TODAY'S TOP STORY: American collecting society Global Music Rights has sued three radio companies in the US for failing to secure licences covering the organisation's songs. The accused broadcasters are "sophisticated media companies" that have "wilfully infringed" the copyrights of the songwriters GMR works with, the society argues in three lawsuits filed earlier this week... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Irving Azoff's collecting society sues three US radio companies for copyright infringement
LEGAL Settlement with US ISP Earthlink might inform next copyright lawsuit from film producer group
LIVE BUSINESS Miles Kane, Eddie Izzard and Lucy Spraggan join campaign to save The Leadmill
BRANDS & MERCH Adidas confirms its Kanye West partnership is "under review"
MEDIA Spotify axes eleven of its in-house podcasts
RELEASES Olly Murs announces new album and tour dates
ONE LINERS Adam Lambert, Pink, Joey Ramone, more
AND FINALLY... The 1975's Matty Healy berates Triple J for promoting Australian tour
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Irving Azoff's collecting society sues three US radio companies for copyright infringement
American collecting society Global Music Rights has sued three radio companies in the US for failing to secure licences covering the organisation's songs. The accused broadcasters are "sophisticated media companies" that have "wilfully infringed" the copyrights of the songwriters GMR works with, the society argues in three lawsuits filed earlier this week.

Veteran artist manager Irving Azoff launched GMR back in 2013. There were already multiple collecting societies representing the performing rights of songwriters in the US, with ASCAP and BMI the big two, alongside the smaller SESAC.

Azoff's GMR entered the market as a boutique rights organisation seeking to represent some premiere league songwriters. Its client base currently includes the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bruno Mars, Drake, Pharrell William, The Eagles and the estate of John Lennon.

As a broadcaster in the US, if you want a full blanket licence allowing you to play pretty much all songs, then you need to do deals with all of the different societies. The US radio sector wasn't that pleased when a fourth society was added to the list, meaning stations needed to negotiate yet another deal to get yet another licence. Though - given the client base - refusing to negotiate with GMR would stop a radio station from playing a stack of really big hits.

Collective licensing is often regulated in one way or another to overcome the competition law concerns that are raised when the music industry comes together to license through central organisations that then represent large repertoires of music.

In the US, BMI and ASCAP are regulated via consent decrees agreed with the US Department Of Justice. SESAC is not subject to a consent decree, but has an agreement with the American radio industry to accept third party mediation in royalty disputes.

When GMR came along, the radio industry - via an organisation called the Radio Music License Committee - argued that the new society should accept similar third party mediation. But in a subsequent legal battle, GMR countered that - as a small boutique rights organisation - it didn't need to be regulated or subject to mediation in the same way as its competitors.

And, actually, if there were any competition law concerns to worry about when GMR and RMLC come together to negotiate deals, it was on the RMLC side, it negotiating on behalf of the majority of the US radio industry.

The legal battle between GMR and RMLC rumbled on for years, but was settled earlier this year, with Azoff saying at the time: "Global Music Rights stands for songwriters and the value of their music. I am proud of the GMR team for the hard work on behalf of songwriters in achieving this settlement. It is wonderful that GMR and thousands of radio stations coast to coast are partnered to bring great music to fans for many years".

Meanwhile, the Chair of the RMLC, Ed Atsinger III, added: "This settlement puts an end to more than five years of litigation, and represents a shared desire by both sides to find a way for radio stations and GMR to work together on a long-term basis without repeatedly resorting to litigation".

However, it turns out, there are still some radio stations in the US yet to get themselves a GMR licence. This week's lawsuits filed by the rights group target One Putt Broadcasting in California, Southern Stone Communications in Florida, and Red Wolf Broadcasting, which operates stations in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

In the One Putt litigation, GMR states that the radio firm is "a sophisticated media company that operates numerous radio stations in California. Some of defendants' radio stations perform GMR compositions and, since at least 2017, these stations have performed GMR compositions without obtaining a licence in violation of copyright laws".

One Putt's infringements are "neither incidental nor accidental", the lawsuit goes on, "defendants radio stations performed more than one hundred GMR compositions tens of thousands of times", and "defendants' infringements were wilful".

The latter point is important because because if GMR wins in court, the damages it can claim will be higher if it can prove the radio firms' infringement was wilfil. To prove that it was, the society lists all the times it sent licence offers to One Putt: January 2017, August 2017, February 2018, August 2018, February 2019, August 2019, March 2020, March 2021, December 2021 and January 2022.

In the main those offers were rejected. Although, GMR says in a footnote in its legal filing, "on one occasion, in response to GMR's ninth licence offer to defendants, defendants opted into the licence but then failed to pay any of the licence fees due thereunder".

All of which means, GMR concludes, that "defendants made the strategic decision not to pay GMR for these uses and hoped to get away with it. But defendants did not get away with it. Its stations have been caught red-handed violating the law. By way of this complaint, GMR seeks to hold defendants accountable for their wilful infringements of the GMR compositions".

We await to see how each of the radio firms respond.


Settlement with US ISP Earthlink might inform next copyright lawsuit from film producer group
The consortium of independent US film producers that has been busy suing a plethora of internet companies for not doing enough to tackle copyright infringement on their networks has reached a settlement with another American internet service provider, this time Earthlink. Though it's the reference to other bigger internet firms in that settlement that's more interesting.

The movie makers began their litigation in the wake of the US music industry's successes in court in holding ISP Cox Communications liable for its users' copyright infringement.

Internet companies usually claim safe harbour protection when their customers use their networks and servers to access or share unlicensed content, which means they can't be held liable for that copyright infringement. However, to qualify for that protection, net firms need systems in place for dealing with infringement and infringers if and when they are made aware of such activity and users by copyright owners.

BMG and then the three major record companies showed in court that Cox only paid lip service to its policies regarding repeat infringers, and as such it lost safe harbour protection, resulting - in the major label case - in a billion dollar damages bill.

In their subsequent litigation, the film producers have gone after a wider range of internet businesses than the record companies. And, in the settlements they have negotiated along the way, they've also pressured the targeted net firms to agree to adopt certain anti-piracy measures, including - sometimes - web-blocking, which hasn't generally been available to copyright owners in the US to date.

Last month they filed new lawsuits targeting AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. Which was interesting because - unlike Cox - those ISPs all previously collaborated in an anti-piracy programme endorsed by the music and movie industries call the Copyright Alert System. So it seemed likely that the net firms targeted in that round of litigation would all argue that their past record shows that they take copyright protection seriously.

With that in mind, that particular legal battle would have been interesting to watch. Except those lawsuits were then quickly dismissed by the film producers, albeit without prejudice, meaning the movie makers can still re-file that legal action at a later date.

Which brings us to the settlement with Earthlink. According to Torrentfreak, as part of that settlement, Earthlink has agreed to request that its wholesale providers block customers from accessing the piracy site YTS. That is referring to the other internet companies who actually power some of the services that Earthlink sells, which includes AT&T.

Given that lawyers working for the film producers have in the past used settlements from one dispute to inform and influence the next, Torrentfreak speculates that the Earthlink settlement could impact on any revised lawsuits against AT&T et al that might be filed in the future. Especially if Earthlink formally requests the YTS web-block and AT&T refuses to comply.

That theory is given extra credibility by the fact the Earthlink deal was actually initially agreed around the same time the lawsuits against AT&T, Verizon and Comcast were voluntary dismissed. So, we will watch with interest to see what the next step might be.


Miles Kane, Eddie Izzard and Lucy Spraggan join campaign to save The Leadmill
Miles Kane, Eddie Izzard and Lucy Spraggan have appeared alongside others in a new video supporting the current set-up of The Leadmill in Sheffield, as the venue's management team continue to fight plans by landlord Electric Group to turf them out and install new management.

The existing Leadmill team announced in March that they had been given a deadline of a year to vacate the premises. Dominic Madden, CEO of Electric Group - which also operates London's Electric Brixton, SWX in Bristol and NX in Newcastle - insisted that The Leadmill will "continue to operate as a special music venue" following the management changes.

But the venue's current General Manager, Ian Lawlor, countered that The Leadmill as it is now absolutely will not continue to operate if he and he staff are forced to leave.

He said: "The Leadmill will not continue - The Leadmill is us, the staff and all the fixtures. We'll take everything with us, because we own it - the fixtures, the equipment, the doors. When we leave it will be a derelict flour mill, and that's what they will be left with. They'll have to start from scratch, it will take them a year to get it up and running".

Since going public with the news of the eviction, The Leadmill team have mounted a campaign to try to force the Electric Group to reverse its decision.

Initially they petitioned the government to suspend an element of the Landlord And Tenant Act pending an already planned review of those laws, a move they reckoned could halt the eviction proceedings. The government, however, knocked that request back.

Since then, the venue's current team have continued to push the petition, attempting to get it up to 100,000 signatures, which could trigger a debate about it in Parliament. It has also campaigned hard to raise awareness of the importance of the venue in its current set up.

The newly published video features a range of people, including celebrities, local musicians, venue staff, organisations that use the space for accessible events, and music fans, all discussing why they think that The Leadmill should stay as it is.

Izzard, who played a number of shows in the venue earlier this year, says: "We can't afford to lose The Leadmill. For me The Leadmill is an intrinsic part of Sheffield. For me, The Leadmill IS Sheffield and its creativity. It's essentially [for] bands [but] it can be [for] comedy as well and it can be anything. I did Charles Dickens in here, I did 'Great Expectations'. You can do anything in this space".

Miles Kane adds: "It's a landmark for the city, and so much great youth comes through it and new young talent, which is inspiring. It's like your first sort of big gig and so important and it's a mega vibe in there. You can hear the crowd out front, gets the hairs on the back of your neck and you're like - 'Yes'".

Meanwhile, Spraggan says: "It's got this feeling, this kind of like magical feeling to it. There's not really any other venues that I can think of that have the same thing. It's grassroots and it's full of love in here, you can feel it the second you walk through the door. It means so much for the culture of Sheffield and it means good music, it means good times, it means good memories".

"The Leadmill is a place that when you're playing it, you're at the beginning of something big, when you're a new band and you're up and coming, when you get to this level", she goes on. "If we lose The Leadmill, we won't get anything back that's even remotely like this".

You can sign the petition here and view the video in full here.


Adidas confirms its Kanye West partnership is "under review"
Adidas has confirmed that it is reviewing its business partnership with Kanye West, who has been busy of late dissing the sportswear brand with which he has had a pretty long alliance.

"Adidas has always been about creativity, innovation, and supporting athletes and artists to achieve their vision", the firm said in a statement yesterday. "The Adidas Yeezy partnership is one of the most successful collaborations in our industry's history".

"We are proud of our team that has worked tirelessly throughout our collaboration with [West] and the iconic products that were born from it", it went on. "We also recognise that all successful partnerships are rooted in mutual respect and shared values".

"After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation", the statement concluded, "we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review. We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period".

West switched allegiances from Nike to Adidas in 2013, with the first trainers under the Adidas Yeezy brand being launched in 2015. Which means Adidas has now been working with the rapper for nearly a decade, an achievement that should probably be recognised with some sort of Nobel prize. Though I guess it made a lot of cash along the way.

As recently as August, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted told CNBC that its West partnership has "had a tremendous impact globally for us. Kanye is our most important partner worldwide. We have a very, very good relationship with him. We communicate with him on a very ongoing basis. And we're very proud of that relationship".

But, it seems that relationship has definitely now soured, presumably in part at least because of West's public criticism of the sportswear brand. He responded to the Adidas statement with an Instagram post stating: "FUUUUUUCK ADIDAS I AM ADIDAS".

The current deal between Adidas and West was seemingly meant to run through to 2026, but yesterday's statement presumably suggests it's likely to end much sooner than that.

The rapper, of course, also recently ended his fashion alliance with Gap, and has hinted that he might open up his own retail business via which to sell his Yeezy clothing nonsense. So, that's something to look forward to.


Spotify axes eleven of its in-house podcasts
These days Spotify is all about the podcasts, we know that. It's all podcasts this and podcasts that whenever the Spotify team are in the house. I even heard that Spotify boss Daniel Ek starts every meeting these days by screaming "fuck your fucking music, play me a fucking podcast". Or maybe I just dreamt that. But the point is, Spotify loves its podcasts.

Except, we should note, the podcasts How To Save A Planet, Crime Show, Every Little Thing, Medical Murders, Female Criminals, Crimes Of Passion, Dictators, Mythology, Haunted Places, Urban Legends and Horoscope Today.

They're all made by Spotify-owned podcast producers Parcast and Gimlet, and they've all been axed. Which - given Spotify's love affair with podcasting - will presumably come as a something of a shock to each of those programme's loyal listeners. Except the listeners of Horoscope Today. Presumably they saw it coming.

Spotify's in-house podcasting production operations do currently make around 500 shows in total, so the winding down of eleven isn't that big a deal, I guess. Although it will reportedly affect up to 5% of the firm's podcasting team, some of whom might be made redundant, which is no fun at all.

Sources say that the downsizing is part of a plan to focus more energy on the company's most successful podcast brands.

Or maybe it's an early sign that these days Spotify is all about the audiobooks. It's all audiobooks this and audiobooks that whenever the Spotify team are in the house. I even heard that Spotify boss Daniel Ek starts every meeting these days by screaming "fuck your fucking podcasts, please won't somebody somewhere find me a format that we can actually make some profit on?" It was quite the dream.


Playlist: Brand New On CMU
Every Friday we round up all the new music we've covered over the preceding week into a Spotify playlist.

Among the artists with brand new music to check out this week are Olly Murs, Adam Lambert, Måneskin, bbno$, Connie Constance, The Big Moon, Ty Dolla $ign & Mustard, Fever Ray, Bicep, Sweet Baboo, Fred Again, Ibeyi, Ásgeir, Honey Dijon, Benjamin Clementine, Cakes Da Killa, Radwimps, and more.

Check out the whole playlist on Spotify here.

Olly Murs announces new album and tour dates
Olly Murs has announced that he will release his seventh studio album, 'Marry Me', later this year - his first since 2018's 'You Know I Know'. The first single from it, 'Die Of A Broken Heart', is out now.

"It has that steel drum at the intro, which just gets in your head straight away", he says of the new track. "It has a very Gotye 'Somebody I Used to Know' feel to it, with a touch of The Police - and just a coolness to it. That really excited me".

While he's previously worked with a range of songwriters on his earlier albums, this time he worked solely with David Stewart and Jessica Agombar - best known for their work with BTS. There are also no guest artists on the album.

"I've never done this before", he says. "It felt weird writing with the same people constantly. But I loved the routine, and the consistency. We just kept writing good songs. They had a great vibe and an enthusiasm, and a hunger".

In recent years, Murs has focussed more on his TV work, having been a judge on 'The Voice UK' since 2018. He's also on a second series of ITV's 'Stars In Their Eyes' knock-off 'Starstruck'. However, in August this year he announced his return to music, signing a new record deal with Universal's EMI Records - following a decade with Sony Music.

'Marry Me' is out on 2 Dec. Murs will then be touring the UK in April and May next year. Tickets go on general sale on 14 Oct. Here are the dates:

21 Apr: Glasgow, OVO Hydro
22 Apr: Newcastle, Utilita Arena
24 Apr: Cardiff, International Arena
27 Apr: Nottingham, Motorpoint Arena
28 Apr: Leeds, First Direct Arena
29 Apr: London, The O2
1 May: Bournemouth, International Centre
2 May: Brighton, Brighton Centre
4 May: Birmingham, Resorts World Arena
5 May: Manchester, AO Arena
6 May: Liverpool, M&S Bank Arena

Watch the lyric video for 'Die Of A Broken Heart' here.



The estate of Joey Ramone has sold a stake in its share of The Ramones' songs catalogue to Primary Wave for $10 million, according to Billboard. "Joey Ramone was a total original - his songwriting style and voice are all undeniably unique and immediately recognisable still today", says Primary Wave's VP Business Affairs & Legal, Lexi Todd. "We're THRILLED to have the opportunity to continue the legacy of Joey Ramone and [the] Ramones catalogue".

Ghostwriter Consultancy & Events has extended its partnership with Marble Factory to operate all live music events at the Bristol venue, which sits alongside the Motion night club. "With the addition of the Marble Factory within the Motion complex, the award‐winning independent venue renowned for electronic music has grown significantly after hosting an eclectic mix of over 80 live shows in the last eighteen months", says Ghostwriter's Commercial Director Carl Bathgate. "In order to remain competitive in such a strong territory we have revisited our offering and made significant investments coupled with operational improvements to further support our clients and their artists and keep the venue moving forwards".



Music publisher Manners McDade has hired Laura Harrison as Music Services Manager. She joins from Soho Music.

Natalie Wade has joined UK record industry collecting society PPL as Director Of Music Industry Engagement. She is the founder of education charity Small Green Shoots and The Cat's Mother, a mentoring organisation for women entering the music and creative industries. "Having built and developed Small Green Shoots from scratch, this has been a huge decision for me personally", she says of accepting her new job. "However, I know I am leaving the charity in safe hands, and believe I can make a real impact in this exciting new role. The fact that PPL will continue to support the important work of Small Green Shoots and The Cat's Mother speaks volumes about my new colleagues and their leadership values, and I can't wait to get started on this exciting chapter".



The Richard Antwi Scholarship has announced Janelle Mitchell is its fifth scholar. She receives a full scholarship on the University Of Westminster's Music Business MA course, which gets her full course fees, a bursary of £10,400 and career support. "Receiving the Richard Antwi Scholarship feels like such an honour and I'm so excited for what's to come", she says. "As a black woman in music, the glass ceiling feels even more impenetrable, so being equipped with the Music Business Management MA, doubled up with guidance from the RAS team, will be an absolute game-changer for me. My ambitions are to utilise the MA to gain a senior position in music and shake up the industry from within, focusing on representation and diversity across the board".



The Incorporated Society Of Musicians has announced that it is changing its name to The Independent Society Of Musicians. "Our independence has long been a crucial factor in our effectiveness and enabled us to bring about significant change for those working in music", says Deborah Annetts, CEO of the 140 year old organisation. "Our new name better reflects our core values and our absolute focus on improving the lives of musicians. [This] announcement is about the ISM investing in the future and will support the ISM in delivering its founding vision for the next 140 years".



Lizzo has filed paperwork to trademark her signature flute - the Sasha Flute, as it is known - for a variety of digital and physical products. That includes good old NFTs, as well as animated TV shows and films, toys, and clothing.



Adam Lambert has released his version of Noel Coward's 'Mad About The Boy', the theme song from new documentary, 'Mad About The Boy - The Noel Coward Story'. Earlier this week, Lambert announced a new record deal with Warner's EastWest label.

Måneskin have released new single 'The Loneliest'. "This song means a lot to me", says frontman Damiano David. "It's a personal song but I hope you can all relate to it in your own way. We played a tiny surprise show in London last night and performed 'The Loneliest' live for the first time and your reaction meant so much to us".

bbno$ has released new single 'Top Gun', taken from upcoming album 'Bag Or Die', which is out on 21 Oct. Of the album he says: "'Bag Or Die' represents the ethos of bbno$. Enjoy it, it almost killed me".

Connie Constance has released new single 'Hurt You'. "My revenge song, this is a song for all the villains that are just a product of their environment", she says.



Pink has announced UK tour dates next June, including a headline performance at Hyde Park's British Summer Time festival on 24 Jun. "It's been a long three years and I've missed live music so so much", she says. "So it's finally time! I am so excited to get back to the UK to sing, cry, sweat and make new memories with my friends. It's going to be magical!" Tickets go on sale on 14 Oct.

Iron Maiden have UK and Ireland tour dates in June and July next year, finishing up at The O2 in London on 7 Jul. The shows will see the band mainly playing previously unperformed songs from their most recent album 'Senjutsu' and their 1986 LP 'Somewhere In Time'. Tickets go on sale on 14 Oct.

Stealing Sheep and The Radiophonic Workshop will perform their soundtrack to the 1973 science fiction animation 'La Planète Sauvage' - the recording of which was recently released as part of Fire Records' Imagined Score Series - at the Science Museum tonight. There will also be a Q&A. More info here.

The Big Moon will play The Roundhouse in London on 31 May. Tickets go on sale on 12 Oct. The band's new album, 'Here Is Everything', is out next week. Here's new single 'This Love'.

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


The 1975's Matty Healy berates Triple J for promoting Australian tour
It's always good to have a national broadcaster get behind your band, I'm sure any artist would tell you that. Well, any artist except The 1975's Matty Healy, who has hit out - repeatedly - at Australian radio station Triple J for having the audacity to promote his band's newly announced tour dates in the country.

The station posted about The 1975's 2023 tour dates on its website and social media accounts yesterday, as well as noting that the band have a new album out next week. Good to get the word out, eh? Well, no. Healy doesn't think so. Mainly because he feels that the station, up until now, has entirely ignored his band.

Kicking off his rant, Healy wrote in an Instagram story: "Play our music then before you start licking our arse just cos you've finally realised we're mint".

What if the people running the radio station didn't see that post though? Just to make sure the message got across, he then wrote a comment on Triple J's original Instagram post, saying: "Yeah play our fucking music then you muppets".

However, that comment has now been somewhat buried under others from people excited to see the band play live. But it's alright, ensuring he had more bases covered, Healy also switched over to his Twitter app to post about it there.

Retweeting Triple J's tweet about the tour, he wrote: "You literally have nothing to do with us coming to Australia, don't start getting involved now. You don't have a monopoly on cool and the head of your company is a knobhead, so yous can fuck off".

Anyway, I'm now wary of telling you this, but The 1975 will be touring Australia in April next year. According to Triple J, tickets go on sale next Friday.


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.
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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.
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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.
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