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VIRGIN MEDIA INSTIGATES FIRST BRITISH PIRATE BAY BLOCK
Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk and O2 have all also been ordered to block access to the Bay in the next few weeks, and an injunction ordering BT to do the same is expected to be issued in due course (BT asked for a few more weeks to respond). The injunctions followed a court ruling earlier this year that said that The Pirate Bay is liable for the copyright infringement it enables, even though no unlicensed content actually passes through its servers; and also utilised a precedent set in the Newzbin case last year, where a judge decided that, under existing copyright law, web-block injunctions could be obtained where infringing web services were based outside the jurisdiction of the English courts.
Virgin and Sky have generally been more helpful to content owners looking to crack down on file-sharing that other net firms, mainly because with their own subscription movie services they have a vested interest in combating online piracy once it's films being illegally downloaded. BT and TalkTalk have generally been the most resistant to taking on any obligations to police infringing customers.
Confirming it had already instigated a Pirate Bay block, a spokesman for the Virgin cable TV and net firm told reporters: "Virgin Media has received an order from the courts requiring it to prevent access to The Pirate Bay in order to help protect against copyright infringement. As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media complies with court orders addressed to the company but strongly believes that changing consumer behaviour to tackle copyright infringement also needs compelling legal alternatives, such as our agreement with Spotify, to give consumers access to great content at the right price".
Of course, as much previously noted, all web blocks are circumventable for anyone who knows what they are doing, and since the Bay blocks were announced earlier this week various web pages have appeared telling the less tech-savvy how they can still access the Pirate Bay service once piratebay.org takes them to a 'stop nicking our content you bastards' holding page. Meanwhile the extra media coverage the blocks secured the rogue file-sharing site apparently resulting in a significant uplift in traffic for the service.
Lobby groups which are pro-file-sharing and/or anti-copyright-enforcement (or, anti what they perceive to be heavy-handed enforcement), will point to the ease with which web-blocks can be circumvented by those in the know as a reason why injunctions of this kind should never be allowed, adding that the cost and supposed censorship risks such blocks cause outweigh the limited returns they deliver in terms of combating file-sharing. They might also add that if the rights owners licensed more digital services, and ensured their entire catalogues were available by already licensed platforms, and addressed pricing concerns, then more casual file-sharers would probably go legit anyway.
And, of course, some of those are valid arguments, and raise issues the music and movie industries still need to address. Though more pragmatic rights owners would probably argue that, while there will always be a community of file-sharers who will continue to file-share, the aim here is to encourage mainstream web-users to only use legit services, and the way to do that is to both make sure those services are brilliant, engaging and easy to use, but also to do what you can to make the unlicensed options an arse to use. Which is really what web-blocking is about.
ADELE'S 21 OUTSELLS JACKSON'S THRILLER
Confirming '21' had now outsold 'Thriller' by over 500 units, Official Charts Company top man boss chief Martin Talbot told CMU: "To add to her many landmark records, Adele's achievement in overtaking 'Thriller' in the all-time sales list is truly remarkable. 'Thriller' has long been recognised as one of the most iconic albums of all time - there is now no doubt that '21' can be spoken of in the same breath".
You know, whenever the sales/ratings for new things are compared to the sales/ratings of old things, I do wonder just how accurate the stats were back in the day before bar code scanning and generally-pretty-damn-accurate download-store report sheets were the norm. Though presumably labels new how many records were returned from the record shops, even when not everyone chart returned.
Anyway, well done Adele, what a lot of numbers you've achieved. And here, as of yesterday, are the five best selling albums of all time in the UK, according to the good old OCC:
1. Queen - Greatest Hits (1981)
CHRIS MARTIN "QUITE AN INFLUENCE" ON NEW TINIE TEMPAH ALBUM
Saying that various people have "listened to something or even mentored" him on the direction of his second longplayer, Tempah told NME: "Chris Martin has been quite an influence on this album. It's definitely a lot more progressive in the quality of the sound. I've [also] been listening to Lykke Li and Lana Del Rey, the dynamics of the sound, how big and anthemic it gets".
SLIPKNOT WILL RECORD NEW ALBUM NEXT YEAR
Plans to record were put on hold after the death of bassist Paul Gray in 2010, and for a time there was some dispute amongst band members about the entire future of the project. Despite assurances from some in the group that they would continue to record together again, frontman Corey Taylor remained reticent, saying that festival shows last summer were "dipping the toe in the water to see what happens".
But Wilson says now that following their upcoming performances as part of this year's Mayhem touring festival and Taylor's pending tour with his other band, Stone Sour, they will get back to the studio.
Wilson said: "We've got Mayhem Festival this summer and, after we break for winter and Stone Sour are done with their tour, we'll be back in the kitchen with Slipknot. Actually before Stone Sour finish touring we'll be in the studio preparing for Corey's return, keeping the irons hot".
He added: "It'll be tough, it won't be easy, but Slipknot's the biggest thing in all of our lives, and we're always going to come back to it. We're going to get it done. I'm excited and I'm ready to do it. I'm sick of hearing people talk, it's time for action. When we come together, it's badass; we need to harness that energy of the live shows. When we come together like we always do, it's going to be brutal".
BECOMING REAL DETAILS DEBUT ALBUM
Out on 28 May via Not Even, it will feature the following:
Snow Drift Love
Listen to the above listed 'Work Me' here: soundcloud.com/becoming-real/work-me-becoming-real-ft-lady
BIFFY CLYRO TO RELEASE DOUBLE LP
Drummer Ben Johnston says of the record, which is set for release this summer: "We don't want to pigeon hole it as a 'big rock album', so we're trying to make a diverse collection of songs".
DEPECHE MODE DISCUSS NEW ALBUM, MAY TOUR NEXT YEAR
Updating Spin as to the tbc long player, which will mark the band's thirteenth studio suite to date, he said: "We've probably got 20 songs demoed. Some of the songs are in really good shape, some need some work, but we're definitely on track".
He continued: "We have a deadline of the end of November, and there's no reason we why we won't meet that at the rate we're going".
Gore also mentioned that Depeche Mode have plans in place "to be touring next year", so there's a second vagary to pin your new-wave hopes upon.
JEDWARD RELEASE UNOFFICIAL FOOTBALL SINGLE
Actually recorded to the tune of the teen brothers' 2011 Eurovision smash 'Lipstick' (but with new lyrics written by radio DJ Colm Hayes, who's sort of Ireland's domestic version of Terry Wogan) it's been designed as an 'unofficial' rallying cry for the Irish soccer squad's Euro 2012 campaign.
Proceeds from sales of the single, which is released today, go to the ISPCC, so it's all fine. Saying that, the video does feature Louis Walsh and Zig & Zag. But it's all for a good cause, so why not preview (and subsequently purchase) 'Put The Green Cape On' right now: www.youtube.com/user/JedwardsGreenCape
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
BEACONS FESTIVAL, Funkirk Estate, Carleton, North Yorkshire, 17-19 Aug: Toots & The Maytals, who have just been announced as headliners, join an existing line-up of such Beacons luminaries as Wild Beasts, Roots Manuva, The Felice Brothers, Julio Bashmore, Real Estate, Oneman, Cloud Nothings, Koreless, Willis Earl Beal, Weird Dreams and Jessie Ware. www.greetingsfrombeacons.com
BLOC WEEKEND, London Pleasure Gardens, Royal Victoria Docks, 6-7 Jul: Proceedings at this year's London-located Bloc will now feature a DJ set by Arpanet, aka Drexciya/Dopplereffekt man Gerald Donal. He aligns with the superlative and already confirmed likes of Snoop Dogg, James Blake, Orbital, Flying Lotus, Nicolas Jaar and Battles at the electronic-centric event, whose extra attractions will now include the MS Stubnitz, once a deep sea fishing trawler and now a "moving platform for the sonic and visual arts". Basically a vast, industrial party boat. Hurrah! www.blocweekend.com
FIELD DAY, Victoria Park, London, 2 Jun: An array of fresh roster fare, not least Blanck Mass, Casper C, Com Truise, Julia Holter, Novella, Peaking Lights, Pond and a decks-dexterous crew of new DJs, further feeds Field Day's 2012 listings. Pre-established fixtures of the bill include Franz Ferdinand, Sleigh Bells, Mazzy Star, The Vaccines, AfroCubism, Metronomy and Austra. www.fielddayfestivals.com
LARMER TREE, Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury, Dorset, 11-15 Jul: Roots Manuva will represent the final part of Larmer's headlining saga, joining Jools Holland, Paloma Faith, Levellers, Amadou & Mariam and Tim Minchin atop a roster also featuring Caravan Palace, The Correspondents, Dub Pistols, The Wave Pictures, Vintage Trouble, Akala and Givers. www.larmertreefestival.co.uk
CONVENTION UPDATES: LSC, PRIMAVERAPRO, EUROSONIC, YMCAS
First up, Liverpool Sound City, which is also speeding into view with some pace. LSC organisers announced recently that hip hop author, filmmaker, journalist, critic and social commentator Nelson George will join their convention's line-up as a second keynote speaker, alongside the previously reported keynote event featuring Mobile Roadie's Andrew Mains. Elsewhere newly confirmed panels will focus on music tech, music discovery and forward thinking labels.
Meanwhile, more information has been announced today of the LSC Expo event, a two day expo at Liverpool's Echo Arena, which will boast a music, digital and DJ hub, and feature representatives from Dolphin Music, Access To Music, Yamaha, LIPA, M Audio, Metropolis, Ward Hadaway, SAE Institute, Headstock, Sound Technology, LJMU, American Audio, Denon DJ, Pioneer DJ, Vestax, DJ TV Live, Traktor DJ and many more. LSC takes place from 17-19 May, with more info at www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk
Looking to the end of the month, and a little further afield, line up info has been announced for PrimaveraPro, the conference side to Barcelona's Primavera Sound festival. The future of music festivals in general will be a key topic up for consideration, with reps from Womad, SxSW, Eurockéennes and the UK's Association Of Independent Festivals all confirmed to take part. Amongst the specific festival themed topics to be explored is how to survive in the competitive festivals market, the importance creativity plays in success, and the positive role major music events have on their host cities or regions.
Another theme being explored at the Barcelona event will be the power of music to change the world, plus crowdfunding, online marketing, and changes in the digital dynamic. It all takes place from 30 May to 1 Jun with info at pro.primaverasound.com
And finally, for those who like their showcase festival news very upfront, organisers of the Eurosonic festival, which takes place in the Netherlands each January, have announced that next year's featured country will be Finland. Delegate registration and artist submissions are also now open. More on it all at www.eurosonic-noorderslag.nl (or Sonic Bids for artist submissions).
And while we are talking showcase festivals and music conventions, don't forget the shortlists have been announced for this year's Yearly Music Conference Awards, which will be presented on the Saturday morning of next week's Great Escape. Have your say here: www.thecmuwebsite.com/ymcas/
PEPSI DEALS: JACKSON ESTATE AND KATY PERRY
Anyway, the cola brand has done a deal with the Jackson Estate which will see the singer's image used in a new global ad campaign to coincide with a re-release of 'Bad'. Pepsi cans will also featured pictures of the singer and options to download some exclusive remixes.
It was while filming a 1984 commercial for Pepsi, of course, that some pyros malfunctioned setting the pop star on fire. Some have claimed it was treatment required for those injuries that led to Jackson becoming addicted to prescription painkillers, a problem that allegedly dogged the performer for the rest of his life. Though the singer did make up with Pepsi bosses, taking part in subsequent promotional campaigns for the drinks brand in 1988 and 1991.
Also selling her soul to Pepsi this week was Katy Perry, who announced a partnership with the drinks firm as part of the promotion for her upcoming film 'Katy Perry: Part Of Me 3D'.
JLS TO LAUNCH PERFUME
What the press release actually says is that "this unique formulation contains a special ingredient that has been chosen by each of the boys to intoxicate your senses and mesmerise your soul".
Having set it up so well in the first paragraph, I should probably insert a callback gag about condoms, secret perfume ingredients and product synergy here, but you probably already did it in your heads so I won't bother. You are all disgusting.
Created with award-winning perfume designer Azzi Glasser, there are plenty of other ingredients in the scent besides semen, including (once again according to the press release): "energising notes of peach skin, loganberry and cheeky cassis [which] allure the senses straight into the deep heart of white jasmine, tuberose absolute, neroli flower and sensual black orchid which add passion which is supported by a hypnotic base of hot amber crystals, white musk, patchouli and rich oakmoss to add longevity".
Sounds like they've overdone it a bit, if you ask me. But whatever, it's going fairly cheap. A 30ml bottle will set you back £14, or you can get 60ml for the knock down price of £20, exclusively through The Perfume Shop from later this month.
COBAIN'S DAUGHTER CONTROLS IMAGE RIGHTS, NOT LOVE
This is seemingly actually quite old news, though is only surfacing now because The Fix has seen relevant documents. According to the website, in 2010 Love took a $2.75 million loan from her daughter's trust fund, and as part of that transaction the trust gained control of Cobain's image rights until the loan is repaid. Love also stood down as a director of the company which controlled those rights. Since Frances Bean turned eighteen in 2010 she has had direct control of much of her trust fund, and, seemingly, that also means control over her late father's image.
None of this, though, affects the most lucrative of Cobain's rights, ie the copyrights in his music, that have been controlled and administrated by Primary Wave Music for some time.
WILL.I.AM: WE NEED TO MARRY MUSIC AND SCIENCE
Apparently he said: "The music industry never had an appreciation for technology. We're [only] going to work out how to make money once we marry music and science. Apple is worth $800 billion now - the music industry far less. Music helped define what that company is, but they made all the money".
Yeah, thanks for that Will.
SAINSBURY'S LAUNCHES MP3 STORE
Says the supermarket's Head Of Entertainment (Online) Mark Bennett: "This launch of our new MP3 music service enables our customers across the UK to get digital music at great value. This is the first step in our expansion to offer digital entertainment alongside our existing range of CDs, games, film and books catalogue".
CMU BEEF OF THE WEEK #109: THE WANTED V CHRISTINA, BRITNEY AND... LADY GAGA?
Aguilera is a judge on the US version of 'The Voice', on which The Wanted recently guested. Apparently she was pretty sullen throughout their performance of 'Chasing The Sun', and her reaction didn't go down well. Especially given that Jennifer Lopez gave at least one of the boy band a sneaky kiss when they performed on 'American Idol'.
Said the group's Tom Parker, speaking to New York radio station Now FM: "[Christina] is a total bitch. She might not be a bitch in real life, but to us, she was a total bitch. She just sat there and didn't speak to us. She wouldn't even look at us".
Meanwhile, referencing their meeting with Lopez at the 'Idol' recording, Max George added: "J.Lo's hot, Christina's nothing special!"
Possibly feeling guilty, possibly having had a talking to from their PR people, the group backtracked a little a few days later. Speaking to TMZ, Parker admitted: "We shouldn't have said it, to be honest with you. We just think manners cost nothing, you know what I mean? The rest of the judges were really nice and she didn't look at us or even talk to us but we apologise for the comment but we get a bit frustrated. It's just common courtesy".
Yeah, manners cost nothing, Christina. You really forced the otherwise well mannered Wanted to call you a "total bitch" in public. Forced them. But anyway, that doesn't matter because, now on an etiquette crusade, the group had another star in their sights: Britney Spears, who they scored a support slot with last year.
Although Siva Kaneswaran admitted that telling this story would mean breaching a "confidentiality thing", he explained to Fresh 102.7: "I was in the hallway with my tour manager. Basically we were looking with a laptop, trying to get wi-fi, facing the middle of the hallway. [Britney's] bouncers came down with her and told us to face the wall".
Parker, eager not to lose his status as chief popstress offender despite having apparently not actually been there (unless he also works as The Wanted's tour manager), butted in: "As Miss Spears is walking through. We're like, come on!"
Kaneswaran finished the story forlornly: "We turned around and I faced a wall for about ten seconds until she got really far away".
Perhaps recalling the stern talking to they may or may not have had from their people the last time they dissed one of the world's biggest popstars, or possibly because they just realised they were starting to look rather ungrateful for being invited onto not only a high rating TV show but also the stage of a large scale concert, Jay McGuiness added: "When we actually met her person to person she was so down to earth". But it was too late, the damage was done.
As news of The Wanted's war on Britney spread around the web, E! Online got on the phone to her people for a statement, who said: "What's even more interesting than the false allegations they made is the fact that they have claimed to be picked on by two female popstars in just a few days. Look out Lady Gaga - there are still three days left this week".
So far The Wanted have said nothing about Lady Gaga, as far as we know. She'll be pleased to learn that Plácido Domingo has got her back should things kick off though. He told The Daily Mail this week: "I think Lady Gaga has a very good voice. Absolutely. She has a wonderful voice. I know she's very wild in her performance, and clever, and she does all these things to please the youth. But when you listen to her, the voice is good".
Actually, that sounded like a slightly backhanded compliment there. So Domingo doesn't like Lady Gaga's performance or 'the youth'? That's the sort of talk that really winds up The Wanted, Plácido. I'd watch out if I were you.