TUESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2014
TODAY'S TOP STORY: So the whole pre-1972 thing is getting very interesting indeed in the US, and arguably rather bizarre, in that recent rulings suggest that any terrestrial radio station, club or bar in the states of California or New York that has ever played recordings from before 1972 has been busy infringing copyright for decades, yet no one ever said anything until now. Recap. US-wide federal... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: One of the highlights of last week's Ja Ja Ja festival in London, the three day event expanding out of the monthly Nordic showcase night of the same name, was the performance of Nils Bech. Unknown to a good portion of the audience, certainly as a live performer, there was a sense of trepidation in the room as he appeared on stage, delivering a semi-spoken word introduction to the... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Judge indicates that public performance right might apply to pre-1972 recordings in New York State too
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DEALS BMG acquires Vagrant Records
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Sony CFO says major paying attention to role of freemium in streaming
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Uber confirms Spotify alliance
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ARTIST NEWS Ed Simons backs away from Chemical Brothers live shows
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RELEASES Giorgio Moroder confirms new LP feat Charli, Britney, Kylie and Sia
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Ed Sheeran announces Wembley Stadium show
S Club 7 reach for starry 2015 arena shows
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ONE LINERS Charli XCX, Ariana Grande, Download and some more stuff
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AND FINALLY... Bono requires surgery after cycling accident, U2 cancel Tonight Show residency
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OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE
Office space to rent with Full Time Hobby and SALT Films. Music and film companies looking for another likeminded company to share a new office space at Tileyard Studios. £400 per desk including most bills (phone separate). For full information click here.
 
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NAME PR - SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
Name PR is looking to hire a Senior Account Manager with significant experience in music and tech media relations. One of the world’s leading music industry PR agencies, Name PR clients include Merlin, Kobalt, the International Music Summit and Cooking Vinyl.


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MACHINE MANAGEMENT - DAY-TO-DAY ARTIST MANAGER (LONDON)
Machine Management is looking for an experienced day-to-day Artist Manager to join the management team. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with minimum 2-3 years' experience to develop in this very busy and internationally focused role. Based in offices in East London, the position will be working primarily with one of the company's biggest talents, is very much a 24/7 role and will involve some travel.


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MERLIN - TECHNICAL OPERATIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
Merlin is seeking a qualified, enthusiastic Technical/Operations specialist to assist in maximising the effectiveness and success of Merlin’s agreements. Candidates must carry an excellent working knowledge of the technical and operational aspects of the digital music industry. This should include working knowledge and substantial experience in managing content delivery and operational maintenance of agreements with digital services. A proven set of established relationships in the sector would be advantageous.


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PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO HIGH PROFILE MUSIC AGENT (LONDON)
This is a fantastic opportunity for an exceptionally organised administrative assistant with previous office experience in the creative industries. The ideal candidate will be flexible, self-motivated, with a good knowledge and understanding of the music industry, impeccable attention to detail, the ability to prioritise and remain calm under pressure.


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THE ARCHES - MUSIC PROGRAMME MANAGER (GLASGOW)
The Arches is looking for a dynamic and enterprising person with strong experience and a passion for all types of music to join the Music Programming team. As our Music Programme Manager, you will be responsible for the day to day negotiation, planning, administration and delivery of a broad programme of live music and club events.


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MOOD MEDIA - MUSIC CONSULTANT (KESTON, KENT)
Mood Media are looking for a full-time Music Consultant to join the UK team. The role will involve working with some of the world's biggest brands, curating playlists across a very broad range of genres and styles. Previous experience would be preferable, but not essential.


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OVAL SPACE - FINANCIAL CONTROLLER (LONDON)
You will be the man or woman at the helm of the finances for Oval Space and its group concerns. You will part or fully qualified ACA or CIMA and be comfortable taking accounts to sign off stage. You will be a dab hand at cash flow management and be comfortable preparing and presenting numbers internally and externally.


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DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
London based independent music company seeking a Digital Marketing Manager to work alongside Product and Digital teams, to originate and manage pioneering online campaigns across a varied mix of musical styles and genres. The ideal candidate will have at least two years in music or complementary industry.

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Judge indicates that public performance right might apply to pre-1972 recordings in New York state too
So the whole pre-1972 thing is getting very interesting indeed in the US, and arguably rather bizarre, in that recent rulings suggest that any terrestrial radio station, club or bar in the states of California or New York that has ever played recordings from before 1972 has been busy infringing copyright for decades, yet no one ever said anything until now.

Recap. US-wide federal copyright law only applies to recordings released after 1972. Federal copyright law says that satellite and online radio services are obliged to pay a royalty to the record labels when they play sound recordings (usually via SoundExchange), but the same obligation does not apply to terrestrial radio or the owners of public spaces where recorded music is played (though all parties are obliged to pay royalties to the music publishers for the copyright in the actual songs).

In recent years satellite broadcaster Sirius and online music service Pandora have argued that they are not obliged to pay royalties for recordings they play that pre-date 1972 because [a] federal law does not apply to those recordings and [b] the state laws that do apply don't distinguish between terrestrial and satellite/online radio, and because AM/FM stations don't pay royalties to the record labels, they shouldn't have to either. Which isn't an entirely unreasonable argument.

But the record industry isn't convinced and has argued that Sirius and Pandora's royalty obligation should apply to pre-1972 recordings that are, otherwise, still in copyright. Which, of course, includes the much played 1950s and 1960s rock n roll oeuvre. To back up this argument you either need to demonstrate that, on this point, federal law should apply to all copyright works, or that the state laws that directly protect pre-1972 recordings provide copyright owners with a so called public performance right (state laws usually a bit vague on this issue).

The major labels, SoundExchange and, most prolifically, Flo & Eddie formerly of 60s band The Turtles, have all forwarded the latter argument in their respective litigation. And in California Flo & Eddie won the argument in court, while the judge overseeing the labels' lawsuit has indicated she will instruct any jury that a public performance right should apply to sound recordings protected by the state's copyright laws.

And now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, a separate case being pursued by Flo & Eddie in New York seems to be moving in their favour as well. In that case, on Friday judge Colleen McMahon denied an application for summary judgement in its favour by Sirius, which argued that there was clearly no public performance right for sound recording owners under the state's copyright system.

But case law offers no previous discussion on the topic, McMahon said, and while it might be odd that, if a general public performance right does exist for sound recordings, no artist or label has ever previously exercised it in New York state, that doesn't mean said right doesn't exist. In McMahon's words: "Acquiescence by participants in the recording industry in a status quo where recording artists and producers were not paid royalties while songwriters were does not show that they lacked an enforceable right under the common law - only that they failed to act on it".

Not only that, but McMahon went on to muse that the fact no court had ever specifically denied the existence of the public performance right "implies exactly the opposite of what Sirius contends - not that common law copyright in sound recordings carries no right of public performance, but rather that common law copyright in sound recordings comes with the entire bundle of rights that holders of copyright in other works enjoy".

So things aren't looking good for Sirius and Pandora on this one. Though - as noted before - the precedents being set here go much further than the those two operators. Because if a general public performance right does exist for pre-1972 recordings in some US states, then that should apply to all users of pre-1972 recorded music.

Whether the labels would pursue that right remains to be seen, particularly if broadcasters threatened to just pull pre-1972 music off their airwaves. Though as public performance income becomes ever more important to labels (having been something of a side business in the CD boom days) the record companies might call the broadcasters' bluff. After all, 60s tunes on the radio sell very little catalogue CDs or downloads, so arguably the broadcasters need the labels' content more than the labels need the radio play.

And - pragmatically - if the labels go after Sirius and Pandora for these royalties, it would be unfair to let the AM/FM operators to carry on getting the freebies. So, interesting times ahead.

BMG acquires Vagrant Records
The latest phase of BMG acquisitions are very much label focused, aren't they? Because while the v2 BMG company has always had an interest in both sound recording and music publishing rights, many of its earlier purchases were in the latter domain.

But following the acquisition of UK independent Infectious back in September, BMG yesterday confirmed it had bought LA-based rock indie Vagrant Records. Under the new deal Vagrant co-founder Jon Cohen will become EVP Recorded Music for BMG Chrysalis US, continuing to head up Vagrant while also overseeing the US side of the wider company's artist services business.

Confirming the deal, BMG's Laurent Hubert told reporters: "The acquisition of Vagrant Records is another milestone for BMG in the US as we build scale and capabilities in the recordings business just as we have in music publishing. Jon Cohen has built an impressive team at Vagrant, and with the support of BMG and its international infrastructure, we believe they will offer an unbeatable service both to Vagrant artists and to BMG's artist services signings".

Cohen added: "It is impossible not to be impressed by what BMG has achieved in the US since it opened here just five short years ago. By putting service to artists at the centre of its offering, BMG is committed to offering a genuine alternative to traditional label deals. Together with the rest of the Vagrant team, I look forward to further growing BMG's presence in the recordings business".

Sony CFO says major paying attention to role of freemium in streaming
Sony Music's Chief Financial Officer has admitted that the music major is giving some consideration to how freemium fits into the streaming music market in the wake of Taylor Swift's decision to pull from Spotify.

As much previously reported, Swift chose to pull her entire catalogue from those streaming services which force all artists to make their music available to freemium as well as premium users. The singer indicated that she had no problem with paying Spotify subscribers accessing her tunes, but didn't want those using the ad-funded free version to have similar on-demand access.

The move kickstarted much debate in the wider music industry on how freemium fits into the streaming music market, and whether having too good free offers devalues music or makes it harder to persuade consumers to start paying for streaming services. Though Spotify boss man Daniel Ek insisted that it was by offering a compelling freemium level that his company had been able to upgrade so many people to the £10 a month option.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony Music CFO Kevin Kelleher, while briefing analysts, stressed that the major remained "very encouraged by the growth of subscription-based streaming services", but said of the freemium debate: "Actually, a lot of conversation has taken place over the last week ... what it all really comes down to is how much value are the music company and the artist getting from the different consumption methods".

He went on: "The key question is, are the free, ad-supported services taking away from how quickly and to what extent we can grow those paid services? That's something we're paying attention to as content owners who license our content to the different platforms. It's an area that's gotten everyone's attention".

Uber confirms Spotify alliance
According to BuzzFeed, a senior exec at taxi app firm Uber recently floated the idea of hiring a team of researchers to dig up dirt about the firm's media critics, and to then circulate said secrets so to "give the media a taste of its own medicine". But I'd like to stress that this will have no impact whatsoever on our coverage of the firm.

In unrelated news, the brilliant, marvellous, world-changing, society-improving, dream-enabling, agenda-setting driver-on-tap app Uber yesterday confirmed its highly anticipated and undeniably genius partnership with Spotify, the greatest music service to have ever been conceived let alone created.

Under this perfect alliance, any lucky Spotify Premium-subscribing traveller who books a "Spotify-enabled" Uber car via the must-use mobile app of the moment, and all future moments, will be able to control the music they hear while on the move, as if in some kind of vehicular heaven, only better.

Said lucky people will be able to chose from carefully-curated and sure-to-be-brilliant playlists specifically designed for the kind of smooth drive you can expect when hiring an Uber driver, or, if they so wish - because Uber and Spotify are all about personal freedom, being, as they are, corporate defenders of all human rights - any playlists or tracks from the Spotify libraries, which famously include all the good music that has ever been created.

As the two companies said in a statement yesterday that is both true and, in itself, a work of art: "Uber connects riders with transportation on-demand, wherever and whenever they choose. Spotify brings listeners the right music for every moment. And now, with our new first-of-its kind product partnership, Uber and Spotify Premium users can personalise their Uber ride by playing their favorite Spotify music right through the car speakers". What joy.

Oh hang on, Uber's Senior Vice President Of Business Emil Michael has told BuzzFeed that his 'give the media a taste of their own medicine' plan was just casual off-the-record dinner chatter and said remarks "do not reflect my actual views and have no relation to the company's views or approach". Well, that changes everything.

Uber app? Uber twats more like. Spotify playlists in your taxi! What a dumb idea that truly is. The dumbest of dumb ideas from the very dumb-core of dumbs-ville. Twats.

  Approved: Nils Bech
One of the highlights of last week's Ja Ja Ja festival in London, the three day event expanding out of the monthly Nordic showcase night of the same name, was the performance of Nils Bech.

Unknown to a good portion of the audience, certainly as a live performer, there was a sense of trepidation in the room as he appeared on stage, delivering a semi-spoken word introduction to the first song. Then there was a wave of surprise as the band kicked in and the first sight of Bech's highly individual dance moves were seen. His Ian-Curtis-meets-Klaus-Nomi vibe was an often confusing, occasionally hilarious, but always completely engaging experience.

I immediately wanted to see him live again, before that show had even finished, but I was unsure how something that seemed so deliberately visual would translate on record. New album 'One Year', released this week on Fysisk Format, answers that question very satisfactorily.

Through collaboration with a fine selection of musicians, including Jaga Jazzist's Martin Horntveth and Serena Maneesh's Ådne Meisfjord, and Bech's wonderfully descriptive lyrics, he is just as much of a pleasure to hear away from the stage. His third album in a strong back catalogue, 'One Year' explores the transformation of a relationship, as the joy of finding the lover of your dreams gives way to feelings of shame and jealousy.

Watch the video for 'I Punish You' (featuring some of those dance moves I mentioned) here.
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Ed Simons backs away from Chemical Brothers live shows
The Chemical Brothers' Ed Simons has confirmed he won't join the duo's other half Tom Rowlands to play any live shows for a while following their headline DJ set at 2015's Bugged Out Weekender, as he wants to instead concentrate on his career as an academic.

Simons has emphasised that his retreat from live activity in no way means the end for The Chemicals, adding that he and Rowlands are in fact working on an LP at the moment, and will go on to release that in the new year.

Speaking this week to Bugged Out HQ, in advance of its big weekend festival, which takes place at the Butlins Holiday Resort in Bognor Regis on 16-18 Jan, Simons said: "It's been a really difficult decision but it doesn't work for me to be away from home for the periods of time touring requires".

He went on: "Tom is continuing with the live show, he wants to take this music to the people. It will be the same big production, with amazing visuals from Adam [Smith, director of The Chemical Bros live film 'Don't Think'] and the studio set up on stage, but I won't be part of it. The academic work I'm continuing with is too meaningful for me to break from right now".

He added: "There are plans brewing for a live show. I know Tom and Adam are working on a brand new look for it. I'm really excited to see how that looks and on the plus side, one day I will get to see a Chemical Brothers show from the audience's perspective".

Giorgio Moroder confirms new LP feat Charli, Britney, Kylie and Sia
Still sexy at seventy (four), Italo-disco king Giorgio Moroder has signed to Sony/RCA, and via that same deal will release his first 'solo' LP in approx 30 years, '74 Is The New 24', in 'Q4' of 2015. Like a wise yet sprightly spring lamb with a great sense of rhythm, one might say.

Aaaanyway, it will feature (relative to Giorgio) dribbling pop babies like Charli XCX, Britney Spears, Sia, Kylie, Mikky Ekko, Foxes, and also, 'more'.

Philosophising on his life and art so far in the '74...' press release, Moroder says: "Dance music doesn't care where you live. It doesn't care who your friends are. It doesn't care how much money you make. It doesn't care if you're 74 or if you are 24 because... 74 is the new 24!"

And looking back at his big renaissance, which started with that collaborative track on Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories', he tells The Creators Project: "After [Daft Punk] asked me to be on their record I started to get offers to DJ, which I had never done, and that was a great thing, and then I started to get offers for a deal, and Sony/RCA was the best, so I went with them".

He adds: "At my age, in 2014, I was more than happy. And now, between my collaborations and DJing, I love my second career".

How nice. Also nice is the video to the '74 Is The New 24' title track, aka this video.

Ed Sheeran announces Wembley Stadium show
Ed Sheeran is going to play Wembley Stadium. As you've no doubt been expecting all along. It's not like it was a secret that he wanted to do it, after all.

"I've made no secret recently of my ambition to play Wembley Stadium on my own in front of 80,000 people", he says. And so that proves it.

But what will the show be like, Ed?

"It's going to be amazing, I just can't wait".

Well, he's going to have to wait because it won't happen until 10 Jul. Tickets don't even go on sale until 28 Nov. He wants to calm himself the fuck down.

--------------------------------------------------

S Club 7 reach for starry 2015 arena shows
So, S Club 7's big greatest hits medley on Friday's BBC Children In Need show went... erm, well, it 'went'. And now the group have, as if to spite Popjustice, confirmed a series of arena-sized 'Bring It All Back' dates for May 2015. And that's real pop optimism aka poptimism in action, kids.

Tickets for that will go on sale this Thursday, so get ready. In the meantime here are the listings:

7 May: Birmingham, LG Arena
8 May: Manchester Arena
9 May: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
11 May: Bournemouth, IC
12 May: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
13 May: Liverpool, Echo Arena
15 May: Nottingham, Capital FM Arena
16 May: London, The O2
19 May: Leeds, First Direct Arena
20 May: Glasgow, SSE Hydro
21 May: Sheffield, Motorpoint Arena

Charli XCX, Ariana Grande, Download and some more stuff

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Having recently waved 'adieu' to his Dirty Beaches alias, Canadian alt-pop artist Alex Zhang Hungtai is now officially going by the name Last Lizard. His updated SoundCloud page has two tracks on it already, so go have a little stream.

• Barely a day seems to go by now without a new Charli XCX track being released. So it shouldn't surprise you to know that she's released a new track. It's called 'Gold Coin' and it will appear on her forthcoming new album. Here it is.

• Team Me are finally releasing their approval-winning track 'F Is For Faker' as a single. Finally! Taken right off the band's forthcoming LP 'Blind As Night', you can watch an official clip for the song via this link.

Approved piano-playing-and-singing man Tobias Jesso Jr has released a new track titled 'Hollywood' that has Pitchfork cooing over it like it's some kind of miracle baby. And to be fair, it is quite a nice song. Listen now.

• Oh look, it's a CMU approved act in the One Liners again; this time pop kids Kero Kero Bonito have let fly an energy-drink-snorting new song with inspiring lyrics. Get with 'Build It Up' here.

• Midlands indie types Peace have confirmed a chirpy new LP titled 'Happy People'. Its release on 9 Feb 2015 will be encircled by a string of live shows, the first of which is on 15 Jan at Liverpool's Kazimier.

• Ariana Grande is going to be appearing in the arenas of the UK next June. Well, some of them. London, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham are the cities. And you'll be able to buy tickets from this Friday here.

• Tove Lo has had to cancel her upcoming show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden this week, due to some "very inflamed vocal cords". Fear not though, she'll be back for a show just down the road at Koko on 22 Jan.

• The Download office has ID'd Muse as co-headliners (co with the yesterday-confirmed Slipknot) of the 2015 festival. Faith No More and Marilyn Manson are also now on the line-up - \m/.

• So that whole Pornhub records thing is still happening. The porn website offshoot has announced its first release - a bid for Christmas number one performed by some stars of British adult channel Television X. It's called 'Coming For Christmas' and features lines like "Let's go sit on Santa's lap, see what's inside his sack". Classic stuff. I'm sure you'll be very sad to learn that I can't offer you the full song just yet, but here's a teaser.

Bono requires surgery after cycling accident, U2 cancel Tonight Show residency
U2 have been forced to cancel their week-long residency on America's 'The Tonight Show', which was due to take place this week, after Bono fell off his bike in New York's Central Park on Sunday, requiring surgery.

In a message posted on their website, the other members of U2 told fans: "It looks like we will have to do our 'Tonight Show' residency another time - we're one man down. Bono has injured his arm in a cycling spill in Central Park and requires some surgery to repair it. We're sure he'll make a full recovery soon, so we'll be back! Much thanks to Jimmy Fallon and everyone at the show for their understanding".

This latest incident comes just days after a door fell off the singer's private jet while flying from Dublin to Berlin last week. All of which sounds like the plot of the worst 'Final Destination' movie yet.

 
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
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.
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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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