TODAY'S TOP STORY: Secondary ticketing company Viagogo yesterday commented on efforts to include a few lines regulating the resale of tickets online in new consumer rights legislation that's currently working it's way through Parliament. As previously reported, last month the House Of Lords voted to amend the Consumer Rights Bill so to include some secondary ticketing regulation, mainly stemming from... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Every weekday in the run up to the Christmas break, we'll be revealing another of our ten favourite artists of the year. Next up is Cibo Matto... Over a few years in the late 90s, Cibo Matto built themselves a respectable cult status, never much troubling the charts but critically acclaimed and loved by fans for their eclectic sound and lyrics that struck the right balance between being... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Viagogo comments on proposed secondary ticketing rules
LEGAL Apple anti-trust case hangs in the balance due to lack of eligible plaintiffs
Neil Fox arrested over new sexual assault claims
British musician jailed over involvement in Anonymous DDoS attack
Dr Luke sues Kesha's lawyer for defamation over Lady Gaga rape claims
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES YouTube allows users to see how using third party music will affect videos before uploading
GIGS & FESTIVALS Nicki Minaj announces "biggest and best" European tour ever
ONE LINERS Converse, Morrissey, Joanna Newsome and a festive bundle of other musical awe
AND FINALLY... Slayer rescue cold little kitten
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Viagogo comments on proposed secondary ticketing rules
Secondary ticketing company Viagogo yesterday commented on efforts to include a few lines regulating the resale of tickets online in new consumer rights legislation that's currently working it's way through Parliament.

As previously reported, last month the House Of Lords voted to amend the Consumer Rights Bill so to include some secondary ticketing regulation, mainly stemming from a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Ticket Abuse.

The proposed rules would oblige ticket sellers online to reveal their identity, to provide any specific information about the tickets being sold, to state the mark-up that has been added, and to draw a buyer's attention to any terms and conditions on the ticket that could mean the act of reselling voids the ticket a buyer is purchasing.

At face value those are pretty basic and reasonable measures, though most secondary ticketing websites are against any regulation, arguing that their own systems protect consumers, and that over-regulating British ticket resale operations will just lead to more prolific touts using websites outside the UK jurisdiction, where consumers have less protection against fraud.

Viagogo notes that forcing sellers to reveal their identity and information such as seat numbers would do much more than just show up the prolific touting operations (and promoters and artists who tout their own tickets). It would possibly make it easier for anti-touting promoters to cancel tickets that a buyer attempts to resell.

There has been some debate over what exactly a ticket is legally speaking - is it product that it's entirely legitimate to sell on for profit, or is it a contract between the promoter and the audience member that guarantees access to an event in return for money subject to contractual terms.

The terms and conditions that routinely go with tickets suggest it's the latter, and said terms usually say the contractual agreement is non-transferable and becomes void if transference takes place. Which means there is arguably a solution for the anti-touting brigade in good old fashioned contract law - void all the resold tickets - it's just that the effort of monitoring resales, working out which tickets are being resold, cancelling said tickets and then dealing with a pissed off audience member at the venue usually isn't worth the hassle.

But Viagogo seems to think that the new regulations on the table in the Lords might change that, hindering the secondary market much more significantly than perhaps those supporting the new rules realise. Though many of those backing the new regulations would probably welcome the more wide-reaching impact; even though Viagogo et al will quickly return to the "you'll send touting underground" argument.

Either way, as the third reading of the Consumer Rights Bill took place in the Lords yesterday, a spokesperson for Viagogo told reporters: "We are in favour of making information clearer on our website and are constantly looking for new ways to do so. However, publishing the original seller's identity is unnecessary because all tickets come with the Viagogo guarantee [ensuring refunds for invalid tickets], while publishing specific seat numbers allows rights owners to cancel tickets which are being legitimately resold. Anyone can see that is not in the consumer's best interests".

They added: "Our view is supported by independent research from ComRes, which shows that 76% of British consumers believe a ticket is their property to resell if they wish. 77% would prefer to use a guaranteed secondary platform, while over a third would be willing to pay more than face value for a ticket".

So there you go. It's worth noting that research routinely conducted by Which? magazine never seems to find such all round consumer support for secondary ticketing. The Consumer Rights Bill now needs to go back to the House Of Commons where the Lords' amendments, including those on secondary ticketing, will be considered. The amends are not government backed, so it remains to be seen if the ticket touting lines added in the Lords remain in the legislation as it goes through the final stages of the parliamentary process.

Apple anti-trust case hangs in the balance due to lack of eligible plaintiffs
So this is fun. There have been some interesting developments in the anti-trust case against Apple over the IT giant's iTunes software which means - as we write - the lawsuit stands, but without a plaintiff. Which means Apple is facing legal action that could cost it billions, but no one is actually suing the company.

As previously reported, Apple is accused of anti-competitive behaviour between 2006 and 2009, when it was selling tracks on iTunes as AAC files with its own FairPlay digital rights management technology embedded.

The then market-leading iPod could only play MP3s (with no DRM) and Apple's own brand of AAC (with DRM). Because during this period the major labels would only sell downloads that came with DRM protection, that meant that iPod owners could only buy major label content from Apple's own iTunes store.

Other digital firms, most notably Real Networks, which were unable to licence Apple's FairPlay system for their download ventures, tried to backwards engineer their own AAC files with DRM protection that would work on the iPod. But Apple kept updating its iPod software to stop such files from working; so much so that an iPod software update might delete music files bought from rival companies using backwards engineered DRM technology.

Apple argues that it was obliged to stop files using unofficial DRM from working on the iPod because of its licensing deals with the majors, and that it was prevented from licensing its FairPlay system to third parties because doing so would have meant making the software more adaptable, which would have compromised user-experience. iTunes boss Eddy Cue noted in court last week how God awful Microsoft's rival DRM system was, because his company's main rival tried to make its DRM work across different devices.

Anyway, all this has finally reached court as the result of a class action instigated by a small number of former iPod owners who argue that they were negatively impacted by Apple's anti-competitive actions. As a class action, though, if Apple was to lose the case any former iPod owners who had been similarly impacted could claim compensation, which is why losing the legal battle could cost the IT giant billions.

But as the lawsuit has progressed certain parameters have narrowed - specifically what period of the iPod's history the case relates too - and as a result some of the plaintiffs were struck off the lawsuit last week because it was shown they had not been iPod owners/Apple customers at the relevant time.

As a result, as this week began the case had just one claimant leading the proceedings, one Marianna Rosen. She claimed to have bought a number of iPods over the years, but yesterday - according to the Associated Press - Apple's lawyers proved that [a] some of those iPods had not been used between 2006 and 2009, [b] some had not been using the software at the heart of this case and [c] two iPods bought in 2008 were purchased on Rosen's husband's company credit card, so she didn't have a direct contractual relationship with Apple and therefore can't sue over them. Boom.

Having managed to have all of the plaintiffs in the case deleted from the files, Apple hoped that it could have the whole lawsuit thrown out of court - even with a class action, there needs to be at least one named eligible plaintiff at the top of the legal papers.

But the judge hearing the case has given lawyers leading the battle against Apple 24 hours to find another claimant who is eligible under the current parameters of the case. Its thought that some eight million people bought iPods in the US during this time period, and said lawyers reckon they've already found a few willing to take on the battle against Apple.

Who, what, how and why we should find out later today.


Neil Fox arrested over new sexual assault claims
Radio presenter Neil 'Dr' Fox has been arrested over further allegations of sexual assault.

As previously reported, in September police arrested Fox at the offices of Magic FM, as well as searching two properties in relation to four accusations of sexual assault made by two separate women.

According to the BBC, Fox was arrested again yesterday accused of three additional instances of sexual assault, apparently involving different women. He was bailed until March next year.

Fox was presenter of Magic's breakfast show at the time of his original arrest, though is currently not appearing on the station.

At the time, a spokesperson for the station's parent company Bauer said: "In the circumstances, Neil will be off air from tomorrow to enable him to devote his full attention to dealing with these matters. All other aspects of his contract will remain unchanged while matters are resolved. We can make no further comment at this stage".


British musician jailed over involvement in Anonymous DDoS attack
British producer and session guitarist Jake Commander has been sentenced to ten days in prison by a US court for his part in an Anonymous attack on MasterCard's website in 2010.

According to The Washington Times, Commander, then living in New Hampshire in the US, entered an Anonymous chatroom on 10 Dec 2010 and in, as he puts it, an "impulsive, spurious and foolish" move, clicked a lick to aid the hacker group in flooding the credit card provider's website with traffic, taking it offline and costing the company over $1 million. It had been, he said, a "protest" against the banks that had "brought the country to its knees".

Two years later he and his family moved back to England, but during a trip back to the States last year Commander was arrested and charged for his part in the cyber attack. Although, according to his lawyer, around 2000 people took part in the Anonymous action, the musician was one of only thirteen people charged and initially faced ten years in prison.

When sentenced yesterday to ten days in jail, with one day on credit for time served after his arrests, Commander said that he was "mortified to have upset the government of this country, which has been my host for many years".

Like his co-defendants, he was given the option of serving his time at weekends, though requested to take all ten days consecutively, meaning he will be free early next week, at which point, his lawyer said, he plans to return to England and never come back to the US again.

Now retired from the music industry, Commander worked with artists including Elton John, George Harrison and ELO during his career.


Dr Luke sues Kesha's lawyer for defamation over Lady Gaga rape claims
Dr Luke has filed a defamation lawsuit against Mark Geragos, the lawyer representing Kesha in her lawsuit against him.

As previously reported, Kesha has made a number of serious allegations against pop producer Dr Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, whose label and music publishing outfit she signed to aged eighteen.

The singer says Gottwald forced her to "take drugs and alcohol in order to take advantage of her sexually while she was intoxicated". The claims appear in a lawsuit filed by Kesha against Gottwald in the LA courts, which also accuses the producer of actual rape, and of creating an environment that led to the singer suffering from bulimia. Gottwald denies the allegations and has counter-sued.

Meanwhile, earlier this month Lady Gaga told Howard Stern in an interview that she had been raped when she was nineteen, though did not identify the perpetrator. Geragos later tweeted a link to an E! Online report on the interview with the question, "Guess who the rapist was?" When one fan replied "Lukasz", Geragos responded in a since deleted tweet, "#Bingo".

Aside from the fact that this doesn't seem like particularly professional behaviour for a lawyer, both Gottwald and Gaga have denied that the accusation is true. In a statement a rep for Lady Gaga previously said: "This ridiculous, manufactured link between Lady Gaga and the Kesha/Dr Luke lawsuit is utterly incomprehensible. This simply isn't true and how dare someone take advantage of such a sensitive matter".

According to Rolling Stone, Gottwald's new lawsuit states that, "through the publication of these 'tweets', [Geragos] unambiguously and crassly asserted that [Gottwald] was the 'rapist' who sexually assaulted Lady Gaga". It adds that the producer has "never been alone with [Lady Gaga], has never touched her and has met her only twice for very brief periods of time".

Gergaros meanwhile told TMZ: "I said it, because it's true".

YouTube allows users to see how using third party music will affect videos before uploading
YouTube has added new features to allow content creators to see what effect using other people's music in their videos will have prior to uploading them to the platform.

Although the Google website's Content ID system allows music right owners to identify their music being used by third parties on the site - giving them the choice of blocking or monetising the content - video creators using said music have not known what will happen to their videos (will they be blocked? will ads be added?) until their content has been uploaded. Sometimes resulting in nasty surprises.

YouTube will now show uploaders what restrictions may be placed on their videos as a result of their music choices, and whether adverts will appear to compensate the music copyright owners.

In a blog post, YouTube Product Manager Tim Grow explains: "Until now there was no way to know what would happen if you used a specific track until after you hit upload. Starting today, you can search the YouTube Audio Library to determine how using a particular track in your video will affect it on YouTube, specifically if it will stay live on YouTube or if any restrictions apply. You can uncross those uploading fingers now!"

As previously reported, users can also access music and sound effects pre-cleared for use in the YouTube Audio Library, which will not be restricted and will allow users to monetise their videos themselves.

  CMU Artists Of The Year 2014: Cibo Matto
Every weekday in the run up to the Christmas break, we'll be revealing another of our ten favourite artists of the year. Next up is Cibo Matto...

Over a few years in the late 90s, Cibo Matto built themselves a respectable cult status, never much troubling the charts but critically acclaimed and loved by fans for their eclectic hip hop-based sound and lyrics that struck the right balance between being funny and standing up to repeat listens. Then, with two albums in the bag - '1996's 'Viva! La Woman' and 1999's 'Stereotype A' - they split up and moved on to other things, leaving that cult band love and thoughts of what could have been hanging in the air.

And there Cibo Matto could quite happily have stayed, with all of that goodwill left firmly intact while both members of the group, Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori, moved on with their lives - amongst other things, Hatori was the original voice of Gorillaz's Noodle, while Honda worked with the likes of Yoko Ono and Martha Wainwright.

Then in 2011, the duo reunited to perform at a benefit concert for the victims of the tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan that year. It seemed like a pretty good reason to reform, and something that wasn't going to harm their legacy at all. But two months after that came the announcement that a tour and new album were now being lined up. With over a decade between them and their last album by this point, the chance that they might fail to recapture what made them great in the first place seemed alarmingly high.

Thankfully, Honda and Hatori shared those fears, slaving over the album to ensure it wasn't an ill-judged attempt to rekindle a connection that was no longer there, and only eventually allowing it out into the world this year.

"I feel the same way as you", said Hatori earlier this year when Noisey suggested that reunion albums tend to be something of a disappointment. "We tried hard not to cause that reaction. It took two years to make the album, and we worked so hard".

Honda added: "We were very clear with ourselves that we wanted to do something that has the colour of Cibo Matto, but we also wanted to do something new. We really wanted it to be something that we'd be proud to present today. So we just criticised until we felt it was good enough to be presented".

Being hard on themselves paid off, 'Hotel Valentine' is arguably their best work, a record that benefits from the duo's extended time apart rather than hindered by it. And, as Honda admits that she and Hatori "were falling out of love with Cibo Matto" at the point they split, it's almost certainly better than any third album they might have delivered at the time.

The easy option, of course, would have been to fire off a collection of songs about food, in their vein of 'Know Your Chicken' and 'Birthday Cake' from 'Viva! La Woman', which would at least have drummed up some nostalgic kudos from fans. But instead they went down a wholly different route, writing an album about a ghost who haunts a hotel, the one guest who can see the apparition and the relationship that blossoms between them.

That story runs through all ten tracks, but it's always the music that drives the progression of the album. As such, the lyrics all paint vivid pictures, though it's not always clear what they show or how they fit together. Themes of longing, loneliness and love all bubble up to the surface, which make it accessible regardless of how deeply you want to examine the mortality of the character feeling them. Nonetheless, the ghostly elements of the lyrics do at time add to the beauty of the scenes painted by Hatori with her vocals, particularly on the softly pulsing ballad 'Empty Pool'.

Other high points on the album are its infectious lead single 'MFN', which is probably the closest in feel to Cibo Matto of old (both musically and lyrically), and leftfield disco track 'Tenth Floor Ghost Girl'. But those are high high points amongst many high points, the album holding together as one complete entity with a skill they make seem effortless. Ten songs that run out in under 40 minutes, the album never overstays its welcome, and comes with enough layers to ensure you can happily keep returning to it and discovering new things to love about it long after that first listen.

So, not only have they pulled off the most unlikely of things - a good reunion album - I'm now pretty comfortable in the idea of them continuing on further, as they apparently plan to do.

You should obviously listen to 'Hotel Valentine' in full at the earliest possible opportunity, but here are the videos for two songs from it, 'MFN' and 'Déjà Vu'.
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Nicki Minaj announces "biggest and best" European tour ever
Nicki Minaj is coming to Europe for a tour, which will see her take in some to the UK's finest arena venues. She'll be supported by Trey Songz, which might mean she'll do her vocals on his songs 'Touchin, Lovin' and 'Bottoms Up' live. And wouldn't that be a treat?

Says Minaj: "It's been way too long since I've seen my European Barbz! I can't wait to get back and party with all of you with Trey Songz. We have more than a few surprises in store, and I promise this will be my biggest and best tour yet!"

That's quite a promise now, Nicki. Here's Trey Songz with a lesson in managing expectations: "I am thrilled to be headed to Europe with the beautiful and talented powerhouse Nicki Minaj. The love I feel overseas is overwhelming, and I can't wait to get the tour started to bring fans the best Trigga show possible".

The best show possible. Not the best ever, just the best he can manage at the time.

Anyway, Minaj's new album, 'The Pinkprint', is out on Monday. Tickets for her UK and Ireland shows will go on sale this Friday at 9am. So you'd best buy cheaper lunches for the rest of this week. And when are those dates? Those dates are then:

28 Mar: London, O2 Arena
31 Mar: Dublin, O2 Arena
1 Apr: Belfast, Odyssey Arena
3 Apr: Birmingham, Barclaycard Arena
4 Apr: Manchester Arena
6 Apr: Liverpool Echo Arena
7 Apr: Nottingham, Capital FM Arena
9 Apr: Leeds, First Direct Arena
10 Apr: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
12 Apr: Glasgow, SSE Hydro

Converse, Morrissey, Joanna Newsome and a festive bundle of other musical awe

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Shoe maker Converse has kicked a load of musicians into the studio and got them to record some Christmas songs. Amongst the six acts that appear on the new 'Noise to The World' compilation are Dum Dum Girls and Deer Tick. Listen here.

• Morrissey 'Moz' Morrissey is planning to get in that there studio soon, having penned a whole new album. "We wrote a new album and I hope that we will record in February", he tells B92. It's not clear how it might be released, though hopefully this one will stay on sale for more than a few weeks.

• Joanna Newsome is also working on new music, he first new material in five years. She tells Dazed: "I'm working on something new - I should hopefully have a little more news soon. I've been working hard for a lot of those five years on a new idea".

• Not wishing to be outdone, Lana Del Rey is working on a new record too. "I'm working on a new record", she tells Galore. So that proves it.

• Paul McCartney has released the video for his previously reported new single, 'Hope For The Future'. Written for the videogame 'Destiny', the video sees McCartney appear as a hologram within the game. It looks terrible. See for yourself here.

• Despite officially having put the project to bed, Alex Zhang has shared a new Dirty Beaches music video. Except he's calling it a short film. Sure, it's fifteen minutes long, but that's just because the song it's for, 'Time Washes Everything Away', is fifteen minutes long. And here is that video.

• Nadine Shah has announced that she will play a headline show at the Sebright Arms in Hackney on 27 Jan, performing some songs from her new album, which is due for release some time early next year. Tickets are available here.

• Oh hey, the CMU approved Chromatics are going to release anew album in the new year. Their fifth, it'll be released through Italians Do It Better in February. And it's called 'Dear Tommy'. This song's going to be on it, even though it's quite old now.

• One Direction have added some new dates to their 2015 UK tour, including three more nights at the O2 Arena in London. Birmingham, Newcastle and Sheffield also get an extra night each apiece. Tickets for all dates are available here.

• Perfume Genius has announced that he will play his biggest London show, like, ever on 10 Jun next year. But where? Oh, only at the Royal Festival Hall. How nice. Tickets are here. And look, here's a new video he's made to top this off perfectly. It's for the song 'Fool'.

• Marmozets have announced a UK tour for next February, tickets for which will go on sale this Friday at 9am here. As well as that, they're giving away a free download of a previously unreleased track called 'Broken Reflection'. Only until 21 Dec, mind. So head over here and download it before then.

Slayer rescue cold little kitten
I think this story is only really of note if you happen to automatically think of everyone involved in metal as being loud, angry, unruly, animal-slaughtering maniacs. Actually, a few notable individuals aside, metal-heads usually do a fine job of unleashing all their aggression on stage, and are frequently all laid back and lovely once the party's over.

Anyway, Slayer rescued an ickle little kitten earlier this week. Well, one of their crew did. But it happened after a bunch of the band's team had dined with guitarist Kerry King at his favourite steakhouse in a rather chilly Indianapolis.

Says Slayer's press rep: "Afterwards, the assistant tour manager, Jess [Cortese] saw a homeless man on the street who offered up this little kitten for a dollar. The kitten apparently was freezing so Jess took it, slept with her in her bunk on the bus and went to the venue with her today, hanging out. One of the runners knew someone who wanted a kitten, so the little guy now has a new home where he or she currently is".

Apparently the kitten's new owner has named the animal Gypsy and has posted a photo on Facebook. So that's all lovely isn't it? Next week, Slipknot mend a poorly robin's broken wing. What do you mean "quiet news day"? I've no idea what you're talking about.

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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