An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Monday 14 October 2013

TODAY'S TOP STORY: Domain registrars which responded to recent letters from the City Of London Police's new IP Crime Unit by suspending the domains of file-sharing websites that the policing body reckons are liable for copyright infringement may have violated the rules of the global domain name overseer ICANN, according to one of the registrars... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Despite never having officially released any music as a solo artist in the UK, Israeli musician Asaf Avidan has already performed one sold out show in London, at Union Chapel in Islington. When he next returns to play the capital, at the Shepherds Bush Empire on 12 Nov, he will have released his UK debut single... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Registrars which suspended file-sharing domains may have violated global rules
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Limited edition vinyl giveaways at HMV Oxford Street this week
MARKETING & PR Dan Deacon launches news communications firm
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES David Byrne is latest artist to express streaming concerns
American download price monitor concludes Amazon cheaper 84% of the time, yet iTunes still dominates
MEDIA Williams admits disappointment when he fell off the Radio 1 playlist last year
Planet Rock launches classic album playback show
ARTIST NEWS Disclosure video shut down for depicting drug use
Katy Perry casts elephant in Roar clip, PETA hate her
RELEASES Release round-up: Skrillex kisses lion in new video, Azealia remixes Britney, Robbie confirms single, No Joy releasing EP
GIGS & FESTIVALS Adele being offered mega-bucks for Vegas residency
Timberlake postpones start of world tour a few days
Festival line-up update: Pitchfork Festival Paris, Bugged Out Weekender and Hampton Court Palace Festival
AND FINALLY... More Cyrus comment as Miley tops both UK charts
Bieber DJ run-in results in Deadmau5 telling off
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Registrars which suspended file-sharing domains may have violated global rules
Domain registrars which responded to recent letters from the City Of London Police's new IP Crime Unit by suspending the domains of file-sharing websites that the policing body reckons are liable for copyright infringement may have violated the rules of the global domain name overseer ICANN, according to one of the registrars which received said correspondence.

As previously reported, the IP Crime Unit recently wrote stern letters to the companies that administrate the domains of file-sharing sites like ExtraTorrent, SumoTorrent and The letter says that said sites are believed to be violating copyright and other UK laws, and that in doing so are likely breaching the domain registrar's own terms and conditions and, possibly, ICANN rules.

With that in mind, said domain registrars are encouraged to suspend the domains of the offending sites, even though no actual civil or criminal action has been taken through the UK courts. And some domain firms have complied with that request, though one - easyDNS - has not, instead publishing the police letter and insisting it wouldn't suspend a domain without a court order.

And now the boss of easyDNS has told Torrentfreak that those firms that have suspended the domains of file-sharing sites following the police letter, while possibly allowed to do so under their own terms and conditions, must allow the operators of said services to transfer their domains to another registrar, otherwise it will be they who are violating ICANN rules.

But if compliant domain companies do now allow that transfer, then the IP Crime Unit's letter will have achieved little, except to put the operators of file-sharing services on alert that they may have legal problems holding onto their dotcom domains down the line.

easyDNS's Mark Jeftovic told Torrentfreak on Friday: "Any of those registrars that actually complied with the UK requests to bring down the torrent domains must allow those domains to simply transfer out, or they themselves will be in violation of the ICANN transfers policy". ICANN policy says that domain owners can only refuse to allow a domain transfer if there is a fraudulent payment or court order.

Jeftovic continued: "Since there were no charges against any of the domains and no court orders, it may be at the registrars' discretion to play ball with these ridiculous demands. However - what they clearly cannot do now, is prevent any of those domain holders from simply transferring out their names to more clueful, less wimpy registrars. If any of those registrars denied the ability to do that, then they would be in clear violation of the ICANN Inter-Registrars Transfer Policy".

It remains to be seen what happens next regards the suspended domains, though most of the sites affected have already set up shop with a new alternative web address.

Limited edition vinyl giveaways at HMV Oxford Street this week
When HMV Chairman Paul McGowan recently said that the rescued retailer had been looking to the independent sector for inspiration as it attempts to turn around the firm's fortunes, he wasn't joking.

And if stocking limited edition vinyl releases gets fans queuing up outside indie shops on Record Store Day, why not try the same trick to get them queuing up outside HMV's new Oxford Street base? And that's what's happening this week, though HMV are giving the limited edition releases away rather than selling them.

This morning's free release was a bit of Beatles catalogue, while later this week limited edition vinyl releases from Elvis, New Order and Robbie Williams will be dished out first come first served as HMV Oxford Street opens at 8.30am each morning.

Dan Deacon launches news communications firm
PR man Dan Deacon, most recently with the publicity side of the Outside Organisation, has announced the launch of his own agency, Deacon Communications. The new business will provide services to music and entertainment clients in creative communications and reputation management.

Confirming the new company, Deacon told CMU: "The communications industry is changing at such a fast pace, from technology to the speed people make decisions. Our backbone is about staying ahead of the curve in every way, not only with the creative process but also with strategic counsel and reputation management. All communications are in real time and this is at the heart of the agency's DNA".

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David Byrne is latest artist to express streaming concerns
If you, like us, have whiteboards in your office marked "Pro-Spot" and "Anti-Spot", you need to add David Byrne to the latter. Because he is the latest veteran artist to express concern about the rise of streaming music services like Spotify in a lengthy piece for The Guardian.

Reviewing what various artists have said in recent months and years about the rise of the streaming music platforms, Byrne questions the role said services really have in music discovery, while arguing that the monies paid to artists once labels have taken their share are simply too small to be sustainable long-term. The major labels are OK, he reckons, because of the upfront advances and equity arrangements, and established acts have other revenue streams, but he worries about new talent, in music and across the creative industries.

He concludes: "The larger question is that if free or cheap streaming becomes the way we consume all (recorded) music and indeed a huge percentage of other creative content - TV, movies, games, art, porn - then perhaps we might stop for a moment and consider the effect these services and this technology will have, before 'selling off' all our cultural assets the way the big record companies did [with their advance/equity laden deals with streaming services]".

He goes on: "If, for instance, the future of the movie business comes to rely on the income from Netflix's $8-a-month-streaming-service as a way to fund all films and TV production, then things will change very quickly. As with music, that model doesn't seem sustainable if it becomes the dominant form of consumption. Musicians might, for now, challenge the major labels and get a fairer deal than 15% of a pittance, but it seems to me that the whole model is unsustainable as a means of supporting creative work of any kind. Not just music".

Although stressing that he really doesn't want to be a Luddite, Byrne says that surely "taking a minute to think about the consequences before diving in seems like a pretty good idea in general". Read the piece here. And although both lengthy and interesting, Byrne's polemic probably doesn't add anything new to the debate to change CMU Editor Andy Malt's take on the matter from earlier this year.


American download price monitor concludes Amazon cheaper 84% of the time, yet iTunes still dominates
It's no secret that the Amazon MP3 service routinely sells digital music cheaper than its rivals, and especially market leader Apple iTunes. And a survey by American online deals monitor DealNews has confirmed that fact, concluding that Amazon's digital music platform in the US is cheaper than its bigger rival up to 84% of the time.

Earlier this year, DealNews monitored the pricing of download singles and albums on Amazon MP3, iTunes and Google Play over a four week period, tracking songs and albums in the main Billboard charts and the CMJ Albums Top 20.

According to that research, originally published back in July but given wider exposure thanks to a feature on TechSpot last week, digital music on Amazon was cheaper 77.5% of the time, while if you honed in on more mainstream releases money could be saved 84% of the time. Google Play was also generally cheaper than iTunes, though not to such an extent. The savings were also more significant on albums than singles.

Of course what remains most interesting about all of this is that, while Amazon MP3 has always been more competitively priced than iTunes, and Google has also competed on price since launching the Play download store, the Apple digital music platform still commands an impressive market leader status in the digital music domain, certainly in the US, and in many other territories too.

And while the arrival of newer entrants to the digital market, and the growth of subscription and streaming services, is slowly eroding Apple's dominance in the digital music space, according to data the NPD Group earlier this year 80% of US downloaders are still primarily using the iTunes download store to access digital music, giving the tech giant a 63% market share in the wider digital music domain.

Playing a little with its figures, DealNews notes: "According to Nielsen SoundScan, US shoppers bought 111.7 million digital albums in 2012; if 63% were sold through iTunes, as the NPD Group report suggests, that's 70.3 million albums sold by Apple. However, if albums bought through Amazon are on average $1 cheaper, then in theory, Americans paid a cumulative $70.3 million more than they needed to on digital music. While purely speculative, it's a staggering thought".

Although Apple's digital music market share is slowing slipping - in some markets faster than others - it's continued success despite refusing to enter the download price war demonstrates that many music consumers put convenience and familiarity before price.

Williams admits disappointment when he fell off the Radio 1 playlist last year
Robbie Williams has admitted he was "gutted" when Radio 1 decided to stop playlisting his groovy pop tunes last year on account of him being a bit past it for the BBC station's youth demographic (though not so past it that he prevented a Dizzee Rascal track he guested on from getting played by the station earlier this summer).

As you may recall, when asked about the playlisting decision regards Williams' track 'Candy' last November, Radio 1's breakfast show host Nick Grimshaw told Channel 5 News that while he might rate Williams' music personally, he wasn't sure the singer was especially "relevant" to Radio 1's core audience.

Speaking at a recording of Radio 4's 'Mastertapes' last week, Williams admitted that losing out on a spot on Radio 1's playlist, and the resulting exposure that airplay ensures, was disappointing, even for a veteran pop star like himself.

He told the show: "I'm very ambitious. So when Radio 1 goes and is taken away from you, a huge bit of your arsenal goes. It's your main oxygen to get your stuff out there".

In the candid chat, Williams also admitted that he and other superstar singers do get jealous when they see younger artists taking over as the biggest acts on the planet. Discussing the current popularity of One Direction and especially Harry Styles, he mused: "He's talented, he's good-looking. He could have it away. And I'll be sat here saying, 'Damn him'".

He went on: "Everybody who's anybody has been competitive and over-sensitive and a bit silly. Look at Paul McCartney, look at Elton John. They're jealous of Justin Timberlake. I'm sure they were jealous of me when I was in my imperial phase".

'Mastertapes' returns to Radio 4 on 11 Nov, a week ahead of the release of Williams' new album 'Swings Both Ways'. Meanwhile, if you thought this was an excuse to reopen the debate as to whether Radio 1 was right to drop Williams from its playlist, remember CMU Editor Andy Malt closed that discussion and we all agreed it was.


Planet Rock launches classic album playback show
I don't know if, in the Spotify age, radio stations need to run shows where they play whole albums in full anymore, though I suppose there's some of that all important 'curation' going on when said stations choose which albums to play, plus when Planet Rock does it over the next few weeks the artists behind the LPs will provide a little introduction.

The now Bauer-owned rock station, available digitally across the UK and on FM in the Midlands, will air 'Planet Rock Plays It In Full' every Monday night at 11pm from tonight. Over the next few weeks Jimmy Page will revisit Led Zeppelin's 'Led Zeppelin IV', Meatloaf will chat about 'Bat Out Of Hell' and, tonight, Roger Waters talks about Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon'.

And the rock station promises that there'll be no ads, jingles or other interruptions once the featured album starts playing.

  Approved: Asaf Avidan
Despite never having officially released any music as a solo artist in the UK, Israeli musician Asaf Avidan has already performed one sold out show in London, at Union Chapel in Islington. When he next returns to play the capital, at the Shepherds Bush Empire on 12 Nov, he will have released his UK debut single, 'Different Pulses', which is due out through Universal on 28 Oct.

Listening to 'Different Pulses' for the first time, there are two points in the song that really strike you. The first is the moment his voice comes in, a strange, jarring sound that takes you completely by surprise. And, trust me, even though I've warned you, it still will. The second impact point is the one where you realise just how much you're enjoying it, almost without noticing that Avidan's voice has changed from something you keep at arm's length to a sound you pull close to you and envelop yourself with.

As opening gambits go, this is impressive to say the least.
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Disclosure video shut down for depicting drug use
Oh dear, Disclosure have been faced with some online criticism again, though this time round nothing to do with playing an unlive live show. This time the criticisms were targeted at the EDM siblings' new 'Settle' video, 'Help Me Lose My Mind', which resulted in the promo being removed from YouTube in record time on the orders of the duo's own label, PMR Records.

In an explanatory note, PMR said that the promo had prompted complaints over its "referencing the use of drugs", and that "PMR feel very strongly against the glamorisation of drugs in any capacity and as such we have made the decision to remove the video". The relationship between dance music and drugs, given recent drugs-related deaths at New York festival Electric Zoo and Manchester club The Warehouse Project, is increasingly 'hitting the headlines' again, which perhaps explains the label's heightened sensitivity re the imagery in the clip.

What isn't clear is why the label didn't have these concerns before the complaints came in. Nor what the Disclosure boys themselves think.

But the label also said: "The video for Disclosure's new single 'Help Me Lose My Mind' was revealed this morning and as with previous Disclosure videos, it was about the connection of people having a good time, something that Disclosure want associated with their music and what we hope people have done when they've seen the band live or while listening to their music. Unfortunately the video has received a few comments referencing the use of drugs within the video".


Katy Perry casts elephant in Roar clip, PETA hate her
Katy Perry has felt PETA's (slightly belated) wrath as regards the elephant that appears in the video for her recent single 'Roar'. PETA's beef is that the animal, Suzy, was likely "violently" captured and then mistreated, and that Perry and her team's decision to cast an endangered wild creature in a pop video was therefore irresponsible and exploitative. Which, to be fair, it kind of is.

Oscar-winning director Chris Palmer, a PETA advocate, asks (via WENN): "How did Suzy, a member of a threatened species from Africa, find herself next to Katy Perry on a California film set? She was violently captured from her free-roaming herd in Zimbabwe when she was two years old and shipped to the US, where she was most likely bound and beaten in order to make her perform without complaint".

He adds: "Only when stars, directors and producers stop forcing exotic animals onto soundstages will these sensitive and sophisticated animals get a reprieve. Katy Perry may be one of the biggest pop stars in the world, but next to that sad elephant, she looks like a very small person".

Anyway, here's the video, which I think we can all agree is pretty 'wild', even sans the elephant.

Release round-up: Skrillex kisses lion in new video, Azealia remixes Britney, Robbie confirms single, No Joy releasing EP
EDM's pet ex-emo kid Skrillex has pasted a 'tame' new clip for his new single 'Try It Out (Neon Mix)', a collaboration with an artist signed to his OWSLA label, Stateside DJ Alvin Risk. In it, he gives a lion a good smooch, the poor thing (the lion, I mean). See the video in a bit, post Skrillo's 'pumped up' intro to it, which goes: "If you're feeling like you need a lil umph in your rumph, bang this track and get pumped up for whatever it is you're trying out".

Try out 'Try It Out' now.

Vying with Skrillex for your ear next, it's the always-noisy Azealia Banks and her remix of Britney Spears' recent single, ode-to-entrepreneurism 'Work Bitch'. Hear Azealia rapping over the first half, quickly tiring, saying "you mad" five times, and finally taking a nap, leaving Brit to finish the track herself, here.

It's onto Mr Robbie Williams now, who's confirmed the first single from his 'Swings Both Ways' LP is going to be 'Go Gentle', also sharing snips of all thirteen 'Swings' tracks via this handy/pointless 'sampler'. One of six non-covers on the swingin compilation, 'Go Gentle', which is actually quite nice, will have its big release day on 11 Nov, prior to the LP's on 18 Nov. In the meantime, take it easy by previewing 'Go Gentle' in its entirety.

Ending it all (release summary-wise) today are Montreal alt-pop lot No Joy, who have taken great pleasure in detailing a new tri-track EP, titled 'Pastel And Pass Out', that they're releasing via Mexican Summer on 4 Nov. Mixed and mastered by Violens' Jorge Elbrecht, its individual inner titles - 'Last Boss', 'Star Child Is Dead' and 'Second Spine' - will be available on 12 inch vinyl only, likely at the merch stand at any dates on the band's November/December tour of Europe.

Hear 'Last Boss' here.

Adele being offered mega-bucks for Vegas residency
Adele has been offered up to $40 million to sign on for a Vegas residency, according to the Sun On Sunday. And apparently Elton John has been urging the singer to commit to the proposed big bucks Las Vegas venture during regular baby chats on Skype. And I'm not even making this up. Though who knows, perhaps the Sun's source was.

Anyway, said 'insider' told the tab: "Stacks of Las Vegas casinos are desperate to get Adele on billboards as a headliner in this town. The highest figure being touted is $40 million but it could be even higher. Elton's been a really good friend to her and they've been Skypeing to share parental advice. But he is a businessman too, and has been telling Adele Vegas residency could secure a really good future for her family".

Though, while the Sun is tipping Adele for a Vegas residency, the Daily Star reckons the singer is on board to play Dusty Springfield in a forthcoming biopic, filming for which could begin early next year. The film will focus on the recording of Springfield's 1969 album 'Dusty In Memphis', so perhaps Adele could do the movie and residency at the same time, Memphis and Vegas being a mere 1400 miles apart.


Timberlake postpones start of world tour a few days
Justin Timberlake needs a little more time to prepare for his upcoming world tour, perhaps he should spend less time tinkering with his Myspace and focus on his show.

All of which means that early dates on the singer's upcoming global trek, in Montreal and Boston, have been pushed back to next July. The tour will now begin on 6 Nov in New York.

Timberlake's UK dates are set for March and April next year so shouldn't be affected, even if any more delays do occur before kick off.


Festival line-up update: Pitchfork Festival Paris, Bugged Out Weekender and Hampton Court Palace Festival
First order of the day, festivally-speaking, is Pitchfork Festival Paris, which has done a switch-a-roo on its listings in light of one-time bookings Deerhunter cancelling their entire European tour, including their appearance at the festival. The CMU approved Connan Mockasin swaps in to fill their spot.

Second's out, and its round two c/o 2014's Bugged Out Weekender, who've signed Andrew Weatherall, Skream, Kerri Chandler and friends on to a bill already featuring Dave Clarke, Dixon, Dusky, Eats Everything, Erol Alkan, Kölsch, Paul Woolford and Sasha. Rave on.

To see who Hampton Court Palace Festival has invited as its special mystery (well, not any more) guest, read to the end of this list of the latest additions...

BUGGED OUT WEEKENDER, Pontins Holiday Park, Southport, Merseyside, 7-9 Mar 2014: Andrew Weatherall, Kerri Chandler, Skream, Daniel Avery, George Fitzgerald, Heidi, Jackmaster, Justin Martin.

HAMPTON COURT PALACE FESTIVAL, Surrey, 12-22 Jun 2014: Jools Holland And His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra feat Marc Almond, Ruby Turner, Louise Marshall.

PITCHFORK FESTIVAL PARIS, Grande Halle de La Villette, 31 Oct - 2 Nov: Connan Mockasin.

More Cyrus comment as Miley tops both UK charts
With Miley Cyrus topping the UK single and album charts this weekend, clearly the former Disney star's sometimes controversial and occasionally silly relaunch this year has ticked a number of boxes in the marketing plan. Though following it all up with a half decent record has presumably helped a little too.

Latest to comment on Cyrus twerking her way to the top of the charts is her good old dad Billy Ray, who was asked about his daughter's recent VMAs performance and video by Access Hollywood.

Admitting that "it's hard for me at times, it's still Miley, it's still my little girl, it's still my daughter", Cyrus Senior said that, nevertheless, he was proud of Miley's recent achievements, noting: "She's a very smart young lady. She wanted to shake things up a little bit and mission accomplished. She wanted to go from a teenage superstar to a young lady, she's got a lot to say musically".

Meanwhile Miley herself has insisted to Hunger TV that she is fully in control of her career just now, because she's more in tune with what the young pop audience wants than aging advisors. She said: "With magazines, with movies, it's always weird when things are targeted for young people yet they're driven by people that are like 40 years too old. It can't be like this 70-year-old Jewish man that doesn't leave his desk all day, telling me what the clubs want to hear".

Cyrus added: "I'm going out, I know what they want to hear. I know when you're in a club, what makes everyone go crazy and when the time is where everyone's like, 'All right, I'm going go get a drink'. I know when people walk off the dance floor and I know what's driving it, so I've got to be the one doing it because they're just not in on what 20-year-olds are doing".


Bieber DJ run-in results in Deadmau5 telling off
So it's been a little while since we last had Justin Bieber pissing off the world (and pissing in buckets) here in the And Finally slot, so hurrah for the news that last week the Biebster had a bit of a run in with the world of EDM, resulting in a stern telling off from Deadmau5.

All this occurred in a night club in Seoul, with DJ Michael Woods the alleged victim. He has claimed via Twitter that the pop teen, shirtless as ever, stormed into his DJ booth with his entourage last Thursday night to demand more hip hop be played. And when Woods replied with a cursory "fuck off" and "put some clothes on" the Bieber, according to the DJ, lashed out at his tour manager before legging it.

Or, to quote the tweets verbatim, Woods says: "[Justin Bieber and] his army of heavy security muscled in to the booth half way thru my set in Sout Korea demanding hip hop".

Continuing: "So when I told @justinbieber to fuck off and put some clothes on he took a cheap shot at my tour manager and fled behind a wall of security".

Later concluding with a bit of advice, Woods tweeted: "Next time you wanna take a cheap shot at my tour manager @justinbieber, stick around to follow it thru instead of runnin off like a lil pussy".

Although the organiser of the club night where Woods was working last Thursday has apparently said that the DJ's version of events is slightly exaggerated, and no actual punches were thrown, that hasn't stopped Deadmau5 stepping in with a few words for the teen star.

Seemingly after hearing about the Woods' incident, he tweeted this weekend: "Dear @justinbieber, would you please grow the fuck up already? In the meantime, put a shirt on, and stay away from nightclubs".

Poor Bieber. Though if the pop boy is planning another run of controversial occurrences, perhaps he should put recording another self-mocking sketch into his schedule, because the last one did make him a slightly more sympathetic character. Or perhaps he could just release a record actually good enough to justify the diva attitude.

ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Publisher, Business Editor & Insights Director
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business, and is MD of CMU publisher UnLimited Media.
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ALY BARCHI | Staff Writer
Aly reports on artist news, coordinates the festival, gig and release round up columns, and contributes to the CMU Approved column. She also writes for CMU's sister title ThisWeek London.
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SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
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CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of UnLimited Media she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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