TODAY'S TOP STORY: The office of the UK's Information Commissioner confirmed on Friday that it was fining Live Nation's Ticketmaster £1.25 million in relation to a data breach of the ticketing firm's website back in 2018... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Ticketmaster fined £1.25 million over 2018 data breach
LEGAL US government extends deadline for Bytedance to circumvent TikTok ban
DEALS Sony/ATV signs Baby Shark (and some other stuff that isn't Baby Shark)
LIVE BUSINESS StubHub co-founder calls on CMA to force full sale of StubHub
ARTIST NEWS New System Of A Down songs aren't a sign of a new album, says guitarist
Radiophonic Workshop to ride internet latency in new online live performance

ONE LINERS McFly, Gary Barlow, Machine Head, more
AND FINALLY... Dua Lipa set to be playable character in FIFA 21
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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.
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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
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Ticketmaster fined £1.25 million over 2018 data breach
The office of the UK's Information Commissioner confirmed on Friday that it was fining Live Nation's Ticketmaster £1.25 million in relation to a data breach of the ticketing firm's website back in 2018.

Ticketmaster UK confirmed that it had identified a major security breach on its system in late June 2018. At the time the company said the breach was caused by malicious software on a third-party customer support product it used hosted by tech company Inbenta Technologies.

That product was immediately disabled across the firm's websites and all the customers who might have been affected were contacted.

Digital bank Monzo subsequently revealed that it had spotted the breach several months earlier, adding that it had alerted the ticketing firm to the problem on 12 Apr, more than two months before Ticketmaster actually alerted customers to the issue.

In a statement on Friday, the ICO said its investigation had concluded that the data breach occurred because Ticketmaster failed to put appropriate security measures in place to prevent a cyber attack on a chatbot installed on its online payment page. Doing so broke data protection laws, and meant that credit card data for potentially millions of the company's customers were accessed by hackers.

"Investigators found that, as a result of the breach, 60,000 payment cards belonging to Barclays Bank customers had been subjected to known fraud", the ICO added. "Another 6000 cards were replaced by Monzo Bank after it suspected fraudulent use".

Commenting on the fine, the Deputy Information Commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone stated: "When customers handed over their personal details, they expected Ticketmaster to look after them. But they did not. Ticketmaster should have done more to reduce the risk of a cyber attack. Its failure to do so meant that millions of people in the UK and Europe were exposed to potential fraud".

He added: "The £1.25 million fine we've issued today will send a message to other organisations that looking after their customers' personal details safely should be at the top of their agenda".

In its response to the ICO's statement, Ticketmaster confirmed it planned to appeal. Insisting the company "takes fans' data privacy and trust very seriously", it added: "Since Inbenta Technologies was breached in 2018, we have offered our full cooperation to the ICO. We plan to appeal [against] today's announcement".

Ticketmaster also faces civil legal action from customers over the data breach. The lawyer who launched a lawsuit on behalf of 650 allegedly affected ticket-buyers last year, Kingsley Hayes, now with law firm Keller Lenkner, told the BBC this weekend that there was a particularly strong case against the ticketing company because "while several banks tried to alert Ticketmaster of potential fraud, it took an unacceptable nine weeks for action to be taken, exposing an estimated 1.5 million UK customers".


US government extends deadline for Bytedance to circumvent TikTok ban
The US government last week announced that it had extended the deadline for TikTok owner Bytedance to offload its American assets or otherwise deal with concerns in Washington regarding TikTok user data. A new deadline has been set for 27 Nov.

President Donald Trump issued two executive orders against China-based Bytedance back in August. The first, due to come into effect in September, banned Americans from transacting with the Chinese firm. The second, due to come into effect last week, ordered the asset sell-off.

Both orders cited concerns that, because Bytedance is based in China, the Chinese government has access to TikTok's global userbase and user data.

Both Bytedance and three TikTok creators have been trying to get the executive orders paused and ultimately overturned on the basis that, in those orders, Trump was using powers granted to the President by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, but that that act has limitations when it comes to "personal communications" or the sharing of "informational materials".

Meanwhile, concurrent to the legal action, Bytedance has been trying to get approval from Trump's government for a compromise that would see it going into business with American companies Oracle and Walmart. They would have equity in the global Bytedance business, and take responsibility for ensuring the safety of American user-data.

Trump himself initially seemed to approve that deal, although also seemed somewhat confused by what it involved. His government, meanwhile, is yet to formally sign off on the Oracle/Walmart alliance and confirm that, once that deal goes through, the executive orders against Bytedance and TikTok will be cancelled.

Bytedance previously secured an injunction delaying the September ban on Americans using TikTok, but last week returned to court over the second executive order. It said that it had been busy liaising with the US government in recent months seeking approval of its Oracle/Walmart deal, but that so far it had not got a firm answer regarding Team Trump's position.

Seeking another injunction pausing the second executive order, Bytedance said in court last week: "We remain committed to working with the administration – as we have all along – to resolve the issues it has raised, but our legal challenge today is a protection to ensure these discussions can take place".

However, shortly before the second executive order was due to come into force, the US government announced the extension. A spokesperson for the US Treasury Department then told reporters that said extension would allow both parties to "resolve this case in a manner that complies with the order".

Whether another two weeks will be enough for Bytedance to get the approval it needs to keep TikTok operating in the US remains to be seen.


Sony/ATV signs Baby Shark (and some other stuff that isn't Baby Shark)
Sony/ATV has signed a publishing deal to represent 'Baby Shark'. The deal also covers all the other songs in the catalogue of children's brand Pinkfong, but I think it's fair to say that they were of less interest.

"We are THRILLED to partner with Pinkfong as we work to expand the 'Baby Shark' universe across all media", says Cathy Merenda, Sony/ATV Senior Vice President, Broadcast And Media Rights. "Their song has become a global sensation with unlimited potential, and I'm confident we will give Pinkfong and 'Baby Shark' the best opportunities for future success".

See? No mention of any of the other songs. CEO of Pinkfong USA Bin Jeong adds: "'Baby Shark' is beloved by not only children, but also by families all over the world, and we are very excited to be working with Sony/ATV, a company with a wide global footprint and the perfect home for 'Baby Shark'".

'Baby Shark', of course, is just a version of an old US campfire song. So if you're one of the songwriters who actually put some effort into any of the more than 5000 other songs in the Pinkfong catalogue, maybe have a little think about what you're doing with your life.


StubHub co-founder calls on CMA to force full sale of StubHub
A co-founder of StubHub, Jeff Fluhr, has urged the UK's Competition & Markets Authority to force Viagogo to fully divest the StubHub business that it acquired earlier this year. He's also interested in buying his former company. This is all the more interesting because Viagogo is headed up by Eric Baker, the other co-founder of StubHub.

The CMA, of course, has yet to approve Viagogo's $4 billion purchase of StubHub, because of concerns that - if the two companies are combined - they will totally dominate the for-profit ticket resale sector in the UK. The regulator has said that Viagogo will have to commit to a significant divestment of assets and operations owned by the StubHub business, or the Viagogo business, or a combination of the two, in order to allay its concerns.

With the CMA having already concluded that Viagogo selling the StubHub Europe business was not sufficiently significant, the latest proposal is that Viagogo sell off all but StubHub's North American division. Although that's a pretty dramatic proposal, it's no secret that Viagogo's main interest in buying StubHub was because its rival is so much bigger in the US.

Fluhr and Baker co-founded StubHub in San Francisco all the way back in 2000. But Baker was pushed out of the company in 2004, subsequently moving to Europe to set up Viagogo. Fluhr then stayed with StubHub until it was bought by eBay in 2007.

Baker was subsequently reunited with his former company when Viagogo announced last year that it had agreed to buy StubHub from eBay. But could it now be Fluhr who is actually fully reunited with the StubHub business via a regulator-forced sale?

In a recent letter to the CMA, which was made public last week, Fluhr argues that the only way to deal with the regulator's concerns is to block the Viagogo and StubHub merger entirely, ie forcing Viagogo to sell StubHub on. He goes on to argue that any partial divestment of StubHub isn't viable, for both technical and branding reasons.

"The software technology backbone of the StubHub business is complex and multi-faceted", he writes. "The system has many components that interact with one another and require sophisticated orchestration to operate and maintain. This technical interconnectedness means that separating the StubHub business into two parts would be prohibitively onerous and unproductive".

Also, "the StubHub brand is a key asset for the business which has much less value without the brand. It would be untenable for any buyer to share the brand name with the seller. If the StubHub brand were owned by one company in certain geographic markets and a different company in other markets, the experience would be disjointed for consumers. More importantly, the mistakes of one company would damage the brand of the other".

However, if the CMA was to block the Viagogo/StubHub merger outright, forcing a sale of the whole global StubHub business, who might buy it? Well, Fluhr confirms in his letter that he is a potential buyer. Presumably confident that a forced sale of StubHub in the midst of the COVID pandemic and ongoing live industry shutdown would mean any buyer could acquire the company for considerably less than the $4 billion Viagogo paid for it.

Fluhr's letter concludes: "It is important that the CMA take swift action in this matter. This urgency is caused by the significant challenges resulting from COVID-19: In order for StubHub to survive through the pandemic, it needs a clear COVID-19 contingency plan, decisive leadership, a lean team and an optimistic yet patient culture. The longer this process goes on without a clear decision, the harder it will be for the divested entity to pull these pieces together and ensure the availability of this ticket marketplace for UK consumers".


Setlist: Are we headed for a live music dystopia?
CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including Ticketmaster's proposal to use its app to verify that ticketholders have had a COVID-19 vaccination or negative test before attending shows, and the latest twist in the copyright infringement battle between Nirvana and fashion designer Marc Jacobs.

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

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New System Of A Down songs aren't a sign of a new album, says guitarist
If you're thinking that System Of A Down's recent release of new music might be a sign that their first album for fifteen years is on the way, you should probably stop thinking that. Because it's not. Not according to guitarist Daron Malakian anyway.

"It's not that simple, I guess. I wish it was", he told BBC Radio 6 Music. "It should be, but it gets a little bit more complicated than that". Why you might wonder? Well, the guitarist adds, "I don't wanna get into, like, 'Well, it's this person and that person'".

But Malakian has previously said that it is frontman Serj Tankian who has stopped the band from returning - something Tankian himself has actually confirmed. The vocalist seemingly wants to take the group in a less heavy direction and is also not keen on long bouts of touring.

While the two new songs released earlier this month - 'Protect The Land' and 'Genocidal Humanoidz' - offered fans hope that that deadlock had been overcome, seemingly it has not.

Malakian says that the band only reunited to record those two songs in order to raise money for the Armenia Fund charity to support humanitarian efforts following recent fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the self-declared Republic Of Artsakh.

"We did this for a noble reason, and we did this for the right reasons", he said. "We didn't make any money off this - everything we've made from these songs we've donated straight into Armenia Fund".

"So it wasn't like a money grab", he added, "it wasn't trying to get fame and attention, and, 'Hey, we're gonna break the internet', or nothing like that. It was totally for the noble reason of our country needs us, and that was really the driving force and the motivation for this - it wasn't really about, 'Wow, we're so excited to do a new System Of A Down record again'".

"The fact that it happened so smoothly and everything like that, I personally do walk away and say it's a shame that certain things can't come together to make [an album] happen, let's just say", he goes on. "Cos we did do these two songs in a really comfortable, smooth [way]. Everyone got along".

So, yeah, don't sit there waiting for more new music. But you can listen to the two new songs here.


Radiophonic Workshop to ride internet latency in new online live performance
Members of the original BBC Radiophonic Workshop are set to take part in a performance later this month that will take advantage of delays in data travelling around the internet. 'Latency' was apparently inspired by lockdown Zoom calls.

The slight delay in each side of an online chat reaching the other is something most people will be aware of. It makes playing music with others remotely difficult, if not impossible, as each player will be out of sync with the others.

However, the Workshop's Bob Earland and Paddy Kingsland have used this delay to allow them to play live while apart - intentionally not trying to play together, but instead riding that latency.

"We had the bright idea of using that latency to make a loop of music", Earland tells The Observer. "The sound gets sent to someone, and they add to it, and it keeps going round. So you're not relying on everyone being on the same clock".

The performance will take place on 22 Nov at 8pm on the Radiophonic Workshop YouTube channel.



McFly have announced a new subscription service, McFly Total Access. Launching this Friday, it will cost £9.99 per month, giving fans access to all sorts of McFly goodness. Find out more here.



Gary Barlow has released new single 'This Is My Time', taken from his upcoming new solo album 'Music Played By Humans'.

Machine Head have released new single 'My Hands Are Empty'. "I have some family members who have beaten their opioid addiction, and have some still in the throes of addiction", says frontman Robb Flynn about the subject matter of the song. "It is painful to watch, and I deal with it with great difficulty. It is a song of sadness, but there is hope as well. I have beaten my own drug addictions and we can fight through this, together, and share our pain with the world".

Sigur Rós have released 'Stendur Æva' from their upcoming 'Odin's Black Magic' album, which is out on 4 Dec.

Ane Brun has released new single 'Closer'. Her new album, 'How Beauty Holds The Hand Of Sorrow', is out on 27 Nov.

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


Dua Lipa set to be playable character in FIFA 21
Dua Lipa is set to become a playable character in 'FIFA 21', the latest version of EA Sports' long-running football video game.

The singer is one of a number of celebrities set to be added to the game. We know this because fans have examined the code of the latest update. As well as Lipa, others set to feature include DJ Snake, Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, and former footballer David Beckham.

Images of Lipa in the game have also been uncovered, with many people noting how accurately her face has been digitally replicated. This has then been contrasted with the poorer quality representations of some actual footballers, including Manchester United's Mason Greenwood.

The Blessed Madonna remix of Dua Lipa's track 'Love Is Religion' features on the 'FIFA 21' soundtrack, which goes some way to explaining why she's in the game at all.


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.
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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.
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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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