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-- Viacom is seeking a refund on its 2008 earn-out payment of $150 million to the founders of Harmonix. The company purchased Harmonix, the owner of the Rock Band video game franchise, in 2006." In Thursday's SEC filing, Viacom stated it believes it is "entitled to a refund of a substantial portion of amounts previously paid, but the final amount of the earn-out has not yet been determined." The Harmonix acquisition agreement included an earn-out provision that would grant former Harmonix executives incremental earn-out payments if specific financial targets were met. The large payment was based on 2007 performance. At the time, music-based video games were soaring. Now, the music game segment is cooling off. In December, Harmonix laid off 40 employees. (paidContent)

-- A month and a half before SXSW, famed Austin music venue Stubbs received approval of its variance request from the city council. Here’s what happened: city staff found that Stubbs' outdoor venue and walkway were within the 25- and 100-year flood plains of Waller Creek. Stubbs spent the money to get the structures in compliance and will obtain a music permit next week. (

-- Bravado, Universal Music Group's merchandise unit, has signed a deal with Susan Boyle to create a wide range of merchandise in support of her hit album, I Dreamed a Dream. (Press release)

-- Dave Godowsky, director of A&R at Rounder Records, has released his debut album. "All You Love Is Need" was recorded at Bon Iver's home studio in Wisconsin and released under the name John Shade. At Shade's Bandcamp page you can download the album and pay what you want. (Boston Globe)

-- Tunesat, which tracks music playing on 175 major television stations in the U.S. and Europe, has raised $975,000 in funding. The company's technology can be helpful to rights owners who receive payment for public performance of their works. (SEC filing, via paidContent)

-- Numbers by Flurry Analytics show Android users behave just like iPhone users in terms of playing games, obtaining news and especially using social networking apps. "We conclude that mobile applications have reached a new stage of maturity, where apps perform similarly across platforms," explains Flurry. "Our ultimate conclusion is that the content trumps the platform." (Flurry Blog)

-- has a 46-minute video of Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin speaking at the Paley Center for Media on February 3. During his speech, Karmazin talked about the merger of Sirius and XM ("it took 17 months for the government to realize this wasn't anti-competitive"), the bailout by Liberty Media of $530 million at 15% interest ("Tony Soprano wanted more"), dealing with FCC commissioners (they sought concessions separate from competitive aspects of the merger), competition ("it's ours to lose"), Howard Stern ("Great content prevails. Howard Stern is great content.") and an advertising-only model ("I think there's too much (advertising) supply"). Worth the time if you can spare it. (