TODAY'S TOP STORY: Birmingham City Council has revoked the licence of nightclub complex The Rainbow Venues, following the drug-related death of a teenager on the premises last month. The decision was made after nineteen year old Michael Trueman died at a Halloween event due to the drugs he had taken... [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 Birmingham's Rainbow Venues to appeal after licence revoked over drug-related death
UK's £92 billion creative sector growing twice as fast as the wider economy
LEGAL New Zealand ISPs hit out at Sky's web-blocking bid
DEALS Because Music allies with Universal's Caroline
LIVE BUSINESS Live Nation bidding for venue company SMG
BRANDS & MERCH Michael Nyman scores washing machine film
ARTIST NEWS Jay-Z says he and Beyonce abandoned joint album
AWARDS Stormzy storms the MOBOs
ONE LINERS YouTube, Prince, Sam Smith, more
AND FINALLY... Another MP has been quoting grime lyrics in Parliament
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Birmingham's Rainbow Venues to appeal, after licence revoked over drug-related death
Birmingham City Council has revoked the licence of nightclub complex The Rainbow Venues, following the drug-related death of a teenager on the premises last month. The decision was made after nineteen year old Michael Trueman died at a Halloween event due to the drugs he had taken.

According to Resident Advisor, West Midlands Police officer PC Abdul Rohomon said at a hearing this week that they had "no option but to call for Rainbow's licence to be revoked", as this was the second drug-related death in the eleven room complex in two years - the first being eighteen year old Dylan Booth in 2015. He added that there was also "evidence that a fifteen year-old boy has been admitted to the venue", based on video footage from Snapchat.

Rohoman added: "There are around 3000 licensed premises in Birmingham and this is the only venue which has suffered drug related deaths. The most stringent measures are in place yet drugs are still being consumed inside the venue".

With the Birmingham clubbing complex now in a similar situation to that London nightclub Fabric found itself in last year, people have similarly rallied in support following the Council's decision on the Rainbow licence. As in the case of Fabric, many have noted that revoking a club's licence will not stop people from taking drugs, and will potentially put them in more dangerous situations by consuming drugs in places that lack the safety measures best practice club venues operate.

The Guardian reports that The Rainbow Venues already has CCTV, sniffer dogs and random searches in place in a bid to prevent drug use at its events. However, said Rohomon, "some customers ... use the most extreme measures to smuggle drugs including putting pills in car keys and also intimate places in their body. We simply can't guarantee that no drugs will ever get through".

In the discussion around anti-drug initiatives during Fabric's licensing battle, there was much debate about the pros and cons of using sniffer dogs at the entrance, which the London club was being pressured to do. Some point out that too strong a security presence at the entrance can scare people into taking all of their drugs in one go in the queue outside, which is much more dangerous.

In the case of Trueman, police said that he died after taking MDMA in the toilets at the club on 29 Oct. It had been his first experience of taking drugs, Rohomon said at a hearing to temporarily suspend the venue's licence earlier this month. Trueman's friends said that his demeanour had changed almost immediately after he took the drugs and they sought medical attention for him. He died in hospital the next day.

At the time, the Rainbow Venues said in a statement, reported by the Birmingham Mail: "The venue's thoughts of comfort and condolences are with the grieving family and friends for the tragic young loss of life. West Midlands Police have demonstrated that The Rainbow Venues acted responsibly, and adhered by all of it's licensing objectives. The Rainbow Venues are working cohesively with West Midlands Police and local authorities to further enhance our operations".

In a new statement yesterday, the venue confirmed that it will now be appealing the decision to permanently revoke its licence. It also denied that a fifteen year old had been admitted to the venue and then reasserted that it had adhered to all the conditions of its licence.

In the statement, Rainbow Venues also talked up the impact of its operations on Birmingham's nighttime economy, and on the wider creative industries, plus on the city as a whole, not least by regenerating previously disused buildings.

Also, similar to The Arches in Glasgow, which closed in 2015 following its own run-in with licensing authorities, they added that clubbing events in the main Rainbow Warehouse venue subsidised many non-profit making projects that happen elsewhere in the complex, which would also be lost if it is forced to close down.

"We have been resurrecting redundant buildings and regenerating an area around Digbeth with creating and performing arts spaces", the venue's management said. "Showcasing new local and international talent, theatre, comedy, food and electronic music ... Every penny that came in was re-invested into Birmingham helping enhance Birmingham's nighttime economy and enhance our customers' experience".

They continued: "We believe the future economic success of Birmingham is dependent on the ability to both attract and retain talent. Whilst we have several great universities in Birmingham, many new graduates head straight for the bright lights of the capital. Part of our challenge to retain them should be a forward thinking interesting city that values recreation arts and culture. Closing down venues that offer so much to the city is not going to help us achieve this".

Addressing safety within their premises, they said: "We firmly believe that our team took great care, time and passion to create a safe environment for people to enjoy our events. We had very robust policies that West Midlands Police have accepted are more stringent than any other licensed premises in the country".

They added that no one can "promise that drugs will not enter licensed premises", but that it was the drug users, not the venue, who had broken the law.

"There is a global society issue, this won't be the last drug related death on licensed premises", they said. "We can't lie. We didn't lie. This will happen again and again. There needs to be a universal, collaborative approach to the UK's drug problem. Let's educate and not be so quick to revoke licences that practice the correct policies".

Describing the decision to close The Rainbow Venues, and other venues around the country, because of drug use as "prehistoric", they warned that this will simply be "pushing these events back underground" where "there are no measures in place to protect people from harm".

The Rainbow Venues has a 21 day time limit to launch its appeal.


UK's £92 billion creative sector growing twice as fast as the wider economy
The creative industries made a record contribution to the UK economy in 2016, according to new stats from the government's Department For Digital, Media, Culture And Sport. So well done creative people everywhere! Well in the UK, mainly. Maybe take a day off to celebrate. No, hang on, that'll just have a negative impact on the British creative economy. And with the Brexit timebomb ticking ever louder, every penny counts.

According to the DDMCS, the wider creative industries in the UK - which includes films, broadcasting, gaming, advertising, museums and the arts, as well as music - now have a 'Gross Value Added' figure (that being the metric used when measuring the economic impact of different sectors) of £92 billion.

That is up from £85 billion in 2015, meaning the sector is growing twice as fast as the wider economy, and now makes up more than 5% of the UK's entire GVA.

Says the boss of the DDCMS, culture secretary Karen Bradley: "Britain's creative industries play an essential role shaping how we are seen around the world but as these new statistics show they are also a vital part of the economy. The sector is now one of our fastest growing industries and continues to outperform the wider UK economy".

She goes on: "This is a testament to the talent and drive of its workforce and we are working closely with them to make sure this fantastic success continues. I am delighted to see the sectors my department supports contributing so positively to people's lives and helping strengthen the economy, as we work to build a Britain fit for the future".

So that's all lovely isn't it? Good job the UK government is concurrently slashing funding for creative subjects like music in the education system. We wouldn't want to accidentally train up a future generation to continue all this growth.


New Zealand ISPs hit out at Sky's web-blocking bid
Sky TV is trying to bring the web-block party to New Zealand and, as is the norm, the internet service providers are stamping their feet about it. One has called the move to force ISPs in New Zealand to block their customers from accessing various piracy sites "dinosaur behaviour" and "something you would expect in North Korea".

It's actually something you'd expect in a plethora of countries, not least the UK, where web-blocking has been available as an anti-piracy tactic for sometime and has been prolifically used by the music and movie industries. It's by no means a perfect tactic - it's relatively easy to circumvent the blockades - but copyright owners insist it's a useful system nevertheless in their wider campaign to limit online piracy.

Whenever web-blocking is first proposed in a country, the ISP's usually throw a tantrum. Though, interestingly, once the web-blocks are underway, most net firms fall in line and start implementing any court-ordered blockades without too much moaning. Indeed, some have gone as far as bigging up web-blocking as a preferred anti-piracy manoeuvre, providing there is some judicial over-sight when blocks are put in place.

Howver, ISP Vocus is a long way off acceptance, let alone endorsement. Following the news that Sky recently filed legal papers with the high court in New Zealand seeking web-blocks against a number of as-yet-unnamed piracy sites, the ISP hit out.

According to Torrentfreak, the firm's Taryn Hamilton said: "Sky's call that sites be blacklisted on their say so is dinosaur behaviour, something you would expect in North Korea, not in New Zealand. It isn't our job to police the internet and it sure as hell isn't Sky's either, all sites should be equal and open".

Meanwhile InternetNZ - a digital rights lobbying group that also administrates the .nz domain - likewise hit out at the plans. It stated yesterday: "InternetNZ is surprised by today's announcement of court action from Sky TV to a range of ISPs, asking them to block New Zealand internet users from accessing certain websites".

The organisation's boss Jordan Cartera added: "This is an extreme step in response to a problem of limited scale, and one that is unlikely to achieve the stated goal. Site blocking works against the very nature of the internet".

Questioning the effectiveness of web-blocking, Cartera went on: "Site blocking is very easily evaded by people with the right skills or tools. Those who are deliberate pirates will be able to get around site blocking without difficulty. If blocking is ordered, it risks driving content piracy further underground, with the help of easily-deployed and common internet tools".

On the legalities of web-blocking in the country, the InternetNZ chief said he was investigating. He explained: "InternetNZ is taking legal advice on this matter, to understand better whether the court has the ability to order such a block. Parliament has never signalled an intention to allow this when it has considered these matters, and if site blocking was to be introduced it should only happen after a broad public debate establishes it is unavoidable, and a parliamentary mandate is given".

For its part, Sky says over 40 countries worldwide now allow web-blocking, adding: "Pirate sites like Pirate Bay make no contribution to the development of content, but rather just steal it. We're doing this because illegal streaming and content piracy is a major threat to the entertainment, creative and sporting industries in New Zealand and abroad. With piracy, not only is the sport and entertainment content that we love at risk, but so are the livelihoods of the thousands of people employed by these industries".


Because Music allies with Universal's Caroline
Universal Music's label services business Caroline has announced a new alliance with French independent Because which will see the major provide marketing, promotion and physical distribution services to the indie. Though, when it comes to streaming, Because will be allied to indie label digital rights group Merlin, and will pump its content directly into key digital platforms under the Merlin-negotiated licences.

Because says that, under the new partnership, it will "work closely with Caroline International's teams in more than 20 countries to strengthen its existing global operations. Together, the companies will focus their combined expertise on creating innovative and dynamic campaigns for Because Music's artists and catalogue".

The fact that digital distribution is not part of this new deal is interesting. Indies collaborating with majors to access the bigger companies' global infrastructure is nothing new, but in the digital space some in the independent sector have argued that a negative side effect of these alliances is that the majors can claim a higher market share by combining the recording catalogues they directly control with those they currently distribute.

When negotiating streaming deals, market share can have an impact on what kickbacks can be secured from the digital service providers, so - arguably - the majors get a better deal on their own catalogue because of the weight of the indie label catalogues they distribute. Under this deal Because can access Universal's marketing machine and physical distribution network without giving up digital distribution, which a company like Because can easily handle on its own once Merlin has done the deals for its members.

Which is why we'll let Because Music boss Emmanuel de Buretel get away with calling this deal a "clear breakthrough" and "a brand new type of relationship". Though a "variable geometry deal"? Too far Emmanuel, too far.

Says the Because chief: "This deal is a clear breakthrough; it opens a brand new type of relationship between the indie community and the main major. I call it a 'variable geometry deal' as it combines complete freedom, agility, technology and world marketing coverage while respecting the independence of the artists and labels".

"More importantly" he added, "in this new digital world, this partnership enables us to own and control all of our data and our digital pipeline for the first time".

Bigging up Caroline and Universal for agreeing to this arrangement, de Buretel concluded: "I look forward to working hand in hand with Caroline teams to create new ways of developing and breaking new talents everywhere. It will make Because artists more independent and better placed to enter the new world of music consumption". Hmmm. Maybe.

And now here's Universal big cheese Lucian Grainge with some words: "I have long admired Emmanuel's sharp A&R instincts, his track record of breaking innovative artists and supporting music that moves culture. I'm THRILLED that Caroline International will be working closely with Emmanuel and his talented team at Because Music to build upon the success they've already achieved by developing new creative and commercial opportunities, as well as launching Because Music's first US label".

Oh yes, they're launching a Because Music USA too. I forgot to mention that. Different benefits in different places - or a "variable geography deal" if you prefer.


Live Nation bidding for venue company SMG
Live Nation is reportedly among the bidders to buy SMG, the US-based company that owns and/or operates a plethora of entertainment venues across the world, including in the UK where, among other things, it has arenas in Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Belfast.

SMG's current owners recently announced they were considering bids to buy the company and the deadline for offers was earlier this week. According to the SportsBusiness Journal, Live Nation is among the bidders.

Live Nation is already the dominant player in live entertainment worldwide, of course, with significant operations in tour and festival promotion, venue management, artist management and ticketing. When it comes to operating venues, that's the one area where its main global rival AEG has the edge, but an SMG acquisition would provide a major boost to the venues side of Live Nation's business.

Any deal would presumably be subject to competition regulator approval in at least some markets. And, of course, with the legal battle between Songkick and Live Nation going through the motions in the US, there is already increased attention - within the music community at least - about the live giant's ever growing domination of the market.


Michael Nyman scores washing machine film
Samsung has hired legendary soundtrack composer Michael Nyman to compose a score for a film about its new washing machine.

The 66 minute film, due to premiere at the Cineworld cinema in London's Leicester Square next month, shows the full washing cycle of Samsung's new QuickDrive washing machine. It is accompanied by a solo piano score from Nyman to complement the 'drama'.

"By coincidence, this new work comes exactly 300 years after the 1717 premiere of another celebrated composition inspired by the flow of water - German-British composer George Frideric Handel's 'Water Musi', so in some ways we have come full circle with 'Washing Machine - The Movie'", says Nyman, already laying it on a bit thick.

Of his decision to actually say yes to this project, aside from what I assume was a hefty pay-cheque, he goes on: "The idea of this intrigued me when I was approached, putting a score to something so visually repetitive and prosaic. As a film composer you are frequently taking a cue from the drama on screen or interpreting it sonically, but here the challenge was to offset the mundanity and also enhance the hypnotic appeal".

"I have written a lot of music to manufacturing processes, but this is the most elaborate mechanical, mechanistic film I've been involved with", he continues. "I'm interested in the mechanical process, the way that I create musical cycles which are based on repetition and variation and the correlation between that music and what happens in a washing machine process. I really want the music to be heard and I want the music to be loud, so I think with this project its man over machine".

If you can't get along to the premiere in London on 5 Dec, the full film will be available on YouTube the next day. Here, just in case you (quite reasonably) thought we'd made this all up, is a trailer.


Approved: EPROM
Producer EPROM has been putting out music for around a decade now, with two albums as well as numerous EPs and singles to his name. But the last twelve months have been a particularly prolific period, with singles like 'BFG' and 'Pineapple', plus a collaborative EP with G Jones.

This week sees the release of his latest solo EP, 'Drone Warfare', on his own 1985 Music label. The four-track release features some of the most bass-heavy, warped hip hop beats you're likely to have heard in 2017. The title track is a dissonant monster that slowly pounds its way forth, while 'Full Mag' takes a disorientating dance around a 4/4 beat and 'Raw Data' seems to be trying to escape from itself.

Listen to the EP's title track 'Drone Warefare' here.

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

Jay-Z says he and Beyonce abandoned joint album
Jay-Z has confirmed that he and Beyonce worked on a joint album together, but that that project was superseded by their solo confessional albums, 'Lemonade' and '4:44'.

In an interview in the New York Times, the rapper explains: "We were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together. Then the music she was making at that time was further along. So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on".

He adds that listening to each other's resulting records, which exposed issues in their relationship, made them "both very, very uncomfortable". Although, he notes, "the best place in the, you know, hurricane is like in the middle of it".

"That's where we were sitting", he continues. "And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations. [I was] really proud of the music she made, and she was really proud of the art I released. And ... at the end of the day we really have a healthy respect for one another's craft. I think she's amazing. You know, most people walk away - the divorce rate is like 50% or something - because most people can't see themselves. The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone's face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself".

Watch the full interview here.


Stormzy storms the MOBOs
It was the MOBOs last night and Stormzy came out the big winner of the evening, taking home three prizes.

Following his win, the rapper was asked the big question on everyone's lips: is he going to the royal wedding? "If I get an invite", he replied. "I don't know how up the priority list I'll be but hopefully after these three MOBOs I'll fucking move up a bit".

Giving himself another route into the party, he added that he wouldn't mind performing "a little acoustic for young Harry".

This year's more unlikely grime star Jeremy Corbyn also made an appearance ahead of the event. In a pre-recorded video he thanked grime fans for their support in the General Election earlier this year.

"The MOBOs play a crucial role in the British music industry, showcasing music of black origin", he said. "It's more important than ever that we celebrate black excellence and recognise the achievements of black communities. This year grime artists played a huge part in setting the agenda for British music and in the General Election, your contribution helped secure the highest youth turnout in a quarter of a century, showing the positive impact grime has on our society".

Here's the full list of MOBO winners:

Best Male Act: Stormzy
Best Female Act: Stefflon Don
Best Newcomer: Dave

Best Album: Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer
Best Song: J Hus - Did You See
Best Video: Mist - Hot Property

Best Hip Hop Act: Giggs
Best Grime Act: Stormzy
Best R&B/Soul Act: Craig David
Best International Act: Wizkid
Best African Act: Davido
Best Reggae Act: Damian Marley
Best Jazz Act: Moses Boyd
Best Gospel Act: Volney Morgan & New-Ye


YouTube, Prince, Sam Smith, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Right, have you seen that 'stories' thing they have on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and other places? Basically, it's a way for people to connect the shit they upload into one big shit, I mean one nice 'story'. Anyway, now YouTube's going to introduce something like it called 'Reels', according to Techcrunch.

• Hey, so you know how the Prince estate is trying to find ways to make money off the late pop star's legacy? Well, here's a new line of merch. The website suggests it'll only be available until Sunday.

• You know Sam Smith? OK, good. Well, he's just put out a video for his latest single 'One Last Song'.

• In other Sam Smith news, he's quite keen to play the royal wedding. "I'm obsessed", he told The Sun. "I want to sing at the wedding. Oh my God I'd love to, it would be a dream. I'd have to wear a dress and a crown though".

• Do you recall a few years ago when that video of DMX singing 'Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer' was going around? Well, now he's recorded a studio version.

• You remember Silverchair? Yeah, well Daniel John from Silverchair provides vocals on a new track by producer What So Not, called 'Be OK Again'.

• You know Gorgon City, yeah? Well they've announced UK tour dates for next March, which will finish up at Brixton Academy on 31 Mar. They are also set to release new EP 'Grooves On The Vinyl' this Friday.

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


Another MP has been quoting grime lyrics in Parliament
The long tradition of MPs misquoting pop lyrics in Parliament continues. Although Fiona Onasanya MP dropping a line from Big Shaq's 'Man's Not Hot' into her response to the government's new budget last week almost went unnoticed.

Picking holes in the quite holey budget, the Labour MP for Peterborough said: "There was no extra money in the budget for the education system. This is not as simple as saying, 'two plus two is four, minus three is one - quick maths'. These announcements mean real-term cuts and the potential continuation of the recruitment and retention crisis in our education system".

It wasn't until this week that someone on Twitter pointed out the Big Shaq lyrical reference, prompting Onasanya to tweet: "Happy days, someone noticed!"

Of course, it's possible people did notice and they just didn't want to point out that she got it wrong. The line is actually, "two plus two is four, minus one that's three - quick maths". Maybe the rejig of the words was making some sort of a political point. I don't know and I don't have the energy to work it out. But even if her maths is right, her lyrical references lack accuracy.

Still, as these incidents go, it's not as painful as when Croydon MP Sarah Jones quoted Stormzy's 'Big For Your Boots' during her maiden speech. Nor could it be as bad as David Cameron's pitiful attempts to pretend he has any interest or understanding of music whatsoever.

I'm all for British politics modernising and throwing out all the traditional jeering and braying that makes MPs look like the worst collection of humans ever assembled, but this pop quoting has to stop. Someone start a petition!


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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