TODAY'S TOP STORY: German promoters association BDKV has welcomed a ruling in the country's courts that should restrict the resale of tickets on a secondary ticketing site called Ticketbande... [READ MORE]
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TOP STORIES German court puts significant restrictions on ticket resale site Ticketbande
LEGAL Lady Gaga defends Kesha against Dr Luke in newly unseal deposition
BRANDS & MERCH Justin Bieber launches fashion brand
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Pandora CEO steps down as SiriusXM takeover goes ahead
MEDIA Creative industry reps call for BBC to push for Eurovision to be moved out of Israel
ARTIST NEWS Peter Jackson to direct new Beatles documentary
ONE LINERS Interpol, Octo Octa, Jónsi & Alex Somers, more
AND FINALLY... Ariana Grande grilled over new tattoo
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German court puts significant restrictions on ticket resale site Ticketbande
German promoters association BDKV has welcomed a ruling in the country's courts that should restrict the resale of tickets on a secondary ticketing site called Ticketbande.

While in some countries law-makers and government agencies have been trying to better regulate the resale of tickets for profit online, in Germany all the action has been in the courts. Last November promoter MCT Agentur secured an injunction against Viagogo ordering it to stop listing tickets for upcoming Rammstein shows. A similar injunction then followed for planned Ed Sheeran dates in Germany.

For its part BDKV - a new organisation formed by the merger of two other event and concert industry trade bodies, BDV and VDKD - took aim at Ticketbande, another resale site which operates in various European markets. It sought an order from the regional court of Hanover restricting the resale of tickets on that site across the board.

To that end, earlier this month said court ruled that Ticketbande must not list tickets when any one of three scenarios apply. First, the terms and conditions on the original ticket prohibit resale. Secondly, when tickets have a box for the buyer's name. And thirdly, if a seller marks up the ticket by more 25% of face value.

Together that makes for a pretty wide-ranging restriction on what sellers can legally list on Ticketbande. Not least because any artist or promoter who is against touting will include a prohibition of resale in the terms and conditions.

Welcoming the ruling, Dr Johannes Ulbricht of law firm Michow & Ulbricht, who represents BDKV, said: "This verdict finally eliminates a crucial grey area in ticket sales [and brings event organisers] a great step further in the fight against the commercial secondary market ticketing trade".

The court also rejected arguments presented by Ticketbande questioning the effectiveness of any attempts to regulate the resale of tickets online. Which is interesting because that is a common argument put forward by the big resale sites, to the effect that if you over-regulate the main players in secondary ticketing, touts will just switch over to other forums online where consumers will have even less protection.

There are now, of course, moves in various counties to restrict and regulate online ticket touting. These restrictions and regulations are being achieved in different ways in different countries. Some question the actual impact of these legal developments, though from education point of view it is making many more consumers aware of the difference between primary and secondary ticketing. And of the risk that touted tickets may be cancelled.

A new organisation called FEAT was recently launched, of course, seeking to coordinate anti-touting efforts across Europe. A spokesperson for that group welcomed the latest development in Germany and BDKV's wider campaign against touting. Sam Shemtob told CMU: "This illustrates the traction that a variety of national movements, such as BDKV's [anti-touting campaign] are getting across Europe, and shows that local judiciaries are not falling for spurious arguments in support of industrial level touting".


Lady Gaga defends Kesha against Dr Luke in newly unseal deposition
Lady Gaga's 2017 deposition in the ongoing legal battle between Kesha and Dr Luke has been unsealed. The transcript shows Gaga fiercely defending her fellow music star. Questioned about the allegation that Luke sexually assaulted Kesha, at one point Gaga tells the producer's lawyer, "You should be ashamed of yourself".

Gaga was called to testify about a text message conversation in which Kesha confided that Luke - real name Lukas Gottwald - had raped her. In the same conversation, Kesha also claimed that Gottwald had raped Katy Perry, something both he and Perry have subsequently denied and which his legal team have now asked the court to rule as false.

In the deposition, obtained by The Blast, Gaga recalls her first meeting with Kesha, saying that it was in a back room of Gottwald's home studio and that she was only wearing underwear.

"I made my view of [Gottwald] and his reputation when I saw her in that back room", she says, adding that when Kesha later said that she had been abused by the producer "I felt and knew in my heart that she was telling the truth, and I believe her".

Prior to Kesha saying that she had been raped, she had already spoken to Gaga about being allegedly abused by Gottwald. Gaga could not recall specifics of the first time the topic came up, but said: "What I recall was her immense sadness and depression and fear. She was visibly very different than when I had seen her before. But I can't say specifically what we spoke about. I just recall it was emotional and I wanted to be there for her".

When Gottwald's lawyer countered that Gaga did not have any direct personal knowledge of any abuse or assault by the producer against Kesha, she replied: "Yes, I do have knowledge. She told me he assaulted her. You know, when men assault women, they don't invite people over to watch".

She continued: "When this happens in this industry, it is kept extremely secret, and it is compounded by contracts and manipulative power scenarios that actually include this very situation that we are all in right now".

"I have factual knowledge of her depression", she told Gottwald's lawyer. "I have factual knowledge of her need for support and love. I have factual knowledge of the spiral that I watched that girl go down. I have factual knowledge of trauma. I am informed and intelligent about this issue. That girl has experienced serious trauma and she is in the middle of it right now. And you are all a party to it".

She added: "Why on earth would this girl tell the entire world this happened? Why on earth? Do you know what it's like for survivors? Do you know what it's like to tell people? Don't you roll your eyes at me. You should be ashamed of yourself".

In response to the publication of Lady Gaga's deposition yesterday, Dr Luke's legal team told reporters: "Being passionate about a topic that concerns us all is admirable. However, Lady Gaga has no knowledge of what happened on the night at issue because she was not there".

Summarising Gottwald's version of events on the night of the alleged rape, the statement goes on: "Kesha got kicked out of a party after drinking too much and vomiting. As an act of kindness, Dr Luke offered to allow her to sleep in his hotel suite, a few blocks away. Kesha slept on the bed in the hotel suite, while Dr Luke separately slept on the couch".

"Dr Luke testified under oath that he did not have any contact with Kesha", the statement insists. "Kesha herself admitted under oath that she has absolutely no memory of Dr Luke even being in the hotel room. Kesha has no memory of Dr Luke engaging in inappropriate contact with her because it did not happen".

The case continues.


Justin Bieber launches fashion brand
Justin Bieber has launched his own fashion brand, because, I don't know, it's just what you do, isn't it? It's called Drew House. Justin Bieber's middle name is Drew. Presumably it will sell middle name type clothes - ie clothes we all have but never use unless we're filling out a form.

The company's website informs us that the new fashionable enterprise is "a place where you can be yourself. Blah blah blah blahsdbksjdfhl. Wear like you don't care. Come chill. K. Bye".

Great stuff. The first collection from the label is available to buy now. A lot of it is very brown. It's all very tasteful though. I mean, just look at these. Top quality middle name type clothes.


Pandora CEO steps down as SiriusXM takeover goes ahead
Pandora CEO Roger Lynch, along with several other senior execs at the US streaming company, is stepping down. This follows American satellite broadcaster SiriusXM's takeover of the streaming platform, which was approved by Pandora's other shareholders earlier this week.

Sirius announced a deal to buy Pandora last September. It had been a long time coming, with Sirius frequently tipped as a bidder for the digital music firm, which - like most key players in the streaming music market - has struggled to make a profit from its large user-base. In 2017 Sirius bought a significant slice of the Pandora company. Now the two firms will properly merge.

The combined Sirius/Pandora will be looking for economies of scale to reduce the overheads of both its radio and personalised radio businesses. The initial cost-savings will come from combining the two companies' senior management teams.

Which basically means various senior Pandora execs departing, including Lynch. Also stepping down as the deal is done will be Pandora's General Counsel Steve Bene, Chief Financial Officer Naveen Chopra and Chief HR Office Kristen Robinson.

Sirius CEO Jim Meyer will now sit atop both sides of the business. Above him will be parent company Liberty Media, which owns 71% of the Sirius company. It, of course, also has interests in other music related outfits, most notably a 34% stake in Live Nation.

Outlining the technicalities of the Sirius/Pandora deal, a statement from the company on Tuesday said: "The transaction is expected to close shortly, subject to customary closing conditions. Assuming completion of the transaction, shares of Pandora common stock are expected to be delisted from trading on the New York Stock Exchange. As a result of the transaction, among other things, each share of Pandora common stock will be converted into 1.44 newly issued shares of Sirius XM common stock".

"Sirius XM common stock", it then added, "will continue to trade under the existing ticker symbol 'SIRI' on the Nasdaq Global Select Market". I wonder how Siri feels about that. It's alright, I bet she's a secret Pandora user. You know, whenever Tim's not looking.


Creative industry reps call for BBC to push for Eurovision to be moved out of Israel
Peter Gabriel, Wolf Alice and Reverend And The Makers are among 50 representatives of the music, film, TV and fashion communities to call on the BBC to ask for the Eurovision Song Contest to be relocated from Israel. The BBC has said that it will continue as planned.

Organised by the Boycott, Divestment And Sanctions movement, which calls for the cultural boycott of Israel over its policies towards Palestine, an open letter to The Guardian says that "Eurovision may be light entertainment, but it is not exempt from human rights considerations".

It goes on: "On 8 Feb, the BBC will screen 'You Decide', the show it says will 'deliver the UK the artist it deserves to fly the flag out in Tel Aviv in May'. For any artist of conscience, this would be a dubious honour".

"They and the BBC should consider that 'You Decide' is not a principle extended to the Palestinians", it adds, "who cannot decide to remove Israel's military occupation and live free of apartheid. Even Palestinians with Israeli citizenship were told in the nation-state law passed last year that only Jews have the 'right to national self-determination'".

Saying that there is an "outpouring of support across Europe for the Palestinian call for artists and broadcasters not to go to Tel Aviv", it calls on the BBC to push for the contest to not take place in Israel at all.

"The BBC is bound by its charter to 'champion freedom of expression'", says the letter. "It should act on its principles and press for Eurovision to be relocated to a country where crimes against that freedom are not being committed".

In a statement, the BBC said that Eurovision is "not a political event and does not endorse any political message or campaign".

"The competition has always supported the values of friendship, inclusion, tolerance and diversity and we do not believe it would be appropriate to use the BBC's participation for political reasons", it goes on. "Because of this we will be taking part in this year's event. The host country is determined by the rules of the competition, not the BBC".

Eurovision organiser the European Broadcasting Union also said that the event is "non-political", adding that preparations for this year's contest in Tel Aviv are "well advanced".


Approved: Yugen Blakrok
One of five South African rappers to be featured on the Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack for Marvel's 'Black Panther', Yugen Blakrok has been a figure on the country's alternative hip hop scene for several years already.

Until the soundtrack was actually announced, all she knew was that - some time before - she'd been asked by someone at Top Dawg Entertainment to record a verse over an instrumental they'd sent over.

That then ended up being a guest spot on Vince Staples track 'Opps'. But while that development seemingly came as a surprise to Blakrok, she's not letting her sudden international exposure pass her by.

Already recording her second album 'Anima Mysterium' - the follow-up to 2013's 'Return Of The Astro-Goth - when the fortuitous email about her soundtrack guest spot came in, she's now begun dripping out new tracks from the new LP. First 'Carbon Form' last November and now new track 'Picture Box'.

Although she's certainly been afforded new opportunities of late, she has let none of it dilute her artistic vision. The new tracks allow the talent she's developed during her years on the underground to really shine though.

"The song is about self-illumination", she says of 'Picture Box'. "Fire was the first storyteller, now we gather around a television like in times past. We mimic and echo shadows of ourselves in alternate dimensions through the picture box; characters that influence our thoughts and lives on this timeline. Where do they go when we change the channel or switch off? The mind cannot imagine what does not already exist".

'Anima Mysterium' is out this Friday. Watch the video for 'Picture Box' here.

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

Peter Jackson to direct new Beatles documentary
Having had a go on Ron Howard for 2016 tour documentary 'Eight Days A Week', The Beatles are going to take another Hollywood director out for a spin. Peter Jackson will oversee a new film about the recording of the band's 'Let It Be' album.

Although still best known for the 'Lord Of The Rings' films, Jackson is - of course - now a top documentary director too, having made last year's lauded World War One film 'They Shall Not Grow Old'.

Jackson will create his Beatles film using 55 hours of footage of the band in the studio in January 1969, recording sessions that culminated in their legendary performance on the roof of Apple Corp's Savile Row office. The album they created was then released eighteen months later, after the band had split up.

"The 55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio made available to us, ensures this movie will be the ultimate 'fly on the wall' experience that Beatles fans have long dreamt about", says Jackson. "It's like a time machine transports us back to 1969, and we get to sit in the studio watching these four friends make great music together".

Four friends, you say? Were they not all at each other's throats by then? No, says Jackson: "I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth. After reviewing all the footage and audio that Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot eighteen months before they broke up, it's simply an amazing historical treasure-trove".

"Sure, there's moments of drama", he admits. "But none of the discord this project has long been associated with. Watching John, Paul, George, and Ringo work together, creating now-classic songs from scratch, is not only fascinating - it's funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate. I'm THRILLED and honoured to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage - making the movie will be a sheer joy".

As noted by Jackson, the footage he is working from was originally shot by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who also made a film from it. A restored version of that is also set for release alongside this new one.

As of now though, Jackson's film has no title and no release date, so it's a waiting game all round. Why don't we use this time to decide who should direct the next Beatles doc. I vote Michael Bay.


Interpol, Octo Octa, Jónsi & Alex Somers, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Interpol have released new track 'Fine Mess'. They've also announced UK shows in Leeds and Brighton this June.

• Octo Octa has announced new EP 'For Lovers', which will be out on 1 Mar. Here's new single 'I Need You'. The producer will also be in the UK for live shows in February and March.

• Cid Rim has released new track 'Further', featuring Lylit. "'Further' is about picking oneself up after defeats", he explains. "But not only that, if you take all the energy a defeat or a big loss creates and channel it in the right positive direction it can give you a boost to take risks, challenge yourself and go further than you've gone before. And sometimes as a result of all that, a defeat can lead to a much bigger positive impact in the end. That's what the song is about".

• Jónsi & Alex Somers have announced that they will perform their 'Riceboy Sleeps' album live with the London Contemporary Orchestra at the Barbican on 8 Jul. It will be just the second time that they have performed the album live and the first time in Europe.

• Killers guitarist Dave Keuning has announced that he will return to the UK for more solo live dates in March and April. He'll conclude the run at The Garage in London on 2 Apr.

• Confidence Man will play Electric Brixton in London on 2 May. "We're coming back London and we're takin it so far that you need to be fluent in body language to even understand it", the band insist.

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


Ariana Grande grilled over new tattoo
Ariana Grande has started a new celebrity trend! She's followed Ed Sheeran's lead by getting a grill-themed tattoo. Although, unlike Ed, not intentionally.

Sheeran had "Galway grill" tattooed on his arm during the video shoot for his song 'Galway Girl'. Although he pretended otherwise initially, it turned out that it was planned hilarity. Ariana Grande, however, has fallen foul of a low pain threshold and things meaning different things in different languages.

Earlier this week, Grande posted a picture on various social media of a new tattoo on the palm of her hand. Featuring Chinese characters '七輪', meaning "seven rings", she got the new ink in celebration of her new single of the same name going to number one in the US.

However, many seeing the image on her official Japanese Twitter account quickly pointed out that they saw the phrase "small charcoal grill" - the same characters having a different meaning in Japan.

Acknowledging this on Twitter, Grande admitted that she'd initially intended for the tattoo to be in Japanese. However, due to the pain of having a needle jabbed into her hand, she'd shortened it to Chinese, which uses fewer characters (although what she ended up with in Chinese actually translates to something more like "seven wheels").

"I left out 'つの指', which should have gone in between", she wrote. Doing so would have made it work in Japanese. But, she adds, "it hurt like fuck and ... I wouldn't have lasted one more symbol".

There's nothing like public mockery to focus the mind though. She subsequently posted a photo of an update to the tattoo on her Instagram story. Underneath the original inking, she's now had added '指' - meaning 'finger' - and a heart. "Slightly better", she noted. Although only very slightly.

Adding the new character to the end would indeed change it to mean 'seven hoops' in Japanese, which is closer to the song title. Although breaking it onto a new line is grammatically incorrect. So anyone reading it will still see 'small charcoal grill, finger, heart'.

She could perhaps attempt to pass it off as a safety warning, I guess. Although the heart makes it look like she enjoys burning her fingers. But I suppose she has had her fingers burnt in a metaphorical sense.


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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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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