TUESDAY 3 JULY 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Five global music publishers have reportedly told Spanish collecting society SGAE that they are pulling rights out of the organisation as a result of the ongoing dispute over the distribution of TV royalties in the country... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Global publishers now reportedly pulling rights from controversial Spanish society SGAE
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LEGAL Sony Music must tell Kesha who it interviewed in Dr Luke investigation
Long running web-blocking case to be considered anew in the Netherlands
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DEALS Warner signs Kloe for publishing
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS TuneCore allies with Sentric to expand song right services
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LIVE BUSINESS NEC Group allies with start-up to enable multi-payment group bookings
MJR announces ticketing alliance with Eventbrite
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Meat Loaf planning world tour with no singing
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AND FINALLY... Spotify subscribers score refund over excessive Drake peddling
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COOKING VINYL - OFFICE SPACE TO RENT (WEST LONDON)
Cooking Vinyl is pleased to offer a newly refurbished office space in Acton, West London. Ideal to share with other likeminded creatives in a hot desk environment, or alternatively to rent the space as a whole, comfortably fitting 30+ desks.

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STATE51 MUSIC GROUP - MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANT (LONDON)
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CONSOLIDATED INDEPENDENT - TECHNICAL ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT (LONDON)
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KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - PROJECT MANAGER (LONDON)
AWAL serves a growing roster of emerging talent and established independent artists from all over the world and we are now expanding our UK Marketing team to include a new Project Manager, reporting to the Senior Director of Marketing and Project Management.

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INCORPORATED SOCIETY OF MUSICIANS - POLICY & RESEARCH OFFICER (LONDON)
This is a great opportunity for a public affairs professional to join the dynamic and innovative ISM. We are well known for our high-profile campaigns and policy initiatives and we are now looking for a policy and research professional to drive our public affairs work forward.

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THE ORCHARD - DIGITAL ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
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KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - RELEASE MANAGEMENT CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
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THE COLUMBO GROUP - LIVE MUSIC PROMOTIONS MANAGER, JAZZ CAFE (LONDON)
The Columbo Group is seeking a Live Music Promotions Manager to join our events team. You will be responsible for the promotion & marketing of all in-house concerts at one of our key venues, Jazz Cafe.

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KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - DIGITAL ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
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COOKING VINYL - PRODUCTION MANAGER (LONDON)
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MPA GROUP OF COMPANIES - TRAINEE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTANT (LONDON)
The MPA Group of Companies (MPA, MCPS and PMLL) is seeking a trainee financial accountant to assist the Director of Operations with all of the finance functions across the three companies as well as providing assistance with other finance related projects.

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Global publishers now reportedly pulling rights from controversial Spanish society SGAE
Five global music publishers have reportedly told Spanish collecting society SGAE that they are pulling rights out of the organisation as a result of the ongoing dispute over the distribution of TV royalties in the country.

There have been various controversies surrounding the Spanish society in recent years, of course. The most recent relates to an alleged scam via which certain SGAE members and certain Spanish broadcasters have conspired to skew the way TV royalties collected by the society are distributed to writers and music publishers.

The global music publishing companies, whose rights are represented in numerous licensing scenarios by SGAE in Spain, have become increasingly critical of the society and its management in the last year. And even more so after reps from those global publishers were locked out of the society's board meetings.

As anger grew among global rights owners, the International Confederation Of Music Publishers called on CISAC - the worldwide grouping of song right collecting societies - to suspend SGAE's membership until the Spanish society dealt with the controversy.

Then, in a more recent statement, the ICMP said that, unless urgent action was taken by SGAE's governing bodies, "ICMP and individual music publishers [would be] forced to consider unilateral actions. This may include finding alternative licensing options in order to protect their repertoire in Spain".

Now, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais, Universal, Warner/Chappell, Sony/ATV, BMG and Peermusic have all written to SGAE informing the society that they are pulling rights relating to their Anglo-American repertoires out of the society. It will mean that SGAE will no longer be able to license works written by countless global music stars to Spanish TV broadcasters, and likely other groups of licensees as well.

The management of song rights is complicated because of the way songwriters assign different elements of their copyrights to collecting societies and music publishers. And because the conventions are different in continental Europe versus Anglo-American markets like the UK, Canada and Australia. Conventions in the US are different again.

However, when it comes to Anglo-American repertoire, publishers are generally in control of at least the so called mechanical rights in the songs they represent, and so can unilaterally pull those rights out of the collective licensing system if they so wish. And when broadcasters synchronise music to programmes that are then aired on their TV networks, they exploit both the mechanical and performing rights.

European law also requires societies to offer a degree of flexibility, so that publishers can pull repertoire from some categories of licenses while allowing the society to continue to represent works in other categories. This is how the publishers have been able to direct license Anglo-American repertoire to streaming services in Europe, while still allowing the collective to license other uses, such as broadcast.

It's not clear precisely what rights the five publishers are proposing to pull from SGAE, though obviously with TV royalties being the issue, the aim will be to prevent SGAE from licensing Anglo-American repertoire to broadcasters, which would then need to negotiate direct deals with the publishers to continue using those works.

Though it's thought that pulling from SGAE's TV categories would also likely result in the big publishers pulling from other licensing categories too, because of the way SGAE's different licences are structured.

Whereas with digital, the big music publishing firms went the direct licensing route for commercial reasons, most publishers insist they prefer the collective licensing approach for other users of music. So pulling out of SGAE in this way is a last resort with, presumably, the hope that such a dramatic move might finally force the society's hand.

A number of resolutions were reportedly voted down by SGAE members at a recent meeting of the society's General Assembly, resulting in calls for the resignation of the organisation's President, José Miguel Fernández Sastrón. He seemingly refused instead proposing a new road map for reform. However, it's feels like the global publishers now see a fundamental change of leadership as being the only solution.

Whether pressing the button on the nuclear option of pulling significant bodies of rights out of the Spanish collective can now force that change remains to be seen.

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Sony Music must tell Kesha who it interviewed in Dr Luke investigation
A judge in New York has ordered Sony Music to disclose to Kesha's legal team who it interviewed when it conducted an internal investigation into the conduct of producer Dr Luke, with which it had a joint venture business.

One time collaborators Kesha and Luke have, of course, been involved in a long-running multi-layered legal battle in which she accused him of rape and he accused her of lying about his conduct in a bid to get out of contractual commitments to his companies. The ongoing legal battle is now focused on Luke's defamation lawsuit against Kesha.

As part of their preparation for that case, the latter's legal team asked for information about the investigation Sony conducted in the wake of their client's allegations against the producer. For its part, Sony said that the list of names of who its lawyers questioned as part of their investigation was protected by attorney-client privilege and therefore couldn't be divulged.

But New York judge Jennifer Schecter, after considering the ins and outs of when attorney-client privilege may or may not apply in scenarios like this, ultimately rejected Sony's argument. She said that the major had failed to demonstrate that sharing the list of names with Kesha's people "would actually divulge legal thought processes or strategy". The music firm now has 20 days to hand over the list.

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Long running web-blocking case to be considered anew in the Netherlands
The Dutch Supreme Court has ordered that a long-running web-blocking case in the country be considered anew by a lower court.

This relates to long-running efforts by Dutch anti-piracy group BRIEN to get The Pirate Bay blocked in the country. Web blocks, of course, are where courts order internet service providers to block their customers from accessing specific websites that have been deemed to primarily exist to facilitate copyright infringement.

Dutch ISPs Ziggo and XS4ALL opposed BRIEN's web-blocks, getting them withdrawn on appeal. But BREIN took the matter to the country's Supreme Court, which in turn consulted the European Courts Of Justice as to whether there were any issues with web-blocking on copyright grounds under European law. The EU courts ultimately said there weren't any problems and therefore national courts could web-block if they so wish.

Following that judgment, the Advocate General back in the Supreme Court said in March that – with web-blocking allowed in principle – judges now needed to consider whether blocking The Pirate Bay correctly balanced the rights of copyright owners and the rights of internet users. That, he advised, would require another lower court hearing.

According to Torrentfreak, judges in the Supreme Court last week accepted the Advocate General's advice and told the Court Of Amsterdam to consider the whole case anew.

Given recent rulings elsewhere in Europe, it seems likely that arguments presented by Ziggo and XS4ALL against web-blocking in the past won't go down especially next time, but we will see. In the meantime The Pirate Bay remains blocked in the Netherlands as a result of an interim ruling last year that said that ISPs should put up blockades in front of the piracy site, pending a final judgment in this long, long running web-blocking case.

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Warner signs Kloe for publishing
Warner/Chappell has only gone and signed one of those worldwide publishing deals with Scottish pop singer-songwriter Kloe, who has been busy collaborating on songs for other artists in addition to her own output.

Says the publisher's International Creative Manager Saul Fitton: "Kloe is someone I've been following for years. She's an amazing talent and a high level songwriter so it's great that we've been able to bring her in to Warner/Chappell. She is someone that the whole company is excited about".

Presumably buzzing with all that excitement she's generating across the whole of the Warner Music Group, Kloe herself added: "It feels amazing to join Warner/Chappell. I've known Saul for a while and feel really supported by everyone I've met at Chappell. Chappell feels like the right place for me to take my writing to the next level".

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TuneCore allies with Sentric to expand song right services
DIY music distribution company TuneCore has announced a new alliance with Sentric Music, which will allow it to expand the song right administration services it offers to artists who use its platform to distribute their recordings.

TuneCore already offers music publishing admin services to those self-releasing artists who want such a thing, but will now expand said services. Among the incoming improvements, the company says, are "a clearer, smoother registration process and improved all-in-one dashboard". Good times.

TuneCore top dude Scott Ackerman is THRILLED by the development. "We're THRILLED to bring TuneCore artists these exciting enhancements to our publishing administration services", says he. The developments "will help them earn additional revenue and get paid more quickly" he adds. "Our new partnership with Sentric Music is so important because it positions TuneCore's songwriters to have the same collection profile as major artists across the globe and increases their money-making opportunities".

Confirming the deal for Sentric, the firm's CEO Chris Meehan added: "Much like TuneCore, Sentric was founded on the idea that new technology could shake up the traditional music industry and make it work for everyone. This deal takes that shared ethos a step further. For twelve years, our admin platform has allowed hundreds of thousands of rights-holders at every level get access to a fast, flexible, completely transparent service. We're happy to extend that to many more creators and rights-owners through this TuneCore partnership".

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NEC Group allies with start-up to enable multi-payment group bookings
Birmingham venue operator the NEC Group has announced a tie-up with an Edinburgh-based start-up called Make It Social. As a result, NEC will allow individual users to organise group bookings to shows at its arena venues and then have each group member individually pay for their tickets.

Make It Social will work with NEC's ticketing business The Ticket Factory to offer the functionality for select shows at the Genting Arena and Arena Birmingham, which are both NEC-operated venues.

Says The Ticket Factory's Richard Howle: "Over a third of our NEC Group Arena bookings are for three or more people, which highlights the strong social aspect of live events. We continue to leverage advancements in technology to provide the best purchasing journey possible for our customers, so it's great to be working with Make It Social".

Make It Social's founder Eddie Robb adds: "This announcement marks a major milestone for us. It's amazing to be extending our reach into arenas and to see our software encouraging an increasing number of friends and families to get together in real life".

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MJR announces ticketing alliance with Eventbrite
Bristol-based venue operator and concert promoter MJR, which also promotes shows in Australia and New Zealand, has announced a tie-up with ticketing platform Eventbrite.

The two companies say that their new alliance "is focused on global ticket sales which commenced with over 25,000 ticket purchases for two concerts in Australia for 50 Cent, and will roll out into MJR's portfolio of future touring events, creative productions and venues".

Confirming the tie-up, MJR chief Richard Buck said yesterday: "With lots of innovative projects planned over the next years, a ticketing partnership with Eventbrite felt the right move to support our growth. They completely understand our independent ethos and can provide us with a constantly evolving tech platform that suits our needs and helps deliver our expansion as a leading global entertainment company".

Meanwhile Eventbrite UK's Head Of Music Paul Everett said: "This partnership with Richard and MJR Group is a direct result of Eventbrite's continued dedication to the independent live music space. MJR are a highly ambitious company and we are aligned on how we view the future of the live music space around the world".

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Approved: Ama//Mizu
Multi-instrumentalist Douglas Pisterman is set to release his first EP as Ama//Mizu on 7 Sep. Titled 'Discordant In Colour', two of its four tracks are already available now. 'Waiting Room (Face To Face)' and 'Fil De Lune' bookend the EP and unravel different tones of a songwriting style that has coalesced into something really amazing over the last few years.

Released in May, 'Waiting Room (Face To Face)' is the more upbeat of the two tracks, its garage beat drifting into something more motorik as it progresses. 'Fil De Lune', meanwhile, comes with guest vocals from Eera. Dropping the pace, it is kept moving by fluttering saxophone and lifted further by casually dropped in piano.

Listen to 'Fin De Lune' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Meat Loaf planning world tour with no singing
Meat Loaf is planning one of those world tour things you all like so much. Which might sound pretty run of the mill, except the plan is that he'll play a series of concerts across the globe without actually singing any of his songs.

According to The Sun, the 70 year old singer is keen to keep on touring, but is aware that in recent years belting out his songs every night has started to take its toll on his health, resulting in compromises being made.

His solution is to employ his skills as a raconteur instead, and then employ the skills of an American Idol to provide some vocals along the way. Which is to say he'll tell his audience some stories while 2014 American Idol winner Caleb Johnson will perform a number of his songs in between.

Says one of those pesky sources to The Sun: "Meat Loaf is concerned he isn't up to some of the bigger numbers after losing his voice a couple of years ago. He's been relying on pre-recorded vocal tracks for a while but doesn't want to face accusations of miming on a huge tour, so is passing the baton on to Caleb, who he's a big fan of".

Said source then explains: "Instead his involvement will be telling stories of how he met Jim Steinman, who he's worked with since the Seventies, and other anecdotes. But the singing will be left to Caleb".

It's thought that Meat Loaf reckons that, if the planned stories-and-guest-singer format works, he might also be able to turn it into a Vegas residency.

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Spotify subscribers score refund over excessive Drake peddling
There was interesting chatter on the Reddit forums yesterday after one Spotify subscriber said they'd managed to get a month's subscription refunded after complaining about the streaming firm's excessive Drake pushing.

Said subscriber reckoned that Spotify's rather proactive editorial support for Drake's new album 'Scorpion' was so OTT that it basically constituted advertising and – well – don't we pay ten pounds a month to get rid of all the ads?

"I just messaged Spotify customer service on their website and told them I wanted a refund since this is advertising and I pay for premium with no ads", said Spotify subscriber wrote on Reddit's music pages, "and they have now refunded my last payment. Complain, take your money back, and let them know you will cancel if they pull this shit again. Money talks. Money walking away talks".

Billboard says that other Reddit users then had a go at demanding a month's credit from Spotify as compensation for having to look at Drake's face more than is desirable when using the company's app. Some were granted the credits, others weren't so lucky, meaning refunds are presumably at the discretion of individual customer service agents.

Still, possibly a lesson for Spotify's competitors there. Add to the front page of your app a "never fucking play any fucking Drake or make me fucking look at that fucker's face" button and boom, there's the gap in the market you've been searching for all this time.

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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 COOKE | MD & Business Editor
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.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
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Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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