|Click JUMP to skip direct to a section of this email or ONLINE to read and share stories on the CMU website (JUMP option may not work in all email readers). For regular updates from Team CMU follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.|
|For information on placing classified ads in the CMU Daily contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org|
|CMU Jobs is a proven way to recruit the best music business talent for roles across the industry at all levels, from graduate to senior management. To book an ad contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email email@example.com|
Industry seeks judicial review on private copy right
As much previously reported, a number of new exemptions were added to the UK copyright system earlier this year stemming from the 2011 Hargreaves Review. This means there are now more scenarios where people can make use of copyright material without the express permission of (and therefore without paying) the copyright owner.
This included the introduction of the so called private copy right. Previously anyone ripping tracks from CD to their PC and moving said ripped tracks onto their portable device of choice was, technically, liable for copyright infringement, even though the ripped tracks were for their personal use, and even though no rights owner would ever sue them. This put the UK out of kilter with the rest of Europe, where private copying is allowed.
Nobody in the music industry particularly opposes the private copy right, but in the rest of Europe a levy is charged - traditionally on blank cassettes and CDs, more recently on MP3 players and such like - which is paid back to the music community as compensation for the private copy right. But the UK private copy exemption has no such accompanying levy.
The music industry has opposed private copying without compensation from the outset, but failed to alter the new copyright exemption at the parliamentary stage. Mike Weatherley MP, usually a supporter of the music business in parliament, argued at The Great Escape earlier this year that the UK private copy exemption is much narrower than in most other European countries, so he didn't believe the levy was necessary.
But the music rights community does not concur, and cross-industry trade body UK Music, working with the Musicians' Union and British Academy Of Songwriters, Composers And Authors, is now launching a final bid to have the exemption amended by taking the new law to judicial review, at which judges will be asked to send the measures back to parliament on the basis they contravene European law.
In a statement this morning, the three trade groups said: "The MU, BASCA and UK Music welcome the purpose of the new measures, namely to enable consumers to make a copy of their legally acquired music. However, this is a bad piece of legislation as it incorrectly implements the law by failing to include fair compensation for musicians, composers and rightsholders".
"The private copying exception will damage the musician and composer community. It contravenes Article 5 (2) (b) of the [European] Copyright Directive which includes a requirement that where a member state provides for such a copyright exception - as the UK now has - it must also provide fair compensation for rights holders".
"It is the compensatory element of a private copying exception that lies at the heart of EU law and underpins common respect for the songwriters, composers and musicians whose work is copied. The decision of the UK government not to provide fair compensation to songwriters, composers and musicians is in stark contrast to the vast majority of countries in Europe who have introduced private copying exceptions. The absence of a compensatory mechanism has led to the judicial review being applied for".
It is worth noting that the private copy levy has been somewhat controversial elsewhere in Europe since most people started copying songs to hard disks rather than cassettes or CDs. Because the question is, what do you apply the levy to as blank cassettes and CDRs, and standalone MP3 players for that matter, become a thing of the past.
Plenty of consumers oppose levies being added to PCs and smartphones on the basis they never personally transfer music to those devices. Or, if they do, the music they transfer originates with iTunes, the licence for which allows copies to be made onto multiple devices without relying on the private copy exemption. And, of course, as streaming rather than downloading becomes more mainstream, the concept of the private copy becomes redundant.
Which means that even if the music community secures a private copy levy through the courts, the kickback will be modest and short-term. But by fighting for the levy - even if the fight is led by artist and songwriter groups rather than the big bad labels and publishers - the music community risks, once again, being portrayed as the money-grabbing bad guys.
Not least because the vast majority of people gladly ripped every CD they bought without realising it was, technically, against the law. Therefore they will view the levy - however modest and hidden - as a new fee from the copyright owners to do what they have always done, rather than compensation for a new right they have been kindly gifted.
So, while there is seemingly a case under European law for the levy, the merits of chasing it are highly debatable. The easiest way to enforce copyright is to convince the majority that it's worth voluntarily respecting. Being seen to screw ever more money out of consumers (which is how the tech lobby will spin this) damages the credibility of copyright and therefore makes it harder to enforce. Copyright at large, therefore, is damaged for relatively modest return.
But hey, I've been saying this ever since the private copy right without levy was first proposed in the 2006 Gowers Review and no one ever listens. So I'll shut up and give the levy chasers their customary moment of quotage glory...
BASCA CEO Vick Bain: "We have sought judicial review because of the way the government made its decision not to protect the UK's creative industries - in stark contrast to other countries that have introduced copyright exceptions. We fully support the right of the consumer to copy legally bought music for their own personal and private use, but there must be fair compensation for the creators of the music".
UK Music CEO Jo Dipple: "Licensing is the business model for the UK music industry's success in the digital age. However, where the right to licence is removed rights holders should be compensated. Copyright enables people to earn a living out of their creativity and sustains jobs. The government has made a serious error with regards to private copying. The legislative framework must guarantee musicians and composers are fairly compensated".
MU General Secretary John Smith: "It is right that musicians should adapt to changing times - and they have. Most musicians now accept that their income will increasingly be made up of micro payments from collective licensing agreements and royalties from PPL or PRS. In order to survive on these multiple smaller amounts, however, performers need to be getting the money that they are owed from every possible revenue stream. Private copying should be one of these streams, as it is in most of Europe. The government has not adequately justified why they are bringing forward an exception without compensation. We believe there is strong evidence to suggest musicians will suffer harm under the proposal. This is why we are seeking a judicial review of their decision".
Vince Power says PRS injunction against him set aside
As previously reported, PRS claims that Power's Hop Farm festival operated without a licence from the society between 2009 and 2012, meaning that public performance royalties weren't paid on songs performed at the event that are owned by songwriters and publishers allied with the rights organisation.
The company that actually operated the Hop Farm event during that time, Music Festivals plc, no longer exists, having gone under in 2012. But PRS argued that Power should be held personally liable for the unpaid royalties as the person in control of the company at the time.
It was an interesting argument to put to the court, but it wasn't tested because Power didn't respond to PRS's lawsuit. The courts, therefore, ruled against the veteran promoter by default, ordering him to pay the society's legal costs and to settle the case against him. The court order also seemed to ban Power from promoting music events in the UK until the matter was resolved.
But Power immediately hit back once the court order had been issued, arguing that he had not been aware of the PRS's litigation against him, and had never been formally served papers. It is seemingly on those grounds that the promoter sought to have the injunction set aside and, according to Power's spokesperson, that was achieved last week.
Said spokesperson told reporters: "Vince complained to PRS that its lawyers had made no proper attempt to serve him and required the injunction and the order for costs to be set aside. The order was made in his absence because he knew nothing about the hearing. PRS agreed to have the injunction and costs award set aside by High Court order".
The spokesperson also accused PRS of issuing misleading statements back in August about the nature of the injunction against Power, saying: "When PRS broke the news [it] also wrongly claimed that it had obtained an injunction banning Vince from staging musical events. It had not - the order simply required him to pay licence fees in order to stage events and that is the law anyway".
We assume PRS could now re-file its original lawsuit anew, because it seems that last week's court decision only dealt with the society's failure to alert Power to the case against him, rather than any of the rights group's actual arguments as to whether the Hop Farm festival went ahead without a public performance licence, and if so whether Power could be help personally liable for that. But PRS is yet to respond to Power's statement.
Cheryl's vanity label not for kids
Speaking to The Mirror this week, 'Chezza' said the one condition of her imprint will be that she'll only sign artists aged over eighteen (and that only after an eighteen month training programme) so as not to throw wide-eyed and potentially fragile pop minors straight into the glare of the media spotlight. Like they do occasionally/all the time on 'X-Factor'.
Which doesn't exactly cast the aspiring likes of, say, Cheryl's one remaining act in this year's 'X' - the seventeen year old Lauren Platt - in a great light now, does it? Hear that, kids? Stop dreaming, be patient and go and... I don't know, learn to drive a car, or join the army, or something. And only then is it OK to try having a career in pop.
Anyway, the one-time Girl Aloud told The Mirror's 3am (and the Lauren Platts of this world might want to look away now): "Look around at the child stars - the record's not exactly promising. It's too much pressure. They would have to be over eighteen. But I would develop them while they're in school".
She adds: "I would nurture the artist before they put anything out there. I would ensure my girls do a preparation course. I love the aspect of 'X-Factor' where I'm nurturing talent. Watching the sparkle in someone else's eye and remembering you having that dream, it's such a buzz".
Retailers call for a Monday global release day
As previously reported, the majors' global trade body the IFPI is currently pushing for all the labels and entertainment retailers of the world to release new music on the same day. Currently release days are spread across the week globally, with the UK taking Monday, the US Tuesday and Australia going all the way down to Friday. And the majors seem set on adopting the Aussie release day worldwide.
For their part, the retailers pretty much all agree that a global release day makes sense in the web age where artists routinely speak to their fans around the world as one, but they are not so convinced by the labels' choice of Friday. The US-based Department Of Record Stores was first to question the logic of the week-end release day, while the UK's Entertainment Retailers Association called on the labels to provide evidence that a shift to Friday worldwide could result in a sales uplift sufficient to compensate for the disruption the move would cause.
Presumably said evidence is yet to materialise, because yesterday ERA and the Department Of Record Stores joined up with other US-based retail groups like the Alliance of Independent Media Stores and Coalition Of Independent Music Stores, as well as some key indie retailers and distributors and, perhaps most interestingly, the US and UK's indie label trade groups to call for Monday to be adopted as the global release day.
The various groups said: "We agree that aligning new music releases on a single day around the world could be beneficial for the music business, sending a clear message to consumers, enabling more coordinated and powerful marketing and promotions and combating release week piracy resulting from different street dates. Agreeing to the concept of a Global Release Day is a separate issue to the decision as to which day it should be, however. We do not agree that Friday is the best day for such a move".
It goes on: "A move to a Friday would unfortunately entail additional costs for many in the industry. We believe that while these costs are easily calculable, tangible costs, the forecasted beneficial revenue effects of a Global Release Day are inconclusive and subject to a range of opinions. More and more global releases have been coming out on a Monday and the industry has proven that it can handle these with no additional cost. Based on a detailed review of the challenges and opportunities of the shift to a single day, we strongly endorse a worldwide Monday street date for music and reject the proposed move to Friday".
Lending her group's support to the Monday release day proposal, Kim Bayley of ERA told reporters: "The evidence suggests that virtually all the benefits of a Global Release Date can be captured on a Monday without any additional costs. It is a no-brainer. The potential to create a New Music Monday focusing all of the industry's marketing efforts at the beginning of the week is very exciting".
Meanwhile Association Of Independent Music boss Alison Wenham added: "Supporting independent retailers is a core principal of independent record companies, and we work together very closely. If the retailers' view is that Monday is the best day for new releases, why would we argue otherwise? They are after all the experts in retail".
Spotify revenues up in 2013, though operating losses up too
It was recently confirmed that Spotify's UK and French businesses actually went into profit in 2013. But no one expected that trend to be followed through on a global level, given the firm's continued rampant worldwide expansion (plus it's hard to know what costs are covered at a national and global level). The rising losses were posted by the parent Spotify company based in Luxembourg.
Of course, there's lots in the global figures for the streaming naysayers to get their teeth into - not least those on Team Swift who argue that artists should be able to withhold their music from freemium users, who are contributing so little of the cash. Though Spotify CEO Daniel Ek recently argued that the free tier was vital for converting people to paid users, which in turn, he claims, has meant that Spotify has been able to pay out $2 billion to the music industry to date.
In response to Taylor Swift's removal of her catalogue from the streaming service, Ek said: "If we want to drive people to pay for music, we have to compete with free [options like piracy, radio and YouTube] to get their attention in the first place. More than 80% of our subscribers started as free users. If you take away only one thing, it should be this: No free, no paid, no $2 billion".
That Spotify's operating loss has continued to grow year-on-year will also remain a sticking point for many (even though the firm's business plan will have likely expected such losses), and the debate over streaming revenues, royalties and sustainability will continue to rumble on throughout 2015.
It will be interesting to see this time next year how the period of rapid growth that has occurred this year - with free and paid subscriber numbers both up considerably in the second and third quarters - will affect the financials for 2014. Spotify's success is ultimately a matter of scale, but whether that scale is close to being reached remains a question mark.
Speaking of booms though, Spotify this week announced that One Direction had now passed the one billion streams milestone on the service, following the recent release of their fourth album, 'Four'. In celebration, Spotify this morning announced the arrival of Rammstein's entire back catalogue on its platform.
Now you may choose between a playlist of 1D's ten most popular tracks worldwide and another curated by Rammstein featuring songs that have inspired them. Or ignore both entirely.
Boiler Room hires new editor-in-chief
Muggs' appointment spearheads a new emphasis on in-depth editorial content at the fast-growing London company, which, since it first started in an actual boiler room in 2010, has acted primarily as a straight online broadcaster for live sets by DJs and artists, mainly from private and invite-only locations.
Muggs says: "I'm like a kid in a sweetshop right now. I've been lucky enough to work with a lot of truly great publications and editors in my years freelancing, including ones that have forged new paths in a tough environment. To be given the chance to build something new and try and follow in their footsteps is the sort of chance that doesn't come along every day, but to be given a resource as insanely awesome as the Boiler Room's existing audio/video/events machine to build it around is almost incomprehensibly exciting".
He adds: "We're in a position to build something unique by bringing all these strands together, in fact. The team here are bang in the middle of everything that's innovative and hopeful in the music world right now, and if we can reflect that editorially then we're onto a winner".
Boiler Room boss Blaise Bellville, meanwhile, says of his company's new direction: "This is about developing a clear voice for Boiler Room. We do so much great shit, but people might not be aware of the thinking behind the programming, or how it fits into a wider context, because we don't have that central editorial voice".
And still babbling on, he adds: "We may be known for dance DJ sets but there's so much more: we already cover classical music, hip hop, grime, industrial techno, noise and God knows what else and are continually expanding further in all directions in terms of styles. We've documented and reported pivotal flashpoints for scenes past and present, and it's time to build on that, so that as well as our audio and video, our writing will be a valuable archive of music culture".
Recent evidence of Boiler Room's new taste for all-things classical, for one, came earlier this week, when the site archived a so-named 'Modern Classic' collaboration by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood and the London Contemporary Orchestra, taped live at Manchester's Albert Hall last month. Watch that via BR now.
Wet Nuns' Alexis Gotts dies
Confirming the sad news of Gotts' death in a Facebook post earlier this week, Rob Graham, his one-time collaborator in Wet Nuns, wrote: "It's with a deep sadness and a heavy heart that I try to find the words to express the deep sense of grief that I feel as I come to terms with the loss of my friend, bandmate and brother Leki. It's only really the sense of duty to you all as fans of our band that I wrote this now as I think it will take a good while to really understand what has happened".
Graham added: "Leki took his own life as an end to a long and terribly difficult battle. Obviously we had our difficulties personally, but it's important that you all know that the last few times we spent together that we were back on good terms. And all was at peace. I miss him. I don't think I will ever stop missing him".
Formed in 2009, Wet Nuns self-released a chain of tracks climaxing in 2013's 'Broken Teeth' EP, and, later, their full-length 'Wet Nuns' LP. Gotts and Graham punctuated their short but bright-burning career with a string of wild live shows and, as of 2012, their even wilder weekend event Detestival, the latest edition of which ran earlier this year.
For information on coping with suicidal feelings and finding support, read Mind's guide, or call The Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90. Friend of CMU Eddy Temple-Morris is also involved in CALM, a charitable initiative aiming to reduce suicide rates amongst young men. Click this link to read his various CMU articles on the organisation, and/or visit the CALM site.
Green Day and Red Hot Chilis both cookin something new for 2015
Basically, he got creative in the "hardware store" and made this little 'found art' montage of 'Green Day' spelled in adhesive lettering and then '15' in... the metal numbers you nail on doors.
Sorry, DIY isn't my strongpoint. And nor is caring about the Red Hot Chili Peppers, still... here goes nothing: the Red Hot Chili Peppers will likely begin recording on their eleventh LP next month!
Or that's what the Chilis 'sticksman' Chad Smith has told Music Radar, anyway. Speaking to the site last week, he said, when asked on the status of a follow-on to 2011's 'I'm With You': "We're writing our songs, and we're really close to getting in to start recording. I think we'll probably go up to December, do a little pre-production on em, and then we'll take a little Christmas break. I hope to be recording after the first of the year".
He added that the band have nearly 30 potential tracks ready, adding: "I think last time we overdid it a little, so we're trying to really hone in on the ones that'll rise to the top. It won't be 50 like last time. We always say, 'Oh, we're doing to do a Beatles thing and just do ten or eleven songs', and then it always turns into an epic fucking thing. This time, I thing we'll focus on the quality and not the quantity".
Good to know. Thanks Chad!
The Pop Group, The Rap Monument, Ibeyi and other stories
Other notable announcements and developments today...
• Australian dance DJ and producer Dro Carey has lately signed to pretty alright label Greco-Roman, and will release a new EP titled 'Club Injury Handbook' on 1 Dec. Have a taste of its buoyant title track now via SoundCloud.
• Having 'inked' a deal with Turnstile Music, Bristol indie band Trust Fund are now to release an album called 'No One's Coming For Us' in Feb 2015. Listen to its topmost song 'Cut Me Out' right this minute.
• Post-punk lot The Pop Group are back, after a long, long lunch-break of oh, 35 release-free years, give or take. And they're bringing with them a Paul Epworth-produced new LP titled 'Citizen Zombie', which will be available on 23 Feb. Hear one of its eleven tracks, also its title track, via this link.
• A lorry-load of over 30 American rappers (not at all least Pusha T, Killer Mike, Action Bronson and Young Thug) have gone mic-to-mic on a single mega-track, backed by Noisey and Hennessey, titled 'The Rap Monument'. Scale a preview of it here.
• Bill and Ted's dream psych-pop star Only Real, aka Niall Galvin, has broken his new single 'Yesterdays' to fans ahead of its release via Virgin/Harvest on 26 Jan 2015. Stream it here.
• Still hot from his dip in the 'CMU approved' toaster last Monday, Canadian alt-pop artiste Alex Calder has since released the video to his new single 'Lola', having put it together in his living room in 30 minutes flat. Watch the 'Lola' skate-o-rama now.
• Also approved post-rock-o-nauts Vessels have signalled their new LP 'Dilate', which is set to descend on 2 Mar 2015. From it is a track titled 'On Monos', which features Leeds singer Snow Fox, the video for which is viewable here.
• Ed 'Primark pants' Sheeran has added an extra date at Wembley Stadium on 11 Jul 2015, since that other Wembley Stadium show he's doing (on 10 Jul 2015) has already shifted what's clearly a promising quantity of tickets, which went on pre-sale earlier today. Surely now he can afford to get his 'undies' in M&S.
• Approved synth-pop band Scarlet Soho have confirmed a host of European shows (the first on 29 Jan in Paris) circling the release of their latest LP, 'In Cold Blood', on 13 Feb 2015. The band promise UK dates are on the way, too; so track those updates via the SS Facebook page, if you please.
• Worldly XL-signed twins Ibeyi have confirmed a load of British shows in early 2015, starting at the Bristol Louisiana on 18 Feb. The dates, which act as a live caption to the release of the approved Diaz sisters' eponymous first LP on 16 Feb, will unfold as listed.
• So here's a thing; Metallica are headlining next year's Reading AND Leeds festivals, which take place in tandem over 28-30 Aug. A weird array of acts featuring Jamie T, Run The Jewels, Pierce The Veil, Refused and Wilkinson (live) are also confirmed to play. AND Walls will serve as the festivals' 'official' ice cream sponsor, "serving the old and new favourites including Magnum, Cornetto, Calippo, Twister and Solero". Now that's what I call a scoop.
Prince shuts down social media accounts
According to the Star Tribune, the shutdown came on Monday. The newspaper speculates that the move may have been timed to coincide with the grand jury decision on the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Though is it was, Prince might want to actually confirm that.
The other theory (probably more likely) is that Prince has decided to move on from his 3RDEYEGIRL project to something new - quite possibly his jazz band NPGQ, with whom Prince performed two songs during a livestreamed release party for 3EG's 'PLECTRUMELECTRUM' and his solo album 'Art Official Age' in October.
Or maybe he just couldn't be bothered anymore.
|Send ALL press releases to firstname.lastname@example.org - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.
For details of the training and consultancy services offered by CMU Insights click here - Andy and Chris are also available to provide music business comment, just email them direct.
To promote your company or advertise jobs or services to the entire UK music industry via the CMU bulletin or website contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email email@example.com