WEDNESDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Hey America, you "dirty ugly bully", how you doing this morning? Ready for giving some thanks tomorrow? Good. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, the MegaUpload extradition hearing has finally reached its conclusion, and the fate of four of the men who used to run the often controversial file-transfer platform are now in the hands of a judge called Nevin Dawson. The extradition... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Initially a solo project for producer Igor Bruso, Deaths has gradually grown into a fully-fledged band. Earlier this month, they released their debut EP, 'Under Old Sun', through Love By Mistake. Following on from the single, 'Saviour', released earlier this year, 'Under Old Sun' showcases four more songs from the outfit, delivered with a similar relaxed confidence... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including Rdio declaring bankruptcy and shutting down as Pandora buys its assets, Spotify's new data platform for artists and managers, the debate about the latest government review of secondary ticketing and Zayn Malik's Fader interview. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital.... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES MegaUpload extradition hearing wraps up - will the "dirty ugly bully", aka the US government, prevail?
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LEGAL Cox Communications' insurers don't want to pay for BMG/Round Hill legal battle
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES WeTransfer confirms music streaming plans, plays down competition with existing services
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MEDIA Mixmag opens US offices
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ARTIST NEWS Universal denies blocking Morrissey's Paris tribute single
Adele breaks US chart record, Bieber gets one for himself too
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GIGS & FESTIVALS U2 reschedule Paris shows for December
Rihanna announces 2016 UK and Ireland tour dates
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ONE LINERS Machine Management, Kobalt, Ed Sheeran, more
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AND FINALLY... Glastonbury gas pipe gyration drama
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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.
 
 
STRONGROOM STUDIOS - RECEPTIONIST AND BOOKING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Strongroom Studios are looking for a self-motivated and organised Receptionist and Bookings Assistant with a 'can do’ attitude to join their team. The successful candidate will assist the studio manager in organising studio bookings as well as manning the reception desk, taking telephone calls and aiding visitors to the studio.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BELIEVE DIGITAL - EXPERIENCED RECORD LABEL ROYALTY MANAGER (LONDON)
We are looking for an experienced royalty manager to join our UK team based in London. The role is in our finance department and working with both the artist & label services division and our in house record label. The candidate will be assisting and reporting directly to Believe Digital’s UK Managing Director and General Manager.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SUNDAY BEST - PRODUCT MANAGER (LONDON)
Sunday Best Recordings, home to artists Valerie June, David Lynch, Kitty Daisy and Lewis plus a host of new signings are set for a busy 2016. A Product Manager position is available for an enthusiastic individual with a creative attitude.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
CR2 RECORDS - DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER (LONDON)
We are now looking for a fully competent and experienced Digital Content Manager to manage the scheduling and delivery for all our digital releases covering singles, artist albums and compilations to all digital retailers ensuring quality control and accurate, timely delivery for our very busy schedule.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MUSIC CONCIERGE - CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER (HERTFORD)
Music Concierge, the award-winning music consultancy for boutique hotels and luxury brands, is looking for a Client Services Manager to manage our expanding creative and account management teams and oversee the smooth day-to-day operations of the business, whilst liaising at senior level with world-class brands.

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
 
 
A guide to upcoming events from and involving CMU, including seminars, masterclasses and conference sessions from CMU Insights and workshops from CMU:DIY, plus other events where CMU journalists are speaking or moderating.
 
30 Nov 2015 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
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07 Dec 2015 CMU Insights Masterclass: Navigating The Digital Market
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10 Dec 2015 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
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18 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminars: How The Music Business Works Programme
CLICK FOR INFO
10 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Key Developments In Music Rights
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5 May 2016 CMU Insights @ Canadian Music Week 2016
CLICK FOR INFO
 

MegaUpload extradition hearing wraps up - will that "dirty ugly bully", aka the US government, prevail?
Hey America, you "dirty ugly bully", how you doing this morning? Ready for giving some thanks tomorrow? Good.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, the MegaUpload extradition hearing has finally reached its conclusion, and the fate of four of the men who used to run the often controversial file-transfer platform are now in the hands of a judge called Nevin Dawson.

The extradition proceedings, already many times postponed since the US authorities shut down MegaUpload in early 2012, ended up dragging on for ten weeks. Mainly because at every turn defence lawyers argued that the whole case should be postponed once again, because their clients were being starved of funds by the prosecution, they claimed, preventing them from hiring the expert legal counsel required to ensure a fair trial.

However, while the hearing dragged, it was never postponed, and finally this week each side delivered their closing arguments. As previously reported, the prosecution spoke on Monday, again stressing that MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom and his colleagues built a lucrative business empire by deliberately encouraging and enabling others to infringe copyright.

The level of infringement that was enabled - the prosecution argued - constituted fraud against the copyright industries. So much so, Dotcom's own colleagues had themselves referred to the company's activities as being fraudulent. This is a key point, because copyright infringement alone - even criminal infringement - is not covered by the extradition treaty between the US and New Zealand, so prosecutors need to show that Dotcom et al's activities amounted to fraud, which is covered.

In its wrap up, the defence disputed all and any allegations that its clients' business was in any way fraudulent. As for the allegations of copyright infringement, MegaUpload was no different to any other file storage and transfer platform, they argued; though a specific comparison with Dropbox was made, because some other file-transfer set ups - like the also now defunct RapidShare - were likewise accused of contributory infringement.

MegaUpload removed infringing content if made aware of it, in line with US law, the defendants again argued. "Not only did MegaUpload achieve 99.999% takedown compliance", said Dotcom himself on Twitter, as the extradition hearing reached its conclusion, "numerous emails from major content owners thanked us for our compliance".

The former MegaUpload chief added that his business had been entirely legitimate, but was nevertheless shot down by "an aggressive and malicious US government" set on "doing Hollywood's bidding. My defence team has shown how utterly unreliable, malicious and unethical the US case against me is" he added. "They have exposed a dirty ugly bully".

Dawson will now consider both sides' arguments before deciding whether Dotcom and co should indeed be extradited to the US to face charges of money laundering, racketeering and copyright infringement. Though, whatever he decides, an appeal will almost certainly follow.

In the meantime, noting that Dawson granted Dotcom bail against the wishes of the US authorities all the way back in 2012, the MegaUpload founder tweeted: "My life is in the hands of Judge Nevin Dawson. He was the judge who granted me bail. There's hope!"

Cox Communications' insurers don't want to pay for BMG/Round Hill legal battle
Bad things come in threes, apparently. So here's bad thing number two for US internet service provider Cox Communications. According to Torrentfreak, the ISP's insurer - the Lloyds Of London underwriter Beazley - is refusing to cover legal costs linked to and any liabilities stemming from the case brought against it by BMG and Round Hill Music. We await number three.

As previously reported, Cox is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the two music rights firms over its refusal to forward warning letters to suspected online copyright infringers among its customer base. Cox is not part of the anti-piracy Copyright Alert System that most other big American ISPs are signed up to, but instead has its own system for dealing with complaints by copyright owners against its users. Though BMG and Round Hill reckon that's a rubbish system.

Cox argues that its refusal to help BMG and Round Hill deliver warnings to its allegedly file-sharing customers was down to their employment of anti-piracy agency Rightscorp, whose warning letters to potential pirates have been criticised elsewhere.

Either way, with the legal dispute set to head to court next month, last week the judge overseeing the proceedings issued a pre-trial ruling on some key matters. The most important being whether or not Cox could rely on so called safe harbour protection under US law. If it can - and all ISPs claim safe harbour protection - it cannot be held liable for any copyright infringement conducted on its networks by its customers.

The judge said that, by failing to forward BMG and Round Hill's warning letters, Cox had lost the safe harbour protection. Given that issue is at the heart of this case, it was surprising that the judge ruled on the matter in summary judgement ahead of trial, but him doing so was a major setback for the net firm.

And now comes setback number two. Beazley is seeking court confirmation that it is not liable to pay Cox Communications' legal costs - which have reportedly already topped $1 million - or any damages it may or may not have to pay to the music firms down the line, basically on the basis that the ISP was stupid to let this matter go legal, and should have just forwarded on BMG and Round Hill's warning letters.

Specifically, Beazley says that the legal costs and damages payments Cox is incurring, or may incur, stem from "an intentional business policy" of not forwarding Rightscorp letters, rather than through the simple "act of rendering internet services", which is what the ISP's insurance policy covers.

Say the insurers in their court filing: "By letter dated 9 Jan 2012, Cox was advised by an agent of copyright holders that if it did not forward those notices to its customers, it would be exposed to claims of contributory and vicarious copyright infringement. Cox continued to intentionally ignore the notices and did not forward them to its customers".

So, the current legal woes "arose out of Cox's policy and practice of ignoring and failing to forward infringement notices and refusing to terminate or block infringing customers' accounts, not acts in rendering internet services".

Just in case that argument doesn't work with the judge, the insurer adds that the lawsuit against Cox was filed a year ago, whereas the net firm's insurance policy starts on 1 Dec 2014. It remains to be seen how the judge rules on this matter, but it could make Cox's stand against the Rightscorp approach to tackling piracy a costly endeavour for the ISP.

WeTransfer confirms music streaming plans, plays down competition with existing services
File transfer service WeTransfer has issued a statement following a report by Bloomberg last week that it plans to launch a streaming service in the near future. This is true, it said, though it is not aiming to go head to head with the likes of Spotify and SoundCloud, as was claimed (at least in part by one of the company's own reps) in the Bloomberg article.

"To be clear, WeTransfer's new music streaming-solution is not a direct competitor of SoundCloud, Spotify or other music-streaming platforms", said the company. "Those are dedicated players. [Our] streaming solution is very different and is primarily a marketing channel for the creator. With this player, artists get a focused campaign to deliver their content to our massive audience. It is more of a complement to their activities on Spotify or SoundCloud".

WeTransfer's offering is different, claims the company, because it allows images to be attached to audio files and gives access to a monthly user-base of 85 million. Though, however "different" the service maybe, and however much it is "primarily a marketing channel for the creator", there'll still likely be some licensing issues for the web firm, especially on the publishing side.

We'll find out more when the new streaming/marketing options are made available to selected users in the first quarter of 2016.

Mixmag opens US offices
Dance music magazine Mixmag has formally opened two offices in the US, having kicked things off with a party in New York last week.

The offices in New York and LA will generate editorial that will feed into both the print magazine and the title's website, which continue to be run out of London. The US side of the operation will also seek brand and event partnerships Stateside, and is already working with Smirnoff on partnership projects.

Mixmag has built a significant audience in the US over the last decade since dance music went truly mainstream there, and as the 33 year title put increasing efforts into its online output. By expanding its operations in the country, the dance mag will be hoping to better cover the EDM scene in America while capitalising on its readership there commercially.

Commenting on that expansion of operations, Rebecca Jolly, the recently appointed CEO of Mixmag North America, told CMU: "As one of the world's most established dance music curator brands, we're looking forward to this next step in navigating and shaping the future of the industry here in the States. We're 33 years old and have never stopped printing magazines, however Mixmag today is about connecting brands with our audience through video, editorial, content, events and social".

She went on: "The US is such an important market for us, and while we've always been present here in some way, we're now really excited about building our physical presence and collaborating with brands, agencies and partners to define and grow the electronic music scene, back where it first started".

 

Approved: Deaths
Initially a solo project for producer Igor Bruso, Deaths has gradually grown into a fully-fledged band. Earlier this month, they released their debut EP, 'Under Old Sun', through Love By Mistake.

Following on from the single, 'Saviour', released earlier this year, 'Under Old Sun' showcases four more songs from the outfit, delivered with a similar relaxed confidence. Interesting instrument choices add extra layers and texture to the band's downbeat electronic sound.

Listen to the EP's opening track, 'Mute Kids', here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Universal denies blocking Morrissey's Paris tribute single
Morrissey, a man seemingly able to make any given situation about himself, has accused Universal Music UK CEO David Joseph of personally blocking an attempt to re-release a single originally put out by the major's Decca label in tribute to the victims of the recent attacks on Paris.

An update on the singer's True To You website last week claimed: "David Joseph at Universal Music in London has refused the request made by Morrissey and the band to re-issue 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris' as a loving tribute to the lives lost in the Paris atrocities. David Joseph is instead arranging his own tribute to Paris utilising his current crop of Universal artists".

The site also reported that on Friday night at a show in Sao Paulo, Morrissey said from the stage, "David Joseph can go fuck himself".

Universal initially refused to comment on the claim. However, once the news hit Pitchfork yesterday, the company decided to issue a statement.

"We have not received - let alone refused - any request from Morrissey himself related to 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris'", said a spokesperson for the major. "While we have not been contacted directly by Morrissey, after seeing the comments on his website last week, we asked his representative to confirm his intentions and which charity he had in mind to support via the song's proceeds. We are yet to receive a reply".

They added: "Many people at Universal Music have been personally affected by the events in Paris. The implication that we have blocked a request from Morrissey in favour of another tribute 'utilising our current crop of Universal artists' is hurtful and wrong".

Indeed, the French-owned Universal Music saw one current and two former members of its own staff killed during the attack on the Bataclan music venue, which might indicate why the company was unwilling to be drawn into a public debate on how to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the Paris attacks.

Still, undeterred, True To You issued a new statement this morning, saying: "Morrissey is in possession of a letter from John Reid at Russells (London) in which it is clearly stated that David Joseph of Universal Music (London) has no interest in re-issuing 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris', but has instead planned his own tribute to the Paris victims for December which will only involve current Universal bands".

It added: "Universal Music has claimed to be 'hurt' by the suggestion that such a letter exists. The letter can be freely made available to anyone who wishes to read it".

It remains to be seen if the letter is indeed made public, and whether it suggests a specific rejection of Morrissey's reissue plan, or simply informs the singer that the major already has a tribute project underway.

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Adele breaks US chart record, Bieber gets one for himself too
Further to previous records on the matter, it is now on the record that a previously held record has been replaced by a new record secured by the new record by Adele. Yeah, we're still doing the record-record-record thing, what of it?

Basically, Adele has already broken the record for the highest first week sales in the US since the beginning of time (or at least since Nielsen started counting in 1991). The record was previously held by *Nsync's 'No Strings Attached', which sold 2.4 million copies in its first seven days back in 2000. Yesterday it was confirmed that Adele had already passed this milestone, with projected US sales of 2.9 million by the end of Thursday.

Lots of people are now likely saying, "Well, that's what you can achieve if you hold your record of streaming services". But, of course, what you should really be saying is, "Well, that's what you can achieve if you are Adele". She, of course, is awakening a large existing fanbase, a large proportion of whom still aren't entirely sure what a streaming service is; many aren't really down with downloads either.

Not that Adele won't have shifted some records as a result her no-streams-yet windowing strategy - some impatient subscribers to Spotify et al will have rushed out to buy the album, even if they are a little pissed off that, despite being part of the record industry's most important customer base, they are being deprived of the record industry's most important release of the moment. But if you see me afterward, I can give you a list of albums I've not been able to listen to on Spotify yet that didn't even break one sales record, let alone all of them.

Actually, speaking of US chart records, here's one Adele hasn't actually broken. Justin Bieber has smashed the one held by the Beatles for 51 years, namely that of having the most songs in the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. Seventeen, the Biebster's got in there at the moment. He's managed it by releasing videos for every track on his new album, Billboard's YouTube play-counting working to his advantage. Also, he's a super nice guy now, which shouldn't be overlooked.

U2 reschedule Paris shows for December
U2 have rescheduled two cancelled shows in Paris, which originally were due to take place on the weekend of the attacks on the city earlier this month. They will now perform at the Accorhotels Arena on 6-7 Dec.

"So much that was taken from Paris on the tragic night of 13 Nov is irreplaceable", said Bono in a statement. "For one night, the killers took lives, took music, took peace of mind - but they couldn't steal the spirit of that city. It's a spirit our band knows well and will try to serve when we return for the postponed shows on December 6th and 7th. We're going to put on our best for Paris".

Promoter Arthur Fogel added: "The band wanted us to reschedule as soon as possible so that they could honour the commitment to their audience".

Tickets for the cancelled shows will remain valid and, as also originally planned, the second performance will be broadcast live in the US on HBO.

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Rihanna announces 2016 UK and Ireland tour dates
Rihanna has announced UK and Ireland tour dates for next June, with support from The Weeknd and Big Sean.

As previously reported, it's expected that the singer will release her new album, 'Anti', this Friday. I hope she does, because I'm very keen to see for myself how she's "changed the history of album art".

Her world tour kicks of in February, but she's got a bit of a rest booked in for May and early June, so she'll not be too knackered for when she headlines Glastonbury the night after her Wembley Stadium show. That hasn't actually be announced, by the way. But we might as well start saying it's happening anyway.

Actually announced dates:

14 Jun: Coventry, Ricoh Arena
16 Jun: Cardiff Stadium
18 Jun: Stadium Of Light, Sunderland
21 Jun: Dublin, Aviva Stadium
24 Jun: London, Wembley Stadium
27 Jun: Glasgow, Hampden Park

Machine Management, Kobalt, Ed Sheeran, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Artist manager and dance music specialist Sophie Bloggs is joining Machine Management from the Three Six Zero Group, bringing clients like Danny Howard and Oliver Dollar with her. She is "excited". It's Machine Management founder Iain Watt who is "thrilled".

• Kobalt's publishing wing has signed a worldwide administration agreement with veteran country music hit writer Bob DiPiero, covering current and future works. The music firm's Nashville-based Senior VP of Creative, Whitney Daane, is both "excited" and "thrilled" by the deal. Double the fun.

• Having reached the pinnacle of acting recently when he appeared in an episode of 'Home & Away', Ed Sheeran is now making do with what he can get. This week that meant playing a role in the new 'Bridget Jones' movie.

• Sparks are relesing a Christmas single. 'Christmas Without A Prayer' it's called.

• Pusha T is releasing a new album on 18 Dec called 'Darkest Before Dawn'.

• Of Monsters And Men are releasing a new single called 'Human' right slap bang on Christmas Day. They're on tour in the UK right now, but every single show is sold out.

• Have you heard El Vy's album? It's very good. Here's the video for 'No Time To Crank The Sun'.

• The Dø have released a new video, this one for their track 'Trustful Hands'. A deluxe edition of their excellent 'Shake Shook Shaken' album is out on 4 Dec.

• Lafawndah has signed to Warp and will release an EP through the label on 5 Feb next year. Here's the video for title track 'Tan'.

Glastonbury gas pipe gyration drama
Glastonbury Festival might have to move to a new site at some point in the future, unless people can be convinced to stop dancing on a gas pipe. Or not, depending on which Glastonbury boss you choose to listen to.

According to Noisey, while speaking at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute in Dublin recently, founder Michael Eavis said: "We've got a gas main running through the site, a big gas pipe coming down from the North of England to Torquay. They [Mendip District Council and gas technicians] said this is dangerous and I said, 'Well it's been there for years and so have we'. So every year they make a fuss about this pipe".

He went on: "We're supposed to stop people dancing on the pipe, which is a pretty impossible thing to do. They say that if they are all dancing on the pipe at the same time they could fracture it".

As of last year, he said, a compromise was reached to "to turn the pressure down on the pipe" during the festival, but he has already identified an alternative site nearby, just in case its decided that the dangers are too high.

This is the sort of story people normally finish with a line like, "ha ha ha, but of course that would never actually happen". But isn't this basically almost exactly what forced T In The Park off its old site this year? Oh shit. Goodbye Worthy Farm.

But wait! It's alright. Emily Eavis has now said that it's all been a big misunderstanding.

"There seems to have been a misunderstanding about the gas line which runs under a part of the festival site", she said, according to The Guardian. "We work closely with the National Grid to ensure all necessary precautions are taken in relation to the gas line. This means we can continue running the festival on Worthy Farm, without any issues connected to this".

So, please, dance where you wish.

 
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.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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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