TODAY'S TOP STORY: The boss of the Night Time Industries Association has said that the new England-wide COVID lockdown announced by the UK government this weekend could be the "final nail in the coffin" for many night-time businesses. Meanwhile, the Incorporated Society Of Musicians has sought confirmation from ministers as to what the latest round of COVID restrictions means for the financial support available to freelancers... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Music industry calls for more clarity and financial support as new COVID lockdown is announced for England
LEGAL Second US court pauses Donald Trump's TikTok ban on free speech grounds
Criminal case against Kickass founder now officially on the 'fugitive calendar'

RIAA targets 40 piracy sites via Cloudflare and Namecheap subpoenas

DEALS Hipgnosis acquires 42 publishing catalogues from Kobalt
Reservoir re-signs Mr Franks

ARTIST NEWS Village People don't endorse Donald Trump or his dance moves
AND FINALLY... Milwaukee official apologises for using Cardi B's WAP to promote home insulation offer
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email [email protected] or call 020 7099 9060.
Secretly Distribution is looking for a Digital Content Manager to be based in London (this position will be work from home until further notice).

For more information and to apply click here.
Sentric Music is looking for a Digital Marketing Executive to optimise Sentric Music Group's digital marketing presence and audience engagement. Through strategic planning, content creation and delivery, the Digital Marketing Executive will be key to shaping the way artists and clients perceive and engage with our business.

For more information and to apply click here.
Juno is looking for an experienced music equipment service and support assistant to assist with product testing, customer support and related administration.

For more information and to apply click here.
Sentric Music is looking for a dedicated and diligent Sync Assistant to provide a first-class service to its clients.

For more information and to apply click here.
Sentric Music is looking for a Copyright Assistant to support the administration of music copyrights on behalf of its publishing partners and catalogue owners.

For more information and to apply click here.
Expand your knowledge about the inner workings of the music business, best practice across the music industry, and all the latest trends and developments, with CMU's weekly webinars.

Taking place every Tuesday afternoon at 2.30pm London time, these one hour online training sessions are delivered by CMU's Chris Cooke.

Each webinar presents timely and easy-to-understand insights about a different music business topic, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Attendees can also access online resources - including downloadable slides - and a recording of the webinar available for a month after the live session.

BOOK NOW at special rates - access to each individual webinar is just £25, plus you can book into four webinars for £75 and all nine for just £150.

Tuesday 3 Nov 2020 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
In a year dominated by the impact of COVID-19, what have been the key developments in the wider music industry in 2020? As the live industry restarts, what will it look like? And what impact will the challenges of 2020 have long-term on all the other strands of the music industry?
Tuesday 10 Nov 2020 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
While the streaming boom continues, led by Spotify-style services, the digital music market is diversifying again. New streaming products and business models present both challenges and opportunities, while lingering questions about Spotify-style streaming increasingly need to be answered.
Tuesday 17 Nov 2020 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The music rights business has been more stable during the COVID-19 crisis, though certain revenue streams have taken a hit. Meanwhile, copyright law and the music industry's licensing systems continue to evolve. Get a speedy update on all the key developments in music rights with this webinar.
Tuesday 24 Nov 2020 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Music distribution has changed a lot over the last fifteen years. This webinar reviews the evolution of digital distribution, explaining how distributors expanded their services and client base, and runs through the distribution options open to artists and labels today.
Tuesday 1 Dec 2020 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
As the legitimate digital music market has evolved so has online music piracy. This webinar looks at the piracy challenge over the last 20 years, how the music industry has sought to tackle the problem, and which anti-piracy tactics actually work today.
Tuesday 8 Dec 2020 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The role of the artist manager has changed dramatically over the last two decades as artists themselves seek to take more control over their recorded music and fan relationships. What does management now involve, what skills and knowledge are required, and what should management deals look like?
Tuesday 12 Jan 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The music rights business makes money by exploiting the controls that come with the copyrights in songs and recordings. Get to grips with all the basic principles of copyright law and how music copyright makes money in this user-friendly easy-to-follow webinar.
Tuesday 19 Jan 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Sometimes the music industry licenses through direct deals, other times it employs the collective licensing approach. Fully understand how collective licensing works - in the UK and around the world - in this user-friendly easy-to-follow webinar.
Tuesday 26 Jan 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Getting songwriters and artists paid when their songs and recordings are played often comes down to whether or not the right data is in the system. But what data? This webinar runs through all the key data points and explains how to get information into the system.
Navigate and understand the music business with guides and reports from CMU...
Music Rights Data In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to music rights data, data standards and databases
Music Industry Basics In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to all the different strands of the modern music industry
Streaming Challenges In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the challenges facing the streaming business in 2020
Collective Licensing In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the collective licensing system
Brand Partnerships In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to artist/brand partnerships
GET FULL ACCESS TO THE CMU LIBRARY by going premium for just £5 a month

Music industry calls for more clarity and financial support as new COVID lockdown is announced for England
The boss of the Night Time Industries Association has said that the new England-wide COVID lockdown announced by the UK government this weekend could be the "final nail in the coffin" for many night-time businesses. Meanwhile, the Incorporated Society Of Musicians has sought confirmation from ministers as to what the latest round of COVID restrictions means for the financial support available to freelancers.

The UK government confirmed on Saturday that a nationwide lockdown will be instigated across England from Thursday in a bid to tackle the current second spike in COVID-19 cases. The new lockdown won't be as severe as the one earlier in the year - with schools, colleges and more workplaces staying open - however non-essential shops and hospitality, entertainment and other night-time businesses will close.

Quite what impact the new national lockdown will have varies around the country, depending on what localised COVID restrictions were already in place. Although the newly announced measures seem to go beyond even the restrictions that were in force in so called tier three areas.

As for what it means in practical terms for live music, hospitality and night-time businesses, again that will vary. The original more generous furlough scheme providing financial support for employees unable to work because of shutdown will be extended, so some companies and employees may be better off. Though the short notice of that extension means some employers who were already operating at a much lower capacity than normal will already have made some employees redundant.

The more full-on shutdown also potentially helps those live entertainment businesses who - under recent restrictions - could theoretically open, but not in a commercially viable way. By being outright forced to close under the new lockdown, those businesses may be able to access extra financial support.

However, the devil is - as always - in the detail. And the detail keeps changing. And not all the detail is as yet confirmed. For example, regarding whether financial support for freelancers, due to drop this month, will now increase again as a result of the fuller lockdown.

This weekend's changes will definitely negatively impact plenty of businesses, and even those who might be better off, or whose circumstances don't really change, still have to navigate all the complexities and confusions about what the rules say and what support is now available.

Commenting on the new lockdown, Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, told reporters on Saturday evening: "The announcement from the Prime Minister today will leave night time economy businesses facing a 'financial armageddon'. It's frightening to think that, given the gravity of the situation, we are still being given limited communication, consultation or time to respond, or plan around these decisions".

"The entire night-time economy, consisting of thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of workers, are suffering. Their plight is being made even worse by the huge void in financial support for the sector. Many of our businesses have experienced extreme financial hardship, been presented with unmanageable operational measures and have in some cases been forced into complete closure since March".

He concluded: "Without immediate and significant government financial support and an exit strategy, it is not an exaggeration to say that this will be the final nail in the coffin for many night-time economy businesses. And even with support, many viable businesses will be lost. This moment will go down in history as the moment that the government destroyed a globally significant sector through poor communication and mismanagement".

Meanwhile, Deborah Annetts, CEO of the ISM, put the spotlight on what the latest lockdown will mean for the many freelancers working in the music industry. She called for confirmation that the higher level of support for the self-employed that was due to end - and which paid 70% of each freelancer's average earnings - will now be extending.

And, with COVID restrictions extending yet again, Annetts said that the technicalities that have stopped some freelancers from getting any financial support since shutdown began in March must finally be addressed.

She told reporters: "While protecting the population must be a priority, today's announcement by the Prime Minister will have devastating consequences for our world-leading music industry, which is already suffering from the impact of earlier restrictions. For months we have warned the government that self-employed musicians are in desperate financial difficulty whilst venues remain closed, with our highly-skilled workforce struggling to survive without an income since March and excluded from government support".

"Now, with no prospect of future work on the horizon", she went on, "the government has a moral duty to reform the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, maintaining the level of support at 70%, and expanding the eligibility criteria to include the estimated three million who have been excluded. Before this crisis, music and the creative industries made an essential contribution to the health, wealth and culture of our nation. Unless the government introduces meaningful support, we are looking at the devastation of the performing arts and a permanent exodus of talent".


Second US court pauses Donald Trump's TikTok ban on free speech grounds
A federal court in Pennsylvania issued an injunction on Friday blocking Donald Trump's big TikTok ban, ruling that the executive orders issued by the US President against the video-sharing app likely violated the law via which the ban was justified.

Trump issued two executive orders against TikTok and its Chinese owner Bytedance back in August, the first banning US companies and citizens from transacting with the Chinese company, the second ordering Bytedance to sell off all its American assets.

The US government says the bans are necessary because of concerns that the Chinese government has access to TikTok's global userbase and user data. The executive orders utilised powers granted to the President via America's International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

However, Bytedance has argued that Trump ignored important limitations in that Act when issuing his executive orders. In particular, banning the use of TikTok would likely restrict the "personal communications" and sharing of "informational materials" by the app's users, and doing so is not allowed under the IEEPA.

In September, a federal judge in Washington DC granted TikTok an injunction pausing the big ban after ruling that Bytedance's arguments regarding the free speech limitations within the IEEPA were compelling.

Last week's similar court ruling in Pennsylvania was in response to separate legal action filed by three creators who have built an audience on the TikTok platform: Douglas Marland, Cosette Rinab and Alec Chamber. The judge hearing their case likewise ruled that Trump's TikTok ban ignores the "informational materials" exception in the IEEPA.

TikTok itself welcomed the ruling in the separate creator-led legal action, telling reporters that the company was "deeply moved by the outpouring of support from our creators, who have worked to protect their rights to expression, their careers, and to helping small businesses, particularly during the pandemic".


Criminal case against Kickass founder now officially on the 'fugitive calendar'
The criminal case against the former operator of one-time piracy site KickassTorrents has been formally placed on a thing called the 'fugitive calendar'. This follows the news last month that Artem Vaulin had left Poland where he was on bail fighting extradition proceedings.

Vaulin, who is Ukrainian, was arrested in Poland in July 2016 at the request of the US authorities, shortly before the then uber-popular Kickass file-sharing website was forced offline. Those US authorities then began extradition proceedings, seeking to force Vaulin to face charges of criminal copyright infringement in an American court.

Despite a Polish court approving that extradition in March 2017, Vaulin appealed and - from that point onwards - things started to progress much more slowly. Having originally been jailed, Vaulin was released on bail, continuing his fight against the extradition while living in Warsaw.

However, last month it was revealed that Vaulin had now left the Polish capital in breach of his bail terms, and that his location was currently unknown.

Having been formally informed of that development by US prosecutors, the judge overseeing the criminal case in a federal court in Illinois last week recommended that the ongoing legal action be moved from his calendar to what is known as the fugitive calendar. That basically puts the whole case on hold until Vaulin is found. If that ever happens.

When news broke of Vaulin's disappearance last month, his legal team in the US said they now planned to withdraw from the case. That was also confirmed last week.

His US attorneys - which included Ira Rothken, better known for also representing MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom - told the court, according to Torrentfreak: "Because defendant Vaulin appears to have intentionally violated the conditions of release and became a fugitive, undersigned counsel are no longer amenable to representing defendant Vaulin and wish to withdraw as his counsel".


RIAA targets 40 piracy sites via Cloudflare and Namecheap subpoenas
The Recording Industry Association Of America has secured subpoenas against internet services company Cloudflare and domain registrar Namecheap seeking information about 40 websites accused of facilitating copyright infringement. And that includes, the stream-ripping site that was identifying as being particularly problematic in a recent report by UK collecting society PRS.

Companies like Cloudflare and Namecheap are reluctant to voluntarily police their client base for copyright infringers and piracy operations, but they generally comply with court orders that force them to reveal the identities of the people or companies behind such websites.

When the RIAA seeks court orders of this kind, it usually gives us a good idea about what websites are currently on the US record industry trade group's piracy target list.

Once Cloudflare et al have been forced to provide contact information for their allegedly copyright-infringing clients, those clients often receive legal letters from the RIAA. Some of the targeted sites will ignore those letters or seek to fight any legal action in court. But usually some voluntarily go offline when faced with the prospect of an expensive legal battle.

Torrentfreak spotted the latest subpoenas, with BitTorrent and streaming portals also appearing on the list of 40 targeted sites, alongside some stream-ripping operations. You can check the full list of targeted sites on the Torrentfreak website here.


Hipgnosis acquires 42 publishing catalogues from Kobalt
Tiring of doing deals for publishing catalogues one at a time, the Hipgnosis Songs Fund has acquired 42 of them all at once from Kobalt. The $322.9 million deal is specifically with Kobalt Capital Limited and sees Hipgnosis acquire interests in works by Beyonce, 50 Cent, Justin Bieber, Lindsey Buckingham, The B-52s and Skrillex, as well as 18,000 songs from the Nettwerk publishing company.

Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis says that he and his team have enjoyed a "special relationship" with the main Kobalt rights administration business ever since he launched his song rights company. As a result, making a deal with the investment fund side of Kobalt - which actually acquires song rights rather than just administering them - was "only natural".

"[Kobalt has] curated a wonderful portfolio of proven songs that is incomparable with almost anything other than the Hipgnosis Songs catalogue, which it complements beautifully", Mercuriadis adds. "They are both small catalogues with songs of great cultural importance and an incredibly high degree of success within them from amongst the most important songwriters and artists in music's rich history".

Commenting from the Kobalt side, Kobalt Capital Limited CEO Johan Ahlstrom chips in: "We are pleased to sell this select portfolio to Hipgnosis and deliver our clients a great return on their investment in music. As the industry continues to grow, KCL will continue to be active in acquisitions and advise across our funds for our clients and investors".

In total, the deal includes more than 33,000 songs by over 1500 songwriters. All will continue to be administered by Kobalt.


Reservoir re-signs Mr Franks
Reservoir has extended its publishing deal with producer Mr Franks, with the company continuing to rep his entire songwriting catalogue, including new works such as 'Positions' by Ariana Grande, 'Holy' by Justin Bieber and 'Ice Cream' by Blackpink.

"I'm really happy to be continuing my relationship with Donna Caseine and the entire team at Reservoir, who have had my back for the last four years", says Franks. "I'm so grateful for their unending belief in and support of me".

Donna Caseine, who is Reservoir's Global Creative Director, adds: "To have simultaneous hit singles out by Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Chance The Rapper, and Blackpink with Selena Gomez would be a rare feat for anyone, but Franks makes it look so easy".

"His boundless creativity and dedication have led up to this moment", she goes on, "and it's truly only the beginning. We are honoured to be on this journey with him".


Setlist: Songwriters fear 35% drop in royalties in 2020
CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including global collecting society grouping CISAC's positive revenue stats for 2019 and very gloomy predictions for 2020, and the news that Harry Styles has invested in a new arena venue in Manchester.

Listen to this episode of Setlist here, and sign up to receive new episodes for free automatically each week through any of these services…

| Apple Podcasts | audioBoom | CastBox | Deezer | Google Play | iHeart | Mixcloud | RSS | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

Village People don't endorse Donald Trump or his dance moves
Earlier this year, The Village People's Victor Willis put out a plea to Donald Trump asking the US President to stop using the band's music at his rallies.

Not only did Trump ignore this request, but recently he's gone viral with his strange dance moves to the band's 'YMCA'. Willis has now critiqued those moves, noting that the president has never attempted the actual actions that go along with the song.

"Donald Trump does what Donald Trump does", Willis told the BBC, when asked about Trump's moves. "I've never seen him actually put his hands up and make the YMCA. He's changed it to M-A-G-A or something".

"I like that fans of all kinds - Democrat or Republican - they all like 'YMCA'", Willis added. "That is something that is very pleasing to me. [But] as far as endorsing Trump, I don't endorse Trump, I've never endorsed Trump, nor has the Village People. So we have been asking him to stop playing our music at his rallies. But as far as copyright law [goes] in the United States, it comes under a blanket licence, [so] he's able to play our music any time he wants".

"I stay out of politics", he said, when asked if he would play the next presidential inauguration. "The group doesn't want to get tied up in any politics".

And who knows, maybe later this week they'll stop being involuntarily tied up in politics.


Milwaukee official apologises for using Cardi B's WAP to promote home insulation offer
A local government official in Milwaukee has apologised after using a still from the promo video for Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's track 'WAP' to promote the Weatherization Assistance Program in the state of Wisconsin. Apparently some people felt that linking that programme to the acclaimed though, in some quarters, slightly controversial song wasn't appropriate.

The Wisconsin WAP "provides energy conservation services in eligible households to help reduce home energy costs and save energy".

In a Facebook post, County Supervisor Ryan Clancy promoted this with a photo of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion while adapting a line from their track to, "there's some holes in this house". The joke did not receive the reception he'd hoped for though, and he later amended his post, stressing that the pop song addition was his doing, and nothing to do the team behind the energy conservation project itself.

Apologising for adding the photo to his original post, he wrote: "My original sharing of this press release contained an image which did not accompany the original text. My embellishment of that press release was meant to draw attention to both this excellent programme and to a song which has at its core a message about empowerment, reclaiming and destigmatisation. It landed badly".

"I'm deeply sorry that this added burdens of time and emotion to the exceptional staff that run this programme", he added. "And I hope that nobody has mistaken my conduct for theirs".

Speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he added: "It's one thing to make a pop reference and try to be cheeky about things. I was gutted that my attempt to do something good ended up hurting people. I'll certainly proceed more carefully with something like that in the future".


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]
CMU helps people to navigate and understand the music business.

We do this through our media, our training and our research, and at a range of music industry events.

CMU Daily covers all the latest news and developments direct by email.

Setlist is a weekly podcast dissecting the biggest music business stories.

CMU Premium gives you access to the CMU Digest and CMU Trends.

CMU Insights is our music business consultancy: supporting the industry.

CMU:DIY is our future talent programme: supporting new music talent.

Pathways Into Music is our programme supporting music educators.

© UnLimited Media, a division of 3CM Enterprises Ltd

UnLimited Media, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

Send press releases to [email protected]

Email advertising queries to [email protected]

Email training and consultancy queries to [email protected]

You can read our Privacy & Data Policy here

[email protected] | [email protected]