WEDNESDAY
19 JUN 2013

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PLAYLIST: IS TROPICAL
Kitsuné-signed indie trio Is Tropical released their debut album, 'Native To', in 2011. Last month they returned with their second, 'I'm Leaving'. As well as that, earlier this year the band became one of the first Western bands to tour Mongolia (or perform there at all). Something Noisey was on hand to document, following them as they explored the country. With all that out of the way, we asked the band's Dom Apa to put together a playlist for us more>>
 
APPROVED: MIA - BRING THE NOIZE
MIA said she'd do it; and she did. And by 'it' I mean 'bring the noise' via new single 'Bring The Noize', a blinding, deafening all-in amp battery of that same title that had its initial play on Radio 1 on Monday night. Given the things she said on-air at the time, ("It's not easy, it's not easy, it's not easy"), the LP from which its taken, 'Matangi', is her "last stab" at placating labels whilst still saving face more>>

TOP STORIES
- Beyonce settles $100 million videogame lawsuit
IN THE POP COURTS
- "It creates an inherent conflict of interest": Jacksons v AEG Update
- Former Warner intern sues for unpaid wages
- Blige sued over cancelled show
- Toots And The Maytals cancel live activity, taking civil action after Toots hit by bottle
- Justin Bieber cleared of hit and run
AWARDS & CONTESTS
- Classic BRITs announced
IN THE STUDIO
- Britney Spears talks "really different" new LP
RELEASE NEWS
- Bill Callahan details 'sensual' new disc
- Cher's new LP given title, release date
- Machinedrum maps new LP, Vapor City
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Plan B, Ed Sheeran, Tinie Tempah and Emeli Sande playing Stephen Lawrence charity gala
- Jimmy Eat World announce Academy tour
- Austra announce more UK shows
- Temples announce tour dates
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival line-up update: T In The Park, Tusk, Unsound and more
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- Investor puts more pressure on Sony for a part sale of entertainment
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- vKontakte begins removing music files
AND FINALLY...
- Andrew WK to attempt drum solo record
THREEWEEKS - SUB-EDITORS
CMU sister title, Edinburgh Festival magazine ThreeWeeks requires part time sub-editors to work between 1-24 Aug, processing and subbing reviews submitted by the publication’s volunteer review team, using the magazine’s style guide. Reporting to the Editors, as well as tweaking and reworking reviews ready for publication, the sub-editors also give feedback to the review team, and may liaise with reviewers on rewrites to help participants in the ThreeWeeks media-skills programme improve their work.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
THREEWEEKS - OFFICE MANAGER
The Office Manager oversees the administration of Edinburgh Festival magazine ThreeWeeks, a sister title to CMU, manages the volunteer admin team, and coordinates the review team and booking of review tickets. This is a two month contract, with a month based at ThreeWeeks’ London HQ in Shoreditch E1, and then four weeks based in Edinburgh from 27 Jul – 25 Aug. Reporting into the Publishers, the Office Manager needs to be a very organised person, IT and web literate and able to navigate a spreadsheet, and able to take the the initiative and manage and motivate a volunteer team.

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

BEYONCE SETTLES $100 MILLION VIDEOGAME LAWSUIT
Beyonce has settled a long running lawsuit with videogames developer Gate Five. As previously reported, in 2011 the company sued the singer for $106.7 million in compensation after she pulled out of a deal to create a dancing game using her music and likeness, entitled 'Starpower: Beyonce'. The developer said the $100 million+ would cover the money it invested in the canned project and lost potential profits.

In legal papers Gate Five said that Beyonce's decision to back out was "a bad faith breach of contract so callous that, on what appeared to be a whim, she destroyed Gate Five's business and drove 70 people into unemployment, the week before Christmas". It added that a key funder had already pulled out of the venture prior to her departure on the grounds that she was "too erratic to do business with".

Beyonce's lawyers argued that she was within her rights to terminate the deal when the company failed to raise an agreed $5 million in funding. But Gate Five argued that it had actually been on the verge of raising $19.2 million in investment, until the singer scared of that investor, and that fact removed her right to back out of the deal. There were also allegations Beyonce bailed when a better offer came in from a rival developer (so not because of fundraising issues), though that wasn't proven.

All of which would have made this case rather fun had it got to court. But it won't. The two sides have now reached a settlement, terms of which are confidential.

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"IT CREATES AN INHERENT CONFLICT OF INTEREST": JACKSONS V AEG UPDATE
A former Capitol Records president has told the LA court hearing the Jacksons v AEG case that, having reviewed "an enormous amount" of material and an "extraordinary number of emails", he is convinced that the live giant believed it was in charge of Dr Conrad Murray as the 'This Is It' venture got underway in spring 2009. Adding that for a concert promoter to have that kind of relationship with an artist's personal medic was "highly unusual" and "highly inappropriate".

As much previously reported, the Jackson family wants AEG to be held liable for the death of Michael Jackson four years ago, because it paid Murray, the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter for causing the late king of pop's demise through negligent treatment.

The Jacksons say that AEG hired and then mismanaged Murray, putting pressure on the doc that led to him employing dangerous treatments. AEG counters that Jackson chose and managed Murray, it just agreeing to advance monies to pay him.

David Berman, a former entertainment lawyer and Capitol Records exec who these days specialises in giving expert testimonies in music business related lawsuits, was testifying at the request (and expense) of the Jackson family.

He said that, despite AEG insisting Jackson himself hired and controlled Murray, the live giant acted as if the doctor was in its employ. It negotiated the medic's terms and contract directly, it submitted the paperwork required for Murray to work in the UK during the 'This Is It' London residency, and of course there's that email, where AEG Live co-CEO Paul Gongaware wrote: "We want to remind [Murray] that it is AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. We want him to understand what is expected of him".

And while the actual contract between AEG, Murray and Jackson had yet to be signed when the singer died (the doctor had signed on the dotted line, but the singer and promoter had not), Berman said that there was a valid oral agreement between the three parties, adding that in the music industry it was common for written contracts to follow late in the day, after the work outlined in a contract is already well underway.

As for AEG hiring Murray - if you buy the argument that's what happened - Berman continued, according to CNN: "I have never heard of it being done, and indeed, it is my understanding up until this case, AEG had never done it. It creates an inherent conflict of interest on the part of the physician. The physician has dual obligations to the patient and the entity that is engaging them and who is paying his compensation. That, in of itself, is a conflict. [And] it's a more egregious conflict in the circumstances in this case".

Berman then returned to Murray's financial woes, which, the Jacksons argue, made the doctor more susceptible to breaking medical codes in order to please his paymaster. Berman noted that AEG's Randy Phillips, in an email trying to reassure a panicked 'This Is It' director Kenny Ortega, noted - incorrectly on all counts as it turned out - "this doctor is extremely successful (we check everyone out) and does not need this gig so he is totally unbiased and ethical". That statement, Berman argued, shows that Phillips was aware that if Murray did in fact "need this gig", such a position could hinder his ethics.

And, Berman continued, AEG should have made it their business to know that Murray desperately needed the Jackson gig to avoid financial oblivion. Not least because the doc initially asked for a $5 million fee for his work on 'This Is It'. "That is a pretty bizarre amount", Berman argued, and so high a figure it should have raised suspicions at AEG HQ.

The £150,000 a month agreed on was still "an exorbitant amount, more than any other person on the tour was paid; [and] even more of a red flag since AEG was aware of another doctor who was willing to take the job for $40,000 a month. It's indicative of something out of whack".

Responding to Berman's testimony, AEG's lawyers, of course, will be keen to throw the usual doubt that is thrown on any paid witness, while also stressing that Berman's experience is more in the record industry than the live sector. The case continues.

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FORMER WARNER INTERN SUES FOR UNPAID WAGES
A former intern of Warner Music's Atlantic subsidiary in the US is suing for unpaid wages. What's more, he's made it a class action meaning if he wins all other unpaid interns working there in the same time period would be due money too.

According to The Wrap, Justin Henry says he worked at the label for no wage between October 2007 and May 2008 in violation of New York employment laws. He also suggests that the practice of not paying interns had not always been company policy at Atlantic, and only began in June 2007. The lawsuit claims minimum wage for all hours worked, plus overtime, interest, unspecified damages and costs.

He states that in his role tasks included answering telephones, photocopying and collecting lunch for permanent staff, which Henry and his lawyers argue constitutes a job under New York employment law and doesn't fit the regulations for classifying staff as unpaid interns. The lawsuit estimates that over 100 others could be due back pay under the class action and is calling for more former interns to come forward.

Unpaid internships have been an issue in the UK in recent years of course, especially in the creative and communication industries where such intern roles are commonplace. If a company appoints an unpaid intern to do what is arguably a job, they are likely breaking Britain's minimum wage laws.

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BLIGE SUED OVER CANCELLED SHOW
LA-based Vision Entertainment Worldwide is suing Mary J Blige in a bid to get back a deposit it says it paid the singer for a show in late 2012 that she cancelled at the last minute.

Vision's lawsuit says that Blige had been booked to perform in Dallas, Texas last December, but pulled out with just days to spare. The legal papers allege that the cancellation was caused when a last minute opportunity came up for the singer to perform at one of the Rolling Stones' big shows in New York on the day before the scheduled Dallas show.

Either way, Vision says it paid Blige a $145,000 deposit which is yet to be returned. The lawsuit seeks repayment of the advance and damages.

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TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS CANCEL LIVE ACTIVITY, TAKING CIVIL ACTION AFTER TOOTS HIT BY BOTTLE
Alas, Jamaican group Toots And The Maytals have had to cancel all their planned festival appearances, this because Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert is still having tests and treatment for a head injury sustained when he was hit by a "large vodka bottle" at America's RiverRock Festival in mid-May. The band say they're preparing a $21 million legal case against the assailant, one William Connor Lewis, who will also face trial on a felony assault charge on 1 Jul.

Toots et al's attorney Michael R Shaprio adds: "Toots and his management team share with me the view that we should only sue those who we know to have responsibility for this vicious attack. At this moment in time, the bottle thrower, Mr Lewis unquestionably falls in that category and thus the $21 million civil action against him".

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JUSTIN BIEBER CLEARED OF HIT AND RUN
Justin Bieber and his white Ferrari have got into trouble again. This time, rather than causing people to worry that they might get run down, he just cut to the chase and ran someone over. Biebs was cleared of any wrongdoing though, so all's well (including the person he hit, apparently).

The singer was leaving LA comedy club the Laugh Factory with rapper Lil B on Monday night, when his car was surrounded by photographers. As a video posted by TMZ shows, he motioned for them to move, and then drove off, apparently clipping one of them as he did so, though he did not stop.r

Police later interviewed Bieber about the incident and cleared him of any misconduct, saying that the popstar had been unaware that he'd hit anyone and anyway the photographer in question was not injured.

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CLASSIC BRITS ANNOUNCED
Myleene Klass will host the Classic BRITs for the sixth year running this year, it has been announced. This year's weird attempt to make classical music look like pop while keeping it separate from the BRITs' actual pop ceremony will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on 2 Oct and will be broadcast on ITV.

The two co-chairmen of The Classic BRIT Awards committee, Decca Records President Dickon Stainer and Avie Records Director Barry McCann, said in perfect unison: "We are delighted that the Classic BRIT Awards is so established in the award season calendar and is stronger than it has ever been before. Developing a show that sits comfortably into the ITV format has not only increased viewers, but also subsequent sales of the performers and winners featured on each show".

For an insight into what that ITV-friendly show is like, here's Paul Morley's no holds barred review of last year's event for classical website Sinfini.

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BRITNEY SPEARS TALKS "REALLY DIFFERENT" NEW LP
That Britney Spears, always teasing. Last time it was 'Ooh La La', her new single and theme to kids' film 'The Smurfs 2', and this time its details relating to her new LP.

Teasing via Ryan Seacrest's radio show earlier this week, Spears said that she and her creative aide Will.i.am were in the "early stages" still, adding: "Will has a lot of really interesting different tracks that I've listened to that are really cool that I haven't actually written on yet, but there's a lot of guitar and I think people will be surprised with this album. It's going to be really different".

Spears is also set next week to start sharing ideas for the new long-player with another William, Mr Orbit, and is tentatively adamant that the new LP will have its release "by the end of the year". I can't wait.

Anyway, and ahead of its release on 28 Jul, this is 'Ooh La La'.

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BILL CALLAHAN DETAILS 'SENSUAL' NEW DISC
An unusually un-maudlin Bill Callahan has answered 2011's 'Apocalypse' with a new LP titled 'Dream River'. Made in aptly-named Texas locale Cacophany, it's meant to be his most "sensual" to date, and shall be released via Drag City on 16 Sep.

Tracklisting:

The Sing
Javelin Unlanding
Small Plane
Spring
Ride My Arrow
Summer Painter
Seagull
Winter Road

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CHER'S NEW LP GIVEN TITLE, RELEASE DATE
Pop grande dame Cher has given her 26th official-and-original LP (and first since 2001's 'Living Proof) a title, and that title is this: 'Closer To The Truth'.

The true facts so far are that a) It'll carry eleven tracks and b) may feature her and Lady Gaga's track 'The Greatest Thing' - which isn't technically a fact, give the 'may'.

As we, she and it advance ever nearer its release date (24 Sep), her new single 'Woman's World' is available right this instant.

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MACHINEDRUM MAPS NEW LP, VAPOR CITY
Having signed to Ninja Tune all the way back in March, Machinedrum aka Berlin-based DJ Travis Stewart is to release his first LP via the label on 23 Sep. It's kind of an imaginary mind-map of a dream city with districts each represented by a track, and is titled 'Vapor City'.

This is its 'abstractly-spelt' tracklisting, and one of the tracks it lists, first district-signifier 'Eyesdontlie':

Gunshotta
Infinite Us
Don't 1 2 Lose U
Center Your Love
Vizion
Rise N Fall
SeeSea
U Still Lie
Eyesdontlie
Baby Its U

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PLAN B, ED SHEERAN, TINIE TEMPAH AND EMELI SANDE PLAYING STEPHEN LAWRENCE CHARITY GALA
London's O2 Arena is to host a charity show marking the 20th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence's tragic killing. It'll feature Plan B, Ed Sheeran, Rizzle Kicks, Soul II Soul, Emeli Sandé, Tinie Tempah, Labrinth and Jamie Cullum, all of whom will play tracks appropriate to The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and its cause.

Explaining that cause and the show's significance, Stephen's mother Doreen Lawrence says: "Our aim is to build hope for the future. Justice For Stephen is about all of us, every one of us, in society having justice. I want young people to feel inspired, be confident and have hope in their own future. We work every day to empower youth and we're so proud that the music industry is joining us in reaching out to change the lives of young people".

Emeli Sandé adds: "I was quite young when the tragedy happened, and coming from a mixed race family it was a big issue we spoke about, had a big impact on my family. All the work Doreen has done feels very empowering. It shows that changes can be made if you're brave enough to stand up".

Info on and tickets to 'Unity: A Concert For Stephen Lawrence' are available via
www.stephenlawrence.org.uk

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JIMMY EAT WORLD ANNOUNCE ACADEMY TOUR
Jimmy Eat World will play several live dates in the wake of their devastatingly new LP 'Damage'. It starts in September, which leaves plenty of time learn 'Damage' by heart. I mean, it's only fair; given all the love and care that went into making it.

Or at least, that's (essentially) what the band's Jim Adkins means when he says: "We are excited to start playing shows in the UK again. Some of the best crowds anywhere! We have put a lot of work into making our new album 'Damage' and can't wait to play the new songs for you guys!".

Shows as follows:

5 Sep: Birmingham, Academy
9 Sep: Glasgow, Academy
10 Sep: Newcastle, Academy
12 Sep: Leeds Academy
13 Sep: Manchester, Academy
14 Sep: Bristol, Academy
19 Nov: London, Brixton Academy

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AUSTRA ANNOUNCE MORE UK SHOWS
Austra have added a tranche - if four is a tranche - of new live dates on the basis of their ace new LP 'Olympia', having released it earlier this week.

Play 'Olympia' track 'Fire' via Beatport as you scan the dates:

21 Nov: Glasgow, CCA
22 Nov: Dublin, Button Factory
23 Nov: Manchester, Deaf Institute
25 Nov: London, Koko

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TEMPLES ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Psych-pop band Temples have been playing live pretty incessantly ever since 'appearing on the scene' late last year, and this year is set to be the same, the band having listed a wealth of new dates.

And they are:

3 Oct: Guildford, Boileroom
4 Oct: Norwich, Arts Centre
5 Oct: Leicester, Academy 2
8 Oct: Sheffield, Queens Social Club
9 Oct: Glasgow, Kings Tut's
10 Oct: Edinburgh, Electric Circus
11 Oct: Carlisle, The Brickyard
12 Oct: Newcastle, Northumbria University
14 Oct: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
15 Oct: Liverpool, Zazimier
16 Oct: Nottingham, Bodega Social Club
17 Oct: York, The Duchess
21 Oct: Brighton, Komedia
22 Oct: Exeter, Phoenix
23 Oct: Bristol, Thekla
14 Nov: Manchester, Gorilla
15 Nov: London, Electric Ballroom

Temples' new single, 'Colours To Life', is released on 24 Jun. And here it is.

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE: T IN THE PARK, TUSK, UNSOUND AND MORE
As Jersey Live gains a camping license, and, adversely, Toots And The Maytals cancel their many festival appearances citing Toots' ill health, what else is hitting the festival headlines today?

Well, to start with a meaningless bee-based metaphor, a hive of activity is all abuzz at Europe's leading hip hop beach festival, Fresh Island; where one can take in the likes of Snoop Lion nee Dogg, A$AP Rocky, Iggy Azalea and new headliners KRS-One.

Not only that, Scotland's T In The Park is also big in the artist additions game today, with Slam Tent DJs Rudimental, East Everything, Claude Von Stroke and Ben Martin all signing on to join T headliners Mumford & Sons, Rihanna and The Killers. I've said it once and I'll say it again, what a triple bill.

And with that, it's on to news of extra additions at Newcastle alt-fest Tusk, cool Croatian quantity Unknown, and niche Polish happening Unsound.

FRESH ISLAND FESTIVAL, Zrce Beach, Pag, Croatia, 10-13 Jul: Snoop Dogg/Lion, A$AP Rocky, KRS-One, Iggy Azaela, DJ Tony Touch, Statik Selektah, Art Of Frresh, Bad Copy, J-Ro, Nefew, Matt White, DJ MK, DJ Katch, DJ Phat Phillie, Bizzo Bodega, Female DJ Takeover, DJ Pfung 500, DJ Yascepeda, DJ FRX, So What Soundsystem, DJ K'Pow, Rough Rap Rave Crew, DJ Shorty P, DJ Cesar, DJ Kidcut, DJ Soulclap, DJ Oli Doboli, DJ Odie, DJ Laki & DJ Rokam, DJ Costa, R&B Confusion DJs. www.fresh-island.org

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Scotland, 12-14 Jul: Rudimental, Eats Everything, Harri & Domenic, Auntie Flo, Marquis Hawkes, Ben Martin, Mia Dora, Vitamins, Wonka, Hostage, DJ Bertie, Roman Nose, Claude Von Stroke, Far Too Loud, DJ Die & MC Inja, Chopstick Dubplate, RackNRuin, DJ Wardy, NAPT, Vitamins, Jinx In Dub, Flash Mob, Lords Of Lightning, Anderson McGinty Webster Ward & Fisher, Hacktivist, Sienna, MMX, Moya, Dolomite Minor. www.tinthepark.com

TUSK FESTIVAL, Star & Shadow, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 11-13 Oct: Endon, Dawson-Davies: Hen Ogledd, Control Unit, Basic House. www.tuskfestival.com

UNKNOWN, Rovinj, Croatia, 10-14 Sep: Maceo Plex, Oneman, John Talabot, London Grammar, Dutch Uncles. www.unknowncroatia.com

UNSOUND, Krakow, Poland, 13-20 Oct: Andy Stott & Demdike Stare, DJ Qu, DJ Richard, Earth, Fire!, Forest Swords, Galcher Lustwerk, Helena Hauff, Stara Rzeka, Innode, Jenny Hval, Karenn (Blawan & Pariah), King Midas Sound, Oren Ambarchi & Sinfonietta Cracovia, Pearson Sound, Pete Swanson, Pharmakon, Regis, Porter Ricks, Robert Henke, Robert Piotrowicz, Robert Rich, RP Boo, Stara Rzeka, Stefan Wesołowski, Stellar Om Source, The Mulholland Free Clinic (Move D, Juju & Jordash, Jonah Sharp), Tropic Of Cancer, Young Male. unsound.pl/en

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INVESTOR PUTS MORE PRESSURE ON SONY FOR A PART SALE OF ENTERTAINMENT
Daniel Loeb's investment firm Third Point has increased its stake in Sony Corp slightly, from 6.5% to 6.9%, and he celebrated the occasion by sending another letter to the Japanese firm's top man, Kazuo Hirai, calling for 15-20% of the conglom's US-based entertainment business to be floated.

As previously reported, while Sony Corp chiefs have in the past denied speculation that they were considering selling some or all of their film, music and telly assets, to free up funds to help speed up the revival of the flagging Sony electronics business, this time round the company's board has said it is considering Loeb's proposals.

In the latest letter, Loeb adds that there are other benefits to the idea of floating the Sony Entertainment company, other than raising quick cash, in that it would force that side of the business to be more transparent to investors, being directly listed on a stock exchange, rather than sitting under its parent company.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Loeb says the Sony entertainment business lacks the "discipline and accountability" of some of its rivals, adding: "In light of this track record, it seems difficult to argue that entertainment would not be strengthened by the transparency that comes with public reporting, an active media analyst community evaluating financial performance regularly and an expert board with strongly aligned incentives".

Responding to the latest letter, Sony Corp said in a statement: "Sony welcomes investment in the company. We are focused on creating shareholder value by executing on our plan to revitalise and grow the electronics business, while further strengthening the entertainment and financial service businesses which generate stable profit. As President and CEO Kazuo Hirai has said repeatedly, the entertainment businesses are important contributors to Sony's growth. We look forward to continuing constructive dialog with our shareholders as we pursue our strategy".

Although Loeb's proposals for a part-sale of the Sony Entertainment business are being considered in a way previous suggestions of the same have not, insiders say some other key investors in Japan oppose the plan, seeing it as short-termist.

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VKONTAKTE BEGINS REMOVING MUSIC FILES
Russian social network and Facebook rip off vKontakte has started deleting unlicensed music files from its platform, according to local media reports noted by Music Ally.

As previously reported, both Russian and international music companies have accused vKontakte of facilitating copyright infringement by enabling and encouraging users to share, stream and download music files posted without the permission of rights owners. The social networking firm wheeled out the "it's not us, it's our pesky users" line, but lost in court last year when Russian music firms SBA Publishing and SBA Productions sued.

The social networking site has also been on the radar of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry which has likely been putting pressure on the firm to start behaving in the copyright domain, citing last year's court ruling. Though Music Ally points out that new anti-piracy measures in Russia may also have played a role in vKontakte seemingly beginning takedown efforts.

How effective those takedowns are, and what impact it has on vKontakte's userbase, remains to be seen.

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ANDREW WK TO ATTEMPT DRUM SOLO RECORD
Andrew WK is to attempt to set the record for the world's longest drum solo later today. The musician and genital cleanliness advocate will endeavour to play for 24 hours straight at Oakley's flagship store in New York as part of events surrounding the O Music Awards. In previous years, The Flaming Lips have set the record for performing in the most cities in 24 hours, and Chiddy Bang for the longest freestyle rap.

Already a record holder (for the most mentions of the word "party" in one song), WK told The Hollywood Reporter that he's confident of success, saying that he intend to be "over-prepared" for his stint behind the drumkit. He'll also be spurred on by a number of "the greatest drummers in the world", who will drop in and play along during the challenge.

If you're already willing Andrew WK to throw in the towel as quickly as possible, just remember that a drum solo is often the only thing holding back a bass solo.

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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 1, 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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