TODAY'S TOP STORY: NME and Uncut owner Time Inc is set to be acquired by rival American media firm the Meredith Corporation via a deal agreed by the two companies' boards last night... [READ MORE]
As the UK's Music Managers Forum publishes two new guides as part of phase three of its 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' programme, CMU Trends summarises what we've learned from the project so far in 30 points - ten from part one, ten from part two, and ten from the new guides. Along the way we cover digital licensing, all the key issues with the current streaming business model, and what you need to know about label deals and transparency in the streaming age. [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]
TOP STORIES NME publisher bought in $2.8 billion deal
LEGAL Disney accused of song-theft over Frozen soundtrack
South African and Swiss lawmakers consider web-blocking proposals
Video removal notices can't be defamatory, says YouTube
DEALS Sony Music takes stake in K-pop label KQ Entertainment
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Warner Music not happy about property development next door
LIVE BUSINESS Ticketline UK goes into administration
AWARDS BBC Sound Of 2018 longlist announced
Anish Kappor announced as 2018 BRIT Awards trophy designer
AND FINALLY... Piers Morgan tells Olly Murs to "stop tweeting" during Oxford Street panic
Sentric Music is looking for a Senior Catalogue Administrator to join the Rights Management team based in its Liverpool office where they will play an integral role in managing the catalogue of a key client.

For more information and to apply click here.
Sentric Music is looking for a Catalogue Administration Assistant to join the Rights Management team based in its Liverpool office where they will play an important role in the administration of a key clients’ catalogue.

For more information and to apply click here.
Kilimanjaro Live is working with Dinosaurs In The Wild to bring its amazing adventure to London in 2018 for a long term run. We are recruiting a Venue Manager, Assistant Venue Manager and Box Office Managers to manage the venue operations.

For more information and to apply click here.
VMS Live is looking for an experienced promoter to work in our expanding events team. Based in one of our UK offices the successful candidate will be work alongside existing staff to book and promote artists/events into our existing partner venues estate around the UK, as well as delivering shows in our own right as VMS Live.

For more information and to apply click here.
VMS Live is looking for a Junior Booker to work in our expanding events team. Based in one of our UK offices the position will be working alongside our existing staff to book and promote artists/events into our existing partner venues estate around the UK, as well as delivering shows in our own right as VMS Live.

For more information and to apply click here.
13 Artists are looking to recruit a Senior Booking Assistant who, among other things, will liaise with agents, management and labels on touring periods, financial and logistic requirements; negotiate routing and arrange dates with promoters and venues; and analyse costings for shows to get the best deals for artists.

For more information and to apply click here.
The Rest Is Noise is a music specialist communications agency that look after a range of PR campaigns. The role is for an experienced PR to join our tight­knit team, delivering high impact PR campaigns within our events arm.

For more information and to apply click here.
Domino seeks a Paralegal / Business Affairs Assistant to join its Business Affairs department working across both the record label and publishing company.

For more information and to apply click here.
As Client Administrator at Entertainment Intelligence, you will manage primary communication between the client, and both our software development team, and sales team, reporting to the company directors.

For more information and to apply click here.
As Campaign Manager at independent full service advertising agency Sold Out, you will be the lead person responsible for all elements of online marketing and be supporting the business through effective implementation of social media campaigns, campaign planning and buying, implementation and reporting for a variety of clients across the entertainment market.

For more information and to apply click here.
Kobalt is looking for a VP Digital Marketing, UK & International to join the Kobalt Music Recordings team and work with our growing roster of emerging and established artists from all over the world.

For more information and to apply click here.
TuneCore is looking for a UK Brand Manager to be responsible for the development of its brand and customer base across the UK. The Brand Manager will have a deep understanding of, and an extensive network in, both the UK music market and the indie scene, and direct experience working in the independent music industry.

For more information and to apply click here.
Eventbrite is looking for someone to help build a world-class business development team focused on music in Europe that consistently exceeds business targets, partners cross-functionally with our global teams, and helps write the playbook for our European market.

For more information and to apply click here.
These are sessions that we run in-house at music companies or companies working with music. As we head into 2018, CMU Insights is now offering music companies a special two-hour primer session reviewing five key areas of the music business, summarising important developments from the last twelve months and looking at the challenges that lie ahead in the next year. Including: the streaming business, piracy, safe harbour, ticketing and data.

CLICK HERE to find out more about this CMU Insights primer.

NME publisher bought in $2.8 billion deal
NME and Uncut owner Time Inc is set to be acquired by rival American media firm the Meredith Corporation via a deal agreed by the two companies' boards last night.

Time Inc was a division of the Time Warner entertainment conglom for nearly 25 years, before being spun off as a standalone entity in 2014. Like most magazine publishers, the company has struggled as a result of the big shift from print to digital, with its titles talking to ever bigger audiences online, but finding it tricky to turn that online audience into decent revenue through either subscriptions or advertising.

There has been talk for a while now of Time Inc being bought by either another media group or private equity. The Meredith acquisition is, in some ways, a combination of the two, in that it is being part funded by a $650 million cash injection from the private equity wing of Koch Industries, which is owned by the sometimes controversial Koch brothers.

Although said Koch brothers are famous for their political manoeuvrings, mainly by funding American political groups and campaigns, Meredith insists that it will be a hands off investor in the media business, not even taking a seat on the board. Time Inc, unlike Meredith, is most famous, of course, for its current affairs and business titles.

The merger of Meredith and Time Inc, which it is hoped can be finalised in the first quarter of 2018, will inevitably result in some probably not insignificant downsizing, such economies of scale being the main thing that makes the deal attractive, given how challenging magazine publishing is at the moment.

That is likely to hit hardest in the US where the two companies both have significant operations, while it's Time Inc's UK division, of course, that publishes titles like NME and Uncut. Certainly Meredith Corporation's main focus is currently Stateside.

Confirming the $2.8 billion deal, Meredith Corporation CEO Stephen M Lacy said: "We are creating a premiere media company serving nearly 200 million American consumers across industry-leading digital, television, print, video, mobile and social platforms positioned for growth. We are adding the rich content-creation capabilities of some of the media industry's strongest national brands to a powerful local television business that is generating record earnings, offering advertisers and marketers unparalleled reach to American adults".

He went on: "We are also creating a powerful digital media business with 170 million monthly unique visitors in the US and over ten billion annual video views, enhancing Meredith's leadership position in reaching millennials".


Disney accused of song-theft over Frozen soundtrack
You know 'Let It Go', the Oscar and Grammy winning song from the insanely popular Disney film 'Frozen'? Totally ripped off from an earlier song by Chilean singer Jaime Ciero. Or so says Chilean singer Jaime Ciero. I couldn't possibly comment.

Ciero is reportedly suing Disney and pretty much everyone associated with the 2013 film's soundtrack over allegations 'Let It Go' borrows from his 2008 song 'Volar'. And that includes Idina Menzel and Demi Lovato, who respectively sang the song within the film itself and over the movie's end credits.

According to TMZ - which has also lined up the customary YouTube embed stack so you can compare the two songs for yourself - Ciero reckons that 'Let It Go', written by wife-husband songwriting team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, has similar note combinations, structures, hooks, melodies, lyrics, themes, production and textures to his earlier work.

It remains to be seen how Disney et al respond to the litigation, though Ciero is reportedly seeking a cut of profits from the movie as well as its soundtrack in his lawsuit.


South African and Swiss lawmakers consider web-blocking proposals
Could either South Africa or Switzerland join the web-block party anytime soon? Probably not. Though South Africa maybe. Either way, copyright owners in both those countries have been pushing for web-blocking to be allowed under their respective copyright systems.

Web-blocking, of course, is the anti-piracy tactic where rights owners can get injunctions forcing internet service providers to block their customers from accessing piracy websites.

It's by no means a perfect anti-piracy tool, because it's usually pretty easy to circumvent the blockades, but rights owners nevertheless like them and want web-blocking to be available in more countries. ISPs generally oppose web-blocking whenever it is first proposed in any one country, though usually learn to live with it once it has been introduced.

In South Africa, the local entertainment industry asked for web-blocking when invited to input on a new Cybercrimes And Cybersecurity Bill. Anti-piracy group SAFACT, and others, cited the web-blocking systems already underway in some European countries, including the UK, as something South African law-makers should consider adopting. They also requested that ISPs be forced to send warning letters to suspected online infringers, and maybe even monitor for infringement on their networks.

None of that is going to be included in the Cybercrimes And Cybersecurity Bill though, so don't get too excited. According to South African website BusinessTech, ministers recently said that the entertainment industry's copyright proposals were not within the remit of the Cybercrimes And Cybersecurity Bill. However, they noted that a bill seeking to amend the country's copyright law is also going through the motions, and that the anti-piracy proposals would be better put forward for that legislation.

Meanwhile, in Switzerland, it is a copyright review that we're focusing on. The country has come under increased pressure from government's elsewhere in the world, most notably the US, to ramp up its copyright regime, which many rights owners complain is ill-equipped to deal with online infringement.

Not least because under Swiss copyright law, most casual downloading and streaming of unlicensed content (though not uploading) is covered by the pesky private copy exception.

Various new anti-piracy measures have been proposed during the current copyright review and an update on which proposals will go forward was published last week.

Still on the agenda is a possible new law forcing internet companies to operate takedown systems that remove infringing content that has been uploaded by their users to their servers. And that would include a takedown-and-stay-down requirement, something the copyright industries have been calling for elsewhere where takedowns systems are already required, but the efficiency of those takedown processes is debatable.

However, according to Torrentfreak, Swiss lawmakers have already knocked back proposals that web-blocking be introduced there. Which will annoy copyright owners because, of course, even rigorous takedown obligations on server hosting companies and suchlike aren't much use when the servers hosting pirated content are outside the jurisdiction of Swiss law and obligations are therefore hard to enforce.


Video removal notices can't be defamatory, says YouTube
YouTube last week said that the Californian federal court should bring to an end a three year libel lawsuit being pursued against it by music company Song Fi Inc because of a recent ruling in another case in the state's appeals court.

Song Fi Inc sued YouTube back in 2014 after the Google site moved one of its videos over suspicions that the music firm may have used some nifty tech trickery to artificially boost said video's stats. The shifted video was for the track 'LuvYa LuvYa LuvYa' performed by Song Fi chief Stephen C Sieber's group Rasta Rock Opera.

The lawsuit focused on the notice YouTube posted on the page that had originally hosted the shifted video, which stated that the content had been removed because of a violation of the site's terms of service. That, argued Song Fi, was defamatory and damaged Rasta Rock Opera's reputation, mainly because its video featured children and the notice suggested, it reckoned, that the video had contained illegal or improper content.

The libel litigation has been rumbling on ever since, though a concurrent claim of fraud against YouTube was dismissed by the court last year. Now the libel claim should be dismissed too, reckoned the Google company last week, because of the precedent set in another case focused on whether YouTube content removal notices can be defamatory to the creator of the removed content. That case was called Bartholomew v YouTube.

According to Law360, in a motion calling for summary judgement in its favour in relation to the Song Fi dispute, YouTube stated last week that: "Bartholomew held that the notice, whether on its own or combined with the guidelines, was not capable of conveying a defamatory meaning and was not a statement 'of and concerning' the plaintiff".

It also added that: "The generic nature of the notice only underscores why it is not defamatory and thus provides no basis for either liability or damages".

More specific to this case, YouTube also argues that Song Fi has not named any specific individuals who inferred that its content removal notice suggested there was inappropriate material in the Rasta Rock Opera video, while also disputing claims that the notice hindered the music company's relations with its business partners.

It remains to be seen how the court now responds.


Sony Music takes stake in K-pop label KQ Entertainment
Sony Music in Korea has launched a strategic partnership with local label KQ Entertainment. The deal will see Sony take equity in the company, which counts boyband Block B on its roster.

"We are delighted to partner with KQ Entertainment and [CEO] Sean Kim", said Denis Handlin, President of Sony Music Entertainment Asia. "Sean and his team have developed an exciting roster of artists who are capturing the admiration of music fans in Korea and abroad. We are very focused on expanding the reach of KQ's artists and to develop new Korean artists with Sean in the future. These are exciting times, with the Korean market growing strongly and K-Pop artists continuing to build an even larger fan base around the world".

Kim added: "We believe that this partnership reflects K-Pop's successful transition into an internationally accepted music genre, and the global competitiveness of KQ Entertainment's artists. We are excited by this partnership with Sony Music and we very much appreciate Denis Handlin's great support. This partnership provides us the opportunity to aggressively expand into the overseas market and create unprecedented projects to all the K-Pop fans around the globe".


Warner Music not happy about property development next door
Warner Music isn't happy about plans to redevelop the building next to its London HQ in Kensington. The major label, reckons that extensive building work will disrupt its operations, in particular the work of its newish content production and studio set-up Firepit.

Proposed extensions to the neighbouring property will also impact on Warner Music's main UK base - which was previously the offices of the old EMI Group - even beyond the building work itself, says the major.

As the planning committee of Kensington & Chelsea Council last week prepared to consider the redevelopment proposals of Columbia Threadneedle Investments, which owns the neighbouring retail and office complex, a spokesperson for Warner told the Standard: "We're objecting to this planning application as it will significantly impact our business".

Planning consultants for the company added: "There is potential for the proposed development to harm the business activities of WM through inappropriate levels of noise and vibration during the demolition and construction phases".

While, on the longer term impact, Warner went on: "The current proposed development will reduce the light coming into our building which, with its glass facade, was specifically designed to benefit from it. This would alter the ways in which we could use the building, including the hosting of showcase performances from artists".

The major is also telling the local authority that it might be forced to move away from the borough if the redevelopment goes ahead as proposed, possibly following the slow shift of various UK music businesses to the Kings Cross area. The major concluded: "We've been a significant employer in the borough since the 80s, but we would be forced to consider our position if this application is approved".


Ticketline UK goes into administration
Cardiff-based ticketing company Ticketline UK has gone into administration, it has been announced.

The company - not to be confused with the Manchester-based Ticketline - and which describes itself as "Wales's largest independent ticket agency and event break specialist", says it has struggled to compete in the increasingly competitive ticketing sector. As well as live music shows, it also sells tickets for sporting events, theatre shows and day trips.

Elias Paourou of liquidator CVR Global said in a statement: "Unfortunately due to the increasingly competitive market of the ticketing industry, Ticket Line (UK) Ltd could no longer continue trading. We are now in the process of trying to find a potential buyer in the best interests of the company's 2000 customers".

As for those customers, he advised anyone still awaiting tickets from the company who purchased them with a credit card to seek a refund from their card provider.


Approved: Parker
Bryony Parker's latest single, 'Doubles', deals with feelings surrounding her move from rural Australia to London in order to pursue a career in music. These lyrical themes, and an increased depth to her sound, make the track feel like a stepping stone towards making that career a reality.

Her second release on Killing Moon, following July's 'Runs And Rides', the track sees her working with regular collaborator Rupert Lyydon of The Grand National. Adding layers of guitars to her electronic sound lifts the juxtaposition of hope and guilt in Parker's words.

"I had a really beautiful upbringing, and I'm always seeking out the beautiful moments in life and trying to portray that in my music", she says of her work. "I've had a lot of windows to a lot of different worlds".

Listen to 'Doubles' here.

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

BBC Sound Of 2018 longlist announced
The longlist for the 2018 BBC Sound Of poll is out, so get your complaining hats at the ready as you mistake predictions for claims of actual knowledge of the future.

Voted for by over 170 pundits - including CMU's own Andy Malt (that's me), plus former nominees and winners Stormzy, Ellie Goulding, Years & Years' Olly Alexander, Loyle Carner, Michael Kiwanuka and Ray BLK - the annual list of new acts people are excited about is now sixteen years old. For unrelated reasons, the longlist also features sixteen artists for the first time. There was a tie between two acts, so nothing birthday related at all.

As ever, the top five most tipped acts will be announced over the course of a week in early January - the week commencing 8 Jan to be precise - with the winner announced by Annie Mac on Clara Amfo's show at 10am on 12 Jan. We will then all agree that this new artist will definitely be the most popular of 2018 and get on with our lives.

"I'm super excited to see so many young and innovative rising stars from around the world on this year's Sound Of 2018 longlist", says Mac. "Some acts will be brand new to UK audiences and many have already started to make an impact with us at Radio 1 and 1Xtra and out performing live. Countless numbers of talented artists have featured on previous Sound Of lists and I'm delighted by the level of talent presented again this year. I can't wait to be a part of their journey and see what the year ahead has in store for them all".

Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra's Head Of Music Chris Price adds: "The BBC Music Sound of 2018 longlist is impressive for its strength and diversity. The stellar list of new acts here, many of whom have seen significant early support from Radio 1 and 1Xtra, fill me with confidence that 2018 will be an exciting year for emerging talent".

But who are the sixteen acts every single man, woman and child in the UK will be listening to endlessly in 2018 (those are the rules, by the way)? Well, they are these:

Billie Eilish
Jade Bird
Lewis Capaldi
Nilüfer Yanya
Pale Waves
Rex Orange County
Sam Fender
Tom Walker
Yxng Bane


Anish Kappor announced as 2018 BRIT Awards trophy designer
The BRIT Awards trophy for 2018 has been designed by sculptor Anish Kapoor, it has been announced.

Announcing the news, BRITs chair and Sony Music UK boss Jason Iley said: "Sir Anish has created some of the most adventurous and memorable works of our life time which is reflected in the new BRIT award. He constantly pushes boundaries and challenges the norm and I love the way he has reimagined this year's award. The beauty of this award is that it challenges perspectives. Every which way you look at it, you discover more".

Kapoor added: "I am pleased to have designed the BRIT award for 2018. Sculpture is often a process of positive and negative form. I have made the award using both".

Built for the London 2012 Olympics, Kapoor's best known work to date is probably the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower. You know, that thing you went on and on and on about how much you hated. Well, now you can moan about his BRIT award design instead. He joins the likes of Zaha Hadid, Tracey Emin, Vivienne Westwood, Damien Hurst, and Peter Blake in having the privilege of designing a BRIT trophy.

The BRIT Awards ceremony will take place on 21 Feb next year at the O2 Arena.


Piers Morgan tells Olly Murs to "stop tweeting" during Oxford Street panic
Piers Morgan and Olly Murs found themselves locking horns on Twitter on Friday evening, after the former accused the latter of irresponsibly spreading fear. This came after Murs live tweeted being caught up in what turned out to be a non-incident on London's Oxford Street.

There were reports of gunshots being fired at Oxford Circus tube station on Friday evening, although this later turned out not to be the case. Murs, who had been doing a spot of shopping in Selfridges when this happened, began a series of tweets to his 7.8 million followers by shouting: "Fuck, everyone get out of Selfridges now. Gun shots! I'm inside".

He went on to say that he wasn't sure what happened but "people [are] screaming and running towards exits". Then, after being evacuated, he announced that he was "being told no shots in Selfridges! Have no idea the whole store went crazy!"

Eventually, Morgan chipped in: "Stop tweeting mate. Nothing happened".

A bit of friendly advice to which Murs did not take kindly. Using Twitter's new increased character limit to full effect, he replied: "Listen Piers! I was shopping and then all of sudden the whole place went mad - I mean crazy - people running and screaming towards exits. We found a small office to hide to with loads of staff and people were saying there was shots fired. If you was there you'd have understood mate".

"No", shot back Morgan. "You listen, Olly. When you have millions of followers be very careful what you tweet. There were no shots, in fact nothing happened at all. So you stirred extra needless panic by tweeting false information".

This is the same Piers Morgan who once lost his job for publishing false information (well, pictures), so you'd think Murs might want to listen to the wise old man. He did not.

"No you listen Piers", replied Murs, developing a theme. "Your comments are unfair mate. It's easy to say now it was nothing but in a state of shock and panic. I was trying to make people aware of what was happening. I was led to believe by staff and customers that someone was shooting".

Morgan noted that Murs should "leave it to the police next time", telling him: "It's not your place to tell people to evacuate or say (wrongly) that shots were fired. You could have put people in more danger".

It's not clear how many of Murs's followers were actually in Selfridges while he was tweeting, and how many of them would turn to his Twitter account for information on what was happening if they had been. I've not been following his career very closely lately, maybe he has become some sort of public information service.

Whatever, I think Morgan's advice to "stop tweeting" is something everyone should take on board. Especially Morgan himself.


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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