TODAY'S TOP STORY: Lawmakers in New South Wales have approved some pretty tough new regulations covering secondary ticketing in the Australian state, which will basically outlaw the resale of tickets for profit, capping transaction fees at 10%... [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 New South Wales pass tough new anti-touting laws
LEGAL Songkick hits out at Live Nation over slack document sharing
Frank Ocean defeats his father's $14.5 million libel lawsuit
DEALS Cardi B signs to Sony/ATV
!K7 acquires catalogues from Warner Music as Parlophone deal divestment continues
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Fuga announces new investment to fund international growth
ARTIST NEWS Ed Sheeran cancels shows after cycling accident
Björk gives more detail on sexual harassment claims against Lars Von Trier
ONE LINERS Def Jam, Beatport, MGMT, more
AND FINALLY... YouTube chorus loop helps Post Malone to US number one
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New South Wales pass tough new anti-touting laws
Lawmakers in New South Wales have approved some pretty tough new regulations covering secondary ticketing in the Australian state, which will basically outlaw the resale of tickets for profit, capping transaction fees at 10%.

Talking about the proposed amendment to the state's Fair Trading Act earlier this month, Minister For Better Regulation Matt Kean said: "I'm sick and tired of consumers being taken for a ride by shonky operators looking to make a quick buck at the expense of ordinary fans. No ticket to a NSW sporting or entertainment event should be resold for more than 10% above its original price".

Under the new laws, which were speedily approved by the state's parliament this week, anyone breaching the rules by re-selling tickets at more than 10% face value - or advertising the resale of tickets at more than 10% face value - could face fines of up to AUS$22,000 for individuals and AUS$110,000 for companies.

On the flip side, promoters who usually have the contractual right to cancel tickets that have been resold by the original buyer, won't be allowed to cancel any sold-on tickets where the resale complies with the new law.

Online ticket touting has, of course, become ever more controversial in recent years. Politicians - who previously spoke out against tickets being resold at massive mark-ups, but were generally nervous about regulating - are now much more actively considering new laws to restrain the touts and to increase the obligations of the secondary ticketing platforms they utilise, so the likes of Seatwave, GetMeIn, StubHub and Viagogo in the UK.

The least controversial bit of secondary ticketing regulation is introducing a bots ban, stopping touts from using special software to buy up large quantities of in-demand tickets from primary ticketing sites. The new laws in New South Wales also include such a ban, though it's the other anti-touting rules that really stand-out.

Of course, with all secondary ticketing regulations, the question is who enforces the law, and to what extent can the big resale platforms be held liable if they don't enforce the rules on their sites. There will also be jurisdiction questions around the New South Wales legislation, given online sales commonly occur on servers outside the state.


Songkick hits out at Live Nation over slack document sharing
While the Songkick ticketing business prepares to wind down its operations, the start-up's legal battle with Live Nation and Ticketmaster is getting ready to ramp up as the whole dispute heads to trial.

And both sides were in court in California on Monday, with Songkick seeking to have Live Nation sanctioned over the late delivery of 4000 documents related to the case, while the live giant was asking for a chunk of the lawsuit to be dismissed forthwith.

As much previously reported, the Songkick company - which combined the original Songkick gig recommendations service and the Crowdsurge direct-to-fan ticketing platform - sued Live Nation in 2015 accusing the live music major of anti-competitive behaviour. The key allegation was Live Nation - as a concert promoter, venue operator, artist manager and Ticketmaster owner - was exploiting its market dominance to stop artists from working with Songkick on ticket pre-sales to fan club members.

The original lawsuit has since been both streamlined and extended. The additions were mainly new allegations made by Songkick that staff at Ticketmaster stole trade secrets from the start-up and used them to develop its own rival service. These new claims mainly centred on a former Crowdsurge employee who had subsequently joined Ticketmaster.

In July this year, Songkick's gig recommendations app was acquired by Warner Music. Then last week the company confirmed that its ticketing platform would cease to operate at the end of this month. The firm added that that final wind down would complete the shutdown of its ticketing operations that "we began earlier this year when Ticketmaster and Live Nation effectively blocked our US ticketing business".

Back in court, Songkick's lawyers criticised Live Nation for providing 4000 new documents relevant to the case just last month. The sharing of documents between the two parties under the pre-trial 'discovery process' was meant to have been completed months ago but, Songkick argues, its opponent "withheld a treasure trove of documents until the eleventh hour", hindering its own preparations for the trial.

According to Law 360, Songkick stated in its motion to the court: "It would have been questionable to withhold any of these documents - much less thousands of them. This state of affairs is highly prejudicial to Songkick. [Live Nation's] last-minute production of thousands of relevant documents leaves Songkick no choice but to seek sanctions".

But what sanctions? Well, it wants permission to re-open several depositions, wants the jury told about Live Nation's misconduct, and the lawyers want some cash to pay for all the extra work that was involved in going through those extra documents last minute.

For its part, Live Nation says that the late delivery of some documents was a genuine error resulting from a technical glitch in the way it searched its servers for relevant materials, while also playing down the scale of the problem caused by the late arriving files. Given it previously handed over 26,080 documents, the late batch was relatively small, it says, especially as it reckons only about 600 of them were actually substantive.

Indeed, say Live Nation's lawyers, they've been jabbing at their calculators and reckon that the "error rate" of their automated document sweep was just 0.22%, and what judge in their right mind would be getting out their bag of sanctions for such a tiny error? Or something like that. Basically Live Nation wants Songkick to shut up with its moaning.

Live Nation also wants chunks of the case against it thrown out on summary judgement, the other topic of discussion on Monday. On that front, the judge sided with Songkick, ruling that Live Nation had not demonstrated that its rival had failed to bring sufficient evidence to the table for its allegations of anti-competitive behaviour to be proceed to trial.

Songkick, unsurprisingly, welcomed that decision, telling reporters: "We are gratified that the judge has dismissed Live Nation's request for summary judgment today, allowing all eleven of the claims we made against the company in our amended complaint in February to be addressed at the trial". And now we await that trial with plenty of anticipation.


Frank Ocean defeats his father's $14.5 million libel lawsuit
Frank Ocean has successfully defeated a $14.5 million libel lawsuit filed against him by his estranged father, which all related to a Tumblr post.

As previously reported, in the wake of the attack on Orlando's Pulse nightclub last year, Ocean wrote a Tumblr post in which he said: "I was six years old when I heard my dad call our transgender waitress a faggot as he dragged me out a neighbourhood diner saying we wouldn't be served because she was dirty. That was the last afternoon I saw my father and the first time I heard that word, I think, although it wouldn't shock me if it wasn't".

Ocean's father, Calvin Cooksey, denied that the incident ever took place and sued for libel. Ocean initially responded by saying his original Tumblr post "speaks for itself", though in his subsequent legal response he listed seventeen 'affirmative defences' which, he argued, together demonstrated why his father's libel proceedings should be rejected.

Efforts by Cooksey to have all those 'affirmative defences' dismissed failed back in July, though at that hearing the judge cautioned Ocean that some of his defences seemed to "have been put forward without any sort of factual basis".

However, yesterday, after considering further arguments from both sides, judge Stephen V Wilson formally ruled in favour of Ocean, stating that Cooksey - who represented himself in court - had failed to meet the necessary requirements to make a defamation claim. According to Law 360, the judge stated: "Based upon other deficiencies in the plaintiff's case, the judgment has to be for the defendant".

A legal rep for Ocean said that his client was glad that the case was over, adding that it had created a difficult situation for the musician. Lawyer Keith G Bremer added: "I'm happy he can put it behind him".


Cardi B signs to Sony/ATV
Rapidly ascending rapper Cardi B has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Sony/ATV. This follows her recent single, 'Bodak Yellow', going to number one in the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks - the first US number one by a solo female rapper since 1998.

"As 'Bodak Yellow' has already demonstrated, Cardi B is one of a rare breed of unique artists who the industry only witnesses occasionally", says Sony/ATV's US Co-president Rick Krim. "We are honoured that Sony/ATV will get to work with this special talent who is not just impacting music but pop culture as well".

The company's senior director of A&R Jennifer Drake adds: "Candi B is honest, real and refreshing and has the confidence to say exactly what she is thinking and feeling. It's tangible and you can connect to that. We are so proud to be able to work with a talented artist like Cardi and excited to see her push the culture forward".

Meanwhile, Cardi B herself says: "Oooo, I'm so happy to be with my new family [at] Sony/ATV. 'Bodak Yellow' is only the beginning and we're just getting started".

Cardi B first rose to fame in the US on VH1 reality TV show 'Love & Hip Hop: New York'. Since then she's released various singles - including a take on Lady Leshurr's 'Queen's Speech 4', titled 'Cheap Ass Weave' - and three mixtapes. Her 'Gangsta Bitch Music Vol 2' release from January won Best Mixtape at this month's BET Hip Hop Awards.

Watch the video for 'Bodak Yellow' here.


!K7 acquires catalogues from Warner Music as Parlophone deal divestment continues
Warner Music's divestment of assets relating to its 2013 Parlophone deal continues, with the new announcement that !K7 has acquired the catalogues of Patrice Rushen, Miriam Makeeba and The Beginning Of The End.

As previously reported, in order to get regulator approval for its acquisition of the EMI record company in 2012, Universal Music had to sell off some key EMI units in Europe, including the Parlophone label. Much of those assets then went to Warner which - in a bid to stop the indies opposing its acquisition in the way they had Universal's EMI purchase - did a deal with the independent sector via its European trade group IMPALA and digital rights agency Merlin. Under that deal, Warner agreed to sell off some assets to the indies.

The first sign that this process was underway came last year, when Radiohead's catalogue moved to XL. Further deals have seen Because buy up the London Records catalogue, Chrysalis acquire the recordings of Steve Harley And Cockney Rebel, Suzi Quatro, Fun Lovin Criminals and Athlete, and German digital distribution business Zebralution go back to its founders.

This latest deal sees !K7 acquire the Elektra recordings of Patrice Rushen, Miriam Makeba's records for Reprise, and The Beginning Of The End's recordings for the Alston label - all of which date from between 1967 and 1988. In the case of The Beginning Of The End, the deal includes the much sampled hip hop break 'Funky Nassau', which can be heard in The Prodigy's 'No Good (Start The Dance)', The Roots' 'Table Of Contents (Parts 1&2)', and Funky Porcini's 'The Big Sea', among others.

The various records included in the deal will be slowly pumped out in new packages by !K7's reissues label Strut. Says Strut founder Quinton Scott: "These are major acquisitions for !K7 and Strut and we are hugely looking forward to working with Ray Munnings from The Beginning Of The End, Patrice Rushen and the estate of Miriam Makeba to create a fresh, strong reissue programme and an enduring legacy for their music".


Fuga announces new investment to fund international growth
Digital distribution company Fuga has secured six million euros (£5.4 million) of new investment from existing shareholders. The money will be used to expand the company internationally, including expanding the firm's US operation.

"I am very proud of Fuga's trajectory, and happy that it has been recognised by our shareholders", says Fuga CEO Pieter van Rijn. "I am confident that this significant injection of funding will mean we are able to far exceed our already ambitious plans and strengthen our position as an industry leader".

As well as growing existing services, the company has said that it is considering acquisitions as a means to boost its international reach.

Launched in 2008, Fuga has recently done a number of new deals with labels, most recently with Ignition Records, the record label owned by London-based artist management outfit Ignition, which works with artists like Primal Scream, Courteeners and The Coral. Fuga also has deals with the likes of Ministry Of Sound, Epitaph Records, Ultra Records, Tommy Boy Entertainment and Domino, boasting a catalogue of nearly three million tracks.


Approved: Young Juvenile Youth
Returning for what has seemingly become an annual appearance in this column, Young Juvenile Youth are back with a new single, 'Slapback'.

The rate of their releases has been fairly slow since 2015 - but the long gaps between new tracks is partly what creates the rush of excitement that makes us put them in the Approved slot (almost) every single time.

Their music has always had a bit of a 90s slant, though tracks like 2015's 'Animation' and last year's 'Youth' were pretty laidback affairs. This time, something more upbeat.

Ushering in news of the release of their debut album, 'Mirror', out on 22 Nov, 'Slapback' is a warped, adrenaline-filled take on R&B, with an appropriately migraine-inducing video to join it. For all of its many twists, it remains pleasingly minimal, while vocalist Yuki's nonchalant delivery helps to ground it.

Watch the video for 'Slapback' here.

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

Ed Sheeran cancels shows after cycling accident
Ed Sheeran has, as I think we all expected, announced the cancellation of several upcoming tour dates, after being injured in a traffic accident.

As previously reported, Sheeran was hit by a car while cycling in London on Monday. The musician was left with fractures to his right wrist and left elbow, making guitar playing quite unlikely.

Having previously said that he was "waiting on some medical advice" before making any announcement about upcoming live performances, he confirmed last night that he would have to miss at least the first seven shows of his Asian tour.

"A visit to my doctors confirmed fractures in my right wrist and left elbow that will leave me unable to perform live concerts for the immediate future", he said on Instagram. "Sadly, this means that the following shows will not be able to go ahead as planned: Taipei, Osaka, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong. I'm waiting to see how the healing progresses before we have to decide on shows beyond that. Please stay tuned for more details".

A postscript noted that "Ed isn't typing this as he has both arms casted/bandaged", just in case you thought he was faking.

Sheeran had been due to perform in Taipei this Sunday. His next scheduled show is now at Manila's Mall Of Asia Concert Grounds in the Philippines on 7 Nov.


Björk gives more detail on sexual harassment claims against Lars Von Trier
Björk has given more details of the sexual harassment she says she was subjected to by a Danish film director, after Lars Von Trier denied that he ever acted inappropriately towards her. Although she has still not named the director, an aside in her latest comments seems to confirm that it is Von Trier she is speaking about.

As previously reported, in the wake of allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, Björk wrote on her Facebook page about her "experience with a Danish director". She said that having "turned the director down repeatedly, he sulked and punished me and created for his team an impressive net of illusion where I was framed as the difficult one".

Danish director Lars Von Trier and Björk worked together on her only movie role in 2000's 'Dancer In The Dark', so putting two and two together was not massively difficult. However, questioned about the musician's account of their time together by Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, Von Trier said: "That was not the case. But that we were definitely not friends, that's a fact".

Von Trier's producer Peter Aalbaek Jensen added: "As far as I remember, we were the victims. That woman was stronger than both Lars Von Trier and me and our company put together. She dictated everything and was about to close a movie of 100 million kroner [£11.9 million]".

In a new post, Björk detailed six "encounters that I think count as sexual harassment". The director put his arms around her and stroked her against her wishes, she said. After two months, she asked him to stop and he "exploded and broke a chair in front of everyone on set".

"There were constant, awkward, paralysing, [and] unwanted whispered sexual offers from him with graphic descriptions, sometimes with his wife standing next to us", she continues. "[And] while filming in Sweden, he threatened to climb from his room's balcony over to mine in the middle of the night with a clear sexual intention, while his wife was in the room next door. I escaped to my friend's room. This was what finally woke me up to the severity of all this and made me stand my ground".

After this, she says, "fabricated stories [were placed] in the press about me being difficult by his producer". Seemingly referencing a claim prior to the release of the movie that she had ripped up and eaten part of a blouse she didn't want to wear in a scene, she adds: "I have never eaten a shirt. Not sure that is even possible".

She concludes: "I didn't comply or agree [to be] sexually harassed. That was then portrayed as me being difficult. If being difficult is standing up to being treated like that, I'll own it".

Responding to Björk's second post, Von Trier told Jyllands Posten: "I reject categorically all charges that Björk might have against my person. I have not had any sexual intentions in relation to Björk ever".

Read Björk's Facebook update in full here.


Def Jam, Beatport, MGMT, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Steven Victor has been named Executive Vice President and Head Of A&R at Universal's Def Jam in the US. Previously SVP A&R at Universal Music Group as a whole, he will remain head of William Victor Management and COO of GOOD Music. "I'm genuinely excited", he says.

• Dance music download platform Beatport has appointed Robb McDaniels as its new CEO. "We are looking forward to reigniting both innovation and value creation for our partners and customers at Beatport in 2018 and beyond", he says. McDaniels was previously CEO of music distribution firm INgrooves, which he founded in 2002.

• MGMT are back. Things you can do to stop them: zero. They'll release a new album next year. Here's new single 'Little Dark Age'.

• Morrissey has released the video for 'Spent The Day In Bed'. He spends the video in a chair.

• A Perfect Circle have released their first new music for four years, in the shape of new single 'The Doomed'. The band's first album since 2004 is also due out next year.

• Ghostpoet has released the video for new single 'Woe Is Meee', taken from his excellent new album 'Dark Days And Canapés'.

• Everything Everything, who continue to be just magnificent, have released the video for new single 'Night Of The Long Knives'.

• Joss Stone and Nitin Sawhney have released the video for 'Mama Earth', from their upcoming album 'Project Mama Earth'.

• Noga Erez, whose debut album 'Off The Radar' remains one of the best albums of 2017, has released the video for the record's opening track, 'Balkada'.

• Sampa The Great will release new mixtape 'Birds And Bee9' on 10 Nov. Here's new single 'Bye River'.

• Hannah Trigwell has released new single 'Nobody'. She's currently touring the UK, with a show at Nottingham's Bunker Hill tonight.

• Rina Sawayama has released the video for her brilliant new single 'Afterlife'. She'll play The Pickle Factory in London on 2 Nov.

• Wovoka Gentle have released new single 'Branscombe'. They'll play the Rich Mix in London on 7 Nov.

• Sigrid has announced UK tour dates for next March, including a show at the Shepherds Bush Empire on 14 Mar.

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


YouTube chorus loop helps Post Malone to US number one
Post Malone's new single 'Rockstar' went to number one in America's Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on Monday. Which is nice. For him. But some are now suggesting that he got there by unusual, if not dubious means.

As The Fader points out, a YouTube account apparently operated by Malone's label, Universal's Republic Records, uploaded a video titled 'Post Malone feat 21 Savage - Rockstar' on 21 Sep. The thing is, the video isn't quite what it initially appears. At three minutes and 38 seconds, it's the same length as the track, but is actually just the chorus repeated on a loop. It's missing all other parts of the song, including 21 Savage's verse.

The video's description and a pop-up within the video offer a link to stream the song in full on various other streaming services. However, due to the way Billboard's singles chart is tallied up, and its inclusion of YouTube data in the mix, a play of this heavily edited version of the song could count towards the stats sweep that got the song to number one, as well as any subsequent plays on the other streaming platforms by people looking to hear it in full. With over 43 million plays for the YouTube video to date, and more than a million more coming in each day, that's not insignificant.

It's not clear what the exact logic behind the video was - a rep for Republic did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It has been suggested that this is a deliberate attempt to double up streams and boost the track's chart position, which has proven rather successful, if that is the case. Although, if you wanted to give the label the benefit of the doubt, it may also have been an experiment in driving listeners away from record industry enemy number one, YouTube, over to more profitable audio streaming services. Albeit, an experiment with a handy side-effect.

This news story surfaces at a time when there has been much rumour that Billboard is about to start counting YouTube plays in its albums chart, as well as the Hot 100 single's chart. A source told Hypebot recently that negotiations between Billboard and the labels are ongoing, and no decision has yet been made.


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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