TODAY'S TOP STORY: We know that web-blocking has become a favoured anti-piracy tactic for the music and movie industries in countries where web-block injunctions are available under law, and especially in Europe. And we now know that 504 such injunctions have been issued across the continent, or at least that's according to a chart presented by the Motion Picture Association at... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Back in July, Berlin label 50Weapons announced that it will close later this year, after reaching its target of 50 single releases since launching a decade ago. That final single will come from founders Modeselektor on 18 Dec, but the label's very last album release comes this week in the form of the third LP from producer Benjamin Damage, 'Obsidian'. He says of the record... [READ MORE]
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including what the long-running dancing baby case tells us about takedowns and fair use, Aretha Franklin’s film woes, what Nielsen's latest stats tell us about the streaming music sector, and Elton John not chatting to the Russian president. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES Web-block injunctions top 500 in Europe, according to MPA
LEGAL Insane Clown Posse's lawsuit against the FBI reinstated
DEALS Island Records signs first band via Spinnup platform
Peermusic extends alliance with First Music Publishing Russia
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Axwell & Ingrosso manager responds to split
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES SoundCloud chief muses on the need to balance freemium and premium services
MEDIA BBC Music taking pitches for iPlayer-based shows, keen to reach female viewers
Xfm founder launches new radio and music platform based out of Camden
ARTIST NEWS Viet Cong will change name for second album
Brian Wilson partners with US mental health charity
RELEASES Lady Gaga releases single highlighting sexual assault at US universities
AWARDS First GRM Daily Rated Awards presented
Welsh Music Prize shortlist announced
ONE LINERS Kobalt, SESAC, Quincy Jones, more
AND FINALLY... Morrissey says tonight's London show will be his last in the UK
Click JUMP to skip direct to a section of this email or ONLINE to read and share stories on the CMU website (JUMP option may not work in all email readers). For regular updates from Team CMU follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.
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Web-block injunctions top 500 in Europe, according to MPA
We know that web-blocking has become a favoured anti-piracy tactic for the music and movie industries in countries where web-block injunctions are available under law, and especially in Europe. And we now know that 504 such injunctions have been issued across the continent, or at least that's according to a chart presented by the Motion Picture Association at a conference focused on online law enforcement in Southampton last week.

According to the chart, published by Torrentfreak, Italy has been most prolific in issuing court orders to internet service providers ordering them to block consumers from accessing copyright infringing websites, with 238 injunctions now issued. The UK comes second with 135 web-blocks now in place.

As previously reported, in some countries new laws have been passed to allow web-blocking, whereas elsewhere - including here in the UK - existing copyright legislation has been used to secure the blockades.

Although the anti-piracy tactic is often controversial whenever specific web-block laws are being considered, in the main once the blockades are underway the controversy dies away, with net firms in particular becoming less vocal in their criticism of the injunctions. Indeed, a legal rep for telco giant Telefonica recently spoke in favour of web-blocking as a primary anti-piracy tactic at a recent Music 4.5 event in London.

Though critics do remain, and they mainly focus on how easy it is for consumers to circumvent the blockades. Though rights owners insist that web-blocking remains a good anti-piracy tool, while also pressuring search engines to do more to make it less easy to find alternative routes to blocked piracy websites.

Last week's MPA presentation on web-blocking followed the news that net firms in Iceland had reached a voluntary agreement with local entertainment industry representatives to block both The Pirate Bay and, the latter being Iceland's most popular private torrent tracker. The agreement between the net and entertainment firms extends the blocks outlined in a court order issued against just two ISPs in the country last year to other internet providers.

Insane Clown Posse's lawsuit against the FBI reinstated
Insane Clown Posse scored a court win last week in their ongoing litigation against the FBI, as an appeals court reinstated legal action dismissed last year.

As previously reported, the lawsuit relates to the FBI's 2011 'National Gang Threat' report, which listed 'juggalos' - the collective name of the rap duo's fans - as a "hybrid gang". The Posse themselves and a number of their fans claim to have been negatively affected by that classification.

Last year a judge dismissed the case after the US Department Of Justice argued that the FBI cannot be held responsible for how information in any of its reports is used by third parties, basically ruling that the juggalos' beef was with other law enforcement agencies, the US Army and assorted employers rather than the feds.

The Insane Clown Posse appealed, and last week the Sixth US Circuit Court Of Appeals reinstated the rap-metal duo's case, allowing it to proceed to court. Welcoming that development, the Posse said on their website on Friday: "We're thankful that the juggalo family will finally get their day in court".

They went on: "Discrimination against someone based solely upon the type of music they listen to is just flat out wrong and it's time that the legal system acknowledges that. The FBI's labelling of juggalos as a gang has wreaked havoc on thousands of lives, resulting in job losses, dismissal from military service, eviction, lost child custody and constant harassment and profiling from law enforcement organisations all across the country".

Island Records signs first band via Spinnup platform
Universal's Island Records has signed Scottish outfit Model Aeroplanes, which is double news because they are the first band to be signed after self-releasing tracks via the Universal-owned digital distribution platform Spinnup, which Island now uses as one of its talent-scouting tools.

Universal Music in Sweden, where Spinnup first launched back in 2013, has now signed nine artists via the platform. Model Aeroplanes are the first band to be signed via the service in the UK, having been originally spotted by Spinnup scout Yvonne McLellan.

She says of the band: "I first came across the boys in Model Aeroplanes a few years ago. We kept in touch and I would go to their shows every now and then, just to see how things were developing. I remember the moment when I went to see them and I thought: 'Oh my, they've cracked it!' When discussing the way forward, I suggested that for their next single they should think about Spinnup. They got on board and I scouted them. It's such a pleasure to be around them and I can only see them going from strength to strength".

For the label's part, Island Records Head Of A&R Louis Bloom told reporters: "A&R is the lifeblood of what we do at Island Records, which is why Spinnup as a platform is so important in our discovery strategy going forward. The growing success of Model Aeroplanes is a testament to our commitment to nurturing new talent and we're really excited to have them join us at Island".


Peermusic extends alliance with First Music Publishing Russia
Independent publisher Peermusic has announced it is extending its existing alliance with First Music Publishing Russia, with the former now set to represent the latter's catalogue outside its home territory.

Confirming the deal, Peermusic's European President Nigel Elderton told reporters: "We are delighted to be representing First Music's fine Russian repertoire around the world. First Music have proven themselves to be excellent partners, having administered the Peer catalogue for the past fifteen years. We are very pleased that they have now entrusted us with their repertoire".

Dmitry Mayko, CEO at First Music Publishing, added: "We are extremely proud to extend and deepen our long-term relationship with Peer. They have proven time and time again to be wise and reliable partners and we are excited to be able to bring through Peer the best in current Russian music [to the world]".

Axwell & Ingrosso manager responds to split
Artist manager Amy Thomson has "reluctantly" responded to the news last week that she is parting company with Axwell & Ingrosso, ending a long-term business partnership with the duo that began, of course, with the EDM phenomenon that was Swedish House Mafia. In a lengthy note to Billboard, Thomson said she felt the need to respond because of all the online speculation that has followed last week's announcement.

Looking back at her twelve years working with the three Swedish House Mafia guys, she says that: "Whilst the business around house music - since someone named it EDM in order to bottle it and sell it more - has grown up, and become more official, and the entourages have grown, and the shows have got bigger, and I played my part in all of that, good and bad. At the very heart of it, we were just four people, loving every single second of what we did, and using music to scream out all of our frustrations with life and we went on one hell of a crazy ride".

On the Mafia venture, she adds: "We didn't book Madison Square Garden that first time around to try and look big, we just wanted to see where we could put a rave that had never been done before - throw the greatest parties on the planet, and ride a wave we already felt turning. We would book venues and then wonder what show we could afford to build, blundering around the world of pyro and LED like kids in a candy shop. It was an incredible time".

Thomson insists that she and all three Swedish House Mafia guys remain on good terms, even if it took a while to get over the hype and heights of that venture, and the rumours and speculation that followed when the project was retired. "When [Axwell & Ingrosso] headlined Ultra this year, and subsequently closed Coachella, that moment came. We got over it. We started to smile again and have fun with everything, the gossip had stopped, an identity of our own had begun, reunion tweets were dying down and the first question in every interview wasn't 'when is SHM getting back together'".

She then explains that: "In the summer of this year, it was clear to all of us this chapter was done. People need to understand, there is no contract or job title that covers the friendship we have, and it would be wrong for any of us to cling to a structure where we don't feel challenged, creative, at our best. I'm 40 years old now, I live in LA, my eyes are so wide open as to all of my own dreams and the guys have their dreams, and for once, we just hugged it out and agreed we should go our separate ways".

Concluding, she writes: "For me, it's time to shift my focus, and for them it's time to have a fresh set of eyes on their incredible music and shows ... [so] it's time to move on now. It's mutual and for anyone who wants a story beyond that, I wish you the best of luck making it up".

Which sounds like a fun challenge to me. You can send in your made-up split theories on a postcard. Meanwhile read Thomson's own correspondence in full here.

SoundCloud chief muses on the need to balance freemium and premium services
The boss of SoundCloud has been chit chatting to Billboard as speculation continues about the future of his company. On one side it has deals in place with Warner and the indies to try to monetise its large community of music fans, but at the same time faces ongoing criticism from at least one major record company and a potentially crippling legal action from UK collecting society PRS For Music.

Like YouTube, SoundCloud remains an important marketing channel for the music industry. It boasts a large community of early adopters who latch on to new artists and new tracks, and then help with the promotional process by sharing them on blogs and social media, and probably subsequently listening to the same music on Spotify et al, creating the early listening stats that drive the paid-for streaming services' all-important playlists.

But many in the music community remain critical of SoundCloud for having taken so long to get round to doing licensing deals with the labels, publishers and collecting societies, while others wonder whether the digital firm's current plans to go legit via new ad-funded and subscription levels can really work commercially, especially while some rights holders seek to hold the company to ransom over past alleged copyright infringement ("alleged" depending on your interpretation of the safe harbours in copyright law, of course).

Insisting that, despite Sony and possibly Universal still not playing ball, many labels are now seeking to collaborate with SoundCloud on its monetisation plans, CEO Alexander Ljung argues that the music industry has to find a way to balance freemium with premium; that is to say, still service the billions of consumers who will never directly pay for streaming music, while maximising revenues from the hundreds of millions who might go premium.

He says to Billboard that "there has been a lot of noise in different articles with pull quotes from people saying 'freemium is the only way' or 'we don't believe in free streaming'. But it's not about only music subscriptions or only free on-demand streaming. People need to recognise two things: One is that music is important for almost everyone on the planet, meaning there are potentially billions of customers, and also that it's going to be a real struggle to get billions of people into a subscription service".

He goes on: "So if you want to monetise billions of people, you need both ad-supported and subscription [models] to work. The question is, how can you make that work without giving everything away for free? For us, it's about giving creators multiple tools for monetisation". He's right, of course, though whether SoundCloud has the model, the support and the resources to make that happen remains to be seen.

But Ljung, who maintains that his company's monetisation plans are part of the long-game evolution of SoundCloud - and not a change in direction motivated by investor and rights owner pressure - remains outwardly optimistic that his business is onto something. "From the beginning, we built great tools for creators, and then we started building a community. We're layering monetisation opportunities on top of that".

Read the full interview here.

BBC Music taking pitches for iPlayer-based shows, keen to reach female viewers
BBC Music is inviting pitches from independent programme makers for music-based one-off shows and series that will initially be made available via the Beeb's iPlayer platform. The online shows will be short-to-medium form, in that programmes will be no longer than 20 minutes.

The Corporation says that it is particularly keen to commission music content that will bring in more female viewers. According to Broadcast, the commission brief says: "BBC Music TV output tends to draw more of a male audience and this is something we're keen to redress".

Which is an ambition that will be welcomed by those who criticised Global Radio for spinning its revamped version of new music channel Xfm as a blokey station for blokey listeners.

Though they might not appreciate the generalisation that follows in the BBC brief that "[women] have mainstream music tastes, are less lean-forward in their music-discovery and tend to be attracted to personality and human stories over an intellectual approach to music". Basically, they don't want music shows targeted at and presented by music nerds.

In other iPlayer-related news, increasingly speech-happy BBC chief geezer Tony Hall last week announced plans to launch a subscription-based video streaming service in the US via the Corporation's commercial division BBC Worldwide.

The new subscription platform will likely make available BBC programmes not otherwise licensed to US networks or rival video-on-demand set-ups like Netflix and Amazon, making it more of niche service for Americans who particularly rate British telly shows.


Xfm founder launches new radio and music platform based out of Camden
As Xfm relaunches as Radio X this morning, Xfm founder Sammy Jacob announces his latest music venture, which officially kicks off tomorrow. He has teamed up with Camden Market to launch Camden Xperience - of CDNX - a new music service that combines radio, online music news and live events.

The radio element in many ways evolves Jacob's most recent online music venture The Music Machine, with a steady stream of new and classic, indie and alternative tracks mixed up with regular music and gigs news, artist interviews and 'takeovers'. Available through all the usual online-radio channels, CDNX is also set to appear in the DAB digital radio network in North London.

Confirming its participation in the new music venture, Charles Butler of Market-Tech, which owns Camden Markets, told reporters: "Camden has built much of its reputation and success on being a hub for creative individuals. We fully appreciate the need to support such individuals, in particular the musicians and venue promoters. We see CDNX being a great supportive platform providing a level of exposure through various media and live activity".

Meanwhile Jacob added: "I haven't had this much fun and sense of purpose for many years. We're constantly arguing about music, bands and their social values. The CDNX team is super passionate. Placing the music first is inherent in everything we do, which makes this an absolute joy and very exciting indeed".

You can already check out CDNX online ahead of the official launch at Camden venue Dingwalls tomorrow.

  Approved: Benjamin Damage - Obsidian
Back in July, Berlin label 50Weapons announced that it will close later this year, after reaching its target of 50 single releases since launching a decade ago. That final single will come from founders Modeselektor on 18 Dec, but the label's very last album release comes this week in the form of the third LP from producer Benjamin Damage, 'Obsidian'.

He says of the record: "'Obsidian' is a collection of fragmented memories from all the music I've ever liked, distorted and restructured into a full length techno record. A purely personal project and the end of an era with 50Weapons".

And it definitely is a great finale long player for the label. As he says, it's a techno album at heart, but it's more than that too, drawing in influences from all over dance music and twisting them into his own sound. Damage has certainly come a long way since his first release with Doc Daneeka just five years ago.

Check out the final track on the final 50Weapon album (though hopefully not the last we hear from Benjamin Damage), 'Trickster', here.

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Viet Cong will change name for second album
Canadian band Viet Cong have said that they intend to change their name with the release of their next album, after renewed criticism of their moniker.

As previously reported, the band's name has become increasingly controversial as their popularity increases. In March, a show at Oberlin College in Ohio was cancelled, highlighting growing offence at their choice of identity, particularly following flippant comments the band made in interviews about how they chose it.

At the time, the band admitted that they had been "naive about the history of a war in a country we knew very little about" and were "open to listening to issues and concerns from all perspectives".

The name drew attention again last week ahead of the announcement of the Polaris Music Prize today, for which the band are nominated. Particular criticism came in an article Exclaim published, written by Hooded Fang frontwoman April Aliermo and examining why people find the name Viet Cong offensive.

It had been rumoured that the band would announce a new name at the Polaris Music Prize ceremony, and on Saturday they confirmed that they had been planning to drop the name for their second album "for months".

"We've been listening, talking and having lots of valuable conversations with the members of the Vietnamese community about the name", they said. "Through this dialogue and hearing about what the name means to so many people, we have decided we will be changing the name of our band. Art and music are about creative expression. However, our band name is not our cause, and we are not going to fight for it. This is not what our band is about".

They continued: "There are many individuals more eloquent than us who have recently had a lot to say about the topic of the name and our appropriation of the name Viet Cong. For more insights into the arguments we encourage you to read some of these. We are a band who want to make music and play our music for our fans. We are not here to cause pain or remind people of atrocities of the past".

It is, however, unlikely that you will get to hear the new name this evening, as the band added that they currently "don't know" what it will be. "We rushed into our last band name decision", they said. "We don't plan to rush into this one, but know that we will be rolling out a new name as soon as we agree upon one".

Read the full statement here.


Brian Wilson partners with US mental health charity
Brian Wilson has confirmed support for the Campaign To Change Direction, which aims to advance discussion and treatment of mental health issues in the US.

In a statement, Wilson said: "My wife, Melinda, and I are very excited to be a part of this important campaign, not only to bring awareness to the mental health issues faced by millions of Americans, but also to encourage everyone to learn the five signs of emotional suffering. It's time for us to bring the conversation of mental health in America out of the shadows, and the Campaign To Change Direction is leading the way".

As part of the partnership, Wilson will perform a benefit concert at the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center in Washington DC on 4 Nov. The show will raise money for Give An Hour, the lead organisation behind the Campaign To Change Direction, which provides free mental health services to current and former military personnel.

The former Beach Boys frontman was approached to support the campaign following the release in the US of new biopic 'Love & Mercy', which depicts Wilson's struggles with his own mental health.

Give An Hour founder Barbara Van Dahlen told Rolling Stone: "We still are struggling with exactly the same issues that prevented Brian from getting help [in the 1960s]. When [people] don't get help, they can begin abusing substances. I would argue that's what happened with his brother [Dennis]. He died, and history suggests that substance abuse played a big role. That's why we start upstream. You don't wait until somebody is drinking themselves into oblivion".

See the Campaign To Change Direction website here.

Lady Gaga releases single highlighting sexual assault at US universities
Lady Gaga has released a new single, co-written with Diane Warren, titled 'Til It Happens To You'. The song was written for 'The Hunting Ground', a documentary covering sexual assault within US university campuses.

The single is accompanied by a video directed by Catherine Hardwicke, depicting several examples of assault against female students and how they cope afterwards. In a tweet, Gaga said: "We hope you feel our love and solidarity through the song and perhaps find some peace in knowing you are not alone through this film".

The video closes with the message: "One in five college women will be sexually assaulted this year unless something changes".

Watch the video here.

First GRM Daily Rated Awards presented
The first edition of the previously reported GRM Daily's Rated Awards, sponsored by drinks brand KA, took place in London town last week celebrating the best in British urban music talent.

And if you are wondering who it was who walked away with the gongs, well, here is a handy cut-out-and-keep winners list. Why not laminate it? We've got at least three spare laminators in our storage unit, and you're welcome to borrow one, if I can remember where I put the keys.

Best Project: Krept & Konan - The Long Way Home
Best Track: Skepta - Shutdown
Best Video: Stormzy - Know Me From

Artist Of The Year: Skepta
Producer Of The Year: Diztortion
Personality Of The Year - Big Narstie
Best Breakthrough: Bugzy Malone
Best DJ - Charlie Sloth

KA Get Rated Award - Jevon
GRM Legacy Award - Kano


Welsh Music Prize shortlist announced
It's the fifth year of the Welsh Music Prize, and to celebrate, well, more to enable the entire venture to go ahead really, because without a shortlist you ain't got a Mercury Prize-style music award, but my point is this, the shortlist is out for the fifth ever Welsh Music Prize.

Though this year the shortlist isn't as short, with fifteen albums from Welsh artists up for consideration, compared to twelve in past years. And there are more Welsh language releases on the list than ever before too.

Welsh Music Prize co-founder John Rostron says: "We are very proud to announce this year's shortlist. In light of the fact that over 60 albums in total were put forward we decided to include fifteen albums on the shortlist this year. I think the list represents our most diverse edition to date and includes outstanding releases from both established acts and newcomers".

And here is that list...

Calan - Dinas (Sain)
Catfish And The Bottlemen - The Balcony (Island/Communion Records)
Geraint Jarman - Dwyn yr Hogyn Nol (AnkstMusic)
Gwenno - Y Dydd Olaf (Heavenly Recordings/Peski)
H Hawkline - In The Pink Condition (Heavenly Recordings)
Hippies Vs Ghosts - Droogs
Houdini Dax - Naughty Nation (Houdini Dax/Listen to This)
Joanna Gruesome - Peanut Butter (Fortuna POP!)
Keys - Ring the Changes (See Monkey Do Monkey)
Paper Aeroplanes - Joy (My First Records)
Richard James - All The New Highways (Self-released)
Tender Prey - Organ Calzone (Bird)
Trwbador - Several Wolves (Owlet)
Zarelli - Soft Rains (Bronze Rat)
Zefur Wolves - Zefur Wolves (Strangetown)

Kobalt, SESAC, Quincy Jones, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Busy busy Kobalt last week announced it had signed LA-based EDM up-n-comer Zhu to a worldwide publishing deal, while the firm's label services unit confirmed an alliance with singer-songwriter type King Charles.

• US performing rights organisation SESAC last week announced it was now representing George Clinton who said "me and SESAC are a good match". Good match, good times.

• Quincy Jones is "fine" after receiving medical treatment for "shortness of breath" last week, a spokesperson said over the weekend. The producer, now 82 years old, was admitted to an LA hospital last Thursday, and tweeted on Friday that he still has "much to do" after being sent home.

• As unlikely as it sounds, Naughty Boy has actually done a track with Beyonce. And then been interviewed by Channel 4 News about it. It was quite a week in Naughty-ville. Listen here. Watch here.

• Metric will be touring the UK in October, following last week's release of new album 'Pagans In Vegas'. It'll finish with a show at The Forum in London. Full dates here.

• Vessels have announced autumn tour dates all over the UK, which include a show at XOYO in London. Details here.

• The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band will play a 50th anniversary show at IndigO2 in London on 3 Dec, with support from The Rutles (no, Eric Idle won't be there). Tickets here.

Morrissey says tonight's London show will be his last in the UK
Morrissey has said that his shows at the Hammersmith Apollo last night and tonight may be his last ever in the UK, because "there is absolutely no way that we can generate any interest from record labels in the United Kingdom". And with no new releases, he won't tour.

As previously reported, a licensing deal with Universal/Capitol's US-based Harvest imprint fell apart last year, leading to the former Smiths frontman's most recent album, 'World Peace Is None Of Your Business', being withdrawn from sale just a month after its release. Unwilling to self-release, the singer has been on the hunt for a new record deal ever since, with seemingly no labels now willing to work with him.

In a statement on his True To You website, Morrissey said last week: "There is absolutely no way that we can generate any interest from record labels in the United Kingdom, therefore the imminent two nights at Hammersmith are likely to be our final ever UK shows. We are obsessively grateful for all interest and loyalty from our audience - throughout 28 years - but without new releases, there is no point in any additional touring. Thank you for so many absolutely incredible times. The pleasure and privilege is mine".

Tickets for tonight's big finale show are still available.

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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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.
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