TODAY'S TOP STORY: The town of Vernon in New York state has declined to issue a licence for the Woodstock 50 festival for a fourth time. A letter from the town's council provides a long list of problems with the latest proposal submitted by organisers of the event, including that the safety plan they presented is basically "worthless"... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Woodstock 50 declined licence from town of Vernon - yes, again!
LEGAL Italian court says Dailymotion doesn't qualify for safe harbour protection
MEDIA Union Jack to broadcast nightly show from Edinburgh Fringe
ARTIST NEWS George Ezra named Mind Ambassador
GIGS & FESTIVALS Rufus and Martha Wainwright to reprise Christmas show at Royal Albert Hall ten years on
Kano announces UK tour
ONE LINERS Roddy Ricch, Mariah Carey, Alphabeat, more
AND FINALLY... Iggy Azalea's chart battle with Peppa Pig sizzles
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Woodstock 50 declined licence from town of Vernon - yes, again!
The town of Vernon in New York state has declined to issue a licence for the Woodstock 50 festival for a fourth time. A letter from the town's council provides a long list of problems with the latest proposal submitted by organisers of the event, including that the safety plan they presented is basically "worthless".

Preparations for Woodstock 50, due to take place from 16-18 Aug, have been eventful, to say the least. Along the way the company seeking to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival has lost its financial backer, its production partner and its venue.

This is why it is now seeking permission to stage the event at the Vernon Downs race track and casino complex somewhat late in the day, it being a second choice site for hosting the festival. Technically, by the time Vernon Downs had been chosen, organisers had already missed the 120 day deadline for submitting a licence application to stage an event of this size in the town. But councillors have considered the application anyway.

They've considered it four times now, in fact, because officials keep rejecting it and Team Woodstock keep appealing or resubmitting amended versions of their proposal for new consideration. But, according to the letter that accompanied the fourth rejection, there is still plenty to be done to make the proposals acceptable to officials. And very little time in which to address those problems.

According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, a letter from Vernon's Code Enforcement Officer Reay Walker takes issue with a disclaimer in Woodstock's paperwork which says that organisers do not "make any warranty as to the absolute accuracy or completeness of the information contained". Without a commitment to the accuracy and completeness of the proposals, Walker says, said proposals are basically "worthless".

He also notes that, while schedules are provided for site and stage opening times, organisers add that "these times are tentative and are subject to change without notice". Meanwhile opening hours for the festival's box office are still "to be determined".

Perhaps most importantly of all, organisers still haven't addressed the biggest concern for Vernon officials, which is how 65,000 festival-goers will get to the site, and what they will do at the end of each day, given Vernon Downs isn't able to accommodate any camping.

Walker predicts that, under the current plan, Woodstock 50 would result in gridlock on local roads "which will, in effect, confine local residents to their homes, or to within walking distance of their homes for the better part of 72 hours". Meanwhile, "implicit in this application is that those forced to leave Vernon Downs at 11.00 at night will be forced to sleep in their cars or any lawn or sidewalk that seems unguarded".

Among other gripes in the letter is that Woodstock's proposals still include employees from Virgin Produced among a list of contacts, even though the Virgin-owned events company announced it was standing down from the project after the town declined to issue a licence for the third time last week. It also says local police have been involved in the planning process, even though local police chiefs have been highly critical of the festival's proposal.

None of this looks very good for an event due to begin in 24 days time. A spokesperson for Woodstock 50 is yet to comment on the latest setback. Pretty much everyone now thinks the next announcement from the Woodstock company has to be about the event's cancellation or, at least, postponement. Though many people were predicting that a few weeks back, and organisers have nevertheless persisted - seemingly extremely keen indeed to hold the event on the same August weekend as the original (also very chaotic) festival in 1969. So, maybe they'll ask officials in Vernon to give it all some fine consideration for a fifth time.

The Woodstock team member who has, until now, been most vocal about the 50th anniversary celebrations is Michael Lang. And while it's looking increasingly likely he won't get an actual festival to mark the 50th, he'll still be able to reminisce via two in conversation events due to take place in LA and New York on 7 and 9 Aug respectively. So far no one involved in those events has indicated they are planning to bail. And the council of Vernon has no vote, however terrible event plans may or may not be.


Italian court says Dailymotion doesn't qualify for safe harbour protection
After all those years of shouting about the copyright safe harbour, there was an interesting judgement in the Italian courts last week that centred on an intriguing interpretation of what that copyright safe harbour says.

It was interesting because the court seemed to put onto the safe harbour the kind of restrictions that were proposed by the music industry as the recently passed European Copyright Directive went the motions. But it didn't do so because of the directive. Instead it simply applied a narrower interpretation of the original safe harbour text.

From a music industry perspective, it was also interesting because - although this was actually a case led by a TV company - the defendant was user-upload platform Dailymotion. Which is run by Universal Music owner Vivendi.

In a long-running case that has been working its way through the courts for years, Italian TV company RTI argued that Dailymotion should be held liable for copyright infringement for hosting content from its programmes without licence.

The user-upload platform countered that it removed specific videos containing RTI content when made aware of them by the telly firm. Which meant that it was compliant with its takedown commitments under safe harbour rules and therefore shouldn't be held liable. That being the standard argument presented by most user-upload platforms when their users use their networks to distribute other people's audio or video without the copyright owner's permission.

However, according to IP Kat, the court of Rome decided that a service like Dailymotion shouldn't qualify for safe harbour protection because it doesn't fulfil the criteria as set out in the EU E-commerce Directive, which is where the European safe harbour originates.

Therefore, it is not enough for Dailymotion to remove specific copyright infringing videos when made aware of them by a copyright owner. This means that the firm would need to have systems in place to remove all and any uploads of programmes owned by RTI. For failing to do so Dailymotion was ordered to pay the TV company 5.5 million euros in damages.

In addition to the pay out, Dailymotion is also required to ensure RTI's shows do not reappear on its platform. Which greatly increases the responsibility of the user-upload service, in that it doesn't just need to remove specific videos identified by the TV firm, but somehow ensure that any videos containing the broadcaster's programmes are blocked.

Or, in the words of RTI attorney Alessandro La Rosa, who spoke to TorrentFreak: "The actual knowledge of the infringing content can't ... be linked to the specification of the relevant URLs. The court states that a specific indication of the infringing files is enough".

It's likely to be seen as a controversial ruling, perhaps all the more so because the court in Rome declined to consult the European courts on how safe harbour rules in the E-Commerce Directive should be interpreted.

And, as we said, it's interesting in the context of the new European Copyright Directive and the safe harbour reforms contained in article seventeen.

Arguably this ruling goes further than those safe harbour reforms in increasing the liabilities of user-upload platforms. Which, could, perversely, mean that the new rules might help a site like Dailymotion reduce the kind of liabilities that have been set out in this ruling. Which was a fear expressed by copyright owners outside the music industry as the final version of what became article seventeen was being negotiated.

It remains to be seen what happens next in the RTI v Dailymotion case, and the impact this ruling has on the copyright safe harbour in Italy and beyond, both before and after the Copyright Directive reforms are implemented at a national level.


Union Jack to broadcast nightly show from Edinburgh Fringe
Union Jack, the Oxford-based radio station that broadcasts nationally on the DAB digital radio network, has announced that it will broadcast a series of shows from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe next month.

The show will be called 'On The Mic' and will air between 9pm and 10pm each evening. Hosted by Martin Walker, each edition will feature four comedians who are performing at Edinburgh's big festival this year.

The station's Programme Manager, Giles Gear, says: "Very few people would be able to take a month out to pop to the Fringe and soak up the incredible comedy. So, through Union Jack radio, we're bottling the atmosphere of the world's largest arts festival and bringing some of the very best names in British comedy to our audience, every night from 9pm. With a nightly show, a podcast, and over 100 comedians featuring in the show, no other radio station is as dedicated to bringing the Edinburgh Fringe to their listeners as Union Jack".

Though Union Jack's main brag is that it plays "the best of British" music, it has been throwing increasing amounts of comedy into the mix of late, with Geoff Rowe, founder of Leicester Comedy Festival, recently appointed as its Director of Comedy.

Meanwhile, now you've brought up the Edinburgh Festival, don't forget that CMU's sister media ThreeWeeks Edinburgh will again be covering the Scottish capital's big three week festival of comedy, theatre, cabaret, dance, music, musicals and spoken word. There are already plenty of Q&As and show recommendations to check out.


Approved: Jeida Woods
Recently signed to sharp-eared Australian record label Future Classic, Jeida Woods has just released his debut single proper, 'Selfless'. Having put out a load of impressive self-produced tracks on SoundCloud over the last few years, here he is teamed up with producer Lucianblomkamp.

Best known for his work with 6lack, as well as being a solo artist in his own right, Blomkamp does an excellent job of sharpening up the combination of R&B vocals and thick trap beats that Woods has made his own. Rather than trying to craft him, the producer rightly lets Woods' talent shine through.

"'Selfless' is a culmination of previous relationships that ended negatively", says Woods. "I wrote the song one cold night last winter and it took me less than 30 minutes, as it was so true to my emotions at that time. The lyrics illustrate how no one should try to force a relationship that doesn't feel natural".

Watch the video for 'Selfless' here.

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

George Ezra named Mind Ambassador
George Ezra has been named an official ambassador for mental health charity Mind. The musician has raised over £70,000 for the organisation over the last three years, so it seems only fair.

"We are absolutely delighted to announce George as a Mind Ambassador", says the charity's chair, Stevie Spring. "He's supported a number of our key campaigns and helped raise significant funds for our work. We are almost entirely reliant on voluntary donations, so quite simply couldn't continue important support services, such as our Infoline, without the generous donations of people like George and his fans".

Spring continues: "Mind's Ambassadors are committed, high-profile individuals who help us to spread our message further than we could otherwise reach by fronting campaigns and fundraising events; engaging with the media; and attracting other influential figures to the Mind cause. Seeing our Ambassadors speaking out about mental health can be inspirational for the thousands of people across the country affected by mental health problems, giving them the confidence to come forward and access the support they need".

Ezra's first fundraising for Mind in an official capacity will be via two shows at London's Royal Albert Hall on 24-25 Sep. Tickets for those go on general sale this Friday.


Rufus and Martha Wainwright to reprise Christmas show at Royal Albert Hall ten years on
Rufus and Martha Wainwright have announced that they will bring their Christmas show, 'A Not So Silent Night', back to London for the first time in a decade this December. December being a particularly good time to put on a Christmas show.

In 2009, one of the guests to join the siblings on stage during their festive gig was their mother Kate McGarrigle, who died six weeks later from sarcoma. As it did back then, the new show will raise money for the Kate McGarrigle Foundation, the charity she set up prior to her death to fund research into the rare form of cancer.

Referencing his mother's involvement in the 2009 concert, Rufus Wainwright says: "Ten years ago our mother Kate McGarrigle played what was to be her last performance ever at the Royal Albert Hall, which was one of the most beautiful and emotional nights of my life. Martha and I are honoured and excited to return to London to celebrate the tenth anniversary and Christmas".

A portion of proceeds from the 2019 performance will also go to a music therapy programme for cancer patients set to be launched by Martha Wainwright in conjunction with Stand Up To Cancer Canada.

The Royal Albert Hall show is set to take place on 6 Dec. Tickets go on general sale on Friday. The Wainwrights will also perform the show at Dublin's National Concert Hall on 2 and 3 Dec.


Kano announces UK tour
Kano has announced UK tour dates in October this year, which will also conclude with a show at London's Royal Albert Hall. So may shows at the Albert Hall today!

The rapper recently announced that he will release a new studio album, 'Hoodies All Summer', on 30 Aug. He also put out the first two tracks from it - 'Trouble' and 'Class Of Deja', the latter featuring D Double and Ghetts - via an eighteen minute short film.

Here are all the dates:

2 Oct: Glasgow, The Old Fruitmarket
4 Oct: Manchester, Albert Hall
5 Oct: Birmingham, Town Hall
6 Oct: Brighton Dome
7 Oct: London, Royal Albert Hall

Tickets go on general sale on Friday.



Hip hop artist Roddy Ricch has signed a new publishing deal with Kobalt. "I respect everything Kobalt's been doing with their artists", he says. That's right, everything!

Mariah Carey has signed a new deal with talent agency CAA to do booking type stuff in all areas of her work - singing, acting, all of that - across the globe. The contract sees her return to the company after a four year stint with UTA.

Warner Music Denmark has partnered with Absolute Label Services for the UK release of Alphabeat's new album, due out later this year. The band's manager Jakob Sorensen is "THRILLED".



Shari Bryant and Omar Grant have been named co-Presidents of Jay-Z's Roc Nation. Bryant worked for the rapper before, having started her career in music as an intern at his Roc-A-Fella label 20 years ago. Grant has worked in A&R at the company for almost a decade.



Slipknot have released new single 'Solway Firth'. According to the comments under the video on YouTube, many people are concerned about the health of their necks now.

Alessia Cara has released new single 'Ready', taken from upcoming new EP 'The Summer'.

Dido has released the video for 'Friends', from her latest album 'Still On My Mind'.

Madonna has released the video for 'Batuka' from her new album 'Madame X'.

Bullet For My Valentine have released the video for 'Piece Of Me', from their 2018 album 'Gravity', featuring various bits of tour footage.

The Normal - aka Daniel Miller - has released his interpretation of John Cage's '4'33'''. The track is taken from the upcoming boxset of versions of the 'silent' piece of music which is being released by Miller's label Mute.

Clark has released new track 'Primary Pluck'. His new album, 'Kiki Variations', is out this week.

Kraak & Smaak are back with new single 'Sweet Time', featuring Izo Fitzroy.



Bombay Bicycle Club have announced a show at Islington Assembly Hall on 1 Aug, the night before they headline this year's Wilderness Festival. It will be the band's first show in London since their Earls Court gig in 2014.

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


Iggy Azalea's chart battle with Peppa Pig sizzles
The latest pop feud is well underway, with Iggy Azalea going head to head with Peppa Pig in the charts. And it's all still to play for.

"It's over for me now", tweeted the rapper last week. She was responding to a tweet from the official Peppa Pig account which noted that the cartoon character had just released an album, the same day that Azalea released her first LP for five years, 'In My Defense'.

Taking the bait, Peppa quickly replied, paraphrasing the lyrics of Azalea's Charli XCX collaboration 'Fancy': "Peppa's so fancy, you already know'.

"Collab with me now or you'll end up a breakfast special, Peppa", shot back Azalea. Things having taken a somewhat sudden dark turn, what with those threats of piggy murder, Peppa rightly dropped out of the game.

It's all still playing on Azalea's mind though. Well, it is whenever journalists ask her about it, presumably expecting a humorous answer. Which is something E! News did.

"She hasn't said anything to me since [my threat to kill and eat her]", she said. "But I'm beating her on the chart today, surprisingly. I really was scared though, because Peppa Pig is so popular with kids. When I saw that Peppa Pig was releasing an album, I was like, 'Well that's it. I'm out of the race'".

However, as Azalea points out, despite that pessimism, she's actually ahead in the chart race at the moment. Although, that does depend to an extent on which chart you're talking about. If you check the all-new daily updating Rolling Stone charts in the US, in fact, what you'll find, is, well, that neither rapper nor pig is anywhere to be seen in the latest countdown.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the picture is more complicated. In Monday's Official Charts Company update, Azalea was at number 83 in the top 100 albums, while Peppa Pig did not register. However, in the current iTunes chart, Peppa Pig is at 53 and Azalea is at 114.

So, as you can see, it's all very exciting.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily, website and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
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