TODAY'S TOP STORY: The US Supreme Court has declined to consider the Genius v Google litigation, which means a lower court ruling - dismissing the lawsuit filed by the former accusing the latter of stealing lyrics off its website - now stands. A legal rep for Genius, perhaps unsurprisingly, said the Supreme Court's decision keeps in place a dangerous precedent set in the lower courts... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES US Supreme Court declines to consider Genius v Google dispute
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Sony Music launches AWAL in India after OKListen acquisition
LIVE BUSINESS Festival Republic secures deal to stage Wireless in London's Finsbury Park through to 2027
100+ artists pledge to boycott venues that employ facial recognition technology
GIGS & FESTIVALS Foo Fighters announce UK stadium shows for June 2024
ONE LINERS UK Music, Stormzy, Olivia Rodrigo, more
AND FINALLY... Smooth Radio is leaving the AM dial
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FKP Scorpio are looking for a Head Of Ticketing. The UK office of Europe's fastest-growing promoter is looking for someone to manage their ticketing, which includes large scale concert tours, festivals, exhibitions and special events.

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US Supreme Court declines to consider Genius v Google dispute
The US Supreme Court has declined to consider the Genius v Google litigation, which means a lower court ruling - dismissing the lawsuit filed by the former accusing the latter of stealing lyrics off its website - now stands. A legal rep for Genius, perhaps unsurprisingly, said the Supreme Court's decision keeps in place a dangerous precedent set in the lower courts.

Lyrics platform Genius accused Google of scraping content off its website and then plonking those lyrics into the info boxes that appear on the search engine when people search for specific songs. Genius claimed that it had spotted Google lifting its content by inserting a very specific pattern of apostrophes or spaces into the lyrics on its site, which then popped up in Google's info boxes.

Google denied any wrong-doing, but given the clever tactics Genius had employed to allegedly confirm the content theft, it would have been interesting to to see the lyric site's detective work properly scrutinised in court.

But once Genius decided to go legal, there was a problem. It doesn't own the copyright in the lyrics that had been allegedly lifted, with both Genius and Google licensing the lyrics they use from the music publishers. So Genius couldn't sue for copyright infringement.

It therefore sued for breach of contract, on the basis that Google had breached the terms of the Genius site by allegedly scraping and re-publishing its content.

But Google successfully countered that because this was really a copyright dispute, Genius had to pursue a copyright rather than a breach of contract claim. Except it couldn't, because it wasn't the copyright owner in the allegedly lifted lyrics.

In legal terms, Google argued that: "Section 301 of the Copyright Act preempts common law claims that, inter alia, are 'equivalent to any of the exclusive rights within the general scope of copyright'".

The court hearing the case agreed with Google's interpretation of the law, as did the Second Circuits Appeals Court. Hence why Genius wanted the Supreme Court to intervene. It argued that other US courts had ruled differently on this point.

And that by allowing the lower courts' ruling to stay in place, a dangerous precedent was being set that could hinder digital platforms that curate and host content that is owned by third parties.

Because those platforms can't now use their terms of service to directly stop other companies from scraping and republishing content that is stored on their servers.

While deciding whether or not to take the case, the Supreme Court sought input from US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar. She recently urged the top court to knock back the dispute.

She actually wasn't completely convinced by the conclusion of the Second Circuit Appeals Court that US copyright law "categorically" bars contract claims that are based on a "promise not to copy" creative works.

However, she said the Supreme Court should nevertheless decline to review Genius v Google, because it wasn't clear that the lyrics platform could prove it ever had a valid contract with the search engine.

The Supreme Court confirmed it would not review the case yesterday.

Welcoming that decision, Google spokesperson José Castañeda said: "We appreciate the court's decision, agreeing with the Solicitor General and multiple lower courts that Genius's claims have no merit. We license lyrics on Google Search from third parties, and we do not crawl or scrape websites to source lyrics".

Meanwhile Josh Rosenkranz, a lawyer for Genius, told Reuters that both he and the company were disappointed with the decision, arguing that the lower court ruling that is being upheld "allows companies like Google to swallow up their competitors by misappropriating their content without any repercussions".


Sony Music launches AWAL in India after OKListen acquisition
Sony Music-owned artist services business AWAL has formally launched in India and South Asia after acquiring Indian digital distribution firm OKListen.

Based out of Mumbai, the new AWAL division will be led by OKListen founder Vijay Basrur, who will report into both overall AWAL CEO Lonny Olinick and Sony Music India MD Vinit Thakkar.

Says Olinick: "The independent music community across the region is full of potential. Together with Vijay, I look forward to AWAL becoming a true creative hub for India and South Asia's independent artists, with resources dedicated to developing careers that are committed to creator integrity and global success".

Basrur adds: "It's a privilege to join AWAL and spearhead the next chapter for the company and its global roster in the region. AWAL is already well known in the region for helping artists at any stage of their career. I look forward to bringing AWAL's expertise and global reach to our creators and developing the next phase in their careers".


Festival Republic secures deal to stage Wireless in London's Finsbury Park through to 2027
London's Haringey Council has granted permission for the Wireless festival to take place in Finsbury Park each year through to 2027, despite opposition from some local community groups. Previously the event's promoter, Live Nation's Festival Republic, had to secure permission to use the North London park on an annual basis.

There has been plenty of criticism of Wireless by local residents since it relocated to Finsbury Park back in 2014, in particular in relation to noise levels.

After COVID forced the cancellation of the festival's 2020 edition, it returned in 2021 in South London's Crystal Palace Park. However, last year both Crystal Palace Park and Finsbury Park were used on different weekends. And this year there is just one edition of Wireless back in Finsbury Park.

Obviously, any festival promoter would prefer a multi-year arrangement with the owners of the sites that they use and the local authorities that issue the licences required to stage their events. And - in the case of Finsbury Park - Haringey Council is both landlord and licensor.

Such arrangements remove the costs and hassle of having to secure permission on an annual basis, and allow promoters to invest in their production set-up knowing that they can benefit from any investments over a number of years.

And, bosses at Haringey Council insist, it too benefits from having a longer term arrangement. Even though, reports suggest, the council will actually make less each year from Wireless under the new deal - which presumably has some sort of bulk buy discount built into it - knowing that that income is guaranteed every year for five years still has big benefits for the local authority.

Council bosses say that by allowing events like Wireless to be staged in Finsbury Park, about £1.2 million of income is generated annually which "funds the maintenance team and pays for improvements such as a new play space, air-quality monitoring stations and an expanded skate park".

The new five year deal actually goes beyond Wireless. As part of the agreement, Festival Republic will also be allowed to hold a second weekend of major events in the park each year, plus there will be two days of free community events presented.

Commenting on the new deal with Festival Republic, Council leader Peray Ahmet told the BBC: "As well as bringing in significant funds to help us manage and improve the park, events are an important opportunity for residents, especially our young people, to access world-class music and culture in an affordable and sustainable way".

However, community group Friends Of Finsbury Park - which has regularly spoken out against Wireless being staged on the North London site - was unsurprisingly critical of the five year arrangement, adding that it was "incredibly disappointed" that Haringey Council had not held a "promised [public] consultation on the proposal".

The Haringey Community Press quotes the group as saying: "As the cabinet papers make clear, this is about money, not culture. Evidently, council budgets are tight. But elsewhere in the borough, Haringey Council is making great investments in parks. And perversely, this deal appears to deliver less money for Finsbury Park!"

"Further, purported investments are all focused on major events infrastructure – including a proposal for a substation in the park", they went on. "We don't think the council has seriously looked at other options for funding the park properly or explored options to partner with other local councils".


100+ artists pledge to boycott venues that employ facial recognition technology
A US-based campaign group called Fight For The Future last week announced that more than 100 artists have pledged to boycott venues that use facial recognition technology in their buildings. Among those backing the boycott are Tom Morello, Zack De La Rocha, Wheatus, Deerhoof and Anti-Flag.

The campaigners state: "Invasive facial recognition is spreading throughout the live entertainment industry, but a growing number of law-makers, artists, business owners and other advocates are speaking out against this technology".

Specific concerns, they add, are potential uses of that tech for "supercharging existing surveillance and discrimination, creating opportunities for mass-scale biometric identity theft, chilling free speech and social movements, and increasing life-threatening encounters between people of colour and violent police through false matches".

Fight For The Future previously called on music festivals to make commitments to the effect that they would never employ facial recognition technology, citing the same concerns. Venues are now also under pressure to make the same commitment, with the group last week naming more than 25 American venues that have done just that.

The use of this technology in the live entertainment space has been in the news recently after it emerged that MSG Entertainment was using it to deny entry to its venues to lawyers working on any litigation against the company.

That led to New York's Attorney General Letitia James sending a letter to the Madison Square Garden operator stating that the use of facial recognition technology in that way "may violate the New York civil rights law and other city, state, and federal laws prohibiting discrimination and retaliation for engaging in protected activity".


Economics Of Music Streaming interviews and timeline
The UK government's economics of music streaming projects - instigated following Parliament's big inquiry into the workings of the digital music sector - continue. The aim is to address some of the issues raised during that inquiry.

Earlier this month we spoke to representatives from eight of the music industry organisations that have been very much involved in that work.

David Martin, CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition, told us: "Of the ongoing IPO-led workstreams on remuneration, metadata and transparency, each is important to ensuring that artists are properly paid, able to know what their income should be and can understand how their businesses work. While there has been some progress on the data and transparency aspects, progress around remuneration has been slow and must now see dedicated focus, which we look forward to contributing to via the remuneration working group, details of which have now been announced". Read the full interview with Martin here.

Meanwhile Silvia Montello, CEO of the Association Of Independent Music, said: "The key priority from AIM's perspective is that [the newly announced remuneration working group] works positively together; not to simply create new 'winners' and 'losers', but to understand the bigger picture of the landscape and collaborate on solutions which will benefit creators and rightsholders across the industry. By working together, rather than in individual silos, we can make a positive difference". Read the full interview with Montello here.

You can track all of CMU's coverage of the UK Parliament's streaming inquiry, and the subsequent government-led work and other relevant debates, on this CMU Timeline in the CMU Library.


Foo Fighters announce UK stadium shows for June 2024 Following their surprisingly unsurprising surprise appearance at Glastonbury this weekend, the Foo Fighters have announced a series of UK stadium shows for next summer. What a nice surprise!

Following the recent release of new album 'But Here We Are', tickets for the six stadium shows on the band's 'Everything Or Nothing At All' tour go on sale on Friday.

Across the six shows, support will come from Wet Leg, Courtney Barnett, Himalayas, Honeyblood, Hot Milk and Shame.

And here are those 2024 dates...

13 Jun: Manchester, Emirates Old Trafford Stadium 17 Jun: Glasgow, Hampden Stadium 20 Jun: London, London Stadium 22 Jun: London, London Stadium 25 Jun: Cardiff, Principality Stadium 27 Jun: Birmingham, Villa Park Stadium



Cross-sector trade group UK Music has confirmed Eunice Obianagha as its first Head Of Diversity. She will develop the organisation's diversity strategy and work with its Diversity Taskforce, and also offer advice and support to the other trade bodies that make up the UK Music membership.

Wise Music has appointed Massimiliano 'Max' Moroldo as MD of the recently established Wise Music Italy. He joined the music publisher last year after it acquired his company Baby Angel Music. Wise Music Group CEO Marcus Wise says: "We're delighted to have a local office in Italy and keen to expand in this important market. Max is a talented and experienced publisher and is instrumental in helping Wise Music build our Italian business into a significant operation for our group".

Music PR agency Warmth has confirmed the recruitment of Matthew Kent, who joins the firm as a publicist. Agency founder Joly Checketts says: "I'm delighted to welcome Matthew to the Warmth team. Not only is he an exceptional writer and publicist - and superb DJ - but he's got his finger on the pulse of new music more firmly than most".



Having released new single 'Toxic Trait' last week, Stormzy yesterday posted yet another track - 'Longevity Flow' - described as "a three minute schooling in boastful freestyling, confidently detailing his remarkable ever-growing ten year ascent within the music scene".

Olivia Rodrigo's second album 'Guts' will be released on 8 Sep, with it's first single, 'Vampire', out on Friday. "I am so proud of this record and I can't wait to share it with you all!" she declared on Instagram.

Third Man Records and Blue Note Records have announced vinyl reissues of five albums from the latter's catalogue newly remastered from the original tapes at the former's Detroit mastering and pressing facility. The tie-up is called the 313 Series Partnership. All five records were recorded in Detroit or are by artists from the city, they being: Thad Jones's 'Detroit-New York Junction', Donald Byrd's 'Electric Byrd', Elvin Jones's 'Genesis', Kenny Cox And The Contemporary Jazz Quintet's 'Multidirection' and Grant Green's 'Live At Club Mozambique'. Here's a video about it.

Elton John headlined the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury on Sunday, did you notice? Well, to mark the occasion they've gone and released a Pyramid Edition of his 2017 greatest hits album 'Diamonds'. It is, and I quote, "a highly collectible, extremely limited edition release pressed on coloured vinyl" with a "track listing personally selected by Elton" that "reflects" his Glastonbury set. I think it's possibly sufficiently limited edition that it's already sold out. But still, at least you now know about its existence.

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


Smooth Radio is leaving the AM dial
Bad news for fans of AM radio in the UK! Is that fans in the plural do you think? Bad news for the fan of AM radio in the UK, maybe. Anyway, the removal of music radio stations from good old fashioned medium wave continues.

Following the news last week that Global is switching off some of the AM transmitters used by its golden oldies station Gold, Radio Today has noted that the media firm is also ending AM broadcasts for its Smooth Radio service.

According to the radio news site, announcements are being aired on Smooth Radio AM broadcasts in Dorset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and the Plymouth area stating that those services will cease at the end of the week. Listeners are encouraged to find Smooth Radio on the DAB digital radio network or online.

Many of those AM frequencies previously ran the Gold service before Global decided it wanted to expand the reach of Smooth Radio in 2014.

However, most radio companies are now very much prioritising FM and digital channels, given that the number of people listening on AM is falling to the point where it's not commercially viable to keep those broadcasts going.

Radio Today adds that - while Smooth Radio will still be available on AM in Hampshire, Kent, Sussex, North Wales and Cheshire beyond this week - those services will also be switched off in the near future.


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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