|THURSDAY 19 DECEMBER 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Punk band Yellowcard are pushing forward with their lawsuit against Juice Wrld, despite the rapper's death earlier this month... [READ MORE]|
Yellowcard pushing ahead with legal action against Juice Wrld
The case - in which Yellowcard accuse Juice Wrld of lifting their 2006 song 'Holly Wood Died' for his 2018 track 'Lucid Dreams' - was put on hold after the rapper died on 8 Dec. However, according to XXL, the band have now filed a new motion in relation to the case.
That legal filing, according to XXL, extends the amount of time the surviving defendants - the rapper's co-writers Taz Taylor and Nick Mira, and the two labels he worked with, Grade A Productions and Interscope - have to respond to the lawsuit.
It was in October that the four former members of Yellowcard - who broke up as a band in 2017 - went legal with their accusations of song theft, demanding $15 million+ in damages, and a rights and royalty share in 'Lucid Dreams'.
Arguing the band's case, the lawsuit notes that Juice Wrld spoke in several interviews about the influence "emo pop rock" had on the development of his sound.
In one such interview, it was noted, he said that he had "listened to and educated himself in emo pop rock music" in order to impress a girl he had a crush on in the fifth grade. And guess what came out when the rapper was in fifth grade? Yeah, Yellowcard's emo pop rock song 'Holly Wood Died'.
The original deadline for the various defendants to respond - 9 Dec - having been missed due to the rapper's death and the case being put on hold, they now have until 4 Feb.
Tekashi 6ix9ine sentenced to two years in prison
Hernandez has already been in custody for thirteen months, which will count toward his sentence, meaning he should be out of prison before the end of next year. He will also be placed on probation for five years, have to carry out 300 hours of community service and pay a fine of $35,000.
Due to the potential danger he has placed himself in by testifying against other gang members, it is likely that Hernandez will be offered the opportunity to enter the witness protection programme upon his release. However, he has said that he hopes to continue performing, and in court said that he wanted to use his fame for good.
Before his sentencing, he told the judge that he wanted the opportunity to change his life and inspire other young people to do the same, saying: "I failed these people. They believed in Daniel Hernandez. I was too busy making the negative image in my 69 persona. I know God has a bigger plan for me. I want to inspire the youth that it's never too late to change. If I can change for the better, so can they".
The rapper was arrested last year on an assortment of firearm and racketeering charges. He was facing a potential sentence of 47 years in prison. Then, in February this year, he admitted to nine of the criminal charges filed against him as part of a plea deal.
Having previously maintained his innocence of all charges, as part of that plea deal he admitted to having been a member of Nine Trey since 2017. Among the nine crimes he pleaded guilty to were helping gang members to try to kill a rival last year, helping others to rob people at gunpoint, and being involved in a deal to sell a kilogram of cocaine.
At the point he was arrested, Hernandez was preparing to release his debut album as Tekashi 6ix9ine, 'Dummy Boy'. The album release was postponed once he was taken into custody - although it briefly leaked on his own website - and remains unreleased.
Cox Communications wants judge not jury to rule on its big copyright dispute with the record labels
The record companies want to hold Cox liable for its users' copyright infringement. Cox, like any tech company, would usually claim protection under the copyright safe harbour, which says that internet intermediaries cannot be held liable for their users' infringing activities.
However, in order to qualify for safe harbour protection an internet firm must have systems in place to remove infringing content and deal with repeat infringers. In an earlier lawsuit, BMG successfully argued that Cox had deliberately shoddy systems for dealing with repeat infringers and should therefore not enjoy safe harbour protection. The Recording Industry Association Of America has since sued Cox and two other ISPs using the same argument.
As the RIAA v Cox litigation has gone through the motions, the net firm has tried to have the case, or parts of the case, dismissed at various points based on various arguments. But that didn't stop the whole thing getting to court this month with a jury set to decide if Cox is liable for its users' musical infringements and, if so, what kind of damages the ISP should pay.
Cox has now submitted a new motion seeking "judgment as a matter of law" - or a JMOL - which would see the judge rather than the jury rule on key elements of the case. Including any damages that may or may not be awarded. Which is probably a sensible move - juries always tend to skew high when asked to set damages in American copyright cases.
In addition to the damages point, Cox's new motion returns to various other arguments that repeatedly come up in cases like this one.
For example, whether or not the labels have proven any direct infringement actually occurred. If the labels can't prove Cox's customers were liable for direct infringement, then the ISP can't be liable for contributory infringement. Also, whether or not Cox benefited in anyway from its customers accessing or sharing music illegally. This has been a big debate in another of the RIAA's ISP lawsuits against Charter Communications.
The most important part of the new legal filing is Cox's arguments as to why the judge rather than the jury should rule on all these matters, given previous attempts at securing summary judgements have failed, and a jury has now heard both sides' arguments.
Citing some rules and legal precedent, Cox says that JMOL is appropriate if "a party has been fully heard on an issue during a jury trial and the court finds that a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the party on that issue". And also where "a reasonable jury could reach only one conclusion based on the evidence or if the verdict in favour of the non-moving party would necessarily be based on speculation and conjecture".
In the rest of its motion - as it goes through its arguments about damages, the lack of evidence of direct infringement, and other things too - Cox reckons that this case fulfils those various criteria for judgement as a matter of law. We now await to see if the judge concurs.
Insurer must pay for Fat Joe's defence in copyright dispute, court says
That song-theft lawsuit relates to 'All The Way Up', the 2016 collaboration between Fat Joe - real name Joseph Cartagena - and Remy Ma. Fly Havana - real name Eric Elliott - claims that Cartagena's track is simply an evolution of one that he had previously helped create. The link between the two rappers is producer Infrared, who worked with both Elliott and then later Cartagena on what became 'All The Way Up'.
For his part, Cartagena hasn't denied Elliot's involvement in creating his track. So much so, after its release he paid his fellow rapper a $5000 fee while also promising additional future royalties. But, it's alleged, those royalties never materialised. That led to the filing of a lawsuit earlier this year, in which Elliot wants court confirmation that he is a co-creator if the 2016 record and therefore due a cut of all the money it created.
That lawsuit led to another, after Cartagena went to his insurance company Homeland expecting them to pay his legal costs in defending Elliot's litigation. The insurer argued that it wasn't obliged to fund any defence, because copyright claims of this kind weren't covered by his policy and - even if they were - this particular lawsuit would be excluded because of the pre-existing link between Cartagena and Elliot, via Infrared.
But a judge in the New York courts has now sided with the rapper, concluding that the insurer is in breach of contract for failing to cover Cartagena's legal costs in the Elliot case (although separate claims against Homeland of 'breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing' were rejected by the court).
In a summary judgement, the judge wrote: "Homeland asserts that plaintiffs fail to state a claim for breach of insurance contract because the policy does not afford coverage for the Elliott Lawsuit. Homeland is wrong ... The allegations in the Elliott complaint can be fairly read to trigger Homeland's duty to defend plaintiffs under the covered 'piracy', 'plagiarism', and 'misappropriation of ideas' perils".
As for Homeland's argument that the Elliot case was subject to an exclusion clause because of the link between the two rappers, the judge said "Homeland has failed to establish that [the claims in Elliot's lawsuit] fall solely and exclusively within [that] exclusion".
So, there you go. Neither Cartagena not Homeland has as yet commented on the ruling.
Tom Petty's wife and daughters reach settlement over estate management
A statement confirming that both sides have now dismissed all legal action in relation to the dispute also says that "each of them sincerely regrets that in their intense grief over Tom's tragic death, actions were taken that were hurtful to one another".
All three will now have an equal share in the company set up to administer Petty's estate - Tom Petty Legacy LLC - which will be managed day-to-day by Will Botwin and Coran Capshaw of Red Light Management.
"We are pleased to announce the formation of Tom Petty Legacy, LLC to manage all aspects of Tom's Legacy", say Dana, Adria and Annakim in their joint statement. "We are committed to honouring Tom's voice, music, integrity and his charitable spirit".
The dispute went legal in April, when Dana Petty filed a petition with the LA County Court arguing that Adria and Annakim were making the management of the musician's estate impossible, including scuppering deals with labels over posthumous releases.
Adria then responded with her own petition, claiming that Dana was attempting to push her and her sister out of key decisions.
Royal Blood, KT Tunstall and Martin Kemp contribute to silent Christmas song in aid of The Children's Society
"Christmas is a time for family, love, light, and music", says The Children's Society's chief exec Mark Russell. "Yet, for so many children around the UK, it is none of these things. Instead it is a reminder of how different their lives are from those around them. For them, Christmas is broken".
He continues: "The silent track is a much-needed reminder that so many children are deprived not only of the Christmas spirit but of a voice each and every day. Alongside the artists who have given their silence to show their solidarity, we believe that we can give a voice to the children who need us the most, this Christmas and beyond".
Billed as The Silent Choir, other artists on the release include The Amazons, Eliza, Hrvy, Leah Weller, Freddie Long and Joanna Forest. Each artist recorded their silence separately, before all the files were added to a 'performance' by a children's choir to create the final recording.
It's not the first time a supergroup of musicians has attempted to add a few minutes of nothing to the Christmas chart in aid of charity.
In 2010, a collective under the name Cage Against The Machine - co-led by Eddy Temple-Morris and featuring Suggs, Pendulum, Billy Bragg, Imogen Heap, Enter Shikari, Coldcut, Orbital, Dan Le Sac, Scroobius Pip and Heaven 17 - reached number 21 in the festive chart with a version of John Cage's famously silent '4'33'''.
The parent company of US trade mag Billboard - Valance Media - has announced a deal with data giant Nielsen. Valence will acquire the Nielsen Music "insights and product suite" that powers Billboard's US music charts. A new data division will be set up by Valence to house the team and tech it has bought.
Post Malone has released a new video for his track 'Circles'. Or rather, videos. Split into two halves and only available on Spotify, you'll need two smartphones to watch the video properly. Find out more here.
A-Trak and Friend Within have released a new track together, 'Blaze'.
Julia Holter is writing the soundtrack for upcoming Eliza Hittman film 'Never Rarely Sometimes Always'. The film is due out in March.
James Blunt has released the video for 'The Truth', taken from his latest album 'Once Upon A Mind'.
Caroline Polachek has released an AG Cook remix of her track 'So Hot You're Hurting My Feelings'. "The original version has so many satisfying interlocking parts, with Caroline's voice being the key", says the producer. "So I thought it would be nice to change the locks, change the key, and streamline it into a more heavenly club anthem".
Kali Uchis has released the video for her recent single 'Solita'.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Jarvis Cocker "proud" of fans' Christmas protest
A late contender in the Christmas chart race, the 2006 single - with its chorus of "cunts are still running the world" - has been gaining traction since the launch of a social media campaign in the wake of the recent general election.
"What a strange couple of days", says Cocker in a post on Instagram. "I just want to say a very big thank you to everyone involved in this campaign to get 'Cunts Are Still Running The World' to number one for Christmas. What a lark! I'm so proud that people have chosen the song as a means of protest against the social, political and environmental situation we find ourselves in".
He goes on: "We've been playing this song at the recent Jarv Is shows and I often sing 'but not for long' at the very end. I truly believe that, as long as we don't give up, that is true. These are cold, hard times but initiatives like this campaign make me feel all warm and hopeful inside. Christmassy even. All proceeds go to Shelter too - so it's also doing some practical good".
Finally, he added that "a musical Christmas pressie" should be out at some point today as "another way of saying thanks".