|FRIDAY 14 OCTOBER 2022||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The YouTuber found liable for defaming Cardi B must post a $3.8 million bond while she appeals the defamation judgement made against her earlier this year, a judge has ruled. However, lawyers for Latasha Kebe have been given the option to submit new arguments as to why that shouldn't happen... [READ MORE]|
Cardi B defamer must post $3.8 million bond with court while appealing defamation ruling
Kebe was sued by Cardi B - real name Belcalis Almanzar - over various claims that were made about the rapper in her YouTube videos. That included, legal papers said, that Almanzar "was a prostitute … was a user of cocaine … had and still has herpes … had and still has HPV … engaged in a debasing act with a beer bottle and … committed infidelity".
A jury found Kebe liable for defamation back in January, awarding the rapper nearly $4 million in damages. Kebe is now in the process of appealing that judgement, and has asked the Eleventh Circuit appeals court to overturn the ruling, arguing that it was never proven in court that she acted with actual malice when making her videos about Almanzar and that the exclusion of evidence about the rapper's character in court resulted in a "very lopsided" hearing.
As that appeal has been set in motion there's been a side debate as to whether Kebe should post a bond to cover the damages that Almanzar was awarded. For her part, Kebe has argued that she is not obligated under law to post the bond in order to pause efforts by the Almanzar side to enforce the judgement and claim the damages.
She also asked for a formal court session to make that argument before the judge, and/or to seek to reduce the amount of money that might need to be posted. But judge William M Ray II has ruled that Kebe's team have not yet demonstrated why such a court session is required. According to Law360, he stated this week: "The court is unaware of the rule upon which the defendants rely in arguing that they are entitled to a hearing".
However, he added, "the court grants the defendants the right to supplement their pleadings with authority as to why they are entitled to a hearing, and in any event to provide through their pleadings evidence which would justify a bond in an amount less than the full amount of the judgment".
It remains to be seen what new pleadings the Kebe side now makes.
Gunna declined bail again
Gunna and fellow rapper Young Thug were both charged, along with 26 others, in the US state of Georgia back in May. They are all accused of involvement in a gang called Young Slime Life which, it's alleged, committed murders, shootings and carjackings.
Both Gunna and Young Thug - who deny the charges against them - have been working hard to get bail while they await trial, but so far without success. Prosecutors claim that allowing the rappers to leave jail could result in witness intimidation. And seeking to back up that concern in relation to Gunna they claimed that one of the other defendants in the case had said he would be willing to "whack" someone on the rapper's behalf.
According to Billboard, Gunna's legal rep, Steven Sadow, argued in court this week that such unverified "proffers" from the prosecution have repeatedly been disproven and that the judge therefore should be very "skeptical" of such claims.
However, judge Ural Glanville said he shared the concerns regarding possible witness intimidation and that those concerns had not yet been alleviated by the defence.
The ongoing criminal case against Gunna and Young Thug has proven controversial, of course, because the prosecution is using the two rappers' creative output as evidence against them.
The use of lyrics and music videos as evidence in criminal cases has become increasingly controversial in recent years, because of concerns around bias, whereby jurors are more likely to assume rap lyrics are rooted in reality while lyrics from other genres are seen as fictional.
Dutch court says ISPs not obliged to forward on anti-piracy warning letters
Ziggo has been particularly proactive over the years in opposing anti-piracy measures proposed by the music and movie industries which involve its active participation. It spent many years fighting web-blocks - ie injunctions that force it to block access to certain piracy sites - albeit ultimately unsuccessfully.
Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN also wanted Ziggo to send warning letters to suspected infringers among its customer base.
The passing on of such warning letters by ISPs is seen by the copyright industries as one of the mildest forms of anti-piracy activity. The copyright owners never learn the actual identities of the suspected infringers - who they can only identify by the IP address they use - and no immediate sanctions are being demanded against the infringers.
However, Ziggo refused to pass on any copyright notices, raising privacy concerns with the anti-piracy approach. BREIN then took the matter to the courts, seeking to force the ISP to send on its warning letters. But earlier this year the Utrecht Court concluded that there was no legal basis under Dutch law for ordering that the letters be forwarded on and - according to Torrentfreak - an appeals court has now confirmed that ruling.
A copyright owner could still sue the suspected infringer, of course, which would initially mean filing legal proceedings to force Ziggo to reveal the identity of that person. However, BREIN argues, it would prefer the less confrontational approach of sending warning letters, at least in first instance.
Responding to the latest court decision on this matter, BREIN Director Tim Kuik said: "Warning subscribers without taking a case to court immediately is mild and should be possible. Ziggo now ensures that its infringing customers will be confronted with legal claims right away. That's not our choice, but if we have to, we'll do it".
IMPALA again confirms opposition to ER on streams, while calling for focus on music's "investment stream"
It also urges those European Union member countries yet to implement the 2019 copyright directive to hurry up and do so, while encouraging governments across Europe to consider financial support measures for the record industry similar to those available in France.
IMPALA's latest statement regarding the economics of streaming follows a recent review of the organisation's digital strategy at the Reeperbahn festival, and builds on the ten point plan to "make streaming work" that it published in March 2021.
Applying the ER principle to streaming has been proposed many times over the years as artists - and especially heritage artists stuck in pre-digital record deals - have complained about the cut they receive of any streaming income generated by their recordings.
The ER system currently applies to things like radio. Performers have their own statutory right to payment under copyright law in those scenarios, meaning they get paid at industry standard rates via the collective licensing system, instead of via their labels at rates set out in a record contract.
If ER was applied to streams, performers would get their cut of streaming income - or more likely part of their cut of streaming income - via the collective licensing system at industry standard rates.
ER on streams already applies in Spain and Hungary, and recent changes to the law in Belgium mean it will be introduced there too. In Germany, ER is being introduced in relation to user-generated content platforms.
Labels - major and indie - oppose the extension of ER to streams, saying that it would impact on their ability to invest in new artists. They also argue that - especially once the admin costs of an ER system are taken into account - artists on more favourable record deals, or who are releasing music through their own labels, could actually be worse off if they got some of their streaming income via their collecting societies.
The biggest beneficiaries of ER on streams would likely be artists stuck in old record deals which pay much lower royalties. Though some indies already apply a higher minimum rate - basically a modern streaming rate - across their catalogues, oblivious of what specific rates are set in old deals. And many in the independent community see approaches like that as a better solution to issues around fair remuneration.
In its new statement on streaming, IMPALA notes that - since the publication of its ten-point plan last year - "there have been renewed requests from artist groups, collecting societies and publisher groups to rethink the allocation of digital revenues. This includes demands for a radio type of remuneration, where performers and artists would go through their local collecting society for at least part of their streaming income - so called 'equitable remuneration'".
ER, it says, "is not backed by any figures about investment or risk and was rightly rejected in the last EU copyright review". And it would also "hurt labels' investment capacity, damage the high growth sector of self-releasing artists, [and] leave creators' incomes at risk from erratic voting rights and distribution laws within some societies. This in turn would have a negative impact on diversity, something which will also be raised in IMPALA's upcoming report on its equity, diversity and inclusion work".
IMPALA most recently commented on this debate after Belgian law-makers added an ER right for streams , a development that occurred about a month after the French music industry reached a voluntary agreement around artist remuneration.
The indie community very much support the latter approach. "Pointing to industry negotiations like those in France as opposed to blanket imposition of new rights like in Belgium", the new statement says, "IMPALA notes it is time for difficult conversations where the independent sector stands up and calls out so called 'equitable remuneration' for simply not being equitable".
Beyond the ER debate, IMPALA also calls on governments across Europe to ensure that the provisions increasing the liabilities of user-upload platforms contained in that 2019 directive are properly put into place - not least because some EU member states are still implementing said directive. Plus, both industry and government, it says, should focus on growing the "investment stream".
"We have heard a lot about the digital pie but less about the investment stream", it goes on, "the term IMPALA uses for the financial resources and knowhow which labels make available for nurturing new talent and projects. Pointing to France as the best in class, IMPALA calls for every country to put in place a system of tax credits, favourable loan guarantees and other fiscal tools to boost investment in the recording sector and have a strategic approach in place for growth".
Commenting on all this, IMPALA's Executive Chair Helen Smith says: "We have to work together to grow the digital market and make sure all can benefit. It's our responsibility. After weathering through a two year plus pandemic, the whole sector is now facing a cost-of-living crisis".
"We also need governments to play their part", she adds. "We ask member states who still have to implement the copyright directive to do it swiftly and stick to the text to ensure maximum harmonisation. We also call on the industry and decision makers to look at the investment stream and develop a key strategy that seeks to grow risk-taking in the European music sector".
SoundCloud launches revamped artist dashboard and rebrands creator subscription packages
The firm's SVP Creator Tray Chan says in a blog post that the revamped dashboard "provides simplified access to all of your monetisation, distribution and promotional tools in one location. Plus, you can take a deep dive into who your biggest fans are and what tracks they're listening to the most through artist insights".
The digital firm is also rebranding its creator-centric subscription packages so that they will be known as Next, Next Plus and Next Pro. Why 'next'? Well, Chan's blog post says: "SoundCloud continues to be a creator-first company, focusing on what artists need to build their careers and thrive. We believe that artists, producers and songwriters are the driving force that continues to push what's next".
"We believe that what's next isn't determined by algorithms and gatekeepers", he goes on, "but that the true path toward a long and successful career is best achieved by cultivating deep fan relationships and community. With the launch of SoundCloud For Artists, we're now doubling down on our commitment to these beliefs to lead what's next in music". So that explains everything, right? Good.
Though you know what else is coming next? New products, features and services, that's what. Chan adds: "The launch of SoundCloud For Artists and new names of our subscription plans set the stage for what's next, with new products, features and services to come".
Nicki Minaj hits out at Grammys after Super Freaky is moved from rap to pop category
The nominations haven't even been announced for the big American music awards yet, but Nicki Minaj says that she's had her single 'Super Freaky Girl' switched from the rap category to which she submitted it to the Best Pop Solo Performance category. And she isn't happy with that development.
"'Super Freaky Girl,' where I only rapped on the song, was removed out of the rap categories at the Grammys and put in pop", she told fans in an Instagram Live video.
"Now, let's say that 'Super Freaky Girl' is a pop song. Let's just say that. What is [Latto's] 'Big Energy'? … If you move 'Super Freaky Girl' out of rap and put it in pop, [you need to] do the same thing for 'Big Energy'. Same producers on both songs, by the way. So let's keep shit fair. Even when I'm rapping on a pop track, I still out-rap".
This is not the first time that a rapper has complained about the category the Grammys has placed their music in - although often the complaint is about being classified as rap when an artist feels they are making pop.
Minaj noted this in her video, bringing up the example of Drake and 'Hotline Bling', which won Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 2017 Grammys. Drake himself told reporters at the time that: "'Hotline Bling' is not a rap song. The only category that they can manage to fit me in is in a rap category, maybe because I've rapped in the past or because I'm black … it feels weird to me".
Last year Drake was up for Best Rap Performance for 'Way 2 Sexy' and Best Rap Album for 'Certified Lover Boy', but asked for his nominations to be withdrawn. This year he has not submitted any music for consideration.
Tyler, The Creator similarly won the Best Rap Album for his 'Igor' LP in 2020, despite that record seeing him experimenting more with pop. He said of his win at the time: "I'm half and half on it. On one side I'm very grateful that what I made can be acknowledged in a world like this. But also, it sucks that whenever we - and I mean guys that look up to me - do anything that's genre-bending or anything, they put it in a rap or urban category".
The Grammy Awards have faced various criticisms in recent years, including of racism and corruption. Organisers have attempted to counteract these with a number of changes, although complaints from artists still continue.
We're not actually expecting to find out who is nominated for next year's Grammys until the end of next month - with voting still currently underway. Minaj has got in early with her complaints this year for certain. You can probably expect to hear plenty more from other artists once the nomination lists are actually out.
Pearl Jam have committed to offset carbon emissions on their latest tour to the tune of $200 per ton. "By committing to this aggressive pricing, we hope to amplify our efforts tenfold, highlight the most compelling avenues for carbon sequestration, mitigation and reduction, and hopefully gather many partners who share our urgency to make the enormous efforts and innovations required to move our world to a carbon balanced and more conscious economy", says guitarist Stone Gossard.
Stormzy has released new single 'Hide & Seek', the first from new album 'This Is What I Mean', which is out on 25 Nov.
Louis Tomlinson has released new single 'Out Of My System'. He's also announced UK tour dates in November 2023. Tickets go on general sale next Friday.
Blink 182 have released new single 'Edging' - their first new song with guitarist Tom DeLonge for more than a decade. It was, of course, announced earlier this week that DeLonge had reunited with the group, having left in 2015.
Marshmello has released 'Bye Bye', a collaboration with late rapper Juice Wrld.
Tom Walker has released new single 'The Best Is Yet To Come'.
Raye has released two new tracks, 'Escapism' and 'The Thrill Is Gone'. She's also announced that she will release her long-awaited debut album, 'My 21st Century Blues', on 3 Feb.
Charlotte De Santos has released new single 'Cupid's Bow'.
Kate NV has released new single 'Early Bird'.
Right, I know it's too early for this really, but Los Bitchos have released a Christmas song, 'Los Chrismos'. That and another new track, 'Tipp Tapp', will be released on flexi-disc on 18 Nov. "Los Chrismos is our 80s nostalgic Christmas dreamland", say the band. "Shoop-shooping down the slopes into a cosy chalet strewn with fairy lights, join us for a glass of bubbly and a cosy Christmas party full of festivities".
Envy have released new single 'Seimei', the first track from an EP of the same name, which will be out on 9 Nov.
Oozing Wound have announced that they will release new album 'We Cater To Cowards' on 27 Jan. Their new single, 'The Good Times (I Don't Miss Em)', is out now.
GIGS & TOURS
Ahead of sold out dates next month, Yard Act have announced four more shows in the UK and Ireland in April and May next year. The run will finish with a date at Brixton Academy in London on 4 May. Tickets go on general sale on Tuesday. They've also put out a new live video for their song 'Rich', to give you an idea of what to expect.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Radio 2 reveals UK's biggest selling debut albums of all time
This year's National Album Day is putting the spotlight on debut albums in particular, hence this list. And topping the chart is Meat Loaf's 'Bat Out Of Hell' - unbeaten since 1977. This pushes the biggest debut by a British artist - James Blunt's 'Back To Bedlam' - down in to second place. And if you're wondering - I know you are - the most recent album in the top 20 is 'Our Version Of Events' by Emeli Sandé, which came out in 2012.
Steve Wright will run through the full top 20 in a special show on Radio 2 this afternoon from 1-3pm. Commenting, he says: "'Bat Out Of Hell' reaching number one as the UK's biggest debut album of all-time might be a surprise to some, but it is a truly brilliant debut album and one which reached a whole new audience following the sad passing of Meat Loaf earlier this year. You're in for a treat with the full chart so do tune in for a fantastic nostalgia trip with some of the most brilliant songs you'll ever hear".
Official Charts Company chief exec Martin Talbot adds: "Congratulations to all of the artists on this special National Album Day chart. Any artist with an album successful enough to appear on this fantastic list, the Official Debut Albums Chart, will have come out of the traps at the beginning of their careers and truly hit the ground running".
"A debut album is, for many artists, the most personal album of their careers", he goes on, "the only album they spend their whole lives to that point making - so, to connect with the public in such an incredible way is truly impressive".
Anyway, if you were struggling to think what debut albums you were going to spend your day listening to tomorrow, this list might help. Though, personally, I'll just be listening to Slipknot's first album on repeat. Like most days.
But here it is: the UK's Official Debut Albums Chart: