TODAY'S TOP STORY: The US entertainment industry has urged the American government to not allow any of that safe harbour nonsense to find its way into any new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement... [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 More safe harbour sparring as tech and entertainment sectors make NAFTA submissions
LEGAL Harry Styles sues potential merch bootleggers ahead of Nashville show
DEALS LAB Records allies with Warner's ADA
SRD allies with IDOL on digital distribution
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Assets of sync platform Ricall up for sale following liquidation
RELEASES Andrew WK announces first new album since 2009
GIGS & FESTIVALS Linkin Park announce Chester Bennington tribute show and video
Lady Gaga postpones European tour for chronic pain treatment
ONE LINERS IFPI, Morrissey, Craig David, more
AND FINALLY... Punk tracks accidentally pressed onto Beyonce's Lemonade vinyl
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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.

More safe harbour sparring as tech and entertainment sectors make NAFTA submissions
The US entertainment industry has urged the American government to not allow any of that safe harbour nonsense to find its way into any new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement. But political types are welcome to fill the space left by deleting the safe harbour clause with extra copyright protections.

As previously reported, your good mate Donnie Trump is having a good go at reforming NAFTA - the long-established free trade deal between the US, Canada and Mexico - and to that end interested parties have been invited to make submissions to his government on what issues should be prioritised as the three countries head to the negotiating table. Cue more safe harbour sparring between the tech and entertainment industries.

In its contribution to the NAFTA debate back in July, the Recording Industry Association Of America said that safe harbours should be on the agenda of any trade deal talks. But any subsequent discussions should focus on how shitty the safe harbour in America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act has turned out to be, with it putting way to much onus on copyright owners to monitor the servers of super-rich tech firms for copyright infringing content, while also allowing fucking YouTube to exist. I mean, I'm paraphrasing slightly, but that's basically what the major record companies were saying.

Well, what the RIAA actually said was that any NAFTA talks should seek to construct "a concise, high-level and high-standard service provider liability provision with respect to copyright infringement", ensuring that "the safe harbours are only available to passive intermediaries without requisite knowledge of the infringement on their platforms, and inapplicable to services actively engaged in communicating to the public".

Needless to say, the American tech sector does not concur. Last month various organisations representing the tech giants sent their own letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer insisting that the lovely DMCA safe harbour should be including in any NAFTA deal pretty much word for word, alongside other copyright limitations and exceptions that can currently be found in US law.

The letter said: "If we seek to create an international obligation in a modernised NAFTA that embodies only one part of the US copyright framework, but leave out other portions that the US technology sector depends on, we will cause serious harm to the most innovative and fastest growing segments of our economy, and put at risk vital jobs. This is why it is essential to ensure the balance at the heart of the US copyright system, including DMCA safe harbours and other copyright limitations and exceptions, is embraced by our key trading partners in North America".

"Fuck off" counters CreativeFuture - a coalition of entertainment and media companies and associations - in its submission to US trade negotiators. You do know that everyone - including my Aunt Mavis - has concluded that the current American copyright safe harbour isn't fit for purpose, and only fills the pockets of those Google shits with yet more money? Yeah, I'm paraphrasing again a little, but that's the gist of a new letter from CreativeFuture CEO Ruth Vitale to the aforementioned Lighthizer.

"It's irrefutable that the outdated, overly broad safe harbour proposals that currently exist in US law and prevent effective enforcement of rights under copyright have had a negative impact on American creative works themselves", she writes, and by creative works she means "the movies, music, television shows, books, photographs, video games, and more that make our creative economy the envy of the world".

So why oh why oh why oh why "should these provisions be in an updated NAFTA - undermining protections for American creatives overseas? Our communities rely on strong intellectual property protections - protections that must be strengthened and improved, not undermined by these outdated 'safe harbours'. Please don't export a system that does nothing but shelter the most powerful internet companies, rather than the start-ups that these tech trade associations often claim are the beneficiaries of safe harbour. In short, we should not try to export laws that are subject of serious dispute at home".

Yeah, Granddad, get with the moment. Those safe harbours are so old school, so yesterday, they have no place in your all new, super swish, America First NAFTA deal.

As a fun aside, in its letter to Lighthizer, the tech sector claimed that it was speaking for the "new faces of the American content industry". That's because the trade bodies which signed the letter count both Amazon and Netflix as members, while the tech lobby was also keen to claim ownership of that self-releasing, mainly-streaming Chance The Rapper too.

"We are the new faces of the American content industry", the tech lobby stated in their NAFTA correspondence, "winning Emmys and Oscars, providing distribution for streaming-only Grammy winners, while creating services that address the challenge of piracy by allowing consumers to legally access content globally".

Not so, reckons Vitale in her latest Creative Future missive. "While I would take issue with anyone claiming to represent all 'the new faces of the American content industry'", she writes in her letter, "I can comfortably tell you that CreativeFuture represents many of the true faces. On behalf of our large community of creatives, we respectfully disagree with the views expressed by those tech trade associations".

Given both sides in this debate are keen to include Chance The Rapper within their constituency, perhaps we could just all agree to let him decide on if and how safe harbours be integrated into the all new NAFTA. Mexico and Canada can then elect their own entrepreneurial rappers to represent their interests. Make NAFTA great again, I say.


Harry Styles sues potential merch bootleggers ahead of Nashville show
Harry Styles is the latest artist to go legal over theoretical bootleg merchandise. Though I think he's missing a trick here. Rather than suing over theoretical bootleg merchandise, he should just start selling his own official theoretical merchandise.

Think about it. It's a massive untapped market. Would you like to buy a theoretical Harry Styles t-shirt? Ten dollars please. How about a conceptual Harry Styles beanie hat? Twenty dollars thank you very much. We've also got a limited supply of notional Harry Styles posters that only exist in a speculative parallel university. Thirty dollars. What a business! It's a 100% profit margin. If you can convince the government to accept theoretical VAT.

Anyway, according to TMZ, Live Nation has filed a lawsuit against unnamed and unknown individuals who may or may not be planning to sell bootleg Harry Styles merch outside the Nashville venue he's due to play next week. It's similar to the legal action recently taken by Live Nation's merch division in Boston ahead of some Coldplay shows there.

The live giant wants a court order that will empower police to confiscate any counterfeit merch that they find people trying to sell outside Styles' Nashville show. Though you just try confiscating my theoretical merch. You can seize my bootleg Harry Styles branded tote bag, but you can't take away the idea of my bootleg Harry Styles branded tote bag.


LAB Records allies with Warner's ADA
Manchester-based indie LAB Records has announced a global alliance with Warner Music's label services division ADA, which will now provide distribution and marketing services to the independent, with releases from Martin Luke Brown, Áine Cahill and Vistas among the first to be put out under the new arrangement.

Confirming the deal, Mark Orr, who founded LAB Records a decade ago, told reporters: "We're delighted to partner with ADA. We've had a great relationship with Warner labels and executives over many years now, so this feels like a very natural fit. It's a really exciting time for our company".

ADA UK GM Howard Corner added: "LAB are one of the best new independent labels in the UK, Mark and his team share our passion for working with new artists and we're THRILLED to partner with them".


SRD allies with IDOL on digital distribution
UK-based independent music distributor SRD has allied with French company IDOL on digital distribution. The deal will see IDOL manage digital content delivery worldwide for labels repped by SRD, which include the likes of Emika Records, Spearhead Records, Four Tet's Text Records and Toro Y Moi's Carpark Records. On IDOL's side, the new partnership will be led by its UK office.

Confirming the deal, IDOL chief Pascal Bittard said: "The fact both companies are truly independent makes us kindred spirits. We have always been very selective in the choice of partners that we work with, so representing some of the UK's finest labels is a natural fit for us. There are many similarities between IDOL and SRD, and this will allow us to work cohesively and, most importantly, give the artists unique campaigns that are tailored to their individual needs".

Explaining why he had decided to strike up a new partnership on digital distribution now, SRD boss Andy Slocombe added: "In the digital realm, arguably more than any other, we feel a duty to review our options at every contract renewal stage, such is the constant evolution in that world. As such, IDOL have been on our radar for some time now, and we committed the necessary energy to ensuring they fulfilled all of our needs in the period prior to finalising a deal. Having done so, we're looking forward to working with them as we step up our digital presence further".


Assets of sync platform Ricall up for sale following liquidation
The assets of sync platform Ricall are up for sale after the music licensing company recently fell into liquidation following nearly two decades in business. Ricall was best known for offering an online search facility for film, telly and advertising types who were looking to license music for their projects.

The sale of Ricall's "unique e-commerce software and music synchronisation licensing brand" is being handled by a company called Metis Partners, which reckons the assets will be of "notable interest to the music licensing and digital music download sectors, as well as e-commerce retailers and software developers".

Noting that the sync sector continues to grow, Metis Partners state that: "The software behind Ricall's innovative music licensing cost circa £6 million to develop, and was created internally, using the agile development approach". Techie fans are also informed that "the platform was designed with a high degree of configurability, and can be reconfigured for a variety of different purposes. All development was written in Java, and recorded using Jira, with comprehensive bug documents".

Says Morven Fraser at Metis Partners: "This sale is certain to attract a high degree of interest from those with a foothold, or looking to establish a foothold, in the music licensing industry. The software developed by Ricall allows a significant degree of flexibility in the user and right-holder online experience. It will be an excellent asset for any market players considering e-commerce development as part of their online profile".


Approved: Liima
Formed by members of Efterklang with Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönnkö, Liima released their debut album, 'ii', last year. Making a fairly prompt return for something you may have marked as a side-project, they will release the follow-up, '1982', on 3 Nov.

Co-produced by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor, the album sees the band exploring themes that shaped their collective youth, while comparing that with the future they now face.

As such, the album's title track and first single comes on like something from an 80s sci-fi soundtrack. Looking backwards and forwards concurrently, it sits in the present as an immediately attention-grabbing piece of electronic music.

Watch the video for '1982' here.

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

Andrew WK announces first new album since 2009
Andrew WK has announced plans to release his first album since 2009's '55 Cadillac' early next year.

Describing the as-yet-untitled record, WK says: "I'm going for the sound of pure, unadulterated power; every emotion, every thought, every experience, every sensation, every fear, every joy, every clarity, every confusion, every up, every down... all extruded and concentrated into one thick syrup of super life-force feeling, and then psychically amplified by the celebratory spirit of glorious partying".

The record is scheduled for release on 2 Mar. It will precede a series of UK tour dates which were originally planned for November. Here are those dates as they stand now:

13 Apr: Cardiff, Great Hall
14 Apr: London, The Forum
15 Apr: Birmingham, Academy 2
18 Apr: Norwich, Waterfront
19 Apr: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
20 Apr: Manchester, Ritz
21 Apr: Glasgow, Garage


Linkin Park announce Chester Bennington tribute show and video
Linkin Park have announced that they will perform together for the first time since the death of vocalist Chester Bennington in July.

For the one-off performance at the Hollywood Bowl on 27 Oct, the band will be joined by a variety of guests. Each member of the group has said that they will donate their fees for the performance to Music For Relief's One More Light Fund in memory of Bennington.

In addition to announcing the show, the band have also released a new single and video, for 'One More Light' from their recent album of the same name. Not originally earmarked as a single release, the song has become particularly resonant with fans since Bennington's death. The video, co-directed by Linkin Park's Joe Hahn and long-time band videographer Mark Fiore, compiles various on stage and behind the scene footage of Bennington.

"It has been incredibly emotional to work on this, and especially to watch it", says Hahn. "I feel that by doing it, we not only faced some of our biggest fears, but it enabled us to use our talents to bring some light to people who need it. As we move forward to the Hollywood Bowl show and beyond, I think about the people who connect with the band, outside and inside our circle. This video is a gesture of goodwill to the people who want that connection".

The band's Mike Shinoda adds: "'One More Light' was written with the intention of sending love to those who lost someone. We now find ourselves on the receiving end. In memorial events, art, videos, and images, fans all over the world have gravitated towards this song as their declaration of love and support for the band and the memory of our dear friend, Chester. We are so very grateful and can't wait to see you again".

Watch the video for 'One More Light' here.


Lady Gaga postpones European tour for chronic pain treatment
Lady Gaga has rescheduled her European tour due to health concerns. The musician recently pulled out of shows in Brazil and Canada, revealing that she is being treated for chronic pain condition fibromyalgia.

The six week run of dates in Europe was due to begin in Barcelona later this week, before reaching the UK in October. The dates will now be rescheduled for early 2018, said Live Nation in a statement.

The promoter explained: "Lady Gaga is suffering from severe physical pain that has impacted her ability to perform. She remains under the care of expert medical professionals who recommended the postponement earlier today. Lady Gaga is devastated that she has to wait to perform for her European fans".

"She plans to spend the next seven weeks proactively working with her doctors to heal from this and past traumas that still affect her daily life, and result in severe physical pain in her body", it continued. "She wants to give her fans the best version of the show she built for them when the tour resumes".

In an Instagram post, Gaga herself said: "I have always been honest about my physical and mental health struggles. Searching for years to get to the bottom of them. It is complicated and difficult to explain, and we are trying to figure it out. As I get stronger and when I feel ready, I will tell my story in more depth, and plan to take this on strongly so I can not only raise awareness, but expand research for others who suffer as I do, so I can help make a difference".

She continued: "I use the word 'suffer' not for pity, or attention, and have been disappointed to see people online suggest that I'm being dramatic, making this up, or playing the victim to get out of touring. If you knew me, you would know this couldn't be further from the truth. I'm a fighter. I use the word suffer not only because trauma and chronic pain have changed my life, but because they are keeping me from living a normal life. They are also keeping me from what I love the most in the world: performing for my fans. I am looking forward to touring again soon, but I have to be with my doctors right now so I can be strong and perform for you all for the next 60 years or more".

The next run of US shows on the tour, scheduled for November, are currently expected to go ahead as planned.


IFPI, Morrissey, Craig David, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Adriana Restrepo has been appointed Chair of the IFPI's Latin America & Caribbean Regional Board. "Latin music and Colombian artists are exploding", warns Restropo.

• The first tweets have appeared on the new official, verified Morrissey Twitter account, announcing that he "spent the day in bed" along with what appears to be a tour schedule. Expect a statement from Morrissey saying it's not him later today. In other news, his new single, 'Spent The Day In Bed', was premiered this morning.

Criminals think Craig David fans are thicker than other music fans.

• Avicii has released the video for 'Lonely Together', featuring that Rita Ora.

• Sam Smith's plopped out the video for new single 'Too Good At Goodbyes'.

• Juicy J has released a new mixtape, 'Highly Intoxicated', featuring Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky, Rae Sremmurd's Slim Jxmmi, Cardi B and more.

• Lil Yachty has released the video for 'Better', featuring Stefflon Don, from his 'Teenage Emotion' album.

• Tove Styrke has released new track 'Mistakes'. To not listen would be an error.

• Lapalux has released the video for 'Petty Passion', from new album 'Ruinism'.

• Yungblud has released new single, 'I Love You, Will You Marry'. Handy if you were thinking of proposing to anyone today.

• Bdy_Prts will released their debut album, 'Fly Invisible Hero', on 24 Nov. Here's new single, 'Warrior'.

• At The Drive-In have announced UK tour dates next March, kicking off at Brixton Academy on 9 Mar.

• 6lack will be playing four shows in the UK and Ireland in January, finishing up at Electric Brixton in London on 18 Jan.

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


Punk tracks accidentally pressed onto Beyonce's Lemonade vinyl
An unknown number of vinyl copies of Beyonce's 'Lemonade' album mistakenly feature the first five tracks of Canadian punk band Zex's recent 'Uphill Battle' LP. The error was noticed when at least one fan took the unusual step of actually playing a piece of vinyl they'd bought.

The vinyl release of Beyonce's most recent album came out last week, but due to a pressing error some stock featured the incorrect tracks on Side A. In a statement, Sony Music said: "Due to human error at the Celebrate Records plant in Germany, which Sony uses to manufacture vinyl, a small amount of the European run of the Beyonce 'Lemonade' vinyl included music from Canadian punk band, Zex, on Side A".

And before you start claiming that this was a ruse to promote Beyonce's favourite Canadian punk band, the statement continued: "Beyonce and Zex were not aware of or responsible for the mispress. Fans who purchased the vinyl will be refunded and given a replacement copy. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused".

Of course, that assumes two things. One, that people will want to send back what has immediately become a collectors' item. And two, that anyone will notice. A study published last year found that as many as 48% of vinyl buyers never actually play their records.

One distributor recently told CMU that vinyl will almost always be returned if there is damage to the cover, but that records pretty much never come back to them because of complaints about the quality of the record itself. Partly this is because, in the digital age, music fans will often opt to actually listen to tracks via their streaming platform of choice, but buy the vinyl release because they want a physical representation of their tastes. Mainly though, it's because people are awful.

Beyonce has not commented on any of this, though Zex have been gleefully posting coverage of the error in publications like Vanity Fair and Variety to their Facebook page.


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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