TODAY'S TOP STORY: The European Composer And Songwriter Alliance yesterday confirmed that it has lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission over the Greek government's intervention into the country's collective licensing system... [READ MORE]
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TOP STORIES European songwriters hit out at Greek government's collective licensing takeover
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Sylvia Rhone named new Epic CEO
LIVE BUSINESS AEG sets target for zero carbon emissions
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Muso raises new funding
INDUSTRY PEOPLE VMS Live's Steve Forster dies
ARTIST NEWS Prince autobiography set for publication in October
ONE LINERS Bingley Music Live, Sheryl Crow, Babymetal, more
AND FINALLY... Ed Sheeran ordered to dismantle sauna and take down pub sign
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!K7 Music is expanding the sales and marketing division and is looking for an experienced professional to direct, implement and manage robust international release campaigns across multiple artist and label projects for both our in-house and partner labels.UK and non-Berlin based applicants that may be interested in relocating to Berlin for the role are very welcome to apply.

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Rocket Music Entertainment Group is looking for a highly motivated, dynamic and passionate individual to join the team as Digital Manager. You will be responsible for creating, developing and managing our visual assets and content, working across our Artist Roster, both signed and in development.

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The Music Publishers Association is seeking a General Manager to implement a clear strategy which will deliver the best possible results on matters of music copyright protection and industry related policies.

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Supporting the A&R team across all releases this role at Believe is tasked with assisting the Senior A&R Managers in the day-to-day running of projects as well as working across general admin tasks.

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This paid intern role is tasked with assisting the Senior Urban A&R Manager at Believe in the day-to-day running of projects as well as working across general admin tasks.

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Working closely with the Label and Label Services team this role at Believe is tasked with co-ordinating the roll-out of priority campaigns in key international markets.

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Freelance part time maternity cover with the potential for a longer term. Above Board Distribution is looking for someone to join the team to manage the artists campaigns and weekly pitches to the digital stores.

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Sentric Music is looking for an enthusiastic, creative and ambitious Digital Marketing Assistant to oversee all company social media marketing and analysis, as well as assist our Group Marketing Manager with overall company marketing implementation.

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IDOL is looking for a UK Key Digital Account Manager to help promote its roster of labels and launch creative and innovative release campaigns to achieve commercial goals.

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Sound City is looking for a Sponsorship Sales Manager with a proven track record. You will be selling across our portfolio of services and products that are both B2B and B2C related in both the UK and internationally.

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SJM Concerts is seeking a PR Assistant. This is a junior role which an ideal candidate will embrace and make their own to become a key member of an extremely busy and efficient marketing department.

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VMS Live is recruiting for a full time Venue Manager who will be responsible for taking an active role in delivering and programming the live music and club business from sourcing, programming and through to event delivery.

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NEKO Trust was founded to help build a sustainable future for the live events industry by supporting the next generation of talent. The charity is now seeking to appoint three high calibre trustees to join their board and add the vital capacity and expertise needed to deliver NEKO’s charitable programmes.

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The Orchard is looking for an experienced and passionate Head of Sales & Marketing to join us in the UK, you will be responsible for managing The Orchard’s local and global repertoire in the UK market; as well as driving a talented team of local account managers.

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European songwriters hit out at Greek government's collective licensing takeover
The European Composer And Songwriter Alliance yesterday confirmed that it has lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission over the Greek government's intervention into the country's collective licensing system.

The music industry employs collective licensing in a whole range of scenarios, of course, especially on the songs side of the business where the frequent co-ownership of rights makes the collective licensing approach particularly attractive.

In each country, the local music industry sets up one or more collecting societies to administrate this process. National and - in the EU - European copyright law then regulates these societies in one way or another. It's no secret that there are good collecting societies and there are inept collecting societies and there are outright corrupt collecting societies.

The Greek song rights society AEIP proudly sat within the latter category, so much so last year it had its licence to operate revoked. Which was a welcome development for long suffering Greek songwriters who set up a new organisation called Autodia to take over the collective licensing of song rights in Greece.

In the wake of the collapse of AEIP, it was hoped that Autodia could set about fixing collective licensing in the country, neatly regulated by the department of government charged with overseeing such things, which is called the HCO. However, instead of getting going with regulating Autodia, the government agency instead decided to set up its own collecting society, in the process hindering attempts by songwriters to get their new rights organisation properly off the ground.

While there are other countries in the world where collective licensing is handled by a government agency, most songwriters and music publishers agree that this is not a good approach, and can leave music makers short-changed. Meanwhile, ECSA reckons that the Greek government's actions contravene EU competition law.

Explaining its position, the Alliance said yesterday: "[The new society] within HCO is preventing Autodia from accessing any music rights data and Greek music creators are being barred from access to their own information about their own works and income".

It went on: "The effect is to prevent music creators from exercising their right to join an independent [society] of their choice and to provide an undue competitive advantage to the [society] effectively run by the Greek state. And the unlawful interference in the marketplace at the request of the Greek state is having the effect of preventing important funds from reaching music creators worldwide".

Confirming that the Alliance had now decided to file a complaint with the EU, the group's President Alfons Karabuda said yesterday: "The current difficulties in Greece affect first and foremost Greek music authors but also all music creators. We are concerned by the current difficulties in Greece and their detrimental impact on all music creators".

The European songwriter organisation is backed by global grouping CIAM in its EU complaint about the Greek government's intervention in the country's collective licensing system. Its President, Eddie Schwartz, confirmed that support yesterday, declaring that "These actions affect us all".

He went on: "As creators we stand with our colleagues to ensure that going forward, creators have a sound and lawful administrative system in Greece on which they can rely for their livelihoods. Any music creator should affiliate with the [society] of their choice. No [society] should ever be prevented from responding to the needs of the creators they exist to protect. This is why we are objecting to the situation in Greece".


Sylvia Rhone named new Epic CEO
Sony Music has promoted Sylvia Rhone to Chair and CEO of its Epic Records label in the US. She replaces LA Reid, who exited the company two years ago following accusations of "unlawful harassment".

"Sylvia is a trailblazing and iconic executive who has played a critical leadership role in driving Epic's recent artist development success", says Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer. "Her wealth of experience and passionate support of artistic vision will help us further grow the reach of Epic's roster around the world".

Rhone herself adds: "I am excited to continue my amazing journey at Epic Records supported by Rob Stringer's vision and leadership. Everything we do is a testament to our incredible artists who set the bar of the entire Epic culture, inspiring our dedicated executive team every day and enriching the legacy of this great label".

Rhone has been President of Epic since 2014, and has worked with the company via a distribution deal with her own label Vested In Culture since 2012. During her career, she has also held executive positions at Warner and Universal, including as CEO of Elektra and President of Motown.


AEG sets target for zero carbon emissions
Live music giant AEG has announced a goal to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. This follows a previous commitment to reduce emissions by 25% by 2020.

"We are committed to leading the way toward change and continuing to help draw attention to this serious issue by doing more to ensure the safety of our world", says John Marler, AEG's VP Energy & Environment. "Today's announcement builds on that commitment to further drive improvements in our global operations wherever possible. Meeting our current 2020 GHG goal is critical as it reflects the level of reductions required to achieve this longer-term target".

"While we are pleased with the work we have done to date, we recognise that much more work needs to be done", he goes on. "In addition to adopting our new 1.5˚c target for GHG emissions, we continue to look for ways to reduce potable water at water-stressed sites by 4.4% per year and diverting 70% of waste from landfill across all AEG operations".

More information on AEG's ongoing sustainability efforts can been found in a new report published by the company's AEG 1Earth project.


Muso raises new funding
Anti-piracy company MUSO has announced that it has raised a further £3.5 million in funding from Harwell Capital. This follows a £2.5 million injection from the venture capital firm back in 2017.

"Harwell has been a hugely supportive investment partner, who provide far more than cash alone to the company", says MUSO CEO Andy Chatterley. "They understand our vision and objectives and bring significant advice and acumen to ensure we can execute on our continued growth plans in a most exciting market".

Harwell MD Daniel O'Brien adds: "Since [our] first investment round nearly two years ago, Andy and the team have delivered significant value to existing and new clients including global leading corporate businesses and trade bodies, transformed the board to include high-profile growth stage veterans, and expanded the product range and application to significantly ratchet their addressable market. We remain supportive backers".

The money will be used to expand the MUSO's sales and marketing teams and widen its client base outside of music, in areas such as digital media, gaming and live broadcast.


VMS Live's Steve Forster dies
Founder and Managing Director of live music company VMS Live, Steve Forster, has died, aged 55. He was involved in a serious car accident last month and died from complications related to his injuries last week.

"Whether you knew Steve from his early days in Newcastle or through the many venues and events he worked with we are sure you will agree that he was a focussed and determined operator", says VMS Live in a statement. "A man who knew his own mind, and overall a truly unique and talented individual. Steve was respected and influential throughout the industry and has passed on a great deal of knowledge and experience to those around him and for this legacy we can all be eternally grateful".

Forster launched his first live music company, NPS, in 1987, later becoming Operations Director at Wembley Stadium. In 1999 he joined the Academy Music Group and oversaw its growth until leaving to set up VMS Live in 2007. He also ran MAMA's live music division until 2011.

Forster's death follows the death last year of VMS Live consultant Dan Pike who worked on a number of the company's outdoor events.


CMU Insights at the Brighton Music Conference
The dance and electronic music focused Brighton Music Conference kicks off in, well, Brighton later today, with four days of official parties plus the main conference activity taking place on Thursday and Friday.

Over 200 speakers will take part this year, including the likes of David Morales, Paul Oakenfold, Irvine Welsh, Marshall Jefferson, Danny Rampling, Huxley, Norman Jay, Friction, DJ Storm, Teebee, Leftwing & Kody, Kevin McKay, Carl Finlow, Tom Middleton, Brandon Block, Rebekah and Jubilee.

CMU Insights will present a session at BMC for the first time this year explaining in simple terms what all that article thirteen chatter was really about.

With the new European Copyright Directive now passed will YouTube really start paying higher royalties and will artists, producers and songwriters get a better deal? CMU's Chris Cooke will explain all and then talk through the specifics with John Mottram from PRS For Music, Lucie Caswell from the Featured Artists Coalition and James Tobias from Reed Smith. The session takes place on Friday 26 Apr at 3pm.

Click here for full info and tickets.

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

Prince autobiography set for publication in October
The memoir Prince was working on before his death in 2016 is set to be published in October this year. Titled 'The Beautiful Ones', what had been completed before Prince's death will be bolstered with photos and other things the musician had previously written.

Prince announced that he was writing his autobiography weeks before he died. Last year, literary agent Esther Newberg revealed that there were plans to publish what he managed to complete - amounting to about 50 handwritten pages.

The book will be split into four parts. The first is the memoir itself, in which he focusses on his childhood. The second part will cover Prince's early life as a musician, through writing and photos from before his debut album was released.

Part three will be a collection of images from across his career. Finally, the fourth section will be the original handwritten treatment for his film 'Purple Rain'.

'The Beautiful Ones' is set to be published through Penguin Random House on 29 Oct.


Bingley Music Live, Sheryl Crow, Babymetal, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• The Hipgnosis Songs Fund has acquired the publishing catalogue of Starrah, aka songwriter Brittany Hazzard. Among her co-writing credits are Camila Cabello's 'Havana', Maroon 5's 'Girls Like You', Rihanna's 'Needed Me' and Drake's 'Fake Love'. "Starrah is at the forefront of today's song writing revolution", says Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis.

• Michael Franti has signed a new global publishing deal with Position Music. CEO Tyler Bacon says the company is "excited and honoured".

• Warner Music has opened a new office in Peru to be headed up by Angela Sarmiento Vera, previously Director Of Marketing for Warner Music Colombia. "The music market in Peru is surging as more people sign-up to digital services", says Warner Music Latin America President Iñigo Zabala. "This has opened up huge opportunities for our existing artists, who are travelling there in increasing numbers. Angela has the experience and skills to help them build deeper relationships with local influencers and fans alike".

• The Bingley Music Live festival has announced that it will not take place this year, after making a £300,000 loss in 2018. Festival owner Bradford Council says it plans to use the time off to make plans for a 2020 edition.

• Sheryl Crow has released the first track from her duets album, due for release later this year. The new version of her song 'Redemption Day' uses vocals recorded by Johnny Cash shortly before his death in 2003. "He asked a lot of questions about different lines and what I meant [before recording his version]", says Crow. "He didn't want to put his voice to the song without being able to believe it heart and soul".

• Flying Lotus has released two tracks from his upcoming 'Flamagra' album, 'Spontaneous', featuring Little Dragon and 'Takashi'.

• Mr Hudson has announced his first album for a decade. 'When The Machine Stops' will be released on 21 Jun. "Initially, I began this new project out of curiosity", says the songwriter and producer. "In September I noticed a lot of people celebrating ten years since '808s [& Heartbreak', the Kanye West album on which he featured] and it made me want to revisit that 'sad robot' sound but it turned into a challenge of wanting to break new ground and get out of my comfort zone. I do think I do my best work when I'm a little afraid". Here's first single, 'Antidote'.

• Fabio & Grooverider have announced a new compilation to mark the 30th anniversary of their Rage club night. The first half will be released on vinyl on 31 May, with the remainder, along with full CD and digital releases, following on 21 Jun.

• Ride have announced that they will release new album, 'This Is Not A Safe Place', on 16 Aug. From it, this is first single 'Future Love'.

• Darkthrone have released new track 'The Hardship Of The Scots'. Their new album, 'Old Star', is out on 31 May.

• G Flip has released new track 'I Am Not Afraid'. "Everyone has roadblocks in life, tough situations that are hard to get through and the only way to overcome them are to say, 'I am not afraid'", she says.

• Paws have released new single 'Joanna'. The band's new album, 'Your Church On My Bonfire', is out this week.

• Babymetal have announced that they will play Brixton Academy in London on 2 Jul. They've also announced that they will release new single, 'Elevator Girl', next month.

• James Morrison has announced new UK tour dates in October and November this year, including a show at London's Royal Festival Hall on 29 Oct.

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


Ed Sheeran ordered to dismantle sauna and take down pub sign
Poor old Ed Sheeran, they just won't leave him be. He wanted to build a church in his garden, they said no because it would upset the wildlife. He built a pond for the wildlife, people said it was a swimming pool. Now he's been told to dismantle a sauna next to that wildlife pond and take down a sign outside a barn he's turned into a pub.

Local planning laws and the property's Grade II listed status restrict what changes can be made to Sheeran's Suffolk estate. Numerous objections have been raised about planning applications made since he moved there, and there have been complaints raised about various modifications he has managed to make.

In March, a number of locals claimed that a wildlife pond, for which Sheeran had received planning permission, had subsequently been turned into a swimming pool.

One of the conditions of building the pool was that it not be used for swimming. Nearby residents noted that a jetty, steps into the water and a Romany caravan have all appeared in and around the pond, making it look more like a swimming pool with a diving board and changing room.

Upon investigation, the council says that there is no indication that the pool is being used for anything other than the cultivation of wildlife. However, it did order him to dismantle a sauna that had been built next to it. Dragonflies and frogs apparently don't require saunas.

"During a site visit in March, it was found that a sauna has been constructed near to the pond", a council spokesperson said, following a ruling earlier this week. "We have raised concerns regarding this structure, which requires either planning permission or removal".

However, they added, "there was no evidence that it is not a wildlife pond, as plants are growing in and around it, or that the planning conditions had been broken. We will continue to monitor the situation".

While checking out the pond situation, council staff also noticed a pub sign swinging outside a barn on the property. Sheeran has apparently put a bar in the barn so he can hang out and have a beer without locals jabbing him in the ribs and asking about his breaststroke. He's named the pub The Lancaster Lock, for his wife Cherry Lancaster Seaborn. Sweet, huh? No, not sweet. Illegal, says the council. At least the sign bearing the name is.

"We have also requested that all unauthorised signage be removed from the Grade II listed barn", said the council spokesperson coldly.

Drinking is apparently still allowed. In the barn, not from the pond.


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 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.
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