TODAY'S TOP STORY: The popular hip hop mixtape sharing app that was recently sued by the Recording Industry Association Of America last week filed its response, calling for the case to be dismissed partly on safe harbour grounds, and partly on the basis that the labels keep asking it to promote their music... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S CMU APPROVED: Zombie-Chang's recently released second album 'Gang' is a short but very welcome trip back into her world of lo-fi electronic music, following on from last year's 'Zombie-Change'. She pays little attention to genre boundaries, with performances that occasionally seem both highly finessed and slightly absent minded at the same time, all of which feeds into the enveloping sound she allows you to wander through. [READ MORE]
LATEST CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including US customs officials' refusal to allow a number of international acts into the country to perform at SXSW, the launch of Pandora's premium on-demand streaming service and Deadmau5 being sued over the name of his cat. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
LATEST CMU TRENDS: UK music creatives and their managers have called on the government to assist in their bid to secure more transparency in the digital music market. What do music creatives want to know, why do they need to know it, and can government really help? We review the transparency debate. CMU Trends articles are available to premium subscribers. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Spinrilla hits back at labels lawsuit
LEGAL Jimi Hendrix company sues his brother again
Police investigating conduct of former BPI anti-piracy chief
LIVE BUSINESS Live Nation takes majority stake in Isle Of Wight Festival
FanFair launches guide for fans on avoiding ticket touts
OBITUARIES Chuck Berry 1926-2017
ARTIST NEWS New Gorillaz tracks appear in PPL database
Goldie to publish autobiography
ONE LINERS MelodyVR, Clean Bandit, TLC, more
AND FINALLY... Not even wood pigeons can stop Liam Gallagher from singing
Ninja Tune are hiring for a new member of our sync team working with both the record label and publishing catalogue from our London office. The role will be in the area of UK TV and online advertising which will entail creative pitching and creating, developing and maintaining new and existing client relationships.

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Ninja Tune are hiring for a junior business affairs role within the record label and publishing company. The role will involve both taking primary responsibility for certain tasks along with working closely with senior members of the team.

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Ninja Tune are hiring for an assistant to our record label and publishing catalogue manager. The job will entail both creative and administration elements and any candidate should be proficient and enthusiastic for both.

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An exciting opportunity has arisen for a talented and passionate music publicist to work in-house across AEI's variety of global music brands and artists. We are looking for an independent, well-rounded individual with a strong creative streak and passion for electronic music, a nose for a unique story and a strong contact base.

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The Roundhouse is looking for a Marketing Manager to join the marketing team on a maternity cover basis for four days a week. This role will devise and implement marketing campaigns for Roundhouse-produced shows and events and co-productions, managing substantial budgets and handling media and PR agencies.

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Listen Up are currently recruiting for an Events Press Manager to join our Events department in our UK office. The candidate will report to the Head of Festival & Events Press and will have a minimum of two years’ experience in a similar role, with thorough knowledge of print and online press campaigns, as well as experience with on-site publicity and communication.

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The Eventim Apollo is recruiting an Assistant Technical Manager to support and in the absence of the Technical Manager oversee the Technical aspects of a production from start to finish. You will also keep the stage and backstage area functioning in accordance with Health & Safety guidelines.

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Kilimanjaro Live are offering two separate year-long internship programmes with a view to help individuals establish a career in the live music industry. One programme will give individuals an opportunity to learn the various elements of concert and festival booking, promotion and production and the other will be predominately focused on marketing.

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The Associate will work closely with Kobalt's CEO, his Executive Assistant and other senior leadership to execute work plans, projects, and day to day workflow. He or she will ensure streamlined activities within the organisation based on the priorities of the CEO.

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Sales, marketing and distribution company, RSK Entertainment, requires a Sales Account Assistant to cover a portfolio of retail accounts and responsible for the solicitation and sales of new releases, as well as back catalogue orders and the proactive instigation of label promotions and campaigns.

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The MPA Group of Companies (MPA, MCPS, IMPEL and PMLL) is seeking a trainee financial accountant to assist the Director of Operations with all of the finance functions across the four companies as well as providing assistance with other finance related projects.

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Spinrilla hits back at labels lawsuit
The popular hip hop mixtape sharing app that was recently sued by the Recording Industry Association Of America last week filed its response, calling for the case to be dismissed partly on safe harbour grounds, and partly on the basis that the labels keep asking it to promote their music.

As previously reported, when it went legal against Spinrilla last month, the RIAA said that the app "specialises in ripping off music creators by offering thousands of unlicensed sound recordings for free". It added that "fans today have access to millions upon millions of songs from innovative platforms and services that pay creators" and therefore "this kind of illicit activity has no place in today's music marketplace".

Unofficial, unlicensed mixtapes have long been part of hip hop culture of course, with many acts first coming to attention that way. The record industry has generally turned a blind eye to the distribution of such mixtapes providing they are not commercialised, though as the labels got more rigorous at managing their content on sites like SoundCloud it became more common for unofficial mixes to be blocked on those platforms.

This is probably one of the reasons why Spinrilla became so popular, with mixtape makers and hip hop fans alike. And, it would seem, with at least some label marketers. Though the record industry's lawyers clearly reckon that the Spinrilla company, which offers a nominally priced premium option, is now in the business of commercialising the unofficial mixtape, and that's why it's time to cry foul.

In its legal response, published in full by Torrentfreak, Spinrilla argues that it has in the past had a good working relationship with the very labels that are now suing it.

The digital firm states: "Plaintiffs and defendants have been co-operating for years in a variety of ways to successfully prevent and remove unauthorised music from Plaintiffs and defendants have also co-operated when plaintiffs have requested that its music be promoted and distributed by Spinrilla. This co-operation can and should continue as it benefits not only the parties to this lawsuit, but more importantly, it benefits independent artists and their millions of fans".

If the labels want to now play hardball - the legal submission continues - well, look at the lovely safe harbour we're dwelling in you litigious fuckers. I paraphrase slightly.

The legal filing says: "In the event plaintiffs no longer wish to partner with Spinrilla and instead prosecute infringement claims against defendants, defendants are shielded from liability by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. By enacting the DMCA, Congress recognised that valuable services such as Spinrilla would not exist if they were liable for content uploaded to their servers. For that reason, Congress wisely chose to protect services such as Spinrilla - protection Spinrilla has earned and deserves".

To get safe harbour protection from the DMCA, Spinrilla must operate a takedown system that enables rights owners to get unlicensed content removed. The digital firm, of course, insists it operates such a system and indeed it does. The question is, is it a good enough takedown system? Which leads us back to the debate as to what exactly constitutes a good enough takedown system, given the DMCA is pretty vague on that point.

Though, while the takedown procedure outlined on Spinrilla's website - basically encouraging rights owners to send them an email - looks pretty basic, in its legal filing last week the company said it also uses Audible Magic's content identification system to help rights owners police their content on its platform, a technology it says it employed at the recommendation of the labels. Meanwhile it insists that it responded promptly to the 400+ takedown requests it has received by email.

It remains to be seen how the RIAA now responds, though if the dispute does proceed to court, it will be another test of the safe harbours under America copyright law. With the extra fun of Spinrilla likely arriving at court with all the emails from marketing types at the labels pushing for promo on the mixtape platform.


Jimi Hendrix company sues his brother again
The Experience Hendrix company that manages the estate and legacy of Jimi Hendrix is back in dispute with the late guitar legend's brother Leon, who is again accused of involving himself in business ventures that exploit Jimi Hendrix trademarks without permission.

Experience Hendrix is run by the late guitarist's adopted sister Janie and has had a number of run ins with Leon over the years. Indeed the new lawsuit against Leon Hendrix and his associate Andrew Pitsicalis begins by noting the past disputes over unofficial Hendrix-branded products that he has been involved in.

The lawsuit filed with a New York court last week states: "Over the past ten years, defendants Andrew Pitsicalis and Leon Hendrix, and a variety of individuals and entities with which they have been associated, have attempted to hijack plaintiffs' trademarks and copyrights for their own personal gain. Federal courts have repeatedly prohibited those unlawful activities".

According to The Wrap, the legal filing then goes on: "Ignoring those prohibitions, defendants recently have renewed and expanded their infringements of plaintiffs' trademarks and copyrights through the creation, development, licensing, manufacturing, promotion, advertising and sale of cannabis, edibles, food, wine, alcohol, 'medicines', electronic products, and other goods".

Going for the kill, the lawsuit continues: "Undaunted by their previously failed and enjoined efforts to exploit the Hendrix marks, defendants have now aggressively escalated their conduct into a full-scale assault on the plaintiffs' trademark and copyrights that relate to Jimi Hendrix, through nothing less than a fraudulent business model and scheme designed to trade on the Hendrix marks and copyrights in a manner designed to confuse consumers, investors and licensees".

Presumably aware that, during past disputes, Leon Hendrix has questioned the legitimacy of his adopted sister Janie as the chief overseer of his late brother's legacy, the lawsuit then explains that it was the siblings' father Al who set up Experience Hendrix and its related companies in 1995.

When doing so, it says, he appointed Janie Hendrix and some other family members to the companies' management team, while "expressly excluded" Leon from the business. And when Al Hendrix died in 2002 he left ownership of the companies to "family members other than Leon Hendrix".


Police investigating conduct of former BPI anti-piracy chief
Record industry trade group the BPI has confirmed that a police investigation is ongoing into the conduct of its former anti-piracy chief David Wood.

The statement follows a report by Torrentfreak last week that says that Wood, a former policeman and regular commentator on anti-piracy initiatives while with the BPI, is accused of misappropriating funds before his dismissal from the trade body in late 2015. The BPI subsequently revamped its anti-piracy unit and appointed new leadership.

The specific allegations made against Wood are not currently known, though Torrentfreak's sources claim six figure sums are involved. Meanwhile bankruptcy proceedings were filed against him last year, and an intellectual property enforcement company he established a few months before his departure from the BPI is seemingly being wound down.

A spokesperson for the BPI said: "[We] can confirm that a former employee, David Wood, was dismissed for gross misconduct in December 2015. BPI has referred the matter to the Metropolitan Police who are investigating. As investigations are ongoing, it would not be appropriate to comment in any more detail at this stage".


Live Nation takes majority stake in Isle Of Wight Festival
Still on its never-ending acquisition spree, Live Nation UK has become the majority shareholder in the Isle Of Wight Festival, via its LN-Gaiety company. The event will continue to be run by John Giddings and his Solo company.

The announcement comes after the future of the festival was called into question last year. As previously reported, Solo requested that Isle Of Wight Council waive the hire fee for the site on which the event takes place. The council said it was open to dropping the fee to £13,000 if the festival took on other logistical services currently provided by the council, which cost it around £42,000 per year.

Solo subsequently withdrew its request, following "incorrect media inferences" that the festival was struggling to sell tickets. At that point, tickets for the 2017 event had not yet gone on sale and - with costs still presumably needing to be cut - for a brief time it was unclear if there would be an IOW Festival this year. But shortly afterwards it was confirmed it would indeed go ahead in June.

Originally staged between 1968 and 1970, the festival was revived in 2002 with Giddings at the helm. The current agreement between Solo and the council runs until 2019. With Live Nation's investment, the event presumably now has some financial security in the long term, although it gives up its independent status in return.

"John Giddings and the Solo team have developed the Isle Of Wight Festival to be one of the most iconic festival brands in the world", says Live Nation UK chair Denis Desmond. "It's fantastic to be able to add it to our growing and diverse portfolio of festivals".

Giddings adds: "After fifteen hugely successful and glorious years, we have been looking at how we can elevate and take the Isle Of Wight Festival to the next level. This partnership with Live Nation will give us the ability to access the company's scale and talent pool, bringing more acts and a better experience to the UK".

Headliners for this year's festival will be David Guetta, Run DMC, Arcade Fire and Rod Stewart. Which I guess you could say is something for everyone.


FanFair launches guide for fans on avoiding ticket touts
The FanFair Alliance has published a new ten tip guide for music fans on how to avoid being stung by the bloody ticket touts. The new guide from the anti-touting group offers tips for preparing before tickets go on sale, knowing when tickets really are sold out, and finding tickets being resold at face value.

"The guide is a response to the dark arts employed by the resale platforms Get Me In!, Seatwave, StubHub and Viagogo", says FanFar Alliance's Adam Webb. "These businesses not only fuel industrial-scale levels of ticket touting, they also use a range of manipulative marketing techniques that sow confusion when tickets go onsale and direct fans away from legitimate and authorised sellers".

He continues: "In response, FanFair has consulted widely to come up with ten simple tips that aim to empower audiences and help them better navigate the ticket buying process. We want to help fans identify legitimate and authorised ticket agents, and to promote the concept of ethical resale - where ticket purchasers who can genuinely no longer attend a show have a safe and secure mechanism to sell their ticket on at face value. The vast majority of artists and music businesses are with us on this issue".

The publication of this new guide follows a FanFair booklet aimed at artist managers last year, produced in collaboration with the Music Managers Forum.

Numerous artists, primary ticketing firms and politicians have welcomed the tips, including Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons, Amy Macdonald, Radiohead's Ed O'Brien, Imogen Heap, Royal Blood, Mark Knopfler, Wolf Alice, You Me At Six, Nigel Adams MP, Sharon Hodgson MP, Skiddle, Eventim, WeGotTickets, Songkick, PledgeMusic, Music Glue, Scarlet Mist, Dice, Twickets and See Tickets. You should all pick the three people or companies whose opinions you actually care about and consider the tips backed by them.

As previously reported, there will be further parliamentary scrutiny of the secondary ticketing market tomorrow in front of the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee. This follows the government's recent commitment to follow recommendations laid out in the Waterson Review of the market that was published last year.


Chuck Berry 1926-2017
Chuck Berry died on Saturday, aged 90, following a "medical emergency" at his home in St Charles, Missouri.

Born in 1926, Berry was pushing 30 by the time he became famous for writing songs about the hopes and fantasies of teenagers. He had begun performing music in high school and was working as a jobbing musician, performing country and blues, when he signed to Chess Records in 1955. His debut single, 'Maybellene' - which started both his major influence on rock n roll and his legacy as a pioneer in the genre - was based on a traditional country tune, 'Ida Red'.

An instant success, selling over a million copies, 'Maybellene' paved the way for a career which saw Berry write and record numerous classics of the 20th Century - 'Johnny B Goode', 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'Rock N Roll Music', 'Sweet Little Sixteen' and 'No Particular Place To Go', to name just a few.

His rise was interrupted by a lengthy legal battle and jail sentence in the 1960s. Berry was arrested in 1959, accused of having sex with a fourteen year old girl who had worked in his nightclub. He was convicted in 1960, but successfully had the ruling overturned on appeal, arguing that the judge had been racially prejudiced. However, following a second trial in 1961, he was convicted again, and, after another appeal which this time failed, he served 20 months of a three year sentence.

Following his release in 1964, he returned to his career, signing later in the decade to Mercury Records. Although this was not his most successful period as a recording artist, he remained a popular live performer, helped in part by a new wave of young acts like The Beach Boys and The Beatles citing him as an influence.

In 1972, having returned to Chess, he released a live version of novelty song 'My Ding-A-Ling', originally written and recorded by Dave Bartholomew 20 years earlier. It became his first and only number one single in the US and the UK. But rather than marking a resurgence, it marked a slowing of his output. After a four year gap following '1975's 'Chuck Berry' album, he released his final LP, 'Rock It', in 1979.

He continued to perform live up until his death however, and on his 90th birthday last October Berry revealed that he had recorded a new studio album, 'Chuck'. A release date for the record is yet to be announced.

Chuck Berry is survived by his wife, Themetta Suggs, and their four children, Ingrid, Chuck Jr, Aloha and Melody.


Approved: Zombie-Chang
Zombie-Chang's recently released second album 'Gang' is a short but very welcome trip back into her world of lo-fi electronic music, following on from last year's 'Zombie-Change'. She pays little attention to genre boundaries, with performances that occasionally seem both highly finessed and slightly absent minded at the same time, all of which feeds into the enveloping sound she allows you to wander through.

The first single, and opening track, from the record - 'I Can't Get To Sleep' - is something close to her big pop moment. It's a got a big, memorable chorus that simultaneously manages to clatter around, she resisting any temptation to properly polish it up and make it more presentable. Which possibly sounds like damning with faint praise - or maybe just damning - but it gives the song a feeling of freedom that would be lost in the hands of another artist.

Watch the video for 'I Can't Get To Sleep' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

New Gorillaz tracks appear in PPL database
Guests on the new Gorillaz album will seemingly include Pusha T, Carly Simon, Danny Brown, De La Soul, Rag N Bone Man, Grace Jones, Kali Uchis, Vince Staples, Zebra Katz, and Savages' Jehnny Beth. The titles of eighteen new tracks, including all of these artists and more, have just appeared on the database of collecting society PPL, along with an intro track and several interludes.

The title and tracklist for the new album are still to be formally announced, but in January the group did release a new single, featuring Benjamin Clementine, titled 'Hallelujah Money'. They also recently announced that they will hold their own festival, Demon Dayz, at Dreamland in Margate on 10 Jun.

The newly listed tracks are:

Andromeda (feat DRAM)
Ascension (feat Vince Staples)
Busted And Blue
Carnival (feat Anthony Hamilton)
Charger (feat Grace Jones)
Circle Of Friendz (feat Brandon Markell Holmes)
Halfway To The Halfway House (feat Peven Everett)
Interlude: Elevator Going Up
Interlude: New World
Interlude: Penthouse
Interlude: Talk Radio
Interlude: The Elephant
Interlude: The Non-conformist Oath
Intro: I Switched My Robot Off
Let Me Out (feat Mavis Staples & Pusha T)
Momentz (feat De La Soul)
Out Of Body (feat Kilo Kish, Zebra Katz & Imani Voshana)
Saturnz Barz (feat Popcaan)
Sex Murder Party (feat Jamie Principle & Zebra Katz)
She's My Collar (feat Kali Uchis)
Strobelite (feat Peven Everett)
Submission (feat Danny Brown & Kelela)
The Apprentice (feat Rag N Bone Man, Zebra Katz & Ray BLK)
Ticker Tape (feat Carly Simon & Kali Uchis)
We Got The Power (feat Jehnny Beth)


Goldie to publish autobiography
Goldie has announced that he will publish his autobiography later this year, titled 'All Things Remembered'.

Publisher Faber promises an "uncensored, hard-hitting ... explosive story", while the producer himself says: "'All Things Remembered' is not just the story of how and why, it's everything from the children's homes to the Whispering Wheels roller-disco to rolling with the graffiti kings of New York to writing with David Bowie to reinventing myself as the Dorian Gray of fucking breakbeat".

The book is due to be published on 2 Nov.


MelodyVR, Clean Bandit, TLC, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• MelodyVR and Universal Music are teaming up to create VR experiences with artists on the major's roster. "Given the depth of engagement possible with VR, many of our artists are interested in producing more of this content and we have a robust pipeline of projects coming soon", says UMG's EVP Digital Strategy Michael Nash. Gotta love a robust pipeline.

• Bucks Music Group has announced a partnership with new music services company Monokrome. "We are delighted", says Monokrome's Kristian Davis-Downs. "We're delighted", nods Bucks MD Simon Platz.

• CD Baby has now integrated marketing platform, which it acquired last year, into its artist dashboard, offering online marketing tools to all of its users for free. "More than 6000 labels and artists have already used's services, so we know it works", says CD Baby marketing bod Kevin Breuner.

• Clean Bandit have released new single 'Symphony', featuring Zara Larsson.

• Feist has released the first single from her new album 'Pleasure'. It is also called 'Pleasure'.

• Babymetal have released the trailer for their new live film, 'Live At Tokyo Dome', which is out next month.

• Ed Sheeran's going to headline Glastonbury. In fact, I think he's going to take up nine of the ten top slots on the bill.

• TLC have announced that they will play their first ever UK show. They will play Koko in London on 9 May. Tickets go on sale this Friday.


Not even wood pigeons can stop Liam Gallagher from singing
Liam Gallagher has vowed to sing Oasis songs "bigger and better" than his brother Noel when he tours his solo album. Which isn't such a big claim, given that used to be his day job.

Writing on Twitter that his solo shows will be "opening with 'Don't Look Back In Anger' [and] ending with 'Rockin Chair'", both of which have appeared in Noel's solo live shows. "Bout time they were done proper", he added, despite him having originally performed the vocals on the latter.

Responding to critics, he said: "To all you NG fanboys, I can and will sing any song he wrote bigger better than him even if I was kicked in the bollox by a wood pigeon".

Not sure if those pigeons that attacked Kings Of Leon back in 2010 can be retrained to test this theory. But anyway, Gallagher continued: "To the people who dig what I'm about, I know you'll freak out as it's proper. To the people who hate what I'm about, I hope it sends you mad".

Liam Gallagher signed to Warner Bros for his first solo album last year. Titled 'As You Were', the record will be out at some point this year. The musician recently revealed that the first single will be called 'Not For Sale'.


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 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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