An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Thursday 31 Jul 2014

TODAY'S TOP STORY: So, the assets of MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom were being discussed in court again this week, on two separate levels. First up, as previously reported, both the US authorities and the American music and movie industries have called for assets seized from Dotcom when his MegaUpload enterprise was shutdown by the feds in 2012 to remain frozen. Dotcom is, of course, accused of enabling rampant... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Having released their 'Tender Opposites' LP back in 2012, Canadian band Tops, the main sideline of Paula wizard David Carriere, have wisely taken their time in making a new one, chipping away at their sideways line in idiosyncratic pop and feeding in a string of preview singles. The newest of those, 'Way To Be Loved', plays at the top of the tracklisting to the band's latest LP, which is titled 'Picture You Staring'... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Dotcom assets back in court
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Peermusic and APRA/AMCOS do pan-Asian licensing deal
LIVE BUSINESS US festival ditches R Kelly following criticism
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Stephen Bryan leaves Warner Music for SoundCloud
7digital promotes Paul Shannon
MEDIA RAJAR Round Up: 6 out-performs 3 (just), Radio 2 still biggest
Physically released music videos to require age ratings from October
ARTIST NEWS Banks unhappy with Neon Jungle cover
Damon Albarn busy, but not with Blur
Lily Allen off Bridget Jones musical
RELEASES Led Zep announce more album re-issues
Gerard Way details solo LP
GIGS & FESTIVALS White Lung stop to confirm UK shows
Tall Ships playing small 'LP preview' dates
AND FINALLY... Tom Petty don't dance
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Dotcom assets back in court
So, the assets of MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom were being discussed in court again this week, on two separate levels.

First up, as previously reported, both the US authorities and the American music and movie industries have called for assets seized from Dotcom when his MegaUpload enterprise was shutdown by the feds in 2012 to remain frozen.

Dotcom is, of course, accused of enabling rampant copyright infringement by running MegaUpload, and is facing both criminal and civil action as a result. However, attempts by the US to extradite the Mega founder have been long drawn out, and a court in New Zealand earlier this year said that assets seized back in 2012 should now be returned; Dotcom's lawyers say their client needs access to that money to help fund his defence.

Needless to say, prosecutors in New Zealand acting for the Americans have appealed that decision, while the record companies and movie studios also want the frozen assets to remain so, because they are suing for damages for the alleged copyright infringement, and want to make sure there's plenty of former Mega money available for them to receive should they prevail in that litigation.

A court considered the appeal this week, though is yet to reach a decision. Meanwhile a separate conversation was had about the monies Dotcom does have access to, with some questioning how the Mega chief can afford to continue to live a seemingly lavish lifestyle while pumping money into new business ventures and political causes.

To that end Dotcom's enemies reckon the Mega chief is accessing assets from his former business that were hidden from the authorities, and a New Zealand judge has now demanded he account for all his assets "wherever they are located" by 20 Aug. For his part, Dotcom insists the money he is currently spending comes from business ventures outside and subsequent to MegaUpload.

Finally, in Mega news, back in the US a court has agreed to postpone the civil litigation against Dotcom from the major labels and movie studios until at least 1 Apr 2015, now that we know an extradition hearing regarding the criminal proceedings against him won't happen until at least next year. Team Dotcom don't want any civil litigation reaching court until any criminal action has run its course.

Peermusic and APRA/AMCOS do pan-Asian licensing deal
Music publishing company Peermusic and Australasian song rights collecting society APRA/AMCOS have announced a new pan-Asian licensing agreement. Under the deal, APRA/AMCOS will represent Peermusic's catalogue in all Asian territories, except Japan, on a non-exclusive basis.

Peermusic's President Of Asia-Pacific And Strategic Markets Mary Megan Peer said of the partnership: "At a time when digital music use is growing in all countries in this region, licensing our catalogue to digital services is increasingly important. By leveraging the APRA/AMCOS team's experience in digital licensing and strong backend systems, we expect to be able to license and collect more efficiently, creating a better experience for licensees and increased income for our writers".

APRA/AMCOS CEO Brett Cottle added: "Users are consuming music in more ways than ever before and we are working hard to ensure songwriters are fairly compensated for the value their work creates ­ no matter where, how or when it is delivered or consumed. We're excited to increase the opportunity for Peermusic's diverse catalogue to reach audiences throughout Asia as new legal mobile and online music and audio-visual platforms gain traction. In many cases Asia is at the forefront of these new digital services and we are proud to be the trusted partner throughout the region for both Universal and now Peermusic. We look forward to bringing other publishers into the fold".

Traditionally in the scenarios where collecting societies license on behalf of publishers and songwriters they do so only in their home territories. However, in the digital domain, this has proven limiting, as most digital services want to operate in multiple countries. To that end in Europe some collecting societies are now offering multi-territory licences for some of the catalogues they represent. Meanwhile in Australia, APRA/AMCOS entered into a partnership with Universal last year that is similar to the new Peermusic deal, so that it also represents the major in various Asia Pacific countries on digital matters.

US festival ditches R Kelly following criticism
A festival in Ohio has scrapped R Kelly as one of its headliners following criticism of the singer's booking, due to ongoing allegations of sexual abuse.

Although the Fashion Meets Music Festival, which is due to take place at the end of August, initially defended Kelly's appearance on its line-up, calls for it to cancel the booking continued to grow, with two bands, Saint Seneca and Damn The Witch Siren, pulling out of the event in protest and local radio station WCBE 90.5 FM withdrawing its sponsorship.

On Wednesday, with no sign of the backlash dying down, organisers of the festival said in a statement that they and Kelly had "decided to part ways".

In a joint statement to Columbus Alive, FMMF and Kelly said: "Fashion Meets Music Festival and headlining artist R. Kelly have come to the mutual decision to cancel Kelly's upcoming performance at the inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival".

Kelly also released a separate statement via a spokesperson, saying: "R Kelly is sorry to disappoint his fans, but looks forward to seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours".

As previously reported, Kelly was acquitted of a number of child abuse charges in 2008, though questions over the handling of the trial and other accusations against him, particularly the number of out of court settlements he has reached with accusers, still raise doubts about his innocence in some quarters.

Interest was renewed last year, when journalist Jim DeRogatis questioned Kelly's booking as the headliner of the Pitchfork Music Festival. DeRogatis published a detailed timeline of his investigation into accusations against Kelly, and was interviewed by The Village Voice about it.

DeRogatis said: "He was tried on very narrow grounds. He's never had his day in court as a rapist. It's fifteen years in the past now, but this record exists. You have to make a choice, as a listener, if music matters to you as more than mere entertainment. And you and I have spent our entire lives with that conviction. This is not just entertainment, this is our lifeblood. This matters".

Kelly meanwhile dismissed the claims, telling US radio station V-103 when asked to comment: "When you get on top of anything, it's very windy. It's about holding your balance once you get up there... You have to spiritually be a climber".

Which doesn't really answers anything. He is now apparently working on a house album.

Stephen Bryan leaves Warner Music for SoundCloud
Warner Music Group digital exec Stephen Bryan has announced that he is departing the major after seventeen years to take up a new role at SoundCloud.

Currently WMG's Executive Vice President Of Digital Strategy And Business Development, Bryan will become SoundCloud's new Senior Vice President Of Business Development And Strategy. So that's a shortening of his job title by one whole word. Not sure if that had anything to do with the move.

Bryan told Billboard: "[The decision to move] had nothing to with WMG. When I joined, it was the very beginning of the digital transition - the reason why I stayed there so long is that I've always felt a deep passion to navigate this incredible transition to digital platforms. I think that change will accelerate in the near future, and a company like SoundCloud enables me to continue that".


7digital promotes Paul Shannon to VP Of Technology
7digital has announced the promotion of Paul Shannon to VP Of Technology. He replaces the departing Rob Bowley.

Says 7digital CEO Simon Cole: "I'm really pleased that we have very quickly been able to promote from within and with such immediate success. It shows the strength of the team that Rob Bowley built for us here at 7digital and for that and all his dedication we thank him and wish him well".

Shannon added: "I'm tremendously excited to take on this new role and overwhelmed with the support from both 7digital's senior management team and technology team. My initial plan is to develop a technical strategy team formed of existing group members allowing them to get more involved in the direction of our team and API platform. I'm particularly looking forward to the new opportunities we'll find in digital music and radio, and want to make cutting edge technology the forefront of all our new adventures."

Shannon was made Assistant VP Of Technology at 7digital in 2012, having originally joined to lead the company's content ingestion team in 2011.

RAJAR Round Up: 6 out-performs 3 (just), Radio 2 still biggest
Ah, radio listening figures, that quarterly helping of audience stats from the radio industry's RAJAR body. Here's five snippets from the batch...

1. 6 Music is now bigger than Radio 3 (just) in terms of overall number of people listening, the former pulling in 1.89 million and the latter 1.88 million, despite 6 Music only being available on digital networks, while Radio 3 has an FM outlet. 6, of course, has seen its audience surge ever since the Beeb threatened to shut it down. Perhaps they should announce they're closing flagging R3 to give it an audience boost too.

2. Radio 2 continues to wear the 'biggest in Britain' badge, even though its overall number of listeners was down slightly on the last RAJAR quarter to 15.5 million. Though the station's Chris Evans breakfast show saw its audience rise again, compared to both the last quarter and the last year.

3. Radio 1 also enjoyed a slight increase in audience this quarter, as did its breakfast show fronted by Nick Grimshaw. Grimmy pulls in 5.97 million people aged 15+ a week, 6.39 million if you include kids under fifteen. And why wouldn't you?

4. In the commercial domain, good news for Capital FM which is the biggest commercial player in London ahead of Magic, Kiss and Heart, in that order, but not so good news for it's new sister station Capital Xtra, which has a RAJAR of 358,000 listeners daily, nearly half that pulled it by the station it controversially replaced, Choice.

5. Overall listening on the DAB digital network increased again, 7% year-on-year, so that 48.5% of the adult population is now listening to some radio on DAB. Elsewhere radio listening via the web and apps was up, while listening via digital TV was down.

For more juicy radio-based stat joy, take a look at this infographic RAJAR has put together.


Physically released music videos to require age ratings from October
The British Board Of Film Classification has confirmed that physically released music videos will, from later this year, be required to have age ratings from the organisation prior to being released.

As previously reported, this follows a review of the Video Recordings Act by the government, which was completed last year. Until now, only physically released music videos containing "extreme" content have required an age rating. Under the pending changes to the Act, anything that fits the criteria for a twelve certificate or above will have to be classified by BBFC examiners. Previously these would have been stamped 'exempt', or simply not put forward for review at all.

The changes had been expected to come into force in the spring, but will now become a legal requirement from 1 Oct.

The Video Recordings Act does not currently apply to digital platforms, where most music videos are surely consumed these days, though at the request of the government the BBFC and record industry trade group the BPI are jointly working on a pilot scheme for applying age ratings to online videos.

  Approved: Tops
Having released their 'Tender Opposites' LP back in 2012, Canadian band Tops, the main sideline of Paula wizard David Carriere, have wisely taken their time in making a new one, chipping away at their sideways line in idiosyncratic pop and feeding in a string of preview singles.

The newest of those, 'Way To Be Loved', plays at the top of the tracklisting to the band's latest LP, which is titled 'Picture You Staring'. Dipping into Tops' stylistic pop pool a la past tracks like 'Double Vision', it's a swirl of the outfit's typically offbeat melodic tendencies, but breathes a more meditative air than they usually go for.

The same is the case with 'Sleepwalker', which finds singer Jane Penny leaning into the lower, softer reaches of her voice, giving a sense that older is, indeed, wiser.

Hear both 'Way To Be Loved' and 'Sleeptalker' now.
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Banks unhappy with Neon Jungle cover
Banks is none too pleased with a cover of her 2013 single 'Waiting Game' appearing on Neon Jungle's debut long-player, 'Welcome To The Jungle'. Released this week, the album version of the track comes after the group recorded a live studio version for their Vevo channel earlier this year.

Writing on her Facebook page, Banks said: "People keep asking why I let Neon Jungle put my song 'Waiting Game' on their album when my album has yet to come out. The answer is I was never asked. I was as shocked as you to see this song made up of my own heartbeats on their album. A song that was born from my real life, my real heartache, my real fingertips when I was at one of the most confusing times in my life".

She continued: "How strange it is to see it used on someone else's album before it even comes out on mine. It makes me feel very uncomfortable. Like my own thoughts were stolen from me and sold as someone else's. I am a new artist and new to this business and I am told it is legal. But it feels really icky. I guess I can only hope 'Waiting Game' means as much to Neon Jungle as it did to me when I wrote it".

If she thinks that's bad, she should hear it when I sing it. And, in the case of the Neon Jungle version, she will at least get some money from it. Her 'people' are right that the group are not breaking any laws by covering her song, so long as they pay the required publishing royalties.

Anyway, now that this has become a thing, you're going to have to take sides.

Here's Banks' original

And here's Neon Jungle's live version


Damon Albarn busy, but not with Blur
Are you still waiting for Blur's reunion album? Well, the latest word is that it may never get finished. I think that might have been the previous word too. And the word before that. There have been so very many words.

In an interview for the latest edition of the NME, Albarn said that it "may just be one of those records that never comes out", adding that their decision to record in Hong Kong had proven a mistake: "There was too much commuting between where we were staying and where we were recording, and it was a bit too hot. I think that's why we didn't get it finished".

So, that's that. But there is a new Blur record coming out. Well, sort of. The band announced this week that they will release 'Live At The Budokan', a live album recorded in Japan in 1995, on 11 Aug. The album was originally only made available in the UK to members of the band's fanclub, but this remastered version will be made available to anyone at all.

Albarn has some solo things going on too. He's working on a musical work "based on a very beloved kids' book, but with a very modern take on it" for next summer. He doesn't say which book, but I'm guessing 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'. He's also playing a show at the Royal Albert Hall on 15 Nov, tickets for which will go on sale at 9am tomorrow. Robots welcome.

And lastly, he's just put out a new song, recorded for the soundtrack to new Luc Besson film, 'Lucy'. It's called 'Sister Rust' and you can hear it here.


Lily Allen off Bridget Jones musical
Lily Allen is officially 'no longer associated' with the musical adaptation of them Bridget Jones' Diary' films and, in fact, books.

In spite of having already written love songs to fridges and other things for the score to the show, which has been a in the making since 2011, Allen has now told The Sun that she is "out of the picture", with her tracks consigned to the bin by the musical's makers, adding: "I wrote some great music for it, but [original 'BJ' author] Helen Fielding wants to go back and write a whole new story. It's been a long-term project and I was happy to do my bit".

So there, she did her bit, and no one can possibly say or do fairer than that. Still, it's a bit of a blow to the musical, which as far as anyone knows at the moment doesn't have anyone on board to write its soundtrack. Maybe Rita Ora's free to do it, I really have no idea. She's usually available though.

Led Zep announce more album re-issues
Following other re-issuey business last summer, Led Zeppelin have announced plans to continue this year by putting out new versions of their fourth and fifth albums, 'Led Zeppelin IV' and 'Houses Of The Holy'.

Both records will be available in a variety of physical and digital forms, all remastered by Jimmy Page himself and bolstered with demo and discarded mixes of songs from each album that he found in a cupboard somewhere. For example, there is a mix of 'Stairway To Heaven' done at Sunset Sound Studios. Imagine.

If you plump for the big box set versions, you'll not only get them on CD and vinyl, along with a number printed of the album cover, but also a download of all the audio in 24bit studio quality.

But what about the chance of some new Led Zep work, or just them playing the old ones live again? You should probably continue to not hold your breath. Frontman Robert Plant has told the Express that actually it's Page holding things up, which is the opposite of what Page himself has previously said.

Says Plant: "I feel for [Jimmy]. He knows he's got the headlines if he wants them. But I don't know what he's trying to do. So I feel slightly disappointed and baffled. A couple of years ago I said, 'If you've got anything acoustic, let me know. I'll give it a whirl'. It was hands across the water. He just walked away. But we couldn't do anything proper. The weight of expectation is too great".

Well, anyway, both of these re-issues will re released by Warner/Atlantic on 27 Oct.


Gerard Way details solo LP
Now that his Chemical Romance is over and done with, orangey-haired man Gerard Way has confirmed a release date for what will be his first solo LP, 'Hesitant Alien'. Basically, it'll be available on "9.30.14", which clearly is simply an American way of saying 29 Sep.

More is revealed in a teaser trailer, and this memo from Way, who says: "I wanted to make the small things sound big. My intention was to make 100% uncompromised art, using the currently least radio-friendly instrument, the guitar. I knew there would be lots of fuzz pedals. I knew I would play Fender instruments. I knew I would look at who my guitar heroes were in art school, Mary Timony and Carrie Brownstein, and I drew a lot of influence from shoe-gaze and Britpop. I want the record to sonically galvanize people".

"Sonically galvanize", that has to sting. Here's that teaser trailer to ease the pain.

White Lung stop to confirm UK shows
Ascendant Canadian punks White Lung are due to plug their current LP, 'Deep Fantasy', on a just-announced tour of the UK. So, now you know.

So the dates are probably a priority, and they are like so:

3 Nov: London, Shacklewell Arms
4 Nov: Brighton, Green Door Store
5 Nov: Manchester, Soup Kitchen
6 Nov: Glasgow, Stereo

Next is the video to White Lung's 'Deep Fantasy'-featuring new single 'Face Down'. Plant yours in it now.


Tall Ships playing small 'LP preview' dates
Bearded band Tall Ships are sailing off on a disproportionately small tour of the nation's littlest dives in October. They do so in order to preview their TBC new LP, which will follow 2012's 'Everything Touching'. Be there, or don't.

Here are the dates and a clip advertising them:

8 Oct: Manchester, Soup Kitchen
9 Oct: Bristol, Christmas Steps
10 Oct: London, Old Blue Last
11 Oct: Brighton, Prince Albert

Tom Petty don't dance
Something from the 'old men complaining about things' file now, and Tom Petty has spoken to USA Today about the many things that annoy him. Things like modern pop music, the way other people record albums, the sound quality of MP3s, religious hypocrisy, and the state of US politics. He covered it all.

He's also not, you may be surprised to learn, a massive fan of DJs playing at festivals. Or EDM-focussed festivals at all. "Watch people play records? That's stupid", he winced. "You couldn't pay me to go. I'm not oversimplifying it. That's what's going on. I don't think it would be any fun without the drugs. It's a drug party".

Need more convincing? Well, Petty actually predicted the two drug-related deaths at last month's Las Vegas Electric Daisy Carnival. He said: "You take that many kids to Vegas in the summer, what could go wrong? I knew it as soon as I saw the ad. I went, 'Ooh, dead people'. Do you need the money so bad that you'll put some kid's life at risk?"

Of course, as sad as it is when it happens, if you put 300,000 people in one place for a period of time, statistically, there's a high chance someone will die. So it's probably unfair to say that by putting on an event you're consciously putting people to death. After all, people die at the sorts of festivals Petty plays too.

Are EDM festivals just 'drug parties' though? Let's ask David Guetta.

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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