TODAY'S TOP STORY: Jay-Z has sued an Australia-based website that sells books and clothes for children that are heavily influenced by hip hop and wider music culture. The rapper says that the online store, called The Little Homie, is "deliberately and knowingly" exploiting his likeness, brand and lyrics without permission in a "flagrant, glaring" way... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Jay-Z sues over hip hop themed AB(Jay)Z kids book
LEGAL Marc Jacobs pushes back again in its t-shirt dispute with Nirvana LLC
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Monokrome launches new rights audit service
LIVE BUSINESS YouTube adds ticket links in the UK and Ireland
ARTIST NEWS Patreon shuts down account claiming to be set up by R Kelly girlfriend
RELEASES Dan Le Sac releases new EP, The Death Of Me
ONE LINERS Epidemic Sound, Gorillaz, Liam Gallagher, more
AND FINALLY... TRNSMT boss criticised after saying it will take "years" to achieve 50/50 gender balance on "any major festival" line-up
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Jon Child & Co seeks an experienced practice accountant, likely in the range from finalist up to five years newly qualified to join its accounting team, to contribute to the ongoing significant growth at this specialist music chartered accountancy practice.

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The LCR is an iconic venue in the heart of the UEA campus. It hosts 50 live shows a year, over 60 student clubs events, three balls and a host of student led events. This role will be the operational lead, responsible for programming and event delivery, an expert risk management and compliance, focused on customer service and inclusivity.

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uea(su) runs the two best venues in Norwich; the LCR and The Waterfront. These venues host approximately 200 live shows a year across a capacity range of 200-1550. This role will lead the delivery event delivery teams, devise our business plan and strategy for the venues.

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Ninja Tune is hiring for a full-time copyright administration position within the record label and publishing company, based in its London office.

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Sentric Music is looking for a dedicated and diligent Sync Assistant to support the catalogue administration for selected sync clients, act as a first point of contact for artists utilising Sentric Music's publishing platform, and administer the Sync Services team's digital platforms.

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Merlin is looking for an enthusiastic and passionate person to join its London Member Services team as Member Service Coordinator. The role will involve working with record labels and distributors from across the globe who are seeking to join Merlin as well as working with existing members and DSPs.

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The successful candidate will be looking to establish themselves within an agency environment and who has a gift for organisation and effective time management. The role is people-centric and we are looking for somebody who enjoys building relationships with staff, clients and media contacts.

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Supernature is looking for an organised, proactive Artist Management Assistant to work full-time from its London office in Elephant & Castle. Working in a small team, you would be expected to provide organisational support and structure to the artist management arm of the business. You would be responsible for key aspects of day-to-day management across the whole roster.

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Double Six Rights Management is seeking a self-motivated and driven individual to support with the day-to-day operation of the company and to help maximise revenue for both label and performer clients.

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Blue Raincoat Music is seeking a Social Media Manager to implement world class social media campaigns for its management, publishing and record label clients.

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Based in our London office, your main role will consist of promoting IDOL’s labels and projects within our network of partners: audio streaming services, download platforms and launch creative and innovative release campaigns to achieve commercial goals.

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Isobel Griffiths Ltd is looking for an admin assistant to support the Fixing Team of three Orchestra Contractors in a small but hectic office of seven staff based in the Chelsea Harbour area of SW10. Experience in an administrative role with some knowledge of orchestral music and instruments is desirable.

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This combined and challenging role is two thirds A&R Coordinator and one third Personal Assistant. The purpose of this role is to ensure that the recording commitments of Domino artists are organised to the highest level so that albums are delivered in a timely manner and within budget.

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This role will programme, maintain and promote an originaland exciting program of music led clubbing events for Patterns, overseeing the overall creative direction of the venue and managing key relationships with external and internal stakeholders.

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The Talent Manager will screen and support students throughout their recruitment experience with industry employers, and also be responsible for providing recruitment service to all employers and industry partners.

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Gray Matter Agency is looking for a Music Assistant/Agent Assistant. Key resopnsibilities will include Booking and arrange logistics, managing and updating artists’ social media profiles, updating schedules for artists on relevant websites and platforms, and more.

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As Advertising Executive you will be connecting labels, promoters and brands with their target audience in order to drive results for Rock Sound’s partners whilst maximising advertising and sponsorship revenues.

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Jay-Z sues over hip hop themed AB(Jay)Z kids book
Jay-Z has sued an Australia-based website that sells books and clothes for children that are heavily influenced by hip hop and wider music culture. The rapper says that the online store, called The Little Homie, is "deliberately and knowingly" exploiting his likeness, brand and lyrics without permission in a "flagrant, glaring" way.

The Little Homie was set up by hip hop fan Jessica Chiha who explains on her website that "whilst pregnant, the thought of becoming a parent frightened me a hell of a lot. I didn't want to leave the life I knew behind me and lose myself in the process. This was the catalyst I needed to create something that I could better connect with my daughter with, by combining my new family with my love of hip hop".

Chiha's company sells t-shirts and books with kid-friendly representations of hip hop stars, lyrics and icons, as well as some products referencing other music genres and sport stars. Among the books are 'First 50 Words With 50 Cent', '123 With The Notorious BIG' and 'AB To Jay-Z'. It's the latter that got this hip hop fan her very own hip hop beef.

Jay-Z's legal team argue that The Little Homie has exploited his intellectual property rights without permission. Among other things, they take issue with a rework of one of his most famous set of lyrics on the back of 'AB To Jay-Z' which reads: "If you're having alphabet problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but my ABCs ain't one".

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Jay-Z's reps say that they issued a cease-and-desist against Chiha in March last year but that her company continues to sell the offending products. The lawyers then add that those products were "calculated to injure, has injured and is continuing to injure the reputation and goodwill" of their client.

Although The Little Homie also has US and UK versions of its site, Jay-Z's lawsuit has been filed in Chiha's home country of Australia. Jurisdiction could be important in a case like this because the alleged infringements of copyright and trademark are not straight forward, and copyright exceptions or fair use principles might apply, but those vary greatly from country to country, as do rules around more general brand and image rights.

Chiha is yet to comment on the lawsuit though her website is still selling 'AB To Jay-Z' (in fact, it's currently on offer at half price). It will be interesting to see what happens next.


Marc Jacobs pushes back again in its t-shirt dispute with Nirvana LLC
Fashion firm Marc Jacobs has newly submitted a flurry of arguments as to why it didn't infringe the intellectual property rights of Nirvana by selling a t-shirt that featured a version of the wobbly face image that was a staple of the band's merch back in the day.

Nirvana LLC, which controls many of the band's IP rights, sued the Marc Jacobs company over its wobbly face t-shirt last December. Marc Jacobs then hit back with a motion to have the case dismissed in March, primarily arguing that there were enough differences between its t-shirt and the old Nirvana t-shirt to dismiss any claim of copyright infringement.

Earlier this month the judge overseeing the case ruled that that argument was "unpersuasive", adding that "a review of the images confirms that the allegation as to substantial similarity is sufficient". Therefore the motion to dismiss was denied and Nirvana LLC's case allowed to proceed.

Which is why Marc Jacobs has now filed some new documents with the courts honing in on some of its other arguments as to why there is no case for infringement. These include copyright and trademark law technicalities, a debate over who actually created the original wobbly face image and whether ownership of it really did end up with Nirvana LLC.

On the former, legal reps for the fashion outfit cite various rules and practices of the US Copyright Office which, they say, confirm that Nirvana's wobbly face image does not meet the requirements to be protected by copyright in the first place. They also note that the
US Patent And Trademark Office refused to register the logo as recently as last summer.

As for who created and who owns the image in question, the legal filing from Marc Jacobs argues that Nirvana LLC has failed to demonstrate that Kurt Cobain drew the wobbly face, as has been claimed, nor that rights in the drawing passed to the band's company through either explicit or implicit agreement.

The filing states that the claim Cobain created the image and passed ownership of it to Nirvana LLC "finds no support in the sworn testimony of David Grohl and Krist Novoselic, the two surviving members of the band Nirvana, who could not identify the creator of the disputed work".

It then adds that "the apparent absence of any living person with first-hand knowledge of the creation of the allegedly copyrighted work in question", coupled with the issues over whether or not the image should even enjoy copyright protection, are why Marc Jacobs should not be held liable for any infringement.

Just in case that doesn't work, the Marc Jacobs company also reminds the court that it had been in talks with Courtney Love about its Nirvana honouring t-shirt, and she - via another corporate entity - is a shareholder in Nirvana LLC. Love's interest in collaborating on the product was a "reasonable interpretation of acquiescence", the fashion firm reckons.

We now await to see how Nirvana LLC responds to the latest round of arguments from the Marc Jacobs camp.


Monokrome launches new rights audit service
Music services company Monokrome Music has followed up the recent launch of its RightsHub platform with a new service called RightsAudit, which will help artists, songwriters, managers and labels review and organise all the rights in their respective catalogues.

The new service complements RightsHub, which Monokrome defines as "an online contractual rights and file management platform for labels, artists, managers, and other rightsholders". With RightsAudit, specialist staff will provide a more hands-on service to help clients stay on top of all the music rights they own or represent.

According to the company, that includes ensuring that clients are working within their contractual obligations, that tracks are registered with all the collecting societies worldwide, and that there is timely reporting across the supply chain. Plus checking the status of things like rights reversions and generally "taking control of rights and data".

As well as launching the new service, Monokrome has also announced an expansion of its team. The new audit service will be run in partnership with Unique Uncut, a new business launched by Graham Luckhurst, who was formerly Director Of Operations at Mr Bongo. Meanwhile Sam Taylor, who advises a range of music and technology businesses, as well as being an associate at CMU, joins Monokrome as Head Of Commercial Partnerships.

Confirming all this, Monokrome boss Lee Morrison says that the new rights audit service has "been a long time coming".

"Since I was the Head Of Digital for Skint/Loaded Records I've felt the need for a service like this", he adds. "While organising the catalogue for digital distribution there was a lot of heading to the back of the warehouse to gather information from paper contracts. Masters were all over the place and often there was no artwork or decent metadata - and this was a fairly organised label!"

"As each year passes and catalogues grow", he goes on, "the data required by DSPs and other services only increases. Managing catalogue data is often the last thing rightsholders actually do. RightsAudit is all about them keeping their most valuable commodity in its best condition - after all, those rights equal money. It's imperative that labels keep full and up to date records of their catalogues. Many are at risk of litigation by acting outside of term; and it's important to keep up as data requirements constantly change across services".


YouTube adds ticket links in the UK and Ireland
YouTube has just added ticket listings to its platform in the UK and Ireland via partnerships with Ticketmaster, See Tickets and Eventbrite in order, it says, to make "music more accessible to fans" and to bring "more revenue to artists on the platform".

The Google company has stuck ticket links right next to musical videos on its US site ever since 2017 in what cynics (OK, us) dubbed at the time as a "stop moaning about your royalties and we'll help you sell stuff" strategy. Since then the "shut the fuck up" ticket links have also started appearing in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Confirming ticket links had now arrived here too, YouTube's Artist Partnerships Manager for the UK and Ireland, Roz Mansfield, said yesterday: "At YouTube, we are focussed on both making music more accessible to fans and bringing more revenue to artists on the platform, so are delighted to be fulfilling our promise to bring our successful ticketing feature to the UK and Ireland".

"As online viewership and engagement continues to grow", she went on, "we want to help artists keep fans updated on their upcoming shows and sell more tickets. We hope this new feature helps connect fans with not only the global artists they love, but also will give them a chance to discover more intimate events with breakthrough local talent".

All three of YouTube's UK ticketing partners think the idea is just swell. Ticketmaster's Peter Quinlan said "watchword". Eventbrite's Paul Everett chipped in "integrate". And See Tickets Rob Wilmshurst shouted "powerful". None of which tells you much out of context, I suppose. But rest assured, they all think it's a swell idea.


Approved: Dan Kanvis
It's a little over four years since rapper Dan Kanvis released his last EP 'Parallel', and five since his debut album 'Windows'. There was a notable progression in his sound between those two releases, but now - after his extended break from music - he returns with new single 'Skeleton' like a butterfly out of a cocoon.

While his older material veered more towards pure hip hop, 'Skeleton' dives headlong into electro-pop. Although the track is largely sung rather than rapped, he does return to rapping in one verse. And even there we hear a progression in style, cutting him off from the looser delivery of his older material.

If we followed the logic of the metaphor I used earlier, I suppose that means Kanvis used to be a caterpillar. I don't know if either of us would be entirely comfortable with that, but 'Skeleton' does feel like he's back with a new lease of life. It'll certainly leave you excited to hear what else he's got coming up.

Listen to 'Skeleton' here.

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Patreon shuts down account claiming to be set up by R Kelly girlfriend
Patreon has shut down a profile claiming to feature posts written by R Kelly's girlfriend Joycelyn Savage after the website confirmed it had failed to verify the account holder's identity. It has said that anyone who paid to access posts on the profile will be refunded.

"After multiple unsuccessful attempts to verify the identity of the account holder, we closed the Patreon page allegedly associated with Joycelyn Savage due to potential impersonation", says Patreon. "All patrons who signed up for the membership page were refunded and the creator did not receive any funds".

The profile gained quick attention when it appeared over the weekend because it seemingly saw Savage accusing Kelly of psychological and sexual abuse. Savage has previously defended Kelly in interviews.

The validity of the Patreon profile was given a boost when Kelly's own attorney, Steve Greenberg, said in a statement that it was "unfortunate that Jocelyn now seeks to make money by exploiting her long time, loving relationship with Robert", adding that "it was not until the money ran out that she decided anything was wrong".

In a new statement, an attorney for Savage's family, Gerald Griggs, said that some things written in the posts tallied with information uncovered in their own investigations. To that end he called on police to investigate whether or not she was actually behind the Patreon account.

"The recent statement from Patreon underscores the family concern for the safety of their daughter Joycelyn", he said. "Numerous allegations made by the account were alarming and confirmed details from our independent investigation, [though] we also unsuccessfully reached out to the account".

He went on: "With the potential dangers facing Joycelyn and her safety, we are asking for law enforcement to get involved in determining where Joycelyn is and whom is really behind the account that detailed potential crimes".

Kelly, of course, is currently awaited trial on numerous charges of sexual abuse against women and girls. He denies all the allegations made against him, including the new claims that may or may not have come from Savage.


Dan Le Sac releases new EP, The Death Of Me
Dan Le Sac has released new EP 'The Death Of Me' which sees him experimenting with new sounds and self-imposed limitations to create music that captures a moment.

"This EP was born out of frustration with mouse clicks and backlit screens", he says. "Born out of an attempt to circumvent the tyranny of choice. Having infinite options, comes with it infinite opportunities to be paralysed by indecision. For me anyway. So I set myself arbitrary limitations: The computer cannot be more that a recording device; Record live, edit later; Everything I use must fit on my desk; No backsies".

"In truth this EP was born out of frustration with myself", he continues. "Too precious, too concerned with others ears, too aware of the business of music. This EP is a reflection on limitation and frustration. On tension and release. On making music in the moment. On moving beyond past glories".

Listen to and buy 'The Death Of Me' on Bandcamp, here.



Innovative library music company Epidemic Sound has hired Kate Vale as its new Managing Director for North America. She was previously Spotify's MD for New Zealand and Australia. "We're THRILLED", says Epidemic Sound CEO Oscar Höglund. "I'm excited", says Vale.



Gorillaz have released the trailer for their new documentary 'Reject False Icons', which will be screened in cinemas on 16 Dec.

A Patreon page has been set up to fund the completion of Poly Styrene documentary 'I Am A Cliché'. The film is being co-directed by Paul Sng and the punk musician's daughter Celeste Bell.

Ghetts and Rude Kid have released new collaboration 'Legends Don't Die'.

Zebra Katz has released a new short film which incorporates two new songs: 'Lousy' and 'In In In'.

Eliza Shaddad has released the video for recent single 'Girls'. She has also announced UK tour dates for March next year, finishing at the Scala in London on 19 Mar.



Liam Gallagher has announced that he will play a homecoming show at Manchester's Heaton Park on 12 Jun next year. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

A week after Liam Gallagher plays his homecoming show, his now slightly less bitter rival Robbie Williams will play his own at the stadium of the Port Vale football club in Stoke-On-Trent on 20 Jun. "It has always been an ambition of mine to play a show at Port Vale and I'm delighted that now it's actually going to happen", he says.



The BRIT Awards might be getting a bit of a makeover in 2020, but Jack Whitehall will still be hosting. Like they always say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Nevertheless, Jack Whitehall will host the BRIT Awards in 2020.

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


TRNSMT boss criticised after saying it will take "years" to achieve 50/50 gender balance on "any major festival" line-up
The boss of Glasgow's TRNSMT festival has said it will be "years" before "any major festival" can achieve a 50/50 gender balance on stage because there aren't enough female acts to fill half a line-up.

Geoff Ellis of Live Nation subsidiary DF Concerts made the comments as the event announced its first thirteen acts for 2020, which included just two women.

"We'd love there to be a higher representation of females but there isn't, certainly on the acts we're announcing today", he told BBC Newsbeat.

"It will be a while until there's a 50/50 balance", he went on. "That's definitely several years ahead for any major festival to achieve because there's far, far less female artists. We need to get more females picking up guitars, forming bands, playing in bands. There's definitely more to come [on the line-up] - they're just not over the line yet".

Unsurprisingly, there has been much criticism of Ellis's remarks, which have echoes of now former Grammy boss Neil Portnow's "women need to step up" comment last year.

Responding on Twitter, KT Tunstall said: "If you are the organiser of something, and you don't WANT a situation to change, and you put fuck all effort into it, then no shit it'll take years ... You run a large festival. It's a crazy idea, but you could actually help".

She also called on men to "call bullshit" on Ellis's statement, saying: "Your voices are arguably more powerful than ours when it comes to changing this, as YOU, the primary demographic of male rock band fans, are who these guys are scared to 'alienate' ie lose your ticket money".

Ellis insisted that TRSNMT is working to help more female artists move up the industry, including with the return of the female-only Queen Tut's stage, which was criticised when it launched last year as being "a box ticking exercise rather than a real move forward".

"We're giving that platform to help more females see that kind of opportunity because you do get more of a drop-off at a grassroots level and there are less female artists around", he said. "It's not just about booking more female acts, because if there are less of them then there are less of them to go round all the festivals".

The acts announced for next year's TRNSMT are Liam Gallagher, The Courteeners, Lewis Capaldi, Ian Brown, Sam Fender, Blossoms, Aitch, Foals, Keane, Twin Atlantic and Snow Patrol, with Little Simz and Rita Ora the only women on the list.

There has been much pressure on festivals to improve their gender balances in recent years, of course, with the PRS Foundation's Keychange programme putting particular focus on the traditional lack of diversity among festival and music conference lines-ups.

Glastonbury - which you might call "a major festival" - has been working particularly hard to get more balance. The festival's 2019 line-up was 42% female and organiser Emily Eavis told Music Week recently that the 2020 line-up will "go as close to 50/50 as we can".

Meanwhile, Primavera Sound in Spain this year did achieve a 50/50 balance in its line-up, including at the top levels of the bill (where Glastonbury still falls down), with Erykah Badu and Solange among the headliners.

Of course, some people are understandably nervous about quotas when it comes to line-ups, not least because no one wants female artists booked to play to feel like they are only there to tick a box. And the pool of ticket-shifting headline acts available to bigger festivals may not be particularly diverse as yet, especially in some genres.

However, with festivals like Glastonbury and Primavera showing that - across the wider line-up - more diversity is definitely possible, the hope is that other events will follow their lead (aka copy their line-ups). And in doing so ensure more diversity in the headline act pool of the future. Though that, of course, needs a willingness on the part of all festival promoters.


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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