TODAY'S TOP STORY: A web-blocking injunction is on the cards in a copyright infringement case Stateside, which is notable because to date web-blocks have not been available to copyright owners in the US, and early proposals to introduce such blockades proved very controversial indeed... [READ MORE]
There has been lots of debate around the music rights data problem in recent years, and a number of initiatives are underway to tackle the issue. Though Spotify's mechanical royalties dispute and the lack of songwriter credits on the streaming platforms shows the problem persists. As Music 4.5 puts the spotlight back on all things data, CMU Trends reviews discussions to date, challenges to be met, and where progress is being made. [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]
TOP STORIES Web-blocking proposed by magistrate judge in American copyright case
LEGAL Zex guitarist sues former label in wake of sexual assault allegations
DEALS Warner/Chappell signs Crispin Hunt
LABELS & PUBLISHERS New boss at Capitol US's brands division
MonoKrome announces new director and data platform
LIVE BUSINESS Live Nation acquires Utah's United Concerts
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Spotify appoints a new head of publisher licensing as US mechanicals dispute rumbles on
ARTIST NEWS Country musician Caleb Keeter changes views on gun control after witnessing Route 91 attack
ONE LINERS Polydor, King Krule, Tracey Thorn, more
AND FINALLY... Iowa officials use Taylor Swift lyrics to promote road safety
From The Fields is looking for a Marketing & Digital Designer to join its friendly team. From The Fields are one of the North’s most exciting and creative festival promoters.

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Ultra Music is seeking a dynamic, detail-oriented consultant with a proven track record of previous marketing/sales experience and a developed music industry network.

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Joining a growing Neighbouring Rights team in London, Kobalt's Society Relations Assistant will help manage our client roster at neighbouring rights societies around the world.

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Joining a rapidly growing Neighbouring Rights team in London, Kobalt's Client Assistant will be a key contact for clients with regards to any issues or queries relating to their catalogue.

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Kobalt is looking to hire a highly organised, self-driven and detail oriented Executive Assistant to support both the President of Kobalt Music Recordings and SVP Recordings Operations in our London office.

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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.

Web-blocking proposed by magistrate judge in American copyright case
A web-blocking injunction is on the cards in a copyright infringement case Stateside, which is notable because to date web-blocks have not been available to copyright owners in the US, and early proposals to introduce such blockades proved very controversial indeed.

While the American movie industry has been quietly trying to get web-blocking back on the agenda in the US in recent years, the case which could result in a web-block being ordered involves a website that illegally distributes academic papers.

The American Chemical Society sued Sci-Hub - sometimes dubbed the "Pirate Bay of science" - earlier this year. The latter was accused of copyright infringement for making available online copies of the former's academic papers without licence.

As often happens with piracy cases, the pirates chose not to defend themselves, so last month the ACS requested a default judgement in its favour. And, considering that request, last week magistrate judge John Anderson in the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia recommended a ruling in favour of the ACS on all counts.

Magistrates in the US district courts assist the more senior judges, and in civil proceedings can produce reports and recommendations on the cases that come before them. Those recommendations are then reviewed by a district court judge who makes the final decision. In this case that decision is in the hands of judge Leonie Brinkema.

It's the proposed web-blocking that makes this an interesting case. In addition to recommending nearly $5 million in statutory damages, Anderson writes in his report that "internet search engines, web hosting and internet service providers, domain name registrars, and domain name registries" should all "cease facilitating access to any or all domain names and websites through which Sci-Hub engages in unlawful access to, use, reproduction, and distribution of ACS's trademarks or copyrighted works".

Web-blocking - where internet service providers are forced to block their users from accessing specific websites - has become a preferred anti-piracy tactic of the music and movie industries in those countries where it is available. In some countries, the UK included, there are now a plethora of web-blocks in place on copyright grounds.

In some places, anti-piracy web-blocks were enabled by specific new copyright laws, while in other jurisdictions it was decided that judges already had web-blocking powers under existing rules. New web-block laws were proposed in the US in 2011/12, but there was a big backlash from the tech sector - including Wikipedia basically going offline for a day - and in the end the proposals were completely dropped in Washington.

The seizing of domain names used by piracy sites - also proposed by Anderson in this case - has occurred before in the US. Indeed, Sci-Hub lost its domain during separate legal action against the site by science publisher Elsevier. Though piracy sites are usually adept at domain name jumping, and with many people accessing such sites via search engines, it doesn't matter so much if domain names change.

Of course web-blocking isn't a fool-proof anti-piracy solution either, given it's usually relatively easy to circumvent the blockades with a quick Google search.

The role of the search engines in web-blocking has been much talked about, and many copyright owners reckon the Googles of the world should do more to ensure sites subject to web-blocking - and web pages related to those sites - do not appear in their search results. Interestingly Anderson includes search engines in his list of facilitators who should be obliged to stop users from accessing the Sci-Hub website.

Web firms generally don't like being forced into policing piracy on their networks, and internet service providers usually hit out at web-blocking when it is first being proposed in any one country. Though most net firms subsequently fall in line, with some even becoming advocates of the anti-piracy method. As previously reported, a representative of Bell Canada recently suggested the government there set up a web-block agency to speed up the process.

It remains to be seen if Brinkema backs her magistrate judge's proposals. If she does, other copyright owners might be tempted to test the water by seeking web-block injunctions of their own through the American courts.


Zex guitarist sues former label in wake of sexual assault allegations
The guitarist in Canadian punk band Zex, Jo Capitalicide has filed defamation proceedings against the outfit's former label in the wake of allegations of sexual assault made against him.

As previously reported, Zex were thrown into the limelight last month when it emerged that a vinyl pressing plant in Europe had accidentally pressed the band's music onto some copies of the new vinyl release of Beyonce's 'Lemonade' album.

Initially the band seemed to be enjoying the media coverage of the vinyl pressing error, but then their label Magic Bullet Records announced that - as a result of the sudden media exposure - it had received emails making allegations against Capitalicide.

The label then stated: "In light of ongoing and recent accounts of alleged sexual assault tied to Zex guitarist Jo Capitalicide, the routine boycotts of promoters, venues and record stores when the band is booked or carried, and information shared first-hand by singer Gretchen Steel to the label about Jo's behaviour in their open relationship - which corroborates one of the accounts sent to the label by a survivor within the past 24 hours - Magic Bullet Records is hereby dropping Zex from its roster of artists, effective immediately".

Capitalicide's bandmate Steel subsequently denied that she had "corroborated any story" to her band's now ex-label. Speaking to Pitchfork, she also disputed the idea that her band was subject to "routine boycotts" in their hometown of Ottawa, saying that while there had been some problems there, it was simply "personal issues of people not liking each other".

Capitalicide himself denies all the allegations made against him, and yesterday filed a defamation lawsuit against Magic Bullet Records. He told Billboard: "Concerning the allegations of sexual assault on women made by our ex record label, Magic Bullet Records, I denounce them as false and have undertaken a defamation lawsuit this week for spreading false information about me and Zex. There are no charges laid on me".


Warner/Chappell signs Crispin Hunt
Songwriter Crispin Hunt - who originally found fame as the vocalist of Longpigs, and who has since worked as a songwriter and producer with a plethora of artists including Ellie Goulding, Florence And The Machine, JP Cooper and Jake Bugg - has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Warner/Chappell.

In addition to his ongoing career as a music maker, Hunt is also very active within the music industry, representing artist and songwriter rights through an assortment of organisations, which currently include BASCA, where he is Chair, and collecting societies PPL and PRS, where he is an elected director.

Confirming the new deal, Warner/Chappell UK MD Mike Smith told reporters: "Many years ago I received an unsolicited demo tape from Crispin and was impressed with the quality of his songwriting. I have been a fan of his work ever since and I am delighted to finally get to work with him. He has consistently delivered great songs throughout his career and is a tireless campaigner for the rights of the songwriter".

Meanwhile Hunt himself said: "I'm delighted to be signing to Warner/Chappell. Over recent years, WMG have led the field with their ethic of respectful partnership toward creators. I've known Mike Smith for years and it's an honour to work with him on my new music. I've got loads of amazing projects coming up and I can't wait to get to work with some of the most exciting artists around".


New boss at Capitol US's brands division
Universal Music's US-based Capitol Music Group has a brand partnerships and sync licensing division called Seventeenfifty.

Actually, the 's' isn't capitalised. It's technically called Seventeenfifty. Argh, no, not Seventeenfifty. You see, the CMU style guide doesn't allow company names to forgo the initial capital letter. In the world of CMU, the rules of English grammar always take precedent over trendy branding nonsense.

Watch this, I'm going to try writing Seventeenfifty without the capital 's': Seventeenfifty. Not possible. The CMU style guide machine is all-powerful. Those of you who place trendy branding nonsense above the rules of English grammar will just have to imagine I am writing Seventeenfifty. Argh, yeah, there it is again. You know what I mean.

Anyway, Seventeenfifty has a new Senior Vice President in the form of Brian Nolan, formerly off of Sony Music. Which is more than happy with its capital 's', you should note. Perhaps he could bring that kind of respect for English grammar to his new employer.

I mean, officially he's being charged with the task of expanding Seventeenfifty's "role in generating and maximising revenue streams while playing a significant role in breaking new and developing artists and enhancing Capitol Music Group's marketing efforts on behalf of its established stars". But fixing the division's grammatically incorrect name could be added to that list I reckon. Hell, he could fix that on day one.

Says his new boss Michelle Jubelirer: "Brian has such a broad-base of experience within the music industry, and he has clearly excelled in every position he's held. He knows the intricacies of artist development first-hand, and is so well-suited to integrating the role of Seventeenfifty into our overall marketing efforts to build and enhance careers in ways that are consistent with the creative paths and images of our artists. We are THRILLED that Brian has joined the CMG family".

Actually, I just noticed that in the press release not only do they not put a capital 's' at the front of Seventeenfifty, they also always write it in italics. I checked with the Protector Of The CMU Style Guide about what to do about that, and he just told me to "fuck off".


MonoKrome announces new director and data platform
MonoKrome Music, the new artist and label services business that launched earlier this year, has announced the appointment of a new non-exec director and the launch of a proprietary digital rights platform called The Hub.

The company describes The Hub as "a one-stop platform for the storing and management of both publishing and master rights, opening that key information up for artists, managers, publishers, labels and distributors alike". The firm reckons that its platform is "powerful, cohesive and clear", and therefore a "21st century approach to managing music data".

Expanding on all that, MonoKrome founder Kristian Davis-Downs said: "Rich data is key to everyone's success and having that stored in an accessible but secure location with the ability to update and polish where required will ensure that our clients are represented correctly and efficiently. The technology is second to none, by starting with a clean slate and using the knowledge gained over the last 20 years, I am confident we can eliminate a lot of the problems associated with different rights holders today".

The new non-exec director is John Holborow, who previously had MD roles at the Beggars Group and Sony Music's RCA, and who now consults for various entertainment businesses.

Confirming the board addition, MonoKrome's Lee Morrison said: "We are extremely excited to have such a highly experienced executive join the MonoKrome team. John has been at the forefront of many changes within the industry and, drawing from that knowledge base, MonoKrome can continue to grow and build on its long term strategy".


Live Nation acquires Utah's United Concerts
Live Nation has announced that it has acquired Utah-based promoter United Concerts, ending its 50 year run as an independent business. The two companies have co-promoted shows in the state for a number of years.

"Having partnered with United Concerts on hundreds of shows in the past we're confident they are the right partners as Live Nation grows our presence in the market", says the live giant's Bob Roux.

United's CEO Jim McNeil adds: "Becoming part of Live Nation is a strategic move that will benefit our operated venues, and Utah's live music community at large. We look forward to connecting artists with countless fans here in Salt Lake".


Spotify appoints a new head of publisher licensing as US mechanicals dispute rumbles on
Spotify has hired itself a new Global Head Of Publisher Licensing in the form of Adam Parness, who will be "charged with leading Spotify's relationships with the publishing industry and partnering more deeply with songwriters and music publishers".

This will presumably mean getting involved in the ongoing, still-a-problem, will-not-fucking-go-away mechanical royalties nightmare that the streaming music firm continues to tackle Stateside.

As much previously reported, Spotify has found itself on the receiving end of litigation for not paying all of the so called 'mechanical royalties' due on the songs it streams, mainly because it doesn't know who to pay. Despite pledging tens of millions of dollars in a bid to make this problem go away, that hasn't stopped new lawsuits from being filed.

The problem is that the conventional system for paying mechanical royalties to songwriters and music publishers in the US has always been useless, and said system simply can't cope with streaming services that need to pay micro-payments on millions of tracks.

Opinion is divided on whose job it is to solve this problem, though technically it is Spotify which is legally liable if mechanical royalties go unpaid. And some reckon there are less conventional systems for getting mechanicals paid that would run much more smoothly.

Spotify's most recent tactic in the ongoing legal dispute has been to argue that mechanical royalties aren't due at all when music is streamed. Which isn't to say it doesn't want to pay songwriters and publishers the money they are due, it would just rather pay all song royalties via the performing rights organisations like BMI and ASCAP.

Because most people reckon a stream exploits two elements of the song copyright - the 'copy' bit and the 'communication' bit - song royalties are usually split into two: the mechanical right royalty for the copying and the performing right royalty for the communicating. And in some countries, like the US, the two elements of the royalty are paid through different systems and/or organisations.

This means that Spotify is already paying some money over to BMI and ASCAP, and if it could make those organisations responsible for all the streaming income that is due to songwriters and publishers, the digital firm could politely excuse itself from America's mechanical royalties shitstorm.

However, suggesting that streams don't exploit the mechanical rights in songs is a controversial position that has pissed off some of Spotify's friends in the songwriting and music publishing community, as well as further riling its enemies.

That's the point at which New York-based Parness is entering the party. Fun times. He's previously worked at a number of other digital music providers, most recently Pandora, which has been on the receiving end of plenty of acrimony from the songwriting community too. Though its relations with songwriters, and the wider music industry, had improved somewhat before Parness took his job there in July 2016.


Approved: Louiza
Louiza is the latest guise of musician Rebecca Mimiaga, under which she releases her debut album, 'Party Trick', next month.

In stark contrast to the sound of the more classic singer-songwriter style EP she released under her own name in 2015, Louiza's music is unapologetically experimental, often aggressive and cathartically rhythmic.

The album's title track is 1990s indie rock filtered through 1970s Carole King and then back through a night out so bad it needs lyrics written about it.

New single 'Leash On A Tiger' is pulled along by lo-fi keyboards and a bassline that feels like it has taken up residence in my stomach.

Listen to 'Leash On A Tiger' here.

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

Country musician Caleb Keeter changes views on gun control after witnessing Route 91 attack
Country musician Caleb Keeter - who has long spoken out against tighter gun controls in the US - has said that he "cannot express how wrong I was" following the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Keeter, guitarist in the Josh Abbott Band, performed at the event and was still on site with the band and their crew when the shooting began.

One of the common arguments for limited gun control in the US is that everyone is safer if more people are armed, because the good people with guns can tackle the bad people with guns. It was an argument made by Eagles Of Death Metal's Jesse Hughes following the attack on Paris venue the Bataclan in 2015 - he suggesting that had the audience been armed, fewer lives would have been lost.

That was basically a view that Keeter says he held until Sunday, when he saw how ineffectual people around him being armed was when the single gunman opened fire in Las Vegas.

"I've been a proponent of the Second Amendment my entire life", he wrote. "Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with [licences to carry handguns], and legal firearms on the bus. They were useless".

"We couldn't touch them for fear police might think that we were part of the massacre and shoot us. One man laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of access to an insane amount of fire power".

"Enough is enough. Writing my parents and the love of my life a goodbye and a living will because I felt like I wasn't going to live through the night was enough for me to realise that this is completely and totally out of hand. These rounds were powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in close proximity of a victim shot by this fucking coward received shrapnel wounds".

"We need gun control RIGHT NOW. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn't realise it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it. We are unbelievably fortunate not to be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac".

The most deadly mass shooting in US history, which left almost 60 dead and more than 500 injured, has of course reignited the gun control debate in America. That one man was able to stockpile dozens of high-powered, military-style weapons legally and without any sort of background check, before using them to fire on a crowd of over 20,000 people at a music festival, has provoked new calls to change the law.


Polydor, King Krule, Tracey Thorn, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Polydor has a new Promotions Director in the form of Jodie Cammidge, who moves over from another Universal Music label Virgin EMI. He first joined the mega-major a decade ago in a radio promotions role within Polydor.

• The Fast Forward music industry conference returns on 15 and 16 Feb in Amsterdam, with FUGA, Soundcharts and AIM among its backers this time.

• Keeping the watery theme going, following his last single 'Dum Surfer', King Krule has released new track, 'Half Man Half Shark'.

• Tei Shi has released the video for 'Say You Do', from her 'Crawl Space' album.

• Pariis Opera House have released the video for new single 'I Wish'. Their new album is due out on 11 Nov.

• Fifi Rong has revealed her new single, 'The One'. "This track sums up my creative evolution really nicely", she says. "Whilst the soundscape of this production is dark and quirky, I'm definitely having fun with it all, finding peace in seemingly bad situations and enjoying life as it comes".

• OCS (former Thee Oh Sees) have announced that they will release a new album, 'Memory Of A Cut Off Head' - their 20th in 20 years - on 17 Nov. Here's the title track.

• Rising rapper Yizzy has released new single 'Do You Wanna'. He appeared at BBC Introducing Live last night and will be performing at The Roundhouse as part of the Floor Sixx All Dayer on 20 Oct.

• Oh yeah, Ed Sheeran thinks he's so bloody clever with his looping pedal. Well check out what The Academic pulled off to unveiled their new single 'Bear Claws'.

• The Spook School have announced that they will release their new album, 'Could It Be Different?', on 26 Jan. From it, this is 'Still Alive'.

• The rather marvellous Tracey Thorn, still perhaps best known for her work as one half of Everything But The Girl, will receive the Artists' Artist prize at the Artist & Managers Awards next month. Voted for by other artists in the Featured Artists Coalition, this award recognises "the extraordinary long-term creative and innovative musical output of an individual or group".

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


Iowa officials use Taylor Swift lyrics to promote road safety
Iowa's Department Of Transportation has come up with a new campaign to stop people using their phones while driving. It involves Taylor Swift lyrics and the word 'millennial'. Yes, I too want to get in my car right now and phone everyone I know to tell them how awful this sounds.

Earlier this week, the DOT tweeted a mocked up image of a road traffic warning sign - as part of its 'Message Monday' series of road safety updates - in which the sign read: "246 traffic deaths this year. Old Taylor can't come to the phone... she's driving".

This is, of course, a take on the spoken line from Swift's recent single, 'Look What You Made Me Do', in which she says, "The old Taylor can't come to the phone right now... she's dead".

If the clunkiness of the road sign slogan wasn't enough, they tweeted as a caption to the image: "If you don't get the message today - ask the nearest millennial".

I'm not really sure what the message is here. Are millennials particularly hot on not driving while using their phones? If I start replying to a text message while driving, should I stop and ask the nearest young person if it's OK?

All that said, presumably Taylor Swift won't begrudge her words being used to promote road safety, no matter how badly executed.

Though she is notoriously protective of those words and currently has a pending trademark application on the phrase "the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now". That said, although the application covers everything from lithographs to "self-guided classes and self-guided online courses of instruction", I don't see any mention of road signs.

It's not the first time Swift has featured in a public safety campaign on Twitter. Last year in the UK, Northants Police tweeted a doctored image suggesting that she and Tom Hiddleston were big fans of its counter-terrorism team, as part of a short-lived campaign called 'Famous Friday'. That tweet ended up being deleted following a complaint. Iowa DOT's Message Monday post remains online at this time.


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.
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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