TODAY'S TOP STORY: With the draft new copyright directive heading back to the European Parliament next month, the European music industry yesterday launched a new co-ordinated campaign to try to ensure that this time all that safe harbour reform gets through... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES European For Creators campaign fights for safe harbour reform ahead of European copyright vote
LEGAL Lawsuit against Mariah Carey over cancelled shows dismissed
EDUCATION & EVENTS Secret 7" auctioning off Rega turntables customised by top artists
ARTIST NEWS Sony scouring Michael Jackson catalogue for future hits
Brooke Candy directs "queer, sex-positive and super hot" porn film
RELEASES Muse announce new album, Simulation Theory
ONE LINERS Viagogo, Metallica, Eminem, more
AND FINALLY... Beef Of The Week #419: Tents v Sense
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European For Creators campaign fights for safe harbour reform ahead of European copyright vote
With the draft new copyright directive heading back to the European Parliament next month, the European music industry yesterday launched a new co-ordinated campaign to try to ensure that this time all that safe harbour reform gets through.

The music community, of course, has been campaigning hard to reform the safe harbour that says internet companies cannot be held liable for their users' copyright infringement. Music companies argue that user-upload platforms like YouTube have exploited the safe harbour - originally intended for internet service providers and server hosting firms - in order to launch on-demand content platforms without paying market rate royalties to content owners.

Article thirteen of the new European Copyright Directive seeks to increase the liabilities of platforms like YouTube. But those proposals have proven to be very controversial, and when the directive went before the European Parliament last month MEPs voted it down, mainly because of rampant campaigning by the tech sector and copyright critics against article thirteen (and the also controversial article eleven).

The music industry has since been very critical of that campaign, accusing the tech sector of 'astroturfing', which is when corporate-led lobbying initiatives are presented as if they are coming from individual grassroots campaigners.

Julia Reda, the Pirate Party MEP who has been most vocal in opposing articles eleven and thirteen within the Parliament, has hit back at those claims. And clearly there are plenty of people outside Google's public affairs department with concerns about the possible unintended consequences of the safe harbour reforms. Even if not many of them could be bothered to show up to real world street protests last weekend.

However, the anti-article thirteen campaign does seem to have benefited from some nifty online lobbying tools that probably made opposition to the proposals seem more pronounced than it really is (after all, most European citizens neither understand nor particularly care). And it also seems that some of those nifty tools were employed by people outside the European Union.

Either way, the European music industry - which has already campaigned hard on this issue - is hoping to campaign even harder in the run up to the 12 Sep vote. Hence this new co-ordinated campaign, which is being led by GESAC, the organisation that brings together all the song right collecting societies in Europe.

It said yesterday that the new 'Europe For Creators' initiative was a "movement, calling on citizens and decision-makers to take part in the debate and ensure that their voices are heard. This campaign seeks to correct misinformation by explaining the issues at stake and the importance of a vote in favour of the EU Copyright Directive".

It added that: "Against a backdrop of astroturfing and a massive lobbying campaign, extensive education on this issue is urgently needed". Article thirteen, it insisted, will simply "require internet platforms to negotiate fair licence agreements with copyright holders". It won't, as critics have claimed, break the internet.

Launching the new campaign, GESAC GM Véronique Desbrosses said: "Digital economic powers continue to profit as working artists struggle to make ends meet. The balance between the revenues generated by the internet platforms and the money they give to the creators who are responsible for their success, is entirely distorted".

She added: "The creative and cultural industry in the European Union represents 536 billion euros per year, more than the combined revenue of the automotive and telecoms sectors, and is responsible for twelve million jobs. We have enriched the lives of Europeans, and now we are calling on Europe to act".

The Europe For Creators campaign will include an open letter sent to MEPs, debates organised around Europe on 5 Sep, and a number of other events and publicity stunts before the big vote on 12 Sep. No Northern American bots phoning up MEPs in Brussels though, which is seemingly the kind of thing that can swing a vote in 2018. But there is, of course, the customary hashtag - #EuropeForCreators - so that's kinda modern, isn't it?

The campaign's manifesto, meanwhile, is set out on a slightly retro looking website. GESAC is also behind a petition for the artist community, which is what UK Music's butterflies and bulldozers flim flam was promoting earlier this week.


Lawsuit against Mariah Carey over cancelled shows dismissed
A judge in New York has dismissed a case being pursued by a South American concert promoter against Mariah Carey, although litigation targeting her company Mirage will be allowed to proceed.

This relates to shows that were due to take place in Argentina and Chile in October 2016. The concerts were cancelled with just days to go, with Carey saying that she pulled out of the shows because the promoter had failed to make good on its payment commitments.

Mirage sued promoter FEG Entretenimientos first, arguing that Carey and her crew couldn't have been expected to travel to Argentina and Chile on the promise of payment, especially when past promises had been broken. Mirage also argued that having to cancel the shows so late in the day had damaged Carey's reputation and meant that she'd lost out on other possible revenue generating work.

It said in a legal filing with the Californian courts in January 2017: "In the music industry everyone knows the familiar story of the deceitful promoter that promises to pay and fails to deliver. This lawsuit is filed in part not only to confirm the multiple breaches of the contracts by FEG ... but to warn the artistic community not to trust any promises from FEG".

For its part, the promoter managed to get the case shifted to New York and then filed its own counterclaims. It argued that it had paid nearly 75% of Carey's agreed fee and that, while it was behind on payments, this was customary in its business, and the singer would have received all the monies she was due had she gone ahead with the shows. The promoter also said Mirage had given no indication that it was planning on pulling the plug because of the late payments.

In its countersuit FEG sued not only Mirage but also Carey directly, arguing that the business - with which FEG had its contracts - was just an "alter-ego" for the star. It also claimed that Carey defamed FEG in a tweet linking to a E! News story about the last minute cancellations, in which she wrote "devastated my shows in Chile, Argentina and Brazil had to be cancelled. My fans deserve better than how some of these promoters treated them".

However, according to Law 360, this week New York judge William Pauley threw out the claims against Carey herself. He said allegations that Mirage was an "alter-ego" for Carey were "too weak" to hold her personally liable for the company's contracts. Meanwhile the tweet, he said, simply expressed an opinion.

Noting that FEG's defamation claim related just to the words of the tweet, not statements made in the E! News story she linked to, he said: "Viewed in context, Carey tweeted an opinion. What Carey's fans 'deserve' and whether they 'deserve better' than how some promoters 'treated them' is conjectural and vague".

However, Pauley said that FEG's case against Mirage could proceed. Because while the latter had presented emails that it said showed it acted in accordance with its contract with the promoter when cancelling the shows, the judge reckoned the wider litigation couldn't be resolved based on that correspondence alone.


Secret 7" auctioning off Rega turntables customised by top artists
The people behind Secret 7" have announced a side charity project, getting ten artists to decorate Rega turntables that will be auctioned off next month.

Each year, Secret 7" prints up 700 seven-inch record sleeves featuring original designs from select artists, into which are slipped limited edition singles that are then sold off for charity. But maybe you don't have anything to play those records on. In which case, this new event can help.

The turntables up for sale in aid of mental health charity Mind have been customised by Gavin Turk, Jeremy Deller, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Es Devlin, Stuart Semple, James Joyce, Jean Jullien, Pete Fowler, Hsiao-Chi Tsai & Kimiya Yoshikawa and Francis Richardson. They'll be on display at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch until 12 Sep, when bidding for them closes.

I badly want to own at least three of them, but I suspect I'm going to be priced out pretty quickly. If you all fancy clubbing together and getting me one though, I won't stand in your way. It's for a good cause. Check them all out and put down some money here.


Vigsy's Club Tip: Percolate at E1 London
The Percolate night returns to the still relatively new E1 London venue tomorrow night, with an extended headline set from disco don Todd Terje.

A great producer of original tracks, he's also a brilliant DJ, so it'll be a treat to spend a few hours in his company.

Joining him will be Maurice Fulton, Idjut Boys, Krywald & Farrer, Raw Silk and Pool DJs.

Saturday 1 Sep, E1 London, 110 Pennington Street, Wapping, London, E1W 2BB, 10pm-6am, £25.50. More info here.

Sony scouring Michael Jackson catalogue for future hits
Now free of any accusations that they faked vocals on some posthumous Michael Jackson tracks (legal accusations, anyway), Sony Music and the Michael Jackson estate are scouring the late singer's archives for more recordings to put out. Although not in order to put together more albums of the kind that drew those "it's a fake!" criticisms.

"We're constantly scouring the catalogue for ideas, but there are no plans at the moment to put any more full-fledged albums out", Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer tells the LA Times, in a new article about Jackson's legacy.

"We are looking at one-off songs" he explains. "In this streaming world, that works because it's a track-based world. There are a few gems out there that we may unearth individually over the next months and years, but we're also very, very careful to make sure the fanbase doesn't feel like they've been asked yet again to buy material they have. We are very careful about repacking and extremely cognisant of the fanbase that has everything".

Well we're all cognisant, aren't we? I'm cognisant that not all artists have managed to bridge the gaps between physical, downloads and streams, for example. "What's interesting with Michael", Stringer ponders on, "is that not all artists have managed to bridge the gaps from the physical world to the iTunes world to the streaming world, but with Michael that's not the case".

"His streaming numbers are incredible", we're told. "The technology at the moment enables us to do something different and highlight different songs and create concepts that will lead people to a greater understanding of the wider catalogue of Michael's work".

Showing just how much care they're taking with Jackson's oeuvre, Sony's latest release celebrating the king of pop is a five minute megamix of classic tracks quickly knocked together by Mark Ronson. Titled 'Diamonds Are Invincible', it was put out to mark what would have been Jackson's 60th (aka diamond) birthday earlier this week.


Brooke Candy directs "queer, sex-positive and super hot" porn film
Last week Brooke Candy released new single 'My Sex'. This week, she's put out a porn film she directed for Pornhub, titled 'I Love You'.

"Creating this film and having the opportunity to present my own sexuality for Pornhub was a dream come true", says Candy. "I wanted to create something which felt like a fantasy dream, and in doing so, I took references from amazing creators such as Bruce La Bruce and Matthew Barney, plus some iconic pornography like 'Deep Throat' which are viscerally sexy and are drenched in sensuality, something I believe is lacking in the industry".

She continues: "The shoot day was magical! We had the most next level crew of fine artists from all over the world and the cast of actors that I chose really had an inner beauty which they unleashed on film. It's queer, it's sex-positive and it's super hot. I'm so proud of it".

Corey Price, VP of Pornhub, adds: "Brooke is a boundary-pushing artist with a hyper-sexual flow who has amassed a devout following over the course of her successful career. ['I Love You'] draws upon her personality and evokes a certain sense of empowerment, diversity and sexual liberation".

The whole NSFW (no matter how much you insist it's work-related) film is available here. Or you can watch a desk-friendly trailer on YouTube. Alternatively, you could just check out the video for 'My Sex', which falls somewhere in between.


Muse announce new album, Simulation Theory
Muse have announced that they will release their eighth album, 'Simulation Theory', later this year. They've also released a new single from it, 'The Dark Side'.

The band worked with a variety of producers for the new record, including Rich Costey, Mike Elizondo, Shellback and Timbaland. Each track will be accompanied by a video too, so that'll be fun. The 'Star Wars' reference of the new single continues elsewhere as well. Illustrator Paul Shipper, who created the poster for 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi', has knocked up the cover art for the 'super deluxe' edition of the album.

There are various different physical versions of 'Simulation Theory', which you can explore here. Or, if you can't be bothered but you've come this far, you could watch the video for 'The Dark Side' here.


Viagogo, Metallica, Eminem, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Well, here's a turn up: always controversial secondary ticketing site Viagogo has apparently committed to send someone to speak to the UK Parliament's new select committee inquiry into the live music sector. With UK-based Viagogo staff reportedly being shipped out to the US, the company has seemingly said that it will send Head Of Business Development Cristopher Miller from its New York office. Lovely stuff.

• Warner Music has appointed Alfonso Perez-Soto as EVP Eastern Europe, Middle East And Africa, Warner Music Group. "I'm delighted", says Perez-Soto of that rather long new job title.

• Metallica have announced "the next evolution of whiskey", saying that they have used a new "sonic enhancement" process to "shape" the flavour of their Blackened whiskey. Sure.

• Eminem has surprise released a new album called 'Kamikaze'. It features new track, 'Venom', his contribution to Marvel's upcoming film of the same name, as well as other contributions from Kendrick Lamar and Justin Vernon elsewhere.

• Adam Lambert has released a little behind the scenes video from Queen's appearance at the O2 Arena last month. Sam Smith wasn't around to make any controversial comments this time.

• The 1975 have released the video for 'Tootimetootimetootime'.

• Ghetts has released new single, 'Black Rose', featuring Kojey Radical. His new album, 'Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament', is out on 14 Sep.

• Anna Calvi has released the video for the title track of her new album, 'Hunter'. That album, by the way, is out today.

• Clipping have released new track 'Stab Him In The Throat', taken from Sub Pop's upcoming 'Rick & Morty' soundtrack album.

• Haley Bonar - now just Haley - has released new single 'Infinite Pleasure Part 2'. Her new album, 'Pleasureland', is set for release on 12 Oct.

• Muncie Girls have released the video for 'Clinic'. Their new album, 'Fixed Ideals', is out today.

• Dena has released new single 'HMU'. "It's a song about telepathy and telephones, which are some of the central topics on my upcoming record 'If It's Written'", she explains.

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


Beef Of The Week #419: Tents v Sense
The issue of people leaving their tents behind at the end of festivals has been growing for many years now. This week, it gained public attention again after pictures of thousands of dumped tents at the Reading and Leeds festivals made their way around the internet.

Back in 2014, the Love Your Tent campaign surveyed 1200 festival-goers, 60% of whom admitted to buying dirt cheap tents to use once and leave behind at events. Most admitted that they knew that clearing up dumped tents was a big issue for festivals and that there were ecological implications stemming from their actions. But a third said they'd carry on doing it anyway, despite all that.

Those were unenlightend times though. Four years ago? We were fools back then. Surely now everyone is waking up every morning ready to fight for the future of the planet. But there's a new problem now, see, which is that age old nemesis of all that is good: charity.

According to The Telegraph, the problem today is that everyone thinks that if they leave their tent where they pegged it on day one of a music festival, it'll just be scooped up by organisers and given to a tent-hungry refugee. There is, it has to be said, a very small chance that this might happen. But it's not the case most of the time.

"There is a common misconception that leaving your tent is like making a donation", says Matt Wedge, director of Festival Waste Reclamation & Distribution, a charity which does collect up tents and give them to refugees. "It's simply not the case. We co-ordinate local volunteers and charity groups and take as much as we can for the homeless and refugees in Calais and Dunkirk, but realistically up to 90% gets left behind".

A Greener Festival's Teresa Moore confirmed this misconception, saying that the charity's own research shows that a growing number of people believe that they're doing a good thing by leaving their tent behind after them. This happened after a couple of smaller festivals advertised tent donation schemes, leading people to believe it was routine across the industry. "It backfired and since then", she told the Telegraph. "Most festivals have rowed back from that, urging people to take them with them. But in a way, it is too late".

The extent to which tents were dumped at the Leeds Festival was shown in an aeriel photograph shared on Twitter this week. Surely no one walking through all that could possibly think that every tent there, not to mention every tent at every other festival in the country, would be re-used by some charity somewhere.

But I suppose there is another consideration. Which kind of goes back to the 2014 research. While a proportion of the tent-dumpers no doubt do assume that the tent they are dumping will be given to someone more needy, we shouldn't ignore the fact that many people are just fucking arseholes.

Sophie Cottis-Allan of LE Solidarity - another group which takes items, including discarded festival tents, to refugees in locations around the world - posted pictures of the Leeds clean up operation to Facebook.

"A long, sometimes gross, constantly frustrating day, but we have a van packed to bursting with pop up tents, sleeping bags, roll mats and a few folding chairs", she wrote. However, while that does mean some of the tent-dumpers were helping, most of the dumped tents are still heading for landfill. Plus plenty of said tents clearly weren't re-usable anyway.

"I am still so shocked at the level of waste", Cottis-Allan added. "We didn't make a dent and so much was slashed, burnt or generally wrecked on purpose". To hammer home the point that many tent-dumpers were dumping trashed tents, she also shared video footage of the site, estimating that as much as 90% of the tents they found were unusable.

So, a quick rule of thumb: If you set fire to something and then leave it in a field, chances are nothing good is going to come of it. Come back next week for another big surprise revelation: Hitting yourself in the face with a big stick isn't much fun.


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
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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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