Here is some stuff I did in July 2019…

Edinburgh Fringe is go!

Today is the first day of the Edinburgh Fringe, so hopefully you’ll all forgive me for the obligatory ThreeWeeks plug. We are covering the world’s biggest cultural event for the 24th consecutive year, with interviews, reviews and Caro’s Three To See tips. If you are in Edinburgh, pick up our Preview Edition in any of the big venues. Meanwhile, all our coverage is also online at

Big copyright judgements

Two big copyright judgements in one day – both artist v artist cases from the file marked K. When does (subconscious) inspiration become infringement? And what are the copyright implications of tiny little samples? I wrote about the Katy Perry case here. And the Kraftwerk one here.

Mercury shortlist (maybe)

The Mercury Prize shortlist came out like five minutes AFTER we pressed send on today’s CMU Daily. So Andy made up his own list for the bulletin. Having now received the actual shortlist, I think his might be better. I’m going to call William Hill’s PR office and see what odds they are offering on Bantz to win

The final draft

The ‘Song Royalties Guide’ that sits on my desk is always good for reminding me about the complexities of digital licensing, songwriter payments and all those royalty chains. Today it’s also proven to be a pretty good fan. Because it’s all sufficiently complex that we ended up with a guide thick enough to generate a decent draft. Hurrah for complexities!

Questions, questions.

Questions, questions, questions. And answers. Lots of answers! This autumn we’ll be answering all sorts of questions with our CMU Insights seminars and masterclasses. Like, copyright questions. And music marketing questions. And digital dollar questions. And European Copyright Directive questions. And Music Modernization Act questions. In fact, all these questions here.

Story so far: Viagogo

Big development in the ongoing Viagogo saga today as Google suspends the always controversial ticket resale site’s advertising account. Which seems like a good time to plug the Setlist special we made in February telling the story so far (as of February) of the music industry’s big battle (and occasional love affair) with online ticket touting. You can tune in here.

Hear the people sing!

So I was unnecessarily slagging off the entire genre of musical theatre in the CMU Daily today, but only for comedy effect (OK, it’s an in-joke just two other people will appreciate). Since setting up a Spotify playlist of musical soundtracks about a year ago, I’ve actually rediscovered the joy of listening to songs from the shows. I think the trauma of sitting through ‘Rent’ in 1998 put me off the entire genre for 20 years. But I’m back now! Here’s why musicals were in the music business news.

Join the team

Through a crazy quirk of maths and time, ThreeWeeks will be reviewing Edinburgh’s festival month for the 24th consecutive year this August. We have a few spots still available on our review team, so if you are planning to be around the Edinburgh Fringe next month and you know your theatre, comedy, cabaret, dance, musicals or spoken word, why not give it a go! Details about what it involves here.

More Fringe stuff

I did another pre-Edinburgh Q&A for ThreeWeeks – this time with the writer/performer behind ‘It’ll Be Alt-Right On The Night’. It’s a fascinating show with a great back story, all of which is explained in the interview. We’ve got lots of Edinburgh Fringe updates incoming, so brace yourselves for that! Meanwhile, check out the Q&A here.

TBF Hall Of Fame

For the last eleven years I have been working with the Taylor Bennett Foundation, a magnificent charity that is making the PR industry more diverse. I’ve provided media business and comms training to so many TBF trainees I have lost count. Though today I discovered that Taylor Bennett HQ has a wall of alumni, so now I could count! I can’t quite believe this group was with us a whole decade ago.

Sign up Mr Cat!

So I tried to sell the CMU Daily to this cat that keeps jumping through my second floor window as I’m writing my articles each morning. All the latest music and music industry news neatly summarised! All those music business and legal technicalities fully explained! Inappropriate swearing in complex copyright reports! Readers routinely berated! Justin Bieber gags! He didn’t seem convinced.

Song royalties chat

Next week MMF is hosting its Managers Summit and AGM. I’ll be there chatting about the ‘Song Royalties Guide’ we published at The Great Escape this year. It’s the most complex ‘Digital Dollar’ guide yet! We’ll be focusing on the practical steps managers can take – having read the guide – to make sure their clients are getting all the digital dollars they are due. You can download the guide here.

Big Big Machine fallout

Maybe Taylor Swift could support the heritage artists who have sued her new best buds at Universal Music over the termination right in US copyright law. If the artists win that case it could set a precedent that says the termination right applies to recordings as well as songs. And then, at least, she’d be able to start getting her masters back from (alleged) bully Braun in 2040. Meanwhile here’s my report on the big Big Machine big deal fallout. It’s big.