|MONDAY 11 MARCH 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: R Kelly has been released from jail again after over $161,000 in unpaid child support was paid off on behalf of the musician by an anonymous benefactor... [READ MORE]|
R Kelly freed, after anonymous benefactor clears child support bill
Kelly was jailed last week, after he failed to make the already very overdue child support payment by a court ordered deadline. According to his publicist Darrell Johnson, Kelly had attended court offering to pay up to $60,000 and expected the judge to do a deal. However, given that the star was first ordered to hand over this money over a decade ago, the court came down harshly, saying that he would be jailed until the full amount was paid.
Johnson hinted last week that the musician and his team were hoping that a supporter would step in with the required funds, after his client's bail on sexual assault charges was paid by a woman who listed herself on court documents as "a friend". The person who handed over the latest significant sum of money to secure Kelly's release asked not to be identified.
Speaking to reporters outside the court after the latest payment had been made, Kelly said: "Thanks for the order, guys". No one seems quite sure what that meant. He also added: "I promise you, we're going to straighten all this stuff out".
Final time being called on the long-delayed child support payment came as Kelly's legal woes started to mount up, as new criminal charges were filed relating to various allegations of sexual abuse that have been made against the musician. The new charges came in the wake of the recent screening of documentary series 'Surviving R Kelly'.
In an interview on 'CBS This Morning' last week, Kelly accused his former wife of "destroying" his name by appearing in that documentary. That in turn, he argued, meant he was unable to pay off his old debts. He said: "How can I pay child support if my ex-wife is destroying my name and I can't work?"
Kelly, of course, has been perfectly able to work for much of the time since he was first ordered to pay off the outstanding child support amount in monthly instalments back in 2009. He also said in the interview that he has "zero" relationship with his three children.
As for the ongoing criminal investigation into the abuse allegations, yesterday a new video allegedly showing Kelly abusing young girls was handed in to the police. The news was announced at a press conference in New York by attorney Gloria Allred and her client Gary Dennis, who found the VHS tape.
Dennis said that he had been clearing out a box of old tapes when he discovered what he initially thought to be a film of Kelly performing live. "To my shock and surprise, R Kelly appeared to be on the tape but not in concert", he said. "Instead he was sexually abusing underaged African-American girls. I was disgusted and horrified when I saw that".
Asked how the recording came to be in his possession, he said he did not know, but speculated that it had been given to him by a friend, because a sports game was also on the tape.
Kelly's attorney Steven Greenberg denied that the man on the video is his client, saying that it is "now just open season" on the musician and all the claims made against him are false. He said that instead of investigating Kelly, the authorities should be looking into why Dennis had a video in his possession containing images of child abuse.
This is now the fourth video handed over to authorities reportedly showing Kelly abusing young girls. Another attorney, Michael Avenatti, has previously said the he has uncovered three videos of Kelly engaged in abuse during his own investigations. At least one of these, he has said, "leaves no question as to Mr Kelly's guilt".
Meanwhile, Detroit police last week said that they are now investigating claims by a woman that Kelly had sex with her when she was thirteen years old in 2001.
Kelly is already facing ten charges of aggravated sexual assault against four women - three of whom were underage at the time of the alleged incidents. If convicted of those charges, he faces a sentence of up to 70 years in prison. He denies all the allegations against him.
EMI fires back in Kanye West publishing contract dispute
West sued in California, in part citing the Californian law that says that services contracts cannot last for longer than seven years. West has been in business with EMI since 2003.
In its own lawsuit, filed last week, EMI says that its contract with West specifically states that it falls under the laws of New York not California, and that any litigation in relation to the deal must be heard in courts on the east coast not the west. The rapper, the publisher adds, was advised by leading attorneys when negotiating his deal with EMI and knew full well that the contract stipulated that any future dispute must be heard in a New York court.
Therefore, says EMI, West can't file a sneaky lawsuit in California now, in a bid to utilise that state's seven year rule. Not that it would apply in this case anyway, EMI also argues in its court filing, because its deal with West is a rights agreement not a services agreement.
Whether or not California's seven year rule should apply to record or publishing contracts has been debated before, and has been crucial to previous disputes between American music companies and artists. Though EMI - despite already presenting its argument as to why the rule should not apply in this case - will be hoping that it doesn't have to debate that matter any further by forcing its West litigation eastwards to New York.
EMI's legal filing also confirms that West still owes the publisher additional works under its current contract with the rapper.
230 European copyright groups call for European Parliament to back directive
Reps for the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Council agreed a final single draft of the directive last month, of course, at the conclusion of the so called trilogue phase of the proceedings. Parliament's legal affairs committee then voted in favour of it all, but it's the vote of the full Parliament later this month that is seen as the final hurdle. The full EU Council also needs to back the final draft, although that's considered more of a formality, whereas critics of the directive continue to lobby MEPs hard.
The music industry backed safe harbour reforming article thirteen remains one of the most controversial elements of the whole thing, alongside article eleven, which has been lobbied for by the newspaper industry.
The new open letter reads: "We, the undersigned organisations, representing authors, composers, writers, journalists, performers and others working in all artistic fields, news agencies, book, press and music publishers, audio-visual and independent music producers call on the Parliament to adopt the Directive On Copyright In The Digital Single Market".
"This directive has been long sought to create a much-needed level playing field for all actors of the creative sector in the European digital single market, whilst giving citizens better access to a wider array of content", it goes on. "This is a historical opportunity. We need an internet that is fair and sustainable for all. This is why we urge policymakers to adopt the directive quickly, as agreed in trilogue negotiations".
The letter is signed by no less than 228 organisations representing copyright owners from across the European music, media, film, book, photography and visual art sectors. On the music side - while some trade bodies are notable by their absence - there are plenty of groups and societies representing artists, songwriters, record labels and music publishers in different European countries and on a pan-European and global basis.
Pan-European music industry groups include IMPALA (indie labels), GESAC (song right societies) and ECSA (songwriters), while global trade bodies backing the letter include BIEM (mechanical right societies), CIAM (songwriters), CISCAC (performing right societies), IAO (artists) and IMPF (music publishers).
Which is quite a lot of confusing acronyms and initials, isn't it? In case you wondered, other signatories include ABK, ADAGP, ADEB, ADNPA, AEC, AGD, AG DOK, AIKAKAUSMEDIA, AIE, AIM, AIPA, AKKA/LAA, AKM, ALCS, ALEJ, AMAEI, APEL, API, ARI, ARTISJUS, ASOCIACIA VYDAVATATEL'OV, AUDIOCOOP and AUSTROMECHANA. And that was just those beginning with an A.
But you get the picture, right? There's lots of acronyms representing copyright creating and owning groups supporting the directive. And yes, the list goes all the way down to Z with ZAIKS (the Polish Society Of Authors And Composers), ZAMP (the Croatian Copyright Protection Service for Music Works), ZAPA (the Polish Union Of Audio-visual Authors And Producers) and ZVKS (the Slovak Association Of Publishers And Booksellers).
Liam Gallagher's Pretty Green business undertaking strategic review
In a statement, the company confirmed it was undertaking a strategic review, but said it was optimistic about the outcome. A spokesperson told Drapers: "Despite sales growth for almost a decade, Pretty Green is not immune to the challenges currently facing the UK high street as customers migrate from purchasing in store to online".
However, they went on: "The growing overall demand for the brand, coupled with a strong online customer base, position the company well to navigate these changes and we are therefore considering all options with our advisers".
Gallagher founded Pretty Green in 2009. It has its own stores and a sizable partnership with House Of Fraser. That retail partner, of course, had its own financial problems last year, ultimately being bought out of administration by Sports Direct. Sources tell Drapers that House Of Fraser's issues last summer had a negative impact on Gallagher's business.
Spotify extends its Samsung alliance
Spotify announced an alliance with Samsung last August, which made sense given the two companies have a common enemy in Apple. The partnership sees the streaming firm's app more closely integrate with Samsung's various devices and its Bixby voice control whatnot.
As the partnership ramps up, Spotify will now be pre-installed on millions of new Samsung mobile devices around the world, while free six month premium subscriptions will come with certain phones in the US. The Spotify experience on Samsung gadgets will also become ever more "frictionless", we are told in the official blurb. Which is good news, I guess. I mean, with all the friction between the streaming firm and the music publishers in India and America just now, any more friction and things could combust.
"We were very excited to be named Samsung's go-to music streaming service [last year]", said Spotify's VP Of Consumer Products Sten Garmark on Friday. "Today's news will only ensure a more seamless Spotify listening experience across devices for listeners around the world. This partnership makes it easy for Samsung mobile users to access their favourite music and podcasts on Spotify, wherever they are and however they choose to listen".
Meanwhile on the Samsung side of the table, VP Marketing for Samsung Electronics America, Patricio Paucar, added: "Our goal is to deliver the best possible mobile experience to our consumers, and Spotify is the ideal music partner to help us make that vision a reality. Whether they're listening to the latest hit albums or checking out their favourite playlist, we're giving eligible Galaxy S10 users access to an amazing six-month Spotify Premium offer".
So now you know. Meanwhile, back to the fist fight and brawling.
October publication date confirmed for Elton John autobiography
The musician took to the tweets to declare that "my life has been one helluva rollercoaster ride and I'm now ready to tell you my story, in my own words. My first and only official autobiography will be released October 2019".
The publisher confirmed that the book will be launched on 15 Oct and is already available for pre-order, even though its title is TBC.
John first confirmed he was writing his memoirs - what is promised as a "no-holds-barred account" - back in 2016. At the time he said: "I'm not prone to being a nostalgic person. I'm often accused of only looking forward to my next gig or creative project. It's come as quite a surprise how cathartic I am finding the process of writing my memoirs".
"As I look back", he went on, "I realise what a crazy life I have had the extreme privilege of living. I have grown up in a period of extraordinary change in our world - and have had the joyful honour of rubbing shoulders and working with so many of the people at the heart of these changes".
Dagny & Steve Aoki, The Chemical Brothers, Amanda Palmer, more
Other notable announcements and developments today...
• Dagny has teamed up with clownish cake-thrower Steve Aoki for new single 'Hit Your Heart'. "After watching 'Hit You Heart' become a fan's favourite in our live set, I sent a demo of it to Steve and he immediately wanted to be involved in the production", says Dagny. "I wanted it to feel strong and powerful and capture that energy that came upon both us and our audience whilst playing it live - and that's exactly what Steve added. I've been so excited to release this track and I hope it hits people's heart - PUN INTENDED".
• Amanda Palmer has released the video for 'Voicemail For Jill', from her new album 'There Will Be No Intermission'.
• Local Natives have announced that they will release their new album, 'Violet Street', on 26 Apr. Here's new single 'When Am I Gonna Lose You'.
• Knights will release his debut album 'Dollars & Cents' on 5 Apr. Here's new single 'Gelato'.
• AlaskaAlaska have announced that they will release their debut album, 'The Dots', on 3 May. Here's new single 'Moon'.
• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
David Bowie's early Starman demo tape to go up for auction
The owner of said tape, Kevin Hutchinson, says he was given it by Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson in 1971. Hutchinson was still a teenager and aspiring musician at the time, and it seems that Ronson hoped he would learn the song and subsequently audition for Bowie's then manager Tony DeFries as a solo performer in his own right.
He tells the Press Association: "I remember listening to it and thinking, 'this is OK'. I didn't think, 'this is fantastic'. I think it's phenomenal now, obviously. Now I'm 65 and I played it, I just couldn't believe how good it is. But at the time, I thought, 'it's not bad'. At sixteen nothing impresses you".
Hutchinson says he only remembered he had the tape when his wife recalled him telling her that he'd once worked with Ronson and Bowie.
Although it became the big hit from 'Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars', 'Starman' was not originally intended to be on the album. It was only added after RCA A&R man Dennis Katz insisted it should be included after hearing a demo. It replaced a cover of Chuck Berry's 'Around And Around' on the album's tracklist.
The demo tape, which also contains recordings of Bowie performing 'Moonage Daydream' and 'Hang Onto Yourself', is expected to sell for £10,000 at auction tomorrow. Here's a clip of what you could buy.