TODAY'S TOP STORY: The UK government's Intellectual Property Office and CMU Insights this morning published 'Music Copyright Explained', a new free guide to the ins and outs of music copyright. Aimed at music-makers - as well as the music industry and anyone making use of music - the new guide is available online or as a PDF download... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES IPO and CMU launch new guide Music Copyright Explained
LEGAL Music Artists Coalition supports change to Californian law to extend seven year rule to music-makers
LIVE BUSINESS UK Council Of Music Makers calls for government support fund to cover increased post-Brexit EU touring costs
AEG to manage revamped Civic Halls in Wolverhampton

DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES YouTube Shorts pilot rolling out in the US
MEDIA BBC and Warner Music launch new podcast Songs To Live By
ONE LINERS 7digital, KRU Music, SoundCloud, more
AND FINALLY... Sting regrets Police reunion
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The music industry went to war with YouTube over safe harbour and the value gap. What does that even mean? And who is winning the battle? We look at 2019's controversial European Copyright Directive and what impact it will - or will not - have, and whether those reforms can - or will - be adopted by the US. Plot twist: maybe YouTube wasn't even the real problem.
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Artist And Songwriter Rights In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the rights artists and songwriters enjoy over their music
Music Rights Data In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to music rights data, data standards and databases
Music Industry Basics In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to all the different strands of the modern music industry
Streaming Challenges In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the challenges facing the streaming business in 2020
Collective Licensing In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the collective licensing system
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IPO and CMU launch new guide Music Copyright Explained
The UK government's Intellectual Property Office and CMU Insights this morning published 'Music Copyright Explained', a new free guide to the ins and outs of music copyright. Aimed at music-makers - as well as the music industry and anyone making use of music - the new guide is available online or as a PDF download.

The IPO is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property rights including copyright. With the shift to digital making it so much easier to record and share music, the IPO recognises that it's more important than ever for all music-makers and other online creators to understand the basics of music copyright and music licensing. That's why it commissioned CMU to create 'Music Copyright Explained'.

At the heart of the guide are the top five music copyright facts: that there are two distinct sets of music rights; that copyright allows music-makers to control how their music is used in a number of ways; that copyright is automatic and collaborators need to agree ownership; that music-makers work with various business partners to manage and monetise their rights; and that performers have rights even when they don't own the copyright in recordings they appear on.

There are also sections that explain how the music industry licenses its rights in various scenarios; an overview of how music copyright works on a global basis; five top tips for music-makers; and five more for people making use of music.

Launching the guide this morning, Tim Moss, CEO of the Intellectual Property Office, said: "The UK has an amazing, world-leading music community. It makes a significant contribution to the UK economy and promotes the UK on the global stage. As more people make and share music online, or videos containing music, it's important those creators understand the intellectual property they are creating and exploiting".

"'Music Copyright Explained' does a brilliant job of breaking down the often-complicated world of music copyright and music licensing in a way that makes it easy to understand", he added. "In doing so it will help creators ensure their work is rewarded, shared and used in the right way".

Meanwhile, CMU Founder and Managing Director Chris Cooke added: "Copyright is all about giving creative people control over the output of their creativity, in the case of music the songs they write and the tracks they record. That control allows music-makers to decide how their songs and recordings get used and to build a business around their music. It's great to be able to work with IPO on this new guide ensuring that everyone in the music community has access to the knowledge and information they need to take control of their music-making".

CMU is presenting a free 'Music Copyright Explained' webinar to coincide with the launch. Three editions of that webinar are happening this week, at 1pm today, Wednesday and Friday. That will be followed by a series of 'Music Copyright Explained' panel discussions in early April.

To download the guide and sign up for the webinars and panels go to


Music Artists Coalition supports change to Californian law to extend seven year rule to music-makers
The US Music Artists Coalition last week supported proposals to reform the seven year rule in California's employment laws so that recording artists will definitely benefit from the principle.

That rule within Californian state law says that people can cancel personal service contracts after seven years. Quite what that means for record and music publishing contracts signed in California has long been debated, given such music industry deals tend to be linked to output - ie number of albums or songs - rather than time.

In terms of record deals, a 1980s amendment to the rule has proven significant over the years. It says that labels can seek damages if an artist cancelling a deal after seven years means they are out of pocket based on their upfront investment. Artists and managers argue that - in most cases - that renders this particular protection under Californian law useless for music-makers.

California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has now proposed changes to the California Labor Code - dubbed the FAIR Act - that would ensure recording artists could benefit from the seven year rule. It would also increase the rights of actors who are under exclusivity deals with production studios in the state.

Speaking on behalf of the MAC, veteran artist manager Irving Azoff said last week: "Streaming has been an unprecedented bonanza for the record labels, but not so for artists. It is unfair that the only Californians excluded from the protection of the seven year statute are recording artists. We ask our record label partners and members of the California legislature to join us and support this important initiative. We must protect artists and modernise this archaic law".

Meanwhile, Gonzalez added: "The landscape of the entertainment industry has dramatically changed, yet companies still benefit from outdated laws that allow them to wield an overwhelming amount of control over artists. No worker should ever be bound to an unreasonable contract that holds them back from making decisions about their own livelihood. It's time we changed the law to reflect a new reality for creators. I introduced the FAIR Act to simply ensure artists are empowered to freely practice their craft and pursue a career doing what they love".


UK Council Of Music Makers calls for government support fund to cover increased post-Brexit EU touring costs
The UK Council Of Music Makers is calling on the British government to launch a 'European touring transition fund' to support musicians facing increased costs for touring the EU post-Brexit. The call comes as it seems increasingly unlikely that the government will secure visa-free EU-wide touring for UK artists before COVID restrictions are lifted and live shows begin again, if at all.

Without support, says the group - which comprises music industry trade bodies the Featured Artists Coalition, The Ivors Academy, the Music Managers Forum, the Music Producers Guild and the Musicians' Union - artists will face costs that will mean - in the short term, at least - that touring in some European countries could become impossible.

"While the CMM welcomes recent support from the Chancellor for music makers and their teams in relation to the devastating impact of the pandemic - with the extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, furlough and Culture Recovery Fund - there is a further, immediate crisis for these workers now facing another blow due to Brexit disarray", says the CMM.

"This is killing UK music export opportunities and stifling UK music's global standing, culturally and economically. The UK's reputation as one of the greatest homes of musical talent, that has toured the world, bringing income to the UK and exerting soft power, is at significant risk".

When the last minute UK/EU post-Brexit trade deal was agreed in December, it had no provisions for bureaucracy-free touring, of course, either for UK artists going to the EU or vice versa. Both the UK and EU blame each other for this situation - each having put forward proposals that were knocked back by the other side.

The lack of an EU-wide arrangement for musicians means that they will have to deal with each European country individually when it comes to visas and permits. For some countries, that means very little will change. However, for others, artists may have to secure travel permits for themselves and crew, and carnets for their equipment. This may add hundreds or even thousands of pounds to the cost of a tour, which for many artists will make touring across Europe impossible.

UK ministers have agreed that this is an issue, but have frequently put the onus on the EU to sort it out. With COVID restrictions still blocking any touring from taking place, for now, there is currently a window in which to come up with a solution. However, that window closes a little more every day, and music industry groups are increasingly concerned by the apparent lack of action from the government.

Now, the CMM is calling for ministers to put in place a fund to cover the additional costs incurred by artists for any European touring that happens before any new bureaucracy-removing agreements can be made, either with the EU at large or individual EU member states, or possibly both.

"British artists played over 20,000 dates touring Europe (in 2019, pre-Covid), in turn employing more than 30,000 people (including musicians and crew), cementing our international reputation as leading the world in creating great music", it says.

"Not only does live performance create critical revenue for performers and their teams, it also acts to fuel the creation of the music that sits at the core of our recorded industry. We need urgent help now to ensure British talent is not blocked from growing their audiences internationally in the short term which brings long term implications on loss of future revenue".

All this talk of new post-Brexit costs can seem somewhat abstract. So, the CMM has also put together a case study to show exactly how artists will be affected if new agreements cannot be reached with the EU or member states to avoid any new bureaucracy kicking in.

Elder Island had tour dates booked around Europe in 2020, which have now been pushed back to 2022. Spain is a key market for the band. They have guaranteed fees of £4000 for two headline shows in the country, which would have ensured that their Spanish dates would break even, had they taken place in 2020. However, visa costs that were not necessary when contracts for the shows were negotiated could add as much as £2450. This increased cost could mean that the band have to cancel the Spanish leg of the tour entirely.

There may be additional knock on effects of this, the CMM adds. These include: a drop in a band's long term earning potential; a drop in merch sales income as the number of shows they play shrinks; a drop in streaming revenues in countries where they don't perform; a loss of work for crew members; a loss of future work (particularly at upcoming festivals) in countries where shows have to be cancelled; and further cancellations in other countries to ensure that updated routing of a European tour makes sense.

Preliminary research by the CMM shows that UK artists play on average more than four times the number of EU shows as compared to their next biggest market, the US. And with acts on average engaging eighteen people per tour (including the artists themselves, additional musicians and crew), that's more than 33,000 people in total annually - more than double that of the fishing industry, which has received a £23 million post-Brexit support package already.

There is a general concern for many in the music industry that, while the government says it is sympathetic to problems brought about by Brexit, many ministers still see music as little more than a hobby. The CMM's new statement continues efforts to push the economic contribution made by the music industry and its importance to the UK both financially and culturally.


AEG to manage revamped Civic Halls in Wolverhampton
AEG Presents has won the bidding to run Wolverhampton's Civic Halls, the city-owned complex that is due to re-open next year following a major multi-million-pound refurbishment programme.

The city's council says that its revamped Civic Halls will "play a key part in the city's economic recovery and 're-light' and will again host leading musical and entertainment acts, business events and conferences". Meanwhile, the involvement of AEG will result in "exciting and ambitious plans" to secure "bigger and better acts and events" for the venue.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield, says of the deal: "This is a huge coup and massive vote of confidence in the council's strategy and in our fantastic city. AEG Presents are a leading, global brand who see the immense opportunity and potential that both the Civic Halls and our city have to offer".

"AEG Presents' passion for the iconic halls and ambition for the future matches our own", he adds. "This partnership will not only deliver an outstanding venue with top-class entertainment for generations to come - it will be a keystone of our wider plans to reimagine the city centre, to create local jobs and grow vital local businesses. Never has this been more needed than now, as we plot a path out of the pandemic".

Confirming the deal from the AEG Presents side, CEO Steve Homer chips in: "Wolverhampton Civic Halls has a great history of being a first class venue for live music - when looking to expand our portfolio of venues it was the obvious choice. The Council's ambition, commercial drive and significant investment coupled with our desire to provide high quality entertainment and customer service will forge a great partnership for years to come".


YouTube Shorts pilot rolling out in the US
YouTube last week announced that it is now rolling out the beta run of its TikTok rival Shorts into the US market. It began piloting the mobile app that allows users to more easily "create short, catchy videos" in India last September.

In a blog post last week, YouTube stated: "With our Shorts beta in India, we had foundational creation tools, like a multi-segment camera to string multiple video clips together, the ability to record with music, control speed settings, and more. And today we're adding more features, like the ability to add text to specific points in your video. You'll also be able to sample audio from other Shorts so you can remix it into your own creation".

"In the coming months", it added, "we'll launch the ability to use audio from videos across YouTube - which includes billions of videos worldwide - unlocking a new playground of creativity like never before. This means you can give your own creative spin on the content you love to watch on YouTube and help find it a new audience - whether it's reacting to your favourite jokes, trying your hand at a creator's latest recipe, or re-enacting comedic skits".

Good times! Although, YouTube was keen to note, creators on its main platform will be able to opt out of this Shorts adventure, if they'd rather not have their audio being grabbed and reworked on the new-fangled app.

As with TikTok and Instagram Reels, music is pretty key to Shorts, of course. "We've also worked alongside our music partners to make sure artists and creators have a large library of songs to use in their Shorts", YouTube also added of the American roll out.

"As we launch our beta in the US, we'll have millions of songs (and growing), music catalogues from over 250 labels and publishers, including Universal Music Group's labels and publishing companies, Sony Music Entertainment and Publishing, Warner Music Group and Warner Chappell Music, Believe, Merlin, 300 Entertainment, Kobalt, Beggars, CD Baby, Empire, Peer, Reservoir, OneRPM and more. As we expand Shorts, the library and number of partners will continue to grow".

Will the good times never cease? This just in: they will.


BBC and Warner Music launch new podcast Songs To Live By
The BBC and Warner Music have launched the first in a series of new podcasts that they are making together. Hosted by Radio 1's Vick Hope, 'Songs To Live By' features interviews with black celebrities about their life through music.

"'Songs To Live By' is a really special project", says Hope. "A listening party that I cannot wait for you all to get down at; a labour of love that has made myself and my guests both laugh and cry together, brought great joy but also reflection on the world we live in, how far we have come and the obstacles, the pain and suffering that those who went before us withstood, whilst looking with optimism to the future".

"We cover civil rights to Windrush, Black LGBTQ+ Pride to racism and activism in the diaspora, but also our passions and when we realised them, excelled at them, inspired others with them", she continues. "Led by a black team, this podcast is about our backgrounds, our heritage, our culture, our home lives: the Motown we listened to growing up, gospel in church on Sundays, dancing with our parents to Afrobeat on a Saturday night, sneaking out to hip hop clubs... The moments we lost ourselves in music and found ourselves in music".

"This podcast shines a light on our roots and our routes", she concludes. "The changes these amazing guests have made, but also the change that still - in the words of Sam Cooke - is gonna come".

The first episode, featuring Rizzle Kicks' Jordan Stephens and poet Benjamin Zephaniah, is available now on the BBC Sounds app.


Setlist: Spotify gets in on the streaming economics debate
CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including Spotify's new website formally laying out its positions on the different aspects of the economics of streaming debate, and calls for the Recording Academy to support publishing contract reform.

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 | Amazon Music | Apple Podcasts | audioBoom | CastBox | Deezer | Google Podcasts | iHeart | Mixcloud | RSS | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn


B2B music provider 7digital has struck a deal to provide Chinese video-based social media service Kuaishou with licensed music. "This long-term contract expands 7digital's footprint in this high-growth sector, making us one of the largest providers of licensed music to global social media giants and tech-driven consumer brands", says 7digital CEO Paul Langworthy. "This latest partnership exemplifies the breadth and depth of our capabilities and is expected to be a significant contributor to our revenue growth in this market segment".

Malaysian indie label KRU Music has partnered with Warner's artist and label services division ADA which will market and distribute its artists' music across South East Asia and worldwide. "With this collaboration, KRU Music and our artists can leverage Warner's size and strength to ensure our music will be more visible on hundreds of streaming platforms aiding its discovery by their users", says KRU CEO Dato Norman Abdul Halim. "This will give us more time and energy to focus on other aspects such as the songs, the videos and engaging with our fans".



SoundCloud has named Drew Wilson as its new COO and CFO. COFO? Anyway, he says: "I am THRILLED to have the opportunity to join SoundCloud on expanding the company's strategic vision and operational effectiveness. SoundCloud is well suited to grow and serve its young artist and listener community while taking advantage of new opportunities and changes in the market".

Temi Adeniji has been appointed to the combined role of Managing Director of Warner Music South Africa and SVP, Strategy, Sub-Saharan Africa. "The world is waking up to the rich and diverse talent present in myriad thriving music scenes across the [African] continent", he says. "As this increasingly interconnected digital world continues to remove barriers to music discovery, there is no doubt that in the years ahead we will continue to see even more global superstars from Africa".



Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes and violinist Wendy Bevan have released their debut album together, 'Astronomia I: The Fall Of Saturn'. From it, this is 'The Great Attractor'. There's more to come, with the duo recording 52 instrumentals inspired by the universe over the last year. "Merging the drama and moods of classical music with the textures and atmospheres of analogue synthesisers created the rich palette of sounds that we used to make the 'Astronomia' albums", says Rhodes. "Each track is like a sonic painting, where different styles, colours and composition form singular pieces that belong in the same exhibition".

George McFall has released new mixtape 'Diurnal Patio', a six track release created entirely from samples of tracks recorded by Big Country. They were McFall's favourite band as a child, when his family moved from the south of England to Scotland, with him using their music to help him through that upheaval. As an adult, he rediscovered those albums and "a melancholic sense of longing" in their music. Using this, he created new songs, covering topics such as Scotland, the North, post-industrialism, globalisation, tourism, addiction and mental health.

Sarah Klang will release her new album 'Virgo' on 7 May. Here's latest single 'Anywhere'.



Westlife will play two shows at Wembley Stadium on 21-22 Aug, becoming the first major music act to play the venue in over two years. "The Wembley weekend is going to be a massive celebration", reckon the band. "It will be full of surprises and special guests on both nights. It is not to be missed".

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


Sting regrets Police reunion
Sting has said that he regrets reforming The Police back in 2007, dismissing it as "an exercise in nostalgia" and saying he would never have done it if he'd realised that was how he'd end up feeling about it.

"At the time I labelled the tour an exercise in nostalgia", he tells Readers Digest magazine. "That was simply how I felt and is still how I feel today".

"I think it's OK to be honest about your feelings and that was the way it went for me", he adds. "That's not a slight on the people I was with or the way things panned out, it's just how I saw it by the end, and let's be honest, that's not how I wanted to remember it. If I thought that would be the emotion I'd be leaving with, I wouldn't have done it in the first place".

The band made their big return with a performance at the 2007 Grammy Awards and began a world tour later that year. That then became the third highest grossing tour of all time by the end of 2008. And, by the way, it is still the sixteenth highest grossing tour ever, adjusted for inflation.

Speaking of nostalgia, which isn't always a bad thing, seemingly, Sting was being interviewed because he's just released a new compilation of duets from across his career.


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 consultancy unit 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 Insights 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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