CMU Daily - on the inside 8 Jan 2004
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In today's CMU Daily:
- Righteous - BPI may target Amazon in its anti-parallel importing campaign
- Outkast top NAACP nominations
- Harrison estate sues over-demanding doctor
- Beatles in America DVD due
- Jacko hands back passport
- Green Day on the long awaited next album
- Belle and Sebastian get Avalanches remix
- New Warners owner may continue EMI merger talks
- Pop Idol Michelle heading for number one
- Virgin drop Mel C
- 1xtra gives away digital radios
- Gates announces next step in Microsoft digital media
- Strokes release delayed
- Digital TV still faces uphill struggle
- Dotmusic no more
- Eberg London gig

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NEW YEAR, NEW ADDRESS
Please update your databases and send CDs for review in the CMU Daily and our sister publications to Music Reviews, UnLimited Media, Grampian House, Meridian Gate, London, E14 9YT 

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BPI MAY TARGET AMAZON IN ITS ANTI-PARALLEL IMPORTING CAMPAIGN
The BPI may extend its current legal campaign against foreign music etailers who sell CDs direct to UK customers to the US arm of Amazon. The news comes as the trade organisation prepares to take Hong Kong based CD Wow to court over allegations the etailer acquires CDs outside the European Economic Area and then sells them via its website straight to consumers in Great Britain - enabling them to undercut both online and high street CD retailers within Europe. 

The campaign is the first major attempt by the BPI to stop so called 'parallel importing' - the practice of buying goods in one territory and then selling them in another without the permission of the original suppliers. The legalities are the same as those pursued by Levi's over Tesco when the supermarket chain bought the brand's clothing in Eastern Europe and then sold it cut price in the UK. It is through the online sale of CDs that the practice, which is illegal in the US, has started to affect the music industry over here.

The BPI has issued legal proceedings against play.com on the same grounds and reports in the FT yesterday suggested action against Amazon.com was being prepared as we speak. However a spokesperson for the company told reporters: "We are not aware of any action the BPI may or may not be taking. We clearly respect copyright laws in all the countries we operate in."

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OUTKAST TOP NAACP NOMINATIONS
Despite their recent run in with civil rights icon Rosa Parks over the use of her name as the title of an album track, Outkast have been nominated for six awards at this years NAACP Image Awards, the American awards show that "honours projects and individuals of all races who have helped promote images of people of colour". The duo have the most nominations this year - up for, amongst other things, Most Outstanding Duo Or Group and Best Album for 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below'. 

Other musical names who faired well when the Image Award nominations were announced yesterday include Beyonce - up for five gongs including Best Female Artist - and Luther Vandross - who has four nominations including Best Male Artist.

Voted for by show business professionals and NAACP officials from across the US, the Image Awards take place on 6 Mar.

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HARRISON ESTATE SUES OVER-DEMANDING DOCTOR
The estate of George Harrison is suing one of the singer's doctors for $10 million over allegations he mis-used his relationship with the former Beatle to boost his personal profile and to gain publicity for his hospital. It is also claimed that Dr Gilbert Lederman of Staten Island University Hospital coerced Harrison to sign souvenirs.

Via his legal people Lederman has denied all the allegations though he has offered to auction a guitar Harrison signed for him for a charity agreed by both sides. Ledermann calls that a "good will gesture", though lawyers for the Harrison camp say the offer is just 'spin' to try and guilt them into dropping their lawsuit. 

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BEATLES IN AMERICA DVD DUE
Talking of the Beatles, a new DVD will be released next month that follows the Beatles on their first ever visit to America 40 years ago. Featuring that legendary appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show plus buckets of backstage footage shot by pioneering film-makers Albert and David Maysles the DVD should give a real insight into Beatlemania at its peak. The documentary will be premiered at screenings in New York, Los Angeles and London before going on retail release here on 9 Feb.

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JACKO HANDS BACK PASSPORT
Michael Jackson has handed back his passport to Santa Barbara police. As previously reported, he was given back his passport when he was formally charged because his people claimed the singer was contracted to be in the UK over the festive period. In the end the British visit did not happen, but Jacko chose not to honour earlier requests by Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon to confirm whether or not the trip was taking place, and if not to return the passport immediately. By the agreement reached at the time charges were made Jackson was due back in the country on 6 Jan - hence the returning of the passport yesterday. Jacko is due in court to face those child abuse charges on 16 Jan.

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GREEN DAY ON THE LONG AWAITED NEXT ALBUM
Green Day's Joe Armstrong has spoken about the band's first new album in four years on their official website. He says: "We have a new album. I'm really excited about it. I think it's going to blow some people away. It's really blowing me away and that's why I play music. I know it's taken me about three and a half years so far to blow myself away, but I just want to make sure. I wouldn't say I'm a perfectionist, but I just want things to be great. I want things to be exceptional."

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BELLE AND SEBASTIAN GET AVALANCHES REMIX
Belle and Sebastian will release their next single on 16 Feb. The track is 'I'm A Cuckoo', taken from the 'Dear Catastrophe Waitress' album. More exciting, however, is the promise of an Avalanches remix of the track which is being described as "a tribal percussion reworking" featuring a Melbourne-based Sudanese choir.

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NEW WARNERS OWNER MAY CONTINUE EMI MERGER TALKS
Well, now the rumour machine reckons that having bought Warner Music, Edgar Bronfmann Jr is keen to re-open merger talks with EMI. Whether the London major will be willing to enter into such talks remains to be seen - the original EMI Warner deal was essentially a takeover by the former of the latter, and Bronfmann will be looking for, at the very least, a more 50/50 deal. Either way, the rumour seemed to help EMI's share price yesterday.

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POP IDOL MICHELLE HEADING FOR NUMBER ONE
Pop Idol's Michelle looks likely to take the number one spot no problem in the chart this Sunday. Word is she is already well ahead of the current top three selling singles - Gary Jules, The Osbournes and Victoria Beckham.

Talking of Pop Idol, word is 19's Simon Fuller has signed up both runners up from the second series of the show - Mark Rhodes and Sam Nixon - with the plan to partner them as a Robson and Jerome style double act. The plan is to release a debut duet on 9 Feb - a version of the Beatles' 'With A Little Help From My Friends'. Let's hope it's a bit better than Will Young and Gareth Gates' version of 'The Long & Winding Road'.

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VIRGIN DROP MEL C
Virgin Records confirmed speculation yesterday that they are parting company with Melanie C. That means they have now dropped all the former Spice Girls - Emma Bunton and Mel B were dropped in 2001 and Victoria Beckham in 2002. Geri is still signed to sister label EMI.

Announcing Mel C's departure Virgin told reporters: "We can confirm that Melanie is no longer with Virgin Records. We were having discussions over the last few months but all agreed it was best to part ways. Melanie began work on new songs before Christmas and will continue writing when she returns from her holidays. Melanie wants to release her own records in future and will not be looking to sign a new deal."

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1XTRA GIVES AWAY DIGITAL RADIOS
The BBC's urban music station 1Xtra is staging an on air promotion giving away DAB radio players - targeting in particular those listeners who currently tune in via digital TV or the web. Throughout Jan listeners will be encouraged to phone in when they hear a specific sound to be in with a chance of winning the digital radio sets.

1Xtra's Programmes Editor Willber Willberforce told reporters: "It's our way of saying thanks to the listeners and will certainly give parents a break, allowing the TV to be a TV, and give listeners the chance to listen to 1Xtra in the way intended. DAB radio is at the cutting edge of modern technology, our audiences thirst to be first and our commitment to them will be achieved."

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GATES ANNOUNCES NEXT STEP IN MICROSOFT DIGITAL MEDIA
Bill Gates announced Microsoft's next venture in digital media at the Consumer
Electronics Show is Las Vegas yesterday. The Windows XP Media Center Edition aims to make consumers' digital media collections - including music - available in every room in the house. Basically you store your movie and audio files on your computer, but have a special receiver on your TV or Xbox which allows you to watch or listen to your content elsewhere in your home - even if someone else is using the computer. It is seen as the first step towards the creation of a one-box unit which acts as your TV, hi-fi, computer and games console. 

In the portable arena Gates announced partnerships with a number of hardware manufacturers including Gateway, Creative Labs, Samsung, and SANYO who will produce portable media center-compatible devices that allow consumers to view digital media from a handheld device via the Windows Media Video and Audio 9 series of media player. Digital entertainment companies CinemaNow and Napster will supply content for the player. 

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STROKES RELEASE DELAYED
The Strokes new single 'Reptilia', due for release this Monday, will now be released on 12 Jan. According to the NME the delay is down to artwork difficulaties. The single is the second from current album 'Room On Fire'. 

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DIGITAL TV STILL FACES UPHILL STRUGGLE
Following the upbeat report yesterday that Freeview sales were booming, a new report was released yesterday that revealed 13% of households have said they have no interest in upgrading to digital television. It's bad news given the government's ambitions to turn off analogue TV signals at the end of the decade. 

The report, conducted by research firm Generics for the Department of Trade and Industry, reckons that 13% of householders are dead against converting to digital on any terms, while a further three in 10 households have no plans to switch but remain open to persuasion. The report suggests the rapid increase of digital households (to either Sky, cable or Freeview) in recent years will slow down and that over a third of the population will prove resistant to upgrading - even though Freeview boxes now retail for as little as £60. 

Somewhat stating the obvious' the report recommends the government concentrate on the artistic rather than technical benefits of upgrading to digital TV in order to persuade the so called "digital refuseniks". That will be good news to the BBC - whose sometimes criticised BBC4 and BBC News 24 services are seen as channels that usually reluctant consumers may consider upgrading to digital for. 

The report also expresses concern that the Freeview signal does not reach enough of the country yet and points out, as we did yesterday, that even digital TV houses often contain a number of portable sets that receive analogue signals. 

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DOTMUSIC NO MORE
dotmusic - the music website originally set up by Music Week and then owned by a number of web players - is no more. Following its takeover by Yahoo as part of the BT Yahoo partnership (BT were its most recent owners) the service will be integrated into the Launch.co.uk service next week.

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EBERG LONDON GIG
Eberg - the Icelandic man who invented the eHarp - is set to headline a highly anticipated London gig at the Windmill in Brixton on 14 Jan. With music that floats somewhere in between acoustic ambient and lazy electronic psychedelia the great man will have support from Mendicant & Pups. Go check. Press by Ferrera PR

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