An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Tuesday 12 November 2013

TODAY'S TOP STORY: The lyrical side of online piracy - that is to say the publication of lyrics without licence - has been an issue ever since the web first started to gain momentum in the latter part of the 1990s, even if the music publishing sector's counter activity hasn't been as high profile as the record industry's assault on the unlicensed distribution of digital audio files. But the problem persists, or so says the US National Music... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Over two years on from the release of their third album 'The English Riviera', Metronomy have announced that they will release their new LP, 'Love Letters', on 10 Mar next year. 'The English Riviera' marked a change in sound for Metronomy and a transition to a more explicit band set-up, rather than being the solo project of frontman Joseph Mount, and the first track from the new album... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES US publishers plan crackdown on unlicensed lyric sites
LEGAL Grooveshark executive killed
Spanish file-sharing site operator jailed
DEALS Cherrytree allies with Kobalt on publishing venture
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Warner's ADA Worldwide announces promotions
Distiller appoints new A&R Manager
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Scooter Braun to launch $120 million music investment fund
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Myspace makes redundancies
ARTIST NEWS ABBA, Culture Club might reunite
Daltrey et al set sights on Keith Moon biopic
RELEASES Morrissey confirms commemorative Satellite Of Love cover
Release round-up: Marissa Nadler, David Lynch, Jhene Aiko and Drake
GIGS & FESTIVALS Festival line-up update: Groezrock, Hurricane, Carfest and more
AND FINALLY... Quitting Take That cost me £1.5 million, claims Robbie
Azealia Banks = Kanye West, apparently
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US publishers plan crackdown on unlicensed lyric sites
The lyrical side of online piracy - that is to say the publication of lyrics without licence - has been an issue ever since the web first started to gain momentum in the latter part of the 1990s, even if the music publishing sector's counter activity hasn't been as high profile as the record industry's assault on the unlicensed distribution of digital audio files.

But the problem persists, or so says the US National Music Publishers' Association, which said in a press briefing yesterday that it was issuing takedown notices against the 50 "worst offenders" in illegal lyric publishing, implying that legal action could follow against any sites that refused to remove unlicensed lyrical content or do a deal with the publishers. Most of those sites targeted carry advertising alongside the lyrics they publish without permission.

The 50 sites on the NMPA's target list have been identified via research conducted by Camper Van Beethoven frontman and The Trichordist blogger David Lowery. NMPA boss David Israelite told reporters yesterday: "These lyric sites have ignored the law and profited from the songwriters' creative works, and the NMPA will not allow this to continue. This is not a campaign against personal blogs, fan sites or the many websites that provide lyrics legally. NMPA is targeting 50 sites that engage in blatant illegal behaviour, which significantly impacts songwriters' ability to make a living".

If the NMPA chooses to go legal over any of the targeted websites, the publishing trade body will cite successful action against unlicensed lyric sites in the past. Though the website at the top of Lowery's list of worst offenders in lyric piracy will likely put up a fight, because Rap Genius is an online community that encourages users to annotate and comment on the lyrics of famous tracks to provide background and context to the words. The venture, set up in 2009, scored $15 million in investment from a tech venture capital firm last year.

The New York Times quotes an email from Rap Genius co-founder Ilan Zechory responding to yesterday's NMPA statement, in which he says: "The lyrics sites the NMPA refers to simply display song lyrics, while Rap Genius has crowdsourced annotations that give context to all the lyrics line by line, and tens of thousands of verified annotations directly from writers and performers. These layers of context and meaning transform a static, flat lyric page into an interactive, vibrant art experience created by a community of volunteer scholars".

Zechory added that he "can't wait to have a conversation with [the NMPA] about how all writers can participate in and benefit from the Rap Genius knowledge project".

Of course however admirable the Rap Genius venture may be, the music publishers will likely argue that the service still needs a licence to publish lyrics. Whether Rap Genius could cry "fair use" to circumvent the need to pay money to the publishers remains to be seen, their site does arguably constitute "critical analysis" (an element of fair use), though lyrics can also be accessed in full without criticism or context, which might void that exemption.

Either way, the NMPA's latest lyric site crackdown will be interesting to watch, and the case against Rap Genius even more so.

Grooveshark executive killed
It seems unlikely that the Grooveshark company will be focusing too much on its various legal woes this week, following the news that the firm's Director Of International Sales was shot dead this weekend, seemingly killed by a friend after an argument turned violent.

According to local media reports, Eddy Vasquez - who lives in Gainesville, Florida, the city where Grooveshark is based - last weekend returned to the Florida city where he had spent his teen years, St Petersburg, to attend a wedding. He then went out drinking with long-term friend Rodriguez Torres.

The sequence of subsequent events is not known, but an argument occurred between the two men at around 4am, which resulted in Torres fatally shooting Vasquez. Torres then grabbed a witness to the shooting and took him back to his apartment, where police rescued the hostage and arrested Torres at around 9am. He is currently being held on charges of armed kidnapping and second-degree murder.

Local newspapers say that while Vasquez and Torres attended university together and often socialised, their personalities were quite different, noting that Torres was known to be aggressive at times, especially when he had been drinking.

Vasquez joined controversial streaming service Grooveshark over two years ago and rose to the position of Director Of International Sales. The company's VP of Marketing Michael Yeon said in a statement yesterday: "[Eddy] was visiting friends and family in the Tampa Bay area over the weekend when he fell victim to a senseless act of violence. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague".


Spanish file-sharing site operator jailed
For years Spanish copyright law proved unhelpful when the music industry pursued the operators of file-sharing services through the courts, though legislative changes in the country have possibly created one of the most hardline systems for combating piracy.

According to Torrentfreak, a man who ran a BitTorrent indexing site in Spain, which was mainly used to provide access to mountains of unlicensed content, is facing an eighteen month jail sentence after being found guilty of criminal copyright infringement. The man was also fined 21,000 euros and banned from creating or managing websites for three years.

The sentencing comes at the end of a long running legal battle for the Spanish music industry, which began litigation against numerous file-sharing websites in 2006. Police action followed in 2007 with ten people being arrested. One of them was David León Marín, who ran the site Bajatetodo, and whose case finally reached its conclusion in court last month. His sentence was made public last week.

Although some will almost certainly say that jail time for the operators of file-sharing sites is too extreme, Spain's Federation For The Protection of Intellectual Property welcomed the ruling, which it says mirrors another case that reached its conclusion earlier this year and resulted in a similar sentence for another BitTorrent site administrator.

A spokesman for the Federation told Torrentfreak: "The significance of this ruling is that it confirms what other Spanish judges have also estimated, and what we have always maintained in our defence of intellectual property, which is that linking is an act of making available to the internet user and should be considered a continuing offence against intellectual property".

Cherrytree allies with Kobalt on publishing venture
Having renewed his business partnership with Universal Music for his label Cherrytree Records last year, songwriter and A&R man Martin Kierszenbaum has announced a new alliance with Kobalt that will see the creation of Cherrytree Music Publishing. Kobalt will invest in the new venture and provide administration and creative services to it.

Confirming the new alliance, Kobalt President Richard Sanders told CMU: "Martin Kierszenbaum exemplifies the true spirit of an entrepreneur in today's music business. We look forward to be partnering with him in his new venture".

While Kobalt's EVP Creative Benjamin Groff added: "Martin has one of the best track records in the music business; in signing, developing and breaking many of the biggest recording artists in the world. The Cherrytree brand is synonymous with excellence in modern music, and I have immense excitement having the opportunity to work with Martin, and for Kobalt to represent Martin's Cherrytree Music Publishing clients".

Kierszenbaum himself said: "I'm excited to be starting Cherrytree Music Publishing in partnership with Kobalt, Richard and especially Benjamin, who's been a good friend and colleague for a long time. With their expert support, I'm looking forward to extending the Cherrytree philosophy to protect and amplify our recording artists' and management clients' creative visions to serve songwriters with the same attention and care".

Warner's ADA worldwide announces promotions
Warner Music's independent distribution and label services division ADA yesterday announced two promotions.

First Ari Taitz becomes COO of ADA Worldwide, and will work with that division's President Mike Jbara on "shaping global strategy and operations". Second Kenny Weagly becomes Senior VP A&R and Label Services, with a global remit to attract new artists to the Warner services business.

Confirming the appointments, Jbara told CMU: "Ari and Kenny have played major roles in ADA's strong performance and success in attracting and meeting the needs of extraordinary indie talent. Together, our goal is to build on ADA's reputation as the first-choice partner of the indie community, by expanding our ability to move as a swift, cohesive global unit, and deliver powerful, innovative opportunities for extraordinary music".


Distiller appoints new A&R Manager
The Distiller Music Group yesterday announced the appointment of Dan Market - who has previously worked in artist and label management, and most recently at Hideout Recordings - as the indie's new A&R Manager.

He will report to Alan Pell, who became Distiller's Group MD last month, and who told CMU yesterday: "Dan is passionate about music and has a great ear for exciting new music. His track record of discovering and nurturing interesting artists speaks for itself and I am looking forward to adding his creative talents to the existing team here".

Market himself added: "This is a very exciting time for independent music companies and Distiller is well positioned to build on its existing success moving forward. I am really pleased to have joined a great set up here and look forward to working as part of a dynamic and passionate team".

Scooter Braun to launch $120 million music investment fund
Scooter Braun is preparing to launch a $120 million investment fund in partnership with various big name artist managers and musicians, as well as figures from the tech and film industries, according to The New York Times.

Much of the money in the fund has reportedly been raised from investment firm Waddell & Reed Financial, while others Braun is said to have signed up include Drake, Shania Twain manager Jason Owen, 'The Dark Knight' producer Thomas Tull and former Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter. Braun's most famous client, Justin Bieber, is also said to be involved.

Quite what the investment fund will invest in isn't clear, though it is thought the initiative would get involved in both music tech and music rights ventures.

Myspace makes redundancies
As it continues to regain traction in the social media world, Myspace last week made 5% of its staff redundant, reports the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Chris Vanderhook of current Myspace owner Specific Media told the publication: "We're implementing changes at Myspace to support continued innovation and growth by streamlining operations to achieve profitability. We appreciate our team's contributions to Myspace over the years, and are offering outplacement services and severance packages to assist impacted employees".

As previously report, Specific, led by Vanderhook and his brothers Tim and Russell, bought Myspace from NewsCorp in 2011 for $35 million (considerably less than the $580 million Murdoch's company paid six years earlier). Around half of the site's 400 staff were laid off immediately after the sale and 8% of Specific's own staff went shortly after that.

The all-new Myspace eventually went live in public beta in January this year, and after an initial flurry of interest seemingly failed to hold the majority of users' attention - including token staffer Justin Timberlake, who seems to have distanced himself from it somewhat.

Whether the latest redundancies will indeed act as a streamlining exercise to aid Myspace's slow journey back to the top, or actually mark the beginning of the end, remains to be seen. Though we've learnt not to predict the date of Myspace's death.

  Approved: Metronomy
Over two years on from the release of their third album 'The English Riviera', Metronomy have announced that they will release their new LP, 'Love Letters', on 10 Mar next year.

'The English Riviera' marked a change in sound for Metronomy and a transition to a more explicit band set-up, rather than being the solo project of frontman Joseph Mount, and the first track from the new album, 'I'm Aquarius', carries on that development.

A dreamy sounding record, which encircles you with entrancing loops of sound, it's initially available through stargazing iOS app 'The Night Sky', playing when users point their iPhone or iPad at the Aquarius constellation. Or you can just buy the track of iTunes, but where's the fun in that?

The band have also announced that they'll play a show at The Old Market in Brighton on 29 Jan, with pre-sale tickets on offer to fans who pre-order the album.

For anyone who doesn't fancy buying a stargazing app or a track download, listen to 'I'm Aquarius' here.
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ABBA, Culture Club might reunite
The ex-ABBA member least likely to be keen on the band reuniting, Agnetha Fältskog, has hinted at the possibility that just such a thing might happen in 2014, in time for the 40th anniversary of 'Waterloo' winning Eurovision. Well, possibly.

Interviewed by German rag Welt Am Sonntag, the singer - who last appeared on stage with bandmates Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson in 1982 - said the celebration is set to be a "big deal", adding that nothing had been revealed to her yet about anniversary plans, but that she'd rather not know until the last minute anyway.

In her own words: "There are probably plans to make a big deal of the anniversary. If such an event should take place, and I had advance notice, I would stress myself out over it".

Fältskog's latest solo LP, 'A', was released earlier this year.

In other possible reunion news, it looks like top pop slimmer Boy George is keen for another Culture Club reformation to occur. Spilling to The Sun On Sunday (on Sunday), BG said he'd already met guitarist Roy Hay to talk over plans to make a new LP in the New Year, adding that he'd ideally like Brian Eno to produce it.

"It will be a new record, completely new", he claimed, stating the obvious. "There's no point just doing it for nostalgia... We're certainly going to do it".


Daltrey et al set sights on Keith Moon biopic
A biopic about The Who's Keith Moon is on the cards, its backers, film cos Exclusive Media and Da Vinci Media Ventures, confirm. Roger Daltrey is involved in the plans too, which are - in short - to chronicle Moon's life from the band's swingin 1960s rise to fame, to his tragic death in 1978.

A Moon biopic has been in consideration for a while now, with Mike Myers once named (and approved by Daltrey) as a possibility to take the role back in 2002.

Morrissey confirms commemorative Satellite Of Love cover
Morrissey is to release his version of Lou Reed's 1972 single 'Satellite Of Love' to honour the late singer-songwriter, who died last month of course.

Taped live at the Las Vegas-based Chelsea Ballroom back in 2011, the cover will be available - digitally and on twelve and seven-inch vinyl - via Parlophone on 2 Dec.

Moz said at the time of Reed's death: "He has been there all of my life. He will always be pressed to my heart. Thank God for those, like Lou, who move within their own laws, otherwise imagine how dull the world would be".


Release round-up: Marissa Nadler, David Lynch, Jhene Aiko and Drake
Soft-pop dreamer Marissa Nadler has revealed she has a new LP titled 'July' to release in... February 2014. Billed to arrive on 4 Feb, it'll feature eleven tracks, the first-to-emerge of which is 'Dead City Emily'.

Moving on, saviour-of-quinoa David Lynch has let loose a new song he recorded whilst working on his newest LP, 'The Big Dream'. Released this very day as a limited edition twelve-inch single, paired with its Venetian Snares remix, this here is 'Bad The John Boy'.

Def Jam-signed R&B lady Jhene Aiko, who's second-to-last on Solange's celestial 'Saint Heron' compilation (and sings on Drake's 'Nothing Was The Same' single 'From Time'), is casting off a new EP, 'Sail Out', today, and from that has dealt a new track featuring Kendrick Lamar. Take in 'Stay Ready (What A Life)' now.

And talking of Drake, he premiered his 'Worst Behaviour' clip yesterday. It guest stars Drake's dad, so be nice and view it here.

Festival line-up update: Groezrock, Hurricane, Carfest and more
First off, Belgian spring fling Groezrock has fired off its first round of line-up fixtures, who include The Offspring, The Hives, NoFX and Boysetsfire.

Up next is German fest Hurricane's first draft of artists, which features headliners Arcade Fire and Bring Me The Horizon, Interpol, The 1975 and Belle & Sebastian.

And with today's main big-hitters done, read on to find extra updates via Carfest, Bloodstock, HRH Blues and this year's Vans Warped Tour London date:

CARFEST, Oulton Park Race Circuit, Cheshire, 1-3 Aug 2014/Laverstoke Park Farm, Hampshire, 22-24 Aug 2014: Erasure, Seasick Steve, Bellowhead, The Lancashire Hotpots.

BLOODSTOCK, Catton Hall, Walton-on-Trent, Derbyshire, 7-10 Aug 2014: Crowbar, Children Of Bodom, Obituary, Evil Scarecrow.

GROEZROCK, Gestel, Meerhout, Belgium, 2-3 May 2014: The Offspring, NoFX, The Hives, Alkaline Trio, Boysetsfire, Screeching Weasel, Snuff, The Menzingers, Modern Life Is War, H2O, La Dispute, Bodyjar, Norma Jean, Doomriders, Funeral Dress, Astpai.

HRH BLUES, Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, Gwynedd, Wales, 21-22 Mar 2014: Jo Harman, Grainne Duffy, Vargas Blues Band, Buck And Evans, Pat McManus, Heavy Weather, Pontus Snibb, Crowsaw, The Idle Hands, The Graveltones.

HURRICANE, Eichenring, Scheeßel, Germany, 20-22 Jun 2014: Arcade Fire, Volbeat, Bring Me The Horizon, The 1975, Seeed, Casper, Fat Bread, Motor Club, Dropkick Murphys, Interpol, Belle & Sebastian, The Wombats, Thees Uhlmann & Band, Flogging Molly, Donots, Jennifer Rostock, Numerous Shows, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Young Rebel Set, We Butter The Bread With Butter, Apologies I Have None, Circa Waves, I Heart Sharks.

VANS WARPED TOUR, Alexandra Palace, London, 16-17 Nov: Lonely The Brave, The Color Morale, The Dirty Heads.

Quitting Take That cost me £1.5 million, claims Robbie
Robbie Williams was left £500,000 in debt after he quit Take That in 1995, the singer has told Radio Four show 'Mastertapes'. Breaking his contract, he said, cost him £1.5 million, more than wiping out all the money he had made as a member of the group.

Williams said: "For reasons I can't go into because certain people like suing me - and they like winning - there was a big need for me to get out of my contract and out of that record company. I think I made a million or something in Take That and then it cost me a million and a half to get out of the deal. So as a 20-year-old I ended up coming out of Take That owing £500,000".

On how he came to leave, he explained: "At the time I was drinking really heavily. I'd said to the boys, 'This will be my last tour'. We went for a curry the night before everything happened. We were taking a competition winner out for dinner, it mustn't have been a very nice evening for them! And I went back to the hotel and got drunk again, got up the next day, went into rehearsals and I wasn't in a very good way".

He continued: "During the afternoon, Jason Orange said, 'Bob, we need to sit you down and have a chat. So you're going to leave after this tour and what we've decided is, we think it's best you go now, so we can prove we can do this as a four-piece. What do you think?' That was the opening of the door. That's all I needed. They watched me walk away".

Listen to the full interview, looking at the recording of Robbie's debut solo album 'Life Thru A Lens', via the BBC iPlayer.


Azealia Banks = Kanye West, apparently
Blushing hip hop ingénue Azealia Banks has claimed she and Kanye West are equals in the 'avant garde rap' stakes, a boast I think we'd find more convincing if she were to, say, release 'Broke With Expensive Taste' already. To her credit (or possibly not), she and West do share a flair for talking themselves into beefs, which is a nice way of saying neither knows, or cares, when to shut up.

Speaking to Elle, Banks, whose long-on-the-boil first LP seems more improbable as each day passes, says: "Kanye is a genius. Kanye and I are like the same person but boy and girl. We're pulling from the same cloud, the same inspiration. We're both Geminis, we're the two premiere avant gardists in hip hop music. It's just me and him. I think our consciousnesses are swirling around each other in some weird kind of way".

Erm. Yep. This is Azealia's totally far-out, cash machine-themed collaboration with hardly-hired R&B hand Pharrell Williams. It's 'ATM Jam'.

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 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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