Below is the NEWS ARCHIVE from Music Law Updates old website.  As this is a large document, if you need to find anything, please use the search functionality within your browser.

 

TICKET TEXT TO PROVIDE TICKETING FOR MAMA VENUES 30/11/07
Dublin based technology firm Ticket Text has announced a deal with UK venue owners the MAMA Group which will see the London based firm provide mobile ticketing through Ticket Text’s system at its 18 venues, which include the various UK Barfly venues annd Hammersmith Apollo, Jazz Café, Forum and Borderline in London. The deal means tickets will be available for a variety of MAMA Group events via Ticket Text’s website – http://www.ticket-text.com. Tickets are sent as barcodes to gig goers’ mobiles.

EMI BOSS PROPOSES OVERHAUL OF COSTLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS 30/11/07
Guy Hands, the new boss of EMI has been looking at cost cutting at the major label as raising margins from the interrnet and mobile phones as they look for an exit in 2012 according to the Times. Hands reportedly questioned the necessity of the record industry having so many different trade associations, in particular questioning the need for major labels to be supporting all three of the US based Recording Industry Association Of American, the UK based BPI and the globally focussed International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry. As Terra Firma continues to dig around in EMI’s books some interesting figures emerge – the company apparently spent £200,000 on fruit and flowers each year and £20,000 on candles per month. Terra Firma have said that they are close to raising £250 million in equity funding by selling approximately 15% of the company and are projecting profits of £528 million by 2012 from recorded music (up from £61 million in 2007).

PEPSI & AMAZON OFFER 1 BILLION DOWNLOADS 30/11/07
A forthcoming promotion between Pepsi and Amazon is expected to offer up 1 billion downloads from the online music retailer. The move could prompt Warner Music Group and Sony BMG to once again question their stance on DRM and seriously consider following EMI and Universal’s DRM free distribution lead. The new Amazon music store offers 1M songs from 180,000 artists and 20,000 labels, all without the restrictions of DRM.

WARNERS PROFITS WORRY 30/11/07
Net profits at Warner Music Group fell to $5M in the fiscal fourth quarter – down from $12M a year earlier. Revenues did rise, however, by 2% to $869M but declined 2% because the weak dollar. Digital sales grew 25% to generate $130M in the quarter, but album sales dropped 14% year-on-year and revenues from ringtones declined in the US. Total revenue fell 7% on a constant-currency basis in the year to September 30 against a backdrop descrobed by CEO Edgar Bronfman as “very challenging”.

MORRISEY TO SUE NME 30/11/07
Morrisey has said he will issue legal proceedings against the NME after the magazine quoted him as saying “the gates of England are flooded – the contry has been thrown away” and other “naive and inflammatory” comments on immigration. Morrisey is said to be furious that the piece makes him out to have far right views and interestingly the journalist who undertook the interview, Tim Jonze, asked for his name to be removed form the piece. Morrisey is claiming that the article misquotes him, has ommitted critical parts of the interview and has distorted the tone of the piece.

GARRET PICKS UP MINISTERIAL POST IN AUSTRALIA 30/11/07
Peter Garrett, for 25 years the frontman of Midnight Oil – known for their passionate songs about social and environmental issues, has completed his meteoric rise through the ranks of Australia’s Labor party when he was yesterday (29/11/07) named environment minister in the newly elected government. The 54-year-old said he was “excited and humbled” by the opportunity. His portfolio will also include heritage and the arts. Garrett disbanded Midnight Oil in 2002 to concentrate on politics and was elected to parliament two years later.

CONSUMERS WANT FREE ONLINE CONTENT 28/11/07
The new Olswang UK Convergence Consumer Survey 2007 reveals that consumers are embracing home networking and using the home computer as a true entertainment device to download free content. To secure free content consumers are willing to tolerate online advertisements which they would normally go out of their way to avoid. And of course some are even willing to deliberately break the law to secure free content, while others simply don’t understand the law. Olswang, in conjunction with YouGov, has conducted a nationally representative independent survey of over 1,800 consumers overa  wide age range and shows that over 30% of respondents streaming or downloading movie and TV content and even greater numbers watching the range of free content that is already available on websites such as YouTube (63%) as well as streaming music (42%) and accessing podcasts (33%). However, people are much less willing to pay for audiovisual content, with free content being consumed by approximately three times as many people as paid content and those not yet consuming also being around three times more interested in free content.

Although the lion’s share of current regular viewing is free content from user generated content sites and TV clips and movie trailers, each month nearly one in seven (14%) respondents download or stream free TV programmes to keep. Even more consumers (18%) download or stream free programmes for a limited time (e.g. from time-limited “catch-up” TV services) each month, although movies are more likely to be acquired permanently (12%) than temporarily (9%). 12% of respondents who use the computer to obtain audiovisual entertainment already play this back through the main television screen, not a computer monitor, by plugging the PC into the television screen (9%) or through a dedicated streaming device (3%). Respondents are becoming more determined not to pay and seem frustrated at the lack of free content. However among illegal downloaders, a greater proportion are already paying or willing to pay for content (20% as against the 12% in the overall sample). These are presumed to include “content junkies” who just want whatever content they can lay their hands on. The survey does not make encouraging reading for those seeking to persuade consumers to buy online content. People generally won’t pay and, where they will, this is at the expense of other media, principally DVD.

A summary can be found at http://www.olswang.com/printversion.asp?sid=136&aid=1974&mid=136 and
Click here to access the survey results.

VIAGOGO SAY STREISAND OVER VALUED 28/11/07
Secondary ticketers Viagogo have been comparing the face value of tickets with what people were willing to pay for them on their auction website – and have released a list of the highest value tours (ie the ones
where secondary ticket buyers were willing to pay a lot more than face value) and the most overvalued tours (where secondary ticket buyers weren’t willing to pay face value). The Verve and Led Zeppelin top the chart and at the other end Viagogo reveal that Barbra Streisand had the most overvalued tickets, with bids for £550 tickets only reaching £337. Meanwhile £100 tickets for George Michael reached £84, and £70 for Beyonce reached £64.  This is the top ten most highly rated tickets are these – with the face value first, the resell price second, and the Viagogo index (ie how many times bigger the resell price was than the face value) last.

1. The Verve (£30-£237-7.9)
2. Led Zeppelin (£125-£914-7.3)
3. Rihanna (£27.50-£130-4.7)
4. The Killers (£23-£106-4.6)
5. Take That (£40-£180-4.5)
6. Westlife (£32-£140-4.4)
7. 50 Cent (£35-£145-4.2)
8. Bruce Springsteen (£55-£221-4.0)
9. Prince (£31-£125-3.9
10. Michael Bolton (£35-128-3.7)

from CMU Daily see http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

C3 AND FESTIVAL REPUBLIC PARTNER ON NEW EVENT 28/11/07
The UK’s Festival Republic and US festival promoter C3 have announced a partnership to launch a new North American event in Vineland, New Jersey. Festival Republic, behind the UK’s Reading, Leeds and Latitude festivals next August. Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn had already indicated an interest in expanding into the US festival market. Confirming the new venture, C3 partner Charlie Jones told Billboard: “For our company to be involved with an individual who more or less has inspired the American festival movement as we know it today is an honor for us. The European, Melvin Benn festival model is a camping festival and ours are based more on urban green spaces. The goal is to take our model and his model and somehow merge it to where there is a feeling of a European camping festival and an American festival at the same time”.

RIP CALVERT AND DUBROW 27/11/07
Casey Calvert, guitarist with emo rockers Hawthorne Heights, died last Friday night on the band’s tour bus, which was travelling between Detroit and Washington DC. Details of 26 year old Calvert’s death is as yet unknown, but some reports suggest it may have been linked to an asthma attack. Calvert’s death has caused the most recent dates on the and’s US tour to be postponed. The band are currently embroiled in legal wranglings with, amongst others, Victory Records. And in more sad news, The frontman of US metal band Quiet Riot, Kevin DuBrow, also died this weekend. The 52 year old founding member of the pioneering metal outfit was found dead at his Las Vegas home on Sunday. Cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

JERMAINE SAYS JACKSON FIVE REUNION ON 27/11/07
Jermaine Jackson has fuelled rumours of a Jackson Five reunion with speculative chat on a TV and then a radio appearance in the UK.  Jackson told BBC 6Music that the group have been discussing a reunion, that it could happen “sometime in 2008” and that “Michael will be involved”. He concluded “We feel we have to do it one more time. We owe that to the fans and to the public”. I guess Michael might need the money too.

NO LONGER THE ‘CARLING’ WEEKENDER 27/11/07
Festival Republic have announced they have ended their nine year sponsorship relationship with Carling which means that the UK’s Reading and Leeds festivals will no longer be referred to as the Carling Weekend. Festival Republic, which, as previously reported, dropped the Mean Fiddler name after it sold most of its venue network to the MAMA Group earlier this year, said their partnership with the British drinks brand had ended “by mutual agreement” and that “both parties felt the time was right to pursue new opportunities”.

PIRATES IN A STATE 26/11/07
Those clever dudes at the ever amusing The Pirate Bay, The Swedish file sharing website have had some bitter legal encounters with the record industry including being closed down by Swedish authorities. But the Pirates have also had some amusing victories, for example by registering the domain www.ifpi.com (apparently the International Federation of Pirate Industries NOT the International Federation of Phonographic Industries according to the Pirates) and claiming that they hadn’t received any take down notices from Prince for alleged piracy as their “spam filters dealt with such matters”. The Pirates have now turned to the declaration of an independent state in order to escape further legal troubles. This appears to be a rather hopeless attempt to avoid further criminal and civil liabilities particularly as the site they wish to base their ‘state’ in is Sealand, an old British sea fort twelve miles of the coast. The basic criteria for a sovereign state are under the principles of international law (the Montevideo Convention) , it must meet with four conditions: (i) territory, (ii) a regular population (iii) a government and (iv) international relations with other countries. The Pirates have yet to acquire Sealand but face a rather daunting prospect as the seafort is basically (a) uninhabited and (b) within UK territorial waters and (c) not recognised by any other state. How hum, but it keeps us amused if nothing else – yohoho and a bottle of rum anyone?

NEW TALENT SHOWCASED BY XFM 26/11/07
UK radio broadcaster Xfm’s listeners have been voting for the band who they believe are the worthy recipients of Xfm’s New Music Award which recognises the best UK debut album of 2007. They have spoken, the votes have been counted, and now Xfm can announce their Top 10 shortlist for the inaugural Xfm New Music Award 2007 which are Air Traffic ‘Fractured Life’ / The Enemy ‘We’ll Live and Die In These Towns’ / Frank Turner ‘Sleep Is For The Week’ / Kate Nash ‘Made Of Bricks’ / Klaxons ‘Myths Of The Near Future’ / The Maccabees ‘Colour It In’ / The Pigeon Detectives ‘Wait For Me’ / The Twang ‘Love It When I Feel Like This’ /
The View ‘Hats Off To The Buskers’ / The Wombats ‘Proudly Present. A Guide To Love, Loss and Desperation’. These bands will now go head to head at “The Xfm New Music Award” ceremony which will take place at Koko in Camden on 16th January 2008.

FRANCE GETS TOUGH ON INTERNET DOWNLOADERS 26/11/07
France is getting tough on Internet pirates by taking away Internet access for serial who illegally download films and music as part of a new three-way pact between the French government, owners of film and music rights and Internet service providers. The government agreement was drawn up by a commission headed up by the chief executive of the FNAC, one of France’s biggest music and film retailers. Under the agreement, Internet service providers will first issue a warning message to customers downloading files illegally – if the users ignore these messages, then their accounts can be suspended or even completely closed.  The French government will appoint an independent authority that will be placed in charge of deciding when to issue the electronic warning messages.

NEW COPYRIGHT LAW FOR CANADA? 25/11/07
New copyright legislation could be introduced in Canada within the next few weeks, an Industry Canada spokeswoman said. The motivation for the new legislation is to meet the challenges of the digital age and stimulate new business modells. The new law is likely to make it illegal to download or share songs on the internet. The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) has called for tougher laws to make it easier to prosecute people for file-sharing in Canada. The levy system on blanks tapes and CDRs and technology used in Canada to reimburse copyright owners has meant the major labels have had a tough time prosecuting downloaders in Canada. But the CRIA is now without critics and speaking for artists, the Canadian Music Creators Coalition, which includes Sarah McLachlan, Sam Roberts and Avril Lavigne, have said that they would not like to see a law that would lead to lawsuits against music fans. The CMCC says it like to see legislation that recognizes the importance of file-sharing as a way to spread the word about Canadian music.
http://www.punknews.org/article/26657

MEAT SALES COST SONY 25/11/07
A US federal appeals court has upheld a Jury and ruled that Sony Music must pay the founder of Cleveland International records $5 million for failing to put his company’s logo on reissues of Meat Loaf’s album “ Bat Out of Hell,”  Steve Popovich, the founder of the smaller label, signed Meat Loaf and in 1977 persuaded Epic Records, part of CBS Records, to release his album. Sony later bought CBS Records and have already paid $6.7 million to Mr. Popovich and his former partners to settle a lawsuit over royalties from “Bat Out of Hell.” The settlement required Sony to place the Cleveland International logo on future Meat Loaf albums, but Sony did not add the logo to “Bat Out of Hell” for more than a year. “Bat Out of Hell” has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide

AUSTRALASIAN PUBLISHING REVENUES GROW 20/11/07
As record labels around the world  report year on year declines – often in excess of 10% – it’s interesting to see that in many territories music pblishers and their collection societies are experiencing similar percentage changes – but as growth. In the US BMI and ASCAP and in the UK the PRS-MCPS Alliance have all announced healthy figures and now the Australasian Performing Right Society and the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners’ Society have announced combined revenues of $189.7M for the 2006/07 financial year. The figures indicate a rise of 12.8% on the previous year.

AMG TO REVITALISE THREE VENUES 20/11/07
Academy Music Group is to revive three UK venues as part of its expansion in the live scene. The former Town & Country Club in Leeds, the former Roxy nightclub in Sheffield, and the Grade II listed Hippodrome in Brighton are all earmarked for a comeback:

TOP ACTS AT INDIA’S LIVE AND LOUD BASH 20/11/07
Whitney Houston, Kool & The Gang, James Morrison, Shaggy and the James Taylor Quartet will all take to the stage for India’s Live & Loud music festival on 23rd November. The 10-day festival, which offers up 45 hours of live music, also highlights local artists.

GREEN ISSUES TACKLED BY CHANNEL 4’S MUSIC STRAND 20/11/07
Channel 4’s youth and music strand T4 have planned a day focusing on Global Warning for the 9th December . T4 will explore one of the biggest threats facing the planet today, looking at the causes, effects and how we can all make a difference to combat climate change. June Sarpong will talk to the biggest climate change campaigner in the world today, Oscar and Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore, and also will also hit the UK high street to find out whether there’s a way to be fashionable and eco-friendly at the same time. Rick Edwards will visit the Equator and the North Pole and see first hand the problems caused by global warming and some potential solutions. Rick will meet a group of teenagers on a journey of a lifetime in the Arctic and a rainmaker helping to change the weather in Mali. Along the way viewers will hear from stars as they give their own green hints.

PUBLIC VOTE PUSHES “IDOL” STARS TO TOP OF AMAS 19/11/07
“American Idol” 2006 finalist Chris Daughtry may not have won the TV talent bash, but his band, Daughtry, cleaned up at the American Music Awards on the November 18 to share the spotlight with Carrie Underwood and Justin Timberlake. For the first time in show history, winners were chosen by public votes cast online. Daughtry won in three categories with favourite pop-rock album for “Daughtry,” as well as breakthrough artist and adult contemporary artist. Underwood, who won “Idol,” matched her three wins at the Country Music Association Awards this month with three trophies with favourite female country artist, favourite country album for “Some Hearts,” and the T-Mobile text-in award. JustinTimberlake was a double winner, earning male pop-rock artist honors and the soul/R&B album award for his “FutureSex/LoveSounds.” Timberlake accepted by video from Australia and Usher presented Beyonce with the international artist award.

Rascal Flatts was named top country duo or group, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony was the favorite rap/hip-hop group and Akon won favorite male soul/rhythm & blues artist. Live performances included  Celine Dion, Lenny Kravitz, Fergie, Maroon 5, Avril Lavigne, Beyonce, Rihanna, Rascal Flatts and teen stars the Jonas Brothers.

IN THE UK, X-FACTOR WINNER LEWIS SCOOPS FASTEST EVER SELLING DEBUT ALBUM 19/11/07
Its all about talent contests today – in the US Daughtry sold more than 1 million copies after just 5 weeks of release, becoming the fastest selling debut rock album of all time. In the UK Leona Lewis has set a new British record for the fastest ever selling debut album. Lewis, the 2006 winner of X-factor, had her album Spirit top the charts this week AND her song Bleeding Love topped the singles charts. Spirit sold 375,872 coied in just one week, overtaking the Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever People Say I Am, I Am Not which sold 363,735 copies in January last.

VISA PROBLEMS FORCE REVOLVER CANCELLATION IN JAPAN 17/11/07
Japanese immigration authorities have refused Velvet Revolver’s request for visas, forcing the band to cancel four shows scheduled later this month. The Band’s later dates in Australia are unaffetcted. In a statement the band says that “increasingly tough” Japanese immigration officials took exception to the backgrounds of various Velvet Revolver members, which have included arrests. The band is appealing the decision but that process may take “months” and so the dates will be cancelled. The band were granted visas to tour Japan in 2005. On November 20th Japan is scheduled to become the second country in the world (after the United States) to introduce biometric screening (including fingerprinting) of all foreign nationals entering the country.

POLICE TOP BILLBOARD TOURING AWARDS 17/11/07
The Police won Top Tour and Top Draw at the 4th annual 2007 Billboard Touring Awards held on the 15th November at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. The Top Package went to Kenny Chesney with Sugarland, Pat Green, Brooks & Dunn, Sara Evans and the Breakthrough Award went to Justin Timberlake.The Top BoxScore went to the purple one after Prince’s impressive run at at the O2 Arena in London. The Top Agency gong went to Creative Artists Agency and the UK’s Download Festival, Castle Donington, England picked up the Best Festival gong. Top Promoter went to Live Nation and Top Independent Promoter went to C3 Presents. The ‘Legend of Live’ went to Frank Barsalona.

WIDGET A FIRST 17/11/07
UK Music Promoter FeedMe say they have become the first company to sell e-tickets via the “revolutionary new ‘Widget’. “this widget is amazing! So easy to use and implement, providing both bands and us as promoters with an instant and powerful viral marketing tool” said Dave Grenfel, MD of FeedMe Music.
Gig goers can instantly buy tickets to FeedMe Music nights by simply inputting their ticket requirements into the widget (mini-music portal), and receiving a text message as an e-ticket to their mobile phone. In addition to this, users are also sent a bar-coded pdf ticket to their email address.

ZEP FAN PAYS £83,000 FOR A PAIR OF TICKETS 16/11/07
A rather wealthy Led Zeppelin fan has paid £83,000 for two tickets to the legendary band’s much hyped reunion gig at the O2. BBC Radio 2 listener Kenneth Donnell pledged the rather large sum of money to see the band rehearse and attend the totally sold out reunion concert as part of a Children In Need auction, the BBC’s annual marathon fundraiser. Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has recently hinted that the one off show might not be the last saying  it would be a “bit selfish” for his band to only play one show. It remains to be seen if the touts manage to unscramble the tight ticketing restrictions for the show but an incentive of potentially thousands of pounds per ticket profit is surely going to prove to be irresistible.

LIVE NATION CONTINUES SHOPPING SPREE 16/11/07
Live Nation is stepping up its considerable stake on the future of 360º artist deals. The recently-formed Live Nation Artists has acquired Signatures Network for an estimated $79M. Signatures Network holds the rights to market and license merchandise from over 150 artists including The Beatles, U2, Bruce Springsteen and Justin Timberlake. Live Nation had previously acquired Trunk, another major player in this space. The spending spree continues after the 10-year deal which brought Madonna under the Live Nation umbrella. Arthur Fogel, Chairman of Global Music for Live Nation said “We have a very specific game plan … the Madonna deal isn’t in isolation. It’s a plan and a vision that’s going to be rolled out over the near-term and long-term.”

THOUSANDS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN UK SECURITY JOBS 13/11/07
The UK’s Home Office has finally admitted that there may be thousand of illegal migrants working in the UK security industry and have ordered new checks to be carried out by the Security Industry Authority. The SIAs own literature makes it clear that the right to work in the UK is one of the four key criteria necessary before a badge will be given – The SIA say “To qualify for an SIA licence to operate in any of the front line licensable activities … you must be aged 18 or over.You will also need to pass an identity check, a criminal record check, and have achieved the appropriate SIA approved training qualification.

The SIA website currenty has new disclaimer posted saying individual applications received post November 5th will not be able to be tracked as SIA procedures are updated.

and see http://www.the-sia.org.uk/home/licensing/door_supervision/

FOUR TOPS WIN CASE AGAINST ‘TRIBUTE BAND’ 13/11/07
Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir, a founder member of The Four Tops, has won a legal action in the High Court in London against one Viscount Oliver Miller, who has been touring the UK under then name Viscount Oliver’s Legendary Four Tops. Miller appears to have no connection with the Four Tops, either in a
recording or performing capacity and it is arguable if his band was meant to be a tribute band. Fakir began action against Miller after being made aware of the Viscount Oliver Legendary Four Tops tour by a UK fan. Fakir then discovered that Miller had trademarked ‘Viscount Oliver’s American Dream The Legendary Four Tops’. When the Viscount refused to stop touring under The Four Tops banner, or to surrender his trademark, Fakir sued. Miller issued a defence to the litigation, but this was struck out after “persistent and serious breaches of Court Orders” on the defendant’s part. The court found in Fakir’s favour, issuing an injunction to stop Miller from performing under The Four Tops name , damages and a declaration invalidating the defendant’s trademark.

PRINCESS DIANA BENEFICIARY CHARITY RESOLD GUEST TICKETS ONLINE 13/11/07
Music Week report that one of the charities that benefited from the Concert For Diana event staged to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Princess Diana’s death earlier this year used a secondary
ticketing site to sell off their allotment of complimentary guest tickets in order to maximise the money the charity made from the project. The unnamed charity secretly resold its tickets via online ticket agency Get
Me In! Promoters of the Concert For Diana themselves made moves to stop the resale of tickets by members of the public for the benefit concert. The news comes ahead of a government review on the growth of secondary ticket sales.

EMI SUE MP3.COM FOUNDER OVER MP3TUNES.COM 13/11/07
EMI is suing Michael Robertson, founder of MP3.com, for alleged copyright infringement. EMI is taking action against Robertson and MP3tunes over allegations that his newer online ventures, sideload.com and mp3tunes.com are liable  for willful online infringement: Robertson was the man behind the original MP3.com, one of the early flagships of online music.

CLASSIC ACTS TOPS SALES 09/11/07
As Led Zeppelin release Mothership, the Eagles have gone straight to the top of the Billboard 200 with their latest album Long Road Out of Eden knocking Britney Spears latest offering aside. The band, with a combined age of 239 have alreday topped the UK charts but are now making way for Westlife (combined age: 111 years). Both Zepplin and the Eagles are due to play at London’s O2 venue in massively oversubscribed shows. Zeppelin’s comprehensive two-CD Led Zeppelin collection features twenty-four remastered studio tracks and hits the UK shelves on November 12th.

CLIFF FANS ADOPT DIGITAL AGE 09/11/07
Fans of Sir Cliff Richard have flocked to buy his latest album, Love – the Album – and digital downloads will be set at the lowest rate possible, £3.99 (E5.6) for the album. The evergreen rocker had set up a clever marketing wheeze where the price dropped for every buyer as more fans subscribed to buy.  The exclusive download version featuring bonus tracks and is available ahead of the physical release on November 19th. The innovative pricing model is a first not only for Cliff but across all EMI releases.

FANS STAMPEDE IN CLIFF FALL 04/11/07
Yup, like lemmings. Well not really. Its all because the ‘Peter Pan’ of pop, Sir Cliff Richard himself, has launched a jolly new marketing wheeze. Sir Cliff is selling his new Album, Love – The Album, from his own websitewww.lovecliffrichard.com and the starting price is £7.99 (E11) when registration to buy starts on November 12th, but the more fans who register to buy a download – the more the price drops – and if enough fans register all will get the album for £3.99 (E5.60).

ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING PROMOTES CD SALES 04/11/07
This could be a VERY big story in the record industry. A new Canadian sponsored study says that illegal downloading promotes music sales. Now the Recording Industry Association of America, International Federation of Phonographic Industries, British Phonographic Industry and the Candadia Recording Industry Association  might not like this – for the last few years they have all blamed declining CD sales almost wholly on illgal downloading. But the independent survey, sponsored by Industry Canada and supervised by two professors at the the University of London and Decima Reseach seems to suggest that illegal downloading actually leads to an increase in music purchases and that there is a positive correlation between peer-to-peer downloading and CD purchasing. The Impact of Music Downloads and P2P File-Sharing on the Purchase of Music: A Study for Industry Canada surveyed over 2000 Canadians on the music downloading and purchasing practices and comment can be seen athttp://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/2347/125/

UK FESTIVAL AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED 06/11/07
The Isle of Wight won best large festival at the UK’s Festival Awards last night and the Exit Festival won best international festival in the ceremony hosted by the Cuban Brothers at Koko.  The Killers won best headline act and the innvovation award went to the Glastonbury Festival for its new ticketing system. The Big Chill got a big cheer for the ‘best toilets’ gong sponsored by the Bath Store. The Wickerman Festival picked up best grass roots festival whilst Solfest won the family festival award. Best small festival was Blissfields and for the third year on the run best medium festival went to Bestival. Best new festival was John Lennon Northern Lights Festival. The best line up went to the V Festival and bandwise Faithless picked up best dance act, The Levellers had festival feel good act and McFly best pop act. The Arctic Monkeys had ‘anthem of the summer’ with Fluorescent Adolescent and best newcomer went to the Enemy.

The Big Session Festival won the public vote for the Greenest Festival of 2007, sponsored bywww.agreenerfestival.com and Lattitude won fan friendly festival. John Giddings won the awrad for the oustanding contribution to festivals. Live performances came from Scouting for Girls, Mr Hudson & The Library and The Brightlights. Pimms and Bacardi provided the boooze and Tall Paul and Black Affair spun the discs at the after show party (as far as we know).

COMPETITION REGULATORS APPROVE V2 SALE 06/11/07
The Office of Fair Trading in the UK has approved Universal’s acquisition of leading independent V2 label despite criticism from independent label’s trade body AIM that the takeover narrows consumer choice in the UK. It also looks likely that almost all of V2’s staff will be made redundant with just a handful moving over to Universal. V2’s current label roster inlcudes Aimee Mann, Heather Nova, Mercury Rev, Black Crowes, Stereophonics, Billy Crawford, Josh Ritter, Ray Davies, the Rakes, Bloc Party, Lethal Bizzle, Paul Weller and the Dave Matthews Band

GARTH BROOKS BEST SELLING US ARTIST EVER 06/11/07
Garth Brooks has overtaken Elvis to become the best selling solo artist in US music history. The country star has now sold 123 million units, ahead of Elvis’ 118.5 million units. The Beatles still lead overall having shifted 170 million units in the US.

MIKA, AKON, LAVIGNE AND RIHANNA ALL WIN AT WORLD MUSIC AWARDS 06/11/07
Mika scooped four awards at the glitzy World Music Awards in Monte Carlo winning best Male Entertainer of the Year, the World’s Best-Selling New Artist, the World’s Best-Selling Pop/Rock Male Artist and Britain’s Best-Selling Artist. And Akon was celebrating after winning three awards  – R&B artist award , Africa’s Best-Selling Artist and the World’s Best-Selling Internet Artist. 50 fiddy Cent picked up best hip-hop act. Canadian singing legend Celine Dion and R&B superstar Patti LaBelle were also both honoured at the star-studded ceremony, Dion with the prestigious Legend Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music presented by Monaco’s Prince Albert and LaBelle was presented with the Legend Award for Outstanding Contribution to R&B. Avril Lavigne, who thrilled fans with an energetic performance at the ceremony, saw off stiff competition from Nelly Furtado, Pink and Amy Winehouse to pick up the World’s Best-Selling Pop/Rock Female Artist whilst Rihanna won Female Entertainer of the Year. The awards are based on worldwide album sales as certified by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

KYLIE ‘CANCELLED’ TOUR THAT NEVER WAS 06/11/07
The UK’s Daily Mail was looking particulalry foolish today after announcing that Kylie Minogue had been forced to cancel her ‘tour’ because of health worries. Well, yes, she had been ill with cancer but now has the all clear and tour? What tour? Kylie’s label, Parlaphone, had this to say: “We would like to make it clear that the report in today’s Daily Mail that Kylie has cancelled a forthcoming tour on doctor’s orders is completely false. When asked, Kylie has said on numerous occasions that she loves touring and that she might tour again in the near future. There were and are no dates currently confirmed. If and when dates are confirmed they will be announced in the normal manner. Thus, reports in the ‘Daily Mail’ that Kylie has cancelled a tour are not true for the simple reason that no tour had been booked. Kylie has not been told by her doctors that touring “could seriously harm her health”. She did not give the quotes reported in the Mail today. And touring is something that she is still considering for the future. Her health remains excellent and she is in the middle of promoting her new single and album.”.

MEAT NOT BEAT 03/11/07
Despite cancelling concerts in Newcstle and Birmingham on his UK tour, Meatloaf has said he is not quitting live music. Fans got worried after he walked offstage in Newcastle after 70 minutes saying “this is the last show I may ever do in my life.” But Mr Meat had been ordered to rest by doctors and has now taken their advice – the cancelled shows will be rescheduled.

MYSPACE 03/11/07
A video posted on MySpace by Yorkshire band One Night Only is picking up 5 million hits a day. The video shows shots of quaint Yorkshire town Helmsley  including the local public house and the castle. The tune for the video – You and Me, is likely to enter the UK’s top 40 this weekend. The band have been going since 2003 and average 17 years in age although the video features two old age pensioners who the lads thought might have been in a ‘rock and roll’ band in the past. The band themselves are signed to Universal Music.

www.myspace.com/onenightonlyonline

EMI TO AXE LAZY ACTS 03/11/07
The new boss at EMI, Guy Hands, has said that he will axe bands and artists who don’t work with the label saying “there has been a lot of talk about what labels offer to artists and the consumer but not much talk about how artists should work with their label. Whilst many spend huge amounts of time working with their label to promote, perfect and endorse their music, some unfortunately simply focus on negotiating the maximum advance, advances which are often never repaid”.

ZEPPELIN DATE MOVES 02/11/07
Led Zeppelin have been forced to postpone their highly-anticipated reunion show at the O2 Arena in London due to guitarist Jimmy Page injuring his finger according to Five Eight Daily. The show, scheduled for 26th November, will now be held on 10th December.

EMA WINNERS REVEALED 02/11/07
Winners at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Munich, Germany included Avril Lavigne, Muse and Rihanna. Lavigne was named best solo artist and her song, Girlfriend, voted the most addictive track of the year. Muse took home best UK and Ireland act and best headline act, whilst Rihanna scooped the ultimate urban prize award.

29 DOME STAFF GASSED 02/11/07
OK it isn’t as bad as the headline suggested but a number of staff working at the 02 Arena (which was London’s Millennium Dome) were hospitalised after a ammonia leak.Emergency services were called to the south west London venue at 8.30pm after ammonia gas leaked into the arena where staff were dismantling stage equipment.  Four fire engines and several support units from five fire stations in Greenwich and the surrounding area attended the scene closely followed by fifteen ambulances and five vehicles from the London Ambulance Service’s Hazardous Area Response Team. Twenty-nine people were taken to hospital suffering from symptoms such as nausea, difficulty breathing and eye irritation but were all treated and discharged the same night. No members of the public were affected. The O2 opened the following day as usual. The gas is believed to have leaked from the ice rink plant room and an internal investigation is being carried out into the cause of the incident.

GREEN POLICIES SPROUT EVERYWHERE 02/11/07
Here at the Music Law Updates we are keen to champion websites like www.agreenerfestival.com, music industry initiative www.juliesbicycle.com  and YOUROPE’s Green n Clean awards. But if the music industry doesn’t clean up its own act, rest assured there are countless politicians who will legislate for it.  A new European Commission report has been published detailing progress towards the aims of the EU’s renewed Sustainable Development Strategy which was adopted in June 2006. The report recommends that Europe must implement its climate change policies, markedly increase the use of alternative energy, take bolder steps towards environmentally-friendly transport and increase efforts to halt biodiversity loss and Commission president José Manuel Barroso said “We must reverse unsustainable long-term trends in areas like energy consumption, transport, bio-diversity and health” adding “We will continue to lead in fighting climate change and keep our promises to the developing world”. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has put a moratorium on the growing of genetically-modified crops in France and has announced plans to ban energy-wasting lightbulbs along with a raft of other concessions to the environment in a move which is supposed to put France in the vanguard of ‘green’ states on the international stage. In Northern Ireland, a leading wildlife charity has published a new report which urges the government to act to improve education about sustainable development and business practices. The report, entitled Sustainable Schools – Building, inspiring and protecting our shared future, was produced by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). It argues that it is vital young children are taught about environmental sustainability as these people will be the business leaders of the future who have to tackle issues surrounding climate change. Finally the UK Government, not to be outdone by the French, has announced that The UK’s Climate Change Bill will be amended to increase transparency and accountability, ministers have announced . Environment secretary Hilary Benn revealed the changes to the draft legislation following a three-month public consultation. The Bill will make the UK the first country to introduce legally-binding targets to reduce emissions, and ministers hope it will inspire other nations to follow suit. Mr Benn confirmed Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s announcement last month that the target of reducing emissions by 60% by 2050 will now be reviewed by the Committee on Climate Change which will be established by the Bill. The committee will also be asked to examine whether shipping and aviation emissions should be included in the UK’s targets. The Bill will also, as originally planned, introduce a new cap and trade scheme to cut the emissions of larger companies not already covered under existing schemes. Following the announcement, campaign groups including Friends Of the Earth and Stop Climate Chaos urged minister to immediately increase the 2050 target to 80% and to include shipping and aviation emissions from the outset.

TRENT TROTTED TO OINK TROUGH 02/11/07
Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor has revealed that he was a keen user of the OiNK download site, recently raised and shut down by Dutch and British police saying “If OiNK cost anything, I would certainly have paid” said Reznor, “what made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world’s greatest record store”. Reznor also went on to ‘diss’  iTunes (thats what kidz say isnt it) saying “I don’t feel cool when I go there”.  But the IFPI said that OiNK, with an estimated membership of 180,000, has been used by many hardcore file-sharers to violate the rights of artists and producers by obtaining copyrighted recordings and making them available on the internet. So now you know – and its still shut down.

FRANK CALLARI DIES 31/10/07
US based artist manager and Lost Highway co-founder Frank Callari has died from natural causes aged 55. Artists he worked with during his career included the Mavericks, Ryan Adams, Junior Brown and Lucinda Williams abd he co-founded Lost Highway Records in 2001. A funeral is planned in Nashville on the 1st November.

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT TO LOOK AT EC SONY-BMG APPROVAL 31/10/07
The European Parliament is to question officials from the European Commission over the latter’s second approval of the Sony-BMG merger. The Commission’s first approval was successfully challenged in Court and now members of the Parliament will have the chance to invetsigate the approval furher, looking in particular at whether the merger affects cultural diversity.

STARBUCKS SIGN FIRST DEVELOPMENT ARTIST 31/10/07
The Starbucks record label, Hear Music, now the home of Sir Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell has  signed a development deal with singer songwriter Hilary McRae, who will release her debut album via the coffee label next year. A first track will be available in the US via Starbucks Download Of The Day programme next month.

THREE HURT IN AKON STAGE COLLAPSE 29/10/07
A US concert by R&B star Akon has been cancelled after part of the stage collapsed, injuring three people. The three, all workers building the set for the outdoor show at Emory University in Atlanta, were taken to hospital after a canopy fell on top of them and the show was then cancelled.  Source  BBC News.

BBC TO STREAM LIVE OPERA 28/10/07
BBC Radio 3 is to video stream an opera for the first time via its website. It will feature the English National Opera’s performance of Carmen on November 3rd. It is also the first time a UK opera house has offered a complete production online. Four or five concerts featured in Radio 3’s London Jazz Festival coverage will be available online to view for seven days after the festival has finished.
www.radiotoday.co.uk

SONYBMG REDUCES LOSSES 28/10/07
SonyBMG have further reduced their losses this year as they continue to battle to go back into profit. The major record company has just posted a net loss for the second quarter of $8 million, which compares to losses of $39 million and $60 million in the same quarter in 2006 and 2005 respectively. CMU Daily reports that the significant fall in losses comes despite a 10.2% drop in sales blamed on the overall declines in the global CD market and a relatively quiet release schedule in the second quarter compared to the same period the previous year.

GLASTONBURY LAUNCHES HOLY COW 28/10/07
Emily Eavis has launched a new music night in London which will champion new and unsigned talent with the goal of getting more emerging talent to play at the next Glastonbury Festival. The night will be called Holy Cow and any band wanting to be considered to appear at it should get in touch via http://www.myspace.com/holyholycow

CALIFORNIAN CONCERTS CANCELLED BY FIRES 28/10/07
The now subsiding fires in California has led to the cancellation of numerous live events, particularly in  San Diego venues, including gigs from Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Jesus And Mary Chain and Peter Frampton.

ECHO FESTIVAL NO TROUBLE AT ALL DESPITE COUNCILLOR’S FEARS 22/10/07
The UK’s Echo Festival, which went ahead under the new Temporary Events Notice (TEN) provisions of the 2003 Licensing Act, seems to have gone off without incident and indeed the follow-up report, prepared by the Head of Community Protection for the local authority, states that “There were no complaints received by the Council or the out of hours noise standby officer.  A licensing officer who lives in the locality also visited over the weekend and was unable to determine any concerns or breaches of the Temporary Events Notice. Reports from the police were that the event was quiet with no police issues at all”. Before the event local councillors had expressed alarm that neither they nor local residents could object to the TEN and one councillor said “yet again, another example of this ridiculous legislation introduced by this Government.” But it seems that fear about the event were ungrounded. Feargal Sharkey, chair of the UK’s Live Music Forum, points out that the same local local authority (Basingstoke & deane Borough Council) appear to have issued some 548 other Temporary Event Notices, all of which it would seem, took place without incident. Feargal adds that tens of thousands of TENs where issued by local authorities throughout England and Wales in the first year after they were introduced in 2005 and as far as he is aware ‘none of them has ever given any cause for concern.”

LUCKY DUBE KILLED IN KIDNAP ATTEMPT 20/10/07
South African reggae star Lucky Dube has been killed in a botched hijack attempt on the 18th October and now a team of detectives are hunting for the killers as public outrage against violent crime mounted. The man who recorded the album Rastas Never Die was gunned down in front of his teenage son and daughter in Rosettenville, Johannesburg. His attackers left his Chrysler behind and fled in a blue VW Polo. “Dube’s son was already out of the car when the shots were fired. When he saw what was happening, he ran to ask for help,” said police spokesperson Captain Cheryl Engelbrecht. Gauteng’s police commissioner Perumal Naidoo has hand-picked a team of investigators to track down Dube’s killers as tributes poured in for the star from the great and the good including South Africa’s President.

BYE BYE BEAR 19/10/07
The music indsustry is mouring the loss of Dainton ‘The Bear’ Connell who died in a tragic car crash in Moscow and whose funeral is today (19th October). Dainton was head of security and personal bodyguard for numerous well known artists including Take That and The Pet Shop Boys whose Chris Lowe said ‘He was much loved by everyone who met him … I can’t imagine him not being around any more. He was greatly loved and respected’. Dainton was a massive Arsenal FC fan and well known at the club and thousands were expected to mark his passing as police closed roads in Norhh London today for his funeral procession. He leaves a wife and three children.

UK POLITICIAN ADMITS NEW ACT MAY HAVE HURT LIVE MUSIC 17/10/07
Following on from our story yesterday, a Labour peer in the UK has has conceded that the new Licensing Act has proved “somewhat of a disappointment” when it comes to live music in the UK.  The admission came during a debate this week tabled by Liberal Democrat culture spokesperson Lord Clement-Jones. Lord Davies of Oldham, spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, said he did not rule out the possibility that there had been an “unintended or disproportionate impact on certain types of venue or activity” and that “the government accept that the new regime has yet to deliver the significant benefits in terms of the number and variety of live music performances which we would have hoped”. However Lord Davis said that he hoped that the final report of the Live Musc Forum (the independent body sponsored by the DCMS) would establish that many criticisms of the act were unfounded. The Forum’s current research found that the Act had had a broadly neutral effect on the provision of live music and its final research on the effect of the Act on live music is due in November 2007. While no major legislative changes were announced, Lord Davies said that plans were being pushed through to “remove the administrative burden” for pubs and clubs wanting to host live music. Measures are also being taken to make it easier for village and community halls to gain licenses.

UK POLITICIANS CALLS FOR LIVE MUSIC REVIEW 16/10/07
The UK’s third party, the Liberal Democrats, have said that they will challenge the government to “rescue live music” from the “needless red tape” which was introduced by the 2003 Licensing Act. The LibDems and others say that the complexities of licensing mean that the bureaucratic process has reduced the number of places offering music, which in turn reduces the opportunities for grass roots musicians to play. The Lib Dems planned to raise the problem in a House Of Lords debate. Liberal Democrat Culture, Media and Sport Spokesperson Lord Clement-Jones said  “The Government promised that the new licensing laws would result in an explosion in live music, it is quite clear that this has not happened. Under the current regime, a group of musicians playing in the corner pose more of a threat to crime and disorder in a pub than the gang watching a football match on the big screen.”

FESTIVAL REPUBLIC TO SUPPORT CHILDREN’S CHARITY 16/10/07
Festival Republic (formerly Mean Fiddler), organisers of Lattitude and the Reading and Leeds festivals, have announced a programme offering those who went to those festivals this year the chance to take part in overseas community projects organised by non-governmental organisation Cradle, with all their travel, accommodation and living expenses covered. Cradle volunteers support children and communities in areas “that have been defined by ethnic hatred”, and they have programmes currently running in the likes of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Thailand.
see  http://www.festivalrepublic.com/news/

US UNIVERSITIES COUNT THE COST OF STUDENT’S MUSIC 15/10/07
US Universities have been counting the cost of policing illegal music downloading by students after being contacted by a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on intellectual property. The University of Winconsin at Madison (UW) said that it had spent more than US $300,000 responding to cease and desist leters from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and to a lesser extent the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Staff have to deal with cease and desist letters, follow up with students, notify the RIAA when the music is deleted and secure the student’s agreement not to copy again. The University also spends time and money publicising the implications of copyright theft. Last year UW received 1,158 cease and desist letters from the RIAA. Purdue University, which made the top 10 lists of both the RIAA and MPAA for unauthorized use of copyrighted materials, says tracking down alleged offenders and verifying identities has been a “significant cost to the university” with each case taking 3 – 4 hours to properly deal with at an estimated $50 per hour cost. Last year Purdue received 1,068 notices form the RIAA and 873 from the MPAA. In mid-September, the RIAA issued a new wave of 403 pre-litigation settlement letters to 22 universities nationwide, including 62 letters to parties at UW System schools where users have failed to comply with cease-and-desist orders. Twenty-eight of those were sent to students at UW-Madison. The letters give students the chance to resolve copyright infringement claims against them at a discounted rate before a formal lawsuit is filed.

KOREAN MUSIC WEBSITE NEUTERED 15/10/07
Soribada, the hugely successful Korean  online file sharing service, has been ordered by the Seoul High Court to shut down its servers that provide connections between users’ computer hard drives to download content, which includes music, audio files and some texts. The order is expected to affect other Peer2Peer service companies, too. The case came after complaints from Korean musicians and record labels saying the service infringed copyrights and which asked the court to place sanctions on the company’s file copying service. The P2P company said it will once again improve its file-screening system to avoid the business sanction. The new service will only allow the exchange of files that are allowed by copyright owners. However  Soribada argued that the court order had not taken User Generated Content (UGC) into consideration adding that if the judgment wass applied accross the web “nearly all portal sites or large Web sites such as Youtube.com, which provide all kinds of UGC, may have to shut down” . According to the order, Soribada may have to pay a fine of one-to-two million won a day should it be caught providing downloading connections of content without the copyright owner’s consent. A day after the court ruling, the stock price of the company almost halved, from 6,560 won to 3,655 won per share.

MADONNA TO GO WITH LIVE NATION? 15/10/07
Numerous magazines and websites have reported that Madonna is on the verge of abandoning her ‘traditional’ record deal with Warner Music for a £120 million deal covering recording rights, live and merchandising with concert promoter Live Nation. Reports say that under the proposed deal, Madonna would get a signing on bonus of about $18 million, an advance of about $17 million for each of three albums, stock, and an agreement for Live Nation to exclusively promote her tours. It was also reported that to try and keep Madonna,  Warner pursued a partnership with Ticketmaster that would have enabled the record company to offer a spectrum of touring services to Madonna who was, after the Rolling Stones, the second biggest grossing live touring artist last year.

UNIVERSAL LAUNCH MEMORY STICK MUSIC 14/10/07
Universal have announced that they will begin to release both singles and albums on USB memory sticks this month, starting with Keane, Kanye West and a release from the Pussy Cat Doll’s Nicole. The move, aimed at 14-24 year olds will price £4.99 (E7) for singles. Warners have also said they will launch memory sticks with a £7.99 Hadouken! release with six new and five older tracks at £7.99 (E11) Each memory stick will also have additional storage capacity and links to multimedia content obtainable via the internet.

UK DIGITAL DOWNLOAD SALES WILL REACH £163 MILLION 14/10/07
Sales of digital music in the UK will have reached £163 million (E230 million) by year end according to reductions in a report from market analysts Verdict. Sales are expected to top £600 million (E840 million) by 2012. The report says that digital sales will be up 45% on 2006 and now compromise about 4.1% of all sales and music and video downloads will compromise 13.5% of all sales by 2012. However the fact remains that according to IFPI figures only one download in 25 is legal.

AN INCONVENIENT JUDGEMENT AGAIN GORE 14/10/07
A High Court judge in London had agreed with a complaint made by a school teacher that Al Gore’s film,  An Inconvenient Truth was not entirely accurate and contains certain unsubstantiated data. Mr Justice Barton said schools could screen the film but must make available balancing materials. For example Gore claimed that sea levels could rise twenty feet in the ‘future’ whereas the respected Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests less than a tenth of this figure (18 inches) over the next 100 years. The judge also fund no evidence that polar bears were drowning because of melting ice and that the film was guilty of ‘alarmism and exaggeration’. However the judge also commented that there was good support for the four main hypotheses of Gore’s film – that climate change is mainly caused by human created emissions; that global temperatures are rising and will continue to so do; that unchecked climate change will cause serious damage; that government and individuals can reduce the impact of climate change. The case was brought by Stewart Dimmock, a school governor from Kent, with funding from a variety of climate change sceptic sources. If you are interested (and Dimmock has an interesting collection of supporters) see the Observer  newspaper of the 14th October 2007 at pages 10-11 and see www.guardian.co.uk/environment/climatechange.

INDIAN HOGWARTS IS MAGIC 14/10/07
The Delhi High Court has dismissed a claim from Harry Potter author JK Rowling against organisers of a religious event who constructed a replica of the fictional Hogwarts School complete with a matble staircase and stone flagged hall, all lit with flaming torches.  The writer had brought a claim in copyright law seeking 2 million rupees (£25,000) in damages. However the Court took a dim view over adverts featuring Potteresque characters used to promote the event and banned the use of these by organisers of the Durga Pjua festivities in Calcutta. The festivities begin on Octobet 16th and last for four days.

US LABELS FINALLY GET FILESHARE CONVICTION 05/10/07
The Recording Industry Association of America’s much crticised campaign against individuals who take part in illegal filesharing which costs the industry billions of dollars has finally resulted in a high profile conviction when a jury at the Duluth Federal Court ordered Jammie Thomas to pay the labels $222,000, the sum of $9,250 for each of 24 songs for which the companies sought damages. The lawsuit accused Thomas, a single mother of two, of sharing more than 1,700 songs on the peer-to-peer file sharing network Kazaa. The suit contended that Thomas violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by distributing songs for free that belonged to the record labels. The labels’ international trade body, the IFPI,  estimates that 20 billion tracks are downloaded illegally each year and that only 795 million tracks were legally purchased – a ratio of 25 illegal downloads to each legal one. Over 10,000 people in 18 different countries have been threatened with legal action. The legal download market, worth about £1 billion ($2 billion) is worth about 10% of the total market value in recorded. The Head of Sony-BMG litigation, Jennifer Pariser,  who testified during the trial made the industrys position clear saying “it is important for Sony BMG to combat this problem, If we don’t, we don’t have a business. In Washington, D.C., the Recording Industry Association of America issued a statement that the jury’s decision affirms “that the law is clear, as are the consequences for breaking it. … We will continue to bring legal actions against those individuals who have broken the law”.

SONY BMG MERGER FINALLY APPROVED 03/10/07
The European Commission have now formally re-approved their July 2004 merger of Sony and BMG’s record labels which was annulled in 2006 by the European Court of Justice. The EC Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroess said that the “investigation represents one of the most thorough analyses of complex information ever undertaken by the Commission” adding that “It clearly shows that the merger would not raise competition concerns in any of the affected markets.” But UK independent labels trade body the Association of Independent Music, which is part of IMPALA, the European trade body which first complained about the Sony-BMG merger, have also responded to a request for information from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) regarding Universal’s “creeping dominance” of the recorded music market citing Universal’s recent acquisition of two of the UK’s largest independents, V2 and Sanctuary, Belgian independent ARS Entertainment , Spain’s Vale Music and Sweden’s Lionheart E Group.

ROLLING STONES TOUR GROSSES OVER HALF A BILLION 03/10/07
Rolling Stones promoter Michael Cohl has told Billboard that the legendary band’s A Bigger Bang tour, which toured the world between Autumn 2005 and August 2007, made over half a billion dollars in ticket sales, making it by far the highest grossing tour in rock history. The tour grossed $558,255,524 over 144 shows, with 4,680,000 ticket buyers attending. Meanwhile frontman Mick Jagger has vetoed the Stones ever playing at Glastonbury “I don’t want to play Glastonbury on the Sunday night in the pouring rain, which is what The Who did this year. I was watching it on the telly, and my kids were there. I’m on the phone saying ‘it’s awful. They said it’s really fun, but it didn’t look fun to me. You’ve got to pick your slot .”

HARVEY V THE TOUTS 03/10/07
Its hardly surprising that Led Zepplin’s one off O2 gig would be a magnet for touts – with a massive demand for the limited 22,000 tickets. Its also not surprising that reunion promoter Harvey Goldsmith has vowed to fight the ticke touts who are already re-selling tickets and codes to buy tickets for the show.Despite “Glastonbury-esque” precautions being taken over the sales of tickets themselves, the codes that allow people to buy the tickets have already begun to appear on online auction sites such as eBay, fetching as much as 500 per code – even though the code only allows you to purchase two tckets, they are not the tickets themselves. Goldsmith has now said “No tickets are being issued until the day before the show” and that the tickets would only be issued to the named person with the code. Ticket holders will need ID to match name and code and “unless all three pieces of information match, you will not be allowed into the concert and you certainly won’t get a ticket”.

RIAA BEGINS CRIMINAL ACTION AGAINST DOWNLOADER 03/10/07
The first criminal action against an alleged serial downloader has begun in the US. 30-year-old single mother of two Jammie Thomas appeared in court today in tthe Duluth Federal Court Minnesota to answer allegations that she illegally shared 1,702 songs on the Kazaa file-sharing network. Thomas is the first of approximately 26,000 US citizens accused by the Recording Industry Association of America of illegal file-sharing to reach a civil judge and jury. Most of those accused have settled with the RIAA Thomas said she had rejected such offers because she refused to be bullied.The RIAA is seeking over $1.2m in compensation. The suit will focus on only 26 songs for damages with a claim of $750 to $30,000 for each alleged copyright violation. However in cross examination, Jennifer Pariser, SonyBMG’s head of litigation admitted, that that the RIAA’s legal campaign isn’t making the labels any money, and that, furthermore, the industry has no idea of the actual damages it suffers due to file-sharing. Artstechnica report that the RIAA’s settlement amounts are typically in the neighborhood of $3,000-$4,000 for those who settle once they receive a letter from the music industry but this is dwarfed by the other side of the balance sheet – the amount of money paid to SafeNet (formerly MediaSentry) to conduct its investigations, and the cash spent on the RIAA’s legal team and on local counsel to help with the various cases is enormous amd the entire campaign is a “money pit”.

BT DIGITAL WINNERS 03/10/07
Winners at the BT Digital Music Awards at London’s Roundhouse on the 2nd October hosted by Sarah Cox  included iTunes (Best Music Store), Muse (Best Rock/Indie Act), BBC 6Music (Best Radio Station), Hospital Records’ London Elektricity (Best Podcast), NME.com (Best Music Magazine), Live Nation’s Download Festival  website (Best Music Community), Enter Shakira (best breakthrough) and Slice The Pie (Best Innovation). The Outstanding Contribution To Digital Music Award went to Thomas Dolby.

FAN DIES IN PUMPKINS’ VANCOUVER GIG 01/10/07
A fan died has died at a Smashing Pumpkins gig in Vancouver, Canada on Monday night (September 24th) after being involved in what police described as a “mosh pit or crowd-surfing incident”. The man was removed unconscious from the crowd inside the PNE Forum venue. NME reports that first aid specialists attempted to revive him before he was transferred to the nearby St Paul’s Hosptial where he was pronounced dead. No suspicious circumstances are suspected and NME report that police put the death down to an “out of control mosh pit”.

FANS WISH PINK FLOYD WERE HERE 01/10/07
The new Music Choice poll of European music fans reveals that Pink Floyd are the band fans would most like to see reformed (with 26% of respondents plumping for Roger Waters and Dave Gilmour to bury the hatchet – but not literally).  Next came  ABBA (19%) and then Guns ‘n’ Roses (15.73%). Funny thing this but don’t the Floyd and ABBA both have songs about money ……..

EDGE BOSS EYES UP US 01/10/07
Billboard reports that David Glick, cheif honcho at the Edge investment group is heading for the US for a slate of meetings with US promoters. The Edge Peformance fund, a Venture Capital Trust (the UK tax efficient investment scheme),  has already raised $40 million in its first two funding rounds and expects to raise a similar figure in the next round of funding, details for which will be unveiled in October. Under U.K. tax rules half of the fund can be invested outside the U.K in music and arts events. The VCT’s board features a host of senior British entertainment executives, including promoter Harvey Goldsmith, artist managers Frank Presland and Michael Eaton, and Sir Robin Miller, former chairman of both EMAP and HMV.

MORE DIGITAL SERVICES PULLED 01/10/07
Now that Virgin has joined Sony in pulling out of the digital downloads market, Yahoo has said that it is to shut down its podcasting service, Yahoo! Podcasts, on 31st October. Apple’s iTunes still dominates the digital playing field althoug recent moves by Amazon to offer a download service might prove to be more of a threat.

 

DO YOU KNOW YOUR OWN CARBON FOOTPRINT? 17/09/07
Anyone in the live sector cannot have failed to notice the glorious UK spring (the hottest on record) and then a very very wet summer causing untold costs and chaos in the UK festival calandar alongside forest fires in Greece, hurricanes in the Americas and drought in Australia.  Julies Bicycle, the UK’s cross music industry climate change group are asking all companies and organisations in the UK music industry to take part in a survey being run by Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute to see just what the industry’s CO2 emissions really are. The survey can be found online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=xvIvW3nX20ibFJt329oJ8w_3d_3d and takes about 10-20 minutes for most companies.

Julie’s Bicycle are also now offering carbon audits for the UK music industry – starting at as little as £250 – and one of their environmental auditors will arrange a meeting and a site visit and provide a written report and follow up meeting. The directors of the not for profit company writing an open letter in Music Week point out that the cost is really an investment as almost all companies will quickly save the  cost in energy savings. The group is chaired by Big Lifes Management’s  Jazz Summers and board members include Stuart Galbraith and Ben Challis from the live sector, record label representatives include  David Joseph from Universal  Music Group and  Emma Pike from SonyBMG and Jeremy Lascelles from Chrysalis Music brings in music publishing. Anyone interested can take a look atwww.juliesbicycle.com or contact the Director , Al Tickell at juliesbicycle@yahoo.co.uk.

LIVE SECTOR INVESTMENT FIRM ANNOUNCES NEW FUNDS 14/09/07
Investment firm the Edge Group has announced that its second round of funding added £13.45 million to their coffers.The Edge Group’s Edge Performance Venture Capital Trust raised £6.25 million from its first investment offer, and has now invested those funds in various live music ventures, working in partnership with the likes of SJM and AEG. Edge Group founder David Glick says he will announce a series of further
investments in the coming twelve months which will make the investment outfit an important player in the wider live industry.

Source: CMU Daily

BRITNEY IN A MESS, KANYE IN A HUFF AND KID & TOMMY IN A FIGHT – BUSINESS AS USUAL AT THE MTV AWARDS 14/09/07
Britney Spears was mauled by the press for a lacklustre performance when she opened the MTV VMAs. The singer was dressed in a bikini and looked unfit and vaguely disinterested and seemed to have lost the art of lip synching. If that wasn’t bad enough for the organisers, Kanye West then went into the huff of all huffs after he failed to get a single gong, despite being nominated in five categories – saying he will never come back. The night only got worse (or maybe improvied) when Tommy Lee and Kid Rock (both ex-partners of Baywatch star Pamela Anderson) decided to have a bit of a fracas – with Lee being ejected – although it appears Kid Rock may be charged with assualt. Ah well, at least the rock n roll spirit lives on.

RECORD NUMBERS FOR THE LONDON PROMS 14/09/07
The 2007 Proms season in London has attracted more people than ever. Organisers have reported a 5% increase in ticket sales on last year, with 272,000 people booking, compared to 265,000 last year.

THE REVOLVING DOOR …. 05/09/07
Music Week and Hollywood Reporter both report that Stuart Galbraith has exited Live Nation UK where he was MD. No replacement has been announced.  Bruce Eskowitz, Live Nation CEO of North American Music, is to step down from his position with immediate effect. Eskowitz moves to become President and CEO of Premier Exhibitions in Atlanta. Jason Garner, formerly Live Nation’s President of North American Music, now takes over Eskowitz’s role: Elsewhere Martin Talbot becomes MD of the UK Chart Company: Universal Music {ublishing have announced a number of European appointments in the wake of their merger with BMG Music Publishing.The newly appointed executivess will all report to Paul Connolly, who is President of the merged company’s European operations: Among Connolly’s team will be Simon Baker, who has been confirmed as VP Finance And Operations for the whole of Europe, a role which will also nvolve responsibility for the continued integration of the Universal and BMG publishing companies. In terms of country heads, former UMP chiefs in France, Germany, Italy and the Nordic region – Jean-Philippe Allard, Markus Wenzel, Claudio Buja and Martin Ingestrom respectively – will head up the merged company in their respective regions. In Spain and Portugal BMG Music Publishing chief Carmen Lopez will take over running the merged UMP operations there, while BMG’s Benelux chief Frank Bruens and BMG’s Czech Republic boss Dominika Nováková will likewise take over the UMP MD roles in their respective regions. Elsewhere, Antal Boronkay, formerly MD of sheet music outfit Editio Musica Budapest, will become MD for UMP Hungary, while Rainer Bischof, whopreviously headed up UMP Austria, will also take responsibility for Switzerland and Koch Music Publishing. In London EMI Music Publishing is moving to EMI’s Wrights Lane address from its Charing Cross address;   Sony/ATV Music Publishing has appointed Claribel Cuevas to the position of Senior Director of Creative in Latin America. Cuevas previously held the role of Senior Creative Director of Latin music for Famous Music Publishing: Andrew Stess is to become the new CEO of MusicIP, replacing Matthew Dunn. Stess was formerly VP of Consumer Electronics at All Media Guide: Miles Flint, President of  Sony Ericsson (the world’s fourth largest manufacturer of mobile phones), has stepped down to take a ‘career break’ . Hideki Komiyama, head of Sony Electronics USA, will now step into his role. Phew!

UNIVERSAL PULL VIDEOS FROM ITUNES 03/09/07
NBC Universal  have announced that they are cancelling their contract with iTunes, thereby removing an estimated 40% of all the video downloads from the service, including popular shows such as Heroes. Apple stated that a proposed new agreement by NBC Universal would have seen the cost of programmes more than double their previous wholesale price, and that such a move was untenable. The move follows hot on the heels of Universal Music Group’s decision not to renew a long-standing contract with the retailer. Universal Music has now changed to a monthly contract.Elsewhere in the digital world, Sony have announced they are closing their Sony Connect music service.

GET WELL SOON MICK QUINN 03/09/07
Supergrass have announced that they will not be able to play their planned 23 Sep gig at the Oxford Carling Academy because bass player and vocalist Mick Quinn is recovering from a serious back injury during an accident while holidaying in the South Of France, apparently when sleepwalking. Quinn suffering from two broken vertebrae and a smashed heal – he is hopefully on the mend – get well soon Mick!

VIRGIN AND EMI CHIEFS BOTH ON THE MOVE AND AYESHA GOES TO BACK TO POLITICS 02/09/07
Eric Nicoli , the hands on Chief Executive of EMI has announced he will be stepping down following the UK music group’s acquisitoin by Terra Firma. He will retain a consultancy with EMI in the transition period. The planned £105 million floatation of Virgin Radio was up in the air on friday after bossman Paul Jackson announced he was leaving to join rivals Gcap. Ayesha Hazarika is leaving EMI as Vice President of Public Affairs and will be joining the office of Harriet Harmen MP as a special adviser . Harriet Harmen is Deputy Leader and Chair of the Labour Party in the UK, Leader of the House of the Commons and Secretary of State for Women and Equality.

CCGB FOUNDER HILLY KRISTAL DIES 01/09/07
Hilly Kristal , the founder of legendary New York punk club CBGB, died on August 28th from due to complications from lung cancer. He was 75. Kristal founded the club in 1973 to showcase bluegrass and country acts, but it quickly became known as a breeding ground for experimental and punk music. In 2006, the club was forced to close in the face of rising rents and gentrification in the neighborhood. Kristal is survived by a daughter, a son and two grandchildren. A private memorial will be held first, with a public tribute to follow at a date to be announced.

YOU TUBE SIGN UP WITH MCPS-PRS ALLIANCE 01/09/07
Steve Porter , CEO of the MCPS-PRS Alliance has announced that YouTube has finalised a major “ground breaking”  licensing agreement with UK royalty collection society, its first outside the US. The agreement will see 10M pieces of music blanket licensed for an undisclosed flat fee. Porter said “We are delighted to have concluded this deal with YouTube and to be the first collecting society outside the US to do so. Whether it is music videos, user uploads or other audio visual content, our agreement will allow our 50,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members to be paid when their creative talents are being enjoyed on YouTube’s service across the UK”.

NOKIA TO TAKE ON ITUNES 01/09/07
Giant phone manufacturer Nokia have signalled that they will take on the might of iTunes by launching a new download store using Windows Media Audio and a new phone, the N81 which will be a ‘jukebox in the pocket’. Orange, also in the download market, have already fired a warning shot to Nokia but the phone manufacturer clearly could be a real challenge to Apple’s iTunes and iPods – and Orange. Orange wants to evaluate the new venture against its own download service and will move to withhold the new device from its 16M UK customers if these conditions are not met. More than 100,000 tracks are downloaded via Orange’s music store in the UK each month.

GOLDEN SHOWER ENDS IN WRIT 01/09/07
Five Eight reports that a woman in the US is suing rapper Lil’ Wayne over allegations she was trampled by a frenzied crowd during a concert. 17-year-old Tyrique Layne states she lost consciousness and suffered a serious closed head injury when money was thrown into the crowd resulting in a stampede. Layne is seeking $1M in damages

PRISON DATE FOR DIRTY PRETTY THINGS 01/09/07
Dirty Pretty Things and The Enemy have played a gig inside London’s Pentonville Prison in front of 200 inmates. The event was to publicise the the charity Wasted Youth which is raising awareness of suicide in young men – particularly in prison. The event was organised by Dan Fulvio, the deputy editor of Heat magazine who lost a brother to suicide.

BO RECOVERS, AMY IN-LAWS COMMENT BUT FAREWELL ART DAVIES 01/09/07
Legendary bluesman Bo Diddley is said to be stable after suffering a heart attack in a Florida Hospital during a medical check up. In the UK Amy Winehouse’s father in law has said that fans should stop buying Amy’s music to make the point that her and husband Blake Fielder Civil’s behaviour is unacceptable. Amy’s own father Mitch dismissed the idea. However Giles Fielder Civil also questioned why Amy was still being nominated for awards. Finally and sadly Art Davies, the  brilliant jazz bassist whose music bridged the jazz and classical worlds, has died aged 72.

NEW SPRINGSTEEN WORLD TOUR ANNOUNCED 01/09/07
As expected, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will tour North America and Europe before the end of the year in support of their new album, ” Magic.” The trek begins on October 2nd with the North American shows wrapping on November 18th in Boston. The European leg begins a week later in Madrid.

FIRST GREENER FESTIVAL AWARDS ANNOUNCED 01/09/07
The team behind AgreenerFestival.com have announced some of the very first recipients of the Greener Festival Award. Festivals who completed the application, signed up to Greener  Festival’s A-Z of twenty six green pledges and passed muster with the  AGF team’s on-site visit so far include in no particular order

Leicester’s Summer Sundae Weekender, The Sunrise Celebration, Latitude Festival, Big Green Gathering,  The Glastonbury Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival The Glade and Big Session Festival

Download Festival has won the ‘ Most Improved’ Award, recognising the efforts of the Festival to move from a  particularly ‘un-green’ event in 2006 towards a far more  sustainable site in 2007 with a pro-active management team and initiatives including on-site  recycling, reduced paper use, bikes for staff and an much improved  transport policy including lift sharing. On the international side the team have decided  to recognize the exceptional work of theBonnaroo Festival in the USA  and Peats Ridge Festival in Australia by giving them both  International Awards. Bonnaroo has site-wide recycling (250 tons in 2007), a solar powered stage, encourages the widespread use of bio-diesel and  insists on biodegradable catering products. Peats Ridge has managed to reduce on-site waste to almost nothing with recycling, composting toilets, all festival power from sustainable sources, all printing on sugar cane by-product paper with friendly inks and reclaimed materials used for site decoration.  A  Greener Festival’s co-founder Claire O’Neill said “abandoned tents were a major problem in 2007. This year’s rain and mud at many festivals coupled with tents selling for under £10 meant that many festival   goers left behind their accommodation – with even the most organised festivals struggling to deal with thousands and thousands of tents. A number of festivals trialed bio-diesel this year but there are continuing concerns about unsustainable palm oil plantations.  Other issues are pollution and the carbon footprint from private cars at  festivals – we are keen to push public transport and car sharing, and hope  to see more local produce/suppliers being used by events in 2008, not only  to reduce mileage but to help benefit local  economies”.  A Green Festival  www.agreenerfestival.com

I STIMULI – D’OPERA EXPOSE MAY RING THE CHANGES 01/09/07
Endrik Wottrich , the well known Wagnarian tenor, has said that many opera singers are turing to drugs and other stimulants in order to keep at the top of their profession comparing their activities to cyclists in the Tourde France. He revealed in an interview with with a german newspaper that many stars used beta blockers to control nerves or used cortisone to improve vocal range and strength. He added that alcohol abuse was ‘ standard practice’ and that many cancellations were due to the depression and stress suffered by many top performers.  In unrelated news, it seems that Luciano Pavarotti will now remain in hospital for the forseeable future fo further tests related to his pancreatic cancer. He was orignially hospitalised after running a high fever.

ENTER SHAKARI TOP KERRANG! AWARDS 01/09/07
Enter Shakari celebrated winning both the  Best Live Act and the  Spirit of Independence awards at the 2007 Kerrang Awards. Other winners were My Chemical Romance who grabbed Best International Band and Gallows who won best Newcomer. Welsh rockets Lost Prophets won Best British Band. Judas Priest entered the Hall of Fame and Nine Inch Nails won an icon award.

INGENIOUS CONTINUES TO PICK UP CLASS ACTS 01/09/07
London’s boutique investment bank Ingennious Media, headed by Patrick McKenna, continues to invest in established bands, heritage acts and comeback albums and has now added veteran reggae band  UB40 and all round great guy  Peter Gabriel to its books alongside The Prodigy and Travis – both of whom are still successfully touring . The firm, which specializes in media and entertainment deals, pays for the acts’ music production, marketing and CD distribution. Ingenious has raised $79 million in two funds. So far, Ingenious has financed 15 albums and agreed to pay for seven more, spending roughly between $400,000 and $2 million each, according to regulatory filings. Two albums have so far been released, from The Heights and Travis. Ingenious joins Starbucks in investing in established talent. In the highest profile move to date Sir Paul McCartney announced in March he would join their Hear label from EMI and has already sold 500,000 units by early August. More recently Joni Mitchell and the late Ella Fitgerald had albums announced .  Live Nation are also joining the fray with speculation that Madonna’s current album with Warners alongside a greatest hits will be her last for the major and that after this she will considering a combined recording / touring / merchandising deal with Live Nation.

LIVE NATION AND TICKEMASTER TO PART WAYS? 01/09/07
Talking of Live Nation (mind you that depends if you scroll up or down), Billboard has reported that it is looking increasingly unlikely the live music conglomorate will renew its ticketing relationship with Ticketmaster and there has been speculation that Live Nation may take ticketing in house for about a year now, after the promoter’s CEO Michael Rapino started to indicate that he wanted more control over the sale of tickets to his firm’s venues and events. Ticketmaster’s current relationship with Live Nation ends in 2008 and is thought to accounbt for 10% of Tickemasters overall revenues.

ROLLING STONES AVOID SMOKING FINE 01/09/07
The Rolling Stones have avoided a smoking fine despite press photos of Keith and Ronnie lighting up at their gig at London’s O2 Arena in violation of the new English anti-smoking rules. Greenwich Council
has reportedly said it will not prosecute the pair

WINEHOUSE CANCELS US TOUR 01/09/07
Amy Winehouse who has just had four MOBO nominations announced, has gone into rehab and has been photographed with bleeding feet, bandaged arms and a battered husband, has cancelled her upcoming US tour. Her publicist said that Amy’s European and UK tour dates in October and November remain in place. Plans are being made to reschedule her US tour for early 2008. Until then, Amy has been ordered to rest and is “working with medical professionals to address her health”.

REM TO RELEASE LIVE ALBUM 01/09/07
REM have announced they will be releasing their first ever live album simply tiltled  ‘REM Live’. The album was recorded entirely at a show at The Point in Dublin on 27 Feb, 2005 and includes tracks form their most recent album ‘Around The Sun’ as well as classics like the Squealer’s Karaoke fave Losing My Religion and that song that is impossible to do well at karaoke  ‘Everybody Hurts’.

MARQUEE TO RISE AGAIN 01/09/07
London’s legendary Marquee Club is due to re-open on the 3rd September back in Central London at 14 Upper St Martins Lane in Soho. The club, in its sixth location, will have a 100 space and a 200 capacity space for live performances and the club plans to begining booking live acts immediately. The club’s 50th anniversary is in 2008.

RAVE ARREST GOES WRONG WITH REVENGE RAID ON ROZZERS 01/09/07
News reaches the ILMC Squealer that the UK police had a nasty surprise after they arrested three people who were allegedly trying to organise an illegal rave on the Harfrey business park in East Anglia. The police (‘rozzers’ is a slang word for the boys in blue) arrested the three and confiscated vehicles and equipment but then found that their police station in Great Yarmouth was under siege from over 100 (presumably annoyed) ravers who threw bottles, cans and stones at the police in the early hours of Sunday morning. It took police in full riot gear to quell the gathering outside the station and another 200 officers were needed to break up the illegal gathering. The police have substantial powers to stop raves granted under the UK’s Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 but the Act has been rarely used as it was somewhat clumsily brought in as rave culture died out in the late nineties.

UK POLICE ZERO TOLERANCE ON DRUGS AT V 01/09/07
Essex Police in the UK have said they will have a zero tolerance towards drugs at the 2007 V Festival at Chelmsford and will enforce this in all backstage areas. The lineup this year includes Kasabian, Babyshambles, Lily Allen, Iggy Pop and Happy Mondays who replace Amy Winehouse who has cancelled the rest of her summer shows and has, indeed, gone to rehab.

GWEN WILL COVER UP FOR MALAYSIA 01/09/07
Gwen Stefani has agreed to adopt a ‘cover up’ dress code for her show in Malaysia. The No Doubt singer will wear traditional clothes to avoid offending muslims in the country.

FAREWELL TO JAZZ DRUMMER MAX ROACH 01/09/07
One of the Jazz world’s most innovative drummers, Max Roach, has died aged 83. Roach is credited as being one the first musicians to develop drumm solos as well as developing percussion ensembles. A succesful recording and touring artist, Roach also wrote music for musicals and worked with soke of the all time greats including Dizzy Gilespie, Miles Davies and Charlie Parker.

JAY-Z TOPS HIP-HOP EARNERS 01/09/07
A new report by Forbes puts Jay-Z as the highest earning artist in hip-hop in 2006. Last year he raked in an astonishing $34M. Second in the list was 50 Cent ($32M), closely followed by P. Diddy ($28M). Most succesful hip hop acts have embraced a variety of revenue opportunities often with their own record sales becoming almost incidental to their total earnings as endorsements, sponsorship, clothing lines, production duties and even label imprints which all swell their coffers dramatically.

RUSSIAN COURT FIND ALLOFMP3 DIRECTOR NOT GULITY 01/09/07
Judge Ekaterina Sharapova has acquitted Denis Kravsov, a director of Mediaservices, the company that owned AllofMP3.com  and ruled that the site operated within the bounds of Russian law as it made payments to Russian collection societies – on behalf of the legitimate copyright owners even though the main Russian Collection society ROMS has been derecognised by many Western collecting societies. Tellingly the site was selling music by The Beatles who famously have yet to license their content for download to anybody. There are two more cases against Mediaservices pending, but anti-piracy bodies including the IFPI  have argued this ruling has set a “very bad precedent”. The issue of IP protection remains a sticking point for Russia ‘s entry to the World Trade Organisation.

 

MAMA BUY MEAN FIDDLER VENUES 15/08/07
MAMA Group , which runs the Barfly chain as well as handling management for acts such as Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs, has acquired a number of UK venues from the Mean Fiddler Music Group (MFMG). The venues include the Jazz Cafe, the Borderline, the Garage (currently closed) and the long closed  Mean Fiddler. In a deal estimated at £6-8M, MAMA will also acquire the Mean Fiddler name and MFMG will be renamed Festival Republic. MAMA also takes a 75% stake in G-A-Y, London’s leadinng gay club operator. MAMA is listed n the UK’s AIM market.

UNIVERSAL LOOKS TO BUY V2 15/08/07
After recently securing approval to acquire Sanctuary, Five Eight Magazine reports that Universal Music Group is moving to acquire UK indie V2. Suggestions are that the asking price could be £7M, but it will be subject to regulatory approval. Morgan Stanley (which provided financing for the label) currently owns 95% of the indie which Richard Branson set up in 1996 after selling the Virgin label to EMI. V2 sold off its North American arm to Sheridan Square at the end of 2005. Universal’s parent company Vivendi was given approval to acquire BMG Music Publishing by the European Commission back in May.

MADCHESTER’S TONY WILSON DIES 11/08/07
Anthony (Tony) Wilson has lost his battle against cancer and has died aged 57. The Salford born music entrepeneur had been a broadcaster, writer, guru, boss of Factory Records the label behind New Order and The Happy Mondays, co-founder of In The City and famed for the Hacienda Club in Manchester recently immortalised in the film 24 Hour Party People where he was played by Steve Coogan. Tony underwent emergency surgery in January to remove a kidney. He died on Friday evening at the Christie Hospital surrounded by family . As tributes poured in, Phil Saxe, who used to work at Factory Records with Wilson, said: “Part of me, part of Manchester, part of modern British music has died tonight.

FIRST MILLION SELLING MOBILE TRACK ANNOUNCED 07/08/07
An anonymous group of Japanese medical students called Greeeen have become the first to have sold a million copies of a track via mobile phones. The track is called ‘Aiuta’ – meaning Love Song. The group have sold around 3 million copies across all digital formats. Greeeen have racked-up over half a million album sales, making them one of Japan’s most successful new bands

NO BAGHDAD FOR SPICE GIRLS 07/08/07
Despite being a clear winner in an online poll designed to produce a lucky city, the Spice Girls have declined to visit Baghdad as part of their reunion world tour and will visit Toronto instead, Other cities to be visited in December 2007 and January 2008 include Vancouver, San Jose, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, London, Cologne. Madrid, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong,  Sydney, Cape Town and Buenos Aires

EMI WOE WITH CD SALES 07/08/07
Following hot on the heels of  BPI figures showing a 10% drop in CD sales for the first half of 2007,  EMI saw revenues from CD sales in the three months to the end of June drop by 19.8%. Digital revenues, however, rose by 26% in the period meaning that overall revenues at EMI Group dropped 5.1%. EMI Music Publishing grew 12%, helped significantly by litigation settlements.

BPI INDEPENDENTS DIRECTOR JOINS MMF AND HOPFGARTNER JOINS MTV 07/08/07
Jon ‘Webbo’ Webster , Director Of Independent Services for UK record industry trade body the BPI, has announced he will leave the organisation to take up the newly created job of CEO at the UK’s Music Managers’ Forum which is chaired by Jazz Summers.  Jurgen Hopfgartner has been appointed as MTV Network’s Director Of Digital Media for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Hopfgartner was formerly Head of Business Development at Metaversum GmbH, the Swiss digital-entertainment service developer:

MPA JOINS YOUTUBE BATTLE 07/08/07
The US’s  National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and a number of other music groups (including Cherry Lane Music Publishing and X-Ray Dog Music) have issued lawsuits against YouTube and parent company Google over copyright infringement. Viacom is currently suing YouTube to the tune of $1B over “massive intentional copyright infringement”.  JASRAC, the Japanese collection society had already taken action against YouTube and has criticised the site for failing to implement proper copyrigHt protection technology.

AUSTRALIAN CLUBS GO TO COURT OVER COST OF MUSIC 07/08/07
The hotel and nightclub industries in Australia have launched a Federal Court challenge against The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia, the group that represents Australia’s largest record labels, following a recent decision to increase the cost of music in dance venues by 15 times. Last month the Australian Copyright Tribunal lifted the rate for music played in nightclubs from seven cents per person a night to $1.05. The PPC, which represents more than 600 record companies, hailed the decision as a victory for musicians who had been exploited by nightclubs for years.

IRAN ARRESTS ROCK FANS 06/08/07
The Jerusalem Post (http://www.jpost.com) and the Guardian reports that authorities in Karaj, Iran have arrested more than 200 music fans, some from the UK and Sweden, attending a rock concert on grounds they were breaking the country’s strict Islamic Sharia law, local media and witnesses said Sunday. Charges involved women singing and inappropriate clothing as well as unauthorised filming of the performances. A witness said police raided the concert as it was going to end late Wednesday some 50 kilometers west of the capital of Terhan.  “Police detained the young people who had gathered to enjoy music in a private orchard,” said one witness. The public prosecutor in Karaj, Ali Farhadi , said Saturday that about 230 people were arrested during the underground concert, which he described as “satanic.”

RIP LEE HAZLEWOOD 06/08/07
Lee Hazlewood , the US producer, singer and songwriter famed for writing ‘ These Boots are Made for Walking’ has died of cancer aged 78. Hazlewood was born in Oklahoma and his father was wildcat oil driller and dance promoter. During the second world war he worked as an armed services DJ and during his career he championed an early Elvis Presley and  worked with legends such as Duane Eddy  and, of course, Nancy Sinatra, as well as father Frank (on ‘Something Stupid’) . In 2003 Primal Scream covered his classic Some Velvet Morning . He is survived by his third wife, Jeanne Kelly  and three children.

READING FESTIVAL WILL OVERCOME THE FLOODS BUT FFLAM SINKS 05/08/07
The Reading Festival has vowed their event will go ahead, despite damage to parts of their site from all those recent floods. Organiser Melvin Benn told NME: “I’d guess about 25 per cent of the campsite is under water and before long someone will say the festival in danger, so I just wanted to say that the festival will definitely take place. The water levels are going down but we’ve got loads of plans in place to move the campsites and parking if necessary”. But Welsh festival Fflam has been cancelled completely due to bad weather and then a lack availability of bands. Originally sustained heavy rainfall was blamed on the postponment of the Swansea event on the 13th – 15th July but organisers said in a statement today: “It is with great regret that we confirm the cancellation of the Fflam Festival for 2007. After the initial postponement … we have made every possible effort to try and secure a new date for the festival this summer. Unfortunately, we cannot find a date that suits all parties”.

UNIVERSAL SNAPS UP SANCTUARY 05/08/07
Universal Music Group yesterday announced that they had now secured commitments to buy 90% of the shares in the Sanctuary Music Group which alongside th news of EMI purcase by Terra Firma means that two of London’s biggest music firms will now fall back into private hands. Centenary Music Holdings, the Universal division buying Sanctuary, announced its recommended cash offer had been declared unconditional. Sanctuary has terninated a option distribution agreement with  Warners (Warners are paid certain sums for this termination).

EMI SOLD 02/08/07
Terra Firma has finally sealed its £2.4B take-over bid for EMI. Some 90.3% of EMI shareholders backed the proposed buy-out, paving the way for Guy Hands and his private equity firm to take the UK’s only major record label over. It remains to be sen what might happen with the comany with speculation that the recorded music division could be sold to Warners or that the profitable music publishing arm sold off as a stand alone going concern.

 

UNIVISION PUBLISHING UP FOR GRABS, EMI SALE MAY STALL AND EMAP GETS EYED UP 29/07/07
Univision , the Spanish-language media company based in California, has kicked off the auction of its music publishing division last week. The company disclosed in a regulatory filing in February that it would sell the publishing unit and its non-core radio stations.  Management sent out books for the music publishing business last week and several strategic players are interested, according to sources familiar with the situation. Meanwhile the drop is world stock markets and low acceptance from EMI shareholders of the 265p per share ofer might have taken the wind out of Terra Firma’s £2.4 billion bid for EMI. Newspaper reports say that unless Terra Firma get a clear 90% acceptance, financiers Citygroup may pull out. It also seems that UK media group and Q publishers Emap may face a break up after Chairman Alan Cathcart announced a ‘strategic review. City analysts put the radio stations to magazines conglomerates value at anything up to £2.6 billion or 1200p per share – shares are cirreltly trading at 858.5p. The group recently announced a tie up byselling 50% of its interest in the Q, Box and Kerrang! music TV channels TV stations to Channel 4.

SONYBMG AND SONY CORP POST RESULTS 27/07/07
SonyBMG have posted a net income of $21 million for the last quarter, which compares favourably
with the $81 million loss made in the same quarter the previous year. Revnues were roughly the same with
releases from  Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson and R Kelly but costs were down resulting in turnaround in overall profits.  Sony Corp have enjoyed improved performance elsewhere in their operations, with overall profits more than doubling year on year, from 32.29 billion yen to 66.46 billion yen. Much of the profits boost came from the conglom’s electronics division, where sales of the Bravia flat-screen TVs and Cybershot digital cameras have performed particularly well.

LIVE NATION BOSS TURNS ATTENTION TO LATIN AMERICA 27/07/07
Live Nation have announced that their former New York president Bruce Moran has taken on the new role of President of the company’s recently created Latin American division and  focus in the main on theLive Nations’s Brazilian and Mixican operations. It’s an area where Moran already has credentials – prior to
joining Live Nation he was CEO of the largest events promoter in Mexico, OCESA Presents/CIE USA Entertainment.

UK COURT RULING EXTENDS PIRACY LIABILITY 27/07/07
The  St Albans Crown Court have ruled that a market owner where stall holdres sold bootlegged and counterfiet CDs and DVDs ( Wendy Fair Markets Ltd) was gulity of copyright infringement setting a valuable precendent for the music industry by saying market owners taking rents from stall holders who they know or suspect to be selling illegal goods can be prosecuted. The case against Wendy Fair and their directors followed an investigation by Hertfordshire Trading Standards into claims by the BPI and FACT that the company knowingly rented out stalls to the sellers of counterfeit DVDs, CDs and computer software at their Bovingdon Market in Hemel Hempstead. And Led Zepplin’s Jimmy Page has given evidence in another piracy case in Glasgow when when he testified against Robert Langley, a Buckinghamshire man accused of selling bootleg material at the SECC in Glasgow. Langley’s stock included hundreds of Led Zeppelin recordings, including many unreleased ‘bootlegged’ concert recordings. Langley denies the charges against him. The case continues

ETTA STABLE IN HOSPITAL 27/07/07
Etta James  is presently in a stable condition in the Cedars-Sinai  Hospital in Los Angeles, following complications arising from abdominal surgery she had back in mid-June.

KLAXONS LEG BREAK FORCES TOUR CANCELLATION 27/07/07
Klaxons frontman Jamie Reynold’s previously reported ankle break is apparently worse than was originally thought. As you’ll remember, the bassist damaged himself leaping from the stage at a gig in France, and the band were forced to cancel some upcoming appearances. Now it seems that the breakage will mean

AS UK GOVERNMENT BACKS GOWERS REPORT, IP TRUST LAUNCHES ANTI-PIRACY WEBSITE 24/07/07
The  UK Government has said it will adopt the findings of the Gowers Review including keeping the term of copyright protection for sound recordings at the current fifty years, rather than extending it as the record industry wanted. The BPI has said it will continue to campaign to ‘extend the term’  in Europe. The UK based Industry Trust For Intellectual Property Awareness, which represents the interests of various content owners including music, TV and film companies, has launched a new website as part of its previously reported stepped up campaign that is attempting to stigmatise content piracy. The website is at  http://www.copyrightaware.co.uk.

TRUCK FESTIVAL POSTPONED AND GLADE DELAYED AFTER HEAVY RAIN AND FLOODING IN THE UK 23/07/07
The Truck Festival which was due to have hosted acts such as Idlewild, Jack Penate and Lethal Bizzle has been cancelled. In a statement organisers said that the camping, parking and audience areas were “underwater and dangerous”. Meanwhile, organisers of the Glade Festival in Berkshire went ahead with the event after the gates were closed on friday after severe weather. Gates were later re-opened. The 5000 capacity Truck will be rescheduled for the weekend of the 22nd September. Glastonbury and T-in-the-Park both experienced heavy rain this year and the proposed Fflam festival in Wales where Keane and the Manic Street Preachers had been expected was cancelled at the last minute apparently due to treacherous site conditions caused by heavy rain although questions have now been raised over whether police involvement had been agreed. A promised re-scheduled date has yet to be announced. In fact the news has got so bad that Global Gathering (27th & 28th July) has been forced to put out a press release saying that it is unaffected by the local weather and prepaprations continue as normal for the Faithless and Basement Jaxx headed bash on the Long Marston Airfield saying that “the site is completely unaffected by the floods as airfields are not built on flood plains” and that “everything is looking great for the weekend”.

MINDY McCREADY ARRESTED AGAIN 23/07/07
In a story which has made the headlines in the US, country music singer Mindy McReady has been arrested again, this time in Fort Myers, Police said there was evidence that McCready had been drinking and attacked her mother, scratching her mother’s face.  Officers pepper sprayed her  because they said she refused to be handcuffed. She was charged with battery and obstruction of justice for resisting an officer but posted a $1,000 bond for her own release.  McCready has had a troubled past.  In August of 2004, Williamson County Deputies arrested her for illegally getting a prescription painkiller at a pharmacy. She later pleaded guilty to those charges. In May of 2005, McCready was pulled over and arrested for drink driving but was found not guilty. In July of that year, Authorities in Arizona charged her with fraud, but those charges were later dropped. That same week she survived a widely publicized suicide attempt. The next month, police in Florida arrested her for violating her Williamson County probation. She is supposed to answer to those charges coming up in September.

KILLER  RIDE ‘HADNT BEEN INSPECTED IN YEARS’ 23/07/07
The Chicago Tribune reports that the death of a young fan at a the Oshkosh Music Festival on July 14th was from a festival ride that hadn’t  been looked at by inspectors since it was cleared for use three years ago. Elizabeth K. Mohl, 16, of Menasha, fell from a harness on an Air Glory giant rope and died a short time later at a hospital. Although the state Department of Commerce isn’t publicly discussing its investigation, a day after the fall, a state inspector had concerns about the safety of the harness, according to an e-mail obtained last under the state’s Public Records Law.

ARE WARNERS WAITING FOR EMI .. OR CHASING CHRYSALIS … OR BOTH? 22/07/07
The UK’s Observer newspaper reports that Warner Music is considering a bid for Chrysalis Music, one of the largest independent publishers. Warners last week withdrew from bidding for the  EMI Music Group leaving the way open for private equity group  Terra Firma to acquire the major. But analysts think that Warners may still be interested in buying EMI’s recorded music division back from Terra Firma as well as bolstering their music publishing arm by acquiring Chrysalis. Acquiring the whoe EMI group would have produced fairly complex competition (anti-trust) regulatory problems for Warners. Chris Wright, the founder and biggest shareholder in Chrysalis has alreday sold off the Group’s radio assets for £170 million to Globa Radio.

UK CD SALES DROP AGAIN 10/07/07
New figures from the UK shows that fans are continuing to abandon buying CDs, with sales down by 10% in the first half of 2007.  BPI figures show that 6.5m fewer albums have been sold in 2007 compared with the same period in 2006.  Consumers failed to make up the shortfall online, with digital album sales increasing by just 2m. The news comes after HMV announced its profits had halved and high-street record store Fopp shut its 81 outlets. Whilst the digital market continues to grow with a 50% increase in digital single purchases in the first six months of the year, downloads (including ringtones) still only account for 10-20% of the overall music market so are not replacing the drop in physical sales.

GERMAN COPYRIGHT CHANGES ANGER LABELS 10/07/07
The German record and film industry are objecting to recent changes to copyright laws which came into force last Tuesday. The amendments allow consumers to make an unlimited number of private copies of CDs and DVDs for personal use. Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister of Justice, stated that the changes made copyright law “fit for the digital age”. Source: FiveEight

LIVE NATION SIGN PEPSI DEAL 10/07/07
Live Nation has signed up PepsiCo in a three-year sponsorship deal which will grant the soft drinks company pouring rights across Live Nation’s stable of live events and venues. Pepsi intend to host a series of competitions across its website to win Live Nation tickets. Source: Five Eight

LIVE EARTH STREAMING SUCCESS 10/07/07
Live Earth  served some 10M video feeds via MSN from the Saturday concert. However in the UK the TV coverage on the BBC wasn’t as successful with a peak audience of 4.5M compared to 14.8M who watched the Concert for Diana the previous weekend (which was also on the BBC).

IBIZA CLUBS SHUT IN DRUGS ACTION 10/07/07
A crackdown on Ibiza’s drug-fuelled night-life has seen closure notices served on some of the island’s most famous dance clubs.  Amnesia, Bora Bora and DC-10 clubs were all given orders to close for a month or more after police accused them of tolerating drug-dealing and consumption among clubbers. The closures, which were accompanied by fines. Amnesia is now open again and Bora Bora is due to reopen this week while DC-10 is reportedly fighting closure through the courts. Amnesia said they were very upset by the action as they had worked hard to prevent the use of drugs at the club and their anti-drug programme was used as a role model by other Spanish clubs. See:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,2122513,00.html#article_continue

NEW UK CLIMATE GROUP FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC INDUSTRY 07/07/07
The UK Music industry is starting to take positive steps to clean up its act – and has launched a new cross indusTry group called ‘JULIE’S BICYCLE’ whose mission is ‘taking the heat out of music’. On the 6th July (on the eve of Live Earth) a breakfast launch was held in London at the Berkeley Hotel which was attended by heads of record labels, music publishers, collection societies, agents, managers and the live sector as well as envornmental change experts.  Julie’s Bicycle aims to have three of four strategic actions in place between September 2007 and July 2008 focusing on energy sourcing and use, waste & recycling and transportation and travel. The site has a new website (www.juliesbicycle.com) and will also provide environmental auditing and use the ‘Beat the Heat’ message to inform and educate people working in the music industry from their tream of experts. The group have already funded research with The Environmental Change Institute (part of Oxford University) and are piloting a carbon footprint tool for the music industry in the UK.

UK POLITICIAN BACKS EUROPEAN COPYRIGHT EXTENSION 05/07/07
David Cameron
, the leader of the Conservative party in the UK has said he suppoirts an extension of copyright period covering sound recordings from 50 years to 70. “We will argue this case in Europe,” he said. Cameron also used his keynote speach to the BPI to highlight his party’s growing support of the music industry as well as calling for ISPs to better assist the industry to combat P2P usage. However the Tory leader said he expected the music industry to address what he saw as the growing problem of ‘The Broken Society’ and said all sectors of the creative industry had a moral obligation to help here and not project negative messages/ideologies to ‘impressionable’ kids. He stressed that he was not calling for censorship of music but said that labels need to take a more responsible role here. What that role actually is, he didn’t make clear, although the subtext was ‘voluntary censorship’ at source which is somewhat at odds with his praise of the music industry as a creative powerhouse:
news.bbc.co.uk

BELGIAN COURT SAYS ISP MUST FILTER CONTENT 05/07/07
A Belgian court has ruled that the ISP Scarlet (formerly Tiscali) has the means to block/filter infringing content being traded on P2Ps and it has been given six months to implement these measures. The case against the ISP was brought by SABAM, the Belgian author and composer society. The IFPI has welcomed this ruling, the first of its kind in Europe.

LIVE EARTH RIO ON HOLD 05/07/07
A Brazillian judge has put a stop to the 07/07/07 Live Earth Rio concert amid fears that the police could never control a crowd that could potentially reach 700,000 people.

TWO CREW DIE AT STONES MADRID GIG 03/07/07
Two crew members are dead after an accident at the Rolling Stones show in Madrid. Two others are injured. The Rolling Stones issued a statement saying: “The fatal accident occurred during the dismantling of The Rolling Stones stage, following a concert given by the group the evening before. “The Rolling Stones, who were informed of the tragedy this afternoon, were deeply saddened by the news. Their heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the injured and their profound sympathies to the families of the deceased.” Local police said three of the men fell 10m from one metal structure to another. The dead men were aged 38 and 44. One worked for Belgian building firm Stage Co and the other was a Spanish contractor.The Rolling Stones are in the middle of the European leg of their A Bigger Bang world tour.

FOPP GO UNDER AS NEW PRINCE CD TO TO BE FREE COVERMOUNT 02/07/07
As indie retail chain Fopp announced it has gone into administration , SonyBMG amazed the rest of the music industry yesterday as it revealed that Prince is to issue his forthcoming album as a free cover-mount with the Daily Mail prior to its official release date in the UK. Sony BMG have now pulled out of releasing the album in Britain in order to appease music retailers who are understandably outraged. The cart before the horse concept comes on the back of a set of alternative offerings from the diminutive pop icon. Attendees at his (heavily discounted) O2 shows were already in line to receive a free copy of the album with their ticket purchase. The music industry was recently up in arms over a decision by EMI to offer Tubular Bells as a cover-mount, so the news of an album being issued free before it goes on sale will no doubt be met with widespread disdain. business.guardian.co.uk

GLASTONBURY GIVES CD SALES A BOUNCE 02/07/07
Bands that braved the mud at the 2007 Glastonbury Festival have seen their album sales rise. The UK’s oficial Charts Company reported that 83 of the charts top 200 albums belonged to bands who performed at the festival.

PURNELL NEW CULTURE SECRETARY 02/07/07
James Purnell
 , the man handed the onerous task of introducing of the controversial Licensing Act, has been rewarded with the role of culture secretary in Gordon Brown’s new cabinet. The appointment by the UK’s new prime minister grants Purnell responsibility for promoting the tourism, sport and culture in the UK. Purnell, who holds the safe Labour seat of Stalybridge and Hythe in greater Manchester, has worked for the DCMS before and was minister for media and tourism between 2003 and 2005.

LIVE EARTH ISTANBUL CANCELLED 01/07/07
The Istanbul leg of the Al Gore organised Live Earth concerts, due to take place on 07/07/07 has been cancelled due to a lack of local sponsorship. Press reports indicate many local companies feared a backlash if their ‘green credentials’ were scrutinised. Instead eight large screens will be erected around Istanbul showing coverage of Live Earth events elsewhere in the world.

CHRYSALIS SELL RADIO BUSINESS 01/07/07
The Chrysalis Group has sold its UK radio business which inclides Heart FM, Galaxy and LBC to private equity condortium Global Radio for £170 million. This leaves Chrysalis as a music publishing company although they also retain the recently revamped Echo recordings division and their wholesale entertainment product distribution business Lasgo Chrysalis.

BASSEY TRIUMPHS AT GLASTONBURY THEN LANDS IN A MUDDY FIELD 01/07/07
Dame Shirley Bassey  put on a triumphant Glastonbury show to a packed and rain drenched audience at the Pyramid Stage bringing a blast of sunshine to the rather muddy site. With tracks including Diamonds Are Forever and Hey Big Spender DSB’s show also dfrew in a TV aiudiece of 2.2 million on BBC2. But post show the Dame had a narrow escape when her helicopter was forced to land in a Surrey school playing field after mechanical problems and very bad weather – but all ended safely and well. Other acts performing included the Artic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, Bjork, Iggy & The Stooges, Kasabian, Kasier Chiefs and The Who. In Scotland the Outsider Festival also faced major weather problems but organisers said the site held out well and the crowd enjoyed performances from KT Tunstall and Crowded House.   The BBC woute organisers Pete Irvine saying “This has turned out to be a brilliant site, and the drainage was very good. But no-one likes too much mud, and it can just become a hassle. Despite that, everybody tells me everything was great, and that we must do it again, but we are going to have to re-assess that. Because of the weather, the facilities have been under a lot more pressure, so we will need to reconsider whether we can do it again”.

O2 ARENA OPENS 01/07/07
The new O2 Arena in East London, in what was London’s Millennium Dome, has opened with a sellout show from Bon Jovi. Venue owners AEG have a packed summer programme of concerts at the O2 Arena in a bid to cement its place in London’s live music scene, including a 21 date Prince residency.

 

UNIVERSAL LOOKS TO SANCTUARY 18/06/07
Vivendi Universal looks to be about to buy up troubled media indie Sanctuary valuing the multi-media group at about £100 million.

UK POLITICIANS CALL FOR REVIEW OF LICENSING LAWS 13/06/07
The UK’s Liberal Democrat party is calling for a review of the  2003 Licensing Act which, some argue, have had a detrimental effect on the grass roots live music community by discouraging pubs and small venues from staging live music events because of the costs and bureaucracy now involved. The Lib Dems issued a statement after 79,000 people added their name to a petition against the rules on the Downing Street website. The party’s Culture, Media And Sport spokesman, Don Foster, said “The sheer scale of this petition shows the depth of public concern on the impact that these regulations are having on live music. Live music in a pub is an essential part of Britain’s musical heritage so why something as innocuous as providing a piano in a bar should be deemed an offence is beyond me”. The Lib Dem move follows reports back in March that a sub-group of the Live Music Forum had concluded the new regulations had had a negative impact on grass roots live music – an opinion that contradicted official government research.

ISLE OF WIGHT FORGERIES LEAD TO THREE ARRESTS 13/06/07
Organisers of the Isle Of Wight festival have said that up to one in five of tickets presented at the event’s gates were fake. Security checks as the festival were stepped up after opening when it became clear how many counterfeit tickets were in circulation, leading to delays on gaining access to the site, and hundreds of ‘ticket’ holders being turned away. Three people have been arrested in connection with the forgeries.

THE BIG APPLE IS WATCHING YOU 02/06/07
You might of thought online music retailers would have learnt from the Sony ‘Rootklit’ fiasco which cost SonyBMG millons of dollars in damages after the Rootkit DRM software was found to open up user’s computers to attack and allegations of invasion of privacy. Now it appears that Apple has embedded personal details into tracks brought from iTunes. The buyer’s name and email address will be logged onto the track – although the online consumer group the Electronic Frontiers Foundation said it had indentified a ‘large amount’ of unidentified and unaccounted for information on iTunes files. It appears the data may be a ‘watermark’ so an original buyer could be identified if the track escapes onto illegal peer-2-peer networking sites. However this seems at odds with Apple CEO Steve Job’s recent calls for record labels to make online music DRM free and Apple has yet to commengt in the situation.

FULLER AND SILLERMAN LOOK TO TAKE CKX PRIVATE 02/06/07
CKX Boss Robert Sillerman and Simon Fuller, the man behind the Spice Girls, 19 Management and American Idol who sold his business to CKX in 2005, are looking to take the company proivate in a $1.3 billion buyout. Other CKX| assets include the Graceland mansion and Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali’s image rights. Last year 19 Entertainment contributed 72% of CKX’s revenue and $28 million in operating profit.

GLASTO SUPPORTS I COUNT 02/06/07
The 170,000 visitors to this year’s Glastonbury Festival will be asked to reduce their carbon footprint too by signing up to the I Count campaign. The green campaign aims to show people 16 steps that can reduce their environmental impact and hopes to sign up 100,000 over three days. Festival organiser Michael Eavis explained: “We’ve put a lot of effort into focusing Glastonbury on the environment and climate change this year. We hope to see at least 100,000 new supporters sign up to the I Count campaign – and I’ll be the first to put my name down.” The campaign is supported by the Stop Climate Chaos coalition of more than 50 organisations, as well as the three main causes supported by Glastonbury –OxfamGreenpeace and WaterAid.

BPI WIN RECORD DAMAGES 02/06/07
The BPI, representing the UK record labels, has won record damages for copyright infringement from CD Wow, the online Etailer who were importing CDs from outside of the The European Community in breach of copyright laws. TheBPI also say they have a freezing order against CD Wow‘s Hong Kong bank accounts. Some news reports put the damages awarded in the High Court a high as £41 million. ($80 million).

GCAP REVENUES DOWN 9% AS SANCTUARY SELLS AIR EDEL 02/06/07
UK Radio Group GCap saw its annual revenues drop by 9% to £200.1M. Profits fell from £22.2M last year to £14.4M. Due to cost-cutting, the company claims to have made savings of £29.5M in the past two years and plans to make savings of £5.5M in the next two years but the company’s Commercial Director, Duncan George, who has been with the company since 2005, has quit his role. And struggling British music group Sanctuary has sold off its Air Edel arm for £0.5MAir Edel Associates Limited and Air Edel Recording Studios Limited has been bought up by Cutting Edge Music.

FAMOUS MUSIC TO BE SOLD 02/06/07
Famous Music Publishing whose catalogue that includes works by Eminem and Shakira is on the brink of being sold to to Sony/ATV for $370M. The sale is part of a prerequisite put in place by the European Commission over Universal Music Group‘s $2.19B acquisition of BMG Music PublishingSony ATV – part owned by Michael Jackson – adds an impressive list of copyrights to its 400,000 strong roster with the acquisition.

Talking of Shakira, the latin star has set a new record in Mexico for the largest free concert gathering. Some 210,000spectators turned up to see her perform at Mexico City’s main square Zocalo.

UNIVERSAL GIVEN GREEN LIGHT TO BUY BMG MUSIC PUBLISHING 02/06/07
Vivendi/Universal and BMG Music Publishing have finally had their merger given the green light by the European CommissionVivendi beat rivals EMI Group and Warner Music Group to the punch, but the acquisition had been marred by concerns over unfair competition. The E1.63B merger sealed its fate via concessions demanded by the antitrust probe.

Excluding Rondor UKZomba UKBBC Music19 Songs19 Music (as well as a European licence for the Zomba UScatalogue) were all pivotal in securing the Commission’s approval. Immediately after the announcement, Impala was quick to point out that it reserves the right to seek a reversal of the decision, and said it will follow the merger with great interest.

The EC said in a statement yesterday: “The proposed merger, as initially notified, raised serious doubts as regards adverse effects on competition in the market for music publishing rights for online applications. However, the Commission’s investigation found that these concerns would be removed by the remedies package proposed by the parties concerning the divestiture of a number of publishing catalogues”.

SOUNDEXCHANGE OFFER ROYALTY DEAL TO SMALLER WEBCASTERS 02/06/07
The body that collects royalties from US webcasters, SoundExchange, has offered a deal to smaller web radio operators as part of the ongoing royalties dispute in the American internet radio sector.
Source: CMU Daily

ELTON CANCELS RED PIANO DATES 02/06/07
Elton John ‘s management yesterday announced the singer’s entire European ‘Red Piano Tour has been cancelled because the tour’s promoter “could not guarantee to put the shows on”. The affected shows were due to take place in Venice, Berlin, Moscow, Paris and Seville.

EMI BOARD ACCEPTS TERRA OFFER 02/06/07
EMI Group has agreed to an offer by private equity firm Terra Firma for £2.4B, subject to approval by the firm’s shareholders. The board of directors at EMI intend to recommend unanimously that EMI shareholders should accept the offer. EMI‘s shares jumped 10% on the news – the offer vaues the company at 265p per share. EMI also announced year end figures for 2006 showing revenues down and a profit of £118.1 million in 2005 turned into a loss of £263.6 for 2006. Revenues were £1.75B in ‘challenging’ global market place. Despite this EMI‘s shares jumped to above the Terra Firmabid price to 271p as speculators waited to see if a bidding war started.

NEW UK ACTION AGAINST ALLOFMP3.COM 02/06/07
UK Police have raided and shut down an online voucher system allegedly used by the Russian music download websiteallofmp3.com to try and sidestep the removal of legitimate payment services in the UK and Europe – Visa andMastercard withdrew payment facilities for the site some time ago. The action under the Fraud Act 2006 follows a pan-European investigation, conducted by global recording industry body IFPI and UK record companies’ association theBPI, which led to the arrest of a 25 year-old male in Bow, London. The individual was allegedly the UK-based European agent for allofmp3.com, facilitating the sale of digital downloads by advertising and selling vouchers through auction sites such as eBay and the website allofmp3vouchers.co.uk.

That website has now been taken down from the internet. The vouchers contained a code that allowed UK and European consumers to access and download music illegally from the allofmp3.com website. Charging £10 per voucher, the suspect was believed to be taking payment from European customers and transferring the cash into various offshore accounts operated by the site’s Russian owners. Metropolitan Police officers seized computer equipment and paperwork for further investigation.

 

SANCTUARY ON TAKEOVER MENU 22/05/07
Struggling London music firm Sanctuary have confirmed that it has received approaches from third parties that could lead to a takeover offer being made. The announcement saw the music company’s share price soar by nearly 50%.

LIVE EARTH – WHO NEEDS IT? 22/05/07
CMU Daily reports that the Who’s Roger Daltrey has joined Bob Geldof in attacking plans for the upcoming Live Earth events, asking whether or not a concert to promote awareness of global warming and climate change are really needed. UK rockers Muse had previousy said they hadnt committed to Live Earth because of concerns over the carbon footprint the events would leave.  On a more positive green note, KT Tunstall is to invite primary school children in the US to her concert sound-checks to teach them how to do things green. The singer is planning an open invitation to schools in the areas where she’s to play upcoming gigs,and will sing for them and give a talk about Al Gore’s award winning environmental documentary ‘ An Inconvenient Truth’. The kids will also get to choose what songs she plays. A keen environmental campaigner, the singer is involved in the Global Cool campaign, and has made her own home eco-friendly by installing reclaimed wood and solar-panels.

PPL ANNOUNCE RECORD REVENUES 22/05/07
The UK’s recording royalties collecting society PPL, which recently merged with  PAMRA and AURA, has just released record year end financial results for 2006 with licence fee income up 13% to £98 million. Net revenue  passed on to the artists and labels the society represents was up by 11.8%. International collections doubled to over £6 million. The Society represents 3,500 record labels and 40,000 musicians

GOOGLE WIN ‘COPYING’ CASE 22/05/07
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reached a decision in Perfect 10 v Amazon.com and Google Inc holding that Google’s thumbnail cashed icons of pornographic pictires found on the Perfect 10 site are not infringing. The Court held that the pictures were not copied as they were ‘inline’ – a html element that displays pictures hosted elsewhere – here ‘still’ on Perfect 10. At first instance a District Judge had agreed with Perfect 10 saying the images had been copied onto Google but the Appeal Court found that the images were not an infringement as they were not copied.

HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS WIN NEW VICTORY 22/05/07
The epic courtroom saga that is US emo band Hawthorne Heights legal battle with record label Victory Records had another chapter closed yeterday when a federal judge ruled that whilst the band may have had an ‘exclusive’ contract with Victory this did not stop them recording albums for other labels. Victory seem to have been entitled to four exclusive options BUT not four consecutive exlusive albums. The case began when Hawthorne Heights tried to get out of their recording contractwith Victory last summer, accusing the independent of breach of contract, copyright and trademark infringement, fraud and abuse. Although a court subsequently threw out most of those claims in March a US judge ruled that by their current recording contract the band were not obliged to record exclusively for Victory, freeing them up to continue record deal discussions with EMI. It is unclear if Victory plan to appeal again. Meanwhile other elements of the dispute between Hawthorne Heights, Victory and EMI continue.

UK MEDIA PLAYERS MAKE THE NEWS 18/05/07
The future of media conglomerate EMAP was up in the air as rumours swirled around the UK press about a possible break up. The Q and Mojo publisher, also a major player in UK independent radio and business-2-business publishing, lost its chief executive Tom Moloney who was ousted after 26 years with the company. Shares rose on the news by 43.5p to 821p. Rumours about a possible EMI takeover also developed as the press suggested that Warner Music might be back in the buying frame for the UK’s only major label as worries about European regulatory approval seem to be receding.  Again shares rose, this time by 3.5p to 245.2 . In the club world, Britain’s biggest nightclub operator  Luminar is now at loggerheads with the rest of the UK licensed trade after committing to moving to plastic glass only environment. the Police supported move focuses on safety issues but Luminar also that think that they will benefit from a drop in insurance premiums as bare footed dancers leave under their own steam rather than in ambulances.  At the same time, full figures looking at the first year of the UK’s relaxed licensing laws show that the fear of increases in drink fuelled violence with extended opening hours have failed to materialise although the figures may disguise the true effects of 24 hour drinking. A UK cross-party parliamentary committee has supported the BPI and I FPI’s campaign to extend the terms of sound recording copyrights to something like the US model (which is 95 years rather than the 50 years available in Europe) giving hope the owners of the  Cliff Richard, Beatles and Elvis catalogues (amongst others) and finally the UK’s leading indie music radio station,  Xfm, is dropping daytime DJs – preferring listeners to select their own playlist for the station.

LIVE NATION POST LOSSES 16/05/07
Live Nation  has reported that it made losses of $45.6 million in the first quarter of its current financial year, up on both the previous quarter and the same period last year. The Company pointed out this quarter is usaually a quiet period for touring and also pointed out that last year was a very busy year with tours including U2, Coldplay, Billy Joel, Aerosmith and Depeche Mode. In the same quarter last year the company returned a profit of $5.3 million. The loss this year was despite a year on year rise in revenues, from $516.6 million to $884.2 million. Live Nation has recently acquired  House Of Blues empire and merchandise firm Trunk Ltd. Live Nation chief Michael Rapino told reporters “The concert business is a seasonal and cyclical business with a cycle of generally one to three years. If a major artist tours in one year, it is typically unlikely for that artist to tour for the next year or two”. But Rapino says the “three year window” is an opportunity for business change within the company, which is expected to include a more aggressive move into the merchandising and ticketing markets.

UK GOVERNMENT DOES U-TURN ON TICKET TOUTS 09/05/07
The UK Government has changed tack on fighting ticket touts and has now said a Parliamentary Select Committee chaired by Conservative MP John Whittingdale will look at the issue and see if music events warrant the same protection that football matches get in the UK (re-selling tickets is a criminal offence) or that ‘2012 Olympic Games’ style protection should be granted to live music and other sports events. Hats off to CPA Chair Rob Ballantine for pursuing the whole area of touting and finally getting it onto the Government agenda – however there is no guarantee that the Committee will support new legislation against touting – or that the Government would support this!

TUBULAR BELLS GIVE AWAY LIVES OLDFIELD AND RETAILERS FUMING 09/05/07
For an industry which is lobbying to get consumers to ‘recognise the value of music’ it might have seemed a bit odd for UK based EMI to do a deal to give away CDs of Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells on the front of 2 millon plus selling UK sunday newspaper the Mail On Sunday.  But that is what EMI did – the original studio album in full with cover artwork. It seems that EMI’s rights were about to expire as Oldfield was moving labels with his catalogue – but Oldfield seems incensed that EMI hadn’t even told him about the covermount. Speaking to Music Week he said that this lacked ‘simple courtesy’ and went to say that grouping ‘retail music with cheap loan leaflets and other freebies that fall out of most publications is to devalue it’.  The Entertainment Retailers Association have also criticised the covermount saying that it hoped that ‘nothing like this happens again’.

**** NEW AWARD FOR GREEN EVENTS ANNOUNCED 07/05/07 *** 
As green issues come to the forefront of public debate, independent website www.agreenerfestival.com have announced a new award aimed to recognised green and greening achievements in the global live music industry. The award,  A Greener Festival 2007, is based on a 60 point checklist which aims to promote environmental efficiency and sustanability.  As a minimum, events and festivals need to have a coherent transport and travel policy promoting public transport, they must consider ways to reduce waste and pollution, they must have recycling on site and they must protect the environment and protect wildlife. The team behind the Awards would also like all festivals to aspire to a 26 point action plan – a A-Z of going green – and by 2008 are hoping that all festivals will have basic green policies and practices in place. Recipients of the Award will be able to show the have achieved a high level of greening at their event and will be entitled to use the logo in all of their advertising and on their website – a list of receipients will be publicised on the greener festival website. The team also say there may also be a tie up with a major awards ceremony to celebrate the awards – watch this space! If your event is interested in the award contact agreenerfestival@aol.com .

EMI BACK IN THE FRAME AS TAKEOVER TARGET 06/05/07
Press speculation about EMI’s future has raidly increased over the last two days as it appears that three different private equity groups are bidding for the company. It appears that all three have accesss to EMI’s trading accounts and are looking at the company in detail. Rumours are that a offer of 260p per share, valuing the company at jjst above £2.1 billion (US $4 billion) will be made shortly. Meanwhile Warners, who many feel may be hampered by EC regulatory approval issues, must decide wether to pursue the lng awaited merger with EMI or not.  The three equity groups named are US hedge fund Cerebus, Fortress, owner of Michael Jackson’s debt and JP Morgan through its One Equity arm. In other merger news the bggest potential deal is in te world of the internet where it looks like Microsoft and Yahoo! are combining  to fight the emerging power of Google: in the world of news and information, Reuters is looking for a tie up with the Thomson Corporation of Canada to tackle Bloomberg’s growing presence.

BEBO TO PUSH INTO MUSIC 01/05/07
Bebo , the social networking site whc claims to have 30 million members, has hired ex-MTV VP Angel Gambino to spearhead its push into music. Gambino has said Bebo would overtake MySpace as the leading online music portal. Last month the company signed a deal with 7D for ‘one click’ legal music downloads and the site already features 450,000 unsigned and otjer artists.

BRIT ACTS FIND US ALBUM SUCCESS 01/05/07
British acts represented 8.2% of all album sales in the US 2006, up from 8.1% in 2005 and 7.6% in 2004. n particular acts such as James Blunt, KT Tunstall, Corrinne Bailey Rae and Snow Patrol have found increased success in the US

THE REVOLUTION STARTS HERE – CRIMEA LAUCH FREE ALBUM 30/04/07
Succesful indie popsters The Crimea have decided that they will give away download copies of their second album,Secrets of the Witching Hour. The band, who were previously signed to Warners and sold a rspectable 35000 copies of their first album Tragedy Rocks and charted with a UK top 40 single, have decided that they will not bother to fight music piracy, peer to peer file swapping or worry about DRM protection, gambling on the fact that building a big fan base through giving away recorded music will mean the band will earn more long term from live work, merchandising, music publishing and possibly endorsements. The move will be keenly watched by the recording industry as it struggles to find ways of monetising copyrights in sound recordings. It is interesting to note that on the same day this story came out, the PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) had sent British MP’s a free CD to lobby for extended copyright term for sound recordings – a campaign which has so far fallen on deaf ears. Cue a new approach – and the Crimea are bravely facing up to reality and a generation of fans used to getting recoded music for free. If the band suceed then this may well form a revolutionary new business model for the music business and it will be fascinating to see how the majors and leading indies react to this initiative. Source: The Guardian, 30 April 2007

AMES JOINS EMI, PORTER TO HEAD UP PRS AND MOSSING TOPS MTV NORDIC 27/04/07
EMI Group has hired Roger Ames, a former chairman of Warner Music Group, to revive its North American operation. Ames will oversee the company’s labels in the US, including the Capitol Music Group and Blue Note Records. The MCPS-PRS Alliance, the songwriters and music publishers collection society,  have promoted Steve Porter to CEO with immediate effect. He was previously MD and takes over from Adam Singer who left the company last November after less than 18 months in charge. Finally MTV has promoted Lars Mossing to GM of MTV Networks Nordic. He was previously director of ad sales at the company.

SNOOP DOGG BARRED FROM AUSTRALIA, BEZ FROM USA 27/04/07
Snoop Dogg is to be barred from Australia because of his history of run-ins with the law. Australian immigration minister Kevin Andrews, who told Australian radio “He doesn’t seem the sort of bloke we want in this country”. The rap star had been due to attend the MTV Australian Video Music Awards this weekend, but his visa has now been cancelled. Andrews explained: “He has a whole string of convictions and just two weeks ago he was convicted of a number of charges again. Snoop had been denied entry into the United Kingdom because he wascaught with others causing affray at Heathrow Airport and his recent tour with P Diddy cancelled as a direct result. And The Happy Monday’s Bez who recently won the UK’s Big Brother reality TV programme has been banned from the USA – He was due to be with thge band at the Coachella Festival but has been refused a visa.

UK COPYRIGHT REVIEW CHIEF SAYS ‘DONT EXTEND THE TERM’ 27/04/07
Andrew Gowers has revealed that he considered suggesting cutting the term of copyright protection for sound recordings in the UK from its current term of fifty years. Gowers, who headed a review into intellectual prperty law in the UK, said in a interview with the OUT-LAW radio podcast that his overall view of IP was that companies had had enough influence over the law, and that they should gain no more rights saying “For quite a number of years, probably for decades, intellectual property protection has been regarded as, in a way, a one-way ratchet. The people demanding more intellectual property protection have tended to be larger, better financed, more articulate than the fragmented number of consumers who pay the price for it,” he said. “I think what we have done with this report is reassert the balance and make some arguments as to why that ratchet need not go any further.” Gowers added that whilst he thought that  “the voice of consumers has been heard to a greater extent,” he added “I think that there is a recognition that laws have become outdated or excessively inflexible. In the light of the rapid pace of economic change, globalisation, digitisation [they] need to be amended. In the world of copyright frankly quite a few things that are common practice are treated on the statute book as illegal and that cannot be a good law.” Gowers made the point that he pulled away from the idea because of what he considered political prudence. The record industry, led by the BPI and IFPI have been lobbying for a substantial extension in  the protectiojn of sound recording copyrights under the banner ‘Extend The Term’ to match the potential 95 year protection available in the USA.

KIWI PROMOTER WANTS NEW SCALPING LAW TO COVER ALL MAJOR EVENTS 27/04/07
The New Zealand Parliament are currently considering the Major Events Management Bill, ahead of New Zealand hosting the 2011 Rugby World Cup and this will invlove banning re-selling of tickets for sporting events defined as ‘major’, for more than their original price. But the promoter of the  Big Day Out, Campbell Smith, has told New Zealand Radio that he wants events like the Big Day Out to be covered by the Bill as well as scalping for music events is a major problem. Smith said that $110 Big Day Out tickets were oftejn brought in bulk and re-sold for up to six times the original price. But the head of business for the Trade Me website, Mike O’Donnell, told MPs that in the event of a law change, they have to realise sites like Trade Me can’t stop people from actually posting tickets to sell. The Bill also contains provisions for a ‘clean zone’ within 5km around a venue, including motorways, state highways and railway lines and also proposes a new offence that could see streakers – or anyone throwing anything onto a pitch – either jailed for three months or fined $5,000.
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/latest/200704270750/music_promoter_asks_to_be_covered_by_anti-scalping_law

BYONCE ALBUM PULLED FROM SHOPS 27/04/07
Special editions of the album B’Day by Beyonce have been deleted after a legal action by Des’ree. Des’ree’ lawsuit complained of unauthorised version of one of her songs.

EMI REVENUES DOWN 15% 19/04/07
The UK’s EMI has reported a drop in revenues of 15% in its recorded music division in the current financial year (which endedon the 31st March) and that revenues on the publishing side were broadly flat on last year in a report to the London Stock Exchange . Digital revenues were up –  59% in recordings (10% of all recoridng revenue) and 28% in publishing (8% of all publishing revenue). EMI expects pre-tax earnings of around £174 million before “exceptional costs” are taken into account, which include the £110 million costs of the recent restructuring. The Group may ‘mortgage’ or securitise its publishing assets to reduce debt servicing costs and will suspend the dividend until the benefits from restructing come through. The major has appointed Deutsche Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland to look into the securitisation proposals.

EBAY TO ALLOW LIVE EARTH TICKET AUCTIONS 19/04/07
Online auction site eBay has announced it will allow people to sell tickets to the Live Earth concerts  but with the proviso that sellers donate 20% of any sale to a climate change charity. 203,000 people pre-registered for tickets to the London leg of the global warming awareness fest, of which 30,000 have been randomly selected to buy a pair of tickets for £55 each. Acts include Madonna, Snow Patrol,  James Blunt, azorlite,  Keane and Genesis. EBay previously banned the resale of Live 8 tickets back in 2005 and banned the resale of tickets for the Princess Diana tribute show scheduled for this summer at Wembley Stadium.

APPLE FAIL GREEN TEST 17/04/07
Apple has come last in terms of environmental friendliness in a survey of major electronic manufacturers. The Greenpeace ‘Green Electronics Guide’ ranks major mobile and PC manufacturers on “their global policies and practice on eliminating harmful chemicals and on taking responsibility for their products once they are discarded by consumers.” Chinese company Lenovo, which bought IBM in 2005 and ranked last in a previous survey, this year came out top scoring top marks for e-waste policies as well as commitment to takeback and recycling in countries where their products are sold. Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Dell also fared well in the Greenpeace survey. Grenpeace asked companies to show a commitment to takeback, recycling and to remove poisonous chemicals. Apple countered by saying that the Company had a strong environmental track record and has led the industry in restricting and banning toxic substances such as mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, as well as many BFRs (brominated flame retardants). Apple also pointed out that their products fared better than Lenovo and Dell in EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) carried out by the Green Electronics Council which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EMI SETTLES WITH BEATLES 14/04/07
EMI  has confirmed that it has reached an out of court settlement with the Beatles relating to a royalties dispute which the band. The deal ends eighteen months of legal wranglings which began after Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison launched a £30 million lawsuit that in turn followed two years of unsuccessful negotiations with EMI regarding royalties the former band members claimed they were due. Rumours are now rife that the deal opens the way for fab four downloads.

OZZY ALBUM HOLDS KEY TO OZZFEST CODE 14/04/07
Ozzy Osbourne’s new solo album, ‘Black Rain’, his first in six years, will be used in the US as one of the channels for distributing tickets to this year’s Ozzfest tour. The Osbourne’s annual North American touring festival will be free this year, paid for by sponsorship and with tickets given away through various competitions. Initial pressings of ‘Black Rain’ will reportedly contain a code which will enable owners to enter the first of those ticket
competitions via a Live Nation website.

AIR TRAVEL TO FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING – HMMM  -SOMETHING TO MUSE OVER 14/04/07
CMU report that with air travel being highlighted as one of the major additions to carbon emissions, Muse’s Matt Bellamy, whose band are not due to play at the Live Earth concerts (Madonna now added for the UK), has raised one issue of artists booked to play flying in on private jets. On the possibility of taking part in the Live Earth event,  Bellamy told reporters: “Private jets for climate change? Not sure about it, that seems to be a bit on edge really – that’s an issue really, so we need to think about it!”

VIRGIN RADIO TO FLOAT 14/04/07
Scottish Media Group is planning on floating Virgin Radio. The company has been refocusing its energies on its original business – television – and the sell off of its radio business demonstrates that that refocusing continues. SMG plans to sell off their only other
non-TV companies, advertising firms Pearl & Dean and Primesight.

BON JOVI TO OPEN REVAMPED LONDON O2 DOME 14/04/07
Bon Jovi will play the first gig at the new  O2 arena on 24th Jun, following the 11th Jun
release of their new album ‘Lost Highway’. Justin Timberlake follows in July. Bon Jovi were one of the original bands booked to open the new Wembley Stadium, but, like others, lost out as the Stadium build seriously overran.

LATITUDE ADDITIONS 14/04/07
Albert Hammond Jr and Rodrigo Y Gabriela have both been added to the Latitude Festival. Others on the bill include Tinariwen. Jarvis Cocker, CSS, Wilco, Arcade Fire, Wilco, Midlake, The Good, The Bad & The Queen, Patrick Wolf and Explosions In The Sky.

ONLINE PETITION ON UK PUB SCENE 14/04/07
A move to petition the UK Government to cut red tape in licensing which has mushroomed because of the Licensing Act 2003 small venues including pubs, clubs and church halls has been launched on the government petitions website. The petition calls on Tony Blair to address the negative effects of said rules on grass roots musicians – and its athttp://petitions.PM.gov.UK/licensing

AS EMI AND APPLE CELEBRATE, THE EC SAYS IT WILL INVESTIGATE iTUNE PRICING 04/04/07
As EMI celebrated its announcement that the record label’s digital music catalogue would go on sale on Apple’s iTunes online store free of DRM restrictions, the European Commission confirmed  that Apple was facing an antitrust investigation over the pricing of songs on iTunes. Neelie Kroes, the European Union’s competition commissioner,  announced that Apple and several of the major music companies including EMI, Warner and Universal were being investigated over concerns that the sale of music through iTunes flouts EU competition (antitrust) regulations. The Commission has sent a formal “statement of objections” to Apple and the record companies alleging that iTunes was breaching competition rules by preventing consumers in one country from downloading songs less expensively from the Apple Internet store in another country. He said this violated antitrust rules because prices differed across the 27-member union, limiting consumer choice.

EMI GO DRM FREE 04/04/07
Everyone thought EMI and Apple were about to announce that the Beatles’ back catalogue was finally available for downloading – but in a surprise announcement EMI’s Eric Nicoli and Apple’s Steve Jobs announced that EMI would be putting out their entire catalogue in digital form unprotected by DRM technology – allowing fans to use their files on different without needing to crack codes – and of course swap files with friends – if they so want. In theory these files should be interoperable and play on any platform – Mac computer, iPod, Mobiles, PC and MP3 player although it is though they will not be truly interoperable to start. The new files will be higher quality (and larger) and Job’s said that it was time for the music industry to take on the music pirates and compete for sales. Files for a single track will now cost 99p in the UK (as opposed to 79p previously). The US price will now be US $1.29 (previously 99c).  The move is groundbreaking for a major multinational music company as the majors have so far insisted that all their digitally distributed music be DRM-protected – in the face of much criticism and ridicule. EMI act The Good The Bad & The Queen were on hand to play two songs at the launch.

UK SPORTS BODIES CALL TO END TOUTING 04/04/07
Representative bodies of the UK’s five biggest sports (football, tennis, rugby league, rugby union and cricket) have called on the Government to extend the anti-touting provisions brought into law for the 2012 Olympics to all sport. The new laws for the Olympics are mandatory under IOC stipulations for host cities – and sport’s bodies have pointed out that it seems bizarre that whilst it would be illegal to tout Olympic tickets inn 2012, it wouldn’t under current laws be illegal to tout Wimbledon tickets.

LONDON VENUE OWNERSHIP RE-JIG COMPLETED 02/03/07
Live Nation  has completed its acquisition of a majority stake in the Academy Music Group has been completed. The acquisition of 56% of the vnue company is through the live entertainment conglom’s joint venture with  Ireland based Gaiety Investments, the joint venture which also owns UK venue, tour and festival company Mean Fiddler. To satisfy Competition Commission concerns, Live Nation and Mean Fiddler have been required to sell off two London venues to avoid dominancce in that market and Live Nation has confirmed it is selling the HammEersmith Apollo and Mean Fiddler will sell the London Forum to the Mama Group, who already own the UK wide Barfly network of smaller gig venues (and interestingly is heaed by Dean James, ex … Mean Fiddler!).

GLASTO SELLS OUT 02/03/07
Yes another UK festival has sold out in the UK Summer season – Glastonbury (with its increased capacity of 177,500) sold out as soon as it went on sale. Over 400,000 pre-registered fans competed for the 137,500 public entry tickets on sale and the tickets were all sold out within two hours. To fight touting, The Festuival has said that no tickets can be re-sold and all tickets will have the lucky buyer’s personal photo embeded into the ticket itself. Festival Organiser  Michael Eavis has also announced the results of the Festival’s massive unsigned band competition. The winner (and the stages they play) are Grim Northern Social (who play the John Peel Stage)  Dr Meaker (who play the Dance Village) , Feluka ( Jazz World Stage), The Epstien ( Acoustic Tent) and overall winner Liz Green who play’s the festival’s legendary ‘Other’ Stage.

 

PLAYLOUDER SIGN UP EMI TO NEW BUSINESS MODEL 29/03/07
Playlouder MSP and EMI Music UK today announced a deal to make available music from EMI’s extensive catalogue via Playlouder’s bundled subscription and ISP service. Playlouder MSP subscribers will be able to access and share DRM protected music as part of a single monthly subscription fee. In return Playlouder MSP will share the subscription fees with EMI Music UK. As well as receiving all the standard broadband services (such as fast internet access and email), Playlouder MSP customers are also able to enjoy the unlimited legal subscription of music and can freely share licensed and DRM protected music with other Playlouder MSP subscribers for no extra cost. The EMI licence follows agreements with Sony BMG, the Association of Independent Music (AIM), which represents more than 800 UK indies, leading US indies including Nettwerk and Epitaph, and MCPS-PRS, the UK collection society representing the music publishers.

GLASTO ON FOR NEXT 4 YEARS AT UPPED 177,500 CAPACITY 29/03/07
Glastonbury has secured a new four-year licence, starting this year. It has also been granted an increased capacity from 150,000 to 177,500.  And whilst on UK fetsivals, the Mean Fiddler, the organsiers of Reading/Leeds festival are hosting a series of fan forums on the future of the music festival. They take place in Sheffield (24th April), Leeds (25th April) and Oxford (9th May).

NEW APPOINTMENTS AT LIVE NATION 27/03/07
Live Nation have announced a number of senior appointments. Kevin Morrow is named SVP of club and theater programming; Ben Weeden moves up to SVP of arena and amphitheater programming; Ryan McElrath becomes VP of arena and amphitheater programming; and David Pennington becomes director of finance for national touring:
www.billboard.biz

SNOOP AND P DIDDY UK TOUR CANCELLED 27/03/07
P Diddy and Snoop Dog’s UK tour has been cancelled after Snoop was refused a visa to enter the UK. UK officials refused Snoop a visa in relation to that fracas at Heathrow airport last year, when the hip hop star was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and affray. Arcade Fire have also had to canmcel the remainder of their European tour due to
singer Win Butler’s health troubles. Butler has apparently been suffering from sinus and bronchial problems for the last three months, and has been trying to continue despite the advice of doctors. But Church leaders in Trinidad & Tobago have failed to have Elton John’s performance at Tobago’s Plymouth Jazz Festival in April stopped. The Republic’s House Of Assembly has dismissed concerns about Elton’s sexuality and the performance will go ahead.

EC DELAY SONY BMG DECISION 26/03/07
The European Commission has temporarily halted its competition (antitrust) investigation into the Sony BMG merger which came about after the European Court Justice annulled the EC’s original approval.  It states that Sony and Bertelsmann must submit the “complete and accurate information” that has been requested of them, meaning the re-examination of the 2004 merger (now based on current market conditions) could be delayed by two weeks. It’s original deadline for a decision was 2nd July. The two companies could face significant fines if they do not submit the requested information within the extended timeframe.

UK LICENSING ACT A WASTE OF TIME? 16/03/07
The Stage reports that Feargal Sharkey is to tell the government that the Licensing Act has failed to deliver the “explosion” in live music promised by ministers, and has in fact made no difference whatsoever to the UK music scene. The Stage says that the report by the Live Music Forum, is expected to, in effect, call for a return to the days when smaller gigs did not require licensing – perhaps with an exemption for “incidental” music or an exemption for venues of 100 capacity or less. The Forum’s vewi, based on surveys by pollsters MORI and from the Musicians Union, says that whilst there seems to have bee no noticeable change in the live music scheme, 7% of small venues had stopped promoting music – hardly unexpected as Government ministers were warned of this when the Act was passed and then chose to ignore the lobbying by groups such as the Musicians Union. MU General Secretary John Smith told The Stage that the Act was a disspointment and that ” Kim Howells, Richard Caborn and James Purnell all promised me, face to face, that it would be good for live music”. There is good news –  60% of smaller venues had now been licensed for live music, but in contrast to this was the wide ranging anecdotal evidence on the effect of crippling licensing conditions from certain local authorities, a reaction to the bureaucracy to the act and a collapse in the promotion of music at the grass roots level in small venues.

YOUTUBE FACE FACE MASSIVE COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT 14/03/07
Media giant Viacom (parent company of MTV and Paramount) is seeking $1B in compensation against YouTube, claiming that 160,000 unauthorised clips have been uploaded and watched over 1.5B times on the video-sharing service. It is also seeking an injunction to prevent YouTube users from illegally uploading any more of its content. Viacom has alleged that YouTube has failed to implement sufficient filtering safeguards and that negotiations were “unproductive”. The legal battle is now moving up a gear as Viacom accuses YouTube of increasing user traffic and upping ad revenues as a result of the use “unlicensed content [which] is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws”. YouTube is now owned by Google.

UNIVERSAL PROFITS UP 08/03/07
Universal Music  has reported that its Q4 earnings dropped slightly, but its overall 2006 numbers were up. Its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) figures for the full year were E744M, which is a 9.3% jump from 2005 Five Eight magazine reports.  For the final quarter of the year EBITDA figures slipped slightly (1.5%) to E311M. The massive international success of albums by acts such as Snow Patrol, The Killers, Nelly Furtado and U2 – alongside higher sales, higher margins and legal settlements – were behind the full-year upturn. Universal’s parent company Vivendi posted an 18% rise in adjusted full-year net profits. The figures (E2.6B) were in line with expectations.

HENDRIX COMPANY SUE OVER VODKA BRAND 08/03/07
The family of Jimi Hendrix have filed a lawsuit against a Seattle company who have been marketing Hendrix Electric Vodka. Janie Hendrix, CEO of the late guitar legend estate’s company Experience Hendrix, has called the drinks, which come with Hendrix’s face and signature on the packaging, a “sick joke” given that her brother’s death was tied to alcohol consumption.

IRISH COURT CALLS FOR EMINEM EVIDENCE 08/03/07
An Irish court  has requested that Eminem give evidence to a US Judge for use back in Dublin as part of the long running legal action by concert promoter MCD in relation to a concert the rapper was due to headline in September 2005, but which was cancelled when he pulled out of his touring commitments because of “exhaustion”.  MCD are suing three British insurance companies who they claim have failed to meet their commitments to cover the promoter’s costs of E1.5 million (£1 million) relating to the cancelled concert, which was due to be staged at Slane Castle.

GLASTONBURY PRE-REGISTRATION CLOSES AT 395,000 07/03/07
395,000 people have registered for Glastonbury Festival’s – using the post and the internet – all now in a lottery for 145,000 tickets. Glastonbury’s latest initiative to combat ticket touts means that anyone wanting to buy tickets for this year’s event had to register with the festival last month, supplying contact information and a photo of themselves. When tickets go on sale next month anyone registered will be able to buy up to four tickets via the ticket hotline or website, but each ticket must be assigned to someone who has registered. Photos will appear on the tickets themselves to (hopefully!) stop tickets being sold on internet aucton sites.

IFPI SUES YAHOO! CHINA 07/03/07
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has confirmed it is suing Yahoo! China for copyright infringement based on the search engine’s practice of providing links to unlicensed music download site. IFPI’s Asia Regional Director Leong May-Seey has confirmed that Beijing ‘s Intermediate Court has accepted the case, being brought against the web firm by eleven music companies, including all of the majors. It is worth noting that the IFPI is taking the action against Yahoo! China despite ultimately losing a similar previously reported case against China ‘s leading search engine Baidu last year. While the Chinese courts initially ordered Baidu to pay compensation to EMI for its MP3 search service which provided links to illegal sources of music, an appeal hearing in November overruled that decision ruling that Baidu could not be held liable for any copyright violation because it did not, itself, host any of the unlicensed content, it merely linked to the illegal sites.

HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS FREE TO RECORD FOR EMI 07/03/07
CMU Daily repotrs that Emo rockers Hawthorne Heights have secured a rare win in their ongoing legal tussle with their record label, US independent Victory Recprds. Hawthorne Heights are trying to get out of their recording contract with the independent claiming, among other things,
that Victory used “tactics” and “scheming” that damaged the band’s reputation and their fan relationships, and that the label acted fraudulently in financial reporting to the band, and that as a result the band should no longer be committed to recording for the indie (The Judge didn’t rule on this matter saying more evidence would be needed). The band have also
claimed that the copyright on their first two albums should revert to them (again, no judgment here). Victory countersued alleging amongst other things that EMI had interferred with a binding agreement they had with the band and last year a US court ruled that the Victory recording contract stood. However a Chicago judge has ruled that the band’s relationship with the independent is not exclusive because their contract does not include an exclusivity
clause. That means that whilst still committed to provide recordings for Victory there appears is nothing to stop the band also signing another contract with EMI and releasing albums via the major.

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT WANTS EU LAW FOR ONLINE MUSIC 03/03/07
MEPs have called on the European Commission to come up with binding legislation for the online music market to ensure European cultural diversity in the music sector. Deputies in the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee voted in favour of an own-initiative report by Hungarian socialist MEP Katalin Levai on the cross border management of copyright for online music services, criticising the EU executive’s non-binding recommendation put forward in 2005. The MEPs in the committee instead want an EU law to be proposed under the co-decision procedure – meaning that both member states and the parliament are involved in shaping the law. At present thew EC has focused on competition issues when looking at the music industry – MEPs think culture needs to be considered too. “This new proposal should guarantee the protection of EU cultural diversity and safeguard small artists and local repertoires,” the committee said in a statement after the vote.

JARVIS COCKER APPOINTED CURATOR OF THE SOUTHBANK MELTDOWN 2007 AND THE BARBICAN ANNOUNCES 12TH ‘GREAT PERFORMERS’ 03/03/07
London’s Southbank Centre has announced that Jarvis Cocker, one of the UK’s best-loved rock stars and cultural figures, is the Artistic FDirector of the annual Meltdown festival. The speccy icon, and latter-day pop sage has been given the opportunity to curate his very own festival of events to be staged across the venues and spaces of London’s Southbank Centre between 16-24 June. At the Barbican, Robert van Leer, Head of Music, has announced a stunning array of concerts and festivals for the 12th Great Performers season, 2007-2008. The Barbican is at the forefront of commissioning and producing new work with international partners and this season there are four major co-commissions, including a new opera by John Adams, Mark Morris’ Mozart Dances, an oratorio by Kaija Saariaho and a new work by Philip Glass based on poems by Leonard Cohen for his 70th birthday. In total, there will be 11 premieres

CANADA MUSIC WEEK – LEAVE NOW – GET BACK IN TIME FOR THE ILMC 03/03/07
If you rush and get a ticket now – you can get to the Canadian Music Week and back before the ILMC starts – well nearly. Between March 7th and Matrch 10th over 600 bands will be featured at some 44 live music venues in downtown Toronto alongside what is sure to be a heated debate over illegal downloading in Canada. Rather like the USA, there is growing concern about the actions of the majors and the CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association of America) who recentlY described the Canadian economy as a, “marketplace that has been infiltrated by counterfeits and pirated goods, endangering consumers and compromising our prosperity”. But on hand to comment on the situation are Canadian law expert and commentator professor Michael Geist and Netwerk Music’s Terry McBride in what promises to be a fascinating review of Canad’s music scene in the last year and where its going in 2007.

http://www.cmw.net/cmw2007/index.asp

MINISTRY LIVID AT IMPALA DEAL WITH WARNERS 02/03/07
News is seeping out that a number of UK independent labels includng Ministry of Sound are furious with their own trade association, AIM, for allowing the European indie label group  IMPALA to sign a settlement with Warners which seems to say that the indies will not oppose any attempts by Warners to merge with EMI in return for conessions made to indie labels. Those who attended a meeting with Warners appear to be bound by the terms of a somewhat draconian Non Disclosure Agreement preventing any terms being revealed. At the same time, EC regulators have said they will now take a full look at the Sony – BMG merger – their original approval was annulled by the European Court of Justice – after a case brought by IMAPLA! The exercise is expected to take four months with a new date for reporting of July 4th 2007.

LIVE NATION REVENUES UP 02/03/07
CMU Daily report that Live Nation has announced fourth quarter revenues for 2006 were up 39.8% on 2005 – up $299.7 million to $1.05 billion – though the company still recorded an overall loss of $33.1 million for the period. Those figures mean that in its first year of trading as an independent entity  apart from the Clear Channel media company, the live music conglom saw full  year revenues rise from $2.94 million to $3.96 million, but with overall losses of $31.4 million.

 

PRODUCERS CALL ON OFCOM TO SAFEGUARD RADIO MIC SPECTRUM 21/02/07
Representatives for the live entertainments industry have called on media regulator OfCom to commit to protecting the part of the radio spectrum  currently used by entertainment producers for radio mics amid fears that the relevant spectrum will be sold off, in part or in whole in 2012 according to the ever wonderful  CMU Daily. This means that those using radio mics might suffer increased interference or, worse still, will  be forced to pay a commercial licensee, or even worse – not be able to use radio mics at all. OfCom has said that there are now other microphone systems available which do not require the radio spectrum but many in the live sector argue those newer systems are less efficient and  also require theatres and venues to invest in expensive upgrades. The  Association Of Service Providers said that the live industry needed a way forward to ring-fence the spectrum on a geographical basis pointing out that live shows were  important to the whole UK economy saying that London’s West End theatre saw 12.5m visitors each year and not one show would work without radio mics.

WARNERS POTENTIAL BID FOR EMI STILL HAS COMPETITION ISSUES 21/02/07
EMI reports that it has received a takeover approach from Warner Music reports Five Eight Magazine. The story is that it is only the recorded music arm (eg EMI records and its labels) which is under consideration, perhaps reducing concerns aboout regulatory approval from European Commission (EC) Competition regulators. And the timing of this all is very interesting as the EC is due to make its ruling on Sony BMG shortly (following the European Court Of First Instance’s annullment of the EC’s approval last year) and has yet to rule n the potential acquisition of BMG Music by Vivendi Universal. By taking out EMI Music (which is the dominant music publisher with a 20% market dhare globally) Warners may think they will have a clear run to by EMI Records. BUT, even if EC regulators ‘re-approve’ a Sony-BMG merger – would they then automtaically approve another merger reducing major players with a 70%+ market share to just three companies (Universal, Sony-BMG, EMI-Warners)?  There are also growing rumours that private equity firms are circling EMI with a view towards stripping its assets. EMI’s share rose 8% following the Warner development. In related news, hedge fund company Eclectica (which has a 0.75% share in EMI) is calling for EMI to have its publishing arm fully valued by an investment bank, accusing it of lacking transparency. It argues that publishing makes up most of the company’s market share and wants a full valuation of this asset.

‘SOS’ FROM AL GORE AS HE CONFIRMS ‘LIVE EARTH’ 16/02/07
There has been much muttering about this – a Live 8 style event to promote action on climate change have been confirmed by former US vice president Al Gore and Live 8 TV producer Kevin Wall. The pair have announced that ‘Save Our Selves’, a 24-hour global concert featuring more than a hundred acts is set to take place on 7 Jul, and is expected to attract audiences of two billion worldwide via live, online and broadcast media.  Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell, Enrique Igl esias and Black Eyed Peas have already been confirmed. Gore, whose documentary on global warming ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is up for an Oscar this year, said in a statment: “In order to solve the climate crisis, we have to reach billions of people. We are launching SOS and Live Earth to begin a process of communication that will mobilize people all over the world to take action”. Their statement added that the event will be organised using “a new Green Event Standard that will become the model for carbon-neutral concerts and other live events in the future”.

MUSE, MONKEYS AND KILLERS ALL WIN AT THE BRITS 15/02/07
Muse were king of live music at the BRIT Awards in London last night (14 February) winning the award for best live band. The Valentines day bash ended up as a love in for Robbie Williams who was absent due to ongoing addiction problems but his old band mates Take That walked away with the best single gong for  ‘ Patience’. Live performances were from Oasis, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Killers, Corrine Bailey-Rae and the Scissor Sisters. The Arctic Monkeys won with British Album of the Year. James Morrison won the award for the Best British Male. The British Breakthrough Act award was won by Glaswegian indie Rockers the Fratellis. Orson took the title of International Breakthrough Act. The International Male award went to Justin Timberlake while the International Female artist award was won by Nelly Furtado.  The Killers had a double win with best International Album for ‘Sam’s Town’ and best International Group. Oasis were honoured with an Outstanding Contribution to Music award.

GENESIS PLAN TO PLAY TO 400,000 IN ROME 10/02/07
Tony Banks , Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford of the iconic band Genesis have revealed that the final European show of their first tour in 15 years, entitled Turn It On Again – the tour, will see the band perform to their biggest audience ever at a spectacular free concert for more than 400,000 at Circo Massimo in Rome, Italy on 14 July 2007

ACADEMY MUSIC SALE GETS PROVISIONAL GREEN LIGHT FROM REGULATOR 10/02/07
In its report under the Enterprise Act 2002 published in January the Competition Commisison (CC) concluded that the proposed acquisition of   Academy Music Holdings Limited by Hamsard 2786 Limited (Now called LN-Gaiety) would result in the creation of a relevant merger situation. It also concluded that the creation of that situation might be expected to lead to a substantial lessening of competition (SLC) as a result of the loss of rivalry between the Hammersmith Apollo, Brixton Academy, the Shepherd’s Bush Empire (SBE), the Astoria and the Forum venues, and in particular between the Hammersmith Apollo and the Brixton Academy, between the SBE and the Astoria, and between the SBE and the Forum. For the purpose of remedying, mitigating or preventing the SLC and any other adverse effects that might be expected to result from the SLC, the CC concluded that the proposed acquisition could not go ahead unless and until LN-Gaiety or Live Nation (Music) UK Limited (Live Nation) (as appropriate) had divested two venues comprising one of the Brixton Academy and the Hammersmith Apollo plus one of the SBE and the Forum on the basis of arrangements approved by the CC and to a purchaser approved by the CC. The CC now says that it has agreed acceptable terms with regards to the sale of venues and the matter will now be put out for public consultation. The draft undertakings can be seen at

http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/inquiries/ref2006/hamsard2786/pdf/draft_undertakings_for_public_consultation.pdf

CPA LEAVE TOUTING ON UK GOVERNMENT’S AGENDA 09/02/07
The UK’s live music sector fronted up by the Concert Promoters Association has failed to pusuade the UK Government to legislate against ticket touts. The Department of Culture Media & Sport had threatened the industry with regulation (which was actually wanted by the industry) but now isn’t really sure regulation is appropriate – the UK government seems unwilling to legislate against the resale of tickets for profit, despite lobbying by the CPA. Culture SecretaryTessa Jowell told reporters: “We want to address the problems faced by fans – paying through the nose for a ticket with a poor view or handing over cash for a ticket that never existed. Progress has been made but we’re going to continue to work with the industry to cut off the commercial opportunities for ticket touts and stamp out unfair practices. It would be unfair if consumers were unable to sell their own tickets and get their money back – we don’t want to criminalise genuine fans”. But Jowell has accepted that some regulations may be required, especially governing the resale of tickets for high profile charity based events, such as this year’s planned Concert For Diana at Wembley Stadium. The Government is supporting ticket swap websites.

NEW HEALTH AND SAFETY SEMINAR ANNOUNCED 08/02/07
The UK’s Centre for Crowd Management & Security Studies has teamed up with the European festival organisationYOUROPE in organising a new two day conference and seminar on Health, Safety and Security at Live Events. The conference agenda includes debate and industry feedback on topics including major incidents at live events, noise issues, the role of the police, security & stewards and audience behaviour at live events. The conference will be held atMissenden Abbey in Buckinghamshre on the 24th and 25th May and the organisers will arrange for a shuttle bus for delegates flying into London Heathrow airport. There will also be a ‘breakout’ session each day focusing on training stewards and volunteers at events. The seminar is sponsored and supported by the Roskilde Festival, Rock Steady, Mojo Barriers, The PSA, Showsec, Show & Event Security and ICMS. For further details contactnick.eade@bcuc.ac.uk.

Click Here for information leaflet (PDF Download)

 

APPLE VS APPLE FINALLY ENDS 07/02/07

The epic trade mark battle between Apple Computers and the Beatle’s Apple Corp will finally end with the computer company taking full control of the Apple brand and license certain trademarks back to the Beatles’ record company Apple Corps  The dispute dates back to 1980, when the late George Harrison noticed an advert for Apple computers in a magazine. In 1976 Apple Computer’s founder Steve Jobs had adopted a white apple on a black background – with a small bite taken out – as the fledgling company’s logo. This was very similar to Apple Corp’s own logo which was a ‘plump green Granny Smith’ apple. Harrison felt there was potential for trademark conflict between Job’s mark and Apple Corp trade mark. The sides reached a settlement in 1981 allowing Apple Computer to use the name as long as it stuck to computers, while The Beatles’ company would continue in the entertainment field. But as computers developed and their musical capabilities grew, the sides ended up in court again in 1989, resulting in a new deal.  They clashed again when Apple Inc launched the iTunes download store in 2003, with the record label claiming the computer firm had encroached on its territory again. That case ended up in court last year. Apple Corps lost, with Mr Justice Mann ruling that the iPod and iTunes did not breach the earlier settlement because the services and software were merely ways of retailing and distributing music and nothing to do with the creation of the music itself. Now the legal battle over the trademark with the added carrot that Beatle’s tracks may now be finally available for legal download!

SONY TAKES IT PLAYSTATION TO THE OPERA 03/02/07
In a very interesting move, Sony have announced a collaboration with the English National Opera setting up a website promoting the Sony Playstation – the website looks at life backstage at the Sony Sponsored La Boheme at the London Colliseum. Sony ave earmarked £1 million (E1.4 million) for arts sponsorship in the UK So there you go – opera – the new rock and roll – and its illuminating to see who Sony thinks plays with video games now!! In less welcome news from the world of opera, its said to annunce the death of Ukrainian conductor Woldemar Nelsson at the age of 68 and the noted Australian opera singer Rosina Raisbeck aged 88.

EC BUSY WITH MUSIC INDUSTRY MERGERS 02/02/07
The European Commission is beginning its re-examination of the 2004 Sony BMG merger which results from the European Court Of First Instance’s ruling that the approval of the ‘marriage’ by the EC was deeply flawed. FiveEight reports that the EC has two main options –  either (a) clear the merger or (b) launch a new four-month investigation to reconsider the tie-up in light of new market conditions and the issue of collective dominance amongst the majors. Both Sony and Bertelsmann say they are “confident” that the EC will stick with its original ruling. In related news, the Commission is due to make its ruling on Vivendi Universal’s ‘s proposed acquisition of BMG Music Publishing by 1st July 2007.

THAT REVOLVING DOOR 01/02/07
Dieter Gorny is leaving as EVP of MTV Networks Europe, a job he has held since 2004. His replacement has not yet been named. Curt Eddy is promoted to SVP of sales at Hollywood Records. He was previously VP of sales for the label and Patti Matheny is promoted to the role of VP of A&R planning for Legacy Recordings (within Sony BMG). She was previously director of A&R planning at the label.

SONY BMG SALES SLIP 01/02/07
Sony BMG Music Entertainment’s sales slid 1.6% to $1.4 billion for the three months ended December 31st www.billboard.biz ewports. Net income for the period increased 26% to $225 million. The company blamed the revenue dip on the digital download market’s inability to fully offset contraction in the CD business. It credited the income gain to lower overhead and restructuring costs, as well as a payday from an unspecified industry legal settlement. The results were disclosed as part of Sony Corporation’s third quarter earnings.

INDIES NOT HAPPY WITH YOUTUBE OFFER 01/02/07
Back in October, YouTube struck licensing deals with Universal and Sony BMG (and already had a deal with Warner Music in place). Now, however, there is a groundswell in the independent sector as labels voice serious grievances over the deal terms being tabled by the video and networking site to use their content. They are unhappy with what they see as “second rate terms” and are not ruling out legal action.

MADONNA ESCAPES DUTCH PROSECUTION 01/02/07
Madonna will not face charges over a mock crucifixion staged on her 2006 world tour, Dutch prosecutors have said. Christian group SGP had called for the singer to be prosecuted for performing the song Live To Tell suspended from a cross while wearing a crown of thorns. The Amsterdam prosecutor’s office said that the scene lent itself “to different interpretations”. The mock crucifixion, part of Madonna’s four-month Confessions world tour, met protest in most of the countries it visited.

JASRAC SETTLES WITH ITUNES 01/02/07
JASRAC has settled a demand for royalties from iTunes for use of the Japanese collection society’s music publishing rights for downloads. It is thought a interim stage payment of approximately $2 million will be made by Apple toJASRAC under a new licensing scheme.  The iTunes service launched in Japan in the summer of 2005. More on Apple – USA Today is reporting that Verizon turned down a deal with Apple to carry the new iPhone service two years ago. It is claimed that the second-largest mobile operator in the US was unhappy with Apple’s demands, which included a cut of monthly mobile fees, deciding where the iPhone would be sold as well as control of the relationship with iPhone customers. It is suggested that Cingular – who secured the exclusive in the US earlier this month – agreed (at least in part) to Apple’s demands.

UK LICENSING COSTS MILLIONS MORE 01/02/07
The new round-the-clock drinking laws in England and Wales will leave local authories with with a £95m budget shortfall according to the Local Government Association who have said that the three-year deficit could have an impact on future council tax bills. Councils took over licensing from magistrates when the 2003 Licensing Act came into force in November 2005. The government intended income from fees would cover administration and enforcement costs and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport is due to release the findings of an independent panel led by Lord Elton which examined the 2003 Act. But according to the LGA, the government had failed to meet assurances that the costs would not impact on council finances. The LGA said figures indicated councils had spent £36.4m on implementing and enforcing the Act in the 2004-5 financial year, £88.8m in the following 12 months and £75.4m this year but income from licensing fees over the three years totalled just over £106m leaving a substantial deficit.

MUSIC PUBLISHERS LOOK TO EUROPEAN LICENSING 24/01/07
FiveEight 
reports from MIDEM that EMI Music Publishing have announced that the deal they struck last year with the UK’s MCPS-PRS Alliance and Germany’s GEMA to offer pan-European digital licensing deals is ready to launch. EMI Music Publishing president Roger Faxon said that the new licensing method will bring all EMI’s writers together in one place for its Anglo-American repertoire and allows a “one stop shop” for service providers to license content. He criticised the fact that the structure of collection societies structure have not evolved rapidly enough with the rise of digital services and this new solution will ensure prompt payment for them and their writers. Warner/Chappell Musicare also launching a system to restructure the way they license content to digital services in Europe, but are said to be offering collection societies non-exclusive rights to handle the licensing if certain standards of the publisher are met. also see www.billboard.biz

ACADEMY REPORT NOW PUBLISHED 24/01/07 
The UK Competition Commission’s report into the proposed Hamsard 2786 Ltd / Academy Music Holdings Ltd deal has now been published. The final report and accompanying press release available at: http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/. The Competition Commission has formally decided that the proposed acquisition of a controlling interest in Academy Music Holdings Limited (Academy) by Hamsard 2786 Limited (Hamsard) would lead to a substantial lessening of competition in relation to certain live music venues in London, resulting, in particular, in rentals at the venues concerned being higher than would otherwise be the case. If the acquisition of the controlling interest is to proceed, the merging companies will first be required to sell one of either the Brixton Academy or the Hammersmith Apollo and one of either the Shepherd’s Bush Empire or the Forum. These venues represent the closest alternatives to each other in London for artists, agents and promoters of popular live music events and would come under common ownership following the acquisition. Hamsard will not be permitted to acquire a controlling interest in Academy until there is a binding sale/purchase commitment for the venues in question. The sale will need to be approved by the Commission so that it is made to a suitable purchaser(s) and is likely to include venue management and booking teams, contracts with customers and suppliers as well as customer information and contact lists, in order to help ensure the viability of the venues for any purchaser(s). Hamsard is jointly controlled by Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd (Live Nation) and Gaiety Investments Ltd. Through its ownership of Mean Fiddler Music Group Ltd, Hamsard operates live music venues in London, including the Astoria, and the Forum. It also has a management contract for the Wembley Arena. Academy owns the Shepherd’s Bush Empire and the Brixton Academy as well as a number of other venues in London and elsewhere. Live Nation owns the Hammersmith Apollo, and a number of theatres in London. It also owns venues (mostly theatres) in 20 other cities in the UK.

MORE EUROPEAN GROUPS CALL FOR iPOD INTEROPERABILITY 23/01/07
More consumer groups in Europe are joining a campaign led by agencies in Scandinavia to persuade or force Apple and other download providers to unlock their DRM – in particular to allow other manufacturers to make iTunes compatible music players and to allow other download platforms to sell DRM protected music that can be played on the market leading iPod. Last year France backed away from passing new copyright laws which wuld have made Apple’s DRM based business model illegal but Consumer ombudsmen and agencies in Norway Denmark and Sweden where consumer agencies have all called into question Apple’s model – now their counterparts in Finland, France and Germany – KuluttajavirastoUFC-Que Choisir and Ferbraucherzentralen respectively – are joining their alliance against Apple. Norwegian officials have already met with Apple and given them to next September to change their business model on the threat of legal action if they fail to do so.

GLOBAL AGENCY’S FIRST DEAL IS WITH MYSPACE 21/01/07
Merlin, the world independent record sector’s new licensing agency, today agreed its first ever global deal, with the digital music company SNOCAP. The agreement will enable repertoire from potentially thousands of independent labels across the world to be put into SNOCAP’s retail MyStore initiative, which enables music to be downloaded from web sites across the world, including, via their partnership with MySpace, the world’s number one social networking site.  MyStore’s tie in with MySpace, set to launch in the near future with labels, will enable independent-signed artists from across the world to sell digital downloads of their music from their MySpace pages. The downloads will be sold as unprotected MP3 files enabling them to be played on all digital music players including Apple’s iPod. The agreement, the first of its kind, is a global template deal which will be offered to all members of Merlin across the world over coming days.

DIGITAL BOOMS IN INDIA 20/01/07
A new report from Soundbuzz suggests that India will become the second market (after South Korea) where digital music sales overtake those of physical. Over-the-air will be the major driver as broadband uptake (currently around 2M subscribers) is low and the market is more culturally-focused on mobile. FiveEight magazine say that the value of the Indian music industry stood at $329M in 2005, but could leap almost threefold to $930M by 2009; of this, mobile will account for a staggering $810M (up from $102M in 2005). Physical sales, meanwhile, could slump from $22.7M to $11.36M over the same period. Beyond India, Soundbuzz is predicting that mobile sales across the Asia Pacific region will leap from $2.89B in 2005 to $8.57B by 2009.

EMI RESTRUCTURES 20/01/07
Following last weeks exit of David Munns and Alain LevyEMI has announced a number of key management appointments. JF Cecillon is named as chairman and CEO of EMI Music International (covering all markets outside of the UK and US). He was previously chairman and CEO of EMI Music Continental Europe. Ian Hanson moves up to the role of COO of EMI Music. He was previously SVP, chairman’s office, EMI Music: www.billboard.biz

MUNNS AND LEVY LEAVE EMI AMID PROFIT WARNING 15/01/07
Amid profit warnings and a major restructuring programme at EMI GroupAlain Levy (CE of EMI Music) and David Munns (vice chairman) are exiting the company with immediate effect. Full-year revenues at the recorded music arm of the company are expected to be down 6-10% compared to 2005, with the finger of blame being pointed at an underperforming release schedule heavily weighted towards the second-half. Revenues at EMI Music Publishing, however, are said to be in line with expectations. It is suggested that “hundreds” of jobs could also be axed across the company as part of a cost-saving programme which could cost £150M but deliver £110M in annual savings. It also plans to “de-layer” its management structure. Eric Nicoli, executive chairman of the company, will step into the CE role. EMI’s share price dropped 16.5p to 248p following the announcement.

GLASTONBURY GAINS 25,000 AND PLANS PHOTO-TICKETS 15/01/07
The Glastonbury Festival
 is planning to expand its capacity by a further 25,000 to 175,000. In order to cut car traffic to the site, the extra tickets 25,000 could be sold as part of coach packages. And the festival has announced a pre-registration system for all tickets and that final tickets will carry the applicants own photo as ID as Michael Eaviscontinues his fight against touts

STONEWALL FIGHTS AGAINST AGE LIMITS 15/01/07
FiveEight magazine reports that Country star Stonewall Jackson (who is 74) is suing the Grand Ole Opry, claiming that an age discrimination policy is preventing him from performing at the venue.

ITALY OFFERS TAX BREAKS FOR INDIES 10/01/07
The Italian government is to offer smaller music companies tax breaks. The new breaks apply to any company with annual revenues less than 15 million euros, and will enable companies to avoid paying tax on the first 100,000 euros earned on first or second works from new artists. The saved tax can be spent on production, videos, digitalisation and promotion. The scheme follows a similar initiative by the French government, which was approved by the European Commission last May and the Italian scheme is still subject EC competition approval.

APPLE LAUNCH PHONE 10/01/07
With reports out that spending on digital music would hit $2.5 billion (£1.3 billion) by 2011, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has introduced the much-anticipated iPhone at the MacWorld conference in San Francisco on January 9th. The mobile phone features a 3.5-inch touchscreen interface, an 8 GB hard drive, and the ability to synch not only music, but also photos, video and personal contact info via an iTunes interface. It runs on the 2.5G network. Thinner than even the slimmest phone on the market today, the iPhone runs Apple’s OS X operating system and uses a patented new touchscreen user interface called MultiTouch – a feature he says is as central to the phone as the clickwheel is to theiPod. It also features a 2-megapixel camera and a visual voicemail function. The handset should be available in the UK in June 2007 and will cost approximately £250 (E350).

IS THERE A SOLUTION TO THE DVD FORMAT WARS? 06/01/07
Korea’s LG Electronics have developed the first DVD player which will play both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray DVD discs – the competing formats in the new high resolution digital DVD market. Alongside this,  Warner Bros have developed a disc which can hold both formats. Music and other sales on DVD have recently dipped and ILMC regular Ben Challis, who looks after the Glastonbury Archive and is working with the Prince’s Trust on their archive added “its a relief – I think consumers have noted that there are two rival formats and they have been simply sitting it out before they upgrade – and not buying DVDs – that’s bad for the music DVD market and bad for live music.” Business reports said that if LG can get the price to an acceptable level this could be a solution to kick start the market. Challis added “no-one wants to be saddled with obsolete technology they have paid for – think of betamax – and minidiscs – or laser discs –  lets hope this paves the way forward for a sensible solution to the technology wars.”

HOT TIPS FROM THE BBC 06/01/07
The BBC have named their top ten to watch for 2007 headed by singer songwriter  Mika. Mika is followed by Twang, Brummmie rockers the Klaxons, R&B diva Sadie Ama and rock-dance hybrid Enter Shikari. The final five places feature Air TrafficCold war KidsJust JackGhosts and The Rumble Strips. Also in the UK Snow Patrol’s Eyes Open was top selling album of the year followed by Take That’s Beautiful WorldScissor Sisters Ta-Dah, Artic Monkeys Whatever People Say and Inside In Inside Out by the Kooks. Top selling single was Gnarls Barclay’s Crazyfollowed by new X-factor star Leona Lewis with A Moment Like This. Album sales dropped by 2.5% to 159 million units but singles rose 39.7% to 66.9 million units as digital downloads featured for the first time in chart positions (source:BPI).

END OF ARTISTE AND SPORTSMAN TAXATION IN THE NETHERLANDS 05/01/07
After a long period of lobbying from by the music industry, led by Dick Molenaar at All Arts, the Dutch government has decided to abolish the taxation of non-resident artistes and sportspeople as per 1 January 2007.

SONYBMG TO LICENCE PODCASTS 05/01/07
SonyBMG has reached an agreement with San Fransisco based Rock River to allow for a series of promotional prodcasts for corporate clients. Clients such as Ford and Chrysler will pay Sony a flat fee for the right to use music in podcasts regardless of the number of tracks downloaded by end users.

YOUTUBE MISS PIRACY DEADLINE 05/01/07
Google owned YouTube has missed a January 1st deadline with the major record labels after it failed to implement a promise to develop a system to track and remove videos on the video sharing website whch infringed the label’s copyright.

COKE AD ‘COPIES’ BAND’S VID 05/01/07
London unsigned act Seven Seconds of Love have claimed that an advertisement for Coke in Argentinia is a rip off of one of their videos. The band, who have enlisted the help of music lawyers Olswang, suspect that an Argentinean Coke advert infringes the bands copyright since the animation style and the music used in the ad is very similar to that of the video. The video was made available by the band on MySpace and YouTube and their Argentinean fans reported the existence of the Coke ad to them.

BONNAROO ORGANISERS TO BUY FESTIVAL SITE 05/01/07
Superfly Productions and A.C. Entertainment, producers of the annual Bonnaroo Music Festival, are finalizing the purchase of the bulk of the festival site land near Manchester in Coffee County, Tenn. The festival will end up owning about 530 acres alongside Interstate 24 purchased from landowner Sam McAlister. Bonnaroo has long-term leases with owners of 300 additional acres at the site. Superfly president Jonathan Mayers told Billboard.com that serious negotiations to buy the property have been in place for about six months. He declined to reveal a price tag for the land, but did say the plan is to not only build a permanent infrastructure at the site, but to host other events in addition to Bonnaroo at the rural site. Last year’s event grossed $14.7 million, according to Billboard Boxscore, with such headliners as Tom Petty & the HeartbreakersRadiohead, Beck and My Morning Jacket
 

JAMES BROWN, THE GODFATHER OF SOUL, DIES ON CHRISTMAS DAY 26/12/06
From shoeshine boy to professional boxer to armed robber to black rights advocate to international star – James Brown, the legendary ‘Godfatjer of Soul’ never had a quiet life. He died aged 73 (or perhaps, 78) from heart failure after contractung pneumonia. Born in 1933 (but there again, perhaps 1928) amid crushing poverty in Barnwell, South Carolina and  abandoned at age 4, young James was raised by relatives in a brothel in Augusta, Georgia . A brush with the law landed him in reform school as an adolescent, but it opened a door onto his future career. A friend’s family took Brown into their home, and into a gospel group but it didn’t take long for Brown to cross the line into the commercial music world. His first big hit, now a rhythm-and-blues classic, was recorded in 1956 with the Famous Flames – it was Please, Please, Please.  Success in the mainstream pop market took a while to come, but by 1963 he had scored his first US Top 20 single with Prisoner of Love and powered his way to No 2 in the American album chart with his landmark album, Live At The Apollo. But it was his 1956 hit Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag that chaged popular music for ever. It was his first Top 10 hit in America and his first hit of any description in the UK. It marked the beginning of a golden era for Brown, who proceeded to issue a string of classic recordings including I Got You (I Feel Good) , It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World and Cold Sweat. His star waned in the 80s and wothout a recoridng contract but he resurgent by the 90s. Brown, who was one of the first performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, won three Grammy awards, including a lifetime achievement honour. Despite his brushes with the law Brown’s influence on the black community was so strong that his TV appeals for calm after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King in 1968 played a vital part in defusing a potentially explosive situation on the streets of America’s inner cities. Two months ago he had appeared in London as part of the BBC’s Electric Proms line-up, and last month he played at Alexandra Palace. Still touring Brown was scheduled to perform at B.B. King’s club in New York New Year’s Eve. He is survived by his fourth wife, Tomi Raye Hynie, one of his former backup singers. His third wife, Adrienne, predeceased him in 1996. He had six children.

UK SPECTRUM SELL OFF PITS WALKIE TALKIES AGAINST HDTV 21/12/06
Moves by the UK communications regulator OFCOM to sell off more spectrum has ignored pleas by UK broadcasters to set aside space for High Definition TV – broadcasters had wanted some of the spectrum between 470MHz and 862 MHz to be set aside for additional HDTV service for the UK’s Freeview service. The planned auction has also led to fears in the music industry that the spectrum used for mobile microphones and walkie-talkies might also be sold  although the expectation is that wireless mics will be able to operate in the gaps betweeen future spectrum users (which might include mobile television services and broadband internet services). The only spectrum left untouched will be for Dutch and UK radio astronomers who hunt the heavens for evidence of alien life. Have a look at any music festival – you’ll find plenety of alien life there m’dears!

 

KEYBOARD PLAYER WINS 40% OF ‘A WHITER SHADE OF PALE’ 21/12/06
Matthew Fisher, a founding member of 1960s rock group Procol Harum, has won a High Court battle over who wrote their hit song A Whiter Shade of Pale. For almost 40 years, the song has been credited to lead singer Gary Brookerand lyricist Keith Reid but Mr Justice Blackburne decided that the keyboard player who played the distinctive organ melody on the 1967 made “a distinctive and significant contribution to the overall composition and, quite obviously, the product of skill and labour on the part of the person who created it”. Mr Justice Blackburne ruled he was entitled to 40% of the copyright. However Fisher’s claim for back royalties of up to £1m was rejected and he faces a substantial costs bill. Brooker was granted leave to appeal. See:http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2006/3239.html 

SONY SETTLE ROOKIT LAWSUITS WITH TEXAS AND CALIFORNIA 21/12/06
Still the ‘Rootkit’ fiasco rumbles on for Sony BMG Music Entertainment who have now settled lawsuits with California and Texas which stemmed from the November 2005 disclosure that the company’s audio CDs were planting spyware-style rootkits on users’ PCs without their knowledge. Under terms of the agreements, each state will receive $622,000 in damages and $128,000 to cover legal costs and fees. Sony BMG will also refund up to $175 to each resident of Texas and California who spent money to repair computers damaged by attempts to uninstall the Rootkit code used to mask Sony’s CD copy-protection software. The Attorneys General of both states had filed lawsuits last year charging Sony with unfair business practices and/or violations of anti-spyware statutes and on the basis that these settlements cover just two states this could still end up being a very very expensive foray for SonyBMG.

POWER GETS CBE21/12/06
Mean Fiddler founder Vince Power has been honoured with a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in recognition of his services to the music industry. The award was presented by the Tessa Jowell MP, the Secretary of State for Culture Media & Sport who said “Mr Power has done a huge amount to raise the profile of live music in the UK. Through his work with music festivals and venues, his contribution has been fundamental in shaping the landscape of music in Britain today.”

RIP 21/12/06
A fond farewell to Denis Payton of the Dave Clark Five (aged 63) famed for Glad All Over and Bits & Pieces, glam rock Mud’s drummer Dave Mount (aged 59) who thumped out the drums on Tiger Feet, The Cat Crept In and the seasonal ‘Lonely This Christmas’ and Mariska Veres (also 59) who was the vocalist in Dutch band Shocking Bluewho had the first hit version of ‘Venus’ in 1970.

LIVE NATION CHRISTMAS SPREE 21/12/06
Live Nation
 has consolidated its European concert business acquiring Spanish promoter Gamerco and having agreed to buy the majority stake in Jackie Lombard Productions, a leading concert promoter in France.

TEN DIE IN JAVA CONCERT STAMPEDE 21/12/06
Ten people have been killed and dozens injured in a stampede at a pop concert on the Indonesian island of Java. The Indonesian guitar band Ungu had been playing to a stadium reportedly packed to double its 6,000 capacity according towww.bbc.co.uk. The stampede happened when people tried to exit the stadium in Pekalongan which has only two narrow exits, police said. The casualties were said to be mostly teenagers. The band’s manager said tickets for the concert had sold out but denied the stadium was too full but The BBC report that local police sources said the stadium was over-filled as thousands of people had entered without tickets. The problem, they said, was compounded by a lack of exit gates and a crowd of another 2,000 fans waiting on the road outside. Police said the 10 fatalities suffocated or were trampled to death.

ATLANTIC FOUNDER AHMET ERTEGUN DIES 15/12/06
Less than a month after the death of singer Ruth BrownAhmet Ertegun who built the Atlantic label on the careers of acts including Brown, Ray Charles and Arethra Franklin has died aged 83. Ever the socialite, he became ill after a fall at a Rolling Stones concert  in October and has been in a coma ever since. Atlantic is now part of the Warner Music Group.  

GLOBAL LIVE INDUSTRY UP 30% IN 2006 15/12/06
The global live music industry rose 30% to top $3.4B (£1.73b), according to Billboard Boxscore numbers. Live Nationwas the biggest promoter in the world with grosses of $2.3B  (£1.17B) followed (a considerable distance behind) by AEG Live with $543M (£274M). While big-name tours by the likes of The Rolling Stones and Madonna helped push up the gross figure, attendance actually rose 13% to 61M (and this was despite the actual number of shows only increasing by 3.4%). The North American concert business grew 35%, boasting $2.8B (£1.43B) in box office sales after two years of slight decline The Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang tour was the top-grossing tour of the year. It brought in $437M (£223M)  while Madonna’s Confessions tour generated $195M (£100M), the top-grossing tour by a female artist ever. For the sixth year running, Madison Square Garden was the top-grossing arena. The Billboard numbers cover the period 16th November 2005 to 14th November 2006:
www.billboard.biz
www.billboard.com

EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE UNIVERSAL ACQUISITION OF BMG MUSIC 09/12/06
Perhaps unsurisingly in light of the comments by the European Court of Justice when they annulled the European Commission’s apporval of the Sony-BMG record label merger, the European Commission has extended its investigation into Universal’s $2.2bn (£1.12bn) acquisition of BMG’s music publishing business by up to 90 wprking days (to April 27th 2007). The combined Universal Music / BMG Music would have an appoximate 22% of the music publishing market. Both BMG and Universal Music currently have 11% market shares, behind EMI Music’s 20% share and Warner’s 15% share but ahread of and Sony Music (7%). The regulator wants more time to consider whether the deal will undermine competition. The inquiry could last up to five months. In a statement Universal said that “although we understand why, in the current environment, the European Commission has sought more time for its review, we believe, as we have always done, that the merger will be approved” adding that Universal were looking “forward to working with the Commission over the next few months to complete the process.  The original Sony-BMG ECJ review was due to a law suit from the European trade association IMPALA which represents independent labels and IMPALA has promised to battle the Universal takeover effort just as fiercely. IMPALA chairman and head of the Beggars Group, Martin Mills,said the issue for the Universal takeover was one of market access.  “One of our main concerns is the ability of the majors to leverage excessive market strength in recording and publishing as well as the crucial online market,” he said. “We have also asked the commission to implement the Sony-BMG judgment as a matter of urgency. These mergers are bad news for artists and music.”  The new investigation again casts doubts of where EMI might be going – recent gossip has been that private equity group Permira were interested in the UK based major – but talk of a Warner-EMI merger/takeover is ongoing.

GOVERNMENT RESEARCH SAYS THAT THE UK LICENSING ACT US WORKING 08/12/06
New reseach by MORI commissioned by the UK Government says that more than 60% of smaller venues have a licence to put on live music. Creative Industries Minister Shaun Woodward said that the figures were encouraging and evidence that venues understood the new system. DCMS commissioned the survey pf 2,101 venues to gauge whether they are taking advantage of the new rules brought in under the Licensing Act 2003 which introduced a single, integrated premises licence which permits premises to supply alcohol, to provide regulated entertainment and to provide refreshment late at night. The survey looked at 2,101 establishments, most with a capacity of fewer than 500 people (including pubs, restaurants and village halls) to ascertain how many have a licence to put on live music. The research showed that 63% either obtained a music licence (61%) or put on music via other means (2%) just up on 60% under the old laws. Encouragingly the research also showed that a quarter of venues (25%) now have a licence to put on music for the first time. However the number of venues who used to operate under the ‘two in a bar rule’ have dropped by 30% which mujst be dissapointing for the ‘grass roots’ development of live music. Woodward added “It’s early days. But this survey is encouraging. And shows smaller venues getting to grips with the new laws on licensing. Small venues provide the lifeblood of the music industry. That’s where top selling artists such as the Kaiser Chiefs are discovered and cut their teeth. It’s good to see that so many smaller venues have applied to stage live acts. And a quarter chose to do so for the first time. Feargal Sharkey, chairman of the Live Music Forum said “This picture is encouraging and confirms much of the evidence that the forum has uncovered. We know that the majority of venues – large and small – can now put on live music and that’s fantastic news. But there’s always room for improvement. The forum will publish its final assessment of the legislation with recommendations on how the Government can make our live music industry even more successful early next year.” The Act is now generally receiving favourable press comment and seems to be generally supported by the police and the licensed trade. Problems do remain though with the complexities of application forms and a combination of the Licensing Act and other new legislation (such as the new door supervisor legislation and disability discrimination legislation) combining to put off some potential organisers from applying to start or continuing with live music.

http://www.culture.gov.uk/Reference_library/Research/research_by_dcms/live_music_exec_summary.htm
The first baseline study of music venues was carried out in 2004 and can be found at
http://www.culture.gov.uk/Reference_library/Publications/archive_2004/live_music_in_england_wales.htm

EBAY TAKE ON BIG DAY OUT 06/12/06
Organisers of the 2007 Big Day Out music festival in Austrlia and New Zealand who cancelled tickets sold online by scalpers are facing a legal action from eBay who have filed a suit in the Federal Court. Promoters of the Big Day Out placed new conditions on their tickets promising to cancel tickets sold for profit – but Ebay is now taking legal action under Trade Practices law saying that “the term and condition in the Big Day Out tickets is, we believe, misleading and deceptive”. Organisers of the Big Day Out believe eBay has no legal grounds for taking court action. Festival Co-Producer Viv Lees told ABC “What they’re saying is that we really should have ” ‘may’ be cancelled”, not ” ‘will’ be cancelled”. They’re nit picking, and they’re saying that we can’t guarantee that the ticket will be cancelled in all cases, so therefore it’s not a logical conclusion that… an absolute fact that the ticket will be cancelled.” Lee added that it’s not about punishing fans and that the festival had, until now, a relaxed approach to ticketing, and doesn’t mind if tickets are transferred between friends. It’s the “auctioning of tickets for profit” that the Festival objects to.http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2006/s1805500.htm

GOWERS REVIEW SAYS NO TO UK COPYRIGHT EXTENSION AND YES TO PRIVATE COPYING RIGHT 06/12/06
As expected, former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers yesterday formally recommended to the UK Government that the recording copyright in the United Kingdom should remain at 50 years, and should not be extended to 95 years to bring it in line with sound recording protection the US (as the record companies had been campaigning for). Elsewhere in his report, Gower also recommended that new copyright laws should allow consumers the ‘private copying rights’ enjoyed by consumers in many other countries, which allow people to legally make copies of music they have bought for personal use (eg transferring music from CD to MP3 player, or making a second CD copy for use in the car). Gowers is however, tough on piracy, and especially online piracy. The report says that piracy and counterfeiting are probably the biggest challenge facing the “intellectual property system”, estimating that 20% of the entertainments industry’s potential turnover was lost to illegal copying. It also suggests that online piracy should be taken as seriously as that involving physical product and therefore piracy penalities for people who sell pirated versions of music and film over the net should be on par with those for people who sell bootleg CDs and DVDs. Gowers also suggests that Trading Standards Officers who currently only deal with physical piracy should also have a remit to investigate online pirates.

WARNER PROFITS AIDED BY KAZAA PAYOUT 05/12/06 
Warner Music Group
 has posted a fourth quarter profit with losses down on the same period last year and the added bonus of revenues from the legal settlement with file sharing service Kazaa at $13 million. The compensatin meant the Group moved into profit. Sales were down on the same quarter the previous year despite high selling releases from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gnarls Barkley and Panic At The Disco as overall the quarter’s release schedule was weak compared to the same quarter a year earlier, which included releases from Green DayFaith Hill and James Blunt.

LIVE SECTOR STRUGGLES IN ITALY 05/12/06
CMU Daily reports that whilst the live music sector is still seemingly in good health on a global level, the Italian music industry has announced a fall in the amount of money being spent there on gigs and concerts. Italian collecting societySIAE reports that the amount of money spent by Italians on live music in the first half of 2006 was down 12.6% on the same period the previous year. SIAE also monitors other ticket sales and noted that in other parts of the entertainment industry sales are up – cinema sales were up 14.4% and theatre sales up 29.4%. Of the billion euros generated in entertainment based ticket revenues in the first half of 2006 only 7% was from live music. 31% was from cinema, 23% from dancing, 16% from theatre and 14% from sporting events.

EC EXPECTED TO LAUNCH IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION INTO UNIVERSAL’S BMG PUBLISHING PURCHASE01/12/06
Billboard has reported that the European Commission is about to announce that competition regulators plan to undertake an in-depth review into Universal Music’s proposed acquisition of BMG Music Publishing. French owned Universal were the preferred bidders to acquire Germany’s Bertelsmann’s publishing company, with the former planning on merging the latter with its existing music publishing operation. However, that deal needed regulatory approval and whilst gaining US regulatory approval the ECJ’s annulment of the Sony-BMG merger approval from the Europan Commission put serious doubts on the acquisition of BMG Music. Universal have seemed confident of winning approval throughout the but IMPALA’s opposition and the criticisms of the EC by the ECJ mean that the planned December 8th formal decision by the EC will not be a straight forward ‘rubber stamping’ of the proposed deal.

REGULATORS SAY THAT HAMSARD/ACADEMY MERGER WOULD REDUCE COMPETITION BETWEEN LIVE MUSIC VENUES IN LONDON 01/12/06
The Competition Commission (CC) has provisionally decided that the proposed acquisition of a controlling interest inAcademy Music Holdings Limited (Academy) by Hamsard 2786 Limited (Hamsard) would lead to a loss of competition in relation to certain live music venues in London. Hamsard is jointly controlled by Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd (Live Nation) and Gaiety Investments Ltd. Through its ownership of Mean Fiddler Music Group Ltd, Hamsard operates live music venues in London, including the Astoria and the Forum. It also has a management contract for theWembley Arena. Academy owns the Shepherd’s Bush Empire (SBE), and the Brixton Academy as well as a number of other venues in London and elsewhere. Live Nation owns the Hammersmith Apollo, and a number of theatres in London. It also owns venues (mostly theatres) in 20 other cities in the UK. The Competition Commission Inquiry Group has concluded that the acquisition is expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition.Inquiry Group Chairman, Diana Guy, said: The extent to which different live music venues provide alternatives for artists, agents and promoters depends on a number of factors, including capacity, ambience and the type of events generally held there. On this basis, we found that the Brixton Academy and the Hammersmith Apollo are the closest alternatives to each other, and similarly for the SBE and the Astoria, with the Forum also acting as a significant substitute for the SBE. Under the planned acquisition, these five venues would all come under common control, removing the existing competition between them. We expect that this would lead to higher venue rentals as well as some loss of service quality. Although booking agents, particularly those who represent a substantial roster of artists, may at present be in a relatively strong bargaining position, this depends in part on their having a choice of venues into which to put their artists. The CC did not identify any competition concerns relating to live music venues outside London or music promotion services, which are also provided by the parties.The full provisional findings report will be published next week. Along with the summary the CC has also published a notice of possible remedies to address the anti-competitive effects of the acquisition, including possible divestment of some of the relevant venues in London.

www.competition-commission.org.uk

GCAP PROFITS DOWN 01/12/06
GCap Media’s profits fell by almost a third in the first half of the financial year as the radio group continued to suffer from a difficult advertising market. Profits for the six months until the end of September were £8.4 million, down 32% from the same period last year.

ALLOFMP3 FACES DIRECT ACTION FROM RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT01/12/06
Russian download website AllofMP3.com appears to be on its last legs as the Russian government has agreed to shut down the site. A key provision of the Russian/US bilateral trade agreement that paves the way for Russia’s entry into theWorld Trade Organization are new terms for fighting optical disk piracy and Russia has agreed to shut down “websites that permit illegal distribution of music and other copyright works”. AllofMP3.com is specifically named in the agreement as an example site. AllofMP3 maintains that it is properly licensed by Russian collection societyROMS. Record label association the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) counters this pointing out ROMS has no mandate from copyright owners to do this saying “under the copyright laws of virtually every country in the world, including Russia, it is illegal to distribute recordings without the permission of the rights owners.” ROMS was jeceted from the international association of copyright collection societies, CISAC, in 2004. Russia has agreed to modify its laws by June 1, 2007.

EMI CONFIRM TAKEOVER APPROACH01/12/06
That EMI Group yesterday confirmed it had been approached regarding a possible takeover. The major music company told the London Stock Exchange in a statement that it had “received a preliminary approach for the company which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company”.

UNIVERSAL MAY LOOK FOR IPOD ROYALTY 01/12/06
Universal Music
 chief Doug Morris yesterday said he might look to secure aroyalty fee on iPod sales when Universal renews its contract with Apple Computers in the New Year. Universal aready have a hardware royalty on the new Zuneplayer as part of its deal to licence its content to the Microsoft platform. It will be interesting to see how artists benefit in this new royalty as it is, of course, directly linked to their content being licensed as part of a label deal but not licensed specifically.

COPYRIGHT TERM EXTENSION REJECTED 01/12/06
The BBC have reported that the Gowers Review into intellectual property law in the UK will reject any extension of the term of copyright in sound recordings beyond the current 50 years found in the UK and other Eurpoean Community countries. The Report is officially published on December 6th. Andrew Gowers, a former editor of the Financial Times, was asked to undertake the review by the UK’s Chancellor, Gordon Brown. The recording industry led by theIFPI and the BPI have lobbied extensively for an extension – they will now lobby government directly to reject Gower’s recommendations according to a perss statement from the IFPI CEO John Kennedy.

SANCTUARY RACKS UP YET MORE LOSSES 01/12/06
Sanctuary Music Group has announced that its losses for the year may be even larger than expected because of what it called “difficult” market conditions in the recorded music sector. The latest announcement follows news that Rough Trade Records  – in which Sanctuary owns a 49% stake – is “likely” to post a pretax loss of about £2.8m for the full financial year. Shares in the music group fell by 25% to a low of 7.5p.

WEMLEY DATE FOR DIANA TRIBUTE? 01/12/06
According to newspaper reports, Prince William aand Prince Harry are considering staging a charity pop show in their mother’s memory at the new Wembley Stadium next summer with profits from the televised event going to charities suppored by the late Princess of Wales. Names in the frame include Sir Elton JohnBeyonceGeorge Michael andKylie Minogue whilst www.Allhiphop.com reports that Pharrell Williams is currently in negotiations to appear.

FATBOY GETS BEACH LICENCE 01/12/06
Fatboy Slim’s sold out New Year’s Day beach party in Brighton has got its licence from the Brighton City Council for 20,000 punters. Tickets for the third Big Beach Boutique event were limited to Brighton locals.

FAREWELL TO ANITA O’DAY AND BETTY COMDEN 01/12/06
The Jazz world is mourning the loss of Anita O’Day, one of the finest vocalists and improvisers of her time. Anita’s career was muddled by serious drug addications and even a spell in prison but she ressurected her career with successful albums such as A Mellow Tone (1989) and Rules of the Road (1993). She played at the 1999 JVC Jazz Festival in New York and made her last London appearance was 2004.  Its also sad to report the death of Betty Comden, who along with writing partner Adolph Green , wrote some of the most memorable librettos and lyrics for Broadway musicals and film musicals including Singing’ in the Rain (1952). She has died aged 91.

STONES KEEP IT ROLLING IN 01/12/06
Billboard has said that The Rolling Stones’ current A Bigger Bang tour is the “top-grossing tour in history” at $437m. The tour played 110 shows in front of 3.5 million fans. The previous top grossing tour was U2’s Vertigo which grossed $337m. The numbers exclude  the Stones’ huge free concert in Brazil in February, when an estimated 2 million fans saw the band perform on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

HARRIS AND CARTY APPOINTED AT PPL01/12/06
After its formal merger with artists collection society AURA and producers society PAMRAPhonographic Performance lImited (PPL) has announced the appointment of two new senior staff members. Artist manager andMusicTank chair Keith Harris has been appointed to the role of Director Of Performer Affairs, a new position that will provide a link between the society’s Performer Board, the main PPL board and the PPL management team, ensuring performers’ views are heard. Sue Carty will take on the role of Director Of Member And Performer Services, another newly created role that will see Carty coordinating aspects of services provided by PPL to both its record label and performer members as well certain areas of revenue distribution.

RUTH BROWN – SINGER, DIVA, MOTHER AND CHAMPION OF ARTIST ROYALTY REFORMS 23/11/06
Ruth Brown, who had a varied and successful career as a R&B diva, has died aged 78. Among Brown’s successes over a ten year spell with Atlantic Records were the chart topper Tears From My Eyes, Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean