TODAY'S TOP STORY: A new report launched last week at a congress organised by the International Council Of Creators Of Music, or CIAM, called for a more equal distribution of streaming royalties between the respective music rights owners. It's a formal demand for an overhaul of the streaming royalty system that's been a long time coming, and a rally call that's only likely to get louder as streaming becomes... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Mixing an almost unwieldy number of styles - disco, electro-pop, rock and funk to name just four - Passepied headlined the second night of last week's Tokyo International Music Market. Despite the extensive array of influences, they hold together their dance-friendly sound with apparent ease, as vocalist Natsuki Ogoda coolly delivers her vocals over the top. Usually hidden behind the... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Music creator group calls for balancing of streaming royalty split between rights holders
CIAM also calls for more money and more transparency
LEGAL ECJ ruling says embedding not infringement
Injured Ultra security guard sues for negligence
LABELS & PUBLISHERS House label 240 Volts revived by !K7 label services deal
LIVE BUSINESS Global Gathering taking gap year in 2015
BRANDS & MERCH Beyonce and Topshop kickstart 50/50 sportswear company
RELEASES John Cale releases track in homage to late Lou Reed
ONE LINERS Tool, OK Go, Liverpool Sound City and more
AND FINALLY... You can buy Sia's breath in a jar, if you want
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Music creator group calls for balancing of streaming royalty split between rights holders
A new report launched last week at a congress organised by the International Council Of Creators Of Music, or CIAM, called for a more equal distribution of streaming royalties between the respective music rights owners. It's a formal demand for an overhaul of the streaming royalty system that's been a long time coming, and a rally call that's only likely to get louder as streaming becomes an ever bigger part of the music rights pie.

There are, of course, three separate copyrights in a recording of a song with lyrics - one in the words, one in the music and one in the recording itself. In the music rights game, the first two get lumped together as the 'publishing rights', repping by the music publishers, and the latter, the master rights, are generally controlled by record companies.

In the CD market, and the cassette and vinyl domain before it, the majority of the money made by selling records went to the record company because it took all the risk involved in releasing recordings, covering the upfront costs of making, releasing and marketing the music, and the logistics of getting physical product onto the high street. It varies from country to country, but the publisher's cut was usually under 10%.

In the digital domain, similar splits have been adopted, despite some wrangling between the publishers and labels in the early days of iTunes, the former arguing that a label's risk and upfront costs were less in the digital domain.

But over in the realm of public performance licensing, which covers things like radio, the split between the publishers and the labels has always been much more equal. And as we move from CDs to downloads and ultimately to streaming, and as streaming services add curation and programming into the mix, there is a strong argument that digital is becoming more akin to radio than it is the record shop.

Making it inevitable that the music publishers, and the non-performing songwriters especially, were, at some point, going to cry foul on the way streaming services are being licensed, in terms of royalty splits. And this issue is likely to become more hotly debated as all or any of the following trends come into play:

1. The music rights sector realises that music copyrights will never again be as lucrative as they were in the 1990s.

2. The rise of streaming starts to hit the profitability and therefore royalty income from music TV and radio.

3. Labels start to make an increasing amount of their new talent investments back through merch, brand partnership and direct-to-fan revenue streams, rather than straight monetisation of the sound recording copyright.

CIAM is a global body that sets out to "protect the rights and assert the cultural aspirations of music creators", while its report also has the backing of CISAC, the global grouping of music publishing collecting societies, as well as Music Creators North America and Canadian collecting society SOCAN.

The report was written by Professor Pierre-E Lalonde, and it says: "The split in revenues between the different sets of rights holders is imbalanced. A combination of regulatory constraints, market imbalances and situations where major record labels negotiate with digital services for all categories of rights holders, has led to a significant disparity between the revenues paid to record labels and to creators".

He goes on: "In the business of streaming, the split of monies from streaming platforms is geared more favourably towards record labels and performers vs songwriters and music publishers", before recommending "a more equitable division of revenues between the various rights holders, with a 50/50 split between recording and composition".

Some have previously noted that the big music rights companies, which own both sizable sound recording and publishing catalogues, will likely favour the current system, because corporate rights owners are usually obliged, under contract, to share a bigger cut of publishing income with songwriters than they are sound recording income with recording artists, so they'd prefer more digital money to come through their labels.

Which means the songwriters and standalone publishers will likely face an uphill battle to shift rights holder splits from streaming to 50/50, though it's interesting that such a proposal has now been made in a formal report by an organisation like CIAM.


CIAM also calls for more money and more transparency
The same CIAM report by Professor Pierre-E Lalonde makes a number of other proposals about digital licensing, including arguing for streaming firms passing over a higher proportion of their revenue to the music rights owners, and calling for more transparency in the way the labels' digital deals are done.

Streaming services like Spotify licence music on a revenue share basis, albeit with some advances, guarantees and equity thrown into the mix. It means the amount of money paid over to the labels and publishers, artists and songwriters each month varies depending on how much money has been generated by advertising and subscription sales.

Beyond the initial advances and guarantees, it protects the digital service providers during periods when revenues are down but overall listening is high, but also means that as the revenues of these companies boom - as is currently happening with Spotify - the rights owners enjoy a boom too. Most of the streaming start-ups are paying about 70% of their revenue to the rights owners, which is then split between labels and publishers (the majority going to the former), and is then divvied up based on content usage.

But Lalonde reckons that the DSPs have got themselves too good a deal at 70%, and should actually be paying something nearer to 80% of revenue to the rights owners. The report's executive summary states: "The current level of revenues paid by music-streaming services to rights holders is between 60% and 70%. This amount undervalues music. With these services poised to become the predominant model for music consumption in the future, the remuneration paid out needs to be re-balanced in favour of rights holders. The current level of remuneration is inadequate given the dependency of these services on music content".

Of course, the vast majority of the streaming music companies are currently loss-making, so the chances of them agreeing to increase revenue shares in the rights owners' favour at this time are very low. Indeed, if and when services like Spotify float and get a listing on a stock exchange, investors are likely to put pressure on the DSPs to negotiate their licensing commitments downwards (as is happening with Pandora in the US).

And the way these services are currently developing is also relevant here. As the streaming platforms put more and more effort, and money, into curation services and maybe even original programming, while music will still be at the core of what they offer, these operations will become more and more akin to radio. And the commercial radio sector in the UK, which also has a revenue share license, pays a fraction of what the DSPs are currently committed to. An increase from the current 70%, therefore, seems ambitious.

Indeed, of the big proposals in the CIAM report, the transparency point is likely to gain the most traction, because on that issue the music creator group allies with artist collectives and the management community worldwide. As previously reported, the International Music Managers Forum has become very vocal on this issue of late, calling for an end to the non-disclosure agreements which make it really hard for artists to work out what deals have been done between the labels and the DSPs. Check out a full report on the matter in the latest CMU Digest Report.

Either way, all the points raised in Lalonde's paper are interesting to consider.

ECJ ruling says embedding not infringement
The European Court Of Justice has ruled that embedding a YouTube video on a website without the permission of the video owner does not constitute copyright infringement. Which is just as well, given how much YouTube video embedding goes on.

The ECJ seemingly made the ruling in relation to a dispute in the German courts between a water filtering company and two men working as contractors for a rival who had used one of its videos on their personal websites. The court concluded that the defendants could embed the plaintiff's video on their site without specific permission, providing the content was being pulled in from a publicly available source through a frame. So a YouTube embed.

The full ruling is yet to be published, but a copy has been seen by Torrentfreak. What isn't clear is what the deal would be if the original video on YouTube hadn't been posted by the rights owner; ie whether any liability for copyright infringement would extend to the embedder as well as whoever originally uploaded the video without permission.

Of course, YouTube allows people who upload videos to stop third parties from embedding their content, so the system provides rights owners some control even if copyright law does not


Injured Ultra security guard sues for negligence
The security person injured when gatecrashers pushed down a perimeter fence at the Miami edition of the Ultra festival earlier this year has filed legal proceedings against pretty much everyone involved, seeking $10 million plus for the injuries she suffered. Amongst the defendants in the lawsuit are Ultra and its parent company Event Entertainment Group, the city of Miami, the firm handling security at the festival, and one of the concession operators at the event.

Erika Mach suffered two skull fractures and a broken leg when people pushed over fencing to gain access to the festival back in March. As previously reported, city officials subsequently said they'd warned festival organisers that the particular area of fencing that Mach was guarding was in risk of collapse if targeted by gatecrashers, leading to Miami mayor Tomas Regalado threatening to block future Ultra festivals in the city.

According to Billboard, in her litigation Mack also alleges that a less sturdy kind of fencing had been used in that zone because the concession company also targeted in the lawsuit had requested a less severe kind of barricade to make it easier for them to access the festival site. Allowing such a thing was negligent of all parties, Mack argues, especially given the police warning about the vulnerability of that particular area of fencing.

Ultra is yet to comment.

House label 240 Volts revived by !K7 label services deal
British tech house act Swayzak have announced a services deal with !K7 to revive their 240 Volts label.

Launched in 1999, 240 Volts began as an outlet for some of the demos the then duo picked up on their international travels. The label eventually slowed and then stopped releasing music in the mid-2000s. The !K7 deal will not only make the company's full catalogue available again, but will also make many releases available digitally for the first time.

Swayzak's David Brown, aka Brun, said in a statement: "It's very exciting to be relauching the 240 Volts label. We have worked with some cool labels over the years from Minus, Playhouse and Mille Plateaux to Fabric, Pokerflat and Tresor, and with all our !K7 catalogue available again it feels like a good time to draw a line under the old material and make it available under one roof, whilst having a singular home for our forthcoming productions, and perhaps the productions of a few old chums along the way".

Releases on the various imprints run under the 240 Volts name - Swayzak Recordings, Voltmusik, Snooploops and Disco Dub Plates - will also be made available. Amongst the artists included in the deal are Konrad Black, Prosumer Mike Shannon, Jay Haze, Richard Davis, as well as Swayzak.

Global Gathering taking gap year in 2015
Thirteen years into its life cycle, big-scale dance-fest-in-a-field Global Gathering will take a year off in 2015, its promoter MAMA & Company has confirmed, following the 2014 weekender which 'went off' at Long Marston Airield with headliners Chase & Status, David Guetta and The Prodigy.

The motivation for taking the break is, apparently, so that the GG team has time to "review all elements of the show, ensuring it remains at the heart of the UK dance market". All of which gives little away. Still, as Michael Eavis has proven with Glastonbury, a so-called 'fallow year' isn't necessarily a bad thing. Though Glastonbury doesn't have to worry about SFX zooming in and stealing its audience.

By the way, MAMA wants fans of the Global Gathering brand (and maybe the bosses at SFX) to know that the whole 'no British festival in 2015' thing won't affect any other GG-related events, so don't go saying it will.

Beyonce and Topshop kick-start 50/50 sportswear company
Topshop is collaborating with the one, the only Beyonce Knowles on a line of street-style sportswear and accessories. O r, as WWD phrases it, an 'ath-leisure brand'. Take your pick.

The main point is that Bey's Parkwood Entertainment and Topshop owner Arcadia have formed a 50/50 joint venture - Parkwood Topshop Athletic Ltd - which differs from many of today's fly-by-night 'band-brand' alliances (like the time she 'designed' beachwear for Topshop rival H&M, for instance) in that, instead of simply acting as the face of the clothing line and taking a quick fixed fee, Beyonce will, via Parkwood, take back half of the cash the project generates. Smart thinking.

Reiterating the ways in which this particular JV isn't like all the others, Arcadia boss Philip Green tells WWD: "This not a collaboration. This is about building a brand and building a business - a separate, proper business, with separate overhead and a separate office".

Tracking back to the origins of the 'not a collaboration', Green adds: "Basically, when she was in London in February we arranged to get together. We started talking generally, about doing something together. We've been looking at that [athletic] sector for a while. It's something we need to be in. Based on what she does, how she works out, the conversation got into that category. We started getting into proper conversation in May or June, as to how it would work. It took six or eight weeks to put a deal together. On Friday, Beyonce came to our office for the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle".

Meanwhile Bey herself has said of the venture that which will bridge the style 'realms' of dance, fitness and sports: "I could not think of a better partner... I have always loved Topshop for its fashion credentials and forward thinking. Working with its development team to create and produce a technical and fashion-led collection is exciting and I'm looking forward to participating in all aspects of this partnership".

  Approved: Passepied
Mixing an almost unwieldy number of styles - disco, electro-pop, rock and funk to name just four - Passepied headlined the second night of last week's Tokyo International Music Market. Despite the extensive array of influences, they hold together their dance-friendly sound with apparent ease, as vocalist Natsuki Ogoda coolly delivers her vocals over the top.

Usually hidden behind the impressive animations of their frontwoman in their videos, Passepied's live performances are the only time anyone is allowed to see their faces (something much easier to control in Japan, where if you ask people not to post pictures on social media they won't). Ogoda, dressed in a red and white tunic, cuts a striking image in person that matches her striking vocal delivery - some might say the high pitched sound that emits from her lungs is an acquired taste, but the shock passes as the smart rhythms and arrangements of the band's songs cut through.

Yesterday I talked about final night TIMM headliner Sakanaction's concerns about finding an international audience when all of their lyrics are in Japanese. This is clearly something that has crossed Passepied's mind too, and four albums into their career they've just released their first English language EP on iTunes, re-recording four songs from their latest album, 'Makonouichi-ism'.

It's probably a step in the right direction for international expansion, but at first attempt it feels like something has been lost in translation. Passepied's sound is intelligent and complex, and issues with pronunciation and lines that don't quite scan undermine that somewhat. The sheer strength of the songs does keep them afloat, but currently I'm happy to stick with the originals.

But, hey, why not make your own mind up; here are the original and English versions of 'Tokyo City Underground', plus the original of 'Makonouichi-ism' standout track 'Matatabistep'.
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John Cale releases track in homage to late Lou Reed
John Cale has released 'If You Were Still Around', a new song commemorating his long-time musical sparring partner, the late Lou Reed.

Revealing the track nearly a year to the day since Reed's death aged 71, Cale added a metaphorical note on their relationship.

It reads: "A moth and a candle met. They decided to become friends. Everyone enjoyed watching their discourse - especially the risk takers. Then one day a big rain came. The moth couldn't fly and the candle puttered out. Everyone laughed in bitter awe and blamed the rain. Most however knew the deeper truth - the candle remains lit and the moth will stay close".

View the video for the song, which plays on the images of Cale, Reed and their bandmates from the back sleeve of the Velvet Underground & Nico's 1960 eponymous LP, here.

Tool, OK Go, Liverpool Sound City and more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• You might think this new Tool album is never going to make it out into the world, but you'd be wrong. Probably. The band have at least made it into the studio long enough now for guitarist Adam Jones to post an Instagram photo.

• OK Go have posted their latest ludicrously complicated new video up on that YouTube. Filmed in Japan there are bonus points for it featuring a cameo from J-pop trio and CMU faves Perfume. The song's alright too. Watch here.

• Pop wonderboy Fryars, real name Benjamin Garrett, has released a new mixtape titled 'The Boy In The Hood'. Whilst Lily Allen sings on one of its tracks, 'King Many Layers', that's really only the tip of the iceberg. Climb the iceberg by streaming the mixtape (which Garrett says is the 'B-movie' to his forthcoming LP 'Power', out 17 Nov) here.

• THE synthpop act of yesteryear (well, 2012), NZCA Lines aka Michael Lovett, is back with a new track titled 'New Atmosphere'. Whilst Moshi Moshi will release it as an advent treat on 8 Dec, stream it in the meantime here.

• One-time tall ship sailor now popstar Kiesza is showing off the video for her new single 'No Enemiesz', from the album 'Sound Of A Woman', which drops anchor on 1 Dec. It's a bit like her 'Hideaway' video in that it displays Kiesza's dancing skills, only the trick with this latest visual is that Kiesza's backing dancers appear from discarded coats and things. BEHOLD.

• Granddad-of-goth Marilyn Manson's abysmally-titled new track 'Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge' is available now to download upon signing up to his mailing list. Or waive that commitment and simply play it on YouTube now.

• CMU approved fellow Altrego has announced a new single, called 'Coming At You'. And coincidentally, he'll be coming right at you next month when he plays a gig at The Barfly in Camden. On 11 Nov, to be exact. Make a note.

Approved tropical pop trio Juce have invited fans to sip whatever it is they're selling via a new five-track mini-LP titled 'Taste The Juce'. Hear the band's new single '6th Floor' here, and catch them live this exact night when they play London's Electrowerkz.

• Liverpool Sound City 2015 already has a headliner in the form of Belle & Sebastian, though the bigger news is that the showcase festival will be setting up shop at the city's Bramley Moore Dock and popping up a bunch of stages, tents and other such contraptions to host the bands who play, rather than using city centre venues as in the past. Which is all rather exciting. More here.

You can buy Sia's breath in a jar, if you want
Sia released her single 'Breathe Me' ten years ago this year, and it's taken all of that time for someone to come up with this idea. This Friday, as part of the Adelaide Film Festival, a jar containing the singer's breath will be auctioned off to raise money to help to support filmmakers in the South Australian capital. Really.

AFF CEO Amanda Duthie explained: "Gorgeously and magnificently, she breathed into a jar for us. Her breath is in a Mason jar with silver sealing wax, so no one can accidentally open it. Whoever wins it will be able to break the seal - or just let it be".

I know that opening the jar and breathing in its contents would fit the whole 'Breathe Me' set up at the start of this story, but why would you do that? For one thing, it would destroy any resale value the jar might have. And this might be the only family heirloom the winning bidder has to pass down to their children (especially if this is the type of thing they waste their money on). Plus why risk the possibility that Sia had eaten a really garlicky lunch before depositing her breath? These are important things to consider.

Anyway, the auction will take place at the Channel Nine studios in Adelaide at 6.30pm this Friday. Silent bids are being accepted from people who can't attend too, but I think that would be taking this whole thing a bit too far.

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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