TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Supreme Court in New Zealand has ruled that MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the US to face criminal copyright infringement charges in relation to his long-defunct file-transfer platform. However, in something of a mixed bag ruling, the top court also provided Dotcom and his former colleagues with an extra route of appeal before any extradition actually takes place... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES New Zealand Supreme Court says MegaUpload's Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the US, but also provides one more appeal option
LEGAL Former Slipknot percussionist dismisses lawsuit against the band
Lady A fights to keep legal action against Lady A in Washington
LABELS & PUBLISHERS IMPALA and CMU partner to launch digital intelligence facility One Step Ahead
AWARDS Grammys take world music global with award category name change
Nominations for Ivors Composer Awards announced

ONE LINERS Tencent, Youth Music, James Vincent McMorrow, more
AND FINALLY... Kanye West concedes defeat in presidential election
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New Zealand Supreme Court says MegaUpload's Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the US, but also provides one more appeal option
The Supreme Court in New Zealand has ruled that MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the US to face criminal copyright infringement charges in relation to his long-defunct file-transfer platform. However, in something of a mixed bag ruling, the top court also provided Dotcom and his former colleagues with an extra route of appeal before any extradition actually takes place.

Authorities in the US have been trying to extradite Dotcom ever since they shut down MegaUpload on copyright grounds back in 2012. Dotcom's lawyers have argued that there are no grounds for extraditing their client, mainly because the extradition treaty between the US and New Zealand does not cover copyright infringement.

However, prosecutors have countered that Dotcom et al's alleged facilitation of copyright infringement via the MegaUpload business was sufficient to constitute fraud, which is covered by the two countries' extradition agreement.

A district court initially sided with the prosecutors and said Dotcom could be extradited back in 2015. However, the MegaUpload founder then began a series of appeals working his way up the court hierarchy. New Zealand's Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in late 2018.

In a long ruling published earlier today, the top court says that twelve of the thirteen charges made against Dotcom satisfy obligations under New Zealand law to allow extradition. Which in theory means he and his former MegaUpload colleagues can be extradited to the US.

Not quite though. Not yet. Earlier in the appeals process, the Dotcom side sought a judicial review of the original district court ruling in 2015, based on the argument that procedural and substantive errors were made during that initial hearing.

Lower courts declined to allow that judicial review to take place on the basis such a thing would be an "abuse of process". However, the Supreme Court says that the lower courts were wrong to deny the judicial review.

With that in mind, the court said in a statement this morning: "The court allowed the appeals in the judicial review proceedings. It has directed the parties to file brief submissions identifying the issues that remain outstanding in the judicial review proceedings and setting out their view as to which court should resolve these issues".

So, that's one more technicality that will further delay efforts by the US to get Dotcom into an American courtroom. Even if the judicial review fails, the actual extradition would then have to be signed off by New Zealand's justice minister. And his decision would also be subject to judicial review.

This whole saga is definitely not over yet then. Although, in the main, the Supreme Court's overall judgement was not favourable to Dotcom.

Commenting on the judgement, Dotcom's lawyer Ron Mansfield stated: "For the Dotcom team, and especially for Kim and his family, it is a mixed bag. There is no final determination that he is to go to the United States. However, the court has not accepted our important copyright argument and in our view has made significant determinations that will have an immediate and chilling impact on the internet".

On the positive side of today's ruling, Mansfield added: "The court has accepted - correctly - that we should be able to argue that the serious procedural issues that have arisen in this case can and should be argued. This means there will be further argument in the Court Of Appeal and/or the Supreme Court regarding these significant concerns that are well established in the evidence".

"This is significant", the lawyer added, "and means that nothing further can happen until the further required hearings take place. Kim stays here, at home, with his family".


Former Slipknot percussionist dismisses lawsuit against the band
Former Slipknot percussionist Chris Fehn has moved to withdraw his lawsuit against the band, the two sides seemingly having reached a settlement.

Fehn went legal in March last year, claiming that he had been cut out of income he was due from touring and merch. In the lawsuit, he said he'd previously been led to believe that all revenues generated by the band's touring and merch activity was channelled through one company and then divided up among band members.

However, he said, prior to launching his lawsuit he had discovered that some of his bandmates – including frontman Corey Taylor and fellow percussionist Shawn Crahan – had set up other companies to receive some of this money, which - he argued - meant he was being deprived of his share of some of that income.

A member of Slipknot since 1998, Fehn was fired after filing his lawsuit, and did not appear on the band's latest album, 'We Are Not Your Kind'.

With a settlement having seemingly been agreed, court documents filed last week move for a dismissal of the case "with prejudice", which means Fehn cannot refile the same claim at a later date. However, details of what settlement has been agreed in order to bring the dispute to a close have not been revealed.


Lady A fights to keep legal action against Lady A in Washington
Blues singer Lady A is fighting to keep alive her lawsuit filed with the federal courts in Washington state against the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum. The band is seeking to have that case dismissed entirely or alternatively moved to Tennessee, where they filed a preemptive case against her.

Lady Antebellum announced in June that they were changing their name, due to the word antebellum's associations with the slave trade. The new name they chose was Lady A, a nickname they said that many fans already used. However, they were quickly criticised by blues singer Anita White, who has been performing under that name for more than 20 years.

Initial discussions attempting to resolve the issue appeared positive, with an agreement struck that would allow both parties to use the name and see the band offer a certain amount of career support to White.

However, Lady A the singer wasn't happy with the written agreement that came out of those discussions. She then hired new legal representation which wrote an alternative agreement, allegedly including a $10 million pay off for their client - significantly more than the originally agreed $10,000.

Having received that proposal, Lady A the band went legal in July, arguing that they own the trademark in the name and have done so for a decade.

Lady A the singer then filed her own lawsuit in September, arguing that she had "accrued common law rights" in the name simply by using it for so long.

The problem for White now is that she did not sue first. Under US court rules, where two suits are very similar, the later-filed case is generally transferred to the district where the first was filed.

However, White argues that this should not happen in her case because the band's legal filing was "an improper anticipatory" lawsuit filed in order to try to deny the singer "her choice of forum". The band, when attempting to have White's case dismissed or transferred last month, argued that her filing was "an obvious attempt at forum shopping".

In a new filing, White's attorneys argue: "As Lady Antebellum acknowledges, Ms White has moved to dismiss the Tennessee action for lack of personal jurisdiction and on the ground that it is an improper anticipatory lawsuit. If Ms White is successful on these arguments, which is likely, then there effectively is no first-filed action to justify dismissal".

The band are yet to respond to this latest motion, although it seems unlikely that they will support it.


IMPALA and CMU partner to launch digital intelligence facility One Step Ahead
Pan-European trade group IMPALA - which supports and represents independent music companies across Europe - has today announced a new partnership with CMU's consultancy unit, CMU Insights.

Together IMPALA and CMU are launching One Step Ahead, a new digital intelligence facility that will enable independent music companies across Europe to navigate and identify trends, developments, challenges and opportunities in the digital music market.

Led by IMPALA's digital committee and informed by a pan-European network of leading experts from across the music and digital industries, One Step Ahead will provide reports, tools and training to help independent music businesses of all sizes to get the most out of today's digital opportunities in Europe.

Confirming the launch of One Step Ahead, Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA, said this morning: "Responsible for 80% of new releases in Europe, independent music companies are the pioneers and innovators in the music sector. One of IMPALA's roles is to ensure that they are able to punch above their weight and maintain their position as leaders of the digital market. The One Step Ahead project is all about building on that and growing national markets in Europe".

Meanwhile, Larry Bringsjord, who heads up the Norwegian independent labels association FONO and is Chair of IMPALA's digital committee, added: "IMPALA's digital committee has worked hard to put this project together. We're now all set and look forward to working on this with CMU. We believe there are many untapped opportunities for the digital business to grow significantly in Europe's national markets and our job is to maximise that".

Commenting on the new initiative for CMU, Founder and MD Chris Cooke stated: "We have been tracking and telling the story of digital music ever since the first platforms emerged in the 1990s. With the digital market now diversifying, it's never been more important to stay on top of all the latest developments. It's really exciting to be able to work with IMPALA to do that on an ongoing basis across Europe".

CMU's Project Director Sam Taylor added: "With One Step Ahead, we will be tapping into our extensive network of music and digital experts across the whole of Europe. Our reports will dive deep on the big topics of the moment and we'll also be providing regular insights and advice on the wider market. The aim is to provide a holistic view of the digital music industry, and ensure that the European independent music community knows everything it needs to know to stay one step ahead".


CMU Trends: Artist And Songwriter Rights In Relation To Recordings And Songs
Another ten step guide has been added to the CMU Trends library today, accessible to all premium CMU subscribers.

CMU Trends is a series of guides that explain the inner workings of the music industry, and analyse key developments in the music business. We add new guides on a regular basis, delving into new topics, and summarising all the latest trends.

The new guide is all about the rights artists and songwriters enjoy over their music even and especially when they no longer own the copyright in the songs and recordings they helped create.

It's very common in the music industry for artists and songwriters to assign their copyrights to record labels, music publishers and collecting societies. That means they no longer own the copyright in their work.

However, those artists and songwriters still have contractual rights, moral rights and performer rights that allow them to earn from and control the use of their music to an extent. This guide explains how all that works.

Premium subscribers can access this latest CMU Trends guide here. To go premium for just £5 a month click here.


Grammys take world music global with award category name change
Organisers of the Grammy Awards have announced that they are changing the name of their Best World Music Album category to Best Global Music Album. The new name, they reckon, will remove "connotations of colonialism".

"As we continue to embrace a truly global mindset, we update our language to reflect a more appropriate categorisation that seeks to engage and celebrate the current scope of music from around the world", says a statement from Grammy producers the US Recording Academy.

"Over the summer we held discussions with artists, ethnomusicologists and linguists from around the world who determined that there was an opportunity to update the Best World Music Album category toward a more relevant, modern, and inclusive term", it goes on.

"The change", it adds, "symbolises a departure from the connotations of colonialism, folk, and 'non-American' that the former term embodied while adapting to current listening trends and cultural evolution among the diverse communities it may represent".

You could probably argue that changing 'world' to 'global' doesn't really do much, if any, of that, and the rebrand is basically just confusing. However, this is the latest in a series of efforts by the Grammys to counteract accusations of racism. Earlier this year, a number of category names were changed, several of them removing the term 'urban'.

Nominations for next year's Grammys are set to be announced on 24 Nov. The ceremony itself will be broadcast on 31 Jan 2021.


Nominations for Ivors Composer Awards announced
The nominees for this year's Ivors Composer Awards have been announced. Formerly known as the British Composer Awards, they shouldn't be confused with the Ivor Novello Awards. Although they are Ivor Novello Awards. Sort of. Just different Ivor Novello Awards. So that should all be clear now.

No, come on, let's do this properly. It is all quite simple really. The main Ivor Novello Awards ceremony, which took place in September, is more focussed on pop music, whereas the Ivors Composer Awards recognise people who make proper music, like classical and jazz. Classical music does sometimes get nominated for the main Ivor Novello Awards, but it's all soundtrack stuff, so basically pop. Now we're definitely clear.

Look, just think of it like this: The main Ivor Novello Awards are for songwriters and the Ivors Composer Awards are for composers. Easy. I know you sometimes like to call songwriters composers, but that's because you're an arse. Ed Sheeran will never win anything at the Ivors Composer Awards, but all the winners at the Ivors Composer Awards get Ivor Novello Awards. It really is very simple.

Now in their eighteenth year (if you include when they were called the British Composer Awards, which you should), the Ivors Composer Awards this year adopted a blind judging process. That has resulted in 50% of nominees being up for awards for the first time. The winners will be announced on BBC Radio 3 on 1 Dec.

Chair of The Ivors Academy's Awards Committee, Gary Carpenter, says: "The works nominated for this year's Composer Awards perfectly illustrate how contemporary classical, jazz and sound arts respond to the world around us and shape our understanding of the contradictions, uncertainties and hopes that create the fabric of our lives".

"On behalf of music creators and The Ivors Academy I would like to congratulate all nominees on their achievement", he adds. "As our world feels increasingly uncertain, we must treasure what makes life so wonderful – music, inspiration and escape".

Here are all the nominees:

Chamber Orchestral
Robin Haigh - Grin
Sally Beamish - Hover
Ryan Wigglesworth - Piano Concerto
Stuart Macrae - Prometheus Symphony
Josephine Stephenson - Une Saison En Enfer

Cheryl Frances-Hoad - Bogoróditse Dévo, Ráduysi
Rachel Portman - Earth Song
Bernard Hughes - I Sing Of Love
Richard Blackford - Pietà
Michael Finnissy - Pious Anthems And Voluntaries

Community and Participation
Anne Dudley - I Am Alban
Oliver Vibrans - More Up
Judith Weir - The Big Picture
Bushra El-Turk - Tuqus
Paul Rissmann - What Do You Do With An Idea?

Jazz Composition For Large Ensemble
Tom Haines - A Tall Tale
Charlie Bates - Crepuscule
Jonny Mansfield - Present
Sam Eastmond - The Pink Shagpile Carpet Story aka The King Of Spank
Jelly Cleaver - What Is Understanding

Jazz Composition For Small Ensemble
Alex Hitchcock - Calvados
Matt London - Elemental Utterances
Calum Gourley - New Ears Suite
Renell Shaw - The Vision They Had
Mark Lockheart - Weird Weather

Large Chamber
Claire M Singer - Gleann Ciúin
Oliver Leith - Honey Siren
Richard Ayres - No 50 (The Garden)
Rebecca Saunders - Scar
Edmund Finnis - The Centre Is Everywhere

Large Orchestral
Mark Simpson - Clarinet Concerto
Joe Cutler - Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii
Jonny Greenwood - Horror Vacui
Jasper Dommett - Night Music
Emily Howard - The Anvil

Small Chamber
Robert Laidlow - Aroha
Elena Langer - It's Not You, It's Me
Amir Konjani - Kraken Cello Concertante
Timothy Cooper - ...Shadows That In Darkness Dwell...
Daniel Fardon - Six Movements

Solo or Duo
Newton Armstrong - A Line Alongside Itself
Thomas Gibbs - Cloud Engine
Gareth Moorscraft - Diaries Of The Early Worm
Harrison Birtwistle - Duet For Eight Strings
Georgia Denham - Kindly, Softly

Sound Art
Sophie Cooper - Intact
Caroline Devine - On Common Ground
Khyam Allami - Requiem For The 21st Century
Olivia Louvel - The Sculptor Speaks
Kathy Hinde - Twittering Machines

Stage Works
Conor Mitchell - Abomination: A Dup Opera
Philip Venables - Denis & Katya
Gabriel Prokofiev - A Sense Of Time



Chinese web giant Tencent has announced a new deal with music publisher Peermusic via its Tencent Music business. Among other things, the deal covers Tencent's own streaming platforms QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing. "Peermusic's long and impressive track record of success as the largest independent music publisher in the world, whose catalogues include some of the music industry's greatest songwriters, makes them an ideal partner for us", says Tencent.



Music charity Youth Music has announced that 31 music businesses in the UK have been granted up to £30,000 each to improve access to sustainable creative careers for people aged 18-25. The grants come from the charity's Incubator Fund. Recipients include jazz group Ezra Collective, the No Signal radio station, the Liverpool Sound City festival, and record label Young Thugs.



James Vincent McMorrow has released new single 'Gone'. "No song or lyric I've ever written has come as close to this one at capturing how I feel about life, how I hear it, my fear of it, my obsession with it, my belligerent belief that I can control it, my quiet acknowledgment in the middle of the night that I will never control a single thing", he says. "And there's nothing wrong with any of it. There's absolute beauty in embracing the chaos and the decay. I know I was exhausted pretending everything was all right".

The Anchoress has announced that she will release new album 'The Art Of Losing' on 5 Mar 2021. From it, this is new single 'Show Your Face'. She is also set to play London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on 10 Jul next year.

Andy And The Oddsocks have released a cover of Sham 69's 'The Kids Are United' for this year's Anti-Bullying Week. Proceeds will go to the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

Takykardia have released new single 'Ode To Angst'. "I'm done with not talking about 'private stuff', because with 'private stuff' comes shame, and with shame comes loneliness", says frontwoman Luna Matz of the inspiration for the song. "I missed out on so much of my youth because of anxiety".



Nominations for this year's Scottish Alternative Music Awards have been announced, with artists including Taahliah, Callum Easter and Dead Pony all up for prizes. A virtual ceremony will take place on Twitch on 18 Nov, with performances from Walt Disco and recent Scottish Album Of The Year Award winner Nova. Full details here.

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


Kanye West concedes defeat in presidential election
Kanye West has conceded defeat in the US presidential election. Whatever happens today, Kanye West will not be declared the 46th president of the United States Of America.

The rapper was always an unlikely winner - not least because he wasn't standing in enough states to win. Just after 5am UK time, he tweeted "WELP", followed by "KANYE 2024" (later deleting it and reposting without the "WELP"). And with that, it was all over.

As well as being the first time West had stood for president, this election was also the first where he had voted. Giddy with the feeling of doing his civic duty, West tweeted the whole process, including showing his ballot paper.

In some states that's illegal - four years ago Justin Timberlake risked a jail sentence by posting a selfie in a Tennessee voting booth. Luckily for West though, in Wyoming, where he voted, photos are allowed, so long as you're not causing a disruption.

Of course, by posting his ballot paper, West also revealed who he was voting for. The photo of his voting slip confirmed the intention he had announced earlier in the day, saying: "Today I am voting for the first time in my life for the president of the United States, and it's for someone I truly trust... me".

With Kanye out of the race, it now seems that the next US president will be either Donald Trump or Joe Biden.


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.
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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.
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