|THURSDAY 8 JULY 2021||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The pan-European trade group for the independent music community, IMPALA, and the International Artist Organisation have teamed up to campaign for a new scheme across the continent of Europe that would remove some of the barriers that negatively impact on touring activity... [READ MORE]|
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IMPALA and IAO propose new pass that would remove bureaucratic barriers for touring artists across Europe
The two groups are proposing the creation of a GECAT Pass - or a pass that facilitates 'Geographical European Cultural Area Touring' - with the aim of reducing both the costs and administrative burdens for artists touring around Europe.
The scheme, IMPALA and IAO say, "involves creating a new cultural area with a single touring permit, instead of treating Europe as a number of distinct blocs and countries. The music market is geographic and covers all countries and economic/political groupings in the region including the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, EU neighbourhood countries, as well as individual countries such as the UK".
Obviously, in the UK, the bureaucratic barriers artists face when touring Europe are a major talking point at the moment, because Brexit has put up a whole load of new bureaucratic barriers, none of which were dealt with by the UK's new trade deal with the EU.
British ministers have agreed that those new bureaucratic barriers are a big issue for the UK's music industry and have insisted that they will do everything they can to find ways to mitigate the negative impact of said new barriers. By which they mean they'll do pretty much nothing - as chief Brexit negotiator David Frost basically admitted when he finally showed up to answer questions from concerned MPs on Parliament's culture select committee last week.
However, it's not just UK artists who face challenges when touring Europe. For example, there are those countries in Eastern Europe, especially in the Western Balkans, which are not yet EU members. And Switzerland, which is part of EFTA, but not part of either the EU or the European Economic Area. And even within the European Union - although artists benefit greatly from the free movement of people and goods - there are still technicalities to navigate around cabotage and tax rules.
As COVID regulations slowly start to lift across the continent, IMPALA and IAO say that some simple reforms that specifically benefit small and medium-sized tours could provide a huge boost to the music community as it seeks to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
There are four key elements to the GECAT Pass scheme, some of which would benefit artists in all countries, while others would primarily help those not currently based in EU or EEA countries.
Those key elements are: a single travel permit for performers and crews across the region; a single customs licence for equipment and a small amount of merchandise; a policy that allows unlimited stops for equipment and people involved in touring activity, possibly with limits on the number and size of vehicles; and a system that means VAT on merchandise sales would be paid in the artist's home country. There are more details about all four proposals here.
IMPALA and IAO say that the GECAT Pass would - among other things - promote cultural exchange across Europe, help with post-pandemic economic and social recovery, increase opportunities for niche and emerging artists, and reduce the carbon footprint of touring activity.
Launching the proposals, IAO Chair Nacho García Vega says: "The idea of the GECAT permit scheme is a simple fix to the barriers faced by the music and cultural sector across multiple geographical blocs. The recent issues created by Brexit have highlighted the administrative problems relating to touring that were already faced by European artists based in non-EU countries. It's not only about the transit of people and goods, it's also about the free flow of ideas and artistic expressions, essential for peace and co-operation in the whole region".
Meanwhile IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith adds: "The touring crisis creates new opportunities as long as we can provide the framework and assurances that different geographical blocs and countries need. The idea is to guarantee a level-playing field and make sure that all artists have access to the same touring opportunities, regardless of where they are based or their level of development. The European music market stretches beyond political and economic groupings, so the key is for all geographical blocs and countries in the region to participate".
Britney Spears' co-conservator tells court she is receiving death threats, but singer wants her to stay in her role
Montgomery became conservator of Spears' personal affairs on an interim basis in 2019, when the star's father Jamie Spears temporarily stepped away from his role overseeing his daughter's conservatorship due to health problems.
When Spears made a bold statement during a court hearing last month opposing the entire conservatorship, Montgomery came in for less criticism than her father, but she received some criticism nonetheless - particularly in relation to arrangements regarding the musician's therapy sessions.
Jamie Spears has also said that his daughter's claims that she is being barred from getting married and having another child are down to Montgomery. But Montgomery has denied this.
All of this, says Montgomery in her new court filing - obtained by The Blast - has led to threats of violence and even death from members of the public. She says that Spears' security team has recommended 24/7 security "to protect her from harm".
Montgomery says that she has acted upon this advice and taken various steps to improve her security, including making changes to her home and office and requesting that local police patrol the area where she lives. However, she adds, this has come at a "significant extra personal expense" - as much as $50,000 a month.
She has requested that Spears' estate cover these costs, but says that Jamie Spears - who co-manages that estate - has said that she will have to obtain approval for this from the court first.
"There are grave concerns regarding the safety of [Jodi] and counsel involved in this highly-publicised matter arising from a drastic increase of threats of violence and death since the 23 Jun 2021 unsealed status hearing", says the legal filing.
While there have been several resignations by those involved with Spears' career and conservatorship since her statement in court last month, Montgomery's filing stresses that the musician still wants her involvement while the conservatorship is ongoing. Screengrabbed text messages shown as being from Jane Doe, but presented as sent by Spears, read: "I need you to stay as my co-conservator of person. I'm asking for your assistance in getting a new attorney".
Spears needs a new lawyer, of course, because one of the people to resign from the conservatorship in recent days is her court-appointed attorney Sam Ingham.
On that subject, another new court filing in relation to the conservatorship has come from Spears' mother, Lynne Spears. She is asking the judge to allow her daughter to now choose her own legal representation as "a first step" towards bringing the conservatorship to an end.
"It is self-evident that before the court addresses, for example, the termination of the conservatorship, conservatee must be allowed to consult with counsel of her choosing", says Lynne Spears' filing. "Clearly, conservatee needs private counsel to advise her as to her basic rights in this conservatorship".
In that recent court statement, Spears claimed that she had never made moves to end her conservatorship before because she had never been made aware that she could do so.
Dua Lipa sued for posting pap snap of herself to Instagram
The photo was taken back in February 2019 and features Lipa standing in line at an airport. She seemingly posted the image to her Instagram account later that month. Or, in the words of the lawsuit, "defendant, without permission or authorisation from plaintiff, actively copied, stored, and/or displayed plaintiff's photograph on the account and engaged in this misconduct knowingly and in violation of the United States copyright laws".
The default owner of the copyright in a photograph is usually the photographer, with any people that appear in the image having no claim under copyright law. They might be able to restrict the use of the photo through privacy law, or by enforcing image or publicity rights, but the intellectual property rights belong to whoever held the camera.
There have been a number of lawsuits filed in recent years by photographers who have snapped a celebrity and then seen said celeb use their photo on social media. In 2019, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande were sued by the same paparazzo over this issue.
When pursuing such litigation, it helps if you can claim that the celebrity used the pap's photo in a commercial way. Obviously, when people post images to Instagram, those pictures are not being directly commercialised by the person who uploads the picture. Except, plaintiffs in these cases always stress, an Instagram profile is a marketing tool for whatever any one celebrity is promoting just now, and that makes the use of images on those profiles commercial.
"[Dua Lipa's Instagram] account is monetised in that it contains content designed to accumulate followers who are directed to, via link and/or advertisement, consume and purchase defendant's content - defendant profits from these activities", says Integral's lawsuit.
So there you go. Reps for Lipa are yet to respond.
Chris Brown accused of ripping off dancehall track on Privacy
In the lawsuit, filed with the courts in New York, which also names Brown's label Sony Music as a defendant, Greensleeves writes: "With the participation and resources of Sony, and pursuant to the agreements between [Brown] and Sony, [Brown] wrote, performed and recorded a musical work entitled 'Privacy', the infringing work. In creating the infringing work, [Brown] took the core musical feature of 'Tight Up Skirt' and used it prominently in the infringing work without permission".
Providing more detail about the "core musical feature" that the two songs have in common, the lawsuit continues: "'Tight Up Skirt' and the infringing work share a similar primary identifying feature. In both songs, this is a melody containing the lyrics 'hey your girl inna di tight upskirt' and 'hey you girl without a tight upskirt', respectively. This similar melody begins each chorus section in both songs. This shared structural placement is significant and adds to the prominence of the similar melody in both songs".
The fact that both tracks share the similar line has been noted before, including by Red Rat himself. As DancehallMag notes, he told the Jamaica Observer in 2017: "Ever since Chris Brown was in the studio recording the song 'Privacy' and posted it on social media, I have been getting many calls left and right from many people asking me about my thoughts regarding him sampling 'Tight Up Skirt', and all I can say is, 'give God all the glory'".
"I think that", he went on, "Chris Brown, who is one of the biggest pop stars globally, feeling the need to sample a piece of 'Tight Up Skirt', only shows how much he loves and respects Red Rat and [the] catalogue. It also shows how much of a fan he is to the music".
So it doesn't sound much like Red Rat had a problem with Brown borrowing his 'Tight Up Skirt' lyric. Interestingly, Red Rat isn't mentioned once in the Greensleeves lawsuit, nor is the original track's producer Andrew Bradford.
Traditionally in the Jamaican music industry, the country's studio producers also basically acted as the labels signing up the rights in the music they produced. Although many of those producers would then enter into deals with the likes of VP Records and Greensleeves - which ultimately merged - in order to distribute their recordings into the US and Europe.
Asked by DancehallMag about 'Tight Up Skirt' and the new lawsuit against Brown, Bradford said: "I did license it to VP and Greensleeves dem time de. At that time, they were two separate companies. Couple years ago, Rat called me about the tune, and Rat told me that VP owned the master rights, but as far as I know, in the 90s, we producers never used to license exclusively to Greensleeves and VP. I have to get a lawyer and go through the contracts and know what is what".
So, that could be an interesting sideshow as the Greensleeves litigation goes through the motions. The publisher is seeking at least $1.5 million in damages from Brown and his label.
For Brown, the Greensleeves litigation itself will possibly be a sideshow, given that his lawyers are already busy dealing with another lawsuit just filed by the musician's former housekeeper over allegations she was violently attacked by his dog while working at his Californian home last December.
Viagogo being investigating in New South Wales where ticket touting is tightly regulated
Although Viagogo has proven controversial across all of Australia - with the company being fined AUS$7 million following legal action by the Australian Competition And Consumer Commission - the secondary ticketing firm's operations are of particular interest in New South Wales because of anti-ticket touting laws that went into effect there in 2018. Under that state's law it is illegal to resell tickets at anything higher than a 10% mark up.
The NSW Fair Trading agency says that although the number of complaints it received about Viagogo declined following that change to the law in 2018, they started to increase again in late 2019. When the pandemic hit and the live sector went into shutdown there was another decline, but now there has been a new spike.
Of the 36 formal complaints recently received, NSW Fair Trading notes that sixteen specifically relate to ticket touting rules, while eleven are about refunds for cancelled events, five complain that Viagogo misrepresented itself as an official seller, three are about tickets not being delivered on time, and one relates to age restriction information not being provided.
Confirming the agency is now investigating, NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb adds: "It was big news in 2018 when NSW Fair Trading made ticket [touting] illegal by making it an offence for ticket resellers such as Viagogo to charge more than 10% extra on the original ticket price and transactions costs".
"We did briefly see a drop off in complaints but then we saw a spike at the end of 2019", she goes on. "When the pandemic hit complaints obviously dropped off again as events were not able to go ahead. However, now that events are back on the agenda, we have seen a spike again and despite Viagogo being explicitly warned and receiving a AUS$7 million fine from the ACCC in 2020, they continue to flout the rules".
"Those within the entertainment and arts industry have been vocal about the obliteration of their industry due to COVID and they do not need the additional stress of ticket resellers 'scalping' well-meaning fans", she concludes. "We will be investigating and using our powers to stop any unlawful behaviour".
For its part, Viagogo told Australian media: "Viagogo is committed to complying with legislation in all markets we operate in, including NSW, and when we are notified of listings that are not compliant, we act quickly to remove them. We look forward to continuing to productively engage with regulators to ensure that our website is compliant and the safe and transparent marketplace we offer continues to help customers gain access to events worldwide".
Paloma Faith launches interior design collection
Said collection features a range of patterns on bedding and wallpaper, featuring tigers, birds and flowers, plus there's a whole selection of velvet cushions that look like that came straight out of your great aunt's house.
"What I love about Paloma Home", says Faith, "[is that] you can have one piece and it changes a room - or you can embrace the whole collection, and it still works".
"Home for me is a place where there is warmth, life, vibrancy and human touch, something truly 'lived in'", she adds. "So much beauty emerges from chaos - and I hope to share this sentiment with Paloma Home".
So, there you go, a chaotic collection that still works even if you buy a load of stuff from it. The whole lot is available now from Fabric Direct.
Warner Music UK has announced a partnership between its Atlantic and ADA divisions and Latin label Candela Records. "The Latin music scene in the UK is growing incredibly quickly, and we're excited to make history by becoming the first UK frontline label to partner with a UK-based Latino label", says Atlantic EVP Austin Daboh.
Blue Raincoat Music Publishing and Reservoir have signed PJ Harvey collaborator John Parrish, singer-songwriter Elanor Moss, and Australian indie band HighSchool. So take note everybody!
German rapper Katja Krasavice has signed a global publishing deal with Warner Chappell. "My songwriting is the bedrock of my art", she says. "I use my music to tell stories and confront important issues. It's great to be signing with Warner Chappell, alongside some of the biggest names in German music. I want to collaborate more with other artists and writers, and this deal will help me do that".
B2B music platform 7digital has partnered with fitness brands Barry's and Volava for music provision within their workout apps. "Even as the world begins to reopen, 7digital is continuing to see huge demand for in-home fitness experiences, for which having the perfect licensed music to power fitness goals has never been more vital", says 7digital CEO Paul Langworthy. "We are pleased to partner with Barry's and Volava as they scale across territories and add new online experiences that meet emerging customer demand and expectations to complement training in their physical locations".
Music credits database Jaxsta has announced Beth Appleton as its new Chief Marketing Officer, working out of its Sydney office. She joins from Warner Music. "Beth's extensive experience and tenure within the industry truly speaks for itself", says CEO Jacqui Louez Schoorl. "Her reach and impact is demonstrated through her work with global stars such as Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and Michael Bublé, and local Australian talent including Thelma Plum, Morgan Evans and Jack Gray. We are beyond THRILLED to welcome Beth to our team as we enter this exciting growth phase of the company".
FUGA has confirmed that Gareth Mellor - formerly with Kobalt, AWAL and TuneCore - has taken on the newly created role of Global Head Of B2B Marketing. "I've long-admired FUGA and its team for their dedication to industry leading technology and impressive service offering", he says. "Across both audio and video distribution, FUGA has led the way where others now follow. It is an honour to join at this point in the company's development and I look forward to taking a key role in boosting FUGA's brand on the global stage and bringing its products to market".
LABELS & PUBLISHERS
Global record industry trade group the IFPI has announced that its Sub-Saharan Africa regional office is now administering ISRC codes for the region. Those being the codes employed by the record industry to identify individual recordings. "Diverse, and exciting music from Africa continues to expand its impact around the world", says CEO Frances Moore. "For African creators to efficiently manage and control the use of their music regionally and globally, the data systems underpinning music need to keep pace. The ISRC is an essential element of this – it will empower African music creators and drive the development of the industry right across the region".
Aurora has released new single 'Cure For Me'. "Sometimes I feel like the whole world is trying to convince you something is wrong with you", she says. "I think it’s about time we shut those voices out. Because in no way should anyone convince you that you are not worthy because of the way you look, or act, believe in or love. We should be allowed to be human. And we don't need a cure for it".
Vince Staples has released new single 'Are You With That?'
Sam Fender will release his second album, 'Seventeen Going Under', on 8 Oct. The title track is out now.
Courtney Barnett has announced that she will release new album 'Things Take Time, Take Time' in November. Here's new single 'Rae Street'.
Self Esteem has announced that she will release her second album, 'Prioritise Pleasure', on 22 Oct. The title track is out now, of which she says: "The song is a wide screen mantra, remembering to put myself first and in turn making myself a better, more present person. My journey to accept myself is far from over, but over the last few years some of the age old simple shit has started to finally kick in".
Amyl And The Sniffers have released new single 'Guided By Angels'. The band's new album, 'Comfort To Me', will be out on 10 Sep. "The amount of time and thought I put into the lyrics for this album is completely different from the EPs, and even the first record", says vocalist Amy Taylor. "Having to deal with a lot of authority during 2020 and realising my lack of power made me feel both more self destructive and more self disciplined, more nihilistic and more depressed and more resentful, which ultimately fuelled me with a kind of relentless motivation".
Teleman are back with new single 'Right As Rain'. Their new EP, 'Sweet Morning', will be out on 5 Nov.
Ásgeir will release new EP 'The Sky Is Painted Gray Today' on 3 Sep. Here's new single 'Sunday Drive'.
Falle Nioke and Ghost Culture are back together again for new EP 'Badiare', which will be out on 5 Nov. Here's first single 'Leywole'.
Naomi Banks has released new single 'Waiting'. "I am very excited to share 'Waiting' with the world", she says. "It is about wanting someone when you know they are absolutely no good for you. I wrote it with my pal Gareth Malone, we have been friends for nearly ten years now - I love him and love making music with him".
For Those I Love has released the video for 'To Have You', from his eponymous debut album which was released earlier this year.
GIGS & TOURS
St Vincent has announced that she will play the Hammersmith Apollo in London on 26 Jun 2022 and Edinburgh's Usher Hall on 28 Jun 2022. Tickets go on sale on Friday.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
John Barnes, Gazza and (please make it stop) Peter Beardsley rap on previously unheard World In Motion tapes
The one-time New Order bassist is selling off a whole load of items collected during his time with the band. This includes the original studio tapes of recording sessions for New Order's collaboration with various members of the 1990 England football team. And Keith Allen.
Barnes' memorable rap about getting "round the back" helped to make it one of the more enduring football singles of all time (although it's another Keith Allen contribution to the sporty pop genre, 'Vindaloo', that people keep shouting outside my house). On the day the England team members recorded their vocals though, Barnes was not the only one keen to spit a few bars.
Although Barnes ended up delivering the verse in the final version of the track, Gascoigne, Beardsley and Chris Waddle also gave it a go. Waddles' attempt is apparently not part of the auction. It's not clear if it wasn't recorded, or if the tape is lost, or if it was just too awful to risk being made public. That said, it's hard to imagine anything worse than Peter Beardsley's abysmal effort.
Ahead of last night's Euros semi-final match between England and Denmark, auction house Omega Auctions uploaded Gascoigne and Beardsley's versions and an alternative version by Barnes. All three are pretty dreadful. And they could be yours!
The original tapes will be sold along with hundreds of other items from Hook's personal archive in October. But to get you in the mood for England's upcoming defeat in the Euros final, you can listen to all three raps here.