|MONDAY 8 JULY 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The US Copyright Office announced on Friday that it had chosen the establishment option for the new mechanical rights collecting society that is being established in America as a result of last year's Music Modernization Act... [READ MORE]|
US Copyright Office chooses establishment option for new mechanical rights society
That means that the organisation calling itself the Mechanical Licensing Collective - backed by the likes of the National Music Publishers' Association, the Nashville Songwriters Association International and the Songwriters Of North America - will take on the responsibility of distributing any mechanical royalties due to songwriters and music publishers whenever their songs are streamed.
America is unusual in not having a collecting society representing the mechanical rights in songs. It has meant that whenever labels or digital services have exploited those rights, they've had to find whoever controls the copyright in each song they record or stream, and then send those rights-owners the paperwork and payment that is due under a compulsory licence that covers mechanical rights Stateside.
Most labels and digital firms traditionally hired agents like the Harry Fox Agency to do that work, and those agencies have performed some of the roles of a collecting society in the past. But they weren't a true collecting society able to offer a blanket licence to music users, so to provide companies like streaming services with a one-stop shop where they can license any song rights not otherwise covered by a direct music publisher deal.
That became an ever-increasing problem with the shift to streaming, where services need to license tens of millions of songs at launch, and thousands and thousands of new works every week. In most other countries the streaming platforms rely on the collecting societies to meet that licensing challenge. The lack of such a society in the US resulted in songwriters and music publishers going unpaid and streaming services getting sued.
A key element of last year's MMA sought to address that problem by setting up this new collecting society, paid for by the streaming services, run by the music publishing sector.
But what does "run by the music publishing sector" actually mean? Once the new laws were passed, the US Copyright Office had to pick an organisation to set up the new society. The MMA said that that organisation should be "endorsed by, and enjoy substantial support from, musical work copyright owners that together represent the greatest percentage of the licensor market for uses of such works in covered activities".
The MLC group claimed in February that it already enjoyed the "overwhelming support" of the music publishing sector, listing the trade groups, other societies and big music publishers backing its plan.
However, there was a rival bidder going by the name AMLC, which said that the MLC's claim of "overwhelming support" was misleading. It argued that MLC did not have the support of the millions of grassroots music-makers who usually control their own copyrights. And, AMLC added, it was those grassroots songwriters who were most commonly missing out on payments under the existing mechanical royalties system, and who therefore needed the new society to work in their interest.
Ultimately, the Copyright Office decided that the MLC did best met the criteria set out by the MMA. It said on Friday that that decision was made after "an extensive public inquiry" in which it "received over 600 comments from stakeholders throughout the music industry, including numerous copyright owners who provided endorsements for one or more of the entities seeking designation".
Needless to say, the trade groups that have led on the MLC bid welcomed the decision. NMPA boss David Israelite told reporters: "This has been a long, deliberative process and we are pleased with the result. The Copyright Office set a high bar and the team behind the MLC submission was transparent, thorough and representative of the entire music publishing and songwriting community".
The NMPA worked closely with the streaming music companies in lobbying for the MMA to go through last year, in order to enable a revamp of the mechanical royalties system in the US. And those involved in the MLC will now have to work closely with the same streaming firms as they actually set the new collecting society up.
Of course, relations between the publishers and the streaming companies - Apple aside - have become somewhat frosty this year after Spotify et al decided to appeal the US Copyright Royalty Board ruling on exactly how much money streaming services should pay to song right owners (via the new society or otherwise).
That is possibly why Israelite had some stern words for the streamers on Friday, basically demanding that they don't do anything to fuck up the creation on this big new rights organisation. "As we now move to the funding phase", he said, "it is critical that the digital services commit to supporting the MLC properly and become more transparent, starting with disclosing the amount of unmatched money currently at their companies".
It will be interesting to see how this now all progresses. And also, whether the new society will do any better a job of getting payments to the writers of songs that the streaming sector has done a rubbish job of identifying. Plus, whether any of the concerns raised by the AMLC team about the MLC's proposals will prove justified. Who knew the processing of mechanical royalties could be so interesting? Watch this space.
Ireland's competition regulator approves Live Nation's MCD deal
Live Nation's purchase of MCD was slightly confusing because LN-Gaiety Holdings is the live giant's joint venture with the Irish company Gaiety, which is best known for, well, owning MCD Productions.
Live Nation has had a long-standing partnership with Gaiety, the company owned by Denis Desmond and his wife Caroline Downey. Many of Live Nation's acquisitions in the UK in recent years have actually been via the LN-Gaiety joint venture, and Desmond himself now heads up the live giant's UK and Ireland operations.
MCD, the concerts company Desmond co-founded in 1980, has not previously been part of the partnership. However, last August it was announced that a new deal would see MCD also become part of the LN-Gaiety JV. It was that deal that Ireland's Competition And Consumer Protection Commission then investigated.
It said on Friday that a number of competition concerns had arisen as a result of the takeover, but that LN-Gaiety and MCD had made various proposals for how those concerns might be overcome. Those include both companies informing the CCPC of any future festival acquisitions they may pursue in Ireland, steps to ensure Live Nation venues don't share confidential booking information with MCD, and commitments to ensure a divide between MCD and Live Nation's Ticketmaster business.
The regulator concluded that those proposals dealt with its concerns. By including them it its decision to clear the MCD takeover, said commitments become legally binding.
CCPC Chair Isolde Goggin said: "The CCPC's review of the proposed transaction included economic analysis of the affected markets and evidence from third parties active at all levels of the supply chain including promoters, ticketing services providers, and live event venues. Taking into consideration the commitments provided by the parties, there is no evidence that the proposed transaction will result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market for goods or services in the state".
In addition to the investigation by the Irish regulator, in May the UK's Competition & Markets Authority also announced it was looking into the deal. The deadline for the CMA's phase one decision is this week.
Kirsty Young permanently steps down from Desert Island Discs
"After twelve incredibly happy and fulfilling years on 'Desert Island Discs' I've decided to step down permanently", says Young. "Having been forced to take some months away from my favourite job because of health problems, I'm happy to say I'm now well on the way to feeling much better. But that enforced absence from the show has altered my perspective on what I should do next and so I've decided it's time to pursue new challenges".
She continues: "Having hundreds of castaways share their triumphs, tragedies, tribulations and tracks with me over the years was a huge privilege and an education. I am so thankful to [the programme's creator and original presenter] Roy Plomley for the brilliance of his format, and I wish the programme and Lauren all the very best".
The BBC's Director Of Radio & Education, James Purnell, adds: "Kirsty has been a wonderful host of 'Desert Island Discs' for more than a decade and her intuitive interviewing style, as well as her warmth and humour, has helped bring out incredible life stories and anecdotes from her castaways. We know how loved she is by listeners and we all wish her well for the future".
On the programme's new presenter, he says: "Lauren Laverne has been doing a brilliant job at the helm in Kirsty's absence and I'm delighted she continues to host one of Radio 4's most popular shows".
Laverne is only the fifth presenter to host the show in its more then 75 years on the air. Saying that it was "already my favourite programme", she adds that presenting it is "an enormous honour".
Last month, Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis became one of the latest people to choose eight songs that she'd like to be stranded on a desert island with. Listen to that here.
Cheryl speaks about anxiety
Speaking on Radio 1's 'Life Hacks', she said: "One of the problems I think with social media is that people put on this face and this façade of how they are. I would walk out to a wall of paparazzi and put on a smile but inside I was dying. I think what happens then is everyone is looking around like, 'why does everyone seem so good and having a good time in a happy place and I feel rubbish?' And that's not helpful. So if people would just be a bit more open and honest with how they're feeling, I think we could all help each other".
She went on to say that becoming a mother had convinced her to seek help. She told the BBC programme: "I struggled for so long in silence, I wouldn't even open up to friends and family. I was very closed. I actually had therapy for a year. I struggled for so many years with anxiety and in my own head, thinking things... I didn't want that to be happening when I was trying to focus on raising a child. It felt like my responsibilities shifted and my priorities changed and I needed to be settled in my own head to be able to give him the best that I could possibly give him".
"Ugly art" injury puts Franz Ferdinand drummer out of action
"We're sad to say that Paul's finger was crushed by an ugly piece of art which fell from the wall of a hotel lobby in Casablanca", said the band in a statement. "The bone has splintered into small pieces and he is unable to hold a drumstick without experiencing intense pain. Paul will be unable to continue this tour while it heals".
For the rest of the tour, Thomson will be replaced by musician Mike Evans, who has released music under the name Jaeva.
If anyone needed further confirmation of the severity of the injury, frontman Alex Kapranos later tweeted that "the painting was truly awful". So, any hotels hosting musicians in the near future, be sure to check all of your fixtures. And taste.
Lizzo announces UK shows
"This is a way more confident Lizzo who believes in her confidence", she says of how she is now presenting herself. "For the last three years, I've been working on myself and learning how to love who I am. There were moments that would've completely defeated me when I was younger. Instead, I was able to not just survive, but thrive. This is the person who I truly want to be. It's a self-filling prophecy ready for the world. I really found my voice. I love it. I love my body. I love talking shit, and it's what I'm doing".
"I want you to hear my songs and feel a connection to me", she adds. "I hope you can apply what I'm saying to your own life and maybe have a better day. Share this experience with me. Celebrate who you are. If I can change the world for the better one song at a time, I'm cool".
Tickets for the tour go on sale on Friday. Check out the dates here:
Idris Elba has released a new compilation of music 'inspired' by his recent film 'Yardie'. "Making a film as director allowed me, for the first time, to influence the music, in this case reggae", he says. "I had the best seat in the house, music and film. So this mixtape is the aftershock of 'Yardie', a collection of tunes that extends my love affair with the film. It was a true collaboration and everyone on the tape could relate to 'Yardie'".
The Bird And The Bee have teamed up with Beck to record a cover of Van Halen's 'Hot For Teacher'. "The Bird And The Bee bring unforeseen angles to the Van Halen song book", says Beck. "Makes sense because, like Eddie Van Halen, Greg [Kurstin] is a kind of musical wunderkind in his own right and Inara [George's] vocals bring a cool counterpart to Diamond Dave's pyrotechnics. Making a cameo on their version of 'Hot For Teacher' felt like an extension of the kind of riffing and fooling around we do in the studio on a normal session".
Skunk Anansie have released new single 'What You Do For Love'. "The hardest songs to write are political ones, which is why we always try to avoid them", says frontwoman Skin. "They're supposed to just instantaneously spill out of you due to pure vexation, or they sound insincere and you fall into tired old clichés. This is one of those moments of rage! Love always seems to be the reason why people do hateful things, which I've never been able to understand".
Producer Martin Terefe – known for his work with the likes of Mary J Blige, KT Tunstall, Jason Mraz and more - has released his first ever solo single, 'Some Advice For The Kids'.
Empara Mi has released new single 'Ditch', built on a sample of Mozart's 'Requiem'. "This is about an opportunity I had, which I wanted so badly for so long, so when it came I put my blind trust in it", she says of the inspiration for the track. "I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I hadn't educated myself properly and so I lost myself in it and got taken advantage of more than a few times. I had a lot to learn, so I did, and switched up the conversation. I'm not waiting on anyone else anymore".
J-pop group Niji No Conquistador have released new single 'Ai Wo Kokoro Ni Summer To Kazoeyo' to mark their fifth anniversary
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
"We just wondered 'how the hell has that happened?'" - Glastonbury clean up team on the weirdest items found discarded at the festival
So, without all the usual stuff left to contend with, the next thing to ask is this: what's the weirdest shit you've ever found during the clean up operation? One litter picker has given a pretty literal response to that question.
"A poo in a bra, hanging in a tree", says Andy Wilcott, who is in charge of recycling on site, and who has been talking to Somerset Live about the strangest items he's found after past events. "We just wondered 'how the hell has that happened?'"
You probably don't want to wonder for too long though.
"We found a cannonball once, and we've found mannequins", he adds, listing some slightly less perplexing items that were also left behind. "We find a lot of lost wallets and jewellery and millions of phones [too]. The lost property system is incredible. They try for months to return items. Phones can normally be returned".
No word, though, on whether the bra owner ever got that back. Maybe they could have used it to launch that cannonball back to its rightful home. Or maybe not.