|WHAT IS THIS? The CMU Daily - to which you are subscribed. Unsubscribe information is at the end.
NOTE: Make sure you 'enable images' to see this e-bulletin properly. CLICK HERE to read this online.
BT AND TALKTALK REVIEW OPTIONS AFTER APPEAL COURT RULING ON DEA
As much previously reported, the disputed section of the DEA introduces a three-strikes system for combating illegal file-sharing into UK law, whereby ISPs are forced to send warning letters to suspected file-sharers with the threat of some as yet to be determined penalty if warnings are ignored. Despite being passed in 2010, the so called graduate response system is yet to go live, much to the annoyance of those in the content industries who lobbied so hard for it.
The attempt by BT and TalkTalk to overturn the legislation through judicial review hasn't helped. Responding to yesterday's ruling, the second basically rejecting the firm's arguments, a spokesman for TalkTalk told reporters: "We're disappointed that our appeal was unsuccessful though we welcome the additional legal clarity that has been provided for all parties. Though we have lost this appeal, we will continue fighting to defend our customers' rights against this ill-judged legislation".
A spokesman for BT said something similar, telling reporters: "We have been seeking clarification from the courts that the DEA is consistent with European law, and legally robust in the UK, so that everyone can be confident in how it is implemented. Now that the court has made its decision, we will look at the judgment carefully to understand its implications and consider our next steps".
Those campaigning groups that have supported the net firms on this one were more openly critical of the appeal court's ruling.
Peter Bradwell of the Open Rights Group said in a statement: "There is one thing the court cannot tell us: that this is a good law. The Department For Culture, Media And Sport had no evidence when they wrote this Act, except for the numbers they were given by a couple of industry trade bodies. This is a policy made on hearsay and assumptions, not proper facts or analysis. So significant problems remain. Publicly available wi-fi will be put at risk. Weak evidence could be used to penalise people accused of copyright infringement. And people will have to pay £20 for the privilege of defending themselves against these accusations. The government needs to correct these errors with a proper, evidence-based review of the law".
Meanwhile Loz Kaye from the UK branch of The Pirate Party said: "This decision brings the draconian Digital Economy Act another step closer. The coalition government must be clear now once and for all on whether it supports this anti-internet piece of legislation. No one has proved that the Act will help the creative industries financially, that is just lobbyists' spin. A recent study on a similar system in France suggests that there is no benefit for music sales. Threats to chuck entire households off the web will be bad for the economy, bad for society - and for us as a creative nation too".
Those who oppose the three-strikes provisions in the DEA (not to mention the possible framework for a web-blocking system against infringing websites, similar to that proposed in the US under the controversial SOPA, which is pencilled into the UK act for future consideration) will hope that recent protests against the global intellectual property treaty ACTA and the spilling over of US protests against SOPA into Europe might fuel renewed lobbying efforts to persuade government to alter the DEA's anti-piracy strategy before its even implemented.
Though the government has continued to stick up for ACTA despite mounting pressure, and seems basically committed to the DEA still. And those against the legislation won't find supporters on the opposition benches in parliament either, Labour recently renewing its support for the Act it rushed onto the statute book. Nevertheless, it still remains uncertain if and when three-strikes will actually go live in the UK.
As previously reported, numerous trade bodies representing different content industries supported the appeal court's ruling on the BT and TalkTalk action yesterday, with the boss of record label trade body the BPI, Geoff Taylor, summing up the sentiment of his and other trade body organisations when he said: "The courts have confirmed, once again, that the Digital Economy Act is legal, proportionate and fair and can now be implemented. The ISPs' failed legal challenge has meant another year of harm to British musicians and creators from illegal file-sharing. The ISPs now need to work constructively with government and rightsholders to implement the Act".
ORCHARD IODA MERGER CONFIRMED
Though some might see it more as an acquisition of IODA by The Orchard, even if equity in the two companies will be shared out 50/50. The merged company will operate under The Orchard's name and will be run by The Orchard CEO Brad Nevin. Kevin Arnold, founder and CEO of IODA, will have an advisory role on the new company's board and work on "strategic projects" with the firm's part owner, Sony Music.
It's still not entirely clear how big a share of the new company Sony Music will control. The music major owned 51% of IODA, but Billboard's sources reckoned the company would exercise an option to buy the firm outright before merging it with The Orchard, giving it 50% of the new entity. Some reckon as part of the deal, due to be completed this side of the summer, Sony might have the right to buy out The Orchard's current owner Dimensional Associates at some point in the future, so to take complete ownership of the combined indie label distribution and marketing firm.
Confirming the deal in an email to its labels, The Orchard said yesterday: "The main point is: We're Better Together. We have more negotiating power so we can better assert your rights. We also have more resources to build better tools for you to connect with your audiences".
Meanwhile in a blog post on the company's website, a spokesman noted: "Richard Gottehrer, co-founder of The Orchard, loves to remind us that our tagline during our early years was 'A Place To Grow'. As we started working with larger independent labels we dropped the tagline (although Richard will argue that even the most sophisticated of businesses still has room to grow), but we've never stopped growing the opportunities for our clients. We want our clients - new and old - to have better opportunities to grow their audiences and businesses, which will enable them to spend more time making music, music videos and films. The Orchard will continue to be a pioneer and a devoted partner to our clients as we combine these two great companies".
ARTISTS IN EDINBURGH PLAN DAY OF PROTEST OVER NEW LICENSING RULES
The new licensing regulations will expand the number of live events that need to apply for a licence from city authorities, including free events, and while costs associated with those licences have been dropped in some cases, many fear that the bureaucracy involved will deter smaller venues and promoters from staging grass shows events that champion new talent, including live music.
Coming at the same time as two of the Scottish capital's leading grass roots venues losing their current homes - the popular Forrest Café and marvellous Bongo Club - many fear this could have a hugely damaging impact on the gig and wider arts scene in the city.
Edinburgh councillors insist that the new rules are required because of legislation passed by the Scottish parliament two years ago, though it's thought their counterparts in Glasgow might resist some of the requirements put in place by Holyrood. Councillors in both cities, and around Scotland, continue to consider the issue.
In protest at the new rules, artists are expected to stage numerous free events in venues across Edinburgh on 1 Apr without a licence. Publicity material for the campaign, called A Little April Tomfoolery, says: "Find a location and do your thing. Publicise it or don't. Show off your pictures, burst into song, wax poetical, make a scene, find an audience. Just don't apply for a licence".
Six hundred people have now signed up to the campaign's Facebook page, and organiser Jen McGregor - noting that this issue actually affected the whole of Scotland - told The Scotsman: "A lot of people have already come back to say that they will definitely organise something now and I think they'll go ahead regardless of what councillors decide later this week, as the issue is not going to go away in Edinburgh, Glasgow, or anywhere else".
Ironically this is all coming to a head in Scotland just at the Live Music Act becomes law in England and Wales. The long time in development Westminster legislation, which removes licensing obligations from smaller music events introduced by the 2003 Licensing Act, is due to get royal assent this week.
But the act does not apply North of the border (though neither does the Licensing Act it was amended). So while the music industry rightly celebrates the passing of the Live Music Bill in Westminster, their efforts might now need to be repeated in Scotland in support of the grass roots artists there who are now fighting off a separate set of arguably needless licensing legislation.
BEST COAST ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM
Singer-songwriter Bethany Consetino explains her mindset circa the LP's inception: "I'm trying really hard to grow up. I'm trying to let go of my bad habits and the immature things I still drag around with me".
As previously reported, Best Coast will bolster the release with a UK tour, playing the first date of which on 16 Jun at the Garage in Glasgow.
The Only Place
EX-BOOKS MAN NICK ZAMMUTO PREPARES SOLO ALBUM
Zammuto will also be performing as part of the Bang On A Can All-Stars at the Barbican in London on 20 Mar. The ensemble will premiere a performance called Field Recordings, which features music by Tyondai Braxton, Mira Calix, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Christian Marclay, Julia Wolfe and Evan Ziporyn, as well as Zammuto.
Listen to Zammuto's recently released 'Idiom Wind' EP here: soundcloud.com/zammuto/sets/zammuto-makemine-ep/
NINJA TUNE SUPERVISES NEW SLUGABED ALBUM
Inspired, in Feldwick's own words, by "deep feelings about mostly inexpressible things", it's out on Ninja Tune on 7 May. First single 'Sex', the Deadelus remix of which is available for free download here - www.ninjatune.net/slugabed/ - will pre-date the album with a separate release on 9 Apr.
LE TIGRE PLOT LIVE EP
O CHILDREN ANNOUNCE ALBUM
Says Tobi of the LP: "It's a really personal record. I didn't write it for anyone else and I think that's how all music should be made. It's a very different album but it's a kind of 'heart on your sleeve' record".
O Children have three live dates listed thus far, the first a Vice party at Leeds' Nation Of Shopkeepers on 28 Mar. Meanwhile, album aspect 'PT Cruiser' is available to stream here: soundcloud.com/deadlypeople/o-children-pt-cruiser
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
BILBAO BBK LIVE, Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Spain, 12-14 Jul: Organisers confirm Mumford & Sons, The Maccabees, Enter Shikari, Garbage, Bloc Party, Four Tet and Here We Go Magic amidst the latest supplement to the Bilbao BBK bill, as also features The Cure, Radiohead, Glasvegas, Snow Patrol, Warpaint, Pure Love and The Kooks. www.bilbaobbklive.com
LATITUDE, Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk, 12-15 Jul: As well as respective headliners Bon Iver, Paul Weller and Elbow, Latitude's stellar first line-up missive also includes Bat For Lashes, Janelle Monáe, M83, The Horrors, Battles, Zola Jesus and Wild Beasts. www.latitudefestival.co.uk
LEEFEST, Highams Hill Farm, Warlingham, Surrey, 29-30 Jun: Having begun in 2006 as a house party in host Lee Denny's back garden in Bromley, LeeFest's illustrious seventh edition lists headliners Mystery Jets plus Summer Camp, We Were Evergreen and Raf Daddy of The 2 Bears on its line-up to date. www.leefest.org.uk
SONISPHERE, Knebworth, 6-8 Jun: Brand new line-up conscriptions Glassjaw, Hundred Reasons, Skindred and Sonisphere debutants Black Stone Cherry accompany afore announced festival supremos Kiss, Faith No More, and Queen featuring Adam Lambert, with Evanescence, Tim Minchin and The Darkness also set to perform. www.sonisphere.co.uk
STOP MAKING SENSE, The Garden, Tisno, Croatia, 2-6 Aug: Having rolled out its entire 2012 roster, Croatian seaside happening Stop Making Sense counts Lil Louis, Jimmy Edgar, Adrian Sherwood, A Skillz, Benji B & MC Judah, Deetron, Move D and Steffi as just several of the many names on its electronic-specific line-up. www.stopmakingsense.eu
ULTIMATE 80S, The Forum, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, 26 May: ABC, Heaven 17, 'Spirit In The Sky' songsmiths Doctor & The Medics, Howard Jones and Eurovision favourite Katrina (sans The Waves) make for a classic line-up at this Hertfordshire eighties bash, which charts an entire decade across its one-day span. forumhertfordshire.co.uk/index.php/news/show/ulitmate_80s_festival_one_day_outdoor_event
VINTAGE FESTIVAL, Boughton House, Northamptonshire, 13-15 Jul: Aloe Blacc, Chic feat Nile Rodgers, Sergio Medez & His Orchestra, St Etienne and Baxter Dury are amongst those acts featuring on Vintage's eclectic programme as it stands thus far. All artists are hand-picked to play on one of three themed days, with further artists and DJs including Danny Rampling, Norman Jay, Don Letts, Gaz Mayall and Martin Green appearing across an array of on-site night clubs. www.vintagefestival.com
YOU ME AT SIX WRITE SONG ABOUT THORPE PARK ROLLERCOASTER
Well, every band in the world, bow down to the superior force of You Me At Six, who have persuaded Thorpe Park to officially sanction their musical interpretation of the Surrey amusement park's newest rollercoaster. Or, possibly, have been persuaded to write a song for the new Swarm ride in return for a wad of cash, perhaps being assured "turning a rollercoaster into art worked for Johnny Depp, didn't it?"
So yes, the EMI-signed band - who originally hark from Surrey - will release a song in honour of Thorpe Park's newest ride The Swarm, "the UK's first winged rollercoaster" which celebrates "apocalyptic devastation" complete with, according to this here press release, "genuine plane wreckage", which sounds like fun.
Confirming the partnership, Thorpe Park's Divisional Director Mike Vallis told CMU: "We are enormously excited to be working with You Me At Six to mark the launch of our most extreme rollercoaster to date, The Swarm. At Thorpe Park we strive to give our adrenaline seeking fans an experience that they won't get anywhere else, so it is hugely exciting that the world's first dedicated song for a rollercoaster will be written for us - I'm sure our customers will jump at the chance to add this track to their iPod playlist".
Meanwhile Rafael McDonnell from the EMI department which set up this interesting partnership (yeah, we can seemingly diss something in our first paragraph but still find it interesting) added: "This partnership between Thorpe Park, EMI Music and You Me At Six is a great example of how brands can work together with the music industry to creative innovative content and marketing. The band have written a great track and the strategic fit between the tone and feel of The Swarm rollercoaster and You Me At Six makes this a perfect collaboration which benefits everyone in this partnership".
UNIVERSAL PROMOTES DIGITAL MAN
Confirming the promotion, Wells told CMU: "Francis is by far the best at what he does in the entire global music industry. He is expert at finding the commercial viability in any new business model or in an existing model that needs to be finessed. He troubleshoots like a true entrepreneur, is a joy to work with, and continues to impress and inspire people who work alongside him".
Keeling himself added: "The internet is a global economy, and it is vital for Universal Music to have a global approach to licensing our partners, to encourage investment, new models and their international expansion. I am extremely excited to be leading this process to grow the digital business for UMG and our incredible roster of artists".
The promotion has been confirmed as Keeling pens a piece for the Financial Times, a former employer of his, recapping the growth of the digital music sector over the last ten years, and encouraging the investment community to recognise the opportunities that exist in this domain. This can be read here: www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bfcdd930-61fb-11e1-807f-00144feabdc0.html
STREETLIGHT MANIFESTO URGE FANS NOT TO BUY THEIR RECORDS
They continued: "We're writing today to ask you to please boycott all Streetlight related items by not purchasing any of our records or merchandise from Victory's website, any traditional CD stores, online third party retailers or any digital distribution service (iTunes, Amazon etc). Victory has a long-time reputation of pocketing all of the proceeds from a band's music and merch, with shady accounting and generally bully-ish behavior".
They then urged fans to only buy products direct from their website or at gigs. Or, failing that, they added: "Alternately, we're sure you can find a way to get the tunes onto your computer that may not be, ahem, traditional... Speaking a bit metaphorically, there is a torrent of methods to accomplish this, and Google is your always loyal friend".
Currently working on a new album, they confirmed this may still be released through Victory in order to fulfil their contractual obligations to the record company, adding that they refused "to let our constant battles with our own record label hold back the [new] album's release" and that they "look forward to being free from Victory's clutches once our contract with them ends this summer".
Read the full post here: streetlightmanifesto.com/streetlight-manifesto-proudly-boycotts-itself/
This is not the first time Victory has been in dispute with one of its bands, of course. Hawthorne Heights sued the company in 2006 for breach of contract, kicking off a lengthy and extremely bitter legal battle.
AD AGENCY GROUP BUYS FRUKT
Launched in 2001, Frukt advises brands on their music and entertainment strategies, and hopes that being part of the Interpublic Group will help fast track its global expansion. In a note on the Frukt website, the two founders said: "This brings us to a new chapter in our evolution. From today, we will be a key part of a new and improved Octagon Entertainment family. Ultimately part of the IPG group, we can now extend our international reach and capabilities with some great agencies from within this global network".
The continued: "Practically speaking, we will still be Frukt, and it's business as usual! We're looking forward to this immensely, there's a lot more for Frukt to achieve, and with you, and Octagon, we're going to get there".
You can read Horner and Ackenhoff's announcement in full here: www.fruktcomms.com/a-note-from-the-frukt-founders/
LISTEN UP HIRES TONI TAMBOURINE FOR PRINT PR
Listen Up Director James Mack told CMU: "We are very happy to have Toni on board, his experience speaks for itself and we can now provide the most inclusive service possible for our clients".
More info on Listen Up can be found here: listen-up.biz
LIVE NATION ACQUIRES SETLIST.FM
RADIOCENTRE BOSS WANTS AN END TO GENRE-DEFINING STATION LICENCES AND "DOUBLE TAXATION" ON MUSIC LICENSING
Andrew Harrison was speaking at the Westminster Media Forum about government plans to review the Communications Act. The RadioCentre chief said that he welcomed plans to reduce the regulation that governs the radio sector; legacy regulations which, he argued, made less sense as the radio industry competed with new unregulated media online.
But, he added, he feared that the momentum for deregulation plans had diminished somewhat, and could come unstuck amidst political movements for more regulation of the wider media and concerns about media plurality (political debates both caused by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, the former by phone hacking at the News Of The World, the latter Murdoch's ambition to own both News International and Sky News outright). He urged ministers to treat radio - a relatively small industry that punches above its weight in terms of impact and reach, he said - as a special case.
As for specific objectives, current obligations to make locally-targeted programmes locally to where they air, a frequent bug bear of the radio sector, and rules governing advertising and in-programme sponsorship were topics raised, though Harrison also focused on two key music issues.
First, he noted government issued licences still controlled what music many commercial stations must play. This system - dating from the era when FM stations in any one region were not meant to compete head on - was increasingly problematic, Harrison agued. In reality media regulator OfCom has become more willing in recent years to bend original music genre obligations, but it's true that as radio owners merge previously local services to become quasi-national networks, some obligations to provide niche programming in off-peak in some areas do get in the way.
Said Harrison: "Radio stations are still licensed by music formats, which dictate the proportion of a particular genre they can play - a blunt instrument in an era of infinite music choice available through smartphones, downloads and streaming. Of course no other music service is required to seek permission from a government agency when determining the music that they play. Nor is the music industry itself given quotas by government on the sort of music they should promote or support".
Staying with music, Harrison then focused on an issue of much more direct relevance to the music industry, the licence fees it pays to record labels and music publishers for the music it plays (another favourite moan of the broadcasters). Harrison said his members felt there was now a "disproportionate cost to our business of copyright for licensing music in the digital age", while particularly focusing on the fact that any business owner wanting to play the radio on their premises, even just for staff, needed their own licences from PPL and PRS, what Harrison continues to dub as "double taxation".
With work-place listening key to radio ratings, it looks like RadioCentre could be lobbying anew for a change in public performance licensing rules when the music being played in public has already been licensed by a broadcaster - a move that would be strongly opposed by the collecting societies, who are pushing the requirement for workplace music licences more now than ever before as their label and publisher members pressure their royalty agencies to up periphery licensing income.
Which could make any Communications Act review interesting for the music industry as well as the broadcasters and net providers.
AMAZING RADIO ANNOUNCES THREE NEW APPOINTMENTS
Confirming the new appointments, Amazing Radio Programme Director Matt Jamison told CMU: "This is such an exciting time for Amazing Radio. With our time shifted feeds to the United States - launched in February - generating huge interest across the pond and our UK station going from
ATARI TEENAGE RIOT DONATE SONY ADVERT FEE TO ANONYMOUS
Writing on the band's Tumblr blog, Empire explained that back in 1999 Sony used one of the band's tracks in an advert without permission, saying: "Even though the thing got settled in court, kind of, I never felt they paid what they owed".
So the new sync deal, it seems, was basically an act of revenge. Empire goes on to reveal that he had been waiting "until it became unstoppable" to reveal that the royalties earned from the ad sync had been donated to the Anonymous Solidarity Network, an organisation which offers support to people who are facing prosecution for allegedly being members of online activist group Anonymous.
Members of Anonymous, of course, were behind the initial attack on Sony's servers last year, which in turn led to customer details being stolen from accounts on its both its PlayStation Network and streaming content platform the Sony Entertainment Network (then still called Qriocity).