|MONDAY 3 JUNE 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The always controversial Spanish collecting society SGAE has been fined 2.95 million euros by Spain's competition regulator after it pursued anti-competitive strategies that sought to stop new rights agencies from entering its market. The competition law judgement came in the same week that global collecting society grouping CISAC announced it was expelling its Spanish member for failing to deal with concerns over alleged corruption and bad governance... [READ MORE]|
Spanish collecting society SGAE fined 2.95 million euros for anti-competitive conduct
The European Union introduced new laws regulating collective licensing a few years back. Among other things, those new rules aimed to ensure that, where collecting societies within the EU had previously enjoyed a monopoly - or virtual monopoly - over any one set of copyrights, those monopolies would come to an end, allowing societies to compete across Europe and newer societies to enter the market.
Critics of collective licensing argued that more competition was required in the market overall, even though such competition can make licensing of music rights - and in particular song rights - more complicated, especially in the absence of a central music rights database. But the prospect of newer rights organisations being able to launch was most attractive in markets where the existing societies were known to be either inept or corrupt or both. Like Spain.
Following the change in the law, a new society launched in Spain called Unison. Given SGAE had been accused of all sorts of bad conduct over the years, and was embroiled in a new scandal around the distribution of TV royalties, many songwriters and music publishers welcomed the innovation. But Unison subsequently said that SGAE had set about putting up unnecessary commercial barriers to stop a new player from treading on its turf.
To that end Unison - in partnership with audio-visual performing rights organisation DAMA - filed a complaint with the Spanish Competition Authority. And last week it ruled against SGAE.
There were two main issues raised by the competition regulator. First, restrictions put on SGAE members seeking to withdraw or partially withdraw their rights, and secondly a lack of transparency in the pricing of bundled rights meaning licensees could not compare rates between competing societies. The regulator ruled that both these practices breached competition law, hence the 2.95 million euro fine. It also said SGAE should cease its anti-competitive conduct.
Welcoming the ruling, Jordi Puy, CEO of Unison, told reporters: "We can only celebrate this decision. It guarantees free competition in the music rights management market in Spain, which will only benefit rights holders, first and foremost".
When announcing a one year expulsion of SGAE last week, CISAC said that it still was optimistic that the new President at the Spanish society was genuinely seeking to address the organisation's bad governance issues and the various complaints that have been raised by the global music publishers. It remains to be seen whether her reforms also include addressing the competition concerns now raised by government.
Russell Simmons denies rape allegations under oath
Various accusations of rape and sexual harassment were made against Simmons last year in the wake of the #MeToo movement. A number of women came forward after model Keri Claussen Khalighi and screenwriter Jenny Lumet went public with their allegations in November 2017. Two lawsuits followed, though one was subsequently dismissed at the request of both parties a few months later.
The other lawsuit is ongoing. In it an unnamed woman says Simmons raped her in 1988. She claims that she met the Def Jam co-founder while at a concert with her son, and that later that same night he pressured her to accompany him to his hotel room. It is there that she alleges an attack took place.
Simmons denies the allegations and has tried to have the lawsuit dismissed, citing the statute of limitations relating to allegations of sexual assault.
His accuser's lawyer subsequently said that the one time hip hop mogul was using a legal technicality to avoid having to answer questions about the alleged assault while under oath. Then in April, the accuser herself told The Blast that Simmons had relocated to Indonesia in a bid to avoid giving a deposition.
Reps for Simmons hit back at those claims insisting that, while their client has been living in Bali of late, he has still been back and forth to the US during that time. The deposition in which Simmons formally denied the allegations made against him seemingly followed after that media spat, it being provided from Bali.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Simmons said: "I am horrified at the false allegations made against me in the complaint. I do not know and I have never heard of plaintiff. Her allegation that I committed sexual battery and threatened to rape her son is absurd, shameful, and untrue. I have never had non-consensual sex with plaintiff or anyone else".
Legal reps for Simmons also continue to stress that the statute of limitations means that the accuser cannot pursue this case, despite her lawyers employing another legal technicality to argue that said statute of limitations should not apply.
In the application for summary judgement, the Simmons side alleges that his accuser is lying in a bid to pressure him into making a financial settlement. They then seek to damage the reputation of the accuser, claiming that she once filed for bankruptcy and another time pled guilty to prostitution. "In short, plaintiff has no corroboration or credibility in what we believe to be an effort to publicly extort Mr Simmons", his legal reps conclude.
We now await the judge's summary judgement call in August with interest. Meanwhile, others have noted that, in his deposition, Simmons didn't just deny the claims that have been made in this case, but also said, "I have never had non-consensual sex with plaintiff or anyone else". Which might interest lawyers working for other women who have made allegations against Simmons, as that statement was given under oath.
UK event industry's diesel usage producing emissions equivalent to Malta, research finds
Ahead of World Environment Day on Wednesday, A Greener Festival, Julie's Bicycle and Powerful Thinking have all teamed up with environmental sustainability management company Hope Solutions and power management specialists ZAP Concepts to publish findings about diesel usage at UK festivals and other events.
Key findings are that the UK events industry uses 380 million litres of diesel fuel annually, with diesel used to power generators at such events making up 1.5% of the UK's entire usage. This is pumping 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, the equivalent of having 220,000 more cars on the road every day.
This is clearly bad and also not necessary, say researchers. "On average the UK event industry could reduce diesel consumption by 40% without risking any loss of power, any blackouts or any detrimental effect on the quality of the events", says Rob Scully, Head Of Operations at ZAP Concepts UK.
"Venue managers and event managers should take professional advice in order to properly direct their power contractor and ensure that available power is matched to actual demand and where possible introduce renewables and other alternatives", he goes on. "The show must go on but it could go on in a far more sustainable manner, without risking people's health and without risking the planet".
Mika announces new album
"'Ice Cream' was written on a day of extreme heat", says Mika, which makes sense, I guess. "It was the last few weeks of writing for the album; a writing period that lasted two years. Through the writing I had confronted personal, serious and at times painful issues, now I felt lighter and freer".
"It was August in Italy", he continues. "I wanted to run away to the sea, or just about anywhere. I dreamt about summer flings with someone totally stunning and out of my reach, I dreamt about the other person I always wish I was during the summer. Instead I was left with all the discomforts of summer heat. Sweat, work deadlines, bee stings, and all this with no AC".
Is he finished? No. He goes on: "The song is a daydream fantasy. It shimmers like a mirage, and makes me feel like anything is possible. Inspired by the irreverent attitude of the music of the 90s; George Michael among others. Dare to be the more proud version of yourself. Dare to be a sensual man, dare to express out loud the desires you always keep inside your head. That's why and how I wrote it".
'My Name Is Michael Holbrook' is set for release on 4 Oct. And yes, that is his real name, if you were wondering. Actually, apparently his full name is Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr, but that would make quite an unwieldy album title, I suppose. Maybe you could make a nice banner asking if that's the reason he shortened his name for the album's title to hold up when he plays Shepherds Bush Empire in London on 10 Nov.
Hackney Colliery Band release two tracks from collaborations album
'Collaborations: Volume One' marks the group's tenth anniversary and features contributions from a range of musicians, including James Taylor, comedian Rob Auton, Acoustic Ladyland's Pete Wareham, pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, trombonist Dennis 'Funkybone' Rollins and the Roundhouse Choir.
"It's hard to believe that 2019 is our tenth anniversary, but now we're ten years older it felt like the right time to get back to our jazz roots", says band leader Steve Pretty. "It's been such a privilege to work with so many of our musical inspirations both old and new on this record, and we're super excited to be ushering in the next ten years with this new collaborative spirit: this is called 'Volume One' for a reason".
Jonas Brothers announce 2020 tour dates
Well, you're in luck, because they're now promised to make their first trip to Europe for almost a decade for some live shows. Great! When this year will we be able to see them? Never this year, that's when. But very early next year. And they're coming to the UK and Ireland first because, well, you've got to start somewhere.
Tickets go on sale on Thursday morning. Here are the UK and Ireland dates:
29 Jan: Birmingham Arena
Newish music publishing company Mojo Music & Media has taken a majority stake in Chelsea Music, which controls songs including 'Come Fly With Me', Love And Marriage', 'High Hopes' and 'Ain't That A Kick In The Head'.
Management firm Closer Artists has made four new appointments. Artist manager Luke Williams brings his roster to the company. Nadia Shukri joins as Day-To-Day Manager. Amelia Scivier becomes General Manager. And Josie Charlwood becomes Head Of Digital.
It's World Motern Day - the annual event where prolific songwriter Matt Farley attempts to make $1 million from streaming in a single day. It's never happened yet. Maybe 2019 is the year - listen to the best 313 of his 20,000 songs on Spotify or Apple Music (and nothing else all day, that's how this works).
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (and also Noel Gallagher himself) have released new single 'Rattling Rose'. New EP, 'Black Star Dancing', is set for release on 14 Jun.
Cheryl has released new single 'Let You'. "I loved this song from the moment we wrote it in the studio", she says. "I knew I had to release it!"
Craig David has released new single 'When You Know What Love Is'. ''This track came about so naturally", he says. "It's all about the initial undeniable spark you get when something feels right".
Tove Lo is back with new single 'Glad He's Gone'. Her fourth album, 'Sunshine Kitty', is set for release later this year. "We've all been on both sides of the break up pep talk with our friends", she says of the inspiration for the song. "And we all know how good it feels to get your partner in crime back when they finally leave that idiot behind".
Jai Paul is back with his first official release since 2012, a double A-side single 'Do You Love Her Now/He'.
City Girls have released the video for 'Act Up', from their 'Girl Code' album.
King Princess has released 'Cheap Queen', the first single from her debut album. She's also set to headline The Forum in London on 26 Jun.
Deathcrush have released the video for new single 'State Of The Union', taken from their debut album 'Megazone'.
GIGS AND TOURS
Liam Gallagher has announced that he will play Hackney Round Chapel on 5 Jun. A couple of days later he'll release new single 'Shockwaves'. His second solo album, 'Why Me? Why Not', is due for release later this year. "It's a better record than 'As You Were'", says Gallagher, comparing the new album to his solo debut. "Which is saying something, as that was epic, wasn't it?"
Warmduscher and Squid have announced that they will play London's Village Underground on 6 Nov.
• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
'Kill Tory Scum' uproar gets punk band Killdren dropped from Glastonbury
The band describe their music as "politically charged slapstick anthems", and lyrics in the anti-Tory song include: "Even if it's yer dad or yer mum / Kill Tory scum, kill Tory scum / Even if it's yer pal or yer chum / Kill Tory scum, kill Tory scum".
The band have performed at various other events and toured the UK without issue. However, various newspapers, starting with The Times, have now taken exception to the band playing Glastonbury, having scoured the festival's expansive bill for anti-Tory messages, following the hopeful chanting of "Oh, Jeremy Corbyn" at the last edition two years ago. I mean, you could just point out how Corbyn went on to kick that hope against a wall.
As pressure on the band and the festival grew, Shangri-La issued a statement yesterday announcing that Killdren would no longer be performing.
"The band Killdren were booked by Shangri-La independently from Glastonbury Festival as just one of hundreds of live acts due to appear on our field's stages this year", it says. "We are incredibly saddened at the attention this booking has received and negativity towards such a peaceful festival we are so proud to be part of".
The statement continues: "The Shangri-La field is all about positivity and pacifism, unity and love. We in no way condone violence and will not allow this matter to overshadow the incredibly inclusive spirit of Glastonbury, and as a result we have taken the decision to withdraw the booking of this band".
While the right-wing press has focussed on the band's song about Conservative supporters being killed, no mention has been made of another Killdren song, 'Save The World', calling on left-wing parents to kill their children to counteract climate change. I can only assume that means they endorse this idea.