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WEDNESDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2011
FEATURE: Q&A - JOE DANIEL, INDIE LABEL MARKET
Next month the teams from numerous independent record labels will gather in East London to sell their wares direct to the music-buying public at the latest Independent Label Market. The brainchild of Joe Daniel of the Angular Recording Co, the first ILM took place in Soho earlier this year, with a second in Brooklyn in October. CMU's Chris Cooke caught up with Daniel to find out more more>>
APPROVED: SERGE GAINSBOURG
Largely due to 'Histoire De Melody Nelson' having its 40th anniversary reissue last week, I've been one of many rediscovering what's perhaps the most seminal album credited to Serge Gainsbourg, France's best-loved bad boy chanteur. A collaboration with composer Jean-Claude Vannier and a tribute to 'Lolita', it's as dark and divisive now as it doubtless was when Gainsbourg first dreamt it up more>>
TOP STORIES
- Grooveshark responds to Universal lawsuit
- MMF backs European Commissioner's call for copyright reform
IN THE POP COURTS
- Bieber baby accuser withholding DNA
RELEASE NEWS
- Kid Cudi debuts latest from WZRD rock venture
- Regina Spektor preps new album
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Benefit gig to raise funds for Operation Wellfound
- Wrongtom Meets Deemas J debut show this Saturday
- Paul Thomas Saunders offers free track from new EP
- Florence And The Machine announce arena tour
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- PRS closes live royalty consultation, no change
- Warner announces new Vice partnership
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- Richard Hooper to research Digital Copyright Exchange idea
- Pandora has a good-ish quarter
- Soulja Boy announces videogame
AND FINALLY...
- Bruce Dickinson airline goes bust
- Sex Pistols graffiti should be preserved
THE ZEITGEIST AGENCY
www.thezeitgeistagency.com is the leading creative communications agency in the festival, brand and music space. We have the contacts, ideas and passion to consistently over-deliver and generate the right buzz at the right time for our premium brands and events.

Are you one of these?

Senior Account Manager – All-rounder with music, brand account management, festival and arts experience. Must have unrivalled contacts and proven record for new business.

Account Manager – Young, experienced, determined and tenacious candidates need only apply.

Press Officer – at least one year's experience required and ready to go to the next level.

All candidates need cross platform experience in delivering comms strategies.

State which job you are applying for and then the perfect tweet why you should get the job to jobs@thezeitgeistagency.com
   
COOKING VINYL, ONLINE MARKETING AND PR MANAGER
Cooking Vinyl is looking for an experienced online marketeer with proven campaign experience across Social Online Marketing, Search, CRM, PR, retail and creative design and development.

The successful applicant should have a good working knowledge of the following programs and applications - HTML, Photoshop, Flash CSS, PHP(or similar), Javascript, Soundcloud, Topspin, Mail Chimp, etc.

All applicants must be very well organised, have a genuine love of music, enjoy going to gigs, and the ability to work as part of a team. You need to be able to work under pressure and the ability to meet deadlines is crucial.

Cooking Vinyl is a successful independent record label and has developed a reputation as one of Europe's prime artist-focused independent labels, inspiring an enviable loyalty among its artists which include The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, The Enemy, Roll Deep, Groove Armada and Billy Bragg.

Applicants should send CV, covering letter and current salary to jobs@cookingvinyl.com

Closing date 1 Dec.
   
IN HOUSE PRESS, MUSIC PRESS OFFICER
In House Press is a music press and promotion company based in Manchester, UK. We represent a varied range of artists to national press, online, radio and TV including Avi Buffalo, Beth Jeans Houghton, Deerhoof, Donovan, Errors, Field Music, Fuck Buttons, The Go! Team, Gold Panda, Los Campesinos!, Low, Nathan Fake, Panda Bear, The Phantom Band, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Toro Y Moi, Tracey Thorn and Tunng.

We are looking for a music press officer to join our team and look after all aspects of music press. The position offered is based in Manchester and full-time with a competitive salary based on experience.

To apply please send a cover letter and CV to: will@inhousepress.com

GROOVESHARK RESPONDS TO UNIVERSAL LAWSUIT
A legal rep for Grooveshark has responded to Universal's latest lawsuit against the streaming music firm, accusing the major of "gross mischaracterisation".

As previously reported, although Grooveshark has licences from EMI and some indies in place, because it allows users to upload content to its libraries the service offers music from many other labels too. Execs at the streaming platform claim that they operate a takedown system, removing unlicensed content if and when made aware of it, and therefore are protected from liability for copyright infringement under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Given the ambiguities that exist around websites having protection from liability claims under the DMCA (key court cases haven't tended to put many obligations on website owners regarding the efficiency of their takedown systems), Universal has been looking for ways to sue Grooveshark where the DMCA defence wouldn't apply.

Last week it filed a new lawsuit claiming that it had evidence staff at Grooveshark, including senior execs, had themselves uploaded unlicensed music to the Grooveshark platform, a more straight case of copyright infringement outside the remit of the DMCA. Their evidence came from upload data provided by Grooveshark to Universal as part of an early legal squabble.

The major also cited a recent anonymous comment posted to the Digital Music News website which claimed to come from a Grooveshark insider, and which alleged that staff at the digital company were routinely ordered to upload unlicensed content to the website.

But Grooveshark attorney Marshall Custer yesterday said that the Digital Music News post was "blatantly false" and that Universal's interpretation of their upload data was a "gross mischaracterisation of information".

Custer's full statement reads: "We have reviewed the complaint that Universal Music Group filed last Friday against Grooveshark in the US District Court in Manhattan. Universal's claims rest almost entirely on an anonymous, blatantly false internet blog comment and Universal's gross mischaracterisation of information that Grooveshark itself provided to Universal. While Universal has deliberately engaged the media prior to serving a copy of the complaint on Grooveshark, Grooveshark intends to fight this battle before the Court, not in the press. Grooveshark welcomes the opportunity to present the facts to the Court and has full confidence that it will prevail in the litigation".

There has been an increasingly vocal backlash against Grooveshark in the last year, as it continues to grow, as big brands advertise on its platform, and as competing streaming services around the world have limited their freemium options, giving the Groovesharkers a competitive advantage, albeit one based on large quantities of unlicensed catalogue.

That backlash has been particularly strong of late in the alternative and grass root artist community, as well as among label execs, which, of course, is always harder to counter in PR terms. And is arguably all the more problematic for Grooveshark given founder Sam Tarantino told Bloomberg earlier this year that he saw his company long term as an artist services business and quasi management agency come label, rather than just a digital content set up funded by advertising and subscription revenues.

Another interesting dimension of the developing squabble with Universal, of course, is that Grooveshark's biggest licensing deal to date was with EMI - the result of an out of court settlement after that major also sued - but it's not clear what will happen to that arrangement if and when Universal secures ownership of the EMI recordings catalogue. Even if Universal can't bail on that agreement immediately, it seems certain the major wouldn't renew when the existing licence expires. Leaving Grooveshark with only deals in place with some smaller independents.

Of course Universal and Grooveshark could kiss and make up, as EMI and Grooveshark did in 2009, but given the mood at the music company on this just now, and Custer's tone in his response, it seems both sides are currently more than willing to take this one to court.

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MMF BACKS EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER'S CALL FOR COPYRIGHT REFORM
The Music Managers Forum yesterday backed a speech given by Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, and a senior advocate of copyright reform in Europe, at the Forum d'Avignon event last weekend.

Known for calling on the content industries to be more flexible in the way they deal with and licence digital services, Kroes stressed in her speech that she backed the principles of both copyright and the enforcement of intellectual property rights, but added that the recent fight against online piracy had been futile, and had only ensured that the public see copyright in negative rather than positive terms.

She called on the content industries to work with the digital community to create technologies that better track the ownership of rights and the use of content, and better distribute royalties, and to ensure that all content is digitised and available via licensed platforms. She said laws were needed to simplify the licensing process, again stressing her support for more collective rights management in the digital domain.

Kroes concluded: "It's not all about copyright. It is certainly important, but we need to stop obsessing about that. The life of an artist is tough: the crisis has made it tougher. Let's get back to basics, and deliver a system of recognition and reward that puts artists and creators at its heart".

Expressing its support for Kroes' viewpoints on the copyright regime, the MMF said in statement yesterday: "Together with the Featured Artist Coalition, the MMF has long argued that the situation where rights holders can use copyright as an instrument of control to stop innovative developments is no way forward. We need a faster, simpler, more efficient licensing regime for copyright on a European wide basis so that creators everywhere in the EU can increase the size and value of the market and crucially, get paid. We agree that 'rigid legislation from the pre-digital era' needs immediate adaptation. We need to adapt tax law, kill off the release windows that encourage piracy, embrace technological innovation and recognise that consumers will pay for what they value".

Meanwhile MMF Chairman Brian Message told CMU: "Neelie Kroes summed up our views succinctly and with passion. Her final sentence - 'let's not wait for a financial crisis in the creative sector to happen to finally adopt the right tools to tackle it - says it all. We applaud her and wholeheartedly share her vision".

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BIEBER BABY ACCUSER WITHHOLDING DNA
According to TMZ, Justin Bieber's legal team are having trouble getting hold of the woman who accused him of fathering her baby, Mariah Yeater, or her lawyer, to get a sample of the child's DNA to compare with Bieber's.

As you'll no doubt remember, Yeater claims that she and Bieber had sex after he performed at the Staples Center in LA last year, conceiving a child in the process. Bieber and his team denied the accusations from the off, announcing that the singer would take a paternity test without the court order her lawsuit called for, and then would sue her for defamation once the results came back negative.

Yeater then dropped her suit, ostensibly because it was apparent no court order was necessary, but continued to push her claims with a new lawyer who said that talks with Bieber's people were ongoing. However, if TMZ is correct, Yeater's new lawyer is not making much effort to enter into any discussion. The website reports that Bieber's team isn't expecting to see a DNA sample for comparison at all because it would add fuel to their defamation case.

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KID CUDI DEBUTS LATEST FROM WZRD ROCK VENTURE
Rapper Kid Cudi has named a release date for the debut album from his and producer Dot Da Genius' rock-inspired side project, WZRD. Confirming the as-yet untitled LP is due out on 30 Jan, he tweeted this link to a free download of new WZRD track 'Brake', apparently having finished it several hours earlier.

"OK so I'm gonna just release a WZRD jam tonight, I can't wait any longer for you guys to hear this shit. Fixing it, gettin it right, stay tuned", he wrote, later adding this and other such modest afterthoughts: "The world has it now, the power is in your hands. Welcome, let the journey begin..."

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REGINA SPEKTOR PREPS NEW ALBUM
Regina Spektor has shed a little light on what will represent her sixth studio album to date. Slated for a tentative release in spring 2012, it's set to bear the title 'What We Saw From The Cheap Seats'. She revealed in a Facebook post that she's been recording with Mike Elizondo, primarily a hip hop and pop producer, who also worked on Spektor's last long player 'Far'.

The message reads: "Hi! So! I'm very excited to say that this summer I recorded a new record with Mike Elizondo in LA land! It's been finished for a little while but I had no idea when it would be out in the world until now... We're trying to get everything ready for it to come out in May (but I will share some stuff before then for sure!)"

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BENEFIT GIG TO RAISE FUNDS FOR OPERATION WELLFOUND
Twickenham indie tykes Marner Brown, "brash power trio" Rebel Territory and Kid Champion are amongst the acts playing a gig this Friday to benefit Operation Wellfound, a charity working in Africa to supply clean water and improved sanitation. Organisers of the event, which takes place at London's Bush Hall on 25 Nov, are looking to raise £4000 to build a well and latrines for a community in Guinea Bissau.

Confirming his band's involvement in the night, Rebel Territory's Lee Zajciw told CMU: "This is such an important event because it can really make a direct difference. It makes us 'rebels with a cause' - so expect an inspired performance from us".

Meanwhile Alex Wright from Operation Wellfound added: "It's an extraordinary line up of live performers to ensure an unforgettable night that can directly save lives in an often forgotten part of the world".

You can pre-order tickets here: www.bushhallmusic.co.uk/live-music/whats-on/eventdetails/25-nov-11-clean-water-for-africa-rock--roll-with-bush-hall/

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WRONGTOM MEETS DEEMAS J DEBUT SHOW THIS SATURDAY
Having previously 'met' (in the 'collaborated on projects with' sense) Roots Manuva and Pama Intl, dancehall producer Wrongtom will be making his live debut with his latest collaborator Deemas J this Saturday, showcasing tracks form their Wrongtom Meets Deemas J album. The show at Big Chill House in London's Kings Cross will also be filmed for use in the video to accompany upcoming single 'Crime Times', a clip of which you can hear below. More info on the gig here.

soundcloud.com/wrongtom/wrongtom-meets-deemas-j-crime

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PAUL THOMAS SAUNDERS OFFERS FREE TRACK FROM NEW EP
Singer-songwriter Paul Thomas Saunders is readying 'Descartes Highlands', the sequel to the CMU approved sounds of his debut EP, 'Lilac And Wysteria', for release some time next year. 'Let The Carousel Display You And I', a track from this forthcoming set, is available here in exchange for an email address: www.paulthomassaunders.com

He's also poised to head out on tour with headlining folk trio The Staves. Since that opens tonight, you'd best take a glance at these dates now:

23 Nov: London, Enterprise
24 Nov: Salford, Sacred Trinity Church
25 Nov: Belfast, The Stiff Kitten,
26 Nov: Dublin, The Academy 2
28 Nov: Birmingham, Glee Club
29 Nov: Glasgow, Stereo
30 Nov: Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete's
1 Dec: Leeds, Nation of Shopkeepers
3 Dec: Nottingham, The Navigation
4 Dec: Bristol, Start The Bus
5 Dec: Brighton, The Hope

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FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE ANNOUNCE ARENA TOUR
Florence And The Machine's Florence Welch has just announced a series of big old arena dates, which will take place in March of next year. All this live fuss comes in the wake of Florence et al's new album 'Ceremonials', which has sold over one million copies since its release a fortnight ago. If you'd care to watch Florence falling off some scaffolding onto some choirboys, her new 'No Light, No Light' video is the one for you. You'll find that below, after these tour dates:

2 Mar: Dublin, O2
4 Mar: Bournemouth, BIC
5 Mar: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
6 Mar: Nottingham, Capital FM Arena
8 Mar: London, Alexandra Palace
9 Mar: London, Alexandra Palace
12 Mar: Glasgow, SECC
13 Mar: Birmingham, LG Arena
15 Mar: Manchester, MEN Arena
16 Mar: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena

www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGH-4jQZRcc

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PRS CLOSES LIVE ROYALTY CONSULTATION, NO CHANGE
Ah, and we were hoping for a long drawn out, bitter and twisted Copyright Tribunal dispute on this one. No, not really. The fewer royalty squabbles within the wider music business the better really.

PRS For Music has announced that it has closed its consultation on the live music royalty rate, and that the royalties charged for popular music events in the UK will remain unchanged at 3% of ticket receipts. Many in the live sector feared that when the publishing rights collecting society announced a review of live industry royalties last year that it would almost certainly result in an attempt to increase the fees charged to promoters, especially of big events.

PRS insisted that it had a totally open mind on the issue, but that the live sector had changed considerably in the last decade, and had seen considerable growth while the record industry declined, and that a review of royalty rates was therefore appropriate. The big promoters, fearful of a royalty increase, pointed out that as they paid a percentage of ticket revenues to the collecting society, its members were already benefiting from the growth in the live and especially festival sector.

Anyway, presumably proving it did indeed have an open mind, PRS confirmed yesterday that after an extended consultation period last year, that the current rate would remain. The society's Director Of Public Performance Keith Gilbert told CMU: "As the organisation that represents the creators behind the music, it is right that we continually review our charges and approach, ensuring there is a fair balance between music users and creators. From the outset we made it clear that this was an open consultation, allowing us to genuinely evaluate if the current tariff structure was still relevant for today's live scene. We received many helpful responses with feedback largely supporting the consultation process, regarding it as sensible to review after 20 years".

He continued: "Responses showed that since the last review the live industry had changed significantly with live music becoming a more professional enterprise and thriving mainstream leisure activity. However as the market has grown, so have the costs associated with putting on events. After a number of discussions and reviews it was agreed that that no changes should be made at present. We will continue to work alongside the industry to ensure our tariffs both support the rights of the creator, whilst recognising the contribution of all parties involved in making the UK live music business the success that it is".

A summary of the responses, should you be interested, has been published online here.

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WARNER ANNOUNCES NEW VICE PARTNERSHIP
Vice Media, the company behind Vice Magazine, has announced a new alliance with Warner Music for its label spin-off Vice Music. The Vice record label previously had a partnership with the major, but went it alone in 2007.

Confirming the new deal with Warner, which will see the major handle distribution, marketing and tour support, Vice co-founder Suroosh Alvi admitted that the company had missed having a music major partner to handle all the boring non-creative stuff. Alvi: "We realised that our strengths are with A&R and marketing. Signing, marketing and building artist brands, that's what we should be focusing on".

Confirming the new partnership from the Warner side, Todd Moscowitz of Warner Bros Records US told Billboard: "Vice is a fantastic brand that artists want to be associated with. Suroosh and the team have great taste and an incredible marketing vehicle. Our job is to work with them to identify great artists and enhance the marketing opportunities that they have".

Artists the Vice label has worked with over the years include Chromeo, Justice and Black Lips.

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RICHARD HOOPER TO RESEARCH DIGITAL COPYRIGHT EXCHANGE IDEA
That Vince Cable dude has announced he is appointing Richard Hooper, the former Deputy Chairman of media regulator OfCom, to undertake a feasibility study on setting up a Digital Copyright Exchange, one of the grand ideas put forward by Prof Hargreaves in his recent government-commissioned review of UK copyright laws.

The Exchange, which would aim to lower the administrative costs of licensing content for digital services, and give business and consumers easier access to copyrighted material, is a great idea, albeit a great idea that will almost certainly not work and, most likely, never get off the ground. Still, you can't beat a good feasibility study, can you?

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PANDORA HAS A GOOD-ISH QUARTER
Pandora's share price fell slightly yesterday, despite the US-based and now publicly listed streaming music service reporting a pretty good set of stats for the last financial quarter, including listening hours doubling, ad revenue doubling and subscription revenues rising by 80%. This despite all the hoo and haa around new competitor Spotify launching Stateside during that period.

The company's financial performance was actually slightly better for the quarter than many analysts expected, though management warned the current quarter has been more challenging, and that figures for the current period are likely to be slightly down on expectations, hence the share price wobble.

Nevertheless, those with a more long term view will likely be pleased with Pandora's progress, as the long established player in a tricky and increasingly competitive market continues to grow, even if that growth is modest.

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SOULJA BOY ANNOUNCES VIDEOGAME
Soulja Boy has announced that he will release his own videogame next year, apparently called 'CORElated: The Beginning'. The rapper posted artwork for the game, featuring a cartoon representation of himself, with the message "Soulja Boy the video game in stores 2012" earlier this week: souljaboytellem.tumblr.com/post/13099555483/soulja-boy-the-video-game-in-stores-2012

According to Vibe, Soulja Boy previously mentioned that he had a videogame for the Xbox platform in production in an interview with Complex magazine back in 2008, saying then that it would be released the following year.

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BRUCE DICKINSON AIRLINE GOES BUST
Astraeus, the airline which Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson works for, has gone into administration, which suggests he's not done that great a job in his role as Marketing Director, to which he was appointed earlier this year. Although the company's chief exec isn't blaming him, saying that it was just "extremely bad luck".

The company, for which Dickinson also works as a pilot, leases planes to other carriers, but, CEO Hugh Parry told the BBC, "lower than expected" business over the summer and various technical issues had caused the company's income to decline.

The airline's last flight flew from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Manchester Airport on Monday, piloted by one Bruce Dickinson.

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SEX PISTOLS GRAFFITI SHOULD BE PRESERVED
Graffiti drawn by The Sex Pistols in a London flat where they lived in the 1970s should be preserved for posterity, and possibly marked with a blue plaque, a couple of archaeologists have said for some reason. The various daubings were uncovered as the flat in Denmark Street was converted into offices.

Referring to the pictures of band members and their manager Malcolm Maclaren, mainly drawing by John Lydon, as "anti-heritage", archaeologists Paul Graves-Brown and John Schofield of York University said in Antiquity magazine: "This is an important site, historically and archaeologically, for the material and evidence it contains. The building is undoubtedly important, and could meet criteria for listing or for a blue plaque, if not now then in time".

Bands, if you want to be remembered, you'd better start drawing on things now, just in case this happens.

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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