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Jobs and training
CMU Info
Top Stories
Sound recording copyright extension could be passed imminently
In The Pop Courts
Terra Firma seek information about Citigroup's repossession of EMI
Madonna's claim to Material Girl trademark not strong, says judge
Music PR found guilty of fraud
Charts, Stats & Polls
Three million and counting, Adele breaks album sales record
Artist Deals
Imagem sign REA
Release News
Jackson fans try to get Invincible back in the charts
Ladytron plan silent album launch at Rough Trade
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy plots new album
Wavves and Best Coast collaborate
Festival News
Oxjam 2011 to start with four special Oxfam instores
Red Bull to stage festival on London Eye
The Music Business
Henley on American industry's "copyright timebomb"
The Media Business
NME use digital extras to sell print
And finally...
McGee on [PIAS] fire: "I thought it was funny"

Having escaped from a strange and sheltered childhood spent living with California's infamous Children Of God cult, Girls frontman Christopher Owens became the adoptive protégée of millionaire Stanley Marsh III, a Texan artist and ranch owner. Under Marsh's patronage, he abandoned a short-lived stint in boy-girl pairing Curls, later taking up with production partner Chet 'JR' White in San Francisco to write and record Girls' 2009 debut, 'Album'.

The duo then garnered universal plaudits for last year's 'Broken Dreams Club' EP, which further explored their penchant for penning lovelorn serenades and easy, elegant arrangements, something that has since become a defining characteristic of their finest work. Girls will release their new LP 'Father, Son, Holy Ghost' via Fantasytrashcan/ Turnstile on 12 Sep, later embarking on a UK tour that's set to launch on 8 Nov at The Globe in Cardiff. Meanwhile Christopher Owens faces our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

I initially wrote music for a group called Curls. There was a vocalist in that group who wrote lyrics to go with my music. When she quit the band and Curls broke up, I kept all my music, wrote my own lyrics to it, and then became the vocalist for this new project, which was named Girls. With JR on board as the engineer we began recording.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

The songs on this album are the songs of mine that we felt were best to record at this time. They were written over the past few years, so there are a lot of influences. If I had to say 'what' in particular, I'd have to say life. Life influenced this record, because life influences the songs and the songs influence the album.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

Usually we record the beat first, with a drum kit, then a rhythm guitar track and bass and any other things like keyboards. Then we record the vocals, and then lead guitar, and then any overdubs like percussion, extra keys or sound effects, and last are the backing vocals. Then we mix each track to make one song, then we mix the sound of that song, and then finally it gets mastered with all the other songs on the album. Then we listen to that and decide if it's done or not.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Pretty much all artists do, there are the ones that influence the writing and then the ones that influence us sonically, then the ones that influence us professionally, and then we also pay attention to current music to see if there is anything that we feel we should be doing as well. Pretty much all recorded music gets weighed in to the decisions that produce a song or album. And then there are the artists that play on the songs, and then the artists that engineer and mix the records too, and they have a lot of influence over our sound at the end of the day. Then there are the labels that choose whether they'd like to release us or not, they are key in the creation of the records as well.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?


Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?

To record the songs I have written.

MORE>> www.facebook.com/GIRLSsf
Swedish Balearic pop partnership Air France began releasing things in 2006, before disappearing off shortly thereafter to do things other than making music. The lazy, hazy languor that colours the band's biog makes itself apparent, musically speaking, in AF's latest single 'It Feels Good To Be Around You', a wad of tissue-thin loops, effects and delicate vocal trimmings that delight in all the right places. The precursor to the pair's forthcoming debut long player, the track owes mixing credits to Mancunian producer Star Slinger.

But now to something infinitely more sparklingly new from the Air France camp; that being a free-to-download mix meant to mark the seasonal swerve towards Autumn we've all surely noticed this week. Say the band: "It's September, and it may be audible in the mix. It's a beautiful month, but also a month of changes, both good and bad, you know?". Oh, we know. Listen out in particular for the slowdown of Aaliyah's 'Rock The Boat' in this mix, which comes courtesy of FACT Magazine.

West London based music company requires a dynamic marketing manager with a strong grasp of social media marketing and fully competent with digital marketing tools and online analytics. The role will include coordination of all aspects of an album release campaign through the UK, as well as liaising with European distributors and label affiliates. The position also includes day-to-day management of all artist and label platforms. For more details contact [email protected] Salary negotiable.
Anorak London is looking for a talented, experienced Digital PR to lead its ever expanding team. The successful applicant will be an expert within the digital PR field with an excellent contact base, have at least 4 years experience working digital pr campaigns, have proven management experience and a solid understanding of digital marketing. This role will be suitable for someone with natural leadership skills who can exercise diplomacy at all times and give valued input. The successful applicant will become a part of the companies board of executives. Very competitive salary offered. Please send CV and covering letter to [email protected].

"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:

How to build a profile for your artists - the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. Wed 21 Sep

A beginner's guide to music copyright - everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 5 Oct

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training

After many years of very vocal campaigning, the copyright term for sound recordings in Europe may be quietly increased to seventy years next week following a meeting this week of the European Union's Committee Of Permanent Representatives.

As much previously reported, the sound recording copyright term is currently fifty years after release in Europe, compared to 95 years in the US, and the life of the creator plus seventy years for the rights that exist in lyrics and musical score.

The European record industry has been lobbying for some time for the sound recording copyright term to be extended, arguing the imbalance between European and US copyright terms, and between those enjoyed by music publishers and songwriters versus record companies and recording artists are unfair.

Those lobbying efforts became more prolific in recent years as the particularly valuable mid-sixties rock n roll catalogues - including the early Beatles and Rolling Stones recordings - started to approach the end of their fifty year terms. Labels like EMI still rely to an extent on royalties generated by music from that era, in EMI's case the Beatles catalogue in particular.

Although the last government's 2006 Gowers Report on copyright law did not back term extensions, Gordon Brown's cabinet was subsequently persuaded of the need to extend the sound recording term, mainly based on the 'aging session musicians' argument.

Although session musicians are not usually due a cut of any royalties on record sales by contract, under UK copyright law they are due an albeit tiny cut of some other royalties, most notably those paid by broadcasters, and for certain session musicians who worked on certain hit records, that royalty, paid via collecting society PPL, amounts to something nearing a living wage. Campaigners argued that session musicians earning royalties off 1960s hits, most likely now in their 70s or 80s, would lose their income if copyright terms expired at fifty years.

However, while the UK government was now convinced (albeit to extend the term to 70 years, the record industry wanted 95), copyright terms are governed by the European Union, so the support of the British government simply meant the record companies and recording artists now had a friend in the EU debate.

But other lobbying efforts in Brussels meant that debate was already underway, with both the European Commission and European Parliament backing extension in 2009. Efforts faltered, though, at the final hurdle, with the third decision making body in the EU, the Council Of The European Union. Sometimes called the Council Of Ministers, this body includes representatives from each member state, and some of them did not support extension. With the 2009 European Elections looming, the debate ended unresolved.

Things then went a bit quiet, though lobbying continued behind the scenes in Brussels, and in April it was revealed the Hungarian presidency of the EU planned to put copyright terms back on the agenda for debate this year. There were also reports that Denmark, one of the EU members previously opposed to extension, would now vote in favour.

Which brings us to now. According to City AM, the Committee Of Permanent Representatives, preparing this week for a meeting of the Council Of Ministers next week, have put extending the copyright term back onto the agenda, and pro-extension types say they are confident the proposals now on the table will be rubber stamped by the Council next week.

Assuming so, all member states will then be obligated to write the extension into their own copyright laws. Which might mean the 1 Jan 2013 deadline, when The Beatles' 'Love Me Do' comes out of copyright under the current system, might just be met.

The specifics of the proposals being discussed and possibly passed next week will be interesting. Some argue that as part of any copyright term extension, more statutory rights should be given to artists over record labels (so both session musicians and featured artists) at the fifty year point, maybe including a statutory cut of other royalty revenues (so one paid oblivious of record contracts), more veto rights over how music is used, or, even, complete control for the artist. It remains to be seen if any of those ideas are part of the EU's term extension proposals next week.

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Ah, Guy Hands, remember him? What fun we had. Mr Private Equity. Master Terra Firma. The Biscuit Guy. Or, possibly, to some of those who worked at EMI while his company was in charge, "that cunt".

Yes, Hands and his Terra Firma dudes are back on the music news agenda because of a procedural hearing in the High Court this week in which the private equity firm sought information from accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers about the way in which Citigroup seized ownership of EMI in February.

As much previously reported, Terra Firma bought EMI in 2007 using a mega-bucks loan from Citigroup. But, after the economy collapsed, the major struggled to meet the terms of that loan, and frequently needed cash injections from Terra Firma and its investors so as not to default.

There were reports that some of Hands' backers wanted to cut their losses on EMI rather than to keep on piling in more cash, especially once Terra Firma and Citigroup were caught up in a highly public legal battle about the events that led up to the purchase of the music firm in the first place, a legal squabble which meant, if nothing else, Citi was unlikely to renegotiate the terms of the EMI loan.

But Hands did manage to keep on finding just enough money to keep the bankers away from the door. Until in February, when it was suddenly announced that the directors of the holding company through which Terra Firma owned EMI had called in the administrators, who had decided that EMI and its parent company could no longer support the Citigroup debt, and therefore the parent company should be shut down and ownership of the music major be transfered to the bank.

Although in some ways repossession had been a long-time coming, and there had been wide speculation that the major would fail loan covenant tests in the Spring, and rumours that Hands was looking to offload EMI anyway, that Citigroup took ownership of the music firm overnight in early February took many by surprise. Not least, according to various reports, the top team at Terra Firma.

According to The Guardian, in this week's court hearing Terra Firma's lawyers asked PWC - the administrators called in by the EMI parent company's board - to provide more information regards the grounds on which they deemed that the music firm's parent company, even with Terra Firma's support, could no longer support the Citigroup debt. They also wanted more information on the valuation the accountants gave EMI when handing ownership over to the US bank.

The Guardian cites an unnamed source as saying that Hands believes that, while there was wide speculation a breach of loan terms was imminent, at the moment Citigroup took control of EMI the terms of the music firm's loan had all been met.

It's possible Terra Firma believe they were the victims of a conspiracy planned by senior EMI executives, Citigroup bankers and, possibly, even reps at PWC, to abruptly cut them out of the equation regarding the future of the music firm. Either way, presumably Terra Firma are seeking this information to see whether there are grounds for legal action over the way Citigroup took over EMI.

Neither Terra Firma, Citigroup nor EMI have commented on this week's court proceedings. Citigroup, of course, is currently in the process of selling EMI. According to other reports, the bank will be telling all serious bidders that they will provide indemnity as part of any takeover deal to ensure that, should Citigroup's repossession of the music company become the subject of a court battle with Terra Firma, any new owners will not be impacted.

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A legal dispute over the use of the Material Girl brand will proceed to court next month after a judge refused a request by Madonna's legal reps to make a summary judgement.

A company called LA Triumph sued Madonna after she launched a Material Girl fashion line last year, arguing they had been making Material Girl clothing since 1997 and owned the registered trademark. Madonna's people asked a judge to dismiss the case against them, arguing that the singer had been associated with the term 'Material Girl' since the release of the song of the same name in 1985, and that her businesses had sold over £85 million worth of t-shirts and other products bearing the name over the years.

However, Judge James Otero said there were some fundamental flaws in the arguments of Madonna's lawyers, namely that releasing a song does not constitute claiming its name as a trademark, and that selling pop merchandise carrying a song's title does not mean you are trading in the fashion industry using that title as a mark. The judge concluded that the "defendants' argument that Madonna created the 'Material Girl' mark through her performances fails as a matter of law".

However, Otero will let the case go to court and be heard by a jury. Unless an out of court settlement is now reached, that hearing should take place next month.

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Music PR Shelley Tomes pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three counts of fraud by false representation following previously reported allegations made by entertainment PR agency The Cult.

Now running her own company, Fresh Milk PR, where a key client is Alan McGee, Tomes was a partner at The Cult during summer 2010. According to PR Week, she defrauded £4600 from the agency during that time (and not shortly after leaving the agency, as we previously reported). Having been found guilty of the charges at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court this week she will be sentenced on 27 Sep.

Tomes told PR Week that she was keen to put a difficult year behind her and to focus on her clients, while thanking friends for their support and wishing The Cult PR the "best of luck for the future".

The Cult PR co-founder Matt Glass said: "We trusted a friend and gave her the opportunity to further her career as part of a well-respected PR company. Unfortunately, Tomes used that opportunity to fraudulently take money from our company. For the past year, she has denied any wrongdoing but, on the eve of the fourth scheduled court hearing, has finally accepted she is guilty".

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She may not have won the Mercury Prize, and she may have had to cancel more shows due to that pesky chest infection, but there's some good news for Adele. She's gone into the record books as the first artist to sell three million copies of an album in the UK in one calendar year. So well done her. Liquorice all round I say (some website I saw said liquorice was good for a chest infection, though our company doctor was too busy choosing what clubs to tip to comment).

Commenting on the record breaking success of Adele's second album '21', Charts Company boss man Martin Talbot told CMU: "Three million albums in a year is a simply extraordinary achievement by Adele, who is now occupying an unparalleled position in the history of British music. In reaching such an elevated landmark so quickly, '21' has eclipsed any other album previously released in the UK - superseding even the likes of 'Sgt Pepper', 'Thriller', 'Dark Side Of The Moon' and 'Brothers In Arms'. There is no questioning now that Adele has joined the ranks of British music legends".

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Independent publisher Imagem has signed a worldwide agreement with Chris Rea which will cover his post-2002 catalogue, including new album 'Santo Spirito Blues'.

Imagem UK MD Tim Smith told CMU: "It's not often you get the chance to work with a genuine songwriting legend which is why I'm overjoyed that Chris has chosen Imagem as his publisher moving forward. Apart from his ability to write great songs as heard on 'Santo Spirito Blues', Chris is an innovator in the way he wants to deliver his music to his fans. It's a joy to work with somebody who is so open to new ideas".

Rea's manager John Knowles added: "We looked at a number of publishers for this new album but felt that Imagem's creative approach to marketing and their ideas of how to maximize revenue for the back catalogue put them in a different league".

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Michael Jackson fans are staging a Facebook campaign in a bid to send the late king of pop's final album, 'Invincible', back to the top of the charts in October, the tenth anniversary of the record's release. If successful, the campaign would also mean the MJ record would be charting during the upcoming trial of Conrad Murray, the doctor accused of causing the singer's death through negligence.

The fan who has instigated the campaign, Debbie Francis, says: "'Invincible' deserves to be number one again on its 10th Anniversary. It is a truly brilliant album. Michael Jackson's genius should be celebrated and his legacy includes his musical accomplishments, his legendary generosity and humanitarianism".

The campaign can be found at this here Facebook page:

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Ladytron will stage an unusual album launch for their fifth long player 'Gravity The Seducer' next Monday at Rough Trade East in London. Fans are encouraged to visit the store and listen to the album via Silent Disco style wireless headphones. 150 fans will be able to join the band at the East London record shop for the playback, which will kick off at 4pm on 12 Sep. You will find more info on the Rough Trade website at: www.roughtrade.com/site/instore.lasso

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Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, also known as American singer-songwriter Will Oldham, has very firm intentions to release a new album. In fact, he won't be stopped. 'Wolfroy Goes To Town', his ninth LP to date, is set to come out via Domino on 31 Oct. Below you'll note a chronology of the tracks that will feature on it. Some call it a tracklist:

No Match
New Whaling
Time To Be Clear
New Tibet
Black Captain
There Will Be Spring
Quail And Dumplings
We Are Unhappy
Night Noises

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Wavves frontman Nathan Williams and Bethany Consetino of Best Coast have added a new dimension to their long-running collaboration as boy and girlfriend. They've recorded a song together. Entitled 'Nodding Off', the noisy duet will appear on Wavves' new EP 'Life Sux', which is set for release on 20 Sep via the band's own Ghost Ramp label.

'Nodding Off' on YouTube.

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An Oxfam shop in London will host intimate instore gigs from Brett Anderson, Charlie Simpson, Fatboy Slim, Kissy Sell Out and Ghostpoet at the launch of this year's Oxjam month, which encourages people to stage music events across the UK in aid of the charity.

Exactly which Oxfam shop will host four special instore gigs between 25 and 29 Sep is currently a secret, but will be announced a week before the events. Tickets are already available though from www.wegottickets.com/oxjam

Confirming his support for Oxjam, Norman Cook told reporters: "The reason I've been involved with Oxjam in previous years is that, as well as being one of the highlights of my DJing calendar, I see it as the best way for people to use their love of music to help a really worthwhile charity like Oxfam. I'm delighted to be joining in the fifth birthday celebrations this year, and I hope that budding DJs all around the country will also be using their decks and records to help fight poverty in October".

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The Red Bull Music Academy has announced details of its Autumn events, the stand-out of which is probably Revolutions In Sound, a festival staged in the London Eye, with each of the wheel's thirty capsules playing host to different DJs and bands, including Skream, Benga, Goldie, Toddla T & Redlight, David Rodigan and the Channel One Sound System. Festival-goers will be able to enjoy the music in the pods themselves, or in a special Silent Disco tent at ground level. Music from each capsule will also be streamed online. Info and tickets at www.redbull.co.uk/RevolutionsinSound

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Rolling Stone has spoken to Eagles man Don Henley about that previously reported looming battle in the US over a clause in the country's Copyright Act which could result in the ownership of sound recordings reverting to artists after 35 years.

The impact of the late 1970s copyright legislation could be felt in 2013 when, in theory, recording artists could reclaim ownership of albums they recorded 35 years ago for the first time, using that fact to renegotiate old record contracts, or to ally themselves with different record companies, or to go it alone. I say "could be felt" because the record companies insist the 35 year reclaim clause in US copyright law does not apply to sound recordings made under traditional record contracts. A major legal squabble is likely on that point.

Asked about the record companies' claims, which are based on the principle that recording artists are "work for hire" when they make albums for record companies, and therefore never have any claim to copyright ownership, Henley said: "A lot of those are red herrings the labels have thrown out there to try to confuse the issue".

He continued: "Record companies insist sound recordings are 'work for hire' and artists are employees of the companies. Which is a real interesting claim because we don't enjoy any of the benefits or obligations a normal employee would be granted. They don't provide health insurance for us. They don't pay social security for us. They don't withhold taxes from our royalty checks. They don't provide us a place of employment. It's a real stretch for the record companies to claim we're employees. We're independent contractors".

You can read the full interview here.

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IPC Media is hoping to capitalise on the popularity of NME.com to help boost the circulation of the music website's flagging sister print title NME, which, of course, has seen its circulation figures slump in recent years.

From this week each print copy of the NME magazine will include a code which will let readers unlock online content not available to other NME.com users. This week's content is themed around the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's classic long-player 'Nevermind' and includes an archive interview with the band, videos of current artists discussing their favourite tracks off the record, and a 'Nevermind' competition.

Says NME Publishing Director Paul Cheal: "NME was the first music magazine in the UK to use QR codes so that our readers could capitalise on additional digital content for their smartphones. This latest innovation brings additional features, photography and video content direct to our readers' desktops".

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Oh, Alan McGee, what won't you say? The former Creation Records owner delivered some classic quotes, as you'd expect him to, when he spoke at Australian music business conference BigSound yesterday, some of which Aussie music business site The Music Network has captured at the link below.

But the one that has got the most attention was his remark regarding the recent fire at the Sony DADC centre in North London, caused during the recent London riots, and which led to stock owned by numerous British indie labels distributed by [PIAS] being destroyed.

Says Alan: "I read that the Sony/[PIAS] building burnt down. I'm probably the only person who thought that was funny. I call that a result. Got rid of all the shit music. And you get paid for it, the stuff you couldn't sell". I say again, "oh Alan".

More quotes via The Music Network here.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Aly Barchi
Editorial Assistant
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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