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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Mossack Fonseca & Co. Sponsors the International Film Festival of Panama

Category : Stocks

PANAMA CITY–(Marketwired – May 3, 2013) –  Mossack Fonseca & Co. will participate as a sponsor of the International Film Festival of Panama (IFF Panama), which will be held from 11 to 17 April 2013. The company participates as a law firm specializing in intellectual property and other legal services. Carlos Sousa-Lennox, Director of Marketing for the company, said: “We are pleased to work with the various cultural initiatives and the protection of intellectual property in this way to support national and international artists.”

See more here: Mossack Fonseca & Co. Sponsors the International Film Festival of Panama

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Olympic Games hits live music income

Category : Business, World News

The body which collects and distributes song royalties for artists finds live music revenue was down by 15% from 2011 to 2012.

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Beijing spends a billion to get China rocking

Category : Business

A ‘Music Valley’ is among plans to boost the music industry. But will piracy and tight state control hold back progress?

From the top of a hillside in Pinggu village, an hour’s drive from central Beijing, the future of China’s music industry doesn’t look like much – just a vista of Mao-era farmhouses and parched cabbage fields.

Yet Beijing officials have announced plans to spend more than 10 years and £1.4bn turning the area into the “China Music Valley”, a sprawling compound that will be home to recording studios, instrument makers, music schools, five-star hotels and an arena in the shape of a peach.

“Music is such an intangible kind of art,” said Zhao Wei, a 30-year-old official who directed the initiative until last month. “Now with this project, we want to turn music into something that you can see, something that you can touch.”

China’s central government, concerned that progress in the country’s film, music and drama sectors lag behind its economic development, has designated culture a top national priority and promised billions of pounds in subsidies for the arts. “Culture is the lifeblood of a nation,” President Hu Jintao said at the start of the country’s once-in-a-decade leadership transition in November.

While some fields have flourished under state support – its output of films has quadrupled since 2003 – China’s music industry is still fledgling, perennially constrained by rampant piracy and a stifling undercurrent of government control. While Gangnam Style cemented Korea’s place on the world pop map, China is still struggling with how to keep many of its artists paid. “The industry is so small that we don’t have enough writers, enough song creators, enough composers, we don’t have enough bands,” said Scarlett Li, the founder of music festival promoter Zebra Media.

Analysts say the music industry’s problems are primarily economic. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has said that the country has a piracy rate of “virtually 100%”.

Yet many issues can be traced back to the heavy hand of the state. Television and radio stations are tightly regulated, giving artists little room to experiment with edgy content like the offbeat satire that propelled Gangnam Style’s singer Psy to international fame.

Rather than investing in talent, local governments frequently take cultural subsidies as a green light to build opera houses, performance arenas, and other high-profile property projects. “None of the money goes to the artists, it goes to middle men,” Li said. “But the middle men are not at the centre of creating content. This makes no sense to me.”

Things are improving. Last year, the central government formed a committee for enforcing intellectual property rights laws headed by the vice-premier. Baidu Music and Tencent Music, two leading online free music suppliers, have agreed to begin charging for downloads at the beginning of 2013. China recorded £52m in music sales in 2011, a rise of about 23% over 2010.

Over the past few years, there has been a boom in music festivals, multiple-day affairs rife with Converse footwear, neon-dyed hair and studded leather bracelets. Li said that despite their rough-edged aesthetic, many festivals are encouraged or even sponsored by local governments as a way to boost tourism revenue while increasing their cultural clout.

The official presence at many festivals is unmistakable. Flocks of green-coated security guards stand by the stage and goose-step in formation through the audience. Many ban alcohol.

International music labels are desperate to crack China’s potentially massive market – Warner, Sony and Universal all have offices in Beijing. Yet for foreign investors in China’s domestic media, the barriers to entry are sky-high.

Take Beijing startup Rock the Web, an online American Idol-style talent show whose winners will record with A-list producers in Los Angeles. According to Ilya Agapkin, the company’s Russian co-founder, gaining approval for the show was almost entirely dependent on his ability to navigate an intricate web of government contacts.

“Of course, this area that we are working in is quite sensitive, because the media market is closed to foreign investments,” he said. “The regulations are very complicated.”

Agapkin’s team spent a year acquiring permits. “To be on the internet, you need a special licence. To be an agency you need a special licence. To be a culture company you need a special licence,” said Xiong Jialin, the company’s music director. Some of these licences require employees to attend classes and pass written tests at government institutions.

The Chinese government has tried promoting folk heroes, with mixed results. In 2011, after a migrant worker duo achieved internet fame with a gruff cover of a Chinese pop song – think grainy mobile phone footage, empty beer bottles, cigarettes – the government invited them to perform at that year’s spring festival gala, one of the world’s most-viewed performances.

But soon after their debut, the group caved in under the pressures of sudden fame and an unforgiving market.

“People say that I shouldn’t be using an iPhone because I’m a migrant worker,” guitarist Liu Gang said last winter. “It drives me crazy.” In September, Chinese media admonished Liu for driving an Audi and verbally abusing a pedestrian in a traffic dispute.

Despite the odds, some artists have forged their own path. Yan Haisong, the lead singer of the veteran Beijing rock band P.K.14, said his band made a decent living performing at festivals and producing records for up-and-coming artists. Yan added that no one in his professional circle had much interest in projects such as the China Music Valley.

“Combining music and politics is really strange, because the music you get out of it just won’t be any good,” he said. “If they really want to improve this culture, they need to open up a bit.”

Haven Talent Hunt

Category : Stocks

HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, UNITED KINGDOM–(Marketwire – Nov. 24, 2012) - Haven Holidays launch Funstars Go Live concept for 2013. They are looking for undiscovered stars in their biggest talent hunt to date as they want to recruit 100 new artists.

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Unilever quits as Turbine sponsor

Category : Business, World News

Unilever ends its £4.41m sponsorship of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall commission, which has seen artists including Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor and Rachel Whiteread create free works of art in the venue.

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Universal Music’s EMI deal faces hurdles before it can be passed

Category : Business

Competition regulator concerned about dominance of The Voice and other TV shows and digital music prices

Europe’s competition regulator has told Universal Music that its £1.2bn bid to buy EMI faces a formidable number of hurdles to gain clearance – with the watchdog raising concern over the combined company’s potential domination of The Voice and other TV shows, the price of digital music and dominance of its acts on radio and elsewhere.

The scale of issues raised by the European commission’s almost 200-page statement of objections to the deal, which would bring together Universal artists including Lady Gaga and U2 with EMI acts such as the Beatles and Katy Perry, leaves parent company Vivendi weighing up whether to make large-scale concessions to gain a regulatory green light.

The European commission document is understood to have raised the spectre of “over exposure” that the enlarged Universal Music will get across all manner of media platforms and markets. If combined, the two companies would distribute 41% of music sold worldwide.

A particular concern of the commission’s is the share of airtime Universal artists would get on radio and key TV shows – it is understood that the Universal-dominated BBC talent show The Voice is raised as an example – where three of the four judges,, Jessie J and Tom Jones, are signed up to labels owned by the company.

It is understood that the commission has also raised concern about the amount of retail shelf space a combined Universal-EMI would be able to control – and whether the music major would have the market power to impose more onerous rights deals with digital music providers.

Although the EC’s statement of issues is private, it has been widely circulated to interested parties – including competitors. One critic of the bid who has seen the document, said they believed that the world’s largest music company will need to “pull a rabbit out of a hat” to win over regulators.

The EC document also challenges Universal’s claim that piracy will act as a counter measure to stop any one player controlling the digital music market, and that internet giants such as Apple, Amazon and Spotify have enough power to act as a counterweight to a music company of the enlarged group’s size.

It also questioned Universal’s attempt to deploy a different market share definition, which focuses on the labels it directly owns and runs, and excludes artists from their third-party independent labels it distributes. In the past, the commission noted, Universal had been happy to use the broader definition that includes indies, which gives it a larger percentage market share and is used by the global industry body, the IFPI.

Universal will submit its response to the commission by the end of the week, with owner Vivendi having promised to pay Citigroup, EMI’s current owner, the full purchase price regardless of the outcome of European and US regulatory clearance. “We are continuing to work with the commission to gain regulatory approval,” said a spokesman for Universal. “We will be submitting a detailed response to the statement which addresses the concerns of what is a procedural document.”

Parent company Vivendi was thrown into disarray last week when Jean-Bernard Lévy, chief executive for the last decade, abruptly resigned after a disagreement over the future strategy of the French media and telecoms group.

But company chairman Jean-René Fourtou has signalled Vivendi remains committed to a deal signed off by the whole board, and told Universal Music chief Lucian Grainge last Friday that the potential combination “is an integral part of Vivendi’s commitment to excellence in the field of creative content”.

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‘Murayama Tomoyoshi: Get All of Me Seething’

Category : World News

Greatly influenced in Europe by avant-garde movements such as Dadaism, Tomoyoshi Murayama (1901-1977) joined the radical Mavo art group upon his return to Japan in 1923. His artistic activities often disregarded traditional artistic genres and were politically motivated. He is particularly well known for his unusual stage work and dance performances, which won him the support of many fellow artists.
Focusing on works from around 1920, this show introduces the extraordinary versatility of Murayama’s talent; till May 13.

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43% The Beat Hotel

Category : World News

1957. The Latin Quarter, Paris. A cheap no-name hotel became a haven for a new breed of artists fleeing the conformity and censorship of America. The hotel soon turned into an epicenter of Beat writing that produced some of the most important works…

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43% The Beat Hotel

Category : Entertainment, World News

1957. The Latin Quarter, Paris. A cheap no-name hotel became a haven for a new breed of artists fleeing the conformity and censorship of America. The hotel soon turned into an epicenter of Beat writing that produced some of the most important works…

Read the original: 43% The Beat Hotel

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Japan holds art show to thank Big Apple for quake aid

Category : World News

The government held a fine arts exhibition in New York to express Japan’s gratitude for the relief it has received in the aftermath of the March 11 disasters.
The three-day Japan Next Exhibition of Fine Arts at the Museum of Arts and Design, opened Friday and closed Sunday. It featured traditional arts and crafts, such as ceramics and textiles, by artists Japan considers living national treasures.

Link: Japan holds art show to thank Big Apple for quake aid

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