TODAY'S TOP STORY: Lady A has sued Lady A, who you may remember previously sued Lady A, in the ongoing dispute between Lady A and Lady A over the rights to the use of the name Lady A. Lady A is yet to comment on Lady A's lawsuit. And if you're confused by all this, well, that's kind of the point of this litigation... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Lady A sues Lady A over the name Lady A
LEGAL Stream-ripping grew 1390% in three years, says PRS For Music
UK artist and manager groups support SoundExchange's Fair Trade Of Music campaign
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Apple launches subscriptions bundle product Apple One
Spotify allows artists to list livestreamed concerts

SACEM announces licensing deal with Twitch

ONE LINERS Vince Power, TuneCore, Slowthai, more
AND FINALLY... Madonna to direct and co-wrote own biopic

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Lady A sues Lady A over the name Lady A
Lady A has sued Lady A, who you may remember previously sued Lady A, in the ongoing dispute between Lady A and Lady A over the rights to the use of the name Lady A. Lady A is yet to comment on Lady A's lawsuit. And if you're confused by all this, well, that's kind of the point of this litigation.

If it helps, this dispute is between Lady A the singer and Lady A the band. As you may remember, Lady A the band were previously officially known as Lady Antebellum until they changed their name in the midst of the most recent round of Black Lives Matter protests. 'Antebellum', see, refers to an era in US history that saw the rapid economic growth of the southern states aided in large part by a reliance on slavery.

That name change announcement came as something of a surprise to Lady A the singer, aka Anita White, who - although not so well known - had been performing and releasing music under that name for more than 20 years. She quickly hit out at Lady A the band's decision to rebrand without first checking if anyone else was already using their new moniker.

Lady A the band then reached out to Lady A the singer and for a moment it looked like there could be a speedy happy ending to this dispute. A deal was proposed where both the band and the singer could continue using the name, the band would take responsibility for ensuring there was no confusion on digital platforms, and maybe there could be a Lady A featuring Lady A collaboration.

However, Lady A the singer wasn't happy with the written agreement that came out of those discussions. She hired new legal representation which wrote an alternative agreement, allegedly including a $10 million pay off for their client. Having received that proposal, Lady A the band went legal in July.

Although no one disputes that Lady A the singer has been using the name longer, the band pointed out that they had used that name as an informal alternative to Lady Antebellum pretty much ever since they formed in 2006. As a result, they had registered trademarks for the Lady A brand with the US trademark registry, the first such registration being filed in 2010.

Therefore, the band argued, they, not Lady A the singer, had the legal right to use the name for performing and releasing music in the US. Which made their offer to allow Lady A the singer to also continue using the name very generous.

And now comes the countersuit, filed by Lady A the singer, seeking exclusive rights to use the name and damages for the confusion already caused by the band since their rebrand in June.

What about the band's trademarks that Lady A the singer never objected to before though? Well, at the heart of the new lawsuit is the argument that Lady A the singer has "accrued common law rights" in the name simply by using it for so long.

The lawsuit says that she actually started using the name Lady A as a karaoke singer in Seattle in the late 1980s and started performing as Lady A beyond her home state of Washington from the early 2000s.

Lady A the singer "accrued common law rights in the Lady A trademark ... as a result of her long, continuous, and prominent use of the Lady A mark since at least the early 1990s", says the lawsuit, before adding: "Ms White's nationwide common law trademark rights date to at least as early as the early 2000s, when she first began performing extensively outside of the state of Washington".

Those common law rights in the Lady A mark, the new lawsuit concludes, supersede any trademarks Lady A the band may have formally registered. It's an interesting argument. And it will be interesting to see it tested should this whole matter ever actually get to court.


Stream-ripping grew 1390% in three years, says PRS For Music
UK collecting society PRS For Music has put out a new report explaining why it thinks stream-ripping should still be at the top of the music industry's piracy gripe list.

The report is called 'Stream-ripping: Its Role In The UK Music Piracy Landscape Three Years On', because the society first put the spotlight on this particular form of music piracy back in 2017. That study looked at the use of stream-ripping platforms - which allow people to turn temporary streams into permanent downloads - from 2014 to 2016. The new report looks at what has happened since.

According to the online rights monitoring company INCOPRO, which PRS commissioned to do the research, use of stream-ripping platforms in the UK increased by 1390% between 2016 and 2019. Meanwhile other common forms of music piracy, like BitTorrent file-sharing and the sharing of links to files stored in digital lockers, were either static or in decline.

That was despite some key stream-ripping platforms going offline as a result of legal action or the threat of legal action from music industry organisations like the RIAA, BPI and IFPI. As is often the case with whichever music piracy systems are in vogue, as one high profile service is sued off the internet, several others are ready to take its place.

According to INCOPRO and PRS, by far the most popular stream-ripping service in the UK at the moment is, the increased popularity of which was likely behind a significant uplift in the number of streams being ripped by UK users last year. Although streams are ripped from an assortment of legit music services, YouTube streams are still the most likely to be the subject to ripping.

The shift in music piracy from file-sharing to stream-ripping is in part the result of the shift that has occurred in the legitimate digital music market. The rise of the streaming platforms over the download stores made the kinds of file-sharing that were popular in the 2000s less attractive because accessing free streams from Spotify and YouTube was generally simpler than downloading files via the file-sharing networks.

However, free streaming services generally don't allow offline listening - that being a key USP of premium streaming - which means some people use the free versions of Spotify or YouTube while they are online, but then rip their favourite tracks from those services for when they are offline.

As that shift has been occurring, the music industry in general has been less vocal about the music piracy problem. Partly because the record industry is back in growth, but mainly because getting reform of the copyright safe harbour - which the music industry felt was being exploited by YouTube type services to pay lower royalties - became lobbying priority number one.

However, some piracy griping continues, most of it stream-ripping focussed these days, and - as noted - some litigation has been pursued against certain stream-ripping sites. That litigation is generally successful in getting those specific services offline, but not in stopping the growth of stream-ripping in general.

Commenting on the new report, PRS's Head Of IP And Litigation Simon Bourn said: "This report shows that music piracy is very much still alive and kicking, and that stream-ripping is now responsible for a mammoth proportion of the overall piracy problem".

"Streaming royalties now account for over 20% of our members' income", he went on, "and the popularity of this illegal activity has a severe and direct impact on the royalties we can collect for them from legitimate services. Each time a stream is ripped, the user is then listening to and consuming that rip outside of the licensed ecosystem".

Insisting that PRS is working hard to combat all things stream-ripping, Bourne continued: "We will continue to take all possible measures to prevent stream-ripping services from existing, in order to maximise the royalties we collect for our members and to ensure they receive fair remuneration for their work".

And finally, putting some of the responsibility on the tech sector and the ad networks the stream-ripping services often use to generate income, he concluded: "We also expect others who are in positions of responsibility within the digital economy, including app stores, software and plug-in platforms, ad networks, YouTube and other licensed services, to play their own parts in preventing these illegal services from stealing music and depriving songwriters, composers and music publishers of their rightful reward".

You can download the full stream-ripping report here.


UK artist and manager groups support SoundExchange's Fair Trade Of Music campaign
A number of global and UK music industry organisations have come out in support of the campaign by US musicians to receive radio and public performance royalties whenever their music is used in any country.

Royalties due to artists and labels when recorded music is played on the radio or in public are collected through the collective licensing system.

Collecting societies in each country issue licences to broadcasters and other businesses within their home markets. If licensees then use music controlled by labels in other countries and/or featuring artists based in other countries, in theory, royalties should pass between the different societies via the reciprocal agreements they have signed.

So if a recording made by a British artist and owned by a UK label is played in Germany, the German society collects the money and passes it over to UK society PPL to distribute to the performers and label.

However, under US copyright law AM/FM radio stations and businesses playing recorded music in public don't need a licence from or to pay any royalties to artists or labels.

As a result, in some countries, copyright systems have been set up so that - if it's music from US artists and labels being played on the radio or in public - no royalties are passed over to those artists and labels, on the basis that no money is flowing in the other direction.

That restriction is sometimes called the "reciprocity" approach or the "mirror test", and might apply to both American labels and American artists, or just one or the other. That approach is currently employed in both the UK and Ireland, but only to the detriment of American performers.

US collecting society SoundExchange has become very vocal on this issue of late, arguing that the "reciprocity" approach is both unfair and also an incorrect interpretation of global copyright treaties. It says that a "national treatment" approach should be employed instead, which says that, if domestic artists and labels earn from any one use of music, so should foreign artists and labels when it's their recordings actually being used.

Earlier this year, SoundExchange teamed up with a plethora of other US music industry organisations to launch a campaign called Fair Trade Of Music seeking to pressure those countries that currently operate a "reciprocity" approach to foreign royalties to shift to a "national treatment" approach.

That campaign got a boost last week when the European Court Of Justice agreed that the correct interpretation of the global treaties and European law is for a "national treatment" approach to be taken. That ruling was in response to a dispute in the Irish courts between the collecting society that represents labels in Ireland, PPI, and the collecting society that represents performers, RAAP.

That strengthens SoundExchange's arguments in Ireland and across the EU, although not in the UK, which is a key priority for the US society in terms of getting a shift from the "reciprocity" approach to the "national treatment" approach.

In that domain, SoundExchange hopes to get a commitment from the UK to make that change in any post-Brexit US/UK trade deal.

Given that securing change in the UK is a key priority of SoundExchange, getting the support of organisations that represent performers and managers in the UK is important. And yesterday it was confirmed that it now had that support from the Musicians' Union, the Featured Artists Coalition and the Music Managers Forum. The globally focused International Federation Of Musicians and International Music Managers Forum also confirmed their support.

Welcoming that development, SoundExchange boss Michael Huppe said: "These organisations are standing up for an important principle: music is an international experience, and if a royalty is paid for the use of a sound recording, then all music creators – no matter where they are from – are entitled to receive it. The music community on both sides of the Atlantic is calling on our governments to ensure music creators are treated equally and paid fairly for their work".

Meanwhile, in the UK, MU chief Horace Trubridge added: "The pandemic that has decimated the live music scene has thrown a spotlight on how important it is that musicians receive every last penny that they are due from the use of their recordings. We are delighted to support the Fair Trade Of Music campaign to help our colleagues in the US get the money they are due from UK public performance".


Apple launches subscriptions bundle product Apple One
Apple yesterday announced its long-expected subscriptions bundle package via which consumers can access the tech giant's music, video, gaming, news and file-storage services all via one subscription plan. It'll even throw in its new-fangled exercise service Fitness+.

Such bundling has been expected ever since Apple started expanding the range of digital services it offers. And as a test, last year, access to the then new Apple TV+ service was bundled in with student subscriptions to Apple Music in the US.

From a music perspective, it potentially means consumers more attracted to TV shows, games and/or all that fitness nonsense will nevertheless start streaming some tunes as well once they've signed up, which expands the audience for paid-for music streaming.

Though, of course, the big question is how the £15 monthly subscription price is shared out between the different services that come as part of the deal.

The bundle will be called Apple One and includes access to Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and iCloud. In addition to the £14.95 per month individual package, a £19.95 per month family plan will also be available. And for those who want terabytes of iCloud storage space rather than gigabytes, there'll be a premier level at £29.95 per month, which will also include Apple News+ and (at some point) Apple Fitness+.

Says Apple's SVP Of Internet Software And Services Eddy Cue: "Apple One makes enjoying Apple subscription services easier than ever, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud, and more. With Apple One, you can access the best of Apple entertainment across all your favourite devices with one simple subscription".

The individual and family plan versions of the bundle will launch in over 100 markets, while the premier level will initially be restricted to Australia, Canada, the UK and the US.


Spotify allows artists to list livestreamed concerts
Spotify has long allowed artists to list tour dates on their profile pages within the streaming platform. But you might have noticed that there haven't been that many gigs on lately. So, the streaming service has now announced it is now allowing artists to promote livestreamed performances too.

"Over the past six months, artists have adopted innovative ways to connect with their listeners from afar, and virtual performances have played a key role", says Spotify in a blog post. "With most tours postponed until 2021 and online concerts set to continue, Spotify wants to make it easy for fans to learn about virtual events - whether for artists you already love or for those you're discovering for the very first time".

Livestreamed shows listed on Songkick and selected shows where tickets are sold through Ticketmaster will now appear on artist profiles, as of this morning. Previously such performances have been filtered out by Spotify, possibly because many happen on what are arguably rival platforms of one form or another.

Now, however, Spotify will list your event wherever you choose to stream it - Instagram, YouTube, your nan's CCTV system, wherever - so long as you promote it via the company's existing concert listing partners.

It's a brave new world, people. But what are the benefits to artists? Well, explains Spotify: "Once these events are on Spotify, it's easier than ever for listeners to find them. You can set your virtual event as your Artist Pick, so listeners will see it at the top of your profile".

"We'll also be emailing out personalised virtual events recommendations to listeners for artists they love (or we think they'll love) to help get the word out", it adds. "Interested in seeing it for yourself? It's easier than ever to find the concerts hub, just search Concerts".

You can also list real concerts with packed out, sweaty audiences again too, of course. Remember that Bonzo Johnson has promised that he will be using magic beans to have those up and running again by Christmas. And if that doesn't work, well, given official UK government policy now is that laws don't matter anyway, maybe we can just start staging them again whatever.


SACEM announces licensing deal with Twitch
French song rights collecting society SACEM announced yesterday that it had entered into a licensing agreement with Amazon's livestreaming platform Twitch.

The deal comes as the music licensing status of livestreaming services and livestreamed events becomes a much bigger talking point within the music industry thanks to the increased interest in livestreamed entertainment during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Twitch's lack of music licences has come up before, but again is more of a talking point at the moment. That's partly due to the general livestreaming boom, but also because of Twitch's decision to proactively push beyond its original community of gamers, encouraging other creators - including musicians - to stream content via its app.

The company has had licensing agreements with the US collecting societies for a while, with active deals in place with BMI, ASCAP, GMR and SESAC. But it is now in the process of securing licensing deals from societies elsewhere too - although no deal has as yet been done with PRS in the UK. Talks are also underway with labels and publishers.

Within Twitch's core market - ie livestreamed gaming - Facebook got ahead of the Amazon platform by announcing earlier this week direct deals with all three majors, BMG, Kobalt, Merlin and others in relation to its Facebook Gaming app.

The social media giant's pitch to gamers is that - as the music industry takes more interest in the use of music on livestreaming platforms - the risk of there being music licensing issues for gamers is now much lower on its Twitch rivalling service.

Hence getting some new music deals sorted is important for Team Twitch. Which brings us back to the deal with SACEM. The French society said that the deal with Twitch was important because of the recent boom in livestreaming, and particularly noted the increased use of the platform by musicians themselves.

"Twitch is building a new world of collaborative live music experiences", it said. "Artists are able to interact with fans through Q&As, playing games, production classes, and more. With industry-leading monetisation tools, live-streamed events, and spontaneous performances, Twitch is reimagining how people experience live music".

Of course, as with any service that involves user-generated content, there is always the challenge of working out what music has been used and therefore who needs to be paid. To that end, SACEM said it would be working with Twitch in order to "develop processes to simplify and optimise the identification and reporting of works used on the service, for the benefit of SACEM members and the music industry as a whole".

SACEM boss Jean-Noël Tronc added: "Across the SACEM community, we've seen artists increasingly turn to Twitch to grow their presence and connect with fans. This partnership with a dynamic and innovative player like Twitch demonstrates SACEM's ability to constantly adapt to new ways of producing and consuming music. We look forward to promoting the works of our creative and publishing members and expanding our support for creators, wherever their music is shared".


CMU Insights webinars kick off next week
The next series of CMU Insights webinars kicks off next week. Every Tuesday afternoon CMU's Chris Cooke will put the spotlight on a different aspect of the music business, explaining how it all works and getting you up to speed on all the latest developments.

These are the topics set to be covered...

The Rights Of Songwriters And Performers (22 Sep)
Digital Music In Emerging Markets (29 Sep)
Streaming Service Playlists (6 Oct)
Building A Fanbase For New Artists (13 Oct)
Understanding Brand Partnerships (20 Oct)
Building A Direct-To-Fan Business (27 Oct)
Top Five Music Industry Developments In 2020 (3 Nov)
Top Five Streaming Developments In 2020 (10 Nov)
Top Five Copyright Developments In 2020 (17 Nov)

You can book into all nine sessions for just £150. Delivered live at 2.30pm London time, they will then also be available on-demand for the following month, so people in other timezones can tune in at a time convenient to them.

Click here to find out more and book into individual or all nine webinars.


Vince Power has announced that Camden venue Dingwalls will rebrand as The PowerHaus due to trademark issues. Power acquired Dingwalls back in June. The PowerHaus was previously the name of a venue Power ran in Islington in the early 1990s.



Believe's DIY distribution service TuneCore has announced the hire of on-the-ground representatives in Russia and Brazil, as well as the launch of websites specifically geared towards self-releasing artists in those countries. It means it now has a local presence in ten markets in addition to its HQ in the US. Ivan Ivanov will head up TuneCore Russia and Bruno Duque TuneCore Brazil.



Slowthai has released new single 'Feel Away', featuring James Blake and Mount Kimbie. "This song is about the doubts we have whether it be within friendships, your partner or with our family", says the rapper. "It's about putting yourself in the other person's shoes so you have a better understanding of the situation".

Marika Hackman has announced that she will release a new album of covers, called 'Covers', on 13 Nov. The record will feature versions of songs originally by Air, Alvvays, Beyonce, Edith Frost, Grimes, Elliott Smith, Muna, Radiohead, The Shins and Sharon Van Etten. Here's her version of Grimes' 'Realiti'.

Sufjan Stevens has released new single 'Sugar'. "On the surface, the song is just a string of clichés, but the message is imperative: now is the time to gather what is good and pure and valuable and make it your own, and share it with others", he says.

Beabadoobee has released the video for new single 'Worth It'.

Claire Rosinkranz has released the video for her viral hit 'Backyard Boy'.

Elvis Perkins has released new single 'See Monkey'. His new album, 'Creation Myths', is out on 2 Oct.

Pom Poko have released new single 'My Candidacy'. "The song itself is about the wish to be able to believe in unconditional love, even though you know that there probably is no such thing", say the band. "We, at least, believe in unconditional love for riffy tunes with sing-song choruses".



Skepta, Octavian and Arlo Parks will stream live performances via On Air on 9-11 Oct. Each show was recorded at Steel Yard in London. More details here.

Corey Taylor will stream a live performance filmed at The Forum in LA on 2 Oct to mark the release of his debut solo album, 'CMFT'. He will perform the album in full, as well as select songs by Stone Sour and Slipknot. More details here.

Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


Madonna to direct and co-wrote own biopic
Madonna has officially announced that she is co-writing and will direct an as-yet-untitled film based on her own life.

The musician has been hinting that she is working on a screenplay in recent weeks, posting pictures and videos of herself and co-writer Diablo Cody working together on Instagram. Fans already believed that project to be a biopic - with rumours circulating last month that actor Julia Garner had signed up to play the star, although that has not yet been confirmed.

In a new statement, Madonna says: "I want to convey the incredible journey that life has taken me on as an artist, a musician, a dancer – a human being, trying to make her way in this world. The focus of this film will always be music. Music has kept me going and art has kept me alive. There are so many untold and inspiring stories and who better to tell it than me. It's essential to share the roller coaster ride of my life with my voice and vision".

The film will be produced by Amy Pascall - who worked with Madonna on 1992 film 'A League Of Their Own' - for the Universal film studio. Says Pascall: "This movie is an absolute labour of love for me. I have known Madonna since we made 'A League Of Their Own' together, and I can't imagine anything more thrilling than collaborating with her and Diablo on bringing her true-life story to the big screen with ... our partners at Universal".

The fact that this is Madonna telling her own story is the big sell of this movie, although it's not the convention for artists to make their own biopics. That said, you'd be disappointed if it turned out someone didn't write their own autobiography, so maybe it's OK.

Madonna previously criticised another film about her life being developed by Universal as being "all lies", insisting then that "only I can tell my story". And with Oscar-winning writer Cody on board to help out, I guess things are maybe moving in a positive direction.

Speaking of direction, the one weak link in this whole project is possibly the film's director. That being Madonna herself. She has previously directed two films - 2008's 'Filth & Wisdom' and 2012's 'WE' - both of which were critically-panned commercial disasters. So that doesn't exactly bode well.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily, website and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
[email protected] (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Founder & MD
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and CMU Trends. He also leads the CMU Insights consultancy unit and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
[email protected] (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and also heads up business development at CMU Insights and CMU:DIY.
[email protected] or call 020 7099 9060
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media as a Director of 3CM UnLimited, as well as heading up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supporting other parts of the business.
[email protected]
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