TUESDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 2014
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The government's culture man, former city boy Sajid Javid, talked tough about copyright enforcement at the Annual General Meeting of record industry trade group the BPI yesterday; though his list of government-supported measures for combating piracy was mainly a summary of existing initiatives, albeit with some frank remarks (and a small threat) regarding the role of Google in combating... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: The new project of I Remember Tapes' Alex Tutt and Ben Airey, Meadow Décor will release their debut EP, '47', on 17 Oct. The first track from the EP, and the first track to be unveiled by the duo, is 'Problem'. A house track at its heart, the euphoria of that genre is offset by an ice cold electronica influence. This adds a tension to the infectious vocal that draws you ever further into it... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Government's culture man talks tough on copyright at BPI AGM
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LEGAL Cee Lo Green pleads no contest to drugs charges, deletes Twitter account
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Wadsworth departs BPI with rally call for labels
New Director General at CISAC
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LIVE BUSINESS Vice to launch third London venue
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES 8tracks raises more finance
YouTube begins to roll out crowdfunding features
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MEDIA New editor at Gigwise
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GIGS & FESTIVALS What's next for Royal Blood? Touring, of course!
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ONE LINERS Other notable announcements and developments today...
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AND FINALLY... New Radiohead material (well, very nearly) in updated app
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Government's culture man talks tough on copyright at BPI AGM
The government's culture man, former city boy Sajid Javid, talked tough about copyright enforcement at the Annual General Meeting of record industry trade group the BPI yesterday; though his list of government-supported measures for combating piracy was mainly a summary of existing initiatives, albeit with some frank remarks (and a small threat) regarding the role of Google in combating copyright infringement online.

After nearly five months atop the government's culture ministry, Javid did a good job of demonstrating his passion for a role which is - at the end of the day - a stepping stone job for any ambitious politician, and Javid is a very ambitious politician. He did the customary big-up of his audience that's expected at events like this ('British music is awesome, isn't it? And it's all down to you guys'), before listing the cultural funding and music education initiatives the coalition government has introduced, and name-checking the Live Music Act.

But for an audience of mainly record label people, copyright and piracy will always be near the top of the agenda, "and I completely understand why" said the ministry man. "Without enforceable copyright there would be no A&R, no recording studios, no producers, no session musicians, no publicity, no artwork. None of the vital ingredients that take the music created made by talented artists and turn it into something the whole world can enjoy. It's what your past success was built on, and it's what your future success depends on".

He went on: "I know some people say the IP genie is out of the bottle and that no amount of wishing will force it back in. But I don't agree with them. We don't look at any other crimes and say 'It's such a big problem that it's not worth bothering with'. We wouldn't stand idly by if paintings worth hundreds of millions of pounds were being stolen from the National Gallery. Copyright infringement is theft, pure and simple".

Fortuitously for Javid, after several years of frustration within the record industry that the copyright elements of the 2010 Digital Economy Act, which the labels lobbied so hard for, came pretty much to nothing, while the David Cameron-commissioned Hargreaves Review of intellectual property law mainly resulted in more copyright exemptions, in the last year there has been more progress in the anti-piracy domain. So the new Culture Minister had things to report on.

Like Creative Content UK, that recent festival of copyright industry quotage that aims to introduce a 'lite version' of the DEA's three-strikes system for combating piracy, alongside a raft of certain-to-be-awful education programmes. "As an industry-led initiative rather than a top-down government one, it will be quicker, more responsive and cheaper to enact", said the minister.

And then there's been the Cameron-endorsed work of the former music and movie industry man in Parliament, Mike Weatherley. "I know many of you worked closely with Mike as he was producing his recent reports into the role of search engines and 'following the money'", said Javid. "The reports certainly raised some interesting and important points. We're now looking at them carefully and I'm considering how best to move forward; you can expect to hear more from me on this in the coming months".

And, perhaps most importantly in terms of tangible results, there's the government-funded City Of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit. "The first unit of its kind in the world", Javid noted. "PIPCU is working with industry groups - including the BPI - on the Infringing Websites List. The list identifies sites that deliberately and consistently breach copyright, so brand owners can avoid advertising on them. A pilot scheme saw a 12% drop in advertising from major household brands, the kind of big names that lend legitimacy to illegal sites".

Javid, like Weatherley, endorses the 'follow the money' policy for fighting piracy, based on the assumption that most piracy outfits are run for profit (many are, though not all by any means), and therefore if you cut off their revenue streams they'll shut down. "I said earlier you work in music because you love it", Javid remarked. "Copyright crooks don't love music. They love money, and they've been attracted to the industry solely by its potential to make them rich. Take away their profits and you take away their reason for being".

Though, the minister conceded that, for all this, their remains an elephant in the room, which isn't sensible in a plush central London hotel. "Let me be absolutely clear that I completely agree with Mike Weatherley when he says that the search engines also have to play their part. They must step up and show willing. That's why Vince Cable and I have written to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, asking them to work with you to stop search results sending people to illegal sites. And let me be perfectly clear: if we don't see real progress, we will be looking at a legislative approach".

Quite what that "legislative approach" would be is far from clear. The Digital Economy Act was legislation designed to force the resistant internet service providers into a piracy-policing role, but in the main it achieved little. And realistically any legislative stick to force Google's hand won't come this side of the 2015 General Election. Though 'play ball or Parliament will force you' is always a useful fallback line when negotiating with tech companies on copyright issues, and the record industry's lobbyists will find those 20 words of Javid's speech the most useful.

More useful than the minister's concluding remark, name checking one of the record industry's more useless anti-piracy initiatives, Music Matters. Said Javid: "We are on your side and we want to help and support you. Because you are the best in the world at what you do. Because you make a huge and vital contribution to British life and British business. And because - to the government, to my department, and to me personally - music really does matter".

Read the speech in full here.

Cee Lo Green pleads no contest to drugs charges, deletes Twitter account
Cee Lo Green last week pleaded no contest to charges of "furnishing" a woman with ecstasy without her knowledge in 2012. And then yesterday he deleted his Twitter account after making comments about the case.

As previously reported, Green was initially charged with sexually assaulting the unnamed woman, having slipped the drug into her drink at a dinner in 2012. She told police that she had woken up in his bed with no memory of what had happened between being in the restaurant and the next morning. However, the assault charge was dropped last October due to insufficient evidence.

Upon entering his plea, Green was sentenced to three years of probation, and ordered to complete 260 hours of community service, as well as attending 52 Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

Following the sentencing, Green posted a series of updates on Twitter, including one which read, "People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!" He also said: "If someone is passed out they're not even WITH you consciously! So WITH implies consent".

Later deleting the tweets, he claimed that his comments had been taken "so far out of context" by people who read them as condoning sexual assault.

Prior to deleting his account on the social network entirely, Green wrote: "Let me first praise God for exoneration fairness and freedom! Secondly I sincerely apologise for my comments being taken so far out of context. I only intended on a healthy exchange to help heal those who love me from the pain I had already caused from this. Please forgive me as it was your support that got me thru this to begin with. I'd never condone the harm of any women. Thank you".

He will appear in court again on 2 Mar next year to report on his progress.

Wadsworth departs BPI with rally call for labels
Speaking for the final time as Chairman of the UK's record industry trade body the BPI yesterday afternoon, Tony Wadsworth spoke up passionately for the record industry and the record company.

And while his initial words seemed aimed at keynote speaker Sajid Javid MP, and the other political twonks with a hand in the cultural and copyright industries, much of his speech seemed aimed at a wider audience, or, actually, a more internal audience, ie the rest of the music industry, and the artist community that sits at the heart of it all. Perhaps because with Wadsworth's departure the BPI is losing an important asset, a former major label chief almost universally liked by the artist community.

But first the political bit. Noting the challenges and opportunities that the record industry has dealt with during the seven years Wadsworth's been Chair of the BPI, he said: "Music and technology are great partners when they work together, and music is as big a driver of technology growth and value as anything. In the recent past, government advisers have sometimes fallen into the trap of seeing the protection of intellectual property and content as a barrier to the growth of technology. I think that perception is changing for the better - creative content drives technology growth, but without support, investment and protection, it will suffer, and the industries that depend on it will suffer, and that includes technology".

Shifting his attention from Westminster to the music business, and noting that, after its decade of digital turmoil, the industry has now turned a corner - "I am a great believer in the future of our industry - there has never been more demand for our product" - Wadsworth was adamant that the good old fashioned record label played a key role in the music business's rosey future. Indeed, he said, "the label has never been more important than it is today".

He mused: "Labels have gone through a tough time. Overheads and employee numbers have almost halved, all at the same time that the labels have had to reinvent themselves for a new market place. Labels are the engine room, the major investors in talent, with money and resources and skills. But the total pie that we are all sharing is smaller at the moment. That's why royalty cheques are smaller - not because the labels are spending it all on champagne and caviar, but because there's less to go round".

But, he went on: "The return to growth will produce greater returns for everyone. It is more important now than at any other time that the artist community and labels work together in a collaborative, and collegiate way. The artists' share of the pie has, in fact, never been greater, and I applaud that - and so should artists and their managers".

"In some quarters, the record label used to be seen as a thing of the past - something that was less relevant than it had been in previous decades. The argument went that, with the advent of digital, 'we can all do it ourselves'. [But] we are awash with content, everywhere we look. There's no shortage of people making music and films - mainly about cats - we are all creators now, and that's absolutely fine, but I would like to listen to some good stuff please".

"And this is where labels come in. Labels trawl through the dross and the ordinary, and find the best artists and work with them to help them get even better. Then work with them to present their music in a way which will cut through all the rest of the clutter and digital debris, so that the music fan can have the best possible experience and so that music creators can make a living".

So, learn from the past, look to the future, and reinvent the artist/label partnership so that everyone benefits. And how better to do just that at the BPI itself than by embracing a word from the past ("phonographic" is back in the trade group's logo, having been out of favour for a while), while moving forward with a funky new corporate identity, which the record industry trade body unveiled yesterday. And as a certain Damon Albarn, signed to Wadsworth's EMI back in its CD selling heyday, presented the outgoing Chair with an honorary BRIT, you couldn't helping wondering if the BPI's logo designer was a Blur fan too.

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New Director General at CISAC
CISAC, the organisation that brings together music publishing collecting societies from around the world, has announced legal man Gadi Oron as its new Director General. He has been General Counsel for the Confederation since 2012.

Confirming the appointment, Jean Michel Jarre, in his role as President of CISAC: said: "Mr Oron has proven himself to be a great supporter of authors worldwide. He respects and loves creation. I have seen and have been impressed by his tireless work. Knowing his skills and passion, I am confident he will lead CISAC to new heights".

Meanwhile Eric Baptiste, CEO of Canadian collecting society SOCAN, and currently Chair of the CISAC board, told reporters: "I am delighted that Mr Oron will lead CISAC as its new Director General. He has a unique combination of legal and strategic skills and we have witnessed his strong determination to promote the interests of the creative community".

Oron, who previously worked for the record industry's global grouping IFPI, noted his new job by saying: "I am very excited to take over the position of Director General. CISAC is a unique organisation and it is playing an incredibly important role for authors around the world. These are times of major challenges and great opportunities for authors. I look forward to assisting them and their societies in promoting an environment that protects and rewards creativity".

Vice to launch third London venue
Vice has announced it's adding a third venue in London to its collection, taking over The Record Club in Camden and rebranding it as The Stillery. The media brand currently operates The Old Blue Last and Birthdays in East London.

On the shift up north (London speaking), Vice UK's Head Of Events Ross Allmark said: "I guess the first thing is that we didn't want to open another bar in East London. It really felt like sometime last year the whole area reached saturation point and people were just opening bars in east because that's the accepted logic. Customers have started to experience launch-fatigue".

He added: "For us Camden was the natural choice; when I was in my late teens and I started travelling into town it was the first area I visited, and for me will always be synonymous with alternative night life in London. The opportunity to contribute to that tradition, and hopefully bring something a little different to it, is really exciting".

Like OBL and Birthdays, The Stillery will put on live music, though will have a less busy schedule in this regard than its sister venues. Explains Allmark: "Music is right at the heart of what we do, but with so many great venues in the area it wouldn't make sense for us to set up another space geared solely to live stuff, so The Stillery will be a hang-out first and foremost. The live stuff will happen when something comes along that we really, really believe in".

Due to open later this month, the new venue will operate a 'members only' policy after 11pm. Though membership is free and you can sign up on the door, so don't go letting anyone who's got it tell you they're special.

8tracks raises more finance
Having shunned Google's acquisition approach - and they did shun it, they shunned Google right in the face, and Google bosses hate being shunned in the face, it distracts them from screwing over indie labels - the folks at 8tracks have raised nearly $1.3 million in new funding.

8tracks is one of those trendy streaming services of the interactive-radio, curated-playlists, licenced-through-SoundExchange kind, and is supposedly popular with young Americans (those not too distracted by porn and reality TV). Reliable word had it earlier this year that Google tried to buy the start-up in a bid to get a decent music curation team in-house. After its approached was knocked back, the web giant went off and bought 8tracks rival Songza instead.

Surprisingly for a buzzy streaming music start-up, 8tracks hasn't spent all that much money so far - $1.5 million according to Venturebeat - an achievement mainly possible because it is utilising the statutory SoundExchange licence available for such services in the US, meaning no mega-bucks deal-sweeteners for the labels were necessary to get things going.

Though management have also resisted that common temptation in start-ups-ville to haemorrhage cash to fuel unnecessary growth to convince investment types you're the next big thing, and are therefore a rare beast in being a profitable streaming music business that doesn't need to do the billion dollar deal to pay-back early-door investors.

The new $1.28 million in finance, confirmed in an SEC filing, has mainly come from existing investors, according to 8tracks founder David Porter. The current funding round is still ongoing, though, and could top $1.4 million. Porter declined to discuss what the funding will be used for when asked by VentureBeat, saying such musings would be more appropriate once the finance round has closed. Though boosting the firm's ad sales operation is likely to be a priority.

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YouTube begins to roll out crowdfunding features
YouTube's crowdfunding features have gone live in Australia, Japan, Mexico and the US, Android Police reports.

As previously reported, the new features were announced in May this year, providing a 'tip jar' for users of the video platform to reward content creators they really like. Well, I suppose they don't have to like them. Some people might get some sort of perverse joy from giving money to people they think are awful. Anyway, that's not really important.

YouTube already allows content creators to earn money by showing advertising around their videos. Though, of course, not everyone is happy to have brands' logos slapped all over their work, so this provides an alternative way for them to earn from their creations. Not everyone is going to be willing to shake a tip jar at their viewers either. But others might want to combine both monetisation options to maximise their income.

As with YouTube's advertising, there will be different options for how the tip jar is shaken - some more subtle than others. The most low key seems to be an icon in the corner of a video indicating that the user accepts donations. Or you can go all out and have a pop-up that appears in front of a video and shouts it right in the user's stupid face.

It's not clear how quickly the new features will roll out to other territories. A request for confirmation did not immediately receive a response.

New editor at Gigwise
Gigwise has a brand new editor, in the form of Andy Morris, who joins the music website from GQ, where he most recently edited the magazine's website.

Confirming the appointment, Gigwise MD Andy Day said in a statement: "We are really happy to have Andy on board. He's a seasoned editor and has a diverse taste in music, as well as being really passionate about new music. We're committed to giving our users the best music-related content online and will continue to focus particularly on artists that excel in the live arena. Gigwise has gone from strength to strength in recent years and we will capitalise on that with even more in depth and high quality news, editorial and video under Andy's leadership".

Morris himself added: "I am hugely excited by the opportunity to join the Gigwise team. Having spent the last ten years at GQ interviewing and writing about everyone from Arctic Monkeys to Jack White (via Action Bronson, Lana Del Rey and Brian Wilson), I cannot wait to work on a site dedicated to uncovering the best new acts, offering the most comprehensive festival coverage and celebrating the biggest bands on Earth".

  Approved: Meadow Décor - Problem
The new project of I Remember Tapes' Alex Tutt and Ben Airey, Meadow Décor will release their debut EP, '47', on 17 Oct. The first track from the EP, and the first track to be unveiled by the duo, is 'Problem'.

A house track at its heart, the euphoria of that genre is offset by an ice cold electronica influence. This adds a tension to the infectious vocal that draws you ever further into it.

With the EP almost upon us, Meadow Décor's debut live dates are also set to be announced shortly.

Listen to 'Problem' here.
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What's next for Royal Blood? Touring, of course!
Having gone to number one in the album chart on Sunday, scoring the fastest selling rock album in the UK for three years in the process, Royal Blood have announced tour dates for October and November.

According to the Official Charts Company, the duo sold 66,000 copies of their album last week, the highest first week sales for a rock album in the UK since Noel Gallagher's Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' 'Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' album in 2011.

The tour dates, by the way, look like this:

27 Oct: Dublin, The Academy
29 Oct: Newcastle, Riverside
30 Oct: Glasgow, ABC
31 Oct: Sheffield, Leadmill
2 Nov: Manchester, Ritz
3 Nov: Liverpool, Academy
4 Nov: Birmingham, Institute
6 Nov: London, Electric Ballroom
7 Nov: London, Electric Ballroom
8 Nov: Cambridge, Junction
10 Nov: Portsmouth, Pyramids
11 Nov: Oxford, Academy
12 Nov: Bristol, Bierkeller

OTHER NOTABLE ANNOUNCEMENTS & DEVELOPMENTS

• Nominations are open for the 2015 Music Producers Guild Awards. Put forward your top studio folk now.

• The nominees for the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize are due to be announced on 10 Sep, with the overall winner being revealed on 29 Oct at The Roundhouse in London. Start practicing your complaining now.

• Tickets have gone on sale for the Brixton Academy bash that will coincide with the unveiling of this year's DJ Mag Top 100 DJ Poll, for which you can still vote. The 18 Oct show includes the likes of Dash Berlin, Flash Mob, Aly & Fila, Andrew Rayel and more. To acquire tickets you're going to have click on this link. Sorry.

• The full list of stores participating in the second annual Cassette Store Day has been announced and can be viewed here. The event is due to take place on the 27 Sep.

• As it kicked off with a Deadmau5 of all things last night, the final list of performers for this year's iTunes Festival was announced yesterday, with Imelda May, SBTRKT and Plácido Domingo amongst the final names announced, the latter due to close the month-long series of free shows. The full list of performers can be seen here.

• Calvin Harris is set to release new single 'Blame' featuring John Newman on 7 Sep, along with an iTunes Festival appearance on the same date. The video will premiere on Thursday.

• Tim Wheeler of off Ash will release his first solo album on 3 Nov via an alliance with Sony's Red division. It's "a heartfelt and emotional response to the loss of his father George to dementia".

• Rapper Nas is releasing a documentary about his world-renowned debut album Illmatic called 'Time Is Illmatic' on 1 Oct, which celebrates it's 20th anniversary this year. You can watch the trailer here.

• Swedish trio Kate Boy have announced a string of UK shows in November, the dates of which are up on their website here. New single 'Self Control' is out on Monday, watch them perform a live studio version here.

• "As Maroon 5 fever grips the nation", says the press release, I wondered what that pain in my shoulder was, the pop botherers from LA have announced three UK arena dates for next May/June on the back of the new album out this week. Tickets on sale Friday via Ticketmaster.

New Radiohead material (well, very nearly) in updated app
You remember that app-accompaniment to Radiohead's 2011 album 'The King Of Limbs' which came out earlier this year called 'Polyfauna'? No? Well, write it down on a post-it note, remember it, and then read on.

You remember that app-accompaniment to Radiohead's 2011 album 'The King Of Limbs' which came out earlier this year called 'Polyfauna'? Yes, of course you do. Well, here's the exciting news. It's been updated with new visuals and sounds, including Thom Yorke vocalising some words never before heard (from a Thom Yorke within an app).

Cue speculation that this is a small hint of what might be coming our way amidst promises Radiohead will regroup in the studio this month. Either that or it's just a quick app upgrade. Which probably means that now you won't be able to find your friends list or open up any maps.

No, I never did download this app. Though I did remember it. Once I'd written it down on a post-it note.

 
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.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Publisher, Business Editor & Insights Director
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Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
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.
Email aly@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
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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.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
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Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

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