TODAY'S TOP STORY: Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, has counter-sued his former label Glassnote in a dispute over royalties, which includes a disagreement over how monies administered by American collecting society SoundExchange should be shared between label and artist... [READ MORE]
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As the European Parliament considers the draft new copyright directive once again, its safe harbour reforms are very much in the spotlight. But what is the safe harbour and why does it need reforming? CMU Trends explains. [READ MORE]
This three part CMU Trends guide provides a beginner's guide to music copyright and the music rights business. In it, we cover ownership, controls and licensing, and review key trends in streaming, physical, sync and public performance. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Childish Gambino countersues Glassnote in royalties dispute
LEGAL Music Modernization Act could be hotlined by Senate later today
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Jon Platt to leave Warner/Chappell, rumoured to be joining Sony/ATV
EDUCATION & EVENTS Ed Sheeran warns of damaging effects of music education cuts in UK schools
ARTIST NEWS Lily Allen details assault by record exec
Eminem says homophobic slur on Kamikaze went "too far"
RELEASES Smashing Pumpkins announce new album
AND FINALLY... Mel B would like Katy Perry to stand in for Victoria Beckham on Spice Girls tour
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These three seminars provide a concise guide to how music copyright works, the ins and outs of music licensing and current trends in the music rights sector. [READ MORE]
CMU's Chris Cooke will be on stage at Reeperbahn this week interviewing Spotify's MD of EMEA Michael Krause, Live Nation's SVP Marketing International Jackie Wilgar and ADA President Eliah Seton. Plus we'll present our digital dollar speed briefing. [READ MORE]
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This role provides a unique opportunity to assist the BIMM Artist Development, Events, Guests and Careers teams. The position will involve assisting with day to day administration as well as getting involved with hosting masterclasses and assisting at the external BIMM events.

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Childish Gambino countersues Glassnote in royalties dispute
Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, has counter-sued his former label Glassnote in a dispute over royalties, which includes a disagreement over how monies administered by American collecting society SoundExchange should be shared between label and artist.

The revenue share arrangement in Glover's deal with Glassnote was basically a 50/50 split. SoundExchange already allocates 50% of any money it collects to performers (45% to featured artists, 5% to session musicians). However, Glover reckons he is also due 50% of the money SoundExchange pays to whoever controls the copyright, in this case Glassnote.

The label counters that it's industry convention to assume that with SoundExchange monies, the artist's royalty is that which they receive direct from the society.

Glassnote released three Childish Gambino albums under its deal with Glover, before he opted to sign his next record deal with Sony Music. It then went legal back in July, seemingly seeking to pre-empt a royalties lawsuit by the artist.

Its bullish legal filing focused specifically on the SoundExchange royalties question, stating that: "Apparently unsatisfied with the approximately $10 million in royalties already paid or due to him by Glassnote and the 45% of the public performance royalties from SoundExchange ... [Glover] has continued to demand from Glassnote payments corresponding to SoundExchange royalties which he is legislatively and contractually precluded from receiving".

Glover's company DJR - which was actually the other party in the Glassnote licensing deal covering the Childish Gambino albums - filed its own legal papers last week. In them, DJR goes through Glassnote's litigation paragraph by paragraph, disputing most of what the label said, except for basic statements of fact like Glassnote being an independent record company and that Glover performs music under the name Childish Gambino.

In its actual countersuit, DJR raises a number of royalty issues that, it says, were uncovered last year when it audited Glassnote's accounts from 1 Jul 2014 to 31 Dec 2016. It asks the court to force the label to pay all the outstanding monies related to those issues as well as the extra SoundExchange royalties Glover's company believes it is due.

The dispute over SoundExchange royalties relates to the wording of specific terms in the original DJR/Glassnote agreement regarding the definition of 'net proceeds' and 'gross revenues', and whether or not those include the label's share of SoundExchange income. The contract made specific mention of monies collected and distributed by the collecting society, but the two sides seem to disagree on what those specific terms actually mean.

For its part, DJR argues that "the licence agreement does not treat the net proceeds SoundExchange royalties any differently from other income included in the calculation of gross revenues". It then argues that "Glassnote's unilateral retention of 100% of the net proceeds SoundExchange royalties materially breaches DJR's rights under the licence agreement because it improperly computes gross revenues and understates the net proceeds that are distributable to both Glassnote and DJR".

However the specifics of the DJR/Glassnote contract could and should have been interpreted, it is true that Glassnote's approach - assuming the artist's royalty on SoundExchange income is that which the society pays to them direct - is the industry standard.

Which means that if this case were to go to court, and if Glover prevailed, lots of other labels would likely be revisiting the specific terms in their contracts regarding SoundExchange income, to double check whether there are any ambiguities in their agreements too.


Music Modernization Act could be hotlined by Senate later today
The Music Modernization Act could be 'hotlined' in US Senate later today, according to sources who have spoken to Billboard. Hotlining is a process that can get legislation through in a speedy fashion where there is no objection from any Senators.

The MMA, of course, includes various reforms of US copyright law. Among other things, it seeks to address the issues around the payment of mechanical royalties by streaming services Stateside, as well as ensuring online and satellite radio services pay royalties on pre-1972 as well as post-1972 recordings. It also reforms the way the US Copyright Royalty Board and the rate courts that regulate BMI and ASCAP set rates where they control royalties.

A long time in the making, once in Congress the MMA sped through the House Of Representatives super fast. But there have been a few delays since it reached the Senate, even though an amended version of the legislation was passed by its judiciary committee. Last minute interventions by SESAC and subsequently SiriusXM have threatened to scupper things. The former was solved, though the latter remains a potential issue.

There is a deadline for the MMA project, in that the current Congressional session finishes at the end of the year, and if the reforms haven't gone through before then, the process would have to begin afresh in the new session next year. With the mechanical royalties issue particularly pressing, the American music industry is keen to ensure that doesn't happen.

Billboard's sources say that all 100 senators were emailed the latest version of the MMA on Friday with a note that it would be considered for hotlining later today. With the SiriusXM dispute seemingly unresolved, it remains to be seen if the proposals can actually be passed in this way


Jon Platt to leave Warner/Chappell, rumoured to be joining Sony/ATV
Jon Platt will step down as Chair and CEO of Warner's music publishing business Warner/Chappell before the end of the year, it has been announced. It's now rumoured that he's set to replace Marty Bandier in the top job over at rival publisher Sony/ATV.

In a memo to staff, Warner Music Group CEO Stephen Cooper praised Platt for his work since joining the company as President in 2012. He took on the CEO position in 2015.

"I know that many of you, like me, will be sorry to see Jon go", Cooper wrote. "He's one of the industry's finest - principled, driven and compassionate. Warner/Chappell is a very different company than the one he joined in 2012, and he leaves it well positioned for continued growth and change".

Cooper added: "Our songwriters' success in shaping the hits of today and the sounds of tomorrow is attracting a wealth of creative talent at all stages of their careers. At the same time, our outstanding global team is growing its reputation for always backing our songwriters with integrity and ambition".

In his own memo, Platt said: "I've grown so much in my time here, not only as a music executive, but as a leader. I'll be forever grateful to Steve Cooper and [boss of Warner owner Access Industries] Len Blavatnik for their belief in me, and for their support".

He went on: "Most importantly, I want to thank you - all of you around the world - I am humbled by the support and trust you've so generously given me. Throughout my career, I've always put songwriters first. It's a philosophy that has guided me well. I know you feel the same way. So I know that nothing is going to stop you from continuing the great work you are doing for songwriters".

Cooper also confirmed that Platt will stay on to assist Warner/Chappell COO Carianne Marshall in finding a new CEO for the company. Given that Marshall is the hot favourite to succeed him, this shouldn't take too long.

According to Billboard, Platt has been released from his Warner contract two years early in order to go and take up his new role. Various sources point to him taking the top job at Sony/ATV next year, although he, Warner/Chappell and Sony/ATV are all currently tight-lipped on the matter.


Ed Sheeran warns of damaging effects of music education cuts in UK schools
Ed Sheeran has spoken out against cuts to music education in British secondary schools. He warned that government policy is "damaging one of Britain's best and most lucrative exports".

He used his Instagram profile to comment on a new statement put out by UK Music, which said that ongoing cuts risked the future Sheerans and Adeles never being found.

The music industry lobbying group said that while the UK music industry is currently growing, contributing £4.4 billion to the British economy last year, cuts in both funding and prestige for music education in schools is undermining this.

These remarks come as UK Music plans to take a new report called 'Securing Our Talent Pipeline' to the upcoming annual conferences of the main UK political parties. The report looks at various challenges that could impact on the continued success of the British music industry, and how they might be overcome.

Sheeran writes: "I feel very strongly about this. I benefited hugely from state school music, as I'm sure many other UK musicians have. If you keep cutting the funding for arts you're going to be damaging one of Britain's best and most lucrative exports".

This has been a big topic of discussion over the course of this year. In January, the Musicians' Union called on the government to review its policies, after a BBC survey found that the vast majority of schools in England are cutting back lesson time, staff and/or facilities in at least one creative arts subject. A large part of the issue being how English schools are now assessed, and the fact successes in creative arts teaching are not considered.

The crisis facing music education was also put in focus at the CMU Insights Education Conference at the Great Escape earlier this year. CMU Insights used the conference to launch its 'Redefining Music Education' research project, in partnership with Urban Development and BIMM, which is currently mapping music education provision, to help educators, industry and young people navigate what's on offer, and also to identify where the gaps lie.


Approved: Hekla
Describing her sound as "minimalist sci-fi", Hekla has just released her debut album, 'Á', a collection of compositions for theremin and voice.

The haunted, sparse sounds of the album probably don't sound much like what you're currently imagining based on that initial description. She doesn't go in for the sudden, dramatic sounds generally associated with the theremin.

Instead, she goes in for something altogether more restrained, using the instrument, her vocals and other sounds to build something more atmospheric. At times the instrument can sound like a violin, in other moments it might be mistaken for some sort of industrial noise.

The title of the album, she explains, is sort of a play on words in her native Icelandic: "A river is an á and also it means 'ouch', like when you hurt yourself, and also when you put something on top of something you put it á [on] something".

Hekla is set to play two UK shows next month. You can catch her at the Servant Jazz Quarters in London on 15 Oct, and then The Cube in Bristol on 16 Oct.

Watch the video for 'Heyr Himna Smiður', Hekla's take on a classic Icelandic hymn, here.

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Lily Allen details assault by record exec
Lily Allen has detailed being sexually assaulted by a record label executive in a new interview with The Guardian. The subject is also discussed in her autobiography, 'My Thoughts Exactly', which is set for publication later this month.

She explains that the unnamed man - whose name apparently did feature in the original draft of the book, but was removed based on legal advice - initially appeared to help her when she got too drunk at a party. She says that he left her lying on his bed to sleep it off before returning to the party himself. But later that night the same man assaulted her.

"I woke up at 5am because I could feel someone next to me pressing their naked body against my back", she says. "I was naked too. I could feel someone trying to put their penis inside my vagina and slapping my arse as if I were a stripper in a club. I moved away as quickly as possible and jumped out of the bed, full of alarm ... I found my clothes quickly ... and ran out of his room and into my own".

She said that she did not report the incident to the police or other colleagues for fear that it would harm her career. She added that she blamed herself for being drunk, and wasn't sure that a crime had actually been committed. Although she later realised that it had.

Allen adds that even in the wake of #MeToo, the music industry remains "rife with sexual abuse" and that many are still unwilling to acknowledge the scale of the problem.


Eminem says homophobic slur on Kamikaze went "too far"
Eminem has said that using a homophobic slur against Tyler, The Creator on new track 'Fall' went "too far". He added that during its recording, he repeatedly felt that the word didn't "feel right". He still went ahead and used it though.

In the line in question, Eminem raps: "Tyler create nothing, I see why you called yourself a faggot, bitch".

Speaking to rapper Sway for a series of interviews in which he explains the lyrics, and numerous disses, on new album 'Kamikaze', Eminem says: "I think the word that I called him on that song was one of the things where I felt like this might be too far. In my quest to hurt him, I realise that I was hurting a lot of other people by saying it".

In the interview, Sway points out that, in the past, Eminem had been very supportive of Tyler's collective Odd Future, taking them out on tour and hanging out with them. It seems that what changed was Tyler and Earl Sweatshirt saying some things about Eminem's newer music not being that great. The last straw, apparently, was when Tyler tweeted that he didn't like 'Walk On Water', Eminem's collaboration with Beyonce for last album 'Revival'.

"I was like, alright, I need to say something now, because this is fucking stupid", says Eminem, explaining how the 'Fall' diss came about.

In retrospect though, he does feel that the language he used was a mistake. He goes on: "At the time, I was so mad. And in the midst of everything else that was going on on this album, it was one of the things that I kept going back to and going 'I don't feel right with this'".

After discussing the issue with manager Paul Rosenberg, it was decided that the word should be censored on the recording, rather than rewriting the whole line. "I realise now people can hear what I'm saying anyways", he says, having spotted that he didn't actually cover his tracks very well.

Throughout all of these interviews, despite being someone who made his name throwing out criticism and acting like he didn't care how anyone felt, Eminem comes across as someone with a particularly thin skin. Another feud relating to something fairly minor that featured on 'Kamikaze' is between him and Machine Gun Kelly.

Now someone who suffered collateral damage in that particular fight, Iggy Azalea, has also hit out at being included in an Eminem lyric, in which he says of Kelly: "You ain't never made a list next to no Biggy, no Jay, next to Taylor Swift and that Iggy ho, you about to really blow".

Azalea tweeted last week: "Diss songs shouldn't be filled with celebrity name drops to pad out lazy bars. And that's my unbiased opinion from a girl that watched this guy's set and sung the words in the crowd. I'd think it regardless. [He's] one of the greatest to do it, I'm NOT in dispute about that. But I do think the name dropping thing has become a crutch".

Many pointed out that Eminem has always fired off at various celebs in his lyrics. Addressing this, Azalea said: "The earlier stuff was crazy, twisted and creative. This stuff feels more like picking names that fit easily into a rhyme scheme".

Careful Iggy, he'll be coming after you directly next. Maybe. It seems like he has quite a long list of people still to get through, though.


Smashing Pumpkins announce new album
Chief pumpkin smashers The Smashing Pumpkins have announced their sure to be smashing reunion album. It goes by the title, 'Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun'. Just rolls off the tongue, huh?

The album is set to be released through Billy Corgan's own Martha's Music label, under licence to Napalm Records. It features original members Corgan, guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain, with guitarist Jeff Schroeder. No bassist. Although on tour, the bassist position will be fill by Jack Bates.

New single, 'Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)', is out now and is actually alright. Sounds a bit like Feeder. You can watch the lyric video here. And you can see the band live in the UK when they play Wembley Arena on 16 Oct. The album itself will be out on 16 Nov.


Mel B would like Katy Perry to stand in for Victoria Beckham on Spice Girls tour
It's now over six months since the Spice Girls met up to "explore some incredible new opportunities". Since then, we've learned that a tour was happening. Then anything was possible. Then it was all undecided. Then there was definitely no tour. Then it was just vague. Then it was somehow even more vague. But now, it is absolutely certain that there will be a tour. "100%", Mel B told James Corden on that US TV show he somehow has last week.

Quick off the mark, fellow guest Olivia Munn chipped in - before Corden could get another question out - asking: "With Victoria?" Because that's the key question, isn't it? It having been Victoria Beckham who said that there would definitely be no tour or new music.

"Well, us four for sure", said Mel B, slightly unhelpfully. Asked if Beckham might make it five, she added, "Well, we'll see about that one". But "us four are going to be going on tour", she confirmed again. "[Victoria] may join us for a few. She better do".

Then Munn, who in the midst of all this had somehow become guest and host, suggested that they replace Beckham with a different celebrity each show, like on 'Have I Got News For You'. Munn didn't say it would be like 'Have I Got News For You'. I added that. It's an American talk show after all, so no one would have known what she meant if she had. But anyway, once the celebrity guest idea had been mentioned, Mel B ran with it.

"Katy Perry would be good, wouldn't she?", she said, suddenly adopting a face like she seriously thought this might happen.

Moving on from made up tour plans, Mel B then revealed that she's used all her Spice Girls costumes from the 1990s to build a shrine to herself in the corner of her bedroom. "It's not weird at all", she insisted. "When my friends come over, we kind of play dress up".

OK then. So, anyway, this tour is definitely happening. Katy Perry is on standby. Get ready.


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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