TODAY'S TOP STORY: Mixtape sharing app Spinrilla has requested that the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against it by the US record industry be dismissed. The request has been made on the basis that the major record companies failed to hand over crucial data relating to the allegedly infringing tracks at the heart of the case. The digital firm argues that, by not providing this data, the labels hindered its ability to mount a defence, leaving the company "severely prejudiced"... [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 Spinrilla tries to have copyright case dismissed over missing data
LEGAL thepiratebay.se domain has expired
Decapitated members appear in court on rape and kidnapping charges
LIVE BUSINESS Mike Skinner hits out at Ticketmaster after Streets tickets touted aplenty
MEDIA NME launches new Emerging platform for new talent
Mixmag Japan launches
INDUSTRY PEOPLE Music industry misogyny "as bad, if not worse" than Hollywood
ARTIST NEWS Ed Sheeran breaks arm, throwing Asian tour into doubt
GIGS & FESTIVALS Australian Gaslamp Killer tour cancelled following rape allegation
ONE LINERS Sia, Haim, Anne-Marie, more
AND FINALLY... Radiohead's music is "elaborate moaning and whining over ringtone sounds", says Fox News
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Spinrilla tries to have copyright case dismissed over missing data
Mixtape sharing app Spinrilla has requested that the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against it by the US record industry be dismissed. The request has been made on the basis that the major record companies failed to hand over crucial data relating to the allegedly infringing tracks at the heart of the case. The digital firm argues that, by not providing this data, the labels hindered its ability to mount a defence, leaving the company "severely prejudiced".

As previously reported, the Recording Industry Association Of America sued Spinrilla - which allows people to upload and listen to unofficial mixtapes - over allegations of rampant copyright infringement back in February. Spinrilla quickly countered that it employs a rights management technology recommended to it by the record industry; that the labels now suing used to lobby to get their tracks featured on the platform; and that, anyway, the tech firm is protected by that often controversial safe harbour.

There has since been plenty of back and forth between the two sides in the case as both prepare for trial. In a new court filing last week - now published by Torrentfreak - Spinrilla hit out at the majors for not immediately handing over RIAA data that included specifics about the alleged infringements on its platform. Spinrilla says that initially the labels only stated which unlicensed recordings they had found on its platform by song title, but they didn't provide specific URLs for where the alleged infringement was occurring. It subsequently transpired that the RIAA had that information.

Or, in the words of Spinrilla's new court filing, initially the labels simply told it "a song on Spinrilla infringes Beyonce's song 'Single Ladies'" among others. But, Spinrilla says, it "had no way of knowing which of the more than one million [mixes] on its platform allegedly infringed" that one Beyonce track. It's only more recently that the labels have provided an RIAA spreadsheet containing URLs "which tells us exactly which [mix] on Spinrilla's platform allegedly infringes Beyonce's 'Single Ladies'".

The new court filing adds: "According to plaintiffs, the data in the RIAA spreadsheets evidences copyright infringement. Surely those Excel spreadsheets were 'reasonably accessible' to plaintiffs in April 2017" when 'initial disclosures' was filed. "Therefore, those spreadsheets should have been provided to defendants when plaintiffs' served their initial disclosures on defendants on 14 Apr".

Why does that matter? Well, according to Spinrilla: "The difference between these two scenarios ... is drastic. Plaintiffs benefitted dearly by having defendants waste their time searching rather than analysing, since that leaves defendants less informed and less prepared. Had the full data been provided to Spinrilla from the start ... defendants could have spent its time and resources on other issues".

What kinds of other issues? "Why sounds recordings might not have been blocked by Spinrilla's content identification vendor", the court filing says, and "which of the allegedly infringed sounds recordings did plaintiffs want on Spinrilla", and "which sound recordings did plaintiffs' artists place on Spinrilla and similar issues. Defendants would also have had the time and resources to listen to and analyse the actual allegedly infringing audio files at those URLs ... time it no longer has".

So make of all that what you will. Though even if you think the record labels were complacent, or naughty, in not providing the offending URLs to Spinrilla's legal team earlier, you might think that would be a reason to give the digital firm more time to prepare for court, rather than dismissing the case outright. Think not!

"It is difficult for defendants to envision this case ever becoming a 'fair fight'", Spinrilla now argues. "Because the RIAA data and spreadsheets were hidden, defendants are simply too far behind where they should be for this to be a level playing field". Also, "hiding and lying to the court about the RIAA data and spreadsheets is the worst of plaintiffs' conduct, but there is plenty more".

Concluding, Spinrilla's court submission states: "It is without exaggeration to say that by hiding the RIAA spreadsheets and that underlying data, defendants have been severely prejudiced. The complaint should be dismissed with prejudice and, if it is, plaintiffs can only blame themselves".

All in all, it seems a somewhat ambitious bid to have the record industry's copyright case thrown out of court. But we'll nevertheless await with interest to see how the judge overseeing the case responds.


thepiratebay.se domain has expired
One of the domain names most famously associated with the always controversial Pirate Bay - thepiratebay.se - has expired, seemingly because a court order has prevented the piracy platform from renewing it.

The Pirate Bay has used an assortment of domain names over the years. Initially thepiratebay.org was the primary domain. But in 2012, fearing that the US authorities might try to seize that address, it switched to thepiratebay.se, ie a Swedish domain for a Swedish website.

Then, in 2013, Swedish authorities launched action to try to seize the piracy site's .se domain, so Team Pirate Bay switched to another alternative. Which began a mini tour around the world as the piracy platform switched allegiances to different domain registries, only to have the entertainment industry begin legal proceedings to try and block those new domains, resulting in the Bay jumped over to yet another address.

Ironically, while all that was happening, both .org and .se remained active, and after a flurry of domain hopping, The Pirate Bay decided to make the latter its main address once again. This lasted until renewed legal efforts by the authorities in Sweden prompted the piracy set-up to announce that it was again making its original domain, thepiratebay.org, its flagship address.

Those attempts by the Swedish authorities to block thepiratebay.se have ended up being very long drawn out indeed, and are still pending. However, as part of those ongoing efforts the country's Supreme Court locked the domain, to stop anyone from transferring or claiming it while legal proceedings were ongoing.

It's Torrentfreak that spotted that the Pirate Bay's .se domain has now expired, as domains eventually do if they are not renewed with the relevant registry. It's thought that, with the domain being locked, Team TPB probably couldn't initiate the renewal process. Which means the famous URL no longer forwards users to the file-sharing hub.

Of course, in many countries internet service providers are forced to block users from accessing URLs associated with The Pirate Bay. Though there are an assortment of ways to circumvent those blockades, which means that web-savvy file-sharers can usually find their favourite piracy platform pretty easily, oblivious of what specific domains are operational.

It's still something of an end of an era. It remains to be seen what final decision the Swedish Supreme Court makes about the long term future of the .se domain.


Decapitated members appear in court on rape and kidnapping charges
The four members of death metal band Decapitated have been formally charged with rape and kidnapping. Two members of the band had their first court appearances last Friday, with the other two scheduled to appear later this week.

As previously reported, the Polish band were arrested in LA last month, accused of raping a woman on their tour bus following a performance in Spokane, Washington on 31 Aug. Two women said that they were invited back to the band's bus after the show, but that once on board the "vibe" changed. One woman managed to get off the bus, while the other says that she was raped by all four members of the band. The band deny the charges against them

The band were extradited back to Washington state earlier this month and formally charged with varying degrees of rape last week. They had already been charged with first-degree kidnapping.

According to the Spokesman-Review, lead guitarist Waclaw Kieltyka and drummer Michal Lysejko appeared in court on Friday, their first appearance on respective charges of second-degree rape and third-degree rape, as well kidnapping. Speaking through a translator, the judge placed them on $100,000 bail and ordered them to surrender their passports.

Vocalist Rafal Piotrowski, charged with second-degree rape, and bassist Hubert Wiecek, charged with third-degree rape, are scheduled to appear in court this Thursday.

The judge ordered that there be no communication between the four band members.

In a statement on Friday, the band argued that their charges were merely a formality required to keep them in custody, saying: "The Spokane Police Department has pressed charges as procedural formality, without doing so, they would be forced to release band - this is not a conviction or any indication of guilt or innocence. Once again, we ask that everyone wait for each party's case to be presented and await the court's decision".

When initially arrested, three members of the band confirmed that the women had been on board their bus - while Lysejko said that he did not recognise them. Kieltyka told police that he saw both Piotrowski and Wiecek engaged in sexual activity with the woman who accuses them of rape. Wiecek said that he had been sat on a sofa and did not see what happened.


Mike Skinner hits out at Ticketmaster after Streets tickets touted aplenty
Mike Skinner has hit out at one of Ticketmaster's secondary ticketing sites after touted tickets for his recently announced The Streets tour - which will take to the road next April - quickly appeared on the resale platforms last week. This despite Live Nation's Ticketmaster being one of the primary sellers of tickets for the shows.

After tickets for the 2018 gigs were very quickly snapped up on Friday, a post from Skinner on The Streets' Facebook page stated: "Disgusted at the bot-driven tout sites that got hold of any tickets today. The team put in restrictions of two per transaction and have been cancelling suspicious orders using CC numbers and IP addresses and tried as hard as possible to minimise". He then added: "Ticketmaster's Get Me In service is a disgrace".

Some artists who have implemented particularly proactive anti-touting policies have in the past persuaded Live Nation's Seatwave and Get Me In, as well as eBay's StubHub, to block the resale of their tickets on their respective platforms. Though pesky Viagogo is yet to participate in any such activities, even when promoters are adamant that they will endeavour to cancel any and every ticket sold on a for-profit resale site.

Accompanying his Get Me In diss, Skinner also announced that a Twickets account had been set up for The Streets tour, so that people who legitimately buy tickets and then can't attend can resell them at face value.


NME launches new Emerging platform for new talent
NME has formally launched a new platform called Emerging aimed at grassroots artists and bands which, the magazine says, is "a new way for unsigned acts to get featured on NME while also helping to combat some of the struggles emerging artists face". For NME readers, it adds, "it's a great way to discover new bands".

Beyond being a channel via which new acts can push their music at the magazine's editorial team, NME Emerging will offer various tools for artists who sign up, including a print-on-demand t-shirt selling set-up and discounted use of DIY distribution platform TuneCore to get tracks into all the key download and streaming platforms.

Says Richard Giddings at NME publisher Time Inc: "NME has supported grassroots talent for 65 years and NME Emerging is a new route for unsigned artists to get heard by the team. If they like what they hear they'll be writing about them, putting them in the magazine or even inviting them to play a gig".

He adds: "Spending time with artists brought to light what their pressure points are, where the opportunities lay for them and where NME can help. We've built this platform out of those conversations to give artists what they need and the response so far has been really positive. It also provides another opportunity for our partners to tap into an audience of passionate music fans and work with artists".


Mixmag Japan launches
Mixmag has launched its latest international edition, Mixmag Japan. Based in Tokyo, the Japanese version of the magazine will be a free quarterly publication available in bars, clubs and record shops around the country. It will also have its own localised website.

The launch comes just over two years after Japan lifted its controversial 'no dancing' law, which prohibited public dancing in venues without a licence and ordered all dancing to stop at midnight. Although a blind eye was often turned to the rule, its lifting means there are greater opportunities to promote Japan's nightlife.

Commenting on the launch, Japanese politician Tsukasa Akimoto says: "Since the entertainment law has been revised, it's now legal to run the night time entertainment business so we can create opportunities for promoting dance culture and related artists to flourish and succeed".

He adds: "Government is now focusing on increasing numbers of inbound tourists and since their interest is shifting from shopping binges to experiences, refining night time entertainment will be the key for tourism. I hope Mixmag Japan will play a great role of dissemination of information, introducing great Japanese talent to the outside world".

Mixmag MD Nick Stevenson chips in: "Mixmag's job globally has never been more important. With more music, events, festivals and clubbers than ever there's never been an more vital time for dance music to have a curator, able to filter out the noise and bring the best music and events to the foreground".

He goes on: "Japan has been at the forefront of dance culture since the very start. It was Japanese engineers and visionaries that created the 808, 303, 909, the direct drive deck and CDJs that make DJing possible. Japan's incredible nightclubs and festivals are what have driven and inspired artists to strive for perfection and its population of music fans have created the country that every DJ dreams of one day playing to".

He concludes: "With its own Mixmag, Japan now has it's own media brand to celebrate the best of its home grown talent, shining a spotlight not just here in Japan but sharing the news, talent and music across the world. [And] what is more exciting than sharing the most important news, playing the best new tunes or going to the best parties?"

Check out the Mixmag Japan website here.


Music industry misogyny "as bad, if not worse" than Hollywood
With increased attention on the sexual harassment and assault faced by women working in the movie industry, following the wave of accusations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, UK-based artist manager Sarah Bowden has said that matters in the music industry are "as bad, if not worse" than in Hollywood.

Speaking to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire, Bowden said that exploitation happens "all the way down through the industry" and is "as common as being wolf-whistled at in the street".

"I've been in situations with men more senior to me, who have tried to use that position of power in order to garner some sort of sexual favour with me", she said. "The most obvious one I can think of is, I was at a festival and somebody who is a promoter came up to me and took me back to a caravan and basically exposed himself to me".

Although she "laughed it off" at the time, she went on, "I know that he did the same thing to other women on that same day and he's still working in the industry today".

Speaking about other personal experiences, Bowden said that early in her career she was fired from a job for refusing to have sex with her manager in order to get a promotion.

Asked why women don't speak out about such misconduct by certain men in the music industry, she said that women generally don't believe anything will be done, and that the acts of some senior male figures are "brazen" because they also believe the same.


Approved: Dagny
Already the feature of many a ones-to-watch list, Dagny has a collection of pop songs in her arsenal of varying, though generally above average quality.

She even made a valiant attempt recently to make 'More More More' sound like a not entirely awful song. That experiment complete, she's moved back to original material and new single 'Love You Like That' sees her back to delivering on the promise of her early releases like 'Backbeat'.

"'Love You Like That" is the first proper love song I've ever released", she says. "It's funny because I've always been wary of using the phrase 'I love you' in songs, in fear of sounding too cliché or corny, but then I just went and broke the 'amounts-of-I love you-in-one-song' record. And it feels good".

"I'm not a particularly romantic person", she goes on. "Nor am I great at telling people how I feel about them, so this was probably long over-due. If you love someone, you should tell them".

Listen to 'Like I Love You' here.

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

Ed Sheeran breaks arm, throwing Asian tour into doubt
Ed Sheeran has broken his arm in a cycling accident, putting upcoming shows in Asia in doubt.

The musician posted a photograph of his arm in a cast to Instagram, saying: "I've had a bit of a bicycle accident and I'm currently waiting on some medical advice, which may affect some of my upcoming shows. Please stay tuned for further news".

According to reports, Sheeran was hit by a car in London yesterday morning. He is due to begin Asian tour dates in Taipei this Sunday. His shows, of course, see him perform solo using an acoustic guitar and loop pedal. Which requires arms.

This continues a run of bad luck for Sheeran, who was accidentally stabbed in the face with a sword last year (either by himself or a member of the royal family, depending on who you believe). He also required a skin graft on his foot after stepping into a boiling geyser on his 25th birthday.


Australian Gaslamp Killer tour cancelled following rape allegation
The Gaslamp Killer has had an Australian tour cancelled, its promoter saying that this was "the only option" in the wake of rape accusations against the producer.

Last week, a woman posted on Twitter saying that she and a friend had been drugged and raped by The Gaslamp Killer, real name William Bensussen, in 2013. As well as detailing the alleged attack, she also noted that he had blocked her on Twitter, despite the two not having any contact prior to or following that night, which she took as an "admission of his guilt".

In a subsequent statement, Bensussen denied rape, saying that he and the two women had consensually had sex. But over the weekend, Australian promoter The Operatives noted the accusations against Bensussen, saying that "we absolutely condemn any abuse of any sorts".

A further statement followed yesterday, saying that a tour and three festival appearances had now been cancelled. The live company wrote: "In light of the accusations against The Gaslamp Killer and all it encompasses, we feel that a cancellation of the upcoming tour is currently the only option".

It went on: "He will no longer be performing at Breakfest, Northern Bass and Let Them Eat Cake, all of which have consistently advocated their festivals as safe and all inclusive spaces. Hopefully there will be some clarity on the entire case in the near future, and justice is served in truth. Be good to each other people, there is enough negativity in the world, and abuse of any kind is something that we will not tolerate in any way, shape or form".

Last week, LA club night Low End Theory announced that it was ending Bensussen's long-running residency due to "the nature of the allegations" made.

Flying Lotus has meanwhile been criticised for apparently defending Bensussen at a show over the weekend. The producer closed his set at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday with a Gaslamp Killer track, before telling his audience: "The internet is a fucking liar. Ain't nobody judge and jury but the fucking law, okay?"

He later apologised for the comments, telling HipHopDX: "I wanted to sincerely apologise for my comments at my show. I realise they were insensitive. This is a tough time for all of us, as men and women. I'm having trouble finding my voice in all of this. I am truly heartbroken. My stage has always been a place for what's in my heart until now. I feel as internet wielding people we have to learn to give each other space to feel, to honour each other's reactions and experiences without bullying. I care about this community and its impact so much".


Sia, Haim, Anne-Marie, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Sia has announced that she will release an album of Christmas songs, titled 'Every Day Is Christmas', on 17 Nov. Despite claims made in the title, 17 Nov is not Christmas.

• Haim have released their cover of Shania Twain's 'That Don't Impress Me Much', so that's a thing you can listen to now.

• Anne-Marie has released the video for new single 'Heavy'. She's also announced that she'll be touring in March, including a show at the Roundhouse in London on 22 Mar.

• Fischerspooner have released a new single, 'Togetherness', featuring vocals from former Chairlift member Caroline Polachek. The duo's new Michael Stipe-produced album 'Sir' is out on 16 Feb.

• Jill Hollywood, founder of Echo Beach Management, will receive the Writer/Producer Manager Award at the Artist & Manager Awards when they take place in London on 14 Nov.

• Dua Lipa, The Amazons and Steve Mac were among those handed gongs at the London awards bash held by US collecting society ASCAP last night. You'll find a full list of winners here.

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


Radiohead's music is "elaborate moaning and whining over ringtone sounds", says Fox News
Radiohead will definitely get into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame next year, because the various criteria for entry are based on "fame, not talent", says Fox News's Kat Timpf.

The Fox News presenter was appearing on the channel's late night chat show 'The Greg Gutfeld Show', on which the various nominees on the shortlist to be inducted into the American music industry's Hall Of Fame were discussed.

"Seeing as it's about fame and not talent, I think that Radiohead is definitely going to get in, and should get in", said Timpf.

Elaborating on this, she added that the type of man she likes to date sits in the middle of a Venn diagram with Radiohead fans, so she's had to listen to their music quite a lot.

"I don't even like [Radiohead], but the kind of guys that I like have to be three things: strange, malnourished, and sad", she said. "Those guys always like Radiohead, so I've been having to pretend to like Radiohead for years to get these men, even though the music is just elaborate moaning and whining over ringtone sounds. You know what, if that's not fame and power that will get me to do that for someone else, then I don't know what is".

For Fox News, that's an almost amusing anecdote. Even if dissing Radiohead and their fans in that way does feel a bit 1997. Other acts on the shortlist for the Hall Of Fame this year are Bon Jovi, Kate Bush, The Cars, Depeche Mode, Dire Straits, Eurythmics, The J Geils Band, Judas Priest, LL Cool J, MC5, The Meters, The Moody Blues, Rage Against The Machine, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Link Wray and The Zombies. Five will be inducted at a ceremony next year.


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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