WEDNESDAY 7 OCTOBER 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Australian indie music company Modular has today welcomed two legal developments in its favour, one in relation to an ongoing dispute with Universal Music, the other over Tame Impala mechanical royalties. The indie's dispute with Universal related to a new deal that was negotiated last year between the two companies, which were already existing... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: 2001 is a new project formed by Joan Wasser (aka Joan As Police Woman) and Benjamin Lazar Davis. It came together after a conversation where they shared their separate experiences of making music in Africa - Wasser as part of Damon Albarn's Africa Express, Davis while studying traditional West African music. "Initially, we bonded over Central African Republic Pygmy... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU’s Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including France's new government-led initiative on transparency in digital music deals, controversy over the funding of T In The Park, rumours on YouTube's music streaming plans, Amazon Prime Music's Universal Music deal, and Justin Bieber's thoughts on life, the universe and everything... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES Modular hails win in high profile legal dispute with Universal, settles another with BMG
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LEGAL Phil Rudd loses appeal over sentence
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Jon Platt appointed new CEO of Warner/Chappell
Jack Fryer promoted to new role at Universal Music
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES European court rules another kind of safe harbour invalid
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ARTIST NEWS One Direction rep denies on stage fight
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RELEASES Björk to release acoustic version of latest album
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Kano announces debut album tenth anniversary show
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ONE LINERS Universal, The Ticket Factory, Independent Label Market, more
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AND FINALLY... Here's that context you wanted on George Osborne's NWA gig
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9PR - SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER / ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
9PR are looking for new additions to our growing team. Our roster includes key independent and major record labels, big name acts and hotly-tipped new artists. At least two years’ experience in either print or online PR is essential and those able to do both will get preference.

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BUCKS MUSIC GROUP - HEAD OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS (LONDON)
Bucks Music Group, an international and independent music publisher with a rich musical heritage is seeking a Head Of Business Affairs. The candidate we are looking for should be legally qualified (with around three years PQE) or experienced to a similar level, with an understanding of the specific demands and requirements of an in-house business affairs function.

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7DIGITAL - LABEL & PROMOTIONS MANAGER (FRENCH SPEAKING) (LONDON)
7digital is looking for an enthusiastic and experienced Label & Promotions Manager to join our team based in East London. The Label & Promotions Manager will be solely responsible for all relationships with French labels and well as the French store management. This includes co-ordinating promotions and store updates for our own website and apps as well as providing curation services for partners.

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MPA GROUP OF COMPANIES - COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER (LONDON)
Working alongside the Chief Executive and General Manager, you will be the gateway for communications about the MPA Group of Companies comprising MPA, MCPS, IMPEL and PMLL, and their work to their members, industry stakeholders, the press and the general public.

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KUDOS RECORDS - SALES MANAGER (LONDON)
Kudos Records is an independent music distribution company (est 1992). We provide physical and digital distribution services to a hand-picked selection of quality, independent record labels. We are seeking a diligent, analytical, scrupulously organised individual to drive our physical and digital sales efforts.

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KUDOS RECORDS - SALES AND MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Kudos Records is an independent music distribution company (est 1992). We provide physical and digital distribution services to a hand-picked selection of quality, independent record labels. We are seeking a Sales and Marketing Assistant. This is an entry level position, ideal for a new graduate.

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AEG EUROPE - MANAGER, BUILDING SIX (THE O2, LONDON)
This position will be responsible for managing a range of events that take place within Building Six. Originally designed as a state of the art nightclub, this 3000+ space has hosted corporate events from leading global blue chip companies such as Telefonica and Mediacom as well as the nation’s cutting edge DJs such as Skrillex.

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DOMINO - SENIOR PUBLICIST (LONDON)
Domino is hiring a Senior Publicist to join their busy in house promo team in London. The ideal applicant will have at least three years' print and online experience, have excellent writing, communication and organisational skills and an impressive list of contacts.

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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
 

Modular hails win in high profile legal dispute with Universal, settles another with BMG
Australian indie music company Modular has today welcomed two legal developments in its favour, one in relation to an ongoing dispute with Universal Music, the other over Tame Impala mechanical royalties.

The indie's dispute with Universal related to a new deal that was negotiated last year between the two companies, which were already existing business partners. Under the deal, Modular founder Stephen Pavlovic would have given up his stake in and directorship of the record company. In the end he chose not to sign the agreement, but Universal argued that various email exchanges constituted the deal being done, and earlier this year the Supreme Court Of New South Wales ruled in major's favour.

But Pavlovic appealed, and now the appeals court has overturned that decision, with the judge saying "whichever way the matter is looked at, I do not think that a binding agreement was reached".

Welcoming the ruling, which means he retains his 50% stake in Modular and his directorship, Pavlovic said: "I'm obviously greatly relieved that my position has been vindicated by such powerful minds. I built Modular out of sheer passion and a belief in unique creativity. I regret terribly that that the bands I have nurtured and adored all these years were caught in the cross-fire between Universal and I. It's stressful to be one man staring down a corporate giant the size of Universal. However, I felt I had no choice but to fight for myself, the label I created and for the bands that we represent".

Noting that his company had previously had a good relationship with the mega-major, he went on: "I've always held Universal, and [its President of Asia Pacific] George Ash in particular, in high regard. We enjoyed many great years together as partners and I'm sad that we have reached a bitter end. I wish him and all beings universal love. I'm hopeful that time will heal all wounds and that the respective bands and labels alike can get on with the job of what drew us all together in the first place - a desire to see great artists brought to the world stage".

Though the wound healing might have to wait while other legal wrangling is completed, with Universal seemingly considering taking the dispute to the Australian Supreme Court. Speaking on behalf of Universal Music Australia, its General Manager of Legal & Business Affairs told Billboard: "We are disappointed by the appeal court's ruling because last year's settlement agreement was intended to help achieve an orderly process for Mr Pavlovic's exit, and now we are compelled to pursue in court the terms that we had believed were settled last year".

The second Modular dispute was with BMG, which represents the publishing rights of Tame Impala. In June it sued both Universal and Modular claiming that they had failed to pay the 'mechanical royalties' due for the song copyrights on the Tame Impala records the label had put out, reckoning $450,000 was owing. Universal then distanced itself from the dispute, saying a company wholly owned by Pavlovic was the holder of the mechanical licence from which the unpaid royalties were allegedly owing.

But according to Pavlovic, that case is now set to be dismissed by the Southern District Court of New York, seemingly after all parties reached an agreement. The problem was apparently a confusion over the way mechanicals work Stateside, where the publishing side of record releasing is covered by a compulsory licence and therefore statutory rates.

On all that, Pavlovic says: "I'm pleased that the misunderstanding about the US statutory rate for the calculation of mechanical royalties has been resolved in the commercial manner always intended by the parties. I'm deeply sorry for any upset caused to Tame Impala given that I've always been such a staunch supporter and fan of the band; and to BMG, given the relationship we've always enjoyed with them".

He then included a sneaky name-check for us over here in the media, by adding: "I also regret the heavy handed press coverage of this aspect of Modular's affairs which was completely inaccurate and out of hand. However, I hope that, with Universal and Modular's respective obligations to BMG on behalf of Tame Impala now resolved, that a line can finally be drawn under this unfortunate chapter".

Sounds good to me. And look, here is the line ___________________________

Phil Rudd loses appeal over sentence
Former (it seems pretty fair to say) AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has lost an appeal against that sentence he received after being convicted of both threatening to kill and drug possession earlier this year. Rudd claimed that eight months under house arrest and a fine of NZ$120,000 (a bit over £50,000) was "excessive". A New Zealand high court judge did not agree.

Part of Rudd's complaint was that the sentence could stop him from rejoining AC/DC - both because the band are already out on what they say is a farewell tour, and his conviction could cause issues getting visas. Though the judge noted that, despite Rudd's desire to work with the band again, there was no sign that his former bandmates felt the same.

According to The Guardian, Justice Raynor Asher told the musician: "First, the band would have to want him to play with them. Second, the convictions would have to operate as a barrier to him travelling with them on tour. Neither are certain. [And] it is far from clear that at the time when the offending took place there was any place in the band available to Mr Rudd, given his drug addiction and state of mind".

Rudd is next due in court for a hearing on separate accusations that he breached the rules of his home detention in July, for which he has already spent one night in jail.

Jon Platt appointed new CEO of Warner/Chappell
Warner Music yesterday announced a rejig at the top of its music publishing business Warner/Chappell, with Jon Platt rising to the role of CEO. He will replace Cameron Strang, who has run both the publishing unit and the US side of the Warner Bros record label since 2012; he will now focus on the latter.

Confirming his new role, an obviously thrilled Platt told reporters: "Warner/Chappell is an iconic music company with an incomparable roster of extraordinary songwriters and I am thrilled to be leading us into our next exciting chapter. Our mission is to develop, grow, reward and sustain a prosperous and healthy creative community - the community of songwriters who make it possible for music to have such a special place in all of our lives".

He went on: "I am honoured that Cameron recommended me to succeed him. He has set an extremely high bar, leading a remarkable transformation at Warner/Chappell. I will be forever grateful for his friendship, partnership and mentorship. I look forward to building on our achievements and making our company the finest home for songwriters everywhere".

In a rather long quote, Strang then talked up his time running Warner's songs business and bigged up "force of nature" Platt, before saying of his other role at Warner Bros: "Our iconic label has an amazing roster of emerging and established artists, along with a dedicated, world-class team focused on creative excellence and sustained growth. Together, we're going to make Warner Bros Records the number one home for breaking artists and legendary superstars in the streaming age".

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Jack Fryer promoted to new role at Universal Music
Universal Music UK has promoted Jack Fryer, its Head Of Insight since 2013, to the new role of Director Of Audience Research & Planning. The major says the new role "reflects the breadth of the services he is now offering the business, with his expertise extending across research, marketing planning, innovation and brand consultancy".

He reports in Brian Rose, MD of Universal's UK Commercial Division, and he says: "Jack has a rare combination of attributes, having an deep understanding of audiences, data and marketing while taking a uniquely creative approach. He brings a whole new dimension to campaign discussions with our artists and labels as well as offering a fresh perspective for every part of our business".

If you're now busy wondering what Fryer himself has to say about all of this, well, you're in luck, because here he is with some words: "I am hugely passionate about the role the team can play within the business. Audience understanding is absolutely at the core of our offering, but we need to bring a range of other approaches and skills to the table too. I look at our project list and it's brilliantly broad: from pure research work right through to marketing planning, brand strategy and innovation. That's the way we like it. We need to be flexible, we need to be useful and we need to be progressive".

European court rules another kind of safe harbour invalid
Given how much the music industry has been banging on about safe harbours of late, you might have thought there'd been a big development yesterday with the news that the European courts had passed a ruling declaring a safe harbour deal invalid. But, alas, it's not that kind of safe harbour. It's another safe harbour. Who knew so many harbours were safe?

This case related to data protection and privacy law, and a 'safe harbour' agreement between the European Union and the US that allows companies to transfer data from one to the other, with both sides ensuring basic data protection principles are met.

This particular safe harbour was tested when an Austrian law student made a complaint to the Irish data protection commissioner about Facebook - which has its European base in Ireland - moving data about its EU customers over to its US servers. In the wake of the revelations that stemmed from documents leaked by Edward Snowden about the US National Security Agency's surveillance programmes, Max Schrems argued that US law doesn't provide sufficient data protection for European web-users.

The Irish authorities rejected the case pointing to the safe harbour agreement, which dates from 2000, but Schrems took the matter to the European Court Of Justice, which yesterday ruled the data sharing pact invalid. The court agreed that the safe harbour deal doesn't sufficiently protect the data and privacy rights of European citizens. As a result of the ruling, the Irish data commissioner must now reconsider Schrems' complaint.

Quite what this all means for companies like Facebook, which routinely store data from European subscribers in the US, remains to be seen. Though the European Commission's Frans Timmermans said: "We have already been working with the American authorities to make data transfers safer for European citizens".

He went on: "In the light of the ruling, we will continue this work towards a renewed and safe framework for the transfer of personal data across the Atlantic. In the meantime, transatlantic data flows between companies can continue using other mechanisms for international transfers of personal data available under EU data protection law".

Meanwhile Schrems himself said: "This decision is a major blow for US global surveillance that heavily relies on private partners. The judgement makes it clear that US businesses cannot simply aid US espionage efforts in violation of European fundamental rights".

But does this ruling bode well at all for the music companies that want a totally different set of safe harbours revised and reduced? No, it has no relevance at all. But if it makes this dreary Wednesday any easier to deal with for all your safe harbour haters in the music industry, then let's pretend it does.

  Approved: 2001 - Broke Me In Two
2001 is a new project formed by Joan Wasser (aka Joan As Police Woman) and Benjamin Lazar Davis. It came together after a conversation where they shared their separate experiences of making music in Africa - Wasser as part of Damon Albarn's Africa Express, Davis while studying traditional West African music.

"Initially, we bonded over Central African Republic Pygmy musical patterns and ended up writing a whole record loosely inspired by this music", says Wasser.

The first track from this record is 2001's newly released debut single, 'Broke Me In Two'. Explains Wasser: "In 'Broke Me In Two' you can hear this influence in the staccato bit-crushed guitar line that plays throughout. Of course you could always ignore all this and listen as if you're hearing a pop song".

You could indeed. Why not try it both ways now?
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

One Direction rep denies on stage fight
A rep for One Direction has dismissed claims that Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson were seen fighting on stage at a show in Manchester on Sunday. It was "just banter", they said. Just a bit of billy bantz.

"This is clearly just banter, they are obviously just messing about on stage", the spokesperson told The Mirror. "Anyone that has seen the band perform will know this".

And anyone who's seen proper bantership out in the wild will know that it can sometimes look like angry shoving. Like this.

In other 1D banter news, the group have been accused by Justin Bieber of choosing the same release date for their album as his in order to get more press.

Speaking to a New Zealand radio station, Bieber said: "They're not really going on the road much, but we're talking about them right now, so it gives them some promo, right? So, that's probably why they did it. I think it was strategy on their part because my release date was first. But whatever. It's going to be fun. I'm excited to see what happens".

Björk to release acoustic version of latest album
Björk is set to release an acoustic version of her 'Vulnicura' album on 6 Nov. The stripped back version of the record will feature just strings, voice and viola organista (which is a thing, I just Googled it).

Says Björk: "While I was working on 'Vulnicura', it became one of the most magical thing both musically and spiritually to unite the electronics and the acoustic instruments in an almost romantic way - to prove they can co-exist! ... But while working on it I felt somehow for the first time, this was an album that could take another version - a reveal, to simply have the acoustics stand on their own for the folks who wanna indulge even further into the wooden timeless side of this music".

Here's the acoustic version of 'Lionsong'.

Kano announces debut album tenth anniversary show
Kano will play a one-off show at Heaven in London on 26 Nov to mark the tenth anniversary of his debut album, 'Home Sweet Home'.

Says the rapper: "At first, this was something I couldn't see myself doing, as I'm not too bothered about the whole 'ten year' thing. Then a phone call from Wretch 32 changed my stance - he told me it would 'be a sin' if I didn't mark this anniversary with a celebration. Now I can't wait to touch the stage".

D Double E and Ghetts, both of whom appeared on 'Home Sweet Home', and other guests will join Kano on that stage. Tickets to see them all will go on sale tomorrow morning.

Universal, The Ticket Factory, Independent Label Market, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Universal Music Publishing has signed Pulitzer Prize-winning author and lyricist Michael Chabon, who worked on nine of the tracks on Mark Ronson's 'Uptown Special' whatnot. "Admirer", said Universal Music Publishing boss Jody Gerson.

• Universal Music Group has made a "strategic investment" in "new mobile engagement platform for artists and fans" Nuday Games, based in Stockholm. It's first app is a rock music trivia game. "Let there be games!" says Nuday CEO Jorge Bravo.

• Lisa Brown, formerly Senior Ticketing Manager at AXS, has joined The Ticket Factory, the Birmingham-based ticketing business of Midlands venue operator the NEC Group.

• There'll be a Christmas edition of the Independent Label Market at Old Spitalfields Market in London on 28 Nov. You know how it works by now. Here's a Facebook event page thing.

• Pharrell Williams was "surprised" to find the audience at a press conference for his new children's book 'Happy!' was made up entirely of kids yesterday. Honestly, he totally didn't expect it. Not for a second.

• Oh look, here's the new Bloc Party single.

• Courtney Barnett will release a new seven-inch single on 16 Oct, produced by Jack White for his Third Man label's 'Blue Series'. Side A is an epilogue to the closing track of her debut album, titled 'Boxing Day Blues (Revisited)', while side B, which you can hear here, is a cover of 'Shivers' by Boys Next Door.

• Frida Sundemo releases a new single, 'Heroes', on 6 Nov. It's taken from the film adaptation of John Niven's 'Kill Your Friends', in which she also appears.

• Shopping have released a video for 'Straight Lines', taken from their just released new album, 'Why Choose'.

• Skepta and JME will play a headline show at Brixton Academy on 18 Dec. Tickets on sale this Friday.

• Tom Jones is doing a little tour of spoken word events later this month to promote his autobiography. Here are the dates.

• The Fall will play the Clapham Grand in London on 11 Nov.

Here's that context you wanted on George Osborne's NWA gig
The Daily Mail having dropped the fact that George Osborne once saw NWA live on us and run away without offering any further information, Guardian Editor-In-Chief Katharine Viner swooped to the rescue yesterday.

In a Q&A with the Chancellor at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Viner quizzed him further. And for a man who seems to struggle to explain even the basics of the Tory policies that he was apparently involved in writing, he spoke surprisingly eloquently about the NWA show.

He explained, reports the NME: "It was an amazing concert. These were the angriest young band from America. And it is definitely the coolest thing I ever did. It is not like a pattern of going to all the latest concerts - I just happened to hit lucky and go to this band who were only together for a couple of years".

"It was raw and angry", he continued. "I'm not condoning everything they said or anything like that, but it was an incredible thing to go to. I didn't realise at the time it would turn out to be such a big cultural moment as well - that this band would go on to being one of the most famous rap bands ever and that Dr Dre would become the guy who does the Beats headphones now".

"I actually had [Dre] round for tea in Downing Street a couple of years ago", he added. "I went to see him at Brixton Academy and he came to see me at Downing Street. He's built up this headphones business, he sold it to Apple, so for someone given where he started off in life he's made an incredible success of it".

Asked what his favourite NWA track was, Osborne said: "It begins with 'F' but I think I'd better stop there".

Most people are assuming he's talking about 'Fuck Tha Police', though I like to think he means the lesser known 'Findum, Fuckum & Flee'. It seems more appropriate, somehow.

 
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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