THURSDAY 2 JUL 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: So, the many MegaUpload legal wranglings rumble on, with various technicalities having been further explored since the last big development, the jailing of Andrus Nomm in relation to his involvement in running the now long defunct file-transfer platform and alleged copyright infringing business. This week lawyers for the various former MegaUpload men that the US authorities want... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Batteries is the solo project of Steven Clark, aka Sci-Fi Steven from Bis, which sees him let loose his angrier side through distorted new wave pop songs. His debut album under the name is due out on 7 Aug. The lead single, which like the project and the album is also called 'Batteries', is the perfect lead in to the project. It's a sharp-edged three minutes, pushing itself forward with... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES MegaUpload execs fight to get their assets back from the US government
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LEGAL Rick Ross gets bail following kidnap and assault charges
Newport bar owner fined and given suspended sentence for infringing music rights
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DEALS !K7 partner with Mykki Blanco on label venture
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Manners McDade allies with IMPEL
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LIVE BUSINESS Robomagic launch new showcase championing female talent
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Facebook talking to the majors about possible music play
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ARTIST NEWS Ents 24 crunch tracking stats to assess artists rising in popularity
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ONE LINERS IFF keynoter, Capitol promotions, Prince off streams and more
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AND FINALLY... Now Monster launch headphones for girls
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[PIAS] COOPERATIVE - LABEL MANAGER (LONDON)
[PIAS] Cooperative, a division of [PIAS], are looking for a dynamic and knowledgeable UK label manager. Based at [PIAS] UK office, this is an ideal position for someone with a minimum of two years experience in label management, marketing, retail, and production.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
CLWB IFOR BACH - PROMOTER (CARDIFF)
Clwb Ifor Bach are looking for an enthusiastic individual to join their promotions team. Based in Cardiff, the city centre live music and club space is widely regarded as one of Wales's most iconic venues with over 30 years experience of promoting and supporting great music. This a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the future development and direction of the venue and work in one of the UK's most dynamic cities.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
NINJA TUNE - JUNIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER (LONDON)
The role entails ad-hoc graphic design duties, the majority of which are reworking existing artwork for a variety of web and print media, including social network banners and print posters. Applicants must be deadline conscious, perform tasks fastidiously, and able to follow a brief accurately and quickly, with multiple revisions. You should have a keen eye for high visual impact, and an enthusiasm and knowledge for music-based artwork.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DOMINO RECORDING CO - INTERNATIONAL TEAM (LONDON)
Domino Recording Co is seeking a dynamic music lover to join our International Team, based in the London office. This full-time position will be responsible for production and promotional support as well as general admin required by the International Team.

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SLAM DUNK - PROMOTER (LEEDS)
One of the UK’s biggest rock music brands, Slam Dunk Ltd are looking to recruit a new promoter. We are seeking a hardworking, organised, and very creative individual with a passion for live music and club nights. The successful candidate will be able to work well under pressure and be able to work to tight deadlines.

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FUTURESOUND EVENTS - PROMOTER (LEEDS)
Futuresound Events are seeking a hard working, organised, creative and enthusiastic individual with a passion for live music. Working alongside the head promoter you will assist in the booking, organisation and execution of the companies shows, festivals and other events. The successful candidate will play a fundamental role in booking new and up-and-coming bands.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
CMU Jobs is a proven way to recruit the best music business talent for roles across the industry at all levels, from graduate to senior management. To book an ad contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 

MegaUpload execs fight to get their assets back from the US government
So, the many MegaUpload legal wranglings rumble on, with various technicalities having been further explored since the last big development, the jailing of Andrus Nomm in relation to his involvement in running the now long defunct file-transfer platform and alleged copyright infringing business.

This week lawyers for the various former MegaUpload men that the US authorities want over allegations of rampant copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering - including the site's founder Kim Dotcom - were back in court trying to get back $67 million worth of assets seized by the American authorities when the Mega business was shut down by the feds in 2012.

There have been various claims, arguments and court hearings over those assets, and the rights of US prosecutors to take and keep them. Last year the American authorities requested a court order that would forfeit the assets that had been seized, basically transferring ownership of the cash and property to the US government. Objections to that request from Team Mega were then ignored by the courts earlier this year, because Dotcom et al were considered "fugitives" without the right to protest.

But the former MegaUpload execs are not giving up, and this week filed an appeal with the Fourth Circuit Court, arguing that the judge which originally considered the forfeiture request violated due process and denied Dotcom and his fellow defendants their basic rights.

The appeal also disputes the defining of the former MegaUpload execs as "fugitives", noting that while they are indeed fighting efforts to have them extradited to the US, they are doing so in accordance with the laws of the countries where they currently reside, New Zealand in the case of Dotcom.

One of MegaUpload's lawyers, Michael Elkin, says: "The Megaupload defendants were branded by the US Department Of Justice as 'fugitives' for lawfully fighting extradition in New Zealand. The district court's denial of their basic rights to defend against asset forfeiture under a 'fugitive disentitlement' doctrine amounts to a violation of basic due process".

Dotcom's lead attorney Ira Rothken has long argued that the US went after his client's assets in a bid to limit his ability to fight the aforementioned infringement, racketeering and laundering charges.

Commenting on the latest appeal, he went on: "The DOJ in our view is trying to abuse the Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine by modifying it into an offensive weapon of asset forfeiture to punish those who fight extradition under lawful treaties, and a provocation for international discord. Today we ask the Court Of Appeals for justice".

The MegaUpload appeal also argues that the forfeiture ruling sets a dangerous precedent regarding the American government's ability to take a defendant's assets simply on the basis they are fighting extradition, rather than a court looking at the merits of the case. Say the lawyers: "That is not how our justice system works. The judgments below should be vacated and the case either dismissed or remanded for trial on the merits".

It remains to be seen how the appeals court now responds.

Rick Ross gets bail following kidnap and assault charges
Rick Ross is out of jail after posting a $2 million bond, according to TMZ.

As previously reported, the rapper was recently arrested over allegations he kidnapped and assaulted a man called Jonathan Zamudio. He now faces charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault and aggravated battery.

Initially refused bail, Ross got his lawyer to request he be allowed out of jail in returning for posting the $2 million bond. A judge approved the arrangement, though Ross could lose his money if he attempts to intimidate a witness. He also agreed to 24 hour electronic monitoring.

More details about the incident that led to the charges last month also came to light during the court hearing. It seems the victim was the live-in groundskeeper on the property where Ross resides, and the rapper was angry about a birthday party the victim had had at his apartment.

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Newport bar owner fined and given suspended sentence for infringing music rights
The owner of a bar in Newport has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £20,000 to record industry collecting society PPL for persistently playing recorded music at the venue without a licence.

John Fletcher, owner of The Birdcage, was taken to court after ignoring various warnings from PPL that he was infringing copyright by playing recorded music without a licence from the rights body. The latest hearing followed an injunction that was awarded in the society's favour against Fletcher back in 2013.

Copyright owners control the performance of their works in public, of course, meaning that any person or company playing recorded music in a public space needs licences from both PRS and PPL, which represent the owners of the separate song and recording copyrights respectively.

Judge Richard Arnold ordered Fletcher to pay £6000 in damages and £14,000 in legal costs, and said that if the venue owner was to play music in his venue without licence again he would face 28 days in jail.

Welcoming the ruling, PPL Operations Director Christine Geissmar told reporters: "There is an intrinsic value that recorded music adds to businesses, and this judgement acknowledges that the performers of the music and record companies should be fairly rewarded".

Noting the sentence passed, Geissmar added: "This ruling demonstrates how seriously the courts treat copyright infringement and reiterates that music can only be played in public if the right licences are obtained. Businesses that choose to play recorded music without a licence may face legal action and possibly hefty financial and other consequences as a result".

!K7 partner with Mykki Blanco on label venture
Presumably taking a few weeks off investigative journalism, rapper Mykki Blanco has formed an alliance with !K7 which will see the independent music firm handle the financial, business and marketing side of a new label venture called the Dog Food Music Group. Blanco will lead on A&R and the creative side. The first project under the venture will be a collaborative album involving Blanco and friends due out in September.

Confirming the new venture and !K7 alliance, Blanco told reporters: "I signed with !K7 and it's been a relationship that has allowed me to advance my career creatively and independently. As a team, !K7 allows me the freedom to artistically guide my projects in my own vision while offering support, guidance and insight as business partners. It's a respectful and inspiring reciprocal relationship, which in this industry is everything an artist can really ask for".

!K7 boss Horst Weidenmuller added: "Part of what makes Mykki an incredible artist is his refusal to be boxed in and categorised. His work is authentic, unfiltered, and from the heart. Our partnership empowers Mykki to create without restriction, and at the same time to operate with the support of a worldwide infrastructure. Mykki Blanco is a breath of fresh air".

Elsewhere in Blanco news, he has just signed to Coda for booking agency representation outside North America.

Manners McDade allies with IMPEL
Independent publisher Manners McDade has allied with IMPEL, the licensing body that represents a number of indie publishers in the digital domain.

Basically a spin-off from the UK publishing sector's mechanical rights collecting society MCPS, IMPEL offers multi-territory licences to digital services in Europe, and allows the independents to together negotiate terms direct with streaming platforms, as the big five publishers now do with larger and multi-territory digital services. The licensing is done in partnership with PRS For Music, which already controls the performing right elements of the songs, and does most of the leg work once deals are in place.

Confirming they were now signed up to the initiative, Manners McDade Director Catherine Manners told reporters "we're delighted to be joining IMPEL - as independents, a collective voice is increasingly important". Meanwhile the firm's Publishing Manager Harriet Wybor added "as the digital market continues to develop, it is important for our composers that we are able to licence digital rights collectively and competitively; we are very pleased to include our Anglo-American repertoire with IMPEL".

Robomagic launch new showcase championing female talent
New live music firm Robomagic Live is teaming up with Amazing Radio to launch an exciting new monthly residency at Birthdays in Dalston that will champion great female musicians, ultimately aiming to encourage festival promoters to move away from such male-dominated line ups, as have been highlighted on the social networks this year.

Called FTFH, or Finding The Female Headliners, Robomagic's Bonita Mckinney is leading the venture, while Amazing Radio's Ruth Barnes will also be involved. She says of the new night: "I'm so excited to be able to put on some top talent, whilst challenging the festival bookers with their boys' club line ups to book some fantastic female artists!"

The first FTFH night is on 13 Aug featuring Daisy Victoria, Hannah Lou Clark and Dios Mio, with Nadine Shah doing a DJ set.

Facebook talking to the majors about possible music play
Now that Apple Music has fully killed off Spotify, after it fully killed off iTunes, I think it's time we had an "Apple Music killer". So, enter Facebook!

The social network has reportedly been speaking to all three majors about a possible move into music, which is something everyone used to chatter about back in the days when MySpace Music was first a thing ("Facebook will be doing music next" they used to say), but which might make more sense now the social networking firm has moved into video in such a big way.

That said, sources say Facebook isn't entirely sure what any music service within its platform might look like. Like Apple, Facebook wouldn't be too keen on the big upfront costs that come with launching licensed streaming music services, and unlike Apple it couldn't set those costs off against a spike in device sales down the line.

It also seems likely that any Facebook music set-up would need to be ad-funded, and the music industry is down on ad-funded freemium at the moment. Though there is an argument that the record industry will only ever monetise a big chunk of mainstream consumers by creating a decent ad-funded platform, and that other streaming services have been too quick to give up on the potential of brand-funded services.

And Facebook, of course, is a leader in internet advertising. So, perhaps there is something in all this, though everyone stresses it's very early days as yet. So you'll all have to make do with Beats 1 and Zane Lowe's shouting for now I'm afraid.

 

Approved: Batteries
Batteries is the solo project of Steven Clark, aka Sci-Fi Steven from Bis, which sees him let loose his angrier side through distorted new wave pop songs. His debut album under the name is due out on 7 Aug.

The lead single, which like the project and the album is also called 'Batteries', is the perfect lead in to the project. It's a sharp-edged three minutes, pushing itself forward with stop-start rhythms, and bloody hell it's catchy.

The rest of the album (eleven tracks that, against the odds, aren't called 'Batteries') continues with similarly pleasing music and wry humour to make a thoroughly enjoyable record.

Check out 'Batteries' by Batteries from 'Batteries' here.

CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Ents 24 crunch tracking stats to assess artists rising in popularity
Online entertainment guide and ticketing hub Ents24 will today publish a chart of the artists and performers who have seen their popularity rise most over the first half of 2015.

These stats are based on the tracking tools available on the Ents24 platform, which enable users to track their favourite artists, comedians and other performers, so to receive alerts whenever they announce a show or are added to a festival line-up.

Claiming to provide "info and tickets for more UK live events than anyone else", Ents 24 says that this "puts us in a great position to gauge which artists, comedians and entertainers are gaining popularity, and which are doing so fastest, spurred on by a standout TV appearance, the announcement of a massive comeback tour, or a breathtaking festival set".

And the twenty artists and performers which have increased most in popularity on the Ents 24 platform so far this year are (in alphabetical order):

James Bay
Leon Bridges
Dan & Phil
Alfie Deyes
Harry Enfield
FFS
Jack Garratt
Ben Haenow
Låpsley
Shawn Mendes
Nothing But Thieves
PVRIS
Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox
Soak
Songhoy Blues
Stereo Kicks
The Two Mikes
Meghan Trainor
Paul Whitehouse
Years & Years

There will be more stats and info on the Ents 24 blog later today at blog.ents24.com

IFF keynoter, Capitol promotions, Prince off streams and more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Organisers of the International Festival Forum - the new event from the people behind ILMC - have confirmed agent and Isle Of Wight Festival man John Giddings as keynoter at their inaugural conference. Other sessions will look at promoter and agent gripes, data, brands and "formulas for success in a post-headliner festival world". Info here.

• Universal's Capitol Music Group in the US of A has promoted both Meredith Gardner and Josh Kahn to the same job title of Vice President of Digital Marketing & Product, a role via which they will "coalesce and galvanise label-based digital specialists". So happy galvanising everybody. Gardner was obviously "thrilled" at the promotion, while Kahn noted everything was "tremendous".

• Inspired by AC/DC using the arrival of Apple Music to finally embrace streaming music, Prince has used the tech giant's big digital music launch to, erm, pull all his tracks from streaming platforms. Oh Prince, what are you like? Though I see you're still on Tidal at the moment. What's that about, hey? And I'm still playing all your records via my MP3 collection. Ha, can't do anything about that, can you?

• Those Rolling Stones have announced that an exhibition tracking their six decades in the business of rolling stones will take place at the Saatchi Gallery in London from April to September next year. It will be called Exhibitionism. Here's a video about it. After London the show will tour the world.

• Oh Rihanna, you and your videos and your kidnappings and your nudity and your bound up women swinging from the ceiling and your phone box abuse and your burning cars and your vomiting and your guns and your knives and your blood and your cigarettes and your money and all that accountancy rage. You need to calm down dear. Would you like a glass of Pimms?

• Whatever you've made of Kendrick Lamar in the past, just know this, his performance at last weekend's BET Awards greatly angered Fox News pundits, leading one besuited buffoon to declare "hip-hop as the real oppressor of black people". Glorious. Here's the new video to Lamar's 'To Pimp A Butterfly' track 'Alright'.

Now Monster launch headphones for girls
Following the lead of Skullcandy, Monster - the firm which originally made the Beats By Dre cans of course - is now also launching a special range of headphones just for the ladies.

But don't be getting on your high horses to shout "what the flying fuck?!" Oh no, Monster have really thought this one out.

"Ladies have different priorities" says Monster CEO Noel Lee launching his firm's Pearl Collection. "Sound quality isn't the top of the list. It's comfort, lightweight, that it doesn't mess up my hair - that's all very important".

Oh of course, it's all about having headphones that don't mess up your hair. It's so obvious now isn't it? I mean, whenever did you see a boy who styled his hair, never, that's when. And whenever did you see a girl putting tunes before curls? Never. It's a winner I tell you.

 
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
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

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