WEDNESDAY 24 OCTOBER 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Tracy Chapman has sued Nicki Minaj over an uncleared sample on a track originally intended to appear on the latter's recent album 'Queen'. Although the track was dropped from the LP, presumably because of licensing issues related to the sample, it's alleged that Minaj's people nevertheless leaked the record to a US radio DJ who then played it on air. Fans then grabbed the track from the broadcast and shared it online... [READ MORE]
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TOP STORIES Tracy Chapman sues Nicki Minaj over uncleared sample
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LEGAL UK government considers simplifying anti-piracy web-blocks
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BRANDS & MERCH Beastie Boys unveil limited edition Sonos speaker
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RELEASES Sinead O'Connor appears on song commemorating centenary of Armistice Day
Andreya Triana announces new album, Life In Colour
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Mastodon announce UK and Ireland shows
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ONE LINERS Cardi B, Little Dragon, Esben And The Witch, more
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AND FINALLY... Wireless allowed to go ahead, just don't fucking swear
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Tracy Chapman sues Nicki Minaj over uncleared sample
Tracy Chapman has sued Nicki Minaj over an uncleared sample on a track originally intended to appear on the latter's recent album 'Queen'. Although the track was dropped from the LP, presumably because of licensing issues related to the sample, it's alleged that Minaj's people nevertheless leaked the record to a US radio DJ who then played it on air. Fans then grabbed the track from the broadcast and shared it online.

Back in August, Minaj revealed on Twitter that she'd discovered - somewhat late in the day - that a track on 'Queen', featuring "one of the greatest rappers of all time", also included a sneaky sample taken from one of Chapman's records.

Licensing that sample was proving tricky, so Minaj asked her Twitter followers whether she should delay the release of the album, to see if a deal could be done with Chapman's people, or if she should just release it anyway without that particular track.

Presumably hoping that there might be a third option - ie that she could personally persuade Chapman to green light the sample in a speedy fashion - Minaj also tweeted: "Tracy Chapman, can you please hit me?"

'Queen' was subsequently released without the Chapman sampling track. But, it seems, that track did find its way to Funkmaster Flex on New York radio station Hot 97. Before playing the record, he told his listeners via the socials that Minaj "gave me something".

The offending Minaj track is called 'Sorry' and the sample comes from Chapman's 1988 song 'Baby Can I Hold You'. In legal papers filed with the Californian courts earlier this week, attorneys for Chapman wrote: "This action is necessary to redress [Minaj's] disregard and wilful infringement of Chapman's rights under the Copyright Act, and to ensure that her misconduct is not repeated".

According to the lawsuit, Minaj's people did indeed try to license the 'Baby Can I Hold You' sample earlier this summer, but they were told that Chapman has a blanket rule that she doesn't clear samples of her music. It seems that at least someone of Minaj's team was already aware of this, because one email from a representative of the rapper actually asks whether Chapman is still on the "do not sample or interpolate list".

Discovering that she was indeed still on that list, Minaj's manager then reportedly tried to get a meeting between his client and Chapman, hoping that the rapper might be able to persuade her fellow music maker to clear a sample just this once. No such meeting took place though and, say Chapman's team, they "repeatedly" denied a request for a sample licence.

The lawsuit alleges that it was Minaj, or someone on her team, who then provided a copy of 'Sorry' to Funkmaster Flex - real name Aston George Taylor Jr - which, of course, is something the DJ himself claimed on social media.

"Taylor played the infringing work on air on his radio show on Hot 97 on the evening of 11 Aug 2018", Chapman's lawsuit alleges, according to Law360. "After Taylor played the infringing work, many internet users reproduced the infringing work, and published it on several different websites. As a result of [Minaj's] actions, the infringing work is available through multiple websites hosted by internet service providers all over the world".

Confirming that his client has now sued over the sample, Chapman's longtime lawyer Lee Phillips told Rolling Stone: "Tracy Chapman very much protects her rights and she has a right to deny a licence when requested. There's no question that this is infringement. If you ask what Nicki Minaj's defence is going to be, we have no idea".

The lawsuit seeks to stop any further distribution of 'Sorry', while also seeking damages and any profits made through the airing of the record.

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UK government considers simplifying anti-piracy web-blocks
The UK government's Intellectual Property Office has announced that it is looking into simplifying the process for instigating web-blocks against copyright infringing websites.

Web-blocking is, of course, a preferred anti-piracy tactic of the entertainment industry. Rights owners secure injunctions that force internet service providers to block their customers from accessing piracy websites. The blockades are usually pretty easy to circumvent, but copyright owners reckon they are nevertheless a useful tactic in the wider battle against online piracy.

Whether web-blocking is an option in any one country will depend on the local copyright regime. In some countries copyright law has been amended to allow web-blocks. In others, like the UK, the courts decided that they had the power to instigate blockades against copyright infringing websites under existing laws.

The actual process for securing a web-block also varies from country to country. Usually web-blocks are issued by a court of law and therefore some kind of legal proceedings will be required first. However, some countries have looked into simplifying the process so that a government agency has web-blocking powers. Such a system is sometimes referred to as "administrative site blocking".

In a statement on Monday, the IPO confirmed that the UK government was now considering "the evidence for and potential impact of administrative site blocking - as opposed to requiring a high court injunction in every case - as well as identifying the mechanisms through which administrative site blocking could be introduced".

The creation of some sort of web-blocking agency was proposed earlier this year in Canada where some leading ISPs have been promoting web-blocks as a practical anti-piracy tool. That would have involved the creation of an Independent Piracy Review Agency that would manage a list of piracy websites that should be blocked. It would report into the country's Federal Court of Appeal, but would have administrative blocking powers at first instance.

Those proposals were considered by Canada's media and telecommunications regulator CRTC, but earlier this month it decided that it didn't have the power to instigate such an agency under existing telecoms laws. However, the ISPs behind the proposal are now floating something similar as part of the Canadian's governments ongoing review of copyright law in the country.

Back in the UK, it will be interesting to see whether the IPO concludes that new laws will be required to allow web-blocking without a court order. Opponents of web-blocking argue that government agencies shouldn't have such powers, because that power could be abused without judicial oversight.

However, even with administrative site blocking there would usually be a route of appeal for targeted sites. Plus, most of the time when web-blocking injunctions are sought through the courts, targeted sites make no effort to defend themselves, their liability for copyright infringement of one form or another usually being pretty uncontroversial.

The IPO's announcement on possibly simplifying the web-blocking process in the UK came as part of a wider statement on the sale of internet TV devices that come preloaded with apps that provide easy access to unlicensed streaming content. The sale of such devices has become the top piracy gripe of late for the TV and sports industries in the UK.

The government's IP minister, Sam Gyimah, said that he thought recent successful prosecutions of individuals involved in the supply of such devices was proof that current laws could deal with the problem. However, he said that further education, of both the public and trading standards officers, would be pursued, in addition to considering new anti-piracy measures like the administrative site blocking.

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Beastie Boys unveil limited edition Sonos speaker
The famously brand partnership resistant Beastie Boys have announced a brand partnership with Sonos. They've collaborated with artist Barry McGee on a limited edition Sonos Play:5 speaker. All proceeds will go to charity.

"It's no coincidence that the first song ever played out loud on a Sonos was 'No Sleep Till Brooklyn'", says the company's Global Head Of Music, Brian Beck. "Beastie Boys are a revered and inspirational force in music, with a legacy we are incredibly grateful to support through this exclusive collaboration, celebrating the work and philosophies we respect enormously".

The band's Michael Diamond adds: "When I grew up in New York, we'd discover new music anywhere from a DJ in a club, to a boombox in the street or subway, or a taxi driver's radio - all of which involved leaving the house".

"These days", he goes on, "with help from Sonos, you can access all the music you want at any time and in the highest fidelity, in your bathrobe and slippers, or your finest silk smoking jacket. Whatever you're wearing, we look forward to hopefully turning you on to our custom-curated playlists - and thanks to Barry McGee, the source of the sounds will look just as sweet".

Diamond and the other surviving member of the group, Adam Horovitz, are also set to release their long-awaited memoir next week. With a launch event at East London's EartH venue on 30 Nov already sold out, they have just announced another at The Forum in Kentish Town on 29 Nov. There will also be a signing at Waterstones Piccadilly on 1 Dec.

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Approved: Gaye Su Akyol
Turkish musician Gaye Su Akyol is set to release her third album, 'İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir', through Glitterbeat this week.

With a sound drawing heavily on Anatolian pop and rock of the 60s and 70s, the album's title translates as 'Consistent Fantasy Is Reality'. An examination of her personal politics, the lyrics may be presented in a tongue I don't understand, but Akyol's passion is more than apparent throughout.

"In terms of its philosophy, lyrics, music and motto, this album is the dream of pure freedom, of showing the courage to be yourself, of looking at the culture I was born into without alienation", she says. "A 'dreaming practice' propounded into a country and world that is increasingly turning inward and becoming a conservatised prison".

"I believe that we need to create a counter reality in order to challenge organised evil and the horrible reality it creates, and the strongest option here is consistent dreaming", she goes on. "There is nothing as spectacular and beautiful as a free mind. As soon as I realised that the only difference between dreams and reality was 'consistency' in my mind, the universe became a better place".

Listen to the album's title track here.

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Sinead O'Connor appears on song commemorating centenary of Armistice Day
Sinead O'Connor, the Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood and Pink Floyd's Nick Mason have all contributed to a new song called 'One More Yard'. The song features on a new EP commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The release is part of a project called Evamore, which was conceived by scientific entrepreneur Chris Evans after he noted the similarity between how young people with cancer write about their diagnosis and treatment and the letters young soldiers wrote home from the war. The finished EP will also feature spoken word contributions by actor Cillian Murphy and new music by Brian Eno.

"As we approach the centenary of Armistice Day, the sacrifice of all those young soldiers 100 years ago will be rightly honoured across the world", says Evans. "I feel exceptionally privileged that some of the greatest names in rock music and wonderful actors feel they too want to contribute and pay tribute to these outstanding young men through our music and words and, at the same time, help raise awareness of the challenges so many young people of today face in dealing with the dreadful disease that is cancer".

The EP's producer John Reynolds adds: "The outstanding lead vocal of Sinead O'Connor and the craftsmanship of fellow artists combine to make 'One More Yard' a very fitting tribute to these young men as we approach the centenary of Armistice Day. The artists have taken great pride in getting involved and shown real humility and sensitivity".

Listen to 'One More Yard' here.

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Andreya Triana announces new album, Life In Colour
Andreya Triana has announced that she will release her third album, 'Life In Colour', on 22 Feb. The first single, 'Woman', is out now.

"'Life In Colour' is a metaphor for letting go of societal and personal limitations and stepping into my womanhood", she says, which means "creating a space of creative freedom, full of colour and energy to empower myself".

"I had a lot of fun making this album", she adds, "which I think is reflected in the music - it's definitely my most upbeat album so far! I hope it encourages as many people as possible to be their best selves and to live their 'Life In Colour'".

Watch the lyric video for that first single 'Woman' here.

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Mastodon announce UK and Ireland shows
Mastodon have announced European tour dates for next year, which will include a run of shows in the UK and Ireland.

Starting in January, the tour will see the band return to the stage after the recent death of their manager Nick John. Shortly before he died in September, it was revealed that the band had cancelled a US tour due to his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Tickets for the shows go on sale on Friday. Here are the UK and Ireland dates:

14 Jan: Belfast, Ulster Hall
15 Jan: Dublin, Olympia
17 Jan: Southampton, Guildhall
18 Jan: Newcastle, Academy
19 Jan: Glasgow, Academy
21 Jan: Leeds, Academy
22 Jan: Birmingham, Academy
24 Jan: Norwich, UEA
25 Jan: London, Brixton Academy
26 Jan: Bristol, Academy

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Cardi B, Little Dragon, Esben And The Witch, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Cardi B has released new track, 'Money'. It sees her reunite with 'Bodak Yellow' producer JWhiteDidIt.

• Little Dragon have, it is undeniably true, released the video for their new single 'Lover Chanting'.

• Esben And The Witch have released the video for new single 'Golden Purifier'. The band are set to release new album, 'Nowhere', next month, with tour dates lined up too.

• If watching 'Back To The Future' with a 69 piece orchestra performing the score live sounds like a thing that might excite and delight you, well the Czech National Symphony Orchestra will be touring the UK for that purpose next April.

• The Joy Formidable will be on tour in the UK in February, finishing up at The Garage in London on 22 Feb.

• Voting is now open for the next Music Producers Guild Awards to full members of the organisation. The ceremony is set to take place on 28 Feb at Grosvenor Hall in London.

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

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Wireless allowed to go ahead, just don't fucking swear
Live Nation's Wireless Festival has fought off attempts to have its licence revoked by residents living near Finsbury Park in London, where it takes place each summer.

However, Haringey Council has imposed new licensing conditions which will force the event to be quieter and to end earlier. Oh, and performers will be asked to avoid using expletives and to refrain from wearing revealing clothing. "Female breasts" will definitely need to be covered up.

Opposition was raised about the staging of the festival in the London borough by a local residents' group called Friends Of Finsbury Park - who launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of presenting their case in the licensing review. Concerns were also expressed about the event by nearby Hackney Council and Islington Council. The latter published a report earlier this year, based on local residents' concerns.

Concerns included sound levels emitting from the event; drunk, disorderly and generally anti-social behaviour by attendees around the festival's site, including streets and doorsteps being used as toilets; drug dealers operating in the streets near the park; and children hearing expletives from performers on stage.

While some, including one Hackney councillor, called for the festival's licence to be revoked entirely, others called for stricter controls. For their part, FoFP argued that if the event was not moved out of the park entirely, its capacity should be reduced from 45,000 to 10,000.

Commenting on these moves, one local resident told the Evening Standard that they were not against the event in principle, but felt that something did need to be done to curb anti-social behaviour. "I love the diversity of Finsbury Park, I like it to be a bit edgy", they said. "But it's not pleasant when your street becomes a public toilet. Someone went to the toilet, big time, at our house last year".

At a hearing regarding the festival's licence last week, a lawyer for Live Nation, Philip Kolvin, argued that the event already went above and beyond what was required in terms of security, while also disputing claims from critics that the festival wasn't the kind of 'celebration' event that Finsbury Park should host.

According to the Islington Gazette, he told the hearing: "It's a celebration of grime music. A genre that emerged from London, from the estates, from the inner city. It's London music - therefore, the festival celebrates the music of the people. It's not a celebration for the Friends Of Finsbury Park. It is the only festival in the world that fully represents the community in which it is based. It's London music and a London festival. That's how important it is".

On FoFP's request that the festival's capacity be severely cutback, Kolvin argued that 45,000 was the absolute lowest capacity that an event of this kind could operate on, especially if it was to continue securing the level of artists it featured. As for complaints about those artists then swearing on stage, he said that performers were all asked not to do so before their sets began, but "there's not a lot more we can do" beyond that.

Haringey Council's decision to grant Wireless a licence for next year was announced last night. However, new conditions have been placed on the proceedings. For example, sound levels must be reduced and the event will now wrap up at 9.30pm each day, rather than 10pm.

Then there are the fun new restrictions on the conduct and stagewear of artists booked to play. "The licensee shall reasonably request that performers do not sing or play any vulgar, obscene or banned songs", the council says.

Said request will also demand that performers do not "carry out indecent acts; or make any vulgar gestures, actions or remarks during the performance; or at any point whilst using an amplification device, including the use of expletives".

As for wardrobe, Team Wireless will "also ensure that the attire of the performers do not offend the general public, for example attire which exposes the groin, private parts, buttock or female breast(s)".

Despite including all these restrictions, the document then also notes that enforcing them will be "somewhat unrealistic given this is a live music festival".

A spokesperson for Friends Of Finsbury Park told the Evening Standard that the group is "disappointed" that the event will still go ahead in 2019, but were nevertheless happy with the changes that have been made.

"We are ... pleased the committee listened to us and incorporated our proposals on sound limits", they said. "It was too loud [this year] and it was clear residents were being disturbed. Wireless will now have to be a quieter festival. We have taken it all the way we can. We took it to a two day licensing hearing and to get a change in that licence, I feel we have achieved a lot".

Haringey councillor Kirsten Hearn said that "Wireless Festival is a world-class urban event that helps to fund the park the whole year round and makes a major cultural contribution to Haringey".

She added that the council would continue to work with residents and Live Nation's Festival Republic division to address ongoing concerns. And thank fuck for that. Now, let's get all those female breasts covered up.

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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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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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