TODAY'S TOP STORY: The company that controls the copyrights of the late Harry Warren has filed its own lawsuit over allegations that Apple's iTunes Store hosts a stack of unlicensed recordings of the legendary American songwriter's works... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES The company of legendary songwriter Harry Warren files its own lawsuit over illegal recordings on iTunes
LEGAL British man arrested over illegal hacking and distribution of unreleased music
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Max Lousada responds to Lily Allen's remarks about Warner's handling of her assault allegations
Indie labels to join Friday's climate emergency protests in London
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING MMF's Accelerator professional development programme to return for second year in 2020
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES YouTube takes bought views out of its music charts and stat brags
ARTIST NEWS Michael Jackson Estate criticises Emmy win for 'Leaving Neverland'
AND FINALLY... The Cook Islands mint up some AC/DC coins
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The company of legendary songwriter Harry Warren files its own lawsuit over illegal recordings on iTunes
The company that controls the copyrights of the late Harry Warren has filed its own lawsuit over allegations that Apple's iTunes Store hosts a stack of unlicensed recordings of the legendary American songwriter's works.

In a lawsuit that targets Apple, Sony's distribution firm The Orchard and independent label Cleopatra Records, the tech giant is criticised for failing to employ "adequate human resources, screening mechanisms, or use of digital fingerprinting technology to detect unlawfully duplicated recordings in their stores".

The new lawsuit filed by Four Jays Music Co follows on from litigation launched by the estate of Harold Arlen back in May. Four Jays and the company that controls the copyrights of another songwriter, Ray Henderson, had already been added as co-plaintiffs on the Arlen litigation, which lists a plethora of labels, distributors and digital platforms as defendants.

The new standalone lawsuit from Four Jays is more focused, putting the spotlight on recordings pushed into iTunes by Cleopatra via The Orchard.

Both lawsuits basically accuse the music distribution sector and digital music platforms of being very slack when it comes to ensuring that labels actually control the relevant master rights in the recordings they are pumping into download stores and streaming services. As a result, an assortment of companies – specifically Cleopatra in the new case – have been monetising other labels' old recordings for years now, it is alleged.

The recordings that have been allegedly infringed are mainly controlled by the major record companies, having been originally released by labels that were subsequently acquired by one of the major music firms. It's the accompanying song rights that the plaintiffs control.

In the US, the copying of songs is covered by a compulsory licence. It's generally been deemed that with downloads it is the label's responsibility to sort out the paperwork that goes with the compulsory licence. Once you shift over to streaming, that responsibility has generally fallen onto the digital services.

But, both the Arlen and Four Jays lawsuits point out, the compulsory licence can only be relied upon if a master recording has been properly licensed. If the recording rights are being infringed through the distribution of a track, so are the song rights.

The new lawsuit likens the conduct of Cleopatra and its business partners to "a person walking into Tower Records, off the street, with arms full of CDs and vinyl records and claiming to be the record label for Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald". And then the retailer allowing Cleopatra to stock those artist's recordings of Warren's songs alongside the official releases, but at a lower price.

The latter part of that comparison is key, because both lawsuits are keen to also hold the digital platforms and music distributors responsible for the infringement of the legendary songwriters' copyrights, in addition to the labels who have been allegedly releasing other people's recordings without licence.

The availability of infringing recordings is widespread on digital music platforms like iTunes, the new lawsuit argues, because of "a complete willingness by the digital music stores to seek popular and iconic recordings from any source, legitimate or not, provided they participate in sharing the proceeds".

As for The Orchard, the lawsuit goes on, it did not "perform any investigation or due diligence to confirm that Cleopatra had authorisation to make, or authorise the making, of digital phonorecord deliveries of pirate recordings of the [plaintiff's] compositions". Moreover, the legal papers allege, the Sony distributor has had "knowledge" of the infringing conduct of Cleopatra for a number of years.

With all that in mind, Four Jays Music is seeking to full statutory damages in its case against Apple, The Orchard and Cleopatra, arguing that anything less "would encourage infringement, amount to a slap on the wrist and reward defendants for their wilful infringement on a grand scale".

The defendants are yet to comment.


British man arrested over illegal hacking and distribution of unreleased music
The City Of London Police's IP Crime Unit has confirmed it arrested a man in Ipswich last week over allegations he hacked into the websites and cloud storage accounts of certain unnamed artists to access and then illegally distribute unreleased recordings. It's alleged the man then sold the stolen music in exchange for cryptocurrency.

The arrest followed police raids on properties in both North London and Ipswich itself. The City Of London Police's actions were the result of an investigation opened in the US by the District Attorney of Manhattan. His office began investigating the alleged hacks following complaints from the management reps of affected artists, identifying that at least one of those involved in the hacking was based in the UK.

Confirming last week's arrest, Nick Court from the City Of London Police said: "Today's action marks a significant point in our investigation into the individuals responsible for stealing music and selling it on illegal streaming websites, worldwide. This sort of crime causes significant financial loss to those who work so incredibly hard to produce, write and make music for their fans to enjoy".

Commenting on his unit's collaboration on this case with the Manhattan DA's office and global record industry trade group IFPI, Court added: "[This] demonstrates the capability of enforcement agencies to work across international borders to disrupt criminal activity and identify those involved so they can be put before the courts".

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr added: "As one of the world's leading creative capitals, New York City is dedicated to protecting artists' intellectual property and ensuring that those who steal it face the music".

"As demonstrated by this investigation, my office has the expertise, resources, and partnerships to help cybercrime victims reach across the globe to get justice", he added. "I thank our extraordinary colleagues at the City Of London Police for their strong collaboration on this case".


Max Lousada responds to Lily Allen's remarks about Warner's handling of her assault allegations
The boss of Warner's recorded music division, Max Lousada, has responded to the new interview by Lily Allen in which she criticises the major for taking no action after she wrote about being sexually assaulted by a music industry executive.

Allen first spoke about the alleged assault, which took place in 2016, around the release of her autobiography last year. She talks about it further in a new BBC podcast, where she also reveals that she discussed the allegations with Lousada - who ultimately oversees Allen's label Parlophone - after her book had been published. Asked if he or Warner Music took any action after that discussion, Allen bluntly replies "no".

Lousada responded to the new interview in a memo to staff. He wrote: "We wanted to talk to you about today's BBC podcast with Lily Allen. Her account of an assault that took place in 2016 is deeply disturbing and obviously an appalling thing to have happened. Behaviour like that has no place in our industry".

Allen has not publicly named the individual she accuses of assault, although she reckons many in the industry know who she is talking about. As the new podcast went live on Friday, the BBC said it believed that the accused man continued to work "with" Warner Music. Although not "for" Warner Music, something Lousada stressed in his note to staff.

"I want everyone to know that we take allegations of sexual misconduct extremely seriously, and in situations where they've been made about Warner employees, we've quickly investigated and taken action", he went on. "The BBC piece does not say that the person involved is our employee and we understand that he wasn't and isn't".

"While there's a robust process in place when it comes to our employees", the memo continued, "we need to improve how we handle situations involving an artist and a person who's not an employee. We're going to listen and learn from this experience, and take concrete steps so we do better in future. Please, if you ever hear of anything like this, you must raise it through official channels, such as your manager or HR. You can also call the compliance hotline anonymously or refer to our code of conduct".


Indie labels to join Friday's climate emergency protests in London
Four independent record labels have confirmed that they will join the Climate Strike protests in London this Friday. The teams from XL, Young Turks, Full Time Hobby and Ninja Tune will meet at 11am at the Abraham Lincoln statue on the west side of Parliament Square, marching on to join other protestors at Trafalgar Square.

Millions of people are expected to join protests in cities all across the world later this week calling on governments to do more to tackle the so called climate emergency. Inspired by strike action taken by students and school children earlier this year, Friday's marches and rallies are expected to involve a much wider range of people, who will demand governments the world over take more dramatic steps to deal with the causes of climate change.

XL, Young Turks, Full Time Hobby and Ninja Tune are all signed up to the Music Declares Emergency campaign, which seeks to rally the music community behind climate emergency initiatives, while also promoting more environmentally sustainable conduct within the music industry. More MDE activity is due to be announced very soon, but in the meantime other music people are encouraged to join the four participating labels for Friday's protests.

They said in a statement: "By joining [Friday's protests], we are adding our voices to those of students across Europe and beyond protesting at worldwide government inaction to combat climate change. Urgent action is needed, the current policies the UK government have in place are not sufficient. Our government needs a clear plan of action in line with the Paris Agreement On Climate Change, signed in 2016".

More info about the wider campaign is available here:


MMF's Accelerator professional development programme to return for second year in 2020
The UK's Music Managers Forum has announced that its professional development programme Accelerator will return for a second year in 2020, again in partnership with YouTube Music.

Accelerator provides funding, training and mentoring for early-career artist managers, aiming to increase the number of people who are able to make a full-time living out of artist management. 24 managers are currently taking part in the first iteration of Accelerator.

With additional support from Arts Council England and the Scottish Music Industry Association, those managers have had access to funding to help them invest more time into developing their individual management businesses. They also received support and training from an assortment of MMF associates and bespoke versions of the organisation's own training programmes, including the CMU Insights delivered 'Mechanics Of Music Management'.

Confirming that the programme would return in 2020, MMF's Strategy & Operations Director Fiona McGugan said that the trade body is "absolutely THRILLED that YouTube Music recognise the importance of Accelerator and that the programme will return next year. It has already offered a career-changing experience for 24 upcoming music managers, and we look forward to sharing some of the impact data and successes in time for the opening of 2020 applications [next month]".

YouTube Music's Artist Partnerships Manager Roz Mansfield added: "As well as supporting the next wave of British talent, we also want to support the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the industry function, grow and succeed. We at YouTube Music are so proud to be a sponsor of MMF and their Accelerator Programme and look forward to seeing what these talented managers go on to do next".


YouTube takes bought views out of its music charts and stat brags
YouTube last week announced it was changing the way it calculates its music charts and other official music stats so that any views that are the direct result of paid advertising on the video platform will no longer be counted.

This was all outlined in a blog post that begins by bragging that YouTube charts are now "an indispensable source for the industry and the most accurate place for measuring the popularity of music listening behaviour happening on the world's largest music platform".

The post then states: "In an effort to provide more transparency to the industry and align with the policies of official charting companies such as Billboard and Nielsen, we are no longer counting paid advertising views on YouTube in the YouTube Music Charts calculation. Artists will now be ranked based on view counts from organic plays".

The new policy also applies to official stat brags about how much a new video has been streamed in the first 24 hours after being posted. From now on, "videos eligible for YouTube's 24-hour record debuts are those with the highest views from organic sources within the first 24 hours of the video's public release".

Clarifying, YouTube says "organic sources" include "direct links to the video, search results, external sites that embed the video and YouTube features like the homepage, watch next and trending", but not ad-based views.

But don't worry all you past YouTube stat braggers with big ad budgets, "the changes will not impact YouTube's existing 24-hour record debut holders".


Setlist: Deezer, consent decrees, YouTube
CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last seven days, including Deezer's big push to get support for user-centric royalty distribution, all 877 submissions to the Department Of Justice's new review of the consent decrees that regulate BMI and ASCAP, and US Congress's questions about YouTube's Content ID. Setlist is sponsored by 7digital.

Listen to Setlist here when it goes live soon, and sign up to receive new episodes for free automatically each week through any of these services...

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Michael Jackson Estate criticises Emmy win for 'Leaving Neverland'
The Michael Jackson Estate has criticised the Emmys for giving one of its Creative Arts Awards to the documentary 'Leaving Neverland'. The programme, which put the spotlight back on allegations of abuse made against Jackson, picked up the prize for Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special at this weekend's Creative Arts Awards, which precede the main Emmys that take place next Sunday.

The Estate has been critical of 'Leaving Neverland' before it even aired. It disputes all the allegations made against Jackson by its two main subjects, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both of whom were friends of the late pop star when they were children. Reps for the estate have also criticised the documentary and its director Dan Reed for not featuring anyone defending Jackson and disputing Robson and Safechuck's claims.

According to The Blast, a spokesperson for the estate said of the programme's Emmy win: "For a film that is a complete fiction to be honoured in a nonfiction Emmy category is a complete farce. Not one shred of proof supports this completely one-sided, so-called documentary which was made in secrecy and for which not one person outside of the two subjects and their families were interviewed".

For his part, Reed thanked Robson and Safechuck after his programme received its Emmy Award. He said: "None of this would have been possible without the incredible courage and determination of Wade and James and their families and I wanted to salute that. This is one of the first times we've been able to shine light on child sexual abuse ... the pattern of how it unfolds is not an easy story to tell ... it often remains undisclosed for so many decades, so I thank them from the bottom of my heart".


The Cook Islands mint up some AC/DC coins
Any old pop star or music festival can have their own stamps these days, but what about coins? I mean, who uses stamps in the digital age? But we all still use coins, right? I don't care how many contactless Apple Pay credit card Bitcoin PayPal payment mechanisms you currently employ, sometimes you still need to pull some coins out of your pocket. So if you are going to properly pay tribute to music makers, do it with coins I say.

So hurrah for The Cook Islands in the South Pacific, who have released two new coins honouring good old AC/DC. It's not even the first time they've done it. The new coins are actually the third and fourth in a series being minted for the island by an outfit called CIT Coin Invest AG. And The Cook Islands aren't even unique in making AC/DC money, The Royal Australian Mint having released two coins in honour of the band last year too.

The new coins specifically celebrate the band's 1981 album 'For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)' – that's on a two dollar coin – and 1990's 'Razors Edge' – which is on coin worth ten dollars. It's not clear if there'll be even more AC/DC coins as part of this series. But there you go artists of the world: if you're struggling to make money out of music, maybe you could make money out money.


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. (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Founder & MD
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and CMU Trends. He also leads the CMU Insights and CMU Pathways consultancy units and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited. (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and also heads up business development at CMU InsightsCMU Pathways and CMU:DIY. or call 020 7099 9060
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media as a Director of 3CM UnLimited, as well as heading up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supporting other parts of the business.
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