Overnight news from around the world: Thursday, August 25

Overnight news from around the world: Thursday, August 25

Blurred Lines trio begin appeal against copyright infringement verdict

Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and T.I. have begun their appeal against the Blurred Lines copyright infringement ruling. The estate of Marvin Gaye was awarded $5.3 million in damages and profits, plus a running royalty of 50% of songwriter and publishing revenues after a jury found that Blurred Lines had copied Gaye's Got To Give It Up. In their opening brief to the Appeals Court, Williams, Thicke and T.I stated: "This outcome created international press coverage and widespread expressions of concern by members of the music community that, if left to stand, the 'Blurred Lines' verdict would chill musical creativity and inhibit the process by which later artists draw inspiration from earlier artists to create new popular music." (Hollywood Reporter)

Apple Music Festival line-up revealed

Elton John, Robbie Williams, Alicia Keys and Britney Spears are among the headliners for this year's Apple Music Festival 10. The 10 shows take place from September 18-30 at London's Roundhouse. Other acts include The 1975, OneRepublic, Calvin Harris, Bastille, Michael Buble and Chance The Rapper.

Live Nation, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa sued over concert railing collapse

Fourteen fans and three workers are suing promoter Live Nation and performers Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa over injuries sustained after a fence collapsed at a concert. A total of 42 people were injured in the incident at the BB&T Pavilion amphitheatre in New Jersey on August 5. "Our clients, and many others who attended the concert, were seriously injured because of the negligent conduct of the defendants who failed miserably in their duty to protect the audience and workers from harm," said trial attorney Robert J. Mongeluzzi, of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C. (PR Newswire)

ERA welcomes reports of Universal's 'ban' on exclusives 

The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) which represents UK digital music services and music retailers, has welcomed media reports that Universal Music is to reduce the number of exclusives its labels strike with streaming services. Universal is yet to comment on the reports, but ERA’s members believe that exclusivity deals are confusing for consumers, potentially threaten the growth of the music streaming market and disadvantage physical retailers. “The proliferation of exclusives means consumers are effectively forced to take out multiple subscriptions to gain access to all key releases," said ERA CEO Kim Bayley. “We believe this is damaging not just to individual services but to the market as a whole. We welcome reports that Universal is now moving away from exclusives and call on other labels to follow their lead.”

Cooking Vinyl announces 30th anniversary plans

Cooking Vinyl has announced plans to celebrate its 30th anniversary with a range of activity including a unique collaboration with music based crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic, a series of live events and a new book chronicling the history of the company among a number of other initiatives. Founded in 1986 by Martin Goldschmidt and his original business partner Pete Lawrence, Cooking Vinyl has been home to an eclectic and diverse range of artists. Its recent roster has included Billy Bragg, Marilyn Manson, Richard Ashcroft, Madness, James, Frank Black, Gary Numan, Amanda Palmer, The Pretty Reckless, Suzanne Vega, Alison Moyet, The Cult, Lissie, Royksopp and The Prodigy, among others.

Questlove named Pandora's first 'artist ambassador'

Roots drummer Questlove has been named a strategic advisor to Pandora and its first "artist ambassador". He has also unveiled Questlove Supreme, a three-hour radio program on Pandora focusing on global music, which premieres on September 7. (New York Times)

MTV launches Cover Of The Month contest

MTV International has launched a competition to find talented fans by asking them to cover songs, and then spotlighting their talent to audiences around the world. Starting August 28, the MTV Cover Of The Monthcompetition calls on fans across 120+ international markets to cover a specific song each month. The fan who claims the title of winner of the year, selected by a panel of MTV International judges, will get their own music video produced with and promoted by MTV, which will be rotated across the network’s worldwide music hours.  The campaign’s inaugural submissions call kicks off with Mike Posner inviting fans to submit covers for his I Took a Pill in Ibiza. Fans must cover the chosen song of the month, upload it to YouTube, then submit to coverofthemonth.MTV.com. Highlighted covers will be regularly sprinkled throughout MTV’s international programming and commercial breaks. Each monthly winner will receive a trophy, recurring on-air spot that month, potential shout-out from the original artist of that month’s challenge, and will be featured broadly across MTV’s international social platforms and websites. 

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