TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Ninth Circuit appeals court in the US has declined to overturn its controversial decision regarding the controversial judgement in the controversial copyright case centred on the controversial 2013 pop song 'Blurred Lines'. We now await to see if Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke choose to take the controversy on to Supreme Court... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES US appeals court declines to reconsider controversial Blurred Lines judgement
INDUSTRY PEOPLE ISM and MU co-launch code of practice to tackle bullying and harassment in the music industry
ARTIST NEWS Damon Albarn details Del The Funky Homosapien's stage fall injuries
RELEASES Beak> announce new album
GIGS & FESTIVALS Noise Of Art to unveil Brexit-themed clubbing experience, David Davis' Disco Dystopia
Enter Shikari announce lengthy tour in intimate venues
ONE LINERS Universal, Billboard, Notion, more
AND FINALLY... FBI declassifies 2011 Juggalos gang report
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US appeals court declines to reconsider controversial Blurred Lines judgement
The Ninth Circuit appeals court in the US has declined to overturn its controversial decision regarding the controversial judgement in the controversial copyright case centred on the controversial 2013 pop song 'Blurred Lines'. We now await to see if Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke choose to take the controversy on to Supreme Court.

Williams and Thicke appealed to the Ninth Circuit - of course - after a jury sided with the Marvin Gaye estate in the original court battle over 'Blurred Lines' in 2015. The dynamic duo were accused of ripping off Gaye song 'Got To Give It Up' on their big hit after Thicke talked in a magazine interview about how Gaye's music had inspired the track.

It was actually Williams and Thicke who first went legal, seeking court confirmation that their song didn't infringe Gaye's earlier work. The Gaye estate responded with their own litigation and ultimately prevailed in court, winning $5.3 million in damages and half of the 'Blurred Lines' song copyright.

The judgement was controversial within much of the songwriting community because many felt it set a dangerous precedent that could result in a flood of copyright infringement lawsuits against songs that had been influenced by earlier works. This was based on support for the argument put forward by Williams and Thicke that 'Blurred Lines' shared a 'vibe' with 'Got To Give It Up' but wasn't a straight rip-off.

But in March, the Ninth Circuit pretty much endorsed the jury's decision in the original court battle and rejected the various arguments put forward by Williams and Thicke's lawyers as to why that judgement had been flawed. However, there was one dissenting judge in the appeals court, and she dissented big time.

That judge, Jacqueline Nguyen, said that her colleagues had allowed "the Gayes to accomplish what no one has before: copyright a musical style". She went on: "'Blurred Lines' and 'Got to Give It Up' are not objectively similar. They differ in melody, harmony and rhythm. [Therefore the ruling] establishes a dangerous precedent that strikes a devastating blow to future musicians and composers everywhere".

With that in mind, Williams and Thicke, backed by various academics and music industry groups, urged the appeals court to reconsider its March ruling. They were actually pushing for a so called 'en banc' rehearing, which is where all the court's judges would hear the appeal rather than just a panel of three.

Such hearings in the US appeal courts are rare and usually only occur where the outcome of the case is seen to be of wide-ranging importance. Many in the music community would argue that the outcome of this case is of wide-ranging importance, though it still seemed unlikely an en banc rehearing would be granted.

Either way, the court declined to reconsider the case yesterday, providing no explanation for that decision. They also republished March's ruling in a slightly edited form, also without explanation. It means that, for now, the 2015 judgement pretty much stands.

Williams and Thicke do still have another route of appeal though, and could take the whole matter to the US Supreme Court. We await confirmation of their intent.


ISM and MU co-launch code of practice to tackle bullying and harassment in the music industry
The Incorporated Society Of Musicians and the Musicians' Union have together launched a new code of practice to tackle bullying, harassment and discrimination in the music sector, and they are calling on the wider UK music industry to sign up.

The new code follows conversations and discussions that occurred following the emergence of the #MeToo movement about sexism, sexual harassment and abuse in the music industry. Some of the issues raised apply to all industries but others are more specific to music, and some specifically to performers. For example, in the music industry, business and social occasions are arguably more likely to blur, and there are an unusually high number of self-employed people - especially among musicians and songwriters - who don't have HR procedures to fall back on.

In ISM's 'Dignity At Work' report, 86% of respondents called for a sector-wide code to address behavioural issues, prompting ISM and MU to collaborate on such a thing. The code includes commitments to proactively implement policies and practices that promote diversity in the workforce, improve corporate culture, encourage appropriate behaviour and ensure constructive feedback is acted upon. There are then specific commitments on how to deal with reports of bullying, harassment or discrimination.

Launching the code of practice, ISM CEO Deborah Annetts said this morning: 'The ISM's 'Dignity At Work' report revealed a culture of discriminatory behaviour, including sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination relating to all protected characteristics across the entire music sector. The respondents - who were mainly self-employed, 'depping' musicians and not covered under the Equality Act 2010 - did not report their experiences due to fear of being victimised and 'blacklisted', indicating a toxic culture which needs to change".

Noting similar work elsewhere in the entertainment industry, she went on: "Following in the footsteps of the British Film Institute and UK Theatre/SOLT, who have [respectively] launched vital principles for the film and theatre industries, the ISM and Musicians' Union have joined forces to launch a set of principles for the music sector. We call on all organisations - whether they are a venue, orchestra, school, recording studio or otherwise - to sign up and support this code and ensure its implementation within the work space".

Speaking for the MU, Assistant General Secretary Naomi Pohl added: "When the #MeToo movement began in late 2017, the MU established a confidential email account for musicians and other individuals working in the music sector to report instances of sexism, sexual harassment and abuse. The many reports we have received have been deeply concerning and range from everyday sexism, which appears rife across the industry, to sexual assault. It is clear to us that the culture of the music and entertainment sectors, as well as drama and music education, need to change radically. To put it bluntly, many workplaces simply aren't safe for female musicians in particular at the present time".

"We know that many employers, venues and educational establishments are keen to work with us and we believe this new code of practice will be widely welcomed", she continued. "While it isn't the only available code of practice, it is unique in our sector because it has been drafted with freelance workers, performers and students in mind. Freelancers are particularly vulnerable to abuse as they may feel they have no rights and nowhere to turn for help. We want to ensure they feel supported at work and that we and their engagers have their safety and wellbeing as our top priority".

Read the full code of practice here.


Approved: Gulp
Super Furry Animals bassist Guto Pryce's band Gulp are set to release their new album, 'All Good Wishes', on 3 Aug. To mark the announcement, they have released new single 'Claudia'.

"'Claudia' was inspired by a hand drawn comic book picked up in New York City, who's character tried to catch the moon", say the band. "Musically we channelled 60s tropicalia and 80s synth anthems".

On how their songs in general come together, Pryce adds: "It usually comes from a simple melody, something Lindsey [Leven, vocals] has come up with. I think if you've got a good song underneath things it helps a great deal".

Of the subsequent creative process, he goes on: "It's very organic, something we made at home in our basement. We try to have an element of restraint in that as well, like for example in the amount of synths we use. We try to use only one or two actual keyboards, instead of using the million options that digital plugins offer".

Listen to 'Claudia' here.

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Damon Albarn details Del The Funky Homosapien's stage fall injuries
Damon Albarn has revealed the severity of the injuries sustained by Del The Funky Homosapien after he fell off the stage during the Gorillaz's headline stint at the Roskilde festival last weekend.

The rapper was performing the last song of the band's set, 'Clint Eastwood', when he fell from the stage on Saturday. The band abruptly ended the show moments later, when it became apparent that he was seriously injured. Albarn told the audience: "Unfortunately, we've had a... I don't know yet".

The next day, the rapper told fans on Facebook that he was "doing alright but will be in the hospital for a bit". Now in an interview with Beats 1, Albarn has revealed the extent of the injuries. "Del is in hospital still in Roskilde", he explained. "He's got seven fractured ribs, and he punctured his lung on one side, lacerated it on the other".

Although confirming his bandmate is "gonna be fine", Albarn admitted the injuries were much worse than he originally realised while still on stage. Noting that he himself has fallen off stages "way higher than that", he conceded "I've been so fortunate".

Recalling last Saturday's events, he explained: "When he fell down, I was looking at him like, 'come on, get up, there's 80,000 people out there and we need to finish'. I thought I was going to able to carry the song on. I thought he was going to be okay, but he really wasn't. It's an awful, awful thing that I can't quite believe. I keep playing it through my head".

Listen to the clip here.


Beak> announce new album
Squark! Beak> are back with a new album. Titled '>>>' - which I'm saying, "right, right, right", like you've understood something and want someone to shut up now, if you were wondering* - it will be released on 21 Sep on band leader Geoff Barrow's Invada label.

"'>>>' definitely sounds like a step forward", says Invada label manager Redg Weeks. "The production and feel of the first two albums was like listening through frosted glass; a band playing behind a curtain. Now we are hearing Beak> in sharp focus, but without forfeiting what the band see as its 'wrongness'. This could be the result of having played bigger stages and festivals - something that was never part of the plan - or perhaps it is just a reaction to the infinite cut and paste fuzz pedal kraut bands on the planet".

The band have already released the first single from the album, so you can listen to that now. Here's 'Brean Down'.

*I realise that's almost certinaly not how you say it, but I bet it's more fun. Like before I knew !!! was pronounced chk chk chk, and I assumed you were just supposed to gasp like you'd trodden on a nail. Much better.


Noise Of Art to unveil Brexit-themed clubbing experience, David Davis' Disco Dystopia
Earlier this year the now former Brexit minister David Davis assured attendees of a Austrian business conference that post-EU Britain would not become a "'Mad Max'-style dystopian fiction". Shame really, that sounds a lot cooler than what we're actually headed for. Thankfully, that idea will become a reality at next month's Chateau Perché festival in France, courtesy of UK promoter Noise Of Art.

The festival will host 'David Davis' Disco Dystopia', showcasing some of UK electronic music's finest DJs and producers in the imagined surroundings of a collapsed Britain.

"Chateau Perché invited me to DJ at their festival a few years ago, as they wanted to link with a UK electronic music and art organisation", Noise Of Art's Ben Osborne tells CMU of how the collaboration came about. "We became friends and they asked me to do a Noise Of Art arena, which I jumped at. It's a beautiful festival".

He goes on: "I've worked with many French artists, from pioneers like Laurent Garnier and Jack de Marseille to new collectives like Deviant Disco. So I was planning to have French acts involved, but they decided they wanted a British arena. That was cool, but Noise Of Art always puts a twist on things. So I'd been thinking about how we should do a British arena when, in February, the news reported David Davis' saying Brexit would not be a 'Mad Max' dystopia. I jumped on that too".

Among those confirmed to appear are Coldcut's Matt Black, Justin Robertson, Heavy Disco, Jo Wallace, Diesel, Electric Lane, A Man Called Adam, George T and Heavenly Jukebox.

Chateau Perché is set to take place from 10-12 Aug. If you're not able to get to that, there are already plans to bring the concept to the UK too - assuming the idea doesn't become our actually reality before then, which might make the whole thing somewhat less novel.

Obviously, when planning first began for all this, David Davis was still in charge of trying to make sense of what Brexit actually is. Having resigned at the weekend, he now finds himself with more time on his hands. Will he be welcome at the Disco Dystopia? "I hope he'll be the first on the dancefloor and the last to leave", grins Osborne.


Enter Shikari announce lengthy tour in intimate venues
Enter Shikari have announced new tour dates to run through December, January and on into February. The length of the tour is due to a grand plan to play to as many fans as they have on previous tours, but in smaller venues.

"Our most recent UK tours have been of the 'eight or nine shows in arenas/big sheds' variety", says frontman Rou Reynolds. "So we consciously wanted to switch it up a bit going into 2019. Enter Shikari have always kept dipping back into more intimate venues over the years, no matter how big our headline shows have become. That's where we cut our teeth".

"The heat-sweat-and-visceral-human-connection of smaller gigs is every bit the equal of the impressive-scale-and-expensive-production of arena shows", he adds. "We've never seen the latter as an evolution away from the former. They exist on opposite sides of the same coin for us".

Speaking of coins, this model of touring also means the band can charge less for tickets at a time when people are feeling the pinch more. "It's also no secret that austerity and the looming potential disaster of Brexit have seen people having to be a lot more careful with how they spend their money", Reynolds continues.

"With things being what they are right now, it doesn't seem fair for only those who can afford the travel to a major city for a night out - plus the inevitable other costs that go along with it - to be able to see a show", he concludes. "Playing 28 dates across the UK is our way of taking what we do back to as many people as possible, in the most intimate and direct way".

So here - deep breath - are all the tour dates:

1 Dec: Lincoln, Engine Shed
2 Dec: Keele University
3 Dec: Hull, The Welly
4 Dec: Cardiff, Tramshed
6 Dec: Frome, Cheese & Grain
7 Dec: Exeter, Lemongrove
8 Dec: Plymouth University
9 Dec: Portsmouth, Pyramids
10 Jan: Sheffield, Academy
11 Jan: Nottingham, Rock City
12 Jan: London, Brixton Academy
13 Jan: Leicester, Academy
15 Jan: Llandudno, Venue Cymru
16 Jan: Liverpool, Academy
18 Jan: Bristol, Academy
19 Jan: Southend, Cliffs Pavilion
20 Jan: Norwich, UEA
23 Jan: Glasgow, Barrowland
24 Jan: Aberdeen, Beach Ballroom
25 Jan: Inverness, Ironworks
26 Jan: Preston, Guildhall
28 Jan: Northampton, Roadmender
29 Jan: Southampton, Guildhall
30 Jan: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
1 Feb: Birmingham, Academy
2 Feb: Leeds, Academy
3 Feb: Manchester Academy
4 Feb: Newcastle, Academy


Universal, Billboard, Notion, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Get a daily news summary, our latest job ads and more via our Messenger bot. Click here to get started.

• Universal Music yesterday announced the launch of a new 'strategic division' within French-speaking Africa focused on discovering and supporting local talent. The new division will be headed up by Moussa Soumbounou, who becomes MD, Western Africa.

• Classical music centric PR agency WildKat has hired Naomi Belshaw, who joins the firm after more than a decade with PRS, most recently with the PRS Foundation. The hire comes as WildKat adds composer consultancy and funding advice to its range of services.

• The CEO of US trade mags Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter - John Amato - has resigned. This follows allegations published by The Daily Beast in May that Amato had suppressed articles about his friend Charlie Walk, the label exec accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. Billboard parent company Valence Media is still investigating those claims.

• Notion has named Russell Dean Stone as its new Editor. Stone was previously Online Editor at Beat Magazine.

• The Association Of Independent Festivals has announced more details about its Festival Congress, which this year takes place in Sheffield on 6 and 7 Nov. Initial speakers include Shangri-La Creative Director Kaye Dunnings and founding member of Cabaret Voltaire, Stephen Mallinder. Info here.

• The Incorporated Society Of Musicians has announced details of an event called The Empowered Musician, which will take place on 4 Oct in London. Among other things, CMU's Chris Cooke will join Music Glue's Suzi Beese, Media Insight Consulting's Chris Carey and beatboxer SK Shlomo for a digital-focused session. Info here.

• Childish Gambino has released two new summery tracks, 'Summertime Magic' and 'Feels Like Summer'.

• Jonathan 'Jonny' Greenwood has released a new piano composition, '88 (No 1)'. If you want to listen to it, you'll need to pull your finger out. Fingers, in fact. Because it's only available as sheet music. You'll have to play it yourself using your fingers is what I'm saying.

• Paul Weller will release a new album, 'True Meanings', on 14 Sep. Noel Gallagher makes a "sneaky appearance" on it, apparently. I'm sure he would have been welcome to play without any sneaking around if he'd just asked. Here's a song, 'Aspects'.

• Interpol have released the video for new single 'The Rover'. "I like to describe the video for 'The Rover' as a prequel", says the band's Paul Banks. Whatever gets you through the day, mate.

• Rich The Kid has released new track 'Lost It', featuring Quavo and Offset.

• Oneohtrix Point Nevereverevereverevereverever has released new single 'The Station'. It'll feature on a new EP he's got coming out later this month.

• Crossfaith have released new single 'Catastrophe'. The track is taken from upcoming album 'Ex_Machina'.

• Gaika has released a new Sophie-produced track, 'Immigrant Sons (Pesos & Gas)'.

• Estrons have released the video for new single 'Lilac'.

• Sigma will do a bit of DJing at Electric Brixton on 6 Oct. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.

• Sevendust and All That Remains have announced a co-headline tour in December. These will be Sevendust's first UK shows for seven years.

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


FBI declassifies 2011 Juggalos gang report
The FBI has declassified the 2011 report that initially led to Insane Clown Posse fans, known as Juggalos, being labelled as a "loosely organised hybrid gang".

That classification appears in the FBI's National Gang Threat Assessment report. Over the last seven years, the rap duo have repeatedly attempted to have it removed. They claim that people have lost jobs, lost custody of children, been unfairly arrested, been refused entry into the military, and more, simply for being Juggalos. To date, various legal challenges have been unsuccessful, most recently in December last year.

The newly released Juggalo-specific report reveals the research that led to ICP fans being defined en masse as criminals.

"The Juggalos are a violent street gang whose membership follow a small niche of the rap scene, known as 'horrorcore'", the report states. "The genre is mainly associated with the Detroit artist Insane Clown Posse, but has spawned a host of imitators who excite crowds with musical horror stories in which murder, rape and suicide are recurrent themes".

Continuing, it says: "Insane Clown Posse can't get their music on the radio but claim to have one million devoted fans who call themselves 'Juggalos' or 'Juggalettes', and sometimes paint their faces to look like wicked clowns. Some continue the dress by carrying small axes, like the cartoon Hatchetman associated with the band".

It goes on to say that a number of US states had already identified the Juggalos as a gang. "The Juggalos have been charged with discharge of a firearm", the report says. "Juggalos crimes also include drug sales, drug possession, child endangerment, as well as many other crimes typically seen by gangs and gang members".

Also included is a 2008 investigation into Insane Clown Posse's annual 'Gathering Of The Juggalos' festival. This report then says that the "cult-like" fans are a "legitimate gang" who "commit violent acts not only at concerts but at other times". It also claims that the Juggalos are in "a type of gang war" in California with the MS-13 gang - a street gang with bases in several countries which formed in California in the 1980s.

The publication of the report justifying the gang status of the Juggalos follows much chatter last week over how the way ICP fans apply their face paint makes them hard to identify via new fangled facial recognition technology. A coincidence, but nevertheless something that probably doesn't help the group in their ongoing attempts to have their fans' gang status quashed.

This year's Gathering Of The Juggalos is set to take place next week. Meanwhile, ICP's Violent J and his twelve year old daughter Ruby Bruce Lee have launched a new online consumer rights show. It's a bit like 'Watchdog', but with more personal grievances against eBay sellers.


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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