|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.|
|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|
Blurred Lines plagiarism case to proceed to court
As previously reported, it was legal reps for Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams who initially filed papers over allegations that 'Blurred Lines' borrowed heavily from the 1977 Gaye record. They wanted judicial confirmation there was no case for song theft.
But the Gaye family quickly responded with their own copyright infringement litigation, citing previous Thicke remarks which possibly admitted to being heavily dependent on 'Got To Give It Up', and one of those crazy musicologist reports that claimed considerable overlap.
Comedy depositions from both Thicke and Williams followed, while legal reps for both parties called for summary judgements in their favour. Lawyers for the Blurred Lines terrible twosome argued that the Gaye family had jumped on comments made by (a probably prescription drug addled) Thicke about him being influenced by Gaye, and that "the defendants smelled money and rushed to make their infringement demand".
But judge John Kronstadt yesterday ruled that, while there was still much about the Gaye's legal claims to be assessed - including just how similar the two tracks are, and what elements of 'Got To Give It Up' are actually protected - there was a sufficient case for the 'Blurred Lines' makers to answer to let this case proceed to court.
Plagiarism cases of this kind rarely actually reach the courtroom, though both sides in this dispute have issued angry statements about the other side, so perhaps such back room negotiations won't be possible. Though the Gayes' team may be relying on the fact neither Thicke, Williams nor any of their business partners really want this dragged through the courts ("you know you don't want it" they might be mumbling).
But for now, next February is pencilled in for a first court hearing. Good times.
Gregg Allman and others dropped from civil case over biopic death
As previously reported, Jones was killed while she and colleagues were setting up for the filming of a dream sequence on railway tracks when a train unexpectedly appeared, striking a bed placed on the rails. A police investigation found that the producers did not have proper permission to film on the railway.
Following the incident, Allman launched legal action attempting to withdraw the film rights to his autobiography, 'My Cross To Bear', having previously appealed unsuccessfully to director Randall Miller to abandon the project entirely. Allman later dropped his lawsuit after reaching a settlement with production company, Unclaimed Freight Productions.
Miller, producer Jody Savin and executive producer Jay Sedrish, were later charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass, while Jones' family launched their own civil action.
Following a hearing earlier this week, Allman, Lehman and Open Road Films were taken off the list of defendants on that civil action. Miller, Savin and Sedrish all remain named on the civil suit, along with first assistant director Hillary Schwartz, location manager Charles T Baxter and director of photography Mike Ozier; Meddin Studios, which provided equipment and personnel to the ill-fated shoot; the aforementioned Unclaimed Freight, which was set up by Miller and his wife to make the film; the company that owns the land on which the tracks lay Rayonier Performance Fibers; and the operator of the tracks, CSX Transportation.
Representing the Jones family, lawyer Jeff Harris said in a statement published by The Hollywood Reporter: "After reviewing the many thousands of pages of documents, and other information we have obtained through the legal discovery process, it is clear that Mr Allman and Mr Lehman had no involvement in any of the decisions that resulted in Sarah's death. Our investigation has also shown that, in this case, Open Road Films was not directly involved in the poor decisions that led to this horrific event and the tragic loss of Sarah's life. As a result, we are dismissing all claims against the three parties".
Jones' father Richard added: "The legal process is working and questions are being answered. During a very difficult and trying time for our family, Gregg Allman and Michael Lehman demonstrated their genuine sorrow over the loss of our daughter and their willingness to work with us in the future to ensure safe film sets for all. For that, we are grateful".
The next hearing in the civil case is due to take place on 13 Nov. The criminal proceedings are yet to come to court.
Sony/ATV signs Calvin Harris
Covering all of Harris's hits old and new (and, obviously, his forthcoming LP 'Motion', which is out on Monday), the contract also incorporates an alliance with the Scottish DJ's vanity label, Fly Eye.
Paying homage to Sony/ATV's top creative 'Guy' (Moot) in UK/Europe, and his team, Calvin says: "They have given me great support and opportunities over many years, and I'm excited to extend my deal and continue our success together".
And Guy Moot accordingly adds: "Calvin Harris is one of the greatest songwriters in the world today and stands out among those in the electronic music world as truly appreciating the value of songwriting and building up a legacy of hits. He really understands the importance of writing songs".
Extending the love-in, Sony/ATV's worldwide boss Marty Bandier says: "We are thrilled to be extending our long-running relationship with Calvin Harris who stands as a true musical phenomenon of our age. He is an international chart-topping recording artist, a hugely talented songwriter with a gift for coming up with global hit after global hit, often by himself, and he remains one of the world's most successful DJs".
"If he could also learn to strike the ball like Lionel Messi, I'd want to come back as him in my next life", quips Marty. Oh how we laughed.
Raw Power label allies with Universal's Spinefarm
Raw Power founder Craig Jennings told reporters: "Search & Destroy is an important part of our growth plan so we are really pleased to have this new agreement in place with Spinefarm. Their enthusiasm for what we are trying to achieve with the label made them the obvious choice for a global partnership and their company philosophy is a great fit with our own. We already have a really exciting release schedule and look forward to working with Jonas Nachsin and his team around the world".
While the there mentioned Jonas Nachsin, Worldwide GM of Spinefarm, added: "The principals and staff of Raw Power/Search & Destroy represent an exact fit for us in this new and exciting phase of Spinefarm's evolution. They are music people, dedicated to working with and developing great rock bands, and have a great track record in doing so. That's exactly what we are doing here, in a serious and determined way, and are thrilled to be locking arms with S&D in a common cause".
Raw Power has also confirmed that Radio 1 rock man Daniel P Carter will be leading A&R efforts for Search & Destroy. On that, said Jennings, "We are delighted that Dan is joining our S and D team, he has been responsible for breaking several British rock and metal acts in his role at Radio 1 and we look forward to him bringing that expertise to the label".
Azoff vows to increase performance royalties by 30% with his new PRO
Discussing the decision to launch the PRO as part of his joint venture with the Madison Square Garden Compnay, Azoff MSG Entertainment, Azoff told the New York Times: "I vowed when I started this company that I was going to take care of artists. So I tried to identify places where I felt that artists were not getting a fair deal, and the performance rights area jumped out at me. It was a place where I felt I could help our writers".
Azoff's advantage, he believes, is not being subject to the same 'consent decrees' that govern how ASCAP and BMI work, meaning his company - just like third American PRO SESAC - isn't subject to extra regulations and restrictions when negotiating public performance licenses, all things that weaken the big societies' at the negotiating table.
For Azoff to be able to secure those higher rates, of course, he has to have some big names to negotiate with, to get to the negotiating table in the first place. Though with the likes of Pharrell Williams and Ryan Tedder already having signed up, as well as members of acts such as Fleetwood Mac and Journey, he already does.
That smaller US collecting societies have this advantage over ASCAP and BMI is one of the reasons the two organisations, which represent the vast majority of publishing rights in the US, are arguing for reform of the consent decrees. Rights holders too have argued that the current system needs to be updated, with some threatening to completely withdraw from the big collecting societies if the Department Of Justice - which oversees collective licensing Stateside - doesn't act. Though the Music Managers Forum in the UK has questioned whether that would be legal.
Beatbox Booking makes redundancies, in continued Tinderbox festival fallout
As previously reported, the announcement of Tinderbox has proven controversial in the European festival market, in part due to public funding it is receiving - £2.5 million over five years. It's placement in the calendar close to rival festival Roskilde has been described as "an act of war", while Norwegian festival Hove cancelled its 2015 edition, its owner Festival Republic claiming that the addition of a new state-funded festival made it too difficult to compete in the Scandinavian market.
In retaliation, four festivals - Roskilde Festival, Smukfest, Nibe Festival and Jelling Musikfestival - all refused to work with Danish booking agencies Beatbox and Scandinavian, due to links with Tinderbox. As a result two staffers at Scandinavian who are involved with Tinderbox resigned from the company last month, while Beatbox Booking boss Peter Sorensen questioned why his company was being boycotted, when in fact it was now a totally separate entity to Beatbox Concerts which was involved with the new festival.
His protests seemingly fell on deaf ears though, with Sorensen last week announcing that the ongoing situation has resulted in him having to lay off staff.
In a letter to the four boycotting festivals, published by Gaffa, he wrote: "It was not a nice day in the office yesterday. In addition to firing three good and talented people, I have had to explain to my staff how everything what we have built over the past decade has now been smashed beyond recognition by four festivals' clumsy, disrespectful and deeply unpleasant attack on our integrity and credibility".
He went on to reiterate that he owns Beatbox Booking 100%, while having "no interest or influence" in former business partner Mads Sorensen's new Beatbox Concerts company. He also refuted claims that the split had been a direct result of the boycott, saying that it had been put in motion in the spring of this year. The two companies have continued to share an office, he said, but added that Mads has now decided to relocate his operations elsewhere in the new year.
Still addressing the boycotting festivals, Peter continued: "It hurts to have to fire people who are now without work and income (all family people with children). And they are all asking one question, why is this necessary? Naturally, I have explained to them the background and everyone understands that you are nervous about what the future holds. But everyone is still completely baffled that your confidence in my and their work ethic is so low that they should have to be sacrificed in your war".
In a statement issued to Gaffa, Roskilde spokesperson Christina Bilde said of Sorensen's letter: "We can confirm that we have received the letter stating Peter's decision that his booking agency and the entity which works on festivals will no longer share offices and employees. But we do not believe that it benefits the relationship between the parties or the Danish live environment to comment on it in public".
The Agency Group buys Coalition
The celebrity and DJ booking agency represents names including Nick Grimshaw, Edith Bowman, Jameela Jamil, Pixie Lotte, Huw Stevens, Jen Long, Steve Lamacq and Cassetteboy. It also own a number of live brands, including the previously reported Coffee House Sessions, and is particularly active in booking acts for university appearances. You remember when Chesney Hawkes played your summer ball? That was Coalition's work.
Announcing the news, TAG CEO Gavin O'Reilly said: "We are very excited to be able to partner with Guy and his team. Coalition Talent not only has a great roster of artists, but has exhibited the sort of entrepreneurial spirit that we thrive on at The Agency Group. Coalition is hugely respected, particularly in the UK university and nightclub sector, and this relationship further solidifies our leading position in the live entertainment market. Building artists' careers is at the heart of The Agency Group, and this important strategic development fully supports that core focus".
Coalition founder Guy Robinson added: "My passion for live entertainment is as strong now as it ever has been, and my team and I are looking forward to working alongside The Agency Group London's team of 22 agents. This alliance brings together two great cultures and it will allow us to further develop our existing and new entertainment brand initiatives. Most importantly, it will strengthen the range of services that we can offer our artists throughout their touring careers".
We thought he'd finished, but he went on: "It's no secret that there's been a seismic change in the way people consume music, be it recorded or live. Developing Coffee House Sessions, a tour circuit in University coffee shops in the UK, is just one example of how we are evolving our business model to stay ahead of these developments. Working as part of a much bigger organisation will see this dynamic platform, amongst others, realise its full potential much faster".
Coalition will continue to operate as a standalone company for the time being, though Robinson and his team will relocate to TAG's Islington HQ.
Ibiza Rocks team extend to Croatia for a new festival
Launching the event, Shane Murray, Brand Director at Ibiza Rocks Group told reporters: "We've been excited about Croatia and the potential for the Rocks brand for some time and working with Hideout was always our number one priority. They bring success, infrastructure and credibility to the table. It's the next natural step for us to launch a festival and it's the right time to move into Croatia. As Rocks reaches ten years its a significant new chapter in our story. We look forward to becoming part of what is already a rich and diverse festival scene".
Meanwhile Steve Allison of the Hideout Festival added: "As Hideout reaches five years and Croatia moves into the next phase of music tourism we are delighted to partner with Ibiza Rocks and deliver their first festival. With our local knowledge and success in delivering major events in Croatia combined with Ibiza Rocks' credentials, this partnership will further cement Croatia as a recognised and influential part of the European festival summer".
Fleetwood Mac and Queen not playing Glasto, confirms Mike Eavis
Or at least that's what Michael Eavis has said. And really, if anyone in the world knows about things like this, it's him.
Speaking via the latest edition of Music Week, Eavis said, when asked if Queen and one-time bookies faves Fleetwood Mac might, perchance, be taking the highest billing on the Pyramid Stage next year, this: "Queen? Not Queen, no. Fleetwood Mac don't seem to be available at the moment. But we've got three excellent headliners for next year".
One of whom, he added, has "been around for a long time". My guess is: my dad.
Anyway this was fun, wasn't it? Stay tuned for another round of 'who's not headlining Glastonbury in 2015', coming soon...
Chvrches, Cheryl, Dizzee Rascal and more
Other notable announcements and developments today...
• Having played a sold out show at Brixton Academy last night, Chvrches have slung their new single, 'Get Away', up on SoundCloud for all to hear. Really, you can hear it here. There's also a new video for 'Under The Tide', which comes from their debut album. Watch that here.
• A non-fiction video on grime king and Rinse co-founder Slimzee, directed by Rollo Jackson of video-directing renown, is now available to watch online. All 21 minutes and 55 seconds of it. Watch now!
• Cheryl 'not Cole' Fernandez-Versini will move her finger a bit to switch on the Oxford Street Christmas lights on 6 Nov. She'll be joined by Rixton and Jess Glynne on site at 'the big switch-on', both of whom will sing songs. As will she, I think. Go Cheryl!
• It's Halloween! You can't failed to have noticed. You're probably eating a pumpkin and writing a letter to the grim reaper as we speak. That's what happens, right? Dizzee Rascal, gawd luv 'im, has been slashing people up with knives. He videoed it and everything, and has made the evidence available via Noisey. Only until Sunday though, at which point the video will disappear like a ghost, or something spooky like that. Have a watch here.
CMU Beef Of The Week #229: Pan Fried Beef Fillet at the Mercury Prize
Bit of a background for you here. I have what is widely accepted, by one and all, as a smartly refined diet. The words "faddy and fussy eater" have no role in this whatsoever. It's just I know what I like and that's what I eat. What I like is well cooked meat and any variety of potato. Any potato whatsoever. Pasta, rice, noodles, these are not needed when you have the potato. Sauces aren't required either because God gave us gravy. And as for veg. Well, I'm not some loony Telegraph journalist. I love veg. All three of them. Carrots, Broccoli and Cauliflower. Though only when served with some well cooked dead animal, obviously.
In a bid for balance, I should note that my co-Publisher Caro Moses is a strict vegetarian, and is prone to claim there are actually more than three vegetables. She's very much with Morrissey when it comes to meat and murder, though is slightly less irritating about it. And as for CMU Editor Andy Malt, well, he's just back from a week in Tokyo, supposedly to research the state of the recorded music market there, but mainly to guzzle down on plate after plate of uncooked fish bits. He claims this constitutes fun times. He's weird.
Because, here's the thing, I don't approve of eating anything that swims. It's not a religious thing. Though if someone can recommend a religion that outlaws eating anything that swims, do let me know. It would be a handy excuse. Though a religion that bans the eating of swimming things while concurrently ignoring the fact cows can swim. Contradiction and denial of science is what religion's all about, right?
Anyway, there's a slight chance you might be wondering what the fish bits this has to do with the Mercury Prize. Well, it had been a whole three years since I last attended the big Mercury envelope opening festivities, back when the whole shebang happened in one of those West London hotels you can never quite remember the name of.
It was a nice night, busy chat chatting to bunch of broadsheet journalists who warmed to me greatly when I told them that if they thought the music industry was fucked they should take a look at the newspaper game. We gossiped, we nodded along to the song singing, we clapped at PJ Harvey's victory, and I managed to drop all my bank cards, requiring me to crawl around under the table to rescue them.
But here actually is the thing. The meal that night was fish. FISH. As in a formerly swimming fish-like fish that had been fished and was now expecting to be eaten. Who serves fish at an awards ceremony? FISH! For a brief moment I considered asking for the veggie option, but that had a very non-carrot-cauliflower-broccoli look about it. So I opted to push the fish around my plate instead and just wait for pudding.
Bearing in mind that one of the gimmicks at the Mercurys is to kick things off at dinner time, but then make you sit through two hours of music and video clips with just one bread stick each, so that the loudest shortlisted act of the night (Royal Blood this year) has to go on last so as not to be drowned out by the music industry's collective rumbling stomachs. Never had a fruit tart been so gratefully received than by me at the Mercury Prize 2011.
Now, I'm not saying that I moaned about this endlessly in the weeks following that particular Mercury night, but I wasn't invited back for three years. Not, in fact, until this year.
I won't tell you who kindly invited me along this time, because it was a big music company, and now that Music Week is treading on our territory of calling the music industry a bunch of cunts, we've got to try extra hard to retain our reputation as the rebels of music business journalism. Let's just say Bombay Bicycle Club were robbed, the new Cheryl album is going to be awesome, and I've just decided that we'll never link to footage of Justin Bieber walking into a door ever again.
But as kind as the invitation to the big Mercury bash was, deep down I had an immediate response. WILL IT BE FISH!!!!!! Though - after a long meeting with the entire CMU team and our financial advisors - it was decided it would be rude to refuse to accept the invite to the party with a no-fish conditional clause. And so I decided to take a risk, and a gamble, and tread into uncertain territory. I even resisted the temptation to respond to the "any special dietary requirements" email with "YES, NO FISH".
Which is why, as I'm sure you can all understand, while Young Fathers wowed, and Royal Blood rocked, and Kate Tempest got my feet tapping, my highest moment of elation on Wednesday night came on spotting the menu. "Pan fried beef fillet, truffled boulanger potatoes, sautéed wild mushrooms, sautéed spring greens, glazed baby carrots, Greenwich porter jus". I mean, I don't know what half of that meant but three out of six ain't bad. Carrots, yes! Potatoes, result! And BEEF! Praise be to the great god Mercury himself.
And it was good beef too. I mean, the "Fleur de sel caramel chocolate fondant" stole the show overall, and the "micro celery" was the biggest talking point of the night (what the fuck?), but the beef. The beef was good. And a worthy winner of CMU's Beef Of The Week.
PS: If you'd like to see the beef in question, Jenny Stevens off of The Guardian can help you here. I was too excited about eating it to be taking photos.
|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