The five biggest stories in the music business this week…
01: The BPI asked The Pirate Party to stop circumventing Pirate Bay blocks. The UK record industry trade body sent a letter to the boss of the Pirate Party requesting that his organisation stop operating a proxy that means that customers of those ISPs which are, under court order, blocking access to the Pirate Bay, can still access the controversial file-sharing site. The quick route to circumventing the Bay block is accessible via the Pirate Party’s website and appears high up in Google searches for the file-sharing site too. Pirate Party boss Loz Kaye said he was considering his response. The letter may be a precursor to legal action by the BPI in a bid to stop those people trying to help others circumvent the Pirate Bay blockades. CMU report | BBC report
02: Newzbin2 closed down. The file-sharing community is important in the context of UK copyright law, because it was the movie industry’s successful efforts to force British ISPs to block access to it that set the precedent that let the BPI get injunctions to block The Pirate Bay. The original Newzbin was forced offline by the British courts on copyright grounds, but Newzbin2 was set up outside the UK. Despite being blocked by many British net firms, most users would have been able to get passed the blocks. However, the movie industry also put pressure on various payment service providers to not take monies from Newzbin2 users, meaning the operators of the site cannot afford a much needed upgrade, motivating the shut down. CMU report | Slyck.com report
03: Four bidders remained in the EMI song catalogues race. BMG, Because and Kobalt/G2 have all put in second round bids for the EMI song catalogues being sold by Sony/ATV, which agreed to offload some European assets in order to get regulator approval for its takeover (with others) of EMI Music Publishing. Warner Music is also expected to put in a full bid to buy the Virgin and Famous UK catalogues. Nine parties are thought to have made initial bids, but only these four are still in the running. CMU report | Billboard report
04: Universal appointed a Sony man to run Capitol. Most of the frontline label operations in the US previously owned by EMI will now be headed up by Steve Barnett, who was headhunted by new EMI owners Universal Music this week. Barnett has been a long-time staffer with Universal’s rival Sony Music, most recently running Columbia Records in the US. His new division within Universal will include the Capitol, Virgin, Blue Note and Astralwerks labels Stateside, plus The Beatles catalogue. Capitol will be an autonomous division within Universal, which also has ambitions to launch a Capitol label in the UK once its sold off EMI’s Parlophone business (a sale forced by European regulators, of course). CMU report | LA Times report
05: Adele album passed the ten million units landmark in US. Somewhat aptly, ’21′ is the 21st album to sell that many copies in the US since Neilsen SoundScan began recording such data in 1991. Meanwhile Louis Walsh told Q magazine that he thinks Adele is crazy for having a relaxing year, she having performed and recorded very little in 2012, firstly because she was recovering from a bad throat, then there was the having a baby business. “Fine, have a baby, but then get back out there”, said Walsh. Perhaps she’ll take his advice once she realises she’s only the 22nd best paid musician in the world this year. CMU report | Guardian report
This week on CMU, we interviewed Japanese instrumental post-rock/classical hybrid band Mono, Liverpudlian folkists Stealing Sheep put together a playlist for us, and Eddy Temple-Morris selected some of the artists he’s most looking forward to hearing more in 2013. Meanwhile, in the Approved column we had new music from Francis Neve, Hype Williams, Autre Ne Veut, and US Girls.