TODAY'S TOP STORY: One of the posthumous molestation lawsuits against Michael Jackson has been dismissed because the accuser waited too long to file his litigation. As previously reported, choreographer Wade Robson sued the Michael Jackson Estate in 2013. He had first met Jackson aged five and spent time at the singer's homes, including the Neverland ranch, until his early teens. The legal action... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: A month ago a new track was uploaded to the SoundCloud page of DJ Shadow's recently launched record label Liquid Amber. By an outfit calling themselves Nite School Klik, 'Posse' was an eerie and slightly confusing mash of bass and hip hop styles. Last week, in an interview with Billboard, it was revealed that the duo is actually DJ Shadow himself and upcoming producer G Jones - who... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Posthumous child abuse lawsuit against Michael Jackson dismissed
LEGAL NMPA sues Wolfgang's Vault
Pre-1972 case given class action status
DEALS Merlin announces deal with pan-Asian streaming service
LABELS & PUBLISHERS EMI to return to India via joint venture with Bollywood director
LIVE BUSINESS Theatre industry publishes new technical standards after Apollo ceiling collapse
INDUSTRY PEOPLE U2 tour manager Dennis Sheehan dies
ARTIST NEWS Blink 182 split is like a fun divorce
Jack White would like you to shut up
ONE LINERS Apple regains position as most valuable brand, Capitol US appoints new COO, tech IPO plans, and more
AND FINALLY... Young Thug threatens to use Lil Wayne's delayed album title
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Posthumous child abuse lawsuit against Michael Jackson dismissed
One of the posthumous molestation lawsuits against Michael Jackson has been dismissed because the accuser waited too long to file his litigation.

As previously reported, choreographer Wade Robson sued the Michael Jackson Estate in 2013. He had first met Jackson aged five and spent time at the singer's homes, including the Neverland ranch, until his early teens. The legal action claimed that Robson had been abused by the popstar over a seven year period.

But legal reps for the Jackson Estate hit back at the allegations, noting that Robson had testified for the defence in the singer's 2005 criminal trial over other child abuse claims, taking to the witness stand to deny he had ever been molested by Jackson and criticising other witnesses who said he had. The star was, of course, acquitted at the end of that trial.

Robson had also paid tribute to Jackson at the time of his death in 2009, but the accuser's legal rep, Maryann Marzano, said that psychological damage caused by the abuse had prevented her client from accepting he had been molested by the singer as a child until recently. And that was why he had been unable to go legal on the matter until four years after the popstar's death, the attorney added.

But lawyers working for the Estate said that the delay in litigation was a problem. Jonathan Steinsapir argued that the law did not allow for the liability for a deceased person's actions to be transferred to their estate after death in perpetuity. Robson, the lawyers insisted, had missed his opportunity to make a civil claim.

And on Tuesday the courts concurred with that viewpoint, with judge Mitchell Beckloff ruling that Wade Robson's claim was untimely and should be dismissed.

Marzano, however, intends to appeal the ruling, noting that Beckloff's decision contained no opinion on whether or not Robson's allegations were credible. She previously argued that the seriousness of her client's claims meant the case deserved a full evidentiary hearing whatever the concerns around the time lapse between the alleged abuse and the legal action. It remains to be seen if those arguments are accepted on appeal.

Reps for the Jackson Estate, meanwhile, welcomed Beckloff's ruling, again stressing Robson's previous testimony about the singer's conduct. Though, even if Marzano fails to appeal this week's judgement, the Estate is still battling one other set of child abuse allegations against Jackson, with James Safechuck likewise arguing that the trauma of the abuse prevented him from pursuing action earlier.

NMPA sues Wolfgang's Vault
The US's National Music Publishers' Association has launched legal action against Wolfgang's Vault, over the licensing (or lack thereof) of the thousands of hours of concert footage in its archive.

Launched in 2003, Wolfgang's Vault began life as an archive of concert recordings previously owned by promoter Bill Graham, though it now draws on a number of sources for its content.

As it has expanded its collection, the channels through which it disseminates the live recordings, and the ways it monetises its content, the company has proven controversial. Though, while there have been legal challenges in the past, prior to the company launching a download service in 2009 and a YouTube channel last year, no claims have to date reached court.

The NMPA has become increasingly litigious in recent years, in particular targeting unlicensed lyric websites, while last year it proclaimed that current US copyright laws are holding the publishing industry back from achieving its full financial potential.

Yesterday, it filed its copyright infringement lawsuit against Wolfgang's Vault at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, noting that the company "disseminates concert videos and audio recordings through multiple websites including, and, as well as YouTube".

"The infringing websites offer tens of thousands of hours of concert footage as on-demand streams, digital downloads, CDs, DVDs and vinyl recordings which generate revenue for Wolfgang's Vault through subscriptions and advertising", a statement continues. "They attract approximately 50,000 visitors per day - and all without properly paying the songwriters and music publishers whose creative content underlies the collection".

Expanding on the dispute, NMPA president David Israelite told reporters: "The Wolfgang's Vault websites have profited in large part because of the significant use of unlicensed music, primarily concert footage, available on their sites. Systematic copyright infringement cannot be a business model, and it is unfortunate that Wolfgang's Vault chose not to compensate all of the creators responsible for their content. Hopefully, this lawsuit will bring publishers and many iconic songwriters the revenue they deserve for the use of their music".

In the past, the NMPA has reached out of court settlements with other video-on-demand services making use of its member's songs, most notably multi-channel networks Fullscreen and the now Disney-owner Maker Studios. Presumably that's the sort of outcome the organisation is hoping for here too, rather than having to go through a tedious court battle.


Pre-1972 case given class action status
The Pre-1972 Thing, as I'd like all lawyers to now call it, continues to roll forward in the US, with a judge giving Flo & Eddie's legal battle with Sirius XM in California class action status, meaning that any ruling in the musicians' favour can be extended to anyone else owning sound recordings that pre-date 1972 which have been played by the satellite radio service. Which could make the damages payout massive.

As previously reported, under US-wide federal law, there is no general 'performing right' for sound recordings, meaning AM and FM radio stations do not need to get licenses from or pay royalties to the record labels. However, federal law does oblige satellite and online radio services to secure such a license, though they can do so via the SoundExchange collective licensing system.

But federal copyright law only directly protects sound recordings made since 1972; any recordings released before that year are protected by state law. So Sirius decided that its specific obligations under federal law to pay royalties to labels couldn't apply to recordings that pre-date 1972.

Some artists and labels then started to argue that the obligation to pay royalties also existed under older state copyright laws as well. Even though those laws make no specific distinction between traditional radio and satellite/online radio, so if Sirius was obliged to pay royalties, so would AM and FM oldie stations, none of which had ever paid the labels any money for the pre-1972 music they play.

Because of that anomaly, Sirius (and Pandora, which has also been sued on this matter) was confident of a court win. But then the Californian courts sided with the music industry, and a New York court indicated it would do likewise. The latter specifically noting that just because the labels had never enforced this apparent state level performing right against AM/FM radio stations, didn't mean they couldn't now enforce it against Sirius.

So that's all fun. While the labels and SoundExchange have gone legal on this issue too, the highest profile cases have been led by Flo & Eddie, who as members of 1960s group The Turtles have a vested interest in all this. And having won the Californian case last September, the duo pushed for their case to be given class status, meaning any other labels and musicians with pre-1972 recordings would be due royalties from Sirius. And yesterday the judge overseeing the Californian proceedings granted that request.

Sirius, which is appealing most of the rulings against it on this issue, argued against the Flo & Eddie litigation having class action status on procedural grounds, but the judge wasn't having any of it.

Lobbying is underway, of course, for statutory clarification on this matter, most likely by extending federal copyright protection to all sound recordings still within their copyright term, while the labels would like a wider general performing right added to federal copyright rules as well. Though all that could take quite some time to go through the motions, and meanwhile the slightly confusing legal wranglings at a state level will continue. And Sirius might have to write some big cheques along the way.

Merlin announces deal with pan-Asian streaming service
Indie label repping digital rights agency Merlin has announced a deal with Asian streaming service KKBOX, the Taiwan-based digital set-up that was one of the first players in streaming music (launching in its home territory before Pandora's launch in the US) and which is now live in six other territories, including Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the digitally-nervous market of Japan. The arrangement is Merlin's first ever pan-Asian specific deal.

Confirming the tie-up, Merlin CEO Charles Caldas told reporters: "Merlin is a truly global organisation, and we are delighted to be breaking new ground via our partnership with KKBOX. This deal will enable Merlin members around the world to capitalise on the huge appetite for independent music across South East Asia".

Meanwhile Josephine Cheng, Senior Vice President of KKBOX, added: "We are very excited to partner with Merlin. By bringing some of the world's best independent labels to KKBOX this deal will hugely enrich our members' music experiences. We continue to be committed to empower independent labels and artists to distribute and promote their music through our platform".

EMI to return to India via JV with Bollywood director
Universal Music has announced the return of the EMI brand to the Indian market with the launch of EMI Records India, a joint venture with leading Bollywood film director Mohit Suri. Universal says the alliance is "the first ever association between a major record label and an eminent Bollywood film director that will develop a new platform that cuts across film and non-film musical genres".

One of the challenges for the majors as emerging markets play an ever important role in the wider recorded music industry - and as the big streaming firms pump more of their investment into launching and expanding in these markets - is that the Western music giants don't necessarily have the same market dominance in these territories as they do in Europe and North America. India is a key emerging market, and Bollywood is incredibly dominant there. All of which makes Universal's alliance with Suri rather interesting.

Confirming the launch of all new EMI in India, the CEO of Universal Music Group South Asia, Devraj Sanyal, told reporters: "We're immensely proud of our new partnership with Mohit Suri to bring EMI Records back to India. Mohit has been responsible for some of the biggest Bollywood hits of all time and A&R is right at the heart of Universal Music so this collaboration is the perfect platform for blending our complementary strengths and our shared love of music".

He went on: "Too often in India there has been a huge gulf between film and non-film music but now with EMI Records India we are creating a new label to bridge that divide and invest in artists across all areas of their careers from mainstream Bollywood cinema through to Universal Music India's rapidly growing live, branded content, endorsements and merchandising businesses".

Meanwhile Suri added: "Music and independent artists have been the backbone of my career ever since I started ten years back. I strongly believe that the music composers, lyricists and singers that I have worked with from all over the world have been the stars of my life. This collaboration with Devraj and his team at Universal Music is the most organic synergy of like-minded people that allows me to continue exploring my love for music on a larger scale".

Continuing: "With our joint expertise we will make EMI Records India a dependable brand through which we will launch and nurture musical talent and simply 'let the music play'. Culturally, music has always played an integral role in our lives ... [and] particularly through ... Bollywood. Now, armed with expertise in both businesses - music and film - EMI Records India will soon carve out its own space in the world of music and entertainment".

Theatre industry publishes new technical standards after Apollo ceiling collapse
Although led by the theatre industry, new technical standards produced after the collapse of the ceiling at London's Apollo Theatre in 2013 (the theatre venue on Shaftesbury Avenue, not the music venue in Hammersmith) will likely have an impact on the wider live industry, and anyone operating conventional theatre-style venues.

Various organisations, including the Society Of London Theatre, UK Theatre and the Association Of British Theatre Technicians, collaborated on reviewing health and safety procedures after the Apollo incident, and have now issued revised technical standards and specific new guidance on the monitoring of 'suspended fibrous plaster ceilings'.

A memo from the ABTT notes that: "Although ceiling inspections are nothing new for theatres, the guidance identifies a baseline survey which, while remaining proportionate, is more comprehensive and thoroughly documented than previously required".

It goes on: "The Health & Safety Executive have said they believe that by 31 August 2016, all theatres that have, or potentially have, suspended fibrous plaster ceilings should have completed their baseline survey, have had their ceiling competently inspected and put in place measures to ensure the ceiling is safe. Any concerns theatre owners have regarding this work should be addressed in the first instance to their local authority".

More information about the new procedures have been posted online here.

U2 tour manager Dennis Sheehan dies
U2's tour manager Dennis Sheehan was found dead in his Los Angeles hotel room yesterday morning, following the first night of the band's five night residency at the Forum venue in the city. He is reported to have died from a heart attack. He was 68.

Sheehan had worked with U2 throughout their career. In a statement, Bono said: "We've lost a family member, we're still taking it in. He wasn't just a legend in the music business, he was a legend in our band. He is irreplaceable".

Meanwhile Arthur Fogel, CEO of Global Touring at the band's promoter Live Nation, said: "With profound sadness we confirm that Dennis Sheehan, U2's longstanding tour manager and dear friend to us all, has passed away overnight. Our heartfelt sympathy is with his wonderful family".

Sheehan worked with various artists over his career including Led Zeppelin, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, becoming U2's tour manager in 1982.

  Approved: Nite School Klik
A month ago a new track was uploaded to the SoundCloud page of DJ Shadow's recently launched record label Liquid Amber. By an outfit calling themselves Nite School Klik, 'Posse' was an eerie and slightly confusing mash of bass and hip hop styles.

Last week, in an interview with Billboard, it was revealed that the duo is actually DJ Shadow himself and upcoming producer G Jones - who Shadow discovered around the same time as his first Liquid Amber signing, Bleep Bloop.

"We just wanted to hit people out of the blue", said Shadow of the decision to initially withhold their identities. "We wanted it to be heavy and have a sci-fi angle. We wanted to make the music we were playing, which is definitely not festival trap. It's a sound that's hard to put your finger on. It has a bit of Bay Area hyphy-ness to it. It's based on our own version of the beat scene and all the beatmakers that are out there. That's the stuff we identify with. That's the stuff we play. And that's the stuff we wanted to make. We're keeping it open-ended and fun. At some point we'll get back in the lab and make a follow-up".

Along with the Billboard interview, they put out a second track, 'Nice Nightmares', which stretches the strange, sprawling sound of the project even further.

Listen to 'Posse' and 'Nice Nightmares' right now.
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Blink 182 split is like a fun divorce
All of you who thought that Tom DeLonge's split from Blink 182 earlier this year was an acrimonious one, get with the fucking programme idiots. They're totally cool. It's like a cool divorce where everyone stays friends and they don't even mind about breaking up. It's probably better. They're much better friends now. Honestly, it's cool. So cool.

Speaking to the Das Process podcast, via NME, the band's Mark Hoppus said: "We are right now going through what so far has been a friendly divorce with our former guitarist. Hopefully things clear up and it doesn't get all managery and lawyery and all that and we can move forward".

"Tom was my best friend for years and years and the thing is if you think about the people that you were friends with at the end of high school and the beginning of college", he added. "How many of those people are you still friends with? We've been in the same van and bus and aeroplane and backstage room and stage for 20 something years".

Yeah, how many people are you still friends with after that long? Huh? I bet it's none. Or at least less than five. OK, ten at a push. But have you had to tour with them? No, you haven't. Or maybe you have. Whatever. Here's the interview in audio form.


Jack White would like you to shut up
A representative of Third Man Records - who is definitely just someone who works there and wants to remain anonymous and isn't Jack White - has posted to Facebook a lengthy, well-studied, and pretty angry list of the ways in which White's recent interviews have been taken out of context by the pesky media.

Following on from the rebuttal of a student newspaper's article on White's tour rider earlier this year, here are the key points from the new post:

• Jack White does not feel that he has no place on Planet Earth, so shut up.
• Jack White is taking a break from touring, but not giving it up forever, so shut up.
• No, he doesn't like festivals, but he still does them, so shut up.
• Actually he really liked Bonnaroo this year, so shut up.
• He's not quitting music altogether, he's doing something with The Dead Weather next week actually, so shut up.
• No, Meg White doesn't answer the phone, but she doesn't have to answer the phone, so shut up.
• The White Stripes are over forever, which both Jack and Meg are fine with, so shut up.
• The White Stripes are still selling records anyway, so shut up.
• Jack White does whatever he can to help struggling artists, which includes but is not limited to being involved with Tidal, so shut up.
• Jack White is not just out for as much money as he can get, he just did a tour where he charged $3 for tickets and he runs a record label that is frankly making no one rich, so shut up.
• Shut up.

He also conceded that journalists are just doing a job, but adds that that job has basically become an awful cycle of shortening things and taking them out of context for maximum impact. Thankfully there is no evidence of that here.

Apple regains position as most valuable brand, Capitol US appoints new COO, tech IPO plans, and more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Apple has regained the title of most valuable brand in the world from Google, according to the BrandZ global brand power list, which is a thing. But don't worry Google, our analysis confirms you are still the bigger cunt. And if you think that's offensive, someone said "acqui-hired viral quotient" in CMU HQ yesterday, for which we can only apologise.

• Universal Music announced earlier this week that Michelle Jubelirer has been promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer at its Capitol Music Group division in the US where she will "focus on the company's business strategy and development" and liaise with UMG big cheeses. And who wouldn't want to do that? Me.

• Norman Abdul Halim, Executive President of leading Malaysian independent record company KRU Music and one third of the pop group the label is named after, KRU, has joined the main board and Asia regional board of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry.

• Assuring that - if and when it decides to float - Spotify will join a party of other big tech IPOs, both Buzzfeed and Snapchat have confirmed they have plans to go the IPO route. I put together a hilarious listicle about this, but I posted it to Snapchat and you all you missed it.

• Tyler, The Creator has said that Odd Future are "no more".

• Azealia Banks is going to star in a film directed by RZA about an aspiring rapper in New York torn between following her dream and finishing school, according to Deadline.

• Amy Winehouse documentary 'Amy' will receive its UK premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival next month.

• Django Django have released the video for new single 'Shake And Tremble'. Here it is.

• 4AD is re-issuing Cocteau Twins albums 'Tiny Dynamine' and 'Echoes In A Shallow Bay
The Pink Opaque' on 17 Jul.

• Mikal Cronin has premiered the video for his new single, 'Say', on Funny Or Die. It's a parody of Paul Simon's 'You Can Call Me Al'.

• Julian Casablancas And The Voidz have released a thirteen minute video for their eleven minute song 'Human Sadness'. Have a look.

• Lindstrøm has remixed 'Painted' by MS MR. Cool.

• Vessels will play Oslo in Hackney on 17 Jun.

• OOFJ are going to play two London shows next month, at the Shacklewell Arms on 3 Jun and then The Waiting Room on 6 Jun.

Young Thug threatens to use Lil Wayne's delayed album title
Rapper Young Thug got into trouble with Lil Wayne earlier this year when he announced that he planned to call a new mixtape he'd made 'Carter 6'. When it was released in April, the name had been altered to 'Barter 6'. But now Thug is saying that he has his sights set on a more contentious name for his next mixtape.

Speaking to No Days Off Radio , Young Thug said: "I'ma drop one more mixtape before my album ... I'll probably name it 'Tha Carter V' cos the original 'Carter V' still ain't came out yet. I don't know what the fuck they doing, slowcoaching. So I'ma put that muthafucker out for em".

Originally announced in August last year for an October release, Lil Wayne's 'Tha Carter V' album has seen its launch date moved back several times. Now it is being delayed indefinitely by a lawsuit filed by the rapper against his label Cash Money in January over an allegedly unpaid advance. Last month the lawsuit was moved from New York to New Orleans, where Lil Wayne originally signed his deal with the label in 1998.

You can watch Young Thug's full interview with No Days Off Radio here.

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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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