An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Thursday 12 Jun 2014

TODAY'S TOP STORY: It's a good job the Beastie Boys have retired from making music, otherwise they wouldn't be able to focus all their energies on their real passion: copyright litigation. Having recently prevailed in two copyright disputes they instigated, out of court with toy company Goldiebox and in court with drinks firm Monster, there's still the matter of the infringement case being pursued against the rap group. [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Hot weather time is high time to appreciate John Wizards, a band whose easy psych tropicalia (I can confirm, having seen them at this year's Field Day) shines brightest in the heat. JW is the pet creation of Cape Town scatterbrain John Withers, who in his pre-wizarding days was an advert jingle-writer. Withers and his kaleidoscopic crew released an LP last year, threading a vibrant... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Amazon Prime Music streaming service launches in the US
LEGAL Beastie Boys and Universal hit back in 'Paul's Boutique' copyright claim
LABELS & PUBLISHERS NMPA reveals value of US publishing sector, says copyright rules holding industry back
Plácido Domingo urges governments to stand up for copyright
Warner's Max Lousada to head up BRITs Committee
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Lady Gaga manager allies with Live Nation
MARKETING & PR New recruits at PR firm LD
ARTIST NEWS Björk's Biophilia first app added to MoMA's collection
Willis Earl Beal exits XL's Hot Charity, confirms new independent LP
Moby writes a book
RELEASES DFA 1979 detail new LP
Blonde Redhead announce new album
Allah-Las releasing new LP
GIGS & FESTIVALS J-Lo opening World Cup. The end.
AND FINALLY... Brian Wilson bummed out by haters
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Amazon Prime Music streaming service launches in the US
Amazon has launched its much talked about streaming music service in the US, offering access to "over a million songs" to its Amazon Prime customers (1,192,003, to be exact). However, it has seemingly launched without a deal with Universal in place.

Amazon Prime Music joins Amazon Instant Video as an add-on to the company's Prime next day delivery service. And you can argue about the devaluation of music all you like, but when it's given away for free with a next day delivery service, that proves it's worth something, right? Right?

Anyway, the streaming service offers ad-free access to a relatively small catalogue of songs (compared to the likes of Spotify, et al), which is shrunk further by the absence of any Universal material.

The small catalogue isn't just down to licensing issues though. The music it offers seems deliberately curated, with playlists pushed up front when you log in, before a selection of popular albums, such as Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories' and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 'The Heist', and tracks.

Like with Amazon Prime Instant Video, upselling downloads is a prominent part of the service, with physical versions also receiving a small push. Individual songs, playlists and albums can also be added to Amazon's Cloud Player digital locker service, along with purchased digital tracks.

The service certainly seems to be going for a mainstream audience, and one which is perhaps less comfortable with the idea of access-over-ownership. Tapping this market is perhaps a shrewd move, potentially hoovering up the less engaged music consumers who are put off by the vastness of other streaming services. It may also grab some of those people yet to come over to digital music at all, who remain important for the future of the streaming sector at large.

Or, of course, it might fall somewhere in the middle and please no one. Hurrah!

Beastie Boys and Universal hit back in 'Paul's Boutique' copyright claim
It's a good job the Beastie Boys have retired from making music, otherwise they wouldn't be able to focus all their energies on their real passion: copyright litigation.

Having recently prevailed in two copyright disputes they instigated, out of court with toy company Goldiebox and in court with drinks firm Monster, there's still the matter of the infringement case being pursued against the rap group.

As previously reported, the day before Beastie Boy Adam Yauch died in 2012, often litigious US label TufAmerica sued the group alleging that they had sampled tracks by US band Trouble Funk in some of their earlier tracks without permission. TufAmerica said that it now represented the copyrights in those sampled works via a 1999 administration deal with Trouble Funk.

Even though it had taken over a decade to do anything about the samples - the label said it had only recently become aware of them - last year a judge refused to dismiss TufAmerica's case, confirming that the use of the Trouble Funk songs 'Say What' and 'Let's Get Small' on the Beastie's 1989 album 'Paul's Boutique' was "qualitatively and quantitatively significant", and therefore there was a case to answer.

But in their latest filing on the matter, surviving Beastie Boys Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz, and the label that released 'Paul's Boutique', Capitol, have presented a new argument that they hope will kick the lawsuit out of court. Yes the rappers may have sampled 'Say What' and 'Let's Get Small' in a "qualitatively and quantitatively significant" way but, you know what, Capitol Records owner Universal, and not TufAmerica, owns the copyrights in those tracks. So fuck you, TufAmerica. (I'm paraphrasing.)

The filing means that this whole case will now centre on agreements signed by Trouble Funk members in the 1980s. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal, which acquired the Capitol label via its EMI acquisition in 2012, says that Trouble Funk signed a deal with Island Records, now also a Universal subsidiary, in 1984, and again in 1989, which gave the label ownership of the sound recording copyrights in 'Say What' and 'Let's Get Small'.

And while the publishing rights - which TufAmerica also says it now represents - are more complicated, Universal claims that Trouble Funk members James Avery and Tony Fisher assigned their rights in the two songs to a publisher and, via acquisitions, those copyrights ended up with the Polygram music publishing firm which, of course, subsequently morphed into Universal Music Publishing. And while that wouldn't give the mega-major complete control of the songs, under US copyright law TufAmerica is not allowed to sue a co-owner of a copyright work. They shoot, they score!

It remains to be seen how TufAmerica responds to all this, though Universal says Avery and Fisher are willing to confirm the deals referenced in the major's legal papers. So, could the Beastie Boys be heading for their third copyright win in a season? They may just.

NMPA reveals value of US publishing sector, says copyright rules holding industry back
America's National Music Publishers' Association has estimated that the country's music publishers generate about $2.2 billion in revenue each year, but that, people, is about half what they should be making because of "outdated copyright law and government regulations". See, sometimes it's the copyright owners saying copyright law isn't fit for purpose in the digital age.

As previously reported, the big music publishers want to start negotiating the 'public performance' bit of their deals with the main streaming services directly, rather than using their collecting societies for such arrangements, because the minute you start dealing through the collective licensing system you open yourself up to extra rules and regs which, the publishers reckon, mean you make less money.

But in the US that plan has been scuppered by the courts, which says that under the 'consent decrees' signed by the music publishing sector's main two collecting societies, ASCAP and BMI, the publishers can't pull out of collecting society negotiated digital licenses while still using the collective licensing system for traditional radio and other public performance of their songs. The publishers reckon that's because the 'consent decrees' are outdated, and the Department Of Justice has now pledged to review the way collective licensing is regulated in the US, where rules do seem particularly strict on this issue.

Though whether a shift to direct licensing of services like Pandora would really double the music publishers' revenues is debatable. The NMPA says it based its estimates on the deals its big members had negotiated with iTunes Radio and Pandora before the courts forced the publishers to stick with collective licensing in the digital domain.

But Pandora et al might argue that there is a finite amount of money available, given most streaming services already pay the majority of their revenues to the music industry, and therefore any major increase in publisher payments would have to complemented with a reduction in the monies paid to the labels.

And, if pushed into a corner, the big music rights companies which own major record companies and publishing firms would prefer more money to come in via their labels, because labels usually have to share a lot less of the loot with their recording artists, compared to what cut of the money is paid by publishers to songwriters. But annnyyyyywayyyy.

NMPA boss David Israelite told reporters: "We are finally able to capture what the industry is worth and, more importantly, what our industry is losing. The new digital marketplace is changing how songwriters and their music publishing partners can thrive. As the marketplace evolves, it is essential our industry no longer be hamstrung by outdated laws and government regulation".

The music publishers are generally less forthcoming with revenue stats than the record industry, and this is the first time the NMPA has issued figures of this kind, partly as a result of new data requirements being placed on its membership. The trade body also revealed that while just over half of its industry's revenue comes from performance licensing, 23% comes from mechanical licensing (the publishers' cut of record sales mainly) and 20% from


Plácido Domingo urges governments to stand up for copyright
Your mate Plácido Domingo urged governments to stand up for copyright last night, speaking at a dinner for delegates of the International IP Enforcement Summit in London, staged by the UK's Intellectual Property Office and the European Commission's Office For Harmonisation In The Internal Market.

Speaking in his guise as Chairman of the record industry's global trade group the IFPI, Domingo told dining delegates: "There is a view - mistaken in my opinion - that in the digital world copyright matters less than in the physical world. It is emphatically not so. In fact, copyright needs protecting as vigorously - if not more vigorously - on the internet".

Honing in on the ongoing review of European copyright laws in Brussels, he went on: "Europe will this year have new Commissioners and a new Parliament. I urge them, in their review of copyright, to promote and protect copyright, not to weaken it. Please, do not allow artist and producers' rights to be eroded. Rather, look at how they can be better enforced".

And that will most likely involve the assistance of the big search engines, the IFPI would likely add, and while Domingo would never partake in any Google-bashing himself, he did allude to this element of the piracy battle, by saying: "We, in the creative world, cannot protect our rights alone. We need help from the bigger actors. The search engines, for example. When someone uses a search engine to find music, they should not be directed to illegal sources of music. This directly hurts artists and other creators".

He concluded: "Enlightened governments will understand that strong, properly-enforced intellectual property rights lead to a rich culture and economic prosperity".


Warner's Max Lousada to head up BRITs Committee
Warner Music UK's CEO Max Lousada has been named as the new Chairman of the BRITs Committee. So that's nice. For him. He replaces former Warner UK boss Christian Tattersfield in the top BRITs job.

In his new role, Lousada will oversee the strategic and creative direction of the UK music industry's big awards ceremony. His first action in this capacity is to appoint a new creative team, including Es Devlin as Stage Designer and Willo Perron as Creative Director.

Discussing his new role and the changes he's already enacted, Lousada said: "The BRITs is the UK's biggest showcase for music talent and one of the most anticipated events in the global entertainment calendar, so to lead the team behind it is both a great honour and an exciting challenge. At its heart, The BRITs is a celebration of creativity so it's fitting that our first appointments are Es and Willo, both of whom are synonymous with artistic excellence and have collaborated with some of the world's most exciting and inventive acts".

You'll be able to see if his work is triumphant or a disastrous pig's ear when the 2015 ceremony goes live LIVE LIIIIIIIIIIIVE at The O2 Arena in London on 25 Feb next year.

Lady Gaga manager allies with Live Nation
If you were still wondering what Lady Gaga was doing regards management since parting company with Troy Carter and his Atom Factory company last November, well, her affairs are being handled by former Carter employee Bobby Campbell, and they seemingly have been ever since she exited the Factory last year.

We know this because Campbell has just allied with Live Nation's artist management division Artist Nation, bringing the Gaga with him as his primary client. Live Nation have worked with the singer on the live side for a few years, and she may well have been behind Campbell's decision to join up with the live giant's management business.

Confirming the deal, Live Nation boss man Michael Rapino told Billboard: "Lady Gaga is one of the most iconic and highest-grossing artists of this generation. We have a long-standing relationship with Lady Gaga, dating back to her 2009 Fame Ball tour, and we look forward to continuing to support Lady Gaga and her manager Bobby Campbell in their careers".

Meanwhile Campbell said: "Lady Gaga and I have had an incredible relationship with Live Nation over the last five years. Their insight, strategic vision and global power have made them a truly invaluable member of our team. I'm ecstatic to be working even more closely with them in the years to come as we take Lady Gaga's career to new levels all around the world".

New recruits at PR firm LD
Entertainment PR firm LD Communications has announced two new appointments.

Jade Lancashire joins the agency from the BBC where she was a publicist for Radio 1 and 1 Xtra. She becomes a Senior Account Manager at LD and will be focusing on the company's various festival clients over the summer.

Meanwhile Mohammad Qazalbash has been appointed as an Account Executive as the company further expands its digital team.

And if you don't believe me, just look at this quote from LD MD Claire Singers: "We are delighted that both Jade and Mohammad are joining the LD team. Jade has delivered fantastic 360 degree press campaigns for both BBC Radio and all four BBC TV channels. We look forward to working with her and Mohammad and welcoming them to the LD team".

  Approved: John Wizards
Hot weather time is high time to appreciate John Wizards, a band whose easy psych tropicalia (I can confirm, having seen them at this year's Field Day) shines brightest in the heat.

JW is the pet creation of Cape Town scatterbrain John Withers, who in his pre-wizarding days was an advert jingle-writer. Withers and his kaleidoscopic crew released an LP last year, threading a vibrant print of snappish hip hop beats, R&B nuance, dazed disco and smiley highlife vibes with myriad tiers of a million African and international 'dance' genres, all laced as one in the most imaginative way.

In keeping with its own free-thinking terms and little else, 'John Wizards' floats in its own airspace like a daydream in which reality's limits don't apply, and any little whim is possible.

Switch off and drift away with JW singles 'Muizenberg' and 'Lusaka By Night', or in the band's direct presence when they play all the festivals, and headline London's Village Underground on 30 Oct.
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Björk's Biophilia first app added to MoMA's collection
The app created for Björk's 'Biophilia' album in 2011 is to become the first to be added to the New York Museum Of Modern Art's permanent collection.

Commenting, MoMA's Senior Curator in its Department Of Architecture And Design said: "'Biophilia' - a hybrid software application and music album with interactive graphics, animations, and musical scoring - reflects Björk's interest in a collaborative process that here included not only other artists, engineers, and musicians, but also splendid amateurs - the people that download and play the app/album".

I don't believe I've ever been called a 'splendid amateur' before. How lovely.


Willis Earl Beal exits XL's Hot Charity, confirms new independent LP
Mr Willis Earl Beal has cut loose from his one-time label, XL imprint Hot Charity and is branching out on his own.

Having signed to the label as its first in-house artist in 2012, he has released a pair of LPs since, in 2012's 'Acousmatic Sorcery' and 2013's 'Nobody Knows', following those with two independent mixes, 'A Place That Doesn't Exist and 'Curious Cool'. Beal is now set to self-release a new LP, "lo fi symphony" 'Experiments In Time' on 8 Aug.

Citing in a pretty deep and meaningful interview with Under The Radar a series of "very tedious circumstances" that arose between him and XL/Hot Charity, "like legal disputes, misappropriations of funds, songwriting credits", Beal adds: "Then, on top of that, I haven't had autonomy with when I want to release music. Rappers, they do mixtapes and all sorts of things. I had a very simplistic outlook as to what I could and couldn't do from the beginning and what all this would mean. In fact, I probably didn't even have an outlook at the beginning. All I saw was the good money I was being given".

And: "The alternative to not taking the money seemed to be just continuing a life of mediocrity. And I can't lie: signing a record deal was the best, most exotic thing that had ever happened to me. But it was incongruous with what I really needed. What I needed was the attention by the record label and the support of the record label, but I think I should have been signed to a more substantial subsidiary within XL Records, because the subsidiary I signed to [Hot Charity] was an upstart. I was the flagship artist. And with respect to the people involved, I just don't think that they were prepared - not only to deal with an artist but to deal with a human being".

Oh dear, that oughta sting.


Moby writes a book
Say what you want about Moby, he sure has stuck around for a long time. And now it looks like bits of that 'long time' are to form the basis of a new book charting the 'Porcelain' man's earlier days in NYC's East Village.

The now-acquired book will, Publishers Marketplace says, look back over Moby's life and times in the late 1980s whilst he was making what's perhaps still his most famed LP, 'Play', "in the midst of the crack and AIDS epidemic, and the rise of EDM and his unique vantage point as a white vegan in a predominantly black and Hispanic art form".

A unique vantage point. Yup.

DFA 1979 detail new LP
A New Death From Above 1979 LP titled 'The Physical World' is on its way over, the band have confirmed, which is kind of a big deal considering the ten year gap that's elapsed between this and their last (and first, in fact), 'I'm A Woman, You're A Machine'.

The pair, who split in 2006 only to reconcile in 2011, have been speaking to NME on the whole sordid affair, with drum/vocal man Sebastian Grainger saying: "No matter what Jesse [Keeler, bassist] and I do, on whatever scale of success it's sat on, there's always some kind of reference to Death From Above. It's only frustrating because it's so lazy. So we're putting out a Death From Above record and if the press is like, 'It's not what we expected', or however they react to it, it's like, 'Well, you've been fucking asking for it'".

Damn right 'the press' did. And here it is. Or rather, here it will be when it's released on 9 Sep via Warner Bros and Canadian label Last Gang Entertainment. And is there a teaser track? No there is not. There are, nevertheless, clips of new tracks playing via


Blonde Redhead announce new album
Blonde Redhead have announced that they will release their ninth album later this year. Entitled 'Barragán', the follow-up to 2010's 'Penny Sparkle' will be released through Kobalt on 2 Sep.

The band have also scheduled one lone UK performance to mark the new release, arriving at the Islington Assembly Hall in London on 29 Sep.

Have a listen to one of the album's ten songs, 'No More Honey', here.


Allah-Las releasing new LP
Dream-rock beatniks Allah-Las, specialists in loose n hazy pop pleasantries with a fake vintage-y air, have magicked a sophomore long player by the title of 'Worship The Sun', their first big move since an eponymous debut in 2012.

The California band can and will release it via Innovative Leisure on 15 Sep, laying the way with lead single '501-415', which follows along with a standard tracklisting to browse:

De Vida Voz
Had It All
Ferus Gallery
Nothing To Hide
Buffalo Nickel
Follow You Down
Yemeni Jade
Worship The Sun
Better Than Mine

J-Lo opening World Cup. The end.
Following differing reports, Jennifer (J-Lo)pez seemingly IS flying over to Brazil to sing and act 'fierce' at the opening ceremony of that there World Cup later today. So there.

Spreading the news earlier this week after widespread panic that she mightn't show on the big night, J-Lo told the Associated Press: "I'm coming. I leave tonight. We always were going. I think people get anxious, especially with me and my schedule when I'm like, 'Ah, OK, I can leave this day, that day, I don't know if we can make it'".

And: "People get nervous and I think it was a little bit premature to announce anything. But we are definitely going".

By 'we' she means herself, Brazilian popstar Claudia Leitte and, inevitably, Pitbull, who all feature on the official World Cup song 'We Are One (Ole Ola)'.

Addressing that matter, J-Lo has said: "I can't take credit for this. This was one of Pitbull's call-ins. He had this record and he's like, 'I think this record could be great for the World Cup'. He's like, 'Will you do it with me?' And I go, 'Yeah, of course'".

And what a truly fascinating insight into two of pop's greatest minds that was.

I guess I'd better link to the track in now. Orrrrr I could just, like, link to this instead.

Brian Wilson bummed out by haters
Brian Wilson is bummed out because a lot of people are bummed out about the guests he's got on his new album.

Wilson revealed on his website this week that the former Beach Boy has enlisted country singer Kacey Musgraves, Zooey Deschanel, Lana Del Rey and possibly Frank Ocean to duet with him on the new record, which is currently in production. A lot of Wilson fans, it seems, think that someone of his stature shouldn't lower himself to work with women and gays. Even if that's not what they said, it's what they were all thinking. Almost certainly.

Writing on Facebook, Wilson said: "It kind of bums me out to see some of the negativity here about the album I've been working so hard on. In my life in music, I've been told too many times not to fuck with the formula, but as an artist it's my job to do that - and I think I've earned that right".

He continued: "I'm really proud of these new songs and to hear these great artists sing on them just blows me away. I love what we've done. I would think that after making music for more than 50 years, my fans would understand that I'll always do what's in my heart - and I think that's why you are my fans. So let's just wait until the album comes out because I think you just might dig it as much as I do".

Indeed. A veteran musician taking an interest in and working with younger artists is a good thing. Especially if these are co-writes - because it means the copyright in the song will likely last longer (song copyright terms being linked to the death of the last co-writer) - and that's a nice nest egg to leave for future generations of Wilsons.

And it's especially good if it means there's someone on hand to stop a repeat of that time he tried his hand at 'young people's music' without the help of anyone actually involved in it.

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
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 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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