TODAY'S TOP STORY: The US record industry again laid into Cloudflare earlier this month in its annual submission to the American government on piracy matters around the world. And now the internet firm's CEO Matthew Prince is set to be questioned about his company's policies regarding its copyright infringing customers... [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 Cloudflare CEO faces two-hour deposition over his company's piracy policies
LEGAL SACEM ends dispute with Universal Music sister company Canal+
Nelly criticised over his response to rape allegations
DEALS Stellar Songs signs Diztortion
LIVE BUSINESS Nearly half of grime fans reckon form 696 is discriminatory
ARTIST NEWS Steve Howe to release collaboration with late son Virgil
RELEASES Belle & Sebastian announce three new EPs
GIGS & FESTIVALS Neck Deep issue statement after security fight ends Nottingham show
ONE LINERS U2, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, more
AND FINALLY... Eminem delivers anti-Trump freestyle at BET Hip Hop Awards
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Cloudflare CEO faces two-hour deposition over his company's piracy policies
The US record industry again laid into Cloudflare earlier this month in its annual submission to the American government on piracy matters around the world. And now the internet firm's CEO Matthew Prince is set to be questioned about his company's policies regarding its copyright infringing customers.

The questioning will occur during a two hour deposition linked to an ongoing legal battle between Cloudflare and a porn business called ALS Scan. It wants to speak to Prince about his recent decision to ban a neo-Nazi website from using his company's services, mainly to ask why he couldn't instigate similar bans against websites that exist to infringe copyright.

As previously reported, Cloudflare provides various services to website owners, many designed to speed up the delivery of said sites' content and to protect them from external attacks that could cause sites to crash offline, such as the DDoS attacks that were pretty popular for a while within the angry hacker community.

Among Cloudflare's large client base are a bunch of piracy operations, which is what annoys the copyright owners, who argue that the company is helping to facilitate the copyright infringement undertaken or instigated by its piracy clients.

Another gripe, often shared by the Recording Industry Association Of America, is that when piracy sites push their services through the Cloudflare platform, it makes it harder to identify the source of the piracy operation. Or, in the words of RIAA's recent piracy submission: "[Piracy sites] are increasingly turning to Cloudflare because routing their site through Cloudflare obfuscates the IP address of the actual hosting provider, masking the location of the site".

As also previously reported, ALS Scan sued Cloudflare last year, seeking to make the company liable for the copyright infringement of various sites it provides services to which in turn illegally distribute the porn firm's content. Cloudflare did manage to get that lawsuit streamlined, but it is still defending itself against allegations of 'contributory infringement', and efforts to have the case dismissed on jurisdiction grounds failed earlier this year.

Cloudflare, like most internet companies, has generally resisted efforts to force it to police the content that passes through its network. On piracy matters, the firm has always insisted that it can only cancel the account of a copyright infringing client when ordered to do so by a court of law, a judge being the right person to rule whether infringement is indeed occurring on any one website.

However, back in August Cloudflare was one of a number of internet companies to cease providing services to the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, which caused even more outrage than normal via its coverage of the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In a blog post at the time, Prince said that while "we've felt angry at these hateful people for a long time", the company decided to terminate the website's account after "the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology".

Given Prince decided to terminate the account of The Daily Stormer based on their behaviour and actions, and not in order to comply with a court order, some copyright owners have asked why he couldn't adopt a similar attitude to clients whose websites clearly exist to enable and encourage copyright infringement.

Actually, Prince foresaw that response in his blog confirming the Daily Stormer axe, in which he wrote: "Now, having made that decision, let me explain why it's so dangerous".

After discussing the role - or not - of internet companies in regulating what content is on the net, and the importance of free speech and due process, he concluded: "Our policy is to follow the guidance of the law in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Law enforcement, legislators, and courts have the political legitimacy and predictability to make decisions on what content should be restricted. Companies should not".

Nevertheless, in the wake of Prince's decision on The Daily Stormer, lawyers working for ALS Scan requested a day-long deposition with the Cloudflare chief to question him about his company's policies on when it is appropriate to cancel customer accounts without a court order. Depositions in the US, of course, are opportunities to question witnesses linked to a case under oath ahead of any actual court hearing.

Cloudflare opposed the deposition request, arguing that it was unnecessary, and that the topics ALS Scan wanted to cover were far too wide-ranging. But the judge overseeing the case has told Prince that he must make himself available for a deposition, though the session will only run for two hours, and ALS Scan's lawyers will only be able to ask questions specifically related to Cloudflare's policy on terminating (or not) piracy sites.

In a ruling published by Torrentfreak, judge Alexander MacKinnon stated that: "The court finds that ALS Scan has not made a showing that would justify a seven hour deposition of Mr Prince covering a wide range of topics. [However], a review of the record shows that ALS Scan has identified a narrow relevant issue for which it appears Mr Prince has unique knowledge and for which less intrusive discovery has been exhausted".

It remains to be seen what is said at the deposition - and whether Prince's answers there will basically be a re-run of his aforementioned blog post. Either way, copyright owners of all kinds will continue to watch this case closely, given how often Cloudflare is now appearing on their piracy gripe lists.


SACEM ends dispute with Universal Music sister company Canal+
French collecting society SACEM yesterday announced it had reached a settlement with broadcaster Canal+, bringing to an end a dispute over royalties that had been building for a while. It was a rather interesting squabble, of course, given Canal+ is owned by Vivendi, and is therefore a sister company of Universal Music Publishing, a key member and ally of SACEM, and a beneficiary of the royalties the society collects.

The song rights society says that its agreement covers both royalties due for this year and sets in place a licensing arrangement that will run until at least the end of 2019. This, adds SACEM, "will enable creators to receive payment in a satisfactory way", and as such the society is dropping its legal action against the Vivendi subsidiary.

Confirming a settlement had been reached, SACEM boss Jean-Noël Tronc said: "SACEM has defended the interests of its members uncompromisingly, to guarantee everyone the fairest remuneration terms. Once again, SACEM has demonstrated the importance of the collective management model in defending the rights of creators. We hope that the strategic repositioning of Canal+ Group will allow it to successfully re-establish itself to the benefit of the entire creative ecosystem".

Speaking for Canal+, Jean-Christophe Thiery said: "Canal+ Group is delighted to have entered this new partnership with SACEM for the coming years, which takes into account our new offers to subscribers and particularly the amount of sports on our channels and in our packages. With this agreement, our group renews its commitment to the financing of creation and support of authors in France".


Nelly criticised over his response to rape allegations
A US lawyer has claimed that the response of rapper Nelly to a rape allegation made against him last weekend has been "morally reprehensible" and possibly illegal.

As previously reported, Nelly was arrested over the weekend after a woman alleged that he attacked her in Auburn, Washington, where he was performing on Friday night. A police report states that a woman made a 911 call shortly before 4am on Saturday morning, saying that she had been raped by Nelly on his tour bus. The rapper was subsequently released without charge a few hours after being arrested.

He has strongly denied the allegations made against him, while his legal rep Scott Rosenblum said in a statement: "Our initial investigation clearly establishes this allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness. I am confident, once this scurrilous accusation is thoroughly investigated, there will be no charges. Nelly is prepared to address and pursue all legal avenues to redress any damage caused by this clearly false allegation".

Lawyer Karen Koehler, who is working for the alleged victim, has now criticised Nelly and his associates for the way they have responded to her client's allegations, both in public and in private correspondence with the prosecutors reviewing the case. She takes particular issue with Nelly's team describing her client as "a person with an agenda ... the agenda is money, fame and notoriety".

According to TMZ, Koehler has written in response: "It is morally reprehensible for an accused person and his bully lawyer to issue derogatory and defamatory statements against a young alleged rape victim. It is also criminal - in the state of Washington - when those vicious attacks are issued in the form of threats".

When TMZ asked the aforementioned Rosenblum about Koehler remarks, he countered: "I would suggest re-reading the [intimidating a witness] statute [and] I would further suggest talking to some of the unbiased witnesses". He then concluded: "Nelly will continue to respond to her client's baseless allegations".


Stellar Songs signs Diztortion
Stellar Songs - the music publishing outfit involving pop makers Stargate and their management team Danny D and Tim Blacksmith - has signed Dutch-born London-based artist, songwriter and producer Diztortion to a worldwide deal via its joint venture with Sony/ATV. In addition to his own output as an artist, Diztortion has worked with the likes of Tinie Tempah, Sigma and especially Lethal Bizzle.

Confirming the deal, Danny D said: "Tim and I are over the moon to welcome Diztortion into the Stellar Songs / Sony/ATV family. We have wanted to work with him from the day we first heard [Lethal Bizzle track] 'Fester Skank' and everyone is excited to be a part of his exciting future as artist, songwriter and producer".

Diztortion himself added that: "I am super-hyped about joining the Stellar Songs and Sony/ATV family. I've been a massive admirer of the incredible roster they have and the way exciting new talent is nurtured and given opportunities with established writers. This is an important next phase of my career and to have the backing of legends like Danny D and Tim Blacksmith alongside the brilliant Sony/ATV team of Alastair Kinross, David Ventura and Guy Moot is really a huge blessing".

It's the there mentioned Kinross who is THRILLED about all this. He said that: "We are all THRILLED that Diz, along with his team, have trusted Stellar Songs and Sony/ATV with the next phase of their career. We're all long-time fans and are really excited about what we can build together going forward".


Nearly half of grime fans reckon form 696 is discriminatory
In a survey of 2000 grime fans, just under half felt that the often controversial form 696 was discriminatory, mainly on the basis that the extra bit of licensing paperwork only applied to certain kinds of live events. The question was asked in a survey of "active grime listeners" undertaken by Disrupt Creative and the University Of Westminster as part of a report published by Ticketmaster reviewing the growth and status of the grime genre.

As previously reported, form 696 - used by the Metropolitan Police in London - asks for the names, stage names, addresses and phone numbers of all promoters and artists at events where pre-recorded backing tracks are used. An earlier version of the document also asked about the specific genre of music being performed and likely ethnic make-up of the audience, though those questions were dropped in 2009 after the music community campaigned against what was seen as racial profiling.

Nevertheless, concerns have persisted about the form, and other similar documents now used by sixteen other British police forces. The Metropolitan Police continue to deny there is anything discriminatory about the form, though - following a call for a review by the UK government and subsequent meetings led by London mayor Sadiq Khan - the policing body is now reviewing the matter.

Only 9% of the grime fans surveyed as part of the Ticketmaster report were actually aware of the controversy around form 696, but when the licensing document was explained to them, just under half - 48% - said they felt the process was discriminatory.

The grime fan survey also discussed other political matters, and in particular sought to identify the impact of the #Grime4Corbyn campaign that occurred earlier this year, which encouraged young people to register to vote in this year's General Election, as well as supporting Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, who did much better in that election than most expected.

Ticketmaster says that its survey shows that the #Grime4Corbyn initiative - and the backing it got from artists like JME, Stormzy and AJ Tracey - did have an impact. 58% of those surveyed said they voted for Labour in the last election, with 24% saying the #Grime4Corbyn campaign influenced their vote.

The Ticketmaster report also reviews the impact of grime music in both streaming and the live sector, and has plenty of other stats and suchlike for fans of stats and suchlike. You can download it here.


Approved: House Of Tapes
Club promoter, owner of the Sleep Jam record label and, most relevantly right now, record producer House Of Tapes makes what he calls "paranoia electronica". And he makes it at an astonishing rate, with new tracks frequently appearing on his SoundCloud profile. With his latest album, 'Nu Tears', just a month old, new tracks are already pushing it down the page.

Prolific he may be, but it's not at the expense of quality. Latest track, 'Dark Lands', sets a scene of cinematic proportions in under three minutes, weaving ominous synths around bleak beats. Meanwhile the more upbeat, almost chirpy - and also recently added - 'Twinkle Link' is filtered through distortion and runs at a tense tempo.

So there's a definite darkness that runs throughout, although both tracks offer some relief after the violent noise of 'Nu Tears'.

Listen to 'Dark Lands' here.

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

Steve Howe to release collaboration with late son Virgil
Yes guitarist Steve Howe has announced plans to release an album recorded with his son, Little Barrie drummer Virgil Howe, prior to his death last month.

Completed earlier this year, the album, titled 'Nexus', was already set to come out in November. Steve Howe has now announced that he intends to keep to this schedule with the release.

"Virgil and I had only recently completed recording 'Nexus', which contains eleven of his tunes to which I added a guitar to suit each one", says Howe. "We delivered it to InsideOutMusic in August for release on 17 Nov. We started to work together in 2016 by selecting about nine tunes from his 'stockpile' of piano based music that he'd periodically sent [his wife, Virgil's mother] Jan and I each time he'd written and recorded a new idea".

He continues: "I began adding guitars to them, then I'd play them to Virgil. He'd then surprise me by bringing up other channels of instrumentation which I'd never heard. The tunes went from straightforward 'duets' to something bigger and better, more of a complete picture than a mere shape. 'Free Fall' and 'Nick's Star' were added from earlier sessions, the latter being his tribute to the passing of his best friend Nick Hirsch".

Finally, says Howe: "'Nexus' explores a completely different side of Virgil's ability, as a writer and keyboard player - 'in his own right'. His talents were multi-diverse, so sitting at a keyboard and computer or in the middle of his drum kit, at all his regular DJing gigs or on the radio, he always gave his best. We hope that the music just completed will stand as a fitting tribute to his life and legacy".

InsideOutMusic's Thomas Waber and Stefan Franke add in their own statement: "The sudden passing of Virgil Howe deeply shocked the entire InsideOutMusic team as it happened just a few hours after he had approved the first press release about 'Nexus'. It was supposed to be a new beginning for an exciting musical collaboration, but now it has become one of the saddest albums we have ever worked on".

They continue: "We left the decision over the release of 'Nexus' up to Steve and respect his wish to continue as originally discussed. Being fathers, too, we can only guess how hard it must be to deal with such a loss and we sincerely hope you will all enjoy 'Nexus' despite the circumstances under which it is coming out. Our thoughts are with the Howe family during this difficult time".

'Nexus will be released on 17 Nov on CD and vinyl, as well as digitally, with artwork by Virgil Howe's five year old daughter Zuni.


Belle & Sebastian announce three new EPs
Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian released a collection of three EPs over a period of a few months. Now they're doing it again, with a series of releases under the collective title 'How To Solve Our Human Problems'.

The first EP will be released on 8 Dec, followed by parts two and three on 19 Jan and 16 Feb respectively. Also out on 16 Feb will be a CD compiling all three EPs and a vinyl boxset. Though if you've already gone to the trouble of buying the first two on vinyl, you'll be able to buy the box with just part three in it.

Accompanying the EPs announcement, the band have also released a track from 'How To Solve Our Human Problems Part 2', titled 'I'll Be Your Pilot'. This follow's 'We Were Beautiful', which takes up position on the first release.

Of the new song, the band's Stuart Murdoch says: "Having your first kid is a huge event, so I wrapped a lot of things I felt about Denny into the song. Being a dad made me feel a little like the pilot in 'The Little Prince', hence all the references to the Sahara!"

Listen to 'I'll Be Your Pilot' here.

As previously reported, the band will be touring the UK and Ireland in March next year. Here are the dates in full:

6 Mar: Truro Hall
8 Mar: Cardiff, Millennium Centre
9 Mar: Aberystwyth Arts Centre
10 Mar: Nottingham, Rock City
12 Nov: Manchester, Bridgewater Hall
13 Mar: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
15 Mar: Brighton, Dome
16 Mar: London, Troxy
17 Mar: London, Troxy
19 Mar: Liverpool Philharmonic
20 Mar: York, Opera House
22 Mar: Gateshead, Sage
23 Mar: Perth, Concert Hall
24 Mar: Edinburgh, Usher Hall
26 Mar: Dublin, Vicar Street
27 Mar: Dublin, Vicar Street


Neck Deep issue statement after security fight ends Nottingham show
Pop punk band Neck Deep have issued a statement after one of their shows was called off two songs in earlier this week. The band got into a fight with security guards at Nottingham's Rock City venue, resulting in the cancellation.

According to reports, gig-goers reported security guards being heavy-handed with crowdsurfers. The band apparently then intervened, at which point a scuffle - captured on video by a Twitter user - broke out. Vocalist Ben Barlow then announced to the audience that the show was over.

In a statement yesterday, the band said: "The events that transpired last night were regretful and deeply unfortunate. Things rapidly escalated to a point that they should never have gotten to. We believe that violence is never a solution, and that everything that went down could and should have been handled better by all parties".

They continued: "We are so very sorry to anyone who was in any way hurt, upset or inconvenienced last night. All scheduled tour dates will go ahead as planned, and we will be taking extra measures to ensure that these events are never again repeated".

Rock City told the BBC that the security staff's actions "did not appear disproportionate", while Nottinghamshire Police said that while "no arrests had been made" an "investigation is ongoing".

Neck Deep have said that they are attempting to organise a rescheduled Nottingham show, for which tickets to the original gig will remain valid. The band are next due to perform in Norwich tonight.


U2, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• U2 delayed the start of a show in Argentina by two hours last night, so that ticketholders could watch the country's world cup qualifying match against Ecuador. Luckily Argentina won, or that could have been a pretty downbeat show.

• Liam Gallagher's given a lot of interviews and said a lot of things lately. You can't read them all. That said, his thoughts on Brexit are worth a look.

• Noel Gallagher's new single 'Holy Mountain' now has a video. Of the track, Gallagher says: "My kids love it, my friends' kids all love it and I am sure 'the kids' will love it".

• St Vincent has released new single, 'Pills'. HER NEW ALBUM IS OUT ON FRIDAY.

• Moaning have signed to Sub Pop and will release an album through the label next year. To mark the occasion they've released a video for previous single 'The Same'.

• Jerkcurb has released the video for recent single 'Voodoo Saloon'. He'll play a sold out show at The Lexington in London tonight.

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


Eminem delivers anti-Trump freestyle at BET Hip Hop Awards
Whenever he's appeared in public over the last year, Eminem has generally arrived with the odd pointed word for Donald Trump. Last year's 'Campaign Speech' called the then presidential candidate a "loose cannon", while on Big Sean's 'No Favors' he calls the now president a "bitch". But in an a capella freestyle for last night's BET Hip Hop Awards he pulled no punches, devoting a full four and a half minutes to his new foe.

Opening with a reference to Trump's recent ominous "the calm before the storm" comment, made at a photocall ahead of a dinner with top military commanders, the rapper goes on to attack Trump over his careless attitude to nuclear war, immigration, racism, the Mexican border, NFL protests, Twitter, corruption, gun control and more.

The recording of the performance is somewhat diminished by the censorship of the f-word, but there's plenty of power left in what remains. Watch the full freestyle here.


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.
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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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