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MORE INDUSTRY COMMENT FOLLOWING TICKET RESALE EXPOSÉ
The focus remains on the Concert Promoters Association, which last week defended the actions of some of its members - ie the ones who put tickets for their own in-demand concerts directly onto the resale sites so to share in the mark-up - by arguing such activities became inevitable after the government refused to act against the boom in ticket touting that took place last decade, enabled by the net and ticket resale sites like Viagogo, Seatwave and Get Me In, not to mention eBay.
On Friday eFestivals challenged CPA Chairman Stuart Littlewood further on the issue, who again said that if uncontrolled online touting was allowed it was inevitable tour promoters would take part, while adding that he was of the view that, for those gigs where large numbers of tickets were resold via the secondary ticketing sites, everyone involved in those tours would have been in the loop, including artists and their management.
While it's not known whether that is true with regard to all the artists featured in 'Dispatches', it's no secret that some managers have also participated in the resale of tickets for shows by the acts they represent. Nevertheless, last week some agents - the middle men between promoters and artists - denied knowledge of the extent to which some live music firms were touting their own tickets.
eFestivals also took issue with Littlewood over the secrecy that shrouds the resale of tickets by parties directly linked to a tour, arguing that such secrecy breaches the CPA's own rules on transparency and ethical trading. The website says Littlewood conceded that might be so, adding that the issue would be raised at the association's next meeting, though he confirmed that there were currently no plans for the CPA to take any action against any of its members.
eFestivals has also spoken to T In The Park promoter Geoff Ellis who, while not himself featured in the 'Dispatches' exposé, said he too blamed the government's inaction on the touting problem for the number of official tickets now being sold by promoters at a mark up via the secondary sites.
Recalling the efforts he and other promoters went to in a bid to persuade government to act a few years back, Ellis added: "We said at the time, if you don't legislate then the music industry will go into the secondary market. Not because it wants to, but because it has got no choice. That's not to say it'll be embraced, but people will do it, because if you've got an artist that you're working with and their fans are buying tickets off a secondary market, if those don't come from the primary source, ie the promoter, then the artist doesn't get any of that money, and it all goes to a ticket tout. Plus none of the VAT gets paid on it, and none of the PRS gets paid on it, and none of the money goes back into the industry".
The tax and PRS issue is perhaps the most interesting element to this whole exposé.
The 'Dispatches' programme also claimed some of the secondary ticketing services bought up large quantities of tickets to shows where they didn't have a relationship with relevant promoters, but then pretended to be an individual reseller when selling those tickets on. It's not clear what that tax situation is around that sort of practice.
It's also not clear whether those promoters who resell their own tickets via secondary sites are paying any share of the mark up to PRS For Music, as a royalty to the owners of the songs that are performed at their events. The live royalty PRS collects is a percentage of ticket revenues, and if - as they claim - promoters who sell their own tickets via Viagogo et al view the secondary sites as 'premium-primary sales platforms', then arguably 3% of any mark up should go to the songwriter or publisher via their collecting society. This may indeed be already happening though, given the secrecy that surrounds this whole practice, as yet it's unclear what's being paid to whom. One assumes the publishing sector will be looking for clarity on this issue this week.
MURRAY DENIED BAIL
As previously reported, Murray had asked the Californian courts to be let out of jail while he prepares his appeal against both his conviction and sentence. The former doctor suggested he could live under house arrest while awaiting his appeal hearing, which could take a year to come to court.
But prosecutors urged the courts to enforce Murray's full four year jail sentence, adding that they feared the medic would flee California if given the chance.
And on Friday Judge Michael Pastor, who has seemed hostile to Murray throughout, partly because of the doctor's seeming lack of remorse for his involvement in Jackson's demise, agreed with the prosecution, turning down the bail application.
FBT COURT PAPERS SUGGEST UNIVERSAL MAY OWE NEARLY $4 MILLION IN UNPAID DIGITAL ROYALTIES
As previously reported, FBT have a stake in the early Eminem recordings, and sued Universal's Interscope over the way digital royalties are paid out. It's common for artists to earn a higher royalty on licensing revenue than record sales, so labels treat download revenue as the latter, but some artists reckon it should be classified as money stemming from a licensing deal. When heritage artists sued on this issue a few years back the courts sided with the labels, but in this case FBT won.
The US courts will review the case in April to decide what extra money the FBT guys are now due, and last week the Hollywood Reporter published some of the figures submitted to court by the production company's lawyers, focusing on US revenue from 2005 to 2009. It seems FBT will claim they are due an extra $3.8 million for this period alone, meaning their overall claim for extra royalties could top $5 million.
While as an isolated case that won't break the bank (and the major will almost certainly dispute FBT's figures and argue for a lower pay out), this story will be much more significant if the precedent set in this legal dispute regards treating download sales as licensing revenue can be applied to other pre-internet record contracts. As previously reported, the major's lawyers say not, but an assortment of American artists are now suing, between them, Universal, Warner and EMI to put the principle set out in FBT v Interscope to the test.
Meanwhile, back to the figures revealed by the Hollywood Reporter last week, and some have noted that it looks like Universal might have set its costs incurred in fighting this lawsuit - $2 million - against the royalties it pays FBT. The money for legal costs are apparently listed as 'legal hold' on FBT's royalty statement from the major.
It's not 100% certain exactly what that sum is really for, and even if it is for fighting this lawsuit the major may well be contractually entitled to recoup its legal costs in this way, though many in the artist community will be simultaneously amused and disgusted if it turns out a major record company really can charge legal fees back to any act who chooses to sue it.
US TO TRY TO REVOKE MEGA CHIEF'S BAIL
As previously reported, Schmitz was one of four former Mega execs arrested in New Zealand at the request of the American authorities last month - they are accused of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering for their involvement in the Mega companies. All four men have now been bailed pending an extradition hearing - unlikely to take place before August - but the US is trying to revoke the bailing of Schmitz.
Dotcom's bail application was initially denied because prosecutors said he was a flight risk, adding that he might have access to hidden funds that could be used to flee to his home country Germany where it would be much harder to extradite him. But last week the Auckland courts decided there was no evidence Schmitz had any monies other than those already seized by the American authorities. The Mega chief is now on bail, though tagged and banned from accessing the internet.
But the US will tomorrow try to have that decision overturned by again arguing Schmitz should stay in jail until he can be extradited to America. It remains to be seen if the lawyers have any new reasons why the judge should concur.
BIEBER'S LAWYERS NOT HAPPY WITH JOUSTIN BEAVER GAME
According to TMZ, the maker of the app game, RC3, has received a cease and desist from the pop teen's people, and a demand they declare to Beiber's reps any revenues made from sales of the 99 cents game so far.
But RC3 seems determined to continue selling the game, which it says is a parody and therefore protected under American law.
As you might remember, in the UK, where parody protection is not so strong, Lady Gaga managed to stop the Moshi Monster social network from releasing songs from its character Lady Goo Goo, though as far as we're aware both the Goo Goo and another Justin inspired Beaver - Dustbin Beaver - still live within the Moshi universe, unhindered by tedious intellectual property lawyers.
BEE GEE GIBB RETURNS TO HOSPITAL
As previously reported, Gibb confirmed he was suffering from liver cancer late last year after much speculation about his ill health. But he told reporters earlier this month that his treatment, including chemo, had resulted in a "spectacular" recovery. He told the Mail: "There have been many false claims around, which I'd like to dispel. I am not and have never been 'at death's door'".
Reporters noted Gibb's return to hospital last week, but a spokesman told The Sun the three day stay at a London clinic was a routine part of his "treatment and rehabilitation".
ONLINE MUSIC AWARDS ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS
Meanwhile, organisers of the awards have announced War Child as their official charity. OMA Founder Chris Mitchell told CMU: "We are thrilled to announce War Child as our charity partner. War Child is an extremely good cause that helps children whose lives have been turned upside down by war, I'm extremely proud to be in a position to help them spread their positive message and hope we can help them raise some much-needed money".
More info and nominate at www.onlinemusicawards.org
ATOMIC KITTEN NOT REFORMING FOR EUROVISION
Well, they're definitely not doing the Eurovision thing, unless all three members of the former girl group are big fat liars. Rumours that the Kitten were planning on copying Steps in reforming via a fly-on-the-wall TV documentary started circulating earlier this month, while the Daily Star reported that the reformation would peak with a Eurovision performance yesterday.
But all three members of the classic Kitten line up took to Twitter this weekend to deny the Eurovision chatter. Liz McClarnon told her followers on the micro-blogging platform "we know nothing about Eurovision", while Natasha Hamilton joked that she "thought maybe my memo got lost in the post!"
Of course behind the scenes talks about an Atomic Kitten TV show might have caused the Eurovision rumours, though when Broadcast cited sources commenting on a documentary about the pop trio earlier this month they admitted all discussions about pop-reunion-based projects were at a very early stage.
LIL WAYNE SIGNS LIMP BIZKIT
Rapper Wayne, whose penchant for all things rock-related is well documented in this Spin article, appears to have signed Fred Durst et al to Cash Money's hip hop and R&B dominated roster as part of an initiative to embrace alternative genres. Or, as he more succinctly phrased it, to "sign everybody".
Phoning in to late night soul show 'Kissing After Dark', Weezy told radio host Lenny Green: "As far as Cash Money, we're always listening and looking at acts so, it's like every other day I hear about somebody new just signed to Cash Money. The other day I signed Limp Bizkit to Cash Money so, they're signing everybody". He even hinted that the label was in talks to recruit R&B singer Ashanti, who hasn't released an album proper since 2008.
As for Fred Durst's thoughts on his band's new label deal, they ran thus: "The game is missing danger, electricity, and rock n roll! Cash Money Limp Bizkit".
The Bizkit, of course, released their 'comeback' album 'Gold Cobra' last year, it achieving reasonable commercial success and charting at number sixteen in the US Billboard 200. No word from Wayne as to when the group will make their Cash Money debut, but Fred Durst is sure to tweet something silly about it any day now.
BARLOW AND LLOYD WEBBER TO PEN SONG FOR QUEEN'S JUBILEE
Barlow plans to tour the Commonwealth for inspiration, which sounds like a real challenge. He'll be followed by BBC cameras on the jolly, which makes me suspect that licence fee payers might be covering the cost of this little holiday for the Take That-er.
You'd think Barlow himself could pay, given all the extra cash his promoters made by secretly selling half his group's tour tickets on the secondary market at hiked up prices. Perhaps Barlow's signed up to this world tour project to get away from all those angry ripped off British fans. Though, of course, I'm sure none of the Take That boys sanctioned their fans being ripped off. No, that could never happen.
Anyway, this new Barlow Lloyd Webber song - "the biggest challenge I've ever taken on musically" says Gary, "it's a huge honour" adds Andy - will be premiered at that special Jubilee Concert Barlow is staging outside Buck House on 4 Jun. Which is yet another reason to find an excuse to be out of the country that weekend.
The former, which is entitled 'Hey Jane', is very good, while the latter... well, isn't. It's so bad, in fact, that it can best be described as resembling an American-style street sign for morons. Still, I'm sure we'll get used to it. We all love Arctic Monkeys' 'Humbug' LP cover now, don't we? Quite.
Here's 'Hey Jane', anyway: soundcloud.com/spiritualized/hey-jane-eq-15feb-1
DOMINO TO RELEASE 'FLEXI-DISC ZINE' FOR RECORD STORE DAY
The music aspect features five unreleased tracks, so that's one each from Domino signings Dirty Projectors, Real Estate, Cass McCombs, Villagers and John Maus. These will be arranged across five vari-coloured flexi-discs.
There's a 24-page zine, too, with contributions from the likes of Laura Marling, The Kills' Alison Mosshart, Owen Pallett and Andrea Estella of Twin Sister.
As we ponder the wondrous forms those contributions could take, here's Real Estate's piece of flex-disc heaven. It's 'In My Car': soundcloud.com/dominorecordco/real-estate-in-my-car
CHERRY RED RECRUITING MORE FOOTY SONGS
And to that end the company is calling on any band, singer songwriter, poet or rapper with an England football team supporting song to share to send them in for consideration. The deadline for sending MP3s is 31 Mar, with the best being picked for a compilation to be released on 4 Jun, just before Euro 2012 kicks off in Poland on 8 Jun.
Interested artists should send their footy tracks to [email protected]
TOM JONES AND JACK WHITE SINGLE TO BE SOLD NATIONWIDE
The standard black seven-inch will be released in indie stores across the UK on 5 Mar, followed by chain and digital stores on 19 Mar. There will be (as with all Third Man Records singles) a limited run of 150 three-colour seven-inch records, 100 of which will be available exclusively through Spillers Records in Cardiff on 3 Mar. However, the Welsh shop does not have exclusive rights to all physical copies of release. Sorry if you bought a train ticket to Cardiff.
BLACK SABBATH SET TO PLAY REUNION SHOW IN US TOO
As previously reported, the reunited Black Sabbath have scaled back their live plans while guitarist Tommy Iommi receives treatment for cancer. The band will still play their headline set at the Download Festival, though, and are continuing work on a new album.
And, according to Ozzy's manager/wife Sharon: "They're gonna be doing one show in America this summer but I can't say yet [where and when it is] because we can't announce it, the promoters have to. But they are doing one show in August".
Of course none of this is as yet involving the band's original drummer Bill Ward, who is still embroiled in a contract dispute with the band's management. If he does sign up, the new album will be the first featuring the original Black Sabbath line up since 1978. Though, again according to Sharon, the rest of the band have already sketched out fifteen new songs without him.
SHABAZZ PALACES TOUR
11 May: Bristol, Start The Bus
View the video to match 'Black Up' component 'Are You... Can You... Were You?' here.
And just in case, the LP is still available to stream in its entirety here.
HERE WE GO MAGIC CONJURE LIVE DATES
4 May: Brighton, Green Door Store
If you haven't yet done so, take advantage of a free download of album track 'Make Up Your Mind' here.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
CAMP BESTIVAL, Lulworth Castle, Dorset, 26-29 Jul: With 'Step On' songsmiths Happy Mondays just announced as closing Sunday headliners, new additions to a crowded Camp Bestival bill also include Mr Scruff, Dodgy, Redlight, Little Roy and 2 Bears. Amongst those confirmed in previous line-up memos are the likes of Kool & The Gang, Chic feat Nile Rodgers, Earth Wind & Fire Experience, Jimmy Cliff, Rizzle Kicks, Rolf Harris, Little Dragon and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. www.campbestival.net
FARMFESTIVAL, Bruton, in Somerset, 27-28 Jul: Staged on an organic farm amidst Somerset's agricultural heartland, this 4000-capacity DIY music happening will see in its seventh year with Submotion Orchestra and Man Like Me, the first of many names yet to be unveiled. www.farmfestival.co.uk
HIGH DEFINITION FESTIVAL, Forest Farm, Essex, 30 Jun: Word of DJ set by drum n bass types Pendulum, plus live showings from Ms Dynamite, Sub Focus, Mistajam and Fabio, makes for a strong start to High Def's 2012 revelations, with more acts playing across five stages still to be named. www.hdfest.co.uk
ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle Of Wight, 22-24 Jun: Just unveiled Isle Of Wight bookings Primal Scream are set to reign over a roster also featuring fellow headliners Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, not to mention such supporting acts Elbow, Biffy Clyro, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Example, Kelis, Miles Kane, Enter Shikari, Ash, Crystal Castles and Tinie Tempah. www.isleofwightfestival.com
RHYTHM FESTIVALS, Mansion House, Old Warden Park, Biggleswade: Recent add-ons Booker T Jones, King Mob, Boomtown Rats, Captain Sensible and The Magic Tombolinos serve to supplement a hearty Rhythm roster, as also houses Show Of Hands, David Knopfler, The Travelling Band, Lau, Scott Matthews, Peatbog Faeries, Wishing Well and Strawbs. www.rhythmfestival.com
WIRELESS FESTIVAL, Hyde Park, London, 6-8 Jul: Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky, Cher Lloyd and Tulisa are fresh introductions to Wireless' triple threat of a weekend bill, as is topped by the performing presence of Rihanna and Drake, plus a thus far tba third headliner. Example, Jessie J, Wiz Khalifa, Professor Green, Calvin Harris, Rizzle Kicks and US rapper J Cole are also set to grace the London-based, Barclaycard-backed bash. www.wirelessfestival.co.uk
WOMAD, Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, 27-29 Jul: Organisers place Led Zep legend Robert Plant, who'll make his live debut with new band Sensational Space Shifters, atop this year's worldly WOMAD programme. Buena Vista Social Club, Peatbog Faeries, Dizraeli And the Small Gods, LoJo, Raghu Dixit, Spiro and the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra will also play across the eclectic arts fest's 30th anniversary edition. www.womad.co.uk
IMAGEM APPOINTS NEW MD FOR UK POP CATALOGUE
She will report to Imagem's UK CEO, John Minch, who told CMU: "We now have a great senior management team at Imagem. Kim is a proven leader with a wealth of experience in music publishing and an international track record second to none. She will bring energy and insight to her new role and her appointment is a real coup for us".
Frankiewicz herself added: "I am genuinely honoured to have been given this opportunity to work with the team at Imagem. In just four years, they have built a vibrant and dynamic company that is the template for modern music publishing. My main priorities will be to maintain an environment in which new talent can make great music alongside our existing roster of world class songwriters, and to look for new ways to create exciting new creative and commercial opportunities for everyone we represent".
BRITISH MUSIC ABROAD ANNOUNCES SXSW ACTS
A joint venture between the PRS For Music Foundation, UK Trade & Investment, Arts Council England and British Underground, British Music Abroad has been providing financial assistance to UK acts invited to play at SxSW since 2006.
Confirming this year's supported acts, Laura Whitticase, who runs British Music Abroad at the PRS For Music Foundation, told CMU: "With the changing shape of the music industry, it's important for artists to have access to alternative support networks which help them to develop as professionals on the international stage. We're proud to be working with our British Music Abroad partners to provide this much needed resource and I look forward to seeing all of the acts we've funded showcase their talent at SxSW".
The full list of artists supported this year are: Bear's Den, D/R/U/G/S, Django Django, Dutch Uncles, Fiction, Future of the Left, Ghosting Season, Hatcham Social, Kindness, Kwes, Quantic & Alice Russell featuring The Combo Barbaro, Skindred, Slow Club, Spectrals, Spycatcher, The Defiled, Treetop Flyers and Vondelpark.
ABSOLUTE AND BAUER STATIONS TO BROADCAST FROM OLYMPIC GIGS
Absolute and Magic will both broadcast from the two big concerts due to take place in Hyde Park on 27 Jul and 12 Aug, the latter of which we already know will feature Blur, The Specials and New Order. The two stations will also broadcast some of the other lower key events due to take place in Hyde Park during the Olympic fortnight, while Kiss will focus on entertainment being staged in Victoria Park, which possibly offers some insight into what kind of events are being planned for the East London site.
Confirming their involvement in what is being called BT London Live, Absolute Radio's Marketing Director Clare Baker told reporters: "This activity perfectly complements our established live credentials, adding a unique twist to the celebration of Great Britain and the Olympics in 2012 from an iconic, nationally treasured location".
Meanwhile Bauer London MD Steve Parkinson added: "Magic 105.4 and Kiss are delighted to be working alongside Absolute on what are certain to be some of the most exciting and memorable events in London this summer. This deal will ensure we can bring all the artist and ticketing information to our audiences first, and to be in the thick of the celebrations when they get under way on 27 Jul".
JAY-Z REPORTEDLY UNHAPPY ABOUT RIHANNA'S BROWN COLLABORATIONS
To be fair, Rihanna's lyrics are pretty sexual too, but still, Brown's involvement with the song is controversial, of course, because the couple's last collaboration saw him beat her unconscious in the street. And the apparent reconciliation via song comes just a week after Brown reacted angrily on Twitter to those who suggested it was unwise of Grammy organisers to give the singer star-billing just three years after the domestic abuse incident.
The release of the Brown-guesting remix of Rihanna's track was accompanied by the launch of a remix of one of his songs featuring guest vocals from her. And in some ways the reciprocal collaborations show Rihanna has been able to move on with her life after the beating at her ex-boyfriend's hands, which is good, though some of those who already believe the US pop industry has too quickly rehabilitated Brown's career worry about what message this very public reconciliation sends out.
And among the critics of Rihanna's remixes, rumour has it, is her long-time supporter Jay-Z, who has never kept his anger towards Brown especially secret. A source told Radar Online: "Jay was absolutely disgusted by what Chris did to Rihanna. Jay doesn't understand how a man could ever lay hands on a woman; it just goes against who he is and [what he's] about. Chris is absolutely dead to Jay, he wants nothing to do with him ever".
Said source continues: "Now that Rihanna is hooking up with Chris and recording songs with him, Jay is deeply disappointed in her actions. He can't fathom why Rihanna is doing the things she is doing. He understands the need for forgiveness, but he is adamant that Rihanna shouldn't forget what Chris did to her. Jay wonders what kind of message this is sending to Rihanna's young female fans. Rihanna knows how Jay feels about Chris, but she doesn't care, she is going to do what she wants. Jay has told Rihanna he will never give his blessing for what she is doing with Chris. He has told her this isn't going to end well, it never does. In Jay's opinion, Chris has rage issues that he doesn't think have been dealt with".