TODAY'S TOP STORY: While stream-ripping may still be the music industry's top piracy gripe, that won't stop the record industry from going after other online platforms that facilitate the distribution of unlicensed music. And to that end various record industry trade groups have successfully forced offline a file-hosting service called, which stored plenty of unlicensed tracks, including pre-release material... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Record industry forces file-hosting service offline
DEALS BMG to distribute and administrate the music of Songland
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Warner Bros Records becomes Warner Records
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Management firms SBM and Sound Collective announce an alliance
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Absolute signs up with Boomplay
ARTIST NEWS Memorial event and fundraising campaign in honour of Her's announced
ONE LINERS Beach Boys, Monsta X, Top Of The Pops, more
AND FINALLY... Westlife fans told to stand before the key change
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This is an exciting opportunity for a new graduate or individual with office experience able to demonstrate sound business sense coupled with a passion for music. The ideal candidate should have a basic understanding of music rights with the ability to take ownership of projects from license to paperwork.

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Record industry forces file-hosting service offline
While stream-ripping may still be the music industry's top piracy gripe, that won't stop the record industry from going after other online platforms that facilitate the distribution of unlicensed music. And to that end various record industry trade groups have successfully forced offline a file-hosting service called, which stored plenty of unlicensed tracks, including pre-release material.

Initially it wasn't clear why the website had gone down, but the domain name now forwards to a joint message from the Recording Industry Association Of America, Music Canada and the globally-focused International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry.

That message reads: "This site has been shut down following legal action for copyright infringement. Making available copyright protected music on the internet without authorisation from the copyright holder is illegal. Wilful, commercial scale copyright infringement could lead to criminal conviction. Illegal music services exploit the work of artists and pay nothing to those creating and investing in music".

We knew that was on the US record industry's target list already, because it was among the sites mentioned in a subpoena secured by the RIAA earlier this month. That court order requested that internet services company Cloudflare provide the American labels group with contact information for a number of its clients, including

It is thought that the person behind that particular file-hosting platform was based in Canada, hence why other record industry trade groups got involved. A spokesperson for the IFPI told Torrentfreak: " was responsible for large scale copyright infringement of music content. On behalf of our member record companies, IFPI, RIAA and Music Canada identified and contacted the site operator who has now agreed to shut down the site completely and not to infringe sound recording rights in the future".

Sites like are usually linked to by online forums where users share information about illegal sources of music and movie content. Similar file-storage set-ups - and the forums that link to them - are also likely on the RIAA's current anti-piracy target list. Indeed similar sites were listed in that aforementioned Cloudflare subpoena, as well as other court orders secured by the trade body, some of which have recently gone offline.


BMG to distribute and administrate the music of Songland
BMG has announced a deal to distribute and administrate recordings and songs that come out of 'Songland', the long-time-in-development songwriter-focused telly talent show that started airing in the US on NBC last night.

Budding songwriters are partnered up with established producers and artists on the show, with recordings of the winning songs then being released. BMG will handle the distribution of those recordings and also administrate the accompanying song rights. What fun!

The new show has been devised by Audrey Morrissey, previously executive producer of 'The Voice' in the US, and that Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame. Songwriters and music producers Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean and Shane McAnally are all regulars on the series itself.

Stewart has worked with BMG in the past himself and, he says, has "seen how passionate they are not only about creating success for their writers but [also] their persistence in changing an industry by creating transparency for their writers and artists".

On the tie-up between the music firm and 'Songland' he adds: "I'm sure the whole team at BMG will put their global strength behind [the show's] songs and artists, creating a whole new paradigm shift in the way a TV show dedicated to songwriting will deliver success for new songwriters, many of whom will be artists in their own right".

Meanwhile BMG's LA-based EVP Marketing & Repertoire, Thomas Scherer, states: "BMG is honoured to partner with Dave, Audrey, the songwriters of 'Songland', and everyone at the show and network to continue building on what is a truly magical experience".

He waffles on: "'Songland' pays respect to the art and allows the viewer an unprecedented look at the process, inspiration, vulnerability and craft of songwriting. We are proud to be part of the team, amplifying and sharing their works with an undoubtedly eager audience of listeners each week".


Warner Bros Records becomes Warner Records
Take note everybody, Warner Bros Records has a bold new name. It's ground-breaking. It's game-changing. It's awe-inspiring. It rewrites all the rules and puts the entire business of recorded music into a brand new light. Warner Bros Records no more! Welcome to the brave new world of Warner Records. Yeah, the brothers are gone. Gone and forgotten. Fuck the brothers! Especially Albert. What a cunt.

And with the new name, a new logo! Brace yourselves for this people, it's going to fuck you up. Remember the Warner Bros shield? You know, the WB letters neatly placed inside a shield-like construct that popped up at the end of every Bugs Bunny cartoon you ever watched. Well fuck that. You know what a modern music company needs? What a proper 21st century record label requires? A black circle with a bit sliced off, that's what. Is it a record? Is it the sun? Is it a globe? No, it's a black circle with a bit sliced off. Good times.

The Warner Bros name and WB logo were a reminder, of course, that the Warner record company began as an offshoot of the Warner Bros film studio. But the Warner movie company and the Warner music company split off from each other back in 2004.

At that time, the former gave the latter permission to continue using the Warner Bros name and logo for fifteen years. Fans of maths will realise that that fifteen year period is now at an end, hence the revamp of Warner Bros Records. And, for that matter, the recent new visual identity for the Warner Chappell music publishing division, which never name-checked the brothers in its title but which did employ the famous WB shield in its logo.

Although it's the expiration of a licensing deal that has necessitated the rebrand, the Warner Music Group reckons it's the perfect time for a new look at its namesake frontline label, the US wing of which has a newish management team and a newish LA base. And that new logo, with its "artful simplicity and impactful typography", is, we are told, "ideally suited to the digital world". And as for the "circular icon, suggesting a record, a sun, and a globe", it's "a nod to the label's past, present, and future". Yep, new logo, same old branding bollocks.

"For the first time in the label's history, we've had the opportunity to create a distinct, modern identity entirely of our own", say Warner Records CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck and COO Tom Corson in perfect unison. "The timing couldn't be better, since we all feel the label is at a moment of re-invention that builds on our legacy, while moving into a future driven by fearlessness and creativity. We have a growing roster of world-class artists, a rejuvenated team, and an incredible new location. It's a new day for Warner Records, an iconic label that was born in the California sun, and is at home everywhere on earth".

Talking of everywhere but California, there's a UK version of Warner Bros Records, don't forget. Or there was. Now there's a UK version of Warner Records, with its own British black circle with a bit sliced off.

"We're signing and developing the next generation of British artists to move global culture", reckons the label's UK boss Phil Christie. "So we wanted the Warner Records brand to have the power and freedom to mean different things to different people around the world. A new logo isn't meaningful on its own, and our label will always be defined by the originality of our artists, our music, and our people".

Lovely stuff. I'm feeling bad for calling Albert Warner a cunt now. He wasn't a cunt. Jack was the cunt, we all know that.


Management firms SBM and Sound Collective announce an alliance
London-based management firms Stephen Budd Music and Sound Collective have announced a new partnership. While both companies manage record producers and songwriters, they say that they have complementary expertise - with SBM's focus on producers and SC's on writers - and that therefore an alliance makes sense. The plan is that they will jointly market their collective rosters to the industry.

Confirming the alliance, Budd said: "SBM's strengths have always lain in the area of managing and promoting record producers, engineers and mixers. Whilst some our clients have also been hit songwriters, record production has always been our main focus. This partnership allows both SBM and SC into each other's worlds. SC have a top-notch array of songwriters and - of course - the labels, managers and artists we speak to are a prime target market for that talent".

Sound Collective's Will Blake added: "We felt that a co-operation with SBM would allow us a wider range of possibilities for both companies. SBM have an incredible roster. This partnership will mean our respective rosters will be stronger and more diverse than ever and the collective reach from both companies contact bases will allow further growth for each other".

Sound Collective already has a number of other partnerships in place, including a management and label services joint venture with Logan Media Entertainment, and a music publishing venture with Cooking Vinyl. It was via the latter that the alliance with SBM came about, Budd providing A&R consultancy to Cooking Vinyl on the label side.


Absolute signs up with Boomplay
UK-based Absolute Label Services is the latest music company to sign a deal with Boomplay, the Nigeria-based streaming firm that is seeking to dominate the digital music market in Sub-Saharan Africa. The label services business follows major record companies Universal and Warner in doing a deal with the African business.

Confirming the deal, Boomplay's Head Of International Content & Partnerships, Phil Choi, said: "Boomplay is delighted to sign yet another quality partner to our platform. Absolute's vast catalogue will enable our users all over Africa to access an ever-increasing international repertoire of top-quality content. We would like to thank Absolute for their professionalism and efficiency on the agreement and we look forward to a long and successful partnership".

Meanwhile, on the Absolute side, the firm's Head Of Digital Operations, Dianne Bonney, said: "We're THRILLED to be working in partnership with Boomplay to ensure the labels and artists we represent have the opportunity to reach the ever-growing number of music lovers in Africa".


CMU Insights: Key Developments In Music Rights Masterclass
Tickets for the final of the CMU Insights training events due to take place this autumn are now on sale, this one being the Key Developments In Music Rights masterclass.

It's been a busy year in the world of music copyright, with the passing of the Music Modernization Act in the US and the European Copyright Directive in the EU. On top of that debates continue around the termination right in American copyright law, the shift to direct licensing in the digital space, and the ongoing music rights data problem.

This half-day masterclass provides a concise and user-friendly overview to all these developments. It provides a simple way for those working at labels, publishers, distributors, collecting societies and digital services, not to mention lawyers, accountants and managers, to get fully up to speed on all the latest legislation, cases and debates that impact on the music rights business.

The masterclass takes place on Wednesday 6 Nov at the London HQ of Lewis Silkin. You can buy a pass for the special early bird rate of £80 plus VAT right now.

This is a more advanced copyright course. Attendees might also want to check out the CMU Insights music rights seminars that run in September which provide a good beginner's guide to music copyright and music licensing.

Memorial event and fundraising campaign in honour of Her's announced
A memorial event has been announced in honour of Her's, the Liverpool-based indie band who were tragically killed in a car crash while on tour in the US earlier this year.

The event has been organised by friends and family of the band's members, Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading, and will take place at The Bombed Out Church in Liverpool on 16 Jun. It will include DJ sets from the likes of The Orielles, Happyness, Brad Stank and Pizzagirl, as well as video screenings and an exhibition of photography and artwork.

It will all raise money to fund workshops and projects in support of the local homeless community. Those projects will put a focus on using music and the arts as a means of rehabilitation and will be run, organisers say, "as part of Stephen and Audun's legacy, [a] testament to their immense enthusiasm for music and the well-being of others".

Confirming the memorial event in Liverpool, and the hope celebrations will occur elsewhere, the duo's label Heist Or Hit said: "Whilst we continue to feel devastated by the loss of our friends, it was very clear from the outpouring of love for them that there should be an event to celebrate their lives and the amazing music they brought to the world. Stephen and Audun were always very humble and particularly loved house parties with friends. We hope that, in addition to the official event, fans of Her's throughout the world will gain some comfort by holding house parties of their own on the same day".

For more information about the event and the accompanying fundraising campaign, check out this web page here.

To coincide with the announcement of the memorial event, Heist Or Hit has also released the video for the Her's track 'She Needs Him'. The label explains: "In December 2018, the band began working with French motion designer and illustrator Sébastien Séjourné, creating an official video for the track from their 2018 debut album 'Invitation To Her's'. Mick, Martin and Patrick from the record label decided it felt right to complete the video as a tribute to the band and their fans".

Watch here.



WME has signed The Beach Boys - ie the band's co-founder Mike Love and some other people - and will represent them in the live bookings domain worldwide.

Sony's Epic label has signed K-pop group Monsta X for English language recordings outside South Korea. "We are THRILLED to join the Epic family alongside some of the artists we admire the most", say the band. "This is like a dream come true and we still can't believe that this is happening to us".

Hipgnosis has acquired the publishing catalogue of songwriter and producer Ari Levine, best known for his songwriting and producing trio The Smeezingtons, with Bruno Mars and Philip Lawrence. "Ari is one of the most important writers and producers of the new pop era", says Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis.



Sony/ATV in the US has promoted Greg Prata to EVP Finance & Corporate Strategy and Luis Pinilla to VP Financial Planning & Analysis. "In these new roles, they will be perfectly positioned to help drive growth for the company on behalf of our songwriters", says CFO Tom Kelly.

UTA has hired Sean Hill as Director Of Tour Marketing. "We are THRILLED to have Sean join our expanding global team", says the booking agency's Head Of Tour Marketing Eddie Clemens.



Previously lost footage of 'Top Of The Pops' - featuring performances from 1966 by acts like The Beatles, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones and The Hollies - are to be screened for the first time in more than 50 years at Birmingham City University on 1 Jun. More info here.



The Jonas Brothers have announced that they will publish their collective memoir in November this year. "We're three brothers from New Jersey, and we were not supposed to be successful", says Joe Jonas. "From record labels dropping us to our dad losing his job over us, this shouldn't have happened or lasted as long as it did. Yet here we are, more excited than ever, and we're so grateful and ready to tell the full story of the journey we've had as individuals, as artists, and as family".

Katy Perry has announced that she will release new single, 'Never Really Over', this Friday.

Justice have announced that they will screen new live film, 'Iris', in cinemas around the world in August. The film was premiered at SXSW in March.

Rammstein have released the video for new single 'Ausländer'.

Spencer Krug - formerly known as Moonface - has launched a new Patreon campaign which will see him release new music every month. Already out is this song, 'River River'. Krug will play live at Bush Hall in London tonight, followed by performances at Manchester's Anthony Burgess Foundation tomorrow and the Pepper Canister Church in Dublin on Friday.



Weedeater have announced that they will play the Temple Of Boom in Leeds on 21 Jul and The Dome in London on 22 Jul.

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


Westlife fans told to stand before the key change
You know how it is, you wait all day for a front row seat at a Westlife concert, then none come along all at once.

Originally advertised as a fully seated event, before show time last night Glasgow's Hydro arena announced that the floor area at their big Westlife gig would be standing only. And not because the band had stood up during a particularly vigorous key change in the soundcheck and kicked all the chairs away.

According to the venue, the problem was that the seats for the show had not been delivered on time. Which was annoying for anyone hoping to have a nice sit down while the band did their singing - not least those who had paid extra for front row seats.

"Due to transport delays, the seating layout for the Westlife show this evening has been changed. The event was originally fully seated and is now a seated and standing show", said the venue in a statement. "If you are unable to stand or prefer not to, you will be entitled to a full refund from your original point of purchase. On behalf of the promoter of the event we apologise for any frustration or disappointment this may cause and appreciate your understanding".

The venue then insisted that Westlife were "very much looking forward to what will be a great night", despite the lack of chairs. So that's good. Although the news wasn't that great for anyone unable to stand, or who had paid an extra hundred quid or so to sit up front. Or both. A lot of people, as a result, weren't that "understanding".

On the plus side, the band have three more shows coming up at the venue, from 3-5 Jun. I've just checked and there are quite a lot of tickets still available. Hopefully there'll be seats by then and everything.


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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