TODAY'S TOP STORY: Fabric is set to re-open after a new agreement with Islington Council and the Metropolitan Police was rubber-stamped by Highbury Magistrates Court yesterday. This means that an appeal hearing to discuss the council's earlier decision to revoke Fabric's licence, set for later this month, will now not happen. As previously reported, it emerged last week that Fabric... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: We're nearing the end of the year, which must means it's about time we checked in on Matt Farley to see what he's up to. For the uninitiated, Matt Farley is a songwriter who worked out that while it's difficult to write one song that gets hundreds of thousands of plays, with a little focus and dedication you can write thousands of songs that each get a few plays... [READ MORE]
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including the Culture Select Committee session on ticket touting in Parliament, Duran Duran testing the reach of America's copyright reversion rule, and Prince's label suing Tidal over the streaming of the late star's catalogue. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
CMU TRENDS: We all know that the story of recorded music over the last fifteen years has been the shift from CD to download to streams, and from a sales model to a subscription model. It's easy to think that we are now in the final chapter of that story, though perhaps we're only half way through. We review where we're at as 2017 approaches. CMU Trends articles are available to premium subscribers... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Fabric to re-open
LEGAL Kickass lawyers diss US government's defence of its criminal case
We Shall Overcome copyright case to proceed
DEALS Proper announces new deals with Believe and Glitterbeat
LIVE BUSINESS Girli partners with Girls Against
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Various Artists launches US division
INDUSTRY PEOPLE Max Hole joins Metropolis Studios
ARTIST NEWS Kanye West cancels US tour, reportedly hospitalised
ONE LINERS Entertainment One, Radio X, Featured Artists Coalition, more
AND FINALLY... Deadmau5 not a Deadmau5 fan
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Fabric to re-open
Fabric is set to re-open after a new agreement with Islington Council and the Metropolitan Police was rubber-stamped by Highbury Magistrates Court yesterday. This means that an appeal hearing to discuss the council's earlier decision to revoke Fabric's licence, set for later this month, will now not happen.

As previously reported, it emerged last week that Fabric and the council were in "advanced talks" to get the club's licence reinstated. It was revoked in September, following a temporary closure a month earlier in the wake to two drug-related deaths. A campaign to cover legal costs for the club's appeal raised over £300,000.

When passing the ruling to revoke Fabric's licence, Islington Council accused the venue of having a "culture of drugs". Meanwhile the inquest into the death of one of the men who died at the venue earlier this year, Ryan Browne, found that he had been able to smuggle ecstasy into the club and buy more once inside.

Fabric and Islington Council issued a conciliatory (mainly on the former's party) joint statement yesterday that said: "Fabric accepts that its procedures in relation to searching were insufficient, as were its procedures to prevent the consumption and dealing of drugs within the club itself. Fabric accepts that the police acted reasonably in making the application for a review and that the authority's sub-committee was fully entitled to revoke its licence".

In order to re-open, Fabric has accepted a fair number of new licensing terms. This includes ID scanning; a new security company; new search procedures, plus new monitoring and external auditing of them; covert surveillance; lifetime bans for anyone found buying or selling drugs in the venue; improved lighting; more CCTV; and barring those under the age of nineteen from the premises on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

The statement continues: "In light of Fabric's acceptance that there have been failings, and given the commitment that its directors and management have shown by their development of the operations manual and acceptance of these new conditions, the authority is now satisfied that the statutory licensing objectives may be met short of the revocation of the premises licence. It is for these reasons that it has decided not to oppose Fabric's appeal".

The operations manual mentioned there was prepared by the club and presented earlier this month as evidence for the appeal hearing. Fabric has now agreed that it will not re-open its doors until it believes it is able to fully comply with its proposals and the new conditions. How long that may take is not clear.

In a statement, London mayor Sadiq Khan, who had previously urged the club and authorities to find a way forward, said: "I am delighted that this agreement has been reached and that Fabric will now re-open. I have always said that we needed to find a common-sense solution that protects both the future of Fabric and the safety of all clubbers - as this does. I especially want to thank Islington Council for working so hard to come to this solution".

He also revealed that new Night Czar Amy Lamé had "held conversations with Islington Council, the Metropolitan Police and Fabric".

As part of the deal, Fabric has also agreed to pay Islington Council's legal costs, with a stipulation that this money not be taken from "the monies pledged by supporters".

That raises the obvious question, what will happen to those public donations now that they are not required to cover the legal costs of an appeal. At last count, Fabric still had £183,096 of those funds remaining. While two weeks of bashing out this agreement may have further depleted that somewhat, there is still likely to be a significant amount of money.

Fabric's next transparency statement on the use of these funds is due later today, though a statement issued yesterday did not make clear how soon information on the future use of donations would be released.

Of course, one potential use of the remaining funds is Fabric's concurrent work to lobby government to change its official guidance on how the Licensing Act should be applied to clubbing venues.

Kickass lawyers diss US government's defence of its criminal case
Lawyers for the alleged owner of KickassTorrents, Artem Vaulin, have hit out at a recent submission by the US government defending its criminal action against the operator of the former file-sharing hub.

As previously reported, Ukrainian Vaulin was arrested in Poland earlier this year at the request of the American government as officials took the KAT website offline. But lawyers repping the KAT man argue that - because the Kickass site merely linked to copyright infringing material, rather than hosting it - Vaulin could only be liable for secondary or contributory infringement, which isn't covered by the criminal law in the US.

Not so, said United States Attorney Zachary Fardon, who wrote in a recent submission: "For the defendant to claim immunity from prosecution because he earned money by directing users to download infringing content from other users is much like a drug broker claiming immunity because he never touched the drugs".

Fardon reckoned that when it comes to the charge of "conspiracy to commit copyright infringement", American law doesn't distinguish between primary and secondary infringement. He also linked Vaulin to three separate websites that were more overtly involved in the downloading or streaming of unlicensed content.

However, in their written response, the KAT man's lawyers reckon that Fardon failed to address "major defects in the indictment" previously raised by the defence. They dispute the Attorney's interpretation of US law, argue that some of the precedents he cited have been superseded, and claim that the American government is violating guidelines for prosecuting intellectual property crimes published by its own Department Of Justice. They also point out that Fardon didn't provide any tangible evidence of specific copyright works that had been downloaded via the other sites Vaulin is linked to.

Concluding, the KAT defence team write: "In sum, the attempt to hold KAT's overseas torrent sites as accessories to unspecified copyright crimes committed in unknown ways in the United States by unknown former KAT users is unprecedented and violates multiple constitutional prohibitions".

They go on: "The indictment is so permeated with improper legal theories and insufficient predicate facts to support the elements of felony criminal claims - from improperly conflating dot torrent files into direct criminal infringement to improperly alleging video streaming as a crime - that it cannot be trusted that the grand jury was properly instructed with the correct law and legal principles to render a competent decision".

Vaulin's lawyers are attempting to have the entire case against their client dismissed in the US courts before extradition proceedings back in Poland even get properly under way. In Poland, Vaulin remains in jail, with a court there recently ruling that he should remain in custody until at least mid-February, according to Torrentfreak.


We Shall Overcome copyright case to proceed
The sequel to the 'Happy Birthday' copyright case - 'Happy Birthday II: Back To The Public Domain' if you like - will proceed, after an initial attempt to have the whole thing dismissed failed.

This case centres on the copyright status of the famous protest song 'We Shall Overcome'. The same lawyers who led the legal proceedings that resulted in 'Happy Birthday' being declared a public domain work - ie no longer protected by copyright - in the US last year are now seeking a similar declaration for 'We Shall Overcome'.

As previously reported, in 1960 Ludlow Music, one of the defendants in the case, registered a version of 'We Shall Overcome' with the US Copyright Office. The exact origins of the song are unknown, though it has been traced back to the nineteenth century, and folk singer Pete Seeger published a version in a periodical he produced in the 1940s.

Among the questions being asked in the lawsuit is what exactly Ludlow registered in 1960, given much of the song existed long before then, and whether the publisher's registration correctly identified the people responsible for the nominal lyric changes that distinguish the registered version from some earlier versions.

In its defence to the lawsuit, Ludlow Music and fellow defendant the Richmond Organisation argued that the version of 'We Shall Overcome' registered in 1960 was sufficiently distinct to warrant copyright protection. Arguing that their copyright registration was valid, the defendants sought to have the case against them dismissed.

However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the judge overseeing the case, Denise Cote, has now ruled that the plaintiff's arguments are strong enough for the lawsuit to proceed. For starters, the version of the song registered in 1960 only differs from a version published in 1948 by three words, and there is at least some substance to the plaintiff's arguments that those changes were not even made by the people credited in Ludlow's copyright registration.

Says the judge: "The copyrighted work differs from the 1948 version by only three words: (1) 'we'll' for 'I'll'; (2) 'shall' for 'will'; and (3) 'deep' for 'down'. The plaintiffs have also plausibly alleged that the individuals listed on the 1960 copyright registration are not the authors of the changes that were made to the three words in the song's first verse".

She goes on: "If they are not the authors, the defendants cannot claim copyright protection. The plaintiffs allege that the author of the underlying work is unknown, that it is unclear who changed 'will' to 'shall', and that a black tobacco worker named Lucille Simmons changed 'I' to 'We'. Simmons is not listed as an author in the application to register the copyright for the song".

The judge added that further investigation was required to ascertain whether information was "deliberately omitted" from the 1960 copyright registration, and whether there was actually good grounds for listing the authors who were named in that filing.

All in all, it was a good judgement for those seeking to overcome the 'We Shall Overcome' copyright, though Cote did also shave some of the plaintiffs' state-law-based legal claims off the lawsuit which could reduce potential damages should they prevail.

Proper announces new deals with Believe and Glitterbeat
Distribution firm Proper Music Group has extended its deal with Believe and announced a new client in the form of world music focused label Glitterbeat Records.

Proper already handled physical sales and distribution in the UK for Believe, but will now also provide storage facilities in London for product set to be shipped into Continental Europe. Meanwhile the firm will provide sales and distribution in the UK and Ireland for Germany-based Glitterbeat.

Confirming both deals, Proper MD Drew Hill said: "We're happy to see Believe extending the scope of our services, with Proper now acting as their European distribution hub, and proud to welcome Glitterbeat to our growing client roster. With the opening of our new warehouse on the horizon, business is set to soar".

Meanwhile Glitterbeat co-founder Chris Eckman added: "Proper's long history of working with labels like Glitterbeat, that have artists from Africa, South America, Asia and beyond, was of course an attraction. Proper's diverse network will in addition enable us to build on the success we are having intersecting with rock and electronic audiences".

Girli partners with Girls Against
Girli has announced a partnership with Girls Against, a group fighting sexual harassment and sexual assault in music venues. The first stage of this will be a prominent presence for the organisation at Girli's upcoming show at the Camden Assembly this Thursday.

"Girls Against speak up about something very close to my heart, and something that's ignored too much", says Girli. "I've been groped at gigs and made to feel uncomfortable. It's something that happens to all sexes but particularly girls, which makes gigs the opposite of what they should be - a safe, friendly and fun environment for everyone to enjoy the music".

Expanding on Girls Against's presence at this week's show, she continues: "They're gonna be coming along to the gig to spread the word that if you or anyone you know is a victim of harassment or groping at a gig that you can speak up about it without being ignored and that there are people you can tell and get help. No one should feel scared or vulnerable at a gig".

Find more information on Girls Against here.

Various Artists launches US division
Management firm Various Artists has announced the formal launch of a US division to be headed up by co-founder Matt Luxon. He will, says the management agency, "oversee consolidating the company's existing relationships [in North America], creating new opportunities for the Various Artists roster and developing new talent".

Confirming the development, Luxon said yesterday: "A number of the artists we represent are currently achieving real traction in the US and having a dedicated office will allow us to further develop that success and create even stronger relationships with the American music business, brand partners and the associated creative industries".

Meanwhile the firm's co-founder and CEO Dave Bianchi added: "We operate in a global marketplace and the US is the biggest market in the world. We have already achieved significant success and it makes complete sense, therefore, for us to have an operational presence there to help develop the careers and maximise opportunities for the artists we represent".

Acts managed by Various Artists include Charli XCX, The Libertines, Spiritualized, Tom Grennan and Barns Courtney.

Max Hole joins Metropolis Studios
The former CEO of Universal Music's non-US operations, Max Hole has been named Metropolis Studios' new Non-Executive Chair. In his new role, Hole will assist with developing the company's strategy.

"I am absolutely THRILLED Max is joining the board here at Metropolis", says the studios' CEO Ian Brenchley. "We are at an exciting juncture for the company as our portfolio of businesses across production, management, publishing and labels have diversified cementing our ethos of Metropolis as a truly progressive and 360 music company. To have Max share our vision and enthusiasm is a real privilege".

Hole himself adds: "I'm very fortunate to have spent my life involved in many different aspects of the music business and having travelled extensively around the world. I love my new opportunity of helping the wonderful business built by CEO Ian and his team at Metropolis. It's a remarkable model that I find really exciting that is the basis of us building all aspects of managing, recording, publishing and breaking artists in the future".

As previously reported, Hole stepped down from Universal Music Group International in October last year, ten months after contracting rare medical condition encephalitis.

  Approved: Matt Farley
We're nearing the end of the year, which must means it's about time we checked in on Matt Farley to see what he's up to.

For the uninitiated, Matt Farley is a songwriter who worked out that while it's difficult to write one song that gets hundreds of thousands of plays, with a little focus and dedication you can write thousands of songs that each get a few plays.

To date, he's released over 18,000 songs, earning a basic living from iTunes and Spotify income. There are, however, people who think that there's something wrong with Farley's method of making money from music. That he's just spamming the world with unnecessary music. And well done, naysayers, you got to him.

"These negative reactions are wrong", says Farley. "My songs are amazing. However, I've taken the negativity to heart. So, a year ago, I started writing songs my detractors would like, meaning that they weren't about heating oil, or ice cream, or poop. Instead, they were songs about love, loneliness, heartache, rejection, joy, addiction etc. Since last November, I've released five masterpiece albums, aimed at shutting up critics".

It's true. Every artist dreams of writing their 'Pet Sounds', and Farley has done just that. It's called 'Animal Noises' and features 28 songs with titles based on Beach Boys song names. This year's output also includes a sprawling concept album in which his prolific character The Guy Who Sings About Cities And Towns admits that he's never actually been outside his hometown and more. Check out a playlist of Farley best 25 songs from the last year (written in between making new feature film 'Slingshot Cops') here.

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Kanye West cancels US tour, reportedly hospitalised
It has been confirmed that Kanye West has cancelled all remaining dates on his US tour, which was meant to continue until the end of the year. More concerning though are reports West was hospitalised yesterday "for his own health and safety".

As previously reported, West resumed his 'St Pablo' tour in the US last week. At his first show since the presidential election, he told his audience in San Jose that "if I would've voted, I would've voted on Trump" and reiterated plans to run for President himself in 2020.

Then on Saturday in Sacramento, the rapper launched into a ten minute rant mid-way through his third song, taking aim at Hillary Clinton, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Drake, Mark Zuckerberg and many more. He then abruptly ended the show.

The following evening, a performance in LA was cancelled at the last minute, with promoter Live Nation later confirming that the remaining dates on the tour had also been axed.

Now NBC reports that West was hospitalised in LA yesterday afternoon, claiming that "the decision to hospitalise West was for his own health and safety".

A police spokesperson told the BBC that they had responded to a "disturbance call", while a fire department spokesperson confirmed that "an adult male described as medically stable was taken to an area hospital for further assessment", though neither named the musician.

The LA Times meanwhile cited sources saying that West was being "treated for stress and exhaustion", with TMZ throwing "severe sleep deprivation" into the mix.

No official statement on any of this has as yet been given.

Entertainment One, Radio X, Featured Artists Coalition, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• US entertainment firm Entertainment One has announced the appointment of Ted May, previously with Universal, to be its Director for Music in the UK. May is both "hugely excited" and "THRILLED" about his new gig. And why wouldn't he be?

• Radio X has appointed a new Managing Editor in the form of Matt Deverson, who currently works on the TV side of parent company Global, though already produces the Gordon Smart show for the station. He will replace Chris Beughen who was there for the revamp of Xfm as Radio X.

• Imogen Heap has been announced as the new CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition on an interim basis for the next six months. She will fill the gap left by Paul Pacifico who recently took on the CEO job at the Association Of Independent Music.

• London's recently appointed Night Czar Amy Lamé will be among speakers at the next edition of the Association Of Independent Music's Women In Music event, which takes place on 16 Jan. Full info here.

• Kate Bush has released the video for 'And Dream Of Sheep', taken from her new live album 'Before The Dawn', which is out this week.

• Cloud Boat have released the video for 'Man Of War', taken from their EP of the same name.

• Sløtface have announced that they will tour the UK in February next year. Their new EP, 'Empire Records', is out now.

Deadmau5 not a Deadmau5 fan
Deadmau5's new album 'W:/2016ALBUM/' is a "fucking rushed" and "slapped together" cash grab. So says Deadmau5, anyway. You may or may not want to cancel your pre-orders.

Tweeting about the album, which is due out on 2 Dec, the producer wrote: "I don't even like it. It was like, so fucking rushed [and] slapped together. But I mean, hey, if you like it I wanna like it too, [I] just don't".

Asked why he'd put out something he didn't think was up to scratch, he replied: "Cos I got mad fuckin bills".

He conceded that he was "happy" with two tracks on the album - 'Snocone' and 'Whelk Then' - as well as suggesting that he's been largely displeased with all of his recorded output to date, so this album may not be any different from the rest.

"This is seriously a love/hate thing happening here", he wrote. "But, a thing, nonetheless. And it's good to be doing things. Maybe it's time to just sit down, and work on this fabled 'album I like' thing I've been wanting to do for the past ten years".

He could do that, though why break a winning formula?

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.
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, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
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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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