TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Commerce Commission in New Zealand has announced it is launching legal proceedings against the ever-controversial secondary ticketing platform Viagogo in the country's high court... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES New Zealand Commerce Commission begins legal proceedings against Viagogo
LEGAL BBC won't appeal Cliff Richard police raid ruling
Global Music Rights must continue with radio industry fight in Pennsylvania, says Californian court
DEALS Universal's 'influencer' label signs 'influencer' Lele Pons
LABELS & PUBLISHERS PRS announces four new senior hires
LIVE BUSINESS Local councillors and MP express concerns about impact of Wireless festival
ONE LINERS Sony/ATV, Bucks, AEG, more
AND FINALLY... The best Madonna birthday lists - RANKED!
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New Zealand Commerce Commission begins legal proceedings against Viagogo
The Commerce Commission in New Zealand has announced it is launching legal proceedings against the ever-controversial secondary ticketing platform Viagogo in the country's high court.

The Swiss company has been criticised by regulators in multiple countries for misleading consumers who buy tickets at hiked up prices off touts on its platform, and for being particularly shoddy when it comes to dealing with customer complaints.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission went legal over its concerns with the ticket resale firm last year. The UK's Competition & Markets Authority also talked about taking action in the courts back in April, after confirming that Viagogo had failed to address various issues that the regulator had formally raised.

New Zealand's Commerce Commission launched an investigation into Viagogo's operations after receiving a plethora of complaints about the company from consumers. It then publicly criticised the firm in March when there was a flurry of media coverage about fans who bought tickets from Viagogo being turned away from a Bruno Mars concert in the country.

Back then the regulator said: "The Commerce Commission is advising consumers to seriously consider whether buying tickets from ticket reselling website Viagogo is worth the risk after the latest series of complaints".

Confirming that it was now going legal, the Commission said yesterday that it was seeking court "declarations that Viagogo has breached the [Fair Trading Act], an injunction restraining it from further breaches and corrective advertising orders". It also published a specific gripe list which echoes the concerns raised by regulators in Australia and the UK.

That includes Viagogo's use of the word "official" when it is not - in fact - an official seller; its use of the word "guarantee", which implies guaranteed entry when it actually means refunds are available if and when tickets prove to be invalid; the site telling people tickets are 'limited' or 'about to sell out' when it only knows about availability on its own platform; and the customary confusing information about pricing which often misses out the firm's own sizable fees.

In addition to these "false or misleading representations", the Commission says that Viagogo's contract with buyers also includes an unfair term. "The term states that all disputes brought by a consumer must be heard in Swiss courts under Swiss law", it says. "But Viagogo can choose to take court action against consumers in the consumer's own country".

Commenting on its planned legal action in the high court, the Commission's Head Of Consumer Stuart Wallace said yesterday: "We acknowledge that this has been a longstanding investigation, and in large measure that is because of the complexity of pursuing a case against an online trader based offshore. We are pleased to have progressed matters to the point where we are now able to launch proceedings".


BBC won't appeal Cliff Richard police raid ruling
The BBC has decided not to appeal last month's court ruling, which said that the broadcaster infringed the privacy rights of Cliff Richard when it covered a police raid on his home in 2014.

The Beeb was ordered to hand Richard £210,000 in general and aggravated damages, and subsequently committed to pay the singer an additional £850,000 towards his legal costs. However, the Corporation had said it might appeal the ruling because it felt the judgement set a dangerous precedent regarding the reporting of police investigations in the UK.

Police raided a property in Berkshire owned by Richard as part of an investigation into allegations of historical sexual abuse. That investigation didn't lead to any charges. The BBC's coverage of the raid was somewhat sensationalist, and Richard argued it infringed his privacy rights and - in doing so - damaged his reputation.

For its part, the BBC has more recently apologised to Richard and admitted that the nature of its coverage in 2014 was perhaps inappropriate. However, it noted that the judge hearing the case ruled that by merely naming Richard as the subject of the police investigation the BBC had infringed the pop star's right to privacy. And that, the Corporation argued, set a new precedent in UK media law that affected all news providers.

Nevertheless, the BBC will not appeal the judgement. Instead it says it will write to the government and request that it instigate a review of this area of the law.

Again apologising to Richard and accepting that there were lessons for it to learn from this whole fracas, the BBC said yesterday: "Despite this, the judgment creates new case law and represents a dramatic shift against press freedom. In his ruling, the judge himself stated 'the case is capable of having a significant impact on press reporting'. It raises significant questions over how the media can report investigations in the future - and creates huge uncertainty over what might qualify as being in the public interest".

It went on: "We accept the BBC and the rest of the media have a duty to be sensitive to the rights and position of those who are under investigation, and in some cases there will be little public interest in naming individuals. However, this ruling will limit the long-standing ability of journalists to report on police investigations - many cases of which have resulted in further complainants coming forward. It will make it harder to scrutinise the conduct of the police and it will undermine the principle of the public's right to know. These concerns have been widely echoed by many other media organisations".

Because of all these concerns, the BBC says it did seriously consider taking the matter to the court of appeal. Its decision not to go that route is mainly down to the legal advice it received to the effect that there was a very high chance appeal judges would uphold the lower court ruling.

The Corporation said: "The legalities are complex, but essentially - even though we are advised and believe that the judge erred in law in finding that broadcasters and journalists normally have no right to publish the name of a person who is the subject of a criminal investigation - it will be very difficult to persuade the Court Of Appeal to isolate this issue of principle from the judge's broader findings in this case. The judgment has been written in a way that makes the two indivisible".

Concluding, the BBC said in its statement: "Given this advice the BBC will not be appealing. It would inevitably mean an expensive legal cul de sac and one that would simply prolong Sir Cliff's distress. Instead the BBC is writing today to ask the government to consider a review of the law in this important area to protect the right to properly and fairly report criminal investigations, and to name the person under investigation. There is a fundamental principle of press freedom at stake here and one upon which we believe Parliament, as our lawmakers, should decide".

Other media organisations have already backed the BBC's call for a government review of this area of law. And that includes the Society Of Editors, whose Executive Director Ian Murray said: "Parliament should now urgently consider whether such a step towards individual privacy against the protection of society's overall liberties is acceptable. The Society recognises that the sympathies of the public may well be strongly with Sir Cliff on this issue and in this particular case, but there are bigger issues at stake that, if unchallenged, will affect the liberties of all citizens".

Needless to say, a representative for Richard welcomed the BBC's decision, adding that he hoped that all "outstanding issues can [now] be resolved quickly".


Global Music Rights must continue with radio industry fight in Pennsylvania, says Californian court
A judge in California has declined to resume litigation involving mini collecting society Global Music Rights and the Radio Music License Committee, reckoning that the ongoing dispute between the two parties should instead continue in the courts of Pennsylvania.

GMR, of course, is the boutique performing rights organisation that was set up by artist manager Irving Azoff. It represents the performing rights of a small but very well formed gang of acclaimed songwriters. In doing so, it competes for members with the three other PROs that operate in the US, them being BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. Though broadcasters wanting to play music written by any songwriter need a licence from all four.

Because BMI and ASCAP both represent such large catalogues of songs, they are regulated by the US Department Of Justice through the so called consent decrees, which are meant to overcome competition law concerns that are often raised about collective licensing. SESAC, although not governed by a consent decree, agreed to third party mediation on royalty disputes during a past legal battle with the RMLC.

Since Azoff set up GMR, the RMLC has been busy trying to force it to also accept third party mediation. RMLC argues that GMR is another music licensing monopoly that should be subject to some regulation. GMR counters that, as a boutique rights agency, it has nothing even near to a monopoly over song rights, and therefore should be able to negotiate licensing deals without third party interference. It then usually adds that if there are any monopolies in this dispute it's the RMLC, which claims to speak for the majority of US broadcasters.

This whole dispute went legal in November 2016 when the RMLC sued GMR in the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania. A few weeks later GMR sued RMLC in California, arguing that Pennsylvania was the wrong place for this dispute to be heard, given the radio licensing group is based in Nashville, Tennessee and GMR in LA. While RMLC does represents station across the US, it has lots more members in California than Pennsylvania. By suing in the latter state, GMR then claimed, the radio industry group was basically "forum shopping".

GMR tried to have RMLC's lawsuit in Pennsylvania dismissed, meanwhile the Californian case was put on hold pending the outcome of the Pennsylvanian litigation. In May this year GMR asked that the Californian case be resumed, arguing that the lawsuit in Pennsylvania was dragging, and this was "wreaking havoc" because broadcasters and others were using the ongoing lawsuit as an excuse not to negotiate licences to utilise songs repped by the rights body.

GMR again accused RMLC of forum shopping, while asking the Californian judge to resume its lawsuit there so that a discovery process could begin. But said judge, Terry J Hatter Jr, has declined to lift the stay on the GMR v RMLC lawsuit in his state.

According to Law 360, he noted that the so called 'first-to-file' rule meant this dispute should be fought out via the Pennsylvanian lawsuit. "Here, Global Music argued that the court should decline to apply the first-to-file rule because RMLC forum shopped when it filed the Pennsylvania action in anticipation of this action", Hatter wrote. "However, Global Music failed to provide any evidence that RMLC filed the Pennsylvania action in anticipation of this action".

He then said that "Global Music's argument that the stay should be lifted because it is prejudiced by not being able to initiate discovery is misplaced", saying that if GMR wanted to being the discovery process, it could do so in Pennsylvania.

Back in that state both sides await a ruling on GMR's bid to dismiss RMLC's action. A report by a magistrate judge on the dispute recommended last year that it should indeed be dismissed, allowing the whole case to shift to California. But RMLC then responded to that report, and GMR responded to RMLC's response, and everyone is now waiting for a final ruling on the matter.

According to Law 360, when it asked the Californian court to restart its lawsuit there, GMR claimed that that during a case status conference in Pennsylvania it had been told by a clerk that an unidentified "conflict that developed" within chambers was preventing that court from knowing when it would be able to rule on the dismissal bid. And so we keep on waiting.


Universal's 'influencer' label signs 'influencer' Lele Pons
Universal Music's newish division 10.22pm - set up to sign those online-influencer, content-creator, YouTuber, Instagrammer superstars - has signed one of those online-influencer, content-creator, YouTuber, Instagrammer superstars.

That online-influencer, content-creator, YouTuber, Instagrammer superstar is none other than your good friend Lele Pons. Who is - 10.22pm would like you to know - one of "new media's most engaging and multi-talented young global stars as a comedian, actress, director and music artist". The 10.22pm deal mainly covers the latter bit and will see Pons release records and stuff.

Says she: "Music has always meant so much to me and this opportunity can help me push myself to take the next step as an artist. I feel great about joining the Universal Music family because they understand what I want to do musically and creatively. I'm so excited to be going on this musical journey with Universal's support on my side".

10.22pm chief time-keeper Celine Joshua adds: "Lele is the modern definition of a triple threat. She is a global entertainer who attracts tens of millions of viewers through digital screens. For anyone who has followed Lele's career, music and dance are at the core of her storytelling and I'm honoured to work alongside John and Sam Shahidi to expand her already passionate fanbase through music, premium content and consumer products".

John and Sam Shahidi, in case you wondered, run a thing called Shots Studios, which works with Pons as a production and management company. Keen to one up the boss of his new business partner, the Sam of the Shahidi's insists that Pons is, in fact, the "Swiss army knife of entertainment".

"She is an amazing actor, director, writer, dancer, singer", he adds. "All of us at Shots Studios are excited about the partnership with Celine Joshua, 10:22 pm, and the entire UMG family on making music the next chapter of Lele's career".


PRS announces four new senior hires
UK collecting society PRS For Music has announced four new appointments that, it says, will "bolster its leadership team". And everyone loves a good bolster.

First up, Claire Jarvis joins the organisation from PRS customer Sky to become Director Of Membership. Next Sami Valkonen joins from PRS's lovely neighbour and occasional arch enemy Google to become Director Of International. Existing exec Rachael Naylor is promoted internally to the new role of Director of Operations And Distributions, while Barney Hooper - most recently with AEG - returns to the society to take on another new role, that of Director Of Communications And Marketing.

Confirming all this, PRS top man boss dude Robert Ashcroft employed some words thus: "The high standard of service we aspire to provide to our members, our licensees and our fellow societies depends on our people and we are proud not only to have hired three key individuals with diverse experience with major music users, but also to have recognised rising talent from within. I would like to welcome all four to their new roles at PRS For Music".


Local councillors and MP express concerns about impact of Wireless festival
Concerns have been expressed by local officials and the local MP in the London borough of Islington over the impact Live Nation's Wireless festival has on the area.

Wireless - and a number of other Live Nation events - take place in London's Finsbury Park. The park itself is in the borough of Haringey, but it's also right on the boundaries of neighbouring boroughs Hackney and Islington.

According to the Islington Gazette, Islington Council has put together a report on this year's Wireless festival in which it raises a number of concerns and supports calls by an organisation called Friends Of Finsbury Park for a review of Live Nation's licence.

Among the gripes contained in the report are issues over noise, traffic, parking, street cleaning and anti-social behaviour. The council also says that signage encouraged attendees to walk home via Islington - rather than Hackney or Haringey - but that no stewarding was in place on its side of the park to police the resulting flow of people.

The council's report comes after the local MP - a certain Jeremy Corbyn - wrote to the leader of Haringey Council expressing concerns about the number of music events now being staged in Finsbury Park. He wrote: "The events result in the local community having limited access to the park for a considerable amount of weeks each year".

He added that "the area of the park cordoned off with huge barriers and the use of hard surface and road for the parking of very large heavy vehicles seem to be increasing each year", before musing that it's "obvious organisers were not sufficiently prepared for it or its effects on the local community", resulting in some locals feeling their homes "literally vibrating".


Approved: Tolliver
Ahead of the release of his debut EP later this year, Tolliver has released the second single from it, 'Emmanuel'. Masterfully built out of pulsing vocal samples and swelling synths, creating a bed for his soft but striking voice, it is the work of an artist ready to be lauded.

The dark R&B sound he has envisioned for himself was apparent on early demoes, but on his latest tracks he's really got to grips with the balance and structure of what he's going for. Previous single 'I Gotchu', like the new track, manages to be sparse and complex at the same time, with an incredible intimacy. Although that intimacy does not always deliver quite the message you'd expect.

Of 'Emmanuel', Tolliver explains: "It's about having sex with strangers and getting tested over and over, panicking and thinking every cough, every sore throat is a sign of death, then going ahead and doing it all over again - 'paranoia' is the word of the day. The video replicates that cycle; I start off alone in glory under that blue light, get all gussied up in the mirror, only to panic and cut my dick off, and end up wailing in the night. Then it's right back to the blue light".

Watch the video for 'Emmanuel' here.

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

Sony/ATV, Bucks, AEG, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Sony/ATV has promoted Jenny Lambert to VP Digital & Business Affairs International and Moses Martiny to VP Digital, International & UK. Mika Partanen also joins the company from PRS For Music as Director of Digital Business Development.

• Adam Soffe has joined Bucks Music Group from Ministry Of Sound as Creative & Bespoke Sync Executive. "Adam has a fantastic energy", says Bucks Director Of Creative A&R Sarah Liversedge Platz.

• AEG Presents has appointed Simon Jones to the newly created role of SVP Live Music International. "I'm excited", says Jones.

• Live Nation in the US has made Amy Marks its Head Of Integrated Marketing. She joins from Bloomberg. "I'm THRILLED", she says.

• The Kinks have unveiled previously unreleased track 'Time Song', from the upcoming 50th anniversary reissue of 'The Village Green Preservation Society'.

• Cat Power has released new Lana Del Rey collaboration 'Woman'.

• Suede have released new single 'Life Is Golden'.

• Stefflon Don has released the video for the opening track of her new mixtape 'Secure'. Here's 'Lil Bitch'.

• Fucked Up have released new single 'Normal People'. They've also announced that they will be touring the UK and Ireland in January, finishing up at The Garage in London on 25 Jan.

• Idles have released new single 'Great'. "Let us go forward with open minds and open hearts into that fuck off fire we've started", says frontman Joe Talbot of the message behind the track. "No blame, no hate. Just love and a blue passport".

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


The best Madonna birthday lists - RANKED!
It's Madonna's 60th birthday today and apparently I was supposed to prepare something to mark the occasion. Some sort of list will probably do it. People like lists, don't they? What better way to honour someone? So, here is our definitive list of the 60 best lists to mark Madonna's 60th birthday to mark Madonna's 60th birthday. Happy birthday, Madge!

1. Madonna At 60: The Material Girl By The Numbers - Forbes
2. 60 incredible chart facts and feats about Madonna - Official Charts Company
3. Madonna's 30 Most Sensational Stage Costumes - Vogue
4. Madonna's 15 albums: ranked from worst to best - The Telegraph
5. Madonna at 60: A colourful career in pictures - BBC News
6. Deezer reveals Madonna's most streamed songs as she turns 60 - Bury Times
7. The 15 best Madonna songs to celebrate her 60th birthday, from Into The Groove to Like A Prayer - Evening Standard
8. Madonna at 60: Her best songs, as chosen by the Independent staff - The Independent
9. YouTube reveals Madonna's top hits in celebration of her 60th birthday - ABC News
10. Madonna turns 60: A look back at her provocative style history - CNN
11. Celebrate Madonna's 60th Birthday With Her 10 Most-Viewed YouTube Videos - Billboard
12. Madonna slaví 60: Zivila se nahým tělem, děti se jí bály. Dnes se topí v penězích a vládne popu - Blesk
13. In Pictures: Material Girl Madonna through the decades - Irish Independent
14. 4 ways to celebrate Madonna's 60th - Press Of Atlantic City
15. Madonna turns 60: A look back at her best moments - Now To Love
16. Inside Madonna's relationships - from toyboy lovers to rock legends - The Sun
17. Madonna's beste liedjes op een rijtje - AD
18. Madonna's most show-stopping performances - including her 'Marilyn moment' at Oscars and snogging Britney Spears - The Sun
19. 60 great Madonna moments for her 60th birthday - USA Today
20. Madonna at 60: Celebrating the entertainer's most iconic moments - New Idea
21. Madonna at 60: Ten greatest songs from the Queen of Pop - The Independent
22. The Definitive Ranking of Madonna's Top 60 Singles - Gay Star News
23. 9 Madonna facts every fan should know - Smooth Radio
24. Eight ways Madonna changed the world, from exploring female sexuality to inventing reality TV - The Telegraph
25. Madonna fête ses 60 ans: Scandales et provocations, retour sur la vie agitée de la Madone - 20 Minutes
26. These Are the Best Madonna Books - Pitchfork
27. Madonna turning 60: Her boyfriends, partners and husbands - Channel 24
28. The 10 Most Important Madonna Music Videos - NowNowNext
29. Madonna at 60: Directors, designers and stars who have worked with her share their memories - The Times
30. Madonna at 60: The ten best music videos from the Queen of Pop - The Independent
31. From Guy Ritchie to Tupac and Prince, we look back at Madonna's most significant hook-ups and husbands - The Sun
32. 5 Times Madonna Stole the Show at the MTV VMAs - NowNowNext
33. The top 20 Madonna songs of all time - Smooth Radio
34. The Beat Goes On: Every Madonna Single Ranked - Slant
35. Madonna at 60: The 20 best quotes from the Queen of Pop - The Independent
36. Madonna wordt 60 en daarom zijn dit 60 foto's van haar door de jaren heen - LINDAnieuws
37. 12 Madonna fans share their first memories as the Queen of Pop turns 60 - Mamamia
38. Madonna at 60: Material Girl through the decades - ITV News
39. Madonna cumple 60 años: el top 5 de sus momentos más polémicos - El Comercio
40. Strike a Pose: Madonna's 20 Most Essential Magazine Covers - NowNowNext
41. Madonna at 60: From college dropout to the Queen of Pop - Deutsche Welle
42. The 60 best Madonna songs in honour of her 60th birthday - The Spinoff
43. As Madonna turns 60, we chart her most controversial fashion moments - Yahoo! Lifestyle
44. Madonna at 60: The Queen of Pop in seven charts - BBC
45. Madonna at 60: the Queen of Pop's fashion hits and misses -
46. Madonna's 60th birthday: The pop star through the years - Sky News
47. Madonna And Me: Our Writers Reveal The Queen Of Pop's Personal Impact - Huffington Post
48. Material Girl turns 60: Madonna's looks through the decades - The Canberra Times
49. Madonna At 60: A year-by-year look at the Material Girl - STL Today
50. Madonna At 60: Taylor, Ariana, Adele, Beyonce And More On Why Madonna Is The True Queen Of Pop - Huffington Post
51. Madonna's top music videos ranked - The Gay UK
52. Fashion photographer gets his dog to recreate Madonna's most iconic photos - Metro
53. Madonna's Most Outrageous Met Gala looks - InStyle
54. Madonna's most memorable and iconic photographs - Daily Mail
55. Everything We Know About That Madonna Biopic She Doesn't Want To Happen - Refinery29
56. Madonna's 60th Birthday: The Queen of Pop's BIGGEST moments as she turns 60 today - Evening Standard
57. Madonna turns 60: The best pictures of the Queen of pop - Daily Express
58. Madonna: how the 'material girl' has shaped modern fashion trends - The Independent
59. Northern Ireland writers share impact Madonna had on them ahead of her 60th birthday - Belfast Telegraph
60. It's Madonna's Birthday-Why Not Channel Her Wild Music Video Style? - Vogue


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 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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