|THURSDAY 7 MAY 2020||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Mixtape sharing platform Spinrilla has hit back at the Recording Industry Association Of America in its ongoing legal battle over how the record industry issues takedown notices under US copyright law. The RIAA's dislike of that takedown process is well known, Spinrilla says, but "their dislike of the process doesn't mean they can ignore or abuse" it... [READ MORE]|
Spinrilla hits back in ongoing takedown notice dispute with the RIAA
The takedown process at the heart of this dispute is part of the often controversial copyright safe harbour, of course. Under the safe harbour principle, internet companies cannot be held liable if and when their users upload copyright infringing material to their networks and servers, providing those companies have a system in place via which copyright owners can have that infringing content removed.
In the US, the safe harbour and accompanying takedown system is outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. With regards takedown notices, that act includes obligations for both the copyright owner issuing the takedown and the internet company receiving it. Spinrilla argues that the RIAA and its member labels have not been fulfilling their obligations when sending over takedown requests to the mixtape platform.
In its lawsuit earlier this year, Spinrilla stated: "[The RIAA] is sending DMCA takedown notices some of which materially misrepresent that audio files uploaded by certain Spinrilla's users infringe sound recordings owned by RIAA's members. These unfounded takedown notices, in turn, cause Spinrilla damage to its business in at least injury to its goodwill and reputation".
The record industry trade group formally responded to that lawsuit by filing a motion for dismissal. It claims that Spinrilla's litigation is just a distraction tactic. Because three years ago the RIAA sued Spinrilla for copyright infringement and that case continues to go through the motions. And in a court session last year, the RIAA says, a judge indicated that the safe harbour defence Spinrilla is employing probably won't hold up.
In its motion for dismissal the RIAA wrote: "Spinrilla's new lawsuit is an obvious and baseless attempt to draw the court's attention away from the views expressed by the court at that hearing and from the pending motions for summary judgment in the original case, which demonstrate Spinrilla's persistent and flagrant pattern of facilitating and encouraging massive copyright infringement".
However, the allegation that the Spinrilla takedown notice lawsuit is a distraction tactic is not enough to get that action dismissed by the judge.
In that regard the RIAA argues that the lawsuit fails to "state a claim" because it is ultimately based around a single audio file included in an RIAA takedown notice; the allegation that the RIAA knew its members didn't control the rights in that file "is based on nothing more than pure conjecture"; and Spinrilla hasn't shown that it even removed that single file or suffered any damage as a result of being asked to.
In a new legal filing Spinrilla disputes all that. Much of said legal filing goes into the technicalities of what constitutes "stating a claim" and what a plaintiff must do in order to defeat a motion to dismiss. In the process Spinrilla repeats many of its allegations from the original lawsuit, concluding - of course - that a claim has been stated and that its original legal arguments are strong enough to stop dismissal.
Along the way Spinrilla states that the RIAA's anti-infringement activities are "overzealous, as service providers - such as Spinrilla - are being asked ... to remove content that is not infringing. [The RIAA] and its members' dislike of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's takedown notice process is notorious. They claim the process is unfair because it forces them into a never-ending game of whack-a-mole".
"But their dislike of the process", it adds, "doesn't mean they can ignore or abuse the process. Each of ... the takedown notices must still be prepared and sent in good faith".
The new legal filing concludes be requesting that the court deny the RIAA's motion to dismiss, and also the trade group's alternative request for a summary judgement in its favour. Or, if the judge decides to go the summary judgement route, that Spinrilla be given more time to undertake discovery and expand on its claims before any such summary judgement is made. That would include, Spinrilla says, a deposition of RIAA exec Traci Crippen.
We now await to see how the judge responds.
NME ramps up gaming editorial
The music magazine has diversified its editorial remit over the years, of course, covering other aspects of entertainment. That was particularly true during the period when NME became a free print title distributed at train stations, record shops and universities around the UK, with movie, TV and celebrity content ramped up in order to appeal to the wider demographic that incarnation of the music mag was trying to reach.
The NME.com website reflected that trend too and has continued to publish film and TV content since the UK printed version was shutdown. The plan now is to significantly increase coverage of gaming in all its various forms, with journalists like James McMahon, Vikki Blake, Jason Coles and Jordan Oloman on board to help with that process.
The magazine's UK Country Director Holly Bishop says of the latest editorial expansion: "We know our audience of music fans have a diverse mix of passions, which is why we're expanding our editorial content offering in what promises to be a revolutionary period for the NME brand".
"With a unique blend of long reads, hero content, franchises, reviews and interactive streams, we'll be breaking what's new, what's hot and what's next in gaming", she adds. "The old idea of the gamer as some kind of bedroom-bound malcontent is gone. Gaming people are music people are film people. And they're all NME people".
Lovely stuff. If you're a pigeon-hole-shirking gaming-come-music-come-film-come-NME-person, you'll find all this new NME-style gaming editorial here.
Kraftwerk's Florian Schneider dies
Born in 1947, Schneider began playing in bands as a student in the 60s - his first band calling themselves Pissoff. In 1970 he formed Kraftwerk with Ralf Hütter, initially with a regularly changing line-up of other members.
The duo were influenced by the West German art rock scene of the time - jokingly/offensively dubbed 'krautrock' in the UK - with Schneider primarily playing flute, although he also used violins, guitars and synthesisers on their early records. Over time, they gravitated more to electronic instruments, developing what would now be recognised as the Kraftwerk sound.
Their first commercial success came with fourth album 'Autobahn', their first to fully embrace that repetitive electronic sound. Side one of the album on vinyl was taken up by the 23 minute title track, designed to evoke the feeling of travelling on a German motorway. The LP enjoyed particular success in the UK, where it went to number four in the album chart.
Four years later, in 1978, they released their seventh album, 'The Man-Machine', which has gone on to be their best known. Featuring the song 'The Model', it was not initially as successful as 'Autobahn', but its popularity and influence has only grown with time. By this point in their career, their music was wholly electronic, them having ditched the remaining light use of acoustic instruments after 'Autobahn'.
In 2003, they released their first album in seventeen years, 'Tour De France Soundtracks', which was written to commemorate the centenary of the French cycle race. The group continued to tour, but in 2008 Schneider left the group with no clear reason given. A year later, Hütter told The Guardian that Schneider had "not really [been] involved in Kraftwerk for many, many years".
After leaving the group, Schneider - already fairly private - largely withdrew from public life. However, he did return in 2015 with new track 'Stop Plastic Pollution' as part of a campaign to highlight the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean. Speaking to Dazed at the time, he said that he had been inspired to make that track by "taking a swim in the ocean at the coasts of Ghana, watching fishermen catch nothing but plastic garbage in their nets".
I Like Trains announce new album, release new single The Truth
"This was one of the final tracks to come together for the album", says vocalist David Martin. "It came from a list I was keeping over a number of months. I would follow the news and social media and add a line or two a day, so that it ended up plotting the news cycle over that period".
"The amount of information we're fed on a daily basis is enormous", he continues. "Everyone is so keen to 'break' the news as quickly as possible, that it becomes impossible to comprehend it, and draw a meaningful narrative through it. How does this event connect to that one? Who gains what because this happened? Who is missing out? It's exhausting".
As for how this fits in with the rest of the album, he says: "An I Like Trains record doesn't really start to take shape until there's a theme. That point came following Edward Snowden's NSA leaks in 2013. We didn't set out to write a record about current affairs, but the path we set out on converged drastically with that daily discourse. The album inadvertently became about populist politics across the world. Brexit, Trump, Cambridge Analytica and covert Russian influence ended up at the centre of it all".
Last month the band became the first signing to Shubert Music's new Atlantic Curve label. The company is set to release 'Kompromat' on 21 Aug. The band will discuss the album with journalist Simon Catling in a livestream on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages on Saturday 9 May ay 8.30pm UK time.
Deep Throat Choir launch label, release new single
"I wanted to formalise a cohesive space for all of us within Deep Throat Choir making work on our own, be it solo or collaborative; so really [launching this label is about] giving a name to a collective that already exists, and making fertile ground for even more collaborative work", says choir leader Luisa Gerstein.
"Outside the longer-term projects of albums and EPs", she adds, "I want to have a space where we can create and put out stuff more regularly, sometimes without the context of that bigger project".
Meanwhile, she says, 'Camille' is "an exploration of the feeling that the boundaries between yourself and the natural world, or somebody else, are entirely porous and dissolving".
New projects set for release on Amorphous Sounds are set to be announced shortly. For now, listen to 'Camille' here.
Roxanne de Bastion promotes new single with virtual tour
Don't worry, no social distancing rules are being broken here, it's a virtual tour. De Bastion has teamed up with various venues and gig promoters around the country and will be livestreaming from her home, but via the social channels of those local venues and promoters.
She explains: "I'm really excited to have found a way to continue working together with independent venues and promoters that I've enjoyed working with in the past and hope this will be mutually beneficial".
"I'm looking forward to introducing my music to new audiences", she goes on, "and will try and treat it as much as a proper show as possible. Expect a mix of brand new songs, as well as material off my 2017 'Heirlooms & Hearsay' album, and maybe the odd cover song so you can sing along from your sofa".
The virtual tour will virtually visit Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Manchester, Plymouth, Coventry, Leeds and Brighton - with links to each show here. Those tuning in will be invited to make donations via PayPal.
Del Amitri have signed a new record deal with Cooking Vinyl. "Del Amitri are THRILLED to have signed with Cooking Vinyl, a company whose working methods and rugged independence we have long admired", says frontman Justin Burrie. The band will release their first studio album since 2002 next year.
Fearless Records has signed The Pretty Reckless to a new record deal, with new music set for release imminently. Vocalist Taylor Momsen will also play an acoustic performance as part of the label's Fearless At Home virtual festival on Saturday.
Songwriter and producer Sean Douglas has signed a new publishing deal with Warner Chappell, which sees him return to the company after four years with Sony/ATV. "We're THRILLED to welcome Sean back to the fold", says the Warner publisher's US A&R dude Ryan Press.
UK music charity Help Musicians has appointed Evelyn Glennie as its new President, making her the first woman in the organisation's almost hundred year history to hold the role. "It is a great pleasure for me to accept the position of presidency of Help Musicians", she says. "The incredibly important all-encompassing role Help Musicians have within the music industry is immense, whether through their cutting-edge research or their immediate call to action in drastic times as we are presently experiencing".
Anders Lindberg has been appointed Marketing Director of Warner Music Nordics. Lindberg started his career at Warner, leaving in 2008 and going on to work for Sony Music and Universal Music. "I'm delighted to be coming home to Warner", he says. Oh Anders, Anders, Anders. Why did you ever leave?
Lady Gaga has announced that she will now release her new album, 'Chromatica', on 29 May. She postponed the original April release in March, saying that she didn't feel it was right to release new music in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Weezer have released new single 'Hero'. The release of their new album, 'Van Weezer', has been postponed. A new release date has not yet been announced.
Jamie XX has released the video for recent single 'Idontknow'.
Jehnny Beth has released new single 'Heroine'. "When I think of this song, I think of Romy from The xx strangling my neck with her hands in the studio", she says. "She was trying to get me out of my shell lyrically, and there was so much resistance in me she lost her patience".
NZCA Lines has released new single 'Real Good Time'. The song, he says, "stars an unhinged narrator arriving uninvited to a scary dance party". His new album, 'Pure Luxury', is out on 10 Jul.
Squid have released the video for new single 'Sludge', created using 360° videos sent in from fans in lockdown around the world.
G Flip has released new single 'Hyperfine'. "I started playing this live on my album tour late last year and people really got around it and have been demanding it ever since", she says. "If you're not feeling 'fine' right now, don't be afraid to speak up about it. We're in this together".
Andy And The Odd Socks - who either mean nothing to you or are treated as gods in your home - have confirmed that they will release their new album, 'Who's In The Odd Socks?', on 22 May. Anyone who pre-orders the CD through their website will be able to get a personalised birthday song for their child, which I can already tell you is going to make me very popular. Here's new single 'Save All The Animals'.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Brian May rules out Bohemian Rhapsody sequel
Released in 2018, after many years in development spent burning through directors and lead actors, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' proved a massive financial success and won many awards. This despite, at least in a technical sense, the film not being very good at all. Many also criticised the way the film treated Mercury's sexuality and HIV diagnosis, as well as the generally lax historical accuracy - despite May and drummer Roger Taylor being directly involved with the production.
If a sequel were to be made, it had been suggested that there are other areas of the band's career missed out in 'Bohemian Rhapsody' upon which a story could be built. Or, if it followed on chronologically, it would have to focus on Mercury's HIV diagnosis and death.
"I don't think that would be an uplifting thing to do", says May of the latter option, speaking to Rolling Stone. "I'm not saying it's impossible because there is a great story there, but we don't feel that's the story we want to tell at the moment".
As for picking something else from earlier in their career, he says: "There's a million things in our career which you couldn't show [in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'] since the movie had to be so simplified to make it watchable. But we don't really think there's another movie there. That's the long and the short of it. I think we should look somewhere else. There are other ideas that we had, but I don't think a sequel will happen. But we have looked at it pretty seriously".
"Things could change, I suppose", he adds, "but I think it would be difficult".
Last week, May, Taylor and current Queen vocalist Adam Lambert released a version of 'We Are The Champions', recorded remotely in lockdown. The new version, featuring tweaked lyrics, pays tribute to healthcare workers, with income from the track being donated to the WHO's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Watch the video here.