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CMU Info
Top Stories
More legacy artists sue for bigger digital royalty share
Leaked Perry rider shows insider touting
In The Pop Courts
Doherty jailed for six months
RIAA subpoenas US locker for user identities
Charts, Stats & Polls
Merlin says indies more prevalent in digital world
Films & Shows News
Efterklang film available to buy
Bono agrees with negative reviews of Spiderman show
Festival News
Live Nation considering US electro events
Festival line-up update
Brands & Stuff
Notorious BIG family do deal with branding agency
The Music Business
Concerns rise about licensing implications of police bill
Sylvia Rhone to leave Motown, confirmed
Warner board turned down higher bid to sell to Blavatnik
The Digital Business
What about the indies and publishers for Apple’s iCloud?
Grooveshark adds t-shirts
The Media Business
Future boss upbeat despite profit fall
Bauer appoints new North East chief
And finally...
Evans divorces manager husband
Rowland to join X-Factor

Who was down at the Independent Label Market on Saturday, then? If not, you missed out on a really lovely event. I think what made it for me was that it was part of an existing market. Fruit stalls and the like separated record stalls, meaning there wasn't an overwhelming grab for your attention. Except on the Wall Of Sound stall, perhaps, where Mark Jones was as understated as usual. Of course, ultimately it was an exercise in consumerism - and I certainly exercised myself as a consumer - but who said buying stuff couldn't be fun? Hopefully this was the first outing for what will become a regular event. But after all that excitement over the weekend, let's have a look at what other treats we have in store this week...

01: International Music Summit and SPOT Festival. After a couple of weeks of homegrown music industry conventions, it's time to head abroad. The dance music community will be heading over to Ibiza for the International Music Summit, while those of us with an interest in the best new Nordic acts will be heading over to Århus in Denmark for SPOT Festival. I fall into the latter category, and will be heading out to the mainland later this week. So, that's exciting. For me, at least. If you're going to be there, let me know.

02: FutureHit.DNA Live. Senior Vice President of Music Strategy for CMT, Jay Frank, will be in London this week to present the findings of his book, 'FutureHit.DNA', which looks at how musicians can achieve success in the digital age. Whatever you think of Frank's method of tweaking musical output based on user statistics to maximise online commercial success, it should be interesting to see him speak about it. You'll also see Frank give advice to the writers of fifteen pre-submitted tracks on how they could shape them into hits.

03: Music Week Awards. Music Week will sit members of the music industry down in The Roundhouse this Tuesday and force awards into their hands. Well, some of them. Not everyone can have awards, that would be chaos. Taking the outstanding contribution award this year, or The Strat as they insist on calling it, is PPL chairman and CEO Fran Nevrkla.

04: New releases. OK, you all know this already, as it's been the subject of a six month, unrelenting campaign, but Lady Gaga's new album 'Born This Way' is out this week. The campaign is appropriate, as it turns out that the album is also about six months long and relentlessly throws itself into you face as you listen. It's not an entirely pleasurable experience. Instead, I recommend 'Isam' by Amon Tobin, 'Wild Romance' by Kissy Sell Out or 'Bliss Release' by Cloud Control. Or, indeed, Gallops' new double A-side single, 'Joust/Eukodol'.

05: Gigs. Not exactly a gig (well, not a gig at all), but very recommended: Amon Tobin will this week launch an art exhibition featuring artwork created by Tessa Farmer inspired by his new album, 'Isam', at Euston's Crypt Gallery. As for more gig-like gigs, Seasick Steve will be playing a charity gig in aid of homeless charity The Connection at the Electric Ballroom, Vice will be holding gigs around the country to mark its 100th issue, and frontman of electro trio Scarlet Soho James Knights will be celebrating his birthday by playing a rare acoustic set at The Dogstar in Brixton. Also, touring this week are The Mountain Goats and The Kills.

Also, check out the latest CMU podcast. We'd already recorded this when HMV announced they had sold Waterstones, the bastards. Chris did a nifty edit to try and turn a 'this is about to happen' story into a 'this has just happened' story, see if you can spot it! Listen here: www.thecmuwebsite.com/podcast

There'll be no Five Day Forecast next week, it being yet another bank holiday. But take it from me, nothing's happening next week. Nothing. See you in a fortnight with a week when things are happening.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
Although I didn't manage to catch any of their performances at The Great Escape, by the end of the weekend I almost felt like I had. It seemed almost everyone I bumped into by Saturday evening had seen them and wanted the opportunity to rave about them. The benefit of playing multiple shows at a festival like TGE is the speed at which word of mouth can spread, and by their second show on Friday, people were being turned away as the venue swelled to capacity.

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Another batch of musicians with pre-internet record contracts are pushing for a bigger cut of digital royalties based on the precedent set in the much previously reported FBT Productions v Interscope case.

As previously reported, the FBT team, who have a stake in the early Eminem recordings, successfully sued the Universal Music subsidiary arguing that money generated from download sales should be classified as licensing income rather than record sales income within the music major's accounts. This is an important distinction because artists are often contractually due a considerably higher share of revenue generated by licensing deals as opposed to that that comes in from record sales.

FBT weren't the first artists with pre-internet contracts (which, of course, make no specific reference to download revenues) to make this argument, though previous claims of this kind were, in the main, unsuccessful in court. Universal insists the FBT case relates specifically to the wording of its contract with the hip hop producers, but lawyers for other legacy artists signed to the record company aren't convinced by that argument.

Last month, the estate of the late Rick James was the first to sue for a bigger slice of digital royalties using the FBT case as a precedent, and now, according to the Courthouse News Service, Rob Zombie, Whitesnake and Dave Mason have filed a federal class action making a similar claim.

Reporting on the new lawsuit, the New York Times confirms: "In all of these cases, the artists or their associates say that their record company violated their contracts by counting a digital download as a sale instead of a licensing, which would result in a substantially higher royalty".

Universal Music is yet to respond.

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The Smoking Gun has published what seems to be Katy Perry's rider for her upcoming US tour, which has all the usual comedic demands you'd expect from rock and pop superstars - the fridge in her dressing room must have a glass door, the coffee table must be of a "Perspex modern style", any seasonal flowers are acceptable providing they're white and include orchids, and absolutely no carnations, and chauffeurs must be instructed that under no circumstances are they to talk to Ms Perry, ask for autographs, or stare at the popstress in the rear view mirror. One assumes there's a website for creating these things these days - randomstupiddemandstohammerhomeyoursuperstarstatus.com.

But probably most interesting in the rider document is the clause that tells promoters they may be required to hold back tickets for Team Perry to flog off to fans via a ticketing agent of their choice, most likely via a secondary ticketing website where the singer's people can hike up the asking price. Any profits stay with Team Perry, of course. It's no secret within the industry that a number of artists and managers now routinely take a chunk of tickets for their own shows and sell them on resale sites for profit. Indeed, that fact has hindered, somewhat, attempts by others in the management and live communities to get the secondary ticketing market limited or stopped by government.

Ms Perry, therefore, is not alone in including the 'let me tout my own tickets' clause in her list of contractual demands, though the outing of this fact could prove embarrassing for her - given it shows that, while some other high profile artists publicly bemoan that their fans are being ripped off by the rise of online touting, her people are seemingly participating in the great rip off.

Perry's people are yet to respond.

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So, Pete Doherty was jailed for six months on Friday in relation to the cocaine possession charges that followed the death of his friend Robin Whitehead last year.

As previously reported, Whitehead had been making a film about Doherty when she died of an overdose last year. Doherty was initially accused of supplying the drugs that killed the film-maker, though was subsequently charged only for being in possession of cocaine on arrest.

Last week the Babyshambler responded to the former allegation by insisting that Whitehead had been a long-time drug user, that he had not "led her astray", and that on a number of occasions he had tried to curb her drug use.

However, despite initially denying the actual charges against him, last month the singer pleaded guilty to cocaine possession. On Friday at London's fashionable Snaresbrook Crown Court Judge David Radford said the singer had an "appalling record" with regards illegal drug use and possession, and that a custodial sentence was therefore justified.

The jail time means the rest of Doherty's current UK tour has been scrapped.

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A California-based online storage company called Box.net has received a subpoena from the Recording Industry Association Of America which is trying to identify a small group of people who, the trade body claims, are using the file-storage-and-transfer platform to share large amounts of unlicensed music.

According to reports, Box.net has complied with the court order. It remains to be seen what the RIAA now plans to do with that information, though presumably it is considering taking legal action against the individuals sharing music files without a licence via Box.net's technology.

Whether the labels would consider any action against Box.net itself remains to be seen. Although the service can be used to store and share music files, it is not specifically marketed for that use, unlike the digital lockers recently launched by Amazon and Google, and therefore even the labels are unlikely to suggest the company should be seeking content licences.

However, the labels may say that Box.net should be doing more to stop its service from being used for copyright infringement, and any failure to do so would constitute contributory infringement on the tech firm's part - an argument already used against European file-distribution network RapidShare.

Though with US copyright law providing more protection for tech companies than in Europe, and them having complied with this subpoena seemingly with little argument, any legal case against Box.net itself would probably be weak.

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Merlin, the digital rights agency representing many of the bigger independent labels, has published a stats report recording the chart successes of the indie sector in 2010, and perhaps more interestingly the trend of indie label artists to perform better in the digital arena than the physical product space.

The Merlin report says that from January 2010 to March 2011 over fifty artists signed to labels it represents had top five albums across the world, while 22 went number one in at least one territory, with eighteen going top in multiple territories. Leading the way with regards the indie sector's successes were artists like Adele, Arcade Fire, Dizzee Rascal, The National and Vampire Weekend.

But more interesting than the indie sector's well documented chart successes from the last eighteen months is the stat that the overall market share of the independent sector when it comes to US albums is 57% greater in the digital domain than on the high street. The rights agency says this underlines the fact that "in a market with limitless shelf space and freedom of choice, and free of the tightly controlled store fronts of physical retail, mainstream music consumers are increasingly discovering and purchasing independent music".

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Merlin also reports that on streaming services, music from indie labels is generally listened to more frequently by paying subscribers than freemium users.

Merlin chief Charles Caldas told CMU: "This survey once again highlights the value of Merlin members' repertoire. The chart success of our members in these major markets underlines the fact that independent repertoire is absolutely as valuable to consumers as that of our major label competitors".

He continues: "Our data clearly indicates that consumers demonstrate higher levels of demand for this repertoire on digital services than in the physical world and higher levels of demand on paid for-tiers than on free. More than ever, these facts emphasise the vital importance of this repertoire to any service with serious ambitions in the digital realm. Services that are serious about providing their customers a compelling product that encourages them to pay, and stick around, would do well to take the time to understand the new dynamic for indies in the digital market, and analyse carefully what their customers are demanding".

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Efterklang's quirky film 'An Island', made on, well, an island, last summer with filmmaker Vincent Moon, is now available to download or buy on DVD. The download is offered on a pay what you want basis, while the limited edition DVD, which also comes with a live EP recorded at last year's Roskilde Festival, is £25.

The DVD won't be mailed out until later this year, though anyone who buys it will also be able to download the digital version of the film, which has previously been shown at free public screenings mainly organised by the band's fans.

More at www.anisland.cc

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Bono has told ABC News that he agreed with a lot of what the New York Times had to say about 'Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark', the fated Broadway show for which he and The Edge have written the songs.

As much previously reported, the rather ambitious multi-million dollar theatre musical, which is backed by rock promoter Michael Cohl among others, has suffered numerous setbacks and false starts. Long running previews were halted in March amid technical problems and poor reviews (critics had paid to see the show, having lost patience waiting for a press night), and a revamped version was launched earlier this month, with the show's much postponed official opening now scheduled for 14 Jun.

Asked about the New York Times reviews that asked "how can $65 million look so cheap?", Bono remarked: "It might have been a little hard for some other people around here to take that, but we don't disagree with the New York Times. That's the sort of stuff we were saying backstage. The last version of 'Turn Off The Dark' had a lot of magic and mysterious stuff. It was beautiful actually, in so many ways. It just, it didn't cohere".

Of course, the New York Times review did also criticise the original version of the show for failing to properly show off Bono and The Edge's songs, saying they were lost in a "sustained electronic twang of varying volume, increasing and decreasing in intensity, like a persistent headache", so the U2 twosome didn't have to personally absorb too much of the criticism.

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According to reports, Live Nation in the US has launched a new division to focus on dance music events stateside, which are reportedly doing rather well at the moment.

Although there have always been some festivals dedicated to electronic music in the US, Miami's Ultra Festival comes to mind, major dance music events have never taken off in North America in quite the way they did in Europe and the Southern hemisphere. But, according to Digital Music News, live music giant Live Nation reckons this could be a big growth area, so much so they are setting up a new department to look into developing such festivals, which has been dubbed internally Electronic Nation.

Live Nation, of course, has seen ticket sales to its major rock and pop tours slide in the last eighteen months, though the live music giant has seen a little albeit inconsistent growth in ticket sales again in recent months.

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ELBJAZZ FESTIVAL, various venues, Hamburg, 27-28 May: Paolo Nutini leads the line-up at Hamburg's swingin jazz fest, with acts including American bassist extraordinaire Charlie Haden and his Quartet West, Funk Unit with Swedish trombone player Nils Landgren, and a host of other singers, musicians and DJs also set to whip up a jazzy atmosphere across assorted large and small venues citywide. www.elbjazz.de/en

HEVY, Port Lympne Wildlife Park, Kent, 5-8 Aug: Hevy organisers have added to their buzzworthy bill a new list of names for hardcore metal-loving rock fans' eyes only, including Defeater, US punks Make Do And Mend, Lower Than Atlantis, Carcer City, Giants and Bastions. Previously confirmed bookings include Funeral For A Friend, Dillinger Escape Plan, Four Year Strong, Bouncing Souls and Capdown. www.hevy.co.uk

LAKE OF STARS, Malawi, Africa, 30 Sep - 2 Oct: Taking place in one of the more exotic locations on the festival calendar, this astral African event will host England's very own Foals in pole position, with afro-pop jazz rockers Freshlyground also on the billing. www.lakeofstars.org

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Scotland, 8-10 Jul: Joining Felix da Housecat, Vitalic, Leftfield and the other existing residents of the Slam Tent at this year's T are techno baron Dave Clarke, Tiga, Hudson Mohawke and Chris Liebing. James Holden, Craig Richards, The Black Dog, Mark Henning and dance pioneer DJ Sneak will also put in appearances. www.tinthepark.com

WAKESTOCK, Abersoch Bay, Wales, 8-10 Jul: Newly poised to partake in the frolics down at Wakestock's beachy bash are ex-Busted babe Charlie Simpson, Sub Focus, Fenech-Soler and Rizzle Kicks. They join an aforementioned roster of artists like Biffy Clyro, The Cribs, Ellie Goulding, Wretch 32 and Example. www.wakestock.co.uk/abersoch

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The estate of the Notorious BIG has done a deal with a Californian company called Brand Sense Partners who will now look into launching a series of products or brand partnerships utilising the name and legacy of the late rapper. The BSP exec who will manage the account, Teresa Brown, already looks after merchandising for the estates of an eclectic range of individuals that include Steve McQueen and Albert Einstein.

Confirming the new deal, Wayne Barrow, Biggie's former manager and the current advisor to his mother Voletta Wallace, told reporters: "The family and I are excited to move forward with the exceptional team at BSP. Their understanding of Christopher's cultural impact, as well as their vision for our brand mission made them the best partner possible for the task. We look forward to working hand in hand with them to build on Christopher's unique legacy".

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While the Live Music Bill works its way through parliament, aiming to remove elements of licensing law that have caused unnecessary problems for the live music sector, especially at the grass roots, some in the live industry fear that a new bit of legislation will introduce a new set of problems, especially for festival organisers.

The Police Reform & Social Responsibility Bill, which is at committee stage in the House Of Lords, includes proposals that would give more people within a local area the right to object to temporary event licences being issued, plus make it easier for local authorities to impose conditions on organisers of such events.

Noting the contradictions between the Live Music Bill and the licensing elements of the Police Reform Bill, live music campaigner Hamish Birchall told Music Week: "If the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Bill does pass into law it could result in the bizarre situation where the government is trying to deregulate on the one hand, while at the same time local authorities will be entangling live music in more red tape: things are going to get worse before they get better".

Representatives from the live and festival sector, supported by the likes of Liberal Lord Tim Clement-Jones, hope to raise these concerns when the Police Reform Bill is next discussed in the Lords later this month.

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Sylvia Rhone will step down as the boss of Universal's Motown division, it has been confirmed. It's the latest of a number of executive changes at the major since Lucian Grainge took over as top man from former CEO Doug Morris last year.

However, as Billboard speculated last week, it looks likely that Rhone won't exit Universal altogether; instead she will head up a new division working with artists on multi-revenue-stream ventures.

Rhone will be replaced at the top of Motown, but it is expected the new chief will have a more junior title, former Sony exec Barry Weiss having been slotted in as an extra level of management above the Universal Motown Republic Group in March.

Confirming Rhone's move away from Motown, Universal said in a statement: "We remain committed to [this division] as a strong presence in the contemporary music scene. We will soon announce important additions to the staff and will further invest in building its artist roster so Motown can continue to bring to market the highest quality music that is best positioned to succeed artistically and commercially".

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According to a statement filed with the US Securities & Exchange Commission, seventeen parties expressed an interest in buying Warner Music when its current owners put it up for sale earlier this year, with ten making formal bids.

Four parties were still in the running until the final few days of bidding, with successful bidder, existing shareholder Access Industries, controlled by Len Blavatnik, offering more per share than both Platinum Equity and the Gores Group, despite both those bidders increasing their offers at the last minute.

A consortium involving Sony Music actually outbid Blavatnik - he bid $8.25 a share while the Sony/Guggenheim Partners/MacAndrews & Forbes consortium went in with a final offer of $8.50.

However, that offer would have involved splitting up the Warner company, with Sony getting publishing and MacAndrews & Forbes the record companies, which was something the Warner board, and especially top man Edgar Bronfman Jr, did not want to happen. There was also the issue that any acquisition involving Sony might fall foul of competition regulation.

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According to Digital Music News, while we know Apple has now got deals in place with Warner, EMI and Sony for its new digital locker style service, with Universal close to being signed up too, neither the music publishers nor the indie labels are yet on board.

Some wonder whether those deals will now be in place ahead of the Worldwide Developers Conference on 6 Jun, which is when everyone thinks Apple will launch its music-based iTunes-linked digital locker. Though talks are ongoing with Merlin, so the labels could be sorted.

David Israelite of America's National Music Publishers' Association told DMN that Apple hadn't made any industry wide offer regards its new service to the music publishing sector, though he conceded individual members of his organisation could be locked in secret talks.

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US-based merchandise company Tunipop has entered into a partnership with is-it-legal-they-say-so-but-Universal-do-not-concur streaming music platform Grooveshark.

It means that when people listen to a free track on the music service they will be offered merchandise sell-through as well as links to iTunes and Amazon downloads.

Tunipop founder Andy Young told Digital Music News: "This is the first phase of our integration with Grooveshark. We do have merchandise for more than 2000 artists in our system, and we're working hard to fill in the gaps in the coming weeks and months".

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Although profits are down year on year, the boss of Future Publishing, which publishes Metal Hammer and Classic Rock among many other things, is seemingly upbeat because, for the first time, the growth of digital revenues have exceeded the decline in print ad income.

Stevie Spring told The Guardian: "This is the tipping point for us. Seriously, to be able to stand up and say when print revenues - especially advertising - are in further decline [that] online grew faster ... that is to us a very big story".

Spring adds that the turning point for her business was the arrival of the iPad and the growth of smartphone apps, both of which are reinventing a previously revenue-lite digital publishing arena. Future now has 60 iPad editions of its magazines and 20 apps, and digital editions of its titles are now bring in more than £100,000 a month.

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Bauer Media last week appointed Cath Ellington to the role of Regional Managing Director for its North East radio stations, which include Metro Radio, TFM and CFM (not that Carlisle-based CFM is especially East, but its definitely North).

Ellington has previously worked at both Metro and TFM, though since 2007 has headed up the Bauer radio stations' charity Cash For Kids. Ellington replaces Sally Aitchison in the Regional MD role, she in turn shifting over to the charity, where she will be MD.

Bauer's radio boss Dee Ford said this: "The North East remains a key battleground for us and Cath brings first hand understanding of this market and its challenges. I know Cath is really looking forward to returning to an operational role and working closely with the station teams and our clients in the North East. Her wealth of experience will be invaluable as we continue to obsess about our products and strive to grow the business".

And this: "Sally is extremely talented and the seniority of the [Cash For Kids] role requires an outstanding leader. Working closely with our highly motivated Charity Managers and Regional MDs I have no doubt she will increase listener participation and further embed our local stations in the communities they serve".

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R&B singer Faith Evans is divorcing her husband of almost thirteen years Todd Russaw, who is also her manager, according to TMZ. The gossip site says her legal papers cite irreconcilable differences as grounds for the divorce, while requesting joint legal and sole physical custody of the couple's two children. Evans also has two other children, one of whom is the son of her former husband, Notorious BIG.

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One time Destiny's Child-er Kelly Rowland will replace Dannii Minogue on that 'X-Factor' thing you kids like to watch, according to various tabloid reports.

Minogue, of course, recently announced she too would be leaving the 'X' judging panel because the ITV talent show's filming schedule clashed with her commitments on 'Australia's Got Talent'. Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell have already stepped down from 'X-UK' because of their commitments to the new US version of the programme.

According to the Mirror, Cole was seen berating Cowell backstage on 'X-USA' this weekend for not doing more to pressure ITV to reschedule filming to accommodate Minogue. The tab says she fears that with three new judges now required for the UK version of the talent flim flam it might not succeed.

Kelly Rowland is likely to join Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh as a judge on the UK 'X-Factor'. My expert suggestion of Steve Brookstein, Michele McManus and Joe McElderry as the new judges was seemingly rejected.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
You Know Who
Head Of Affairs

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