The Day the Music Died - The Music Producers Guild is backing a campaign to ensure that songwriters get a larger share of royalty income generated by digital music sales. Spearheaded by the British Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and entitled The Day the Music Died, this initiative will focus on the role and importance of songwriters and composers in the digital music industry. It will press for three key actions - a 50/50 split of gross digital royalty income, the removal of auto-predictive search functionality in search engines, which point people to illegal content and a push for all digital advertising income to be paid to creators for all usage.

BASCA is also asking for more transparency around digital deals and is calling for improved regulation of illegal content on search engines, plus the easier removal of infringing websites and apps. Producer and MPG Director Mick Glossop says, "We feel it is important for the MPG to back this campaign because songwriters, along with record producers, are suffering as a result of the vastly diminished income from sales of recorded music, and we believe that changes are needed in order to re-balance the income streams."

BASCA aims to take its campaign to government and the European Commission, and is also asking its members to write to their local MPs. Simon Darlow, BASCA chairman, said: "This is, without doubt, one of the most important campaigns we have ever initiated. Songwriters and composers are the heartbeat of the music industry and depriving them of a fair share of the digital income they help generate is short-sighted and foolish in the extreme."

London Calling - The Mayor of London has launched a new taskforce to protect and secure live music venues in the capital after fears that closures will have a long-term impact on the sector. Called the Music Venues Taskforce, it was set up by mayor Boris Johnson and is chaired by the Music Venue Trust alongside the Musicians' Union and UK Music. Johnson said, "Music is an essential part of our city, and the job of the Music Venues Taskforce will be to ensure London can support a wide range of venues across the capital and protect its status as the music capital of the world."

The taskforce has been created following the closure of a number of venues in central London, including Soho's 12 Bar Club and nightclub and cabaret venue Madame Jojo's. MU live performance organiser Dave Webster said, "The MU is delighted to be invited to join London's venues taskforce. We hope discussion with the group will bring about new and secure opportunities to develop and grow the live music scene in London." The group will meet for the first time on 27 March. A report is due later this year.

Space Oddity - Sarah Brightman has been working with her former husband Andrew Lloyd Webber on a song she can perform in space. The British soprano, who is training at Star City near Moscow, is due to blast off on a Russian Soyuz craft on 1 September. The 54-year-old will spend 10 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS), 260 miles (420 km) above Earth.

Speaking at a press conference in central London, the Phantom of the Opera star said her team were trying to work out the technical details of performing on the ISS. "I would like to connect with a choir, or children or another singer or an orchestra on Earth," she told reporters. "To sing in microgravity is a very different thing to singing down here," she said. "We use the Earth to ground ourselves when we sing and the air around us...This is going to be very different. I'm trying to find a piece that is beautiful and simple in its message, as well as not complicated to sing."

Brightman is thought to be paying around £34m to become the eighth space tourist. She said she had paid for the trip herself, but could not "contractually" say how much it had cost.

Remembering Jack - A tribute concert in memor

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