11 SEP 2013

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Last week saw Berlin Music Week take place for its fourth year, with 2500 delegates from across the music industry attending the WORD! Conference, and a further 5000 music fans joining them for the First We Take Berlin showcase festival. Checking in on the action and catching up with a few of the delegates and speakers was Vasilis Panagiotopoulos more>>
Placed fifth in the BBC's Sound Of 2011 list, Clare Maguire released a limpid (given all the hype, and her patent ability) LP, 'Light After Dark', whilst styled to the nines as a kind of goth pop Flo + The Machine, that same year. Having reappeared this spring strapped with spidery ballads, it looks like an au naturel Maguire is back again (again), this time with a fatally likeable track titled 'Little White Lies' more>>

- YMCA man says he has reclaimed copyrights via US termination right
- Miley Cyrus smashes Vevo's premiere views record
- Cut Copy to free new LP
- Erasure wrap Christmas compilation
- Azealia Banks has last go at releasing Broke With Expensive Taste
- Autre Ne Veut adds live dates
- Oh Land sights shows
- Hammersmith Apollo becomes Eventim Apollo
- PledgeMusic appoints head of business development
- Co-op man joins Kobalt to head up AWAL
- Musopen turns to Kickstarter to make complete works of Chopin available for free
- Apple unveils new iPhones, iTunes Radio to go live next week
- Radio 2 announces autumn schedule
- Sigur Rós to guest on Game Of Thrones
- Radio 1 apologises for fit Hannah tweet
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Former Village People man Victor Willis, who wrote the lyrics to many of the pop combo's biggest hits, says that he is close to regaining control of his slice of the copyright in the songs, having utilised a previously reported provision in American copyright law that allows songwriters and composers to reclaim rights previously assigned through contract to a publisher or other music company.

Willis confirmed he was going legal against Can't Stop Productions over the songs in 2011, though it wasn't immediately obvious that he was planning on exercising the so called 'termination right'. This facility for American creators to reclaim their copyright after 35 years was introduced in a bit of 1978 legislation, which means the impact of it is only just kicking in. There are various criteria that must be fulfilled to qualify for the rights to revert, and a set procedure songwriters must go through to reclaim their copyrights.

Legal reps for the company which currently controls the rights in 'YMCA' and other Village People hits initially argued that Willis had written the songs on a 'work for hire' basis, which would mean the music company owned that copyrights from the outset, so no transfer of ownership by contract occurred, so no termination right could apply. But it seems that argument didn't stand up in court, although the current copyright owners are planning on appealing the ruling against them.

Nevertheless, Willis has spoken to the New York Times about the prospect of regaining control of some of the rights in the Village People oeuvre, noting: "I learned over the years that there are some awesome powers associated with copyright ownership", and adding: "I've had lots of offers, from record and publishing companies, a lot of stuff, but I haven't made up my mind how it's going to be handled".

Aside from the appeal, there is still some other legal wrangling to be done over Willis' ownership of the rights, because three names are credited on many of the 33 songs at stake - the original brains behind Village People Jacques Morali and French record producer Henri Belolo in addition to Willis - so it needs to be decided how the various copyrights will be divvied up.

But assuming Willis does get a slice of the action, aside from the boost in royalties he'll receive, he could also win some control over the use of the songs, which could create issues for the aforementioned Can't Stop Productions, who still operate a current incarnation of the Village People, who obviously need to be able to perform the hits.

While there remain legal challenges ahead for Willis, if he is ultimately successful the New York Times reckons he could be the first songwriter of hit pop songs to benefit from the 1978 termination right; though there are some other high profile artists believed to be in the process of reclaiming their copyrights under the system.

Willis told the Times: "I'm hoping that other artists will get a good lawyer and get back the works that a lot of us gave away when we were younger, before we knew what was going on. When you're young, you just want to get out there and aren't really paying attention to what's on paper. I never even read one contract they put in front of me, and that's a big mistake".

The termination right mainly impacts on the music publishing sector, though some recording artists reckon the right should apply to sound recording copyrights too. The labels, needless to say, do not agree, in the main utilising the aforementioned 'work for hire' argument. There could be some interesting court battles ahead on that front, though the 'work for hire' thing does seem like a stronger claim for labels than publishers.

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The new Miley Cryus video, quite aptly given the song's name, has smashed the record previously set by One Direction for 'most plays on Vevo in the first 24 hours after posting'. It's quite an achievement that we felt compelled to share with you all on account of it being quite a quiet news day.

The video for 'Wrecking Ball' got 19.3 million views on Vevo in the 24 hours after it went live earlier this week, compared to the 12.3 million views 1D's 'Best Song Ever' scored in July, proving once and for all that if One Direction want true success, they should dump the wacky costumes and prosthetics and cavort naked around a building site instead.

When 'Best Song Ever' scored its 12.3 million views the boyband actually took the 'most viewed video in the first 24 hours' crown off Cyrus, whose video for 'We Can't Stop' previously held the accolade. On Miley's latest achievement a Vevo spokesman said: "Blah blah blah, who the fuck cares?" Actually Vevo didn't issue a statement. Lazy Vevo.

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Cut Copy are releasing a 'summer of love'-inspired LP, entitled 'Free Your Mind', just in time for autumn... I guess it's an Australian thing. By 'summer of love', I mean its USP is that it binds, conceptually speaking, San Francisco's 1967 SOL with that other one in Britain in 1988. Look, don't knock the concept.

Speaking of which, the band's Dan Whitford says: "The concept of freedom is one that's universally positive and timeless, and whatever each person's version of that freedom is, it's a good thing to be reminding ourselves to be free".

'Free Your Mind' is released via Modular on 4 Nov. This is its title track.

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Christmas harbingers Erasure will, on 11 Nov, gift fans with a compilation of songs; all seasonal, not all original.

Likening it style-wise to other 'alternative' Xmas LPs, like Kate Bush's '50 Words For Snow', Vince Clark says: "We managed to strip everything back to bare essentials. 'White Christmas' almost has a drone all the way through it. I love that".

'Snow Globe', whose first single is a spin on traditional Latin carol 'Gaudete', will shake into shops on 11 Nov.

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I don't know if anyone still cares, but Azealia Banks' astronomically late LP, 'Broke With Expensive Taste', is at last arriving. Not now, mind... in January 2014.

That's the timeframe Banks has given it via Twitter, anyway. She said a load of other things, too, like that she's already been given the okay to release an additional LP titled 'Fantasea II', and that it's taken her ages to create a "body of work", having started with nothing back in the days of '212'.

Fair-ish dos. This, ripped off Banks' Instagram, is the provisional/final (I really have no idea) tracklisting to 'Broke With Expensive Taste', and here's what I'm positive is a lyric clip to go with Banks' Pharrell-featuring 'ATM Jam':

Idle Delilah
Gimme A Chance (feat Toko Yasuda)
Lux N Plush
JFK (feat Theophilus London)
Heavy Metal And Reflective
Ice Princess
Yung Rapunxel
In Town (feat Kevin Hussein)
Miss Amor
ATM Jam (feat Pharrell)
Miss Camaraderie

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Still riding a wave of acclaim for the LP, 'Anxiety', that he released earlier this year, America's Arthur Ashin (alias Autre Ne Veut) has set five new UK dates he'll play in the depths of winter. Well, November.

Celebrating the dates, which are listed in a sec, here's Jacques Greene's extended 6.54 min remix of 'Anxiety' highlight 'Play By Play':

19 Nov: Liverpool, Kazimier
20 Nov: London, Netil House
21 Nov: Brighton, Green Door Store
22 Nov: Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
23 Nov: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club

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What's this, a sighting of new live listings starring the ever and always brilliant Oh Land? Well yeah, in fact, it is.

Revealed as her snappy new LP 'Wishbone' nears its 23 Sep release, the dates are as listed:

2 Dec: Manchester, Deaf Institute
3 Dec: Glasgow King Tut's
4 Dec: Birmingham The Institute
5 Dec: London Scala
6 Dec: Brighton The Haunt
8 Dec: Dublin, Button Factory

As a final treat, play this Nick Zinner remix of Oh Land's last single, 'Renaissance Girls'.

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Co-owners of the Hammersmith Apollo - AEG Live and CTS Eventim - announced last week that the renovated venue would forthwith be known as the Eventim Apollo. Make a note of that. Or just carry on calling it the Hammersmith Apollo like everyone else. Actually, I still like to refer to it as the Labatt's Apollo Hammersmith. I think that was definitely its best name.

As previously reported, AEG Live and CTS Eventim's joint venture, Stage C, bought the Apollo as part of HMV's sale of its live division, the MAMA Group, last year, which also saw the formation of MAMA & Company.

The name change, it is hoped, will boost German ticketing firm Eventim's profile in the UK, or so explained CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, saying: "With this name sponsorship, we are making a commitment to the quality of the experience that music and comedy fans will enjoy at the Eventim Apollo, and also to the quality of the ticketing services Eventim is offering to the British fans. We are here to stay. And while Eventim may not be a household name in the UK yet, we are determined to make it one!"

This is interesting, given that AEG now also has its own ticketing service,, and while the development of that business has been mainly centred on the US to date, it launched in the UK last year to handle ticket sales for the live giant's O2 Dome complex and has been quietly expanding since, directly competing with Eventim.

But either way, the companies are clearly just great mates, and as such they've been chummily refurbishing The Apollo, restoring many of its 1930s art deco features under the guidance of Foster Wilson Architects. As previously reported, work began in July and will continue until early next year. However, events in the venue will resume later this month.

Discussing the refurb, AEG Live's COO Colin Chapple said: "When AEG Live and CTS Eventim purchased the business twelve months ago we knew the venue needed some serious TLC. Both of our companies are synonymous with delivering a high level of customer comfort and quality in our venues and at AEG, it's in our DNA to ensure we continually innovate and invest in our properties - keeping our venues current and up to date, and ensuring our fans needs are being met".

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PledgeMusic has announced John Lenac as Head Of Business Development. He joins from TechIt Media Group, where he was CEO, having previously held various music industry positions over two decades.

Pledge CEO Benji Rogers said of Lenac's new LA-based role: "We are excited indeed to bring John into the PledgeMusic team and family. His vision perfectly aligns with where we see the company going and his passion for our particular style of direct-to-fan was palpable from our first meetings".

Lenac himself added: "It's incredibly exciting to be part of such a progressive company that helps artists to have deeper engagement with music fans, driving better monetisation and fanbase growth. I'm thrilled to be working with Benji and the amazing team at PledgeMusic".

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Kobalt Label Services has announced the appointment of Vincent Clery-Melin as MD of AWAL, the distribution and marketing services firm Kobalt acquired in 2011. Clery-Melin previously founded and ran independent label services business Co-op, initially for V2 and later under the Universal Music banner, before it sold the firm to [PIAS] earlier this year.

In his new role he will report to Kobalt Label Services MD Paul Hitchman, who told CMU: "I am thrilled to be able to welcome Vincent to Kobalt Label Services. AWAL represents a massive global opportunity and Vincent's appointment shows the scale of our ambition for developing and growing the AWAL business. His experience, all round music knowledge and entrepreneurial flair will be a huge asset both to AWAL's clients and to the Kobalt Label Services team as a whole".

Clery-Melin himself added: "I'm incredibly excited to be joining Kobalt and AWAL. For the last eight years I have been working with indie labels and independent-minded artists, and I believe Kobalt has the vision, the ambition, and the means to become THE true 21st century music services company. I'm looking forward to working with the teams at AWAL, and also at Kobalt Label Services, and to being a part of helping AWAL become the services company of the future for independent labels and artists".

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Aaron Dunn of US not-for-profit organisation Musopen has launched a Kickstarter campaign in a bid to raise $75,000 to fund the recording of the complete works of Frédéric Chopin. If successful, the venture would make the recordings available under a creative commons licence, meaning anyone could utilise them for free.

Chopin's music, of course, is out of copyright, he being long dead, though most available recordings of his work will still enjoy copyright protection, so a licence would be needed from whichever label released the record if anyone wanted to play it in public, or sync it to a video, or whatever.

Dunn's Musopen, which aims to improve access and exposure for public domain music, previously raised $68,000 to record and release recordings of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Bach and Mozart, similarly released so that they can be used by all for free. According to The Atlantic, those recordings have since been used on TV, in ads, as hold music, and on Wikipedia pages about the composers.

Dunn's original Kickstarter campaign smashed its original $11,000 target, and the latest fundraising round is already nearly two thirds of the way there. Though, he says, the support isn't the traditional classical community (who might fear the impact on their record sales), but younger fans of classical music.

He told The Atlantic: "I wish all the professional orchestras I reached out to, to record for this project, knew how many of my donors are between the ages of eighteen and 35. They are desperate to develop a younger audience, yet are steadfastly opposed to trying new things that are likely to gain interest, sticking with Facebook pages or Twitter accounts".

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So, as expected, Apple unveiled two new iPhones last night. One comes with a 'C' in its name and is made of Crappy plastic. The other is all about the 'S' and is Slightly obsessed with your fingerprint. I think that's pretty much it. Something about the camera not taking blurred selfies, though nothing to stop Miley Cyrus sticking her tongue out.

The new iPhone models will be in the shops in nine markets, including the UK, from 20 Sep. Meanwhile, as also expected, Apple announced another iOS update, on 18 Sep, which, in the US of A at least, will see streaming service iTunes Radio go live. The Pandora-style streaming platform will play music especially curated for you. Possibly based on your fingerprint. Which is bad news if you've ever caught your finger tapping away to JLS.

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Sara Cox, having recently completed maternity cover for Fearne Cotton on Radio 1, is now set to join Radio 2 to front a new late night show called 'Sounds Of The 80s' celebrating music from that there decade each Saturday night. It's basically an 80s version of long-standing Radio 2 programme 'Sounds Of The 60s', though late night instead of early morning.

The new show was one of a number of autumn schedule announcements made by the BBC station yesterday. Elsewhere Hugh Laurie will host a six part series on the blues and Jo Whiley's weeknight evening show will be extended to two hours, though her onetime co-host Steve Lamacq will lose his Thursday late-night slot to make way for 'The Organist Entertains'. And why not?

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Sigur Rós are to make a special cameo in the new season of fantasy TV franchise 'Games Of Thrones', which airs in the New Year.

Whatever Jonsi and co's part in the show - be it acting, singing, singing whilst acting (or vice versa), or standing about wearing medieval hats - the band are, insists, filming it right now in Croatia.

By appearing in 'Thrones', Sigur Rós emulate the series' previous indie guests, Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody and Coldplay's Will Champion.

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First the BBC's 'Newsnight' was forced to apologise when its editor accidentally tweeted that an appearance on the programme by Labour MP Rachel Reeves was "boring snoring", and now Radio 1's 'Breakfast Show' has had to say sorry for a tweet, after some listeners took offence at the show's official Twitter feed asking listeners whether they agreed that Hannah Reid from guest band London Grammar was "fit".

Alongside a photo of the indie trio, the 'Breakfast Show's Twitter feed declared: "We all think that the girl from London Grammar is fit. Let us know if you agree on 81199 #ladz". Shortly afterwards one listener's response - "very decent" - was retweeted. But, while being declared officially "fit" and "decent" is better than being described as "boring snoring", quite a few people didn't think such twit-letching (twetching?) over "the girl" was especially appropriate for the Radio 1 'Breakfast Show's official Twitter feed.

Of course the complainers missed the point - it was irony, see? Later in the day a new tweet appeared, reading: "Our tweet earlier about Hannah from London Grammar was meant to be ironic, but we got it wrong, we're sorry". Though using the "we were being ironic" defence does sort of imply the breakfast show team don't think Reid is "fit" at all.

But whatever, two hours later they added: "We really regret the tweet this morning about London Grammar so we've deleted the original tweet from this morning now. We're aware it's been RT'ed a lot and screengrabbed, but out of respect to Hannah, we have removed from our timeline".

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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 1, 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email or

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