally concluded the new contract, and that then it decided to cancel the partnership, partly because Perry had refused to endorse the company's products on social media, and partly because a bit of customer research concluded that the popstar's reputation in Europe had waned, making the alliance less valuable (or maybe even damaging).

But Perry's people insist that GHD had agreed to a new two and a half year deal worth $6.5 million. Presumably anticipating legal action to force that payment, the company sued first last week seeking clarification in court that no deal was done. Perry's countersuit, filed in the Californian courts this week, sets out her arguments as to why a deal was indeed finalised.

Perry's lawsuit also alleges that GHD continued to use her image once the original partnership had expired, suggesting to her at the time that the partnership renewal - which even the hair product company admits was discussed last year - had been agreed.

If, as GHD claims, by this point it had decided not to renew is Perry partnership, then that was a violation of her publicity rights, the new lawsuit says. It then goes on to allege that GHD may have let this violation occur because at the time its parent company Jemella Group was in the process of being acquired, and management at the top possibly didn't want any public falling out with Perry while that deal was being closed.

Seemingly deciding that there was no need to be polite in the countersuit, given GHD's inclusion in its legal papers of the claims that consumer research showed Perry was no longer popular in Europe, the popstar's litigation concludes: "Those who wish to do business with a company that does not honour its contractual commitments, yet reaps the benefits of the agreements giving rise to those commitments, would find a perfect business partner in GHD".

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JLS CONFIRM THEY WILL SPLIT AFTER GREATEST HITS TOUR
'X-Factor' alumni Jack The Lad Swing are no more. Or they will be once they've got round to releasing a greatest hits album and one more single, plus travelled the nation with 'Goodbye: The Cash In Tour'. Which all sounds far too amicable to me - why no back-stage punch-up and dramatic collapse into oblivion leaving at least 50% of the line-up in rehab? Is no one thinking of the back story to be shared when JLS regroup for ITV's 'Big Reunion' in 2016?

In a statement on the group's website this morning, Ast, Marv, JB and the O man said in unison: "To each and every JLSter, our beloved fans around the world, we wanted to make sure that you heard it from the four of us that we have decided to bring our time as a band to an end. It has been the most incredible journey over the last six years and we have achieved more things than we could have ever dreamed possible. Thanks to all of you guys, your support, your dedication and your love, you have changed our lives forever and we wouldn't be where we are today without you".

On pre-split plans, the statement continued: "We are currently in the studio working on what will be our last album - 'Goodbye: The Greatest Hits'. We will be bringing you a new single later in the year to coincide with the album and the tour. 'Goodbye: The Greatest Hits Tour' will be the last time that we will perform together as a four and we want to make sure that this tour is the best ever and that we end on a high! We will always remain brothers and friends and we will always be your boys".

They then added: "We will continue to work on the JLS Foundation after our split, as we want to raise as much money and awareness as possible for great causes and our partner Cancer Research UK. We also want to continue the legacy that we started three years ago with the Foundation and we hope that you always continue to support that".

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TRAAMS SIGN TO FATCAT
Approved all the way back in March (2012), Chichester trio Traams have now signed to FatCat. To revel in that, they are giving away a new track titled 'Mexico', which is a nice thing to have done, isn't it?

The band also have a new EP ready to release soon, though so far have only shared its title: 'Ladders'. Oh, and that it was made in collaboration with MJ of the also CMU approved Hookworms in his studio in Leeds.

Anyway, this is 'Mexico'.

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SKY FERREIRA FINALISES LP
Aha, so it appears that after many, many false starts, easily-embarrassed pop babe Sky Ferreira's fabled first LP is at last finalised.

I say this on the basis of a pic Ferreira instagrammed yesterday, which kind of speaks for itself. The TBA 'final disc' is still to be given an official title, but 'Wild At Heart', 'I'm Not Alright' and erm... 'WHY DO [YOU] HATE ME?' have all been proposed as potentials in the past, so... pick a fave.

As per Ferreira's Instagram hint, 'WHY DO [YOU] HATE ME' (that's my fave) is likely to feature 'collabs' with alt-pop authorities Jon Brion, Blake Mills and Ariel Rechtshaid, all of whom assisted on Sky's 'Ghost' EP.

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THESE NEW PURITANS TRAIL NEW LP, FIELD OF REEDS
These New Puritans are releasing a new LP titled 'Field Of Reeds', and have released a short film depicting the 'making of' it.

Speculating wildly based on the little of the new record you can hear in said short film, the band may be going for a similar kind of black, monastic amalgam of pop beats and classical strings, wind and brass that characterised 2010's 'Hidden'. But since it's only a tiny clip, who can say?

Watch it via www.thesenewpuritans.com, and/or watch a live extended version when TNP play London's Heaven on 17 Jun.

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MYKKI BLANCO TO RELEASE EP
Mykki Blanco, the teen girl alias of NYC rapper/artist Michael David Quattlebaum Jr, is releasing her first real EP on 21 May, and its name is 'Betty Rubble: The Initiation'.

Or, as Mykki phrases it: "'The Initiation' EP is aptly titled as I feel the music on this release is my way of initiating listeners into the lyricism and storytelling, the hard hitting rhymes and tripped out cadences that have become the signatures of what make the Mykki Blanco sound. I know that I can be a chameleon, but this EP peels back the layers of persona to reveal to you Mykki Blanco the rapper and nothing else. You can love it or hate it but this is HIP HOP".

Yep, that it is.

Have a look at an 'Initiation' index, and an MTV-branded vid to match one of its featured tracks, 'Feeling Special', right now:

Angry Birds
Crisp Clean
Feeling Special
Bugged Out
The Initiation
David Blaine Bitches
Ace Bougie Chick
Vienna

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WILD NOTHING SHARES NEW TRACK
Maker-of-pleasingly-shiny-dream-pop Wild Nothing, real name Jack Tatum, has made a new seven-track EP, 'Empty Estate', in answer to last year's 'Nocturne', which was in fact an LP.

He says he felt inspired to make the new record after listening to David Bowie and Brian Eno, and that it reflects "the frustrations, successes and moments of peace in between" he experienced in the ten days he spent making it.

Hurrah! It's released via Bella Union on 14 May, by the way. Hear one track off it, 'A Dancing Shell', by clicking this.

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RIHANNA TO RELEASE 777 DVD
'777', the previously reported 77 minute film showing suitable parts of Rihanna's also previously reported NSFW seven-day private plane trip, is going to be available as a DVD, which is nice if you've always wanted to watch a naked Australian man streaking in a confined space. Saying that, I haven't seen it yet, so that particular scene may not have made the final edit.

Either way, '777' shall be available to all that want it on 7 May. This is a trailer.

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE: HOP FARM, BERLIN FESTIVAL, LAND OF KINGS AND MORE
It's Festival Line-Up Update o'clock, and thus I'll go straight to summarising the latest phase of acts joining this year's Björk, Blur, My Bloody Valentine and Pet Shop Boys-capped Berlin Festival, aka Ellie Goulding, Röyksopp, John Talabot, Charli XCX, Pantha Du Prince, Booka Shade, Boys Noize, Bosnian Rainbows, Parquet Courts and friends.

So, that's a turn up for the FLUU books, as is the fact that Dalston's Land Of Kings has finalised its listings by adding Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Raffertie, Landshapres and Skream, all of whom align with the already-confirmed likes of Gang Colours, New Young Pony Club, Sweet Baboo, Chrome Hoof and Darkstar.

And with that, it's time to look at extra info on the above festivals, plus Lincoln's Alchemy, Cheltenham's Greenbelt, Kent's Hop Farm Music Festival and XXL Netherlands dance phenomenon Mysteryland:

ALCHEMY, Scholey Park, Lincoln, 20-22 Sep: Zion Train, PAIN, Radical Dance Faction (RDF), Inner Terrestrials, The Firepit Collective, Flutatious, Tribazik, Zetan Spore, Back To The Planet, The Skraelings, Dave The Drummer, Cracked Actors, AOS3, Tarantism, Mental Block, Skiprat, Captain Hotknives, Firefarm, Re-Creation, Ephexis, Peak, Arcturian Soul, Brimstone, Free Wise Men, Jon Gomm, Spiral Scouts, Pan, Jilly Riley, New Groove Formation, Future Dub Orchestra. www.alchemyfestival.co.uk

BERLIN FESTIVAL, Tempelhof Airport, Berlin, Germany, 6-7 Sep: Ellie Goulding, Röyksopp, John Talabot, Charli XCX, Pantha Du Prince, Booka Shade, Boys Noize, Bosnian Rainbows, Parquet Courts, Miss Kittin, Maxim, Left Boy, The Sounds, Get Well Soon, SOHN, Pool, Ruen Brothers, Graf von Bothmer, Ellen Allien, Tale Of Us, Djedjotronic, Strip Steve, SCNTST, Audionite, Shir Khan, Round Table Knights, Claptone, Cocolores. www.berlinfestival.de

GREENBELT, Cheltenham Racecourse, 23-26 Aug: Courtney Pine, Thea Gilmore, Blair Dunlop, Eska, Grace Petrie, The Austin Francis Connection. www.greenbelt.org.uk

HOP FARM MUSIC FESTIVAL, Paddock Wood, Kent, 5-6 Jul: Lightning Seeds, Black Lips, Peter And Kerry. hopfarmfestival.com

LAND OF KINGS, various venues, Dalston, London, 5 May: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Raffertie, Landshapes, Skream, James Lavelle, Riton, Krankbrother, Disco Bloodbath, Nathan Gregory Wilkins, Hannah Holland, Kiwi, Dan Beaumont, Tayo, Shut Up & Dance. www.landofkings.co.uk

MYSTERYLAND, Haarlemmermeer, The Netherlands, 24 Aug: Steve Aoki, Steve Angello, Fedde Le Grand, Porter Robinson, Fake Blood, Caspa, Baauer, Cookie Monsta, Joker, Visionquest (Shaun Reeves, Ryan Crosson, Lee Curtiss & Seth Troxler), Tiga, Eats Everything, Om Unit & Know VA, Joris Voorn, Bakermat, Musclefarm, Lex Empress, Headhunterz, Brennan Heart, Wildstylez, Zatox, Coone, Korsakoff, B-Front, Code Black, A*S*Y*S, Wasted Penguinz, MC Villain, Dirty Dutch, Chuckie, Dirty South, Flosstradamus, Showtek, Gregori Klosman, Riton, Betatraxx, Genairo Nvilla, Delivio Reavon & Aaron Gill, MC Roga, Thomas Gold, Deniz Koyu, An21 & Max Vangelli, Shermanology, Dyro, Julian Jordan, Dannic, Martin Garrix, Sem Vox, Audien, MC Zawdi, Zeds Dead, Gomes, TB6K, Lifecycle, Curifex, Chrisisdubs, MC Tjek, The Partysquad, The Flexican feat MC Sef, Yellow Claw, RL Grime, Sem Vox, Feest DJ Ruud, FS Green, Abstract, Phalerieau, Jaziah, GirlsLoveDJs, Youri Alexander, Vi, Speedy J, Joseph Capriati, Gary Beck, O/V/R (James Ruskin & Regis), Shed, Lucy, Blackasteroi, Eshu, , Dinky, Boris Werner, Wareika, William Kouam Djoko b2b Tom Ruijg, Cassy & Steve Rachmad B2b, 2000 And One, Heidi, Homework, Bram Fidder, Raaf, Justin Verkijk, Olivier Weiter, Kölsch, Miss Melera, Heartthrob, Eelke Kleijn, Kareem Raihani, Awanto3, Erdbeerschnitzelno Regular Play, Eaglemen, True Identity, Charles Davos, Forrest Of Heroes, Breach (aka Ben Westbeech) & Full Crate, Bok Bok & Architecs, Jordan Peak & De Sluwe Vos, Skip And Die, Bart B More, Palmbomen, Mr Wix, Cata Pirata & Maximin, Doppelgang, Valentijnfor, Nick Verstand, Mayo, Bonne Reijn, The Sweethearts, Acti, Geck-E, Smoke, Donnie Darko, VNNR, Two Times Four. www.mysteryland.com

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LSE AND PRS TO HOST COPYRIGHT DEBATE
PRS For Music and the London School Of Economics will stage a debate on copyright, with the not at all emotive title 'Copyright In Crisis', on 9 May. But don't worry, this has nothing to do with MCPS's pension fund, but rather is an overview and debate on how the copyright industries, and specifically the music business, is coping with the continued challenges thrown up by that most pesky internet.

PRS chief Robert Ashcroft, Pirate Party member Amelia Andersdotter, Financial Times music reviewer Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Spandau Ballet bloke Gary Kemp and LSE fellow Dr Luke McDonagh will all take part, with the School's Professor Andrew Murray in the chair.

He told CMU: "The creative industry has faced enormous change in recent years as consumers increasingly look to the internet to discover and access their favourite movies, books, news and music. Given music's integral role to people, content providers and tech services alike, this debate couldn't be timelier. The so called democratisation of the internet brings with it challenges of value. Who is going to pay? We are very excited to have this opportunity to bring together a stellar bill of guests to discuss these issues and more on the 9 May".

The free debate will take place at Sheikh Zayed Theatre in the New Academic Building at 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields at 6.30pm.

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OMNIFONE APPOINTS NEW CFO, LAUNCHES NEW SIRIUS XM FEATURE
Omnifone has appointed David Finch as its new Chief Financial Officer, replacing Matthew Bagley. Finch previously retired in 2007, but previously held the CFO position at O2.

The company's CEO Jeff Hughes said: "David's wealth of knowledge and experience will facilitate Omnifone's aggressive growth strategy. We are fortunate and pleased to have an executive of David's calibre join the management team. David's accomplishments at O2 and experience of delivering results make him the perfect choice for Omnifone as we execute our growth strategy. In addition his experience and exceptional track record as a finance leader in the mobile subscription sector perfectly complement Omnifone's business model".

Finch himself added: "Streaming music services are experiencing the fastest revenue growth in digital music, presenting a huge opportunity for Omnifone. Its B2B model is highly operationally leveraged which, together with its flexible cloud-based music platform and world-leading licensing capability, position it well in the market. I'm excited by the unique opportunity to join Omnifone and the highly talented group of people working here at this critical phase in the growth of the company".

Finch joins the company following its recent announcement of a new alliance with US satellite radio network Sirius XM, supporting the firm's new personalisation feature known as MySXM. The service allows users to customise music and comedy shows from the satellite platform's 50+ channels.

Hughes explained: "With over 24 million subscribers, SiriusXM is the clear leader in the audio entertainment space and we're delighted to support MySXM. The digital music industry made great strides in terms of growth last year and 2013 is shaping up to be a year of further returns. We experienced a 300% increase in subscribers to our cloud music platform alone in 2012. By constantly innovating our cloud music platform to increase flexibility our customers, including SiriusXM, can remain agile and respond to changing consumer demand during this exciting growth phase. The flexibility of our platform enables us to assist digital music services right across the board and positions providers, such as SiriusXM, well for expansion into new areas".

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BELIEVE CONFIRMS DEAL WITH ONE LITTLE INDIAN
Independent digital distribution firm Believe last week announced a new deal with One Little Indian, which will see the company manage the distribution of the indie's content to digital audio and video services in all markets outside of North America. The new album by The Computers, out next week, will be the first release distributed under the new alliance.

Confirming the deal, Believe's Lee Morrison told CMU: "We are excited to be working with such a high quality and renowned independent label. With the resources and market expertise Believe offer, we are confident of maximising international commercial opportunities and that this will be a very successful partnership".

Meanwhile One Little Indian's GM Paul Johannes added: "We are delighted to be working alongside Believe Digital, their knowledge, understanding and sheer enthusiasm will no doubt enhance the UK and international opportunities and we very much look forward to the partnership".

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BRIAN MAY PRODUCES BADGER BADGER BADGER PROTEST SONG
I'm going to guess that if I asked you to name the first internet viral video you can remember, it would be Weebl aka Jonti Pickings' 'Badger Badger Badger', an infinitely looping Flash video featuring dancing badgers, mushrooms and a scary snake, all set to an infuriatingly catchy (and just infuriating) tune.

So catchy was it that a decade later, you may, like me, get that tune stuck in your head whenever you read anything about badgers. It certainly played in my mind the whole time I was writing this article about Brian May's campaign to reverse a government decision to launch a cull of the animals in Gloucester and Somerset last year.

Now (AT LAST) the two are together in what is either genuine empathy with May's fight to halt the badger cull or the ultimate act of trolling. Either way, the Queen guitarist is now producing a new version of the track, beefed up from its original form with some off cuts from Queen's 'Flash'. May revealed the news at a meeting of the Team Badger Coalition on Saturday in Taunton, Somerset and played a work-in-progress version of the work.

Speaking in front of the 200 assembled badger fans, May said: "I invited [Picking] to my studio because he sent me an email saying that he'd like to help with the badger problem - this is the guy who made this 'badger badger badger' thing. So what we've come up with... well actually it's him, I produced it, but it's mainly his idea and it's not quite finished because we're gonna get Brian Blessed on it".

And so, you can hear the Blessed-less version of the new track here.

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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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