CMU Digest

CMU Digest 20.02.17: SoundCloud, Cox Communications, Songkick, Swedish web-blocks, RAO, musicFIRST

By | Published on Monday 20 February 2017


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

SoundCloud denied it was now basically “begging for money” after the Financial Times quoted an unnamed German financier describing the digital music firm’s latest funding round that way. The company said it was “disappointing and surprising” to see the FT cite such an anonymous statement, and insisted it was doing fine. The FT report came as SoundCloud’s Chief Operating Officer Marc Strigel and Finance Director Markus Harder left the company, though it announced the recruitment of a new General Counsel in the form of Merritt Farren. [READ MORE]

US internet service provider Cox Communications was ordered to pay BMG over $8 million in legal costs in relation to the two companies’ safe harbour legal battle. Cox is already appealing a judgement that ordered it to pay BMG $25 million in damages for turning a blind eye to repeat infringers amongst its customer base. The judge awarded BMG its legal costs on the basis Cox had presented a particularly weak defence and therefore shouldn’t have fought the legal action. [READ MORE]

Songkick made new allegations against Live Nation in its ongoing litigation with the live giant. This time it accused Live Nation of stealing trade secrets by hiring one of its former employees. Songkick accuses Live Nation of exploiting its market dominance to stop artists from using its smaller rival’s fan club pre-sale services. [READ MORE]

The Swedish appeals court ordered local internet firm Bredbandsbolaget to block The Pirate Bay, over-turning a lower court ruling that said ISPs were not obliged to instigate web-blocks on copyright grounds in Sweden. The higher court cited the use of web-blocking elsewhere in the European Union as one of the reasons behind its decision. Bredbandsbolaget and another Swedish ISP – Bahnhof – hit out at the ruling, which can’t be appealed. [READ MORE]

Russian song rights collecting society RAO confirmed that a new audit had uncovered evidence of fraud at the organisation. Auditors said they found £3.1 million of suspicious activity last year alone, including after General Director Sergei Fedotov had been arrested over accusations of embezzlement. The full results of the audit will be presented in April, and could be used in new legal action against the society’s former management. [READ MORE]

US lobbying group musicFIRST renewed its call for changes to copyright law in the country. Noting that it was on 15 Feb in 1972 when sound recordings were first protected by US-wide federal copyright law, musicFIRST said there were still issues to be addressed about the rules introduced that day, in particular that the federal copyright system does not protect tracks released before 1972 and the lack of a general performing right for sound recordings. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Prince’s albums returned to the streaming services [INFO]
• Ticketmaster bought Czech ticketing firm Ticketpro [INFO]
• The Old Blue Last team took over the Sebright Arms [INFO]
• BMG signed a deal with Waxplotation [INFO]
• Sunday Best signed Mary Epworth [INFO]
• BMG signed Jet [INFO]
• Sony/ATV signed Tori Kelly [INFO]

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