An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Thursday 10 Jul 2014

TODAY'S TOP STORY: UK collecting society PRS For Music confirmed this morning that the grand Global Repertoire Database project has run aground, though said that it remained "committed to the principles of a single point of works registration" and hoped lessons learned from the GRD could be employed in future song ownership data ventures. The GRD was the most recent bid by the music publishing sector to... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Over the last five years, Canadian producer Lunice has released acclaimed remixes, a couple of solo EPs, and worked with the likes of Diplo, Azealia Banks and Hudson Mohawke - the latter as one half of TNGT. Late last year, Lunice and HudMo announced that their joint project was going on hold while they focussed on their solo careers again. And in the race to realise that goal - because it is a race... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES PRS confirms Global Repertoire Database "cannot" move forward, pledges to find "alternative ways"
LEGAL Justin Bieber sentenced to two years' probation over egg attack
Insane Clown Posse appeal dismissal of lawsuit against FBI
LABELS & PUBLISHERS New board members appointed at AIM AGM
Some Proper appointments
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Brian Message stands down as MMF Chair
EDUCATION & EVENTS Indie Label Market happening this weekend
RELEASES Beck to release Song Reader album
Christopher Owens to bear new LP, A New Testament
Yelle detail Dr Luke-mixed LP
65daysofstatic release short film with unreleased music
Gwilym Gold to release new single next week
GIGS & FESTIVALS Earl Sweatshirt feels spent, cancels live dates
Marika Hackman confirms winter shows
AND FINALLY... Orbit defends Speers over leaked audio clip
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PRS confirms Global Repertoire Database "cannot" move forward, pledges to find "alternative ways"
UK collecting society PRS For Music confirmed this morning that the grand Global Repertoire Database project has run aground, though said that it remained "committed to the principles of a single point of works registration" and hoped lessons learned from the GRD could be employed in future song ownership data ventures.

The GRD was the most recent bid by the music publishing sector to create a central database that documents the owners, beneficiaries and administrators of lyrical and musical copyrights, enabling licensees to more easily identify who controls any songs or musical works they wish to make use of, and facilitating the more efficient distribution of royalties to the corporations and/or individuals who are due payment.

With no statutory obligation to register copyright works in most territories, accessing that information is often tricky, and while the collecting societies - which collect and distribute royalties when collective licensing is employed by the publishers - are sitting on a big chunk of that data, no one society has the uber complete database, and much of that information isn't public domain anyway.

The need for a central database has become ever more pressing in recent years as the number of licensees of music booms, while the per-play royalties paid by some of those licensees are tiny, meaning extra efficient royalty distribution is required.

Meanwhile legislators, even those who have been friendly to labels and publishers asking for new measures to combat online piracy, are regularly calling for a simplified licensing framework in the music business, and a central database of copyright ownership info is essential to achieving that ambition.

The GRD was initially backed by all the big publishers, most of the significant publishing sector collecting societies, and some of the digital players who need access to the data. ICE, the joint venture between PRS For Music and Swedish colleting society STIM, was appointed as a technology provider, Deloitte were handed the business development role, consultations took place, reports were issued, and offices opened.

But rumours have been rife that the GRD venture was in the process of unravelling since earlier this year as the project started to miss its self-set deadlines. Some also noted that as various collecting societies moved into multi-territory licensing in the digital domain - they having generally previously only provided licenses in their home territories in the live, broadcast and public performance space - joint ventures were being formed that had their own central database elements. So that a number of mini-GRDs were now in development in addition to the uber-GRD. Which wasn't necessarily the best use of resource.

As then late last month word came in that the GRD had collapsed, with sources telling Music Week earlier this week that, after £8 million in investment, the venture had been "scrapped due to a fall-out of collection societies over funding". And this morning PRS, as one of GRD's key backers, confirmed the project was no longer moving forward.

The society said in a statement: "We are disappointed the GRD cannot move forward as planned, though we remain committed to the principles of a single point of works registration and reconciliation of ownership shares under broad stakeholder governance. These principles remain key to the efficient processing of multi-territory licences and accurate distribution of royalties across all usages of creative works. We are actively studying alternative ways of achieving these goals, taking full advantage of the learning gained from the GRD project to date".

Quite what those "alternative ways" might be remains to be seen. Many felt that for the GRD to work pretty much everyone involved in music publishing needed to be involved - which they more or less were - but it seems unlikely anyone is going to whip up enough consensus anytime soon to launch a similarly joined-up approach. Yet if different societies develop competing central databases, will they be willing to share data? Because if not you end up with several central databases none of which are a central database.

One possible alternative, therefore, is to go the opposite route, force the publishers and societies to make their databases public domain, and then let third parties develop the uber-database for song rights, and let the market decide which one best does the job. Some argue that having the societies involved in this venture at all, beyond becoming data providers, is counterproductive, because if and when the publishers start licensing digital services directly, an efficient repertoire database would render the societies redundant in that domain. And with the bigger societies all busy expanding their digital and multi-territory operations, they won't want that.

Though whatever "alternative ways" PRS and the other collecting societies come up with, the International Confederation Of Music Publishers, which brings together the music publishing sector's trade bodies worldwide, is hoping to proceed with GRD Lite, based on some of the specifications developed for the main GRD project. The ICMP hopes that if it can get the streamlined database off the ground, it might tempt the collecting societies back into the venture down the line.

Its Chair Andrew Jenkins told Music Week: "Everybody knows that the industry needs a Global Repertoire Database, and that the only efficient way to cost-effectively manage data is with a single, reconciled, authoritative database. Anyone who has seen the results of the Deloitte data assessment during the recent GRD process knows that the time for a GRD is now".

He goes on: "The GRD certainly didn't fail because it wasn't the right thing to do. We have to try to move forward with those who are willing to build a 'GRD Lite' - a GRD in small steps if you like - which could develop over time into the Global Repertoire Database we always should have had".

Justin Bieber sentenced to two years' probation over egg attack
Justin Bieber has been given a sentence of two years probation in relation to charges of throwing eggs at his neighbour's house. Or 'misdemeanour vandalism' as it was called in court, after his lawyers successfully negotiated away from a threatened felony charge which would have had harsher sentencing implications.

In addition to the non-prison sentence, Bieber, who entered a plea of no contest but was not present in court to hear the ruling, was also ordered to pay damages of $80,900, do five days of community service and complete an anger management programme. In a statement outside court, Bieber's reps said: "Justin is glad to get this matter resolved and behind him. He will continue to move forward focusing on his career and his music".

There is also the matter of the two other criminal cases against the singer too - for DUI and assault - but at least the egg thing is done with.


Insane Clown Posse appeal dismissal of lawsuit against FBI
Insane Clown Posse have filed an appeal against the decision to dismiss their case against the US Department Of Justice and the FBI.

As previously reported, the lawsuit relates to the FBI's 2011 'National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends' report, which listed 'Juggalos' - the collective name of the rap duo's fans - as a "hybrid gang". ICP and a number of fans who claim to have been affected negatively by their association to the band as a result of the report sued, re-filing their case in January having hired a new legal team from the American Civil Liberties Union Of Michigan and law firm Miller Canfield.

Last month, the DOJ called for the judge presiding over the case to dismiss it, on the grounds that it cannot be held responsible for how information in the FBI's report is used, and that Juggalos were dropped from the list of gangs in the report last year anyway. Last week, the judge complied with that request, agreeing that the fans named in the lawsuit had suffered due to law enforcement agencies and the US Army, rather than the FBI.

In a statement, ACLU Of Michigan's Legal Director Michael Steinberg said: "The only way to remedy this injustice for all innocent Juggalos is to start with the root of the problem - the FBI's arbitrary and erroneous branding of hundreds of thousands of music fans as gang members. There is no doubt that the FBI created this problem and the solution begins there as well. Otherwise, we'll be playing whack-o-mole to stop local law enforcement agencies from discriminating against our clients, when the agencies are just following the FBI's lead".

The duo's Joseph Bruce, aka Violent J, added: "This is not the end - we'll keep fighting to clear the Juggalo family name. There has never been - and will never be - a music fanbase quite like Juggalos, and while it is easy to fear what one does not understand, discrimination and bigotry against any group of people is just plain wrong and un-American".

The court has not yet responded to the appeal.

New board members appointed at AIM AGM
It was the Annual General Meeting of the Association Of Independent Music yesterday, and in amongst the proceedings four new board members were appointed.

Standing down to make room for the newbies were Ruth Daniels of Fat Northerner Records, Billy Grant of 2Point9, Al Mobbs of Ambiguous Records and Simon Wills of Absolute Marketing & Distribution. Meanwhile new to the board are Nathan 'Barley' Phillips of Invictus Music & Media, Tim Dellow of Transgressive Records, Stephen Richards of Lucky Number Music and Paul Sanders of The state51 Conspiracy.

And if you thought all that would result in a quote from AIM CEO Alison Wenham, it turns out your thoughts are more accurate than perhaps we previously believed. Said Wenham: "This has been a pivotal twelve months for AIM, one in which we have had to fight harder than ever to protect the rights of our members in the face of numerous, ongoing challenges. We remain, however, a deeply united and committed organisation with members who are passionate and optimistic about the independent sector".

She went on: "We have also launched several groundbreaking initiatives in the first half of 2014 such as new easy-to-access financing opportunities for independent music companies and a groundbreaking new licensing scheme with the BBC, which will deliver tangible benefits to our sector. I would like to welcome our four new board members and to express my deep gratitude to those who are retiring this year. Their hard work and support has been hugely appreciated".


Some Proper appointments
Proper Music Distribution yesterday confirmed a number of promotions, with Carol Zuma becoming Head Of Finance, Erica Day Head Of Inventory & Logistics, and Esther Tewkesbury Head Of Product & Marketing.

Together with Head Of Technical Services Aaron Black and Proper Music Group's MD Drew Hill, who is also acting as an interim Head Of Sales, the newly promoted execs will form the day-to-day management team for the distribution company, reporting into the Proper Group's board.

Elsewhere in Proper appointment news, the firm has recruited Gray Warner, formerly with Warner Music and most recently its Parlophone label services unit, who becomes Label Manager at the independent music group.

Confirming all of this, Hill told CMU: "Our recent restructure puts us in a stronger position than ever, and I'm very pleased to have Carol, Erica and Esther in these new senior positions alongside Aaron. Likewise, I'm delighted to welcome Gray to the business and am sure his experience at Parlophone and Warner will be of significant benefit to us going forward".

Brian Message stands down as MMF Chair
After four years in the job, Brian Message, he of ATC Management or "Radiohead's manager" if you prefer, is stepping down as Chair of the Music Managers Forum. Two people will take over the role, Diane Wagg and Stephen Budd.

Confirming that he was stepping down from his formal MMF position, but that he would continue to lobby on behalf of the management community on a key issue, he told reporters: "Stepping back from my duties as Chair of the MMF allows me time to focus on the economics of music streaming, in particular, how revenue from fans actually gets back to artists and managers. New rules need to be set so that all those within the music value chain can benefit and feel good about the structure".

Meanwhile, confirming their appointment as Co-Chairs of the trade group, Wagg and Budd said in a statement: "It is an honour to follow in Brian's footsteps after the tremendous work he has done, serving the interests of managers and their artists. We are excited and privileged to be continuing that good work".

Indie Label Market happening this weekend
What are you doing this coming Saturday?

Mmmhmm. Mmmhmm. Mmmhmm.

Yeah, that sounds cool and all, but what say you instead swing by this year's AIM-backed Independent Label Market, which is going on all day in Spitalfields, East London, alongside the London Brewers' Market's summer edition?

Over 80 labels (Rinse to R&S, Brille to Brownswood, Dummy to Domino, Heavenly to Hyperdub, XL to Xtra Mile and... so on) will be selling vinyl, CDs, cassettes and merch at the event, whilst Deek boss Bullion, Cloud Boat, New Build's Felix Martin and the brilliant Reginald Omas Momode IV are all down to DJ on the sidelines.

It starts at 11am, so arrive early to get all the prime rarities and signed items, many of which will be signed on-site by the relevant artists.

RSVP to the fair here, and click here to see a list of the exclusives set to go on show.

  Approved: Lunice
Over the last five years, Canadian producer Lunice has released acclaimed remixes, a couple of solo EPs, and worked with the likes of Diplo, Azealia Banks and Hudson Mohawke - the latter as one half of TNGT.

Late last year, Lunice and HudMo announced that their joint project was going on hold while they focussed on their solo careers again. And in the race to realise that goal - because it is a race - Lunice just took a slight lead, this week slipping new single 'Can't Wait To' online.

An aptly-titled track, its tightly-wound beats and pulsing vocal samples constantly feel on the verge of unleashing something much bigger. If it was intended to build excitement for his debut album, which is due for release on LuckyMe at some point, then it's working.
CLICK HERE to read and share online

Beck to release Song Reader album
Beck has announced the release of an album of songs from his 'Song Reader' book recorded by artists including Jack White, Jarvis Cocker, Laura Marling and others.

As previously reported, 'Song Reader' was published in 2012 by Faber & Faber as a collection of previously unrecorded songs. Beck then invited other artists to perform their own interpretations of them, and later did so himself too.

Says Beck of turning the project into an album: "Like a kid getting a special package in the mail and opening it up with anticipation, these interpretations of songs from the 'Song Reader' book have surpassed what I could have imagined when putting the book together. The book addressed the idea of a song in its most elemental form, letting others give it a voice. It amazes me to hear how these musicians have made the songs their own and in the process revealed that the interpretation is the living breathing soul of the piece. These interpretations have made the book something new - something better".

Released on 28 Jul through Universal/Capitol, proceeds from the album will go to the 826 National, a US charity which helps children through creative writing.

The full tracklist and line-up of guests looks like this:

Moses Sumney - Title of this Song
Fun - Please Leave A Light On When You Go
Tweedy - The Wolf is on the Hill
Norah Jones - Just Noise
Lord Huron - Last Night You Were A Dream
Bob Forrest - Saint Dude
Jack White - I'm Down
Beck - Heaven's Ladder
Juanes - Don't Act Like Your Heart Isn't Hard
Laura Marling - Sorry
Jarvis Cocker - Eyes That Say "I Love You"
David Johansen - Rough On Rats
Jason Isbell - Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings
The Last Polka - Marc Ribot
Eleanor Friedberger - Old Shanghai
Sparks - Why Did You Make Me Care?
Swamp Dogg - America, Here's My Boy
Jack Black - We All Wear Cloaks
Loudon Wainwright III - Do We? We Do
Gabriel Kahane & Ymusic - Mutilation Rag


Christopher Owens to bear new LP, A New Testament
Ex-Girls man Christopher Owens is back with a reply to his first solo LP 'Lysandre', a dozen-song sonnet to "earnest, simple songwriting" titled 'A New Testament'.

Releasing on 29 Sep, it is, says Chrissie, "inspired by the fundamentals of American music", namely gospel, country and R&B, and features pedal steel guitarist Ed Efira, and also Owens' one-time Girls collaborators John Anderson, Dan Eisenberg and Darren Weiss.

Chris adds by way of a billing: "Picking the songs for this record was exciting enough for me, because they're some of the ones that speak to me the most, of my memories, real life experiences, my battles, my victories. And the excitement, the joy, the sincerity, the craftsmanship, it's all captured on this record. A new testament".

Find a 'New Testament' tracklisting below, and the clip for its lead single 'Nothing More Than Everything To Me' here.

My Troubled Heart
Nothing More Than Everything To Me
It Comes Back To You
Oh My Love
Nobody's Business
A Heart Akin The Wind
Key To My Heart
Over And Above Myself
Never Wanna See That Look Again
Overcoming Me
I Just Can't Live Without You (But I'm Still Alive)


Yelle detail Dr Luke-mixed LP
Peppy French synthpop three Yelle have shed a night bright light on their new LP 'Complètement Fou'. Inspired by the band's view that their international mass appeal is 'totally crazy', it's being released via nemesis-of-Ke$ha Dr Luke's Sony imprint Kemosabe (in America) on 30 Sep. It'll be available here on 29 Sep because... because it just will.

And indeed, Dr Luke is the one who mixed the record, having discovered the band via their remix of Katy Perry's 'Hot N Cold'. Not that Yelle realised he was a 'big deal'. "We didn't know who he was", admits Yelle leader Julie Budet to Billboard, adding: "In France, nobody knows the name Dr Luke because nobody cares who is making the music. They are more into the artist, but not into the producer. He came to one of our shows in LA in 2010, then we started to send e-mails to each other. One day we Googled his name and we realised, 'Okay, Dr Luke is huge'".

Yes, he is. As is lead 'Complètement Fou' single 'Bouquet Final', aka this track.


65daysofstatic release short film with unreleased music
65daysofstatic have released a new short film, titled 'Oscillator', featuring music recorded during the sessions for last year's 'Wild Light' album.

Say the band: "Our sixth album, 'Wild Light', was released last year and was only ever the more coherent surface elements of a semi-explored planet, the tip of the iceberg if you like. That's still out there in various forms, discs of preserved oil and torrent files and so on".

They go on: "'Oscillator' is a 20 minute film we made, a less-diluted collection of off-cuts and lost edits; late night smartphone videos and unused music; real-time noise experiments using diegetic audio on a long stretch of European motorway; code-based sound generators and unmapped kinect territories, as well as footage from the dead cities and exceptional states of 2013's 'Sleepwalk City' A/V installation".

Watch the film here.

You can also catch the band live at the following dates:

28 Jul: Cardiff, The Globe
29 Jul: Reading, Sub89
30 Jul: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms


Gwilym Gold to release new single next week
Having made his first album available as an ever-changing app, Gwilym Gold has unveiled his new project, which is borne of a collaboration with performance artist Eddie Peake, titled 'Muscle'.

The song came out of a collaborative project between Gold and Peake at the White Cube gallery, which saw the former improvising a soundtrack to a dance piece orchestrated by latter. Over six weeks last year, along with Ben Esser and Alexis Nunez, Gold played to the movements of five dancers for eight hours a day, four days a week.

Gold will play a much shorter, but I'm sure very good, one-off free show at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch on 17 Jul. If you want to go, you'll need to email and make your intentions known.

'Muscle' will be, in its twelve-inch vinyl form, the first release on Peake's new Hymn label. It'll be made available digitally by Kaya Kaya on Monday too. You can listen to it now here.

Earl Sweatshirt feels spent, cancels live dates
Slender-framed rapper Earl Sweatshirt has cancelled a series of imminent live appearances, citing "lack of self-maintenance" of both mind and body.

Basically, Sweatshirt is feeling a bit threadbare right now, and so won't play this year's T In The Park NOR either of Odd Future's ensemble PAs opening for Eminem at Wembley Arena. On the bright side, his taking a break seems likely to mean we'll be getting new LP from him a bit faster than if he'd stayed on the road.

Explaining the situation via Twitter earlier this week, Earl said: "I sincerely apologise to any of y'all who planned to see me at these next couple festival dates. Due to lack of self-maintenance I had to press eject on the tour. I am physically and mentally at the end of my rope. I weigh a fraction of what I'm supposed to, and without synergy between the body and mind there is nothing. No point in performing if it's not the best show I can give every time".

He added finally: "Now I am home I can get healthy and get this album out to y'all while it's still fresh".


Marika Hackman confirms winter shows
Willowy folk lady Marika Hackman has confirmed a chain of choice Brit shows, this following the release of her seven-track 'mini LP', 'That Iron Taste', last year.

While she writes a longform one for release later this year, why not pass the time by scanning the list of dates to find one close by? And then, head to Marika's website on Friday for tickets.

3 Nov: Edinburgh, Electric Circus
4 Nov: Carlisle, Brickyard
5 Nov: Sheffield, The Harley
6 Nov: Liverpool, East Village Art Club
8 Nov: Manchester, Gullivers
9 Nov: Leeds, The Wardrobe
10 Nov: Leicester, The Musician
11 Nov: York, The Duchess
13 Nov: Birmingham, The Sunflower Lounge
14 Nov: Nottingham, The Bodega
16 Nov: Bristol, Birdcage
17 Nov: Norwich, Epic Studios
18 Nov: London, XOYO
19 Nov: Cambridge, The Portland Arms
20 Nov: Brighton, Green Door Store

And complementing all that, here's a fresh-yesterday clip of Hackman singing 'Wolf', a track featuring on her 2013 EP 'Sugar Blind'.

Orbit defends Speers over leaked audio clip
So, there may be a studio outtake doing the rounds seemingly featuring that Britney Speers singing her track 'Alien' all wobbly and out of tune and whatnot, but you're not to think that that means she can't sing, and that everything we've ever heard coming from her mouth has been auto-tuned to fuck (a bit of sound-engineering jargon there) to cover up her lack of tuneful noise-making skills.

Oh no, she was warming up, see? And you wouldn't rate runners on their pre-race stretching exercises, or actors on their pre-show breathing and chanting routine, or footballer on their pre-game piss-up, so don't be making assumptions about young Britney based on these wobbly warm-up vocals. Or so says producer on 'Alien', Mr William Orbit.

Writing on Facebook he said: "I have heard that Britney vocal link that everybody's been discussing. It has been impossible not to as there have been many comments directing my attention to it. I'd like to affirm that ANY singer when first at the mic at the start of a long session can make a multitude of vocalisations in order to get warmed up".

He goes on: "Warming up is essential if you're a pro, as it is with a runner doing stretches, and it takes a while to do properly. I've heard all manner of sounds emitted during warm-ups. The point is that it is not supposed to be shared with millions of listeners. A generous singer will put something down the mic to help the engineer get their systems warmed up and at the right level, maybe whilst having a cup of herb tea and checking through lyrics before the session really kicks off. It's not expected to be a 'take'. I think that 99% of you reading this will totally understand".

And as for you 1%, well, fuck you with your lack of understanding of Britney's warm-up routine. Next thing you'll be going to check out this clip everyone's talking about but, ha, looks like its been taken down by Sony. That'll teach you.

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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