TODAY'S TOP STORY: Hot on the heels of the UK government's secondary ticketing review, penned by that there Professor Michael Waterson, the Competition & Markets Authority has now announced an investigation into the big four ticket resale sites, mainly to check out how they are doing with commitments they made to the regulator last year. The CMA received undertakings from... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Twin sisters Jófríõur and Ásthildur Ákadóttir released their second album as Pascal Pinon - 'Twosomeness' - in 2013. After touring the record, Ásthildur moved to Amsterdam to study classical piano, while Jófríõur became ever busier with her other band Samaris. All of which made the writing of their third album, 'Sundur', out on 26 Aug, a slow process. "We had... [READ MORE]
CMU TRENDS: "Transparency" has become quite the buzzword, with everyone agreeing that there should be more of it. But who needs to be more transparent about what and to whom? Chris Cooke reviews how digital royalties work their way through the system, and where the mysteries, confusions and blockages occur. To access CMU Trends become a premium subscriber for just £5 a month. [READ MORE]
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including the $20 million song-theft lawsuit filed against Ed Sheeran, the RIAA's attempt to suspend The Pirate Bay's .org domain, The Worldwide Independent Network’s new indie music market research and Axl Rose's photo woes. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Now the Competition & Markets Authority opens a secondary ticketing review
LEGAL Jimmy Page takes to the stand in Led Zeppelin song theft case
US ISP goes to court for another clarification on safe harbours
ViceVersa settle name dispute with Vice
LIVE BUSINESS Finsbury Park venue faces closure
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Trent Reznor and Nikki Sixx continue YouTube diss party
GIGS & FESTIVALS James Blake announces tour
Deftones' Chino Moreno to perform inside a volcano this weekend
ONE LINERS Epic Records, Sony/ATV, Bumble, more
AND FINALLY... Please watch X-Factor, it's going to be dead nasty and people will be upset
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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Now the Competition & Markets Authority opens a secondary ticketing review
Hot on the heels of the UK government's secondary ticketing review, penned by that there Professor Michael Waterson, the Competition & Markets Authority has now announced an investigation into the big four ticket resale sites, mainly to check out how they are doing with commitments they made to the regulator last year.

The CMA received undertakings from Viagogo, eBay's StubHub and Live Nation's Get Me In! and Seatwave in March last year, in which the secondary sites agreed to ensure certain information was always provided by ticket sellers using their platforms.

That information included details of any restrictions on the tickets being sold (in terms of entry or view), the face value of the original ticket, whether there were any additional charges, whether multiple tickets - when being sold together - were situated next to each other in the venue, and an email address for the seller that the buyer could use if something went wrong.

Those undertakings followed a lengthy investigation by the CMA, from which it concluded that: "A well-functioning secondary ticket market benefits fans by helping them to get tickets for events they want to see and by helping them when they can no longer make use of their tickets. However, consumers need certain key information in order to make an informed decision on whether to buy a ticket through a secondary ticket platform".

Of course, since the CMA's review and the resulting undertakings by the big four players in the UK secondary ticketing market, the Consumer Rights Act was passed by Parliament with some specific regulations for the resale of tickets included. There was some crossover between those regulations and the existing undertakings, though the CRA also requires that seat numbers be provided for shows that have such a thing. The Act also instigated the aforementioned review of the secondary ticketing market by Waterson.

The new review by the CMA is specifically focused on whether or not Viagogo, StubHub, Get Me In! and Seatwave are complying with their undertakings, though it will also check whether other obligations under the CRA are being met as well. And while the review focuses on those four businesses in particular, in its call for submissions to the investigation, the CMA says: "Information about other businesses or other issues in the market can still be submitted to the CMA".

Those wishing to make a submission to this latest ticket tout investigation have until 12 Jul to do so. For the increasingly vocal group of promoters and artist managers who are pushing for tougher regulation of secondary ticketing, and/or stricter enforcement of the existing rules, this latest CMA review is another forum through which to vent, though it could also allow the government to put off responding to Waterson's report for a while, pending the CMA's findings.

Though, then again, if we Brexit next week, everything will probably be in limbo for years to come, providing the perfect excuse for ministers who possibly want to look sympathetic to the anti-tout brigade, but without really doing anything about the touts.

There is more information about the CMA investigation here.

Jimmy Page takes to the stand in Led Zeppelin song theft case
"Objection!" might be a good conclusion of yesterday's proceedings in the ongoing Led Zeppelin song theft case, the lawyer representing the band objecting to countless statements made by the legal man leading the plagiarism lawsuit. In fact The Hollywood Reporter counted over 50 occasions when Led Zep rep Peter Anderson shouted "objection" and the judge concurred. Indeed, on one occasion judge R Gary Klausner declared "sustained!" before Anderson had even had chance to object.

As previously reported, the Zeppelin are accused of ripping off a song written by the late Randy California, aka Randy Craig Wolfe, with their famous work 'Stairway To Heaven'. Led Zep toured with Wolfe's band Spirit in the late 1960s which - the lawsuit filed against them claims - is when they were exposed to his song 'Taurus'. The litigation, filed on behalf of the Wolfe Trust, claims that the band then lifted elements of 'Taurus' when writing their hit.

While a core argument of the defence is that the similarities between 'Stairway To Heaven' and 'Taurus' are outside the realm of copyright protection, in that they simply use the same 'musical building blocks', yesterday most of the proceedings focused not on copyright law technicalities, but on whether it can proven that Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant had heard 'Taurus' before writing 'Stairway To Heaven'.

The headline act of yesterday's proceedings was Page, who scored a few laughs with his testimony - especially when Wolfe Trust lawyer Francis Malofiy, running through the guitarist's life story, noted how Page had "discovered he had a gift in his ability to play guitar", to which the Led Zep man responded, "Well, yeah".

Page's core claim is that he had never heard 'Taurus' until relatively recently, even though he does own a copy of the album on which it appears. According to Rolling Stone, the guitarist said he first heard the Spirit track when "something appeared on the internet - [when] there was a buzz going on about the comparison [between 'Taurus' and 'Stairway'] a few years ago. My son-in-law brought it up; I don't do the internet, so he played it for me. When I heard the orchestral part at the beginning [of 'Taurus'], I knew I'd never heard it before ... When it started, I was confused by the comparison ... 'What's this got to do with 'Stairway'?'"

While conceding that he owned a copy of the Spirit album on which 'Taurus' appears, he says he only remembers buying later records by the band. He added that he has over 10,000 records in his collection, a portion of which he was given, and there are plenty of recordings in there he has never actually listened too.

Much of the rest of the day in court was dedicated to attempts by Malofiy to prove that Page and/or Plant - even if they'd never listened to a recording of 'Taurus' - couldn't have missed Spirit performing it live. There was talk of Plant attending a gig Spirit played in Birmingham in 1970, and then much chatter about a 1969 show in Denver where Led Zeppelin supported Spirit and heavy rockers Vanilla Fudge.

Page claimed that his band left that gig shortly after their set, and anyway he was always under the impression he was supporting Vanilla Fudge, and wasn't really aware Spirit were co-headlining the show. "I was excited about opening for Vanilla Fudge", he added, "because I was a big fan of theirs".

"Ha!" - said Malofiy - you were a big fan of Spirit too, and look, here's some media interviews from back in the day where you said so. "Well, you know, journalists", Page basically implied in his response. Though when presented with an old audio interview in which he said "Spirit is a band I really love", Page said it was all too long ago, and he couldn't remember why he might have said that.

But, Malofiy continued, didn't Led Zep cover Spirit track 'Fresh-Garbage', which appears on the same album as 'Taurus', during a medley section that was a staple of their early shows? That was true, Page admitted, though its inclusion was because his band liked to "chip a wink to what's hot" when playing live. How long did Led Zeppelin play the Spirit song for in those early-day medleys? "I don't know", Page hit back. " I don't have a stopwatch".

It's still hard to tell which way this case will go, especially as we are yet to get to the key copyright technicalities. Though it doesn't feel like the judge is much of a fan of Malofiy; when the lawyer took longer than expected while fetching a new witness, the judge joked "let's hope counsel hasn't gone home", much to the amusement of the packed court room.

The case continues.


US ISP goes to court for another clarification on safe harbours
US-based tel co RCN has gone to court to again question the liabilities, or not, of internet service providers for any copyright infringement that occurs on their networks.

This has been of much debate over the years, of course, with ISPs generally claiming protection from liability under those often controversial safe harbours which, in America, come from Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The safe harbours say that internet firms are not liable if and when their users distribute content over their networks without licence, providing a system is in place via which rights owners can demand such illegal distribution is stopped.

The last big case on this issue swung in the music industry's favour, with another US net firm - Cox Communications - being held liable for its pirating customers because it was shown the ISP often paid only lip service to its own anti-piracy polices.

That case was pursued by BMG alongside its anti-piracy agency Rightscorp. And it's those two entities that RCN now has a problem with. The ISP disputes allegations made by the music rights firm, while also hitting out at the practices of Rightscorp, criticising its monitoring techniques, the flood of notices it sends to internet providers, and the letters it demands are forwarded on to suspected copyright infringers.

According to Torrentfreak, RCN writes "both BMG and Rightscorp are wrongly demanding payment from RCN for ... alleged infringement, and have clearly expressed their intention to enforce these purported rights", before adding: "The central question for this court's determination is whether an internet service provider should be held liable for copyright infringement simply because it provides internet connectivity to its customers".

The net firm wants the court to confirm that its interpretation of the DMCA is correct, and BMG and Rightscorp's claims against RCN are without merit, even if they do have a case for copyright infringement against some RCN customers. "BMG's repeated assertions that RCN is liable for copyright infringement lack merit", writes the ISP. "RCN therefore seeks a judgment from this court declaring that it is not liable to BMG for copyright infringement".

Following last year's Cox ruling, both rights owners and ISPs will watch with interest which way the New York court rules on this one.


ViceVersa settle name dispute with Vice
Vice has reached a settlement with the unsigned LA band ViceVersa, who the media firm was convinced could bring down its entire media empire simply by singing songs under a moniker that contained their name.

As previously reported, Vice sent a cease and desist letter to the band last December claiming that ViceVersa's name and logo were too similar to that of the media company. The letter demanded that the band stop using their current name, take their website and social media pages down, and stop selling any merch containing their brand.

The cease and desist followed the United States Patent And Trademark Office giving ViceVersa's guitarist Christopher Morales (aka Zeke Zeledon) provisional approval in his bid to trademark his band's name. Vice also lodged a formal opposition to that application with the trademark registry, calling the dispute "a standard, cut-and-dry trademark matter".

But ViceVersa got themselves a friendly legal rep who reckoned that the media business didn't actually have a case to block the band from using their current moniker, telling reporters that companies "can't normally protect commonly used words or phrases like 'vice', when used inside of another word or phrase that is unique".

Conversations between the two parties continued though, and now an agreement has been reached, with ViceVersa agreeing to narrow the scope of their trademark application a little. For its part, Vice has agreed to stop sending stern legal letters.

Confirming this development, ViceVersa's lawyer said in a statement: "After a few weeks of negotiations, the two parties have come to an amicable agreement. Changes have been made to the band's trademark details as registered with the USPTO, thus narrowing the scope of their services. ViceVersa will continue using their name and logo as they please and Vice Media will go about their $2.5 billion business".

For its part, Vice told Pitchfork: "We're glad this worked out for both parties, and we wish the band the best of luck".

Finsbury Park venue faces closure
London is set to lose another grassroots music venue after the property currently run by The Silver Bullet in Finsbury Park was bought by the Goodman Restaurant Group. Attempts by supporters of the existing venue to raise enough money to buy the lease on the property have so far been unsuccessful.

Noting the role it played in launching the career of John Newman, as well as their championing of lots of other artists, co-manager of the North London cultural space Anna Naylor told London 24: "The Silver Bullet is more than just a venue. It's a cultural and community hub; an integral part of London's live music scene. The Silver Bullet is a place where small bands can expect packed out dancefloors, and where big name acts enjoy the rare magic of an intimate gig".

The Goodman Restaurant Group denies it has plans to turn the property it's acquired into a restaurant, with Operations Director Dave Strauss saying "it was a very public sale which was never confidential and the lease says that it can only be a bar". He added: "I have no desire to open a restaurant there. It will be a late-night bar for people who finish work late". Though no talk of live music there, you might note.

Numerous grassroots music venues have closed, in London and across the UK, in recent years of course, some due to licensing issues, others because of economic challenges, and others because of a change in ownership of the buildings they occupy. It's not clear if the team behind The Silver Bullet have any ambitions or plans to continue staging gigs elsewhere in the Finsbury Park area.

Though we do know that one thing Finsbury Park will be getting this summer is a Wireless festival, after a court recently declined to overturn the local council's decision to grant the Live Nation event a licence for its 2016 edition. It was residents group The Friends Of Finsbury Park that took the matter to judicial review, and they have already vowed to appeal the decision.

Trent Reznor and Nikki Sixx continue YouTube diss party
The war of words between the music industry and YouTube continues, with Trent Reznor - who, to be fair, is slightly biased, having a second job as Chief Creative Officer at Apple Music - being the latest to hit out at the Google video site.

Billboard tricked Reznor into discussing the rival streaming platform after the big update of Apple Music was announced on Monday. The Nine Inch Nails man said: "Personally, I find YouTube's business to be very disingenuous. It is built on the back of free, stolen content and that's how they got that big. I think any free-tiered service is not fair".

YouTube's response? "Shut the fuck up, Reznor". Well, not quite. More along the lines of "nothing stolen here, mate". A statement read: "The overwhelming majority of labels and publishers have licensing agreements in place with YouTube to leave fan videos up on the platform and earn revenue from them".

"Today the revenue from fan-uploaded content accounts for roughly 50% of the music industry's YouTube revenue. Any assertion that this content is largely unlicensed is false. To date, we have paid out over $3 billion to the music industry - and that number is growing year on year".

Hey, it's growing. Good times. YouTube wheeled out the same $3 billion stat when responding to the latest YouTube rant from Sixx:AM, aka the other band involving Nikki Sixx off of Motley Crue. They've been especially vocal since the US music industry ramped up its anti-YouTube rhetoric, and recently issued an open letter to Larry Page, CEO of Google parent company Alphabet.

They wrote: "We are appealing to you Mr Page, as a saxophone player who ironically credits his love of music as the inspiration behind the success of the world's most valuable company, to step up. As the man who coined the slogans [for the early Google business], 'Don't Be Evil' and 'Do The Right Thing', we want you take your own advice before irreparable damage is done to the future of artists around the world".

They went on: "Artists from every genre are finding it impossible to pursue their art in a world dominated by YouTube. Without changes, young musicians will no longer be able to make music for a living and the next generation of fans will be robbed of great artists. Dreams of breaking into the music industry will effectively be unattainable".

Responding to that letter via MBW, YouTube said: "The voices of the artists are being heard, and we're working through details with the labels and independent music organisations who directly manage the deals with us. Having said that, YouTube has paid out over $3 billion to the music industry, despite being a platform that caters to largely light music listeners who spend an average of one hour per month consuming music - far less than an average Spotify or Apple Music user. Any comparisons of revenue from these platforms are apples and oranges".

To which Sixx:AM have now said: "We are glad to hear that YouTube is listening, but actions speak louder than words. Previous meetings have been postponed and emails left unanswered, after YouTube asked us and other artists to postpone our protests in return for a meeting and action on the issues. The protests were restarted after a lack of activity by YouTube's Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl, and we sincerely hope that this is not further spinning on their side. Larry Page is Google's CEO, and our letter was to him. He's accountable to shareholders and the board of Alphabet. Where is his response?"

Where indeed? As previously noted in this CMU Trends review of the Music Industry v YouTube saga, some in the record industry hope that high profile artists speaking out will force the Google platform to play ball on at least some of the music community's grievances, in a more speedy fashion than can be achieved by lobbying for a rewrite of copyright law and safe harbours in Washington and Brussels.

  Approved: Pascal Pion
Twin sisters Jófríõur and Ásthildur Ákadóttir released their second album as Pascal Pinon - 'Twosomeness' - in 2013. After touring the record, Ásthildur moved to Amsterdam to study classical piano, while Jófríõur became ever busier with her other band Samaris. All of which made the writing of their third album, 'Sundur', out on 26 Aug, a slow process.

"We had never been apart our entire lives until we finished touring with our last album", says Jófríður. Ásthildur adds: "The fact that we spent so much time apart creates completely different connections between the songs than on 'Twosomeness', which for me makes it more diverse in the best way possible".

The separation led to an urgency in the recording of the new album too. While it was written over the course of a year and a half on regular trips between Iceland and The Netherlands, it all had to be recorded in two days.

"It makes the album feel more real and raw which is what it essentially is all about", says Jófríður of the recording process. "It's very sparse and a lot closer in the approach and in regards to the sound of our very first album".

Listen to the first single from the album, '53', here.

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James Blake announces tour
James Blake will be touring the UK and Ireland in October and November, off the back of the release of his third album 'The Colour In Anything'.

If you're not sure if you want to see him play or not, you can watch Blake performing an eight song set for BBC Radio 1's 'Headliners' here. If you then decide that you would, you can get tickets here.

Anyway, here are the dates:

27 Oct: Dublin, Olympia
28 Oct: Belfast, Limelight 1
30 Oct: Bristol, Academy
1 Nov: London, Hammersmith Apollo
2 Nov: Leeds, Academy
3 Nov: Manchester, Academy


Deftones' Chino Moreno to perform inside a volcano this weekend
Ahead of his band's headline set at Iceland's Summer Solstice festival this weekend, frontman Chino Moreno will be playing a solo show inside a volcano.

The performance, which will be open to just 20 ticketholders, is claimed to be the first time ever that an artist has performed inside a volcano. Sure, some artists have performed on top of volcanoes, but those people are wimps. Get inside, I say. Swim around in the lava. Although with Icelandic musician Snorri Helgason appearing as the support act, Moreno will actually be the second artist to do it, so it's not even that impressive.

Just in case you're concerned for their safety, organisers say that the Thrihnuagigur volcano, in which the show will take place, hasn't erupted for 4000 years. Which surely means it's really overdue an eruption and we should all be terribly worried.

Tickets for the show cost just £1380 on top of your standard festival ticket. Unless you've bought the festival's $1 million pass, in which case you're already in the door. Well done, rich people.

Epic Records, Sony/ATV, Bumble, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• LA Reid, boss of the US branch of Epic Records, is reportedly relocating to, well, LA, to open a West Coast office for the Sony label. Or so gossips HitsDailyDouble.

• Paul Connolly is departing Universal Music Publishing, where he was President of Europe and MD for the UK. In the latter role he is replaced by Mike McCormack, whose new boss - Jody Gerson, overall CEO of UMPG - is "THRILLED" about the appointment.

• Sony/ATV has promoted its Senior VP A&R Europe Johnny Tennander, basically giving him the second job of MD of the music publisher's Scandinavian division. In that new role he replaces the departing Patrik Sventelius. It means he now has two bosses - both called Guy - at least one of whom is "THRILLED" about this development.

• Abbey Road Studios and Technics have announced a two year brand alliance which will basically see the former put the latter's re-designed SL-1200 turntables in its mastering studios and restaurants so that artists and sound engineers can have a play. Yay vinyl revival!

• Spotify has announced a deal with dating app Bumble which will allow users to vet possible partners based on their listening habits on the streaming service. What could possibly go wrong with that?

• Remember Tiga's documentary series for Thump that he promised would be "a journey into the heart of the one-man hive mind that propels the Holy Tigan Empire ever forward into a future"? Well, part two is out.

Please watch X-Factor, it's going to be dead nasty and people will be upset
Having brought the 'classic' judging line-up back together, the folks over at the still-flagging-in-the-ratings 'X-Factor' are now seemingly pushing the 'and we're going to be dead nasty to people' angle once again. Which you'd think would be easy with Sharon Osbourne back on board, though she seems slightly reluctant to take on the role of life-ruiner.

"I don't want to hurt anyone, but unfortunately the nerves and rejection during the audition process does often cause some tears", she tells The Sun. Ah, so it's the nerves and rejection causing all the reported tears at the auditions. "I'm a mum and a grandma, I don't want to intentionally hurt anyone who comes to audition but sometimes you have to say no".

Of course, given that most of the people who actually queue up for 'X-Factor' auditions are the same people who queue up every year, it's possible Osbourne recognises a lot of them from her previous stints on the show, which might make it harder to be unpleasant to them. Or maybe not. Perhaps she's got material from earlier series she can re-use.

Because, according to one of those pesky sources, it is Osbourne providing the 'ha, look at that deluded fool who's now crying' good times that the viewers love.

"Sharon's showing no mercy this year", said the source. "She's had contestants, who have queued up for sixteen hours to audition, in pieces. Some were left so distraught by her comments they refused to do interviews afterwards. She even described one as looking 'like a little hooker'. It's safe to say the bitch is back".

So, something to look forward to there. Guaranteed crying

ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins 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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Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
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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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