|THURSDAY 31 OCTOBER 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Katy Perry has been sued by Katie Perry. Meanwhile, in a separate case on another continent, Katy Perry has been sued for sharing photos of Katy Perry. All in all, it's been a fun day in the Katy Perry division of the pop courts, with a trademark case in Australia and yet another paparazzo copyright case in the US... [READ MORE]|
Katy Perry sued over Katy Perry clothes and Katy Perry photo
In the former dispute, Katy Perry the American pop star is being sued by Australian fashion designer Katie Perry. Fashion designer Perry says that pop star Perry is infringing her Australian trademark by selling fashion products in Australia that are branded 'Katy Perry'. That being really rather similar to the Katie Perry fashion brand, a trademark owned by Katie Perry.
Actually, the two Perrys sparred once before on this trademark issue.
The fashion designer started selling products under her Katie Perry brand in 2006, two years before pop star Perry's breakout success with her second album 'One Of The Boys' (her first LP having been released years earlier under her real name Katy Hudson).
However, fashion designer Perry didn't get around to registering her trademark in Australia until 2009, by which time 'I Kissed A Girl' - the lead single from 'One Of The Boys' - had topped charts all over the world, including in Australia.
Lawyers working for pop star Perry formally opposed that trademark registration, prompting fashion designer Perry to make a plea to her namesake on YouTube. In a video message, the latter said to the former "I'm absolutely no threat to you ... at the moment the only people who are making any money from this are the lawyers".
"She withdrew the opposition two hours before the court case", the fashion designer now says, adding "I have the trademark in Australia". But that hasn't stopped the pop star selling Katy Perry branded clothing in Australia, her legal team possibly hoping that the 'Y' and the 'IE' distinction is sufficient to avoid claims of trademark infringement.
But fashion designer Perry is now calling on the courts to act, having finally been able to access legal support. She is, perhaps unsurprisingly, positioning her case as a David v Goliath battle.
The fashion designer is quoted by Sydney's Daily Telegraph as saying: "People have sent me photographs of her stuff and I have never had the legal or financial firepower to do anything about it. They clearly think I am just a young fashion designer and won't be able to do anything". Admitting that to date she has been "powerless to act", she says that she has only been able to go legal now having won support from a litigation funder.
"I am a small business owner and my brand is important", she adds. "This is a real David and Goliath fight. The singer has ignored my trademark and continued to sell infringing goods unlawfully in Australia. I am fighting not just for myself, but for all small businesses in this country who can be bullied by these overseas entities who have much more financial power than we do".
Making sure that pop star Perry's legal team - already busy appealing that big 'Dark Horse' song-theft judgement - are kept even busier, on top of the trademark claim in Australia we have this new copyright claim in the US related to a paparazzo shot.
Because yes, Perry is the latest celebrity to be sued for posting a paparazzo snap to Instagram. In this case, a photo of Perry dressed up as Hillary Clinton at a Halloween party back in 2016. The agency who owns the photo says it has been chasing the pop star about her getting a licence to use said image pretty much ever since.
There have been a flurry of cases of this kind recently, with Justin Bieber speedily settling a similar action earlier this month. Although celebrities may be able to control the use of paparazzo photos in which they appear via privacy law or so called publicity rights, the copyright in the photo belongs to the photographer or any agency or publication they work for.
If the celebrity posts a photo in which they appear onto one of their digital channels, technically they need permission from the photographer or agency. Some argue that simply sharing a photo on Twitter or Instagram might be covered by the US copyright principle of fair use, but that theory hasn't been properly tested.
In the new lawsuit over the Perry photo, the plaintiff - an agency called BackGrid - is keen to stress that for people like Perry, Instagram is an important commercial channel, and that the use of other people's photos on there is therefore definitely not fair.
This week's legal filing states: "Perry uses her Instagram feed for the purpose of promotion - specifically, to promote her business interests, products, and ventures; to promote and sell the products and services of others; to maintain and increase her visibility and desirability as an endorser, actress, model, and entertainment personality; and to promote her persona and celebrity status. In short, every one of Perry's Instagram posts is fundamentally promoting something to her 80 million followers".
It remains to be seen how Team Perry respond to the trademark action in Australia and the copyright claim closer to home.
Online piracy is declining among young internet users
Of course, online piracy hasn't gone away, and - like legitimate digital content services - piracy has evolved, meaning that copyright owners sometimes have to start looking in different places to spot the unlicensed use of their IP. However, the rise of the streaming services does mean that an increasing number of younger internet users are more likely to tap legit platforms over piracy services.
Unsurprisingly, the 15-24 year olds surveyed in all 28 countries of the EU were heavy users of online entertainment services. 97% stream or download music, 94% movies and TV series, and 92% games. 82% accessed educational content online, and 79% other TV shows and sporting events. Newspaper and magazine websites were utilised by 59% and ebooks 56%.
Of those surveyed, about a third still accessed at least some of their online content from unlicensed sources, but that's 5% less than the last time the EUIPO did a study of this kind in 2016. And about a third of that third insisted that their use of unlicensed content services was unintentional.
This slow decline in the use of piracy platforms by young consumers was most marked in music. Of those intentionally accessing content from unlicensed services, only 39% were getting music this way, down 17% from the 2016 survey.
The justifications for deliberately using piracy platforms remain pretty much the same, a key one being the unavailability of content on legit platforms.
That excuse, of course, is pretty weak in 2019 when it comes to music, given how many tracks are available for free on services like Spotify. And while there are still some not insignificant gaps in the digital catalogue when it comes to older music, plenty of tracks not officially digitised by the music industry are nevertheless available on YouTube and SoundCloud.
However, with movies and TV shows, content is not always available, either because it's distributed exclusively on the rival service to the one any one user has signed up to or - just as often - because it is yet to be made available at all online in the user's home country.
All in all, while online piracy is still very much there, things do seem to be moving in the right direction, and in music more than any other strand of the entertainment business.
And for all the lobbying and lawsuits in the 2000s, much of that has been achieved via the launch of easily accessible catalogue rich streaming services with free options, family plans and student discounts to hook in younger internet users.
Apple announces student TV and music streaming bundle
According to 9to5mac, US students who take out a monthly Apple Music subscription for the already discounted price of $4.99 a month will get TV+ at no extra charge.
Given that a TV+ account will cost $4.99 on its own when the service goes live tomorrow, that's not a bad deal. Apple has said that the music-and-telly bundle will be available for a "limited time", although it's not clear how limited that time will be.
Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that Apple was in talks with the labels about bundling Apple Music in with its new video-on-demand service, or the other way round. Such bundling could introduce subscription-based music streaming to a whole new audience, but some at the labels are concerned that it could also cut the amount of money coming into the music industry on a per subscriber basis each month.
So far, other than the student offer, no other bundles involving the various new subscription products Apple is launching have been announced. There's also no word on quite how the student music-and-telly package will work in terms of how monies are shared out.
Apple has more flexibility over its TV+ service because of how it acquires the rights to that content, so in the short term it could choose to take the hit itself (in essence offering TV+ to music subscribers at no cost) in a bid to take on Netflix.
That fact also means that, for consumers at large, Apple could possibly offer Apple Music and TV+ for, say, thirteen pounds/dollars/euros a month, and just accept that the TV+ service earns two dollars less on that package.
Doing that would be better than giving TV+ away for free, though even with that arrangement, if such a bundle proved popular, Apple could well seek to persuade music to share the burden of offering the discount down the line.
Spotify launches app for kids
"Spotify is committed to giving billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by music and stories and we're proud that this commitment now includes the next generation of audio listeners", says Spotify's Chief Premium Business Officer Alex Norström.
"We are excited to be expanding the Spotify Premium Family experience with a dedicated app just for our youngest fans", he adds. "Spotify Kids is a personalised world bursting with sound, shape and colour, where our young listeners can begin a lifelong love of music and stories".
The app will be available to children (or anyone who prefers to listen only to music for children) who have their own Spotify account as part of a family plan. As family accounts are only available as part of a paid subscription, that also means no advertising.
Exactly what content the kids can then access can be controlled by the parents, who can restrict what is available based on the child's age. So an account for older children introduces access to some pop songs deemed appropriate for older children. That includes Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato and Justin Bieber.
"As we evolve the Spotify Kids experience over time, we plan to enhance parental control features to allow for even more customisation", says Spotify in a blog post announcing the app. "We'll also bring our audio expertise to the table with listening experiences that go beyond music - like more stories and audiobooks and eventually podcasts".
Oh, of course, podcasts. The saviour of music streaming. Get the kids hooked on those early and everything will be OK.
Haim release new single, Now I'm In It
"'Now I'm In It' is about going through it", says Este Haim. "A depression. Not leaving the house type of shit. For my sisters and I, there have been times in our lives where we have felt like we are stuck in a dark hole. This track speaks to that emotion".
"After being constantly on the go the past couple years", she adds, "I didn't wanna stop and deal with some shit. Also, every day my sisters and I feel so fucking lucky that we get to do this for a living! It seemed like stopping and dealing with these emotions would be letting everyone down. But every time I've been depressed, it takes me accepting that I need help to start to get out of it".
"It's gotten a little easier, as I have gotten older, to recognise the symptoms and remind myself that when this happens, I need to seek help", she concludes. "We all know it's important to talk about this stuff. This one poured out of us. Take care of yourself. Be nice to yourself. And thank the ones around you that help you every day. Hope this helps anyone who is in it right now".
Hannah Diamond to release debut album next month, releases new single
"Daniel helped me bring to life a story where I am working towards creating a pixel-perfect digital version of myself as I navigate feeling inadequate in a world dominated by advertising, fame and stardom", says Diamond. "I am perpetually surrounded by screens and on display for everyone to see, but paradoxically feel completely invisible to the one person who I wish would notice me".
Expanding on the concept, she adds: "The 'Invisible' world represents a hyper-real reflection of real life, mirroring aspects of my day to day; it explores the processes of constructing my own 'image', as I work to completely digitise myself to be remembered virtually forever".
Following the album release, Diamond will play her first headline show at Fire in London on 5 Dec, before further shows in Paris and Berlin. Watch the video for 'Invisible' here.
Universal Music Publishing's Latin division has signed Mariah Angeliq to a global publishing deal. She records as just Mariah and I can't see any reason why that might cause confusion. Here's a thing she said: "I feel blessed to be part of the UMPG family. I believe that the team will do an excellent job in the development of my career".
Fischerspooner have announced that they have split up. The duo released their first album for nine years, 'Sir', last year.
Heavenly Recordings has announced that it will release David Holmes' soundtracks for series one and two of 'Killing Eve' on 13 Dec. Of accepting the soundtracking job after reading the scripts for the first series, Holmes explains: "One of the first things I said was, 'I don't know the sound of 'Killing Eve' yet but I know it has to be the sound of 'Killing Eve'. Let's create that sound, rather than trying to kind of come up with the derivative of some other kind of score". Lovely. Here's some sort of trailer.
Thom Yorke has released the video for 'Last I Heard (...He Was Circling The Drain)' from his 'Amina' album.
Wiley has released the video for 'Givenchy Bag', featuring Future, Chip and Nafe Smallz.
Amanda Palmer has released new single 'The French Brexit Song'. "This song may be funny but the subject is serious: as a cabaret performer I feel it's our duty to entertain and provoke", says co-writer Sarah-Louise Young. "It genuinely breaks my heart to think of us leaving Europe. Laughter is a healthier alternative to screaming".
Maria McKee has announced that she will release new album 'La Vita Nuova' through Fire Records on 13 Mar. Here's first single 'Effigy Of Salt'.
CocoRosie will release new album 'Put The Shine On' on 6 Mar. Here's new single 'Smash My Head'.
Ásgeir has announced that he will release new album 'Bury The Moon' through One Little Indian on 7 Feb. He will also begin a UK tour the same day. Here's new single 'Youth'.
Easy Life have released the video for new single 'Nice Guys'. They've also announced UK shows in Edinburgh and London next March.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Ed Sheeran worries about being overexposed, no matter what Prince says
"I never want anyone to be bored of him", Camp says on the new episode of BBC Music Introducing's 'Does My Music Suck?' podcast. "But I guess if he's top of the charts then they're possibly not. You just want to make sure that's a fair representation".
To be fair, a certain amount of Sheeran's overexposure in the public domain is out of his hands. He can't really help it if he's so popular that every song on his last album went into the top 20 in the UK singles chart. Or that so many wannabes sang his songs at 'X Factor' auditions that it became a problem. Or that every little morsel of his private life that can be brought into the public eye is gobbled up by the media.
Then there are things like his stand against ticket touts. The endless song-theft lawsuits. The charity work. Writing every other bloody pop song on the planet, as well as his own. The ketchup. And just generally being popular. All of which, to differing degrees, are his fault.
Still, says Camp, while he's "very conscious of not doing overkill", he admits that there have been moments along the way when "we really have overkilled, but no one seems to be sick of it".
Except, there is at least one person who's definitely had enough Sheeran. But that person is dead, so maybe Camp's point stands.
I'm talking about Prince. Although even he was possibly more angry with the media than Sheeran himself. In a letter published as part of his new posthumous memoir, Prince wrote: "We need to tell [the media] that they keep trying to ram Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran down our throats and we don't like it no matter how many times they play it".
OK, maybe he was a bit cross with Sheeran. But Camp does have a point that Sheeran's popularity doesn't seem to have been damaged by his massive ongoing exposure.
And if people keep playing his stuff and talking about him, what can he do? Aside from take extended breaks from the public eye in between albums. He also once said he'd quit music once he had children, so there's that to look forward to.