TODAY'S TOP STORY: Following the publication of UK Music's 'Music By Numbers' report into the economic value of the music business last month, the trade body's CEO Michael Dugher has called on politicians to also recognise the social impact of the country's music-makers... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES UK Music calls on politicians to recognise the social value of music
LEGAL MegaUpload founder again denied access to illegally gathered evidence, lawyer argues extradition case should be blocked
Domain registry sale could finally mean an end for The Pirate Bay's .org domain
LIVE BUSINESS Massive Attack taking climate scientists on tour to study carbon footprint of live music
MEDIA Craig David to play BBC One's NYE celebrations
ARTIST NEWS Placido Domingo says that his "gestures of gallantry" have been misconstrued as harassment
GIGS & FESTIVALS Slipknot cancel Knotfest Mexico performance over safety concerns
AND FINALLY... Kid Rock: Not a fan of Oprah Winfrey (or female talk show hosts in general)
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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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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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UK Music calls on politicians to recognise the social value of music
Following the publication of UK Music's 'Music By Numbers' report into the economic value of the music business last month, the trade body's CEO Michael Dugher has called on politicians to also recognise the social impact of the country's music-makers.

Delivering a keynote speech at a conference organised by music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, Dugher said: "It's clear that, economically, music in the UK punches well above its weight but this is only part of the picture. The value of music goes way beyond all the pound signs and the piles of economic data. The economic value of music is inextricably interlinked with the critically important social value of music".

Dugher pointed to research showing that exposure to music enhances children's performance in other areas of education, including maths and English, and that music therapy results in various benefits for people diagnosed with dementia. Meanwhile the government's own estimates, he said, show that arts participation rates in England result in NHS cost savings of £168.8 million due to reduced GP visits.

He added that, as well as trying to ensure that the UK music industry isn't entirely torpedoed by Brexit, UK Music has been lobbying politicians to set up a new music and health strategy following the upcoming General Election on 12 Dec.

"This is a vitally important area and something that I and my colleagues at UK Music have already been talking to the government about", he said. "It would be key in mapping out how we maximise the benefits of music for everyone".

UK Music has been successful in engaging politicians on the economic value of music in recent years, partly via its annual numbers report that proposes the 'gross value added' by the music business to the wider UK economy - which this year was £5.2 billion.


MegaUpload founder again denied access to illegally gathered evidence, lawyer argues extradition case should be blocked
MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom suffered another setback in the New Zealand courts last week in a side-show dispute relating to the shutdown of the one-time file-transfer platform.

The US authorities shutdown MegaUpload on copyright infringement grounds all the way back in 2012, of course. They have been trying to extradite Dotcom from his adopted home of New Zealand to face criminal charges back in America ever since.

There has been all sorts of other legal wrangling in relation to the shutdown of MegaUpload in both the US and New Zealand alongside the core extradition hearings. And that includes Dotcom's claims that New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau illegally spied on him, his family and his colleagues ahead of the 2012 shutdown of his company, and the accompanying raid on his then home.

Based on those allegations from Dotcom, the conduct of the GCSB was subsequently investigated. And by 2013 it had been confirmed that the agency had indeed broken the law in the way it spied on Dotcom and his associates. That confirmation predictably resulted in further litigation from the MegaUpload camp.

Among other things, Dotcom has been trying to get access to the recordings made when the GCSB was intersecting his communications as part of its illegal investigation. However, the spy agency has argued that the recordings should remain confidential citing the country's 2006 Evidence Act, and claiming that "the public interest in the information being disclosed [is] outweighed by the public interest in withholding it".

New Zealand's High Court accepted the GCSB's arguments in 2017, but Dotcom appealed, in particular taking issue with the way the lower court dealt with the case. However, last week the country's Court Of Appeal upheld the High Court's ruling.

The appeal judges said that while "the intercepted communications are relevant and there is a public interest in them being disclosed" to inform Dotcom's ongoing case against the spy agency ... "the GCSB's claim that disclosure would harm national security and international relations is well-founded". The appeals court's job, the judges said, was to balance these two facts. They concluded: "The balancing exercise favours non-disclosure".

Responding on Twitter, Dotcom declared that - given it's agreed that the GCSB broke the law back in 2011 and 2012 - last week's ruling sets a dangerous precedent.

"Unfortunately I live in a country", he said, "where judges were appointed by a shady former attorney general who broke the law multiple times in my case. His appointments show that he picked Judges who are loyal to him. The law doesn't matter in my case and your rights suffer as a result".

Meanwhile, Dotcom's US-based lawyer Ira Rothken argued that last week's ruling should be grounds to stop the extradition of his client to America.

Also posting on Twitter, he wrote that "the government's illegal spying in the Kim Dotcom case coupled with state refusal to provide relevant evidence amounts to extreme abuse. No court should entertain an extradition case so tainted with violations of basic human rights - it should now be dismissed in the interests of justice".


Domain registry sale could finally mean an end for The Pirate Bay's .org domain
An increasing number of organisations have started calling on The Internet Society to abandon plans to sell off the registry that administers the .org domain, fearing that the proposed new owners might ramp up the prices and clamp down on websites accused of copyright infringement by the entertainment industry. One website that might lose its .org domain if that was to happen would be the good old Pirate Bay.

The lobbying of domain registries - those being the organisations that control domains like .com or .org - is one of the tactics routinely employed by the music and movie industries when they are seeking to combat online piracy. The tactic is simple, ask or demand that registries cancel the web addresses of websites that exist primarily to promote and enable copyright infringement. You know, like the aforementioned Pirate Bay.

Some domain registries are commercial entities, others are not-for-profit organisations, while others are state-owned. When it comes to complying with the requests of copyright owners to remove domains from piracy operations, the policies of different registries vary greatly. Some tend to comply easily. Others will quickly comply if a court order confirms the infringement liabilities of a site. Others go to great lengths to resist such requests, insisting it's not their job to become the "copyright police".

Whereas the .com domain is run by the US-based commercial business Verisign, the .org domain is controlled by the Public Interest Registry which, in turn, is owned by The Internet Society, an organisation that represents internet service providers and other internet companies. However, last month The Internet Society announced plans to sell its domain registry to a private equity outfit called Ethos Capital.

That decision has led to the Savedotorg campaign, which is calling on The Internet Society to reverse its decision regarding the registry sell off, partly because of fears the new commercial owners might hike the prices for registering .org domains, but also because they could change the registry's policies regarding copyright issues and other complaints.

The campaign's website says that the proposed deal would give Ethos the "power to develop and implement rights protection mechanisms unilaterally, without consulting the .org community. If such mechanisms are not carefully crafted in collaboration with the NGO community, they risk censoring completely legal non-profit activities".

The new owners, the site adds, would also have "the power to implement processes to suspend domain names based on accusations of 'activity contrary to applicable law'. The .org registry should not implement such processes without understanding how state actors frequently target NGOs with allegations of illegal activity".

Although the .org domain is often associated with not-for-profit organisations, like the NGOs referenced by the Savedotorg campaign, anyone can register one. For anti-piracy teams within the music industry the most notable .org domain is probably

The US record industry once requested that The Internet Society block that domain given that The Pirate Bay has been found liable for copyright infringement in multiple courts around the world. And is called The Pirate Bay!

Fearing that it might lose said domain because of music industry and US government actions, The Pirate Bay started to use its Swedish domain as its main web address. When it looked like that might be blocked too, it started jumping from one domain to another. Ironically the music industry did manage to get some of those new domains blocked by compliant registries, meanwhile the .org and .se domains remained active.

However, once the Public Interest Registry is owned by Ethos Capital, would it more prone to respond positively to requests by the music or movie industries to take .org domains away from sites that the copyright owners reckon facilitate rampant piracy?

It's not clear at all what viewpoint Ethos might actually take on issues like this. Although Torrentfreak notes that Ethos founder and CEO Erik Brooks has sat on the board of a commercial domain registry called Donuts that has a formal relationship with the US movie industry's trade group, which is treated as a "trusted notifier" of "pirate" domains.

That said, that relationship was formalised prior to Brooks' involvement in Donuts, so it doesn't necessarily tell us anything about his plans for Public Interest Registry. Nevertheless, campaigners remain concerned. Among them the Nonprofit Technology Conference, which set up the Savedotorg campaign, and which is planning an online meeting about the sale later this week in which Brooks is expected to participate.

As for The Pirate Bay, although losing its .org domain would be an inconvenience, it's long been prepared for such a thing. It almost certainly has a bunch of other options should the record industry have another moan and this time an Ethos-owned Public Interest Registry decides to comply.


Massive Attack taking climate scientists on tour to study carbon footprint of live music
While Coldplay are cancelling their touring plans in order to work out how to be more environmentally friendly when travelling the world, Massive Attack are adopting another approach - taking climate scientists out on the road with them.

The University Of Manchester's Tyndall Centre will analyse data collected during Massive Attack's upcoming tour dates, aiming to identify where improvements can be made to reduce the carbon footprint of touring. The results will be shared with the wider music industry, with a view to reducing the environmental impact of live music across the board.

"For some time, despite taking consistent steps to reduce the environmental impact associated with an internationally touring music group, we've been concerned and preoccupied with the carbon footprint of our schedules and the wider impact of our sector overall", Massive Attack said in a statement last week.

"This concern has deepened with each new report from the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, and the universal acceptance of the climate and biodiversity emergency". they continued. "Any unilateral statement or protest we make alone as one band will not make a meaningful difference. In pursuing systemic change, there is no substitute for collective action".

"In contribution to this action", they then explained, "we're announcing the commission of the renowned Tyndall Centre For Climate Change Research at the University Of Manchester - a body that brings together scientists, economists, engineers and social scientists to research options to mitigate global warming - to map thoroughly the carbon footprint of band tour cycles, and to present options that can be implemented quickly to begin a meaningful reduction of impact".

Explaining further, Dr Chris Jones, Research Fellow at Tyndall Manchester, added: "We will be working with Massive Attack to look at sources of carbon emissions from a band's touring schedule. Every industry has varying degrees of carbon impact to address and we need partnerships like this one to look at reducing carbon emissions across the board".

"It's more effective to have a sustained process of emissions reductions across the sector than for individual artists to quit live performances", he went on. "It will likely mean a major shift in how things are done now, involving not just the band but the rest of the business and the audience".

Coldplay's Chris Martin recently announced that his band would not be touring in support of new album 'Everyday Life' in order to work out how live music can be not only "sustainable, but how can it be actively beneficial" to the environment.


Craig David to play BBC One's NYE celebrations
I met this girl on Monday. Took her for a drink on Tuesday. We were singing Auld Lang Syne by Wednesday... Yes, Craig David will ring in the new year on BBC One at the end of this month, performing two sets either side of the fireworks that people are actually hanging around to see.

As is the tradition with the BBC's special New Year's Eve broadcasts, David will take to the stage at Central Hall Westminster on 31 Dec to close one year and start another.

"I can't think of a better way to see in the New Year and new decade than performing and celebrating with you all", he says. "It's going to be a night to remember!"

Jan Younghusband, Head Of BBC Music TV Commissioning, adds: "Craig is famous for his blistering live sets, so I'm THRILLED that he will be ringing in New Year by performing live for BBC One viewers".

Tickets for the show are on sale now. They cost FIFTY FIVE POUNDS (plus an EIGHT POUND TWENTY FIVE PENCE booking fee) and you have to buy your SIX POUND drinks tickets in advance. You're only allowed two drinks maximum though, so I guess there's a saving there. Alternatively, you could stay at home and get so drunk on Aldi-bought alcohol that you think you're there.


Setlist: Viagogo, Billboard, Jay-Z
CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from recent weeks, including Viagogo's $4 billion deal to buy its main rival StubHub, Billboard's latest update to its chart rules, and why Jay-Z has 99 problems with kids learning their ABCs. Setlist is sponsored by 7digital.

Listen to this episode of Setlist here, and sign up to receive new episodes for free automatically each week through any of these services...

Acast | Apple Podcasts | audioBoom | CastBox | Deezer | Google Play | iHeart | Mixcloud | RSS | Spotify | Spreaker | Stitcher | TuneIn

Placido Domingo says that his "gestures of gallantry" have been misconstrued as harassment
Placido Domingo has again denied the accusations of sexual harassment that have been made against him, arguing that the claims made by various women are the result of a change in how people view "gestures of gallantry".

Ahead of performances in Spain next month, the opera singer has told Spanish newspaper El Confidencial that behaviours that, in the past, "could have been considered ... gestures of gallantry, today they are perceived very differently". He adds: "Those who know me and have treated me well know that I have never behaved in the aggressive, harassing and vulgar way they have painted me".

Eighteen women, including other performers, made claims of harassment against Domingo via two Associated Press articles earlier this year, with others subsequently coming forward.

The accusations span three decades. Among them, it is claimed that Domingo made unwanted advances, including kissing and groping. Some women have also said that their careers were harmed when they rejected him, due to his powerful position at institutions such as the New York's Metropolitan Opera, from which he has now resigned.

"I have never had ambition for power nor abused this position", he says in the new interview. "Neither by my way of being, nor by the operating system of the American theatres in which I held relevant positions. I have never retaliated, truncated or harmed anyone's career. I have never promised anything in exchange for favours. What does appear is my commitment to young singers and my responsibility in launching so many careers".

Previously Domingo's spokesperson has accused the Associated Press of having a vendetta against him. Echoing those claims to an extent in the new interview, he continues: "It is a moral process. The credibility granted to the accusations is automatic. This is a media cause, of public opinion. And I felt judged, sentenced and convicted in advance. But I have not been charged with any crime".

Although Domingo has largely withdrawn from the US opera industry, he continues to perform elsewhere in the world, including many countries in Europe. He says in the El Confidential interview that he currently has a performance schedule taking him into 2021 which he intends to keep.


Slipknot cancel Knotfest Mexico performance over safety concerns
Slipknot cancelled their headline set at the Mexican edition of their Knotfest touring festival on Saturday due to safety concerns over a broken barricade. Subsequent vandalism, including stage equipment being set on fire, scuppered plans to move the performance to the next night.

Video footage from the event in Mexico City shows a barricade in front of the main stage being pushed down, with people then swarming through the gap it opened. As well as Slipknot, Evanescence also pulled their set. After this news reached the audience, some climbed on stage and took various items, including Evanescence drummer Will Hunt's drum kit, which was then set on fire. There were various other acts of vandalism too.

In a statement on Sunday, Slipknot said: "Due to unforeseen circumstances, Slipknot were not able to perform at last night's Knotfest. Security barricades became an issue, and it was decided that for the safety of the fans, neither Slipknot nor special guests Evanescence could take the stage".

They went on: "We had hoped to be able to perform today, but regrettably, a situation arose onstage after the cancellation that damaged or destroyed gear that would have been necessary to play. We are extremely disappointed that we did not get the chance to perform, but the safety of our fans and our community is our biggest priority. We will look to get back to Mexico sometime in the future".

The next stop for the band's tour is Costa Rica on 4 Dec. They will be in the UK in January.


Kid Rock: Not a fan of Oprah Winfrey (or female talk show hosts in general)
You're no one in music without a feud and Kid Rock's had his fair share. Though his biggest beef these days seems to be with TV talk show hosts Jo Behar, Kathy Lee Gifford and Oprah Winfrey. Particularly Oprah Winfrey.

In an apparently drunken rant while performing at a bar in Nashville last week, the musician proclaimed: "I'm just an honest guy who says, 'Hey, I don't like Oprah Winfrey or Joy Behar'. They can suck dick sideways. Sorry mom".

Expanding on his theme, he went on: "Fuck Oprah Winfrey. Fuck Kathy Lee Gifford. I'm 48, and I'm the guy who you want to be, like, 'Hey, I want Kid Rock at my side'. I'm not the bad guy, that's crazy. I'm the fuckin guy you want, like, 'Hey, he's pretty cool'".

There were calls of racism from the audience, despite the outburst being generally more sexist. The musician then rambled on about being called "racist", although it wasn't clear if that was in direct response to the heckling, or just what his critics have said in the past.

He continued: "Oprah Winfrey's like, 'I'm gonna get some white women to believe this shit', well fuck her. She can suck dick sideways. And if you say that, they're like, 'Well, I'm pretty sure Kid Rock's a racist'. Like, OK, fine. Fuck off".

So there you go. If you're still a bit confused as to what actually motivated this beef, the musician addressed it on Twitter, adding more context. Well, a little bit of context. In relation to the Winfrey dispute.

"My people tried to get me to do 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' years ago", he wrote, "and her people wanted me to write down five reasons why I loved her and her show. I said fuck that and her. End of story".

So, that's everything cleared up then.


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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