MONDAY 15 JUN 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: A week on from the unveiling of the all-new Apple Music - set to go live on 30 Jun - chatter remains about the new service's licensing deals with the music rights owners. As previously reported, it was known that a big sticking point between Apple and the majors, as they wrangled over their Apple Music deals, was the tech giant's proposal it pay no royalties at all while users access its... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Three years ago, there was much excitement as people tried to guess the identity of the person or people behind Society. Then it all turned out to be some guy who'd been working very hard on his music and just hadn't thought to tell anyone who he was. Or something like that. I can't quite remember. Anyway, his name's Joe Girdler. Let's just make sure we're all up... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES American indie labels group A2IM questions Apple Music deal
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LEGAL ICAAN says it won't take a more pro-active anti-piracy role
Canadian IP case forces Google to remove infringing links in multiple countries
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DEALS Gary Barlow extends Sony/ATV deal
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MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Former Sony Music UK boss returns with vehicle to invest in artist and music start-ups
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ARTIST NEWS 5 Seconds Of Summer's Michael Clifford burned by on stage flame thrower
Dave Grohl breaks leg on stage, finishes show
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RELEASES Annie Mac releases mix for Kids Company
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AWARDS Van Morrison leads musical honours in Queen's birthday list
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AND FINALLY... Lil Wayne not signing to Roc Nation
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CLEAR SOUND & VISION - PRODUCTION PLANNER (LONDON)
Reporting to the Production Manager, you will ideally have experience working in a busy office environment and working as part of a team. Liaising with both customers and suppliers you will be a good communicator and will be able to work to deadlines. The role will include confirming orders with customers, placing orders with various suppliers and diligently following the progress of each order, helping to ensure delivery is made in good time.

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MUSIC CONCIERGE - FREELANCE PLAYLIST DESIGNER - ASIAN MUSIC (HERTFORD)
Music Concierge, the award-winning music consultancy for boutique hotels and luxury brands, is looking for a freelance Playlist Designer who is an expert in Asian music to join our creative team initially for a new exciting project and the potential to work with us on an ongoing basis.

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NINJA TUNE - DIGITAL ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Ninja Tune is looking for a full-time Digital Assistant to aid its wider Digital and Marketing teams in its London office. The ideal candidate will have some previous experience in a similar role, looking to step up to work across an expanded set of artists, labels and releases. Candidate must be a self-starter with strong multi-tasking and time management abilities, technologically-minded with an understanding of digital’s place in the wider modern music industry.

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MAMA & COMPANY - E-MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
MAMA & Company is looking for an experienced E-marketing Co-ordinator. This is a fantastic opportunity to work and grow with an exciting company who own some of London's most established venues. You will need to have experience of managing email marketing campaigns, database management and analysis, as well as holding high levels of computer literacy. Knowledge of HTML, CSS and Java is essential.

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ANJUNABEATS & ANJUNADEEP - DIGITAL MARKETING EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
The parent company of Anjunabeats, Anjunadeep and Involved Management (Above & Beyond, Lane 8, ilan Bluestone, Andrew Bayer) is accepting applications now for the role of Digital Marketing Executive. This is a rare opportunity for a motivated individual to help define the future of one of the world’s leading dance music brands during a phase of rapid transformation within our industry.

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IMPRESSIVE PR - SENIOR MUSIC PUBLICIST (LONDON)
Senior Music Publicist vacancy - Must have at least four years direct music PR experience with a contacts book full of journalists. You'll be working across big name music campaigns, new bands and the occasional TV celebrity or music event/festival.

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UNDER THE BRIDGE - ACTING GENERAL MANAGER (LONDON)
We require an Acting General Manager to manage and deliver the content of events at Under the Bridge including corporate events, private events, showcases, public music events and match days. To ensure the smooth operational running of Under The Bridge.

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American indie labels group A2IM questions Apple Music deal
A week on from the unveiling of the all-new Apple Music - set to go live on 30 Jun - chatter remains about the new service's licensing deals with the music rights owners.

As previously reported, it was known that a big sticking point between Apple and the majors, as they wrangled over their Apple Music deals, was the tech giant's proposal it pay no royalties at all while users access its new streaming service for free during a three month try-before-you-buy trial period. It's not clear what resolution Apple reached with the majors on that point, but the freebie period seemingly remains in the deal still on the table for the independent record companies.

Indies have questioned why they should subsidise the mega-rich Apple's three month free trial initiative, while also worrying that, if during those three months freebie users on Apple Music stop downloading tracks or cancel a Spotify subscription, that could have a negative impact on what, for many indies, are the two most important revenue streams in 2015. This could be particularly damaging for labels with big new releases due out while all new Apple Music users will be on the free trial.

Apple's negotiations with the indies are somewhat different to those involving other streaming services, in that the firm does not deal with Merlin, the agency that usually represents a significant number of independent labels and distributors in the digital domain. This is simply because the original iTunes deals pre-date the launch of Merlin, and each time Apple upgrades its music platform it simply revises existing arrangements.

Though if enough indies refused to sign up to the Apple Music deal as it currently stands, and negotiations seemed to be at a deadlock, it would be interesting to see if the labels would or could look to Merlin to step in as a negotiator. Given a lump sum payment from Apple might be the solution for this kind of stand off, a sector-wide deal would make sense.

However, not all indies are as yet despairing on this. Because, while Apple was notoriously unfriendly to the independents in the very early days of iTunes - a turn of events that in part motivated the creation of Merlin - most indie labels now enjoy good relations with the tech giant. And few are yet comparing this deal wrangling with last summer's stand off with Google over the YouTube streaming service. But there is still some definite negativity out there.

Meanwhile, the American Association Of Independent Music has posted its thoughts on Apple Music's freebie request, following the leaking of an indie label contract from the new service by Digital Music News last week.

The trade group writes: "Since a sizable percentage of Apple's most voracious music consumers are likely to initiate their free trails at launch, we are struggling to understand why rights holders would authorise their content on the service before 1 Oct. This is especially true in light of the potential revenue damage to a music label's iTunes download revenues and impact on their cash flow".

It adds: "A2IM understands that each music label must determine for themselves their own promotional and commerce plans and that we respect our member labels' independent entrepreneurial spirit. We simply suggest to our members that before agreeing to any direct licenses, that they should please consider all factors and their effects on their music label's results, now and in the future, and make an educated decision".

Apple might argue that while it is looking for the rights owners to take a hit on the free trial, unlike the streaming music start-ups, it is planning a mega-bucks above-the-line advertising campaign that will bring in a whole new community of online music subscribers, so that long term everyone will benefit, especially as Apple Music will not have a full freemium level paying much smaller royalties than premium.

Though it remains to be seen whether Apple really can hook in more mainstream consumers at a £10 a month price point, while smaller indies may also have shorter term cash flow concerns with this deal even if they buy all the Apple Music hype.

ICAAN says it won't take a more pro-active anti-piracy role
With the entertainment industry's anti-piracy bods increasingly going after the domain names of piracy websites, the global organisation that oversees the domain name system has distanced itself from having any responsibility for policing how domains are used.

As previously reported, the many domain name registries which manage different top level domains, and the registrars that most people use to actually register a domain, all have their own policies regarding what to do about piracy operations.

Using a domain name for a copyright infringing operation usually breaches the terms and conditions of registries and registrars, but while some are willing to block sites at the say so of copyright owners or bodies like the City Of London Police's IP Crime Unit, others insist on a court injunction before taking any action. Needless to say, the operators of piracy sites have learned which registries have the latter policy.

Given the different approaches around the world, some in the anti-piracy game had hoped that global top level domain overseer ICANN would ramp up its own piracy rules, putting more pressure on those down the chain. But, according to Torrentfreak, bosses at the not-for-profit organisation have no intention of doing this, and are getting rather annoyed with being repeatedly asked.

ICANN's Chief Contract Compliance Officer Allen Grogan told Torrentfreak: "ICANN has no role in policing content - it's entirely out of our scope. Our mission is to co-ordinate, at the overall level, the global internet's systems of unique identifiers, and in particular, to ensure the stable and secure operation of the those unique identifiers. ICANN was never granted, nor was it ever intended that ICANN be granted, the authority to act as a regulator of internet content".

So there you go. Adds Grogan, speaking to the copyright industries and their trade bodies: "It's important people understand this and direct their content complaints to the institutions that are already in place to handle these issues, such as law enforcement, regulatory agencies and judicial systems".

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Canadian IP case forces Google to remove infringing links in multiple countries
Another organisation often called upon to be more pro-active in the fight against piracy is Google because, while the web giant will remove specific links to infringing content from its search engine when provided with takedown notices from copyright owners, it has generally resisted calls to block entire piracy websites from its search results. Or to be more pro-active itself in ensuring infringing content does not appear in its search engine in the first place.

Though the web firm has failed to overturn an interesting intellectual property ruling in the Canadian courts, which is interesting because the impact of the court decision applies beyond Canada. Google had argued that courts in the Canadian province of British Columbia couldn't pass an injunction affecting its operations beyond their jurisdiction.

This wasn't a straight piracy case like the one commonly pursued by the music industry, but an IP dispute between two competing Canadian companies, with one accusing the other of having stolen its intellectual property to sell competing products. The defendants were former employees of the plaintiff, Equustek Solutions Inc.

Google became involved in the case because Equustek said it was directing people to a website selling the IP infringing goods. The web firm voluntarily de-listed the offending links from its Canadian search engine, but Equustek wanted a wider removal of their competitor's products from the Google platform, most notably the US version of the search engine that plenty of people in Canada go to by default.

And last year Equustek successfully secured an injunction in the British Columbia courts forcing Google to block the offending links beyond Canada. The web firm predictably appealed, questioning both the court's jurisdiction over Google at all (it has no offices in the province) and, more importantly, the court's power to issue a multi-territory injunction.

On the former the court pointed out Google definitely traded in British Columbia while, on the latter more important point, the court said, according to Torrentfreak: "British Columbia courts are called upon to adjudicate disputes involving foreign residents on a daily basis, and the fact that their decisions may affect the activities of those people outside the borders of British Columbia is not determinative of whether an order may be granted".

While conceding that the court must be cautious when passing injunctions that affect companies and consumers beyond its jurisdiction, it said: "In the case before us, there is no realistic assertion that the judge's order will offend the sensibilities of any other nation. It has not been suggested that the order prohibiting the defendants from advertising wares that violate the intellectual property rights of the plaintiffs offends the core values of any nation".

Of course, the specifics of the Equustek case mean this is not a direct parallel to the music industry's many and various lawsuits aiming to block consumer access to piracy operations. But as rights owners consider pursuing legal action to try and force Google to remove entire piracy websites - rather than just individual links - from its search results, that an IP ruling in one country is impacting on the web firm's search engine in another is interesting.

Gary Barlow extends Sony/ATV deal
If you ever thought that Gary Barlow looked like exactly the sort of person who might just extend his worldwide deal with the mega-major of music publishing Sony/ATV, then it turns out you're an excellent judge of character. Well, an excellent judge of his character. I bet you don't pay your taxes either, do you?

Because yes, Sony/ATV has just extended its alliance with the Take That-er so that as well as representing his output from the last ten years, and any future songwriting nonsense, it will also now rep his early work, like 'Back For Good' and 'Never Forget'. Though I think Sony/ATV already had his contributions to 'Britannia High' on its books, so those early Take That hits are just a bit of flim flam on the side really. Yes, let's all take a moment to remember that Gary Barlow wrote half the songs on 'Britannia High'.

Says Sony/ATV's Guy Moot said: "Gary Barlow is a one-man phenomenon and rightly hailed as one of the greatest ever British songwriters. The songs he has written for Take That have thrilled several generations and contain countless classics, but that is only one part of his incredible story as he also has a flourishing solo career, has written for numerous other artists and now has a successful musical on Broadway".

Says Gazza B: "I've had an amazing journey over this past decade since first signing with Sony/ATV, which has involved me writing for some amazing artists, the return of Take That and now having a show on Broadway. Sony/ATV have been hugely supportive along the way and I'm excited that they will now be looking after my entire song catalogue for the first time".

Former Sony Music UK boss returns with vehicle to invest in artist and music start-ups
Former Sony Music UK CEO Nick Gatfield is back with "an investment, strategy and services provider for early stage artists and music entrepreneurs". The new business aims to be an angel-type investor for both new artist businesses and other music start-ups.

Confirming the objectives of his new venture, Gatfield told Music Week: "To date there has been a void in early stage funding and incubation support for new artists and music start-ups. However, with the current level of disintermediation in the industry, there has rarely been a better time for artists and entrepreneurs to pursue their unique vision and forge their own career paths. Twin Music Inc hopes to fill this void and help find and develop those unique individuals who will define the next chapter of the music business".

Which is a whole lot more interesting than you might think from a statement that used the word "disintermediation". It will be interesting to see who this new firm backs, and what the artist-business to other-music-start-up ratio will be.

 

Approved: Society - We All Have A Price
Three years ago, there was much excitement as people tried to guess the identity of the person or people behind Society. Then it all turned out to be some guy who'd been working very hard on his music and just hadn't thought to tell anyone who he was. Or something like that. I can't quite remember. Anyway, his name's Joe Girdler. Let's just make sure we're all up to speed on that up front this time. Does that make the music more or less interesting? No. Stop trying to build a mystery into everything. Thank you.

Let's just have a look at this new Society track, shall we? It's the first from a forthcoming second album. Titled 'We All Pay Have A Price', it's both precise and ramshackle at the same time. Everything's in the right place, but the pieces shimmer and go out of focus as we pass over them. Drums are slow and degraded, synths shake and suddenly disappear, and the guitar part echoes from way off in the distance.

As with Girdler's earlier work, it all comes together to build a distinct atmosphere that creates all the intrigue you need.

Listen to 'We All Have A Price' here.

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5 Seconds Of Summer's Michael Clifford burned by on stage flame thrower
5 Seconds Of Summer were forced to cut short their encore at Wembley Arena on Saturday night after the band's Michael Clifford was burned by an on-stage flame thrower.

The band were performing their song 'She Looks So Perfect' at the second of three nights at the London venue when Clifford walked too close to one of the pyrotechnics shooting flames into the air and burned his hair and face. The musician later tweeted a photograph of his bandaged head, apologising for not finishing the performance.

The band returned to play the final night of their run as planned last night, ahead of which a rep for the outfit said that Clifford was "recovering well after being given the all clear by doctors" and would perform as planned.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the pyros were switched off for last night's show.

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Dave Grohl breaks leg on stage, finishes show
It's not a competition, and we shouldn't try to play these things as if they were, but Dave Grohl definitely wins at coping with on-stage injuries compared to 5 Seconds Of Summer's Michael Clifford. Hands down. He runs right past the finishing post with Clifford nowhere in sight. Or at least he would if his leg wasn't broken.

During a Foo Fighters show in Sweden on Friday night, Grohl fell off the stage during the second song of the performance. "I think I just broke my leg", he told the audience after clambering back on stage. "I think I really broke my leg".

And he really did break his leg, which would probably seem like a bit of a problem. Not for Dave Grohl though. He had already hatched a plan.

"You have my promise right now that the Foo Fighters [are] gonna come back and finish this show", he announced. "But right now, I'm gonna go to the hospital, I'm gonna fix my leg. But then I'm gonna come back, and we're gonna play for you again! I'm so sorry!"

And so off he hobbled to hospital (or, actually, to be treated by medics backstage), leaving his bandmates to perform an hour long set of covers, before Grohl returned, leg in plaster cast, to play another two and a half hours of Foo Fighters songs. I don't think I like any band enough to want to see them play for almost four hours, but well done Dave nonetheless.

All's well that ends well, I guess. Though I do now feel a bit bad for suggesting Michael Clifford was a bit soft for not finishing that 5 Seconds Of Summer gig. Especially as their show was pretty much over anyway. And being accidently burned by pyrotechnics is potentially a far more serious injury. I think the only way to resolve this is if Dave Grohl commits to set fire to his head at the next Foo Fighters gig.

But that will have to wait, because the Foo Fighters have cancelled their next two shows at the Pinkpop Festival on 14 Jun and in St Gallen, Switzerland on 16 Jun due to Grohl's fractured leg. Hey, at least 5 Seconds Of Summer came back the next night.

Annie Mac releases mix for Kids Company
Annie Mac has released a new mix in aid of the Kids Company charity, featuring Four Tet, Julio Bachmore, Kindness, Shura and more.

Discussing her support for the charity, Mac said: "Kids Company is an independently run charity that deals with all-round 360 degree care for underprivileged, neglected and displaced children. It's a charity that is led by the child's needs and having visited all the different centres in London it's apparent that the children really flourish under their care. The difference between a child before and after Kids Company is unparalleled. It's the type of place where, after visiting it's centres, it is terrifying to think of a world without it".

Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh added: "Traumatised children and young people find expression in music well before they're ready to speak about their pain. Some of them go on to develop their musical talents as careers. The support offered by Annie is a profound gift to children who often feel discarded. In taking their cause, she's giving them voice and dignity".

The release features two exclusive tracks, from Pomo and Apres. It can be downloaded here, where you'll also find a mini-mix and an interview with Annie Mac about the full thing.

The full track list is here:

1. Deadboy - It Did Not Feel Right
2. SG Lewis - Warm
3. Kindness - Who Do You Love (feat Robyn)
4. Shura - Indecision(Jungle Remix)
5. Pomo - Feel The Same Way
6. Bobmo - I Want You (Strip Steve Remix)
7. Four Tet - KHLHI
8. Drums Of Death - Calloutchaname
9. Apres - I Know This Ain't Love
10. Julio Bashmore - Simple Love
11. Shur l Kan - My Love
12. Monkey Safari - Cranes (Kolsch Remix)
13. Steve Huerta - Say It Wasn't (Locked Groove Remix)
14. Tom Trago - Hidden Heart Of Gold

Van Morrison leads musical honours in Queen's birthday list
Van Morrison will become one of those knights of the British Empire following this weekend's birthday honours list from Queen Liz II. So that's a thing. Van led the music names on the latest list, while on the industry side the mighty Keith Harris - PPL man, MusicTank chair and artist manager extraordinaire - was awarded an OBE and Max Hole - CEO of Universal Music International - became a CBE.

In the classical domain, composers James MacMillan and Karl Jenkins both received knighthoods, fellow composer Mark-Anthony Turnage received a CBE, clarinettist and conductor Michael Collins was awarded an MBE, and Simon Halsey, Chorus Director of the City Of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, among other roles, became a CBE. Well done one and all. And hello your maj, I hope all is well with you. Did you listen to our new podcast yet?

Lil Wayne not signing to Roc Nation
For a brief moment this weekend it looked like Lil Wayne had found a way out of his impasse with Cash Money Records, and was heading to Jay-Z's Roc Nation, which might then be able to finally get the 'Tha Carter V' album out. But alas no.

As previously reported, Wayne claims that Cash Money has failed to pay him a $10 million advance that was due on his as yet unreleased new long player, and that as a result of that he should be cut loose from his contract with the record company. The legal squabble has put the release of his new record very much on hold.

Then this weekend Wayne was Instagrammed announcing to fans at the KMEL Summer Jam in California: "I just signed a deal with my motherfucking idol Jay Z". Which sounded like something exciting, hence all the chatter that Wayne was moving to Roc Nation. But hold your horses there all you hype men, because it turns out this is the opposite of exciting. It just related to Wayne becoming a Tidal 'artist owner'.

The rapper's manager Cortez Bryant told Billboard: "The internet and blogs took his words out of context. When Wayne was speaking about the partnership with Jay Z, he was speaking about his new deal as an artist owner with Tidal".

So, as you were.

 
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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