10 OCT 2012

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UK copyright law identifies eight kinds of creative 'works' that enjoy copyright protection, and anyone wanting to protect their copyrights must first prove that the work they own fits under one of these eight categories. The music business is traditionally concerned with three of these categories but artists and music companies often own other kinds of copyright too, and may be increasingly looking to monetise these other works as the money to be made from traditional record sales declines more>>
In the grand, Gainsbourgian tradition of 'are they or aren't they dating' duets - they're apparently not, by the way - boy-about-Brooklyn Adam Green and ex-Little Joy valley girl Binki Shapiro have coupled their bi-coastal indie wiles via a new eponymous collaboration. With a debut record en route on 28 Jan 2013, Adam and Binki are also playing London's Bush Hall on 14 Nov. To publicise all that, they've cordially shared the pretty, prim and proper 'Here I Am' more>>
- One Pussy Riot member freed on suspended sentence
- US judge denies MegaUpload's first case dismissal claim
- Lady Gaga meets Julian Assange
- Adele wins Song Of The Year at BMI London Awards
- James Murphy "just did a little fun stuff" on Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, "not necessarily" producing Arcade Fire
- Rage Against The Machine announce debut album 20th anniversary boxset
- New Order to release rarities compilation, at last
- Dels details EP
- Tamaryn stream tender new LP
- Frankie Cocozza confirms post-'X' EP
- Ke$ha to publish crazy, beautifully illustrated memoir
- Rolling Stones 50th anniversary shows booked
- Lianne La Havas cancels tour dates
- The Joy Formidable announce headline shows
- Proud2 licence suspension ended
- AR Management launches new vocalist division for dance sector
- Kobalt plans further expansion with bigger artist deals and possible catalogue acquisitions
- Will Page at Spotify, according to reports
- SoundCloud and Getty announce partnership
- Variety sold
- Green Day bassist discusses Armstrong burnout
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According to the BBC, one of the Pussy Riot members jailed for two years in August for performing a protest song against Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a Moscow church has had her jail term switched to a suspended sentence, and can now go free. Yekaterina Samutsevich was one of three members of the punk outfit to be jailed in the controversial case. It's not yet clear on the fate of the other two defendants, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

The conviction and sentencing of the musical activists was criticised by artists and free speech groups the world over. Some of the group's closest supporters were pessimistic about the chances of the three women being freed from jail at their appeal hearing this week, even though Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had told reporters he thought suspended sentences would be an acceptable conclusion. Putin, though, said at the weekend that he believes the musicians got what they deserved.

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A US judge has rejected attempts by MegaUpload to have the copyright infringement case against it dismissed on the basis it doesn't have a corporate base in America, so criminal charges could not be formally filed against the company.

As previously reported, MegaUpload's legal reps hoped that they could kick out the US government's criminal case against the Mega corporate entity, reckoning that the criminal charges that are being pursued against the individual MegaUpload executives alone may not be sufficiently serious to qualify under the extradition agreement between New Zealand and the States.

MegaUpload, of course, was taken offline by the US authorities in January, after the feds raided various American server facilities that hosted much of the controversial file-transfer website, while police in New Zealand arrested four Mega execs, including founder Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz, at the Americans' request. The company and its former management are accused of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering.

The US is now involved in long-running efforts to extradite Dotcom et al to America, hindered by various cock ups by the New Zealand authorities that have rendered part of the investigation illegal.

Mega's legal team, who have also accused the US authorities, their political masters, and the Hollywood lobby of dodgy behaviour in relation to the MegaUpload shutdown, had been hoping to score an early win in the US case against the digital firm and its former execs. But it wasn't to be.

Federal prosecutors in the States argued that if MegaUpload's argument - that the company couldn't be prosecuted because it lacked a US HQ - was allowed to stand, then that would result in "the incredible conclusion that foreign corporations can commit crimes in the United States without risk of being brought to justice here".

Considering the arguments late last week, Judge Liam O'Grady said that MegaUpload's dismissal requests were somewhat "extreme", and that the line of US criminal procedure on which the digital company relied had never been grounds for dismissal of a criminal case before.

Echoing the arguments of the prosecution, according to Billboard, the judge concluded: "It is doubtful that Congress would stamp with approval a procedural rule permitting a corporate defendant to intentionally violate the laws of this country, yet evade the jurisdiction of United States' courts by purposefully failing to establish an address here".

So, round one to the prosecution. Though there's an awful lot of rounds still to go on this one, with extradition hearings in New Zealand next Spring still to be conducted before any serious debate of the legalities, or not, of the MegaUpload enterprise can be discussed in the US courtroom.

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So, on Monday night Lady Gaga dressed up as a witch and went and hung out with Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. And just in case you for some reason think that sounds unlikely, she also posted photographic evidence to her LittleMonsters social networking site.

Gaga had been in London to promote her new perfume, Fame, at Harrods. According to reports she spent five hours with the Wikileaks founder and the pair had dinner together. Assange is currently holed up in the Ecuador embassy, where he sought asylum earlier this year, to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault charges. He fears that Swedish authorities will in turn extradite him to the US, where he is wanted for leaking government information via WikiLeaks.

The meeting with Gaga came after MIA tweeted the singer on Sunday, saying: "If [you're] at Harrods today come visit Assange at the Ecuador embassy across the [street]. I'm there. I'll bring TEA and CAKE".

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US collecting society BMI held its London Awards last night, celebrating the works by European songwriters it represents which have enjoyed particular success on TV and radio in America in the last year. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Adele and her frequent collaborator Paul Epworth who took the big prize of the night, with 'Rolling In The Deep' being declared Song Of The Year.

Commenting on the awards, BMI boss Del Bryant told CMU: "A BMI songwriting award is a unique and important recognition of a song's life cycle. Songs are born, and then they journey throughout the world's marketplace, through traditional broadcasts, digital platforms, local businesses and other industries. BMI tracks and shepherds that journey. As the son of professional songwriters, I understand and admire the passion and pride that our songwriters feel as their work crosses cultures and defines eras, and the essential need to safeguard that work".

The awards show also celebrates European-penned songs that have passed significant landmarks in terms of airplay in the US in the last year, the most notable being everyone's favourite stalking song, The Police's 'Every Breath You Take', which has had a massive eleven million plays on American radio in its lifetime. Which equates to 60 years of constant airplay, apparently.

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James Murphy has played down rumours that he has been working on new albums by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Arcade Fire since disbanding LCD Soundsystem last year.

Speaking to the Huffington Post, he said: "I just did a little fun stuff [on the YYYs record]. Nothing really big; I don't have time and they don't have time. I think they're done with their record now, I was just fussing around. I didn't make their album. They're just friends".

Asked about rumours that he was involved with making the new Arcade Fire album, he said: "That's not necessarily true. We don't work like that. Because I work with friends, if I have time and they're doing something and I'm on the East Coast, then we can do something. But also they don't need a producer, in a way. They produce themselves. When I was making my record, any number of people came and spent a couple weeks or a week hanging out and being involved in the process".

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While they make up their minds about whether or not they're recording a new album, Rage Against The Machine have announced that they are releasing a career-spanning boxset to mark the 20th anniversary of their debut album.

Released on 26 Nov, in its deluxe form it will feature a remastered edition of the album on CD and 180g vinyl; the original demo recordings for the record (also on CD and vinyl); a DVD featuring their 2010 free concert in Finsbury Park; another DVD featuring their first ever live performance in 1991;
all their music videos and various other live performances of individual tracks; plus a book, a poster and a box to put it all in.

If that all sounds a bit much, there's also an edition with two CDS and a DVD featuring a few videos, or a one disc edition featuring the album and a few bonus tracks. New liner notes included in each edition, meanwhile, have been penned by Chuck D.

And now, here's the video for the band's debut single and latterly Christmas hit, 'Killing In The Name'.

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New Order's much-postponed rarities collection, 'Lost Sirens', has been granted an official (if non-specific) November 2012 release date. A set of eight spares from studio sessions for the band's 2005 LP 'Waiting For The Siren's Call', its deadline has been pushed back over the years by various legal to-and-fros with estranged bassist Peter Hook.

As previously reported, Bernard Sumner et al are at the moment contemplating an original LP of the "electronic synth" variety, while Peter Hook is erm... best not mention what he's doing.


Stay With You
Californian Grass (Doomy)
Shake It Up
I've Got A Feeling
I Told You So

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Big Dada's DELS, aka London MC Kieren Dickins, will on 26 Nov present his first release since last year's 'GOB' LP. We're talking an EP this time, the five-track 'Black Salad', as features production and instrumentals by Kwes, Eli-T, Coby Sey, James Spankie, Thomalla and Micachu's Raisa Khan.

Singer Bila also guests on 'Bird Milk', a version of which also appeared on Kwes and Micachu's 'Kwesachu' mixtape. You can hear the 'Black Salad' edit of it now.

And now a tracklisting, plus a sample of EP finale 'You Live In My Head':

Black Salad
Bird Milk feat Bila
Not Today
Sell by Date
You Live in My Head

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Californian band Tamaryn have shared a stream of their new LP, 'Tender New Signs', as is released via Mexican Summer this coming Monday. It's really beautiful, you should listen to it now via Gorilla Vs Bear.

Either that, or attend one of two Tamaryn live shows at the Manchester Soup Kitchen (14 Oct) or London's Lexington (15 Oct).

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Spruce-looking 'X-Factor' expellee Frankie Cocozza has named what's to be his very first EP. It's titled 'The Motorcycle', most likely because Frankie is so rock n roll, such a bad boy, etc. Or maybe he just likes motorbikes. He is from Brighton, after all.

Frankie doesn't have a website bearing any details, or a tracklisting, or anything, but has decreed via Twitter that 'The Motorcycle' will be available via iTunes on 5 Nov. So remember, remember that.

But first, it's back to Frankie's 'X' glory days, and a judges houses rendition of Rihanna's 'What's My Name'.

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Popstar, ghost-lover and self-confessed weird pee-er Ke$ha has persuaded a publisher to print her new "illustrated memoir", 'My Crazy Beautiful Life'. Simon & Schuster, who also dealt with Jessie J's revelatory new book 'Nice To Meet You', will release the thing in late November.

Anyway, rather than be mean, I'll leave it to Ke$ha to describe it. And she says: "You might have heard my voice on the radio, seen me onstage and on the red carpet, or in a music video, but that's only a part of the story. In these pages, I'm revealing a more complete picture of what my life is really like. It's not all glamorous and it's not all pretty, but it's all real... I want you to come on a whirlwind journey with an all-access pass to 'My Crazy Beautiful Life'".

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The Rolling Stones have shows booked in London and New York, according to Keith Richards. But he's not allowed to talk about it, so keep it under your hat.

Speaking to Q for an interview in the next edition of the magazine at the weekend, Richards said: "We've got some shows in London, I believe, and in New York, but I really can't talk about any of that at the moment. They've put the gag on me on this. You can hint!"

He added that the band are now a week into a month long run of rehearsals for the shows, and are starting to get back into playing together: "Everybody relies upon their instincts, especially once you start working regularly together again. Because it pulls all the bits and pieces together, which when you're not working and playing with the guys, dissipates, obviously; you're not having that immediate contact. But kind of two days of hanging around with the guys again, a certain demon energy takes over and you wonder where it's coming from!"

This year is the band's 50th anniversary year, of course, and after much battling (legal and otherwise), celebrations are slowly kicking into action. In August it was revealed that the band were recording in Paris, and a new documentary is due for release in cinemas later this month.

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Mercury nominee Lianne La Havas has cancelled several dates on her UK tour due to "serious illness". The tour will recommence on 17 Oct in Bournemouth and all cancelled dates will be rescheduled at a later date. Previously purchased tickets will remain valid.

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The Joy Formidable have managed to slot two headline shows into their days off from supporting Muse on their UK arena tour. Busy, busy. The band will also release 'Wolf's Law', the first single form their second album on 21 Oct.

Those headline dates are:

25 Oct: Bangor, Henre Hall
29 Oct: London, Kings College

Watch out for a rather fine CMU playlist from The Joy Formidable in the near future too.

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Proud2, the club venue under the O2 Dome, is set to reopen after a meeting of the Greenwich licensing sub-committee last week.

As previously reported, the East London spin-off of the Proud empire had its licence temporarily suspended by council officials after an incident on 2 Sep when two men were stabbed and a bouncer was hit with a bucket. The suspension forced promoters of a string of club nights already booked into the venue to find new locations for their events, and Proud boss Alex Proud criticised Greenwich Council for instigating the temporary closure, saying it endangered the "viability" of the venue.

But last week a meeting of the council's licensing sub-committee ruled that the club could now reopen, subject to some new conditions, including changing the club's designated supervisor and security staff, searching all customers on entry, and keeping a record of all people excluded from the venue.

There has been speculation on the impact the closure might have had on the Proud2 company, a joint venture between Proud and Dome operators AEG, though as yet nothing official has been said. Events were booked into the venue for this weekend, though it's not currently known if they are going ahead - it may well depend on how quickly Proud management can get the new measures ordered by Greenwich Council in place.

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London-based management company AR Artist Management has launched a sister business called the AR Vocal Agency which will provide vocalists and topline writers to dance music producers. The company's owner Anna Russell says that she has set up the new division to meet a demand in the market, and to provide a service that many in the dance sector have been seeking for sometime.

Russell told CMU: "With vocals being so important [in dance music] I couldn't understand why such a service didn't already exist since demand is clearly immense. I am extremely proud that the AR Vocal Agency is the first of its kind, and hope that we become the go-to vocalist resource for music producers and labels globally".

The new division has been in development since May, and has already worked or is working on projects with the likes of Kissy Sell Out, Armand Van Helden, Avicii and Tiesto. The new agency has also already built a roster of talent.

More at

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Music publishing firm Kobalt plans to invest $100 million in advances and copyright acquisitions. The move sees the company, best known for providing administration services to other music right owners, becoming a more prolific copyright owner in its own right. This development sits alongside other recent expansions at Kobalt into artist and label services.

According to Billboard, the expanding music firm says it has raised $75 million via its newish Kobalt Capital business, and can raise another $25 million "by drawing down funding from the company's credit facilities". About $20 million has already been used to enter into bigger artist deals than the company would have done in the past, while future funds may be used for either further songwriter deals, or to buy catalogue.

Kobalt Capital CEO Johan Ahlström told reporters: "As we enter our second year of activity of KCL we are looking at stepping up our investment in royalty advances and copyright acquisitions with a focus on rights where value uplift can be achieved through Kobalt's efficient royalty collections and value enhancement through active management and marketing".

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It seems that rumours that former PRS For Music Chief Economist Will Page would pop up in a new role at Spotify are true. Billboard cites a source as saying Page has already joined the digital firm in a senior economics role.

The exact nature of Page's new post isn't clear, though it is thought he will become an influential player internally, and maybe an external commentator for the digital firm too, given his past experience producing and presenting research and reports on various aspects of the wider music business.

As previously reported, Page departed PRS back in July. The collecting society has recently started recruiting for a new economist.

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Soundcloud has announced a partnership with Getty Images which will enable producers and songwriters making their music available to the public via the sound sharing platform to also include their work in Getty's commercial music library, used by media and brands looking to licence tracks to accompany their output.

Says Getty Images CEO Jonathan Klein: "Getty Images Music and SoundCloud's collaboration combines two great digital platforms. This partnership fits directly with Getty Images strategy of making the broadest and best content available to our customers in a seamless and simple experience while providing a meaningful benefit to the creator".

Meanwhile Soundcloud chief Alexander Ljung added: "SoundCloud's partnership with Getty Images Music creates a powerful offering to our community of professional and casual creators. Now through Getty Images Music, songwriters and audio creators can broaden their exposure and potentially monetise sounds they've shared on SoundCloud".

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US-based entertainment industry trade magazine Variety has been sold. Former owner Reed Elsevier has sold the title to the Penske Media Corporation, which also owns entertainment industry website

Confirming the acquisition, PMC CEO Jay Penske told reporters: "As a company, we plan to rapidly build upon Variety's foundation, while extending this invaluable brand's presence across the web, broadcast, mobile and international markets".

Like many traditional trade magazines, the 107 year old Variety has faced the challenge of new online-only competitors with lower overheads, and falling budgets at many entertainment companies. It's thought the new owners may take down the paywall element to the title's website, while some are already speculating about the future of the print Variety publications. The trade mag currently has a staff of about 120.

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Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt has been discussing frontman Billie Joe Armstrong's supposed meltdown at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas last month.

As previously reported, when the band had their set cut short and were informed they only had one minute of stage time left, Armstrong ranted: "You're kidding me, you're fucking kidding me. What the fuck? I'm not fucking Justin Bieber you motherfuckers. You gotta be fucking joking. This is a fucking joke. I've got one minute, one minute left. Oh, now I've got nothing left. Let me show you what one fucking minute fucking means".

He then smashed up his guitar and threw the remains into the audience.

Recognising that iHeartRadio owner Clear Channel - the biggest radio firm in the US - was not a company they could afford to piss off, the band issued an apology the next day and informed fans that Armstrong was receiving treatment for substance abuse.

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Radio 1 about the whole thing this week, Dirnt said that recording a trilogy of albums and then heading straight out to promote them was perhaps not such a great idea. He said: "With hindsight 20/20 it was a tremendous undertaking. Although we were having fun we didn't take our nose out of the book for a long time. I think it catches up with you a little bit. We definitely just jumped off a moving train".

He continued: "There were signs of things hitting the fan. We hadn't slept in forever and Billie had definitely had the worst of it. He'd been going through his own struggles. We were there with him but you can only handle things on your own. At the end of the day when we got off the road the most important thing was my friend's life".

He added that with promotional activities and live performances cancelled for the time being, the band have also had a break from each other, saying: "I'm sure Billie's had it really rough. There's been very little contact between us [since the iHeartRadio festival], so I guess I'm just generalising, but it's a pretty heavy-duty process. This is probably the longest time we haven't seen each other - I haven't seen Billie in weeks. It's an awkward position to be in, but we're going to pander this out. We'll get there".

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