TODAY'S TOP STORY: The European Court Of Justice has ruled that The Pirate Bay is infringing copyright because "the making available and management of an online sharing platform must be considered to be 'an act of communication' for the purposes of the EU Copyright Directive"... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S CMU APPROVED: Having gained the attention and endorsement of Björk via her opera 'Of Light', Káryyn - "pronounced Kaa-RrrEEN (hard K, roll the R)" - has just released 'Yajna', the third in a series of electronic tracks collected under the title 'Quanta 11'. Named after the term for any ritual performed in front of a sacred fire in Hinduism, 'Yajna' is a six and a half minute piece of masterful composition. [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 Spotify settling the big mechanical royalties class action lawsuit that has been hanging over its plans to list on the stock market, arguments from both sides of the safe harbours debate in Europe hotting up, and Theresa May's assault on the charts. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
LATEST CMU TRENDS: While the challenges faced by the music industry since the mainstream adoption of the internet in the early 2000s have been widely documented, the music media has faced many of the same challenges too. CMU Trends reviews recent developments and trends in the music media business, and the ongoing challenges faced by media owners. CMU Trends articles are available to premium subscribers. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES EU court extends Pirate Bay copyright liabilities in web-block case
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Sony/ATV chief calls on streaming platforms to credit those songwriters
LIVE BUSINESS Manchester Arena to remain closed until September
BRANDS & MERCH Linkin Park celebrate the birthday of some cars
THE GREAT ESCAPE CMU@TGE 2017: The Crisis In Music Journalism
RELEASES Everything Everything announce new single, album
Ghostpoet announces new album, releases second single
Wesley Gonzalez releases new single, announces tour dates
ONE LINERS First Access, Rob Stringer, The Killers, more
AND FINALLY... Gene Simmons attempts to trademark 'devil horns' hand gesture
Tru Thoughts is looking to hire a new member of the press and radio department, to work in-house at our office in Brighton. The candidate should be confident, outgoing and organised, with a demonstrable passion for the label’s music (and a love of being by the sea).

For more information and to apply click here.
Do you eat, sleep and breathe music? New, old, cross genre, artists that should have been, guilty pleasures and everything in between? Kilimanjaro Live is looking for a new promoter to join the team here, working on everything from pub gigs to, who knows, football stadiums.

For more information and to apply click here.
Domino is looking for a Digital Project Manager with front end experience, working across both its record label and Publishing divisions. This position is offered on a part-time, freelance basis and will be based in our offices in London.

For more information and to apply click here.
Are you as passionate about music as you are about crafting great content? PRS For Music is looking for an experienced Content Editor with a flair for creating engaging print copy and rich media to play an integral role in our Creative Services team.

For more information and to apply click here.
An Accounts/Finance Manager is required for busy London-based artist and producer management company Solar Management. The ideal candidate must have the ability to multitask, be able to work on their own initiative and have excellent organisational skills. A knowledge of PRS, PPL, royalty accounting and withholding tax is useful.

For more information and to apply click here.
Troxy is looking for an experienced technical manager to join the team at our busy East London venue. You will be responsible for assisting the technical department and ensuring the technical operations within the venue are managed to the high specifications required.

For more information and to apply click here.
Warp Publishing, an independent music publishing company with offices in London and Los Angeles, is looking for an experienced Income Tracking Manager, with a strong focus on data analysis and reporting, to be based in the North London office.

For more information and to apply click here.
The Music Publishers Association Group of Companies (MPA, MCPS, IMPEL and PMLL) is seeking a dynamic Marketing & Communications Executive to be the gateway to communications on its work to its members, industry stakeholders and the general public.

For more information and to apply click here.
Believe Distribution Services is looking for an Office Manager / Assistant to join our UK team based in London. The candidate will be managing the day-to-day of the UK office and assisting Believe’s CIO.

For more information and to apply click here.
17 Jun 2017 CMU:DIY x TuneCore's Blueprint
20 Jun 2017 CMU:DIY x Urban Development: Where Labels & Publishers Fit In
weekly from 25 Sep 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: The How The Music Business Works Programme
25 Sep 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Making Money From Music
2 Oct 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
9 Oct 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
16 Oct 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
23 Oct 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Merch, Live & Brands
30 Oct 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase – Social Media Tools
6 Nov 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase – Music Media
13 Nov 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business

EU court extends Pirate Bay copyright liabilities in web-block case
The European Court Of Justice has ruled that The Pirate Bay is infringing copyright because "the making available and management of an online sharing platform must be considered to be 'an act of communication' for the purposes of the EU Copyright Directive".

European judges were asked to rule on this matter as part of a long running dispute between Dutch anti-piracy agency BREIN and internet service providers Ziggo and XS4ALL, which didn't want to block its users from accessing the always controversial file-sharing platform.

As previously reported, whereas in most countries ISPs have reluctantly accepted court orders forcing them to block access to copyright infringing websites, Ziggo and XS4ALL decided to fight an injunction secured by BREIN to that effect. And in 2014 the Dutch high court decided that web-blocking was "ineffectual" and might "constitute an infringement of [people's] freedom to act at their discretion".

BREIN then took the matter to the Dutch Supreme Court, which in turn asked the European Courts Of Justice whether European law had any issues with web-blocking, and the possible "infringement of people's freedom to act at their discretion" it might cause.

From Napster onwards, whenever a file-sharing software or platform is accused of copyright infringement it immediately argues that it doesn't actually host any infringing material - it's the users who do the infringing - plus its service has legitimate as well as illegitimate uses.

Most copyright systems allow for something called contributory or authorising infringement, where the mere act of facilitating someone else's infringing activity may in itself result in liability for said infringement. Though in this case the European court considered whether a file-sharing site like The Pirate Bay is actually itself involved in communicating copyright material to the public without licence. Which depends on your definition of the copyright control 'communication to the public'.

In its ruling on the matter, the ECJ said: "The court first draws attention to its previous case law from which it can be inferred that, as a rule, any act by which a user, with full knowledge of the relevant facts, provides its clients with access to protected works is liable to constitute an 'act of communication' for the purposes of the directive".

It went on: "In the present case it is common ground that copyright-protected works are, through The Pirate Bay, made available to the users of that platform in such a way that they may access those works from wherever and whenever they individually choose. Whilst it accepts that the works in question are placed online by the users, the court highlights the fact that the operators of the platform play an essential role in making those works available".

As well as describing how that role is "essential", the European court's judgement also notes that the operators of the Bay cannot be unaware of the fact they are assisting in the distribution of copyright infringing material.

The ruling isn't a surprise, especially given the opinion of EU Advocate General Maciej Szpunar on the case, which was published in February this year. It's debatable how significant the ruling really is - it does arguably increase the liabilities of The Pirate Bay and websites like it, though in many European jurisdictions such services have already been deemed liable for infringement of one form or another. Though it might make it easier to go after piracy sites - or seek web-blocks against them - across the European Union.

Whether Ziggo and XS4ALL will actually have to block The Pirate Bay remains a matter for the Dutch Supreme Court though. The latter ISP said in a statement yesterday that: "The Supreme Court must now continue with this case and decide whether a web-block in this case is proportionate".

Of course, critics of web-blocking point out how easy it is to circumvent the blockades, though many copyright owners insist they still play and important role, and would be more effective if the search engines would play ball and de-list any sites providing sneaky proxy links to blocked sites.


Sony/ATV chief calls on streaming platforms to credit those songwriters
Streaming royalties for songwriters and publishers may be slowly increasing as the so called digital pie is slightly re-sliced, but there's much more to be done. Oh, and can we start crediting songwriters in the streaming domain? I mean, how difficult can that be? Come on, stream-makers, you can credit a songwriter now and again can't you? What, you need a Global Repertoire Database to do that? Poor excuse my friend, poor excuse.

Not my words, I should add, but the words of Sony/ATV boss man Marty Bandier. Well, my words. His sentiment. He didn't fake a conversation with a generic streaming platform while accepting an award from the US National Music Publishers' Association, but he did have good moan about streaming royalties and songwriters going uncredited.

The music publishing game is "more complex and more challenging than ever before" reckoned Bandier, and while the streaming income received by publishers and songwriters is on the rise, "the fruits of our labour are not being equitably rewarded and we are not benefitting from the streaming revolution as meaningfully as we should".

And can we please start crediting songwriters again? "I've always believed that songwriters are not getting proper recognition", Bandier continued. "This is even more prevalent today on the leading music streaming services. Far too often the songwriter's contribution is overlooked or even forgotten. I have no doubt that this lack of public recognition has played a major part in why songwriters are not treated on an equal basis as the recording artist".

Actually, when it comes to streaming royalties received, that's not true. Recording rights earn more than song rights because the streaming services always do their labels deal first in order to access content. And the digital music business was modelled on the CD business where labels always took most of the money. And the major music conglomerates - like Sony - would ultimately prefer more money to flow through their label businesses than their publishing businesses, because record and publishing contract conventions mean that way they get to keep more of the cash.

He's right about it being rubbish that songwriters don't get credited more though. "When I look today at the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube, I ask: where are the names of the songwriters?" the Sony/ATV boss continued. "They are either not there or so hidden that you would have to be a special prosecutor, or perhaps The Washington Post, to find them. It is as if the songwriters do not exist and the only people who matter are the recording artists. However, without the songwriters coming up with the words and music in the first place, there would be nothing for the artist to record and no music to stream".

Noting how many hit songs now are at least partly written by a non-performing songwriter, Bandier added: "The wider world - and most especially streaming companies - must start to fully acknowledge the essential contribution that songwriters make to music and to the success of the music business. And that should start by identifying them today".

He concluded: "So I call upon all music streaming services and others to prominently show the names of the songwriters who wrote the songs just as they clearly credit the artists who recorded them. It's a tiny step but a hugely symbolic one that will once again put the role of the songwriter front and centre and remind everyone of the songwriter's vital contribution to music and the industry. And, ultimately, it will play a part in ensuring that these will become the best of times for everybody, including the songwriters and music publishers".

Hurrah for that, I say! What's that Mr Streaming Platform? The labels won't provide songwriter information - or even a unique song identifier - and the music publishing sector's failure to build a one-stop publicly accessible database of songwriter and publisher information sorted by each track's ISRC identifier makes providing accurate songwriter information tricky? Poor excuse my friend, poor excuse.


Manchester Arena to remain closed until September
Manchester Arena is to remain closed until September, following the bomb attack outside its main entrance killing 22 people as they left an Ariana Grande concert there last month. It had been hoped that upcoming shows could go ahead mostly as planned, but owners now say that repair work will not be completely quickly enough to allow this to happen.

In a statement, the venue said: "Whilst it was always our intention to honour our existing summer events, the damage caused to the main public area outside of the arena has left us with no other option than to remain closed until September. We are currently working with the promoters of our June, July and August shows to find suitable solutions for events affected by this unprecedented closure".

The bulk of the scheduled shows, including performances by Kiss, Kings Of Leon, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Blink 182 and Bros, have been cancelled. A statement from Celine Dion, who was due to perform at the venue on 25 Jun and 1 Aug, says that she is still working to reschedule her performances.

Meanwhile, Take That and Radiohead, both of whom were due to play multiple dates at Manchester Arena, have chosen to consolidate those performances into larger shows.

Take That announced shortly after the attack that, having been unable to find a suitable venue in which to stage their planned three concerts, they would instead play one at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on 18 Jun as the finale to their current tour.

Radiohead have now announced a similar move, consolidating two shows planned for 4-5 Jul into a single performance at Emirates Old Trafford on 4 Jul. Ticketholders for the original Radiohead shows will be offered a ticket swap for the new show or a refund. Extra tickets for the new show will go on sale this Saturday at 10am.

Meanwhile, Manchester Council is proposing a new system that would enable Ariana Grande to be made an honorary citizen of the city, in recognition of her work to raise money for those directly affected by last month's attack.

"This seems a fitting moment to update the way we recognise those who make noteworthy contributions to the life and success of our city", said council leader Richard Lees, according to the BBC.

The proposal will be voted upon on 12 Jul.


Linkin Park celebrate the birthday of some cars
Linkin Park are currently marking the 50th anniversary of Mercedes' high performance car brand - Mercedes-AMG - for some reason. Actually, is says here that the band and brand have been "partners in performance" since 2015, so it makes total sense. It makes total sense, right? I'm just going to carry on and pretend I understand.

"Our brand has stood for performance, perfection and passion for 50 years, and that's also what Linkin Park stands for on the stages of the world", says Mercedes-AMG's Tobias Moers. "In our 50th anniversary year, we intend to not only celebrate, but also to continue working successfully on the performance of the future".

If you thought that sounded like utter nonsense, wait until you see what Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington had to say about it: "Performance is in our blood, and with Mercedes-AMG we have found the perfect partner for our passion".

Here's an advert they've made.


CMU@TGE 2017: The Crisis In Music Journalism
Look out for more reports throughout June on key sessions that took place at the CMU Insights conferences at The Great Escape last month. Today, part two of a session from the Media Conference titled The Crisis In Music Journalism.

In part one of this session looking at the state of music journalism in 2017, the panel of music journalists - Laura Snapes, Emily Jupp, Greg Cochrane and Mark Savage - considered the commercial pressures faced by music media today, and the impact that has on those pursuing a career writing about music.

The panel then discussed the different kinds of content music journalists create - whether the good old review is even necessary in an era when readers can immediately listen to a new album or track themselves, and whether the growth of music news reporting was a good thing - before asking whether the rise of digital media had brought to an end a golden age of music journalism.

"I think reviews have a different role from 20 years ago", Jupp reckoned, acknowledging the fact that there was now a much higher chance a reader had already heard any track or album being reviewed. But, while you don't need a reviewer to explain what a record sounds like anymore, the review still added something, she said. "You might read a journalist's reviews just to understand what they're seeing in an album, which might not be what you've heard in the first listen, second listen, or the 20th".

You don't need a reviewer to tell you a record is out - a simple news story, probably with a SoundCloud or YouTube embed, does that - but a review can provide background, context and alternative opinions. "I suppose we are talking about two types of journalism", she added. "One that's longer form and more about the quality of the writing, and one that's bish-bash-bosh 'this is out there now, go listen now'. Both have their value, but I think they're quite different types of journalism".

Although agreeing that reviews still had their place, Savage reckoned that the pressure for publications to get their critiques online quickest could have an impact on the quality or nature of the review. "The amount of time you get to live with an album before you review it has shrunk", he said. "Even though immediate opinions often don't count as much. The best pieces I read about Beyonce's 'Lemonade' last year were published in December, because people had time to absorb it, to think about what it meant for Black America, for female musicians as a whole, and that sort of review I am really interested in. I don't know how much the general public is though, because I'm a music nerd!"

Which is an interesting point. Reviews remain popular for core music fans, and music journalists like writing them, but do they have mainstream appeal? "I spoke to the editor of a national newspaper before I came here", Savage revealed. "He said when he's looking to cut costs, the first thing he wants to cut is the reviews. But, he said, 'the music writers then rise up in arms and say NO, this is absolutely what we want to do', and so, to keep those writers happy, to get the other content that actually does shift newspapers, you have to let them keep on doing it".

Savage added that, although when the BBC News website publishes reviews they do well in terms of traffic, generally they don't do as well "as interviews and other more analytical features".

While that may be true for non-specialist media, Cochrane said he thought reviews were more important for specialist music titles, especially those with a focus on artists and genres not getting covered by more mainstream media outlets.

"From a Loud & Quiet point of view, we kind of exist in a music ecosystem where reviews are still important because we write about artists that may only get reviewed in one or two places", he said. "It doesn't really matter that we didn't review Harry Styles' album. Nobody needs another opinion on that. We'd rather give four pages to Wesley Gonzalez and talk about why we think he's interesting".

Though - referencing his time at NME - Cochrane conceded that when it comes to online, music news is probably the key content type, something that has risen in importance as music media has shifted from print to digital. "When I was running the absolute core of what we were doing was based on news", he said. "And there was a huge appetite for it - that was justified by the stats".

There is undoubtedly more music news available now than ever before, on music and entertainment sites, and more generalist online news outlets too. Though that doesn't necessarily mean there is more original music news reporting, Snapes noted.

"There's unfortunately little budget for actual reporting", she said. "For example, the PWR BTTM story that's been going on for the last few weeks. 95% of the reporting on that has just been rehashing Facebook posts and rehashing statements from the label".

"Those statements are obviously important things that need to get out there", she continued. "But I've only seen two organisations, including Jezebel, that have actually gone and done original reporting on it. So, they have actually spoken to the victims and spoken to the bands who were due to be supporting on the PWR BTTM tour which has now been cancelled and fallen apart".

"It's really unfortunate that original reporting is so undervalued", she continued. "You're not going to define an agenda by being the first person to report that 'BEYONCE HAS POSTED A VIDEO'. You're going to define the agenda by doing the report that then everybody else copies and links back to".

Nonetheless, despite the commercial challenges, the tight resources, and the desire to publish content quicker than ever, all four panellists remained positive about the future of music journalism, and rejected the sometimes stated idea that the latter decades of the 20th century were some kind of golden age that has now passed.

"Working in music journalism is kind of unrecognisable even when I think of how things looked twelve months ago, five years ago, and when I started ten years ago", said Cochrane. "But I think there will always be a desire in people to read great original content - and that is still out there if you look for it".

Rejecting the idea that music journalism was better in the olden days, Savage argued: "I just read so much stuff that I love today. People talk about Lester Bangs a lot, as representing some kind of golden age, but if you've ever read Lester Bang's journalism, it's impenetrable. It's not good writing in the way we understand it. Yes it's impressionistic and arty, but it's mostly nonsense, and I think of people like Tom Ewing, Dorian Lynskey, all of these guys here, Jude Rogers, Eve Barlow, people who when they write something I want to read it, no matter what they're writing about".

"Whether it's an artist I care about, or an issue I care about, they generally turn out really fascinating, insightful articles about music and about the music industry", he continued. "That's why I'm optimistic about it and not just in print".

Snapes added: "Ten, twelve years ago people used to say that blogging was going to destroy music journalism because it would democratise it and everybody would be able to do it. I don't think that's the way it has democratised it". Which is to say, we're not living in a world where everyone's a music journalist, but the community of people who do write about music on a regular basis is a much more diverse bunch.

"I don't think there was a golden age of music journalism, when you look back", Snapes continued, picking up on Savage's point. "I specifically had an experience with a Lester Bangs piece when Lou Reed died. I had to pull something out of the archives for NME and I found this Lester Bangs piece about him, and there were good parts in it, but it was full of rampant transphobia. The amount of good stuff that's from that supposed golden age is really minimal".

"When you look at music writing now, we're seeing so much more writing from people of colour, people of different gender identities, different racial backgrounds", she went on. "I think that is why we're in a golden age of music journalism now".

Though that's not to say that the music media doesn't have similar diversity issues to the music industry. There are a greater variety of voices than in the past, but the music journalist community could and should still be more diverse. Which brought the journalist panel to back where they started - in part one of our report - the fact that most music writers launch their careers by working for free.

"A lot of people can't afford to", Snapes said. "I have seen things to counteract that - there are great organisations that are helping to sponsor people if they can prove they are a great writer. But there is a long way to go still, and I think it's going to get harder for people from impoverished backgrounds. That's a shame for the entire music journalism industry, because we're not going to hear such diversity of opinion".

Though Savage offered some optimism, arguing that new channels are offering new opportunities to budding young journalists, and allowing a rise in video journalism. Referencing the grime scene, he said: "That whole generation live on YouTube and are making videos on YouTube. I think that that is where the next generation of journalists will come from".

And that's the next challenge for traditional music media too, Savage concluded, ie creating different kinds of content that work on the channels where younger consumers hang out. And that increasingly means audio and video content.

It's a challenge Savage's employer, the BBC, is trying to meet. "It's strange" he said, "we're a broadcast company. We're in the business of making television and film, but we really have to think about how we engage in video on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, because that is not our natural home. The audiences don't come to us anymore, we have to go to them. Our journalism is having to be refocused".

"When I do a written piece now, I quite often do a film version that doesn't go on the BBC website but lives on Facebook or another social channel", he added. "I suspect that the next generation of great music journalists will probably start in that sphere".

Check out all the reports and resources CMU has published around this year’s CMU Insights @ The Great Escape conferences here.


Approved: Káryyn
Having gained the attention and endorsement of Björk via her opera 'Of Light', Káryyn - "pronounced Kaa-RrrEEN (hard K, roll the R)" - has just released 'Yajna', the third in a series of electronic tracks collected under the title 'Quanta 11'.

Named after the term for any ritual performed in front of a sacred fire in Hinduism, 'Yajna' is a six and a half minute piece of masterful composition. She uses subtle shifts in the music to make grand gestures, as lyrically she tries to put forward the idea that those things that divide us are self-created illusions.

This is a theme she returns to from previous work, influenced by being an American with Syrian and Armenian family. The video for previous single 'Aleppo' is made up of home movie footage from a childhood visit to see family in the Syrian city, which sits in stark contrast to footage you might now see on the news.

Listen to 'Yajna' here.

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

Everything Everything announce new single, album
Everything Everything are back with a new single, 'Can't Do'. And what do singles mean? That's right, albums. Well, sometimes they do. Such as in this case, because the band will be releasing a new album, 'A Fever Dream', on 18 Aug. 'Can't Do' will be on it, just in case that wasn't clear.

"'Can't Do' is about trying to bend to the world and fit into it", says the band's Jonathan Higgs. "Nobody is normal, nobody knows what normal is. 'I can't do the thing you want' - we don't care we just want you to dance".

Check out the video here.


Ghostpoet announces new album, releases second single
Ghostpoet has announced that he will release his fourth album, 'Dark Days & Canapés', on 18 Aug. He's also put out the record's second single, 'Trouble + Me', the follow-up to the recently released 'Immigrant Boogie'.

"I'm usually more comfortable writing in ambiguous terms, but this time around I felt there were specific stories that needed telling", says Ghostpoet of the record. "There's a sort of life-force that [producer] Leo [Abrahams] and the other musicians brought to this record, and that was crucial. I want people to listen to the songs and be able to say, 'So it isn't just me then? Phew'".

Here's 'Trouble + Me'.


Wesley Gonzalez releases new single, announces tour dates
Ahead of the release of his debut album, 'Excellent Musician', later this month, Wesley Gonzalez has released a new single, 'Piece Of Mind'.

Of its video, which sees Gonzalez and his band performing at the Rio cinema in Dalston, he says: "We arrived at the Rio Cinema at 11.30pm on a Wednesday, full of piss and vinegar with a bag of cans. Joe, on the bass, had been working at a trendy food cart all day and was almost asleep by the time we got there - it didn't help that it was absolutely roasting outside".

"I was sweating profusely, constantly dabbed down by Euan and frequently re-applying my professional make up (one base of foundation with a bit of hair conditioner, very profesh)", he continues. "We finished at 5am, which helped accelerate the manic performances by the end. By the time I got home my flatmates were getting ready to go to work and presumed I was on the sesh, but as some work had been involved I could easily deny it".

How did the video turn out? Well, like this.

Gonzalez has also announced a UK tour, which you should absolutely attend. Here are the dates:

30 Jun: London, The Finsbury
22 Oct: Winchester, Railway
23 Oct: Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
24 Oct: Leeds, Optimo
25 Oct: Newcastle, Underground
26 Oct: Glasgow, Hug & Pint
28 Oct: Birmingham, Sunflower Lounge
29 Oct: Bristol, Louisiana
30 Oct: London, Moth Club
31 Oct: Manchester, Gullivers


First Access, Rob Stringer, The Killers, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Management firm First Access Entertainment has announced a deal with Warner/Chappell, which will now administrate and look for sync opportunities for First Access's music publishing interests. That includes songs from the likes of Liam Bailey, Ray Djan, Ashton Foster, Dwayne Alo, BB Diamond, Parri$ and Team Salut. First Access, of course, is a joint venture between Sarah Stennett and Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik.

• Sony Music big cheese Rob Stringer will be honoured at the next edition of the UK's Music Industry Trusts Award.

• The US version of Sony's RCA has promoted Sam Selolwane to the role of SVP Urban Promotions. She was previously just VP of Urban Promotions, and it's all about the 'S'.

• Live firm DHP Family has promoted Joshua Ward to the role of National Concert Promoter. Ward has had a marketing role at DHP Family for the last year, while also promoting shows in London under his own Girls & Boys brand.

• The Killers are back with a new single, 'The Man'. Their fifth album, 'Wonderful Wonderful', will be released later this year.

• Death From Above (now without the 1979 again) have released the video for new single 'Freeze Me'.

• Brian May and Kelly Ellis have released a new mix of 'Panic Attack', from their second album together. "This track is straight from the heart and is designed to bring light to your darkest moments", says May. "It works like a mood-altering drug". It doesn't.=

• Keep Shelly In Athens will release new album, 'Philokalia', on 29 Sep. From it, this is 'Leave In Silence'.

• Yung Blud has released the video for his debut single, 'King Charles'.

• Jain has released a new single, 'Dynabeat'. She'll also headline Village Underground in London on 20 Jun.

• Marika Hackman will be touring the UK in November, finishing up with a show at the Shepherds Bush Empire on 23 Sep.


Gene Simmons attempts to trademark 'devil horns' hand gesture
Kiss bassist Gene Simmons has filed a trademark application in the US for the 'devil horns' hand gesture now synonymous with rock and metal. He apparently claims that he came up with it and therefore any other artists who use it should pay him a royalty.

According to his filing, Simmons first used the hand gesture in a commercial setting on 14 Nov 1974, which The Hollywood Reporter reckons would be during Kiss's 'Hotter Than Hell' tour that year.

The claim is specifically aiming to trademark use of the symbol for "entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist". This suggests that Simmons is hoping to monetise other artists' tendency to flash the horns at their own shows.

This application presumably partly rests on Simmons being able to prove that he did indeed come up with the idea of pointing his index and little finger in the air. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, there are other settings in which it is used. Sticking with commercial use in music, John Lennon makes a similar sign on the cover of the 'Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby' double A-side single.

Meanwhile, in American Sign Language the gesture means "I love you", and in some countries your attempt to express your love of loud music might be read as an implication that another man's wife is cheating on him.

Also, when I was about eight, my friend Ray said that it was the worst hand sign you could make because it meant "every swearword at once". I'd be sceptical, but Ray also said that he'd done it to a passing a car and the driver had skidded to a halt, crashing into another parked car, and then chased him because he was so offended. I don't think Ray would lie about something like that.

Simmons' trademark filing doesn't say what he believes the sign to actually mean, just that he reckons he owns it.


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 (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 (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 or call 020 7099 9060
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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