TUESDAY 28 JUNE 2022 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Owners of the Coachella festival have filed yet another trademark action in relation to an event that has 'chella' in its name, this time a Washington DC based street party called Moechella. In part the new trademark complaint cites a shooting that occurred at the most recent edition of that DC event earlier this month, insisting that the Coachella brand is negatively impacted when incidents of that kind happen at events with similar names... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Coachella owner seeks to force a rebrand at another 'chella' festival: Washington DC's Moechella
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LEGAL R Kelly fan arrested for making YouTube threats against New York prosecutors
Universal Music sued over Tupac photo

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DEALS Slowthai signs BMG publishing deal
Downtown partners with Geejam Music

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EDUCATION & EVENTS Musicians' Union also cautiously welcomes new music education plan for England
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ARTIST NEWS Depeche Mode reveal Andy Fletcher's cause of death
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AND FINALLY... Tommy Lee's wife reveals drummer broke ribs falling down stairs on holiday
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Coachella owner seeks to force a rebrand at another 'chella' festival: Washington DC's Moechella
Owners of the Coachella festival have filed yet another trademark action in relation to an event that has 'chella' in its name, this time a Washington DC based street party called Moechella. In part the new trademark complaint cites a shooting that occurred at the most recent edition of that DC event earlier this month, insisting that the Coachella brand is negatively impacted when incidents of that kind happen at events with similar names.

AEG's Goldenvoice, which promotes the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival, has sought to block a number of other events that have 'chella' in their name, arguing that such chella event brands imply a formal connection with the Californian music festival.

Events previously targeted include Carchella, Bookchella and Floatchella, as well as a New Year's Eve mini-festival that had the full Coachella name in its title, mainly because it was taking place in the Californian city of Coachella.

Moechella, which was first staged in 2019, describes itself as "an advocacy festival that is the intersection of culture and politics in DC". It's organised by a group called Long Live GoGo, a "collective of liberators" built around the funk sub-genre GoGo, which originated in the US capital.

Although past editions of the event have gone ahead without incident, this year a shooting occurred that resulted in the death of a fifteen year old, with three other people injured, including a police officer.

One of the people involved in organising Moechella told a local news network that the event was actually over when the shooting occurred. Meanwhile, on Instagram, the Long Live GoGo organisation said in a statement: "We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that occurred in the hours following Moechella on 19 Jun 2022. We send our condolences to the victims and their families affected by this senseless tragedy and hope for a healthy recovery to those that were affected".

"Moechella has always been a peaceful demonstration of our constitutionally protected right of assembly and free speech under the first amendment. The purpose of this demonstration has always been to speak out against the social inequities plaguing Washington DC, like gun violence, the lack of resources for the underserved community, police brutality and the need for DC statehood".

"The gun violence in DC has gotten out of control and we need to address this plague in our community at the root. The violence that occurred is exactly what the Moechella demonstration is designed to address and prevent. We will continue to represent the heartbeat of DC culture and push for peace and equality. Let's continue to uplift each other and find ways to deal with and activate true change for peace and programming in the nation's capital. And keep us all safe".

However, local police chiefs and politicians were critical of the festival and its organisers. In his statements, Police Chief Robert Contee repeatedly stressed that Moechella was an "unpermitted event".

He told reporters: "We will certainly want to make sure people are held accountable when they hold unpermitted events in our city. This is one of the reasons why we don't want unpermitted events taking place in our city. Unfortunately things like this can happen when you have the wrong mix of people or people who introduce firearms into a situation".

Meanwhile, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press conference: "We have a child who was killed today at an event that did not have any proper planning. We need some accountability here".

Given that Goldenvoice has been seeking to block various other chella events over the last couple of years, it's no surprise that it is seeking to block Moechella too. Especially as organisers of the DC festival have been trying to trademark their event's name.

It was in response to that trademark application that Goldenvoice formally filed legal papers with the US Trademark Trial And Appeal Board last week.

In that filing the Coachella owner said: "On information and belief, applicant intentionally selected the Moechella mark to trade on the goodwill of the Coachella marks. As one media article explains, 'the name Moechella is a combination of the popular music festival Coachella and Washington DC's slang word for 'friend' which is 'moe'".

"The use of Moechella would be recognised by consumers as referring uniquely and unmistakably to opposer and opposer's festival", it went on. "Opposer is not connected with applicant or applicant's services in any way".

Not only is the DC event called Moechella, but in promotional materials Moechella is written in lettering that very much mimics the Coachella logo. "Applicant has attempted to draw a false association between his event making use of the Moechella mark and opposer's own festival by using the same stylisation for Moechella as opposer uses for Coachella", the legal filing continued.

Although it seems likely that Goldenvoice would have been seeking to block the registration of the Moechella mark either way, its legal filing nevertheless noted the shooting at this year's edition.

"Tragic headlines of shootings, at least one of them fatal, followed the event, resulting in a flurry of negative press concerning the event", it stated. "In fact, the mayor is quoted as having said, 'We have a child who was killed today at an event that did not have any proper planning'".

"On information and belief", it then continued, "the negative publicity generated by applicant's Moechella event reflects negatively on opposer. Thus, applicant's continued use and registration of the Moechella mark will continue to irreparably harm opposer and to damage its goodwill and the goodwill in its Coachella marks".

We await to see how the Trademark Court rules - and whether Moechella will be forced to pick a new name in the future.

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R Kelly fan arrested for making YouTube threats against New York prosecutors
An R Kelly fan and YouTuber was arrested in Chicago this weekend over threats he made in a video to "storm" the US attorney's office in New York following last year's court hearing in which the musician was found guilty of running a criminal enterprise in order to abuse young people.

Christopher Gunn posts content to YouTube under the name DeBoSki, with the strapline "fighting for the due process rights of all people". He has published countless videos about the prosecution of Kelly, often talking about and criticising witnesses and lawyers involved in the criminal cases against the musician, as well as the judge who oversaw last year's trial in New York.

Gunn's own arrest relates to a video he made about a week after the guilty verdict was reached in that trial. According to legal papers, that video featured footage of the New York office where prosecutors in the case are based. In his narration, Gunn then allegedly stated "get real familiar with this building" because "if Kellz goes down, everybody's going down".

Naming three prosecutors in particular, he also said: "That's where they work at. We're going to storm [their] office … If you ain't got the stomach for the fuck we bout to do, I'm asking that you just bail out". Shortly after that Gunn shared a clip from the 1991 movie 'Boyz N The Hood' showing a character about to be fatally shot.

The legal complaint against Gunn also alleges that he has been accepting payments on CashApp from his subscribers who make comments like "30 rounds… free R Kelly" and "30 rounds on the haters". An agent at the US Department Of Homeland Security Investigations explained that it's believed this is evidence that Gunn was selling firearm ammunition to commenters on his YouTube channel.

More recently, Gunn has been calling on his subscribers to gather at Kelly's sentencing hearing, which is due to take place in New York tomorrow, stating: "I have a spot for us allllll to link during the trial, see you there".

The YouTuber appeared in court in Chicago yesterday where the criminal case against him, in relation to the threats he has made, was outlined. He is currently in custody, with prosecutors seeking to move him to New York to face the charges.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Gunn's content is "part of a complicated and apparently lucrative subculture that sprang up on YouTube and social media" after decades of abuse allegations against Kelly finally resulted in extensive charges being filed following the airing of the 'Surviving R Kelly' documentary in 2019.

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Universal Music sued over Tupac photo
Universal Music has been sued by the estate of photographer Chi Modu over an image of Tupac Shakur that features on a post on the major's own editorial website uDiscoverMusic.com. The estate says it controls the rights in the image and it's being used without licence.

The lawsuit provides a short biography of Modu, who died last year aged 54. It explains that the award-winning photographer was "well known for his photographs of hip hop icons including Tupac Shakur, Notorious BIG, Mary J Blige, LL Cool J and many others. He exhibited his work at numerous museums, appeared at many exhibits, and used his skills as a photographer to create unique documentaries".

On the photo at the heart of the litigation, it then adds: "Modu created an original photograph depicting Tupac Shakur. Modu passed away and the estate obtained all ownership, interest and rights in the subject photography. Plaintiff exclusively owns the subject photography, its copyrights, and any related accrued claims".

Universal, it then alleges, has "wilfully copied, reproduced, displayed, and distributed the subject photography for financial benefit and without Modu or plaintiff's consent" on its websites, adding: "Plaintiff did not consent to said use of the subject photography".

Not only that, but "plaintiff sent a cease and desist letter to defendant on 9 Feb 2022 indicating a complaint would be filed and that litigation would be required should defendant fail to comply with the cease and desist letter and amicably resolve the matter. Defendants failed to meaningfully respond".

The image appears on an article that lists the 'Best Tupac Songs'. According to Billboard, the article was originally published on 16 Jun 2019, what would have been Shakur's 48th birthday. It has since been updated a number of times, with the current publication date listed as 16 Jun 2022.

Commenting on the lawsuit, a legal rep for the estate, Scott Burroughs, said: "Chi Modu's photography captured moments of profundity and grace. While it does not surprise me that it would appeal to Universal, we are disappointed that the company did not reach out to the estate to procure a licence before exploiting Mr Modu's work on its commercial website. We look forward to addressing this infringement in court".

Universal has so far neither responded to the legal claim nor removed the photo from its website. It's also not known if the Shakur estate has any opinion on any of this.

Prior to his death, Modu was involved in a legal dispute with the estate of another legendary 1990s rapper, the Notorious BIG, and the photographer's widow was named as a defendant in a lawsuit stemming from that disagreement late last year.

That all relates to Modu's commercialisation of photos he took of the Notorious BIG, which the latter's estate believes infringes the rapper's publicity rights.

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Slowthai signs BMG publishing deal
Slowthai has signed a new publishing deal with BMG for his future works, including an upcoming third album.

"We are big fans of Slowthai here at BMG and have been watching him closely since his first LP", says Tom Cater, BMG Senior Manager A&R Publishing UK. "We can't wait for what he does next".

BMG SVP Publishing UK Hugo Turquet adds: "It's an honour to welcome Slowthai to BMG. He is a true spokesperson for what is going on in today's world and is able to mix and cross genres in a way which is quite unique. The world is definitely coming around to Slowthai and it is exciting to be able to work with him at this stage of his career".

Slowthai released his last album, 'Tyron', in February 2021.

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Downtown partners with Geejam Music
Downtown Music Services has announced a new partnership with Jamaican music company Geejam Music which will see it provide music publishing administration and label services.

Referencing Geejam founder Jon Baker, the Global President of Downtown Music Services, Mike Smith, says: "I first met Jon when I worked at MCA Music in the 1980s. His label Gee Street released all of my favourite records and we had just picked up one of them, PM Dawn, for publishing".

"I have always followed his career closely and was THRILLED when any artist I worked with could record at Geejam, his state of the art studios in Jamaica", he adds. "I would drop in and see him when I was in Port Antonio and we talked about working together. His musical knowledge is second to none and I am THRILLED that we are able to work together again".

I am THRILLED that Mike was THRILLED twice in one quote. I think that is a first. How could anyone top that? Well, let's see what Downtown Music Services A&R Manager Davina Merchant has to say.

"We're super THRILLED to be partnering with Geejam, a pivotal game changer, collaborator and hub for bringing talent together from around the world".

Nice try, but I needed three separate THRILLEDs there really. Can Baker himself top either of them or will he not even try?

"There is an exciting musical renaissance at play in Jamaica now and I am delighted to be partnering with Downtown Music for publishing administration and label services", says Baker. Just delighted? Come on. "Having been part of the Jamaican music scene for over 30 years, since my tenure as President of Chris Blackwell's Island Jamaica in the early 90s, I believe now is the time to offer a true alternative to what is currently on offer for Jamaican artists and writers alike".

"Our partnership will provide an international platform for the release of homegrown Jamaican music via the Geejam Music label", he goes on, "and see the reactivation of Gee Street Recordings for our international artistes with an A&R presence in the UK and US".

Ah well, probably best not to even try. This deal still resulted in a triple THRILLED announcement though and those are always exciting.

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Musicians' Union also cautiously welcomes new music education plan for England
The Musicians' Union has also cautiously welcomed the UK government's new national plan for music education in England, while stressing that the plan is "only a first step in the provision of this key subject over the coming decade".

The new plan, published this weekend, has been a long time coming. Music educators and the music industry had been hoping that this new plan would deal with a number of concerns and issues that have been raised over the last decade, during which music education has generally been deprioritised and therefore underfunded in English schools.

Various music industry and music education organisations have now welcomed key elements of the new plan. For its part, the MU says it "welcomes the plan's clear statements on the value of music education and the vision it describes of meaningful partnership between schools and [music education] hubs".

It also welcomes funding commitments made by the government, including for those music education hubs that exist to support music teaching and activities in and around schools.

The MU adds: "The plan is the most coherent description of a vision for music education in England that the government has provided to date. While specialists in individual areas may well take issue with details, the totality of what is described - were it to happen - would lead to significant improvements".

However, it adds, there are still concerns. "While the renewal of funding for hubs is welcome", it says, "funding levels have been roughly the same for the last decade, representing a significant cut in real terms. With various new roles for hubs outlined in the plan, there is a risk that hubs will be asked to do more for less. One consequence of this could be a stagnation of pay for teachers in hubs".

Also, "the MU is particularly concerned that the plan is non-statutory, suggesting that accountability could be a challenge where schools do not engage with the plan. In contrast, hubs will be required to deliver certain outcomes as part of their funding agreements, which means that parts of the plan clearly are statutory. This potentially sets up a clash between hubs and schools and would benefit from further clarification".

Stressing that while the plan is a good start, more needs to be done, the union's National Organiser For Education, Chris Walters, says: "This plan is a welcome publication from the government, showing that ministers understand what a high quality music education for all children and young people could look like. The plan, however, is only the beginning, and we will be watching closely as its key initiatives are developed and rolled out".

"Ultimately, the proof of its value will be in outcomes for children and young people, and it is vital that these are monitored effectively", he adds. "[But] we are grateful for the time and effort that has clearly gone into this plan, and [the] significance of its publication as a statement that music education matters. We look forward to playing an active role in its further development and roll out".

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Setlist: Does Four Tet’s streaming settlement set a precedent?
CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including Four Tet and Domino's settlement of their legal battle over what royalty rate the musician should be paid on streams and what it could mean for other artists, plus Belgium's decision to add equitable remuneration to streams and IMPALA's plea to other European countries not to follow suit.

Listen to this episode of Setlist here.

Depeche Mode reveal Andy Fletcher's cause of death
Depeche Mode have said that it has been a "a strange, sad, disorienting few weeks" following the death of founder member Andy Fletcher last month. They have also revealed that he died from 'aortic dissection' - an internal injury to the heart that usually comes on very suddenly and can be mistaken for a heart attack.

"We wanted to take a moment and acknowledge the outpouring of love for Andy that we've seen from all of you over the last few weeks", the band wrote on Instagram. "It's incredible to see all of your photos, to read your words, and to see how much Andy meant to all of you. As you can imagine, it's been a strange, sad, disorienting few weeks for us here, to say the least. But we've seen and felt all of your love and support, and we know that Andy's family has too".

"A couple weeks ago we received the result from the medical examiners, which Andy's family asked us to share with you now", they went on. "Andy suffered an aortic dissection while at home on 26 May. So, even though it was far, far too soon, he passed naturally and without prolonged suffering".

"We had a celebration of Andy's life in London last week", they then revealed, "which was a beautiful ceremony and gathering with a few tears, but filled with the great memories of who Andy was, stories of all of our times together, and some good laughs".

"Andy was celebrated in a room full of many of his friends and family, our immediate DM family, and so many people who have touched Andy's and our lives throughout the years", they added. "All being together was a very special way to remember Andy and see him off".

"So thank you for all of the love you've shown Andy and his family and friends over the last few weeks", they concluded. "It honestly means the world to all of us. Andy, you'll be missed, but certainly not forgotten".

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Tommy Lee's wife reveals drummer broke ribs falling down stairs on holiday
The truth about Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee's broken ribs is out. He has previously said that he doesn't have a "fuckin badass story" about how the injury happened, but he refused to give further details. Now his wife, Brittany Furlan, has revealed that he fell down some stairs while on holiday.

Motley Crue's much delayed US stadium tour with Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett kicked off earlier this month. However, fans hoping to take in the full force of Lee's drumming have been left disappointed, as he has only played a few songs each night.

It became apparent that something was wrong at the first show, when Lee decided to leave the stage after five songs. Explaining to the audience that he had broken some ribs, he said: "I wish I had a fuckin badass story, like me and [MMA fighter] Conor McGregor fuckin scrapping out in some fuckin bar or something, but I don't".

Since then, at most shows he has only played the first three songs of the set, before allowing Ozzy Osbourne drummer Tommy Clufetos to take over - although at the band's most recent gig in Philadelphia on Saturday he returned at various points in the set to play a further five songs.

Last week, he told an audience in Orlando: "About fuckin two weeks ago, I broke not one, not two, not three, but four fuckin ribs right here. Crack. I'm not gonna tell you how because it's fuckin bullshit. I wish I had a cool story for you, but I definitely don't, man. It ain't fuckin cool".

So, he's clearly not keen to spill the beans, but Furlan has apparently tired of people asking, so in a new Snapchat video she told all.

"Everyone keeps asking how Tommy broke his ribs, so I'm just gonna tell you", she said in the video. "We were staying at an old rental house in Nashville. It was a cool, old quirky house, but the stairs outside were made out of stones and they were really uneven, and the roots were pushing them up from the tree. And everything was fine. I actually fell up the stairs a few times getting groceries, but whatever".

"So, the day that we were leaving Nashville, our driver came and we had all this luggage and he wasn't helping us - he just stayed in the car", she continued. "And so Tommy was trying to carry all of our luggage for us. And he fell down these crazy stairs and broke four ribs. Not fractured, not bruised - broke. And it was crazy, cos I came out and he couldn't breathe. It was really scary. He was on the ground and he was gasping for air".

Despite this, she said, "he got on a plane that day still and went and did the rest of rehearsals [for the tour] in Pennsylvania. He went to the hospital in Pennsylvania when we landed and they were, like, 'You have four broken ribs'. And they wanted to keep him there, but he did not wanna stay. He's a fighter. He's the toughest guy I know. I mean, look at all his tattoos. He just really fights through the pain".

Yeah, that's our Tommy. Tough. And a bit silly. After a short planned break in the tour since Saturday's show, he's now at least had a chance to rest for a bit. The next show is tonight in Charlotte, North Carolina. It remains to be seen if he can take the stage for a few more songs or even a full set.

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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.
andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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.
chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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.
sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk 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.
caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
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