An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Friday 25 October 2013

TODAY'S TOP STORY: YouTube-mp3, a tool that enables web-users to convert the audio of a YouTube video into an MP3 file, has lost a court battle with the German record industry, though it could continue to operate if it alters what happens behind the scenes. As previously reported, YouTube-mp3 initially found itself in conflict... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Taking over all three rooms of the Fire club in Vauxhall, this only slightly early Hallowe'en themed night sees Omar S from FXHE Records jet in from Detroit to promote his third album along side the Futureboogie crew with Maxxi Soundsystem, Hackman & Lukas, Christophe and the Futureboogie DJs... [READ MORE]
BEEF OF THE WEEK: So the recently rejuvenated Nipper the dog took a bite out of the Apple this week, though it remains to be seen if the fruit was poisoned like the legendary tragic apple Steve Jobs famously didn't base his company's logo on. By which I mean, HMV has been beefing with Apple this week. And why the hell not? [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES YouTube-mp3 loses legal battle with German labels
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Google considering backing new Lyor Cohen venture
Michael Kiwanuka launches a new Movement
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Independent Label Market announces beer-fuelled edition
LIVE BUSINESS Hop Farm Festival to return at new site
Warehouse Project streamline output
MEDIA BPI backs new YouTube-based music channel from LoveLive
ARTIST NEWS Michael Jackson tops dead rich list again
Elton John biopic is on
Next The Who tour to be the last
Blue's Simon Webbe in the red
RELEASES Instant grat sales of new Gaga track not chart eligible
Arcade Fire stream Reflektor
GIGS & FESTIVALS Festival line-up update: Le Guess Who, LEAF, Bloodstock and more
AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #179: HMV v Apple
Some Blunt tweets
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YouTube-mp3 loses legal battle with German labels
YouTube-mp3, a tool that enables web-users to convert the audio of a YouTube video into an MP3 file, has lost a court battle with the German record industry, though it could continue to operate if it alters what happens behind the scenes.

As previously reported, YouTube-mp3 initially found itself in conflict with YouTube itself last year, when the Google-owned site started to take action to restrict the use of the audio-ripping tool.

Labels who gladly put their content onto YouTube, where they can earn ad-split royalties every time their music is consumed, won't want users taking copies of tracks way with them for repeat listening away from the ads. And Google itself, of course, has an interest in keeping music fans within the YouTube eco-system.

But it was the German record industry which actually pursued legal action against the audio-ripping company. For it's part, YouTube-mp3 initially said it was simply providing software than has legitimate uses, and was not itself involved in copyright infringement. Though precedents set in numerous file-sharing court rulings in various jurisdictions has set a principle that means, under many copyright systems, that excuse wouldn't stand up.

That principle says: if a company distributes a software that is primarily used to enable copyright infringement, and if the company could refine the software to limit infringing usage but chooses not to, and especially if the company implies through its communications that its technology should or could be used to infringe, then the distributor itself can be held liable for contributory or authorising infringement. Even if it doesn't actually host any infringing content, and its technology has legitimate uses.

Though in the German case, persuaded by trade body BVMI, that wasn't actually the argument employed. Rather, the labels discovered that behind the scenes YouTube-mp3 was keeping back-ups of audio-files ripped from YouTube, so that if multiple people wanted to rip the audio from the same video, the ripping service only had to actually access the YouTube platform once. Subsequent rippers would get a copy of their desired audio file directly off the YouTube-mp3 server.

Which means YouTube-mp3 was itself making, storing and distributing unlicensed copies of copyright recordings - nice, straight forward copyright infringement. According to Torrentfreak, the BVMI said: "Contrary to the common assumption that YouTube-mp3 is a streamripper that allows users to record songs from the internet (much as cassette recorders were used to record music from the radio back in the day), in fact the online converter often simply made the pieces available for download without a license".

YouTube-mp3 actually admitted that this element of its service was infringing copyright before the dispute got to court, and committed to voluntarily cease and desist, an agreement that led to the Hamburg courts closing the case.

Of course YouTube-mp3 can still distribute its software and comply with that agreement providing it stops the backing-up element of what it does. Though the BVMI or other content owners may as yet pursue further action arguing the contributory infringement point.

The BVMI adds: "One thing is clear: this platform, as well as most other streamripper sites, generate considerable advertising income that is not shared with the artists or their partners. This has nothing to do with fairness, nor does it fit with our current digital age, when many music sites - some of them free - can be used perfectly legally on the internet".

Google considering backing new Lyor Cohen venture
Google is amongst the companies backing the new music venture from former Warner Music recorded music boss Lyor Cohen, according to the New York Post.

As previously reported, Cohen departed the Warner music company somewhat suddenly just over a year ago, with rumours immediately circulating that he would launch his own label and management firm.

And reports suggest that, once Cohen's non-compete obligations are up with Warner, he will do just that, though he will likely retain good relations with his former employer through a distribution deal with the major.

Cohen has been in talks with various possible backers for the new venture for sometime. It's not yet entirely clear what Google's interest would be, nor whether any deal would include a content partnership as well as a cash investment.

It is now thought the former Warner man will make some formal announcement about his new venture before the year is out.


Michael Kiwanuka launches a new Movement
Mercury Music Prize hopeful Michael Kiwanuka is co-founding his own "organic" and "soul-rooted" label, Movement Records, with a group of musicians from London and NYC.

Kiwanuka, who is still on Communion Music's books as a solo artist, will act as Movmement's A&R and sit on its board of directors. He'll also collaborate with its signed acts on various singles and a compilation recorded live and on vintage equipment at the Movement Records studio in London, set to be released in 2014.

On the Movement ethos, Kiwanuka says: "Music from the heart goes straight to the heart. Music that can move you is good music and that's what Movement Records are focused on doing".

Independent Label Market announces beer-fuelled edition
FAO fans of vinyl/CD/merch bazaars of an 'indie' persuasion (and drunk shopping), the Independent Label Market and Association Of Independent Music have joined hands with the London Brewers' Market to present an extra special, extra independent, extra beery Christmas event at London's Old Spitalfields Market on 30 Nov.

Representing the record side of things will be over 80 labels including Bella Union, Big Dada, Warp, Domino, Drag City, Young Turks, Erased Tapes, Fierce Panda, !K7, Modular, PIAS and Ninja Tune, whilst a league of brewers will supply the ale. Live music, DJs and "sampling" will go on throughout the day, info on which is here.

Hop Farm Festival to return at new site
The Hop Farm Festival, which has had a rocky couple of years after its owner, Vince Power's Music Festivals plc, went under, and then a planned 2013 event was cancelled due to poor ticket sales, will return in 2014. Though not at the Hop Farm. Where a new festival is apparently being planned. Possibly to be called the Hop Farm Festival.

So far so confusing. Power, of course, reclaimed the Hop Farm Festival brand after the collapse of Music Festivals plc, and after the 2013 set back he says he is confident he can revive the event at its new home, also in Kent and not too far from the Hop Farm.

Noting reports that another festival is now being planned at his event's original site, Power's company said in a statement yesterday: "Reports suggest that another festival is to be hosted on The Hop Farm Family Park site, called the Hop Farm Music Festival, but this event has no association with the well established Hop Farm Music Festival. This is an unfamiliar event organised by an entirely different promoter and team. Despite the naming of this event it is not in any way connected with the esteemed Hop Farm Music Festival".

Meanwhile, on the future of his Hop Farm Festival, Power told CMU: "I have been building the Hop Farm for six years now. Unfortunately due to the economic climate we had to cancel this last year, but the festival is not over. We have a strong brand in the festival market, an instantly recognisable festival and you can't keep a good festival down".


Warehouse Project streamline output
The Warehouse Project has announced that it will be scale back it's output in 2014, and "take a break from the current format" with its events.

The announcement came as the dance-music promoter announced the line-ups for its end of year parties, which will feature Annie Mac, Sasha, Jamie Jones and Carl Craig. It's not clear whether commercial, logistical or creative reasons are behind the seven year old promoter's decision, possibly a combination of all three.

Sam Kandel, Director at The Warehouse Project, issued this statement: "Since it all started we've had the privilege of booking almost everyone that we wanted to be part of The Warehouse Project. This season especially, the programme is totally beyond where we ever expected it could go".

He continues: "WHP has always been about not standing still and has kept that idea at the forefront. We do have exciting plans for 2014 that should continue that ethos and at the same time it feels like the right moment to perhaps do fewer WHP events and take a break from the current format. Reaching the tenth season in 2015 will be a landmark moment for WHP but of course we have some things in the pipeline before we get to that".

Annie Mac, Sasha, James Zabiela and TEED lead the line-up for the Warehouse Project's New Year's Eve event this year, while Jamie Jones, Carl Craig, Dixon, Ame, Maceo Plex, Ben UFO and Joy Orbison head up the promoter's New Year's Day listings.

BPI backs new YouTube-based music channel from LoveLive
LoveLive has announced it is launching a new YouTube channel in partnership with label trade body the BPI that will "promote British music". And amongst the artists already set to appear on the channel are, erm, Irish band The Strypes, Kansas-born Janelle Monae and famous Jamaican Sean Paul.

Though some Brits will get a look in too, with on-demand and live shows planned that aim to increase the opportunities for bands to share live performances with their fans. Called Transmitter, the channel will also have a weekly magazine show called Live At 5.

Confirming it was backing the venture, BPI boss man dude Geoff Taylor told CMU: "YouTube has become the most popular place to listen to music online, but until now it hasn't been as easy as it should be for fans to discover new artists and keep up with the latest releases. Transmitter will feature a wide range of the UK's most exciting artists week in, week out in high-quality, original, new programming with a YouTube twist".

Meanwhile LoveLive's Will McGillivray added: "Transmitter aspires to be a genuinely new music channel for our times: By giving artists the opportunity to use the channel as a playground to collaborate, curate and celebrate the music that they love, we will create authentic and entertaining content that embraces pop culture in a fresh new way".

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Random Magic at Fire
Taking over all three rooms of the Fire club in Vauxhall, this only slightly early Hallowe'en themed night sees Omar S from FXHE Records jet in from Detroit to promote his third album along side the Futureboogie crew with Maxxi Soundsystem, Hackman & Lukas, Christophe and the Futureboogie DJs. Room two is hosted by the Classic Recording Company vs Horse Meat Disco, with Luke Solomon, Dan Beaumont and Honey Dijon live. And is that wasn't enough to be getting on with, in room three you get JD Twitch & JG Wilkes doing an "All Night Long Set". Looks like a big knees up South of the river.

Saturday 26 Oct, 10.00pm-7.00am, Fire, South Lambeth Road, SW8, £12.50-£17.50, more at
CLICK HERE to read and share online

Michael Jackson tops dead rich list again
Having 'lost out' in 2012 to Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson has again been named the highest earner in the Forbes' rich list I'd least like to feature on, that of bankable dead celebrities.

The late King Of Pop, who died in 2011, drew an estimated £98.8m in the past year, beating his living parallel, highest earning not-dead celebrity Madonna, who only made £77m.

The majority of Jackson's posthumous income is thanks to Cirque Du Soleil's two MJ tribute shows, 'Immortal' and 'One', whilst his estate also receives substantial earnings from his music (obviously) and his 50% stake in the Sony/ATV Lady Gaga/The Beatles/Taylor Swift-encompassing music publishing catalogue.

Find the full dead rich list, which includes Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, John Lennon, and a 'new entry' in Mexican-American singer Jenni Riveraon, who died last year in a plane crash, on the Forbes site.


Elton John biopic is on
First rumoured in 2011, Elton John's long-in-the-pipeline biopic 'Rocketman' is now looking like it'll actually um... come out of the pipeline.

Actor Tom Hardy (who looks like this) will play Elton (who looks like this) in the film, which is being made with the cooperation of John and his business partners, and so will include his songs on its soundtrack. Hurrah. Shooting is mooted to begin in late 2014.

Steve Hamilton Shaw, the CEO of John's production co Rocket Pictures, gushes thus: "Tom is a stellar talent who will add extraordinary depth and nuance in bringing Elton's story to life. We are excited to have such a gifted actor on board".


Next The Who tour to be the last
The Who have said they will cease touring after a series of fiftieth anniversary dates in 2015, which at least gives fans time to experience all five stages of grief at a leisurely pace.

Revealing all that via the Evening Standard, Pete Townshend says: "For the 50th anniversary we'll tour the world. It'll be the last big one for us. There are still plenty of places we've not played. It would be good to go to eastern Europe and places that haven't heard us play all the old hits".

Talking of which, a memorial box-set of The Who's 1969 LP 'Tommy' is released on 11 Nov.


Blue's Simon Webbe in the red
Oh dear. Simon Webbe has joined his bandmate Duncan James in Blue's burgeoning bankruptcy club, having reportedly filed papers in late September, around the same time as his Blue buddy.

Covering the story, the BBC cites an interview Blue gave earlier this year when their latest LP, 'Roulette', was released, in which James, Webbe et al said they had "sent themselves off to business school" to study music management so they could take control and release the new record themselves.

Blue apparently said at the time that the LP was all "a bit of a gamble", which explains the name, if not the pay off.

Instant grat sales of new Gaga track not chart eligible
Lady Gaga's rather haphazard 'ARTPOP' campaign has hit the skids, well, a little bit, with the news that her new single 'Do What You Want' has been declared "chart ineligible" in the UK.

First released as a so-called 'instant grat' incentive to Little Monsters paying for 'ARTPOP' in advance, the song - a collaboration with R Kelly - was later promoted to an official single once it got a positive fan reaction, so that people can also buy the song on its own, rather than getting access to it by pre-buying the new LP, which is out on 11 Nov.

As previously reported, the Official Charts Company changed its rules earlier this year so that individual tracks distributed via an 'instant-grat' promotion could still count for the singles chart, even though in theory they have been sold as part of an album package. But the exception can only apply to one track per album.

Gaga already did the instant-grat thing with 'ARTPOP' track 'Applause', so 'Do What You Want' instant-grat tracks can't count for the UK singles chart. But more than that, because the data provided by download stores doesn't distinguish between tracks sold as part of an album package and tracks sold as individual singles, the OCC can't count the latter either.

Which means, the Charts Company has confirmed, sales of 'Do What You Want' will only "become eligible to chart once the current chosen promotional period ends and the full album is released on 11 Nov".

And here is that bit of ineligible Gaga.


Arcade Fire stream Reflektor
So, Arcade Fire's highly-hyped new LP, 'Reflektor', is streamable right now online.

And that's all there is to say, really.

It's released officially next week, and yet, here it is, via this here ArcadeFireSonovox.

Festival line-up update: Le Guess Who, LEAF, Bloodstock and more
So, Dutch indie puzzle Le Guess Who? has signed up the unanimously good likes of Dirty Beaches, PINS and Darkstar to its unanimously good line-up, which is headed up by Yo La Tengo, Mark Lanegan, Damien Jurado, Destroyer, Ty Segall and Glasser.

And hey, news next on Megadeth, who are confirmed as headliners of next year's Bloodstock Open Air festival, and will play all of their 1994 LP 'Youthanasia' to boot. Of that, they say this: "Every year Megadeth and our UK fans get closer and celebrate another year of metal greatness together. This is the beginning of 2014... the best is yet to come".

Indeed, it is. If by 'best' they meant lists of artist additions to aaaalll the following festivals...

BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR, Catton Hall, Derbyshire, 7-10 Aug 2014: Megadeth.

CHAGSTOCK, Whiddon Down, Chagford, Devon, 18-19 Jul 2014: Pauline Black, The Selecter.

FREEZE, Clapham Common, London, 27 Nov - 1 Dec: AlunaGeorge, Toddla T, Clean Bandit, Route94, Knytro, Nicola Bear, Ste-V-Something, K1r3y, Dan Gleeson, Captain Woody, Liam Bone, Thick Bleach.

LEAF, various venues, London, 7-10 Nov: French Fries, Martelo, Cadenza, Sophie, Auntie Flo.

LE GUESS WHO?, Utrecht, Netherlands, 28 Nov - 1 Dec: Mad Professor, Eric Copeland, Dirty Beaches, PINS, Mickey Lightfoot, Dump, Darkstar, DM Stith, Roly Porter, Superhumanoids, Adult Jazz, Piano Interrupted, Magnetix, Michael Feuerstack, Séan Rua, Michael Chapman, Glenn Jones, Ashraf Sharif Khan, La Flama Blanca, Mike Donovan, DJ Fitz, DJ Quesadilla, Filho da Mãe.

MOSELEY FOLK FESTIVAL, Moseley, Birmingham, 29-31 Aug 2014: Lau.

REBELLION, Blackpool Winter Gardens, 7-10 Aug 2014: The Chameleons, King Kurt, ATV, Americans Total Chaos, Israeli punks Useless ID, Demented Are Go, The Cravats, Klingonz, Germany's Razors, The Agitators, Americans Toxik Ephex, Blest Mess, 3CR, Blatoidea, Noise Agents.

CMU Beef Of The Week #179: HMV v Apple
So the recently rejuvenated Nipper the dog took a bite out of the Apple this week, though it remains to be seen if the fruit was poisoned like the legendary tragic apple Steve Jobs famously didn't base his company's logo on. By which I mean, HMV has been beefing with Apple this week. And why the hell not?

The old HMV had reason enough to despise the big bad Apple of course. While HMV bosses and their major label buddies were all enjoying the taste of the sand ten years ago, the tech firm built the iPod, launched the iTunes music store, kick-started a revolution, and kept much of the spoils for itself.

By the time HMV management had successfully scheduled a meeting titled 'The Massive Opportunities Presented By Digital Music', Apple and its boss man Steve Jobs had already nailed it, achieved market domination, and rescued their business in the process.

And while Apple celebrated by expanding their digital store, inventing the iPhone and persuading the world we did all need tablet computers after all, HMV marked the occasion by launching one of the shittest digital music stores ever, the original HMV Digital.

Of course the indie labels who had long bemoaned HMV for not stocking their releases, or giving priority racking to cash-rich majors, possibly smiled at this turn of events (well, they possibly did once Apple finally started talking to the indies and opened up the potential of iTunes to all).

But fast track to today, and the all new HMV, bought out of administration by Hilco earlier this year, and feeling much more youthful for it. HMV's sack of spite towards iTunes wasn't part of the acquisition; the new guard are all able to admit to their predecessors' self-inflicted misfortune, and Team Hilco must know they'd never have got to buy a classic British music brand like HMV for the price they paid had the firm not so spectacularly screwed up digital.

So why the new feud? Well, now its Apple who controls a vital route to market, and is busy exploiting that power. Last week the all new HMV launched its download store, a mobile-centric platform that aims to link the firm's in-store experience with the online world: get out your smart-phone, take a photo of any CD in-store, and download the digital version there and then over that there mobile internet.

The new service centres on proprietary Android and iOS apps which enable customers to browse HMV's digital store (actually the 7digital store rebadged), buy tracks and download them to their device, all through the app. Well, except with the iOS app the transaction actually occurs via the user's mobile web browser, which is interesting because that violates one of Apple's well known app rules, which are designed to ensure that any selling to iPhone owners is done via the tech giant's own infrastructure, so it can take a cut.

That HMV was able to offer that functionality, despite it contravening Apple's app rules, was surprising; indeed even HMV bosses seemed surprised they were getting away with it, but the app had been approved by the iPhone-maker they said, so all would be fine, right? Well, no. Apple may have green-lighted HMV's app, but they hadn't noticed the rule-breaking transactional element, and their terms and conditions allow approval to be quickly withdrawn if rules are not followed.

And so within 24 hours of HMV going live with its new apps, the call came in from Apple HQ, lose the rule-breaking functionality or we'll suspend the app for our store. HMV initially seemed to refuse, but as it became clear Apple wasn't bluffing the retailer instructed its developers to rework its iOS product. Though said work wasn't complete before Apple's "unrealistic" (tweeted Hilco chief Paul McGowan) deadline, and so the app was suspended from the tech firm's store.

Having documented his company's Apple squabbles on Twitter, McGowan formally hit out at the iPhone company after the HMV app was suspended. "It is disappointing that Apple has chosen to suspend an app that has proven to be very successful in only a few short days despite Apple having already approved the exact same version on 15th September" he said. "We are unable to explain the change in Apple's position as we have been given no explanation by them as to any difference they view between the approved version and the one suspended this evening".

Given HMV's app clearly violated an Apple rule, several developers have since said that the retailer really should have specifically raised the transactional element of their app with Apple before going live, to ensure there would be no issues. That they did not possibly suggests a little naivety on the part of the new Team HMV, just as they try to convince the music industry that this time the company really knows what it's doing with digital.

Unless they knowingly walked into the field of conflict.

It's no secret that many digital music retailers resent Apple's app policies, and see those regarding in-app commercial transactions as a blatant exploitation of the firm's walled-garden ecosystem in order to protect the iTunes business from its competitors. And some of those digital content sellers wonder whether the practice shouldn't be causing some concern for competition regulators like the UK's Competition Commission. Perhaps a high profile dispute on this issue could be a catalyst for some sort of investigation?

Fighting a PR war with Apple is always risky, and there's nothing to actually suggest that HMV actively wanted to fight such a fight. But the firm's trade body, the Entertainment Retailer's Association, which counts numerous digital music operations amongst its membership, but not iTunes, was quick to use the HMV v Apple skirmish as an excuse to bring up the bigger issue.

"The dispute between HMV and iTunes highlights, we believe, serious issues of competition in the digital entertainment world" it said. "iTunes is by far the dominant player in music downloads with a marketshare estimated to be over 70%, but just as importantly it also maintains an iron grip on access to the hugely powerful iPhone/iPad platform, which effectively hinders competitors from reaching millions of consumers and stands in the way of innovation. With market power comes responsibility and we urge iTunes to act responsibly and allow the development of a free market in music online".

So far Apple has said nothing, which isn't really in the spirit of the Beef Of The Week, but it will be interesting to see if this dispute just fizzles out, or whether some more serious beefing is upcoming.


Some Blunt tweets
And finally, to celebrate the release of James Blunt's brand new album this week (you're all excited, right?) let's just pause to remember that, whatever you think of the man's insipid shit music/marvellous moments of musical magic (delete as applicable), he's become an undeniable king of the Twitter put-down.

Amongst the tweets Blunt has recently retweeted with response are...

@lizziea1: I want to kick James Blunt... repeatedly... I dont know why
@jamesblunt: Easy spelling mistake as K and L are right beside each other.

@blackeyelined: Who is a bigger twat: James Blunt or Robin Thicke?
@jamesblunt: Me! Me! Pick me!

@MigsterMMA: Jesus christ, James Blunt's got a new album out. Is there anything else that can go wrong?
@jamesblunt: Yes. He could start tweeting you.

@RobMakin: James Blunt's back with a new single! This may be the worst thing that's happened in my life.
@jamesblunt: Good sense of perspective there.

@AtaraMcBooth: Who the fuck is cheering for fucking James Blunt.
@jamesblunt: My mum's in the audience.

@nattikate: Really annoyed at myself for liking the new James Blunt song cos I really don't like him!
@jamesblunt: Massive compliment! I think.

@laurenlyall: Why does James Blunt sing like his willy is being stood on?
@jamesblunt: Damn thing's always getting caught under my feet.

ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
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CHRIS COOKE | Co-Publisher, Business Editor & Insights Director
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business, and is MD of CMU publisher UnLimited Media.
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ALY BARCHI | Staff Writer
Aly reports on artist news, coordinates the festival, gig and release round up columns, and contributes to the CMU Approved column. She also writes for CMU's sister title ThisWeek London.
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SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
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Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of UnLimited Media she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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