TODAY'S TOP STORY: The big old Lady A trademark litigation is staying in Tennessee. Lady A are very happy about this news. Lady A is rather annoyed. And if anyone is confused about any of this, maybe you should put yourself forward as a witness supporting Lady A's defence and countersuit. Lady A, however, would prefer it if you kept quiet... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Judge declines to force Lady A v Lady A case to Washington state
DEALS Influence Media acquires Julia Michael copyrights
BMG signs Carl Cox

LABELS & PUBLISHERS Sentric Music hires Bridget O'Gara Bloom to head up US sync department
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING MMF launches updated mental health guide at The Great Escape
INDUSTRY PEOPLE Harvey Mason Jr official becomes Recording Academy CEO
ONE LINERS Martin Garrix, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, more
AND FINALLY... Roc Nation now has an official greetings card partner
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email or call 020 7099 9060.
Erased Tapes is currently seeking a creative and organised Sync Licensing Assistant to support the company's Head of Publishing in a wide variety of tasks.

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The ISM is looking for an experienced professional to work closely with the CEO to lead its external affairs function.

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Kilimanjaro is seeking an experienced Ticketing Project Manager to join its busy Ticketing team.

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The Columbo Group is looking for a Graphic Designer & Video Editor to work across some of its music venues; including Jazz Cafe, Phonox and Metropolis.

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Youth-led charity Small Green Shoots is seeking a Managing Director to lead a staff team of nine, plus ten part-time trainees and a rolling programme of work placements.

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Sentric Music is looking for a Copyright Assistant to support the administration of music copyrights on behalf of its publishing partners and catalogue owners.

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Kudos Records is an independent music distribution company. Due to continued expansion, there now exists an opportunity to join its sales and label management team.

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Domino is seeking a Digital Account Manager to oversee digital account relationships and strategy, to lead key partnerships and activity with digital music service providers.

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Secretly Group is seeking a Marketing Director (UK/Europe) to lead artist marketing campaigns.

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Ninja Tune is seeking a reliable and experienced NTPM Audio Producer to join the Ninja Tune Production team in the UK office, on a full-time basis.

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The Jazz Cafe is looking for a Marketing Manager to join its team.

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The Columbo Group is looking for a Marketing Manager to work on The Blues Kitchen and The Old Queens Head.

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Tuesday 18 May 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKET
The music rights business makes money by exploiting the controls that come with the copyrights in songs and recordings. Get to grips with all the basic principles of copyright law and how music copyright makes money in this user-friendly easy-to-follow webinar.
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Artist And Songwriter Rights In Ten Steps
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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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Judge declines to force Lady A v Lady A case to Washington state
The big old Lady A trademark litigation is staying in Tennessee. Lady A are very happy about this news. Lady A is rather annoyed. And if anyone is confused about any of this, maybe you should put yourself forward as a witness supporting Lady A's defence and countersuit. Lady A, however, would prefer it if you kept quiet.

One of the Lady As in this ongoing legal battle, of course, is the band formally known as Lady Antebellum. They announced in June last year that they were changing their name, due to the word antebellum's associations with the slave trade. The new name they chose was Lady A, a nickname they said that many fans already used. However, they were quickly criticised by the other Lady A in the case, blues singer Anita White, who had been performing under that name for more than 20 years.

Initial discussions attempting to resolve the issue appeared positive, with an agreement struck that would allow both parties to continue to use the name and see the band offer a certain amount of career support to White.

However, Lady A the singer wasn't happy with the written agreement that came out of those discussions. She then hired new legal representation which wrote an alternative agreement, allegedly including a $10 million pay off for their client – significantly more than the originally agreed $10,000.

Having received that proposal, Lady A the band went legal last July, arguing that they own the registered trademark in the name in the US and have done so for a decade. Lady A the singer then filed her own lawsuit last September, arguing that she had "accrued common law rights" in the name simply by using it for so long.

The band went legal in Tennessee, whereas White sued in her home state of Washington. Under US court rules, where two suits are very similar, the later-filed case is generally transferred to the district where the first was filed, which would mean this dispute being fought out in Tennessee. However, last December, White submitted a legal filing arguing that, in this case, the dispute should be shifted to her home state, even though she filed her litigation second.

But the judge overseeing the band's lawsuit has declined to force any such transfer, concluding that White has failed to present a compelling case as to why the dispute cannot be fought in his court. Among the reasons for keeping the legal battle in the band's chosen state are that White has performed there, her music is available online there, and she engaged legal representation in Tennessee - albeit pro bono - when initially negotiating a settlement with the band.

Another argument presented by White was that most of the witnesses she would call to prove she had been using the Lady A name for more than 20 years are based in Washington. The judge did accept that this was likely the case, but added: "Defendant claims nationwide common law rights in the trademark. Therefore, supporting witnesses presumably will not be limited to those residing in the Washington area, but will include witnesses residing in other states, including Tennessee".

One other issue raised by White was the cost of defending the legal action in Tennessee, and the hugely different level of resources available to the two sides in the dispute. "As for the costs of litigating, the court acknowledges that plaintiffs likely have more financial resources", the judge conceded, "but defendant has not provided any specifics about the costs she expects to incur".

"Without more information regarding expected litigation costs", he went on, "this factor does not weigh in favour of transfer. As for her own travel expenses ... defendant has travelled to Tennessee for music-related activities at least once a year over the last several years. In terms of private interest factors, therefore, defendant has not shown that the Western District Of Washington is a more convenient forum for this litigation".

With all that in mind, the judge declined to force the transfer of the case to Washington, and likewise knocked back White's additional attempts to dismiss the lawsuit outright. And so the Lady A v Lady A dispute continues. In Tennessee.


Influence Media acquires Julia Michael copyrights
Influence Media Partners has acquired a number of copyrights in the catalogue of Julia Michaels, including the writer's share of hits such as Justin Bieber's 'Sorry', Ed Sheeran's 'Dive' and Selena Gomez's 'Bad Liar'.

"Like Carole King, Sia and Bruno Mars before her, Julia Michaels belongs in the pantheon of great songwriters who can write classics for themselves as well as other artists", says Influence Media founder Lylette Pizarro. "We've wanted to be in business with Julia since the days we were founded, in 2018, and are THRILLED that her team took a chance on us in what was a very competitive deal-making process".

Michaels herself adds: "I'm excited to team up with Lylette, Lynn and the Influence Media team to put some of my favourite songs from the first chapter of my career into the trusted hands of two badass female execs. I'm excited and proud that my music will continue to touch new people for years to come through their expertise".

Now, go and listen to this episode of the Switched On Pop podcast, which delves into Julia Michaels' distinct songwriting style.


BMG signs Carl Cox
BMG has signed Carl Cox to a new record deal as he prepares to release his first studio album for a decade.

"I had my first single out with BMG many years ago so I couldn't be more pleased to be now signed there as a recording artist", says Cox. "Being in the studio all year and digging deep alongside BMG's support will, I hope, make the first album something special. I can't wait to share my music with the world".

The deal comes amid a busy year for Cox, who, as well as recording his new album, is preparing his debut live show. He also has residencies on BBC Radio 1 and VR platform Sensorium Galaxy. His autobiography 'Oh Yes, Oh Yes!' will be released in August, and he recently announced a scholarship for a student to study for a degree in electronic music at music college WaterBear in Brighton.


Sentric Music hires Bridget O'Gara Bloom to head up US sync department
Sentric Music has hired Bridget O'Gara Bloom as Head Of Sync, North America, and also promoted Patrick Cloherty to Head Of Sync, Europe.

"I couldn’t be happier to welcome Bridget into the company", says CEO Chris Meehan. "Her far reaching experience and network in the US sync market makes her the perfect addition to the division at a time of global expansion. Meanwhile, Patrick's faultless depth of knowledge of our client base, catalogues and proposition makes this the ideal next step for him. After a landmark year for the sync team at Sentric, it was only right that he has stepped up to take over the European strategy and full team operations. I look forward to seeing the exciting opportunities the two bring in their new roles".

Cloherty comments: "I can't think of a better time to step up into this role, after witnessing rapid expansion of the company and, more specifically, the sync division over the last few years. The team is in a really strong position and I'm excited to get stuck in, working our partners' catalogues in new territories and sectors. Bridget is a great addition to the team and I look forward to working alongside her to bolster our offering for clients and further build on Sentric's reputation in the global sync market".

O'Gara Bloom adds: "I'm THRILLED to start this new chapter in my professional life. Chris's dedication to strategically expand Sentric Music Group into the North American market speaks volumes about his confidence in cementing the company as a competitive, global music brand. With the industry spotlight currently focused on music publishing, I feel Sentric's innovative business practices stand out as best in class. It's an exciting time for music and I look forward to bringing added value to our Sentric catalogue and songwriters through sync. The fit couldn't be better!"

With 20 years experience in sync, O'Gara Bloom began her career in the film and TV composer agency sector and has since had leading roles with Dreamworks Music Publishing and Dimensional Music Publishing before founding The Cellar Music sync agency.


MMF launches updated mental health guide at The Great Escape
The UK's Music Managers Forum has today published a new version of its 'Guide To Mental Health', updating the free resource it originally produced in partnership with Music Support and Help Musicians back in 2017.

The new expanded version of the guide has been co-authored by Sam Parker of specialist music mental health consultants Parker Consulting, who is also a co-founder of Music Support. Among the topics covered are stress management, imposter syndrome, anxiety and depression, alcoholism and drug dependency, and healthy boundaries. The guide is being launched with a panel discussion at the online edition of The Great Escape.

Commenting on the new version of the guide, MMF Chair Paul Craig says: "I'm really proud that the MMF continues to recognise the importance of mental health support for music managers and artists. Through initiatives like this updated guide and our revised Code Of Practice we continue to be part of a vital industry-wide conversation".

"Managers and artists often experience extreme stress, with a myriad of highs and lows, which has only recently been properly recognised and which the pandemic has exacerbated and placed immense focus on", he goes on. "The more we talk openly and candidly about these pressures, the better the safeguarding and guidance everyone will be able to provide in the coming years".

Meanwhile, co-author Parker adds: "Music has the power to educate, to break down cultural, social and economic barriers, to influence politics and promote cultural appreciation. As an audience member at a live show it can make you dance, sing and share a common experience with those around you that will be remembered forever. It enriches the human experience".

"What better job could there be than to facilitate this?", he continues. "But sometimes the level of intensity can take its toll. This updated guide takes some of those challenges and presents solutions, which I hope will allow artist managers to successfully support the work and careers of their artists without sacrificing their own health and well-being in the process. All whilst performing a job that is truly unique. I look forward to discussing the nature of this relationship and the guide at the Great Escape today".

You can download the new guide here.


Harvey Mason Jr official becomes Recording Academy CEO
Harvey Mason Jr has been officially named the new president and CEO of Grammy Awards organiser The Recording Academy. He has held the roles on an interim basis since January 2020, following the sudden departure of his predecessor Deborah Dugan.

"It's been a year of unprecedented, transformational change for the Recording Academy, and I'm immensely proud to be able to continue our journey of growth with these latest updates to our awards process", says Mason. "This is a new Academy, one that is driven to action and that has doubled down on the commitment to meeting the needs of the music community".

"While change and progress are key drivers of our actions, one thing will always remain - the Grammy Award is the only peer-driven and peer-voted recognition in music", he goes on. "We are honoured to work alongside the music community year-round to further refine and protect the integrity of the awards process".

Mason Jr took over days before the 2020 Grammy Awards, after Dugan was fired just months into the job. On her way out, she made various allegations against the organisation, including that the Grammy Awards was inherently corrupt. That's something Mason Jr has, not entirely successfully, being attempting to counteract ever since.

Following this year's ceremony, he announced that (in most categories) the event would no longer use committees to decide the final shortlists - instead leaving it up to the voting members of the wider Academy.


CMU Insights: Bespoke music business training for your teams
As well as CMU's weekly webinars, don't forget we also run training courses in-house for all sorts of music companies and organisations around the world.

We have a wide-ranging menu of sessions that clients can choose from, providing a really simple way for music businesses to run team training sessions internally.

These ensure that employees are fully up to speed on all the latest trends and developments, while also presenting an effective way for team members to come together and share their knowledge and experience, especially if they are primarily working remotely.

We have delivered bespoke training sessions for numerous music companies and organisations in recent years, including Sony Music, Warner Music, SoundCloud, Emubands, ie:music, ATC Management, BPI, MMF, IMRO, the Musicians’ Union, the British Council, Promus, Music Norway, Music Estonia and the Association Of Caribbean Copyright Societies.

Click here to find out more about CMU's Team Training.



Warner Music's Rhino Entertainment has promoted Eric Franklin to VP Digital Account Strategy. "Eric's passion for music is manifested in his exceptional work", says President Mark Pinkus. "He's a stand-out leader, whose enthusiasm and experience helps drive Warner's world-class catalogue to new audiences, while broadening our relationships with partners and existing fans".



Martin Garrix, Bono and The Edge have released 'We Are The People' - the official theme song of this year's UEFA European Football Championship. "Creating the music for one of the biggest sports events in the world together with Bono and The Edge has been an incredible experience", says Garrix. "I'm very proud of what we did together and excited to finally share it with the world".

Nicki Minaj has released three new tracks: 'Seeing Green', featuring Drake and Lil Wayne; 'Fractions'; and 'Crocodile Teeth' featuring Skillibeng.

Katy Perry has released the video for 'Electric', her contribution to the Pokemon 25th anniversary compilation that was released earlier this year.

Olivia Rodrigo has released new single 'Good 4 U'.

Migos have released new single 'Straightenin'.

Skrillex has released his second new track of the week - 'Too Bizarre' - this one a collaboration with Swae Lee and Siiickbrain.

Crowded House have released new single 'Playing With Fire'. The band's first album for eleven years, 'Dreamers Are Waiting', is out on 4 Jun.

Bad Boy Chiller Crew have released new EP 'Charva Anthems', featuring the single 'Clothes'.

Greentea Peng has released new single 'Dingaling'.

Throwing Snow has released new single 'Halos'. His new album 'Dragons' is out on 25 Jun.

Koreless has released his first solo single for five years, 'Black Rainbow'.

Cobrah has released new EP 'Cobrah', including new single 'Gooey Fluid Girls'.

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


Roc Nation now has an official greetings card partner
Jay-Z's Roc Nation has an official greetings card partner now. Of course it does. Doesn't your company have an official greetings card partner? What is the point of you? What are you even doing?

The "multi-year, multi-artist partnership" with American Greetings will see the two companies make available various digital and physical products. Initially, they will work on a series of "highly personalised smile-inducing, shareable videos" under the greetings card company's existing Celebrity SmashUps brand.

"We are THRILLED to work with American Greetings on a never-before-seen partnership with a renowned entertainment company, that allows Roc Nation and its talent to create a deeper bond with their audience", says Roc Nation's President of Business Operations & Strategy, Brett Yormark.

Tom Caravella, Managing Director of the joint venture between Roc Nation and United Entertainment Group, Roc Nation United, adds: "We build relationships with leading global companies, and we're THRILLED to add American Greetings as our greeting card licensee. Roc Nation United is focused on creating innovative ways for artists and athletes to connect with their fans, and this new relationship with American Greetings is a great opportunity to do so in a very special and entertaining way".

Meanwhile, American Greetings' Rob Matousek - who sadly isn't THRILLED - says: "This partnership is an exciting and important part of our mission to inspire people to connect and help them make others feel special, whether that's on a birthday or anytime they're moved to share some happiness, laughter and love. This announcement and the opportunity to collaborate with Roc Nation and their incredible artists is also a reflection of our commitment to creating authentic content that is relevant and accessible to everyone".

None of the Roc Nation greetings are available yet, and it's not clear which artists are going to be involved. However, you can see Dolly Parton's birthday video here to see how far artists are having to stoop in this day and age.


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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