|FRIDAY 5 APRIL 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: A law firm in Widnes has filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster in relation to the security breach that occurred on the Live Nation ticketing firm's UK sites last year. It's thought up to 40,000 people could have been affected by last year's data hack, while law firm Hayes Connor says that its legal action - which seeks damages of up to £5 million - is on behalf of over 650 Ticketmaster customers... [READ MORE]|
Ticketmaster sued over UK data breach
Ticketmaster UK confirmed it had identified a major security breach on its system in late June last year. At the time the company said the breach was caused by malicious software on a third-party customer support product it used hosted by tech company Inbenta Technologies. That product was immediately disabled across the firm's websites and all the customers who may have been affected were contacted.
Digital bank Monzo subsequently revealed that it had spotted the breach several months earlier, adding that it had alerted the Live Nation company to the problem on 12 Apr, more than two months before the ticketing firm alerted customers to the issue.
Although it was never confirmed exactly how many customers had their data stolen during the breach, it's thought the hack could have affected up to 40,000 people, mainly in the UK, who had bought tickets from the main Ticketmaster UK website - or sister sites TicketWeb or Get Me In! - between February and June last year. Customer data potentially accessed during the hack included addresses, phone numbers, payment info and login details.
Hayes Connor, a law firm that specialises in data protection, has been encouraging any Ticketmaster customers affected by breach to get in touch. It now has over 650 claimants on board and has filed litigation with the High Court in Liverpool.
The law firm's MD Kingsley Hayes told reporters that they had gone legal after "unsuccessful negotiations" to try to agree an out of court settlement with Ticketmaster.
Noting how the ticketing firm "failed to action the breach until two months after it was alerted to the fact by digital bank Monzo", he then added that "more than two thirds of our clients have suffered multiple fraudulent transactions since the serious data breach", while the rest were still at risk of having their data used in fraudulent ways.
"While the Ticketmaster data breach hit the headlines some time ago, the effect on victims is significant and ongoing", he went on. "Stolen personal information, particularly in instances where a significant number of individuals are involved, is often used in batches, so some victims may yet to experience any fraudulent activity, however, may still be at risk".
He concluded: "Individuals who were alerted to the data breach by Ticketmaster can still join our action to claim compensation but must act to do so in the next few weeks".
The big Ticketmaster hack was confirmed a month after that week when everyone had data protection law pushed very much into their faces as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation went live. After confirming the breach, Ticketmaster said it was confident it had complied with GDPR rules in the way it had responded to the incident, despite Monzo revealing that the firm had initially denied there was any problem two months earlier.
Actually, given the breach had occurred before GDPR even came into force, it's not clear whether those new rules, or pre-existing data protection law, would apply anyway. Investigations by the UK's National Crime Agency and Information Commissioner's Office into the incident are also ongoing, the latter saying last year that it was still to decide which set of data protection regulations should apply to the case. With litigation now filed, it remains to be seen what legal arguments Hayes Connor and Ticketmaster present.
Elsewhere in Ticketmaster legal news, over in the US a customer who sued the company over its secondary ticketing business has been told he must take his dispute to arbitration.
Allen Lee sued Ticketmaster last year alleging that - by working with touts who resell tickets that had originally been bought on its own primary site - the ticketing giant was violating competition and consumer protection laws Stateside.
Ticketmaster responded to the lawsuit by arguing that the terms and conditions Lee had agreed to when buying his tickets from the company said that any future legal dispute must be taken to independent arbitration before any court of law.
Yesterday, the Californian judge overseeing the case agreed with Ticketmaster, dismissing Lee's lawsuit and telling him to go ahead with arbitration instead. Another judge overseeing a similar case, also in California, also recently indicated he'd let Ticketmaster enforce its arbitration term against the customer pursuing that bit of litigation.
Little Mix's Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock sign new publishing deal
"We're an unlikely pairing of business and creative but the alchemy really works", say Weiss and Andrews in beautiful harmony (possibly proving that the alchemy does indeed work). "We're ready to kill it in the world of music publishing and are excited about Little Mix, our other new signings and the opportunity to partner with everyone at Sony/ATV".
Also working in alchemic harmony, Thirlwall and Pinnock collectively belt out in a soulful fashion: "We're so excited to be a part of the Sony/ATV and TwentySeven team! It feels amazing after eight years in the industry to be recognised as songwriters! We can't wait to begin our journey with Jenna Andrews and Barry Weiss".
Meanwhile, Co-President of Sony/ATV US Danny Strick burps out all this on his own: "We are very excited to have launched this new joint venture with TwentySeven Music Publishing. Barry's long and distinguished record in the industry speaks for itself and he has a first-rate partner in Jenna whose talents as a Sony/ATV songwriter are coupled with her gifts for discovering and nurturing talent. The JV is off to a great start with Little Mix and embodies the high expectations we have for this partnership".
Other artists signed to TwentySeven right this second are Anna Clendening, Rob Grimaldi and Queen Naija. The company also has an administration deal with Wide Open Music, repping its primarily country roster.
Mushroomhead sign to Napalm Records
"We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Napalm roster", says drummer Steve 'Skinny' Felton. "None of this would be possible without all of the support we've received over the last 25 years. To all the band members, the road crews, the labels, our families, our friends and our fans, thank you all".
Napalm Records CEO Thomas Caser adds: "They are one of the most exciting acts in the metal world. The conceptual Mushroomhead, who've always had their finger on the pulse, will shock the world with their upcoming releases and tours. We are extremely proud to partner with this incredible act".
Those of you in the UK can be shocked by the band's upcoming tour in July, when they will play the following dates:
15 Jul: London, Islington Academy
Red Bull Music Academy to come to an end after two decades
It's very rare for brands to remain committed to music projects for such a long time, and Red Bull's substantial support of young music talent through the RBMA has long been lauded, even by those who really, really hate the sugary red drink that never gave anyone actual wings.
The RBMA - and the media channels that ran alongside it, like Red Bull Radio - will cease operations on 31 Oct. The shutdown comes as Red Bull ends it partnership with the brand agency that curated the education programme and its creative spin-offs, Yadastar.
Confirming that RBMA was coming to an end, Red Bull said that it would continue to support the creative community through its marketing activity but that "it is changing the means of delivery". This principally means less global programming.
In a statement provided to Resident Advisor, the company went on: "Red Bull will be moving away from a strongly centralised approach, will gradually phase out the existing structure and will implement a new setup which empowers existing Red Bull country teams and utilises local expertise. Red Bull will continue to explore new ways to support promising and cutting-edge artists wherever they may be".
In a post on Twitter, Yadastar said that it and Red Bull had "mutually agreed to part ways at the end of October 2019". The company's Torsten Schmidt and Many Ameri then paid tribute to all the people who have participated in and worked on the various RBMA projects and programmes. They added: "You have changed the way we connect with music and will continue to shape the music landscape for decades to come".
They then wrote: "We want to thank Red Bull for the opportunity and all of its employees who have supported and realised music projects with us in local markets the world over. We know many of you have joined the company because you believe in the values we have all held up high. We are looking forward to seeing where you will take it from here".
Red Bull already has music activity outside the RBMA programme which will continue, including the Red Bull Music Festival events.
Beyonce takes Ivy Park to Adidas
"This is the partnership of a lifetime for me", says Beyonce, in a statement that is somehow going to get even more over the top as it goes on. "Adidas has had tremendous success in pushing creative boundaries. We share a philosophy that puts creativity, growth and social responsibility at the forefront of business. I look forward to re-launching and expanding Ivy Park on a truly global scale with a proven, dynamic leader".
I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted after reading that. Here's Eric Liedtke at Adidas to calm things down a bit. "As the creator sport brand", says he, "Adidas challenges the status quo and pushes the limits of creativity through its open source approach. Beyonce is an iconic creator but also a proven business leader, and together, we have the ability to inspire change and empower the next generation of creators".
Fuck's sake. That didn't calm things down at all. Anyway, you're probably thinking, "I thought Beyonce was in cahoots with Topshop on all her fashion nonsense". Well, that's because you don't have a very good memory.
Ivy Park was indeed launched as a joint venture between Beyonce's Parkwood company and Topshop owner Arcadia Group in 2016. However, Parkwood bought out Arcadia last November - amid allegations of sexual harassment being made against Arcadia chief Philip Green - leaving Beyonce's firm free to enter into this super exciting, life-changing new partnership with Adidas.
Drowned In Sound to cease commissioning new content
Posting on his personal Facebook profile, Adams said that it was with "a heavy heart" that, "like At The Drive-In's hiatus (rather than LCD's 'retirement'), Drowned In Sound will not be commissioning new reviews or features for the foreseeable future".
He went on: "We will publish some pieces and festival reviews that we've committed to on our Medium blog, plus I'll continue to do some music recommendations on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I'm also really enjoying doing the weekly recommendations via Facebook Messenger, so I'll continue doing that for the foreseeable future".
Promising a full explanation of his decision to stop publishing new content in the near future, Adams then thanked everyone who has been involved with and contributed to the site over the last two decades. He added: "Special thanks to Derek Robertson, who's kept things going in recent years, and Andrzej Łukowski, who's not only looked after our reviews since being forced to make everyone redundant eleven years ago, but built a team of eloquent music fanatics".
The latter remark regarding redundancies eleven years ago relates to DiS's short-lived alliance with Sky, which also resulted in the launch of other music sites, including The Quietus, before the broadcaster bailed on the project.
It's no secret that it's really hard to generate income around online journalism and Adams has been very candid about that challenge over the years. To date online subscriptions have only really worked on business-orientated websites (and, slowly but surely, broadsheet newspaper websites), while ad income is generally modest, even for sites like DiS that built a substantial audience over the years, because of competition from Facebook and Google.
Some music media have found other ways to generate revenue, including events, ticketing and branded content, though building a commercial model around online music journalism remains a challenge for most publishers. Drowned In Sound has pursued various other projects over the years too, including running a label for a time, though none of those proved to be the cash cow project that most music media are always seeking.
Adams concluded: "I'm going to take make a few changes and take some time to get things stable again financially, and then attempt to do some special activity as we enter our 20th year next year. Thanks again for reading, sharing, indulging, exploring, engaging, and everything else".
NCT 127, Bauer Media, Mick Jagger, more
Other notable announcements and developments today...
• Universal's Caroline International has signed a deal with South Korean company SM Entertainment to handle worldwide distribution and marketing for K-pop group NCT 127. "We are THRILLED", says Capitol Music Group CEO Steve Barnett. "We are very excited", adds Young-Min Kim, CEO of the SM Group.
• Bauer Media has appointed Paul Keenan as President Of Audio at Bauer Media Group, and Rob Munro-Hall as Co-Head of Bauer Media Group's global publishing business and CEO of the UK Publishing Business. "Paul and Rob bring a wealth of experience to these newly created roles", says COO Veit Dengler.
• Mick Jagger has successfully undergone heart surgery, according to Billboard. The Rolling Stones recent rescheduled a US tour so that Jagger could have the procedure.
• Marina has, without prior warning, released the first half of her new album, 'Love + Fear'. That being the 'Love' bit. We'll get the 'Fear' on 26 Apr.
• The Jonas Brothers have released new single 'Cool'.
• James Blake has released the video for his Rosalia collaboration, 'Barefoot In The Park'.
• Tulisa is back with new single 'Daddy'. "I took some time out of the spotlight to refocus on what is important to me, and that's music", she says. "I've spent a lot of time in the studio writing and recording new music. These songs are a return to my roots and if you happen to like them, then brilliant!"
• Hot Chip have announced that they will release new album, 'A Bath Full Of Ecstasy', on 21 Jun. They'll also be touring the UK in October. Having played Village Underground in London last night, they'll play a sold out show at Concorde 2 in Brighton tonight. Here's new single 'Hungry Child'.
• The Divine Comedy will release new album, 'Office Politics', on 7 Jun. "It has synthesizers", says Neil Hannon. "And songs about synthesizers. But don't panic. It also has guitars, orchestras, accordions and songs about love and greed". Here's new single 'Queuejumper'.
• Alessia Cara has released the video for 'Out Of Love', from her album 'The Pains Of Growing'.
• The National have released new track 'Light Years', from upcoming album 'I Am Easy To Find'.
• Alison Wonderland has released new track 'Peace'.
• Slowthai has released the video for new single 'Gorgeous'.
• AlaskaAlaska have released new track 'Bees'. "'Bees' is a song about making sure we continue to ask questions, demand answers, and consistently make more progressive choices today than we did yesterday", says the band's Lucinda Duarte-Holman.
• Ozzy Osbourne's farewell tour having already been hampered by hand surgery and a bout of flu, the Black Sabbath frontman has now cancelled all remaining 2019 dates. This follows a fall at his home, which aggravated an old injury, requiring surgery. "I can't believe I have to reschedule more tour dates", says Osbourne. "Just know that I am getting better every day. I will fully recover. I will finish my tour. I will be back!"
• Loyle Carner has announced a launch show for his new album, 'Not Waving, But Drowning', at the House Of Vans in London on 18 Apr.
• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Nearly half a million 'lost' MySpace songs uncovered
Jason Scott of said Internet Archive explains: "This set of 450,000 songs was [collected] by an anonymous academic group who were studying music networks and grabbed 1.3 terabytes of MP3s to study from MySpace in roughly 2008-2010 to do so. And someone asked me, 'hey, do you want these, since they were lost?' Yes, yes I did".
The current owner of the once dominant social network recently admitted that it had lost all photos, videos and music files older than three years during a server move. Users were then told that they should "retain ... back up copies" of files uploaded to the site, which wasn't a very helpful thing to say just after deleting the thing you think they should be backing up.
Confirming that within this batch of 450,000 former MySpace MP3s there are actually files that it was previously thought had fallen into the black hole of tech history, Scott tweeted: "First confirmed 'lost' song recovered from this hoard: The Alpha Conspiracy - 'Defend Yourself (Swing Mix)'. Creator told me it was gone forever, now it's not. Get dancing".
Or just stay where you are and do nothing. If you want to have a sniff around for some classic MySpace tracks you thought you'd never hear again, take a look here.