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GLASTONBURY ENDS ITS FESTIVAL REPUBLIC ALLIANCE
Glastonbury entered into a partnership with Benn's company, what was then still Mean Fiddler, in 2002, with the Reading Festival promoter taking on the licensing and operational elements of the Glastonbury Festival, partly to help reassure members of the local council's licensing committee, who had expressed various concerns about the annual event, particularly regards the number of people gaining access to the festival's site without tickets. It was a successful alliance, with the festival's customary licensing challenges each spring becoming a thing of the past.
But ten years on that partnership is coming to an end, and Glastonbury will now appoint its own Operations Director to handle those areas of the event that have been led by Benn and Festival Republic for the last decade. Benn ends his latest period of involvement with Glastonbury on good terms with the festival's chief, Michael Eavis, and the Festival Republic boss will be involved in appointing and briefing the new Operations Director, as well as helping to oversee the smooth passing of licensing control from his company back to the core Glastonbury enterprise. Benn says the move will enable him to focus more time on Festival Republic's own events both in the UK and beyond, and on his role as Chairman of Wembley Stadium, which he took on just over a year ago.
Confirming he was stepping back from his Glastonbury involvement, Benn said: "From an operational point of view, myself and my team have taken the festival as far as we can and it is time for a change, I think. It has been a wonderful journey with Michael but Latitude, Berlin, Hove and Electric Picnic, none of which existed in 2002, are my priorities, alongside maintaining Leeds and Reading as the bastions of the festival calendar they are, not to mention my demands at Wembley. That said I am committed to ensuring as smooth a handover as possible to the new team in Pilton and enjoying Glastonbury for many years to come as a festival-goer myself".
Meanwhile Eavis said: "Melvin definitely earned his stripes running the gates for us during the 80s. That was a difficult time dealing with the closure of Stonehenge, the Battle Of The Beanfield and the travellers, and my attempts to accept them here at Worthy Farm was exciting but very challenging. We both learnt a lot about festivals then, and Melvin and I have managed to put together what is the Glastonbury we have now. I'll be sorry to see him go, but he has masses of responsibility with all of his shows across the world and now is a good time to part company. I've got just about the best team in the business, and Emily and Nick are heading up the next generation to take on more responsibility as well".
Noting how wet it was last Friday and Saturday - what would have been Glastonbury weekend had the event not taken the year off - Eavis signed off by joking: "Looking across the farm at the moment I think we were very lucky to choose a good wet year to take out - an amazing bit of luck! See you all next year with a very promising line-up".
As part of the original alliance, Festival Republic has a stake in Glastonbury Festivals 2011 Limited, the festival's operations company. That stake will now be passed to Festival Republic's parent company, a subsidiary of Live Nation, so to - says the statement - "secure the future of the festival". The change will not affect the interest in that business held by The Workers Beer Company, the not-for-profit bars operator that works with Festival Republic at many of its festivals.
OFCOM'S THREE-STRIKES CODE: REACTIONS
While the Act itself was rushed through parliament to ensure it was approved before the 2010 General Election, getting the three-strikes elements of it going has been a slow and tedious affair, hindered in part by the so far unsuccessful attempts of BT and TalkTalk to force the DEA's copyright provisions off the statute book through the courts.
A redraft of a document original put together back in 2010, the latest version of the Code clarifies the ways rights owners will monitor net usage, what information internet service providers will provide accused file-sharers in warning letters, and how net customers can appeal if they believe they have been falsely accused. OfCom will now consult interested parties about the new draft of the Code, before checking the provisions with the European Commission and then presenting it to parliament later this year.
Representatives from various content industry trade bodies, which have lobbied hard for the DEA and a so called 'graduated response' system for combating online piracy, and all of which have been getting rather frustrated of late with continued delays in getting three-strikes going, welcomed yesterday's new draft. And here they are saying so...
Jo Dipple, Chief Executive at cross sector trade body UK Music: "The UK music industry welcomes today's publication of the Costs SI and Initial Obligations Code. Our aim is to grow the digital market and encourage the use of licensed online music services. The Digital Economy Act will play a significant part in achieving this goal. With its implementation back on track we look forward to working with government, OfCom and other stakeholders in the weeks and months ahead".
John Smith, General Secretary of the Musicians' Union: "We now have a great opportunity through the DEA to educate consumers about how to avoid illegal sites, access legitimate content which is widely available, and protect themselves online. We urge ISPs to begin building their systems now and to work constructively with rights holders, OfCom and government to get notice-sending up and running as soon as possible".
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive at record label trade body BPI: "It's time to get down to business and start implementing the law to educate consumers about illegal downloading, so that artists and creators are fairly rewarded for their hard work".
John McVay, Chief Executive at film industry body PACT: "Much has been said about the DEA which is simply untrue. Like many other countries, we are taking action to turn the tide against the growth in online copyright theft - the single largest threat facing our sector. The DEA is a legal, proportionate and reasonable measure - a fact that has been confirmed by the High Court and the Court of Appeal".
Richard Mollet, Chief Executive at book industry trade body the Publishers Association (and the former BPI lobbyist who pushed particularly hard for the DEA back in 2010): "Infringing copyright blights the creative industries and threatens investment and jobs. The sooner we get this law into action the better".
Christine Payne, General Secretary of actors union Equity: "It's a good day for the UK's two million workers in the creative sector. Two important steps have been taken, following two years of delay, that bring us closer to notice sending under the Digital Economy Act becoming a reality. These measures are vital to protect the jobs and livelihoods of workers in the creative industries and will help ensure we continue to make high quality creative content in the UK. We will be studying the detail of today's Costs SI and Code carefully and look forward to working with the government and OfCom to progress them as quickly as possible".
Needless to say, long-term critics of the DEA's copyright provisions were less welcoming of the latest draft, even though OfCom would argue that it has introduced measures to protect net users as well as copyright owners. Most opponents have honed in on the appeals process outlined in the code, because the new draft actually narrows the grounds on which an accused file-sharer can dispute allegations made against them (and they will still have to pay £20 for the privilege).
Though, that said, at this stage the only 'strike-three' sanction available to rights owners is to sue persistent file-sharers for copyright infringement (as they could already), and if any such cases got to court wider arguments would have to be considered.
Responding negatively to the latest code, Open Rights Group's Jim Killock said: "Digital revenues are going up, the music and film industry are moving in the right direction, yet this cumbersome policy is still lumbering forward. OfCom are being asked to put lipstick on a pig with this code. The appeals are a joke. The government has decided that 'I didn't do it' is not a defence. Some people will almost certainly end up in court having done nothing wrong".
JESSIE J ACCUSED OF SONG THEFT
A Californian singer called Will Loomis says that Ms J's hit 'Domino' is very similar to his 2008 song 'Bright Red Chords'. Loomis's legal rep Chris Arledge told reporters: "Mr Loomis never consented to the use of his song and we look forward to obtaining an appropriate remedy from the court for this clear infringement".
A plethora of people are listed as songwriters on 'Domino', including J herself, real name Jessica Cornish. The lawsuit names the singer and various subsidiaries of her label Universal Music as defendants.
INDIAN COURT LIMITS WEB-BLOCK INJUNCTION
Most legal efforts in India to force internet service providers to block websites that host or link to copyright infringing materials have been led by the country's film industry, particularly when movies arrive online before they have been released in the cinemas.
Back in April, an Indian film company successfully won a web-block injunction, and provided a list of the websites illegally hosting its films to ISPs. However, the ambiguous wording of the injunction meant that many net firms blocked outright the websites that had been hosting the plaintiff's content without permission. While many of those sites were probably prolific copyright infringers, some were sites that had credible claims to be, in the main, legitimate operations, with Vimeo being amongst those affected.
In last week's appeal hearing, judges ruled that - while site-wide web block orders have been issued in the Indian courts (such as those recently issued against Newzbin and The Pirate Bay in the UK) - in the case of the April injunction, only specific URLs linking to the plaintiff's content needed to be blocked, not entire websites.
Or, in the words of the court itself: "The interim injunction is granted only in respect of a particular URL where the infringing movie is kept and not in respect of the entire website. Further, the applicant is directed to inform about the particulars of URL where the interim movie is kept within 48 hours".
As a result, many of those sites that had been blocked outright by some Indian ISPs last month are now accessible again.
Of course some rights owners have complained of late about takedown or web-block systems where only specific URLs can be targeted, arguing that because infringing content is posted at new locations all the time, it puts an unnecessary burden on the rights owner to have to constantly monitor and report new infringements.
In the US, the Recording Industry Association Of America recently said it wished the Google search engine would accept site-wide takedown requests for websites that prolifically infringe, such as The Pirate Bay. Though, of course, many fear the growth of site-wide web blocking systems, arguing that sites that operate a genuinely legitimate business, but which may inadvertently host or link to infringing content in the process, may be unfairly blocked as a result.
HUNDRED REASONS FIND CAUSE TO BREAK UP
Having given word of their imminent split via an official Facebook post, the band will bid a two-part farewell to fans via final shows at Manchester's Academy 2 (23 Nov) and London's Forum (24 Nov). It's not all doom and gloom though, because HR will be joined on both dates by post-hardcore quintet Hell Is For Heroes, who have just reunited after going on indefinite hiatus in 2008 and will play their 'Neon Handshake' album in full, and Derby legends Cable, who are reforming especially for these shows.
That statement from Hundred Reasons, who will play their entire first album 'Ideas Above Their Station' as part of the London and Manchester gigs, reads: "Dream line-up - bands we love, people we love. Been a while in the planning, this, but we're seriously bloody excited about it. This is the final outing for everyone involved, so we hope you'll join us for a properly good send-off".
DAN LE SAC SIGNS NEW PUBLISHING DEAL WITH TOUCH TONES MUSIC
Dan told CMU: "It's genuinely exciting for me to be working with Touch Tones Music. I've been a fanboy when it comes to their record label, Tummy Touch, and feel like it'll be a great home for me. It's also a great feeling to have total faith that Touch Tones can help me make the most of my first solo LP, 'Space Between The Words'. I'm also hoping they'll force Tom Vek to do a track with me for the next one, but don't tell them that".
You can catch Dan Le Sac live at Bestival's Wildlife Summer Party at The Bussey Building in London on 14 Jul. More info on that here.
And you can listen to a track from 'Space Between The Words', 'Memorial', which features guest vocals from Emmy The Great, here.
ALL SUGABABES IN THE STUDIO
She said: "We're all writing in the studio anyway. It's kind of ongoing. But there's no plans to bring anything out this year. We've all always written, I've always done that going into bands when I was eighteen. We've written songs that other people have used and vice versa. You don't worry about that, if the song's not right for you and it's right for someone else, that's a bonus".
Meanwhile, the reunited original line-up of the group are apparently preparing to release new material later this summer. After she and Keisha Buchanan tweeted various things about being in the studio recently, last week Siobhan Donaghy told a fan via Twitter to expect new songs at any point within the next two to ten weeks.
GALLOWS NAME NEW ALBUM
Speaking as one, the five-piece declare: "We made this record self-titled as it musically defines the band known as Gallows as we exist today. This is the first of many releases to come from the house of Venn Records, our imprint, hijacked from PIAS, those long standing backers of independent rock n roll".
UNIVERSAL RE-RELEASING SEX PISTOLS' PRETTY VACANT (AGAIN)
'Pretty Vacant' is being re-released - since there must always be a reason for such things - on 2 Jul to mark the original edition's 35th anniversary, and will be available as a limited edition seven-inch picture disc. Universal Music are only pressing 3500 copies; all, any, one or none of which can be purchased here.
'Pretty Vacant' will precede a further 35th anniversary Pistols reissue, this being, 'Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols', the little-known LP from whence it came. As previously reported, Universal will release said classic long player in September.
EFTERKLANG DETAIL LP
And here it is.
As previously reported, Efterklang will also undertake a collaborative tour with the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra, appearing first at Gateshead's The Sage on 23 Oct.
COM TRUISE MAKES RARITIES COMPILATION
Listen to 'Open' now, then scan the LP's tracklisting:
ALABAMA SHAKES ANNOUNCE TOUR
NAS, SANTIGOLD, PAUL WELLER FOR FREE CONVERSE REPRESENT NIGHTS
The music-backing sneaker brand have booked artists including Paul Weller, Nas, Santigold, SBTRKT and a mystery "very special guest" to play across nine so called 'Represent' nights, the first of which takes place on 30 Jul and hosts headliner Plan B.
Free tickets for each show are only available by first entering this contest. Here's motivation to do that in the form of all nine Represent line-ups:
30 Jul: Plan B, L Marshall, Jacob Banks, Yuna
PUBLISHING DEPARTURES: PLATT LEAVES EMI, SANGHVI LEAVES SONY/ATV
A leading player in urban music publishing, having signed the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Diddy, Beyonce, Drake, Usher and Ludacris over the years, there have been rumours Platt might be leaving the EMI publishing business for a few weeks.
The EMI publishing company is, of course, set to be split from the EMI record company later this year, as part of a takeover by a Sony-led consortium. Assuming that deal gets regulator approval, it will mean Sony/ATV will control the EMI publishing company, which is likely to remain an autonomous unit, but with a somewhat streamlined workforce. Whether the uncertainty of EMI Publishing's immediate future has motivated Platt's departure isn't known.
That said, one of the rumours regards a possible new employer for Platt is Sony/ATV itself, he having worked with the Sony publishing firm's top man Marty Bandier when he previously headed up the EMI company. Though some gossipers reckon that is an unlikely move, and point to a possible role at Warner Music's publishing company instead, or a possible alliance with Jay-Z at Roc Nation.
Elsewhere in the Sony/ATV/EMI empire (even though technically that empire doesn't exist yet), Music Week is reporting that the UK MD of the Sony publishing business, Rak Sanghvi, has also announced his departure. It's not clear what his immediate plans are.
NINJA TUNE ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH WERKDISCS
However, since Cunningham signed to Honest Jon's in 2010 for the release of the second Actress album 'Splazsh' the company has fallen quiet. The new deal with Ninja Tune will revive Werkdiscs, with plans to release Lukid's third album 'Lonely At The Top' and a sequel to 'Hazyville', entitled 'Ghettoville', in the works.
To celebrate the new partnership, Ninja Tune and Werkdiscs are giving away a free download of a new Actress track, 'Metamorphosis', here.
MU WELCOMES NEW GLOBAL TREATY ON AUDIO-VISUAL PERFORMER RIGHTS
The treaty, some twelveyears in development, was signed at a conference held in the Chinese capital by the World Intellectual Property Organisation. That body's Director General, Francis Gurry, told reporters: "The conclusion of the Beijing Treaty is an important milestone toward closing the gap in the international rights system for audio-visual performers and reflects the collaborative nature of the multilateral process. The international copyright framework will no longer discriminate against one set of performers".
Welcoming the new agreement from a musicians point of view, John Smith, General Secretary of the UK's Musicians' Union and President of the International Federation Of Musicians, told CMU: "Being present at the historic WIPO Diplomatic Conference on the Protection Of Audiovisual Performances in Beijing has been a great honour. This week the WIPO member states have agreed a treaty which extends the protection of performers' intellectual property rights, already enjoyed in audio productions and live performance, to audiovisual productions. This means that for the first time performers will enjoy both economic and moral rights in all of their recorded and live work".
Calling on the European Union and UK to implement its new international obligations into relevant domestic laws quickly, he continued: "Music is an integral and important part of audio-visual productions and the community of musicians will most definitely benefit from the adoption of this important treaty. We hope that the EU and UK government ratify and implement it at the earliest opportunity".
LIVE NATION BUYS LA DANCE MUSIC PROMOTER
Corporate interest in the growth of EDM have risen quite a bit in recent months, especially in the US where the genre is enjoying new found popularity. As well as Live Nation's moves into the genre, Robert Sillerman, the entrepreneur behind the former SFX and existing CKX music and media companies, recently announced he'd set aside a billion dollars to buy into the EDM sector.
Though inthemix notes that Gary Richards, the founder of Hard Events, which is probably best known for its Hard Summer festival, recently told the New York Times he was suspicious of such corporates moving into the dance space, noting "you can't just franchise this like McDonalds". However, it seems he now reckons a Live Nation alliance will enable the expansion of his events globally.
SPOTIFY ANNOUNCES YAHOO TIE-UP
Although Yahoo's Lisa Goodwin told the Press Association that the new partnership, unlike the Rhapsody tie-up, won't require users to navigate away from the Yahoo website to access music, they will need the Spotify player installed on their PCs, because it's thought Yahoo pages will simply carry the artist-specific play buttons that various other sites already feature, that force the Spotify player to open with a specific playlist ready to play.
Spotify already has play buttons on various other partner websites, of course, though what is interesting about this deal is reports that Yahoo will earn a commission whenever a user that originated with the web firm's sites signs up to a premium account with the streaming firm, leading some to wonder whether the Swedish company is planning a fuller affiliate scheme.
Yahoo will also launch an app within the Spotify player and provide some artist-specific content.
LUCY JONES NAMED DEPUTY EDITOR OF NME.COM
The website's editor Luke Lewis tweeted the news yesterday, saying: "Really bloody thrilled to announce that Lucy Jones will be starting as Deputy Editor of NME.com in August".
SPICE GIRLS REUNITE FOR PRESS CONFERENCE
As well as announcing that one small piece of information, the group padded out the event with some chit chat. Here, according to Reuters, is one of the things that Victoria Beckham said: "As much as we've written the songs, we also didn't want to creatively stifle Judy and Jennifer. So, somewhat, we have let them do what they do. Their success speaks for themselves. We really gave them the freedom to do their thing. We had a lot of faith in them".
And here is a thing that Geri Halliwell said: "It's not about actually us, it's the essence of the Spice Girls. There is a talent show in there, but actually, really what it's about is about friendship, it's about motherhood and then there is a little bit of how do you juggle between success and friendship?"
Well done, theatre. Well done.