TUESDAY 19 JULY 2022 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The All-Party Parliamentary Group On Music in the UK Parliament has published a new report demanding that the government do more to assist and support British artists who are facing new challenges and bureaucracy touring Europe post-Brexit. It summarises - and confirms cross-party support for - various measures that the music community has called for since the post-Brexit UK/European Union trade agreement was first published... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES MPs call for Cultural Touring Agreement and touring tsar to tackle post-Brexit challenges for UK artists
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LEGAL US judge again declines to delay Daniel Ek deposition in Eminem v Spotify case
Italian court demands Cloudflare implement some web-blocks

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DEALS Danger Mouse signs to Sony Music Publishing
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LIVE BUSINESS Independent Venue Community encourages daytime activity in music venues
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Metric announce UK tour dates
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ONE LINERS Swedish House Mafia, Alter Bridge, Casisdead, more
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AND FINALLY... Lou Reed's earliest known demo of Heroin released
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GIGANTIC TICKETS - HEAD OF MARKETING (NOTTINGHAM & REMOTE)
Gigantic are one of the UK's leading ticketing agencies and work across all areas of the live entertainment industry. In 2019 the company became part of the DEAG group and as part of that continued growth we are now looking for a dedicated head of marketing.

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Our Communications teams across AEG encompasses wowing our customers by promoting our venues and attractions as leading London destinations and by working with external contacts including partners, agencies, tenants, and media contacts to drive regular positive coverage. We now have two positions available; one working at The O2 and one for AEG Europe.

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MPs call for Cultural Touring Agreement and touring tsar to tackle post-Brexit challenges for UK artists
The All-Party Parliamentary Group On Music in the UK Parliament has published a new report demanding that the government do more to assist and support British artists who are facing new challenges and bureaucracy touring Europe post-Brexit. It summarises - and confirms cross-party support for - various measures that the music community has called for since the post-Brexit UK/European Union trade agreement was first published.

The APPG report notes that that agreement included no pan-European provision for bureaucracy-free touring for UK artists, which is why the parliamentary group began work on this report, which involved two evidence sessions, a survey and a written call for evidence.

"Our work found that while limited progress has been made, UK music workers are facing more costs, more complications and getting fewer opportunities after leaving the EU", the report states. "Issues include visa restrictions, a range of new bureaucratic costs, difficulties transporting kit and the exodus of the UK event haulage fleet. There has not been any compensation from improved access to other markets".

To address these issues, the report goes on, "the UK government should work more closely with EU institutions and EU member states to improve the [UK/EU] Trade And Co-operation Agreement".

In addition to that, "the UK government should push for a comprehensive Cultural Touring Agreement with the EU, to liberate cultural touring from the bureaucracy that is holding it back", and it should "work productively with music industry to create and deliver a music export strategy".

The report also makes some more detailed recommendations in relation to each of those three big requests.

On improving the Trade And Co-operation Agreement...

• The UK government should agree an exemption for music workers supporting cultural performances in the TCA, and work with individual member states to get all states up to the current 90 in 180 day limit for working musicians.

• The UK government should improve the UK border by expanding the number of points where documents like carnets and music instrument certificates can be checked (including Eurostar) and improve Border Force training.

• The UK government should secure a return of the on own account exemption and expand the non-commercial use exemption for live cultural road haulage.

Regarding the proposed Cultural Touring Agreement...

• The UK government should negotiate a general agreement on cultural touring to end the tax on touring, reduce bureaucracy and allow specialist event hauliers to properly support tours.

And in relation to a UK music export strategy:

• The UK government should appoint a minister to act as a single point of contact for the touring cultural sector.

• The UK government should develop institutions to support UK music exports, including instituting a music export office, and launching a website for live music exporters.

• The UK government should boost funding for UK music exporters, including creating a transitional support fund to address EU transition costs and expanding existing programmes such as the BPI-administered Music Export Growth Scheme and the PRS Foundation-administered International Showcase Fund.

Commenting on the report, APPG On Music Chair Kevin Brennan MP says: "We have heard evidence from right across the UK music industry about some of the horrendous problems musicians and crew face touring the EU. It's over two years since Brexit, yet there is still a mountain of red tape and extra costs that musicians and crew have to deal with before they can play to fans in many EU states".

Brennan specifically hones in on the recommendation that a single minister take responsibility for addressing the various issues, given multiple departments of government are involved here, which tends to allow ministers to passionately agree something must be done, but then do nothing, on the basis it's really another department's problem.

Dubbing that minister the 'touring tsar', the APPG chair goes on: "Our recommendations include the appointment of a 'touring tsar' by the government who could work across government departments to get rid of restrictions that are hampering the growth of the music industry and creation of new jobs. Without urgent action there is a very real risk that the talent pipeline on which the UK music industry relies will be badly damaged for years to come".

Welcoming the new report, UK Music boss Jamie Njoku-Goodwin states: "This excellent report from a cross-party group of MPs and peers spells out with crystal clarity the challenges many musicians and crew still face when they set out to tour and work in the EU".

"The influence of British music, right across the world, is one of the greatest examples of the UK's soft power", he goes on. "Touring musicians are ambassadors for Britain and government should be doing everything it can to help remove the barriers they face. The UK is a global music superpower - if we want to keep it that way, then it's mission critical we remove the barriers facing touring musicians and Let The Music Move".

If you're wondering why Njoku-Goodwin spoke those last words with capital letters - and he definitely did, I heard him, there was definitely capitals there - well, that's the name of the report. And the music industry's campaign on this. Grab yourself a copy of the report here.

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US judge again declines to delay Daniel Ek deposition in Eminem v Spotify case
A US judge has again rejected efforts by Spotify to stop - or at least delay - a deposition of its CEO Daniel Ek as part of an ongoing legal battle with Eminem's music publisher Eight Mile Style.

District judge Aleta Trauger last week agreed with the conclusion reached earlier this year by magistrate judge Jeffery S Frensley that having Ek deposed as part of the initial discovery phase in this case would not be "unduly burdensome".

Eight Mile Style sued Spotify back in 2019 over allegations that the streaming firm hadn't properly licensed the rapper's music for its US service and was therefore liable for copyright infringement. The dispute relates specifically to the so called mechanical rights in Eminem's songs. Streaming services can rely on a compulsory available under US law when it comes to the mechanical rights, but only if they fulfil certain administrative requirements.

The 2018 Music Modernization Act changed the way that all works in the US, creating the collecting society the MLC which now administrates the compulsory licence. However, prior to all that, streaming services were required to send paperwork to the owners of each and every song copyright they intended to exploit under the compulsory licence, and a failure to do so meant that compulsory licence did not apply.

Spotify - and most streaming services - were accused of failing to complete the paperwork on a significant number of songs, meaning those songs were being streamed without licence. That resulted in a flurry of copyright infringement lawsuits seeking mega-bucks damages. The MMA was meant to bring those lawsuits to an end, but that didn't stop Eight Mile Style going legal over Spotify's alleged past streaming of Eminem's music without licence.

As that case slowly worked its way through the motions and went into the so called discovery phase, Eight Mile Style's lawyers requested a deposition with Ek, which would see the Spotify chief have to answer their questions under oath.

Ek and Spotify don't want that to happen, and argued that the court should block such a deposition on the basis that the Spotify CEO is super busy and wasn't hands-on involved in the licensing specifics this case centres on. Spotify's lawyers also basically implied that the plaintiffs were mainly pushing for this particular deposition just to piss Ek off.

However, back in March, judge Frensley rejected Spotify's legal arguments as to why Ek should not be deposed, although he did say that - given the Spotify chief's all-round busy-ness - any deposition should be done remotely and should last no longer than three hours.

Spotify wasn't happy with Frensley's ruling, though, and had another go at blocking the Ek deposition. Or, actually, technically, its legal team didn't ask for the deposition to be blocked entirely, but instead to be postponed to a later stage in the case. Basically so that Ek would only have to do the deposition if and when Spotify's liability for copyright infringement was confirmed in court and the question of damages was being considered.

In his ruling on Friday, Trauger set out Spotify's two main arguments for why Frensley reached the wrong conclusion earlier this year, and why the Ek deposition should indeed be delayed.

First, Frensley hadn't properly applied the rules that say discovery requests from parties involved in litigation should be knocked back if the information sought "can be obtained from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive".

And secondly, he hadn't properly applied the relevant case management order which said discovery regarding liability and damages should be dealt with separately, and "Ek's testimony would only be relevant to the issue of damages".

But Trauger rejected both of those arguments. Regarding the first point, the judge wrote: "The court has little difficulty rejecting Spotify's argument ... that the magistrate judge committed an error of law ... by failing to properly consider the possibility that another witness, former Spotify executive and in-house counsel James Duffett-Smith, would be a less burdensome alternative witness".

Why? Well, because, in fact, "the magistrate judge .. engaged in a factual inquiry into whether Duffett-Smith was an adequate alternative to Ek and concluded that he was not because Duffett-Smith, who is an attorney, would be more constrained by privilege and the evidence had not established that Duffett-Smith's knowledge was identical to Ek's".

The magistrate judge, Trauger added, also actively considered "the amount of hardship involved in deposing Ek and the potential availability of information from other sources, and ... concluded that an appropriate balance could be reached by allowing a time-limited, remote deposition of Ek that could be completed from virtually anywhere on Earth in less than half a day". And that, Trauger said, was a sound conclusion.

Regarding the more specific argument that Ek's testimony is only relevant to the question of damages - and that the relevant case management order said discovery for damages should be handled separately - the rejection of that argument, by both judges, is slightly more complex.

It is true that discovery in this case in relation to Spotify's possible liability for infringement and damages should be handled separately. And on a basic level, the liability point has nothing to do with decisions made by Ek and his team in the years following Spotify's arrival in the US market - ie either copyright was infringed or it wasn't, it doesn't matter what decisions caused any possible infringement to occur. Those decisions are, however, relevant to damages, as damages will be higher if Eight Mile Style can show any infringement was 'wilful'.

However, there is a complication here because of the Music Modernization Act. Among other things, the MMA made it harder for copyright owners to sue for past alleged infringement by streaming services, with that provision of the act applying from 1 Jan 2018.

Given that Eight Mile Style didn't sue until summer 2019, the publisher needs to show that Spotify did not comply with certain obligations set out in the MMA, and therefore the limitations contained in the act regarding new litigation do not apply.

Trauger noted in his ruling that Spotify itself has conceded that the debate regarding MMA compliance is part of the first phase of this legal battle. And given that both he and judge Frensley agree that Ek's deposition would be relevant to the question of MMA compliance, the second argument for postponing that deposition also fails.

With that in mind, Trauger concluded, Frensley was right to say a deposition of Ek can take place during this phase. And, therefore, Ek should just bloody well do this damn deposition.

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Italian court demands Cloudflare implement some web-blocks
The Italian record industry has secured an interim injunction against internet services firm Cloudflare ordering it to stop users from accessing three copyright infringing BitTorrent sites via its DNS resolver.

While Cloudflare is an entirely legitimate company, it has been regularly criticised by the music industry for facilitating piracy operations. That usually relates to Cloudflare providing services to people or companies accused of rampant copyright infringement, including services that allow the infringers to hide their locations or identities.

For its part, Cloudflare has always resisting calls to more proactively identify and block copyright infringers among its customer base, generally arguing that - while it is happy to comply with court orders - it can't simply cut off customers based on the complaints of copyright owners.

In Italy, the dispute with Cloudflare was slightly different. The company also offers internet users a so called DNS resolver. Most people don't even realise they are using a DNS resolver when accessing the web, as it's a process handled by their internet service provider. However, you can pick a different DNS resolver if you so wish.

There are various reasons for doing that. But one reason is that - if your internet service provider has blocked you from accessing a website on piracy grounds, most likely because of a web-blocking injunction secured by the music or movie industries - switching to an alternative DNS resolver often allows you to circumvent the blockade.

With web-blocking now a preferred anti-piracy tactic of the music and movie industries in any country where web-block court orders are available, the sneaky tactics people employ to circumvent the blockades are a cause of concern for music and movie companies.

The question is, what internet businesses beyond conventional ISPs should be obliged to help ensure that web-blocks are as effective as possible. For example, what about the providers of alternative DNS resolvers?

In Germany, Sony Music has been seeking to force a not-for-profit DNS resolver called Quad9 to instigate some of its own web-blocks, an obligation Quad9 has been trying to fight.

Meanwhile, in Italy, the majors - coordinated by national and global trade groups FIMI and IFPI - sought to force the Cloudflare DNS resolver to block access to three piracy sites that are already subject to web-blocks in the country.

The initial blocking orders in relation to those three sites were instigated by Italian regulator AGCOM. But do said orders also apply to Cloudflare? Well, yes, because the Court Of Milan has now issued an interim injunction to that effect. And the internet firm has 30 days to comply with that order, otherwise it will face daily fines.

Welcoming that ruling, IFPI boss Frances Moore says: "Cloudflare's services were making it possible for users to access copyright infringing websites which were ordered to be blocked by the Italian regulator AGCOM. These sites divert revenues away from licensed music services and ultimately those investing in and creating music".

"By ordering CloudFlare to stop providing access to these sites", she goes on, "the Court Of Milan has made an important ruling that we believe sends a clear message to other online intermediaries that they too may be subject to action if their services are used for music piracy".

Meanwhile, Enzo Mazza, CEO of FIMI, adds: "We welcome the court's decision which will further strengthen the ongoing infringing site blocking programme performed by AGCOM in Italy, whilst also increasing the efficiency of the enforcement actions carried out by the rightsholders to protect their online content".

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Danger Mouse signs to Sony Music Publishing
Sony Music Publishing has signed Danger Mouse - real name Brian Burton - to a new worldwide publishing agreement.

Burton himself was not on hand to comment on the deal, but three people from Sony have. And in many ways that's better, isn't it? Yeah? Good.

"Danger Mouse is not only a brilliant songwriter, but a true innovator who pushes creative boundaries and challenges listeners to think outside the box", says SMP CEO Jon Platt. "We look forward to working alongside Brian and his team in this new phase of his career".

SVP International David Ventura adds: "Brian is a living legend, and one of the most pioneering songwriters and producers of this century. It is a real honour for all of us at SMP to have this unique chance to be working with him and Jeff [Antebi] his manager".

"We are not only THRILLED", Ventura goes on, "to be representing some of his most prestigious songs, many of which recognised by the Grammys, but we are also opening a new relationship towards the future. From his own projects to artists collaborations or even soundtracks, the opportunities with a genius like Danger Mouse are limitless, and it is with the biggest smile I say that this is a dream come true!"

Meanwhile, UK catalogue guy Alex Sheridan says: "We are beyond delighted to be working with Danger Mouse. Through his artist projects, production and songwriting he has proven himself as one of the great collaborators of our time".

"By working across his esteemed catalogue", he adds, "and looking forward to what will be a tremendously exciting period of his career, we want to help him build upon the legendary status he has earned so far. I'd like to thank Brian and his team for putting their trust in Sony Music Publishing".

The announcement of the new deal follows the recent news that Burton is reviving his Broken Bells collaboration with The Shins' James Mercer for new album 'Into The Blue', which will arrive later this year.

Here's their new single, 'We're Not In Orbit Yet'.

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Independent Venue Community encourages daytime activity in music venues
The founders of Independent Venue Week have announced a new initiative called Independent Venue Community. It will encourage grassroots music venues around the UK to offer more daytime programmes of music-based activities in an effort to attract new audiences.

Initially IVC will encourage the launch of events that would connect with specific local groups or cover specific themes, with six categories identified: early years; young people; deaf, disabled and neurodivergent; mental health and wellbeing; LGBTQIA+; and older years.

"Independent venues are the absolute heart of the music business, from small villages, to towns and cities, all around the country", says IVC founder Sybil Bell. "What's less appreciated, however, is the role they can play as community spaces, where local people can express themselves, try new things or simply come together in person".

"From first hand experience", she adds, "with initiatives like The Warren Youth Project in Hull or our own Soundcheck Sessions and BE, activity like this can have genuinely life-changing outcomes for people, especially those who don't normally get access to these kinds of opportunities".

"Our goal with Independent Venue Community is to harness these individual pockets of brilliance, and to inspire more venues to engage with groups and individuals in their area", she goes on.

"Ultimately, we want to build a national network of engaged local communities, and encourage more music venues to throw their doors open in the day. By doing this, I believe they can increase and diversify the people coming through their doors and unlock significant hidden value and talent. It's a win-win situation".

IVC is supported by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council Wales, the Welsh Government, and Youth Music. At launch, venues already involved include The Boileroom in Guildford, The Smokehouse in Ipswich and The Tivoli in Buckley, North Wales.

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Approved: Mugger
Following the break up of indie rock band Creepoid, vocalist and drummer Anna and Patrick Troxell embarked on electronic project Lovelorn, releasing their debut album, 'What's Yr Damage' last year. Fans of either project - or indeed both - may be pleased to hear that the Troxells are now back with a new band, Mugger. Although you should probably be aware that, having relocated from Philadelphia to Texas, they've also relocated to a new genre again too, this time holing up in the less sedate climes of hardcore punk.

Drawing on the late 90s hardcore scene that they were part of as teenagers, their first release - an eight track demo tape - is lo-fi, sludgy and punctuated with audio clips that sound like they were recorded with a microphone pointed at a TV speaker. It all comes across with an energy that feels like this has been a long time coming - a collection of songs that have been building inside them for years and are now forcing their way out as hard and fast as they can.

If you're in Texas (it's possible), the band begin a four date tour taking in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston starting at the end of this month.

Listen to 'Demo 2022' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Metric announce UK tour dates
Metric have announced tour dates in the UK and Ireland next year, in support of recently released new album 'Formentera'.

"One of the high points of 2022 for us has been working on putting everything together for 'The Doomscroller Tour'", says frontwoman Emily Haines. "We're crafting a setlist based on fan favourites, including deep cuts from [2005 album] 'Live it Out' and [2003 debut] 'Old World [Underground]', and it's been wild to see how the new songs from 'Formentera' flow with the classics from [2009'] Fantasies' and [2012's] 'Synthetica'".

"I'm really happy with the venues we chose", she goes on. "They suit the lighting and sonics and the whole mood of the show we're crafting. I want Metric fans to have the best concert experience possible and feel like they got to escape into another reality with us for the evening. Can't wait to get this show on the road!"

Tickets for the shows go on sale on 22 Jul. Here are the dates:

28 Jan: Dublin, The Academy
30 Jan: Glasgow, SWG3
31 Jan: Manchester, Academy
1 Feb: London, Roundhouse

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DEALS

Sony Music Entertainment Middle East and Egyptian music company Craft Media have announced a new partnership to sign, produce and promote Arabic artists and music across the Middle East. "Craft Media's creative prowess, coupled with our years of experience in the music industry and international network of talent and collaborators, give our artists an edge in a competitive market", says Mike Fairburn, General Manager of Sony Music Middle East. "[This] partnership sets in motion a long-term strategy to expand the influence of Arabic music and artists across the region and beyond".

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APPOINTMENTS

Live Nation UK has promoted Maddie Arnold to become a full-time promoter in its concerts division. "Having worked in a few areas of the music industry, it was at Live Nation where I finally found my feet", she says. "I soon realised promoting was something I was passionate about, I wanted to learn quickly and was eager to get stuck in. The support I've had throughout the last five years has been outstanding, constant mentoring, guidance and encouragement from my peers and managers. Although I've been building my roster for a few years now, I'm over the moon to now be doing this full time and to continue breaking new and exciting artists".

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RELEASES

Swedish House Mafia have released the video for 'Heaven Takes You Home (Connie's Lens)'. The track features vocals from Connie Constance, who also directed the video. "It's been the most incredible journey working with Swedish House Mafia", she says. "From creating a beautiful song that is so dear to me, to then directing the video, I cannot be grateful enough for how empowering this process has been".

Alter Bridge have announced that they will release new album, 'Pawn & Kings', on 14 Oct, and have also released its title track. The album will be out on 14 Oct.

Casisdead has released his first new track of the year, 'Traction Control'.

Composer Caroline Shaw has released 'Three Essays: First Essay (Nimrod)', from her new collaboration with the Attacca Quartet. The album is set for release on 23 Sep.

Laura Jean has released new single 'Teenager Again', featuring Aldous Harding and Marlon Williams. "I have been chipping away at this song for a long time", she says. "I made up the backing vocal parts walking around a park with my dog, and I think that was when I knew the song was ready. It's wonderful to hear those parts now sung by Hannah and Marlon". Her new album, 'Amateurs', is out on 4 Nov.

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

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Lou Reed's earliest known demo of Heroin released
Lou Reed's 1965 demo of Velvet Underground song 'Heroin' has been released, ahead of a new compilation of archival material to mark what would have been his 80th birthday.

The track was recorded with John Cale two years before the release of the band's debut album, 'The Velvet Underground & Nico', and is around half the length of the final version.

In an effort to gain copyright protection for the recording, Reed posted the tape to himself in an envelope that then remained sealed for over 50 years. It's a myth that mailing work to yourself somehow instigates copyright protection, by the way, but that fact doesn't seem to have harmed Reed at all.

The release follows the demo version of 'I'm Waiting For The Man', which came out last month. Both tracks will feature on new compilation 'Words & Music, May 1965', which is set for release on 26 Aug through Light In The Attic Records through a partnership with Reed's widow, Laurie Anderson.

Reed died in 2013, following several bouts of ill health relating to liver failure, and five months after a liver transplant. He was 71.

Listen to the 1965 demo of 'Heroin' here.

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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.
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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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