Sep 24, 2023 5 min read

CMU Digest: Leadmill, Lizzo, Deezer, Council Of Music Makers, Katy Perry

24 Sep 2023: Catch up on key events this week, including Sheffield City Council granting a licence to The Leadmill's landlord, the Council Of Music Makers' five AI fundamentals, Lizzo being sued by another ex-employee, Deezer instigating another price rise and Katy Perry’s big deal with Litmus

CMU Digest: Leadmill, Lizzo, Deezer, Council Of Music Makers, Katy Perry

Sheffield City Council granted the Electric Group a shadow licence covering The Leadmill. The live music company owns the building that houses the Sheffield venue and has been seeking to take direct control of its operations for more than a year now. The current Leadmill management team, who have refused to vacate the premises, urged the council's licensing committee not to grant its landlord a licence. However, a licence can only be legally declined based on specific concerns around safety, disorder, nuisance or harm. A legal rep for the current team raised safety concerns about their landlord at a licensing hearing, but these were rejected by the Electric Group and, ultimately, the committee too. The shadow licence means the landlord will be able to immediately operate a venue in the building if and when the current management team leave - eviction proceedings are already underway.

Current Leadmill team raise safety concerns about the Electric Group at licensing hearing
The current operators of The Leadmill in Sheffield have said that their landlord, the Electric Group, “has a fundamental disregard for safety”. They made the claim as the city’s council considered a licence application by the landlord, which wants to directly manage the venue.

The UK's Council Of Music Makers published five key objectives regarding music AI. It called on AI companies and the music industry to ensure that music-maker consent is secured before any existing music is used to train an AI model. It also demanded that music-makers be consulted on the business models that are developed around music-making AI; that they share fairly in any revenues generated by the licensing of music AI services; and that technology companies and the music industry are fully transparent about what music is being used to train any one model or platform. The CMM - which brings together organisations representing songwriters, composers, artists, musicians, producers and music managers - also called for the UK government to clarify and strengthen the publicity and data rights of music-makers.

“Consent, respect and remuneration” crucial as music AI evolves, say UK music-makers
The UK’s Council Of Music Makers has called on technology companies and the music industry at large to meet five fundamental objectives as they develop music-making generative AI models.

Lizzo and her company Big Grrrl Big Touring were sued by another former employee. Clothing designer Asha Daniels claims that she was subjected to racial and sexual harassment, assault and illegal retaliatory termination while working on Lizzo's most recent tour. Most of the grievances relate to the alleged conduct of wardrobe manager Amanda Nomura. She claims that - after she complained about Nomura’s conduct - Lizzo’s tour manager apologised and conceded that the wardrobe manager was "crazy". But Daniels was nevertheless fired, seemingly for speaking up. The new lawsuit follows the litigation previously filed by three former members of Lizzo's dance team. Lizzo has strongly denied the allegations made in that initial lawsuit.

Lizzo faces second lawsuit from former employee
A second lawsuit has been filed against Lizzo by a former employee who says that she endured racial and sexual harassment, assault and illegal retaliatory termination while working on the musician’s recent tour

Deezer announced a second round of price rises. The cost of a premium subscription in Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands is increasing from €10.99 a month to €11.99. It follows Deezer's decision last year to increase the price in mature markets from 9.99 to 10.99, a move that was widely welcomed by the music industry and subsequently replicated by the streaming service's competitors, including Apple, Amazon, YouTube and Spotify. Previously the baseline price of subscription streaming - 9.99 in Western European and North American markets - hadn't changed since Deezer and Spotify launched in the late 2000s. The industry hopes that there will now be semi-regular price increases to at least keep up with inflation.

Deezer instigates second price rise in key European markets
Deezer has instigated another price increase in some key European markets, so that a €10.99 subscription becomes €11.99

Music rights fund Litmus announced a deal with Katy Perry worth a reported $225 million. The deal covers both recording rights and song rights in relation to the albums that Perry released with Capitol Records between 2008 and 2020. The Universal Music-owned label still controls the recording rights, but Litmus has acquired Perry's royalty rights in relation to the tracks on those albums, as well as her stake in the publishing. Litmus co-founder Dan McCarroll previously worked with Perry during a stint as President at Capitol Records, and he said of the deal: “Katy Perry is a creative visionary who has made a major impact across music, TV, film and philanthropy. I’m so honoured to be partnering with her again and to help Litmus manage her incredible repertoire".

Katy Perry sells music rights to Litmus in $225 million deal
Katy Perry has sold a stack of rights in relation to the five albums she released with Capitol Records to Litmus Music, the music rights firm co-founded last year by former Capitol President Dan McCarroll
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