TODAY'S TOP STORY: In what is becoming a busy year for music-related initial public offerings, Eventbrite has reportedly filed paperwork in the US to set its IPO in motion. The ticketing company is joining Chinese streaming giant Tencent Music and wireless speaker marker Sonos is marching towards a stock exchange, following Spotify's direct listing back in April... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Eventbrite files paperwork for IPO
LEGAL CPS apologises to Girls Aloud's Nicola Roberts over stalking case
Taylor Swift sued over Swift Life app
Miley Cyrus given time to seek dismissal of reggae lyric plagiarism case
ARTIST NEWS R Kelly disputes accusations against him in nineteen minute song
Chris Cornell statue to be erected in Seattle
ONE LINERS Arctic Monkeys, Raye, Pond, more
AND FINALLY... Spice Girls reunion definitely still on, says Mel B
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Eventbrite files paperwork for IPO
In what is becoming a busy year for music-related initial public offerings, Eventbrite has reportedly filed paperwork in the US to set its IPO in motion. The ticketing company is joining Chinese streaming giant Tencent Music and wireless speaker marker Sonos is marching towards a stock exchange, following Spotify's direct listing back in April.

According to the Wall Street Journal, self-service ticketing platform Eventbrite recently filed IPO paperwork with the US Securities And Exchange Commission. It was a confidential filing, but more information about the IPO plans will be made public in due course. The firm is expected to list later this year.

Eventbrite is one of the few start-ups to make real traction in the notoriously-hard-to-crack ticketing market. Although a plethora of start-ups have entered said market with superior technology, it's hard to compete with legacy players which can offer event promoters access to large databases of past ticket-buyers and an assortment of financial kickbacks. And then there's the fact that the biggest concert promoter Live Nation owns Ticketmaster.

But by offering more grass roots event organisers user-friendly tools to handle their ticketing, Eventbrite was able to build a large user-base without initially going head-to-head with the Ticketmasters of the world. It then gained scale by buying up rivals with a similar approach, like Ticketfly in the US, Ticketscript in the Netherlands and Ticketea in Spain.

As Eventbrite has gained scale through those acquisitions, it has started to sign up bigger event promoters, including in the music space, putting it more directly into competition with legacy players in the primary ticketing market. It now remains to be seen if Wall Street reckons that impressive growth makes this the ticketing business to buy into.


CPS apologises to Girls Aloud's Nicola Roberts over stalking case
The Crown Prosecution Service has apologised to Girls Aloud member Nicola Roberts for failing to prosecute an ex-boyfriend accused of stalking her despite a restraining order.

Carl Davies was initially convicted of stalking the singer in 2017. He had first started sending threatening messages via social media following the couple's split back in 2008. The conviction came with a suspended sentence and a lifetime restraining order banning Davies from interacting with Roberts in anyway.

He was subsequently charged with breaching that restraining order by connecting with the singer anew via social media, but the CPS decided not to prosecute.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Roberts said that Davies had followed her on Instagram to let her know that, despite the restraining order, "he was still watching" her. She said the experience had left her frightened to leave the house or keep her window open at night.

The new case against Davies was dropped because the CPS did not feel there was a decent prospect of getting a conviction. Instead, the breadth of the restraining order was extended.

But in a new statement, the CPS has now said: "We accept our decision not to prosecute the breach of the order was incorrect. We have written to Ms Roberts to apologise and have taken steps to ensure lessons are learned from the case".

It went on: "We fully appreciate the impact stalking and harassment has on victims and we take prosecuting these cases extremely seriously. We regularly update our legal guidance to keep up with changes in technology, including social media platforms".


Taylor Swift sued over Swift Life app
Taylor Swift has been sued over the appy thing she launched last year, which is called The Swift Life. New York computer services company SwiftLife says that she and app maker Glu have infringed its trademark.

The company says that it has operated since the early 2000s and obtained its trademark in 2007. Among various services, it offers an online life management software called SwiftLife, through which it has received numerous pieces of communication from confused Taylor Swift fans. It also says that Swift's app has pushed it down the Google search rankings for its own name, and as a result has caused a fall in its revenues.

"In filing this action, SwiftLife, whose business pales in comparison to that of Ms Swift and Glu, is standing up for itself", says the legal filing. "And much like Ms Swift in her fights against the bullies she has encountered in her own life - seeks to enforce its rights in and to the SwiftLife trademark against Ms Swift and Glu, both of whom are financial giants".

It also notes that Swift and Glu would be more than able to pay for a licence, but did not at any point contact SwiftLife to request one. The lawsuit then notes in some details the lengths to which Swift goes to in order to protect her own trademarks, making it unlikely that she would be unaware of the need to gain permission to use the name.

"There can be no doubt that Swift and Glu fully understand that marketing and selling another's goods without securing a license or permission is not acceptable and cannot be allowed", it says.

SwiftLife is seeking court confirmation that its trademark has been infringed and an injunction blocking Swift and her associates from using the name further. As part of that injunction, it also wants users of The Swift Life to be informed of the judgement. In terms of financial reparation, SwiftLife requests all profits from the pop star's app, damages, and payment of its legal costs. The company is requesting a jury trial.

Swift and Glu have not yet responded to the legal action. However, she and two of her companies, plus two Glu companies, have been issued with a summons.


Miley Cyrus given time to seek dismissal of reggae lyric plagiarism case
The judge overseeing a copyright dispute between Miley Cyrus and Jamaican dancehall artist Flourgon has put the discovery phase of the proceedings on hold while lawyers for the former have a good go at getting the whole case dismissed without a full hearing.

Flourgon, real name Michael May, sued Cyrus back in March claiming that her 2013 single 'We Can't Stop' infringed his 1998 track 'We Run Things'. The dispute centres on a single lyric, with May arguing that Cyrus and her songwriting pals lifted his line "we run things, things no run we" and tweaked it to go: "we run things, things don't run we".

The lawsuit noted the popularity of 'We Run Things' within reggae and dancehall circles. It then referenced an interview with songwriting duo Rock City – co-writers on the Cyrus song – in which they talked about how reggae culture had influenced 'We Can't Stop'. May's legal filing then argued that Cyrus's team had taken reggae influences – including his lyric – as part of a plan to reinvent the pop star's image.

Lawyers for Cyrus, her songwriting partners and her label Sony Music – all defendants on the case – argue that the single line of May's song isn't substantial enough to enjoy copyright protection. And even if it is, the use of the lyric in the Cyrus song constitutes 'fair use' under US copyright law. And even if it doesn't, May's track 'We Run Things' isn't in itself original, so he doesn't have grounds to sue.

Team Cyrus are hoping that those three arguments are enough to have the whole case thrown out without proceeding to a full hearing. But judge Robert Lehrburger isn't sure, reckoning that at least some of those arguments would probably need more scrutiny.

Nevertheless, he said he'd put the discovery phase of the dispute on hold so that Cyrus's reps can submit their full motion to dismiss. According to Law360, Lehrburger stated: "At this point, I'm going to stay discovery and allow the motion to be filed".


Approved: Amy Shark
Having knocked Drake off the number one spot on the latest ARIA album chart in Australia with her debut LP 'Love Monster', Amy Shark is now setting her sights on international success. Having gained some traction in the US last year, she's now announced European tour dates for early 2019.

Speaking about the emotional album on theMusic.com.au's 'The Music Podcast' earlier this year, she said: "I think I want to start explaining it like the first two seasons of a great series you've just found. It's full of so much drama. There's first loves, there's rejection and lies and beautiful moments and nasty moments and there's a death. It's a great series".

She's set to play Institute 3 in Birmingham on 29 Jan, Heaven in London on 30 Jan and Gorilla in Manchester on 1 Feb.

Watch the video for recent single and stand out track from the album, 'I Said Hi', here.

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

R Kelly disputes accusations against him in nineteen minute song
R Kelly has issued a statement on the many accusations of sexual abuse made against him, financial troubles, Spotify banning him from its playlists, and more, in the form of a new song. A nineteen minute long song called 'I Admit'.

The singer has been accused of sexual abuse numerous times during his career, although the one time a case actually reached court he was acquitted. Recently allegations that he is operating a "sex cult" have emerged in articles published by Buzzfeed and Rolling Stone, as well as a BBC documentary.

In Kelly's musical statement, he makes various references to the allegations against him. At one point he states that claims he is a paedophile are a matter of opinion. He also references the numerous legal cases he has settled out of court with people who claim to have been abused by the musician, saying that his lawyer advised him to do so in order to protect his career, despite the accusers' claims being "bullshit".

Addressing the sex cult claims directly, he sings: "Said I'm abusing these women, what the fuck that's some absurd shit / They're brainwashed, really? / Kidnapped, really? / Can't eat, really? / Real talk, that shit sound silly".

He admits that he has had sex with fans – "both older and young ladies" – but says: "I admit that that's the shit that comes with being a celebrity / I ain't chasing these ladies, no / These ladies are chasing me, yeah / Now I'm only saying all this shit, cos how they tryna play me".

As well as all the ladies apparently throwing themselves at him, Kelly then claims that - in terms of younger fans - they are often offered to him by their parents. "Don't push your daughter in my face, and tell me that it's okay", he sings. "Cos your agenda is to get paid, and get mad when it don't go your way".

Although referencing identifiable cases, Kelly doesn't specifically name any of the women who have accused him of sexual abuse. However, when it comes to the journalist who has been at the forefront of reporting on these cases for more than two decades, Kelly had a direct message.

"To Jim DeRogatis, whatever your name is", he sings. You been tryna destroy me for 25 whole years / Writin' the same stories over and over against / Off my name, you done went and made yourself a career / But guess what? I pray for you and family, and all my other enemies".

Elsewhere, he also sings about the sexual abuse he experienced as a child and claims that financial mismanagement by various associates over the years has meant that he is forced to continue touring in order to "pay the rent".

Listen to the song in full here.


Chris Cornell statue to be erected in Seattle
A statue of late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell is to be erected in his hometown of Seattle, it has been confirmed. Cornell's wife Vicky commissioned sculptor Nick Marras to create the statue and has now donated it to the city's Museum Of Pop Culture.

She said in a statement: "Even though Chris's music touched the lives of millions around the world, there is no better place than Seattle to honour and celebrate both his contribution to music history, as well as Seattle's unique place in popular music, with an enduring symbol of a beloved artist, father, and husband".

He continued: "Our children and I are deeply moved by the continued outpouring of love, compassion, and support, and this is our gift to the Museum Of Pop Culture and to Seattle - our gift back to the tight-knit community that gave him his start".

The museum's Artistic Director Jasen Emmons added: "MoPOP is honoured to receive this gift from the Cornell family and pay tribute to one of the most powerful and important voices in popular music. MoPOP serves to celebrate the Seattle music scene and the luminaries who have emerged from the Northwest and Chris was a key figure who has made a lasting impact on generations worldwide".

Cornell, of course, took his own life in May last year, shortly after performing a show with Soundgarden in Detroit.

The statue will be placed outside the museum and is set to be formally unveiled on 29 Aug.


Arctic Monkeys, Raye, Pond, 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.

• The band known as the Arctic Monkeys have released the title track from their latest album, 'Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino'.

• Raye has released the video for new single 'Friends'. She'll also be heading out on her debut headline tour in October and November.

• Pond are back with new track 'Burnt Out Star'.

• Oneohtrix Point Never has released videos for new tracks 'The Station' and 'We'll Take It'.

• Flowdan has released new track 'Shell A Verse'. It's been written with festival and carnival performances in mind, he says. "It's definitely about movement. Movement is something that I notice and try to accommodate".

• Jason Mraz will play the Royal Albert Hall in London on 6 Mar next year. His new album, 'Know', is out on 10 Aug.

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


Spice Girls reunion definitely still on, says Mel B
So, that Spice Girls reunion you keep banging on about. You know, the one that has been in the pipeline ever since all five members of the one time pop phenomenon got together for a meeting earlier this year.

Will it be a tour? Will it be a record? Will it be a TV show? No one seems that certain, not least the Spice Girls themselves, who have been competing with each other to see who can deliver the most vague statement about what any new reunion might involve.

"We need the girl power message more now than ever", mused Mel C. "We want to do something for our fans and all the new generation", added Geri Horner. "I think a few shows would be good", said Emma Bunton.

But least vague was Victoria Beckham, who seemed to think the meeting itself was the reunion. "There is no tour, no more music from the Spice Girls", she told Grazia magazine in April. "But it was great getting together with them".

Though just to be clear, the reunion is definitely on. "For sure, we are getting back together", said Mel B on telly show 'Loose Women' yesterday, adding she was seeing Geri later that day. "We're sisters at the end of the day and what we went through was quite an amazing, brilliant journey, so we're together – we're back together". Back to the vague then.

Should we assume that the ongoing vagueness about what a Spice Girls reunion might involve is down to Beckham not really being up for it? "There's one [member] that's been a bit difficult", Mel B conceded yesterday. "But she's getting roped in".

Hurrah, a big Spice Girls reunion where Beckham is "roped in". What could possibly go wrong with that?


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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