An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Thursday 31 October 2013

TODAY'S TOP STORY: Apt for Halloween I suppose, popular file-sharing website isoHunt is back from the dead, wandering around the internet zombie style, sucking more blood out of the bleeding necks of the copyright giants that killed it with one final swoop earlier this month. Do zombies suck blood? You see, I'm regretting this analogy already... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: I know I'm at risk of becoming a travel bore with my recent run of Approved columns, but look, I went to Japan for a while and Japanese music was what I heard. I'll be up to speed with new Western acts again soon enough. If you were wondering, new acts from this part of the world that seemed to be doing quite well... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES isoHunt restored after shutdown
LEGAL Gaye estate goes legal over 'Blurred Lines' copycat claims, accuses EMI of misconduct
Italian regulator proposes much more severe takedown system rule
Tulisa re-bailed over drugs claims
DEALS INXS sign global publishing deal with Universal
Lyla Foy (of WALL fame) signs to Sub Pop
Superfood to release new single, EP via Infectious Music
ARTIST NEWS Lou Reed's Transformer hits UK albums top 40
RELEASES Stevie Wonder plotting three LPs
My Chemical Romance to end on greatest hits LP
GIGS & FESTIVALS Motörhead postpone European tour while Lemmy returns to "rude health"
Gigs & Tours round-up: Avicii, Rizzle Kicks and Rinse's Boxing Day party
Festival line-up update: Snowbombing, Eurosonic, Alt-Fest and more
AWARDS Blake the surprise winner of the Mercury Prize
AND FINALLY... Bieber all good, says Ulrich
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isoHunt restored after shutdown
Apt for Halloween I suppose, popular file-sharing website isoHunt is back from the dead, wandering around the internet zombie style, sucking more blood out of the bleeding necks of the copyright giants that killed it with one final swoop earlier this month. Do zombies suck blood? You see, I'm regretting this analogy already and I'm not even at the end of the first paragraph.

As previously reported, isoHunt, one of the longest running file-sharing sites, went offline earlier this month after its founder, Gary Fung, finally gave up after years of fighting litigation from the American movie industry and the Canadian music business. The US courts said that isoHunt and Fung were liable for the copyright infringement the service enabled, despite the file-sharing company wheeling out the usual "we don't host the files" and "our service has legitimate uses" excuses.

But any celebrating at the movie studios or record labels may have been premature, because it emerged earlier this week that the site had been relaunched at a new domain - - with about three quarters of the data from the original site in place. Fung is not involved in the relaunched isoHunt, which has been set up using data pulled from the original site's servers in the days before it closed.

As also previously reported, Fung actually shut down his site earlier than planned after discovering his servers were being scraped by third parties, although the Archive Team project which was known to be making a copy is seemingly not behind the restoration of the site.

In a statement to Torrentfreak, one of the people who is said: "isoHunt has been a great part of the torrent world for more than a decade. It's a big loss to everyone who used it over the years. Media corporations don't like innovation or competition and isoHunt's fate is one of the examples of how they deal with it. isoHunt can definitely be called a file-sharing icon. People got used to it and they don't want to simply let it go. We want those people to feel like being at home while visiting The main goal is to restore the website with torrents and provide users with the same familiar interface".

Not all the data from the original was secured before Fung flipped the switch, so some parts of the new site are currently empty, though it is thought that most of the content link data - arguably the most important bit - is still there. The Motion Picture Association Of America, which led the legal battle against Fung, will no doubt have its lawyers on this pronto, though if the new site sits beyond the jurisdiction of the US courts forcing isoHunt v2 offline won't be so easy.

Gaye estate goes legal over 'Blurred Lines' copycat claims, accuses EMI of misconduct
Oh now, this is getting interesting. The family of Marvin Gaye have finally gone properly legal in their dispute over Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines', and while their countersuit contains the usual gubbins you might expect in a "your song sounds way too similar to mine" lawsuit, it's the allegations thrown in the direction of the EMI publishing company (now controlled by Sony/ATV of course) that make the most interesting reading.

As previously reported, allegations that Thicke's controversial hit borrowed from Gaye's hit 'Got To Give It Up' (and from Funkadelic's 'Sexy Ways') started circulating over the summer. Thicke, his collaborators on the track Pharrell Williams and TI, and their respective business partners all denied the allegations, and - spotting problems ahead - seized the initiative and sued the Gaye estate (and Funkadelic label Bridgeport Music) seeking court clarification that the copycat claims were invalid.

While the influence of Gaye and Funkadelic's music maybe obvious in 'Blurred Lines', Thicke and Williams claimed, there was no actual plagiarism. Said the lawsuit: "There are no similarities between the plaintiffs' composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements. The plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else's composition".

The Gaye family's countersuit does not concur. Their legal papers say that Thicke's rape anthem contained "blatant copying of a constellation of distinctive and significant compositional elements of Marvin Gaye's classic number one song". Lined-up as evidence are the opinions of one of those musicologists always employed in cases like this, and various reviews that noted the similarities between the two songs.

Oh, and the time Thicke told GQ magazine: "Pharrell and I were in the studio and I told him that one of my favourite songs of all time was Marvin Gaye's 'Got To Give It Up.' I was like, 'Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove'. Then he started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about a half hour and recorded it".

So far so standard. These cases rarely get to court, but if it does, then the old debate of when imitation becomes infringement can be instigated once again (times two, as the Gaye family also alleges another Thicke track nicks from Marvin's oeuvre). But much more interesting are the allegations fired at EMI Music Publishing.

Although Thicke is allied to Universal for publishing, Williams works with EMI on the copyrights in his songs, and therefore it has a controlling interest in 'Blurred Lines'. EMI is also employed by the Gaye family to administrate the rights in 'Got To Give It Up'. And, says the lawsuit, EMI has very much sided with Williams on this dispute, in doing so breaching its legal, contractual and ethical obligations to the Gaye estate.

Not only should EMI have spotted and acted on the issues with 'Blurred Lines' from the start, the lawsuit alleges, but since the problems were raised by the estate execs at the publisher have done all they can to persuade and intimidate the Gaye family, and their legal reps, into dropping their claims against the hit.

According to Billboard, the suit claims that the Chairman of the EMI publisher personally contacted the Gaye estate's attorney and accused the family of "ruining an incredible song" and "killing the goose that laid the golden egg".

He also allegedly said that he believed the dispute had stopped Thicke from winning a VMA gong, and that it could likewise prevent him from taking the Grammy Award for Song Of The Year in 2014 (because without the Gaye dispute, the singer is a shoe-in for that honour of course, given how much the Grammys love to celebrate mediocre misogynistic crooners who have shown particular talents in promoting violence towards women).

Laying it on thick, appropriately perhaps, the lawsuit then says that EMI's alleged failings are all the more worrying because of Sony/ATV/EMI's dominance in the music publishing sector. Says the suit: "The EMI defendants control approximately 30% of the music publishing market throughout the world. Accordingly, there is a strong likelihood that conflicts of interest, such as the one in the present case, will arise again between the EMI defendants and the Gaye family".

It goes on: "Based upon the blatant and egregious breach of the EMI defendants' fiduciary duty and their covenant of good faith and fair dealing, the EMI defendants have proven that they cannot be trusted to remain neutral and impartial, and that they are unworthy of the level of trust and professional conduct which is required of a copyright administrator charged with protecting the Gaye Family's important interests in copyrighted works created by Marvin Gaye".

The family want out of their EMI contract and damages aplenty for the alleged infringement and the publisher's alleged misconduct. Unless there's a speedy closed doors settlement, this one could be very interesting.


Italian regulator proposes much more severe takedown system rule
While the American music industry continues to bemoan the limitations of the country's Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the takedown system it describes, which has become a global standard for user-upload websites seeking to circumvent liability for copyright infringing content they might host, an Italian body called AGCOM, loosely translated as the Electronic Communications Authority, is proposing something much more severe.

Many rights owners in the US - and elsewhere, given the DMCA system is employed beyond America - complain that the American law sets too few standards for websites which operate takedown systems. Which means that websites can get away with operating deliberately shoddy systems, ensuring their sites have, at any one time, plenty of user-uploaded copyright infringing content (to attract traffic), knowing they are still protected from any infringement litigation.

The AGCOM proposals, which have been submitted to the European Commission for feedback, would seemingly set a 72 hour deadline for websites to respond to takedown notices. If they failed to do so, the telecoms regulator would have powers to seize or force blockades against offending websites, and also to force net firms to reveal the identities of a site's operators.

The proposals are already proving controversial in some quarters, especially as under the plan the regulator could act without taking their cases to court. Of course the whole point is that the process could be super speedy, but in most jurisdictions it has been ruled that only a court should have the power to take a website offline, and a similar ethos has previously been expressed at an EU level.

It remains to be seen how AGCOM fares at both an Italian and European level in getting these proposals off the ground. Though if they do, rights owners across Europe could start pushing for similar measures in their own countries.


Tulisa re-bailed over drugs claims
Tulisa Contostavlos has been rebailed by police over those claims that she set up a drug deal for two undercover Sun On Sunday journalists.

As previously reported, the former N Dubz singer agreed to put the journalists in touch with a friend - rapper Mike GLC - with a view to buying cocaine, believing that the hacks were actually producers who were going to put her in a lucrative film role.

Both Tulisa and Mike GLC deny any wrongdoing and yesterday were rebailed by police until December.

INXS sign global publishing deal with Universal
Universal Music Publishing has announced a new deal with INXS which brings most of the band's songs catalogue under one roof - Universal having already controlled the group's early work.

Although the band quit touring last year, they are still working on new projects, with a TV series about the band to air next year, as well as a film, documentary and musical all in the works, according to the band's Creative Director and Global Strategist (apparently that's a thing bands have) Chris M Murphy.

Announcing the new deal, Universal Music Publishing CEO Zach Hotowitz said: "INXS is simply one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and we couldn't be more thrilled to bring their core catalogue and all of their hits to UMPG worldwide".

He added: "We're particularly excited to work with the group and their visionary creative consultant, Chris Murphy, in finding new and innovative ways to take their music to the next level - including the upcoming TV mini-series about their career, movies, and theatrical plays. We're looking forward to connecting new generations of fans with the band's timeless music".

Murphy added: "Zach Horowitz 'got it' from my very first meeting with him, and his passion for INXS's music was undeniable. We're over the moon that we'll be working with him and the outstanding UMPG team to write the next chapter in the band's illustrious history".


Lyla Foy (of WALL fame) signs to Sub Pop
London songwriter Lyla Foy, once known as WALL, has signed to Sub Pop.

The label will release her new single, 'Easy'/'Head', on 18 Nov, and her first LP in 2014. Foy will back both via a line of live shows starting on 9 Nov at The Cellar in Oxford.

Stream 'Easy' here in the meanwhile.


Superfood to release new single, EP via Infectious Music
Midlands indie lot Superfood now have a label in common with Alt-J, These New Puritans and Drenge, having signed to Infectious Music. And if you don't believe me, here's a picture.

The band's first move post-deal will be to release a new AA-side single, 'Bubbles'/'Melting', on 9 Dec, then re-issuing both tracks as part of an EP, 'MAM', arriving in early 2014.

They chant as one: "We're over the moon to announce that we are now part of the Infectious family, we now have a place to live and produce records rent free. The four tracks are full of love and affection and we hope you take the time out to sit down and breathe it in".

Superfood's next show is on 20 Nov at the Barfly in London. In the mean time hear the "discordant, vile, beautiful mess" that is (says singer/guitarist Dom Gaderton) 'Bubbles' here.

  Approved: Josy
I know I'm at risk of becoming a travel bore with my recent run of Approved columns, but look, I went to Japan for a while and Japanese music was what I heard. I'll be up to speed with new Western acts again soon enough. If you were wondering, new acts from this part of the world that seemed to be doing quite well over there were Chvrches (who I've already approved) and The Strypes (who are fucking awful). Jake Bugg was nowhere to be seen, it was a joy.

Anyway, my basic observations of live music in Japan (based on my albeit limited experience) is that no musician seems to get on stage until they have reached a fairly high level of technical ability on their instrument, and the sound in venues, no matter how small, is completely flawless. As a result, you need to have a whole pile of that thing we can sadly no longer refer to as 'x-factor' if you're going to stand out. Tokyo quartet Josy are an excellent example of this.

Headlining the sold out launch party for their latest album, 'No Way Back Home', at ADM in Ikebukuro on Friday, vocalist Cumi towered over the audience (standing on a stool) radiating the sort of charisma that would befit a frontperson standing in a much bigger venue (and not on a stool). Around her on the curved stage were her bandmates - keyboard player Mami, bassist Non and drummer Nanohana - knocking out songs that drew on 60s psych-rock, 70s art-funk and 90s indie-electronica.

Check Josy out in action at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn earlier this year, as filmed by MTV Iggy, here.
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Lou Reed's transformer hits UK albums top 40
Lou Reed's breakthrough solo album, 'Transformer', is currently rising up the UK albums top 40 following the former Velvet Underground frontman's death at the weekend, the Official Charts Company has confirmed. Co-produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson and released in 1972, the record currently sits at number 24.

Meanwhile, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has written an article for The Guardian remembering Reed, with whom he worked on their divisive collaborative album 'Lulu'.

Ulrich wrote: "We were both outsiders, we both never felt comfortable going down the same path that everyone else was doing. Metallica's always been autonomous, and Lou Reed is the godfather of being an outsider, being autonomous, marching to his own drum, making every project different from the previous one and never feeling like he had a responsibility to anybody other than himself. We shared kinship over that".

Read the full article here.

Stevie Wonder plotting three LPs
Stevie Wonder has three potential LPs on the boil, and is working on releasing two in 2014.

Of those, one is a symphonic compilation of covers (of his own songs, that is) and some new tracks, made in collaboration with producer David Foster and titled 'When The World Began', and the other is named 'Ten Billion Hearts'. The third set, which is in its early stages, is, he says, a gospel tribute to his late mother Lula.

As for the 'when' in all this, he tells Rolling Stone: "All of these are coming out relatively soon, but I never put a time on things, because the most important thing is that it's good. Hopefully we get it the way it feels good to me, and in the case of the one I'm working on with David, both he and myself feel good about it".


My Chemical Romance to end on greatest hits LP
Warner Bros is to cash in on... I mean, erm, 'accentuate the positive' of one-time signings My Chemical Romance's split earlier this year by releasing an LP of the band's best ever singles, B-sides, and the rest.

Confirming it via Twitter yesterday, MCR's Gergard Way said: "The release is a greatest hits Warner Bros is putting out. I am designing the packaging". What enthusiasm. The untitled compilation is supposedly out in the UK on 20 Jan.

Motörhead postpone European tour while Lemmy returns to "rude health"
Lemmy Kilminster's various health troubles have forced the postponement of Motörhead's forthcoming November tour of Europe. All dates have been provisionally set back to spring 2014 whilst he recovers. As previously reported, Lemmy was fitted with a defibrillator earlier this year, only to suffer a haemotoma that lead the band to cancel a number of shows designed to promote their new LP 'Aftershock'.

Making his apologies via the Motörhead site, Kilminster writes: "We have made the decision because I am not quite ready to hit the road yet, and am working my way back to full fitness and rude health. Don't worry - I'm not about to start promoting veganism and alcohol-free beverages, but it is fair to say that I personally have been reconfiguring areas of my life to make sure I can come back fitter and stronger than ever".

The note continues: "It disappointed me tremendously to have to say I wasn't quite ready to hit the road yet, but not nearly as much as it would've disappointed me to go out, play some average shows and watch my health give way long before the tour was over! When people come to see a Motörhead tour, they expect a Motörhead show, and that is exactly what you will get as soon as I am fit and ready to rumble".


Gigs & Tours round-up: Avicii, Rizzle Kicks and Rinse's Boxing Day party
Apple-cheeked EDM cherub Avicii is taking off on a truly paltry 'True UK' tour consisting of two shows. The first is on 20 Feb (2014) at Manchester's Phones 4U Arena, and the second is the following night at London's Earls Court. Get your info here, quick, before tickets hit the online ticketing shops on 8 Nov.

And hey, Rinse (the label, and the FM station), is presenting a real bangin Boxing Day party at capital nightspot Fabric this year. Held over three rooms and featuring not a single cold turkey sandwich, the 'bash' will play post-Christmas host to Skream, Boddika, Ben Pearce, Roska, Joker, Youngsta, and lots of others who are all mentioned at this link.

Finishing with sample-pop's most adorable duo Rizzle Kicks, who'll give 'props' (if that's what the kids are still saying) to new LP 'Roaring 20s' by playing... oh, 21 shows in 2014's first quarter. The Kicks kick off on 7 Feb at Lincoln's Engine Shed, and quit at the Brighton Centre on 7 Mar. Click this URL to find full listings.


Festival line-up update: Snowbombing, Eurosonic, Alt-Fest and more
So, the big news on the festi-scene this week is Austria's springtime winter sports event, Snowbombing, and its big revelation re 2014 headliners The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers.

The latter act, who join the bill along with Chase & Status, Rudimental, Groove Armada and the like, say this of doing that: "We're very excited to play such a unique festival, and a new one for us. We have been working on new material for a while now, so every DJ show gives us a chance to share music with people... let's have a ball".

Yes, let's, but if you could all just hold off the ball-having momentarily to check this list of new additions to 'ghoulish' Northamptonshire outing Alt-Fest, continental new bands showcase Eurosonic, and pop-rock rager Radstock, that'd be great...

ALT-FEST, Boughton House, Kettering, 15-17 Aug 2014: Cradle Of Filth, Malefice, Fearless Vampire Killers, Onslaught, Truckfighters, Palm Reader, Steak.

EUROSONIC NOORDERSLAG, Groningen, Netherlands, 15-18 Jan 2014: Postilijonen, Christine And The Queens, Benjamin Clementine, La Femme, Sumie, George Ezra, Embers, Klangarussell, Cid Rim, Fuckhead, T-Shit, Float Fall, Melanie De Biasio, Milky Chance, D E N A, Linkoban, Femme en Fourrure, Desto, Aufgang, Sisy Ey, Prata Vetra, Djaikovski, Andre Bratten, The Weatherman, Truckfighters.

RADSTOCK, Liverpool Academy/Newcastle Academy, 29-30 Mar 2014: Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses, Yashin, Feed The Rhino, Fearless Vampire Killers, Heights, Me Vs Hero, Crooks, The Hype Theory, Hey Vanity, Cytota, Bentley Park.

SNOWBOMBING, Mayrhofen, Austria, 7-12 Apr: The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Chase & Status, Rudimental, Groove Armada, Four Tet, Daphni, James Zabiela, Nathan Fake, Anthony Naples, Breach, The Martinez Brothers, Nina Kraviz, Skream, The Dub Pistols, A-Skills, Ben & Lex, Breakage, Citizen, Daniel Avery, Hannah Wants, Huxley, Kove, Krafty Kuts, Kyntro, North Base, Radio Slave, Rattus Rattus, Roska, Route 94, Smash HiFi, The Heatwave.

Blake the surprise winner of the Mercury Prize
So James Blake was presented with the Mercury Prize last night for his record 'Overgrown', a surprise decision from a judging panel possibly keen to combat accusations that they had played it too safe this year with their shortlist by picking an outsider for the actual gong.

Not that Universal-signed Blake is an especially radical winner, though the decision may shut up some of the award's many detractors. Blake, meanwhile, gave a short but nice acceptance speech, saying: "Hello, I lost a bet. On the other hand I should thank a couple of people. Thank you everyone. Thanks to my parents for showing me how to be self-efficient. Thanks to [band members] Ben, Rob and Dan for showing me the importance of letting other people help you".

Bieber all good, says Ulrich
So what do Metallica think about Justin Bieber recently posting an albeit very short cover of their track 'Fade To Black' online, and telling his fans how much he liked the track, and the metal band's other song 'One'.

Well, says Lars Ulrich, that's just fine, because he's a bit of a Belieber himself. Asked about the Bieber cover by Kerrang! the Metallica drummer said: "Is it possible to have respect for him without being a Belieber? I think the kid's really talented and obviously to go through what he's going through at that early age must be a mindfuck".

He went on: "So the fact that he still goes out there and does it, I admire that and I think he's super talented, so I guess I am kind of a Belieber. If he likes 'One', and Liam Gallagher likes him, OK, there you go".

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.
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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
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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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