FRIDAY 22 DECEMBER 2017 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
Hello CMU Daily readers. Thank you very much for spending another year with us. Next year we'll be turning 20, which we can't quite believe. In fact, we need a bit of a rest to get over the shock.

This is our way of telling you that this is the last edition of CMU Daily in 2017. Have a marvellous Christmas and New Year - we'll be back in your inboxes again on 8 Jan.

In the meantime, there will be two Review Of The Year episodes of our Setlist podcast over the festive break, and you can keep up with key music business stories on our website, with the latest updates always linked to via our Twitter feed.
ONLINE MUSIC PIRACY - PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
While the music industry has shouted a lot more about safe harbours than piracy in recent years, that could be about to change. But if the music community gets vocal about piracy once again, what kind of piracy will dominate the conversation? Because piracy has been evolving just like the legitimate digital music market. CMU Trends reviews developments in online piracy from the rise of Napster to the new services gaining momentum today. [READ MORE]
   
DISSECTING THE DIGITAL DOLLAR - STEP BY STEP
As the UK's Music Managers Forum publishes two new guides as part of phase three of its 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' programme, CMU Trends summarises what we've learned from the project so far in 30 points - ten from part one, ten from part two, and ten from the new guides. Along the way we cover digital licensing, all the key issues with the current streaming business model, and what you need to know about label deals and transparency in the streaming age. [READ MORE]
   
GLOBAL MUSIC DATA AND BLOCKCHAIN
There has been lots of debate around the music rights data problem in recent years, and a number of initiatives are underway to tackle the issue. Though Spotify's mechanical royalties dispute and the lack of songwriter credits on the streaming platforms shows the problem persists. As Music 4.5 puts the spotlight back on all things data, CMU Trends reviews discussions to date, challenges to be met, and where progress is being made. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Universal signs licensing deal with Facebook
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LEGAL Music Modernization Act seeks to fix America's mechanical royalties mess
American knock back of Canadian court's global IP injunction made permanent
Court dismisses posthumous child abuse claim against Michael Jackson
Beats will get its monster legal bill paid for by Monster
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Australian politicians raise concerns about sexual misconduct in the music industry
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MEDIA Radio Caroline returns to the airwaves
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ARTIST NEWS The Oasis reunion is off (not that it was ever on)
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ONE LINERS The Streets, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, more
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AND FINALLY... Beef Of The Week #385: Beefs Of The Year 2017
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O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON - ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER (LONDON)
Academy Music Group is recruiting for an Assistant General Manager to assist in all aspects of the operation of the building in relation to events staged at O2 Academy Brixton.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE ORCHARD - CLASSICAL LABEL MANAGER (LONDON)
The Orchard has an immediate opening for a classics specialist to manage key classical label relationships across Europe and beyond. Essential to this role is an extensive knowledge of classical repertoire and a thorough understanding of classical metadata and the unique needs of classical labels and orchestras when it comes to digital operations and marketing.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MUSIC PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION - MUSIC PUBLISHING EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
The Music Publishers Association is seeking a highly organised, pro-active, efficient and positive team player to work as its Music Publishing Executive, taking responsibility for specific licensing related duties as well as offering admin support to its staff and assisting with the smooth running of its office.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ROUGH TRADE RECORDS - GLOBAL PRODUCT MANAGER (LONDON)
Rough Trade Records seeks a Global Product Manager to join its London based team. Product Managers strategise and drive artist campaigns and must take a global overview of their implementation.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SJM CONCERTS - VIP ASSISTANT (MANCHESTER)
SJM offer exclusive VIP ticket packages across many of our major tours for artists such as Take That, One Direction, Little Mix and Coldplay which over the last year has amounted to over 60,000 packages. Working as an assistant to the VIP Manager within our VIP department, the VIP Assistant is responsible for the day to day administration of our exclusive VIP packages, as well as providing general office admin support.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ISOBEL GRIFFITHS LTD - TRAINEE ORCHESTRAL FIXER (LONDON)
A Trainee Orchestral Contractor (aka Fixer) is required to join an office of six staff, based in the Chelsea Harbour area of SW10. The company books freelance orchestral and specialist musicians for feature films, video games, TV film scores, records and TV commercial recordings.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MAMA FESTIVALS - HEAD OF CREATIVE PRODUCTION (LONDON)
MAMA Festivals is one of the UK’s leading festival businesses. The Head Of Creative Production works alongside managers and consultants to deliver creative aspects of Lovebox, Citadel and Wilderness festivals.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KILIMANJARO LIVE - MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
This role spans two areas within Kilimanjaro Live; working with the Promoters and the Head of Marketing to co-ordinate and implement marketing strategies and plans, and working across the company as a whole on office administration and support as well as providing support to all roles when required.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
GARGANTUAN MUSIC - SENIOR MUSIC CONSULTANT UK (LONDON)
Gargantuan Music is looking for a highly experienced Senior Music Consultant with an excellent proven track record in sales, marketing and music supervision within the music industry.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
GARGANTUAN MUSIC - MUSIC PRODUCTION MANAGER (LONDON)
This is an exciting opportunity to work at a world class production music company. Gargantuan Music is looking for an experienced Music Production Manager.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
I AM POP - MARKETING & PARTNERSHIPS EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
POP is the simplest way for musicians, labels, brands and others to launch a Facebook Messenger bot. The Marketing & Partnerships Executive will work closely with POP’s Head of Partnerships and our Marketing team to help POP connect with customers and grow our presence globally.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
STONES THROW RECORDS - JUNIOR PRODUCT MANAGER (LONDON)
Stones Throw is seeking a full-time Junior Product Manager at its European office in London. You'll work closely with the UK & Europe Label Manager to deliver marketing campaigns in these territories, and provide general support to assist in the day to day running of the label in the UK and Europe.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ATC LIVE - SENIOR BOOKING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
ATC Live is a live booking agency based in Camden, London, and we are looking for a senior booking assistant to join our team. This is an exciting opportunity for a highly organised and motivated senior booking assistant to join a busy live booking agency.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT - SENIOR ONBOARD MANAGER (LONDON)
The primary focus of the client Onboarding team is to work in conjunction with our Tech team to transition the new clients' data onto Kobalt's proprietary systems and into the ongoing day-to-day processes of the core Operational teams.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT - AWAL COMMUNITY SUPPORT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
AWAL serves a growing roster of emerging talent and already established independent artists from all over the world. As our AWAL community continues to grow, we're now looking for someone to join our client management team to help support these labels and artists using the cutting-edge AWAL tools.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT - ASSISTANT, CLIENT RELATIONS (LONDON)
Our growing Client Relations team in London is looking for a confident and detail oriented self-starter to support with crucial day-to-day tasks such as transitioning new clients into the Kobalt system and carrying out internal reviews and quality checks.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
DOMINO - PRODUCT MANAGER (LONDON)
Domino seeks a Product Manager to join its London team. Product Managers at Domino are in charge of running artist campaigns inside the company.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SONGULAR MUSIC - PLAYLIST PROMOTIONS (LONDON)
Join the UK's top streaming promotions company and play a key role in helping some of the world's most exciting new artists get heard.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE ORCHARD - INDIE SALES MANAGER (LONDON)
The Orchard has a vacancy for an Indie Sales Manager servicing independent record shops and online accounts. Candidates should ideally have experience working with music retail, distribution or at a label.

For more information and to apply click here.
 
RECRUIT YOUR TEAM RIGHT HERE: 020 7099 9060 or ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
CMU PRIMER: KEY MUSIC BUSINESS TRENDS 2018
These are sessions that we run in-house at music companies or companies working with music. As we head into 2018, CMU Insights is now offering music companies a special two-hour primer session reviewing five key areas of the music business, summarising important developments from the last twelve months and looking at the challenges that lie ahead in the next year. Including: the streaming business, piracy, safe harbour, ticketing and data.

CLICK HERE to find out more about this CMU Insights primer.

Universal signs licensing deal with Facebook
After a year of chatter about quite how Facebook would go about legitimising the music that swims around its platform, Universal Music has signed a multi-year licensing agreement with the social media giant, covering the use of its recording and publishing catalogues. So maybe Facebook isn't going to take the music industry enemy number one position from YouTube after all. Not quite yet, anyway.

The new deal will also cover the appearance of Universal-owned music in videos on Facebook's other social network Instagram and its virtual reality set-up Oculus. It will "serve as a foundation for a strategic partnership roadmap that will deliver new music-based experiences online", the two companies reckon.

Talking up the deal, Facebook's Head Of Music Business Development And Partnerships Tamara Hrivnak says: "There is a magnetic relationship between music and community building. We are excited to bring that to life on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger in partnership with UMG. Music lovers, artists and writers will all be right at home as we open up creativity, connection and innovation through music and video".

Universal's EVP Digital Strategy Michael Nash adds: "Together, Facebook and UMG are creating a dynamic new model for collaboration between music companies and social platforms to advance the interests of recording artists and songwriters while enhancing the social experience of music for their fans".

"This partnership is an important first step demonstrating that innovation and fair compensation for music creators are mutually reinforcing - they thrive together", he goes on. "We look forward to Facebook becoming a significant contributor to a healthy ecosystem for music that will benefit artists, fans and all those who invest in bringing great music to the world".

With Facebook having been negotiating with the big music companies for quite some time now, while concurrently beefing up its in house music licensing team, earlier this year it was reported that the social media firm was offering hundreds of millions of dollars in advances in order to try to get labels and publishers on board.

Facebook has long claimed safe harbour protection when it comes to the user-uploaded content on its platform that features other people's music. The music industry - not too keen on that whole safe harbour thing at the moment - has become increasingly tetchy about this, as Facebook's video ambitions have grown in recent years. Although with the music industry also in the midst of its battle with YouTube, some labels saw an opportunity in the rise of video on Facebook, if only a licensing deal could be agreed.

One of the reasons it's thought big advances were on the table is that the role of music on Facebook - let alone Instagram and Oculus - is still evolving, and this isn't a straight streaming service deal. Facebook wants time to work out how it will monetise music content on its platform and wants the music companies to experiment with it.

A big upfront cash boost always makes music companies more willing to experiment. Though advance-heavy deals create problems when it comes to working out how income is shared between labels and artists, and publishers and songwriters. Even straightforward streaming deals are too often shrouded in secrecy. More complex deals make it even harder for artists to work out how they share in the money.

Although, if this deal does kickstart new products and revenues in the streaming and social media spaces, then ultimately everyone could be a winner. Either way, the other majors and indie label repping Merlin, alongside the distributors and collecting societies, will need to agree their deals too for the big experiment to truly begin.

Meanwhile, with the music industry signing up to new deals with safe harbour dwelling sites like SoundCloud, YouTube and Facebook, perhaps there'll be less shouting about the 'value gap' in the coming year. Maybe. If so, attention will likely to return to good old fashioned piracy, which has been busy evolving while everyone's been focused on the user-upload sites. As we discuss in this new CMU Trends article.

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Music Modernization Act seeks to fix America's mechanical royalties mess
Yet more music-centric proposals aiming to reform US copyright law were unveiled in Washington yesterday, although this proposed new legislation has the support of both music owners and music users. Called the Music Modernization Act, the two Congressmen behind it - Doug Collins and Hakeem Jeffries - say that their proposals, if passed, would "bring music licensing its first meaningful update in almost 20 years".

The most important element of the act is its proposed overhaul of the mechanical royalties system in the US. As much previously reported, unlike most other countries, there is no collecting society offering a blanket licence covering the so called 'mechanical rights' in songs, which are exploited whenever a song is copied. This means users of music must identify the owners of every song they copy, and make sure those owners receive the licensing paperwork and fixed royalty rate set out in American copyright law.

This has proven to be a nightmare for the streaming platforms, which concurrently exploit both the performing right and mechanical right elements of the song copyright. When labels pump new recordings into the streaming services, they don't tell the digital platforms what songs are contained within the recordings, let alone who owns the songs.

The streaming firms hand over the performing right royalties to collecting societies like BMI and ASCAP, which then have to work out what songs have been used and who needs to be paid. But in order to pay the mechanicals, the streaming services must do that themselves. With no central database documenting music rights ownership, that's proven to be a very tricky task indeed for platforms that have catalogues of tens of millions of tracks.

This all means that many song copyright owners haven't received the paperwork or the royalties that they are due. That constitutes copyright infringement on the part of the streaming platforms, which have been on the receiving end of a barrage of multi-million dollar lawsuits. From the streaming firms' perspective, that is untenable.

Although legally speaking this is technically a problem for the streaming firms to solve, many of those in the music community who are pro-streaming have acknowledged that the Spotifys of this world aren't really to blame. After all, the mechanical royalties system in the US was woefully inefficient long before streaming became a thing. To that end, it's in the music industry's interest to find a better way of managing mechanical royalties.

Reform in this area will require an overhaul of the compulsory licence that governs mechanicals in the US though, which is what the Music Modernization Act sets out to do. In the words of Collins and Jeffries: "Under the Music Modernization Act, the digital services would fund a Mechanical Licensing Collective, and, in turn, be granted blanket mechanical licenses for interactive streaming or digital downloads of musical works".

Although paid for by the digital services, this new collecting society would be run by music publishers and self-published songwriters. Why would the digital services bankroll a new organisation to be run by the music industry? Because, say the lawmakers, "the MLC would address the challenges digital services face today when attempting to match songwriters and publishers with recordings".

The Digital Media Association, which counts Apple, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, Amazon, Napster and Microsoft as members, is backing the proposals. Its CEO Chris Harrison said yesterday: "DiMA thanks Congressmen Collins and Jeffries for their work to reform an outdated and inefficient music licensing system that serves neither fans of music nor creators. We support the Music Modernization Act because it would create a blanket licence, which is critical to a modern licensing system and a great step forward".

For publishers and songwriters, the proposed act offers more than just a more efficient mechanical royalties system. It would also change the way the statutory boards and courts that regulate collective licensing Stateside set the rates customers of music pay. That's not only the proposed new society for mechanical rights, but also the big two societies representing the performing rights in songs, ie BMI and ASCAP.

Under the new proposals, the way judges are selected to consider the latter's royalty rates would be changed and - more importantly - the criteria employed when setting rates would be altered. The music community has long felt that the Copyright Royalty Board and the rate courts in the US have too often ignored market realities when setting royalty rates. Which means that persuasive attorneys representing licensees have been able to talk rates down, when market analysis would arguably suggest rates should go up.

All of which makes the Music Modernization Act very attractive to the US music publishing and songwriter community. Certainly a plethora of organisations representing those people lined up to back the proposals yesterday, led by David Israelite of the National Music Publishers Association, who has been alluding to these plans for a while now. For him, this proposed legislation isn't just a "great step forward", it's a "major step forward".

He said yesterday: "The Music Modernization Act brings the laws that govern songwriters into the modern age. This legislation will lead to improved rates for songwriters and will streamline digital music companies' ability to license music. While there is still more to do to free songwriters from oppressive government regulation, this is a major step forward".

The NMPA also put its name to a joint statement alongside collecting societies BMI and ASCAP, plus Songwriters Of North America and Nashville Songwriters Association International. Together they declared that the Music Modernization Act represents "months of collaboration and compromise between the songwriting and tech industries".

Noting that too many songwriters and music publishers have gone unpaid by steaming services under the current system, they went on: "This bill ends this practice by creating a private-sector system where money will no longer be lost to inefficiencies and lack of information. The bill also improves how mechanical royalty rates are calculated by introducing a willing-seller/willing-buyer standard".

Continuing, they noted that: "On the performance rights side, the bill also replaces the current rate court system with the random assignment of judges used in most federal court cases, and allows the rate courts to review all relevant market evidence into the valuation of how songwriters are compensated".

All in all: "We thank Congressmen Collins and Jeffries for their leadership in striking this balance that improves and modernises our outdated licensing system and gives songwriters the ability to be paid what they deserve across all platforms that use music, including the growing interactive streaming services".

It remains to be seen how the Music Modernization Act now fairs in Washington, and whether any music users beyond those allied to the Digital Media Association try to throw a spanner in the works. This proposed legislation sits alongside other music-centric proposals in Congress, including those hoping to force AM/FM radio stations to pay royalties to artists and labels as well as songwriters and publishers, and moves to sort out the pre-1972 quirk in US copyright law.

Then there's the Transparency In Music Licensing & Ownership Act proposed by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner - and others - earlier this year. That also seeks to overcome some of the issues around digital licensing and the problems caused by the lack of a decent publicly accessible database of music rights ownership information.

However, while many in the music community agree that such a database should probably exist, most see that particular act - which has been very much backed by the tech sector - as being at best an impractical solution to the problem. And at worst, a deliberate attempt to make it ever harder for songwriters to enforce their rights. To that end, many in the music industry will be hoping that the new Music Modernization Act might render the Transparency In Music Licensing & Ownership Act redundant.

We shall see. But for now, here is the new act's chief proposer, Doug Collins, with some closing words. "Songs reframe the world", says he. "They show us reality as it is and as it could be. I introduced the Music Modernization Act to move music licensing law closer to where it should be. Today, the music industry is shackled to laws devised before streaming, and even basic recordings, existed - laws that penalise music creators and music lovers alike. Only by ushering music licensing into the twenty-first century can we promote artistry and its appreciation long into the future, and that's exactly what we're doing with the Music Modernization Act".

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American knock back of Canadian court's global IP injunction made permanent
The US District Court For The Northern District Of California has confirmed that Google is not obliged to delist an IP infringing website from its search engine across the US on the say so of a Canadian court.

As previously reported, earlier this year the music industry welcomed a ruling in Canada's Supreme Court that related to a long-running battle between two tech companies. It all began as a dispute between tech firm Equustek and its rival Datalink. The former accused the latter of infringing its IP rights.

As Equustek's legal action got underway, Datalink moved itself outside the jurisdiction of the Canadian courts. So Equustek instead sought to have Google delist its rival's website, so that consumers would find it harder to access the IP-infringing products. But for that delisting to work, Equustek argued, it needed to be global. And the Canadian courts agreed.

Although this wasn't a music case, the music industry welcomed the ruling, it too having faced the challenge of dealing with copyright infringing websites that, when facing legal action, move themselves to countries where IP rights are hard to enforce. Music companies also reckoned that, to truly work, things like web-blocking and search engine de-listing needed to happen on a global basis.

However, Google argued, the Canadian courts had no power to force a de-listing outside of Canada. Because in the US, for example, such an order might contravene the First Amendment of the American constitution or Section 230 of America's Communications Decency Act. The Canadian Supreme Court said such concerns were "theoretical" rather than real, and so passed its global injunction anyway.

But when Google took the matter to a Californian court last month, the judge there sided with the web giant, passing a preliminary injunction preventing Canada's Supreme Court from forcing Google to de-list a website on its American search engine. And according to Bloomberg, earlier this month the US courts granted Google a permanent injunction on this issue. Basically bringing the matter to a close, in the US at least.

Though neither Equustek nor the Canadian judiciary took part in the US court hearings, so it's not really clear whether they accept that this dispute is actually now resolved.

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Court dismisses posthumous child abuse claim against Michael Jackson
A court has dismissed a sexual harassment claim made posthumously against Michael Jackson. This is the second such ruling made against the case.

As previously reported, choreographer Wade Robson launched his legal action in 2013, alleging that Jackson had sexually abused him over a seven year period from his early teens. Legal reps for the Jackson Estate hit back at the allegations, noting that Robson had testified for the defence in the singer's 2005 criminal trial over other child abuse claims - at which Jackson was acquitted - taking to the witness stand to deny he had ever been molested by Jackson and criticising other witnesses who said he had.

Robson had also paid tribute to Jackson at the time of his death in 2009. But the accuser's legal rep said - when he later went legal - that psychological damage caused by the abuse had prevented her client from accepting he had been molested by the singer as a child until more recently.

In 2015, the Jackson estate itself was dropped as a defendant - a court then ruling that Robson had left it too late to go legal. He was, a judge said, four years past the statute of limitations, having failed to pursue a legal case before he turned 26. However, Robson continued on with his legal claim, seeking damages from two companies controlled by the estate, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures. It is these claims that have now been dismissed on the same grounds after the companies requested a summary judgement.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, judge Mitchell Beckloff said: "There is no dispute plaintiff brought this action well after his 26th birthday. Today plaintiff is 35 years old; he was 30 years old when he filed this action ... Plaintiff filed his action four years too late, and his action is barred by the statute of limitations".

The judge also argued that Jackson's companies could not be held liable for the actions of their owner. Although, he noted, there would be an exception - both to the liability of the companies and the cut-off for the statute of limitations - if either company was aware of unlawful sexual conduct by an employee and failed to take action. However, there was no evidence that this was the case, said the judge.

"Here defendants' relationship with Michael Jackson did not result in the exposure of plaintiff to the alleged sexual abuse", said Beckloff. "These facts distinguish this case from those where the sexual abuse suffered was directly related to the inherent relationship between the perpetrator and the entity such as teacher/school, scout master/scouting organisation, priest/church or coach/youth sports organisation".

In a statement to THR, the Jackson estate said that it "believes the court made the correct decision". Attorney Howard Weitzman added: "In my opinion Mr Robson's allegations, made 20+ years after they supposedly occurred and years after Mr Robson testified twice under oath - including in front of a jury - that Michael Jackson had never done anything wrong to him, were always about the money rather than a search for the truth".

Robson, meanwhile, indicated that he intends to appeal the latest ruling, saying: "I respect but disagree with the court's ruling and will be challenging it through the appellate courts. I am determined to see this case through to a determination on the factual merits by a jury of twelve".

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Beats will get its monster legal bill paid for by Monster
A jury in the US has decided that $7.9 million was a perfectly reasonable price for Beats to pay its lawyers when defending itself against fraud claims made by a former business partner. And therefore that former business partner should put its hand in its pocket and pay those legal bills.

As previously reported, the now Apple-owned Beats collaborated with a company called Monster when it was first developing its 'stick-a-by-Dre-label-on-the-side-and-hike-up-the-price' headphones business. But the partnership ended in something of a messy divorce in 2012. And after Apple bought the Beats business for $3 billion in 2014, Monster and its founder Noel Lee sued.

The lawsuit made allegations about Beats' previous share sale to phone maker HTC and the impact it had had on its deal with Monster. It also accused Beats management of misleading Lee about their future plans, so that he sold his stake in the Beats company in 2013 at much less than he would have got for his shares had he held on to them until the Apple deal the following year.

However, in a summary judgment last year the judge hearing the case concluded that Beats' actions were allowed under its contracts with Monster and Lee, while also noting that both had entered into deals with the Beats business as "sophisticated investors". Having basically won, Beats then pushed for Monster to cover its legal costs in relation to the case, asking the judge to rule on what sum its former partner should pay. But Monster successfully persuaded an appeal court that that matter should go before a jury.

Not that doing that has helped much. Both sides have been in court recently arguing over what Monster should now pay. According to Law360, Beats said its legal costs came to $7.9 million and that Monster should pay the full amount. Legal reps for Monster argued that that figure was too high, that Beat's legal reps in the original case had spent too much time on the lawsuit, and that their expert reckoned about $2 million should be cut from the bill.

The law firm that originally represented Monster also argued that it spent about a third of the time on the case that Beats' lawyers said they'd worked. Though the Beats side pointed out that, had Monster won the billion dollar damages it was seeking, its lawyers were set to pocket 20% of that figure.

Concluding, Beats' attorney Nick Hanna said: "Beats and the individuals who were sued fought to clear their name. They fought to tell the world they did not commit fraud. That fight was expensive, and Monster and Lee caused every single penny of that expense".

Having heard the various arguments, the jury quickly ruled in the favour of Beats. It remains to be seen what move Monster makes next.

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Australian politicians raise concerns about sexual misconduct in the music industry
The Australian Recording Industry Association has been contacted by politicians in the country, concerned about reports of sexual misconduct in the music business.

In a letter to the trade body, Minister For Jobs And Innovation Michaelia Cash and Minister For Communications And The Arts Mitch Fifield both expressed concern over "recent allegations of misconduct, harassment and assault in the media, entertainment and arts industries". In its own letter to its members - obtained by The Music Network - ARIA said that the politicians had been seeking assurances that "every effort is being made by ARIA members to ensure safe workplace cultures with robust policies and procedures to deal with instances of misconduct and harassment".

Although it's not stated exactly what prompted the MPs to get in touch with ARIA, the letter follows the recent launch of the #meNOmore campaign. Backed by over 300 women working in the Australian music business, the campaign calls for change to industry's corporate culture, which is seen as tolerating sexual harassment and abuse.

In its letter to members, ARIA said: "ARIA is committed to ensuring that our working environment is safe for everyone, and will work with its stakeholders and the broader music community to promote a music industry that is safe, diverse and non-discriminatory".

Adding that it had an "expectation that the majority of its members will already have well established procedures and policies in place", it noted various resources highlighted by the two ministers that "may be useful for a review of existing policies and practices, or their development".

ARIA also offered further information and assistance to member organisations in relation to sexual harassment and assault, although it was not clear about what that would entail.

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Radio Caroline returns to the airwaves
Legendary pirate station Radio Caroline this morning returned to analogue radio, broadcasting on a frequency formerly used by the BBC World Service. It's all legit now though, the station's pirating days are long behind it.

The original offshore pirate station's appearance on medium wave frequency 648kHz is the conclusion of a long campaign, started with an early day motion in Parliament by Tracey Crouch MP in 2010.

Broadcasting online for more than a decade now, the station has had various temporary licences on the more conventional airwaves, and for the last couple of years a regular weekend spot on the Isle Of Man's Manx Radio. However, this is the first time it's been permanently available on AM since its pirate days came to an end in the early 90s.

Currently operating on a local licence, allowing it to broadcast to Suffolk and North Essex, Radio Caroline boss Peter Moore noted the "ironic twist" of the station being given a former BBC frequency - Radio 1 having been launched in 1967 in direct response to the popularity of pirate stations.

"The unlikely return of Caroline to regular radio opens the latest chapter in its extraordinary 53 year history", Moore told the BBC. "Caroline was the first of many pirate stations to broadcast from ships and abandoned wartime forts off the British coast, opening at Easter 1964".

He added that, while technically it's only available in Suffolk and Essex, it can be heard in other areas too, saying that "test transmissions have reached further afield and it can be received along much of the East Coast".

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Approved 2017: St Vincent
Every day this week we've been looking at the last twelve months for one of our favourite artists of 2017. Finally today, St Vincent...

Listening back to Annie Clark's first solo album as St Vincent - 2007's 'Marry Me' - it's amazing how much of a blueprint of the sound and character she has developed over the last decade is in there. But looking at it the other way around, I don't think there's anyone who would have predicted the route Clark's career would have taken by 2017.

As Clark's visual and sonic styles have become ever bolder over the years, this year seemed to bring together a perfect combination of confidence, vision and budget so to create one of 2017's most memorable album releases, 'Masseduction'.

Clark's work has always been concurrently intimate and unknowable. In promoting her latest album, she took this to new levels. She announced it via brightly coloured mock press conferences. Some interviewers found themselves locked in a brightly coloured room listening to stock answers played on her iPhone if they asked the wrong questions.

Though, those who asked the right ones were rewarded with a friendly openness, despite a tendency to always bat away any theories about what - or who - her lyrics might be about. Either way, the key things that often come across when Clark does the promo circuit are an arch sense of humour and a thoughtfulness about what she is doing.

Such bold moves to promote an album require a bold album at the end of them, and 'Masseduction' is certainly that. It features her songwriting at its most striking, whether on the jittery 'Pills' or sentimental ballad 'New York'.

There's an aloofness to much of it still, offset by her characteristic guitar playing and lyrics that often come off as intensely personal. She plays like an untouchable rockstar, but there's an intimacy to much of the talk of sex, drugs and sadness in her lyrics.

"How can anybody have you and lose you and not lose their minds too?" she asks on 'Los Ageless', a line so perfectly imbued with joy and pain that the song barely needs any more words. "I tried to write you a love song, but it came out a lament", she repeats as the final notes of the song ring out.

Meanwhile, on 'New York', that wry humour creeps in. She refers to the person she longs for as a "motherfucker" because she found it funny, she revealed on the Song Exploder podcast (although it became a disappointing and less poignant "other sucker" in TV performances). Dodging any suggestion that the song might be solely about one person, she goes on to explain that it's an ode to many people, including David Bowie, and the city of New York itself.

If the future of Annie Clark's career was unpredictable a decade ago, it seems more so now. 'Masseduction' feels like the realisation of an idea long in development. But it wouldn't be surprising if it turns out to be a stepping stone on the way to something else. Though, that said, nor would I be surprised if next time she returns in an entirely new form. The waiting for a new St Vincent record is almost as exciting as receiving it.

Watch the video for 'Los Ageless' here.

Listen to (almost) ever artist featured in the CMU Approved column in 2017 on this Spotify playlist.

Vigsy's Festive Tips
So the festive season is upon us, and there's so much choice on offer for those of you looking for a good party in London. Boxing Day sees a fair few clubs back in action to help your dance off the turkey, and there's a whole plethora of great New Year's Eve parties to choose from. Here are a few picks.

Backto95 Boxing Day Special at The Scala
Backto95 returns with its fifteenth Boxing Day Special at the Scala, ready to take you right back to 1995 with Norris Windross, Pioneer, Jason Kaye, DJ Fen, Ray Hurley, Andy B and more. They'll be raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital too.

Tuesday 26 Dec, 275 Pentonville Rd, Kings Cross, London, N1 9NL, 10pm-6am, £22. More info here.

Rogue Boxing Day Special at Brixton Jamm
Keeping it D&B, Rogue takes over Boxing Day at Brixton Jamm for a second year. There'll be some big names in attendance, Slimzee doing a hardcore set, plus Kenny Ken & The Ragga Twins, Ray Keith, Brockie, Ashattack and more.

Tuesday 26 Dec, 261 Brixton Rd, London, SW9 6LH, 10pm-5am, £20. More info here.

Egg Boxing Day Special
Egg will be putting on its traditional Boxing Day event too, which this year sees Waze & Odyssey, Mark Fanciulli and Ellie Cocks getting in on the action.

Tuesday 26 Dec, 200 York Way, London, N7 9AX, 11pm-6am, £10-20. More info here.

New Year's Eve at Ghost Notes
New Peckham venue Ghost Notes has done a grand job putting together its first NYE party, bringing in Quantic and Alex Nut to spin into 2018.

Sunday 31 Dec, Ghost Notes, Peckham Levels, 95a Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST, 9pm-4am, £12.50. More info here.

BBE New Year's Eve Party at Institute Of Light
BBE will be taking over Hackney's Institute Of Light, with label co-founder Peter Adarkwah joining a bill that also includes Kiri R2, 4 To The Floor DJs and Jake Holloway. There's a free CD for all and a winter barbecue if you arrive before 10pm.

Sunday 31 Dec, The Institute Of Light, 376 Helmsley Place, London, E8 3SB, 6pm-3am, Free. More info here.

Good Times x Up On The Roof NYE at The Prince Of Wales
Over at The Prince Of Wales in Brixton, Norman Jay will be turning in a four hour set, which will span the midnight boundary into the new year. Also on the bill are Ricky Morrison, Rob Alldritt, Richie Cox, Linden C, Richie Fingers and Kenny Charles, with a silent disco on the roof.

Sunday 31 Dec, The Prince Of Wales, 467-469 Brixton Road, London, SW9 8HH, 8pm-5am, £30-35. More info here.

Glamorous London NYE at Bosco Lounge
If you fancy something a bit more upmarket, check out the Bosco Lounge, where Danny Rampling will be heading up the party in this swanky Surbiton hotel.

Sunday 31 Dec, Bosco Lounge, 9 St Mark's Hill, Surbiton, KT6 4LQ, 7pm-2am, £20-30. More info here.

Breakin Science NYE at Coronet Theatre
Get your D&B fix at the Coronet with Breakin Science, who are bringing in a huge list of the genre's royalty. Dillinja, Grooverider, Logan D, Voltage, Brockie, Nicky Blackmarket, Heist, Nu Elementz, Ruffstuff and Uncle Dugs are all among those on board.

Sunday 31 Dec, Coronet Theatre, 28 New Kent Road, London, SE1 6TJ, 8pm-6am, £35-40. More info here.

Hospitality, The Blast & Metropolis Present at Printworks
And finally, giving you a chance to keep the party going further into the new year, Printworks has an event kicking off at lunchtime on the 1st. Noisia top the bill, with the likes of Caspa, DJ Zinc, London Elektricity, Mumdance and Slipmatt all geared up.

Monday 1 Jan, Printworks, Surrey Quays Road, London, SE16 7PJ, 1pm-10pm, £40. More info here.

Phew! I'm exhausted. Merry Christmas to one and all, and a very happy new year.

The Oasis reunion is off (not that it was ever on)
When Liam Gallagher tweeted earlier this week that things were "all good again" between him and his brother Noel, a lot of people took this to mean an Oasis reunion was now on the cards. I assumed they were all joking, but apparently bookies started slashing the odds on such a thing occurring. Well, sorry to break your tiny hearts, but it ain't happening.

Apparently oblivious to the stir he'd caused, Liam expressed surprise about it all when asked what was going on by Australian newspaper The Age. There is no reunion. It turns out he and Noel haven't even spoken directly. That things are "all good again" was an assumption on Liam's part.

"I got a little thing through the door from his management team and so I think there's been a bit of a reach out and a bit of a truce", he said. "It's all good - season of goodwill and all that, you know?"

Asked if an Oasis reunion was now a done deal, he replied: "God no, no. Oasis isn't getting back together, not at all. I'm doing my thing, he's doing his thing and that is the end of it. It's still the same - it's just that I've called a truce on it and he's called a truce on it and no more slagging".

Noel did apparently tell the Daily Star earlier this week that the NME giving his brother the Godlike Genius prize at next year's NME Awards was like giving "the third choice goalkeeper a medal just for being there". Maybe he said that before the truce was officially on though.

So, sorry to disappoint you. Tell you want, here's that video of Liam making tea to cheer you up.

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The Streets, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Squarepusher has provided some music for new Super Nintendo game cartridge compatible console, Super Nt. Here, for example, the console's start up sound.

• The Streets have released two new tracks, 'Burn Bridges' and 'Sometimes I Hate My Friends More Than My Enemies'.

• Cardi B has released 'Bartier Cardi', the follow-up to her hit 'Bodak Yellow', featuring 21 Savage.

• Cassie has released new Kaytranada-produced track 'Don't Play It Safe', a clip of which was first heard in her short film earlier this year.

• Kendrick Lamar has released the video for 'Love', taken from his 'Damn' album.

• Avicii has released the video for 'You Be Love', featuring Billy Raffoul, taken from the producer's 'Avīci; EP, which was released in August.

• SZA has released the video for 'The Weekend', taken from her 2017 album 'CTRL'.

• Cupcakke has announced that she will release her new album, 'Ephorize', on 5 Jan.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.

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Beef Of The Week #385: Beefs Of The Year 2017
It's nearly Christmas and no one is arguing anymore. Not even the Gallagher brothers. There will be no fighting now until the new year. Or at least until Christmas morning. So, with that in mind, in this week's Beef Of The Week column we're instead going to look back at our top five musical showdowns of 2017.

So, here we are, in reverse order...

5. Falling House v Left Shark
In 2015, Katy Perry gave us Left Shark. Left Shark was a happy reminder of the brightly coloured times we were then living in, where even things that didn't go to plan were entertaining. Just getting up there and giving it a go was good enough. The 2017 sequel was Falling House. Falling House was a similar reminder of the times we were living in. Everything was awful and looked like it was probably painful. That dancer dressed as a house fell hard off the BRIT Awards stage, as giant skeleton effigies of Theresa May and Donald Trump pranced around for a room of drunken music industry executives.

4. Wu-Tang Clan v Woof-Tang Clan
It wasn't all awful in 2017, though. It was, after all, the year that we discovered a dog walking business in New York called Woof-Tang Clan. Of course, it did come to our attention because it was being sued by the Wu-Tang Clan. RZA wasn't happy that the dog-related business was trying to trademark its name. It's still not clear if that means the producer is hoping to set up his own dog walking company. We can only hope.

3. B.o.B v Science
B.o.B has been insisting for some time now that the Earth is flat. He's absolutely convinced of it, no matter what evidence he is presented with. This year, he decided that he would get some evidence of his own, announcing plans to launch "multiple weather balloons and satellites into space for experimental exploration". Ignoring the fact that the science behind satellites only works if the Earth is round, he set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise $100,000 to get his project (literally) off the ground. Someone pointed out this wasn't enough to launch anything into space, so he upped it to $1 million. Still not enough, but that hardly matters, as three months later he's raised less than $7000.

2. Russia v Ukraine
The dispute between Russia and Ukraine over the ownership of Crimea is a very serious diplomatic situation. Still, it was hard not to be at least slightly amused when that quarrel spilled over into Eurovision. Russia was already angry about Ukraine's 2016 Eurovision winning song '1944', which it claimed was about the Crimea dispute. As a result, Russia was expected to boycott the 2017 Kiev-hosted contest. However, at the last minute, it put forward Julia Samoilova as its entrant. Ukraine responded by saying that it would arrest her if she travelled to Kiev. After much wrangling, Russia was told Samoilova could appear via satellite (not B.o.B's), at which point the country pulled out. Of Eurovision, not Crimea.

1. Bob Dylan v Literature
Amazingly, this has now managed to be our favourite beef of two consecutive years. As you'll remember, Bob Dylan was named the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature. Due to grumpiness on his part, he initially failed to acknowledge the award, then refused to turn up to collect it. Eventually he did pick it up, but in secret. And there was still the matter of the speech he needed to give in order to claim his prize money. Shortly before the deadline for that, he turned one in, both in written and audio form. Then, in possibly the greatest surprise twist of all time, it turned out he'd plagiarised parts of the speech he'd written for an award recognising his great contributions to literature. And from a 'Moby Dick' study guide no less.

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ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
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Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
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