FRIDAY 19 JUN 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The High Court in London has sided with the music industry in its battle for compensation for the introduction of a private copy right in the UK. As previously reported, UK copyright law was finally changed last year so that it is no longer illegal for people to rip tracks from a CD to their PC for their own personal private use. The so called 'private copy right' has existed in most... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: A boat party? Woohoo, my favourite! Yes, Soundcrash is taking the party down the Thames. Though the first thing you need to know is that Ghanaian-Hungarian rapper Sena Dagadu and Russia-to-East-London based producer DJ Vadim have just dropped their rather good electro-soul Jamaica-influenced project 'Grow Slow' on BBE records. Check the sampler here... [READ MORE]
   
CMU PODCAST: CMU’s Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including the indie label backlash against Apple Music, Blinkbox going into administration, the delayed launch of Rdio's mid-level service in Europe, Beastie Boys’ latest legal win against Monster, Neil Young's displeasure at soundtracking Donald Trump's US presidency bid, and Dave Grohl’s gammy leg... [LISTEN HERE]
   
BEEF OF THE WEEK: Last year, when Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, responded to Disney's opposition to a trademark registration he had submitted for various images relating to his on-stage persona, we noted the high comedy value of his response. He and his lawyer Dina LaPolt seemed to revel in the absurdity of the famously litigious corporation's claim, even fighting back with a pedantic... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Music industry wins judicial review on private copy levy
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LEGAL Set back for Kesha as judge says Dr Luke dispute should be heard in New York
Bieber and Usher song copy claim re-instated by appeals court
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS French indies add voice to Apple Music criticism
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ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL HMV announces alliance with Tesco Ireland
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LIVE BUSINESS Live sector raises concerns over business rates being applied to festival sites
SFX sells $10 million in stock, despite Sillerman's planned share buy-back
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES SoundCloud to limit app API requests to combat "applications that abuse creator content"
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ARTIST NEWS Neil Young on Donald Trump: "I make my music for people not for candidates"
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ONE LINERS Sony Music UK appoints VP Digital Business, Spotify PlayStation stats, Amy Schumer to support Madonna, and more
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #258: Deadmau5 v Deadmouse: The Musical
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MUSIC CONCIERGE - FREELANCE PLAYLIST DESIGNER - ASIAN MUSIC (HERTFORD)
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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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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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Music industry wins judicial review on private copy levy
The High Court in London has sided with the music industry in its battle for compensation for the introduction of a private copy right in the UK.

As previously reported, UK copyright law was finally changed last year so that it is no longer illegal for people to rip tracks from a CD to their PC for their own personal private use. The so called 'private copy right' has existed in most other countries for a long time. Though elsewhere in Europe the music industry is compensated for the private copy exception, traditionally via a levy charged on blank cassettes and CDs. Working out what to charge a levy on in the digital age has at times been controversial.

Nevertheless, some in the UK music industry reckoned that if their counterparts elsewhere in Europe were being compensated for private copies being made, so should they, that being the point of the European Union's harmonisation laws and all that jazz. So UK Music, the Musicians' Union and BASCA took the matter to judicial review, and this morning won the argument forcing the government to have a rethink.

Welcoming the ruling, UK Music boss Jo Dipple says: "The High Court agreed with us that government acted unlawfully. It is vitally important that fairness for songwriters, composers and performers is written into the law. My members' music defines this country. It is only right that government gives us the standard of legislation our music deserves. We want to work with government so this can be achieved".

The government had argued that the private copy right in the UK was much narrower than elsewhere in Europe, and therefore there wasn't the same case for compensation. But the High Court did not agree.

It remains to be seen what happens next, though, as previously noted, pushing for a private copy levy in a heavy handed way could further hurt the reputation of music copyright with the wider public, especially if the PR machine of the tech community, which may have to pay the levy, cranks into action. Which could well backfire as the music industry pushes elsewhere for further reforms of copyright law to its advantage, such as on safe harbour issues.

But in the meantime, do check out a very timely discussion on the private copy levy, and how it might be applied in the digital domain, hosted by MusicTank next Thursday, and featuring CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke amongst others. And read up on how the levies work elsewhere in Europe on the MusicTank site here.

Set back for Kesha as judge says Dr Luke dispute should be heard in New York
One half of the Kesha v Dr Luke legal battle is on hold, after a Californian judge said the matter should be heard in a New York court.

As previously reported, Kesha Sebert filed a lawsuit against producer Lukasz 'Dr Luke' Gottwald in LA last year, claiming that he had forced her to "take drugs and alcohol in order to take advantage of her sexually while she was intoxicated" when she was eighteen. She also accuses him of actual rape and of further abuse leading to her suffering from bulimia.

Gottwald almost immediately filed a countersuit in New York accusing the singer of defamation, and arguing that Sebert was making the claims to get out of contractual commitments to him and his company.

Sebert's contract with Gottwald's label said that any disputes must be heard in the New York courts. But the singer's legal reps argued that this case was not a contractual dispute, and anyway their client hadn't entered into that contract freely. Then earlier this month Sebert added Sony Music - to which Gottwald's company is affiliated - as a defendant in the case. This move may well have been partly motivated by the fact her contract with Sony did not restrict legal matters to the New York jurisdiction.

But the judge hearing the case in California, Barbara Scheper, this week said that, while this wasn't specifically a contractual dispute given the allegations made against Gottwald, the contracts that exist between the two parties are referenced in Sebert's litigation, which also asks that the court void past agreements. And, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Scheper added that there was "no evidence that the agreements were not the result of an arm's length negotiation".

Scheper's ruling doesn't stop the case continuing in New York, and Sebert may now file her own legal proceedings there to counter Gottwald's defamation suit. Though presumably Sebert's attorneys chose to pursue their action in California for a reason, and Gottwald's reps seem to be treating this set back for the singer as a victory of sorts.

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Bieber and Usher song copy claim re-instated by appeals court
An appeals court in the US has re-instated the previously reported lawsuit against Justin Bieber and Usher which claimed that they ripped of a song by two other songwriters on their track 'Somebody To Love'. The case was previously dismissed last year when a judge ruled that the two songs in question were significantly different.

Devin Copeland and Maerio Overton claimed in 2013 that 'Somebody To Love' features various lyrical and stylistic similarities to a song they wrote with the same title, which Copeland released under the name De Rico in 2008.

They say that the album upon which the De Rico song features was given to Usher through his mother, who later said the Usher had listened to it and was considering Copeland as a support act on tour. Usher later put a demo version of him singing 'Somebody To Love' on YouTube, before Bieber went on to record it in for his 2010 album 'My World 2.0'.

Copeland and Overton say that Usher's song features the same chords, time signature and vocal hook as theirs, though last year a judge said that a member of the public would not be likely to note any significant similarity between the two.

However, the case, in which Copeland and Overton are seeking $10 million in damages, will now be reconsidered, after the appeals court conceded that there were similarities between the choruses of the two songs that a jury may feel were significant enough to rule in their favour.

French indies add voice to Apple Music criticism
Do you remember the days before the Apple Music controversy? They were simpler times. I think we all laughed more. You could leave your door unlocked. People spoke to their neighbours. We all sang along to 'Top Of The Pops' each week. They were happy days. But those days are long gone, people. And so, here we go again, with yet another story on the Apple Music controversy.

And today it's the French indie label community adding its voice to the debate, backing their counterparts in the UK, US and Germany in criticising the licensing deal Apple is proposing to the labels for its new streaming service. Says the UPFI: "Nous prenons la liberté d'écrire aujourd'hui aux dirigeants d'Apple pour leur faire part de notre insatisfaction profonde concernant les conditions de lancement de leur nouveau service de musique en stream au plan mondial".

You got that, right? You do know you need to be fluent in at least two languages to be a CMU Daily subscriber?

Well, like the other indie label trade groups, the UPFI says that, while its members welcome Apple's move into streaming, they feel the licensing negotiations for the new service have been unnecessarily rushed, which is a fair complaint given Apple Music has been in development for at least a year, and yet conversations with the indies seem to have begun very late in the day, now that a launch date has been set. This suggests, the UPFI says, that Apple "intends to impose its terms without the possibility of real negotiation".

The key point of contention, of course, is that Apple doesn't want to pay any royalties at all during the three month free trial period it will offer consumers, and which all users will be on between July and September this year.

This, says UPFI, "may cause a considerable loss of income for labels who rely primarily on new releases, especially if they have a key release during the free period". Apple knows the tricky economics of being an indie label, the trade group adds, while the labels know the huge wealth the tech firm commands. And yet Apple is, it reckons, "expecting the label community to finance the marketing of its new service".

So there you go. "But what does Taylor Swift make of all this?" some of you are now asking. The same some of you who needed the French translating, I bet. This is why I have to lock my door at night. Well, word has it famous Spotify-foe Swifty will make her catalogue available on the no-freemium-level-here-thanks-very-much Apple Music, but her new album won't be there at launch when the new service will have the free-trial-that-makes-it-sort-of-freemium thing going on. So make of that what you will.

Meanwhile, for those of you still musing that all important question we asked back in early May, well, given this week's developments we've done the math and can reveal our findings right here.

HMV announces alliance with Tesco Ireland
HMV has announced a deal with Tesco Ireland which will see 80 of the supermarket firm's 142 stores in Ireland have an HMV@Tesco concession selling CDs, DVDs and some gaming gubbins.

Hilco-owned HMV has already extended its reach in Ireland by setting up shop in stores run by Irish video rental company Xtra-vision, which is also owned by Hilco. Meanwhile Xtra-vision itself has put kiosks in Irish supermarket chain SuperValu.

Of course, back in the day, the supermarkets moving into CD selling forced the retail price of the average album down, causing a headache for specialist entertainment retailers like HMV, which also lost the custom of those consumers who only ever visited their stores for the big pop releases which were now available next to the toothpaste and yoghurts.

But the new deal with Tesco will give HMV an extra new brand boost in Ireland, and might result in a better selection of music products in the supermarkets, which have always skewed towards the most mainstream pop releases, and which have generally reduced their CD selection in recent years.

Live sector raises concerns over business rates being applied to festival sites
A few days before UK Music published its report stating that so called music tourism - people travelling to music events - generated £3.1 billion for the British economy, representatives for the festival sector made a submission to the government's Business Rates Review expressing concern that the Valuations Office Agency, which advises the tax man on the taxable value of property, has been recommending business rates be applied to festival sites where previously no such payments were required.

In its submission to the review, the festival sector wrote: "The festival and events industry has significant concerns about the current reassessment of festival and events sites being conducted by the Valuations Office Agency. As a result of this, we are seeing land which has previously been outside the business rates regime, on the grounds of its status as agricultural land, now being reassessed as rateable, and have seen a number of instances where site- owners are receiving bills backdated as far as five years, in circumstances where they could not reasonably have anticipated such bills".

The festival reps state their viewpoint that no such rates should apply to festival sites which are, after all, "temporary and ancillary uses of agricultural land".

Moreover, they object to the unpredictability of the VOA's recent activity. They write: "Since there is no clear policy set out in the VOA Rating Manual, or elsewhere, with regard to the rateability of festival sites taking place on agricultural land we have no way of understanding the guiding principles of the reassessment. It is unfair that festival and events sites are apparently subject to a reassessment which appears to be arbitrary and piecemeal, without any clear policy framework".

The submission concludes: "This issue requires a discussion at ministerial level about how business rates policy will help or inhibit business growth. As part of this we believe it is essential that there is a review of the evidence around the contribution that festivals and events bring to the UK economy, and the rural economy; and how an increase in business rates liability may impact business investment, the competitiveness of the UK events industry, the cultural life of the UK and the economic and social impact on rural areas".

Amongst the organisations backing the submission were the UK Live Music Group, the Concert Promoters Association, the Association Of Festival Organisers and the Association Of Independent Festivals.

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SFX sells $10 million in stock, despite Sillerman's planned share buy-back
EDM festival maker SFX has sold some stock to Wolverine Flagship Fund Trading Limited and Virtual Point Holdings LLC in a cash deal worth $10 million. Meanwhile another company affiliated to SFX founder and CEO Robert FX Sillerman will reportedly pump $5 million into the business also in return for a stack of shares.

The share sale is interesting in that it comes as Sillerman seeks to buy back the publicly listed company, offering $5.25 per share for all of the stock not currently in his hands (about 62.6% of the firm). According to reports, Wolverine and Virtual Point have paid just $4.34 a share in their purchase this week, meaning that - assuming Sillerman's buy-back proposal is green lighted by the firm's shareholders at large - they'll be able to cash in at $5.25 a share later this year.

Which suggests that the deal is about generating a speedy cash boost for SFX, even though it is thought to have a cash pile over $45 million in addition to a $30 million credit facility. Though Wall Street's negative reaction to the new arrangement sent the SFX share price down yesterday, as low as $4.27 at one point, making Sillerman's $5.25 offer seem all the more attractive. The company's board approved the plan to take the firm back into private ownership last month.

SoundCloud to limit app API requests to combat "applications that abuse creator content"
SoundCloud yesterday announced that it is introducing rate limits on API requests by third-party apps to 15,000 plays per 24 hour period. The move is designed to combat "an increasing number of applications that abuse creator content".

Despite various reports to the contrary, one thing this does not - repeat not - do is limit the number of plays possible per day for tracks contained within the SoundCloud player when embedded on third party websites.

SoundCloud insists that "only a small number of developers will be affected by this change". Presumably the key target is people building apps to falsely inflate play counts. The changes will be implemented on 1 Jul. Read SoundCloud's full statement here.

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Soundcrash Boat Party with DJ Vadim from Tower Pier
A boat party? Woohoo, my favourite! Yes, Soundcrash is taking the party down the Thames.

Though the first thing you need to know is that Ghanaian-Hungarian rapper Sena Dagadu and Russia-to-East-London based producer DJ Vadim have just dropped their rather good electro-soul Jamaica-influenced project 'Grow Slow' on BBE records. Check the sampler here.

To celebrate this and a 20 year milestone of releasing records, DJ Vadim will be steering the Good Ship Soundcrash tomorrow night with all the best in reggae, dub, jungle and party tunes, and with a live soundsystem show from Real Roots and DJ BobaFatt keeping the party going until its midnight mooring.

As of this moment there are some tickets left, but I think you're gonna have to move fast.

Saturday 20 Jun, Tower Pier, Lower Thames Street, EC3N 4DT, 7.45pm - Midnight, £22.50. More info here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Neil Young on Donald Trump: "I make my music for people not for candidates"
Neil Young has now provided personal comment on Donald Trump's use of his song 'Rockin In The Free World' while announcing his bid to become the Republican candidate for the US presidency. This follows a statement from the musician's management company, Lookout Management, earlier this week stating that Trump's use of his track was "unauthorised".

As previously reported, Trump opened his announcement event with the song, as he came on stage to the applause of what it now turns out were a group of paid actors.

Refusing to actually name Trump in his statement, Young said: "[Earlier this week] my song 'Rockin In The Free World' was used in an announcement for a US presidential candidate without my permission. A picture of me with this candidate was also circulated in conjunction with this announcement, but it was a photograph taken during a meeting when I was trying to raise funds for Pono, my online high resolution music service".

Let's just stop here to add that to the list of reasons why Pono is one of the worst things to ever happen.

"Music is a universal language", Young went on. "So I am glad that so many people with varying beliefs get enjoyment from my music, even if they don't share my beliefs. But had I been asked to allow my music to be used for a candidate - I would have said no. I am Canadian and I don't vote in the United States, but more importantly I don't like the current political system in the USA and some other countries".

As previously noted, whether or not Young gave permission for his song to be used at Trump's event is irrelevant, as public performances of music such as this are covered by the blanket licenses provided by the industry's collecting societies. However, given the sensitive nature of tying music up with politics, it does tend to save a lot of bother if the token gesture of asking for permission is made first. Though Trump might struggle to find any musicians willing to support his campaign with their music, so maybe asking wasn't an option.

Young went on to lament that "democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests", noting that under the US system only those with massive financial backing or personal wealth, such as Trump, can run for office. "The ever increasing economic disparity and the well-funded legislative decisions all favour corporate interests over the peoples", he said.

This led to an opportunity to plug Young's new album, 'The Monsanto Years', which, as previously reported, takes aim at companies such as genetically modified seed manufacturer Monsanto, claiming that - through lobbying group the Grocery Manufacturers Association - they are attempting to overturn a law in Vermont that requires food and drink companies to state when GM crops are used in their products.

A number of the companies called out on the album recently commented on Young's accusations for an article in Billboard. Among them, Monsanto said: "Many of us at Monsanto have been and are fans of Neil Young. Unfortunately, for some of us, his current album may fail to reflect our strong beliefs in what we do every day to help make agriculture more sustainable. We recognise there is a lot of misinformation about who we are and what we do - and unfortunately several of those myths seem to be captured in these lyrics".

Concluding his statement, Young said: "I do not trust self-serving misinformation coming from corporations and their media trolls. I do not trust politicians who are taking millions from those corporations either. I trust people. So I make my music for people not for candidates".

Read Young's full statement here.

Sony Music UK appoints VP Digital Business, Spotify PlayStation stats, Amy Schumer to support Madonna, and more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Dorothy Hui has been appointed VP Digital Business at Sony Music UK, joining from Roc Nation. "Welcome", said Sony Music UK CEO (and Hui's former Roc Nation colleague) Jason Iley.

• Warner/Chappell has signed a worldwide publishing deal with country trio Lady Antebellum.

• Spotify says that five million gamers have downloaded its app onto their PlayStations since the streaming service partnered with the Sony gaming network in March. And over 785 million tracks have been streamed from Spotify via the PlayStation Music platform. Yay numbers.

• The recently approved Georgia has released the second track from her upcoming debut album. Watch the video for 'Nothing Solutions' here.

• Thundercat has, quite unexpectedly, announced that he will release a new mini-album, 'The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam', next week. From it, this is 'Them Changes'.

• Ryn Weaver has released the video for 'Travelling Song' from her album 'The Fool'.

• Beirut have released the video for the title track of forthcoming new album 'No No No'.

• Editors have released the video for new track, 'Marching Orders'.

• Iron Maiden will release their sixteenth album, 'The Book Of Souls', on 4 Sep.

Approved back in 2013, This Is Head have announced that they will release their third album later this year. This is the first track from it, 'People'.

• Tickets are on sale now for Let's Wrestle's very last show ever. Featuring the band's original line-up, it will take place at the 100 Club in London on 10 Jul. Details here.

• I often lament that musicians don't get stand up comedians to support them any more. But now Madonna has announced that Amy Schumer will open for her in New York in September, so maybe that will start the trend again.

CMU Beef Of The Week #258: Deadmau5 v Deadmouse: The Musical
Last year, when Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, responded to Disney's opposition to a trademark registration he had submitted for various images relating to his on-stage persona, we noted the high comedy value of his response. He and his lawyer Dina LaPolt seemed to revel in the absurdity of the famously litigious corporation's claim, even fighting back with a pedantic copyright-technicality-related countersuit.

However, it's looking like Deadmau5 doesn't actually have an amazing sense of humour, retaining legal counsel just in case the opportunity for comedic legal submissions arise. Rather, he's simply sitting there ready to go legal at the drop of a hat, and just happened to be funny that time because of the absurdity of Disney's claims. We base this new thought on his action this week against 'Deadmouse: The Musical', a musical set to be staged at the Toronto Fringe next month about a mouse who wants to become a DJ but struggles due to the fact he is a mouse.

According to the festival's website, "'Deadmouse: The Musical' is a comedy about a mouse who aspires to be a house DJ but is discriminated against for being a mouse. Joel Zimmermouse must team up with his best friend David Goudda and his flame, Cat, to overcome species-ist discrimination and the mouse hating house DJ Avicheese".

Now, it may as yet turn out to be awful, but the premise for this show is reasonably funny - sufficiently so that quite a few publications reported on the production earlier this week. As a result, the low-key show came to the attention of Deamau5 himself. And he did not find the premise reasonably funny at all. "How not to be creative", he wrote on Twitter, captioning a photograph of a cease-and-desist letter. I think he meant the production wasn't creative, rather than his kneejerk legal reaction.

"Zimmerman's trademarks are some of his most valuable assets and he has spent considerable time and resources in developing, promoting and protecting the Deadmau5 mark", wrote LaPolt on the producer's behalf. "In order to maintain the value and integrity of the same, Zimmerman is charged with the duty of policing the Deadmau5 marks to ensure that they are not infringed upon, tarnished, or diluted by the unauthorized use of the same or similar marks by other parties".

The letter did then note that "Zimmerman appreciates that the creators of the infringing event may be paying tribute to him". Paying tribute! It's a tribute now. You'd think most people would look at the synopsis and assume this was a parody of some sort, but Deadmau5 isn't so certain. "That's why it's always best to approach people beforehand", he wrote, tweeting the second page of the letter, which gave the theatre and the show's producers 24 hours to shut this shit down.

Of course, parody rights exist (and even here in the UK now) to ensure that people don't have to get permission from the people they are parodying. It makes it quite hard to poke fun at people if you have to ask for their permission first.

Someone (actually various people) pointed out on Twitter that this show was clearly a parody. But Deadmau5 disagreed, because nowhere in the blurb about the musical (that's a musical about a mouse who wants to become a DJ) did it state that it was a parody. "There seems to be a lot of confusion on the matter", countered the producer.

For the most part, the confusion seemed to lie with Deadmau5 and his legal team. And anyone else who thought that a show on the Toronto fringe about a DJing mouse and his friends was in any way related to the actual Deadmau5 is probably a lost cause anyway. These are the sort of people who phone up ITV to complain about the use of a 'stunt dog' in a dog show.

But clarity was all Deadmau5 wanted in the end. So when a disclaimer was added noting that this was a performance "not featuring the music of Deadmau5", he seemed happy. "There", he tweeted. "The dead mouse musical debacle is settled. They have just put up a disclaimer and called it a parody. Moving along now".

It was all so easy in the end. I think the thing we could probably all take from this is Deadmau5's own assertion that "it's always best to approach people beforehand". Maybe before firing off an expensive legal letter.

 
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 | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@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
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