MONDAY 8 SEPTEMBER 2014
TODAY'S TOP STORY: A global trade group for the web sector, which counts Google, Facebook and Microsoft amongst its membership, has hit out at previously reported proposals in Australia to introduce new anti-piracy measures. As previously reported, both three-strikes and web blocking are up for consideration as Australian... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: After having much success across the pond, synth-pop band Magic Man are finally starting to make waves in the UK in the form of their new single 'Texas' which will be released on 20 Oct through Sony's Epic Records. The song is taken from their debut album 'Before The Waves' which will be released early next year... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Web firm trade group opposes anti-piracy proposals in Australia
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LEGAL Dappy charged with nightclub assault (yes, again)
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DEALS Sony forms alliance with Chainsmokers manager
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MEDIA Vevo UK launches first presenter-led bespoke programme
Kerrang! launches new talent strand across its channels
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ARTIST NEWS GRL member's death confirmed as suicide
Jack White categorically not working with The Libertines
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Refused's Dennis Lyxzén to bring new band INVSN to London
The Vaselines announce UK tour and new album
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ONE LINERS Britney Spears, The Veronicas, Willow Smith and more
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AND FINALLY... Gotye not running for parliament. Spoilsport.
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Web firm trade group opposes anti-piracy proposals in Australia
A global trade group for the web sector, which counts Google, Facebook and Microsoft amongst its membership, has hit out at previously reported proposals in Australia to introduce new anti-piracy measures. As previously reported, both three-strikes and web blocking are up for consideration as Australian regulators consider helping the copyright industries better tackle online infringement in the country.

The proposals on the table, and the arguments for them, are pretty much a repeat of what has been put forward by the music and movie industries in other countries previously, including the UK. So it's perhaps unsurprising that the tech sector's opposition to the new anti-piracy measures - and their rationale - is also rather familiar.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association insists that the real problem isn't the kids file-sharing, but the failure of the content industries to embrace the potential of the net, with a "lack of availability of lawful content" and "high prices".

Of course in the music space that particular fix-this-before-you-legislate argument doesn't really work any more, because even in Australia, where the digital market has lagged a little, there is now plenty of legit music content online, including ad-funded free-to-access services. True, catalogue gaps remain, but the new titles routinely shared online illegally are very much available legitimately at fair prices.

The same is not necessarily true of the movie sector, and it's Hollywood that the CCIA is mainly lashing out at with that line of argument. Meanwhile the tech group's claims about "cumbersome and restrictive territorial copyright restrictions" and bad "licensing conduct" can still be aimed at the music business.

The CCIA also questions the content industries' stats about piracy, and the effectiveness particularly of three-strikes, where internet service providers are forced to send stern letters to file-sharing customers, including the threat of some sanction if infringement continues.

According to Torrentfreak, in its submission to the Australian government, the CCIA says: "Empirical data on the impact of copyright infringement over the last two decades is deeply contested and in some cases to such a level that it is being ridiculed. This is a highly undesirable development for the perception of copyright and by extension intellectual property in general by the broader public".

And, it goes on: "Economists have expressed concerns that copyright has a moral hazard effect on incumbent creative firms, by encouraging them to rely on enforcement of the law rather than adopt new technologies and business models to deal with new technologies. Hence, enforcement should not become a tool to protect businesses from competition, changing business realities and changes in consumer exactions, hereby allowing them to continue to hold on to outdated business models".

Interestingly, in the UK it feels like the "copyright stifles innovation" argument has fallen out of favour of late, with Culture Minister Sajid Javid saying last week: "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'".

Though, of course, the three-strikes system that the CIAA seems to oppose most strongly never really got off the ground here. A lite version is now incoming, of course, but in the UK web-blocking has become the anti-piracy tactic de jour, with Javid indicating he'll soon address the missing link in that practice, forcing the search engines to participate. Though you suspect the CIAA, with Google on its team, would have strong words to say about that proposal too.

Dappy charged with nightclub assault (yes, again)
Britain's criminal justice system has added an extra line to rapper/singer/whatever Dappy's fast-lengthening rap sheet, as the one-time N-Dub is found guilty of a nightclub assault charge. 'Another' nightclub assault charge, that is, ie in addition to that similar verdict reached earlier this year relating to an incident at Chicago's nightclub in Chelmsford. You know the one I mean.

This latest knock to the Dapster's 'rep' dates back to an alleged fight at Reading nightspot Evissa last October, when Dappy, real name Costadinos Contostavlos, is claimed to have hit one Devonn Reid in the face - and "popped" his nose - after Reid told him (Dappy) not to speak to his (Reid's) girlfriend and female friend.

Appearing at Reading Magistrates' Court last Friday, Contostavlos, who denied touching or assaulting Reid in any way, was convicted of one count of assault by battery, and released on unconditional bail. Having given the verdict, District Judge Lachhar told him that he could face prison, as this latest conviction is a breach of the six-month suspended jail sentence he received following the Chelmsford incident.

He will appear again for sentencing on 6 Oct.

Sony forms alliance with Chainsmokers manager
Sony Music has formed a JV with Adam Alpert, manager of New York production duo The Chainsmokers, to form a combined management firm and label under the name Disruptor, which will seek to build direct-to-fan businesses for the artists it signs, while working with other labels in the Sony group on its major releases, which is a sound future-music-industry business model if that's really what they're going to do.

"Being a disruptor is about shaking things up", Alpert told Billboard, adding "with this new venture we plan to offer artists a different kind of music company, one that offers a full suite of services and develops artists using a more millennial-focused approach". It's still a sound business model, even though he did just say 'a more millennial-focused approach'.

Giving the venture his endorsement, Sony Music top man Doug Morris said in a statement: "Adam Alpert is an exciting young entrepreneur with a strong vision for creating success through fresh approaches to artist development - that includes building fan bases in nightclubs, online and through direct connections with fans. We are delighted to welcome him to the Sony Music family".

Vevo UK launches first presenter-led bespoke programme
Vevo UK launched its first ever presenter-led bespoke programme on Friday, called 'VVV', though you're all to call it 'Triple V'. We'll have no one going around calling it 'VVVVrrrrrr', even though it's sponsored by a car brand, so that would almost be appropriate.

But who are the presenters hosting Vevo UK's first ever presenter-led bespoke programme, I'm sure you're all asking right about now. No? No interest at all? Come on, it's Vevo UK's first ever presenter-led bespoke programme. You really don't care? Not at all?

Not even if I tell you "talented young presenters" Cheyenne Davide, Vick Hope and Ste Hinde will be presenting in an "eclectic, light-hearted comedic style" that "embodies the spirit of Vevo UK"? Still no interest? God, you're hard work. This is the future people. The future. Or maybe even the vvvvvvvvv-uture. Ha, that's some eclectic, light-hearted comedic style right there everybody. Bet you're all kinds of excited now.

And that's before I tell you about the "dynamic, engaging and fun, chaotic quality" designed "to be bright, bold and above all accessible". Three editions a week of 'VVV' will be available on Vevo.com, the Vevo app and across Vevo's distribution partners like, oh, you know, YouTube. God, next they'll be making a shitty book and causing chaos at Waterstones for no apparent reason other than the pending collapse of human civilisation.

Anyway, I know what'll get you cynical types excited about all this. A quote from Vevo's VP of Content & Programming International, Tom Connaughton. He told reporters, in a not especially eclectic but definitely dynamic, engaging way: "We're very proud to be launching 'VVV' in the UK today and to have Toyota AYGO as the sponsor from day one demonstrates the appeal of the programme". It doesn't, but how dynamic and engaging was that sentence?

"We really believe that now is the right time for a presenter-led programme" he continued, "which can bring a voice to Vevo and that allows us share the great programming we produce. Whether you're coming home on the school bus or on your tea break at work, we want 'VVV' to be music fans go-to place for regular weekly music entertainment".

I was thinking the other day, imagine if Vice and Vevo merged - VICO - it could take over the world. Just before the aforementioned collapse of civilisation as we know it. Anyway, enough of this, go see edition one of 'VVVVrrrrrr' here.

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Kerrang! launches new talent strand across its channels
Kerrang! is set to "mobilise its entire network across television, radio, print and online for the first multi-platform new rock music initiative in the UK", which is a bold claim if ever I heard one, though ultimately undeniable, because to dispute it you'd have to know what it meant.

Called 'Fresh Blood', under the new venture "each platform will unite to seek out and nurture the very best in unsigned and independent label talent from the alternative UK music scene with one chosen act to receive a full showcase and maximum exposure across the network every Wednesday".

Which means they'll pick a new artist each week and big em up in the Kerrang! mag, and on its website, telly channel and radio station. Oh, and they'll stick some advertising next to it. Or, rather, "the property also provides an opportunity for brand and sponsor partners to connect with a passionate and engaged audience". I wonder if anyone reads these press releases aloud before they press send.

Anyway, here's Kerrang! Editor James McMahon employing English to make this sound less like something dreamed up by the Bauer Media sales team to sell more 'brand partnership' packages: "Every year people ask the question: who will headline the festivals of the future? As unquestionably brilliant as Metallica, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath are - and long may they continue! - we all know that one day some bands are going to have to step up and fill their shoes. And Kerrang! wants to play a big part in that".

"Our mission has always been to bring the best new music in the world - but now we're going to use the combined reach of print, radio, online and TV to celebrate the bands that truly deserve it. Fresh Blood is all about one thing: bringing you the bands of tomorrow today".

Actually, more joined up editorial between the various Kerrang! media is interesting, even though you might have assumed it was something that already happened as a matter of course.

  Approved: Magic Man - Texas
After having much success across the pond, synth-pop band Magic Man are finally starting to make waves in the UK in the form of their new single 'Texas' which will be released on 20 Oct through Sony's Epic Records.

The song is taken from their debut album 'Before The Waves' which will be released early next year. And they have just released a video for the track, which features 'Little Miss Sunshine' actress Abigail Breslin, copious amounts of artwork and some rather fancy videography.

The five-piece have recently supported Panic! At The Disco, MS MR and Walk The Moon, to name but a few, and have just announced their first UK show at Notting Hill Arts Club in London on 1 Oct. The tickets are yet to go on sale, but you can watch the video for 'Texas' here.
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GRL member's death confirmed as suicide
Simone Battle, a former 'X-Factor' contender in the US and one fifth of rising pop group GRL, died by suicide last week it has been confirmed. The tragedy came ahead of the group's debut single 'Ugly Heart' charting in the UK, the Pussycat Dolls spin-off having previously appeared on Pitbull's track 'Wild Wild Love' back in February.

Battle's suicide was confirmed by the LA County Coroner over the weekend, after news of her death was announced on Friday by the various record labels working with the group, including Sony's RCA. Their statement read: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the loss of Simone Battle of GRL. Simone was an exceptional young talent and human being, and we are all devastated to learn of her passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and loved ones at this time".

Meanwhile the rest of the group said in a statement: "Words cannot express the depth of our loss, Simone's incredible talent was only surpassed by the size of her heart". They added that GRL will "carry her memory with us in everything we do".

'X-Factor' chief Simon Cowell also paid tribute via Twitter, saying: "I am so sad to hear about the news Simone Battle has passed away. She was such a fun nice person. It's such a loss. Rest in peace Simone".

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Jack White categorically not working with The Libertines
Jack White has denied the existence of any links between him and a potential new Libertines LP, despite Pete Doherty seeming to think the exact opposite.

It all began way, way back, with Pete D chatting away blithely to French TV station D8 re his band's fabled post-reconciliation record, which may or may not be released next year. "Jack White says he'd like to do it", Doherty said. "I'd love him to do it, it would be amazing, but I don't want to get too hopeful".

So that's what he said. And having heard what he said, Jack White felt he had to act quickly to clarify his real involvement in the whole sorry affair. And his involvement is, apparently, none.

Basically White had one of his official 'reps' get on the phone to NME, telling the mag that he had never expressed an interest in working with The Libertines. So yeah, while that deals with the past tense, what of 'future possibilities' of a White-Libertines collaboration? Maybe this is all a clever red herring-type tactic by Jack White, the cunning fox. It probably isn't, though.

Refused's Dennis Lyxzén to bring new band INVSN to London
Former Refused and The (International) Noise Conspiracy frontman Dennis Lyxzén will be bringing his new band INVSN over to London this week for a one-off show at The Barfly in Camden on Tuesday. The post-punk outfit released their (very good indeed) debut English language album earlier this year.

Speaking to CMU ahead of the show, Lyxzén said of the new band: "Much in approach and attitude is the same as previous projects, but the music is pretty radically different. It is also the first band I've been in that has a 50/50 gender ratio!"

Of their live show, he added: "Being six people on stage and everyone coming from a punk rock/hardcore background the live shows are a bit more intense and chaotic than on the record".

Always known as a politically charged performer, we asked if what still drives him remains the same now as it did in the past. "Yeah, I would say so", he replied. "The politics is not really an image or something that I do. It is just a part of me and my ideas and ideals, so of course that will be reflected in the lyrics and music that I write. The motivation and drive to sing and create and play live is, however, bigger than ever!"

Check out the video for '#61' from the album here.

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The Vaselines announce UK tour and new album
The Vaselines are back with a new album and a new UK tour. The album is called 'V For Vaselines' and features single 'High Tide Low Tide' which will be released on 22 Sep through Rosary Music.

States Frances McKee cheerily: "This song is all about commitment issues. Stay safe. Stay single". The tour kicks off in Scotland later this month and features a number of in-stores too. Here's the dates:

28 Sept: Glasgow, Monorail
29 Sept: Edinburgh, Caves
30 Sept: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
1 Oct: London, Rough Trade East
1 Oct: London, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
15 Nov: Bristol, Thekla
16 Nov: Brighton, The Haunt
25 Nov: London, The Garage
26 Nov: Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
27 Nov: Sheffield, The Plug
28 Nov: Glasgow, School of Art

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• thehub will host a 'one dayer' as part of its Joining The Dots initiative this Friday at Cecil Sharp House in Camden called 'Finance, Technology & The Future Of Independent Music', featuring panels on, amongst other things, fan engagement, new business models, and using technology to drive gig attendance. Full info here.

• A newly formed collective with a mission to make the music industry more diverse and redress the under-representation of women in music will stage a very interesting and well named mini-conference at London's Red Bull Studios on 2 Oct called 'How To Get Ahead In The Music Industry Without Being A Dick'. Full info here.

• Britney Spears may or may not be in the studio recording her ninth studio album. She posted a photo on her Instagram with the caption 'Studio today! Yay!' but no further information as to exactly what she is recording.

• Australian twins The Veronicas are making a comeback after seven years, having recently signed a new deal with Sony. They've released a teaser for new song 'You Ruin Me' which you can view here.

• Kleerup has announced details of an upcoming EP named 'As If We Never Won' and has also released a track called 'Let Me In' which features Susanne Sundfør which you can listen to here.

CMU approved Bea has released a new video in the form of 'We're Like The Hard Born'. It has a miming dog in it. Need I say more? Watch it here.

• Hair-whipping star Willow Smith has covered King Krule. So that's weird. Listen here.

• Miley Cyrus has announced via Instagram that she's going to cover Leonard Cohen's 'I'm Your Man'. Interesting. Or horrifying. One of those.

• Simple Things Festival have finalised their line-up. Performers include the likes of Dark Sky, Happa, Futureboogie, Owain K and more. You can view the full line-up here.

Gotye not running for parliament. Spoilsport.
Hey remember the time it seemed like Gotye and his band The Basics were going to run for state parliament in Victoria, Australia, as part of a party named the Basics Rock N Roll Party? Remember that? Well if so, just go and forget it. Because they aren't.

Gotye, real name Wally De Backer, told Australian radio on Friday, according to The Independent: "I am not running for parliament in Victoria, as some publications have been not even implying but actually stating".

It's true, we didn't even imply but did actually state that. Well, we said it was "a plan". But where did all this talk of De Backer collaborator Kris Schroeder saying he was forming a political movement jolly well come from then?

Well, continues Gotye: "The facts are that my other band The Basics, with my good friends and musical cohorts Tim Heath and Kris Schroeder, have considered forming a political party in Victoria called The Basics Rock N Roll party".

So it's true! But: "As of the moment, the party doesn't exist, we have not registered yet, we have almost the membership interest to be able to register that party".

So maybe we all jumped the gun by implying (wasn't it stating?) that Gotye would be in the Victoria parliament by Christmas.

Though since all those stories broke last week support for The Basics Rock N Roll Party has seemingly been rallying online (albeit not all from within Victoria itself), and if the band can get their party registered in time, it seems that Schroeder might - might, mind - run in said election in November. Or at some point in the future.

Maybe. Perhaps. Who knows? We're implying nothing, it's all your inference.

 
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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ALY BARCHI | Staff Writer
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