TODAY'S TOP STORY: The people behind three UK-based ticket touting outfits are facing charges of money laundering and breaches of consumer rights law following investigations by National Trading Standards. Six people have appeared in court so far with three more facing similar charges. The companies run by the defendants are called Connoco, BZZ and Ticket Queen... [READ MORE]
Available to premium subscribers, CMU Trends digs deeper into the inner workings of the music business, explaining how things work and reviewing all the recent trends.
As the draft new copyright directive in Europe reaches its final stages, the safe harbour reforms it contains remain 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 National Trading Standards charges nine ticket touts in the UK, as Ticketmaster faces a class action over resale Stateside
LEGAL Judge declines summary judgement in Beyonce's Feyonce dispute
EDUCATION & EVENTS CMU's marketing-focused seminars kick off next week
ARTIST NEWS Sigur Rós drummer Orri Páll Dýrason quits following rape accusation
Peter Hook discusses changing attitudes to mental health
GIGS & FESTIVALS Machine Head say farewell tour doesn't mean the end of the band
Bastille announce tour to preview new material
ONE LINERS TuneCore, Music Support, Elton John, more
AND FINALLY... Paramore's Hayley Williams records ASMR video to promote hair dye
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Audio Network seeking a Senior A&R Manager (UK & Europe) to work in the A&R team. You will have a primary focus on the implementation of Audio Network’s UK and European A&R and wider music strategy.

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The Orchard is looking for a savvy, seasoned digital music marketer to promote its distributed artists in Europe and beyond. The ideal candidate will come from a label or distribution background and have an exceptional understanding of the digital space.

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Fabric is looking for a savvy and experienced marketing person with an expert touch on digital. The successful candidate will work alongside the Booking & Promotions Team and lead the fabric communications requirement.

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The University of Manchester Students’ Union and Manchester Academy is looking for two enthusiastic Operations Managers. Our Operations Managers make sure all our clients, visitors and customers receive an excellent service experience, whilst ensuring the safe and legal operation of the venues.

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Secretly Distribution seeks a full time Digital Marketing Co-ordinator based in our London office. This individual will work closely with our international and digital teams in a wide reaching role that will focus on sales and marketing in multiple territories outside of the US.

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National Trading Standards charges nine ticket touts in the UK, as Ticketmaster faces a class action over resale Stateside
The people behind three UK-based ticket touting outfits are facing charges of money laundering and breaches of consumer rights law following investigations by National Trading Standards. Six people have appeared in court so far with three more facing similar charges. The companies run by the defendants are called Connoco, BZZ and Ticket Queen.

National Trading Standards is one of two UK government agencies that have been investigating the secondary ticketing market and whether players in it are compliant with consumer rights law, including the specific ticket resale regulations introduced by the 2015 Consumer Rights Act. The Competition & Markets Authority focused on the resale platforms like Seatwave, Get Me In, StubHub and Viagogo, while National Trading Standards investigated the conduct of people actually reselling tickets via these platforms.

Among the accused are Timothy Connor, who has been charged alongside his girlfriend and his parents, and who allegedly used multiple names, addresses, credit cards and bespoke software to hoover up large quantities of tickets from primary ticketing sites. Prosecutors say that, between June 2015 and December 2017, together they bought £2.3 million in tickets which they resold for £4.5 million, therefore pocketing £2.2 million for their efforts.

The two other people who have already appeared in court, Peter Hunter and David Smith, ran an even bigger operation, buying £4 million worth of tickets between June 2015 and February 2018, and selling them on for £10.8 million. The other three people facing similar charges have been named as Maria Chenery-Woods, Mark Woods and Linda Chenery.

Touting in itself is not illegal, of course, even if the resale is often in breach of the terms and conditions of the original ticket (and therefore allows the promoter to cancel said ticket). However, there are rules about how tickets are resold, in particular regarding what information is provided to a buyer before a sale takes place, and once touts become commercial operations there are other more general consumer rights laws to adhere to.

The prosecutions are related to raids conducted by National Trading Standards last year and various arrests that were subsequently made. At a court hearing in York six of the defendants indicated that they planned to plead not guilty to the charges they face.

Specifics of the three companies' operations are not yet known but should come out if and when the actions get to court. It's not known which resale platforms the defendants used to resell their tickets, although it's thought that the always controversial Viagogo was likely involved. It will also be interesting to find out how the defendants sourced their tickets, and whether they relied on teams of people or bespoke software buying up large numbers of tickets from primary sites, or if they also had access to tickets through industry connections.

Elsewhere in the increasingly busy ticket touting courts, a class action has been filed Stateside in relation to Live Nation's involvement in the secondary ticketing market via its Ticketmaster division. This follows all the hoo and the haa caused by a report in the Canadian media last month about a Ticketmaster employee who - while promoting a ticket inventory platform the company provides to touts - was very blasé indeed about his clients routinely breaking the rules on ticketmaster.com to access larger quantities of tickets.

Ticketmaster, of course, recently announced that it is bailing on the secondary ticketing business in Europe, shutting down its resale platforms Seatwave and Get Me In and joining the anti-tout brigade at all future discussions on resale. But its extensive resale operations continue in the US, where Ticketmaster President Jared Smith continues to defend his company's involvement in both primary and secondary ticketing.

In interviews and a blog post following the Toronto Star and CBC report, Smith insisted that his company's ticket inventory management platform, TradeDesk, had been misrepresented in many reports to suggest collusion between Ticketmaster and the touts. He stated in his blog post: "Let me be absolutely clear and definitive that Ticketmaster does not have, and has never had, any program or product that helps professional resellers gain an advantage to buy tickets ahead of fans".

That hasn't stopped American ticket-buyer Allen Lee from launching the class action lawsuit, which accuses Ticketmaster of colluding with touts because it can then charge two commissions, one on the original ticket sale and another on the resale.

Lee's lawsuit states: "Companies should treat consumers fairly. But a company fails at this when it accepts kickbacks for secretly facilitating a shortage of its product and then a sale by a third party at a higher price. Ticketmaster does this in order to receive a second cut on tickets that is even more than the original cut Ticketmaster receives".

Expanding on Lee's arguments, one of the lawyers working on the case told reporters: "We believe that Ticketmaster's highly controlled black market scheme to receive kickbacks from illicit secondary ticket sales violating its own terms of use constitutes unjust enrichment, and we intend to fight for the rights of anyone who has overpaid for tickets originally sold by Ticketmaster through a secondary ticket resale site involved in its scheme".

Live Nation and Ticketmaster are yet to comment on the litigation.


Judge declines summary judgement in Beyonce's Feyonce dispute
A US judge has declined to issue an injunction banning the company Feyonce Inc from selling merchandise containing the Feyonce brand. Feyonce sounds like 'fiancé', see, but looks more like Beyonce. Feyonce Inc's core customer base, therefore, is Beyonce fans getting married. A clever little ruse that pissed off the actual Beyonce.

She sued the company back in 2016, claiming that Feyonce Inc was infringing her trademarks and confusing consumers, all the more so with the Feyonce products that also contain the line "he put a ring on it". The plucky merch peddlers were involved in conduct that was "intentional, fraudulent, malicious, wilful and wanton", her lawsuit declared.

Judge Alison Nathan yesterday refused to issue a permanent injunction stopping Feyonce Inc from selling Feyonce products. Nathan said that while Beyonce's side had made some compelling arguments, she felt that the core dispute required proper consideration in court before a jury, and therefore a summary judgement in the pop star's favour was not appropriate at this time. She then urged both sides to meet to consider a possible settlement.

The key question that Nathan reckoned would need to go before a jury is whether the average consumer would assume that Feyonce branded nonsense was somehow endorsed by Beyonce. Or whether, in fact, the punny nature of the products was sufficient to make it clear that Feyonce branded tat was in no way officially linked to the singer.

She then cited a 1990s case in which Nike failed in its bid to stop a company from selling products that mimicked its logo, but which used the word Mike instead of Nike. Its customer base mainly being made up of Michaels, presumably.

"A rational jury might or might not conclude that the pun here is sufficient to dispel any confusion among the purchasing public", the judge wrote. "Many purchasers of Feyonce products are, in fact, engaged, just as many Mike product purchasers were named Mike. Viewed in the light most favourable to defendants, this evidence suggests that consumers are understanding the pun, rather than confusing the brands".

It remains to be seen if the two sides can now reach a settlement, or whether the dispute will need to go before a jury.


CMU's marketing-focused seminars kick off next week
The next series of CMU Insights training courses kick off next Monday putting the spotlight on music marketing and fanbase building. The 'Building A Fanbase & Fan Business' series consists of three two-hour seminars taking place at the London HQ of Lewis Silkin.

CMU MD and course leader Chris Cooke says: "At its most basic, the music business can be summarised as follows - make some music, build a fanbase, understand your fanbase and then sell them stuff! What you sell them depends on who your fans are and the kind of music you are making. This series of CMU seminars puts the spotlight on how artists, managers, labels, agents and promoters go about building and engaging fanbases".

The first seminar looks at social media and other digital channels, the second at more traditional music media and how album marketing and PR campaigns are organised. The third then considers how artists can better connect with their core fans and build a direct-to-fan relationship that will sit at the heart of their wider business.

Each seminar is £49.99 including VAT and booking fees, or people can book into the full seminar series for just £125. They take place each Monday evening at 6.30pm from 8 Oct. Full details and booking info is available here.


Approved: Norma
Two years on from the release of her debut EP 'Badlands', Norma is back with new track 'Another Red Day'. The song is the first single from her debut album, 'Female Jungle', which is due out in February.

"'Another Red Day' is the song that started off the recording of the album", she explains. "I had a funny sensation when I wrote it, I felt like this familiar feeling was finally pouring out of me - something 'left unsaid': a red wave that had been ruling my life every month, the invisible hold of the moon. It came to me effortlessly, sitting at the piano facing the window, my heart warm and heavy with gloom... red".

She continues: "An urge to confess, necessary to my survival as a she-wolf/woman howling at the moon - a kind of erotic drive, taking root in the gut, the deep velvet of the womb - that's actually where all the songs from the album come from".

Norma will be unveiling more new songs on a brief tour in November, the dates of which are still to be announced. For now, here's the video for 'Another Red Day'.

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

Sigur Rós drummer Orri Páll Dýrason quits following rape accusation
Sigur Rós have announced the departure of drummer Orri Páll Dýrason from the band, following accusations of rape made against him last week.

The accusation was made against Dýrason by fellow artist Meagan Boyd in an Instagram post. In it, she wrote: "I was drunk, and I had met him at a club. I also engaged in a kiss with him before falling asleep in the same bed, after that I completely knocked out. I woke up with the feeling of being penetrated without my consent during a deep slumber".

She went on: "It happened twice that night, and I wondered [to] myself why I didn't leave after the first time - but I was drunk, dead tired, in shock, and this was right before I ever heard of anything like Uber/Lyft. But none of that should matter because no one deserves to be raped/touched/licked/fucked without CONSENT".

In a second post, she shared screengrabs of an email from Dýrason in which he wrote "I cannot understand why you would want to publicly accuse me of something I did not do ... My experience from that night is completely different from yours. We had a nice night drawing and drinking at my flat; and then we went to bed. The next day you even wanted to stay and asked me if you could, but I had to go to the studio and you got upset about that".

She countered: "I was not mad you had to leave at all! I was mad that I woke up to a fucking dick inside me without consent! You acted like you didn't know why I was upset. I screamed at you telling you, 'You don't fuck people who are asleep!' You asked me to stay and for my number and even invited me to go to the studio".

In a short statement on Facebook yesterday, Dyrason's bandmates Jónsi Birgisson and Georg Hólm said: "In the wake of the extremely serious and personal allegations made against him in recent days we have today accepted the resignation of our bandmate Orri Páll Dyrason to allow him to deal with this privately".

Shortly afterwards, Dyrason issued his own statement, saying: "This matter has undeniably taken its toll on me for the past few days. Justifiably, some will say, and I do not intend to argue with those people. However, I sincerely ask the same people to steer their anger into the right path and abstain from dragging my family, and especially my wife, into this matter. At the same time, I ask people to stay calm and not to be divided into two battling armies, these are not court proceedings, just Meagan's words against mine, on the internet. Loud and provocative words are in nobody's favour - neither to me or her".

Insisting that it was his choice to leave the band, he went on: "In light of the scale of this matter, I have decided to leave Sigur Rós. That is a difficult decision for me, but I cannot have these serious allegations influence the band and the important and beautiful work that has been done there for the last years. A job that is so dear to me. I will do anything in my power to get myself out of this nightmare, but out of respect for those actually suffering from sexual violence, I will not take that fight public".

Dyrason has been a member of Sigur Rós since 1999, first appearing on their third album, '( )' in 2002


Peter Hook discusses changing attitudes to mental health
Peter Hook has spoken to the NME about how attitudes to mental health have changed since former Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis took his own life in 1980.

"The treatment has changed and society has changed", he says. "I do feel that people are more empathetic and open to education in those things ... We're looking at mental health in a positive way now so that people don't have to go through what he went through. A bunch of idiots like us can even be educated".

He goes on: "We were unaware of what Ian was going through. That, as an old bloke, is the most shocking aspect of it - how unprepared and uneducated we as his friends were. Any education and any communication about things like this towards avoiding what happened to Ian is the most important thing".

On the situation his former bandmate Curtis found himself in, Hook says: "He was married at nineteen, he had a baby and a mortgage almost straight away. How many kids at nineteen can boast that at this day and age? He was married at nineteen, with a baby, a mortgage and a full-time job - then he got into punk and formed a band. Then he got epilepsy".

"When you start looking at the burdens he was carrying back then, it's no wonder that they dragged him down", Hook adds. "Back then the treatment for epilepsy was almost barbaric. The tablets he was taking were analysed in 2014 by modern day experts and they said that they were guaranteed to kill him".

Hook is now a patron of mental health charity CALM.


Machine Head say farewell tour doesn't mean the end of the band
It's pretty normal for 'farewell tours' to end up not actually being the final chapter in a band's career. Although most bands do tend to wait until after those tours are over before disappointing fans by carrying on.

But not Machine Head. Their frontman Robb Flynn has clarified that when he said last week that the band were about to head out on a farewell tour, he didn't actually mean that the band is coming to an end. It's a farewell to the current line-up, that's all.

In a video posted to Facebook last week, Flynn announced that guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain had quit the band, and that bassist Jared MacEachern had "kind of quit but wasn't sure" and then decided the next day to "stick around". Flynn explained that they had all "grown apart as people [and] musically", before conceding that he had "held on too tight to the reigns of this band" and "suffocated those guys".

But he then added that all four of them had nevertheless agreed to honour their upcoming tour dates as planned as "a celebration of our music and this era of the band".

In a new statement, the band have now confirmed that while McClain and Demmel will leave following the upcoming tour dates, Machine Head will continue onwards.

"After 23 years with Dave McClain pounding the skins at the drum throne, and fifteen years with Phil Demmel shredding the guitar on stage right, both members have decided to move on from Machine Head and open a new chapter in their lives", says the statement. "The split is amicable, and the guys are looking forward to playing these very special shows for the Head Cases of North America and ending this era on a positive and classy note".

"To clarify", it adds, "this is the farewell tour of this line-up of Machine Head, not the farewell tour of Machine Head, as has been reported in the media. Machine Head wish to thank Phil and Dave for their significant contributions to the band, both musically and lyrically, as well for the spirit, genuine passion they infused into the music, and legendary live performances brought along the way".

The farewell/not farewell dates are set to begin in Sacramento on Thursday.


Bastille announce tour to preview new material
Bastille have announced a run of smaller than usual shows early next year to break in new material. Their third album is set to be released in the spring.

Says frontman Dan Smith: "We've spent most of this last year working on loads of new music and touring different versions of our songs, so now we're excited to head back out and revisit more intimate rooms and play a bunch of new songs in the lead up to our new album".

Tour dates:

27 Jan: Dublin, Olympia Theatre
29 Jan: Birmingham, Academy
1 Feb: Brighton Centre
4 Feb: Manchester, Victoria Warehouse
6 Feb: Glasgow, Academy
9 Feb: London, Brixton Academy


TuneCore, Music Support, Elton John, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Believe-owned DIY music distributor TuneCore has announced former Viacom exec Niel Bhay as its new Head Of Technology. "His expertise and unique engineering background will help us continue building the tools independent artists need to reach the highest level of success", says CEO Scott Ackerman.

• Music Support, the mental health and addiction charity aimed at people who work in the music industry, has appointed a new Managing Director. Eric Mtungwazi joins the organisation from youth social action charity City Year UK, and has also previously worked in sport and music as well as the charity sector.

• The dance music focused Brighton Music Conference has announced that it will take place in the city's British Airways i360 complex in 2019. To celebrate the venue change, organisers are offering 50 special 'launch tickets which will include access to an invite-only party in the i360 Pod which rises up 450 feet above Brighton beach. Info here.

• The first trailer for Elton John biopic 'Rocketman' has been released. The film is expected to hit cinemas next May.

• John Legend has announced that he will release his first Christmas album, 'A Legendary Christmas', on 26 Oct. It will feature guest appearances from Stevie Wonder and Esperanza Spalding.

• Micah P Hinson And The Musicians Of The Apocalypse have released new track 'The Sleep Of The Damned'. Their album, 'When I Shoot At You With Arrows, I Will Shoot To Destroy You', is out on 26 Oct, and they will play London's Oslo venue on 4 Dec.

• Preparing to head out on a UK tour next month, Anne-Marie has announced more dates for May and June next year. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

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


Paramore's Hayley Williams records ASMR video to promote hair dye
Paramore's Hayley Williams has recorded an ASMR video to promote her vegan hair dye brand, Good Dye Young. So, if you've always wanted to hear her whisper and noisily eat crisps, then today is your lucky day.

"Somewhere there's a list of things I won't do for Good Dye Young brand awareness", she tweeted. "Apparently ASMR wasn't on that list. I'm so sorry".

In the video she eats some breakfast and then fondles the box her hair dye comes in, before opening the packaging. Basically it's an unboxing video. Which are weirdly popular on YouTube these days. As are ASMR videos, as it happens. So why not combine the two? I can think of zero reasons.

ASMR, by the way - assuming you haven't somehow heard seventeen podcast episodes on the subject, like me - stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. That's the tingling sensation some people experience when they hear certain types of sound. Not me, I just like podcasts. Here's a good Twenty Thousand Hertz episode about it, should you want to know more.

Anyway, this Hayley Williams video. I guess it's an advert and I don't really like writing news stories about adverts. But this one gave me the opportunity to talk about podcasts and I like writing news stories about podcasts (and not just this one). Also the video's really stupid, making it good 'and finally' fodder, so I'm letting it pass. Watch the video here.


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.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
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.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
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.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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