TODAY'S TOP STORY: Regular readers might remember that sometime back in the early fifth century the then non-existent United States Of America staged an attack on a file-storage platform called MegaUpload, taking the company's servers offline and beginning extradition proceedings against its bosses, who were residing in the then uninhabited islands of New Zealand, to face charges... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Sad Palace released their debut single, 'Rainbow Melt', through Kissability last month. And they're wasting no time getting the second one out into the world. Hence 'Breeze' is here now too. The band's ambitious indie rock sound takes them into far more different directions than seven minutes and six seconds of publicly available music should allow. On 'Breeze'... [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 Fabric getting its licence back and what it'll need to do in order to re-open, Amazon's plans to ramp up its ticketing business to take on the major players, and the making of the new OK Go video. 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 Civil cases against MegaUpload kept on hold pending criminal action
LEGAL Russian streaming firm sues Yandex over alleged executive poaching
MEDIA BBC decides Radio 2 doesn't need a Controller
INDUSTRY PEOPLE Tony Martell dies
ARTIST NEWS Justin Bieber fan punch shouldn't have been a surprise, says Rita Ora
GIGS & FESTIVALS Great Escape announces first 50 acts
AWARDS Anderson Paak, Jorja Smith and more on BBC Sound Of 2017 longlist
ITV gives BRITs nominations show Saturday night primetime slot
ONE LINERS Liam Gallagher, The xx, NME Awards, more
AND FINALLY... Princess Beatrice stabs Ed Sheeran in the face attempting to 'knight' James Blunt
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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Jan-Mar 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: The How The Music Business Works Programme
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30 Jan 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
6 Feb 2017 CMU Insights Masterclass: The Key Developments In Music Rights
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Civil cases against MegaUpload kept on hold pending criminal action
Regular readers might remember that sometime back in the early fifth century the then non-existent United States Of America staged an attack on a file-storage platform called MegaUpload, taking the company's servers offline and beginning extradition proceedings against its bosses, who were residing in the then uninhabited islands of New Zealand, to face charges of criminal copyright infringement in the sure-to-exist-one-day American courts.

OK, this story may not have been rumbling on for quite that long, but we are now approaching the fifth anniversary of the US government's swoop on MegaUpload, and those former execs are still in New Zealand awaiting a ruling on their appeal against America's successful extradition application.

While there was a USA in place when MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom et al were arrested on 20 Jan 2012, the fifth anniversary of that event coincides with the inauguration of Donald Trump as President, so who knows where we'll be at if and when this case reaches an American court room. It'll be a bit embarrassing if Dotcom is taken in the rapture leaving all the music and movie industry execs still seated in court ready to testify.

If it ever does get to court, the MegaUpload case will be an important test of the American safe harbours that have got so much attention in music industry circles this year. And in addition to the criminal proceedings, there is also the matter of the record and movie industries' civil actions against Dotcom and his pals.

The latter have been on hold for some time now, the logic being that it would be better to let the American government pursue its criminal action against the former MegaUpload bosses before the major labels and Hollywood studios swoop in for their MegaDamages.

Last week a federal court in Virginia extended that postponement, putting the civil cases on hold until at least April next year. It was Team MegaUpload who requested that the cases continue to be kept on ice, though neither the Recording Industry Association Of America nor the Motion Picture Association Of America objected.

Lawyers for MegaUpload also told the court that they were in talks with Cogent, one of the companies that previously provided server space to the defunct file-transfer company, and which is now sitting on a bunch of disconnected servers gathering dust.

All the data on those machines - and on servers owned by other former suppliers - has been inaccessible since the sudden MegaUpload shutdown in 2012, including any files legitimately uploaded and owned by former customers of the service, something that has proven controversial.

MegaUpload's legal team also want access to that old data, because they believe it will help with their attempt to present their client as primarily a legit file-storage company deserving of the aforementioned safe harbour protections with regards liability for any copyright infringement committed on its platform by its one-time customers.

Some non-US server companies who used to provide services to MegaUpload have already wiped old data, while others have sought compensation for storing unusable machines, and earlier this year Cogent said it feared sixteen old MegaUpload servers were now unreadable, simply because they hadn't been used in such a long time.

According to Torrentfreak, Team MegaUpload told the court last week: "Counsel have met and conferred and are negotiating a preservation order regarding the Cogent data, and they anticipate reaching an agreement and presenting a consent motion and stipulated preservation order to the court for entry".

They went on: "However, until such a preservation order is entered, the parties each reserve their rights to file motions seeking preservation of the Cogent data on appropriate terms and conditions".

Russian streaming firm sues Yandex over alleged executive poaching
A Russian streaming service called Zvooq has sued local web giant Yandex over allegations the latter faked interest in investing in the former in order to poach key staff. According to Billboard, Zvooq has sued Yandex for $29 million in a breach of contract case.

The streaming music firm alleges that Yandex was one of a number of companies that had expressed an interest in buying into or acquiring its business, but that - in breach of a contract signed between the two companies as part of those negotiations - the larger web firm then headhunted its marketing director Varvara Semenikhina.

Zvooq co-founder Victor Frumkin told Billboard: "We had bids in hand from international as well as local strategic buyers, until Yandex staged actions which were clearly in breach of our agreement with them, and counter to civilised corporate morals and ethics".

After joining Yandex, Semenikhina apparently took on a marketing role at Yandex.Music which, in terms of locally-based streaming firms, is Zvooq's biggest competitor.

Yandex says it is aware and "very surprised" by the litigation, insisting that it "did not violate any agreements with Zvooq or poach its employees".

A spokesperson added: "All statements from Zvooq are based on populist rhetoric and are not true. We will answer all legal claims in court as we are confident about our stand".

Zvooq has filed its lawsuit in Cyprus where the service's parent company is actually registered.

BBC decides Radio 2 doesn't need a Controller
If, when the BBC recently announced it was seeking a new Controller for Radio 2 and 6 Music, you thought to you yourself, "that's me, I could do that job, I'd be an ace Controller for Radio 2 and 6 Music", well, you're wrong. You'd be a fucking awful Controller for Radio 2 and 6 Music, we all know that. So awful, in fact, that the Beeb has decided to axe the role entirely, just in case it accidentally hired you to do it. So that's you told.

Former Radio 2/6 boss Bob Shennan was recently promoted to the job of Director Of Radio at the Beeb, and said at the time that the two stations' existing heads of programming - Lewis Carnie and Paul Rodgers - would run their respective stations on an interim basis while a new Controller for the two channels could be found. But now Shennan's changed his mind, made Carnie and Rodgers permanent Head Of Radio 2 and Head Of 6 Music respectively, and called off the hunt for a new Controller.

He explained in a memo that: "I decided not to create a Controller position because my role is slightly different from previous directors of Radio; I won't be on the BBC's Executive Board and as a result I expect to be able to remain more closely involved in the direction and development of both Radio and BBC Music, to be more 'hands-on'".

Shennan also announced that the Commissioning Editor for BBC Music, Jan Younghusband, will move into his Radio And Music division, putting all music commissioning, including TV, into one unit.

Says Shennan: "I'm delighted that Jan will officially join the BBC Music family. She is a great creative talent and will help me define a compelling, joined up music strategy for TV that dovetails with everything we do in radio and online".

Tony Martell dies
Former A&R man and founder of the TJ Martell Foundation, Tony Martell died yesterday. He was 90 years old.

Martell set up his foundation, which has to date raised over $270 million for cancer and AIDS research, in 1975 as a promise to his son TJ, who died from leukaemia aged nineteen. Initially his aim was to raise $1 million for leukaemia research, but the organisation continued to fund-raise once that had been achieved and has since gone on to become one of the most successful music industry associated charities.

In his music business career, Martell worked as an A&R rep with acts including Ozzy Osbourne, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Isley Brothers and more. He was also president of CBS International Records in the 1980s.

In a statement, the TJ Martell Foundation says: "Tony taught us all how to keep fighting for what we believe in and to do what we can to help others in need. He never gave up on his fight to find a cure for cancer and through his passion, energy and perseverance the TJ Martell Foundation has supported flagship hospitals in the United States and raised over $270 million for leukaemia, cancer and AIDS research".

"Tony's smile, energy and incredible devotion will be missed beyond words", it continues. "We will work even harder now to keep his memory and dream alive and one day finding a cure for the diseases that he spent his life fighting. In honour of his son TJ for whom the foundation is named, we celebrate the life of Tony Martell whose work saved lives, provided patients with innovative treatments and gave thousands of people hope. We will miss you Tony".

Details of a memorial service are expected shortly.

  Approved: Sad Palace
Sad Palace released their debut single, 'Rainbow Melt', through Kissability last month. And they're wasting no time getting the second one out into the world. Hence 'Breeze' is here now too.

The band's ambitious indie rock sound takes them into far more different directions than seven minutes and six seconds of publicly available music should allow. On 'Breeze', there's a real 'if you weren't sure about that last section, how about we play something like this' feel. What's more impressive is that they hold it all together to create a cohesive pop single.

"The song is about knowing something is over before it begins", say the band. "It leaves you in a strange place, I think we have a sixth sense about these things, in your heart of hearts you can feel when it's not going to happen, but part of you wants to keep going out of curiosity, and maybe sympathy".

You can catch Sad Palace supporting Childcare tonight at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington. And you can listen to 'Breeze' here.

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Justin Bieber fan punch shouldn't have been a surprise, says Rita Ora
Rita Ora reckons Justin Bieber was quite right to punch a fan in the face last week. OK, that's not actually what she said, I just paraphrased her words to make them more contentious. Journalists are the worst.

As previously reported, TMZ recently published a video of Bieber apparently punching a fan who reached into his car ahead of a show in Barcelona last week. The fan later said that the matter was "in the hands of lawyers", and told a Spanish radio station that all he had been trying to do was "touch [Bieber's] shoulder and face" so was a bit surprised when he ended up with a bloody lip.

However, says Ora: "I'm not speaking for anybody, but knowing [Bieber] and his incredible background, I know how it feels to be uncomfortable and scared. I feel like anyone who had a hand in their face is going to protect themselves".

Face and shoulder, don't forget. Face and shoulder. Basically, listen to Rita, don't go around grabbing at celebrities and expect them to be pleased. Or anyone, for that matter. Whatever happened to manners, eh?

Great Escape announces first 50 acts
The Great Escape last week announced the first 50 acts on its line-up for next year's festival, following the First Fifty season of shows in East London which showcase some of those acts for the super-eager crowd.

Also announced were details of the first of 2017's 'Spotlight Shows', the bigger gigs within the TGE programme. Rag N Bone Man will headline that show at the Brighton Dome Concert Hall. Standalone tickets will be available to the Spotlight Shows as normal, though for the first time TGE wristband holders will be able to gain access without buying a top-up ticket, with spaces available to festival-goers on a first come, first served basis.

The festival has also announced a new deposit scheme for three-day festival tickets, allowing people to spread the cost over time, starting with a £30 deposit.

"TGE continues to break the mould and here we come again with the first 50 bands confirmed to play in 2017 that demonstrate what a unique and diverse festival we are", says Event Manager Kevin Moore.

"We're truly delighted to welcome Rag N Bone back to the event for our first Spotlight Show, it's going to be an incredible homecoming performance. It's our mission to give everyone the opportunity to discover their new favourite artist and with the introduction of our festival ticket deposit scheme, as well as the return of our young adult tickets for those aged sixteen and seventeen, the festival is more accessible than ever before. Roll on May!"

Those first 50 acts, in alphabetical order, are: Abattoir Blues, Alma, Anna Straker, Be Charlotte, Brian Deady, Cabbage, Carys Selvey, Casi, Cherry Glazerr, Croox, Drones Club, Eat Fast, Fil Bo Riva, Goat Girl, Gold Class, Gothic Tropic, Gurr, Hannah Georgas, Husky Loops, Ider, Indigo Husk, Jacques, James Hersey, Jameszoo, Klangstof, LA Salami, Lowell, Marthagunn, Matt Maeson, Middle Kids, Miles From Kinshasa, Moses, Nilüfer Yanya, Plaitum, Poté, Rag N bone Man, Ray Blk, Saint Phnx, Sarathy Korwar, Shame, Shells, Shitkid, Sigrid, Skott, Sløtface, Sophie Hunger, Sturla Atlas, The Age Of LUNA, The Moonlandingz, Tigertown and Yonaka.

As well as all the bands, of course, industry delegates will also be able to attend the CMU Insights Conference that sits at the heart of the TGE convention programme. Four conferences in one, we'll be revealing details of the four big themes being explored in 2017 very soon, so stay tuned for that, or just assume (correctly) that it'll all be great and buy your delegates pass now while the early bird rate still applies.

And here's a little film of last year's festival for you to enjoy too.

Anderson Paak, Jorja Smith and more on BBC Sound Of 2017 longlist
The BBC has revealed its Sound Of 2017 longlist this morning, featuring the fifteen new acts its panel of 170 or so pundits are most excited about in the coming twelve months.

The top five will be announced by Huw Stephens and MistaJam on Clara Amfo's Radio 1 show each day of the first week of next year, starting on Monday 2 Jan. Among the names on the list this year are Jorja Smith, Ray BLK, Nadia Rose, The Japanese House, Maggie Rogers, Stefflon Don and Raye.

"The BBC Music Sound Of panel, always the broadest and most objective list of new music tastemakers assembled each year - which now includes international voices too - has delivered yet another exciting and diverse list of new and emerging talent to look out for next year", says BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra Head Of Music Chris Price. "These are the names that will capture the imagination of music lovers the world over in 2017, and I'm delighted to say that every single one has already received significant support on Radio 1 and 1Xtra, both in evening and daytime shows".

He continues: "They join former winners - and now household names - such as Adele, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith and Years & Years, continuing Radio 1 and 1Xtra's commitment to discovering and breaking new talent on the global stage. Judging by the crop of talent on this year's long list, there's no shortage of future stars to choose from".

Here's the full longlist:

• AJ Tracey
• Anderson Paak
• Cabbage
• Dave
• Declan McKenna
• Jorja Smith
• Maggie Rogers
• Nadia Rose
• Rag N Bone Man
• Ray BLK
• Raye
• Stefflon Don
• The Amazons
• The Japanese House
• Tom Grennan

Last year's poll was, of course, topped by Jack Garratt, who I think we can all agree doesn't deserve the rest of this sentence that you just wrote in your head. He's playing The Brighton Dome tonight. Why not go and see what all the fuss was about?


ITV gives BRITs nominations show Saturday night primetime slot
Through what must be some sort of scheduling error, ITV will air the BRIT Awards nominations show in a primetime Saturday night slot on 14 Jan. Guys, music is only allowed on TV after 11pm and first thing on Sundays, unless it's a talent show format built around a bunch of no-hopers. Everyone knows that.

Performances on the BRIT nominations show will come from Olly Murs, Craig David and Christine And The Queens, with Emma Willis reading out the names of the nominees in order to meet the show's remit.

"Both Olly and Craig have had a brilliant year and both enjoyed number one albums", says BRITs Chair Jason Iley. "Christine And The Queens are one of the biggest success stories of the year. They are all fantastic performers and we are looking forward to them being an important part of the BRIT nominations event on the 14 Jan. Add to this Emma Willis as host and we have the perfect ingredients for a brilliant 2017 launch show".

Olly Murs claims that he's "excited" about the BRITs noms show, and that it will be "a great warm up" for his upcoming tour, even though that clearly isn't even close to being true. Craig David is "absolutely THRILLED". No one even bothered to get a quote from Christine And The Queens' Héloïse Letissier, not wanting to risk someone saying something that was actually interesting.

Emma Willis has something to say though. This is it: "I've always been a massive fan of The BRIT Awards, it's one of the most fun nights of the year. I watch it religiously so I couldn't be more excited to be a part of the team and to reveal all the nominations for 2017".

Nope, that didn't add anything to this story at all, did it? Ah well, I'm sure it'll all be great fun on the night. Maybe they can get Adele on to say "fuck" a few times.

Anyway, as I say, it'll be on TV on 14 Jan. Then the actually ceremony will be broadcast live on 22 Feb which, days-of-the-week fans will be interested to know, is a Wednesday.

Liam Gallagher, The xx, NME Awards, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Liam Gallagher will play his first solo show at Bush Hall in London as part of Youth Music's Give A Gig Week next year, reckons Music Week.

• Death Team have released the video for their latest single, 'Messed Up'.

• When The xx announced their 2017 UK tour recently, it included three nights at Brixton Academy. That's pretty good, huh? Three nights at Brixton Academy seems alright, yeah? Well how about seven? Seven mate. They're doing seven nights now. It's some sort of record, apparently. Because people who can sell that many Brixton Academy gigs normally book a bigger venue.

• The shortlist has been announced for BBC Radio 2's Album Of The Year award, which will be presented at the entirely pointless BBC Music Awards on 12 Dec. The contenders are Adele's '25', Coldplay's 'A Head Full Of Dreams', Jeff Lynne's ELO's 'Alone In The Universe', Michael Kiwanuka's 'Love & Hate', and Rick Astley's '50'. Absolutely pointless.

• Estrons have announced that they will perform in a number of the many venues that the UK has to offer in the month of February next year. They'll play the Boston Music Room in London on 9 Feb, for example.

Voting for next year's NME Awards is now open. Disappointingly, the ceremony is no long sponsored by Austin, Texas. It's now 80s haircare brand VO5 paying for the whole shebang. Which is much less confusing, and therefore no fun at all. They should have gone with Viagogo, that's the way to generate fun.

Princess Beatrice stabs Ed Sheeran in the face attempting to 'knight' James Blunt
If ever you needed a solid argument for the UK becoming a republic, Princess Beatrice has sliced open Ed Sheeran's face while pretending to knight James Blunt. Which is possibly a pretty decent argument for abolishing musicians too.

This incident apparently happened at a party at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, the home of Beatrice's father Prince Andrew. According to The Sun, Blunt mentioned that he quite fancied being Sir James, so the princess grabbed a ceremonial sword off the wall and staged a mock knighting.

Misjudging the weight of the sword as she brought it up from Blunt's shoulder, it seemingly swung back over her own shoulder and into the face of Ed Sheeran, who was standing behind her. He was then rushed to hospital to receive stitches to his right cheek, with people muttering things about how he could have been blinded.

"Everyone was having a great laugh and the joke was very much in keeping with the tone of the whole party", someone or other tells The Sun. "The blade cut into [Sheeran's] face and it was just a few inches from his right eye. A couple of the guests said it could have been worse and he could have been blinded in the eye but Ed really played it down".

"Everyone was totally shocked and apparently Beatrice was very upset", continues the unnamed source. "But Ed was the perfect gentleman and told her it was just an accident. However it became apparent that the wound needed treatment so Ed was taken to hospital".

Sheeran apparently returned to the party afterwards to show that everything was really fine, which must have been slightly difficult with a recently sewn up gash in his face.

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 [email protected] (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 [email protected] (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.
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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.
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Send ALL press releases to [email protected] - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

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