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WEDNESDAY 18 APRIL 2012
APPROVED: MY TIGER MY TIMING - WASTELAND
My Tiger My Timing's return to the pages of CMU is long overdue, and when they arrive on the doorstep with a song as good as 'Wasteland' it didn't take long to find them some space in the Approved column. Taken from their forthcoming debut album 'Celeste', it's three and a half minutes of slightly melancholy but bouncy pop rounded off with a late rush of euphoria to finish more>>
TOP STORIES
- Two artist unions give conditional support to Universal's EMI bid
- Half of EMI Publishing's staff could go if Sony/ATV deal goes through
IN THE POP HOSPITAL
- AIM chief donates music library to Royal Hospital For Neuro-Disability
AWARDS & CONTESTS
- Adele and Epworth lead Ivor Novello shortlist
- GIT Award shortlist announced
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- Official Charts Company launches indie record store chart
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- Editors guitarist quits
IN THE STUDIO
- New Kraftwerk album a werk in progress, says Hütter
- Grohl, Novoselic and Vig back in the studio
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Robert Plant band book low-key live debut
- Death Grips to tour
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival line-up update
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- New copyright plans in China criticised
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- Facebook adds Listen button to artist pages
- Spotify to probably launch iPad app today
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- Gary Barlow to return to X-Factor
AND FINALLY...
- Lydon hits out at Sex Pistols rerelease campaign
- Justin Timberlake designs homeware range
FRENCH MUSIC OFFICE, PRODUCT MANAGER (LABEL, LICENSING, DISTRIBUTION, PR)
The French Music Office is a non-profit organization and network created in 1993 with the aim to develop French-produced music of all genre around the world and to promote professional exchange between France and other territories. We are looking for a self-motivated, proactive person with strong UK industry and media contacts across all genres, at least 2 years experience in record company / distribution and a passion for French music and a vision for how to secure and develop French artists in the UK scene over the long-term.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DOMINO PUBLISHING, PUBLISHING ASSISTANT
Domino Publishing requires a passionate music person to assist the copyright, royalties and synchronisation staff. This is a unique opportunity to work within the worldwide hub of a young, expanding music publishing company and help us provide an unrivalled and exemplary service to our songwriters and publishers.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
WARNER BROS RECORDS UK, NATIONAL RADIO PROMOTIONS MANAGER
Home to many of the greatest names in music, Warner Bros Records UK is a leading, uniquely dynamic record label. This opportunity to join the WBR Promotions Team as National Radio Promotions Manager involves taking on responsibility for a section of the labels roster across all the national radio stations. Our roster is diverse and eclectic - so a real passion for and understanding of music and radio is essential.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
TICKETSCRIPT, SALES EXECUTIVES
Europe's leading online, mobile, social & ticketing tool requires Sales Executives to join a dynamic sales team to sell our ticketing solution to new customers across a number of business sectors in the UK. The successful candidates will be based in either our Central London or Manchester office.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
TICKETSCRIPT, SEARCH MARKETING SPECIALIST
SEO & SEA, required to join European marketing team, to formulate, implement and deliver search marketing strategy. It is the perfect opportunity for an individual that has been working in an agency environment and is able to demonstrate successful delivery of both SEO and SEA campaigns in a B2B environment. Ideally the candidate will have experience in the media/entertainment sector.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AMAZON.CO.UK, SENIOR VENDOR MANAGER (BUYER) - MUSIC/MP3
Amazon.co.uk's Entertainment Group is seeking a high potential individual to drive our commercial relationships with key music record labels for all formats of music including CD and MP3. We are looking for someone with a mix of partnership building and strong negotiation skills, with an analytical edge and great business judgment. You'll be responsible for building our music selection, discovering new products and labels, managing label release schedules, and creating inspiring campaigns to increase our market share. The role also entails P&L management, and you'll need a grasp of complex financials and an ability to use data to define initiatives to drive revenue and margin, all the while acting as an ambassador for Amazon.co.uk within the music industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
7DIGITAL, CUSTOMER SERVICES MANAGER
We're looking for a highly organised and committed individual to manage and coordinate our customer services activities such that 7digital delivers a superior customer experience and any enquiries receive prompt and helpful assistance.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
7DIGITAL, STORE MANAGER - CONSUMER TEAM
We are seeking a talented individual to help manage our constantly-expanding network of stores. You will be responsible for stores and consumer-facing services in the UK and Ireland.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
7DIGITAL, CATALOGUE MANAGER
We're looking for a highly-organised and resourceful individual to assume responsibility for the focus, accuracy, quality and growth of the 7digital catalogue, which currently includes over 18 million audio and video tracks plus a growing number of ebooks. The role exists at the intersection of the commercial and technical aspects of the company, and the catalogue is used in every area of the business.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
ANORAK, PRESS OFFICER POSITION
UK's leading music and events PR agency Anorak London is looking for an enthusiastic, dynamic and talented press officer to straddle festival, events and artist PR. The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate experience working on artist campaigns and similarly events, and will have strong print contacts across the board. The successful candidate must have great people skills, a strong passion for music and culture, enthusiasm, energy, and be exceptionally organised and efficient. This is a great opportunity for the right person.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

TWO ARTIST UNIONS GIVE CONDITIONAL SUPPORT TO UNIVERSAL'S EMI BID
As Universal's bid to buy the EMI record companies continues to go through the motions on both sides of the Atlantic, and following Beggars Group boss Martin Mills' renewed criticism of the takeover bid in the Telegraph last weekend, the mega-major has scored the backing of two artist groups in the US.

According to Bloomberg, both the American Federation Of Musicians and SAG-AFTRA, which represents recording artists as well as actors and TV stars, have sent letters to competition regulators at America's Federal Trade Commission giving their backing to Universal's EMI bid, saying that the major has a sound record when it comes to complying with and respecting "collective bargaining agreements", and that having Universal control the EMI labels and catalogues would be preferable to equity types stepping in, and probably selling off archive piecemeal.

In its letter of support, the AFM wrote that Universal's "compliance with and respect for its collective bargaining agreements has been positive when compared to its peer companies", and concluded that "sustaining the EMI legacy [via Universal ownership] would appear to benefit AMF recording musicians".

Meanwhile SAG-AFTRA said it had been "wrenching to watch EMI wither" under the stewardship of its former owners, equity twonks Terra Firma, and that "for EMI to be left to further drift into oblivion, or for EMI to be acquired and sold off in pieces by capital investment speculators with no appreciation for, or commitment to, artists who fuel the recording [sector], would ill serve the industry". The union's letter added that Universal had a long history of supporting and investing in new talent and new genres.

The two unions urged the FTC to investigate the legitimacy of Universal's pledge to reinvest in artist development at EMI, and to ensure adequate mechanisms were in place to deliver on that promise, but, said SAG-AFTRA: "Should the Commission be satisfied that there are adequate mechanisms to ensure compliance with those commitments, we respectfully request that it look favourably on Universal Music Group's stewardship over EMI".

Universal said it was "delighted" that the two unions had decided to give conditional approval to their EMI bid. The mega-major has, of course, faced quite a bit of opposition to its EMI takeover proposals in both the US and Europe, with critics saying that the deal will give the French-owned entertainment firm far too much dominance in the record industry, and in the digital music domain. Smaller rival Warner Music, the European indie label community and US lobbying body Public Knowledge are among those to have called on regulators to block the takeover.

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HALF OF EMI PUBLISHING'S STAFF COULD GO IF SONY/ATV DEAL GOES THROUGH
With the European Commission expected to make a ruling on Sony/ATV's bid to buy the EMI publishing company tomorrow, the New York Times has published extracts of a confidential report that possibly provides some indications of what will happen to EMI Music Publishing if the takeover goes ahead.

As previously reported, the Sony-led bid to buy the EMI publishing firm is slightly complicated, because Sony does not own Sony/ATV outright, and a number of other investors are also part of the EMI purchase. Sony/ATV owner Sony Corp Of America and the Michael Jackson Estate would be joined by GSO Capital Partners, Jynwel Capital, the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government and one time record industry man and film producer David Geffen as shareholders in EMI Publishing.

But day to day the EMI publishing business would be controlled by Sony/ATV, which is relevant to competition regulators because, while Sony Corp does not own any of its music publishing interests outright, Sony/ATV chief Marty Bandier would control by far the biggest publishing catalogue in the world (31% market share according to this confidential report), which would make him very powerful indeed in digital licensing and collecting society dealings. Opponents to the deal say that kind of market dominance would be anti-competitive, and damaging to the emerging digital music sector.

Sony/ATV's control of EMI is also key to Sony's co-investors though, because it will enable economies of scale that will maximise the profits of the EMI publishing catalogues.

Because of the number of investors in the EMI deal and, seemingly, an explicit agreement between Sony and the Jackson Estate, EMI Music Publishing will remain an autonomous company if the deal goes ahead, so its songs and songwriters won't be absorbed by Sony/ATV, and presumably the firm will need to retain its own A&R teams.

However, according to the report, prepared for Sony by bankers at UBS in January as part of plans to issue bonds to help fund the acquisition, Sony/ATV will look after the administration of the EMI catalogue and handle licensing deals, enabling significant cost savings, ie redundancies. The report suggests that over half of EMI Publishing's 515 employees could be let go, 152 in the first year of ownership, 174 down the line, resulting in savings of $70 million a year overall, after Sony/ATV has taken a commission for its work.

The report was written for investment types four months ago, so it's not clear how much of the plans in the document is actual current strategy, but it seems clear that if the Sony/ATV deal does go ahead there will be considerable cuts at the EMI publishing group, even though the company will remain autonomous in some respects. Needless to say, given the ongoing investigation into the competition elements of the proposed deal, Sony refused to comment on the document, telling reporters yesterday: "Discussing details of any integration plan is premature while the regulatory approval processes are ongoing".

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AIM CHIEF DONATES MUSIC LIBRARY TO ROYAL HOSPITAL FOR NEURO-DISABILITY
A new music library at the Royal Hospital For Neuro-disability in London is due to be officially opened tomorrow evening. The 3000 CDs that make up the library have been donated by Association Of Independent Music Chief Exec Alison Wenham in memory of her late husband, Nick Wenham, who was a patient there from 2005 to 2010.

The Royal Hospital For Neuro-disability in Putney has been caring for people who have suffered brain injury since 1854. The charity offers many rehabilitation services and music often provides an early means for patients to express themselves as they begin their recovery.

The creation of a CD lending library was part of Nick Wenham's own rehabilitation, and following his death his friends, family and colleagues have worked to expand it to the collection that will be made available from tomorrow.

Sal Connolly, Head of Psychology at RHN, told CMU: "Nick's enthusiasm about music was infectious and his knowledge of it extensive. Having been a resident here, he knew exactly how it could feel and that music could make it so much better, so he set about to share this with everyone who came to stay here, both now and in the years to come".

Alison Wenham added: "Our personal and professional lives were defined by music, we grew up together through music and there is no more fitting legacy for Nick than music. Making sure that people with brain injury or disease have easy access to the music which matters to them is our goal to honour the memory of Nick".

More information on The Royal Hospital For Neuro-disability at http://www.rhn.org.uk

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ADELE AND EPWORTH LEAD IVOR NOVELLO SHORTLIST
Adele and Paul Epworth lead this year's Ivor Novello nominations with four each, mainly for songs they worked on together.

Epworth appears twice in the Best Song Musically And Lyrically category, both for writing 'Rolling In The Deep' with Adele, and for Florence And The Machine's 'Shake It Out', which was penned with Florence Welch and Kid Harpoon. Adele also gets a double chance of winning in the PRS For Music Most Performed Work category with 'Rolling In The Deep' and 'Someone Like You', which was written with Dan Wilson, both shortlisted. Both also appear together in the category for Best Album.

Elsewhere, Lana Del Rey, Nero and James Blake battle it out for Best Contemporary Song, and Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood is in the running for Best Original Film Score with his soundtrack for 'We Need To Talk About Kevin'.

The full list of nominations is here:

Best Song Musically And Lyrically: Adele - Rolling In The Deep (Adele and Paul Epworth), Florence And The Machine - Shake It Out, (Paul Epworth, Kid Harpoon and Florence Welch), Ed Sheeran - The A Team (Ed Sheeran)

Best Contemporary Song: Nero - Promises (Joseph Ray, Daniel Stephens and Alana Watson), James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream (James Blake and James Litherland), Lana Del Rey - Video Games (Lana Del Rey and Justin Parker)

Best Original Film Score: Life In A Day (Harry Gregson-Williams and Matthew Herbert), The First Grader (Alex Heffes), We Need To Talk About Kevin (Jonny Greenwood)

Best Television Soundtrack: Leonardo (Mark Russell), Page Eight (Paul Englishby), The Shadow Line (Martin Phipps)

PRS For Music Most Performed Work: Adele - Rolling In The Deep (Adele and Paul Epworth), Adele - Someone Like You (Adele and Dan Wilson), Take That - The Flood (Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams)

Album Award: Adele - 21 (Adele and Paul Epworth), Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow (Kate Bush), Pj Harvey - Let England Shake (PJ Harvey)

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GIT AWARD SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED
The shortlist for the inaugural GIT Award, the "Scouse Mercury Prize" set up by music blog Getintothis in recognition of Liverpool's best new music, has been announced. The final twelve have been chosen from over 381 entries and the overall winner will be announced by John Robb at a ceremony on 27 Apr.

GIT Award founder and chair of judges, Peter Guy, told CMU: "The first GIT Award shortlist highlights the wealth of new musical talent within Merseyside. The artists are ambitious and inventive, emotional and passionate, funny and profound. They evoke a sense of time and place, providing a wonderful snapshot of Merseyside's varied sonic landscape proving why Liverpool is still the centre of the music universe".

Here's that shortlist:

Bang On
Ex-Easter Island Head
Forest Swords
Loved Ones
Miss Stylie
Mugstar
Outfit
Ninetails
Bill Ryder-Jones
Stealing Sheep
The Tea Street Band
Esco Williams

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OFFICIAL CHARTS COMPANY LAUNCHES INDIE RECORD STORE CHART
To coincide with this year's Record Store Day on 21 Apr, The Official Charts Company has announced a new year-round chart collating the biggest selling music through independent record shops in the UK each week. The first chart will be unveiled by Steve Lamacq on his 6music show this Friday, and will thereafter appear at 7pm every Sunday.

According to the OCC, independent record shops accounted for 4.4% of physical album sales in the UK last year - around 2.5 million albums. However, they handled 95.8% of vinyl album sales, which saw a 43% rise year on year.

OCC MD Martin Talbot told CMU: "Independent record shops are more important than ever in helping introduce music fans to new, interesting music, so we are delighted to be working with the Record Store Day team to launch this chart. A record store is for life, not just for Record Store Day, so we very much hope that the Official Record Store Chart will serve to harness the focus created by Record Store Day and help maintain it week in, week out, through the year".

Record Store Day organiser and manager of London's Rough Trade East Spencer Hickman added: "Record Store Day is a worldwide celebration of record shops and their unique position that they have in their local community. The idea of the Official Record Store Chart is to take Record Store Day and keep it in people's minds throughout the whole year. It will give a true representation of physical sales across all the indie stores up and down the country".

Ahead of the first official chart, the Official Charts Company has released a list of the biggest selling albums through indie stores so far this year:

1 Lana del Rey - Born To Die
2 Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas
3 Adele - 21
4 Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
5 The Black Keys - El Camino
6 Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood Of Colour
7 First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
8 Mark Lanegan Band - Blues Funeral
9 Emeli Sande - Our Version Of Events
10 The Maccabees - Given To The Wild

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EDITORS GUITARIST QUITS
Editors have parted ways with guitarist Chris Urbanowicz, the band announced in a statement published on their official website earlier this week.

The statement said that the "amicable" decision was "entirely based upon future musical direction" adding that it was "a massively painful decision for all of us to make".

The rest of the band are continuing to work on their fourth album with producer Flood.

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NEW KRAFTWERK ALBUM A WERK IN PROGRESS, SAYS HÜTTER
Ralf Hütter of electronic music icons Kraftwerk has alluded to a potential successor to the band's 2003 LP, 'Tour De France', stating that it was "under way" and would be out "soon".

Speaking to The New York Times in honour of Kraftwerk's eight night residency at the New York Museum Of Modern Art, Hütter said: "We didn't fall asleep. The 168 hour week is still going on since the beginning, since 1970".

He continued: "We learn from noise, and we learn from going to clubs. Music is never finished. It starts again tomorrow. We are [always] operating, we are upgrading, we are updating continuously. There's continuous reprogramming going on, and composition and new concepts are also coming".

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GROHL, NOVOSELIC AND VIG BACK IN THE STUDIO
Butch Vig, the producer of Nirvana's 'Nevermind', has revealed that he recently spent time in a studio with the band's surviving members, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic.

Vig tweeted last week: "The last 24 hours have been surreal ... spent today recording with Dave, Krist and [a] special guest!"

Rumours that the "special guest" is a hologram of the late Kurt Cobain are a joke that has already been made by too many people, so I won't bother rolling it out again. Another more likely rumour is that they were together as part of Grohl's upcoming documentary about Sound City Studios in LA, where 'Nevermind' was recorded.

As previously reported, Grohl revealed last summer that he, Novoselic and former Nivana guitarist Pat Smear had played Nirvana songs together for the first time in nearly 20 years while rehearsing for Novoselic's guest appearance at a Foo Fighter's show in California last year.

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ROBERT PLANT BAND BOOK LOW-KEY LIVE DEBUT
Robert Plant has appointed the Gloucester Guildhall as the setting for his new band's live debut.

Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters, whose sound is derived from "the roots music of Mississippi, Appalachia, Gambia, Bristol and the foothills of Wolverhampton", will play at the 400 capacity venue on 8 May.

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DEATH GRIPS TO TOUR
So, hip hop debasers Death Grips have plotted a four date tour in recognition of forthcoming second album, 'The Money Store'. It's to be staged in the midst of several festival appearances by the duo at Glasgow's Stag & Dagger, ATP's I'll Be Your Mirror, and London's own Field Day.

With those in mind, here are the concert dates:

20 May: Manchester Roadhouse
21 May: Nottingham Bodega
22 May: Norwich Arts Centre
23 May: Brighton Green Door Store

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

B'ESTFEST SUMMER CAMP, Tunari, Poland, 6-8 Jul: Pulp, Garbage, Caro Emerald, Skindred, Modestep and Andy C are amongst the initial bookings for Romania's premiere music festival, with further names still to be announced. www.bestfest.ro/editia2012/en

BACK2BLACK FESTIVAL, Barbican, Old Billinsgate, East London, 29 Jun - 1 Jul: Customarily staged in Brazil, Back2Black's first ever British edition will host Macy Gray, Linton Kwesi, Roots Manuva, Femi Kuti and others in a multi-arts move to reconcile Brazilian culture with its African Heritage. www.barbican.org.uk/back2black

BEACH BREAK LIVE, Pembrey Country Park, South Wales, 14-18 Jun: The Maccabees head a horde of just-added Beach Break revellers, with further line-up extras including Dry The River, Lulu James, Levi Roots and Phaeleh. This lot join Dizzee Rascal, Friendly Fires, Benga, Chase & Status, Ghostpoet, Labrinth and Maverick Sabre on this student-facing seaside fest's overall roster. www.beachbreaklive.com

BEACONS FESTIVAL, Funkirk Estate, Carleton, North Yorkshire, 17-19 Aug: Real Estate, The Felice Brothers, Julio Bashmore, Cloud Nothings, Willis Earl Beal, Andrew Weatherall and the excellent Weird Dreams prove mood-enhancing supplements to a shining Beacons bill, as has hitherto housed Wild Beasts, Patrick Wolf, Roots Manuva, Jessie Ware, Willy Mason, King Krule, Mazes and Stay+. www.greetingsfrombeacons.com

CHAGSTOCK, Whiddon Down, Devon, 20-21 Jul: Performances by Fun Lovin Criminals and Seth Lakeman, plus an acoustic set from Alabama 3, are new on the cards at Chagstock this year. Notable existing bookings include KT Tunstall, Juan Zelada, Ruarri Joseph, The Travelling Band and Mad Dog Mcrea. www.chagstock.info

DOUR, Dour, Belgium, 12-15 Jul: DOOM and seminal alt-rap twosome Black Star, aka Talib Kweli and Mos Def, are new to a blossoming Dour programme, as cultivates a bank of live luminaries in the various forms of Bon Iver, Franz Ferdinand, Battles, The Flaming Lips, James Black and Caribou. www.dourfestival.be/en

HARD ROCK CALLING, Hyde Park, London, 13-15 Jul: Brand new line-up features Black Stone Cherry, Kids In Glass Houses, Christina Perri, Big Country, Guillemots, Amy McDonald and nu-reggae metallists Skindred are summoned to the Hard Rock Calling cause, as is also backed by co-headliners Soundgarden, Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon. www.hardrockcalling.co.uk

HOP FARM MUSIC FESTIVAL, Hop Farm Country Park, Paddock Wood, Kent, 29 Jun - 1 Jul: Ah, yet more Hop Farm additions - the final ones, in fact - as Richard Ashcroft, Kool & The Gang, Ray Davies, Randy Crawford, Gary Numan, Field Music, British Sea Power and more are confirmed to accompany the previously announced Bob Dylan, Suede, Peter Gabriel and - of course - Lord Brucey Forsyth. www.hopfarmfestival.com

LARMER TREE, Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury, Dorset, 11-15 Jul: Newly enlisted pop sort Paloma Faith now occupies the Larmer Tree line-up alongside the aforementioned likes of Jools Holland, Levellers, Amadour & Mariam and ivory-tinkling comedy muso, Tim Minchin. www.larmertreefestival.co.uk

READING/LEEDS FESTIVALS, 24-26 Aug: Gratifying rock fans on Reading/Leeds' Lock Up stage will be Social Distortion, Less Than Jake, Anti-Flag, Gallows, Turbonegro, Bouncing Souls and A Wilhelm Scream; while Grimes, Modestep, Los Campesinos! and DJ Zinc are freshly destined for the Dance Arena. This lot join Foo Fighters, The Cure, Kasabian, Paramore, The Black Keys, Justice, Metronomy and Florence And The Machine on the alternating line-up applying to both festivals. www.readingfestival.com / www.leedsfestival.com

SONAR, Barcelona, Spain, 14-16 Jun: Acts including Trust, Annie Mac, Simian Mobile Disco, Jack Beats, Jamie Lidell and Star Slinger enrich an already well-stocked Sonar roster, aligning with such existing announcees as New Order, Fatboy Slim, Deadmau5, James Blake and Lana Del Rey. Also new to proceedings is hip hop experimentalist Flying Lotus, who will present two completely different live sets. www.sonar.es/es/2012/

THE GREAT ESCAPE, various venues, Brighton, 10-12 May: Team TGE have unpacked a raft of guest artists set to board Africa Express Sound System's headlining slot at the Brighton Dome. These include Shingai Shoniwa of The Noisettes, Reverend And The Makers' John McClure, South African producer Spoek Mathambo, Ghanaian hip hop artist M3NSA, soul songstress Terri Walker and resident Boiler Room DJ Thristian 'bpm'. www.escapegreat.com

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NEW COPYRIGHT PLANS IN CHINA CRITICISED
A revamp of the copyright system in China is being criticised by rights owners both in the country and beyond, with fears the proposals remove too many of a copyright owner's traditional controls over the works they create, buy or invest in.

Of course, copyrights - while recognised in China - have traditionally been very hard to enforce there in both the physical products and digital domains, though in recent years the Chinese government, responding to pressure from trade officials in Western governments, have been trying to crack down on piracy to an extent. China's National Copyright Administration says its new proposals are part of continued efforts to crack down on piracy, but many rights owners feel they will be detrimental.

From what we can see via a Reuters report, the NCA is proposing a wide-reaching compulsory licensing scenario, which would obligate rights owners to licence in a wide range of situations at government-set royalty rates, with only a three-month exclusive-use period. This would remove a rights owner's ability to negotiate more favourable licensing terms, and to veto the use of their work.

Compulsory licensing is not unprecedented, and is found elsewhere in the world, though not at the kind of level seemingly proposed by the Chinese authority. The proposals first emerged last month, and the NCA has been consulting interested parties for the last few weeks, and will do so until the end of the month. Though the proposals do not discuss what the royalty rates would be for those uses of music covered by compulsory licensing, nor, seemingly, how such royalties would be set and reviewed in the future, surely both crucial bits of information in judging the merits of the NCA's grand plan.

Though many rights owners in China feel that whatever the royalty rates, the proposals are untenable. Reuters quote one Shanghai-based lawyer, Elliot Papageorgiou, as saying the new rules would be "a huge derogation" for music (and particularly music publishing) rights owners. He added: "[The NCA is] trying to say: up until now you haven't been able to enforce your rights. We can help with that. But it's taking away so much more".

The major music companies, which see the potential for huge growth in the Chinese market, where promoting and monetising non-domestic talent has traditionally been tricky, told the news agency they were also reviewing the NCA's proposals and would respond via the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry.

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FACEBOOK ADDS LISTEN BUTTON TO ARTIST PAGES
Facebook has added a Listen button to official artist pages on the social network, possibly to compensate for having screwed up every musician's Facebook presence by forcing timeline as the default landing page, relegating any carefully constructed content, fan engagement or sell-through apps.

The new Listen button will look for the chosen artist on one of the social network's streaming music partner's platforms, so over here that's primarily Spotify, though for users in the US Rdio and MOG are also available (though, for reasons not clear, not Rhapsody at the moment).

Audio has never been as prominent a part of Facebook's artist pages as it was on MySpace, where most acts originally had their social media presence, though music files could be posted for a time via Facebook's now defunct MP3 widget, and many artists used third party streaming tools or direct-to-fan plug-ins to offer streams or downloads.

Of course integrating with the likes of Spotify on audio means that artists earn a royalty if fans play their music, which self-managed streams do not, and also means that any publishing royalties are covered (which they often aren't if artists or labels post streams on their own sites of social media). Though some might prefer to have more control over the audio they make available to users of the social network.

Quite what the user experience is like will depend on the streaming platform utilised. For me, when I clicked 'Listen' on Take That's page, Spotify tried to install twice, eventually recognised I was already a user, shut down and opened up, shut down and opened up, asked for a password, tried to make me share my listening data with the social network four times, and then presented Take That's discography on the streaming platform. Now that's frictionless.

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SPOTIFY TO PROBABLY LAUNCH IPAD APP TODAY
Might Spotify launch an iPad app at a press conference in New York later today?

I was certain this was going to be the "Daniel Ek is the antichrist hell bent on screwing every artist who ever sang a note" confirmation we've all been patiently waiting for (and that would explain why we've been receiving press releases about The Rapture lately), but everyone else seems certain it will be the long-time-coming iPad announcement. How boring. I'd have thought that before doing that it would make more sense to make the company's existing mobile apps work properly.

The speculation has been fuelled by a photo of said app that has been doing the rounds. Though perhaps Ek will actually launch an exhibition of photos of fictional Spotify apps. Now that I could get excited about.

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GARY BARLOW TO RETURN TO X-FACTOR
Gary Barlow will return on the next series of 'The X-Factor', assuming his concert for the Queen's Jubilee doesn't go horribly wrong and land him in the Tower.

Barlow is the first member of the 'X' cast to be confirmed for 2012. Some changes to the line-up of judges is expected after the talent show's ratings wobbled a little last year, though whether that will mean a full return to the show for Simon Cowell remains to be seen. Obviously his commitments to 'X-Factor USA' forced a reduction of his involvement in the UK version last year.

Confirming the Take That man would return to 'X UK', Cowell told reporters: "It's great to be able to confirm our first judge for this year's show. Gary has earned his place and I'm excited to be working with him again".

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LYDON HITS OUT AT SEX PISTOLS RERELEASE CAMPAIGN
John Lydon has hit out at Universal's announcement that it plans to re-release Sex Pistols track 'God Save The Queen' for the upcoming Diamond Jubilee. The single famously caused outrage, of course, when it was originally released around Liz II's Silver Jubilee celebrations 35 years ago.

Confirming he did not endorse Universal's re-release campaign, Lydon said yesterday: "I would like to very strongly distance myself from the recent stories and campaign to push 'God Save The Queen' for the number one spot. It is certainly not my personal plan or aim. I am proud of what The Sex Pistols achieved and always will be but this campaign totally undermines what The Sex Pistols stood for".

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JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE DESIGNS HOMEWARE RANGE
Well what do you know, jobbing actor/singer/golfer/MySpace Creative Director Justin Timberlake is now also an interior designer. Yes, it's true.

In collaboration with his personal design guru Estee Stanley, JT has co-curated a collection of domestic desirables to be stocked on members-only homeware site, HomeMint.com.

The duo's creations - which share a "European" motif - include rugs, jugs, a nest of stackable stools (priced at $750), and a blue ceramic cereal bowl containing half a lemon. Though thinking about it, the lemon is most likely sold separately.

Says Justin: "If we wouldn't put it in our homes, we're not going to ask people to put it in theirs. You don't have to spend your whole bank account to make your home look amazing but also be comfortable and reliable".

He adds this revelation: "I'll sit and I'll look at hardware for hours. Literally, for hours, I'll sit and compare hardware. The devil's in the details. I mean, it's your home, it has to be your own".

You can browse selected photos of the range here, and then let's never speak of it again. www.elledecor.com/image/tid/6683

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