Category Creative Industry News

FBI and CISA Urge Software Developers to Prioritize Cybersecurity

The FBI and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have jointly called upon software developers to eradicate command injection vulnerabilities from their products. This plea follows incidents which have occured recently where these vulnerabilities were exploited in networking equipment manufactured by flagship companies like Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, and Ivanti.

Command injection vulnerabilities emerge when software fails to validate and sanitize user inputs. As a result, it enables malicious users to execute arbitrary commands on the underlying operating system and this oversight poses significant risks to users.

According to the agencies while command injection vulnerabilities are preventable through robust coding practices, their exploitation continues to pose a serious threat. “Designing and developing software that relies on user input without proper validation and sanitization allows attackers to execute malicious commands, putting consumers at risk,” stated the FBI and CISA in a joint statement.

The agencies have emphasized the necessity for a “secure by design” approach to software development. They have also advocated for the integration of strong security measures throughout the entire software development lifecycle. Their key recommendations include making full use of modern libraries, conducting thorough code reviews, developing comprehensive threat models, and also implementing rigorous testing protocols that ensure both quality and security.

Banksy Confirms Boat Artwork at Glastonbury During Idles’ Performance

Banksy, the street artist has claimed responsibility for a provocative installation that appeared during Idles’ set at Glastonbury Festival. The artwork featured a small boat loaded with lifelike migrant dummies, all donning orange life jackets. It was hoisted into the audience at Worthy Farm as Idles performed on the Other Stage.

Confirming that he was involved, Banksy shared a video of the boat travelling through the crowd on his Instagram page. The stunt took place during the performance of “Danny Nedelko,” a song from “Joy as an Act of Resistance”. The track celebrates immigrant identity and it begins with the lyrics: “My blood brother is an immigrant, a beautiful immigrant.”

Idles expressed their surprise and revealed through The Guardian that they had no knowledge of the demonstration and they actually only discovered it after their set came to finish.

The installation has sparked mixed reactions. Britain’s Home Secretary James Cleverly and Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden criticized the display on X, formerly Twitter, condemning it as inappropriate and controversial.

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Creative Wales
Creative Wales Launches Second Round of Music Revenue Fund to Boost Welsh Music Industry

The second round of Creative Wales’s Music Revenue Fund 2 is set to open next Monday, June 24, focusing on empowering music businesses in Wales. This initiative aims to provide financial support for projects related to new releases, live music promotion, music production for media use, and Welsh-language music.

Minister for Creative Industries, Sarah Murphy, emphasizes the significance of this funding round for the Welsh music scene:

“Today is a day to celebrate our thriving music scene. For a small nation, we can boast superb venues, festivals, promoters, studios, and record labels. Across the globe, people listen to Welsh stars – from established acts like the Manic Street Preachers or Funeral for a Friend to up-and-coming grassroots talent like Adwaith and Mace the Great. I’m committed to making sure talent across the industry – in Welsh and English – is nurtured, supported, and developed. So I urge businesses to apply for this funding and build on Wales’ reputation as a great place to make music.”

The fund, offering between £20,000 and £40,000 per project, aims to assist music businesses facing financial constraints in promoting live music, executing release campaigns, securing studio time, and hiring session musicians. This round continues to support a diverse array of contemporary music genres including electronic, hip-hop, indie and alternative, metal and punk, pop, and rock.

In the previous round, The Road Records, a rural label from Carmarthenshire, successfully utilized the funding to release the EP “Dharma” by the Welsh cross-genre folk duo, Samana. Franklin Mockett and Rebecca Rose, the duo behind Samana, transformed their rural smallholding into an artistic hub and label in 2019, and used the Creative Wales fund to bring their artistic vision to life.

Reflecting on their success, Franklin Mockett shared:

“Creative Wales’s Revenue Music Fund massively helped us to release the EP ‘Dharma’ in 2023. Since its release, it has gained such global attention that we expanded it into a full-length, eponymous album – cited by Mojo Magazine, Record Collector, and KLOF Magazine as an outstanding work, attaining 4/5 reviews and above across the board. Our band and label have gathered huge amounts of interest since then, and we are hitting the road this month with our sold-out immersive and magical ‘In Tune With The Infinite’ summer tour; an all artist-curated event, played in the round, that we are taking to a small number of unique spaces around the UK.”

The success of The Road Records and Samana showcases the profound impact of the Music Revenue Fund on the Welsh music industry. As applications open next week, Creative Wales encourages music businesses to seize this opportunity to further their artistic endeavors and contribute to the vibrant and diverse music scene in Wales.

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UK Music Survey Reveals Major Gains in Gender and Ethnic Diversity for 2024

The representation of women and ethnic diversity within the music industry has improved according to the UK Music Diversity Survey 2024.

Women are now landing themselves more senior positions; an 8.3% rise has been noted this year. Overall, 53.8% of participants in the survey identified themselves as women. This proves a wider inclusion in various roles across the music industry. The increase is also notable among younger Black, Asian, and ethnically diverse individuals.

Chair of UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce, Ammo Talwar MBE, commented on the new data:

“We have seen steady progress on increasing diversity across the music industry since we launched this survey in 2016, with further significant improvements year on year. That’s down to some of the brilliant initiatives in the sector that are driving change and those organisations that have led the way with integrity and transparency. However, there is still loads more to do – and we need the next Government to be fast and fearless when it comes to working with us to tear down the remaining barriers.”

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Paul McCartney
High Demand For Paul McCartney Causes Ticket Frenzy

Manchester’s Co-op Live has alerted fans vying for tickets to Paul McCartney’s highly anticipated “Got Back” tour, which has seen an overwhelming demand since pre-sale access began.

Earlier this week, McCartney, 82, unveiled plans for his world tour, featuring a series of UK shows in December 2024. This tour will be his first live performances in the UK since his Glastonbury headline set in 2022. Scheduled performances include dates at Manchester’s Co-op Live on December 14 and 15, and London’s The O2 on December 18 and 19. It will be McCartney’s first Manchester appearance since 2011.

Tickets will be available for general sale this Friday, but fans were eager to snag pre-sale tickets starting Wednesday morning (June 19), offered exclusively to Co-op and O2 Priority members. The surge in demand has led to a challenging ticket-buying experience for many.

Sharing their frustration, one fan said, “Was finally in a queue, got to the front for a blue circle to keep going around now at the back of a queue again of 14 thousand or so.”

Co-op Live has advised fans to remain patient and prepared for potential delays or difficulties as tickets continue to sell quickly.

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Photo credit: Jimmy Baikovicius.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster Face $5 Billion Class Action Lawsuit

Music industry giants, Live Nation and Ticketmaster have been stung by a $5 billion consumer class lawsuit. It comes after the US justice department lawsuit which is aimed at disband the powerful conglomerate.

This landmark lawsuit represents the first direct legal challenge for Live Nation and Ticketmaster after the DOJ’s striking move to try to split up the two entities. Millions of plaintiffs are seeking damages and they allege that Live Nation’s monopolistic setup has severely affected competition within the live events space.

The consumer class action and the DOJ are both accusing Live Nation of wielding its immense market power to stifle competitors. Also, coercing venues into exclusive deals with Ticketmaster. This behavior, as outlined in the legal filings, has in their eyes squeezed out rivals and deprived consumers of fair competition and choice.

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Google Unveils Music AI Sandbox at Google I/O 2024

Google I/O 2024 is in full swing, and this year’s event is showcasing an array of cutting-edge generative media models and tools. Among the highlights is the unveiling of the Music AI Sandbox, sparking discussions about its potential impact on businesses that license sound to creators.

Teaming up with YouTube and a lineup of notable artists, songwriters, and producers, Google has unearth the Music AI Sandbox. This platform of music AI tools plans to create a new definition for creativity by providing users with the ability to craft instrumental sections from scratch, great right? Industry big wigs such as Wyclef Jean, Justin Tranter, and Marc Rebillet have already taken the leap, revealing new demo recordings on their YouTube channels that were put together with the assistance of Google’s music AI tools.

Accompanying the excitement of the demo reveal is a crucial message emphasizing responsibility in the deployment of new AI technology. Google makes a point of its commitment to working closely with the creative community. Also, external stakeholders to ensure the safe and responsible utilization of these innovations.

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Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo Fans Await New Dates for Manchester Co-op Live Shows

The uncertainty among Olivia Rodrigo’s fans remains tangible as they eagerly await updates on the rescheduled dates for her two major Manchester Co-op Live shows. Originally planned for May 3 and 4, these performances were postponed just 48 hours prior, citing technological challenges at the new venue.

The pause arose due to issues encountered during Co-op Live’s planned inaugural event featuring A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie on the 1st of May. Since, Olivia’s supporters have been eagerly awaiting updates on the destiny of her Manchester shows, while the American popstar continues her UK tour, currently pinnacling at London’s O2 Arena before heading out across Europe.

This week marked a significant milestone for Co-op Live as it finally opened its doors to the public. The opening concert, headlined by Greater Manchester band Elbow, successfully inaugurated the venue, laying down the foundations for a lineup of highly anticipated acts. Among these are the Black Keys on Wednesday, Eric Clapton on Saturday, and Barry Manilow on Sunday.

Tim Leiweke, the head of Co-op Live, shared insights with the M.E.N. regarding the venue’s future plans, including the rescheduling of Olivia Rodrigo’s much-awaited performances. As fans hold their breath in anticipation, the music world remains captivated by the unfolding developments surrounding these eagerly awaited shows.

Photo credit: The Walt Disney Company.

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Spotify Reveals Record £750 Million in Artist Royalties for 2023

In a groundbreaking revelation, Spotify has disclosed that artists reaped a staggering £750 million in royalties throughout 2023, marking a remarkable milestone in the music streaming landscape. This figure stands as a testament to the platform’s exponential growth, more than doubling the earnings recorded in 2017.

The disclosed sum encompasses royalties distributed among various stakeholders in the UK, including artists, songwriters, and labels, underscoring Spotify’s commitment to transparency through its Loud & Clear platform.

In a remarkable surge, close to 1,000 UK artists amassed a minimum of £100,000 in royalties from Spotify alone, a figure that has doubled since 2017. Equally noteworthy is the revelation that the number of UK artists earning in excess of £10,000 and £50,000 from Spotify streams has also doubled within the same timeframe.

A staggering 75% of the royalties generated by British artists on Spotify in 2023 originated from listeners beyond the UK’s borders, highlighting the platform’s global reach and its pivotal role in amplifying UK talent on an international scale.

Furthermore, independent artists and labels made substantial strides in the streaming arena, accounting for over 40% of the total royalties generated by UK artists on Spotify in 2023. This statistic echoes Spotify’s earlier global data, which unveiled the independent sector’s significant contribution, amounting to $4.5 billion of the $9 billion payout in 2023.

Safiya Lambie-Knight, Spotify’s Head of Music for the UK and Ireland, lauded these achievements, remarking, “This year’s Loud & Clear data showcases the unprecedented financial opportunities streaming affords to UK artists, facilitating a paradigm shift in the music industry’s landscape.”

Lambie-Knight further emphasized the transformative impact of streaming in dismantling barriers to entry and democratizing access to music on a global scale. She added, “The surge in royalties earned by UK artists from international listeners underscores the power of streaming platforms like Spotify in fostering cross-cultural connections and amplifying diverse voices.”

As Spotify continues to spearhead innovative strategies to empower artists and nurture their growth, the profound impact of streaming on the music ecosystem becomes increasingly evident. With three-quarters of royalties emanating from a global audience, the platform remains instrumental in propelling UK talent to unprecedented heights of success and recognition on the world stage.

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Co-Op Live
Elbow to Inaugurate Troubled Co-Op Live Arena as Opening Act

Manchester’s eagerly anticipated Co-Op Live Arena is finally gearing up for its grand debut, and who better to christen its stages than the iconic British band, Elbow? The arena, poised to become the UK’s largest indoor venue with a colossal capacity of 23,500, has faced a string of setbacks, but it seems the show will go on as scheduled for May 14th.

Despite a tumultuous period fraught with delays and uncertainty, Co-Op Live Arena has confirmed to the Manchester Evening News that Elbow’s upcoming performance will mark the venue’s much-awaited opening night. Fans can expect an electrifying performance from Guy Garvey and the rest of the band as they kick off their current UK tour in style.

Following a series of unfortunate events that hindered the arena’s timely opening, including logistical challenges and unforeseen circumstances, there’s now a sense of optimism surrounding the venue. With the reassurance from Co-Op Live Arena management that there won’t be any further delays impacting their opening season, excitement is building for what promises to be an unforgettable inaugural event.

As music enthusiasts eagerly await the unveiling of this state-of-the-art venue, all eyes are on Elbow to set the stage for what’s to come. With their soul-stirring melodies and anthemic hits, the band is sure to deliver a performance befitting of such a momentous occasion.

Photo credit: Peter McDermott.

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