TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Chair of Parliament's culture select committee has said that he will happily name and shame anyone in the music industry found to be pressuring artists or songwriters - or anyone else for that matter - to not speak out as part of his ongoing inquiry into the economics of streaming... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Culture select committee chair says he will name and shame anyone trying to stop artists from speaking out about streaming
LEGAL Court rules in favour of the record industry in Spinrilla dispute
Lady A fight back against Lady A's attempt to have trademark battle moved to Washington court

LABELS & PUBLISHERS New central London entertainment complex announces BPI partnership
LIVE BUSINESS AEG to run new music venue at Olympia London
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES SoundCloud CEO stands down, replaced by current President
ONE LINERS Matador, Capitol, Wu-Tang Clan & Texas, more
AND FINALLY... "Copyright troll" barred from practising law after repeated court violations
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email [email protected] or call 020 7099 9060.
Ninja Tune is seeking an enthusiastic and driven Marketing Assistant, to support its UK based team on a full- time basis. This is a perfect opportunity for someone looking for an entry level role into the music industry, eager to learn and does not mind rolling up their sleeves, to get things done in a team environment. Please note this role is admin based.

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FKP Scorpio is looking for someone to lead the marketing team, creating and managing marketing campaigns for concerts, tours and festivals across the UK, plus overseeing and coordinating marketing for our European Touring division.

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Erased Tapes is currently seeking a highly organised Production Assistant to support the company Director and Production Manager in their regular administrative duties. The chosen candidate will assist with the production and distribution of Erased Tapes products (digital and physical), including vinyl records, CDs, and label merchandise.

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Secretly Distribution is looking for a Digital Content Manager to be based in London (this position will be work from home until further notice).

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Juno is looking for an experienced music equipment service and support assistant to assist with product testing, customer support and related administration.

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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.

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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
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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.
Tuesday 2 Feb 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Streaming now accounts for more than half of recorded music revenues worldwide - and in many countries it's much bigger than that. Get fully up to speed on all the key trends and developments in the global streaming music market in this super timely webinar.
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The streaming business is complex in terms of how services are licensed, and how artists and songwriters get paid. Get to grips with it all via our concise user-friendly guide to digital licensing and streaming royalties - explained in full in just ten steps.
Tuesday 16 Feb 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Streaming is a revenue share game, with digital dollars shared out each month between artists, songwriters, labels and publishers. We explain how the money is currently split up and talk through why some people in the industry believe a different approach is needed.
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How do artists go about building a fanbase in 2020? In this webinar we'll talk through the fanbase building process, from when artists are working truly DIY, through the involvement of different music industry business partners like management, distributors, labels, promoters and specialist agencies.
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NEW! Artist And Songwriter Rights In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the rights artists and songwriters enjoy over their music
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
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Culture select committee chair says he will name and shame anyone trying to stop artists from speaking out about streaming
The Chair of Parliament's culture select committee has said that he will happily name and shame anyone in the music industry found to be pressuring artists or songwriters - or anyone else for that matter - to not speak out as part of his ongoing inquiry into the economics of streaming.

It follows remarks by Nadine Shah at last week's oral hearing in which she said that she knew of some artists nervous of criticising the current streaming business model because they still need the support of streaming platforms and/or major labels.

The select committee announced that it would investigate the ins and outs of music streaming in October, basically responding to the recent #brokenrecord and #fixstreaming campaigns that have criticised the way the streaming business is structured and how streaming monies are shared out between platforms, labels, publishers, artists, songwriters and session musicians.

Whenever the streaming business model is debated, it's usually the platforms or the major record companies that tend to get the most criticism, particularly if those businesses are not actually represented in said debate. At the first artist-centric oral hearing of the select committee's inquiry last week the majors were most heavily criticised, as MPs dissected record contracts and the way labels pay artists royalties.

Shah was one of four artists to give evidence at the select committee's first hearing. She said that many artists were struggling to make a living from their music and felt that music-makers did not earn enough from the streaming of their songs and recordings, but didn't want to complain in public because they didn't want to "lose favour" with the big streaming platforms and major record companies.

In a statement yesterday, committee Chair Julian Knight MP said that he had now been told by multiple sources that some people were reluctant to speak out "because they fear action may be taken against them if they speak in public".

Knight then stated: "I would like to say that we would take a very dim view if we had any evidence of anyone interfering with witnesses to one of our inquiries. No one should suffer any detriment for speaking to a parliamentary committee and anyone deliberately causing harm to one of our witnesses would be in danger of being in contempt of this house".

He then added: "This committee will brook no such interference and will not hesitate to name and shame anyone proven to be involved in such activity. Anyone who wants to come forward to speak on this issue or any other issues should get in touch with the committee and will be treated in confidence".

Although oral hearings have begun in this inquiry, written submissions are still being accepted until 11 Dec. And while usually any submissions made to a select committee are subsequently made public, confidential submissions can be made where there is "good reason".


Court rules in favour of the record industry in Spinrilla dispute
A US court has ruled in favour of the major record companies on various points in their legal battle with mixtape sharing platform Spinrilla. The judge overseeing the case ruled that Spinrilla is liable for direct copyright infringement for facilitating the streaming of thousands of unlicensed tracks controlled by the majors, and that it cannot rely on safe harbour protection to avoid the liability, at least not for streams that took place before July 2017.

When the majors first went legal against the mixtape service in 2017, Spinrilla quickly hit back, arguing that previously it had enjoyed good relationships with the labels now suing it, some of which recognised the promo value of having tracks featured in unofficial mixtapes. As a result of those good relationships, it added, it had also previously removed mixes when labels said they did not want their tracks to appear.

In subsequent legal filings, Spinrilla argued that it was not directly liable for any copyright infringement, nor for the infringement of its users who had uploaded mixes to its platform containing unlicensed tracks. The latter argument relied on the good old copyright safe harbour contained in the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which protects internet companies from liability for infringement when their users upload unlicensed content to their networks or servers.

Safe harbour protection requires internet firms to remove unlicensed content at the request of a copyright owner and to have a policy for dealing with repeat infringers among its user base. But Spinrilla argued it did both of those things, even working with an audio ID company approved by the record industry.

There has been plenty of back and forth between the labels and Spinrilla as the litigation has gone through the motions, with the latter also countersuing over allegations the former had submitted dodgy takedown requests violating their obligations under the DMCA.

Both sides ultimately requested a summary judgement in their favour. And on Monday the judge issued a summary judgement mainly favouring the labels. She said that, by allowing mixtapes containing unlicensed tracks to be streamed via its platform, Spinrilla was liable for direct infringement.

It couldn't rely on safe harbour protection because at the point the majors went legal it hadn't completed all the formalities required under the DMCA, including registering as a DMCA agent with the US Copyright Office, and having and enforcing a repeat infringer policy.

The majors actually argue that Spinrilla should not enjoy safe harbour protection for unlicensed music streamed on its platform after July 2017, mainly on the basis that the company's repeat infringer policy is not properly enforced. Though the judge said she didn't need to rule on that argument, because it's not directly relevant to the case which mainly centres on tracks uploaded to the Spinrilla platform prior to July 2017.

Needless to say, the Recording Industry Association Of America has welcomed to ruling. Its Chief Legal Officer Kenneth L Doroshow said yesterday: "We are gratified by the court's decision, which sends a message that online streaming providers cannot hide behind the actions of their users to avoid their own liability for copyright infringement that occurs through their systems".

"The decision also reaffirms that merely characterising unauthorised copies of sound recordings as 'mixtapes' does not make them any less infringing than any other unauthorised uses of copyrighted works", he added. "The court got it exactly right on several key points of copyright law in the digital streaming context, and we hope that it serves as a lodestar for other courts and service providers alike".


Lady A fight back against Lady A's attempt to have trademark battle moved to Washington court
Lady A(ntebellum) have asked a Nashville court to block attempts by Lady A(nita White) to have a trademark case over their shared name moved to Washington. The band argue that White has failed to show any good reasons to move the case to her home state.

In a court filing this week, the band criticise White for first filing a "coercive" countersuit against them, and then arguing for their initial lawsuit against her to be moved to Washington. They argue that the case should stay in Tennessee, "where the lion's share of [the band's] commercialisation of the Lady A mark originates".

"Ms White fails to make a sufficient showing to justify transfer", they say. "The majority of the parties are in Tennessee, and some of Ms White's potential witnesses reside in Mississippi - far closer than Washington".

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 continue 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 registered 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 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, in a legal filing last month, White argued that this should not happen in her case because the band's litigation was "an improper anticipatory" lawsuit filed in order to try to deny the singer "her choice of forum".

A decision is yet to be made, but the band want the court to either move White's case to Tennessee or dismiss it outright.


New central London entertainment complex announces BPI partnership
A new central London entertainment complex called Outernet has announced a partnership with record industry trade body BPI. The deal will give things like the BRIT Awards, BRIT School, Mercury Prize and National Album Day exposure through Outernet's entertainment programme, plus a BPI Recording Studio will be launched offering free studio space for new talent.

The new complex will be situated next to the revamped Tottenham Court Road tube station and will include a number of performance spaces, aiming to bring culture and entertainment back to an area of central London that has lost a lot of venues and other music-related businesses over the last decade.

Confirming the tie-up with the BPI, Outernet Global CEO Philip O'Ferrall says: "I am immensely proud of our partnership with the BPI and it will mean that we can support and nurture the music industry in a variety of new and exciting ways. Whether that be championing the UK music community and new talent on Denmark Street through the pro-bono studio or presenting elements of major shows like the world famous BRIT Awards on our screens designed for creating iconic cultural moments and brand showcases, we are confident that together we can do great things".

Meanwhile BPI boss Geoff Taylor adds: "Record labels work at the heart of music, investing in new talent and helping it reach the widest possible audience. BPI supports that role through platforms such as The BRITs, the Mercury Prize and National Album Day. This new partnership with Outernet will amplify that promotion of British music, and give up and coming new talent free access to professional facilities to hone their creativity".


AEG to run new music venue at Olympia London
London's Olympia conference centre has announced a deal with live music giant AEG which will run a new venue that is being added as part of major redevelopment of the events complex.

Owners of the centre say that that £1.3 billion redevelopment project will "create a new cultural hub" that includes a new arthouse cinema, theatre and a 4400 capacity live music venue. It's the latter that will be run by AEG. New shops, restaurants and hotels will also be added to the complex, and deals have also been announced this week with hotel firms Hyatt and citizenM.

MD of Olympia London, Nigel Nathan, says: "We're incredibly excited to have these fantastic brands joining us as our new onsite neighbours. Collectively we're creating richer experiences and more opportunities for all our customers and visitors that we host at our iconic London venue".

AEG already operates the O2 complex on the east side of London, and the Hammersmith Apollo which, like Olympia, is on the west side of the capital.

Confirming his company's involvement in the Olympia redevelopment, AEG Presents CEO Steve Homer adds: "This is a very exciting opportunity. Olympia is steeped in British music history as far back as Jimi Hendrix in the 60s. AEG Presents are delighted to be part of the new development and we plan to create more iconic shows for London audiences".


SoundCloud CEO stands down, replaced by current President
SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor has announced that she will stand down from that role next month. The company's current President Michael Weissman will then be promoted to the top job.

Trainor and Weissman became CEO and COO of SoundCloud respectively back in 2017 after a significant new investment in the business brought an end to months of speculation that the digital firm was about to go under. The duo had previously worked together at video platform Vimeo.

Prior to 2017, SoundCloud had been increasingly pushing into the consumer-facing streaming market, with ad sales and consumer subscriptions becoming new revenue streams alongside income from selling services to creators. Those moves came after SoundCloud agreed licensing deals with the music industry, which had become increasingly tetchy about the unlicensed music on the firm's platform.

However, despite having a significant catalogue of music and sizeable userbase, going head-to-head with the likes Spotify and Apple Music - who both have much deeper pockets - was very challenging indeed. And while those consumer-facing products are still part of the SoundCloud business, since Trainor and Weissman took over the company has refocussed its efforts of selling services to creators.

Confirming that she was now standing down as CEO, but would remain on SoundCloud's board, Trainor said: "Leading this platform and incredible global team through these transformational years has been an immense privilege. It is a great joy to name - and confirm with the SoundCloud board - my partner and friend, Mike Weissman, as my successor. I look forward to continuing to work with Mike and the team as a member of the board".

Commenting on the latest executive rejig, Soundcloud founder Alexander Ljung, who moved from CEO to Chair of the board back in 2017, added: "It's been over thirteen years since we founded SoundCloud and Kerry and Mike's leadership has been transformative in many ways. SoundCloud has always been one of the world's most important cultural platforms, but the last three years have shown that it is also a fantastic business. I am excited to watch Mike lead SoundCloud's next chapter and I am THRILLED Kerry will remain engaged as a member of our board".


CMU Insights: Webinars on music copyright, streaming and fanbase building
CMU's weekly webinars will continue in 2021 with three sessions on music copyright, three sessions on streaming and three sessions on fanbase building.

The Music Copyright Webinar Series in January provides an introduction to copyright law in general and music copyright in particular, explains the different kinds of music licensing, and runs through the key music rights data points that ensure everyone gets paid.

The Streaming Explained Webinar Series in February provides an introduction to the digital music market in 2021, how streaming services are licensed by the music industry, and how streaming income is shared out across the music community each month.

The Building A Fanbase Webinar Series in February and March looks at how new artists go about building a fanbase, the different marketing tools available, the importance of fan data, and the role of different music industry business partners in the fanbase building process.

You can book into individual webinars for just £25 - or get a ticket for any one of the three series of sessions for just £60. It's a great way to start the new year fully up to speed with the inner workings of the music business.

Click here for full info on all our upcoming webinars.


Matador Records has acquired the complete global catalogue rights for Interpol, Pavement and Spoon, three artists it has worked with long-term already.



Larry Mattera has been appointed General Manager of Universal's Capitol Records. "Larry is a forward-thinking and highly experienced music executive who's been at the forefront of innovative approaches to marketing music his entire career", says CEO Jeff Vaughn.



Like most people, barely a week goes by when I don't long for Wu-Tang Clan and Texas to reprise their 1998 BRITs collaboration. Well, it looks like 2020 is turning around, because that day has finally come! Here's 'Hi'.

Phoebe Bridgers has released a video for 'Savior Complex' that's only directed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. They have very similar names, don't they? It stars Paul Mescal, whose name is less similar to theirs, which spoils it. A 'P' is not enough!

Melanie C has released new single 'Into You'. "I love this track", she says. "It makes me want to throw myself around the dancefloor, which is obviously something none of us can do at the moment, so I don't know whether that's the right thing to say! Hopefully everyone will be back on the dancefloor soon, jumping around to this".

Greentea Peng has released new single 'Spells'. "I guess this one explores the idea of tribalism and the want/illusion or desire to please everyone, thus gain acceptance", she says. "The process of travelling through that and coming out of the other end rather comfortable in yourself".

A Winged Victory For The Sullen have announced that they will release new album 'Invisible Cities' on 26 Feb. Here's new single, 'Desires Are Already Memories'.

Esther Rose has released new single 'Keeps Me Running', her first for Full Time Hobby.

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


"Copyright troll" barred from practising law after repeated court violations
American lawyer Richard Liebowitz, who was dubbed a "copyright troll" by one judge last year, has been suspended from practising law in New York's Southern District for violating court orders and repeatedly lying under oath.

Liebowitz has made a name for himself in recent years by filing hundreds of lawsuits on behalf of independent photographers. Generally, he has targeted large online companies, accusing them of unlawfully using his clients' images, although he has gone after some celebrities too - last year settling a case with Justin Bieber over an image posted to Instagram.

While the lawyer has said that he is simply protecting the rights of photographers whose images get used with licence, he has often drawn ire from the courts. A judge in one case called him a "known copyright troll" and ordered the attorney to attend a training course on "ethics and professionalism". He has also been sanctioned by courts numerous times.

In one case this summer, he was ordered to pay $100,000 in sanctions for various violations, including falsely claiming that the copyright in the image he was suing over had been formally registered when the case was filed. In the US, of course, works need to be registered with the Copyright Office to get full protection under law.

The judge in that case also said that, given Liebowitz's "deplorable record", he should be referred to the court's Grievance Committee. That committee has now considered the case, and deemed that Leibowitz should be barred from practising law in the Southern District, initially on a temporary basis.

In its ruling, according to Law360, the committee said: "After careful deliberation, the committee is unanimously of the view that the charges are strongly supported by the record. What is more, the committee is unanimously of the view that interim disciplinary measures against [Leibowitz] must be put in place immediately".

"The record in this case - which includes [Leibowitz's] repeated disregard for orders from this court and his unwillingness to change despite nineteen formal sanctions and scores of other admonishments and warnings from judges across the country - leads the committee to the view that recurrence is highly likely".

In a separate case over the lawyer's failure to adhere to court orders this week, it was actually ruled that Leibowitz would not receive any further sanctions. But only because the judge overseeing the case reckoned "it is far from clear that there is any additional sanction that would serve to deter him" from failing to comply with the court.

It remains to be seen if barring him from practising law entirely proves to be any kind of deterrent.


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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