An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Wednesday 27 Aug 2014
 
TODAY'S TOP STORY: MIA's long-running dispute with Super Bowl owner the National Football League is at an end, with an undisclosed settlement having been reached. As previously reported, MIA raised her middle finger during a guest spot in Madonna's half-time performance at the 2012 edition of the Super Bowl. The sporting body claimed that, by raising her finger, MIA breached a contractual commitment to ensure her... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: The twin daughters of late Franco-Cuban musician Miguel 'Anga' Diaz, kind-of-identical sisters Naomi and Lisa-Kainde released their first EP as Ibeyi (which means twins, just in case their relationship was already completely clear) recently via a still-wet deal with XL Recordings. First off that agreement came the single 'Oya' - a cold, bony paean combining shades of the pair's African lineage with... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES MIA's long-running middle finger dispute with NFL is over
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LEGAL Early Drake associate sues Cash Money over profit share
Universal sues maker of VH1/Smirnoff DJ contest
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MANAGEMENT & FUNDING More Momentum funding confirmed
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Australian streaming service Songl to close
Spotify freemium mobile reaches Windows Phones
New CEO at Gracenote
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RELEASES Slipknot detail fifth LP
Sophie and AG Cook present QT
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Kwabs to play free set in Manchester
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AND FINALLY... Elvis coming back from the dead to sell stuff
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MIA's long-running middle finger dispute with NFL is over
MIA's long-running dispute with Super Bowl owner the National Football League is at an end, with an undisclosed settlement having been reached.

As previously reported, MIA raised her middle finger during a guest spot in Madonna's half-time performance at the 2012 edition of the Super Bowl. The sporting body claimed that, by raising her finger, MIA breached a contractual commitment to ensure her performance didn't negatively impact on the "tremendous public respect and reputation" enjoyed by American football.

Even though the finger moment led to only a smattering of formal complaints from the Super Bowl's 111.3 million viewers, the NFL pushed for compensation from the rapper through a process of arbitration, at one point asking for $16.6 million in damages. As the dispute rumbled on, MIA went public about it all, questioning the NFL's argument that her finger raising had damaged American football's otherwise untarnished reputation.

Her lawyer Howard King embellished on that point at the time, telling The Hollywood Reporter: "The NFL's claimed reputation for wholesomeness is hilarious in light of the weekly felonies committed by its stars, the bounties placed by coaches on opposing players, the homophobic and racist comments uttered by its players, the complete disregard for the health of players and the premature deaths that have resulted from same".

Whether going public about the dispute while arbitration continued behind closed doors helped MIA's case isn't known. Though the NFL did risk further damaging the reputation it was seeking to protect by pushing too hard for mega-damages. Especially given MIA's side kept pointing out that if the incident had been so bad, media regulator the FCC would surely have intervened. Which it did not.

Either way, a settlement has now been reached, King has now confirmed to ESPN. Terms will remain private, though so far there has been no apology from MIA, which was one of the things the NFL was pushing for.

Early Drake associate sues Cash Money over profit share
Hip hop producer Jas Prince is suing Cash Money Records, claiming that the label cut him out of profits due as part of an agreement acknowledging his work with Drake.

According to Entertainment Law Digest, Prince worked with the rapper during the early stages of his career, and was involved in his signing an agreement with Aspire Music Group, through which Drake would license his recordings. As part of that deal, says Prince, he was due a cut of any profits and advances earned from Drake's music.

In a complaint filed last week in Miami, Prince says that in July 2009, Drake and Aspire, neither of whom are being sued, signed a deal with Cash Money, which brought in a $2 million advance. Prince says that it was then agreed that Cash Money would pay money owed under his Aspire agreement directly to him.

Since then, the lawsuit says, Cash Money has repeatedly made payments of less than expected, including one in November last year which "was at least $5 million less that what as owed". The label then, it is claimed, failed to provide complete accounting documents when asked.

Prince is now seeking $4 million in damages from Cash Money, as well as access to Cash Money's full Drake-related accounts to ascertain what exactly he is owed.

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Universal sues maker of VH1/Smirnoff DJ contest
Universal Music has sued the makers of a DJ competition that airs on VH1 in the US called 'Master Of The Mix', claiming that the telly show failed to licence the songs and recordings that featured in its third series.

Interestingly, Universal's lawsuit - which lists both recording and publishing subsidiaries of the mega-major as plaintiffs - goes after production companies involved in making the programme, rather than VH1 as its broadcaster (for the offending third series, it started off on other Viacom-owned networks) or Smirnoff as its sponsor.

And while it might seem odd to suggest that someone might go after a sponsor in a case like this, 'Master Of The Mix' is more what marketing people would called 'branded content' than a straight sponsorship arrangement, in that it was made with Smirnoff in mind, the show's winner becomes the drinks brand's official DJ for a year, and the brand's owner Diageo has reportedly invested in the franchise. And while Smirnoff is not named, the branded entertainment company behind the show and Smirnoff's involvement, GTM Inc, is among the defendants.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal claims that the programme properly licensed all the music used in its first two series, but failed to do so for the third, during which it used 93 songs repped by Universal's publishing business, and 115 recordings released by its labels.

The defendants are yet to respond.

More Momentum funding confirmed
Another round of Momentum Music Fund grants already, surely not? Well, actually, yes. The PRS For Music Foundation has announced details of the very latest artists to received funding from the Arts Council backed initiative.

And if you were even partially curious as to who is getting the loot this time, well, you're going to find this list both intriguing and illuminating.

Amplify Dot (for the release of a new album)
Dems (for the marketing and promotion of a debut album)
Femme (for the release of a third single)
Josephine Oniyama (for a second album)
Låpsley (for the release of three EPs, touring and live setup)
PINS (for the recording and release of a second album)
Public Service Broadcasting (for the recording of a second album)
Solomon Grey (for the recording of a debut album and promotion)

And as if that wasn't enough fine musical funding to be getting on with, there'll be more soon. The next deadline to apply to the Momentum Music Fund is, well, today, which is rather short notice. After that the next deadline is 28 Oct.

Australian streaming service Songl to close
Australian streaming service Songl has announced that it is to close, eighteen months after its official launch.

A message on the company's website reads: "Unfortunately, we are not continuing our on demand music subscription service after 25 Sep 2014. If you are a Songl Subscriber or 30 day trialist, you will get instructions on how to export and save all of your personal playlists via the desktop for use on other streaming services".

As previously reported, after a period of beta testing, Songl launched in March last year. Owned by radio firm Southern Cross Austereo, the service was launched in partnership with Universal Music and Sony Music and attempted to distinguish itself with curated playlists by DJs from SCA's roster of radio stations. Which clearly worked really well for them.

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Spotify freemium mobile reaches Windows Phones
The free mobile version of Spotify already available to iPhone and Android phone owners is now available to all you Windows Phone users out there too. And you know who you are.

No longer will you have to pay £10 a month for the full Spotify experience. Now you can take the limited functionality ad-funded free version instead, which has the added benefit of paying lower royalties to artists. Hurray for paying less money to artists. No? Oh.

Anyway, here's that Steve Guggenheimer from Microsoft getting all excited about Spotify being made available for free on Windows Phone. "We're excited to see Spotify made available for free on Windows Phone", he says.

And here is Spotify's Director of Product Dave Price, who, as you all know, is all about bringing more music to more people. Says Price: "We're all about bringing more music to more people. Today we're doing just that by bringing the best free music experience to Windows Phone users across the globe".

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New CEO at Gracenote
Music data firm Gracenote has a new CEO in the form of John Batter, the company's newish owner Tribune has confirmed.

He takes over from Shashi Seth, who was President of Tribune Digital Ventures and had been an interim CEO at Gracenote since the former acquired the latter. Seth is departing the group entirely.

Batter, who will also become an Exec VP of Tribune Media, previously ran online video company M-Go, where he was a customer of Gracenote's data services.

He told Billboard that this experience convinced him of the importance of metadata in the "digital ecosystem", adding: "I think it is as critical to the digital experience as sound and pictures are to the movie. It helps get consumers to what they want to watch".

  Approved: Ibeyi
The twin daughters of late Franco-Cuban musician Miguel 'Anga' Diaz, kind-of-identical sisters Naomi and Lisa-Kainde released their first EP as Ibeyi (which means twins, just in case their relationship was already completely clear) recently via a still-wet deal with XL Recordings.

First off that agreement came the single 'Oya' - a cold, bony paean combining shades of the pair's African lineage with 'Westernised' electronics - and now follows muscular single 'River', the striking yet disquieting video for which finds the twins being dipped and held in a pool of water, and singing alternately, glassy-eyed, into the camera.

Take in the visuals to go with both tracks, 'Oya' and 'River', now.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Slipknot detail fifth LP
Slipknot have signed off on a fifth LP called '.5: The Gray Chapter', which will be released on 20 Oct.

The band's first big release in over six years, it features their recently released track 'The Negative One' and newly previewing lead single 'The Devil In I'. And its title, unmistakably, is a nod to the band's late bassist Paul Gray, who died from an accidental overdose in 2010.

Giving an insight into what it was like for him and his bandmates to go into the studio without Gray, vocalist Corey Taylor told The Pulse Of Radio: "It was almost like getting to know each other again".

He went on: "We were all kind of grieving in our own way and dealing with things in our own way, and knowing that we had to be healthy to go in, we had to be creative to go in, and knowing that we were gonna have to fill this huge void, we just kind of took it upon ourselves to make up for that emptiness by being a little bit of Paul. Like we were all a little bit of Paul in our own way".

Below is a list of the tracks on 'The Gray Chapter', and this is the 'The Devil In I' video.

XIX
Sarcastrophe
AOV
The Devil In I
Killpop
Skeptic
Lech
Goodbye
Nomadic
The One That Kills the Least
Custer
Be Prepared for Hell
The Negative One
If Rain Is What You Want

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Sophie and AG Cook present QT
So approved 'Bipp' hit-boy Sophie and producer AG Cook (ringleader of the divisive PC Music label) have confided on a collaborative single titled 'Hey QT'.

'QT', by the way, is the 'face' (this face) and voice of the track, engineered by the pair to "stretch the notion of what a popstar actually is". Basically, she might not be real.

Still, 'she' (whatever she is) has already released her first item of merchandise, a new 'Energy Elixir'. Whilst QT the drink isn't available to drink yet, here it is spinning endlessly on the world wide web.

And this is 'Hey QT' the single, which is on sale now via XL Recordings for £1.93.

Kwabs to play free set in Manchester
Rising presence on 'Brit R&B' scene Kwabs, real name Kwabena Sarkodee Adjepong, is headed right into the Manchester-based Chadderton swimming baths on 1 Sep, not only to take a dip, but also to 'do' one of Nokia's Lumia Live Sessions.

With Kwabs taking the headlining spot, the show will also play host to Sinead Harnett, aka the 'feat' voice on Disclosure's track 'Boiling'. Entry is free by registering for tickets, which are available by sending an email to lumialive@thisismission.com

And while we're at it, this is Kwabs' new single 'Walk', which is released on 29 Sep.

Elvis coming back from the dead to sell stuff
Hey, it's that thing you've all been waiting for - an official Elvis 'hologram' (more an optical illusion) available for "exciting entertainment and branding opportunities". The late singer's estate has entered into a deal which will allow him to go to work and earn a living, even in his continued death.

The virtual Elvis will be created by Pulse Entertainment, the company behind performances by dead musicians including Tupac. CEO Frank Patterson said in a statement: "We are thrilled about this partnership because we created Pulse to bring brilliant performers like Elvis to the millions of people who love him. Through this digitally re-imagined Elvis, new and younger audiences will be able to see firsthand why he is called the King of Rock n Roll".

Meanwhile Jamie Salter, CEO of Authentic Brands Group, which manages the Evlis estate in partnership with the Presley family, added: "For us, working with Pulse is about the opportunity to present Elvis to a new generation of fans who would otherwise never get to see him perform. Our goals for a digitized Elvis are integrity and authenticity, to provide fans with an experience that they love and are proud to be a part of".

Earlier this year, another of the artists 're-imagined' by Pulse, this time Michael Jackson, got the company involved in a bit of legal action. Hopefully this flogging of a dead horse/singer will go more smoothly.

 
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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