|TUESDAY 4 APRIL 2023||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The record industry has welcomed a ruling in the German courts in relation to stream-ripping software youtube-dl. The Hamburg Regional Court has issued an injunction stopping the distribution of the software via a web-page hosted in Germany... [READ MORE]|
Record industry welcomes ruling against youtube-dl in German courts
Stream-ripping tools and websites - which allow people to grab permanent downloads of temporary streams, most commonly YouTube streams - have been a top piracy gripe of the music industry for some time now. That has resulted in various efforts by music companies to get stream-ripping services blocked by internet service providers, as well as legal action, or the threat of legal action, against the operators of such services.
In terms of youtube-dl in particular, in 2020 the music industry tried to get the code for that software removed from developer platform Github. Those attempts were initially successful but, after a mini-controversy, Github restored the code to its platform.
Meanwhile, in Germany, work began to try to takedown the youtube-dl web page, which was hosted by German company Uberspace. That also proved controversial, with an organisation called Gesellschaft Für Freiheitsrechte - which loosely translates as the Society For Liberties - speaking out against the proposal that access to youtube-dl should be blocked, on the basis that stream-ripping tools have legitimate as well as illegitimate uses.
However, despite the controversy, the music industry's efforts in Germany have seemingly been more successful. The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry and German record industry trade group BVMI have confirmed that the Hamburg Regional Court has now issued an injunction against the youtube-dl web page.
Welcoming that court order, IFPI and BVMI said: "Stream-ripping is the illegal practice of creating a downloadable file from content that is legally available to stream online. It is the most prevalent form of online music copyright infringement".
"Based on a survey carried out last year", they went on, "27% of people globally used stream-ripping sites as a way to illegally download music. This figure increased to 40% amongst sixteen to 24 year olds. Legal actions targeting stream-ripping services have been successful against other sites in Germany as well as in various other jurisdictions, including in Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Ecuador, France, India, Italy, Spain, Malaysia, Peru and the UK".
Commenting on the latest development, IFPI boss Frances Moore says: "Youtube-dl's services were making it possible for users to rip streams and download copyright protected music without paying for it".
"The decision from the Hamburg Regional Court builds on the precedent already set in Germany", she goes on, "further indicating that hosting stream-ripping software of this nature is illegal. We continue to work around the world to tackle the issue of stream-ripping which diverts revenue away from those investing in and creating music".
Meanwhile BVMI CEO Florian Drücke adds: "Illegal music use remains a major challenge for the industry worldwide. Globally, 30% of users report listening to or buying music through unlicensed or illegal means, with stream-ripping among the most popular methods".
"This is unacceptable and harms all players in the industry as well as the music fans themselves", he continues. "Against this background, the decision of the Hamburg Regional Court that the host provider must refrain from distributing the youtube-dl software is consistent and important for the industry".
Coachella settles trademark lawsuit against Coachillin companies
That legal battle was one of many being pursued by AEG's Goldenvoice - as promoter of the Coachella Festival - against other companies and events that use names similar to its trademark protected brands Coachella and Chella.
A guy called Jeremy M Joseph actually registered the Coachillin mark with the US trademark registry back in 2014 in order to sell branded clothing. But those trademarks were then acquired by a company called Coachillin Holdings which has various subsidiaries and businesses, including a venture called the Coachillin Industrial Business Park.
Based in California's Coachella Valley, that business park aims to be, according to the official blurb, "a centre of excellence and innovation, setting a new standard of sustainability for California's budding cannabis industry".
Which is all well and good, but - Goldenvoice argued in a lawsuit filed last year - the term Coachillin is very much associated with its festival, where people famously 'chill'.
And when they do that chilling, those festival-goers often take to social media to declare that they are "Coachillin". Which means that Coachillin Holdings and its various subsidiaries were infringing the Coachella trademark.
"The public has come to associate the phrase 'Coachillin' to refer to the Coachella Festival", Goldenvoice's lawsuit declared, "not merely to refer to the Coachella Valley - and certainly not Coachillin Holdings or its Coachillin Business Park".
A settlement has now been reached in that litigation which, seemingly, will see Coachillin Holdings stop using the Coachillin brand, or any other brand that is closely linked to the Coachella name.
In a filing with the court, parties on both sides of the dispute said they had "reached a settlement in this action. Plaintiffs and the settling defendants are concurrently filing with this notice a stipulation for entry of a permanent injunction and final judgment".
That said, various companies with Coachillin in their name were sued by Goldenvoice, and one of them - Coachillin Brands LLC - is not actually part of the settlement deal for some reason.
That company was described in the original lawsuit as an entity that was "formed to hold intellectual property rights in the Coachillin marks or to produce and/or sell merchandise in connection with those marks".
"Defendant Coachillin Brands LLC is not part of this settlement", the new court filing added, "and remains in default, and plaintiffs have filed a motion for default judgment against Coachillin Brands LLC".
Spotify closes down standalone live-audio app
"After a period of experimentation and learnings around how Spotify users interact with live audio", a spokesperson subsequently told reporters, "we've made the decision to sunset the Spotify Live app".
Spotify Live began life as Spotify Greenroom and aimed to take on the buzzy-for-a-while Clubhouse, with an experience that basically mashed together an audio chat room with a talk radio style format. Spotify built its chatty platform on the back of Locker Room, a sports-centric chat app that it acquired in March 2021.
Spotify Greenroom was then rebranded as Spotify Live last April and, at the same time, some of its features were brought into the main Spotify app, with the plan seemingly to offer live audio streams right alongside the service's burgeoning catalogue of on-demand podcasts.
The streaming giant isn't giving up on live audio entirely, despite closing down the standalone app. Its spokesperson continued: "We believe there is a future for live fan-creator interactions in the Spotify ecosystem; however, based on our learnings, it no longer makes sense as a standalone app".
"We have seen promising results in the artist-focused use case of 'listening parties'", they added, "which we will continue to explore moving forward to facilitate live interactions between artists and fans".
Rock Sound under new ownership
A statement on the magazine's Twitter account reads: "As you may have seen, Rock Sound was set for closure back in January and the editorial staff were suddenly let go by the publishing company. It was a huge shock to us all and really gutting to see a brand we care so much about nearly disappear".
"However, we are happy to say that we are officially back", the statement continues. "Rock Sound is now under new ownership, as part of Whynow Media group. Today, we relaunch the site and the online store. We're currently working out the future shape of the magazine, and will have news on that soon".
"We just wanted to take a second to say thank you to all the readers, viewers and artists who reached out and showed your support for us this year", it goes on. "We all love this scene, and seeing how much RS has meant to you over the years - and the new artists it has helped you discover - was really appreciated".
"It's a whole new era for Rock Sound", the statement concludes, "and we couldn't be more excited about the future as we approach our 25th anniversary in 2024. See you out there".
Whynow Media grew out of the website whynow.co.uk, which launched back in 2019 covering film, music and culture at large. Now also operating other platforms and providing media services, the wider company describes itself as a "full service publishing, podcasting and production house".
Madonna leads the tributes to Seymour Stein
Stein's daughter Mandy confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter on Sunday that her father had died of cancer in LA. She added: "I didn't have the most conventional upbringing, but I wouldn't change my life and my relationship with my dad for anything, and he was a loving and caring grandfather who took pleasure in every moment with his three granddaughters".
"He gave me the ultimate soundtrack, as well as his wicked sense of humour", she added. "I am beyond grateful for every minute our family spent with him, and that the music he brought to the world impacted so many people's lives in a positive way".
Born in New York, Stein began his music career as an intern at trade magazine Billboard in the late 1950s. He subsequently moved to an internship and then permanent role at King Records, the label best known for launching the career of James Brown.
A stint at Red Bird Records followed, before Stein teamed up with songwriter Richard Gottehrer to launch Sire Records in 1966. Initially the label focused on licensing recordings from UK and other European artists and releasing them in the US, mainly targeting something of a niche market.
However, things began to ramp up in the 1970s when Sire started directly signing new artists, enjoying considerable success with the Ramones and then Talking Heads. Though the label's connections with the UK continued, with Sire becoming the American home for artists like The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Echo & The Bunnymen, Erasure and My Bloody Valentine.
Having become part of the Warner Bros music company in 1978, Sire's biggest successes came in the 1980s after Stein signed Madonna to his label.
Explaining how that came to be in a post on Instagram yesterday, Madonna recalled how "I stalked a DJ named Mark Kamin for a year at a club called Danceteria in the early 80s".
"He finally agreed to play my demo of a song called 'Everybody' on a Saturday night", she explained. "The club was packed. An A&R man from Sire Records was there - Michael Rosenblatt - he heard the music and asked me if he could bring me to meet his boss Seymour Stein. I couldn't get the words 'hell yes!' out of my mouth fast enough!"
"Unfortunately Seymour was in the hospital for a heart ailment!", she went on. "I didn't care. Let's Goooooo! When I met him he was laying in a hospital bed wearing his boxer shorts and a wife beater! He had a cannula up his nose and a saline drip in his arm! He was grinning like the Cheshire Cat".
"I was carrying my giant boombox ready to play my cassette for him immediately! He smiled and laughed when he saw me and asked me if I was related to the Virgin Mary!! Hahahhahahaa. I knew we would hit it off. I played him the song a few times. He signed me to his record label that day! This moment changed the course of my life forever".
That, she added was "the beginning of my journey as a musical artist. Not only did Seymour hear me but he saw me and my potential! For this I will be eternally grateful! I am weeping as I write this down. Words cannot describe how I felt at this moment after years of grinding and being broke and getting every door slammed in my face".
"Anyone who knew Seymour knew about his passion for music and his impeccable taste", she added. "He had an ear like no other! He was intense - wickedly funny - a little bit crazy and deeply intuitive. Dearest Seymour you will never be forgotten!"
Although it was hard to match the successes of Madonna, Sire continued to sign new artists throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and into the 21st Century, working with acts as diverse as Ministry, kd lang and Ice-T along the way.
Stein himself also had various stints supporting other labels within the Warner Music group and continued to work as an A&R for the major until his retirement in 2018, with his passion for seeking out the latest new talent never waning.
He also co-founded the US Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame in 1983, being inducted himself into said institution in 2005.
Wise Music has acquired a controlling stake in the Edition Peters Group, the classical music publisher that was founded in Leipzig, Germany a mere 223 years ago. Says Wise Music's Chris Butler: "This acquisition emphasises Wise Music Group's commitment to the classical genre and reinforces the group's long record of investment worldwide". Wise Music will own the Edition Peters Group in partnership with Christian Hinrichsen, whose family association with the company began in 1863.
Roberto Neri - most recently CEO of Utopia Music Services - has announced he is joining Sentric Music in moving over to Believe. He posted an update to LinkedIn after it was announced last week that Believe had bought Sentric from the now seemingly struggling Utopia. Believe said its purchase of Sentric was "its first break into building a digital-first innovative music publishing business". Presumably charged with the task of delivering that mission, Neri is now CEO of Believe Publishing.
Dan Pearce has rejoined Ticketmaster in the UK as SVP Client Development after four years with Virgin Experience Days. "Dan's knowledge of Ticketmaster and this industry is unrivalled, bringing with him the rare ability to wholly hit the ground running", says Andrew Parsons, MD of Ticketmaster UK. "I am confident Dan will quickly deliver results for our clients, drive value for our partners and lead this exemplary team's continued success".
Amy Van-Baaren has been appointed as Resident Advisor's first ever Chief Impact And Culture Officer. In her new job, Van-Baaren will be responsible for "the delivery of one of RA's core objectives; giving back to the communities we serve, as well as overseeing the internal company culture, community partnerships and RA's non-profit jobs board Doors Open".
Magic apologises for Richard Hawley's sweary speech at Sunday's Olivier Awards
Hawley picked up the Best Original Score prize at the London theatre awards for his musical 'Standing At The Sky's Edge', which - after premiering in Sheffield in 2019 - had a COVID-delayed London run at the National Theatre in February and March this year.
As noted by Radio Today, in his short speech - even though it wasn't short enough for award organisers - Hawley managed to squeeze in four fucks, three pisses and a couple of shits. Which, to be fair, isn't language you'd usually expect on a Sunday evening on good old Magic
"I must apologise for anyone who is offended by some of the language that Richard Hawley is using", Magic's presenter interjected half way through the speech, adding: "He's clearly very emotional about the evening".
As Hawley began an anecdote about his childhood in Sheffield it looked like Magic might cut away from the proceedings, but then he picked up his award and left the stage.
The musician dedicated his award to life-long friend Steve Mackey, the Pulp bassist who died last month, and who also appeared in that cut short anecdote.
If you want to know why Hawley was getting an Olivier Award in the first place, a West End run of 'Standing At The Sky's Edge' is now planned for next spring at London's Gillian Lynne Theatre.