TODAY'S TOP STORY: The World Intellectual Property Organisation has formally opened a consultation that seeks to ask and consider the IP-related questions raised by artificial intelligence becoming increasingly creative... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES WIPO opens consultation on the copyright questions raised by creative AI
LEGAL Thirteen convicted over 2015 Bucharest nightclub fire
DEALS Hipgnosis acquires production catalogue of Brendan O'Brien
DEAG's MyTicket acquires Gigantic
MEDIA Capital Xtra set to launch in Manchester via Global's Communicorp alliance
Radio Caroline reprimanded after uncensored Radiohead track creeps onto the airwaves
ONE LINERS Nicky Morgan, LadBaby, Stormzy, more
AND FINALLY... Robbie Williams wants to "inject Jason Orange with a beeping thing"
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WIPO opens consultation on the copyright questions raised by creative AI
The World Intellectual Property Organisation has formally opened a consultation that seeks to ask and consider the IP-related questions raised by artificial intelligence becoming increasingly creative.

The ability of AI technologies to compose and produce original music has become quite a talking point in the music community in recent years, with a number of interesting start-ups dabbling in this space, and major labels and digital music firms also getting involved, often through acquisition of the aforementioned start-ups.

Most of the entrepreneurs behind those companies insist that they don't want to put composers and songwriters out of business, arguing that their technologies won't ever replace humans in the music-making process, and that instead they are creating tools that can be employed by those human creators to enhance the music making process.

However, some AI music start-ups are going into competition with the production music libraries by offering low-cost easy-to-license music for soundtracking videos. The AI companies can match the traditional production music firms on price and ease-of-use, but offer a totally original composition, rather than something numerous other video producers may have already utilised.

Whether the best AI-created music can match the best human-created compositions in your average production music library is debatable, of course, but the machines that make music are only getting better at it as the years go by.

The bigger question is could AI technologies move beyond making production music and start composing the pop hits of the future. Most people in the music community seem certain that truly innovative music-making will always require human beings. But, a cynic might add, you don't need truly innovative music-making to generate a hit.

Meanwhile, beyond the machines v humans debate, for copyright geeks the rise of AI music-making poses a number of interesting legal questions. Which is what, among other things, WIPO - a 'specialised agency' of the United Nations - is now starting to debate. Having published a report on technology trends and then staged a number of discussions earlier this year, WIPO has now produced an issues paper to inform its new consultation.

On copyright, it notes that "AI applications are capable of producing ... works autonomously. This capacity raises major policy questions for the copyright system, which has always been intimately associated with the human creative spirit and with respect and reward for, and the encouragement of, the expression of human creativity. The policy positions adopted in relation to the attribution of copyright to AI-generated works will go to the heart of the social purpose for which the copyright system exists".

"If AI-generated works were excluded from eligibility for copyright protection", it goes on, "the copyright system would be seen as an instrument for encouraging and favouring the dignity of human creativity over machine creativity. If copyright protection were
accorded to AI-generated works, the copyright system would tend to be seen as an instrument favouring the availability for the consumer of the largest number of creative works and of placing an equal value on human and machine creativity".

Other interesting questions to ask include: Assuming AI works are protected by copyright, who does the copyright belong to? And if, as with musical works, the copyright term is usually linked to someone's lifetime, whose lifetime?

"In the event copyright can be attributed to AI-generated works, in whom should the copyright vest?" the WIPO paper goes on. "Should consideration be given to according a legal personality to an AI application where it creates original works autonomously, so that the copyright would vest in the personality and the personality could be governed and sold in a manner similar to a corporation?"

Also considered is how AI technologies evolve, and what copyright law should say about AI tools that process other existing works in order to learn how to make new ones. At what point does an AI technology need a licence to learn, and when could the technology be deemed to have infringed copyright?

Some copyright systems do already have some lines of law that seek to anticipate the rise of machine-created works, while others are currently silent on the matter. But either way, it does seem likely that copyright law around the world is going to need to address all these AI-centric questions sometime soon. So it will be interesting to see what opinions are shared and issued raised in this WIPO review.

You can access the issues report here. And you'll find more information about the consultation here.


Thirteen convicted over 2015 Bucharest nightclub fire
Thirteen people have been given prison sentences and hefty fines after being convicted of negligence in relation to the fire that occurred at the Bucharest nightclub Colectiv in 2015. A total of 64 people were killed as a result of the blaze with many more injured.

Among those convicted are people who were involved in the pyrotechnics show that caused the fire, as well as various local politicians, including the man who directly approved the nightclub's licence.

The fire in the 700 capacity venue started when fireworks were set off as part of a performance by metalcore band Goodbye To Gravity. Those pyros set light to flammable materials that had been used for soundproofing in the venue.

27 people were killed in the fire itself, while 37 more died later in hospital. At least thirteen of the latter group, it later emerged, actually died as a result of infections that they developed while receiving hospital treatment. It's thought that was the result of disinfectant being used by the hospitals having been diluted by the manufacturer in order to boost profits.

Among those who died were four of the five members of Goodbye To Gravity. In addition to the fatalities, just under 150 people were also treated for injuries that were sustained as people attempted to escape the building.

Amid accusations that local authorities had taken bribes to turn a blind eye to not only the unsafe soundproofing but also the lack of appropriate fire exits in the Colectiv building, people took to the streets in mass protests around the country shortly after the tragedy.

This led to a massive upheaval in the Romanian political system, including the resignation of the country's Prime Minister, Victor Ponta. However, there was subsequently much criticism that no one had been convicted of any crime in relation to the fire.

That has now changed, with these thirteen convictions adding up to more than 100 years of jail time. Those convicted include the three owners of Colectiv - Alin Anastasescu, Costin Mincu and Paul-Cătălin Gancea (who each receive prison sentences of eleven years and eight months) - and the two owners of the company that provided the fireworks - Daniela Niţă (twelve years and eight months) and Cristian Niţă (three and a half years).

Also jailed are the two people who ran the pyrotechnics show Viorel Zaharia (nine years eight months) and Marian Moise (ten years); the former mayor of Bucharest's sector four municipality, Cristian Popescu Piedone (eight and a half years); three other local politicians (between three and eight years); and two fire fighters (nine years and two months each).

As well as the prison sentences, those convicted have also been ordered to pay compensation to people who survived the fire and the families of those who died, totalling 50 million euros. The highest individual fine is 900,000 euros.

A documentary about the fire and its aftermath, titled 'Colectiv', has screened at a number of film festivals this year and was shown in Romanian cinemas last month.

The thirteen people convicted over their involvement in the fire this week are all expected to appeal their sentences.


Hipgnosis acquires production catalogue of Brendan O'Brien
Another day, another deal. This time the Hipgnosis Songs Fund has acquired the producer royalty interests of record producer Brendan O'Brien, which gives it stakes in a lot of big rock tracks by artists including Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Crowes and Rage Against The Machine.

The rapidly acquisitive investment fund has, until recently, been mainly buying up songwriter catalogues. But earlier this month it took control of the master rights in the first four Kaiser Chiefs' albums via a deal with the label B-unique. Buying up O'Brien's producer royalty interests represents another new shift in the music rights and royalties it is seeking to own.

"It's very easy to state that Brendan O'Brien is one of the greatest producers of all time", says Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis. "Almost every artist he has helped develop has entered or will enter the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for good reason. I'm beyond honoured to welcome Brendan and his historic catalogue into the Hipgnosis family".

O'Brien adds: "Merck and Hipgnosis were really passionate about the music I've been lucky enough to be a part of over the years. They are music people and their commitment made me feel like the records would be in safe hands".

The deal gives Hipgnosis control of O'Brien's rights in 1855 works. That includes his royalty interests in music that stemmed from his production of four Pearl Jam albums, two Rage Against The Machine albums, almost the entire catalogue of the Stone Temple Pilots, four Bruce Springsteen albums and The Black Crowes' 'Shake Your Money Maker'.

On top of that is his mixing work on the Red Hot Chili Peppers' 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' and Soundgarden's 'Superunknown'.

Hipgnosis aims to persuade investors to put their money into music rights rather than more traditional investment portfolios. The company reckons that it can provide reliable and significant returns, while bringing in a new source of investment for the music industry. Other catalogues it currently owns include those of The-Dream, Benny Blanco, The Chainsmokers, Dave Stewart and Bernard Edwards.


DEAG's MyTicket acquires Gigantic
DEAG's ticketing business MyTicket has bought UK-based independent ticketing set-up Gigantic.

The Gigantic company will continue to be run by Mark Gasson and James Woodward under the deal, which - they say - "will provide future investment and stability into the existing Gigantic ticketing operations".

DEAG is the German live music group that has various operations in the UK, most notably the Kilimanjaro concerts and festivals business.

Confirming the deal, the aforementioned Gasson and Woodward said in a statement: "We are extremely proud that we have established and maintained consistent growth for Gigantic in a competitive marketplace. We now look forward to continuing this growth alongside the committed team at MyTicket".

Meanwhile a spokesperson for MyTicket said that the DEAG division was "delighted to be working with Mark and James who have built a company with a reputation for providing reliable, customer focused and honest ticketing. Gigantic will remain an independent company and will continue to do great work for promoters, festivals and customers throughout the UK".


Capital Xtra set to launch in Manchester via Global's Communicorp alliance
Global's Capital Xtra station could get a new slot on the FM dial, this time in Manchester. It just needs Irish media firm Communicorp to secure a format change from regulator OfCom.

Communicorp operates a number of local radio stations in the UK, but in the main those stations simply buy in brands and programming from Global-owned networks like Capital, Heart and Smooth.

The one exception is XS Manchester, which is a standalone rock station that began life as Rock Radio, originally owned by The Guardian's old radio company.

However, OfCom has confirmed that Communicorp is now seeking to use XS Manchester's 106.1FM frequency for a new North West outpost of Capital Xtra, meaning that all of its UK stations would repurpose Global content.

OfCom's statement reads: "XS Manchester currently provides a rock and speech service for 35-64 year olds. The change would relaunch XS Manchester as Capital Xtra playing urban contemporary music of an Afro-Caribbean origin".

It went on: "While we are minded to approve the change, we are first seeking views from interested or affected parties before making our final decision. Responses must be submitted by 5pm on 17 Jan 2020".

It would be yet another expansion of Global's quasi-national radio brands through partnership rather than acquisition. Midlands-based Quidem recently announced it would relaunch its local stations as part of Global's Capital FM network.


Radio Caroline reprimanded after uncensored Radiohead track creeps onto the airwaves
The current incarnation of Radio Caroline has been found in breach of OfCom rules after it played the uncensored version of Radiohead's 'Creep', which includes the word 'fucking' no less than three fucking times.

The radio edit of the track replaces the offending word with 'very', but this version was not used in the broadcast and no apology was issued to listeners after the sweary version went out.

Radio Caroline said in response to OfCom's investigation that the issue was a "simple error", the result of two volunteers in different locations sharing the duties of scheduling tracks and voicing links. The station said that it has since implemented a better system for volunteers to communicate online, and ensured that all tracks are now played from a central database, rather than brought in from external sources.

As for why no apology was issued on air, station bosses said that "the problem was not identified until it was brought to [our] notice many days later". They added that there was "no justification for the use of explicit language" and that the station would "not knowingly play such a track".

In its ruling that Radio Caroline was in breach of regulations, OfCom said that the incident occurred at a time of day when listeners would not reasonably have expected to hear what is considered to be among the most offensive words. It added that the lack of an apology was of particular concern, but took into account that the track had been played in error and that the station had taken steps to ensure that it wouldn't happen again.

The legendary pirate radio station of old returned to analogue airwaves in 2017 - having been online-only for several years - broadcasting legitimately on a frequency formerly used by the BBC World Service.

It can be heard in Essex and Suffolk on that AM frequency, 648hz. This year it has also made a number of broadcasts from the original ship it used back in its pirate radio days. Using the Manx Radio transmitter, those broadcasts went out under the name Radio Caroline North.

You can also hear the station on DAB and online, if analogue just isn't your thing.


On the CMU stereo 2019 - Summer
We're drawing ever nearer to Christmas and we've reached part three of our rundown of our favourite tracks of the year. As we work our way up to the final total of 40, we come to ten tracks released in the summer (or thereabouts).

What did summer 2019 sound like? Loud, apparently. Well, certainly that's how our playlist today begins and ends - kicking off with Slipknot and closing with Girl Band. In between there's more nuance though. Straight after Slipknot we head into Helm's decidedly quieter (although still filled with a lot of tension) 'I Knew You Would Respond'.

Elsewhere, we've got great examples of how broadly 'pop music' was interpreted in 2019, from Tyler, The Creator, to Charli XCX, to Bea1991, to Blanck Mass's dark, intense and overdriven take on the genre.

Listen to all 20 tracks we've revealed so far in our Spotify playlist here, and take a look at the most recent ten here:

Slipknot - Unsainted
Helm - I Knew You Would Respond
Tyler, The Creator - Earfquake
Babii - Carniivore
Anna Meredith - Paramour
Bea1991 - Loser Wins
Charli XCX & Christine And The Queens - Gone
Blanck Mass - Love Is A Parasite
Clairo - Alewife
Girlband - Going Norway


UK Prime Minister 'Boris' Johnson has confirmed that Nicky Morgan will still be culture secretary in his new post-election government. This despite her deciding to stand down as an MP ahead of last week's election. She will be given a seat in the House Of Lords in order to return to her ministerial gig overseeing the Department Of Digital, Culture, Media And Sport, under which music often sites.

AEG European Festivals has appointed Clare Lusher to the newly created role of Marketing & Brand Director. "I look forward to maximising the wealth of collaborative potential across brand and media partnerships combined with overarching strategic clarity", she says, proving she speaks fluent Marketing.

Direct-to-fan company Townsend Music has hired former PledgeMusic exec Ben James as New Business Manager. "I'm excited to join Townsend at a time when direct-to-consumer has become all the more important to artists' careers and labels' release plans", he says. "I look forward to expanding Townsend's reach around the world and bringing artists, managers and labels that I respect to the table".



LadBaby is still in the Christmas number one position with 'I Love Sausage Rolls' right now, but Stormzy is gaining on him fast with 'Own It', featuring Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy. The Stormzy track is outperforming LadBaby's 3:1 on streaming services, according to the Official Charts Company. So maybe pay for a download, or stream your favourite more, or just do nothing and see what happens.



Stormzy has released the video for 'Do Better' from his new album, 'Heavy Is The Head'.

Slipknot have released the video for 'Nero Forte', one of the standout tracks from their album of standout tracks, 'We Are Not Your Kind'.

Baby Metal have released the video for 'Da Da Dance' from their latest album, 'Metal Galaxy'.

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


Robbie Williams wants to "inject Jason Orange with a beeping thing"
Robbie Williams wants to track down former Take That bandmate Jason Orange and "inject him with a beeping thing" in order to keep track of him. Apparently none of the group have heard from Orange for over a year.

On the latest edition of his 'At Home With The Williams' podcast, Robbie says: "You know you can have that Find My Phone thing? The whole of Take That should have a locate Jason Orange thing because none of us know where he's gone. I should hire a private detective - he finds out where Jason Orange is, we inject him with a beeping thing, a chip, then we know where Jason is at all times. I go the extra lengths for my Take That brothers".

A year ago, Howard Donald said in an interview on ITV's 'Loose Women': "Jason's gone off the grid. He's not taking emails or phone calls or stuff like that".

But Donald also added that he thought Orange disappearing was "good for him, that's where he wants to be", adding that "he wants to be a million miles away from this at the moment". All of which means, it doesn't really sound like he would be that up for being found by a private detective or injected with a "beeping thing".

Orange left Take That in 2014, saying that he "no longer" wanted to perform.


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.
andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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.
chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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.
sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk 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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