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OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE IN SHOREDITCH
US BAND SUES SYCO OVER ONE DIRECTION NAME
One Direction USA say they formed in 2009, before Simon Cowell first put together his One Direction boyband on the UK version of 'X-Factor' in 2010. Certainly they started selling their album 'The Light' on iTunes in February 2011 which, while after the UK group had been created, preceded the release of their debut album 'Up All Night', in Britain, never mind the US.
The US band, led by Sean O'Leary, say they were also first to file an application for ownership of the name with the US trademark authorities, and that Syco knew this, because the label was told so by the US Trademark Office when it tried to register the mark for itself (the matter is currently with the trademark appeals panel).
The legal rep for One Direction USA says that, despite being aware of the name clash before launching One Direction UK in the US market, Syco did nothing to ensure the two bands were not confused. Says their lawyer: "Rather than change their name or do anything to [avoid] confusion or avoid damage to our good will, they chose to press ahead and come on their tour".
While the US band are much more low key than their UK namesakes, confusion has already occurred, the American band says, noting that one of their tracks was recently mistakenly used by NBC's 'Today Show' to soundtrack a feature about the British boyband. Of course YouTube views and iTunes sales of that track, called '2012', are now doing pretty well, very possibly as a result of fans of the 'X' band getting confused, so you could argue the American outfit are benefiting rather than suffering as a result of the confusion. Still, you can see why they might be a bit annoyed. Hence the million dollar lawsuit.
Neither Sony nor Simon Cowell's Syco have as yet commented on the litigation. The matter will almost certainly be settled out of court though. At least this time the Syco machine isn't screwing over a children's charity in its bid to take ownership of someone else's name.
FOOTAGE OF THE MEGA RAID HAS DISAPPEARED
As previously reported, New Zealand officers swooped on Schmitz's property back in January as the US authorities moved to shut down the Mega operation, which is accused in the US of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering. Schmitz claims that the raid on his home "was excessive and heavy handed" and wants to make a complaint to the IPCA.
But CCTV footage of the raid was removed from the property when police seized the server on which security camera recordings were stored. Schmitz's lawyers asked for access to that footage in a bid to gather evidence for their IPCA complaint. An IT rep for the Mega chief was seemingly told he could have access to the server on which CCTV footage was stored but, according to reports, when he got to the police HQ where the hardware was stored, he found the server had been disassembled, and officers said they could not reassemble it, or give him any of the data that had been previously stored on it.
When asked by New Zealand's 3 News about the raid footage, a police spokesman said: "Police would happily release the footage in question but currently have no authority to do so. The footage is contained on a hard drive lawfully seized on a warrant obtained by police at the direction of Crown Law following a properly formulated mutual legal assistance request from the United States".
It remains to be seen if Mega takes any more steps to try and secure the CCTV footage before filing a complaint with the IPCA. As previously reported, New Zealand police have already been embarrassed once over their high profile raid on Schmitz's property when it emerged that they applied for the wrong kind of warrant before swooping on the Mega chief's home. Lawyers for Schmitz argue that that made the raid and the seizing of any of their client's property illegal.
BRITNEY'S FIANCÉ APPLIES TO BE HER LEGAL GUARDIAN, SAY REPORTS
I think some context is probably required here. As previously reported, after a brief period in a psychiatric hospital in 2008, Britney Spears' father Jamie was granted 'temporary conservatorship' - similar to 'power of attorney' - of his daughter's assets and affairs. She attempted to have the ruling overturned, but it was ruled later the same year that Spears senior should retain legal control over Britney's life indefinitely and, indeed, he continues to do so today. And the singer seemingly warmed to the idea over time.
Britney and her then agent Trawick got engaged in December 2011, having been a couple since mid 2009. If his application to be joint conservator with Jamie Spears is successful, it may offer Britney more freedom than she has enjoyed in recent years. Or it may complicate matters even more. It possibly also hints that a wedding, which cannot go ahead without court approval, is being planned sooner rather than later.
Suggesting that Trawick's application could be part of the couple's wedding plans, Jeffrey S Cohen, an unconnected lawyer approached by People to comment, said: "This is probably a compromise between Britney, her father and Trawick to get the marriage off on the right foot. Obviously, her future husband needs to have a say in her wellbeing".
JACK WHITE STILL IN THE DARK ABOUT WHITE STRIPES SPLIT
White told WENN: "There came a point where I said: 'If we're not doing this, we need to put an end to it right now'. And that's what she wanted to do. I don't know what her reasons are. Having a conversation with Meg, you don't really get any answers. I'm lucky that girl ever got on stage, so I'll take what I can get. Meg completely controlled the White Stripes. She's the most stubborn person I've ever met, and you don't even get to know the reasons".
He added: "I'd make a White Stripes record right now. I'd be in the White Stripes for the rest of my life. That band is the most challenging, important, fulfilling thing to ever to happen to me. I wish it was still here. It's something I really, really miss".
MYSTERY JETS LOSE BASSIST, ANNOUNCE NEW MEMBERS
Commenting on Fish's departure, guitarist Willima Rees wrote on the band's website: "Since the beginning of the year Kai has decided to go separate ways from the band, focusing his time and energy on raising his beautiful baby girl Odessa and writing music for solo and collaborative projects. The departure has been an emotional one for all of us involved but also a very amicable one, Brother Fish will always be a best of friend and a Mystery Jet".
The band are currently part way through a UK tour and will release new album 'Radlands' on 30 Apr.
UGLY KID JOE REFORM
Anyway, Ugly Kid Joe have reformed, which isn't the best news ever. Particularly as I've just listened to the first song to emerge from a new six track EP due for release possibly as soon as later this month. A European tour is coming this way in June too, and the band will perform at this year's Download festival.
Speaking to NY Rock Music Examiner, drummer Shannon Larkin said: "We are really stoked at how it [the EP] came out - pure Ugly Kid Joe, dude! We have no label, agent, or management, and did the record by ourselves without a real plan other than getting together in a room again after all these years and jamming out!"
See if you're "stoked about how it came out" by listening to this low quality rip of 'Love Ain't True' here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbNzIa3qwoI
BMG SIGNS MANDO DIAO
Confirming the deal, BMG's Fred Casimir told CMU: "Mando Diao have scored the rare achievement of consistently increasing their fan base while maintaining their musical credibility. We look forward to working with them to further grow their success internationally".
In a statement, the band themselves said: "We are glad to cooperate with BMG who have a lot of confidence in our different projects. The future is exciting and it will be great to see what we can do together".
LILY ALLEN BACK IN THE STUDIO
A source told the gossip-monger: "Lily has been in the studio trying different sounds and writing new tracks...When Lily retired she honestly thought she'd never record again. Her life has changed so much since her last album and she now has a different perspective. Lily wants a more mature sound and is penning tracks about [daughter] Ethel and [husband] Sam".
As previously reported, Allen is also working on a Bridget Jones musical. It's entirely possible she's actually in the studio for recordings relating to that, but whatever.
TROJAN RECORDS MARKS 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF JAMAICAN INDEPENDENCE WITH NEW RELEASES
Johnny Hudson, Head of Marketing at Trojan Records told CMU: "The themed monthly releases are just one of a number of exciting initiatives we are rolling out to mark the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence this year. Trojan Records and its artists have played a significant part in the history and cultural influence of Jamaican music, and so we're incredibly excited to be associated with this landmark event. We're also looking forward to announcing several other exciting partnerships for this year soon too".
VENETIAN SNARES GOES TO SLEEP
Funk told Dazed: "For a while, when I was really tired and ready to go to bed, instead of going to sleep I would make a tune. Get some stuff going on my sequencers, drum machines, patch up my modular and just jam it. I would fall asleep a lot listening to the sequences, a few seconds of sleep or a few minutes, [and then] wake up in it. This is what I sound like in my sleep".
The tracklist is thus:
MORRISSEY ANNOUNCES MANCHESTER ARENA SHOW
Of course the real hot Morrissey ticket this year is his libel case against the NME. The Manchester Arena tickets will probably be easier to shift on eBay though.
ORBITAL ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
3 Dec: Bristol, Academy
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
CHELTENHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL, various venues, Cheltenham, 2-7 May: The Cheltenham Jazz Festival has announced a free stage hosted by Verve Records, which will called The Verve Lounge. The stage will showcase nine up-and-coming new acts: Jodie Marie, Grace, Natalie Duncan, Sam Johnson, Alexander Stewart, Natalie Duncan, Laura Mvula, Louise And The Pins and Martyna. www.cheltenhamfestivals.com
GOTTWOOD FESTIVAL, Anglesey, Wales, 21-24 Jun: Mixing electronic music and other cultural offerings, Gottwood returns this year with a line-up that includes Tiger & Woods, Dinky, Mosca, Move D, Applebim, 2 Bit Thugs, Optimus, Josh T, Picture House, Riz MC, and more. www.gottwood.co.uk
WIDE DAYS AND IMS EVENTS THIS WEEK
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, tomorrow evening the team behind the International Music Summit in Ibiza, including Pete Tong, will host an invite-only symposium in Palm Springs, California ahead of this weekend's Coachella festival which aims to enable "today's electronic music leaders to meet and share ideas with those who can help drive their future businesses". Bringing together key tech and branding people with the great and the good of electronic music, reps from YouTube, Twitter, Smirnoff, Burberry, EA, William Morris and CAA will be among those taking part.
SUPERVISION MANAGERS LAUNCH NEW AGENCY
The official SuperVision Twitter feed last week pointed followers in the direction of a new page on the micro-blogging platform for Trust Management, which lists in its profile a roster including some former SuperVision-managed artists, such as Ash, Howler and Out Like A Lion.
As previously reported, rumour has it some key execs at the live music and management firm are unhappy at the speed with which the cash-strapped HMV put the company up for sale, and have become increasingly frustrated as the bidding process has gone on. Some are also likely concerned about having their business swallowed up by a major music conglom like AEG Live or Sony Music, both of which have been tipped as hot bidders for the company.
Online chatter has focused on resignations in the MAMA sponsorship division Music & Media Solutions and management agency Supervision, both of which could effect the future operations of those functions. The Trust Management launch would at least seem to confirm departures on the management side of the MAMA business.
As previously reported, for some bidders the MAMA venue network, and especially the Hammersmith Apollo, will be of most interest, but for those looking to capitalise on the various strands of HMV's live and management division, the loss of key directors in sponsorship and artists management may be a concern. Second round bids are expected to be made for the MAMA Group later this month.
NEW SYLVIA RHONE IMPRINT AT SONY TAKES SHAPE
As previously reported, Rhone stood down as boss of the Universal Motown label last May after former Sony man Barry Weiss was inserted in a new executive position above the Motown division. It was initially thought Rhone would launch a new venture elsewhere within the Universal empire, but then she was recruited by the mega-major's former top man Doug Morris to join him at his new employer, Sony Music.
When it was confirmed Rhone would launch a new venture alongside Reid's Epic back in February it was thought the major's Portrait Records brand may be resurrected, but it's now believed the new Audacious Music name will be used instead. According to Billboard, Margeaux Rawson, previously Rhone's media relations chief at Motown, will join the new venture as SVP Operations.
KANYE GIVES 106 & PARK THE SILENT TREATMENT
Actually, it was clearly pre-agreed that West wouldn't speak, as between being welcomed onto the show and being thanked for appearing 2 Chainz and the show's presenters carried on as if he wasn't there. It does make for a weird few minutes of telly though.
THIS JUST-IN: BIEBER GREETINGS CARDS NOW AVAILABLE
Hallmark Licensing Director Jenny Hofeditz said of the new range: "We are thrilled to finally share this special line of Hallmark cards with Justin's loyal and passionate fans today, giving them a fun new way to connect while celebrating their love of him and his music. Hallmark Justin Bieber cards come in bright colours, include photos of Justin and express a variety of playful sentiments, such as 'Hope your big day rocks like never before', and 'You must be one of my biggest fans cos you blow me away, girl!'"
Yeah, they're not really designed for any specific occasions, despite there being so many of them. Although I assume there is some sort of 'Sorry you walked into that door' card: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhOaJmoLXks