An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Thursday 28 Aug 2014
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Kim Dotcom's finances have been discussed in a New Zealand court once again, as the various legal shenanigans in relation to his former business MegaUpload continue to slowly and tediously go through the motions. As previously reported, in late July questions were asked about Dotcom's current financial affairs. Legal reps for the movie studios, which are suing him in relation to the rampant... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: One quarter of production outfit MJRLGZ, Phüey has just put out a new solo EP, appropriately titled 'Triumphant'. Also marking the first birthday of the Yesterday Once More label, it coming out a year and a day after the company's first release, the EP draws on a diverse range of influences from dance music past and present to create something truly captivating. Phüey's playful production style sees... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Kim Dotcom fights to keep finances a secret
A2IM backs .music TLD bid
LEGAL Company named in Universal's Smirnoff DJ contest lawsuit denies involvement
LABELS & PUBLISHERS New legal man for Merlin
RELEASES Emile Haynie reveals 'solo' single feat Sampha, Dev Hynes and Charl Gainsbourg
John Digweed & Nick Muir make off-grid LP with sci-fi writer Hawks
GIGS & FESTIVALS ZZ Top postpone shows after Hill falls
Don Broco on board for 2015 Kerrang! tour
Meshuggah announce London show as part of 25th anniversary tour
AWARDS Chuck Berry and Peter Sellars receive Polar Music Prize
AND FINALLY... Kayne West claims his father was a paparazzo
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Kim Dotcom fights to keep finances a secret
Kim Dotcom's finances have been discussed in a New Zealand court once again, as the various legal shenanigans in relation to his former business MegaUpload continue to slowly and tediously go through the motions.

As previously reported, in late July questions were asked about Dotcom's current financial affairs. Legal reps for the movie studios, which are suing him in relation to the rampant copyright infringement MegaUpload allegedly enabled and encouraged, said they wanted to know how Dotcom could afford to still live what looks like a lavish lifestyle, while funding start-up ventures and political causes, despite his assets being frozen by the US authorities when MegaUpload was shut down in 2012.

The implication is that Dotcom still has access to monies generated by MegaUpload, and is continuing to spend them. This is of interest to the movie studios - and the major record companies for that matter - because if they prevail in their respective copyright infringement lawsuits against Dotcom, they'll be due mega-bucks damages, but the content owners worry that the former MegaUpload chief is busy spending all the money that would finance any settlements.

Whilst renewing the order that allowed the MegaUpload assets to be frozen in the first place (something a lower court had previously refused to do), a New Zealand court also recently called on Dotcom to fully declare all his assets and sources of income, initially setting an August deadline to do so. He's now been given to the end of next week.

But legal reps for the Mega man reckon no such declaration should be made until he has had chance to formally appeal the most recent rulings against him, something that is due to happen in October. Even if, as has been proposed, any such declaration would sit with lawyers working for the US entertainment giants, but not be shared with their clients, until said appeal hearing can take place.

Dotcom argues that the monies he is living off and investing today stem from business interests pursued since the MegaUpload shutdown; his lawyers adding that the 2012 assets frieze order only relates to assets in his possession at that time, and has no hold over wealth generated since.

Meanwhile, according to Stuff, Dotcom's lawyer Tracey Walker has argued that the New Zealand High Court itself has valued the assets frozen in 2012 at $11.8 million, and that's in addition to other assets held in Hong Kong, so "the position of the US parties is well protected by the assets already frozen". Though the movie studios and major labels, always ambitious when it comes to piracy settlements, would likely not agree. Especially as the music publishers and indie labels would also likely seek damages if Hollywood and the majors prevail in court.

A decision is still to be made if Dotcom will indeed be ordered to share his financial information next week. To do so, said Walker, would be an invasion of her client's privacy. Legal reps for Hollywood concurred, but, they said, it's a necessary one.

As previously reported, the actual civil litigation against Dotcom is currently on hold pending America's criminal case against the MegaUpload founder.


A2IM backs .music TLD bid
The trade body for indie labels in the US, A2IM, has added its support to one of the bids to control the .music domain, while also questioning the motives of some of the corporate bidders.

The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names And Numbers has, of course, been busy introducing a whole barrage of new 'top level domains', so that people and companies bored with tedious old .com or .net or country-based domain names can instead add some spice to their official internet designations. Though since .fish went live what else could people possibly want? We'll be rebranding as from next Tuesday.

While many of the new TLDs have already been allocated to organisations, who can now choose how to distribute domains incorporating them, others are still to be assigned, including good old .music.

Eight groups have bid to control that TLD, including Google and Amazon. Though two of the eight are so called 'community priority applications', which enjoy preferential treatment in the bidding process, providing they meet a big stack of conditions set out by ICANN.

It's one of those applications that A2IM has confirmed it is supporting, joining a load of other trade groups and collecting societies in urging ICANN to give control of the music TLD to .music LLC and its parent company Far Further. It's hoped that, unlike the corporate bidders, the .music LLC organisation would give priority to labels, artists and legit music platforms when distributing its domains.

A letter signed by various music groups backing Far Further's bid, notes: "The .music LLC/Far Further application defines us as its community, identifying our practices, characteristics and core values, setting us apart from all those that are merely interested in, or differently engaged with music".

The chief of A2IM has gone a bit further in questioning the motives of the other bidders, one of which, Google, has, of course, been in conflict of late with many indie labels over the way it has been negotiating licensing deals for its planned YouTube audio service.

A2IM president Rich Bengloff told Billboard: "We're afraid their total goal will be maximising revenues, so they may not have the safeguards in place to ensure the necessary support for the industry, individual labels, and artists who should have it. We want to make sure only legitimate owners get first shot of these domains".

If the community priority applications do not satisfy ICANN's criteria they will then go into an open bidding war with the other bidders, which is where Google and Amazon would likely have the edge. Though if the big bad Google does end up controlling .music and we all decide to boycott it, there is always the .fish option.

Company named in Universal's Smirnoff DJ contest lawsuit denies involvement
An Atlanta-based company has expressed surprise after being named on a lawsuit filed by Universal Music, over VH1 (and formerly BET) show 'Master Of The Mix'.

As previously reported, Universal claims that the third series of the DJ talent show used, without licence, 93 songs represented by its publishing companies and 115 tracks owned by its labels. The programme is created on behalf of Smirnoff by marketing firm GTM Inc, though the lead defendant on the lawsuit is actually Je T'aime LLC, which seems to an associated company to GTM.

However, numerous reports focussed on another company listed in the litigation, called the Je T'aime Media Group Inc, which yesterday denied any involvement in the show, or with any of its other co-defendants. Speaking to CMU, the company's CEO Susie Johnson said that she had never heard of the series and had only become aware of the lawsuit after being contacted by reporters.

In a statement, Johnson said: "Je T'aime Media Group Inc does not now or has ever had any dealings or associations with 'Master Of The Mix', its creators, its producers, Je T'aime LLC, GTM Inc, VH1, Viacom, BET or anyone associated with this show and its production. JTMG has not been made privy to any contractual agreements executed for this production, so at this time we are unable to provide an answer as to how or why this error occurred".

She added: "JTMG projects are in the pre-production or production phase. We have not released any productions to date. Any productions of JTMG Inc or its subsidiaries will be completely original creations. Whether the production is music, novels, TV shows, or films, we only deal with original innovations from those who have been gifted with a solid message to share with humanity. Reality TV is not a genre of film that Nayánn Films, our film division, seeks to engage in".

She concluded by saying that one of the lawyers representing Universal in the case, Alexander Frid of Miller Barondess LLP, "has admitted their mistake and is rectifying this issue". The confusion, at least in part, seems to have arisen from the fact that JTMG and GTM both have offices on the same street in Atlanta.

Representatives for Universal and GTM did not respond to requests for comment.

New legal man for Merlin
The agency that represents many of the indie labels in the digital domain, Merlin, has appointed a new Director of Legal & Business Affairs.

Ryan McWhinnie joins Merlin from law firm Harbottle & Lewis where he worked with a range of digital, music and live clients. In his new role he'll report into Merlin's Head of Business Affairs & General Counsel, Charlie Lexton.

Confirming the hire, Merlin CEO Charles Caldas told reporters: "As Merlin continues to operate at the forefront of a fast-developing digital music market, Ryan will be a valuable addition to our team. His joining significantly increases Merlin's deal-making capacity and will allow us to deliver even greater efficiencies and value to our members".

Meanwhile McWhinnie himself added: "I'm delighted to be joining such a dynamic team at what is an exciting period of change for the recorded music sector, and where the value of independent music has never been more evident. Merlin has already signed a number of landmark deals this year, and I look forward to contributing to the organisation's success in the future".


Approved: Phüey
One quarter of production outfit MJRLGZ, Phüey has just put out a new solo EP, appropriately titled 'Triumphant'. Also marking the first birthday of the Yesterday Once More label, it coming out a year and a day after the company's first release, the EP draws on a diverse range of influences from dance music past and present to create something truly captivating.

Phüey's playful production style sees him happily kicking around breakbeats and cut up 90s R&B vocals, mixed with a bit of footwork. On opener '1Change', this approach sees him bounce different sounds around, drifting off into what almost sounds like another track before snapping everything back into sharp focus. Meanwhile 'LYF' taken things down a step, allowing the listener to become more absorbed in his world.

'Triumphant' is available to download from Bandcamp for whatever price you see fit, or you can stream it via SoundCloud here.

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Emile Haynie reveals 'solo' single feat Sampha, Dev Hynes and Charl Gainsbourg
Hit US producer Emile Haynie, the Grammy-winning co-creator of Eminem's 'Recovery' (and also most of Lana Del Rey's 'Born To Die'), has released a new single as himself, featuring as 'feat' artists the holy trinity of internationally-based alternative pop acts: NYC resident Dev Hynes, pride-of-France Charlotte Gainsbourg and Brit vocalist Sampha.

Titled 'A Kiss Goodbye', it is billed (a bit misleadingly, I think, given all the guests) as Haynie's first 'solo' track. So far it's adrift from an LP of any kind, though I'd speculate that info on a wider release will be on its way soon.

This is the track y'all.


John Digweed & Nick Muir make off-grid LP with sci-fi writer Hawks
John Digweed and Nick Muir, aka production house Bedrock, have made an LP based on a trilogy of dystopian books by sci-fi writer John Twelve Hawks.

It's a symbiotic kind of collaboration, given that Hawks was himself directly inspired by Digweed's 'Transitions' radio show/mix compilations whilst writing his 'Traveler' series. In spite of his choosing to live an incognito-type life 'off the grid', Hawks did consent to meet briefly with Digweed and Muir "in the middle of nowhere" to record spoken word excerpts for the project, narrating parts of the books via voice-changing software against the pair's electronic score.

Digweed explains: "John's contributions have been treated and changed with software in a variety of different ways on the album and the original recordings of his voice have been deleted to further protect his identity. These measures may seem drastic but this is how he wishes to conduct his career as an author in relation to the subject matter he deals with and we completely respect that. He is a perfect example of how it is possible to operate within an underground culture and we are privileged and delighted to bring a musical perspective to his ideas".

'The Traveler' is released on 6 Oct, carrying with it this tracklisting:

First Line
Live Off The Grid
Am I Awake
Stay In The Present
The Traveler
The Truth
Find The Way
Damned By The Flesh
We Are All Connected
Last Line

And this is a preview of '3B3', which will precede the LP as a single.

ZZ Top postpone shows after Hill falls
ZZ Top have had to cancel two weeks of live dates in the US after bassist and co-vocalist Dusty Hill fell onboard the band's tour bus and injured his hip.

The band were on their way to a date in Michigan when the accident occurred, as part of a co-headlining trek with Jeff Beck. Their co-headliner plans to go ahead with three of the schedule shows on his lonesome, while six others are being postponed, though fans have been told to hang on to their tickets pending an announcement of rescheduled dates.

Confirming the postponements, tour promoter Live Nation said yesterday that 65 year old Hill required "immediate attention" for his injuries after the fall.


Don Broco on board for 2015 Kerrang! tour
Believe it or not, "bright new force in British rock" Don Broco have been named as headliners-most-high of 2015's Kerrang! Tour.

Featuring self-proclaimed weird kids of pop-punk We Are The In Crowd as openers, it is, it's safe to say even at this deeply pre-emptive stage, going to be the event of the year. If not of all time.

Here are the dates, tickets giving access to which will be available from Friday till they're gone.

6 Feb: Norwich, UEA LCR
7 Feb: Leeds, Academy
9 Feb: Southampton, Guildhall
10 Feb: Bristol, Academy
11 Feb: Dublin, Academy
13 Feb: Cardiff, Uni Great Hall
14 Feb: Manchester, Academy
15 Feb: Newcastle, Academy
16 Feb: Glasgow, Academy
18 Feb: Liverpool, Academy
19 Feb: Birmingham, Academy
20 Feb: London, The Forum

And here is a very 'psyched' speech made recently by the entire band (Don Broco that is), speaking at the same time: "We are absolutely gagging for this tour to come about already! We've been busy writing our new album and can't wait to unleash these new songs for the first time, plus it's going to be amazing having the WATIC guys along. We've got to see them play at various festivals over the last few years and they totally kill it, will be awesome to get to watch em every night! It's a massive honour for us to be headlining a tour we've seen so many of our heroes play when we've been there as punters, so to be looking out from on stage this time will be an incredible feeling".

Taking the talking stick off the DB boys, Kerrang! Editor James McMahon adds: "Last year was a blast. And standing side of stage for Limp Bizkit, a band I truly love, was both a thrill and an honour. But, with this year being the tenth anniversary of the tour, we've decided to return to the very essence of what it has always been about. New rock music. The music that roars out of the pages of the magazine each week, out of the airwaves, and the screens of TV, demanding your attention. You will not find four hotter rock bands on the planet right now than Don Broco, We Are The In Crowd, and... well, wait and see".

Indeed. This is a clip of Don Broco playing the BBC Radio 1/NME Stage at this year's Reading Festival.


Meshuggah announce London show as part of 25th anniversary tour
Swedish extreme metallers Meshuggah have announced a series of European shows as part of their continued 25th anniversary celebrations. The dates include a performance at The Roundhouse in London on 20 Dec.

Earlier this year, drummer Tomas Haake said of the band's latest milestone: "You try to wrap your head around it but comprehension fails - it's been 25 years since the first official Meshuggah release! ... Who would have thought, huh?! That our small group of young guys would get to not only write and record our own quirky, deviant style of metal, but that we would still be doing it a quarter century later, making our living off of what we love to do!! Now in our 40s we can't but look back at it jaw-dropped and baffled at the fact!"

Ahead of the tour, the band will release a new live DVD, titled 'The Ophidian Trek', and re-issue 2004 EP 'I' through Nuclear Blast on 29 Sep.

Watch the video for 'I Am Colossus', the opening track from Meshuggah's 2012 album 'Koloss', here.

Chuck Berry and Peter Sellars receive Polar Music Prize
Chuck Berry has received the Polar Music Prize, the annual award handed to musicians whose achievements are deemed exceptional by the Swedish royal family. Berry himself was not able to attend the ceremony, but a speech was read out by Welsh guitarist Dave Edmunds on his behalf.

In the speech, Berry wrote: "Unfortunately I am unable to travel, but my heart is in Sweden. I want to thank the King and the Royal Family for awarding me the Polar Prize. I understand what a great honour it is to be a recipient. I am sorry that I am unable to travel and receive this personally".

In a video message, Keith Richards said of the influence Berry had on him: "Chuck Berry, he just leapt out of the radio at me. I ate him basically, I mean I breathed him, it wasn't just food, he was the air I breathed for many years when I was learning guitar and trying to figure out how you could be such an all rounder. Such a great voice, such a great player, and also such a great showman, you know, it was all in one package, so basically if I listened to Chuck Berry I was full for the day. Chuck, congratulations Chuck! And also congratulations to Sweden for recognising Chuck Berry for what he is".

Also receiving the £100,000 prize was American opera and theatre director Peter Sellars, who described receiving the prize as "overwhelming and completely shocking" in his acceptance speech.

Sellars and Berry join artists including Paul McCartney, Elton John, The Kronos Quartet, Bob Dylan, Yossou N'Dour, Patti Smith, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin and Ennio Morricone as Polaris Music Prize Laureates.

Here's a medley of Chuck Berry songs as performed by a number of Swedish musicians with the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

Kayne West claims his father was a paparazzo
More choice quotes from a deposition made by Kanye West earlier this year have emerged. The same one in which he claimed to be "the smartest celebrity you've ever fucking dealt with".

While giving evidence related to a civil lawsuit brought by photographer Daniel Ramos, claiming that the rapper had assaulted him at Los Angeles International Airport, West claimed that his father had also been a paparazzo, according to the Daily Mail. Which is a short step away from saying, 'Some of my best friends are paparazzo'. Though he pretty much said that too.

Insisting that he had not assaulted Ramos, West told the photographer's lawyer Nate Goldberg: "My father was a paparazzo himself. My father was a medical illustrator, a Black Panther, a Christian marriage counsellor. My mother was the first black chair of the English department in Chicago State. They didn't raise me to be out here wrestling with random paparazzi in front of LAX".

He added that celebrity photographers are a mixed bunch, saying: "Sometimes I get in the car with the paparazzi. Paparazzi help me to park. The paparazzi watch my car and makes sure that cops don't give me tickets. There are some nice guys out here trying to just feed their family. And then there's assholes like the guy you're representing".

West entered a no contest plea on a criminal charge of misdemeanour battery relating to the same incident earlier this year, and was ordered to attend an anger management course and do 250 hours of community service.

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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