TODAY'S TOP STORY: A legal dispute between the Prince estate and the producer who attempted to release an EP of previously unheard Prince recordings is ongoing, with the former returning to court this week asking the judge to force the latter to hand over documents relating to the case... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Prince estate returns to court over unofficial posthumous EP
LEGAL Copyright case testing liabilities of Cloudflare settled out of court
LIVE BUSINESS StubHub says critics ignore its positive efforts
THE GREAT ESCAPE More TGE reports incoming with the new CMU Library
EDUCATION & EVENTS Music 4.5 puts spotlight on copyright reform
ARTIST NEWS NOFX "effectively banned" from the US
ONE LINERS MMF, Gorillaz, Florence And The Machine, more
AND FINALLY... Beef Of The Week #409: Piers Morgan v Andrew Ridgeley
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Prince estate returns to court over unofficial posthumous EP
A legal dispute between the Prince estate and the producer who attempted to release an EP of previously unheard Prince recordings is ongoing, with the former returning to court this week asking the judge to force the latter to hand over documents relating to the case.

Producer Ian Boxill worked with Prince between 2006 and 2008, and in April last year announced plans to release a collection of six unreleased tracks they had collaborated on. But shortly before the record's release date, the Prince estate was granted a temporary restraining order blocking it, before getting a preliminary injunction banning the release.

The estate claims that a contract between Boxill and Prince said that any copyrights created as a result of the two men's collaborations would be wholly owned by the latter. That would mean that Boxill could not release the music without Prince's permission, which now means without the permission of the Prince estate.

It also alleges that Boxill and his company exploited Prince's trademarks and likeness without permission in promotional materials for the planned EP release. Its legal action sought a court order that would ban Boxill from ever releasing music he created with Prince and which would compel the producer to hand over any masters in his possession.

Earlier this year the estate asked the court to rule by default in its favour because Boxill had failed to respond to its lawsuit, but the legal dispute continues to go through the motions. Although, while Boxill and the other defendants in the case do now seem to be responding to the litigation, the estate argues that they have failed to hand over sufficient documentation.

According to Law 360, new court papers filed by the estate say that Boxill and the company that was set to release the EP - Rogue Music Alliance - have not been sufficiently forthcoming with documents during the so called 'discovery process' in the case. The estate's new filing states: "Plaintiffs' patience with defendants' discovery deficiencies is at an end. RMA's continued failure to engage in basic discovery must be remedied".

Estate reps say that RMA has so far provided a "meagre" 57 documents in response to its request for information, and none of the text message or email conversations which it reckons are required as part of the case. It also criticised the various excuses the defendants have provided for not sharing information, including disputing to what extend attorney-client privilege can be used in order to keep certain documents confidential.

For their part, Boxill et al now dispute the estate's interpretation of the producer's original agreement with Prince. They also reckon that Boxill co-owns the copyright in the recordings he produced with the musician and are seeking court confirmation of that claim.

It remains to be seen to what extent the court now forces Boxill and RMA to hand over all the documentation and correspondence the estate says it needs to see.


Copyright case testing liabilities of Cloudflare settled out of court
Internet services firm Cloudflare has settled a piracy lawsuit launched against it by porn company ALS Scan. Although not a music case, the legal battle was testing the liabilities - or not - of Cloudflare when it provides services to alleged copyright infringers.

The US record industry has been critical of Cloudflare in recent years because of the services it provides to websites that, as far as the record companies are concerned, are piracy outfits utilising Cloudflare's tools to hide their identities and location.

In one submission to a US government report on copyright, the Recording Industry Association Of America stated that: "[Piracy] sites are increasingly turning to Cloudflare, because routing their site through Cloudflare obfuscates the IP address of the actual hosting provider, masking the location of the site".

The vast majority of the companies using Cloudflare's various services are legitimate of course, and the internet firm has generally insisted that it can't be tasked with deciding which clients are illegitimate and it can't disconnect customers simply on the say so of individual copyright owners.

ALS Scan sued Cloudflare for providing services to fifteen websites that it claimed distributed its content without licence. Cloudflare did manage to have some aspects of the litigation dismissed, but arguments that fourteen of the allegedly infringing websites were not in the US, and therefore the American courts didn't have jurisdiction, failed.

This meant the legal battle was heading to court with Cloudflare accused of so called contributory infringement for its role in facilitating piracy sites. The case, once in court, would have tested what, exactly, Cloudflare's liabilities are when piracy sites use its services.

However, according to Torrentfreak, both sides in the dispute have now filed joint papers asking that the case be dismissed, seemingly having reached an out of court settlement, terms of which are not known.

The court filing simply states: "ALS Scan Inc and Cloudflare Inc hereby stipulate to dismissal without prejudice of the claims and action against Cloudflare, Inc with each side bearing its own attorney's fees, costs, and expenses".


StubHub says critics ignore its positive efforts
StubHub has responded to recent comments made by the anti-touting FanFair Alliance. The eBay-own secondary ticketing platform says that critics of the ticket resale market often ignore the positive work it does for music fans.

Earlier this week FanFair called on Google to stop taking advertising money from StubHub's more controversial rival Viagogo, on the basis it has failed to comply with UK consumer rights law and has been sanctioned by both the Competition & Markets Authority and the Advertising Standards Authority.

However, FanFair also criticised other secondary ticketing platforms, including StubHub, for using Google ads in a way that - campaigners say - confuse consumers, and which can drive music fans to touted tickets at marked up prices even when face value tickets are still available from primary ticket agents.

FanFair noted that Live Nation's resale site Get Me In! sometimes does this even when the official primary seller is Live Nation's Ticketmaster. And eBay's StubHub does the same for shows at venues with which it has an official partnership, like the AEG-run O2 Arena and Wembley Arena.

Although not responding directly to those criticisms, StubHub did issue a statement this week more generally defending its position in the ticketing ecosystem. It insisted that most of the sellers on its platform are individuals rather than professional touts, and added that tickets sell on its website below face value as well as above.

Said the eBay firm: "Approximately 40% of ticket transactions on StubHub's UK site sell below face value, allowing fans who can't make it to an event to pass them on to someone who can. Those with a vested interest in controlling ticketing and fan access omit this fact as they seek to diminish the work that StubHub does on behalf of fans around the world to provide access to the events and experiences they love".

It went on: "In fact, 99% of sellers on StubHub are fans and our site serves as a marketplace for them to transfer their tickets and recoup losses since primary ticket sellers do not offer refunds".

Noting recent efforts by the political community to tackle customer confusion, it said: "We are supportive of more transparency and are actively engaged with members of Parliament to advocate for fans and their freedom of choice when it comes to tickets".

However, a spokesperson for FanFair has questioned StubHub's commitment to boosting transparency for music fans, while also critiquing the firm's stats.

The campaigning group told CMU: "It is a positive development that resale platforms such as StubHub are now actively engaged with regulators and politicians. However, it did take the CMA to agree undertakings under the Enterprise Act before they complied with UK consumer law. And, prior to that, to reportedly raid StubHub's offices in order to obtain information about relations with high-profile ticket touts. So to describe themselves as 'supportive of more transparency' might possibly be open to question".

"StubHub's use of statistics is also intriguing", they went on. "By their own estimation, nearly two-thirds of their UK transactions are at over face value. If that wasn't excessive enough, at high-demand events we regularly see 100% tickets listed at prices significantly over face value. And with a high proportion listed by professional sellers, including touts based in Singapore, the USA and Quebec".

Expanding on that latter point, FanFair concluded: "So when StubHub claim 99% of their sellers are fans, what they likely mean is that the 1% of sellers who are not fans account for a bulk of their listings and are key to their business model. Which is why they pay them in advance, why they run incentive schemes for top sellers, and why they reportedly operate a StubHub Sellers Council".

StubHub is yet to respond to FanFair's response to its response. But we've asked.


More TGE reports incoming with the new CMU Library
With the new CMU Library having opened for browsing earlier this week, another series of reports on discussions that took place at this year's Great Escape will be appearing in the CMU Daily in the coming weeks. Which makes this weekend a good time to catch up on our reports so far!

The new online CMU Library, launched on Monday, brings together all the articles published across the CMU sites that provide background information on how the music industry works and summaries of current trends and best practice in the business of music. That includes blog posts from CMU Insights and CMU:DIY, slides and PDF guides that can be downloaded, the archive of CMU Trends articles available to premium subscribers, and reports from CMU conference sessions.

This includes the CMU Insights conferences at TGE this year. We've already run some reports from The Education Conference. That included CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke's overview of what we even mean by music education, plus summaries of conversations about more formal music education, so what is taught in the classroom at schools and the role of the music hubs in England.

Still to come are conversations on innovations in and outside the classroom, plus on higher education and industry-led initiatives, and then on the many different career routes available in music. Plus, is there a crisis in music education and how can music educators and the music industry be more closely aligned?

Look out for reports on all of those conversations in upcoming editions of the CMU Daily. They will also appear in the education section of the CMU Library, and will be aggregated into a mini PDF report once they have all been publishing. After that, reports on The AI Conference and The China Conference will follow, further adding extra insights and resources to the CMU Library.


Music 4.5 puts spotlight on copyright reform
The next edition of the Music 4.5 series takes place in London next week putting the spotlight on copyright developments in both Europe and the USA.

This will include a focus on the US Music Modernization Act which seeks to reform how mechanical royalties are paid by streaming services Stateside, as well as sorting out issues around the payment of royalties on pre-1972 sound recordings and the sharing of online radio income with record producers.

The afternoon will also consider what impact the MMA will have on the European music industry, how copyright regimes in the US and Europe will compare once current reforms on both sides of the Atlantic go through, and what all these changes mean for artists, songwriters and their business partners.

As always, the event will include presentations and discussion, with those presenting including Hanna Grzeszczyk (Media IP Rights), Rell Lafargue (Reservoir Media Management), Gee Davy (AIM), Lauri Rechardt (IFPI), Ben McEwen (ICE) and Jamie Ross (7digital). It all takes place on Thursday 28 Jun at the London HQ of Lewis Silkin - info and tickets here.

To get you in the mood, catch up on the latest developments with the European Copyright Directive here, while premium subscribers can read up on the top five US copyright quirks and how the MMA addresses some of them here.


Vigsy's Club Tip: Summer Soulstice 2018
Taking advantage of these longer days, the Summer Soulstice festival returns to London this Saturday. Although the longest day of the year - and therefore the summer solstice - was technically yesterday, this night has much more soul.

And I shouldn't nit-pick, because Summer Soulstice is both a great event and is in aid of charity. It has raised over £100,000 for Cherry Lodge Cancer Care in memory of Andy Weekes since his friends and family started the event in 2006.

There are lots of great names across three stages: Bob Jones, Brandon Block and Nicky Holloway being just a few I'd look out for. And, unusually for a London-based event, you can camp!

Saturday 23 Jun, Old Elizabethans Memorial Playing Fields, Gypsy Corner, Mays Lane, Barnet, EN5 2AG, 11am-11pm, £36. More info here.

NOFX "effectively banned" from the US
NOFX have "effectively been banned" from performing live in the US, says frontman Fat Mike. This follows their recent controversial jokes made on stage about the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting last year.

"I'm not supposed to talk about it", he wrote on Instagram. "But because of the comments we made in Las Vegas every NOFX show has been cancelled in the US. We did not drop off the shows, we were told that NOFX is not welcome to play ANY big venue in the United States. No joke! NOFX has effectively been banned in our own country".

The band were heavily criticised following a performance at the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival, also in Vegas, last month, when they joked that "you only get shot in Vegas if you're in a country band". They later apologised, saying that what they'd said was "shameful" and that they'd "crossed the line of civility".

Referencing this apology, Fat Mike continued: "This is not our choice, but it is our reality ... It fuckin sucks! We made a mistake, we apologised, and we gotta suffer the consequences. Maybe it ain't fair, but whoever said life was. We are just very thankful that our fans are being so supportive".

The band are due to play the Southside Festival in Germany tonight. They do not currently have any UK shows scheduled.


MMF, Gorillaz, Florence And The Machine, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

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• Red Light Management's Lisa Ward and ILuvLive's Rachael Bee were newly elected to the board of the UK Music Managers Forum earlier this week. "Lisa and Rachael are two of UK's most talented and respected executives, and their collective experience will be a huge positive for the MMF and our future policy making", says MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick. "I am genuinely THRILLED they are joining the board".

• Gorillaz have only gone and shared another new track from their upcoming 'The Now Now' album. Here's 'Hollywood', which features Snoop Dogg and Jamie Principle.

• Florence And The Machine have released the video for new single 'Big God'.

• Rae Sremmurd have released the video for 'Guatemala', filmed in the country shortly before its recent volcanic eruption.

• Girli has released the video for new single 'Day Month Second'. She's also announced new UK tour dates in October, including a show at Heaven in London on 23 Oct.

• Kelley Stoltz will release new album 'Natural Causes', on 3 Aug.

• Pusha T has announced that he will play The Forum in London on 12 Dec. Tickets available now.

• Alexander Tucker has announced new UK tour dates for August and September, including a show at London's Shacklewell Arms on 5 Sep.

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


Beef Of The Week #409: Piers Morgan v Andrew Ridgeley
Andrew Ridgeley, formerly of Wham!, appeared on ITV's 'Good Morning Britain' earlier this week in order to discuss a charity bike ride he'd taken part in recently. But when presenter Piers Morgan tried to move the conversation over to Ridgeley's former bandmate George Michael, things turned awkward, resulting in Morgan later calling his guest an "insufferable dick" on Twitter.

Yes, you read that right. Piers Morgan called someone an "insufferable dick". Piers Morgan. The Piers Morgan. You know him, the diskish insufferable one. Piers. Morgan. That's what he called another person. Even though that should probably be his very own Twitter bio. Nevertheless, he called someone else an "insufferable dick".

But, hey, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. We should really examine exactly what happened here before laying into any insufferable dicks.

First off, I've already been somewhat unfair. The Dallaglio Cycle Slam is a bit more than a charity bike ride. It sees 200 participants cycle 18,000km over the French and Swiss Alps, around the Italian lakes, and across Slovenia and Croatia, over eighteen days. This year the event has raised over £1 million for former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio's RugbyWorks charity, which supports young people who have been excluded from school.

Having been one of this year's riders, Ridgeley was invited on to 'Good Morning Britain' to discuss the project. During the interview though, Morgan - perhaps unsurprisingly - attempted to nudge conversation over to Wham! and George Michael. Asked about his former pop success, Ridgeley said that this was "not pertinent" to what he was on the programme to discuss.

So Morgan then instead focussed on the death of Michael, resulting in this spiky exchange:

PM: How have you and all [George Michael's] friends dealt with the period since he's died?

AR: I would imagine much like anyone else does. There's a period of grief, and it's a difficult adjustment. You know, the loss of a great friend is traumatic and emotionally tough. Almost as emotionally tough as the Dallaglio Cycle Slam.

PM: You really don't like talking about the past, right?

AR: I wasn't sure that was why I was here today to be honest with you. I'd much rather be discussing the Dallaglio Cycle Slam and its good work for people who haven't had privileges of you and I. I think that's rather more worthy subject matter.

After completing the interview, Morgan apologised to viewers for Ridgeley's behaviour, saying: "Sorry it was a bit awkward, that interview. I never really understand why people come on if people don't want to talk about whatever. If you were one of the biggest pop stars in the world, I'd imagine you would talk about it. If anyone was offended by me asking about pop music and Wham! stuff I can only NOT apologise".

On Twitter later, he put it in more blunt terms, saying: "Many thanks to Andrew Ridgeley for being such an insufferable dick today - much appreciated!"

Ridgeley got in a more subtle dig on Instagram, saying that it had been "a pleasure to speak with the charming Susanna Reid and Kate Garraway", while leaving out Morgan's name.

Affronted, Morgan responded: "Sorry for mentioning the only thing you are famous for - how unspeakably rude of me".

Fending off critics on Twitter, Morgan said: "You think he'd have been booked on 'GMB' today to plug his charity cycle if he wasn't famous? He knows the game but chose not to play it. Very dickish move".

Another Twitter user accused Morgan of trying to make the interview all about himself. "All about me?" he spat. "I tried to make it about a pop star who was able to raise money on the back of his fame with Wham! He chose to show his gratitude for the airtime - in which the charity was heavily promoted - by being a dick. And now you're doing the same".

Now, I think we can all agree that it's never easy to side with an insufferable dick. By which I mean Piers Morgan, obviously. Though, while this Beef Of The Week has probably so far sided with Ridgeley on this one, maybe... well... as much as it truly pains me to say so - particularly as it won't be the first time - perhaps Morgan has a point.

After all, there is no way that Ridgeley would have been asked to do this interview if it weren't for his fame as a member of Wham! and his relationship with George Michael. He also wouldn't have been put forward by RugbyWorks as one of the faces of the cycle ride without those claims to fame.

Would it really have been so hard for Ridgeley to drop in a little Wham! chat? No it wouldn't. And it wasn't. Because this wasn't the first interview he'd done about the Dallaglio Cycle Slam on 'Good Morning Britain'.

Last month, he appeared with Lawrence Dallaglio and actor John Hannah, who also took part in the project this year, shortly before they were about to embark on their journey. In that interview, he brought up George Michael entirely unprompted. Asked why he wanted to get involved with the event, he spoke about wanting to help young people who hadn't had the opportunities afforded to Michael and himself.

That reference to Michael was in the context of the charity event I suppose, which is what he wanted. But he was also asked about Michael's death during that interview, and specifically whether or not he thought there should be a permanent memorial to the late musician, which he then discussed seemingly quite happily.

The difference on that occasion was that Morgan wasn't there. Instead he was interviewed by Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway. So perhaps the issue isn't so much that Ridgeley doesn't like "talking about the past", maybe it's more something to do with Morgan's interview technique.

Whereas in the previous interview the topic of Wham! had arisen organically, and for the most part was contextualised within discussion about his charity work, this time Morgan arrived and just tried to sledgehammer George Michael into the conversation. And then afterwards carried on bashing his metaphorical tool around the studio and social media.

Anyway, if at this point you're still on the fence about who the bad guy is in this particular beef, well, frankly, it doesn't fucking matter and would you please stop making me think about Piers Morgan now?


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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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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