TODAY'S TOP STORY: So, you know how Lana Del Rey said that she was being sued by Radiohead after their lawyers demanded 100% of the publishing in her 'Creep' like song 'Get Free'? Well, Radiohead's music publisher Warner/Chappell has responded. There is no lawsuit, the company says. And the band have never demanded 100% of the publishing, it adds... [READ MORE]
Available to premium subscribers, CMU Trends digs deeper into the inner workings of the music business, explaining how things work and reviewing all the recent trends.
As 2018 gets underway and we start to look at the music year ahead, let's not forget the stage that is the courtroom. What litigation and legal wrangling could have an impact on the music business this year? CMU Trends picks five big cases, reviews the story so far and considers the possible ramifications of each legal battle. [READ MORE]
While the music industry has shouted a lot more about safe harbours than piracy in recent years, that could be about to change. But if the music community gets vocal about piracy once again, what kind of piracy will dominate the conversation? CMU Trends reviews developments in online piracy from the rise of Napster to the new services gaining momentum today. [READ MORE]
CMU Trends summarises what we've learned from the MMF's 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' project so far in 30 points. 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]
TOP STORIES Radiohead publisher denies it has gone legal in Lana Del Rey Creep dispute
LEGAL Kidnapping and rape charges against Decapitated dropped
Wixen boss likes the Music Modernization Act and "loves" Spotify's service, despite the $1.6 billion lawsuit
DEALS MonoKrome signs ShaoDow
All-new Payday announces new signings
BRANDS & MERCH G-Eazy cuts ties with H&M
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES YouTube considering "further consequences" for Logan Paul over suicide video
ARTIST NEWS Babymetal guitarist Mikio Fujioka dies
ONE LINERS Agent Of Change, Record Store Day, Black Eyed Peas, more
AND FINALLY... DJ slips Prince Harry his business card, offers to play royal wedding
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Radiohead publisher denies it has gone legal in Lana Del Rey Creep dispute
So, you know how Lana Del Rey said that she was being sued by Radiohead after their lawyers demanded 100% of the publishing in her 'Creep' like song 'Get Free'? Well, Radiohead's music publisher Warner/Chappell has responded. There is no lawsuit, the company says. And the band have never demanded 100% of the publishing, it adds.

As previously reported, Del Ray declared on Twitter last weekend that "it's true about the lawsuit". She was seemingly responding to rumours that an ongoing dispute with Radiohead - who had claimed that 'Get Free' from her 2017 album 'Lust For Life' lifted elements of 'Creep' without permission - had now gone legal.

Expanding on negotiations to date, Del Ray then added: "Although I know my song wasn't inspired by 'Creep', Radiohead feel it was and want 100% of the publishing. I offered up to 40 over the last few months but they will only accept 100. Their lawyers have been relentless, so we will deal with it in court".

Although denying that any legal papers had been filed or that anyone has demanded Radiohead receive 100% of the copyright in Del Ray's song, a spokesperson for Warner/Chappell confirmed that the publisher does believe that 'Get Free' borrows from 'Creep'. That's a conclusion they, like many people, possibly reached by giving 'Get Free' a cursory listen.

Says the Warner/Chappell spokesperson: "As Radiohead's music publisher, it's true that we've been in discussions since August of last year with Lana Del Rey's representatives. It's clear that the verses of 'Get Free' use musical elements found in the verses of 'Creep' and we've requested that this be acknowledged in favour of all writers of 'Creep'. To set the record straight, no lawsuit has been issued and Radiohead have not said they 'will only accept 100%' of the publishing of 'Get Free'".

As previously noted, if Radiohead do get their requested acknowledgement, and if that acknowledgement includes a cut of the royalties generated by Del Rey's track, then that could also benefit songwriters Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood. Because both were added as co-writers on 'Creep' after they complained that the 1992 track borrowed from their 1974 Hollies song 'The Air That I Breathe'.


Kidnapping and rape charges against Decapitated dropped
Prosecutors have dropped all charges against Decapitated, shortly before a kidnapping and rape case against the death metal band was due to go to trial on 16 Jan.

As previously reported, the band were arrested in LA in September, accused of raping a woman on their tour bus following a performance in Spokane, Washington on 31 Aug.

Two women alleged 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 metal outfit. They all pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnap and rape.

According to the Spokesman-Review, the prosecution dropped all charges on Friday last week, saying that a potentially lengthy trial was not in the best interests of the band's accuser. The band and their legal team, meanwhile, have claimed that new evidence would have caused too much doubt with regards the case against the group.

"This has been traumatising to her", prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald told the judge of the toll the case had already taken on the alleged victim. "It's obviously something that is a multiple defender case, and it would be a lengthy trial. We've discussed with her and her advocates and feel at this time it's best for her to heal".

In a statement, the band said: "New evidence arose that helped show that the band was innocent. While a trial would have given the band the opportunity to have all this evidence heard, the band welcome the decision and are excited to return back to their homes in Poland".

All four band members had been released from prison in December on the condition that they stayed within Washington State. To that end, their passports were confiscated by the court. But they are now free to travel back to Poland.


Wixen boss likes the Music Modernization Act and "loves" Spotify's service, despite the $1.6 billion lawsuit
The boss of the music publishing firm that recently sued Spotify for $1.6 billion has confirmed he is a fan of the Music Modernization Act that seeks to solve the American mechanical rights mess that is behind his lawsuit. Although he reiterated that it was actually one element of those proposals that forced him to go legal in the first place.

As previously reported, Wixen Music sued Spotify for mega-bucks damages late last month over unpaid mechanical royalties. This despite the company participating in an earlier class action on Spotify's unpaid mechanicals, the final settlement of which is still to be confirmed, partly because Wixen has been pushing for a better deal.

These and other lawsuits - against Spotify and other streaming firms - all stem from the fact that there is no collecting society in the US able to offer a blanket licence covering the mechanical rights in songs.

So while Spotify can pay the performing right royalties also due to songwriters and music publishers via the collective licensing system, when it comes to the separate mechanical royalties it must identify the song contained in every track uploaded to its platform by a label, work out who controls the rights in that song, and then send that writer or publisher the paperwork and royalties required by law.

With no comprehensive and publicly available database of music rights ownership information, Spotify and its agent the Harry Fox Agency has struggled to ensure every writer and publisher due mechanical royalties has been paid. Hence all the lawsuits.

The Music Modernization Act being proposed in US Congress would set up a mechanical rights collecting society and introduce a blanket licence. And while there are critics of the proposals in the music community - mainly from songwriters who are concerned about how the new society will be governed - there are also many supporters.

That includes Randall Wixen, who has told MusicRow "it's a really good act". But the music publisher has an issue with one element of said act, a provision which - if passed - would prevent individual writers or publishers launching new litigation over unpaid mechanicals.

Wixen confirmed last week that this had motivated his new lawsuit, though expanded on that point in the MusicRow interview. He explained: "On page 82 of that act is a clause that says if you don't file a lawsuit against a music streaming company by 1 Jan 2018, you lose your rights to get compensated. If that act was passed, and we hadn't filed a suit by 1 Jan, we would have forfeited that right".

He went on: "It would retroactively give a free pass for a streaming service that has infringed on music rights in the past to build a service worth maybe $20 billion once it goes public. I didn't want to have to tell clients that they can't be compensated properly because we didn't file in time".

Concluding he stated: "We are continuing talks with Spotify. We want a fair go-forward licence. We love [Spotify's] service and we want a fair part of what is owed to us".


MonoKrome signs ShaoDow
Music services company MonoKrome has announced a deal with ShaoDow, the rapper who was declared Hardest Working Artist at the Association Of Independent Music's annual awards last year, and who has built an impressive merchandise and direct-to-fan business around his music while operating as a proudly independent artist.

Under the new deal, MonoKrome will provide the rapper with publishing, distribution, sync, neighbouring rights and back-end services.

Confirming the arrangement, ShaoDow said of MonoKrome: "After meeting the team it was apparent we share many of the same values. It's amazing to have them as an extension of my team and I look forward to working with them whilst I continue on my journey".

Explaining why he had decided to find a company to help further grow his artist business now, the rapper added: "This year I have an appearance on 'Ninja Warrior UK' whilst also doing a UK tour and releasing more records, and by having the support of MonoKrome it means I can now do more than ever before".

ShaoDow is the latest in a number of deals signed by MonoKrome, which launched this time last year. Other artists now working with the company include Attaque, TQX Project, Cream Collective, Vinnie Stergin, DJ Luck & MC Neat and J Lee & The Hoodoo Skulls.

Says the company's founder Kristian Davis Downs: "It's really great to see that people are beginning to take note of what we are here for, by using our services it frees artists and labels up to concentrate on live and building their profiles. We now have tech and teams in place to take away the mundane chores associated with releasing records and are able to work with multiple companies in order to make our clients' lives easier".


All-new Payday announces new signings
The all-new Payday Records has announced a number of signings. Ultra Music founder Patrick Moxey confirmed he was relaunching his former hip hop orientated record label late last year, kicking things off with a track by Gang Starr member/producer DJ Premier, Moxey having previously managed the hip hop duo.

In addition to working with DJ Premier, Payday Records has confirmed it has also signed deals with the artist Pell, rapper OJ Da Juiceman, upcoming UK hip hop act Yung Fume and hip hop group Gloss Gang. The revamped label has bases in both the US and the UK.

Says Moxey: "Hip hop has become a global language and the new Payday is here to reflect that and help bring diverse and talented artists to the world. Our initial signings are from four different cities - New York, Atlanta, New Orleans and London - and it reflects today's relationship of music and the internet".

He goes on: "We want to push hip hop's creative boundaries across borders and cultures. Our recording studios in LA, London and Atlanta will be promoting this creative exchange". While, on working with DJ Premier again, he adds: "DJ Premier represents the essence of hip hop and everything that Payday stands for - I am so excited to have him be a part of the relaunch".


G-Eazy cuts ties with H&M
Following The Weeknd's announcement that he is ending his partnership with H&M, rapper G-Eazy has also cut ties with the company. Both decisions come as a result of the clothing branding posting a picture of a black boy wearing a hoodie bearing the slogan "coolest monkey in the jungle".

As previously reported, The Weeknd had already been working with the brand for some time and had released his own range of clothes via the partnership. G-Eazy was due to launch his own range of clothing in H&M stores in March, but these plans have now been cancelled.

"Over the past months I was genuinely excited about launching my upcoming line and collaboration with H&M", said the rapper in a statement on Twitter last night. "Unfortunately, after seeing the disturbing image yesterday, my excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated, and I've decided at this time our partnership needs to end".

He continued: "Whether an oblivious oversight or not, it's truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many (stylist, photographer, creative and marketing teams) and be deemed acceptable".

"I can't allow for my name and brand to be associated with a company that could let this happen", he continued. "I hope that this situation will serve as the wake up call that H&M and other companies need to get on track and become racially and culturally aware, as well as more diverse at every level".

H&M previously apologised for the photograph and withdrew the top from sale.


YouTube considering "further consequences" for Logan Paul over suicide video
Responding to the latest controversy about the way it monitors content on its platform, YouTube has said that it is "looking at further consequences" for YouTuber Logan Paul. He is the YouTube-hosted content creator who recently sparked controversy after posting a video of himself and friends laughing at the body of someone who had apparently taken their own life in Japan's notorious Aokigahara forest.

Paul has fifteen million subscribers to his daily vlog channel on YouTube. On New Year's Eve, during a trip to Japan, he posted a video in which he and friends were walking through the area nicknamed 'suicide forest' near Mount Fuji. After coming across an apparent suicide victim, they posed with the body and made jokes. The video received more than a million views and over 500,000 likes before being removed.

After much criticism of the video, Paul issued an apology, saying that his intention had been "to raise awareness for suicide prevention", but he admitted that posting his video had been "a mistake".

Subsequently, there have been numerous calls for YouTube to delete Paul's account, and last night the Google-owned platform finally issued a response. In a statement spread across a series of tweets, the company acknowledged that people had been "frustrated with our lack of communication" and hinted that it was considering the removal of Paul's vlog channel.

"Like many others, we were upset by the video that was shared last week", it wrote. "Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views. As [fellow YouTuber] Anna Akana put it perfectly: 'That body was a person someone loved. You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness'".

YouTube's statement went on: "We expect more of the creators who build their community on YouTube, as we're sure you do too. The channel violated our community guidelines, we acted accordingly, and we are looking at further consequences".

Commenting on the company's delayed response, it added: "It's taken us a long time to respond, but we've been listening to everything you've been saying. We know that the actions of one creator can affect the entire community, so we'll have more to share soon on steps we're taking to ensure a video like this is never circulated again".

Quite how, with its automated systems, it would be possible for YouTube to stop videos like this from being uploaded - other than by convincing all humans to acquire some morals - isn't clear. Nor is it clear what those "further consequences" might be. Though if Paul - who is estimated to make over $500,000 a year from the platform - has the more popular of his two channels deleted, that might be something of a wake up call.


Approved: Raindear
Rebecca Bergcrantz released her debut album as Raindear - 'Embers' - in 2016, a finely hewn collection of pop tracks. She's now readying herself for the release of the follow-up in 2018, kicking things off with new single 'Diamonds In My Chest'.

Already drawing a lot of attention, 'Diamonds In My Chest' shows a definite progression in Bergcrantz's songwriting and performance. Her vocals on the new single lift from deep low tones to soaring falsettos over some smartly intricate synth work.

Listen to 'Diamonds On My Chest' here.

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

Babymetal guitarist Mikio Fujioka dies
Babymetal have paid tribute to their guitarist Mikio Fujioka, who - it has been announced -died last week after falling from an observation deck while stargazing on 30 Dec.

In a statement on Fujioka's Twitter profile, his wife said that the musician's condition had deteriorated on 5 Jan, and he had died with his two daughters beside him. He was 36.

Babymetal also confirmed the death of Fukioka - who had performed in their backing band since 2013 - saying that he has "passed away in the metal galaxies" and was now "enjoying an epic guitar session" with his guitar hero Allan Holdsworth.


Agent Of Change, Record Store Day, Black Eyed Peas, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• John Spellar MP will propose making the agent of change principle law in Parliament today. Here's reminder of what that's all about.

• This year's Record Store Day is set to take place on 21 Apr. No record shopping is to be done before or after this date.

• Those Black Eyed Peas have released new single, 'Street Livin'. The track is (somehow) taken from their graphic novel 'Masters Of The Sun'. A virtual reality version of that book is also due to debut at the Sundance Film Festival later this month.

• Those Manic Street Preachers have released the video for latest single 'International Blue'. Their new album, 'Resistance Is Futile', is out on 6 Apr.

• That Belle & Sebastian have released new single 'The Same Star'. The track is taken from part two of their new EP series, 'How To Solve Out Human Problems', out on 19 Jan.

• That Ride have released 'Catch You Dreaming', taken from new EP 'Tomorrow's Shore', which is out on 16 Feb.

• Those Breeders have announced that they will release a new album, 'All Nerve', on 2 Mar. The title track is out now. The band will also be touring the UK in May and July, including a performance at the Roundhouse in London on 30 May.

• That Car Seat Headrest has announced that he will release a new record, 'Twin Fantasy', a re-recorded version of his 2011 album of the same name, on 16 Feb. "It was never a finished work, and it wasn't until last year that I figured out how to finish it", he explains. From it, this is 'Nervous Young Inhumans'. Oh, he's touring the UK in May too.

• That Girli has released the video for new single 'Mister 10pm Bedtime'. The track is taken from her recent EP, 'Hot Mess'.

• Those Foo Fighters have been announced as the first act to perform at this year's BRIT Awards. "How the fuck have we never played at The BRIT Awards before", says an incredulous Dave Grohl.

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


DJ slips Prince Harry his business card, offers to play royal wedding
It can be tough choosing a wedding DJ, finding the right balance between someone who's a crowd-pleaser but also not totally awful. Harry Windsor and Meghan Markle may just have found their guy though: Reprezent 107.3 presenter Jevanni Letford.

The royal and soon-to-be-royal were visiting the Brixton-based youth radio station, which launched the career of Stormzy, among others, on one of those visit things that royals (and soon-to-be-royals) do for some reason.

While padding around looking at stuff, Windsor was handed a business card by Letford. After Letford told him that he would be happy to DJ at the couple's wedding, Windsor wandered off, but was filmed slipping the card into his coat pocket. So it's a done deal. Unless his coat is anything like mine, and just has pockets full of forgotten stuff I've been handed going back years.

As well as presenting on Reprezent, Letford is also the official DJ for the Shoreditch shopping complex built out of storage containers, Boxpark. I'm not sure if Windsor and Markle have put down a deposit on a venue yet. That could be the one though. I can just see them walking down the aisle on the top floor, followed by a reception in Brokedown Palace.

Anyway, describing what happened, Letford told the Evening Standard: "I gave him my card and he asked what it was for, I said I'd like to DJ at his wedding and he smiled and put it in his pocket".

You can see all that unfold in the inevitable social media video.


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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