MONDAY 29 JUN 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: American satellite broadcaster Sirius XM has reached a settlement with all three majors and ABKCO, best known for controlling the early Rolling Stones catalogue, over the long-rumbling pre-1972 copyright dispute in the US. As much previously reported, US-wide federal copyright law only applies to sound recordings released from 1972 onwards, and is unusual in that it only... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Congolese rapper Alex Lomani this week releases 'Quelques Mots Suffisent', the first of four EPs he has planned for the second half of 2015. Lead track 'Trouble Anxieux' finds him in a dark mood, as he explains: "I was in a pretty dark place of existential crisis when I wrote the song. The song is a part of my own catharsis and exorcism of personal demons". And while his lyrics... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Sirius settles with majors over pre-1972 recordings
DEALS Universal Music announces marketing deal with Marriott International
LIVE BUSINESS Robomagic announces alliance with Standon Calling
Global buys into Snowbombing and Festival No 6 maker
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Speculation continues as Apple Music launch looms
MEDIA Mi-Soul arrives on DAB
New CFO at Global Radio
New MD at Radio Academy
ARTIST NEWS Yes founder and bassist Chris Squire dies
Joni Mitchell rep denies singer is still unable to speak after collapse
ONE LINERS Festival Congress returns, CD Baby conference, NWA reunion etc
AND FINALLY... Top Glastonbury talking point? Kanye's subtitles
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Sirius settles with majors over pre-1972 recordings
American satellite broadcaster Sirius XM has reached a settlement with all three majors and ABKCO, best known for controlling the early Rolling Stones catalogue, over the long-rumbling pre-1972 copyright dispute in the US.

As much previously reported, US-wide federal copyright law only applies to sound recordings released from 1972 onwards, and is unusual in that it only provides a digital performing right for sound recording owners, so while satellite and online music services do need to pay royalties to artists and labels, other music channels like AM/FM radio do not.

Sirius is one service that does have to pay royalties, but it argued that payments were not due on pre-1972 recordings that are protected by state rather than federal copyright law. The logic went that the specific federal law that forced it to pay royalties on post-1972 repertoire didn't apply to earlier works. Meanwhile older state-level copyright laws make no specific reference to satellite services, meaning Sirius was like any other radio station for pre-1972 records, and AM/FM stations don't pay the labels anything whatever tracks they play.

But the record companies did not agree, arguing that actually royalties were due on older repertoire because state laws - in California and New York at least - while admittedly vague on what specific controls they provided sound recording copyright owners, didn't specifically state that labels did not have a general performing right, like that enjoyed by song copyrights Stateside and recording copyrights as well in most other countries.

But, countered Sirius (and Pandora, which is also affected by this), if there was a general performing right for sound recording copyrights at a state level, why hadn't the labels been charging golden oldie AM/FM radio stations all these years whenever they played tracks from the 1950s and 1960s? It's a good question, but last year a New York judge said that previous failure to enforce a right didn't mean that right did not exist.

Though the key ruling in all this came in California, where Flo & Eddie, previously of 1960s outfit The Turtles, first went legal on the issue. And they won, giving a second case being pursued by the Recording Industry Association Of America on behalf of the majors and ABKCO a considerable boost.

Which brings us to last week's settlement, which will see Sirius pay $210 million for past use of pre-1972 repertoire controlled by the claimants. The broadcaster will also be licensed to use the record companies' pre-1972 catalogue until the end of 2017 when it will need to negotiate new deals.

Welcoming the settlement, the boss of the RIAA, Cary Sherman, told reporters: "This is a great step forward for all music creators. Music has tremendous value, whether it was made in 1970 or 2015. We hope others take note of this important agreement and follow Sirius XM's example".

The there mentioned "others" presumably means Pandora, the other big player paying to use post-1972 recordings, but not those that pre-date federal copyright protection. Sirius and Pandora, and other digital radio services, pay royalties for post-1972 repertoire via collecting society SoundExchange, paying rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board.

It's not clear whether the labels would opt to run pre-1972 royalties through the same body. The record industry generally doesn't like the CRB setting rates which inevitably end up, most labels believe, below market value. Though having everything running through one system is simpler, and artists get an automatic cut of the money when SoundExchange is involved.

As the messy pre-1972 debate has rumbled on, some have proposed a change to federal copyright law in the US to explicitly extend the SoundExchange system to all sound recordings still in copyright, and it remains to be seen if there are any new moves in that direction. Certainly the pre-1972 issue is far from resolved, not least because Flo & Eddie's litigation is ongoing, and it now has class action status meaning artists and labels not covered by the RIAA's deal will benefit if the duo ultimately prevail.

And there is also the question as to what this all means for AM/FM stations playing 1950s and 1960s tracks which, according to the Californian ruling, in theory also need to get licences from the labels to play those records, in that state at least.

If there is any chance of that, the traditional broadcasters will lead the lobby to have all federal copyright laws (and principally the only partial performing right) extended backwards to all recordings. Though the labels would in turn lobby to have a general performing right added at a federal level so that AM/FM stations would have to start paying on all output. Indeed such moves are already underway.

So, plenty still to run on the old pre-1972 thing. For a more detailed explanation of the whole quandary check this CMU trends article, currently free to access on the website.

Universal Music announces marketing deal with Marriott International
Universal Music last week announced a wide-ranging alliance with the Marriott group which will see artists signed to the former perform at hotels owned by the latter. It was due to kick off with Jessie J playing the St Pancras Renaissance hotel in London tomorrow, but she's not been very well of late, so who knows if that's still happening?

But the "new generation of experience-seekers" this "first-of-its-kind global marketing partnership" is aimed at shouldn't worry, because there are plenty more performances from both established and new acts in the pipeline, plus there'll be some branded video and social content gubbins available too, presumably stacked at the back of the mini-bar.

Says Universal Music's Mike Tunnicliffe: "We are thrilled to partner with Marriott International as they share our determination to build progressive, creative, long-term relationships with brand partners. This relationship brings to life our vision to develop truly integrated partnerships beyond standard transactional opportunities for our artists and their fans around the world".

Robomagic announces alliance with Standon Calling
Former AEG Live UK boss Rob Hallett has announced an alliance between his new previously reported business Robomagic and the Standon Calling festival, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

Confirming he had now taken a role on the Hertfordshire festival's management team, Hallet told reporters last week: "I am thrilled about Robomagic's first festival connection and look forward to working with the existing management team towards the growth of one of the UK's most exciting and innovative events".

Commenting on Hallet's involvement from the festival's side, Standon Calling Festival Director Nick Lawrence added: "We strongly believe that the combination of his unrivalled experience, skills and contacts will have an immediate and favourable impact, as well as providing what's required to achieve success through the next stage of Standon's development. These are very exciting times".


Global buys into Snowbombing and Festival No 6 maker
The new live music wing of Global Entertainment, the sister music company to Global Radio, last week announced it had taken a "significant strategic stake" in UK promoter Broadwick Live, which is my very favourite kind of stake.

Broadwick is best known for its festivals Snowbombing and Festival No.6, but also works with brands on music events. The firm will remain autonomous after the deal, but will work closely with the rapidly growing Global Live business.

Confirming the arrangement, former AEG man and now Global Entertainment CEO Randy Phillips told reporters: "When [overall Global chief] Ashley Tabor and I decided to build a live entertainment company as part of Global Entertainment, we always planned to expand into the festival and event space. The inventiveness, creativity and business savvy of Broadwick Live are the perfect complement to the growth of Global Live's worldwide business model".

Broadwick CEO Sam Bush added: "The opportunity to partner with Global Live is huge. With their vision, expertise and investment, we will be able to co-create incredible new events and experiences, and extend our existing portfolio at home in the UK and internationally".

Speculation continues as Apple Music launch looms
So, are you ready? Yes, Apple Music launches tomorrow afternoon (UK time), so if you're enjoying all this Apple Music speculating everyone's been doing of late, you need to get it all out of your system today. Go on, do it. Let's face it, the speculating may be more fun than the final product.

Despite all the chatter and hype, not to mentioned the ads that are slowly emerging, there will still be some surprises within Apple Music once things start to kick off tomorrow, mainly to do with how the different elements of the music service, old and new, fit together.

And also how things will differ around the world in terms of price point and functionality. It's expected that, as with Spotify, 9.99 will apply in dollars, pounds and euros, despite those three currencies not being in sync value wise (God knows what 9.99 euros will be worth by the end of the week).

Apple's existing streaming service in the US, iTunes Radio, is seemingly going, with a number of themed 'radio channels' of similar ilk set to sit alongside the much hyped Beats1 worldwide radio service within the new platform. Whether that will all apply worldwide or just in the US remains to be seen.

Though perhaps the most interesting thing to see will be how iTunes Match fits in to it all. It's thought that each user's existing download collection will sit neatly alongside the Apple Music streaming catalogue. Spotify can also do that, but only on devices where a user's MP3s are actually stored.

Because of the iTunes Match digital locker service, Apple can extend the download collection to all devices. Which means those who choose not to pay $120 a year after the three month free trial could still get the new radio channels and Connect service while just relying on their existing MP3 collections for on-demand music.

Other nuggets of info coming in as the launch of Apple Music approaches include a raft of celebrity guest hosts for Beats 1; news that there will be an app update for the existing and eventually-to-go Beats Music streaming set up making it easier to migrate over to the new Apple Music platform; and confirmation that talks are underway to bring the new service to Sonos speakers by the end of the year.

And that's enough speculating for now I think. But enjoy it while you can.

Mi-Soul arrives on DAB
Hey, forget about all that Beats1 malarkey, closer to home (well, closer to my home) there's a new radio station on the DAB network. Well, not new. But new to DAB. Basically Mi-Soul, the most recent radio venture from Kiss FM founder Gordon Mac, arrived on DAB in London this weekend, having been an internet-only station to date

Commenting on Mi-Soul's arrival to the London airwaves, Mac is quoted by Radio Today thus: "This is the most exciting development in our evolution. We have worked extremely hard for many years to prepare for this moment, and since finally being granted a license by OfCom, we are looking forward to introducing our music and stellar roster of DJs to a much wider audience".

He went on: "While the media landscape has changed enormously since we launched Kiss FM in 1990 the lack of choice in mainstream radio is surprisingly similar to then, as much of commercial radio has migrated to the bland middle ground. There is a significant audience aged 30 years plus who listened to soulful music in their youth on Kiss FM/Choice and now have nowhere to go".


New CFO at Global Radio
UK radio major, and growing artist management and live music business, Global has appointed a new Chief Financial Officer in the form of Darren Singer, who joins the media and entertainment firm from the Guardian Media Group.

He'll reported to Global Group CEO Stephen Miron in the new role, who told reporters: "Darren brings to Global exceptional leadership, knowledge and experience, having worked at some of the world's most prestigious media and entertainment companies. We're delighted to welcome Darren to Global where he will be a tremendous asset as we continue to fulfil our ambitious plans for the business".

Meanwhile Singer himself added: "It's an incredible time to join Global. Over the past few years, I've watched the company as it has stimulated the commercial radio sector's return to growth, and more recently as it has grown its interests in the music and entertainment world in the UK and the US. I'm looking forward to joining the leadership team and playing a role in the next stage of the Global journey".


New MD at Radio Academy
The recently streamlined Radio Academy has appointed a new Managing Director in the form of Roger Cutsforth, who has had a long career in commercial radio, most recently at Global Radio.

Confirming the appointment, the Academy's Chair Chris Burns told reporters: "I am delighted to announce this week that Roger Cutsforth is to become the Radio Academy's new Managing Director. Roger currently works at Global and brings to the role a love of the industry and a passion for the 'Creative Led Sell'. Roger will take up his new post in mid July and I know he can't wait to get started. I think he is a great appointment for the Academy and I am really looking forward to working with him".

Cutsforth will be charged with the task of rebuilding the Radio Academy as an organisation with "learning and networking" at its core, it having closed its London office and axed its two big events, the Radio Festival and Radio Academy Awards, late last year. News on a smaller replacement annual conference is expected this week.

  Approved: Alex Lomani
Congolese rapper Alex Lomani this week releases 'Quelques Mots Suffisent', the first of four EPs he has planned for the second half of 2015.

Lead track 'Trouble Anxieux' finds him in a dark mood, as he explains: "I was in a pretty dark place of existential crisis when I wrote the song. The song is a part of my own catharsis and exorcism of personal demons". And while his lyrics might be in French, you don't need a particularly studied grasp of the language to pick up that mood from the track.

Featuring guest vocals from Karun Mungai and Sony Base, production on 'Trouble Anxieux' is handled by Olugbenga (no stranger to the CMU Approved column), who matches the brooding tone of Lomani's lyrics perfectly.

Listen to 'Trouble Anxieux' here.
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Yes founder and bassist Chris Squire dies
Prog rockers Yes confirmed this weekend that the band's co-founder and bassist Chris Squire has died, a month on from him revealing he was receiving treatment for acute erythroid leukaemia.

The band said in a statement: "It's with the heaviest of hearts and unbearable sadness that we must inform you of the passing of our dear friend and Yes co-founder Chris Squire. Chris peacefully passed away last night in Phoenix Arizona".

Paying tribute to their late bassist, the band added: "For the entirety of Yes's existence, Chris was the band's linchpin and, in so many ways, the glue that held it together over all these years. Because of his phenomenal bass-playing prowess, Chris influenced countless bassists around the world, including many of today's well-known artists".


Joni Mitchell rep denies singer is still unable to speak after collapse
A statement issued on behalf of Joni Mitchell has denied comments about her current condition made by David Crosby - as in one third of Crosby, Stills & Nash.

As previously reported, Mitchell was rushed to hospital in March after being found unconscious at her LA home. TMZ previously reported that the singer's condition had worsened and that she was in a coma, but a statement approved by her long-term friend Leslie Morris denied this was the case.

But then Crosby, another longtime friend (and former partner) of Mitchell, told the Huffington Post that he was "thinking a good thought" for the singer who was "not speaking yet".

But a new statement issued on Mitchell's behalf this weekend denied this was the case, saying: "The truth is that Joni is speaking, and she's speaking well. She is not walking yet, but she will be in the near future as she is undergoing daily therapies. She is resting comfortably in her own home and she's getting better each day. A full recovery is expected".

Responding, Crosby later admitted he didn't know the very latest about Mitchell's health, adding: "Thank God she is speaking ...she is brave and I believe she will recover".

Festival Congress returns, CD Baby conference, NWA reunion etc

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Ben Ward, frontman of metallers Orange Goblin and formerly an exec at One Fifteen management, has joined the Agency Group's UK rock team. He will work on a new roster of bands at the booking agency.

• The Association Of Independent Festivals has announced that its Festival Congress will return to Cardiff on 5 and 6 Nov with Huw Stephens off of the radio keynoting.

• The Society Of Ticket Agents And Retailers will put the spotlight on various ticketing issues at a seminar at the St James Theatre in London next Monday, including the impact of the new Consumer Rights Act on the tickets industry. More here.

• CD Baby has announced it will hold a DIY Musician Conference in Chicago in October open to any self-releasing artists, not just those using the company to distribute their content. Info here.

• Some of NWA reunited on stage this weekend alongside a premiere screening of the new documentary about the legendary hip hop group. MC Ren, DJ Yella and Ice Cube were there. Dr Dre wasn't. Would you rather I speculate about him being too busy on the Apple Music launch, or just say something about them forgetting about Dre?

Top Glastonbury talking point? Kanye's subtitles
So, having closely monitored the social networks all weekend it seems like the stand out acts at Glastonbury this year were, well, whichever artists or bands you already liked. Yes, they were great weren't they? But all those other bands you didn't already like? Well shit, I tell you, what a waste of space, what were they thinking etc etc etc.

Lionel Richie was in the 'everyone loves this old timer' slot of course, so everyone loved that older timer, though most people seemed to be more keen to post snaps of the Dalai Lama onto their social timeline of choice. And as for Kanye West's slightly contentious headline slot on Saturday night? Well, hey, what, yeah, right, you know what I'm saying, yeah, right, of course you do.

Though, despite character comedian Simon Brodkin's hilarious (yeah?) stage invasion, I think everyone agreed that the real highlight of West's performance was the BBC's subtitling of his more controversial lyrics. Well, everyone watching at home agreed that. Proving once again, that this banker is best viewed from the comfort of your living room.

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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