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GROOVESHARK CALLS FOR UNIVERSAL LAWSUIT TO BE DISMISSED
As previously reported, many in the music industry are critical of Grooveshark which is a bit like Spotify, but which lets users upload music to its catalogues. That means that, while it does have licenses from some music rights owners who supply their tracks direct, content belonging to most other record labels and publishers is also routinely available via the Grooveshark platform, uploaded by punters.
Those labels and publishers, Grooveshark insists, can always ask for their content to be removed and the digital firm will comply. And that 'takedown system', of course, is core to the streaming service's usual defence, because if it's users who upload infringing content, and if an operator has some sort of system to remove said content on request, then that digital company is not liable for the infringement under US copyright law.
But many rights owners reckon Grooveshark - and others - is abusing the takedown system defence provided by America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Those people claim that Grooveshark runs a deliberately shoddy takedown system, often ignoring takedown requests from anyone unlikely to sue, and allowing users to re-upload removed content almost as soon as it had been taken down. Opponents would also argue that Grooveshark's entire business relies on its streaming service having major label music, and with only one major label deal in place, that means a shoddy takedown system is necessary to ensure unlicensed content is available, so to assure traffic.
However, the problem for the majors is that the DMCA does not provide any minimum requirements for takedown systems on which Grooveshark could be assessed, and precedents set in the few court cases that have considered this matter have generally set the obligations of the digital operators very low, so that, under US copyright law, arguably a shoddy takedown system, and may be even a deliberately shoddy takedown system, is sufficient.
To that end Universal, which has led the legal assault against Grooveshark since EMI settled an earlier lawsuit and licensed the service in 2009, have been trying to find a way to sue the digital company where the issue of takedown systems would not be key to the case. Initial efforts to exploit a technicality in American copyright law (pre-1972 works are protected by state and not federal copyright law, and the DMCA is federal law) were seemingly abandoned after a judge in the EMI v mp3tunes case was dismissive of that argument.
So Universal's more recent lawsuit claims that employees of Grooveshark, including senior directors, are also uploading unlicensed content to the company's catalogues, to ensure all the hits are there. If it's employees rather than users uploading unlicensed tunes then the DMCA's takedown system provisions become irrelevant, and that's a straightforward case of copyright infringement. Universal - whose litigation has since been backed by both Sony and Warner - bases those claims on upload data it acquired from Grooveshark as part of the its first legal squabble, and an anonymous comment left on the Digital Music News website, allegedly written by an employee of the digital firm who claimed that bosses there instruct staff members to upload unlicensed content.
But in its application to have the Universal suit dismissed, Grooveshark says that the major has provided no tangible evidence of its employees uploading unlicensed music, nor has the major named any of the tracks that it believes were loaded into the Grooveshark catalogue in this way. "Such incomplete and indistinct allegations", Grooveshark's filing says, "do not satisfy the threshold pleading requirements necessary to state a claim for copyright".
As for the anonymous comment posted on Digital Music News, a copy of which is included in Universal's legal claim, Grooveshark's lawyers reckon that is nothing more than an "anonymous hearsay comment", and isn't something that should be presented as evidence in court. On more general matters, Grooveshark says that its service operates "within the bounds" of the DMCA, and that it "scrupulously" complies with DMCA takedown requests.
It remains to be seen if the courts agree with Grooveshark's viewpoint that Universal's evidence of direct infringement is so woeful that this case shouldn't even proceed to court. Though either way, this bitter legal battle is certain to hinder the streaming service's long term ambitions, in that it makes it less and less likely that the majors will ever license the platform, which may put off future investors, especially if the record and movie industries start lobbying in Washington for new obligations to be added to the takedown provisions in the DMCA (which everyone expects them to).
Then there's the global dimension, Grooveshark operates worldwide (though has voluntarily withdrawn from the German market after a spat with collecting society GEMA), and outside the US the takedown system defence does not apply, hence the Danish courts ordered an ISP there to block access to the streaming site. If the majors lose this one in the US courts, you can expect them to put the pressure on elsewhere instead.
And this is all relevant, because - according to internal emails between Grooveshark execs presented as part of Universal's lawsuit - the digital firm's grand plan is that eventually it will be such a big operator the major labels will have to play ball. But while it's true that the big rights owners were able to forgive past infringing ways when doing deals with some of the early digital platforms, YouTube among them, the labels seem less inclined to be forgiving these days, even if there are commercial advantages to forgiving, forgetting and doing a deal. And that 'no deal' resolve will only strengthen the more bitter and bitchy this legal squabble gets.
The majors are yet to response to Grooveshark's submission.
SCHMITZ SAYS HE'S THE SADDAM HUSSEIN OF THE INTERNET (SORT OF)
As previously reported, Schmitz was arrested in New Zealand in January along with three of his colleagues at the request of the US authorities. Seven Mega execs in total are accused of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering in relation to their former online operations, which were taken offline by officials in America. The US is now trying to extradite Schmitz and his former colleagues to face the charges against them.
There are parallels between the Grooveshark and MegaUpload cases, even if the former is a civil action and the latter a much more dramatic criminal case. MegaUpload also claims that it was its users that uploaded infringing content to its file-transfer and video-sharing sites, and that it operated a takedown system for rights owners to employ if they so wished, meaning the Mega company is protected for infringement claims under the DMCA. But, also like Grooveshark, rights owners - and in this case the US authorities too - say the Mega set up operated a deliberately shoddy takedown process, and that employees or affiliates of the company actually uploaded most of the infringing content, not users.
But, as with Grooveshark, Mega disputes those allegations, and accuses its opponents of having little evidence to back up their claims. Though Schmitz chose not to compare his plight with that of the Groovesharkers, but rather to that of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, which possibly isn't something you want to be comparing your business to really, however dodgy the US and UK's accusations against Hussein about weapons of mass destruction may have been.
But, Schmitz told New Zealand TV, in the same way America's case against Iraq in 2003 was full of politically-motivated bold but unsubstantiated statements, so is its case against him and the Mega empire. Rejecting the idea he is some kind of "piracy king", Schmitz told TV3: "It's kind of like weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, you know? If you want to go after someone and you have a political goal you will say whatever it takes".
Schmitz insisted that the content on his websites was uploaded by genuine users, and that his company operated the obligatory takedown system, giving 180 partners "including every major movie studio, and Microsoft" access to the MegaUpload platform to assist in the removal of unlicensed material. He then accused the US government of pandering to Hollywood, and to big content companies operating outdated business models.
The real problem, Schmitz argued, was content companies - and especially movie studios - staggering the release of movies across the planet, forcing those outside the US eager to see brand new releases onto the internet. According to The Guardian, he mused: "Piracy comes from, you know, people in Europe who do not have access to movies at the same time that they are released in the US. If the business model would be one where everyone has access to this content at the same time, you know, you wouldn't have a piracy problem".
He concluded: "So it's really, in my opinion, the government of the United States protecting an outdated monopolistic business model that doesn't work in the age of the internet and that's what it all boils down to. I'm no piracy king, I offered online storage and bandwidth to users and that's it".
Of course the US authorities - assuming they can extradite Schmitz et al and get their day in court - will bring up correspondence between various Mega execs where they referred to themselves as modern day pirates, as well as evidence they hope proves that the majority of the content on the Mega platform was put their by Mega affiliates, many of whom initially downloaded it from YouTube. And then there's the money laundering and racketeering allegations, which, in terms of jail terms, are more serious than any of the copyright charges.
But quite how good the evidence American prosecutors have amassed really is remains to be seen. Certainly Schmitz is in a fighting mood on this one, while accusing the American's of instigating a "death sentence without trial" by cutting off all of his assets and bank accounts overnight. The Mega team still hope to avoid even being extraditing to the US, but if this does all end up in an American courtroom, we should be in for an exciting trial.
MONKEES SINGER DIED OF HEART ATTACK, MEDICAL EXAMINER CONFIRMS
An autopsy took place yesterday and, according to TheWrap, Chief Medical Examiner Roger Mittleman subsequently revealed that Jones died of ventricular fibrillation resulting from severe coronary atherosclerosis.
Despite years of tension between the four members of the 60s TV-created band, three of the Monkees, including Jones, did reunite again last year, though that tour was brought to a halt half way through amidst issues with management.
But fellow Monkee Peter Tork revealed yesterday that discussions were underway about continuing that reunion in the near future, plans which, of course, are now off the agenda following Jones' death.
Read our Davy Jones obituary here: www.thecmuwebsite.com/article/davy-jones-1945-2012/
UK ANNOUNCES ENGLEBERT HUMPERDINCK FOR EUROVISION
Born Arnold Dorsey, Humperdinck got his unusual moniker in 1965 when his manager, Gordon Mills, decided that his original stage name, Gerry Dorsey, wasn't exciting enough. Mills co-opted the name of a nineteenth century German opera composer and Humperdinck never looked back. Between 1967 and 1969 he release five top ten albums, and has hit the top ten several times since with greatest hits compilations - the last in 2004 with 'Greatest Love Songs', which went to number four. He's best known for his 1967 version of 'Release Me', which went to number one in the UK and top ten in various countries around the world, including the US.
His Eurovision entry is being written by Martin Terefe and Sacha Skarbek, who between then have worked with the likes of Mary J Blige, Adele, Lana Del Rey and James Blunt.
Katie Taylor, BBC Head of Entertainment And Events said of the decision to make Humperdinck this year's Eurovision entrant: "Not since the 1970s have we had such an established international musical legend represent the nation. We couldn't be more delighted. Engelbert's experience leaves us in no doubt that he will be able to deliver a standout performance in front of 120 million viewers worldwide".
Humperdinck added: "It's an absolute honour to be representing my country for this year's Eurovision Song Contest. When the BBC approached me, it just felt right for me to be a part of an institution like Eurovision. I'm excited and raring to go and want the nation to get behind me!"
The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan on 26 May. While we wait to hear Englebert Humperdinck's entry, let's relive one of his finest moments: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPTXVqETBM4
INFLUENTIAL MUSIC TWITTERERS NAMED BY THE INDEPENDENT
Murs is in at 20, while One Direction's Styles is close behind at 22. Gary Barlow and Elbow frontman Guy Garvey meanwhile sit together in joint 43rd place. The top ten is also full of, erm, more music people. Former Xfm presenter Ricky Gervais and Radio 1's Chris Moyles are joint fourth, and BRITs host James Corden is joint tenth. What? Yeah, I know we don't like any of them, but they all have a vague connection to music so I'm claiming them as 'ours'. You've got to take what you can get.
Independent Editor Chris Blackhurst said of the list: "This year's 100 shows Twitter's massive growth to become a major source of news content. The influx of populist names further shows the speed at which Twitter can break mainstream stories directly through individuals themselves".
So, there you go. The list was compiled in conjunction with online influence measurer PeerIndex, which is mildly better than doing it with its rival Klout, which currently claims I'm particularly influential about 'postcard'.
Here's the top ten:
1 Richard Branson
HAPPY MONDAYS TO PERFORM WITHOUT BEZ
Happy Mondays dancer Bez has revealed that he will not be jiggling around with the band on their reunion tour. He told the NME at its awards ceremony on Wednesday night: "I won't be on the stage because my performing days are over. Basically I'm too old. I'm incapable of doing the job, I'm carrying too many injuries. All good things come to an end".
He will, however, be acting as a compere and DJ, so it's not like you won't see him if you're one of the weird people planning on going to these shows.
HOT CHIP PLOT NEW LP
And given this tracklist, I don't doubt that at all:
SMOKE FAIRIES ANNOUNCE SECOND ALBUM
Singer-songwriter Katherine Blamire, who will release the record with bandmate Jessica Davies via Universal's V2 Records on 21 May, says that, since album one, the duo have "become more confident in what we're doing, and so we've pushed things a bit more. We've gotten bolder with the dynamics, and our influences have broadened".
Touching on the LP's title track, she adds: "It's about the sense you get from stopping, thinking and just focusing on your surroundings. To listen to what your blood is telling you".
LIL WAYNE TO RELEASE SINGLE WITH LIMP BIZKIT
Entitled 'Ready To Go', the track is apparently just that, having been slated for release at some stage next week.
Says the Cash Money President of the single: "It'll be a great way to let the world know that [the band] is a part of us. It's rock, but it's hip-hop-rock. I think we got that hip-hop-rock swagger".
He continues: "Limp Bizkit, to me, is just a perfect match for us. It was something that [Durst] was interested in doing, and I was already a fan, and I was like: 'Let's do it'. It's good for the brand, it will bring a different look for us, and we're definitely trying to expand on that side of music".
So stay tuned, people, because my speechless silence will soon be filled by the sounds of 'Ready To Go', as and when the track is err... ready to go.
KAISER CHIEF TO JOIN NEXT WAR OF THE WORLDS TOUR
Announcing Wilson and Ellis's involvement in the next tour of his musical masterpiece, Wayne told CMU: "Over the years, I've been so fortunate to have had the participation of some truly great artists. For me, the real bonus is that I've always been a true fan of those who I've approached and when they've come on board, to me it's not been 'work', just great fun. Already, Ricky Wilson and Kerry Ellis, the first two guest artists for our New Generation tour, fall into that category. Ricky because of his command on stage with the wonderful Kaiser Chiefs, and Kerry who I saw in the original production of 'Wicked' in London's West End, whose voice and charismatic performance drew the audience to her like a magnet. I welcome them both to 'The War Of The Worlds'".
COLD SPECKS CONFIRMS DUAL HOXTON HALL DATES
Both shows take place with Cold Specks' previously reported debut album 'I Predict A Graceful Explosion', due out 21 May, in mind.
STEVE AOKI TO TOUR
31 Mar: Dublin, Academy
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
BEAUTIFUL DAYS, Escot Park, Devon, 17-19 Aug: Public Image Limited lead those acts first confirmed for The Levellers' Beautiful Days jaunt, which will also this year host Frank Turner & Sleeping Souls, Midlake, Richard Thompson, The Waterboys, New Model Army and a further raft of as yet unnamed artists. www.beautifuldays.org
BEERMAGEDDON, South Winfield, Derbyshire, 24-25 Aug: Thrash outfit Bloodshot Dawn and Twilight's Embrace serve to bolster the roster of this meaty metalfest, as also boasts the delightful collective presence of Imperial Vengeance, Evil Scarecrow, Fallen Fate, The Furious Horde, Sanguine and Diementia. www.beermageddon.co.uk
ELECTRIC ELEPHANT, The Garden Tisno, Petrica Glava, Croatia, 12-16 Jul: Michael Mayer, Andrew Weatherall, Chris Duckenfield, Ewan Pearson, Optimo and Feel My Bicep crest the initial wave of acts to strike Electric Elephant's buzzworthy bill, tickets for which can be doubled up with passes to Croatia's Garden Festival for a mere £150. Hurrah! www.electricelephant.co.uk
ELECTRIC PICNIC, Strabally Hall Estate, Co Laois, Dublin, Ireland, 31 Aug - 2 Sep: Initial names announced for this high-voltage Celtic break include The Cure, Sigur Rós, Elbow, Grizzly Bear, Orbital, The Roots, Hot Chip, Ed Sheeran, Metronomy, Roots Manuva, Azealia Banks, and countless others besides. www.electricpicnic.ie
END OF THE ROAD, Larmer Tree Gardens, Tollard Royal, Salisbury, 31 Aug - 2 Sep: It has been announced that the reunited Grandaddy will headline the Sunday night of this year's End Of The Road. So that's nice. Also on the bill are the brilliant Porcelain Raft and Dirty Beaches, plus Willis Earl Beal, The Alabama Shakes, Eagle And The Worm and The Deep Dark Shakes. www.endoftheroadfestival.com
HEINEKEN OPEN'ER, Gydnia, Poland, 4-7 Jul: Bloc Party, Public Enemy, Janelle Monáe and Gogol Bodello make for an eclectic bunch now destined to play at Poland's most beloved lager-backed music bash. Bjork, Franz Ferdinand and The xx figure highly amidst the line-up so far. www.opener.pl/en
HIDEOUT FESTIVAL, Zrce Beach, Pag, Coratia, 29 Jun - 1 Jul: Hideout has booked a seaworthy DJ roster featuring Annie Mac, Crosstown Rebels, Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound, Redlight, Drop The Mustard and Wax:On to helm its infamous series of boat parties, with such other beatsmiths as Chase & Status, Benga, Simian Mobile Disco, Seth Troxler and SBTRKT also listed to appear amidst the festival at large. www.hideoutfestival.com
LARMER TREE, Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, 11-15 Jul: Caravan Palace, The Correspondents, By The Rivers and Gabrielle Aplin are the latest acts absorbed into the familial Larmer Tree fold, the existing bill for which also stars Jools Holland, The Levellers, Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo, The Miserable Rich, Vintage Trouble and Raghu Dixit. www.larmertreefestival.co.uk
LOVEBOX, Victoria Park, London, 15-17 Jun: Lana Del Rey tops a list of latest Lovebox conscriptions, with Ms Dynamite, Redlight & MC Dread, The Nextmen and Booka Shade taking up space on a programme also hosting Hot Chip, Magnetic Man, Kelis, Friendly Fires, Azealia Banks, The Rapture, Niki & The Dove, Crystal Castles, Little Dragon and Skream. www.lovebox.net
NUTS IN MAY, Middlemoor, Workington, Cumbria, 4-6 May: This cracking Cumbrian fest will mark its first ever edition with live sets courtesy of 80s pop types like Hazel O'Connor and Nik Kershaw plus folk duo Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick. MJ Hibbett & The Validators, Emma's Imagination, Ahab and The Magic Tombolinos are amongst those also due to perform across Nuts In May's six whimsically named stages, which include Tufty's Den, The Nut Shack, and Cup Of Wonder. www.nutsinmayfestival.co.uk
PRIMAVERA SOUND, Par Del Forum, Barcelona, Spain, 31 May - 2 Jun: The Weeknd, Atlas Sound, Grimes, A$AP Rocky, SBTRKT and Washed Out make for part of a stellar line-up primed to play the Pitchfork Stage at this year's Primavera Sound. Elsewhere at the festival, proceedings include appearances by co-headliners Björk, The Cure and Franz Ferdinand, not to mention Beirut, Girls, Sharon Van Etten, The Rapture, Laura Marling, The War On Drugs and Yann Tiersen. www.primaverasound.com
RHYTHMS OF THE WORLD, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, 14-15 Jul: Junior Murvin, Speech Debelle, The Damned, Juju, Young Knives, Jassi Sidhu, Molotov Jukebox, Dizraeli And The Small Gods, Edgar Broughton, Skip 'Little Axe' McDondald, Inspiral Carpets' Tom Hingley, DJ Derek, Miss 600, My Passion and Don Broco are the first names to be released with many more acts yet to be announced. www.rotw.org.uk
SHOW OF HANDS, Sub Tropical Gardens, Weymouth, Dorset, 7 Jul: Singer-songwriter Steve Knightley is accompanied by double bassist Miranda Sykes and multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer atop the family-focused Show Of Hands roster, as also features famous folk figure Jim Moray. www.showofhands.co.uk
STREETFEST, Hearn Street Carpark, Shoreditch, East London, 6 May: At the musical end of this street culture celebration so far, and with additional listings yet to be announced, tipped alt-pop duo AlunaGeorge are set to appear beside DJ collective Piff Gang, It's Nate, Martelo and Boiler Room co-chief Thristian BPM. www.streetfest.net
T IN THE PARK, Balado, Kinross-shire, Scotland, 6-8 Jul: Simian Mobile Disco share line-up space with recent add-ons including Minneapolis indie quintet Howler and Perth-based electro duo Clouds. All three acts expand an existing bill featuring co-headliners The Stone Roses, Kasabian and Snow Patrol, plus such lesser performers as Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Florence And The Machine and The Vaccines. www.tinthepark.com
IMS LINE-UP ANNOUNCED
And amongst all the industry types to speak will be a fair few artists and DJs too, in particular Nile Rodgers from Chic, producer and DJ Diplo, Professor Green, Carl Cox and Paul Oakenfold. From the label side Mute's Daniel Miller will be offering insights, while on the live side Cream chief James Barton will be marking his 20 years in business with a keynote address. Also keynoting will be Twitter's Head Of Music Partnerships Tatiana Simonian.
And that's just the start of it all - check out the full line up at www.internationalmusicsummit.com. This year's IMS takes place from 23-25 May.
UNIVERSAL OWNER POSTS RECORD PROFITS, BUT REMAIN CAUTIOUS
The company's particularly good performance in the last year was in no small part down to its booming gaming division Activision Blizzard, and its good fortune was in no small part down to one single game, 'Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3'. That said, even Activision will see job cuts in the coming year as all of Vivendi's units try to reduce overheads.
Universal Music saw revenues decline 5.7% year on year to 4.2 billion euros, though profits were up 7.6% to 507 million. Vivendi's music business will also be looking to cut overheads in the coming year, and to offload some periphery assets to help finance Universal's planned acquisition of the EMI labels.
As previously reported, while Universal hopes to get regulator approval for its EMI bid without being forced to sell off any existing assets, it will nevertheless look into trimming the music company at the edges to raise some extra cash to go towards the £1.9 billion EMI acquisition.
Vivendi bosses said yesterday that they hoped regulator approval for the EMI deal and the offloading of some periphery Universal assets could all be achieved in the second half of 2012.
DARLING DROPS PR DEPARTMENT
Explaining the decision, Cartwright told CMU: "It just feels like the right time to make the change. Running an independent music PR company, in a landscape of declining fees and circulations, feels increasingly dispiriting. PR was the heart of Darling for many years, but recently artist management and music consultancy have become the focus of our energies. It's with great sadness that we're parting company with our talented and experienced PR and promotions team and we're sure they'll continue to thrive in their chosen paths. We're excited about the possibilities for the future".
The company will cease its PR operations on 1 Apr, with much of its roster expected to stay with the outgoing team as they move elsewhere.
WARNER LAUNCHES YOUTUBE CHANNEL, VEVO ALLIES WITH FACEBOOK ON SIGN UPS
Warner, of course, has so far chosen to stay outside the VEVO venture, the Sony/Universal-owned YouTube-powered music video service, which offers official pop promos plus other video content from its partner labels, which include EMI as well as its owners.
VEVO enables the labels to sell advertising around its content directly, rather than relying on YouTube's ad sales division, based on the idea that official content should demand higher ad rates when separated from user-generated videos.
Warner chose to take more control over the advertising shown within its existing YouTube channels rather than joining the VEVO party, and the latest partnership with the video site is an extension of that, enabling the mini-major to offer and earn off content other than straight pop promos. The new channel will be headed up by former MTV news man Ocean MacAdams.
Talking of VEVO, it followed Spotify's lead this week by forcing people who sign up to the video site to do so using their Facebook account. VEVO has been known to be in discussions about having a closer relationship with Facebook for some time, leading some to speculate they might ultimately split off from YouTube and launch an all-embracing partnership with the social network.
Though much of VEVO's traffic comes via YouTube still and, while Facebook also has a massive audience at its disposal, YouTube remains the go-to place for video content, arguably making it a better match for the VEVO service.
CMU BEEF OF THE WEEK #100: THE BEST OF THE BEEF
Dappy death threats
Dappy later apologised, but the damage was already done. N-Dubz were dropped from a government anti-bullying campaign a few days later and less than two years after the beef the group split. You might think the latter of those things was unrelated and, well, it was. Or was it...? Yes, it was.
Definitely no reunions
In August last year, Tony Iommi was also angry about talk of a reunion. After the Birmingham Mail reported that Black Sabbath's original line-up were planning to get back together for a tour and a new album, Iommi said in no uncertain terms: "There will be definitely NO reunion of all four original members of Black Sabbath, whether to record an album or to tour". Three months later the original line-up announced their plans to reunite for a new album and tour. Although contract disputes with drummer Bill Ward have at least meant that part of what Iommi said has turned out to be true.
The Super Bowl and the destruction of the American Dream
Wheeled on to sing the national anthem at the start of the game, Aguilera fluffed one line. She continued and finished the rest of the song without incident, but she had already shamed America by that point. 'Friends' rushed to the papers to say that they were worried that her wild lifestyle had sent her over the edge, adding that that was the reason she had messed up so badly and embarrassed everyone. Aguilera said she had briefly lost her place.
The group's management disputed the claim, saying that all members past and present had granted their then label Universal/Island ownership of the name, so no official trademark application was required. It turned out they were wrong though. Well, they weren't 100% right. Buena announced via her Facebook page in August last year that she had "won the official name of the Sugababes". While technically true, it subsequently turned out that she was only entitled to use it on "certain paper and cardboard goods, such as stationery, paper gift wrap and paper gift wrapping ribbons" and not on, say, anything relating to the day to day activities of a jobbing pop group (the current Babes' management and label got that mark). Good news on the stationery though.
Kings Of Leon and the pigeons
Something that ended less well was Brian McFadden's decision to record a tribute to his then wife Delta Goodrem. Starting with the most romantic of musical bases - a banjo sample - he then informed her through song that he loved it when she got "drunk as shit" and he was able to take her home to "do some damage" and "take advantage". The former Westlifer was incredulous at the "super intelligent" people who suggested that this was an anthem for date-rape, saying that the song was "supposed to be fun, not offensive". Oh, Brian.
Alex James praises fast food
His first appearance came way back in March 2010 when he jumped to the defence of his manager Scooter Braun when he was charged by police for not tweeting about the cancellation of a public appearance by the singer the previous November. The Biebster then popped up again by announcing he was "grossed and weirded out" by rumours that his mother had turned down a request to pose topless for Playboy, and again when he tweeted the mobile phone number of someone who had hacked a friend's Facebook profile, and yet again when he accused the paparazzi of being Godless.
Best of all though was after last year's Grammy Awards, when his fans set upon the Wikipedia page of jazz artist Esperanza Spalding for having the audacity to win the Best New Artist prize, because she was, as one of the Wiki edits put it, "stealing it from Justin Bieber".