FRIDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2014
TODAY'S TOP STORY: CD Baby has moved more directly into the direct-to-fan space by offering artists access to its proprietary download store and embeddable-player-come-sales-tool for free, and without having to commit to using the firm's digital distribution services, which get tracks into iTunes, Spotify et al. With CD Baby Free, the indie distributor will charge a 15% commission on tracks sold via its own... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Half the CMU team have just come back down from the Edinburgh Festival. So, rather than hang out with them, I'm instead headed up there myself to see what all the fuss is about. Yes, I know the Festival is over, but that doesn't mean there's nothing happening in Edinburgh. Far from it, as I've got not one, but two tips for you this week. To coincide with the release of their new... [READ MORE]
   
BEEF OF THE WEEK: So, you've likely already seen the news that Disney is going after Deadmau5 and his logo, opposing a trademark application he submitted in the US last year. Its reasons for doing so apparently took 171 pages to list. We don't have time to go through all of those reasons right now, but it can be pretty easily boiled down to a simple soundbite. Deadmau5's logo features a cartoon mouse with a round... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES CD Baby opens store and D2F tool to all artists for free, even if distributed by a rival
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LEGAL IFPI takes down Kim Dotcom's album from Kim Dotcom's online storage service
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Gig booking service launches in London
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MEDIA IPC rebrands as Time Inc UK
Vice secures new investment
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ARTIST NEWS Aphex Twin unveils first track from new album
Hole reunion and Courtney Love's autobiography still both happening. Probably. Well, possibly.
Gotye and his band have formed a political party
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RELEASES Flying Lotus premieres new Kendrick Lemar featuring single
Iceage have a Love-ly new album
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ONE LINERS Glastonbury, Vevo, One Direction and more
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #221: Deadmau5 v Disney
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INVOLVED MANAGEMENT - ARTIST MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
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CD Baby opens store and D2F tool to all artists for free, even if distributed by a rival
CD Baby has moved more directly into the direct-to-fan space by offering artists access to its proprietary download store and embeddable-player-come-sales-tool for free, and without having to commit to using the firm's digital distribution services, which get tracks into iTunes, Spotify et al.

With CD Baby Free, the indie distributor will charge a 15% commission on tracks sold via its own platform - whether that's done on the artist's own site or at cdbaby.com - but there will no set up charges. It puts the service very much in line with high profile American direct-to-fan rival Bandcamp.

Those who do use CD Baby to get their content into other download and streaming services will enjoy a better commission rate, but artist who prefer to use a Tunecore or Zimbalam, etc, for that side of their distribution can still utilise CD Baby's direct-to-fan services.

Says CD Baby Director Of Marketing Kevin Breuner: "We're officially opening the cdbaby.com retail site to every artist on the planet. Artists who have previously used a different distributor and not been able to get their music on cdbaby.com can now tap into the customer base CD Baby has to offer".

IFPI takes down Kim Dotcom's album from Kim Dotcom's online storage service
It's hard to catch a break when you're in the copyright protection game. There's always someone on hand to give you a little push every time you trip up on something.

Examples? Oh, well there was that time when Dutch collecting society BUMA/STEMRA was taken to court because the music in an anti-piracy video put on DVDs in The Netherlands wasn't properly licensed. Or when it turned out the BPI and RIAA websites were both breaking the terms and conditions of a script they were using. Or, best of all, that time France's Hadopi office used an unlicensed font for its logo.

This latest hiccup doesn't feature a copyright group infringing copyright itself, but it does nonetheless fire the irony metre pretty high up the charge. TorrentFreak noticed this week that the IFPI had issued a takedown notice against Kim Dotcom's album. On the Kim Dotcom-owned 'online storage' service, Mega.

Which is the kind of takedown mistake you really don't want to make (even if it was quickly reversed). It means TorrentFreak can get straight on the line to Mega's Chief Compliance Officer (apparently a thing) Stephan Hall for a quote.

"It's clearly an incorrect takedown request", said Hall. "This is an indication that someone at the IFPI is not doing their homework and that their takedown notices in general cannot be trusted".

In the interests of fairness, we asked the IFPI for clarification that this all actually happened and, if so, why. We've had no response as yet.

Gig booking service launches in London
Sidestage, a platform for booking bands or DJs for private gigs, announced earlier this week that it is now open to users in London, having launched in Berlin back in July.

It's still very much early days for the service, given the number of bands on offer to prospective bookers who tap into the platform, but Sidestage hopes to sign up lots more grassroots acts in the near future, with a London meet up event taking place next week to start that process.

Although Sidestage does seem to be focusing on grassroots talent at the moment, it will be interesting to see if bigger acts, and the booking agencies who represent them, would ever embrace such a service. Sidestage doesn't get involved in the actual deal making once a booker and artist have been connected, so arguably it doesn't actually compete with booking agents, who may therefore embrace it.

And given how quickly new bands with any buzz get booking agency representation these days, services like Sidestage may well need agent support to succeed.

IPC rebrands as Time Inc UK
NME and Uncut publisher IPC Media has been rebranded as Time Inc UK, taking its US parent company's name for the first time.

IPC, originally set up in the 1960s as a parent company for the Daily Mirror, was acquired by Time Warner's publishing business back in 2001. This put it in common ownership with Warner Music for a time, until the music major was spun off from the rest of the Warner empire in 2004.

The rebrand follows another spin off at Time Warner, the entertainment giant having made Time Inc into a standalone entity earlier this year, a move initially mooted in March 2013. As confirmation of the corporate rebrand came yesterday, the IPC Media website was relaunched with the new name, and everyone at the UK subsidiary got lovely new timeinc.com email addresses.

Confirming the revamp, Time Inc CEO Joe Ripp told reporters: "Our prime focus is growing our core assets in the US and UK. We already hold leadership positions in both regions and this move will help us better leverage our global portfolio with key audiences and foster greater collaboration throughout the organisation. We have an enormous depth of expertise across Time Inc and we are committed to bringing it to bear as a unified company with a single corporate brand".

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Vice secures new investment
Vice Media has secured another $500 million in finance, selling minority stakes in the youth media business to tech firm Technology Crossover Ventures and broadcaster A+E Networks. Vice says the new monies will help fund "thousands of hours" of new video content to be distributed via the company's various channels.

As with past cash-injections from big business into the Vice enterprise, not least the 20th Century Fox deal last year, management were keen to stress that the company remains independent from its shareholders, still led by co-founder and CEO Shane Smith.

Of the new finance, which values Vice Media at $2.5 billion, Smith said: "We believe that these new partnerships position us at the forefront of the coming convergence of media and technology, while preserving and protecting our independence. High-quality content and innovative tech platforms will drive Vice through this next period of growth on our relentless quest for total media domination".

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Simian Mobile Disco and Roy Davis Junior
Half the CMU team have just come back down from the Edinburgh Festival. So, rather than hang out with them, I'm instead headed up there myself to see what all the fuss is about. Yes, I know the Festival is over, but that doesn't mean there's nothing happening in Edinburgh. Far from it, as I've got not one, but two tips for you this week.

Tip #1: Karnival presents Simian Mobile Disco (DJ set) at The Liquid Room
To coincide with the release of their new album 'Whorl', which drops on Monday, Simian Mobile Disco will be appearing at the Karnival night for a DJ set with a few new tracks thrown in the mix. Support comes from from Robin & Michael, Mick MacNeil and Killed Kassette, in this two-floored club in Edinburgh's Old Town.

Saturday 6 Sep, Liquid Rooms, 9c Victoria Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2HE, 10.30pm - 3am, £15, more info here.

Tip #2: Hector's House presents Roy Davis Junior at Sneaky Pete's
The Hector's crew have seen a few big names drawn in and tonight its Roy Davis Junior. In a career spanning 25 years, this Chicagoan is best known for his 1996 UKG smasher 'Gabriel'. This intimate venue will host the man himself for a three hour set of his "soul electrica" style, enveloping R&B, soul dance, and hip hop, and electronic music old and new.

Should be a right good un, and tickets are selling fast at the bargain price of a fiver.

Saturday 6 Sep, Sneaky Pete's, 73 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1JW, 11pm - 3am, £5, more info here.
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Aphex Twin unveils first track from new album
The first track from Aphex Twin's new 'Syro' album is now on the internet. Like, right on it.

Explains the press release: "Heard for the first time on Radio 1's Zane Lower last night, we can now listen to the album track 'minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]' This is the first Aphex Twin dong fore 13 years between the publication of the first a formal music".

Despite what you might be thinking, that is actually the name of the track. Anyway, you can listen to it here.

Also this week, Rolling Stone published an interview with the man himself, Richard D James. He revealed that the album was actually pressed into Warp's sweaty hands six months ago and he is now feeling "horny" and "very smug" about it.

On why it's taken quite so long to get around to releasing a new album, he added: "Well, I have wanted to do it; it's just getting around to doing it. It's a real ball-ache. It's not what I'm interested in. I just like making the stuff. To be honest, I thought, 'Who's even interested anymore?' When Warp was really interested, I was like, 'Really? Is this a joke or something?' I kind of expected them to say, 'No, nobody actually buys any records anymore, mate. Sorry'".

You can read the whole interview here.

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Hole reunion and Courtney Love's autobiography still both happening. Probably. Well, possibly.
You remember that Hole reunion that was on, then possibly off, and then pretty much definitely off? Well, it's back on again. I hope this doesn't become like reporting on the Blur reunion, or I'm going to have to have words with someone. Possibly myself.

Last we heard Courtney Love had called off the plan to reform her old band because she didn't "want to get on the oldies circuit", but was still going to work on something with guitarist Eric Erlandson. Some of that still stands. All of it actually. But it's back to being a Hole reunion again. If it ever stopped being one at all. Though it does rely on them doing something Love deems to be "relevant".

Anyway, let's just get to the new quote. Speaking to Paper, Love says: "It's more important for me to act right now than to play rock n roll. Me and Melissa and Patty and Eric have rehearsed a few times. [But] in order to pull that off, we'd have to make some music that's relevant to now, and we'd have to get a modern producer. I'm not going to do the oldies circuit".

But what about her strained relationship with the other band members? No such thing, she continues: "My relationships with Melissa, Patty and Eric are all great. At this point in my life, no one is my enemy. Any grudges or issues with that past? I'm done with it".

You can expect to hear something in 2015. Possibly. Maybe not. Let's just wait and see, shall we? Anyway, before that there's the little matter of her autobiography, which she's been promising/threatening for several years now. How's that all going, I wonder?

"It's a disaster", she says. "A nightmare. I never wanted to write a book in my entire life. It just sort of happened. And I have a co-writer, but it's just not working. One of my rules about the book is that it has to stop in 2006. What happens from 2006 on in the book is my personal business. I've been discreet from that time on, and I want to keep it that way".

Everytihng post-2006 was her being discrete? Blimey. Which will come first though, the Love book or the Hole reunion? Place your bets, please.

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Gotye and his band have formed a political party
Some-popstar-that-you-used-to-know Gotye, real name Wally De Backer, has made (not really) like Bez and gone into the 'realm' of politics, starting a political party with his backing band, The Basics.

The plan is that De Backer and peers Kris Schroeder and Tim Heath, aka the Basics Rock N Roll Party, will run in the upcoming state elections in Victoria, Australia, on 29 Nov.

Representing a kind of flipside option to 'elitism' in politics, the BRRP will promote 'innovation', 'education' and 'rock n roll' as its main cornerstones, in particular encouraging indigenous local learning in Victorian schools, making first-aid training compulsory for high school-age kids, and also improving access to music in rural areas.

Doing a bit of light canvassing via the AAP earlier this week, Schroeder said: "Politics in this country is treated like it belongs to the elite. We have these career politicians who often come from well-to-do families... and they are groomed in to becoming these life-long politicians that have no other life experience.

He added: "We've all got higher education degrees, so we're not just musicians, but we haven't come up through any political ideology we just care about certain things like indigenous affairs and education. We're interested in giving an equal opportunity to all as far as access to music is concerned, and I guess that's across the board what we're really interested in".

If you think you can dig that (and are registered to the Victorian Electoral Commission), go and sign up to join the party via its official FB page, which also has lots of info on the BRRP's various policies. Gotye and co need 500 members in order to compete in the election, BTW.

Flying Lotus premieres new Kendrick Lemar featuring single
Flying Lotus has premiered new track, 'Never Catch Me', which features rapper Kendrick Lamar, the first single from his forthcoming album 'You're Dead!'

As well as Lamar, the album features the likes of Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock, Thundercat and more, and is due to be released on 6 Oct through Warp Records.

Discussing the record's nods to the afterlife, Lotus states: "The album isn't about the end, it's really about the beginning. It's a celebration of the next experience. It's the transition and the confusion. It's not 'hey you're dead.' It's 'hey you're dead!'"

Flying Lotus is playing The Roundhouse in London on 7 Nov. You can purchase tickets here.

And here's 'Never Catch Me'.

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Iceage have a Love-ly new album
Unclassifiable Danish band Iceage have fired off a batch of info on their latest LP, starting with its title, 'Plowing Into The Field Of Love'.

A composite of - states the press release - "euphoria" and "a sense of desperation and loss", the long player finds vocalist Elias Bender Rønnenfelt "singing of what it is like to be out in the world, dizzy with its offerings, perched on a plateau of false confidence, bliss, fantasy and delirious self-denial".

When 'Plowing' um... ploughs in via Matador on 6 Oct, it'll bring with it divisive lead track 'The Lord's Favourite', plus the following tracklisting and new single 'Forever'.

On My Fingers
The Lord's Favourite
How Many
Glassy Eyed, Dormant & Veiled
Stay
Let It Vanish
Abundant Living
Forever
Cimmerian Shade
Against The Moon
Simony
Plowing Into The Field of Love

Look at and listen to 'Forever' here, and/or see it transcribed to a live kind of setting at Iceage's only forthcoming UK date, a recently-confirmed show at London's 100 Club on 2 Dec.

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Glastonbury Festival 2015 ticket registration - ie ensuring you are eligible to try to buy a ticket when the times comes - closes at the end of this month, on 30 Sep. Make sure they've got your deets here.

• Vevo has appointed David Rice to the newly-created position of Chief Product Officer. He will be based in the company's San Francisco office and joins from CBS Interactive.

• The lads in One Direction are going to be in the next Guinness World Records Book. They are the first UK act to have their first three albums go straight to number one in America. Niall Horan thinks it's "sick".

• Radio 1 has started to announce the line-up of performers for it Teen Awards, which will take place on 19 Oct. Amongst them are The Vamps, 5 Seconds Of Summer and Ariana Grande.

• Captured Tracks has signed indie outfit Dinner. They've released a track which you can listen to here. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with food.

• Iggy Azalea has teamed up with Ellie Goulding on a new track for the re-release of her debut album 'The New Classic'. The album will feature six new songs in total and new artwork. Fancy.

CMU approved producer 2562 has announced that he will release a new album called 'The New Today' on 20 Oct. You can listen to the first track from it here.

• Gruff Rhys has just unveiled his third single from his latest album/multi-media event 'American Interior', which you will be able to buy from 6 Oct. But you can listen to 'Lost Tribes' right now if you'd like.

CMU approved lectronic duo Labyrinth Ear have revealed a very haunting video for their song 'Marble Eyes'. You can watch it here. It's spooky.

• Kindness have dropped 'This Is Not About Us' through Female Energy Records. From their forthcoming album 'Otherness', it's due to be released on 13 Oct. Give it a listen here.

CMU Beef Of The Week #221: Deadmau5 v Disney
So, you've likely already seen the news that Disney is going after Deadmau5 and his logo, opposing a trademark application he submitted in the US last year. Its reasons for doing so apparently took 171 pages to list.

We don't have time to go through all of those reasons right now, but it can be pretty easily boiled down to a simple soundbite. Deadmau5's logo features a cartoon mouse with a round head and two big round ears. And Disney's logo features, well... you know.

In a statement earlier this week, the producer's lawyer Dina LaPolt pointed out that Deadmau5 has been using his logo, based on his on-stage headgear, for almost a decade. And given that he's already managed to secure the trademark in 30 other countries, it seems a little odd for Disney to start complaining now.

She added that her client "will not be bullied by Disney and is prepared to fight to protect his rights to his property".

That's the sort of statement that usually leads to a tedious exchange of letters, possibly a trip to court, or maybe one of those always-disappointing out-of-court settlement things. But this story already has a twist. And who doesn't like a good twist? No one. Except M Night Shyamalan. But that's not important right now.

Sure, an exchange of letters has begun, but LaPolt has played a pretty impressive hand right off the bat. Though, to be fair, Disney pretty much walked right into this one.

Between 2009 and 2012, the Disney Channel ran a series called 'Have A Laugh!' One segment of this show was called 'Re-Micks', in which classic Mickey Mouse cartoons were cut up and turned into short music videos for a variety of songs by artists including The Black Eyed Peas, Miley Cyrus and The Beach Boys. Oh, and Deadmau5.

Since then, these videos have been pulled out of the show and turned into standalone videos and put up on the Disney website. While the music was seemingly cleared for the TV show, putting it on online is something, seemingly, for which Disney had not secured the proper rights.

In her letter, LaPolt states in no uncertain terms that Disney is infringing the copyright of her client. Not only that, but the copyright of EMI Music Publishing, Virgin Records and Ultra Records too. Because it's always fun to wave a large corporate entity in someone's face at a time like this.

But LaPolt wasn't finished yet. Because just pointing out a two year old copyright infringement might seem petty and slightly irrelevant.

"In addition to Disney's numerous acts of copyright infringement, the infringing video implicates the Zimmerman's trademarks and rights in and to his name and likeness", she continued. "Disney prominently features the deadmau5 mark next to the infringing video, implying a non-existent endorsement by Zimmerman".

Yes, Disney might be opposing the registration of the mau5head logo as a trademark, but he already owns the rights to other logos and uses of the name Deadmau5.

"Again, we are unaware of any license allowing you the right to reproduce, distribute or otherwise exploit the deadmau5 mark or to exploit Zimmerman's name and likeness in connection with same. Therefore, Disney's current exploitation and for distribution of the infringing video constitutes infringement of Zimmerman's rights of privacy and publicity, as well as unfair competition, trademark infringement, and interference with economic relations, among other causes of action under the California Civil Code (Sec. 3344), the United States Lanham Act (See. 1 125) and other applicable law".

Well, there's a kick in the goofies. I see your trademark opposition and raise you a trademark infringement. But would it have the desired effect? Having shared the letter on Twitter, Deadmau5 wrote: "Let's test a theory. It takes em ten years to oppose a trademark, let's see how long it takes em to take down a video".

Not long, it turned out. Within hours the video featuring the producer's track 'Ghosts N Stuff' was gone from the Disney website. And not only that; every single Re-Micks video that had been on the website previously was also gone. Which, as admissions of wrongdoing go, seems pretty clear cut. Possibly.

Whether it'll have any effect on Disney's opposition to the trademark opposition remains to be seen. Probably not, but we had fun, at least.

Let's finish on a song, shall we? How about the Disney Re-Micks of Deadmau5's 'Ghosts N Stuff', which, despite no longer being on the Disney website, is still very much on the Disney YouTube channel (for the time being).

 
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
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.
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)
   
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.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
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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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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