|MONDAY 12 JUNE 2023||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The mother of Migos member Takeoff has filed a negligence lawsuit against the Houston bowling alley where the rapper was killed last year.... [READ MORE]|
Takeoff's mother sues Houston venue where the rapper was killed
Takeoff - real name Kirsnick Khari Ball - was shot dead during an altercation that occurred outside Houston's 810 Billiards & Bowling in the early hours of 1 Nov. The rapper himself was not involved in the altercation.
Houston police explained last year that the rapper, and his bandmate and uncle Quavo, had been at a private party at the venue. "There was a lucrative dice game that went on at the event", Sergeant Michael Burrow told reporters. "There was an argument that happened afterwards outside the bowling alley, which led to the shooting".
He added: "I can tell you that Takeoff was not involved in playing the dice game, he was not involved in the argument that happened outside, he was not armed. He was an innocent bystander".
The lawsuit filed by Ball's mother Titania Davenport claims that the owners of 810 Billiards & Bowling did not provide sufficient security personnel on the night of the shooting.
It alleges that the venue's management had been advised that extra security would be required for the event. However, the venue "provided no screening mechanisms, no after-hour controls or security measures, and no enforcement of rules or industry standards to deter crime against their invitees".
According to Variety, the lawsuit continues: "Defendants knew that based on the nature of the party, celebrities would more likely than not be in attendance and potentially be the targets of crime. Defendants negligently represented proper security would be in place, when in fact none was; this caused many people to come to the event without concern".
The lawsuit seeks in excess of $1 million in damages. The man accused of shooting Ball - Patrick Xavier Clark - was formally indicted on a murder charge by a grand jury last month.
Epic and Apple both want the Ninth Circuit to reconsider its App Store judgement
This is the big bust up over Apple's App Store rules, particularly the rules that force app-makers to take in-app payments on iOS devices via Apple's own commission-charging transactions system, while also banning the signposting of alternative payment options online.
Fortnite maker Epic - like many other app-makers, especially Spotify - argues that these rules are anti-competitive. However, when Epic sued Apple through the Californian courts arguing that the tech giant was in breach of US competition law by enforcing its App Store rules, the judge rejected those arguments.
Although, Epic had more success when it comes to the rule against sign-posting alternative payment options, what is often referred to as the anti-steering provision. The gaming firm said that that violated California's unfair competition law and - on that point - the judge agreed.
Both sides in the dispute appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which then upheld most of the original judgement in April this year. But Epic continues to argue that Apple is in breach of US competition law, while Apple continues to insist its anti-steering provisions do not violate Californian state law.
To that end both companies last week filed new legal papers with the Ninth Circuit requesting that the appeals court consider the case a second time. That could mean the same judges sitting down to do some reconsidering, or even better - both Epic and Apple reckon - it could be an en banc rehearing, which would involve more judges.
Reviewing April's ruling in the Ninth Circuit, Epic states: "The conflict between the panel's ruling and prior precedent involves important legal questions, the stakes here are uniquely high, and the outcome is plainly unsustainable. En banc review is warranted".
"The panel decision conflicts with circuit precedent on whether conduct determined to be reasonable under the [US-wide competition] laws may be enjoined as 'unfair' under California's Unfair Competition Law", Apple's submission reckons. "Rehearing is necessary to secure and maintain uniformity of decision on these issues of exceptional importance".
Judge cuts back lawsuit against Warner Music over international royalty deductions
At the core of the litigation filed by Orleans members John Hall and Lance Hoppen is a common gripe in the artist community: record companies allowing their foreign subsidiaries to make deductions on digital income and then calculating the artist royalty based on what is received by the label in the artist's home country after those deductions. Which obviously reduces the total payout to the artist.
Hall and Hoppen also claimed in their lawsuit that bad communication on the part of the major meant they had previously assumed their artist royalty on streams was being calculated based on 'at-source income', ie what the major was paid by the streaming service, not what was received by the home label after the foreign subsidiaries had taken their cut. Which meant they hadn't been prompted to take action on this before.
After the two musicians went legal on all this last June, Warner tried to have the case dismissed. And last week the judge overseeing the dispute accepted some of the arguments presented by the major, in doing so cutting some specific legal claims from Hall and Hoppen's lawsuit. She also said that only the Warner Music parent company and the label Orleans specifically signed to - Elektra - can be listed as defendants. Hall and Hoppen had also listed a number of other Warner labels.
However, some of the musicians' claims still stand. For example, wrote the judge, while the band's 1974 record contract "did not give the plaintiffs a right to the streaming royalties they seek, it did impose an obligation on [Warner/Elektra] to provide the plaintiffs with royalty statements, which then triggered a time-limited opportunity to contest the calculation of the payments".
"The plaintiffs argue that the defendants prepared those royalty statements in bad faith, to conceal inter-company charges and avoid contestation based on the deduction of those charges. Assuming that there was at least some possibility that the plaintiffs could have obtained higher payments if they had known about and contested the inter-company charges, then that would amount to a plausible claim of violation of the duty of good faith and fair dealing".
We await to see how this dispute now moves forward.
Music industry's copyright battle with US net firm RCN moves into mediation
RCN is one of a number of American ISPs sued by the music industry for not doing enough to tackle copyright infringement on their networks. A flurry of net firms had lawsuits filed against them after the majors successfully sued Cox Communications, winning a billion dollars in damages.
In all the cases, the music firms have argued that the ISPs did not do enough to deal with repeat infringers among their customer bases to benefit from the copyright safe harbour, which is meant to shield internet companies from copyright liabilities. As a result, those ISPs could be held liable for the infringement of their customers.
Pretty much all the targeted ISPs initially fought back. Like RCN, many accused the labels and the anti-piracy agencies they employ of bad conduct when it comes to the monitoring of copyright infringement on any one ISP's network, and the issuing of copyright notices to the net firms when infringement is spotted. But those arguments haven't really worked in court, with the judge dismissing a counterclaim to that effect pursued by RCN.
More recently some of the targeted ISPs have been looking to settle. In a recent update to the court overseeing the music industry's lawsuit against RCN, a legal rep for the majors stated: "The parties previously engaged in mediation concerning this case and a related case. More recently, the parties have communicated directly about the possibility of settlement but are not currently engaged in settlement discussions. The parties are open to discussing potential settlement avenues with the court".
Those discussions seemingly took place last week, because on Thursday the court issued a mediation order which noted that "mediation would conserve the resources and be in the best interests of the court and the parties". It also named a mediator.
The court then ordered that: "This civil action be and hereby is referred to mediation by consent of the parties. Counsel and the parties shall participate in mediation and shall cooperate with the mediator: Hon Freda L Wolfson. Counsel and the parties (including individuals with settlement authority) shall attend mediation sessions as requested by the mediator".
We await to see if mediation does indeed result in an out of court settlement.
Robbie Williams invests in Tickets For Good
"Supporting access to the arts is a cause close to my heart", says Williams. "The magic of live entertainment is something everyone should be able to benefit from, so I'm THRILLED to be working with Tickets For Good".
Founder and CEO of the company Stephen Rimmer adds: "As we continue to build the Tickets For Good offering, to have backing from one of our country's most-loved entertainers in Robbie is a welcome endorsement of our work. Our expanded group of heavyweight investors underlines the strength of our mission-driven business strategy and, as we evolve with the next phase of our plans, their support and insight will be invaluable".
Founded in 2019, Tickets For Good has to date processed over 300,000 free or discounted tickets for events across music, sport, theatre, comedy and more. In many cases, users are only required to pay a £3.95 booking fee. Robbie Williams was already one of the artists offering tickets through the service.
Spotify selling Soundtrap, testing offline mix
"Soundtrap was built to provide the best collaboration platform for making music online", says co-founder Per Emanuelsson in a statement. "Together with Soundtrap's co-founder, Björn Melinder, we've made the decision to acquire the company from Spotify, returning to an independent operation".
"Over the last five years, we've greatly benefitted from Spotify's expertise and global reach, enabling us to rapidly scale our service and launch new products", he goes on. "We thank Spotify for helping to set us on the trajectory we're on today and are very excited for the future".
Spotify's Global Head Of Music Product, Charlie Hellman, adds: "Soundtrap continues to make great strides in enabling more people to make music collaboratively online. We're proud of what we've achieved together and are excited to see Soundtrap's next phase of growth over the coming years".
Launched in 2013, Soundtrap's web-based recording software was acquired by Spotify in 2017 for an undisclosed sum and remained a standalone business. Originally aimed at grassroots music-makers and schools, in 2019 it added functionality designed for podcasters, because, you know, that was when Spotify was going big on podcasts.
It's not the first time Spotify has sold back a company it had previously acquired that provided services for music-makers. In 2021, it sold SoundBetter - a platform for connecting music-making collaborators, which it had bought in 2019 - back to its founders.
Elsewhere in Spotify news, the streaming service is testing a new 'offline mix' feature, which would automatically download a collection of recently played songs to your phone for when you find yourself without an internet connection but want to listen to some music. Or, as Spotify puts it, "for when the vibe is high but the connection is low".
The streaming service's CEO Daniel Ek tweeted that "we've been testing out a new feature called 'Your Offline Mix' - a playlist designed for those times when you might not be online".
He added an emoji suggesting that this was intended for when you're flying. Although in that situation you might have planned ahead and already manually downloaded some playlists for offline listening. This new feature seems more useful for times when you're unexpectedly caught without connection.
Based on Ek's tweet, it appears that the mix will automatically load around three and half hours of music to your phone.
This is actually something Spotify has been working on for a number of years. Engineer Jane Manchun Wong uncovered the feature back in 2020. Why it would take three years to implement a relatively simple thing isn't clear. Although, presumably, the COVID pandemic made it less of a priority.
Bring Me The Horizon announce new album and 2024 tour dates
The band will release their seventh album 'Human: Next Gen' on 12 Jan, by which time they will already have kicked off a run of UK and Ireland tour dates. Tickets for those shows go on general sale this Friday.
A range of limited edition physical editions of the album on cassette, CD and vinyl are already available to pre-order from the band's website.
Here are the tour dates:
9 Jan: Cardiff International Arena
Patti Smith joins Greta Thunberg's final school strike
"This is Greta Thunberg, faithfully taking her Friday school strike for climate action", wrote Smith in a post on Instagram. "She graduates today, and we extend our gratitude and congratulation".
In a second post, Smith added that she was "privileged to join the activists for climate action" and to get "a moment with the bold and benevolent leader".
Writing on Twitter, Thunberg said: "When I started striking in 2018 I could never have expected that it would lead to anything. After striking every day for three weeks, we were a small group of children who decided to continue doing this every Friday. And we did, which is how Fridays For Future was formed".
"We who can speak up have a duty to do so", she concluded. "In order to change everything, we need everyone. I'll continue to protest on Fridays, even though it's not technically 'school striking'. We simply have no other option than to do everything we possibly can. The fight has only just begun".
Thunberg began her weekly climate protest outside Sweden's parliament in 2018, aged fifteen. Now 20, she finishes her secondary education a year later than a typical Swedish student, as she took a year out in order to more widely campaign for action on climate change.
Smith was in Stockholm to play two shows at the city's Filadelfia Convention Center venue.