TODAY'S TOP STORY: An independent investigation instigated by Japanese talent management company Johnny & Associates into allegations of sexual abuse that have been made against its late founder Johnny Kitagawa has said that the firm's leadership should accept that the abuse took place, apologise to the victims and offer them financial relief. It also advised that Kitagawa's niece Julie Fujishima should step down as president of the business... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Damning report on sexual abuse at Johnny & Associates tells company to "dismantle and restart"
LEGAL ChatGPT operator calls for key elements of author-led copyright lawsuit to be dismissed
DEALS Universal Music buys UAE-based Chabaka
INDUSTRY PEOPLE UK Music boss announces his departure
ONE LINERS Billie Eilish, Imagine Dragons, The Kills, more
AND FINALLY... ASCAP takes advantage of growing controversy over imminent BMI sale
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email [email protected] or call 020 7099 9060.
PPL's Communications Coordinator is an administrative role for someone interested in learning more about all areas of communications. You will bring a proactive attitude, exceptional organisational skills, a desire for responsibility and accountability and a continuous improvement mindset.

For more info and to apply click here
FOUNDATION.FM, DIGITAL CONTENT PRODUCER (LONDON) is a radio station, record label and creative agency based in London, and is looking for a part-time Digital Content Producer to curate, create and manage captivating digital content across platforms to enhance its online presence, engage audiences, and promote artists.

For more info and to apply click here
FOUNDATION.FM, BRAND & PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER (LONDON) is a radio station, record label and creative agency based in London, and is looking for a creative and motivated Brand & Partnerships Manager to forge and nurture strategic partnerships with brands and organisations aligned with its values.

For more info and to apply click here.
Ninja Tune is seeking a Copyright Manager who will manage all aspects of the copyright department under supervision from the head of department.

For more info and to apply click here.
SJM Concerts is looking to build on its promoter team with the immediate appointment of an outgoing and sociable Promoter. It is looking for an applicant who is either experienced in the live music industry or who is ready to learn and grow, with the ambition to work their way up to the top.

For more info and to apply click here.

Damning report on sexual abuse at Johnny & Associates tells company to "dismantle and restart"
An independent investigation instigated by Japanese talent management company Johnny & Associates into allegations of sexual abuse that have been made against its late founder Johnny Kitagawa has said that the firm's leadership should accept that the abuse took place, apologise to the victims and offer them financial relief. It also advised that Kitagawa's niece Julie Fujishima should step down as president of the business.

The damning report into the company's handling of abuse allegations, which spanned decades, says that Fujishima's resignation should begin an effort to "dismantle and restart" the business, with a new management team and rigid policies designed to protect artists currently signed to the company - many of whom are young boys. It also states that Fujishima has already accepted that her resignation is necessary.

Kitagawa founded Johnny & Associates in the 1960s and grew it to become one of Japan's biggest talent agencies, operating a near monopoly when it comes to boybands in the country. He is also credited with developing the system for developing pop groups that is now prevalent in Japan and South Korea, where hopefuls are trained in singing, dancing and acting from a young age before being debuted as public-facing pop acts.

A division called Johnny Jr was launched within the company in the 1970s to carry out this training and development. The report is particularly critical of the "sloppy management" of this division, saying that - while Kitagawa's abuse of young boys dated back to the 1950s - it significantly increased with the launch of Johnny Jr and continued through to the 2010s, aided by "neglect and concealment" by his older sister and Executive Director of the company Mary Kitagawa, who died in 2021.

Allegations against Kitagawa were common knowledge in the Japanese music industry for decades, but they generally went unreported by the country's media - in part due to fears at the media companies that reporting on any of the allegations would result in them losing access to the steady stream of popular boybands that Johnny's delivered.

Many of those who have now made allegations against Kitagawa also say they knew at the time that speaking out about the abuse would end the pop careers they were seeking to pursue.

Despite those pressures, in 1999 Shukan Bunshun magazine published various accusations against Kitagawa. He successfully sued for libel, although the judgement was partially overturned on appeal. There were other allegations made beyond those published by Shukan Bunshun, but the music boss was never charged with any crime.

Kitagawa died in 2019, aged 87. Allegations against him surfaced again earlier this year with the broadcast of a new BBC documentary examining the abuse claims. This prompted further victims to come forward as well as the re-evaluation of past claims in the media.

In April, Johnny & Associates said that it would conduct an internal investigation, which has now resulted in the 71 page report prepared by former prosecutor General Hayashi Makoto, psychiatrist Asukai Nozomu and clinical psychologist Saito Azusa.

Fujishima issued an apology in May to those who had come forward to tell of how they were abused while working with the company. She said in a statement that she "absolutely do[es] not tolerate these acts".

In a later press conference, she said that she had not been aware of the abuse carried out by her uncle. Despite being appointed as director of the company in 1999 and being interviewed for the Shukan Bunshun article, she said that for many years control of the company was mainly in the hands of Mary Kitagawa, while Johnny Kitagawa's own office directly handled the management of the company's artists.

The new report published on behalf of Johnny & Associates follows another prepared by the United Nations earlier this month. Although looking more widely at workplace human rights in Japan, it paid particular attention to the talent agency.

"Our interactions with victims of sexual harassment involving Johnny & Associates talents have exposed deeply alarming allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving several hundreds of the company's talents, with media companies in Japan reportedly implicated in covering up the scandal for decades", the UN Working Group On Business And Human Rights said in a statement.

In a statement alongside the new report, Johnny & Associates said: "We sincerely apologise again for causing a lot of concern and anxiety to everyone regarding this matter".

The company also said that it plans to hold a press conference to further discuss the findings and recommendations in the report, although has not yet indicated when this will take place.


ChatGPT operator calls for key elements of author-led copyright lawsuit to be dismissed
ChatGPT maker OpenAI filed legal papers earlier this week seeking to dismiss elements of a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against it by three authors, including comedian and writer Sarah Silverman.

It said that claims in that lawsuit of "vicarious copyright infringement, violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, unfair competition, 'negligence' and unjust enrichment" should be cut from the legal action, because "none of the legal theories challenged here actually condemns the conduct alleged with respect to ChatGPT, the language models that power it, or the process used to create them".

Although not a music case, the music industry's lawyers are watching closely any litigation focused on the legal obligations of AI companies that use copyright-protected works to train their AI models.

The music and wider copyright industries argue that any such usage requires consent from the copyright owner. But not all AI companies agree, with some reckoning that certain copyright exceptions - or the principle in US copyright law of 'fair use' - should apply.

Some tech companies also argue that some copyright owners are misunderstanding or misrepresenting how their technologies work.

In its legal filing, OpenAI claims that the three authors involved in the case "misconceive the scope of copyright, failing to take into account the limitations and exceptions (including fair use) that properly leave room for innovations like the large language models now at the forefront of artificial intelligence".

That said, this particular document deals more specifically with the elements of the lawsuit that OpenAI thinks should be immediately dismissed, rather than that bigger copyright debate. Though that does also involve some copyright issues, of course.

"Plaintiffs' claims for vicarious infringement", it states, "are based on the erroneous legal conclusion that every single ChatGPT output is necessarily an infringing 'derivative work' - which is a very specific term in copyright law - because those outputs are, in only a remote and colloquial sense, 'based on' an enormous training dataset that allegedly included plaintiffs' books".

The US Ninth Circuit Appeals Court, it adds, "has rejected such an expansive conception of the 'derivative work' right as 'frivolous', holding that a derivative work claim requires a showing that the accused work shares copyright-protected, expressive elements with the original".

We now await with interest to see how the Californian district court responds to these initial arguments from OpenAI.


Universal Music buys UAE-based Chabaka
Universal Music has bought UAE-based Chabaka, which provides music distribution, marketing and publishing services in the Middle East and North Africa region. As a result, it will become part of the Virgin Music Group, Universal's artist and label services division.

The major says that the acquisition complements its "current service offering and footprint in the fast-growing and dynamic MENA market" and is "another demonstration of UMG's strategy to increase its presence and accelerate its growth in high potential music markets around the world".

Chabaka co-founder Ala'a Makki - who will remain CEO at the company - says: "These are exciting times for the region, which is one of the fastest growing music markets in the world, and we are THRILLED to announce the partnership between Chabaka and UMG".

"Joining forces with the leading music group in the world coincides with Chabaka's tenth anniversary", he goes on, "and marks an important milestone and a new phase for the company, our artists and labels. Together with UMG, we will drive the transformation of the regional music industry and take it to new places, while creating new possibilities for our existing and potential local artists".

Virgin Music Group co-CEO JT Myers adds: "As we continue to expand our footprint in emerging territories all over the world, Chabaka represents an important creative hub in one of the world's most promising music markets".

"Ala'a Makki and his team bring a level of expertise and knowledge that will enable them to create opportunities for our artists and labels in the expanding MENA region", he continues, "and in turn, we will be able to grow the global audience for Chabaka's amazing roster of artists and labels".


UK Music boss announces his departure
UK Music boss Jamie Njoku-Goodwin is standing down after three years at the cross-sector lobbying group. He joined the organisation back in October 2020 having previously been a special advisor within two UK government departments - initially culture and then health - and he is now returning to a government role working directly with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

He arrived at UK Music, of course, just as the industry was dealing with the mounting challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. That meant he had a role to play in securing government support for the music sector during the COVID lockdowns.

Commenting on Njoku-Goodwin's stint at the organisation, UK Music Chair Tom Watson says: "Jamie joined UK Music when the sector was in the midst of a crisis due to impact of COVID. He swiftly played a key role in securing the vital support the industry needed to help get back on its feet".

"He is a passionate advocate for our sector", Watson adds, "and has worked tirelessly on behalf of UK Music and our members in our shared determination to grow our industry, create skilled jobs, boost music education and help make the music business an inclusive and welcoming place to work".

UK Music is a trade body of trade bodies that seeks to provide a united voice for the music industry - or at least the music rights industry - bringing together organisations representing artists, musicians, songwriters, producers, managers, labels and publishers, as well as the collecting societies PRS and PPL.

There used to also be a group within UK Music bringing together trade groups representing those on the live side of the industry, though during the pandemic that group spun off to create its own standalone organisation LIVE.

This means that - although UK Music does still seek support for the live sector within political circles - its real focus is on the rights side of the business, so it has been particularly vocal of late about the issues raised by artificial intelligence.

That said, it can only work on music rights issues where all the relevant strands of the industry are aligned. Another big music-centric political talking point in recent years, of course, has been the economics of streaming. However, in the main UK Music had to take a back seat role in that domain given a lot of the conversation was around music-makers seeking political support to force labels and publishers to change certain practices.

In his new job, Njoku-Goodwin will become Director Of Strategy for the Prime Minister. Which may or may not mainly involve directing an exit strategy. Though it will definitely involve interacting with people who are in theory on the same side but frequently disagree. So, you know, more of the same.

Watson continues: "Over his three years Jamie has been a stellar success and I can fully understand why the Prime Minister would want him in a very senior Downing Street role. I'm sure he will deploy his considerable skills for the country in the same way he has for the music industry".

UK Music's Deputy Chief Executive Tom Kiehl will become interim CEO while a replacement for Njoku-Goodwin is recruited.


Approved: Georgia Gets By
Broods vocalist Georgia Nott is set to release her debut solo EP 'Fish Bird Baby Boy' later this year. Just released is the third single from it, 'Oh Lana'.

"'Oh Lana' is about my first queer crush", she explains. "I was probably about eleven and I got into a fight with another kid to defend her honour. I wasn't sure how to fully express that back then, so this song has, in a way, been my love letter to that little gay version of me".

Diverting from Broods' electronic pop sound into something based more in traditional rock instrumentation, Georgia Gets By's sound drifts into 80s and 90s dream-pop with hints of Billie Eilish. Like 'Oh Lana', previous singles 'Happiness Is An 8 Ball' and 'Easier To Run' delve deep into personal memories.

"I'm always making music to combat, you know, life", says Nott. "As I was writing these songs, I was opening old wounds".

'Fish Bird Bay Boy' is out on 6 Oct. Watch the video for 'Oh Lana' here.

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


Exceleration Music has made an investment into India-based Azadi Records which will "help to supercharge the label's growth and establish it as a leading force in India's independent music scene". Exceleration partner Charles Caldas will also take a seat on the Azadi board. "Thanks to our partnership with Exceleration, Azadi Records is poised to enter a new phase of growth while maintaining our independence", says the label's CEO Mo Joshi.

Concord Music Publishing has extended its existing relationship with producer and songwriter Tomas Costanza in a deal that "includes the acquisition of his catalogue as well as representation of his future works". He says of the new deal: "I am THRILLED to be continuing and expanding my relationship with Concord. They have been an incredible partner throughout the years, allowing me to explore all my creative passions from sync to musical theatre. I am so excited for the future and to share all the projects we are working on together".



Imagine Dragons have released new single 'Children Of The Sky', which is apparently inspired by the 'Starfield' video game. "The song, like the game, asks some of the most difficult questions we face as humans trying to find our place in the universe", says frontman Dan Reynold. "Bethesda [Game Studios] created iconic games we've been playing for most of our lives, and we're honoured to have collaborated on this song for 'Starfield'".

The Kills have released new single '103'. Their new album 'God Games' is out on 27 Oct. They've also announced that they will play Pryzm in Kingston on 31 Oct.

Aïsha Devi has released new single 'Immortelle', the first from her new album 'Death Is Home'.

Jlin has released new single 'Paradigm', taken from her new mini-album 'Perspective', which is out on 29 Sep.

Taking Back Sunday have announced that they will release new album '152' on 27 Oct. Out now is new single 'S'old'.

Helena Deland has announced that she will release new album 'Goodnight Summerland' on 13 Oct. Out now is new single 'Bright Green Variant Gray'. She's also announced a UK show at the Lexington in London on 21 Feb.

Maria BC has released two new tracks, 'Amber' and 'Watcher'. Both are taken from new album 'Spike Field' - her first for Sacred Bones - which is out on 20 Oct. She'll also be touring the UK in October.



Billie Eilish has become the latest artist to receive a BRIT Billion award for passing one billion streams in the UK.

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


ASCAP takes advantage of growing controversy over imminent BMI sale
US collecting society ASCAP has been having some fun on social media this week posting not especially subtle digs at its rival BMI in response to reports that the latter rights organisation is close to being acquired by a private equity outfit.

Most of the music industry's collecting societies around the world - including ASCAP - are not-for-profit organisations owned by their members, so usually some combination of artists, songwriters, record labels and/or music publishers.

However, BMI is actually owned by a group of broadcasters. But, until last year, it nevertheless operated on a not-for-profit basis, which meant most people didn't notice. Then, last October, BMI announced it was becoming a for-profit enterprise, arguing that going that route would allow it to seek the investment required to expand and enhance the organisation.

That decision was made after BMI had considered selling itself. The society's board initially decided not to sell, but then last month it was reported that talks were back on with possible buyers. And last week it was revealed that private equity firm New Mountain Capital was now a frontrunner to acquire the organisation.

All of that has prompted an assortment of groups representing songwriters to demand that BMI answer a bunch of questions about what impact the profit margin is having on the fees it charges on the royalties it processes; who will profit from any sale; and what having a new private equity owner will mean for the society and its members.

So far BMI has failed to answer any of those specific questions, instead putting out vague assurances that the decision to become a for-profit entity and any imminent sale is all in the interest of the songwriters whose songs it represents. A response that hasn't in any way placated the songwriter groups.

In the US, there are a number of collecting societies that all represent the performing rights in songs, each representing a different set of writers and the songs they have written. So ASCAP and BMI compete with the smaller and also privately owned SESAC and GMR.

In most collective licensing scenarios, licensees - like radio stations and concert promoters - seek something nearing a blanket licence, meaning they really need to get licences from all four societies. This means the real competition between ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and GMR is within the songwriter community, where they compete for songwriter members.

As a result, while BMI and ASCAP regularly collaborate on lobbying and data projects, they very much compete when it comes to trying to persuade songwriters to sign up.

ASCAP has been using the controversies currently surrounding BMI's for-profit status and imminent private equity deal to suggest that it is the American collecting society that is most focused on the interests of songwriters.

So, what's your favourite BMI dig from ASCAP's social media posts this week?

  1. ASCAP. Creators first. Not for profit. Not for sale.
  2. There is no "I" in ASCAP.
  3. ASCAP. We put our songwriters first in everything we do. Always.
  4. Private equity never wrote an iconic love song.
  5. ASCAP. Not for profit since 1914 and still going strong.
  6. ASCAP. Growth without greed.
  7. ASCAP writers. Who owns us? Who gets paid? You and you.
  8. ASCAP. We pay songwriters not shareholders.
  9. ASCAP. Where royalties and values unite.
  10. Humans first. We are not the artificial society of composers, authors and publishers.

Actually, the last one relates to the challenges posed by AI and ASCAP's role in campaigning on all that for its members. I don't think they're suggesting BMI is run by robots. Well, not yet.


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.
[email protected] (except press releases, see below)
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.
[email protected] (except press releases, see below)
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.
[email protected] or call 020 7099 9060
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.
[email protected]
CMU helps people to navigate and understand the music business.

We do this through our media, our training and our research, and at a range of music industry events.

CMU Daily covers all the latest news and developments direct by email.

Setlist is a weekly podcast dissecting the biggest music business stories.

CMU Insights is our music business consultancy: supporting the industry.

CMU:DIY is our future talent programme: supporting new music talent.

Pathways Into Music is our foundation supporting music educators.

Published by and © 3CM UnLimited

3CM Enterprises Ltd, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

Send press releases to [email protected]

Email advertising queries to [email protected]

Email training and consultancy queries to [email protected]

You can read our Privacy & Data Policy here

[email protected] | [email protected]