|MONDAY 10 APRIL 2017||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: It was confirmed yesterday that Spotify executive Chris Bevington was the British man among those killed when a truck was driven into a department store in Stockholm last week. Also killed in the attack were two Swedish people, including an eleven year old girl, and a Belgian woman in the city as a tourist... [READ MORE]|
|RECRUIT YOUR TEAM RIGHT HERE: 020 7099 9060 or firstname.lastname@example.org|
Spotify exec Chris Bevington dies in Stockholm truck attack
Working as Spotify's Director Of Global Partnerships And Business Development in Stockholm at the time of his death, Bevington had been at the streaming service for over five years. Prior to that, he worked in label relations at Nokia's Ovi Music and in sales at Warner Music.
In a statement, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said yesterday: "It is with shock and a heavy heart that I can confirm that Chris Bevington from our Spotify team lost his life in Friday's senseless attack on Stockholm".
"Chris has been a member of our band for over five years", he continued. "He has had a great impact on not just the business but on everyone who had the privilege to know and work with him. There are no words for how missed he will be or for how sad we all are to have lost him like this. Whilst this terrible news is sinking in, our primary focus is on supporting the family and loved ones of Chris in any way we possibly can".
He added: "I am as deeply saddened and upset as all of you that something like this could happen in Sweden. The only light in this deeply tragic moment is the outpouring of love, compassion and solidarity that we have seen from everyone. And that was exactly the kind of person Chris was as well. We will greatly miss you Chris. Rest in peace my friend".
Bevington's father John said in a statement to the BBC: "We are all devastated by the untimely and tragic death of our talented, compassionate and caring son Chris. A wonderful husband, son, father, brother and close friend to many. The family requests absolute privacy at this incredibly difficult time to mourn his passing in peace".
The attack in which Bevington was killed took place on Friday afternoon, when a hijacked lorry was deliberately driven through a busy shopping area and into a department store in Stockholm. A 39 year old man believed to be the driver was arrested within hour of the attack. Police have also arrested a second suspect.
Warhol Foundation sues photographer over 1984 Prince portraits
The Andy Warhol Foundation went legal last week, seeking judicial confirmation that the Prince pictures do not infringe Goldsmith's copyright, a move presumably designed to stop her suing the estate. The Foundation's lawsuit doesn't deny that Warhol was inspired by Goldsmith's photo of Prince when creating his portraits, but it says using her photograph in that way is protected by 'fair use' under US copyright law.
The lawsuit includes Goldsmith's photo and one of Warhol's pictures, and lists how the artist altered Prince's image in his artwork. The legal filing says: "Although Warhol often used photographs taken by others as inspiration for his portraits, Warhol's works were entirely new creations. As would be plain to any reasonable observer, each portrait in Warhol's Prince series fundamentally transformed the visual aesthetic and meaning of the Prince publicity photograph".
In addition to the fair use argument, the Warhol Foundation also says any claim against it by Goldsmith should be blocked under the statute of limitations, ie she waited far too long to go legal. It says that the photographer claims she wasn't aware of Warhol's adaptations of her photos until publisher Conde Nast used one on a publication called 'The Genius Of Prince', which was put out following the musician's death last year. But the Foundation argues that Vanity Fair magazine got her permission to likewise publish one of the Warhol portraits shortly after they were first created in 1984.
Concluding, last week's lawsuit said that "despite knowing that Warhol's portraits are a protected fair use, defendants have attempted to extort a settlement from the Foundation". For her part, Goldsmith told the New York Daily News that she was surprised by the legal action because she was under the impression a deal was nearly done with the Foundation. She added: "I believe that Warhol infringed my rights and I will oppose their action and counter claim for copyright infringement".
Civil actions against MegaUpload postponed yet again
As much previously reported, the US - which shut down the often controversial file sharing service in 2012 - is still trying to extradite its founder Kim Dotcom and some of his former colleagues to face criminal charges in relation to their former business, which is accused of encouraging and enabling rampant copyright infringement. If the case ever reaches a US court, Dotcom et al will argue that their ex-company had safe harbour protection.
Although two courts have now said that Dotcom can be extradited to America, the MegaUpload founder still has other routes of appeal and remains bullish about his chances of being able to remain in his adopted home of New Zealand.
In 2014, lawyers for Team MegaUpload argued that the civil litigation filed against their clients by the Motion Picture Association Of America and the Recording Industry Association Of America might impact on the criminal case against Dotcom and his former colleagues, and therefore should be delayed until after the conclusion of the criminal proceedings.
The courts agreed, and have since further postponed hearing the civil lawsuits as the US authorities' long drawn out extradition proceedings have continued to gone through their long drawn out motions.
Recently both sides in the civil lawsuits expressed concern that some key evidence stored by a US server company previously used by MegaUpload could be lost, because the ongoing delays in hearing the case meant that the hard disks containing that data could now be corrupted. But a court recently approved a proposal by the MPAA and RIAA to have an independent expert review those disks and seek to rescue any data.
With that in mind, legal reps for MegaUpload recently requested that the MPAA and RIAA's lawsuits be further postponed, writing that "with the preservation order now in place, defendant MegaUpload hereby moves the court to enter the attached proposed order, continuing the stay in this case for an additional six months, subject to the terms and conditions stated in the proposed order".
According to Torrentfreak, the judge overseeing the cases, Liam O'Grady, approved that request last Thursday, further delaying the civil actions against MegaUpload until at least October, barring any major new developments in the case.
German court tells PayPal to reveal pirate's identity to Sony Music
Credit card companies and money transfer businesses like PayPal have generally been willing to collaborate with the copyright industries on the 'follow the money' approach to combating piracy, where rights owners seek to cut off the income streams of people operating copyright infringing websites.
However, they are less keen on providing said rights owners with the contact details of the people operating such sites. That contact information is useful for music or movie companies hoping to pursue legal action against the people running piracy platforms, or which are trying to persuade the authorities to press charges of criminal copyright infringement against the piracy enablers.
According to ADSLZone, the Hamburg District Court recently ruled that PayPal must reveal the identity of the person behind one unnamed piracy site. The German court ruled that the individual was not protected by confidentiality rules in Luxembourg, where PayPal bases its European operations.
The IP lawyer who led the case against PayPal, Clemens Rasch, says the ruling sets an important precedent, in Germany at least, which "makes it easier to identify infringers and make them liable".
ASCAP, SACEM and PRS collaborate on blockchain initiative
Three song right collecting societies - America's ASCAP, France's SACEM and the UK's PRS For Music - last week announced "a groundbreaking partnership to prototype a new shared system of managing authoritative music copyright information using blockchain technology". Which probably makes as much sense as all those talks about the blockchain you sat through last year. Do you get it yet?
Everyone agrees, of course, that the music industry needs a super one-stop database of some kind that clearly states what song is contained within each recording (so, which matches the ISWC code that identifies a song with the ISRC code that identifies a recording), who wrote the song, who appears on the record, and who controls all the respective rights. If such a database could be built, the bloody blockchain is one way that that constantly updating music rights data could then be distributed around the internet.
Various parties are attempting to build such a database, some of which are dabbling with a blockchain-based solution. That includes the collecting societies, which are probably sitting on the best music rights data as of now, even if no one society has the complete database; there remain inconsistencies between different societies' information; the linking of songs to recordings is still early days; and most societies are nervous of making too much data public domain, not least because it could reduce their power and influence.
The ASCAP, SACEM and PRS project is seeking to "model a new system for managing the links between ISRCs and ISWCs. Establishing robust links between these two pieces of data offers a practical solution with enormous potential for improving the processes of royalty matching, which will in turn speed up licensing, reduce errors and reduce costs".
The three societies add that the aim of the project, which also involves IBM, which SACEM recently allied with on data initiatives, is "to prototype how the music industry could create and adopt a shared, decentralised database of musical work metadata with real-time update and tracking capabilities".
But hey, I promised you some blockchain nonsense, and where's the bloody blockchain in all of this? Well, the various parties are "leveraging the open source blockchain technology from the Linux Foundation - Hyperledger Fabric - to match, aggregate and qualify existing links between ISRCs and ISWCs in order to confirm correct ownership information and conflicts". Boom, top points for blockchain brilliance everybody. Though please note it's early days. However, say the three societies, "the project is proving to be an exciting reference point for future industry blockchain solutions".
Aside from being transatlantic, the project is also interesting in that it brings together SACEM and PRS, which are respectively leading players in two rival collecting society hubs in Europe, ie Armonia and ICE, which are in turn both involved in simplifying digital licensing and improving the efficiency of processing streaming data and royalties.
In case you wondered, ASCAP boss Elizabeth Matthews is "excited" about the project; SACEM chief Jean-Noël Tronc is "very excited"; and PRS top dude Robert Ashcroft sees the venture as a "huge opportunity". Surprisingly no one was "THRILLED".
Tramlines Festival agrees to £1.2 million takeover bid
Launched in 2015 as the Tramlines Foundation, "in order to secure the future of the community festival", the Music City Foundation already owns 15% of the annual event. It plans to raise half of the money required to buy the remaining share via crowdfunding.
"Current owners Tramlines Events have agreed to the bid price of £1.2 million, which is below market value, in order to encourage investment from the city's people and businesses", says the foundation, noting that last year the event generated £6 million for the local economy.
MCF director Winston Hazel says in a statement: "Music City Foundation plans to buy back the festival for the people. Our aim is to support both economic and cultural growth".
He adds: "Sheffield is one of the most culturally diverse and stimulating cities in the UK. It is the birthplace of Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and Bring Me The Horizon. 7.4% of our population is employed by the creative industries. The national average is just 4%. We want to ensure that Tramlines continues to support our vibrant culture while also contributing to the city's economic success".
An official launch event for the takeover bid will take place on Wednesday at 7.30pm, at which point registration for the crowdfunding campaign will open. The minimum amount for bids is set at £200 and the campaign will run until June.
This year's Tramlines Festival is set to take place on 21-23 Jul. If all goes to plan, the foundation will take over running of the event from 2018.
Jay-Z pulls catalogue from Spotify
There seems to have been some fluctuation on what is and isn't available via Spotify, and at the time of writing Jay-Z's first three albums - 'Reasonable Doubt', 'In My Lifetime' and 'Hard Knock Life' - are still listed on his profile on the service in the UK. A number of singles and compilations also remain.
Neither Jay-Z nor Tidal have commented on the matter, and Spotify has only confirmed that it's not a glitch. It's not the first time albums by the rapper have disappeared from Spotify - his debut LP, 'Reasonable Doubt', briefly went missing shortly after he relaunched Tidal in 2015.
Radio 2 presenter Brian Matthew dies
In a statement, Radio 2 head Lewis Carnie said: "Brian was one of this country's most popular and best-loved presenters, delighting millions of listeners with his memories and favourite tunes on 'Sounds Of The 60s' for 27 years. On behalf of everyone at Radio 2, we send love and our best wishes to his family at this difficult time".
Matthew first joined Radio 2, then still the BBC Light Programme, in 1954 and hosted a number of programmes for the station in the following decades. After collapsing at home in November last year, Matthew took time off from his regular Saturday morning 'Sounds Of The 60s' show.
The BBC then announced in January that he would not be returning, and that it had been mutually agreed that it was "the right time for him to step off the weekly treadmill of presenting the show".
Though the presenter took exception to this statement, telling The Telegraph: "That's absolute balderdash. I was ready and willing and able to go back, and they've just said they are going to put the programme in the hands of other people".
Following a protest from fans of Matthew, he was allowed to return for one final edition of the show, before it was handed over to Tony Blackburn.
There was further controversy last week when the BBC mistakenly prematurely announced Matthew's death on Wednesday, later retracting its statement after receiving new information to the effect that the presenter was "critically ill" but still at that point alive.
Details of a tribute show are due to be announced this week.
Beth Ditto, Shy FX, Anna Meredith, more
Other notable announcements and developments today...
• Beth Ditto has shared the video for new single 'Fire'.
• Shy FX has released new single 'We Just Don't Care', featuring Shingai Shoniwa.
• Anna Meredith has released a video for 'Dowager', taken from her 'Varmints' album.
• Grime MC Dave has released new single 'Revenge'.
• K Flay has announced that she will play The Assembly in Camden on 28 Jun.
• The Scottish Album Of The Year Award has announced that this year's longlist will be announced at a gig at Glasgow's ABC on 24 May. Performing will be former nominees Admiral Fallow, Steve Mason and Mungo's Hi-fi.
Will.i.am hopes to play comedic non-gentleman in Coronation Street
"It would be so cool if they would write a role for me on 'Coronation Street'", Will.i.am told the Daily Star. "It's such a great show. I could have a relationship with somebody on there. That would be real cool. I wouldn't play a gentleman though. I'd want to be a comedy character. I'd be comedic. I'd want to be like Norris".
That's Norris Cole, played by Malcolm Hebden in the show since 1994. So now you're up to speed. You need to have a certain level of 'Corrie' knowledge when you speak to Will.i.am, because he will not use full names.
Asked if he'd like his character to work in a shop, he replied: "I'd rather work in the pub - in the Rovers. That would be great".
He's already done a big job in the Rovers Return though. Here's the video for 'Fiyah'.