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FRIDAY 29 JUNE 2012
THE MUSIC BUSINESS WEEK IN FIVE
So, what a very busy week for music news this has been, making it pretty hard to get the week down to just five key developments. But look, I've done it anyway! Though let me remind you here in this top bit that tickets also went of sale for the 2013 edition of The Great Escape this week, more info here. And now its time to look back at the week in the music business just gone more>>
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: YOYOYO 90S JAM
Taking place in an as yet undisclosed warehouse location in East London, Soul Clap will be bringing together a night of early 90s-style raving tomorrow night. The US-centric line-up will feature a headline DJ set from San Franciscan house DJ and producer Doc Martin. These Yo 90s Jam raves always have great line-ups and go down well, so this should be a party to remember more>>
TOP STORIES
- The Word magazine to close
- EC publishes summary of its decision on Sony buying EMI Publishing
- Essential chief says he was misquoted at Congressional hearing on EMI
IN THE POP COURTS
- New Zealand judge confirms MegaUpload raid and data share illegal
AWARDS & CONTESTS
- Music Video Awards voting opens
- DJ Poll voting opens
ARTIST DEALS
- Universal signs Rod Stewart
- Noisettes announce Absolute alliance for self-release
IN THE STUDIO
- Skrillex composing film score
RELEASE NEWS
- Mumford & Sons release video trailer
- Lykke Li, MGMT cover Fleetwood Mac for tribute LP
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Tim Burgess details solo LP, tour dates
- Rita Ora sets live dates
- How To Dress Well to play 'intimate' London show
- Micachu & The Shapes to tour
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival line-up update
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- Vivendi chief resigns
- EMI appoints new Classics A&R president
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- Digital appointments: 7Digital, Deezer, eMusic
AND FINALLY...
- CMU Beef Of The Week #116: Photographers v The Stone Roses
DESK SPACE AVAILABLE
Two desk spaces for rent in our vibrant and stylish Anorak London office at Spitalfields. Use of kitchen area with sink, microwave + use of big, furnished meeting room. Office looks good and is an inspiring, creative place to work. Would suit like minded folk working in creative industries or music industry. We promote free working in our offices (no fixed desks).

Price: £500 each per month, prices includes phone use and internet + FREE yoga lesson in the office every Weds evening

Contact: laura@anoraklondon.com

FABRIC, DIGITAL MARKETING OFFICER
We are seeking a self-motivated, proactive individual to take a key role in further developing and executing a cutting edge digital marketing strategy. The successful candidate will have strong artist and industry knowledge and excellent relevant digital marketing experience.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here .
   
DEMON MUSIC GROUP, DIGITAL ADMINISTRATOR
Demon Music Group is one of the UK's largest independent record companies owned by BBC Worldwide. We are currently recruiting a Digital Administrator. Ideally you will have previous digital experience gained in a record company or a digital distributor. The role of Digital Administrator involves the creation, management and delivery of metadata to digital stores on a large volume of new releases. This requires liaison with product, legal, production and royalties teams as well as external agencies.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BOOKING AGENCY, JUNIOR ASSISTANT
A Junior Assistant is required by a high profile music agent. Duties will include diary management, travel arrangements and itineraries, contracts, work permits, ticket figures, email dictation and inbox management. The successful candidate will need to be computer literate, discreet and unflappable, have good organisation and admin skills, and a "can do attitude". This is a great opportunity for a Team Assistant to develop their skills. Salary £20,000.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
EAGLE ROCK, ONLINE PROMOTIONS
Eagle Rock is the largest producer and distributor of music programming for DVD, Blu-Ray, TV and Digital Media in the world, producing top quality, high definition and 3D programmes for some of the industry's greatest musicians. As we continue to expand our digital offering, an exciting opportunity has arisen for a talented, driven and enthusiastic individual to take responsibility for all online promotional campaigns across all consumer media channels throughout the world (ex N America).

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


THE WORD MAGAZINE TO CLOSE
Popular music magazine The Word is to cease publishing, its publisher David Hepworth confirmed this morning. The next issue, the August edition published in mid-July, will be the last. The independent title would have been ten years old next February.

Hepworth writes: "We regret to announce that the August issue of The Word, which will be published in the second week of July, will be the last. In the nine years since the magazine launched there have been dramatic changes in the media and the music business. These changes have made it more difficult for a small independent magazine to survive and provide its staff with a living. This hasn't been made any easier by the economic climate of the wider world".

He continues: "We would like to thank all the staff members past and present, plus the writers, photographers, illustrators, artists, PRs and advertisers who have helped make the magazine what it has been. We also want to thank the backers who have supported us throughout. Most of all we want to thank you, the readers. Your heartfelt involvement with the magazine - via its pages, its website, its events and its podcasts - have made the last nine years one of the most satisfying periods of our working lives. [Co-founder and Editor] Mark [Ellen] has written about this in greater detail in the August issue".

It's not clear whether this will have any impact on the rest of Hepworth's business Development Hell, which also publishes Mixmag and social network site dontstayin.com.

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EC PUBLISHES SUMMARY OF ITS DECISION ON SONY BUYING EMI PUBLISHING
The European Commission has published a full 84 page summary of its decision regards the acquisition by a Sony-led consortium of EMI Music Publishing. As previously reported, the deal was given the all clear by European regulators in April after Sony offered a number of concessions, ie selling off the Virgin and Famous UK song catalogues. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval in the US.

As assumed, a key factor in the regulators' decision-making was the complicated ownership structure of the EMI publishing company post any deal. Although Sony's existing publishing firm, Sony/ATV, will control EMI day-to-day, the EMI publishing business will remain a separate entity co-owned by Sony/ATV and a number of other investors. And as it is, of course, Sony Corp does not own Sony/ATV outright, it being a 50/50 joint venture with the Michael Jackson estate.

This is different than with the other big EMI deal, ie Universal's bid to buy the EMI record company. Universal Music is one entity owned by one parent company, and it plans to absorb the EMI labels whole, creating one mega music firm. But with Sony's bid, although Sony Corp will have an interest in the Sony Music record company, the Sony/ATV publishing firm and EMI Music Publishing, all three will remain autonomous, and the latter two will have other shareholders, a fact that has allayed some of the European regulator's concerns regarding the group's market dominance.

According to pan-European indie labels trade body IMPALA, which has opposed both the EMI sales, the EC's report also concludes that online services and/or piracy will not, in their own right, constrain the "excessive market power" of big rights owners. This is important because one of Universal's counter-arguments to claims by opponents that a combined Universal/EMI would have too much power over the digital music domain, is that the dominance of certain digital service providers and the threat of online piracy constrains the rights owners power over things like pricing.

Commenting on the report, IMPALA boss Helen Smith told CMU: "We welcome the decision's confirmation that neither online customers nor piracy are capable of restraining excessive market power in music. It also acknowledges that online platforms are being asked to pay more for Anglo-American music than local music, which is exactly what we predicted".

She continued: "Against that backdrop, the merger is bad news for publishers and writers, as well as for collecting societies and any label or online service which needs to be able to rely on fair terms. We believe the remedies do not go anywhere close to securing future competition. We now need to study the EC's reasons in detail with our legal team to decide next steps".

The EC decision can be downloaded here.

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ESSENTIAL CHIEF SAYS HE WAS MISQUOTED AT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON EMI
Elsewhere in EMI takeover news, the MD of UK-based distribution company Essential Music & Marketing, Mike Chadwick, has filed a short statement with the US Senate anti-trust subcommittee, which last week held a hearing on Universal's bid to buy the EMI labels, claiming he was quoted out of context at the hearing by the mega-major's big bad boss man Lucian Grainge.

In his submission to the committee, Grainge name checked a couple of independent music execs who had gone on the record as saying that, in the digital era, they felt it was easier for their companies to compete against even the biggest record companies. One of those execs was Chadwick who, in an interview with Music Week earlier this year, said that he didn't feel directly threatened by a combined Universal/EMI, because as the majors get ever bigger, there is an increasing number of artists who are looking for other options, such as using a smaller independent distribution company like his.

Grainge noted that Chadwick had said of the EMI deal, "Is it good for us? It's great for us". However, the Essential chief says that was quoted out of context because, while he doesn't feel directly threatened by the looming merger, he did express concerns, in the same interview, about the wider implications of further consolidation in the record industry. Clarifying his viewpoint, Chadwick submitted the following to Congress this week:

"Lucian Grainge's testimony to the Subcommitee on Antitrust, Competition Policy And Consumer Rights last week contained a selective quote from an expansive interview I gave Music Week magazine in the UK earlier this year. Mr Grainge suggested that I believed the proposed merger was a positive step for the business. In fact, my interview offered a view in which I questioned whether the merger would be good for the music business".

"To clarify further, my company is a sales, distribution and services company and tends not to compete on label or artist signings with Universal or EMI, however I nevertheless believe that the concentration of market power that would result from the merger would be a negative step for the industry and for independents".

"My considered view is the increase in market share and market power of the merged company would give it too much leverage with important gatekeepers such as radio, TV, music magazines and other media, as well as across retail. Therefore, although the transaction could free up certain artists, given Universal's enhanced market power, those artists would have significant difficulty in accessing media and commercial outlets on level terms. A merger would also enhance Universal's ability to abuse its dominant position in the emerging digital market and this would be certain to disadvantage independents in their ability to compete across the world".

As previously reported, although last week's Congressional hearing made for entertaining viewing, what really matter to Universal are the regulatory investigations being undertaken by the FTC in the US and the European Commission over here.

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NEW ZEALAND JUDGE CONFIRMS MEGAUPLOAD RAID AND DATA SHARE ILLEGAL
A New Zealand judge confirmed for certain yesterday that the warrants used for the raid on the home of MegaUpload founder Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz back in January were illegal, while also agreeing with the tech man's lawyers that the FBI should not have been allowed to take copies of data seized during that raid back to the US.

As previously reported, it first emerged back in March that police had secured the wrong kind of warrant before they raided Dotcom's mansion at the request of the US authorities. The raid was part of a united effort with American officials to shut down the controversial MegaUpload file-transfer service, which is accused of widespread copyright infringement.

Then earlier this month it was revealed that the FBI had taken copies of data stored on hard disks seized during the raid, back to the US. MegaUpload attorneys argued this breached the rules that said any seized property must stay within New Zealand, though the country's police countered that that rule only applied to physical property, not data.

But Judge Helen Winkelmann disagreed yesterday, ordering New Zealand police to return the data files to Dotcom. While on the warrant issue, she told the court: "The warrants did not adequately describe the offences to which they related. Indeed they fell well short of that. They were general warrants, and as such, are invalid".

It's not really clear what judicial confirmation of errors having been made by officials means for the criminal case against Dotcom and his fellow former MegaUpload executives, though obviously it's embarrassing for New Zealand police, and arguably gives the Mega team some claim to the moral high ground. America's application to have Dotcom et al extradited back to the States is still ongoing. Meanwhile New Zealand police said yesterday they were considering the judgement and were in discussions with the Crown Law Office "to determine what further action might be required".

According to the Australian Associated Press, MegaUpload's main legal rep Ira Rothken told Radio New Zealand earlier today: "One would think, with such a large case, that they would have a higher standard of care in how they conducted themselves. In terms of egregious behaviour, this is at the high end of the scale of egregious, wrongful intrusion on privacy".

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MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS VOTING OPENS
Entries are now being accepted for the 2012 edition of the UK Music Video Awards, which will be presented in London in November. Details of categories are online at www.ukmva.com and the deadline for entering is 3 Aug.

UK MVA Editorial Director David Knight told CMU: "The MVAs has become a globally-recognised event for celebrating the outstanding creative work in music videos in the UK and around the world. Last year filmmakers travelled from Europe and the United States to attend our biggest show ever. It was a very good night indeed - and I'm sure the fifth MVAs will be the best one yet. Apart from anything else, you won't have to fight past the builders in Leicester Square to get into the Empire this year!"

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DJ POLL VOTING OPEN
Voting is also now open for the annual DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll, with voting taking place through Facebook, though clubbers and dance music fans should visit www.djmag.com/top100 first for information. Voting will run until 29 Aug, with the winners announced at an awards party during the Amsterdam Dance Event in October.

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UNIVERSAL SIGNS ROD STEWART
Universal Music announced a new deal with Rod Stewart earlier this week, he having previously worked with Sony on his most recent releases. The new partnership with Universal will include the release of the aging singer's first ever Christmas album. So that's something for us all to look forward to.

Confirming the new worldwide partnership, Universal top man Lucian Grainge told reporters: "I've known Rod and [his manager] Arnold [Stiefel] for many years and have been wanting to work with them for some time. Rod possesses one of pop music's most inventive and memorable voices; and we're delighted to be part of the next great chapter in his already storied career. UMG remains committed to artistic creativity and expanding opportunities for artists in the marketplace. And nowhere is this more evident than in our new partnership with an artist of Rod's calibre".

Stewart himself added: "I'm confident that by partnering with my fellow CBE, Lucian, and his cracking, top-notch company, we have the best team in the business".

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NOISETTES ANNOUNCE ABSOLUTE ALLIANCE FOR SELF-RELEASE
Noisettes and their management company SEG UK have announced an alliance with label services company Absolute Marketing & Distribution to release the band's new album 'Contact' in August. The new record will come out on the band's own label MONA-RA-RAMA with Absolute providing project management, sales, distribution and marketing support.

The band's manager John Arnison told CMU: "We are delighted to have partnered up with Absolute Marketing for the release of the new Noisettes album, which is their strongest album yet. We wanted the release to be independent, but I required a partner on this that both I and the band could have faith would help deliver".

He continued: "I have worked with Absolute on many projects as they have the expertise in house that is needed to bring a high profile record to market. Absolute provide all the skills of an established and successful record label whilst we retain the ultimate ownership, which is the perfect partnership".

Listen to the album's lead single, 'Winner', here.

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SKRILLEX COMPOSING FILM SCORE
Young Skrillex is masterminding an original musical score for the new movie from director Harmony Korine ('Kids', 'Gummo'), 'Spring Breakers'. The frat-step DJ's part in the project was confirmed to Pitchfork (http://pitchfork.com/features/interviews/8877-wes-anderson/2/) by Wes Anderson collaborator Randall Poster, who happens to be acting as music supervisor on the Korine film.

Starring a very zeitgeisty Hollywood cast including James Franco and Selena Gomez, 'Spring Breakers' and its Skrillex-y score are set to premiere in 2013.

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MUMFORD & SONS RELEASE VIDEO TRAILER
Mumford & Sons may just be about to double their discography (ie release a second album), having published one of those suggestive video trailers featuring a horse. Though who knows, perhaps they just really like horses.

View the rustic promo, which also features some maritime semaphore flags allegedly spelling out the word 'Babel', here.

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LYKKE LI, MGMT COVER FLEETWOOD MAC FOR TRIBUTE LP
Myriad 'indie'-type artists have covered Fleetwood Mac standards for a new tribute LP, 'Just Tell Me That You Want Me'. As you'll note via the below tracklisting, Best Coast, Tame Impala, Marianne Faithfull, Washed Out and St Vincent all feature on the collection, which is out for purchase from 14 Aug.

Stream varying standards of donation from MGMT, Antony Hegarty and Lykke Li and then check out the full tracklist here:

Lee Ranaldo Band feat J Mascis - Albatross
Antony - Landslide
Trixie Whitley - Before The Beginning
Billy Gibbons & Co - Oh Well
Best Coast - Rhiannon
The New Pornographers - Think About Me
Marianne Faithfull - Angel
Lykke Li - Silver Springs
Karen Elson - Gold Dust Woman
Matt Sweeney And Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Storms
Washed Out - Straight Back
Tame Impala - That's All For Everyone
Craig Wedren feat St Vincent - Sisters Of The Moon
The Kills - Dreams
Gardens And Villa - Gypsy
The Crystal Ark - Tusk
MGMT - Future Games

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TIM BURGESS DETAILS SOLO LP, TOUR DATES
Solo Charlatans blonde Tim Burgess has other things to do besides devising hypothetical cereals, you know, namely preparing a sophomore solo LP titled 'Oh No I Love You' to succeed his 2003 debut, 'I Believe'.

Set for self-release via Burgess's own label O Genesis on 24 Sep, it features various members of Lambchop, My Morning Jacket and Factory Floor, as well as Earl Scruggs' grandson Chris Scruggs and lo fi character R Stevie Moore (who, as it happens, has his own greatest hits record coming out via Burgess's label soon).

Burgess will be touring to promote the new record with a five-piece band, featuring The Charlatans guitarist Mark Collins, on the dates shown below.

But first, a tracklisting:

White
The Doors Of Then
A Case For Vinyl
The Graduates
Hours
Tobacco Fields
Anytime Minutes
The Great Outdoors Bitches
The Economy
A Gain

Tour dates:

18 Oct: Aberdeen, Lemon Tree
19 Oct: Glasgow, Oran Mor
20 Oct: Manchester, Deaf Institute
22 Oct: Birmingham, Glee Club
23 Oct: Bristol, Thekla
24 Oct: London, Union Chapel
26 Oct: Dublin, Workman's Club
27 Oct: Belfast, Stiff Kitten

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RITA ORA SETS LIVE DATES
Nondescript Rihanna replica Rita Ora has announced a couple of headline dates to match her er... truly revelatory new single 'How We Do (Party)'. It's good that the "party" part is in parentheses, lest we forget to party ("and bullshit", as the track also urges).

Ms Ora will be playing Manchester's Sound Control on 29 Aug before gracing The Scala in London on 30 Aug.

'How We Do (Party)' will be available in all self-respecting pop music shops as of 12 Aug, and here is its video.

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HOW TO DRESS WELL TO PLAY 'INTIMATE' LONDON SHOW
Ethereal R&B tastemaker How To Dress Well is to play at north east London's premier under-construction nightspot, the Vice-owned Birthdays.

CMU approved producer Tom Krell will be present to preview (and promote) his new LP 'Total Loss', which is out by way of Weird World on 17 Sep.

When that happens, its tracklisting will look like this:

When I Was In Trouble
Cold Nites
Say My Name Or Say Whatever
Running Back
& It Was U
World I Need You, Won't Be Without You (Proem)
Struggle
How Many?
Talking To You
Set It Right
Ocean Floor For Everything

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MICACHU & THE SHAPES TO TOUR
Art-pop trio Micachu & The Shapes will mark the approaching release of their new LP, 'Never', which a number of live dates, the first of which is a special album launch party at London's Arcola Theatre Tent.

As previously reported, 'Never' is out via Rough Trade on 24 Jul.

Tour dates:

24 Jul: London, Arcola Theatre Tent
13 Oct: Brighton, Coalition
14 Oct: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
16 Oct: Glasgow, Captain's Rest
17 Oct: Manchester, Islington Mill
19 Oct: Bristol, Colston Hall

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

BESTIVAL, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight, 6-9 Sep: Bestival has just taken on a further horde of resident artists, not least David Rodigan, Kate Nash, Summer Camp, Disclosure, Dan Le Sac, Scroobius Pip and Rudimental, who join headliners New Order, Stevie Wonder and Orbital. www.bestival.net

BOOKSTOCK, Shoreditch, London, 26 Aug: Dub Pistols, We Were Evergreen, Mark Archer, Bikini Beach Band and many more are now poised to be part of The Book Club's Summer street fest, which is free to attend with a priority wristband. www.wearetbc.com/bookstock

MERTHYR ROCK, Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr, Wales, 31 Aug - 2 Sep: Razorlight, Skindred and Kids In Glass Houses have now been named as headliners across Merthyr Rock's three-day rosters, as also feature Deaf Havana, Yashin, Lower Than Atlantis and Saves The Day. www.merthyrrock.com

UNSOUND, Krakow, Poland, 14-21 Aug: Taking place beneath the banner theme 'THE END', Unsound's second wave of conscriptions includes Hieroglyphic Being, Voices From The Lake, Shackleton, Kuedo, Colly G, Taxman and Evian Christ, all of whom align with Julia Holter, aTelecine, V/Vm, Tim Hecker and Oneoftrix Point Never's Daniel Lopatin on the festival's line-up at large. www.unsound.pl

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VIVENDI CHIEF RESIGNS
The CEO of Universal Music's parent company, Vivendi, is departing the French media and telecoms conglom following a disagreement regarding the strategic direction of the group. The somewhat sudden departure follows denied speculation that Vivendi might split its business empire into two.

Levy had been Vivendi's CEO for a decade, having initially joined a company on the brink. The one-time water firm had over-expanded in the late 1990s, and was facing major financial problems, not to mention allegations of false reporting. Levy helped restructure the business, selling off some key entertainment assets, and enabled the firm to become strong again.

Though more recently shareholders have been getting tetchy because of the underperformance of the group's French mobile business SFR, which has been struggling to battle some tough new competition of late. And despite recording an annual profit in 2011, investors were unhappy when the firm said earnings were unlikely to grow for at least two years because of SFR's struggles.

The exact nature of the "disagreement regarding strategic direction" is not known, though it's thought disagreements are mainly between Levy and the firm's Chairman Jean-René Fourtou, and may relate to SFR's fortunes. A US court ruling earlier this week relating to a decade old legal dispute with US-based Liberty Media (relating to those allegations of false reporting) may have also added to stresses, Vivendi having been ordered to Liberty 765 million Euros. The French firm plans to appeal.

Though, commenting on Levy's sudden departure, a source told Reuters: "It's not Jean-Bernard's record, it's not the situation at Vivendi, it's not even the situation at SFR that's the problem, it's the future of the group".

Confirming Levy would depart, Vivendi said in a statement last night: "A Vivendi Supervisory Board was held this June 28. Jean-Bernard Lévy is stepping down as Chairman of the Management Board following a divergence of views on the strategic development of the Group. The Supervisory Board wishes to thank Jean-Bernard Lévy for his contribution over the last ten years alongside Jean-René Fourtou". The firm's Legal Counsel Jean-Francois Dubos will take over from Levy, for the time being at least.

The change in leadership at Vivendi isn't likely to have any major impact of Universal Music, or its bid to buy the EMI record company, which, insiders say, still has the full support of the group's board.

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EMI APPOINTS NEW CLASSICS A&R PRESIDENT
EMI UK yesterday announced the appointment of Jean-Philippe Rolland to the role of A&R President for classical music division EMI Classics. He previously held a senior A&R role at another EMI classical division, Virgin Classics, based in France. In his new role he will divide his time between Paris and London. He replaces Andrew Cornall, who will continue to consult for the major.

Confirming the appointment, EMI Music UK boss Andria Vidler told CMU: "I'm delighted that Jean-Philippe is joining EMI Classics in this important role to strengthen our A&R capability. Classical music is core to EMI and in Jean-Philippe we have one of the most experienced and respected A&Rs in the business".

Rolland himself added: "I have been working closely with the EMI team in London for many years and it is my pleasure to strengthen our professional relationships to achieve more successful projects together".

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DIGITAL APPOINTMENTS: 7DIGITAL, DEEZER, EMUSIC
Download firm 7Digital announced the appointment of a new London-based VP of Global Marketing this week in the form of Kelaine Blades, who was most recently with mobile technology company AeroMobile. Says 7Digital chief Ben Drury: "Kelaine is an ideal addition to the 7Digital team. Our mobile offering has grown significantly over the past few years, and her experience will ensure this continues. We're about to expand our product offering too, so she is joining us at just the right time".

Elsewhere, streaming music platform Deezer announced the appointment of a new Director of International PR, Julie Harari-West formerly of global PR firm Weber Shandwick. Laurent Billion, Chief International Officer for Deezer told CMU: "Julie has joined our senior team in this new role created to help us build our brand worldwide as we continue to expand globally. Deezer is the leading music streaming service in France and with Julie's help we will look to replicate this success around the world".

And finally subscription-based download service eMusic has appointed an International Editor, Amber Cowan, who has had previous journalistic and editorial roles at the likes of The Times, BBC and London Lite. She will head up the firm's UK-based editorial team. Says eMusic CEO Adam Klein: "As eMusic continues to grow its UK team, Amber's experience in music journalism and her successful track record in securing exclusive interviews will help us continue to promote music discovery to our members, and bring them closer to the artists they love".

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CMU BEEF OF THE WEEK #116: PHOTOGRAPHERS V THE STONE ROSES
The Stone Roses reunion gets underway properly tonight with the first of the band's big Heaton Park show in Manchester. But will there be any evidence of this after the fact? A group of photographers have announced that they are boycotting the shows due to what they say are unfair contracts issued by the band's management.

According to the BBC, the original contract demanded that professional photographers documenting the shows sign all rights in the photos they take over to the band for a sum of £1, and accept limits on what they could then do with their pictures. A revised contract was submitted on Monday, though this has seemingly not placated the angry photographers.

Ian Tilton, who has photographed the band throughout their career, including for album artwork, told the BBC that he supported the boycott, saying: "I understand that the Stone Roses want to make money from the pictures. But I don't agree that the photographers can only use the pictures once, for one publication. The photographers should be allowed to earn money from the pictures they take".

John Toner, who represents freelancers at the National Union Of Journalists, added: "Too many musical artistes now wish to grab rights from photographers. Having said that, people are surprised that The Stone Roses have chosen to go down this route. We fully understand why a band would wish to retain merchandising rights, and the photographers would be happy to concede this. Equally, a photographer must have the right to license editorial use of images without obtaining the band's permission for each use".

So, there you go. If you're not going, then you'll never see it. There will be no pictures. None. Not even one. Except all the shitty wobbly ones people will be tweeting. Oh, except what's that you say, Murray Chalmers?

Asked for comment by the Beeb, the band's press officer Chalmers said: "There is no boycott". And before you say, 'but it does sound quite a lot like there is one, he added: "We have a complete list, a full quota of photographers who are covering the concerts".

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