TODAY'S TOP STORY: One of the current operators of The Pirate Bay has told Torrentfreak that the community of up to 50 people who have run the site in recent years are now considering their options after Swedish authorities seized servers crucial to their operation last week, knocking the always controversial file-sharing website offline. But despite past boasts that the Bay was now pretty much raid-proof... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Every weekday in the run up to the Christmas break, we'll be revealing another of our ten favourite artists of the year. See the full list of artists announced so far here. Next up is Run The Jewels... Killer Mike and El-P, two 39 year old married-with-kids rappers, ripped another big, noisy rent in the hip hop fabric earlier this year when they released 'RTJ2', their latest LP as... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Pirate Bay operators taking a break as copycat sites gain momentum
LEGAL Closing arguments given in Apple anti-trust case
DEALS Greg Kurstin extends publishing deal with Sony/ATV
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES SFX to relaunch Beatport as streaming service
Audiam raises another million in finance from the industry
MEDIA Clara Amfo to front Radio 1's Official Chart Show
OfCom investigating Radio 4 over Bob Marley weed report
ARTIST NEWS Diiv bassist criticised over "toxic" 4chan posts
ONE LINERS ASCAP, Iggy Azalea, Modest Mouse and some BRITs stuff. Oh, and way more than all that.
AND FINALLY... More people in Norwich than expected are willing to watch The Maccabees play live if it's free
Click JUMP to skip direct to a section of this email or ONLINE to read and share stories on the CMU website (JUMP option may not work in all email readers). For regular updates from Team CMU follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.
Office space to rent with Full Time Hobby and SALT Films. Music and film companies looking for another likeminded company to share a new office space at Tileyard Studios. £300 per desk including most bills (phone separate). For full information click here.
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We are looking for an exceptional, sales focussed account manager to join our ticketing team. In order to be considered for the role you will need to have an in-depth understanding of electronic music relevant to RA's core audience, both in the UK and internationally, and ideally will already have relationships with some of the key players in our industry.

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Pirate Bay operators taking a break as copycat sites gain momentum
One of the current operators of The Pirate Bay has told Torrentfreak that the community of up to 50 people who have run the site in recent years are now considering their options after Swedish authorities seized servers crucial to their operation last week, knocking the always controversial file-sharing website offline. But despite past boasts that the Bay was now pretty much raid-proof, they are yet to seemingly agree concrete plans to get the service back online in an official form.

Although the recent generation of Pirate Bay operators have been generally less vocal than the site's one-time spokesman Peter Sunde back in the file-sharing hub's heyday, the fact that no statement had been made at all about last week's shutdown was surprising. But one anonymous Bay operator has now spoken, basically saying he and his colleagues are using the outage as an opportunity to take a break from running one of the most infamous piracy sites in the world.

Said the operator to Torrentfreak: "We were not that surprised by the raid. That is something that is a part of this game. We couldn't care less, really. We have however taken this opportunity to give ourselves a break. How long are we supposed to keep going? To what end? [And] we were a bit curious to see how the public would react".

Since The Pirate Bay went down, and it became clear that it wasn't going to spring back up with the day, various copies of the site have appeared online, and some of these are now starting to add new content to their databases. Amongst them is oldpiratebay.org being run by the guys behind isohunt.to, which itself was a site that emerged after the original isoHunt website was shut down after its operator lost a legal battle with the US movie industry.

isoHunt's homepage reads: "As you all probably know, the beloved Pirate Bay website is gone for now. It will be missed. It will be always remembered as the pilgrim of freedom and possibilities on the web. It's the symbol for a whole generation of the internet users. In it's honour we are making oldpiratebay.org search. We, the Isohunt.to team, copied the base of The Pirate Bay in order to save it to the generations of users. Nothing will be forgotten.
Keep on believing, keep on sharing!"

On the copycat sites, Torrentfreak's Pirate Bay man said: "Copycats are to be seen as a higher form of the proxies. If [The Pirate Bay's] code [wasn't] so shitty we would make it public for everyone to use, so that everyone could start their own Bay. Of course, there is a problem if [any TPB clones] try to scam people. But overall, we'd love to see a thousand Pirate Bays".

Closing arguments given in Apple anti-trust case
Lawyers presented their closing arguments yesterday in the legal battle over whether or not Apple behaved in an anti-competitive way in the earlier days of the iTunes music store, the legal team leading the charge against the IT giant having found another plaintiff last week.

As previously reported, Apple is accused of deliberately developing the software that ran on its iPod players so to stop rivals from launching download stores that worked with the then market-leading digital music player.

Although iPods could always play MP3s, for the first half decade that iTunes was in business the major labels would only sell digital tracks that came with digital rights management controls, and the only DRM system that worked on the iPod was Apple's own, called FairPlay, and only iTunes was allowed to sell files using that technology.

Rivals, most notably RealNetworks, tried to backwards engineer their own DRM systems that would work with FairPlay, but Apple kept tweaking its system to stop those files from playing; to the extent that it's alleged that updating software on the iPod resulted in tracks bought from rival download stores being deleted. The whole thing led to Apple having huge dominance in the digital music market, especially in the US and UK.

All this seems rather antiquated in 2014, given that the majors eventually dropped their insistence on DRM so that iTunes rivals could sell MP3s, and anyway, Apple is now rapidly losing its dominance over the digital music market as things shift over towards subscription and streaming services.

Nevertheless, long-running consumer-led legal action accusing Apple of anti-competitive behaviour only reached court recently, and if the IT firm loses the class action it might have to pay out compensation to any former customers affected by the software updates, plus an interesting precedent will be set in the tech sector.

As previously reported, those pursuing the case against Apple hit a snag earlier in the month when it turned out - the parameters of the case having been narrowed - that none of the specific claimants listed at the top of the class action could claim to have been directly affected by Apple's alleged dodgy practices. A class action needs at least one named individual attached to it, but lawyers subsequently managed to recruit Barbara Bennett, a 65 year old ice dancer no less, to fulfil that role.

Wrapping up the case for the jury yesterday, Patrick Coughlin, repping Bennett and former iPod owners everywhere, told the court, according to CNET: "[Apple] don't believe that you own your iPod. They believe that they still have the right to choose for you what third-party player can play on a device that you bought and you own".

Noting the allegation that iPod software updates deleted unofficial tracks, he said that Apple set out to "degrade your experience" so that there were songs "you can play one day [and then] you can't play the next".

But Apple's defender Bill Isaacson hit back, arguing that the idea everyone was losing their tracks with every iPod update was made up, and that this whole case was about lawyers postulating for the sake of it, and in doing so stifling technical innovation. He told the court: "This is all made up. It's lawyer argument. [There is] no evidence that [track deletion] ever happened ... there's no consumers, no iPod users, no surveys, no Apple business documents". He concluded by pleading that the jury not "hold a great company liable and tell them to stop innovating - to stop innovating based on nonsense".

As previously reported, Apple's official line is that the FairPlay updates were necessary to ensure the IT firm fulfilled its commitments to the DRM-hungry major labels, and that while it would have liked to make its DRM technology available to third parties, that risked making the system unreliable and consumer unfriendly.

Greg Kurstin extends publishing deal with Sony/ATV
Sony/ATV has extended its worldwide publishing deal with Greg Kurstin. The songwriter/producer has already had a relationship with the company for over a decade, so why bother changing now?

Talking up the deal, Sony/ATV CEO Marty Bandier said that Kurstin is one of the company's "most important songwriters" while the man himself said he was "very happy" to continue working with the "great team".

His manager, Rachel Kurstin, added: "It has been a pleasure working with our team at Sony/ATV. As Greg's manager, I feel like we have really accomplished a lot together during Greg's time with the company. I know Sony/ATV is leading the fight for the digital rights of songwriters and that is something we are proud to be a part of".

Up for Producer Of The Year at next year's Oscars and co-nominated for Best Original Song with Sia at the Golden Globes, Kurstin has songs on the forthcoming Charli XCX, Kelly Clarkson and Gwen Stefani albums. He's also working on a fourth album with singer Inara George as The Bird And The Bee.

SFX to relaunch Beatport as streaming service
Beatport is relaunching, people. According to the Wall Street Journal, an all new Beatport.com is in development which will see the site move into streaming music, launch a new EDM fan community element, and generally plug and promote and do gizmo stuff around all the festivals and events operated by its owner SFX.

SFX bought Beatport in early 2013, because it was buying anything vaguely linked to dance music in early 2013, though it was a sensible purchase given the download site's profile in the EDM community. Towards the end of last year the inevitable downsizing began as spin-off Beatport features, like the social network elements, were closed down, and the download company's team was consolidated with SFX's other techie acquisitions.

But following that streamlining, the plan for 2015 is now to grow the service, most notably by adding ad-supported and on-demand streaming, as well as community elements, and content and live streams related to SFX's weighty portfolio of dance music festivals and events around the world. Though the download store will also remain, for the time being at least.

It's not clear exactly how the streaming element of Beatport will work, or what labels are on board. Though unlike most other streaming music set-ups, Beatport streams could launch without the majors on board, given how much of the music downloaded from the existing Beatport store comes from EDM independents.

So that's all exciting isn't it? Beepy beep beep as the EDM kids say. No, really, they do. I met one once and that was all he said all night.


Audiam raises another million in finance from the industry
Audiam, the digital rights company set up by Tunecore co-founders Jeff Price and Peter Wells, has raised another million dollars in investment from a group of individual strategic investors, including some key music business players.

According to Billboard, the company's backers now include the likes of Tom Windish of the Windish Agency; Cliff-Burnstein, co-founder of Q Prime Management; Mark Geiger, and Berkely Reinhold of William Morris Endeavor; Victory Records owner Tony Brummel; Distrokid founder Philip Kaplan; Bill Silva of Bill Silva Entertainment; manager Tom Atencio and artists Jason Mraz and Jimmy Buffett.

As previously reported, Audiam was set up to help publishers and songwriters better manage the royalties they are due from digital services, initially focusing on YouTube but since moving into the wider streaming music space. Its client base now includes songwriters direct as well as labels and publishers.

Commenting on the business in which he is investing, Atencio said: "Price has identified a segment very early where there is opportunity because of all the streams that are not being fully paid out. You will notice that all the investors are from the music industry. Private equity and venture capital don't understand this business; its better to go with strategic investors".

Clara Amfo to front Radio 1's Official Chart Show
BBC Radio 1Xtra's Clara Amfo is to replace Jameela Jamil as presenter of Radio 1's 'Official Chart Show'.

Amfo, who has hosted 1Xtra's Weekend Breakfast show since joining the BBC last year, says in a statement: "It's an absolute honour to be taking the reins on a show as iconic as the 'Official Chart'. It is a dream come true and I can't wait to announce the UK's number one for the first time".

Jamil, meanwhile, says she is taking time off from Radio 1 to "travel and work abroad", a dream she's had her "whole life". She isn't leaving per se, mind, and will retain a "flexible" position at the station, just in case.

She adds: "Radio 1 are my family and have been incredibly supportive, and I am absolutely staying at the station but in a role that is flexible enough that I can leave the country for longer periods of time, than if I have a set weekly slot. I've literally never had more fun at work in my life than I do with Radio 1, and I hate to leave the chart, but I'm also excited for my next adventure".

In praise of Amfo, Radio 1 and 1Xtra controller Ben Cooper says: "Clara is a fantastic presenter with huge potential and I know that fans of the Official Chart will love her energy and passion for music. I'm proud that 1Xtra continues to develop young talent for the BBC and the wider industry".


OfCom investigating Radio 4 over Bob Marley weed report
BBC Radio 4 is facing close examination from media regulator OfCom over a so-called "puff piece", aired on the station's 'Today' programme last month, reporting on the creation of Marley Natural, the previously reported Bob Marley-branded 'global cannabis line'.

An OfCom spokesman has confirmed that the pre-recorded segment, presented by Simon Jack, is being investigated for claims it may have "condoned, encouraged or glamorised the use of illegal substances" at a time young people might have been listening.

Whilst Jack did add the disclaimer that it's illegal to buy cannabis in the UK, it looks probable that the BBC will admit the programme's producer should have worked harder to story the drug's social impact.

  CMU Artists Of The Year 2014: Run The Jewels
Every weekday in the run up to the Christmas break, we'll be revealing another of our ten favourite artists of the year. See the full list of artists announced so far here. Next up is Run The Jewels...

Killer Mike and El-P, two 39 year old married-with-kids rappers, ripped another big, noisy rent in the hip hop fabric earlier this year when they released 'RTJ2', their latest LP as Run The Jewels.

It's a collaborative mine that's proven richer than anyone, least of all the pair themselves, can ever have anticipated. At least, richer than you might have expected at this point in the two men's respective careers, give that, at their age, many an MCs' best years, and bars, are behind them. That's certainly not so with 'RTJ2', a record alive and twitching with the vital signs of the pair's respective personalities, strengths and skillsets, which have shone for so long solo, and shine all the stronger when linked together over one of El-P's dense, serrated beats (which, aside from the pair's 'chemistry', remain one of their most kingly assets).

Both consistently insistent forces in hop hop since the 1990s, NYC-based alternative chief Jamie 'El-P' Meline and Michael 'Killer Mike' Render - an Outkast associate and old pro of the Atlanta circuit - first banged heads circa Render's 2012 LP 'RAP Music', which El-P produced. Both say they felt like doing something less "intense" than 'RAP Music' and its El-P-released parallel, tar-black dystopia 'Cancer 4 Cure', and so the two joined voices like it was the most natural thing in the world, releasing 'Run The Jewels', their first LP, last year as a free download (pushing sales of the physical release), and then following it with a similar free giveaway of 'RTJ2' back in October.

"We wanted to just jump in and do something", El-P tells Rolling Stone of the project's modest-sized origins. "Neither of us really felt like we wanted the next thing to be something really heavy. We didn't want it to be our next big statement in terms of our solo careers. We just wanted to keep a vibe going that we had: having fun together and having a great time working together".

"The most beautiful thing about making this record was we made [it] from the standpoint of 'We don't give a fuck, it's dope', and that was it", adds Killer Mike.

"When we do something, it feels good" he goes on. "For the most part, man, it's just a celebration of dope. It's like two classy veterans that end up on the same team. Like [the way I see it], I'm at the championship. And I know I'm gonna get it with this little ginger motherfucker right here. There's no question in my mind. There's nothing like waking up knowing that. And that's straight up - we're unfuckwitable".

And he's dead on, the real beauty of Mike and El as Run The Jewels is exactly that: it isn't contrived... it just 'is', and is dope, end of conversation. Tracks like muscular 'RTJ' intro 'Jeopardy', which kicks off with a pumped-up clip of Killer Mike shouting in the booth, and ends on a lethal El-P line ("'Run The Jewels' is the answer, your question is 'WHAT'S POPPIN?'"), are the combined two-way noise of the duo having the time of their lives, matching A-game alpha male verses like hi-fives, and playing off the hard-earned lyrical athleticism of their 20 years apiece in the game.

But Run The Jewels are about a lot more than that hard-faced 'unfuckwitable' bravado and verbal agility, though no doubt those sit high in the RTJ armoury. But it's also the comic book-style conviction you come away with; having heard any one of their songs or watched or read any interview, you feel both Mike and El are acting on the side of right, or at least trying to... that they're two good men doing their best in a weary world.

Not that it's an easy fight; on timely 'RTJ2' title 'Early', Mike, a family man and son of a police officer, a short-lived crack dealer and lifetime activist who "[respects] the badge and the gun", lets fly on "pigs" who'd stop and frisk him for no good reason, in front of his wife and son.

Long and constantly vocal against "gang-like" police brutality and racial profiling in the US, this year Mike became an international spokesman for the protest over the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black eighteen year old, in Ferguson, Missouri. Having spoken about the situation both on CNN, and written about it in a painfully insightful op-ed for Billboard, he was also filmed giving a speech ahead of a Run The Jewels show, hours after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Brown.

"You motherfuckers got me today", said Mike, his voice cracking. "You kicked me on my ass today, because I have a 20 year old son and a twelve year old son, and I'm so afraid for them today".

"But I can promise you, if I die when I walk off this stage tomorrow, I'll let you know this: it is not about race, it is not a class, it's not about colour, it's about what they killed [Martin Luther King Jr] for. It's about poverty, it's about greed, and it's about a war machine. It's about a war machine that uses you. So as I go tomorrow, I might go the day after, the one thing I want you to know is that it's us against the motherfucking machine!"

To close, for now, from 'RTJ2' this is 'Oh My Darling (Don't Cry)'.
CLICK HERE to read and share online

Diiv bassist criticised over "toxic" 4chan posts
The bassist in American band Diiv, one Devin Ruben Perez, is facing widespread disdain (not least from his own band) over several "toxic" comments he made via online community 4chan.

A Tumblr blog titled 'Sexism In Music' yesterday reprinted several of the posts credited to 'Devin-Chan' that featured racist, homophobic and misogynist language. For instance, he called Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves a "bitch", before adding: "She's really fucking mean. I never did anything to her and she's always looking for ways to attack me and my friends, like a rabid FEMALE DOG".

Perez also repeatedly drops various racial and gay slurs, even making an anti-Semitic joke, and calling bass producer Zomby a "nigger". He later clarified: "I honestly don't regret saying any of the stuff that I did. No fucks given at all. It was all the truth really. I do regret calling Zomby a nigger (I'm part black anyway) and going off with that Burnstein goyim joke but I guess I was in 100% 4chan lingo mode".

Diiv lead singer Zachary Cole Smith was quick to state that he does not condone any of Perez's remarks, tweeting: "I will never EVER tolerate sexism, racism, homophobia, bullying, or bigotry of any kind. I'm doing everything to get to the bottom of this", and adding of the word "bitch": "Yes, I understand it is 4chan 'lingo'. But everybody who types that word knows what it really means and how much violence is attached to it".

Since the controversy showed no sign of dying down, a rep for the band also released a statement (part apology, part tirade against 4chan) via Pitchfork that read: "Cole and Devin are discussing what happened and his future in the band. Devin acknowledges what he did is very wrong. 4chan is a poisonous place. It's the bowels of the internet. A place where Devin lost sight of what's remotely appropriate and what isn't".

The statement went on: "But regardless of the context, what Devin said is inexcusable. It will not be tolerated in the band or anywhere. But ultimately Cole and Devin are very close friends so this is a very hard thing for him to swallow, seeing such unexpected behaviour like this from such a close friend. It is not being tolerated and is being dealt with right now".

ASCAP, Iggy Azalea, Modest Mouse and some BRITs stuff. Oh, and way more than all that.

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento last week announced his retirement after seventeen years in the role and 33 at the American collecting society. "I am able to retire with tremendous confidence in ASCAP's future", he said in a statement. He will officially step down on 1 Jan.

• Iggy Azalea has recorded a song with Britney Spears, which will be released in the new year. That's what Iggy Azalea says, anyway. "We have a song that's going to be her first single coming out next year", she told US radio station Kiss 108.

• P to the itbull, or Pitbull, has gaffer-taped a slightly shaky 'rap' onto the start of Taylor Swift's '1989'-derived track 'Blank Space', which apparently classifies as a remix these days. Sigh. Listen here.

• Diplo has confirmed that he will, via his and DJ peers Jillionaire and Walshy Fire's Major Lazer co op, release two LPs in 2015, the first in February and the next in September. The arrival of the new year will also signal the release of more collaborative tracks from his and Skrillex's Jack U project.

• Modest Mouse have used people's tendency to blab about everything on social media to announce their sixth album. Titled 'Strangers To Ourselves', the record will be out in March. The first single, 'Lampshades On Fire', is out today. The information was sent to fans last week with a seven-inch test pressing of the single, assuming correctly that they would tweet about it. Look.

• US R&B star Jhené Aiko has released a new video for her track 'Wading', taken from her third album, 'Souled Out'. You can watch it here.

• Panda Bear has released a very nice looking animated video for 'Boys Latin', taken from the Animal Collective man's new solo album 'Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper', which is due out in January. Here it is.

• Fat White Family have released the video for their new single, 'I Am Mark E Smith', which is good because the single's just come out. Like yesterday. Anyway, the video it watchable by clicking this link.

• Canadian throat singer Tanya Tagaq, winner of this year's Polaris Music Prize, will on 26 Jan release her LP 'Animism' over here in Britain, and there that is. And this? This is lead track 'Caribou'.

• Noise-pop five-piece September Girls, from Ireland, have this week released a moody video for their slick new single 'Black Oil', itself a track on the band's latest LP 'Veneer'. Let the clip sink in by viewing it now.

• The 'Tiny Tim' of pop town, singing side-fringe Tom Odell, is going to take a trip into the nation's woodlands next year, thanks in no small part to the Forestry Commission's 'Forest Live' banner. Odell will go down to the Bedgebury Pinetum near Tunbridge Wells first (19 Jun), winding up finally at Cannock Chase Forest in Staffordshire on 12 Jul.

• Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith will perform at next year's BRIT Awards, it has been announced. You could probably have guessed that, but it's nice to know for sure, isn't it? The ceremony takes place on 25 Feb.

More people in Norwich than expected are willing to watch The Maccabees play live if it's free
Around 100 people were apparently turned away from a Maccabees-headlined gig at Norwich Arts Centre on Sunday. The show was put on by the NME to celebrate the venue being named Britain's Best Small Venue by the magazine's readers. It therefore seems pretty appropriate that not everyone who wanted to go could fit in, but not everyone seems to see it like that.

Although the gig was free, fans were asked to apply for tickets in advance of the show at the 290-capacity club. But when they arrived, many found that they were unable to get in, despite having tickets in their hands.

According to the Eastern Daily Press, a rep for the NME explained that their ticketing system had allowed for an expected 40% of ticketholders to not show up. The ticketing system, it seems, did not account for almost 400 people in Norwich actually being quite keen to see The Maccabees.

In a statement published by the BBC, the NME said: "[It] was a free show and when calculating ticket allocations we have to factor in that some confirmed guests will not attend. Unusually ... and due to truly exceptional demand, it seems more than usual did indeed come along. We are deeply sorry for those of you who travelled to the show and did not make it in, and we really want to look into how we can make it up to you".

Norwich Arts Centre tweeted: "We want to say a big thank you to everyone who came down for The Maccabees and we are genuinely sorry that not everybody was able to get in".

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.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
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.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
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.
Email aly@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
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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Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

For details of the training and consultancy services offered by CMU Insights click here - Andy and Chris are also available to provide music business comment, just email them direct.

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