TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Michael Jackson estate has described a new documentary about child abuse allegations made against the late king of pop as "outrageous and pathetic". 'Leaving Neverland' is set to premiere at the Sundance film festival later this month, before being broadcast in the UK by Channel 4 in the spring... [READ MORE]
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TOP STORIES Michael Jackson estate brands new abuse documentary "outrageous and pathetic"
LEGAL Aussie music industry seeks web-blocks against stream-ripping sites
Appeals court upholds $2.4 million ruling in Bob Marley coffee case
ARTIST NEWS Lost Paul McCartney film to be screened in cinemas this month
RELEASES Soak announces second album, Grim Town
Ibibio Sound System to release new album this spring
ONE LINERS BBC Sound Of 2019, Lady Gaga, Steve Robson, more
AND FINALLY... Threatin announce UK live return
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Adelphoi Music is one of the world’s leading and consistently successful music agencies, based in the heart of Covent Garden, London, and on Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. We are looking for a producer to join our fantastic London team.

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This is an exciting opportunity for a hard-working, enthusiastic individual to join a sociable, dynamic and successful agency as a Junior Booking Agent Assistant to work across artists including Mount Kimbie, Paula Temple, Mella Dee, Roy Davis Jr, Kelly Lee Owens.

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Standon Calling is looking for a Marketing & Event Manager to join our London office as part of a small team in the lead up to the 2019 festival, taking place 25-28 July, and during the festival on site. You’ll report to the Festival Director to deliver the overarching 2019 marketing campaign.

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The Wire is looking to recruit a full time advertising sales & marketing person. The job will involve working as part of a three strong team selling advertising space in the monthly print edition of The Wire, and on, and in its editorial newsletters. The job will be based at The Wire office in Hackney Central, London E9.

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Michael Jackson estate brands new abuse documentary "outrageous and pathetic"
The Michael Jackson estate has described a new documentary about child abuse allegations made against the late king of pop as "outrageous and pathetic". 'Leaving Neverland' is set to premiere at the Sundance film festival later this month, before being broadcast in the UK by Channel 4 in the spring.

"This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson", the estate has told TMZ. "[This] so-called documentary is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations. It's baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project".

Directed by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Dan Reed, 'Leaving Neverland' focusses on claims made by two men who allege that they were abused by Michael Jackson as children. The blurb for the film says that it "crafts a portrait of sustained exploitation and deception, documenting the power of celebrity that allowed a revered figure to infiltrate the lives of starstruck children and their parents".

The two accusers in the documentary are Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both of whom launched legal action in relation to their respective abuse allegations after Jackson's death in 2009, Robson in 2013 and Safechuck in 2014. Both cases were dismissed before reaching trial, the courts saying that they had waited too long to launch civil proceedings in relation to the abuse allegations.

Prior to that, while Jackson was still alive, both men had testified in defence of the star while he fought off previous child molestation claims, Robson during Jackson's 2005 high profile criminal trial, contributing to the musician's acquittal. These testimonies are something the estate notes in its statement, saying that "both testified under oath that Michael never did anything inappropriate toward them".

While the estate says that the men's claims have already been "discredited", their attorney Vince Finaldi argues that this is not the case, telling the Associated Press: "There were never any rulings to the court as to their testimony. We stand by our clients, and we believe them, and we fully expect them to be vindicated".

Reed also said in a statement: "It took great courage for these two men to tell their stories and I have no question about their validity. If there's anything we've learned during this time in our history, it's that sexual abuse is complicated, and survivors' voices need to be listened to".

The documentary will be screened twice at Sundance, on 25 Jan and 26 Jan. Channel 4 has not yet announced dates for its UK TV broadcast.


Aussie music industry seeks web-blocks against stream-ripping sites
The Australian music industry is seeking new web-block injunctions against a bunch of stream-ripping services. They are hoping to force internet service providers in the country to block their customers from accessing sites where people can convert the audio of a YouTube stream into an MP3 file that they can then download.

Stream-ripping has been at the top of the music industry's piracy gripe list for a few years now, with legal action threatened or taken against various sites offering such a service. The most high profile legal battle to date was when the US record industry sued Germany-based YouTube-mp3, ultimately forcing the entire stream-ripping set-up offline.

Meanwhile, web-blocking remains a preferred anti-piracy tactic for the record companies in countries where such an option is available under the local copyright regime.

Web-blocking was enabled in Australia via a specific new law in 2015, which was then beefed up by the recently passed Copyright Amendment Act 2018. One key change was that web-blocks are now available against sites whose 'primary effect' is copyright infringement, whereas the criteria was previously sites where infringing copyright was a 'primary purpose'.

The movie industry has generally made much more use of Australia's web-blocking law, though the record companies did seek an injunction against a then still active KickassTorrents the year after web-blocks were introduced in the country. And then when authorities elsewhere in the world had the main KAT website shut down, they asked for web-blocks against other piracy sites exploiting the Kickass name.

But Kickass, of course, was a website facilitating illegal file-sharing, as have been most of the sites targeted by web-blocks to date, both in Australia and elsewhere. Which is why it's interesting that Music Rights Australia - representing both record labels and music publishers - has decided to specifically target stream-ripping sites through its latest web-block efforts.

The operators of most stream-ripping sites would likely argue that their services have legitimate as well as illegitimate uses, in that someone who owns a YouTube video might use their platform to quickly and easily grab their audio. In that respect, the expansion of the core web-blocking criteria from 'primary purpose' to 'primary effect' could be relevant here. A stream-ripping site's primary purpose may be legit but the primary effect is still infringement.

That said, the makers of pretty much every file-sharing software and website that has ever existed have likewise insisted that their technologies have legitimate uses. And doing so hasn't generally worked as an argument against web-blocks - or full-on copyright infringement litigation - where the vast majority of usage is illegitimate and the service provider does nothing to try to limit illegal uses. So if web-blocks are available against file-sharing sites, they are probably available against stream-ripping set ups too.

Confirming that the organisation is seeking web-blocks against,,,,, and, a spokesperson for Music Rights Australia tells Computerworld: "These no fault injunctions are used to block the worst of the illegal sites which undermine the local and international music industry".

They go on: "We use this effective and efficient no fault remedy to block the illegal sites which undermine the many licensed online services which give music fans the music they love where, when and how they want to hear it".


Appeals court upholds $2.4 million ruling in Bob Marley coffee case
An appeals court in the US has upheld an earlier ruling in a trademark dispute between the Bob Marley estate and a coffee company that previously had the rights to sell bean-based beverages using the legendary musician's name. As a result Jammin Java Corp will have to pay the Marley family $2.4 million in damages.

The coffee making business, which at one time involved Marley's son Rhohan, did originally have a licence from Fifty-Six Hope Road Music and Hope Road Merchandising - two companies controlled by the Marley family - which allowed it to make and sell a coffee product that utilised the late musician's name and trademark.

However, the two sides in the venture subsequently fell out, initially over unpaid royalties and allegations that the coffee firm was unlawfully sub-licensing the Marley brand to third parties. Things then escalated when Jammin Java continued to sell its Marley coffee product even once its licences had expired.

The Marley companies sued in 2016, winning via summary judgement and subsequently being awarded $2.4 million in damages. Jammin Java then appealed that ruling. It argued that the court had not properly considered the fact its contract with the Marley companies had been amended by oral agreement, adding that such oral agreements had standing under Californian law even when a contract said it couldn't be modified in this way.

According to Law360, although the appeals court did agree with some of Jammin Java's legal arguments on that point, the judges then said that there were other breaches of the contract not affected by any oral agreements, so the lower court ruling regarding breach of contract was still sound. They then rejected a bunch of other arguments presented in the coffee firm's appeal papers.

Welcoming the latest ruling, a leg rep for the Marley family told Law360 that her clients were "pleased with the results of today's decision and grateful to the court of appeals for its time and effort".


Artist:Entrepreneur Day returns for 2019 with Belfast edition
The first CMU:DIY event of 2019 is the latest edition of the Artist:Entrepreneur Day, the artist-to-artist education programme from the Featured Artists Coalition, hosted by three of FAC's artist entrepreneurs and featuring no less than five A:E Guides from CMU. This edition is taking place in Belfast in partnership with Help Musicians NI on 26 Jan.

We all know that any artist who wants to make a living out of their music today needs to think like a small business. So, once you have some songs written and tracks recorded, it's time to start getting the business side sorted. And that means thinking like an entrepreneur. Which is what the A:E Day is all about.

The five A:E Guides from CMU:DIY talk attendees through an artist's key revenues, the different music rights, the ins and outs of gigging, building the all-important fan relationship and the different business partners artists might work with as their career evolves.

At each stage of the process hosts Jack Gourlay, Lisbee Stainton and Cormac Neeson will open up their own artist businesses, explaining how they make money, how they agree and manage their song and recording rights, how they get gigs, what social and direct-to-fan channels they use, and what business partners they have on their team.

Plus there will be practical tips galore from a bunch of music industry experts, including Joe Dougan from Shine, Lyndon Stephens from Champion Sound, Francesca O'Connor from Quiet Arch Records, Mark Gordon from Score Draw Music, Levi Deeble from Sentric Music and marketing expert Caroline Fleck.

The day will then conclude with Duke Special in conversation, discussing his career to date and how he has gone about building a business around his music.

All of this takes place at The Sunflower on Union Street in Belfast on Saturday 26 Jan. There is more info about the day here. Tickets are just £10 and are available here. For information about guest list and group discounts email

Lost Paul McCartney film to be screened in cinemas this month
A previously unreleased concert/animated film hybrid made by Paul McCartney and Wings in the 1970s is to get its long-delayed cinema release later this month.

'The Bruce McMouse Show' features footage from the band's 1972 European tour intercut with an animated story about a cartoon mouse called, well, Bruce McMouse. The lengthy production work involved in making the film led to it being immediately shelved upon its eventual completion in 1977.

However, it has now been pulled out of the vaults, remastered and will be screened in cinemas around the world on 21 Jan. It is being distributed by a company called Abramorama, which has worked on a number of Beatles-related film releases in recent years, including the 2016 Ron Howard-directed documentary 'The Beatles: Eight Days A Week'.

"There's no greater compliment than to be entrusted to oversee the global release of a Paul McCartney film and continue our long-standing relationship with The Beatles family", says Abramorama's Evan Saxon. "Fans attending these special screenings of 'The Bruce McMouse Show' will be transported to a Paul McCartney and Wings concert with the best seat in the house, just above Bruce McMouse and his family".

In the UK, you'll be able to catch it at the Everyman cinemas in Liverpool and Hampstead. More info on the film and other screenings here.

Here's a short clip.


Soak announces second album, Grim Town
Soak has announced that she will release her second album, 'Grim Town', in April. New single, 'Knock Me Off My Feet', is out now.

"[Grim Town is] a dystopia that I've created in my brain: me on the inside, processed into a pretend location", she explains. "The way I could wrap my head around a lot of what I was going through was to make it feel like something quite physical and real. Once I had the idea of the album being an actual location, exploring the dynamics of this town and what it would look or sound like felt like the right way to give my mental state a personality".

Watch the video for 'Knock Me Off My Feet' here.

The album release on 26 Apr will be followed by some of those tour date things they have now. Here's the itinerary:

6 May: Kendall, Library
10 May: Manchester, Band On The Wall
11 My: Leeds, Wardrobe
12 May: Glasgow, King Tut's
14 May: Birmingham, Hare And Hounds
15 May: Oxford, Academy 2
16 May: Bristol, Thekla
17 May: London, Islington Assembly Hall
28 May: Cork, St Luke's
29 May: Limerick, Dolan's
20 May: Dublin, Button Factory


Ibibio Sound System to release new album this spring
Ibibio Sound System will release new album 'Domo Mien' this spring. And earlier this week they released a second track from the record, 'Tell Me (Doko Mien)', following last year's 'Basquiat'.

"Music is a universal language, but spoken language can help you think about what makes you emotional, what makes you feel certain feelings, what you want to see in the world", says frontwoman Eno Williams of the record.

The album is out on 22 Mar and you can listen to 'Tell Me' here. There will also be tour dates around the album release, which are as follows:

5 Mar: Brighton, Concorde 2
9 Mar: Bristol, Colston Hall
13 Mar: London, 100 Club
14 Mar: London, 100 Club
15 Mar: Manchester, Yes
16 Mar: Manchester, Yes


BBC Sound Of 2019, Lady Gaga, Steve Robson, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Octavian has been crowned the winner of the BBC's Sound Of 2019 poll. "I get inspired and I try to make a new sound every day", says the producer. "It's going to be a very loud year for me. Loads of music, loads of visuals, loads of albums". Find out more here.

• Lady Gaga's 2013 R Kelly collaboration 'Do What U Want' has now been removed from digital music services. Gaga announced earlier this week that she had requested the track be taken off digital platforms, at the same time apologising for her "poor judgement" in working with Kelly. Her comments came in the wake of that new US TV documentary series exploring numerous abuse allegations against her one-time collaborator.

• Concord Music has signed a new publishing deal with songwriter and producer Steve Robson. "He remains at the top of his game", says Concord's Kim Frankiewicz.

• Westlife have released their first reunion single 'Hello My Love'.

• James Blake will release a new album, titled 'Assume Form', next week. Or so says a poster that has appeared on the London Underground. It will feature collaborations with Travis Scott, Andre 3000, Rosalia, Moses Sumney and Metro Boomin.

• Ryuichi Sakamoto has released a new video for 'Energy Flow', from his 1999 album 'BTTB', which will be re-issued in remastered form on 1 Mar.

• Enter Shikari have released a Dan Le Sac remix of 'Rabble Rouser'. "It's not often I get to play with such an unabashedly rambunctious track as 'Rabble Rouser', and I hope I've done it justice", says Le Sac. "Enter Shikari had already hinted toward speed garage/138 breaks in the track, and I had a lot of fun shifting the focus and bringing that sweaty basement sound to the foreground".

• New Beirut track 'Landslide' comes with a Monty Python and 'Game Of Thrones' inspired video.

• Having announced the existence of new album 'Serfs Up!' earlier this week, Fat White Family have now confirmed that it will come out on 19 Apr and released its first single, 'Feet'.

• Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has released the video for new single 'Oto Ni Kuni', taken from her latest album 'Japamyu'.

• Spangle Call Lilli Line have released a new album, 'Dreams Never End', marking their 20th anniversary. From it, here's the video for 'Mio'.

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


Threatin announce UK live return
Having previously been banned from appearing at the venue ever again, Threatin's triumphant return to The Underworld in Camden has been announced.

"Please don't contact us again for a show", the venue previously posted on the band's Facebook page. That message came after the outfit had claimed to have sold 291 advance tickets for a gig at the London venue, when in fact they had sold none. But The Underworld's stern statement was posted before Threatin became an internet phenomenon.

As everyone now knows, Threatin - really the solo project of musician Jered Eames - embarked on a European tour last year hoping that an online fanbase he'd mainly faked would somehow magically show up.

The band trudged around the UK, playing to empty rooms, before cancelling their remaining dates after media coverage started piling up about Eames buying social followers and setting up websites for a fake label and management company. The cancellation was in part caused by the decision to quit by two of the session musicians hired for the tour, neither of whom had been aware of the fake fanbase until all that media coverage began.

As the story went viral, and interest in the band rapidly grew, the cancellation of the rest of the tour seemed like a massive missed opportunity. Meanwhile, various venues subsequently expressed an interest in hosting the band, based on their new-found internet fame.

With online attention spans so short, and therefore the window of opportunity here being quite small, a swift return for a run of dates would seem like a good plan. So, in-keeping with the ongoing logic of Eames' project to date, he's booked one show at The Underworld in, erm, November, to mark the one year anniversary of his last appearance there.

Tickets for the show are on sale now. Don't delay.


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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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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