TODAY'S TOP STORY: If all that talk last week about the complexities of American copyright law when applied to pre-1972 sound recordings got you all excited (and I can't imagine why it wouldn't) well, what a way to start the week. Yes, developments in another ongoing lawsuit centring on very similar issues. You lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky people. So yes, US-wide federal copyright law only directly applies to... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Homeshake is the kind-of-solo-alias of Canada-based Peter Sagar, who at the times when he isn't on his Homeshake grind, and/or looking for his shaver, also plays guitar in @macdemarcosband. Having finessed, over a spread of DIY tapes, a style that's a lighter, goofier, 'younger brother'-type likeness of DeMarco and co's body of slack-jawed wonk-pop, Sagar will on 7 Oct... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Universal pushes for summary judgement in Grooveshark pre-1972 case
LEGAL Eddie Schwartz and Jean Michel Jarre ask IP lawmakers to stick up for the creators
Mutya Buena is bankrupt. Or is she? Hmm
DEALS Universal in business with clever in-vid product placement technology
The Orchard buys Frenchkiss Records
MEDIA Arts Council chief moves to Radio 3
Bauer announces radio revamp, new stations in the regions
ARTIST NEWS Thom Yorke partners with BitTorrent on new solo album
ONE LINERS Kobalt, Calvin Harris, The Who and more
AND FINALLY... Beyonce not about to start giving out her music for free
Click JUMP to skip direct to a section of this email or ONLINE to read and share stories on the CMU website (JUMP option may not work in all email readers). For regular updates from Team CMU follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.
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Universal pushes for summary judgement in Grooveshark pre-1972 case
If all that talk last week about the complexities of American copyright law when applied to pre-1972 sound recordings got you all excited (and I can't imagine why it wouldn't) well, what a way to start the week. Yes, developments in another ongoing lawsuit centring on very similar issues. You lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky people.

So yes, US-wide federal copyright law only directly applies to sound recordings made since 1972, with records made before that date protected by state copyright laws instead. Which has caused all kinds of quandaries over whether or not 1990s federal legislation dealing with various matters relating to music delivered through satellite and internet channels could or should apply to pre-1972 recordings. And, if not, what the hell does state law, mainly written pre-web, think about various web-based issues?

Last week the specific question being asked - via a lawsuit involving satellite radio firm Sirius - was whether satellite and internet radio services are obliged to pay the labels royalties for using pre-1972 recordings, given that the framework for such royalties is set out in federal law. Today - via an ongoing legal battle between the majors and Grooveshark - the question is whether or not federal safe-harbours that protect digital operators which inadvertently (or perhaps that should be 'inadvertently') infringe copyright should apply to pre-1972 records.

Quick recap. Grooveshark works like an audio version of YouTube, in that users are invited to upload MP3s to its server which other users can then listen to on demand. If the labels which own the uploaded recordings object to their content being uploaded - and most do - they can issue takedown notices to have the content removed. Grooveshark argues that because infringing content is uploaded by users, and because the website offers labels the option to have content removed, the company is not liable for infringement because of the safe harbours in the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

And it is probably right about that, given how most courts have interpreted the DMCA safe harbours. But the labels argue that Grooveshark is exploiting a loophole in the law, because we all know that users will re-upload tracks as soon as the streaming company enacts any takedown, which means the service can offer a pretty comprehensive catalogue of music at any one time despite lacking licences from most record companies and many music publishers. And for all Grooveshark argues its operation is no different to that of YouTube, Grooveshark has not developed a ContentID-like system to help rights owners monitor music uploaded to its servers.

But the music industry's lawyers aren't confident that the loophole argument would work in court (the matter is, instead, with the industry's lobbyists, who want the DMCA revised to put some more obligations on the digital companies). However, Universal's lawyers came up with some loopholes of their own, noting that the Grooveshark catalogue has records in it that pre-date 1972, and surely the federal DMCA safe harbours cannot apply to state copyright-protect works?

At first instance in 2012 a New York judge did not concur with the majors, arguing that having DMCA safe harbours only applying to post-1972 recordings would "spawn legal uncertainty" for digital firms relying on the federal laws for protection. But on appeal last year that ruling was overturned, with appeal judges saying that, in fact, "Congress explicitly, and very clearly, separated the universe of sound recordings into two categories, one for works 'fixed' after 15 Feb 1972, to which it granted federal copyright protection, and one for those fixed before that date, to which it did not".

Fast forward to now, and with Grooveshark's request to take this case to the higher Court Of Appeals denied, Universal is pushing for a summary judgement in its favour. According to the New York Law Journal, the major's court filing earlier this month read: "There is no dispute that UMG is the owner of the pre-1972 recordings at issue, and that [Grooveshark] has infringed UMG's common law copyrights in those recordings by streaming copies of these works ... without any authorisation or license to do so".

Grooveshark's ongoing infringement, Universal's legal papers go on, is "part of its premeditated business strategy to exploit the popular sound recordings owned by UMG and other record labels in order to attract users to Grooveshark without paying any licensing fees". This, the legal men argue, is threatening "to destroy the very lifeblood of UMG's business".

For its part, Grooveshark is still fighting. Its current argument seems to be that, if the safe harbour clauses of the DMCA do not apply to pre-1972 catalogue, then court time needs to be given to what New York state laws say about Grooveshark's business model. Of course state laws directly say very little about the matter, so that would require arguments from both sides as to why, or not, Grooveshark's operations are straight copyright infringement without the DMCA.

Meanwhile, says Grooveshark in its filing, Universal's litigation "reflects an unabashed attempt" by the major to force digital start-ups "out of business" by "exploiting what [it] perceives to be a loophole in the federal statutory scheme that provides safe harbour protection" to digital companies.

A final ruling in this case could have impact on both the other pre-1972 lawsuits, and on how web firms that allow users to upload audio and video content to their servers go about directly monitoring (or not) those uploads.

Eddie Schwartz and Jean Michel Jarre ask IP lawmakers to stick up for the creators
I'm pretty sure we all agreed to stop equating streams for downloads, let alone record sales, though that didn't stop Canadian songwriter Eddie Schwartz pulling out the old cliché at the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organisation in Geneva last week. Which is a shame because he and Jean Michel Jarre were raising decent concerns at the annual meeting of IP lawmakers about ensuring creator rights are remembered as frameworks are built governing copyright in the digital age.

Focusing less on piracy, and more on how songwriters and artists will earn a living for legitimate digital content businesses, Schwartz noted during one discussion: "Sales of one million records would at one time have paid me a modest middle class income and I would have received a platinum record. Looking at my digital royalty statements today, for one million streams I get $35. My middle class economic status has been reduced to a pizza".

Meanwhile Jarre, speaking in his role as President of the global collecting society grouping CISAC, said: "We, as creators, are pro-technology. We embrace it and welcome the wider access to culture that digital devices and services afford the public, and the opportunity to reach wider audiences that technology affords creators. But we need business models that make sense to all parties".

Meanwhile Schwartz went on: "For the first time in history we have global platforms that can distribute creative content from virtually anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world. Thanks to the internet, African, Latin and South American and Asian music creators have instantaneous and universal access to the same European and North American audiences and consumers that I as a Canadian songwriter have had access to over the course of my professional life. But ironically, of what value is this unprecedented access if the music is virtually worthless?"

He concluded: "If the revenues don't flow back to creators, while the shareholders and CEOs of companies who deny the value of music enjoy literally billions in profits, surely something is terribly wrong".

Supporting the input of Schwartz and Jarre, Gadi Oron, Director General of CISAC, said that ministers and political decision makers at the WIPO event "should use their power to ensure creators can continue to make a living from their work and that the digital market does not benefit only a few powerful online players".

Exactly how lawmakers could or should ensure the flow of money made from licensed digital music services is fairly divided between web firms, corporate rights owners and individual creators is less than clear.

Though clarification on when and how the statutory royalty already paid in many countries to recording artists out of public performance income should apply to digital services, might be a start. While you still sense that the debate over how digital royalties are split between labels/featured artists and publishers/songwriters will, at some point, kick off once again, digital deals generally weighed very much in the favour of the former.


Mutya Buena is bankrupt. Or is she? Hmm
Popstar Mutya Buena has filed for bankruptcy, which is unfortunate.

Buena - who was once a Sugababe of course, and may or may not still be the 'M' in original-Sugas trio MKS (if they're still together) - was reportedly ordered to file for bankruptcy by a High Court judge after failing to pay a tax bill.

Though her reps tell The Sun that the singer is blaming her predicament on an "administrative error", so, perhaps that's actually the case. Though the Daily Mail claims to have obtained papers confirming that MB and her companies Sacred Three Limited and God Made Me Funky are collectively in debt to a total of circa £30,000.

Oh well, who even needs money. Money is for losers and fools. It's like MKS sing so beautifully in their version of Lorde's 'Royals', right? Right.

Universal in business with clever in-vid product placement technology
Universal Music is expected to announce a deal with MirriAd, the previously reported company that enables advertising images and product placements to be added into music videos post-release, meaning that advertising material can be updated and varied according to region or target audience.

The company behind this clever promotional technology was last seen announcing a partnership with Vevo, the music video platform in which Universal is a key shareholder. Presumably Vevo needs the labels to endorse the promotional tool in order to feed in videos capable of carrying the updated in-vid promos. The first video to utilise the technology under the Universal deal is for an Avicii track, which will now promote liqueur brand Grand Marnier while concurrently entertaining EDM lovers everywhere.

So that's all exciting isn't it? And those of you worrying about the band-brand love in reaching new heights, with promotional messages ever more prevalent in your favourite pop stars' creative output, don't worry, Universal boss Lucian Grainge told the FT that the mega-major would "ensure that artists' and brands' interests are aligned". Phew.


The Orchard buys Frenchkiss Records
Indie label distributor The Orchard announced on Friday that it was acquiring the New York-based Frenchkiss Label Group, which includes the Frenchkiss label to which the likes of Local Natives, The Drums and Les Savy Fav are signed, the latter's bassist Syd Butler having founded the record company in 1999.

Butler will joined The Orchard as VP Of A&R as part of the deal, as well as continuing to run and sign artists to the Frenchkiss label. The indie's GM Paul Hanly will also join The Orchard, retaining his Frenchkiss role and also becoming Director Of Client Relations for the distribution group.

The deal, said one of those statement things, "underlines The Orchard's strategic vision as a creative business partner for its music and film client base, re-defining what distribution means in today's industry". So now you know.

Confirming the deal, Butler told reporters: "As both an artist and a business owner, I am proud to call The Orchard home. Having worked with the company to distribute Frenchkiss for so many years, fully integrating the label is a natural next step. The access to increased scale, infrastructure and financial support will help take Frenchkiss to the next level. I'm excited to be able to tap into the global team first hand and continue to expand the realm of opportunities".

Arts Council chief moves to Radio 3
As expected, Arts Council big cheese Alan Davey is to become grand fromage at BBC Radio 3, where I'm pretty sure everyone speaks French.

He replaces outgoing Radio 3 boss Roger Wright, who announced he was leaving the Corporation to join Aldeburgh Music earlier this year. Though unlike his predecessor, Davey will not hold the concurrent job of Director of the BBC Proms, with another person expected to be appointed into that job imminently, who will then report into Davey.

Confirming his new role, Davey told reporters: "Radio 3, the BBC Performing Groups [the Beeb's orchestras and choir] and the Proms together form one of our most important cultural institutions and a beacon of excellence, there to help everyone discover the best in music, arts and ideas. It is an honour to be asked to lead this wonderful institution and to renew it for the digital age, helping new audiences to encounter the wonderful things serious music and culture can bring".

Meanwhile, in a memo to staff at the Arts Council, Davey wrote: "When I was approached about applying to be controller of Radio 3, I knew that it would be the only job I could conceive of leaving the Arts Council for. Well, I eventually said yes to applying, and now I can confirm that I have got the job. I am more passionate than ever about the power that arts and culture has to transform lives and why it is so important that each and every one of us has the opportunity to experience that for ourselves. We've done some brilliant things [at the Arts Council] and there is more to do. And I know that all your skills and enthusiasm will make sure we do those things".

Davey was a big champion within the Arts Council of the Momentum Music Fund, the funding body's first scheme that directly funded non-classical/folk/jazz artists, an initiative which Davey himself launched at The Great Escape in 2013.


Bauer announces radio revamp, new stations in the regions
Bauer Media has announced a revamp of its radio portfolio, with local outposts of the Magic network being phased out as the cheesy listening station gets added to the national Digital One network, making it available on DAB sets UK-wide on the channel spot currently used by Absolute 90s.

Though what Bauer will then do with the AM channels currently used by Magic in the regions is more interesting. In something of a rewind, 'channel two' services will be added for many of Bauer's local FM stations, so Liverpool will get Radio City 2, Glasgow with get Clyde 2 and so on.

When radio firms first started splitting their AM and FM frequencies in the 1990s it was common to have a 'one' and 'two' service under the same name, though as radio companies consolidated, it was often on the AM frequencies where national brands were rolled out across the regions, hence the Magic network.

Interestingly Bauer's return to using local station names on these frequencies is the opposite strategy to main rival Global Radio, which phased out all its local station IDs and rebranded them as either Capital or Heart stations. It's seemingly a statement by Bauer that it still believes in local radio, even if plenty of programming and playlisting on the local stations still happens at a central HQ.

In fact on the local digital radio networks Bauer will take this one step further by rebranding its Hits Radio service as channel 3 of its local brands, so Radio City 3 in Liverpool, Clyde 3 in Glasgow and so on. The two-branded station will target older listeners, while the three-branded channels will aim for a younger audience.

Bauer also plans a renewed push for its national brands, with Magic, Kiss and Absolute seen as its core national stations on digital, alongside Planet Rock and Kerrang! Radio.

  Approved: Homeshake
Homeshake is the kind-of-solo-alias of Canada-based Peter Sagar, who at the times when he isn't on his Homeshake grind, and/or looking for his shaver, also plays guitar in @macdemarcosband.

Having finessed, over a spread of DIY tapes, a style that's a lighter, goofier, 'younger brother'-type likeness of DeMarco and co's body of slack-jawed wonk-pop, Sagar will on 7 Oct release his first official Homeshake LP, the "smooth and cool" 'In The Shower', via Sinderlyn.

In advance of that, hear 'In The Shower' sister tracks 'Cash Is Money' and 'Making A Fool Of You' via the appropriate links.
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Thom Yorke partners with BitTorrent on new solo album
Hey, all you self-elected gatekeepers, you'd better watch out. After a few days of pretty tedious teasing on Twitter and silly speculation that a new Radiohead album was about to come out, Thom Yorke announced his new solo album, 'Tomorrow's Modern Boxes', on Friday. And rather than coming out via a label, the record is being release through... dun, dun, daaaaaah... BitTorrent.

Not bad BitTorrent, mind, as in all those bad BitTorrent-based file-sharing networks. No, the BitTorrent company. Which has long distanced itself from the piracy its technology aids, and which has been courting the music industry in recent years with various direct-to-fan tools, including its Bundle product.

In a statement, Yorke and his producer Nigel Godrich said: "As an experiment we are using a new version of BitTorrent to distribute a new Thom Yorke record. The new Torrent files have a pay gate to access a bundle of files. The files can be anything, but in this case is an 'album'. It's an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around".

They continued: "If it works well it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work. Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves, bypassing the self elected gate-keepers. If it works anyone can do this exactly as we have done".

"Huh?" said other self-releasing artists, reading the news as they waited for their own new albums to upload to Bandcamp or direct-to-fan platform of choice.

Bandcamp though? Oh man, that's so last week. Yorkie and Goddo continue: "The torrent mechanism does not require any server uploading or hosting costs or 'cloud' malarkey. It's a self-contained embeddable shop front. The network not only carries the traffic, it also hosts the file. The file is in the network".

So there you go. Selling stuff via BitTorrent is totally free for the creator. It'll never cost you anything. Well, except the 10% cut of sales income that BitTorrent takes. And the cost of recording the album in the first place. And any other promotional cost - for example, Yorke elected to get his message out to the media/self-elected gatekeepers via one of the music industry's most established PR companies. But - woo! - no hosting costs.

Still, a 10% cut is less than most other digital outlets for music will take - slightly less even than Bandcamp, and only a third of what iTunes would take. And this is the first time that the BitTorrent company has experimented with charging for download bundles, as it further attempts to distance itself from its reputation as a piracy enabler.

Speaking to Billboard, BitTorrent's Chief Content Officer Matt Mason explained how it all came together: "The first person we talked to was Thom's manager Brian Message and Chris Hufford. He and Brian introduced me to Nigel Godrich, and I had a really good conversation with him on Christmas Eve in 2013 in a studio in London, about understanding their philosophy a bit better. We [at BitTorrent] were inspired by [Radiohead's pay-what-you-want album] 'In Rainbows', that was the spark behind Bundles. 'How do we scale something like that?' The more we talked to Nigel, the more we fleshed out the philosophy".

On what BitTorrent can offer artists, he said: "The platform has been working for up-and-comers for over a year now. This represents our first gated, paid Bundle. We launched [Bundles either freely accessible or in exchange for an email address] with Kaskade in 2013, and we've had 120 million downloads to date ... The thing that we can offer in terms of discovery is putting it in front of 170 million users a month. 40 million of those use BitTorrent every day. This is a very engaged audience".

Talking up his company's position further, he added: "It's been a really weird year in the music industry. The majors seem like they've absolutely given up on the idea of selling people music. There's no clear path for new artists. The biggest album of the year is the 'Frozen' soundtrack. The most innovative thing you've seen is Apple releasing a tool to remove an album. There's nothing good happening out here. We think [artists] should be able to earn a fair wage from their work".

You can buy 'Tomorrow's Modern Boxes' for £3.69 on the BitTorrent website here, or you can fork out for the 'deluxe' vinyl here. Don't try to get it via any more convenient platform though. Convenience is the enemy of any true artist.

Kobalt, Calvin Harris, The Who and more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Kobalt Label Services has confirmed the appointment of Tom Osborn, previously with Epitaph/Anti-Records, to the role of VP Marketing, working on marketing campaigns for the label services business worldwide out of its LA office.

• 'Scottish hitmaker' Calvin Harris has released minimal info on his new LP, like the fact that it lands on 3 Nov, and that it will carry the title 'Motion'. So that's it for now, watch this Calvin Harris-shaped space.

• NYC rap kid Wiki, aka the one off of Ratking with the missing tooth, has climbed on a trans-Atlantic remix of London grime MC Skepta's 'That's Not Me'. Check its video, which features both rappers in the flesh, here, and read Skepta's views on American v British hip hop here.

• Rock's most abiding old boots The Who have released their first new track in eight years, 'Be Lucky', as is skimmed off the top of their forthcoming 50th anniversary compilation. Oh and here's a wince-making fact; it's inspired by Daft Punk.

• St Vincent, aka Annie Clark, is releasing 'Rattlesnake' as the next single from her latest LP 'St Vincent'. Please stream it here ahead of its release on 3 Nov.

• Houndstooth-signed trip-pop duo 18+, who claim their names are Boy and Sis, will on 10 Nov release their very first record of length, as is titled 'Trust'. This is one of its tracks, 'All The Time'.

• Sweden's Tove Lo, who let go her synth-pop-centring debut EP 'Truth Serum' earlier this year, is to headline a show at London's Electric Ballroom on 21 Nov. Tickets are on sale at this link.

Beyonce not about to start giving out her music for free
Beyonce may have surprised fans with the previously unannounced release of her new album on iTunes last year, but there is a key difference between that and U2's recent partnership with the same platform. While U2's album was available to the consumer for nothing, Beyonce charged them extra for her album that came with music videos for each track.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Marketing Manager of Beyonce's Parkwood Entertainment company Jim Sabey explained why the singer won't be following U2's (or indeed her husband Jay-Z's) freebie lead any time soon: "I never like to see anything free. We've never played the pricing game. There's a misconception that recorded music sales are not an important piece of the mix of any artist business. They're still really important".

Sabey also said that they had decided to work with Apple on last year's secret album release because "their corporate culture is shrouded in secrecy", but that didn't stop them from worrying that the album would be leaked: "We were all sleepless, anxiety ridden. We didn't have a back-up plan. We really didn't".

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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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.
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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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