TODAY'S TOP STORY: The music industry last night paid tribute to Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington who has died aged 41, seemingly by suicide. He died in LA at about 9am local time yesterday morning, local authorities have confirmed... [READ MORE]
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: This Jazz Café after hours club night sees one of my old favourites - Gilles P - take over the proceedings after an earlier Rolling Stones-themed choral event, of all things. Dom Servini is also on decks at this very fine looking night, plus there's Skinny Pelembe doing a live set, a fresh talent well worth checking out who leans towards the nu soul/jazz movement. [READ MORE]
BEEF OF THE WEEK: So, Viagogo then. Via-fucking-gogo. You know Viagogo right? Wanna see a popstar perform their pop songs? Want to pay over the odds for the privilege? Like doing business with shady shits? Then Via-fucking-gogo is for you. In the early days of secondary ticketing, Viagogo were well chatty. [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's 'fake' artist 'scandal', Kylie and Kendall Jenner's legal battle over what constitutes copyright infringement when printing t-shirts, and the Mansfield radio station battling repeated unwanted intrusions by a wanker. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
LATEST CMU TRENDS: Rarely a week goes by in the music business news these days without at least one catalogue acquisition. But who - other than labels and publishers - is buying music rights, and why? Are there opportunities for individual artists and songwriters to do deals with professional investors? And how do you even value music rights? Ahead of a Music 4.5 event exploring all these topics, CMU Trends reviews the music rights market - past, present and future. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Warner Music leads tributes to Chester Bennington
LEGAL Statutory music rights database proposed in US Congress
LIVE BUSINESS Two Olly Murs shows cancelled after promoter goes bust
UTA hires David Zedeck to lead its music division
MEDIA BPI welcomes BBC's new prime-time music show
ARTIST NEWS French singer Barbara Weldens dies during festival performance
West planning to diss Jay-Z back on his next record
RELEASES Mary Epworth puts out surprising new single
GIGS & FESTIVALS KLF return with a three day situation in Liverpool
AND FINALLY... Beef Of The Week #364: The parliamentary representatives for Selby & Ainsty and Washington & Sunderland West v Viagogo's security guard
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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

Warner Music leads tributes to Chester Bennington
The music industry last night paid tribute to Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington who has died aged 41, seemingly by suicide. He died in LA at about 9am local time yesterday morning, local authorities have confirmed.

Bennington joined what became Linkin Park in 1999, the year before the release of the band's debut album 'Hybrid Theory'. He enjoyed a long career with the outfit - the band's seventh album, 'One More Light', was released in May - and also had a two year stint fronting Stone Temple Pilots.

He had spoken candidly about his struggles with drink and drug addiction in various interviews over the years, and also about the abusive childhood he endured.

In 2011 he told The Guardian: "When I was young, getting beaten up and pretty much raped was no fun. No one wants that to happen to you and honestly, I don't remember when it started ... My God, no wonder I became a drug addict. No wonder I just went completely insane for a little while".

Bandmate Mike Shinoda confirmed the news of Bennington's passing on Twitter yesterday, writing "shocked and heartbroken, but it's true", before adding: "An official statement will come out as soon as we have one".

Echoing the sentiments of the flood of artists and industry people paying tribute to Bennington on the social networks as news of his death broke, the boss of the band's long-time label, Warner Bros' Cameron Strang, said: "Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul".

He went on: "Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his bandmates and his many friends. All of us at WBR join with millions of grieving fans around the world in saying: we love you Chester and you will be forever missed".

If you are experiencing mental distress or other issues affecting your mental wellbeing, you can contact The Samaritans on 116 123 or music industry focussed helpline Music Support on 0800 030 6789 or at The Mind website also offers information and support on a range of mental health issues.


Statutory music rights database proposed in US Congress
While the American music industry was busy welcoming proposed legislation to overcome the 1972 quirk in US copyright law earlier this week, the MIC Coalition - which lobbies on music rights issues for the radio, tech and hospitality sectors - has been bigging up another music-themed proposal in Washington.

The Transparency In Music Licensing & Ownership Act has been proposed by Republicans Jim Sensenbrenner, Blake Farenthold and Steve Chabot as well as Democrat Suzan DelBene, and would oblige the US Copyright Office to build a publicly accessible database of music rights ownership information, while limiting the remedies available to copyright owners if they fail to provide the required data for the new system.

The lack of a publically-accessible central database of music rights information - linking recordings to songs and listing who currently owns and/or controls those works - has been much debated within the music community for years now, of course. The lack of such a database has always been an issue, though it has become much more of a problem in the digital era, especially on the music publishing side.

Attempts by the music publishing sector to build a Global Repertoire Database failed, though various other initiatives continue in the music rights data domain, many involving the collecting societies who, generally, have the best data available, even if it is not fully comprehensive or publicly available. And, of course, there has been much chatter in the last couple of years about how the blockchain could help distribute music rights data.

One of the reasons for the lack of a decent music rights database is that in most countries copyright is an unregistered right, so there is no central registry where copyright owners log their works as they are created. Actually, in the US there is some copyright registration overseen by the Copyright Office, though that hasn't helped much, confirmed by the total mess around the payment of mechanical royalties on songs Stateside that has resulted in multiple lawsuits involving songwriters and streaming services.

Under the Transparency In Music Licensing & Ownership Act, the US Copyright Office would be required "to establish and maintain a current informational database of musical works and sound recordings", and to that end would have the power "to hire employees and contractors, promulgate regulations, and spend appropriated funds necessary and appropriate to carry out these functions". The resulting database would have to be "publicly accessible ... in its entirety and without charge, and in a format that reflects current technological practices, and that is updated on a real-time basis".

In many ways, that sounds like just the sort of thing that everyone in the music community has been busy agreeing should be built. Though music rights owners won't necessarily welcome the stick in the proposed legislation that forces them to participate and to ensure they provide all the data the Copyright Office would need.

The proposals would also "limit the remedies available to a copyright owner to bring an infringement action for violation of the exclusive right to perform publicly, reproduce or distribute a musical work or sound recording if that owner has failed to provide or maintain the minimum information required in the database".

Commenting on the proposed transparency act, Sensenbrenner said: "When it comes to rules and regulations, simpler is always better. Streamlining the music licensing process into one, easily accessible database is a straightforward way to help our nation's business owners while ensuring copyright owners are fairly compensated for their work".

Backing the proposals, the MIC Coalition said: "All stakeholders in the music marketplace benefit when current and accurate information about copyright ownership and licensing is easily accessible. Despite explosive growth in access to information online, no comprehensive and actionable database of music copyright ownership and licensing exists today. Instead, there are a small number of proprietary databases that cover only some copyrighted works, like those maintained by the performing rights organisations that license song performances".

Listing its issues with those proprietary databases, the Coalition went on: "Those databases are not only not comprehensive or interoperable, they explicitly state that users cannot rely on the information to make licensing decisions. As a result, businesses that offer music have no ability to make rational decisions about which licences best fit their music needs".

Continuing, the MIC statement states: "The lack of an authoritative public database creates problems for venues and small businesses including restaurants, taverns, wineries, and hotels. For example, venues are declining to host live musicians rather than risk potential liability due to lack of up-to-date and actionable licensing information. The lack of a database is also a challenge for local broadcasters and digital music streaming services that rely on accurate copyright information to provide music to millions of consumers".

Concluding, the MIC says it "believes that transparency is a necessary baseline in creating a more sustainable and equitable system" and that therefore "this legislation is an essential step to promoting a vibrant economy for music and greater fairness in the music marketplace overall".


Two Olly Murs shows cancelled after promoter goes bust
The promoter of two Olly Murs shows in Devon and Dorset has gone under meaning that at least some ticketholders will be relying on their banks and credit card providers for a refund. Others will seek their money back from ticket agents.

The shows at Exeter's Powderham Castle and Kings Park in Bournemouth were being promoted by Stephen C Associates Limited, which has confirmed that it has ceased trading.

In a statement, the business said: "We deeply regret to inform you that the company Stephen C Associates Limited has ceased to trade. It is insolvent and is expected to go into liquidation shortly. As a result, the company is not in a position to offer you a refund".

The statement goes on: "If you bought VIP packages with a credit card, you should contact your credit card company immediately and ask them to refund your money. If you have purchased your tickets through one of the nominated ticket agents you should contact them in the first instance".

The firm's collapse affects the two Murs shows - due to take place on 29 Jul and 5 Aug - and a BSO Last Night Of The Proms concert that was also due to occur at Powderham Castle. Local media report that the concert promoter had been having financial difficulties since at least January this year.

Commenting about the situation on Twitter earlier this week, Murs said: "I'm so gutted for my fans in Exeter and Bournemouth. Although it's out of my control I'm still so sorry and hope I can get to see you all soon!"


UTA hires David Zedeck to lead its music division
Booking agency United Talent has head hunted David Zedeck from live giant Live Nation to become its Global Head Of Music, as well as a partner and special advisor to the board. UTA says that Zedeck will be based out of its LA office and will "oversee the company's rapidly expanding worldwide music business".

Zedeck had been at Live Nation since 2012, but prior to that worked at another major talent agency, CAA. He will report into UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer in his new job, and will also work alongside Neil Warnock, who was put in charge of UTA's music division after it bought his company The Agency Group in 2015 and who, the company says, "continues in an important leadership role within the music division".

Confirming the new hire, Zimmer said: "We are excited to have a professional of David's standing lead our team of great agents and executives. His vision of full-service representation meshes exactly with where we have been taking the department. His track record of developing artists, his passion for music, and his understanding of how to use all the resources of an agency make David the perfect leader for our future".

Zedeck himself added: "Joining UTA during a period when its music business is accelerating is an amazing opportunity. UTA has a commitment to developing artists and helping them create platforms to share their music with fans around the world. Throughout my career I have been dedicated to working with artists to grow their global audience, so I'm very excited to return to the agency business to lead UTA's music group".


BPI welcomes BBC's new prime-time music show
Record industry trade group the BPI has welcomed the news that the BBC is launching a new prime-time music show, saying that it has long encouraged the Beeb to put a regular music-based programme back into its prime-time schedule.

As previously reported, the BBC is working with independent production firm Fulwell 73 on the new music show, which will initially air over a six week period. In addition to bands singing their songs, the new 30 minute programme will also feature celebrity co-hosts and comedy sketches, which don't have to be awful. I mean, they sound awful in principle, but we're an open-minded bunch here at CMU and are willing to wait and see what the new show is like. Even though it will probably be awful.

Confirming the various reports that a new pop music telly show had now been fully commissioned, BBC Music boss Bob Shennan said earlier this week: "The BBC is the biggest music broadcaster in the UK and we are always looking for new ways to bring music to our audiences. This series will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the biggest and best UK and international bands and artists and we're looking forward to working with one of the world's most innovative and creative TV production companies".

Meanwhile Gabe Turner over at Fulwell 73 said: "The BBC's heritage in creating and broadcasting world class music TV is second to none - their classic music shows were a big part of our childhoods growing up as fans devouring everything pop culture. The range of genres and different styles that people are listening to now is more diverse than ever before, and it's a great time to be making a show that gives a mainstream TV platform to the most exciting stuff out there".

The record industry has been pushing for a regular prime-time music show on BBC One ever since the demise of 'Top Of The Pops', so labels will be hoping that this new format works and results in a more regular airing beyond the initial six weeks.

Welcoming the news, BPI boss Geoff Taylor said: "The BPI has been working hard to encourage the BBC to launch a new prime-time music series on TV, as part of its remit to showcase British culture and entertainment to the nation. It's something we care deeply about, so we're THRILLED that this new initiative can now be publicly announced. We wish the BBC and Fulwell 73 every success with the new programming, which will introduce many more fans to the fantastic new talent this country produces and will help sustain the success of British music at home and around the world".


Vigsy's Club Tip: Night Thing presents Gilles Peterson at Jazz Café
This Jazz Café after hours club night sees one of my old favourites - Gilles P - take over the proceedings after an earlier Rolling Stones-themed choral event, of all things.

Dom Servini is also on decks at this very fine looking night, plus there's Skinny Pelembe doing a live set, a fresh talent well worth checking out who leans towards the nu soul/jazz movement.

Should be a cracker at this cool Camden venue.

Friday 21 Jul, The Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PG, 10.30pm-3.00am, £15. More info here.

French singer Barbara Weldens dies during festival performance
An up and coming French singer called Barbara Weldens - who won acclaim for debut album 'Le Grand H De L'Homme' earlier this year - died on Wednesday night after collapsing during a performance at a festival.

The cause of her death has not been confirmed, but it is thought she went into cardiac arrest during the show, and local media have reported that the incident may have been the result of electrocution.

Weldens was performing in a church in a village in south-west France as part of the Léo Ferré Festival. Police confirmed to L'Europe1 that they were investigating the circumstances behind Weldens' death, including the theory that it was caused by some sort of electrical malfunction.

Among those paying tribute to the singer were the organisers of the Pic D'Or Prize, which Weldens won last year, and who said: "It was with great emotion that we learned this morning of the death of Barbara Weldens ... she was a radiant woman, talented and full of energy, and of course we are thinking of all her family and her loved ones".


West planning to diss Jay-Z back on his next record
Fans of hip hop squabbles will be pleased to know that Kanye West is planning on responding to Jay-Z's little digs on his new album '4:44' via the long proven dispute-resolving medium of rap. Or at least that's according to The Joe Budden Podcast.

As previously reported, Jay-Z's lyrical disses of West came along just as reports circulated of legal letters being sent back and forth between the latter's attorney and legal rep's for the former's Tidal business, seemingly in a dispute over monies West reckons he is owed for providing the streaming firm with an exclusive on the 'Life Of Pablo' album.

Discussing the beef, Joe Budden Podcast co-host Mal said: "I had a cool little conversation with Kanye in LA. He said he's got a few words in response to what Jay had on '4:44' when his next record comes out".

Continuing, the podcast host added of his chit chat with West: "There's some malice. He wasn't smiling. He was smiling before that conversation started".

So there you have it. The podcast is here.


Mary Epworth puts out surprising new single
Sunday Best has put out the second single from Mary Epworth's new album, Elytral, which is due out in September. The new track is called 'Surprise Yourself' and was inspired by some good old fashioned writer's block, or more how Epworth experimented her way out of the constraints of self-imposed expectations.

Don't know what I mean? Well, here's Epworth herself with an explanation. "The making of 'Elytral' started with what was probably writer's block", she says. "I felt stymied by my own expectations that what I had to write had to be important, life changing, or the greatest thing anyone would ever hear".

She goes on: "I was stuck and felt powerless to create any new songs. Eventually I started to tinker with the bits of music that had been popping into my head, just treating it as play. I became out of my depth creatively, playing instruments I don't usually play, relying less on other people to flesh things out and tell me that they made sense. I felt totally free as to where the song went. So this is a song about that process of freeing yourself from your own self-imposed limitations".

'Surprise Yourself' here.


KLF return with a three day situation in Liverpool
The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu promised they would return this summer, and now we have actual details of how that return will play out. Though don't be expecting any music. You will, however, get both a book and a "situation".

Faber & Faber will publish a novel from Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, probably better known as The KLF, on 23 Aug, at the start of an event on Merseyside called 'Liverpool: Welcome To The Dark Ages'.

Billed as a "three day situation", each day of 'Welcome To The Dark Ages' has a title - day one is 'Why Did The K Foundation Burn A Million Quid?'; day two is '2023 - What The Fuuk Is Going On?'; and day three is 'The Rites Of MuMufication'.

The official announcement of these festivities adds that "there will only be 400 tickets available; there are no guest lists; there are no press passes", before delivering a warning that "the Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu in any of their various past, present or future guises will not be performing music". So consider yourself duly warned.


Beef Of The Week #364: The parliamentary representatives for Selby & Ainsty and Washington & Sunderland West v Viagogo's security guard
So, Viagogo then. Via-fucking-gogo. You know Viagogo right? Wanna see a popstar perform their pop songs? Want to pay over the odds for the privilege? Like doing business with shady shits? Then Via-fucking-gogo is for you.

In the early days of secondary ticketing, Viagogo were well chatty. Whenever anything of note happened in the world of gigs and tours, there were Viagogo's PR reps on the phone telling us that the ticket resale site's founder Eric Baker was well opinionated on this issue, or topic, or development, and would be well up for chit chatting about it - hell, fuck doing an interview, that sounds like hard work, have a pre-prepared quote on us.

But then, as secondary ticketing went from being annoying to being controversial to being scandalous to being an enemy of the people, Viagogo stopped sending us a steady stream of PR emails and instead relocated to a cave in Switzerland where the company employed a new corporate communications strategy something along the lines of "la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, we can't hear you!"

We've tried our best to see if there are any hidden messages contained within the constant stream of ads that Viagogo posts onto Google - ads designed to make less web-savvy customers assume that the touted tickets the platform sells are somehow official - though we've not as yet been able to ascertain any substantial meaning from those blurbs. Except that we possibly disagree on the definition of the word 'official'.

With ticket touting back on the political agenda in the UK, partly due to MP Sharon Hodgson refusing to let the issue lie, and partly as a result of the music community launching its FanFair campaign, Viagogo were invited to attend a select committee hearing on the secondary ticketing market back in March.

Now, when a parliamentary select committee invites you to attend one of their hearings what they really mean is "you better fucking show up you fuckers, or we'll fucking kill you". Though it would be considered somewhat unparliamentary to actually write that, and technically they don't have the constitutional power to kill you.

Viagogo decided to interpret the invite as just that and politely declined the opportunity to face off MPs who had already given the company's rivals quite the grilling in a previous session. At the time the chair of Parliament's culture select committee, Damian Collins MP, said that he felt "considerable disappointment that Viagogo have decided not to send a representative despite the fact that they have a substantial office on Cannon Street".

Committee member Nigel Huddleston MP was a little more forthright, remarking that Viagogo had shown "if not contempt for Parliament, a lack of respect to Parliament and by extension the British public".

Then, of course, there was that silly General Election and Parliament wound itself down for the big vote. However, in a letter earlier this week, the aforementioned Hodgson, MP for Washington & Sunderland West, and her ally on this issue from the other benches, Nigel Adams, MP for Selby & Ainsty, confirmed to the powers that be at Viagogo that they and their parliamentary colleagues still had a bunch of questions they'd like answering.

They also noted that it had been discovered Viagogo was now operating from a new office in London on Fenchurch Street, but that the receptionist in the new building seemed to have been instructed to deny the firm's presence. "We find this an odd practice for a company that contends it is behaving in an entirely above-board manner", they wrote.

Assuming that the chances of getting a reply to their letter from the secretive top guard at Viagogo were pretty low, Hodgson and Adams yesterday decided to call on the secondary ticketing firm directly at their nice new London base, at least to hand over a hard copy of their missive in person.

They were joined by representatives from the aforementioned FanFair campaign, aggrieved former Viagogo customers and the promoter of Ed Sheeran's 2018 stadium shows that - unlike its competitors - Viagogo has refused to block from resale, despite Team Sheeran's pledge to cancel every touted ticket.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Viagogo wasn't especially welcoming to the visitors, sending out a security guard to get rid. Security told the MPs and campaigners that their employers "don't want to see you", before threatening to call the police if they didn't fuck off.

Adams told The Guardian: "Viagogo told Parliament they couldn't attend the [culture select committee] inquiry because they are registered in Switzerland and do not have adequate representation in the UK. But we have found that they have this secret office so we have come here to meet them in person".

Hodgson added: "In my twelve years in Parliament I've never been turned away. We're just trying to politely represent our constituents and Parliament. Normally if you go and see someone [as an MP] you get the most senior person to sit down and talk to you, but here we've been told if we don't leave they will call the police".

Adams concluded: "We're both reasonable members of parliament and all we want is to drop off a letter. It's extraordinary that we are being turned away. This is clearly a shifty, slippery and secretive company".

So, Viagogo then. Via-fucking-gogo. Wanna an overpriced ticket to an Ed Sheeran show that will almost certainly be cancelled before you get to the venue? Step right up. Want to discuss the ethics and practices of secondary ticketing? You know where you can go. Where you can Viagogo. Where you can Via-fucking-gogo.


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.
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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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