|THURSDAY 6 APRIL 2023||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: More information was published this morning about this year's TGE Conference, the programme for music industry delegates that sits at the heart of The Great Escape showcase festival in Brighton. This includes details about panels being presented by TGE's industry partners this year, plus confirmation that professional development programme Elevate will return once again... [READ MORE]|
Elevate Programme and Partner Panels confirmed for Great Escape Conference 2023
There are a number of strands to the TGE Conference, including the CMU+TGE Sessions, which put the spotlight on three key themes each year, this time education, deals and the creator economy. CMU curates and hosts a full day of presentations, interviews, case studies and discussions on each of those themes. The schedules for each day were published back in February, and another batch of speakers taking part have been confirmed today.
Other strands include the keynote conversations - which this year will see YolanDa Brown, Michelle Escoffery, Smade and Ticketmaster's David Marcus, among others, take to the stage - plus the Elevate Programme and the Partner Programme.
The Partner Programme is a series of panels, parties and networking events presented by TGE's industry partners - putting the focus on more industry topics and providing opportunities to meet other delegates. Partners presenting panels this year include BPI, Carousel, Horus Music, Music Declares Emergency, Music Support, PPL, PRS Foundation, PRS For Music, Sounds Australia and Unhurd.
Plus, on the Saturday morning, the Music Industry Therapist Collective will present a session exploring the unique challenges and stressors of working in the live music business. Building on Tamsin Embleton's recently published book 'Touring & Mental Health: The Music Industry Manual', this session will "help contextualise how artists, agents, managers, promoters, venue and festival staff and other live music professionals can put the book's advice into action".
Commenting on this particular partner panel, Rory Bett, CEO of TGE promoter Mama Festivals, says: "The music business is placing an increasing emphasis on mental health, and the challenges for artists and their teams on the road can be really demanding. 'Touring & Mental Health: The Music Industry Manual' is a great resource for everyone in the live music business so I am proud to welcome the MITC team to The Great Escape to help highlight this important topic".
Meanwhile, Radiohead's Philip Selway, a longtime supporter of the Music Industry Therapist Collective, says: "Workshops like this equipped me with the tools and awareness to feel more confident in reaching out to those who may be struggling with their mental health in the industry, and can really help us all navigate the darker moments and the bumps in the road out on tour".
The Elevate Programme is a professional development initiative for early-career music business executives and entrepreneurs, and aspiring music-makers, presented by The Great Escape and CMU, and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
There are two components to Elevate - a Super Delegate programme and the Elevate Sessions on Saturday - both of which return for 2023.
This year's Great Escape takes place from 10-13 May. To get access to all the strands of the conference - plus priority access to the festival - get yourself a delegate pass here.
French court upholds ruling against Google over ticket tout ads
Secondary ticketing platforms like Viagogo and StubHub have long used Google advertising to promote tickets being sold by touts on their respective sites.
Campaigners argue that, because many consumers don't realise that the top results in a Google search are often there because the featured website paid for the top ranking, they assume those sites are the official sellers of tickets to a show. But, of course, the opposite is actually true, with the official sellers often appearing lower down the page.
Facing a bit of a backlash as online ticket touting became ever more controversial, Google did start telling secondary ticketing platforms using its ad services that they had to better communicate the unofficial status of their sellers.
However, many campaigners argue that the web giant has not gone far enough in ensuring consumers are not confused into buying touted tickets at a higher price which could be canceled by a show's promoter.
In France, where the law is particularly strict when it comes to the unofficial sale of tickets to shows, essentially banning the practice, live industry trade group PRODISS went to court a few years ago to confirm that those laws meant Google should not allow secondary ticketing sites to advertise on their search engine in France.
In 2020, a court in Paris confirmed that is indeed the case. However, Google appealed that ruling. But the French appeal courts have now upheld the earlier decision, and also ordered Google to pay €300,000 in damages for failing to comply with the rules.
Welcoming the latest ruling, PRODISS CEO Malika Séguineau says: "This is a landmark decision for us. We are very pleased that the Court Of Appeal has ruled in favour of protecting the rights of the promoters and the rights of the audience. After several previous decisions against illegal platforms over the last years, this is another step in the right direction to ensure a fair, safe, and legal process for ticket sales in France".
Meanwhile Sam Shemtob, director of the pan-European anti-touting campaign FEAT, adds: "This is a big win for those of us who want to see tickets in the hands of fans and not sold on by price-gouging touts. Rightfully, a lot of fans' anger gets focussed on the resale platforms themselves, but Google is a major player in steering people away from face value tickets sold by the primary seller, even when there are still tickets available. The clearer Google's role becomes for all to see, the better".
BPI welcomes judgement in counterfeit vinyl prosecution
Richard Hutter pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement after a trading standards team in Dorset discovered he was selling counterfeit records via eBay and a website in the US.
He initially claimed that he had acquired the copyright infringing products at record fairs around Europe and didn't know they were not official releases. However, when officers checked Hutter's mobile phone they found conversations where he was trying to arrange for counterfeit vinyl to be made to pair with record sleeves from elsewhere.
In court, Recorder Richard Tutt said Hutter's crimes were aggravated by him using his son and wife's bank accounts to take payments from the sale of the vinyl, and therefore involving his family in his copyright infringing enterprise. However, Tutt did also acknowledge that Hutter immediately shut down his operation after being contacted by trading standards.
The court heard that Hutter benefitted to the tune of £1.2 million from his bootleg disc selling venture but that only £373,589 was still available. That sum will now be forfeited under the Proceeds Of Crime Act. Meanwhile, Hutter was handed a four month prison sentence suspended for two years, and must complete 250 hours of unpaid work within twelve months and will be subject to an electronically monitored curfew between 8pm and 7am for three months.
Welcoming this outcome, Paola Monaldi - Head of the BPI's Content Protection Unit, which assisted on this investigation - yesterday confirmed that, with the vinyl revival, the sale of counterfeit records has become a bigger issue again. "Vinyl has seen an incredible comeback in the past few years, with around 5.5 million LPs purchased in the UK alone in 2022", he said. "Sadly, this renaissance has been accompanied by a disturbing rise in bootlegging and sales of unauthorised recordings".
"This is a serious crime that denies artists the rewards for their creativity, exploits fans, and impacts legitimate retail and the record labels that invest in music - but worse, it can feed into other forms of criminality that can impact us all", he went on. "Over the last three years the BPI has delisted over 100,000 fake items from marketplace platforms and seized over three million counterfeit units across the UK - which underlines the scale of the problem".
On this week's ruling in the Bournemouth court, he added: "On behalf of the BPI and its members, I wish to thank Dorset Trading Standards and all the involved authorities for their valued efforts in closing down this criminal operation. We continue to work closely with online platforms and law enforcement agencies to uncover illicit operations and protect the interests of creators, consumers, and music outlets".
Faber Music buys Manners McDade
Founded by Catherine Manners in 2001, the agency side of Manners McDade represents a roster of music-makers who compose and create music for film, TV, advertising and games, including Oli Julian, Jessica Jones, Vince Pope and Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch. They will now join Faber's own roster of composers and musicians.
The deal also covers publishing catalogues that include music by the likes of Nils Frahm, Max Cooper, Poppy Ackroyd, Aisha Devi, Büsra Kayikçi and Balmorhea.
The Manners McDade brand will continue to be used following the deal, with the firm's Harriet Moss set to head up that unit within Faber Music, joined by her current creative team.
Confirming all this, Faber Music's Commercial Rights & Business Affairs Director Richard Paine says: "In Manners McDade Catherine Manners has created a composer-centred business that has legions of admirers here and overseas. Perfect synergies exist between the company and our own composer agency and commercial rights business, including shared beliefs in the values of creativity, integrity and fierce independence. We look forward to building on Catherine's amazing legacy".
BBC announces documentaries on Little Richard and Kae Tempest
'Little Richard: King And Queen Of Rock N Roll' will examine the life and career of the rock n roll musician, featuring interviews with Ringo Starr, Keith Richards, Nile Rodgers and Big Freedia, as well as a previously unaired interview with Little Richard himself.
Shot over several years, the Kae Tempest documentary offers a glimpse into the life and creative process of the poet, rapper and playwright.
Suzy Klein, Head Of Arts And Classical Music TV, says: "'Arena' is back with a focus on the icons, works, people and moments we think we all know, but where there are still rich and surprising stories to tell".
"I hope audiences will be as gripped by this latest series of films as we are", she goes on, "and I'm so proud to be working with some of the UK's leading filmmakers at the height of their careers, championing the best of British documentary-making".
Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor of the series adds: "Creativity is at the heart of 'Arena' - and here we have some intriguing cultural subjects paired with a set of brilliant directors, and the resulting films are surprising, bold, and highly individual".
The documentaries are set to air this spring.
Chai release new single We The Female
"We are human and were born as female, but we have both female and male aspects in each of our souls, each with our own sense of balance", says bassist Yuuki. "We can't just label ourselves into clear-cut, simple categories anymore! I'm not anyone else but just 'me', and you are no one else but just 'you'. This song celebrates that with a roar! Yooooooooo!"
Since the release of their third album 'Wink' two years ago, Chai have released a number of standalone singles, including Superorganism collaboration 'Hero Journey'.
Indigo De Souza releases new single ahead of third album
"I wrote 'You Can Be Mean' about a brief toxic experience I had with a manipulative and abusive LA model fuckboy", she says. "However brief, it had a life-long impact on my understanding of self".
"Leading up to that experience, I had a history of putting myself in toxic situations and pining for validation from people who treated me poorly. I was stuck in some delusion that I could help abusive people through their trauma and teach them to love me in the way I deserved".
"I wrote this song when I finally realised that I could choose not to allow harmful behaviour into my life, and that there is a deep, deep importance in protecting the body and spirit", she goes on. "I stopped caring about validation from assholes, stopped thinking it was my responsibility to help them, and started caring for myself in a real way".
"Once I made that switch in my psyche, I began to manifest truly loving, safe, kind, and communicative people into my life. Being loved in the way I deserve begins with loving myself in the way I deserve. Boundaries are so important. The body is a sacred and fragile thing and it deserves every ounce of care".
Speaking about the album as a whole, she adds: "Up until recently, my life felt chaotic. Now, so much of the chaos is behind me. I have an incredible community, I love where I live, and I'm surrounded by truly incredible people who are dedicated to deep connection and joy. My music feels like it's coming from a centred place of reflection".
With the album out on 28 Apr, you can catch De Souza live supporting Japanese Breakfast at the Roundhouse in London on 27 Jun.
Diddy claims that Sting makes $5000 a day from I'll Be Watching You
This all arose after the website Black Millionaires dredged up an old interview with Sting in which he was asked to confirm reports from 2014 that Diddy was paying him $2000 a day.
Speaking to Power 105.1 in 2018, Sting confirmed he was indeed receiving those monies, adding that Diddy would have to hand over that amount "for the rest of his life". Though, he insisted, the two musicians are nevertheless "very good friends now".
Diddy, never wanting to be outdone, replied to this new report on the old interview to deny the claim, saying: "Nope. 5k a day".
If that's the case, Diddy is now handing over more than $1.8 million a year to Sting in relation to that one track. Which is quite a lot of money.
It's also a variable amount. Despite Sting's suggestion that Diddy simply had to hand over $2000 a day for the rest of his life, what were actually talking about here is the publishing royalties stemming from Diddy's 1993 track.
The 20 year old hit prominently sampled 'I'll Be Watching You' and also interpolated the vocal melody from the Police song. None of which Diddy thought to clear before releasing his record.
Sting - as you might expect - was not best pleased and sued. As a result he took not just a cut of the copyright in the Diddy song, but 100% of the song royalties. And despite not directly appearing on the Diddy track, Sting is listed as its sole songwriter.
So, Diddy isn't actually writing a cheque for $2000 or $5000 a day to Sting and popping it in the post. It's just that all the publishing royalties from 'I'll Be Watching You' go direct to Sting. Well, to his publisher Universal.
What's actually impressive here isn't that Sting receives large sums of money from plays of 'I'll Be Watching You'. It's Diddy's claim that the song is right now bringing in more than twice as much in publishing royalties than it was in 2014 when the $2000 a day claim was first made.
Was that figure actually undervaluing the Diddy hit back then? Or is this just another sign of the streaming boom? Maybe both.