CMU Digest

CMU Digest 07.11.16: GEMA, ticket bots, European Copyright Directive, counterfeit CDs, dancing baby case, Avenged Sevenfold

By | Published on Monday 7 November 2016


The key stories from the last seven days in the music business…

GEMA licensed YouTube after a seven year stand-off. The German song rights collecting society had refused to license the Google video site since 2009 in a dispute over royalty rates and, subsequently, YouTube’s obligations under safe harbour rules. The deal means that official music videos and user-generated content previously blocked on the video site in Germany will be available to stream, with GEMA and its members earning as yet unknown royalties. [READ MORE]

The government pledged to organise a meeting to discuss so called ticket tout bots, the software used by touts to hoover up large numbers of tickets to in-demand events. Nigel Adams MP sought to amend to the Digital Economy Bill to include a line outlawing the use of bots, but the government cited the Waterson Review’s conclusion that using bots may already be illegal under the Computer Misuse Act. The planned meeting with investigate if that’s so and how that law might be better enforced. [READ MORE]

The US music industry urged the country’s ambassador to the European Union to support the new European Copyright Directive’s proposals around safe harbours.Over 20 American music industry organisations said that the US government should formally back efforts by the European Union to increase the obligations of user-upload sites that currently exploit the safe harbours of copyright law, like YouTube. Those proposals are currently working their way through the European law-making process. [READ MORE]

Research by the RIAA confirmed that bootleggers from China and Russia are selling counterfeit CDs via the Amazon platform. Following the news that US indie label repping A2IM had warned its members of the fake CDs being sold by third parties on the Amazon website, the RIAA said that when it ordered 194 test compact discs off the retail site 44 turned out to be counterfeit. Amazon said that it is determined to get the bootleggers off its platform. [READ MORE]

The US Supreme Court indicated it might take the ‘dancing baby’ case by asking a government official for his opinion on the matter. The case centres on whether rights owners must consider so called ‘fair use’ before issuing a takedown request if someone uses their content without permission. The Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeal said that Universal Music Publishing should have considered whether a video of a baby dancing to a Prince song it controlled was ‘fair use’ before having it blocked on YouTube. Both sides in the legal dispute appealed to the Supreme Court, which has now asked the US Solicitor General for his opinion on the case. [READ MORE]

It emerged that Warner Music might use the new album surprise released by Avenged Sevenfold to calculate what damages they want from the band. Avenged Sevenfold quit their record deal with Warner Bros citing California’s ‘seven year rule’, that says personal services contracts can be voided after that length of time has passed. But when an artist uses the rule to end a record contract, in theory the label can still sue for damages over any albums it was owed at that point. Warner was owed one more album, so might use the sales of new Avenged Sevenfold record ‘The Stage’ as proof of what it could have made from that record. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Spotify and Headspace launched a joint subscription offer [INFO]
• Spotify bought insights firm Preact [INFO]
• Napster announced a marketing alliance with US tel co Sprint [INFO]
• Universal Music Publishing signed a deal with the Prince estate [INFO]
• The Weekend did a merch deal with Selfridges [INFO]
• Foreigner signed a brand management deal with Sony’s Artist Legacy Group [INFO]
• Big Deal Music signed a publishing deal with Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova [INFO]

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