TODAY'S TOP STORY: The first verse of the iconic protest song 'We Shall Overcome' is definitely public domain in the US. This follows a summary judgement on part of the copyright dispute in relation to the work that has been strolling its way through the American courts for more than a year now... [READ MORE]
Copyright provides creators with control over that which they create, but what happens when the creators themselves don't own the copyright in their work? Artists and songwriters who are no longer in control of their copyrights do still have some rights, sometimes by contract, and via performer and moral rights. CMU Trends considers what the law says about the rights of artists and songwriters after their copyrights have been assigned. [READ MORE]
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? CMU Trends reviews the music rights market - past, present and future. [READ MORE]
While the challenges faced by the music industry - and especially the record industry - since the mainstream adoption of the internet in the early 2000s have been widely documented, the music media - and especially the music press - 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. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES First verse of We Shall Overcome public domain, says US judge
LEGAL Murder investigation launched after woman found dead at Bestival
Sharebeast operator pleads guilty to copyright infringement
Minnesota court upholds ruling over rejected Prince heirs
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Universal hires Stefan Demetriou to ramp up Globe's audio-visuals
ARTIST NEWS Little Barrie drummer Virgil Howe dies
Chainsmokers apologise for Chinese dog meat gag
RELEASES Ane Brun releases Radiohead cover ahead of new album
ONE LINERS CTS Eventim, AIM, The Damned, more
AND FINALLY... HMV denies refusing to stock new Morrissey album
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Domino Recording Co is looking for a Senior International Marketing Manager with five years+ proven experience in international marketing and promotions, including the running of global campaigns. The International Marketing Manager’s core responsibility is to oversee international campaigns for our artists from the inception of the campaign strategy to rollout.

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Digital Deals, Dollars And Trends - Explained!
MASTERCLASS | Monday 18 September 2017, London | INFO
This half day masterclass, presented by CMU MD and Business Editor Chris Cooke, will explain how digital music platforms are licensed and royalties distributed, as well as reviewing the digital market in 2017 and which services are leading in terms of users and revenue.
How The Music Business Works
SEMINARS | from Monday 25 September 2017, London | INFO
Our 'How The Music Business Works' programme consists of eight two-hour seminars which together cover: the various ways the music industry generates revenue, building and engaging a fanbase, the business partnerships artists form with music companies, and how the artist/label relationship is changing.
Enforcing Music Rights - Safe Harbours And Piracy
MASTERCLASS | Monday 20 November 2017, London | INFO
In this half day masterclass, CMU MD and Business Editor Chris Cooke will look at how the music industry enforces its copyrights, at the long-running battle with online music piracy, and at the controversy around the copyright safe harbour.

First verse of We Shall Overcome public domain, says US judge
The first verse of the iconic protest song 'We Shall Overcome' is definitely public domain in the US. This follows a summary judgement on part of the copyright dispute in relation to the work that has been strolling its way through the American courts for more than a year now.

As previously reported, a lawsuit was filed over the copyright status of 'We Shall Overcome' in April last year. The people behind the lawsuit argue that the song is no longer protected by copyright in the US, and in a bid to prove that fact they hired the lawyers who previously successfully argued that 'Happy Birthday' was also out of copyright Stateside.

One of the defendants in the case was Ludlow Music, which registered the song with the US Copyright Office in the early 1960s. However, versions of the work had been published prior to that date, most notably by an organisation involving folk singer Pete Seeger in the 1940s. Seeger is very much associated with the song, and amended and added to it over the years, though the actual origins of the original version are not known.

Either way, by US copyright rules of the time, any copyright that existed in the 1940s published version expired sometime ago. However, Ludlow Music argues that the version filed with the Copyright Office in the 1960s was an evolution of the song and therefore a derivative work subject to a separate copyright. Which it controls.

However, last year's lawsuit argued that there were only nominal differences between the most famous first verse of the 1960s version and that which was published in the 1940s, meaning - for that verse at least - no new copyright had been created by the registration. Which would mean that verse was public domain.

There are some definite differences between the 1940s and 1960s versions, so the question for the judge was whether or not these differences were sufficient to constitute the creation of a new derivative work protected by a separate copyright. In her summary judgement last week, judge Denise Cote concluded they were not.

She wrote: "The plaintiffs have more than carried their burden on summary judgement to show that verse one of the song lacks the originality required for protection as a derivative work. The burden having shifted to them, the defendants have failed to offer evidence of originality that raises a material question of fact requiring a jury trial".

Noting that the key difference honed in on by the defence was the change from "we will overcome" to "we shall overcome", Cote added: "This single word substitution is quintessentially trivial and does not raise a question of fact requiring a trial to assess whether it is more than trivial. The words will and shall are both common words. Neither is unusual. Grammatically, both words perform similar functions in a phrase or sentence, as they were here. They can be readily substituted".

To that end, Cote ruled in the plaintiff's favour over the copyright status of the first verse: it is public domain.

However, the litigation is not entirely at an end, as there were other elements of the case that Cote said would require full trial. In particular allegations that the 1960s copyright registrations were fraudulent, which could result in the entire version of the song registered at that time being deemed public domain too. Those arguments will need to go before a jury.

Mark C Rifkin, a lawyer working for the plaintiffs, unsurprisingly welcomed last week's ruling, telling the New York Times: "We are delighted with the court's ruling today giving this iconic civil rights song back to the public".

Meanwhile, a rep for the defence, Paul V LiCalsi, added: "We do believe that the changes made to the first verse were significant and iconic, and we are very disappointed in this ruling, which takes the determination away from a jury".


Murder investigation launched after woman found dead at Bestival
A 25 year old woman, Louella Michie, was found dead on the site of this year's Bestival festival, it was confirmed by police yesterday. A 28 year old man is being held on suspicion of her murder. However, her family have said that they believe the model and dancer's death was a "tragic accident".

Michie was the daughter of 'Holby City' actor John Michie and former Hot Gossip dancer Carol Fletcher. Her body was reportedly found in the Ambient Forest area of the festival site in the early hours of Monday morning. Police said that a man had been arrested on suspicion of murder "to enable officers to conduct an interview under caution to help establish the full circumstances". John Michie's agent later confirmed in a statement that it was the actor's daughter who had died.

Meanwhile, a police spokesperson said: "Following the discovery of the woman's body we have now launched an investigation into her death. We have specially trained officers supporting her family at this very difficult time. Inquiries are now under way to establish how she died. A postmortem examination will be carried out in due course and this should give us more of an indication as to the cause of her death".

Speaking to The Sun yesterday evening, John Michie said that he believed Louella's death was "a tragic accident" and not murder.

"We've lost our angel", he said. "It's not murder - they were friends. It was just a tragic mistake, a tragic accident. This was not a murder. She touched so many lives. She was so very positive, so bright, so out there. She had such energy. The tributes to her have been incredible".

In a statement, Bestival organisers said: "Following today's news announcement, the team at Bestival are devastated to hear about this tragic news. We continue to support the police in their ongoing investigation and our thoughts and prayers are with all the woman's family and friends".


Sharebeast operator pleads guilty to copyright infringement
The man behind the Sharebeast piracy operation has pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement two years after American authorities seized his domains.

As previously reported, when the US Department Of Justice moved to shut down the Sharebeast set-up in 2015, the Recording Industry Association Of America said that the piracy network was "responsible for the distribution of a massive library of popular albums and tracks and has been particularly problematic in its distribution of pre-release leaks of thousands of songs".

Sharebeast operator Artur Sargsyan was subsequently charged with criminal copyright infringement, ultimately leading to last week's guilty plea.

Confirming that development, US Attorney John Horn told reporters: "Through Sharebeast and other related sites, this defendant profited by illegally distributing copyrighted music and albums on a massive scale. The collective work of the FBI and our international law enforcement partners have shut down the Sharebeast websites and prevented further economic losses by scores of musicians and artists".

Meanwhile, speaking for the feds, the FBI's David J LeValley added: "This is another example of how the FBI and its international law enforcement partners, working together, make it difficult for criminals to profit from illegal activities on the internet. Illegally making money off of the talent of hard working artists will not go unpunished thanks to the dedication and hard work of our FBI agents".

For the record industry, the authorities taking criminal action against file-sharing set-ups is in many ways a double win. First, it means law enforcement do most of the legwork. Plus, it's generally believed that criminal sanctions are more likely to prove a deterrent to other pirates than civil damages, especially piracy purveyors based in the US who are of limited means, for whom the threat of mega-bucks damages that they could never afford to pay anyway don't seem quite real.

The RIAA's piracy boss Brad Buckles welcomed the news of Sargsyan's guilty plea, stating that: "Sharebeast and its related sites represented the most popular network of infringing music sites operated out of the United States. The network was responsible for providing millions of downloads of popular music files including unauthorised pre-release albums and tracks. This illicit activity was a gut-punch to music creators who were paid nothing by the service".

He went on: "We are incredibly grateful for the government's commitment to protecting the rights of artists and labels. We especially thank the dedicated agents of the FBI who painstakingly unravelled this criminal enterprise, and US Attorney John Horn and his team for their work and diligence in seeing this case to its successful conclusion".


Minnesota court upholds ruling over rejected Prince heirs
The Minnesota Court Of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that said the descendents of a man Prince regarded as a brother do not qualify as heirs to the late musician's estate.

As previously reported, Prince died last year without making a will, and an assortment of people subsequently came forward claiming to be his heirs. The courts rejected various such claims before confirming the pop star's siblings and half-siblings as beneficiaries of his estate.

Brianna Nelson and Victoria Nelson were among the rejected claimants. They are respectively daughter and granddaughter of the late Duane Nelson Sr, who was not a blood relative of Prince, but - the two women argued - was nevertheless raised by the musician's father as if he was his son. To that end, they added, Prince regarded Duane as a brother.

The two Nelsons appealed the initial ruling, but appeal judges concluded that the lower court applied the relevant Minnesota laws correctly when rejecting the two women's claims to heir status.


Universal hires Stefan Demetriou to ramp up Globe's audio/visuals
Universal Music UK has announced that former EMI and Warner exec Stefan Demetriou will join its Globe Productions unit next month in a move which - says the major - "brings one of the UK music industry's most celebrated audiovisual creatives together with Universal Music's market-leading, Oscar-winning creative and commercial partnerships division".

The new hire - coupled with filmmaking facilities that will be installed in Universal's new UK HQ at Kings Cross when it opens next year - will enable Globe to "take audio/visual A&R to the next level". Apparently.

Now, I've no idea what that means. And I'm guessing you have no idea what that means either. Audiovisual A&R, hey? But I'm pretty sure Universal Music UK boss David Joseph will clear it all up with his customary quote.

Says he: "The synergy between the worlds of music and visual has never been more relevant, with story-telling visual A&R now an essential part of any successful creative campaign. Our investment in this area will give artists and managers something way ahead of any current offering".

See, it's all about synergies and story-telling visual A&R! Consider everything fully explained. And good luck Stefan, we will watch all your multifarious synergistic story-telling visual A&R exploits with intrigue.


Approved: Ellis May
Ellis May is the stage name of composer and sound designer Sophia Maj, whose immense talent bursts out of the two singles she's released so far this year.

First track 'Old Love' was released in March and features a sparse arrangement used to immense effect. The newly released 'Surrender' follows a similar formula, stepping up the intensity and energy in her production another level as it pulses and heaves.

"I finished 'Surrender' a few months after my son's birth", she recently told The Line Of Best Fit. "I was stressed about not maintaining my identity as a musician, and only having time to care for my child and family - I could stop being 'myself' but not stop doing what I do. The first time we looked into the eyes of our newborn, I could do nothing but surrender myself to the love, to the family, to making room for the undefined and the stuff that can't be promised".

Listen to 'Surrender' here.

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

Little Barrie drummer Virgil Howe dies
Little Barrie drummer Virgil Howe has died, aged 42. He was the son of Yes guitarist Steve Howe and the news was confirmed via the prog rock band's Facebook page last night. The cause of death has not yet been made public.

Formed in 2000, Little Barrie are currently best known for writing the theme tune to 'Breaking Bad' spin-off 'Better Call Saul'. The band released their latest album, 'Death Express', in July, and were due to begin a UK tour in Cambridge tonight.

Announcing the news of Howe's death, Yes said that they were cancelling the remainder of their current tour, explaining: "Due to the tragic, unexpected death of guitarist Steve Howe's beloved younger son, Virgil, Yes regrettably announces that the remaining dates of their Yestival Tour have been cancelled. Ticket refunds for the affected tour dates (in Moorhead, Cedar Rapids, London, Rochester, Boston and Huntington) will be available at point of purchase".

They continued: "Yes - Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood - want to thank all their fans for their support and understanding at this time.
Steve Howe and family ask for their privacy to be respected during this difficult time".

Little Barrie premiered the video for new single 'Produkt' yesterday.


Chainsmokers apologise for Chinese dog meat gag
The Chainsmokers have apologised for a comment made in a recent interview in China, in which the duo's Alex Pall joked that he was worried that Chinese people might eat his dog.

Following an appearance at the Ultra China festival over the weekend, the EDM act posted a video to Twitter discussing their trip. Answering a question about taking his pet dog on tour, Pall said that he'd take her everywhere with him if he could, before quipping: "Well, I don't know if I'd bring her to China".

The video was quickly taken down - although not before being screengrabbed by Buzzfeed - after it sparked a negative reaction from people angry that Pall played into the stereotype that Chinese people eat dogs, and others more angry that he would joke about the serious issue of people in China eating dogs.

In a statement, Pall responded to the controversy, saying: "I made a comment in an interview about being hesitant to bring my dog, Cheddar, to China, because I have read reports about dogs being slaughtered in certain provinces. We originally posted a video to share how much we love China and our fans there. We would never intentionally do anything to upset our fans and we apologise if we offended anyone".

He then posted a link to the website of a charity which works to end the practice of slaughtering and eating dogs in China, in particular at the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival. Though polls show that the majority of people in China are against that event and the slaughter of dogs in general, so suggesting that his own dog would be at risk in the country still makes Pall look a bit of an arse.


Ane Brun releases Radiohead cover ahead of new album
Ane Brun will release an album of covers called 'Leave Me Breathless' on 3 Nov. The album will feature her take on songs originally performed by Elvis, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Mariah Carey and more.

Also on the tracklist is her version of Radiohead's 'How To Disappear Completely', which began in a very different setting to the recording studio.

"I'm a huge Radiohead fan", she explains. "They are one of the bands that keep inspiring me over and over, and I have a deep respect for them. And I also really love this song! And as it turned out I got a request to perform it at a very emotional occasion. I was asked to play at the funeral for Crispin Bevington, one of the five people who were killed in the Stockholm terrorist attack of 7 Apr 2017".

She continues: "Crispin and his wife loved this song, and she specifically asked me to perform it at the ceremony. I later recorded it in the Atlantis studio in Stockholm with keyboardist Klabbe Hörngren of Swedish jazz/electronica project Klabbes Bank. I felt that this turned out so beautiful and I wanted to include it on my album to honour Crispin's memory".

Listen to the song here.


CTS Eventim, AIM, The Damned, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Ticketing firm CTS Eventim has announced a deal to take a majority stake in Italian promoter Vertigo. "Italy is already one of the most important markets for our company, so entering the live entertainment segment there is a logical step in our ongoing internationalisation", says CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.

• The Association Of Independent Festivals has announced more details about its Festival Congress, including a headline panel discussion on the organisation's 'Safer Spaces' campaign featuring Kate Lloyd from Time Out, Rebecca Hitchen from Rape Crisis South London, Tracey Wise from Safe Gigs For Women and Ami Lord from Standon Calling. More info here. The event is on 30 and 31 Oct.

• Having announced plans to record a new album earlier this year, The Damned have now booked in Tony Visconti to produce it. "He's been at the top of our producer list since we first started thinking about recording the album, dream come true he's on board", say the band.

• Wolf Alice have released the video for new single 'Beautifully Unconventional'. Their new albums, 'Visions Of A Life', is out later this month.

• Susanne Sundfør has announced that she will play the Shepherds Bush Empire on 1 Mar next year. Holy shit her new album is stunning.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


HMV denies refusing to stock new Morrissey album
HMV has denied claims that it is refusing to stock the new Morrissey album, 'Low In High School', due to its artwork. The record is due out through BMG in November.

Over the weekend artist Linder Sterling posted the artwork in question to Instagram, later deleting it. It features a boy standing outside the gates of Buckingham Palace with a sign reading "axe the monarchy" in one hand and an axe in the other.

Fansite Morrissey-Solo.com then published claims that HMV was refusing to stock the release on the grounds that its artwork is "offensive", and that "the entire campaign is in jeopardy unless Morrissey and his record company rethink the album cover".

Following a bit of uproar from the sorts of people who enjoy that kind of thing, HMV issued a statement on Twitter, saying: "Contrary to reports, HMV have not refused to stock the new Morrissey album. BMG shared the artwork with us last week and we are looking forward to continuing to work with BMG on the forthcoming release".

It continued: "For the second time this year, it appears Morrissey's camp have made a statement about HMV without being fully aware of the facts".

That latter point was a reference to claims made by Morrissey himself earlier this year that the retailer was attempting to suppress sales of the limited edition vinyl reissue of The Smiths' 'The Queen Is Dead' single. The musician claimed in June that by limiting sales of that reissue to one per customer, HMV was making "an attempt to freeze sales" because "The Smiths are still thought too radical".

The retailer countered that it was just trying to stop people buying up copies in bulk to sell at hiked up prices on eBay. Either way, the release sold out in around 24 hours and loads of them ended up on eBay.

When it comes to limiting access to his music, Morrissey is actually better at this himself than any retailer. His last album, 'World Peace Is None Of Your Business', was withdrawn from sale shortly after its release when Morrissey cancelled his licensing deal with Universal's Harvest Records. He attempted to find a new label to re-release the record, but no one really fancied it.

Last month, it was announced that BMG would release the new album, which will hopefully stay on the shelves of HMV (and everywhere else) for a bit longer this time.

BMG itself issued a statement yesterday confirming that HMV had not attempted to censor the new release. The company's recordings man Korda Marshall said: "Suggestions that HMV is trying to censor Morrissey are wide of the mark. What is true is that the level of excitement and interest in what Morrissey has got to say on this record is phenomenal. Morrissey cannot and will not be silenced".

The unsilenceable Morrissey himself has not yet commented.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
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.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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