TODAY'S TOP STORY: Bad Bunny is being sued by an ex-girlfriend over a voice recording she provided to the singer before his rise to fame which, she says, he has now used on two of his tracks without permission... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Bad Bunny sued for $40 million by ex-girlfriend over uncleared voice recording
LEGAL Three men found guilty of murdering XXXTentacion
Ticketmaster's arbitration procedure dubbed "non-traditional" and "Kafkaesque"

LABELS & PUBLISHERS Warner Chappell partners with Limited Edition Music to develop emerging songwriters
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES TikTok refreshes Community Guidelines as BBC employees told not to use app on work devices
MEDIA Tim's Twitter Listening Party heads to Absolute Radio
ONE LINERS Norah Jones, The Halls Wolverhampton, Scrimshire, more
AND FINALLY... Bruce Springsteen, Jose Feliciano and Gladys Knight to receive US National Medal Of Arts
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Bad Bunny sued for $40 million by ex-girlfriend over uncleared voice recording
Bad Bunny is being sued by an ex-girlfriend over a voice recording she provided to the singer before his rise to fame which, she says, he has now used on two of his tracks without permission.

Carliz De La Cruz Hernández and Bad Bunny, real name Benito Martínez Ocasio, became a couple in 2011. At one point they planned to marry, but they ultimately parted ways as his music career started to take off and she began studying at the University Of Puerto Rico's law school.

In the short recording at the heart of this legal battle De La Cruz says "Bad Bunny, baby". She apparently recorded the line at Martínez's request when they were still a couple. It subsequently appeared in his tracks 'Pa Ti' in 2016 and 'Dos Mil 16' in 2022.

De La Cruz says that she never granted permission for the recording to be used in the two tracks or any other media. And not only that, ahead of the release of the album on which 'Dos Mil 16' appears, reps for Martínez allegedly offered her $2000 for the rights in the clip. But she specifically declined to do that deal.

"Since De La Cruz made it clear that she did not consent to its use", the lawsuit says, according to Pitchfork, "its publication constituted an act of gross negligence, bad faith, and, worse still, an attack on her privacy, morals, and dignity".

Martínez's uncleared use of the voice recording has also resulted in thousands of people commenting about the 'Bad Bunny, baby' line on De La Cruz's social media, the lawsuit adds, resulting in her feeling "worried, anguished, intimidated, overwhelmed and anxious".

The lawsuit, filed with the courts in Puerto Rico earlier this month, is seeking a neat $40 million in damages. Martínez is yet to comment on the legal proceedings.


Three men found guilty of murdering XXXTentacion
Three men were yesterday found guilty of first-degree murder in relation to the 2018 killing of rapper XXXTentacion.

During a month long trial, the jury heard that Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams and Trayvon Newsome had set out to commit robberies in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on the day of the murder. They saw XXXTentacion, real name Jahseh Onfroy, at a motorcycle shop where Williams planned to buy a mask before committing their crimes. That's when they decided to target the rapper.

Having confirmed it was indeed Onfroy, the three men went back to the SUV they had rented and waited for the rapper to emerge so they could ambush him.

CCTV footage showed two masked gunmen - identified as Boatwright and Newsome - confront Onfroy. Boatwright then shot the rapper repeatedly before grabbing a Louis Vuitton bag he was carrying which contained cash recently withdrawn from the bank.

Prosecutors put forward an assortment of CCTV footage when presenting their case, as well as videos filmed on the defendants' own phones. They also utilised the testimony of a fourth man involved in the crime, Robert Allen, who pleaded guilty to second degree murder last year.

Boatwright, Williams and Newsome are yet to be sentenced, but face life sentences under Florida law. A legal rep for Williams claimed his client did not get a fair trial, in part casting doubt on the reliability of Allen's testimony.

The lawyer had also wanted Drake to testify as part of the trial because of his public feud with Onfroy. That didn't happen, however, after Drake's legal reps successfully argued that their was nothing to suggest their client had any link to or knowledge of the murder.


Ticketmaster's arbitration procedure dubbed "non-traditional" and "Kafkaesque"
Ticketmaster's use of arbitration to deal with aggrieved customers is back in the spotlight, with a new legal filing taking aim at the Live Nation ticketing company's choice of arbitrator. Seeking to demonstrate how arbitration via the company New Era unfairly favours Ticketmaster, plaintiffs argue that its arbitration process is "non-traditional" and "Kafkaesque".

The terms and conditions of the Ticketmaster platform force aggrieved customers to take their grievances to private arbitration rather than pursuing litigation through the courts.

This means that whenever a customer tries to sue the ticketing firm - especially if it's a lawsuit accusing Ticketmaster of anti-competitive conduct - Live Nation's lawyers just show the judge overseeing the case said terms and conditions, and request that the plaintiff be sent in the direction of their chosen arbitrator.

Various American customers have tried to circumvent that obligation, usually by arguing that no one ever reads Ticketmaster's terms and conditions. But judges have generally concluded that the ticketing outfit has sufficiently sign-posted its small print for those terms to be considered binding, read or not.

With that in mind, some of the customers seeking to sue Ticketmaster have started taking aim instead at the company's current choice of arbitrator, which changed not so long ago from a company called JAMS to a company called New Era.

Ticketmaster argues that New Era is better set up to deal with complaints where there are lots of concurrent complainants, as is common in the ticketing market. But many of those complainants reckon that New Era is, in fact, biased in favour of the ticketing company.

"Defendants Live Nation's and Ticketmaster's original arbitration agreement, which this court enforced, called for traditional, bilateral arbitration between each consumer and defendants before JAMS", said legal filing states. However, when Live Nation "realised that many consumers would pursue traditional arbitration rather than giving up, defendants attempted to change the rules mid-stream".

"Consumers, with barely any notice of the new rules, simply by continuing to use defendants' websites, were subjected to a non-traditional, Kafkaesque arbitration procedure designed by defendants to deter filing claims", it then claims. "The abrupt way defendants imposed the new arbitration procedure is procedurally unconscionable, and the new arbitration procedure is also substantively unconscionable".

Outlining its issues with that procedure in more detail, the legal filing goes on: "Plaintiffs pay 100% of the marginal cost and must prove their case in the face of absurd limitations on documents (ten total), briefing page lengths (five), witnesses (two to three), and discovery (none). All cases are consolidated before one arbitrator who can reject all cases based on dispositive issues at once (with no discovery, ten documents, and one five-page brief)".

"But if plaintiffs survive on dispositive issues, then defendants can litigate individual issues seriatim, virtually indefinitely, producing a controlled drip of final decisions to reduce the pressure on defendants", it then claims.

"If a plaintiff wins injunctive relief, defendants have a one-sided right of appeal de novo to a different arbitral forum (while denials of injunctive relief are unreviewable). In short, defendants can win efficiently, but can only lose after plaintiffs incur unprecedentedly tendentious inefficiencies".

"The Federal Arbitration Act does not preempt California unconscionability law", the legal filing then argues. "Indeed, defendants' rules present a process so different from the bilateral arbitration protected by the FAA that it does not apply to this process at all. Defendants' motion to compel arbitration should be denied".

We await to see if the judge in this particular Ticketmaster dispute concurs.


Warner Chappell partners with Limited Edition Music to develop emerging songwriters
Warner Chappell in the US has announced an alliance with Limited Edition Music, a new music publishing business headed up by former Warner Chappell exec Mark Wilson and current Warner Chappell exec Greg Sowders. Making the Warner Chappell tie-up somewhat predictable.

The two companies say that they will work together to sign and develop emerging songwriters in the alternative, rock, pop and alternative country genres. And why the hell not?

"Greg has been a key fixture at Warner Chappell for more than three decades and has dedicated his career to building out a star-studded alternative and rock roster", says Warner Chappell CEO Guy Moot. "This is the perfect opportunity for him to continue to lead those efforts while also working with more emerging writers alongside Marc".

Sowders adds: "I've been a part of the Warner Chappell family for over 30 years, and I'm ready to continue this amazing journey by re-uniting with my long-time friend and creative partner Marc Wilson. Limited Edition Music will be a home for emerging artists and writers, within the incredible WCM ecosystem. I can't imagine a better place to launch Limited Edition Music, while staying fully dedicated to Warner Chappell. Our band just got even better!"

The first signings to Limited Edition Music are Emmyn Calleiro from the band Games We Play and country artist Bailey Callahan.


TikTok refreshes Community Guidelines as BBC employees told not to use app on work devices
TikTok has announced a refresh of its Community Guidelines, which are the rules that govern how the video-sharing app deals with harmful content, ie videos that might be offensive, unlawful or abusive, or which may contain misinformation.

The company has also shared what it's calling its Community Principles which, it says, will "help people understand our decisions about how we work to keep TikTok safe and build trust in our approach". These principles, it adds, "are based on our commitment to uphold human rights and are aligned with international legal frameworks".

TikTok consulted more than 100 organisations around the world as part of the refresh. Among the changes are enhanced rules regarding content created or modified by AI technologies; the addition of 'tribe' as a protected attribute in the company's hate speech and hateful behaviour policies; and greater detail about how TikTok seeks to protect "civic and election integrity".

User-upload platforms have come under increased pressure in recent years, from both law-makers and advertisers, to better tackle the harmful content that is routinely uploaded to their platforms. There have also been calls for more transparency regarding each platform's moderation and content removal systems, including from creators who often complain that their content is sometimes blocked or demonetised without good reason.

"We're proud to be sharing these refreshed Community Guidelines offering our community much more transparency about our rules and how we enforce them", TikTok says. "It takes a whole village to keep people safe online, so we're grateful to everyone in the TikTok community and to all of the external experts who have contributed and continue to help us advance our rules and stay a step ahead of emerging threats".

"We believe that everyone deserves to feel safe online and that feeling safe is key to unlocking imagination and creative expression", it adds. "That's why we continue to invest in our work to keep TikTok a safe, inclusive and authentic home for our global community, so that they can create, discover and connect".

TikTok's latest bid to prove it is definitely a responsible digital platform comes as the political pressure continues to mount over concerns the Chinese government has access to the app's user-data via its China-based owner Bytedance.

After a flurry of governments told their employees to not use TikTok on official devices, now media organisations are following suit. The BBC yesterday told its staff to not use the app on their work devices after Denmark's public service broadcaster made a similar request of its employees earlier this month.

However, the BBC will continue to use TikTok for editorial and marketing purposes despite the ban on employees using the app. For it's part, TikTok continues to deny there are any issues with data security on its platform.


Tim's Twitter Listening Party heads to Absolute Radio
Tim's Twitter Listening Party - the online album playback series launched by Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess during lockdown - is to become a radio show. A move I think we can all agree took a lot longer than it should have. Anyway, it will air over six weeks on Absolute Radio this summer.

"After three years online, it's exciting to be bringing The Listening Party to the radio airwaves with Absolute Radio", says Burgess. "We've got some ace albums and brilliant guests lined up".

Those there mentioned guests set to join Burgess on Sunday evenings from 10pm until midnight, starting 26 Mar, include The Kinks - running through their new compilation 'The Journey Part 1' - and Fall Out Boy - looking at their new album 'So Much (For) Stardust'.

Absolute Radio's Content Director Paul Sylvester comments: "Tim's Listening Party has become a phenomenon. Giving audiences the chance to listen to the music and conversation while engaging with other fans on social media ties everything together. It fits perfectly with Absolute Radio's specialist and storytelling strategy, and we can't wait to work with Tim to get the show on-air".

Meanwhile, Tim's Twitter Listening Party continues to run daily on, well, Twitter. Being chatted about tonight is Trampolene's 'Rules of Love And War'. Find out more here.


Approved: Pö
A member of Uganda's Nyege Nyege experimental music collective, Pö - real name Pauline Bedarida - has just released her debut solo album 'Cociage'.

A wildly experimental collection of electronic tracks, all held together by her distinct voice, she described the record to Dazed as sounding like "fishing into a worldwide mycorrhizal-electrical network of sounds crawling in the collective consciousness and fructifying in my mouth as heavily twisted-out-of-shape yet somewhat audible edibles".

Now, that last sentence may not have made any sense to you, but if you listen to the album (which I'm telling you that you should), it will start to become clearer. Maybe not clear, but certainly clearer.

Watch the video for the album's title track 'Conciage' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.


AEG Presents has appointed Crissie Rushton as General Manager of The Halls Wolverhampton. She worked for the venue in its previous incarnation as Wolverhampton Civic Halls for over two decades. "I have loved being a part of this extraordinary venue for more than 23 years and am delighted to be continuing my journey with The Halls Wolverhampton as part of the team at AEG Presents", she says. "As the venue prepares to reopen its doors in June, I am excited to play a role in this next chapter as we re-establish The Halls as the home of live entertainment in the West Midlands for generations to come".

Various Artists Management has appointed Joe Etchells as Head Of A&R And Artist Development. He joins from EMI, where he was A&R Director. "Joe has been a long-time collaborator and friend of both Various Artists and the individuals within it for many years", says CEO David Bianchi. "When we were looking for A&R expertise that could traverse management, publishing and records, Joe was the obvious choice. His recent form has been incredible and he joins us at an exciting time to be able to continue that success".



Scrimshire will release new album 'Paroxysm' on 26 May. Out now is new single 'Unforgotten, Unforgiven', of which he says: "This is dedicated to the politicians who have forced refugees into life-threatening decisions. Pushing people into the hands of traffickers, into small boats and too many beneath the waves of our seas. Who force the lives of men, women and children into more danger, in the hope of escaping war, poverty and persecution only to meet more cruelty and persecution. It won't be forgotten and it won't be forgiven".

Jain has announced that she will release her second album 'The Fool' on 21 Apr. Here's the title track.

Psykhi has released new single 'Dry'.



Norah Jones has announced UK and Ireland tour dates in November. The run includes a show at the London Palladium on 11 Nov. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.

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


Bruce Springsteen, Jose Feliciano and Gladys Knight to receive US National Medal Of Arts
Bruce Springsteen, Jose Feliciano and Gladys Knight will be among the recipients of the US National Medal Of Arts later today, in recognition of their work to make the arts in the States just so bloody great. President Joe Biden will do the official badge pinning and probably say well done and all that.

"The National Medal Of Arts recipients have helped to define and enrich our nation's cultural legacy through their life long passionate commitment", says National Endowment For The Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. "We are a better nation because of their contributions. Their work helps us see the world in different ways. It inspires us to reach our full potential and recognise our common humanity. I join the President in congratulating and thanking them".

The National Medal Of Arts was created by US Congress in 1984 and somehow none of these musicians have received it before. I mean, come on, Bruce Springsteen? You'd think he'd get the first one, no?

Anyway, this oversight will be rectified this afternoon. Also among those receiving the medal today are actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mindy Kaling, businessman and LGBTQI+ advocate Fred Eychaner, artists Judith Francisca Baca and Antonio Martorell-Cardona, and fashion designer Vera Wang.

The whole ceremony will kick off at 8.30pm UK time and will be livestreamed here.


ANDY MALT heads up our editorial operations, overseeing the CMU Dailywebsite and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
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CHRIS COOKE is co-Founder and MD of CMU - he continues to write key business news stories, and runs training, research and event projects for the CMU Insights consultancy unit and CMU:DIY future talent programme.
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SAM TAYLOR leads on the commerical side of CMU, overseeing sales, sponsorship and business development, as well as heading up training, research and event projects at our consultancy unit CMU Insights.
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CARO MOSES is Editor of CMU's sister media ThisWeek Culture and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh. Having previously also written and edited articles for CMU, she continues to advise and support our operations.
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