CMU Digest

CMU Digest 21.11.16: Touts, GEMA, NMPA, Amazon, Prince, Duran Duran

By | Published on Monday 21 November 2016

Ticket touts

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

It was a busy week for the campaign against ticket touting. In the UK, MPs gave reps from StubHub and Ticketmaster a grilling over their secondary ticketing operations, accusing them of employing insufficient measures to take on industrial-level touts. Meanwhile a Canadian tout told the Daily Record he got access to high numbers of tickets to UK shows via deals with venues rather than using special software. And in Italy an out-right ban of ticket touting was proposed following a TV report in which the boss of Live Nation Italy admitted his firm occasionally provided tickets to resale sites. [READ MORE]

Music publishers in Germany hit out at a court ruling there which could alter the way collecting society GEMA distributes the royalties it collects. In the potentially landmark court case, members of electro group Das Ich successfully argued that GEMA should pay all royalties generated by their songs directly to the songwriters, rather than paying a share direct to the publisher, as is the norm under German publishing contracts. If applied across the board, publishers would have to get their share off their songwriters. [READ MORE]

Trade bodies representing US web firms and music publishers both published open letters to President Elect Donald Trump. The former called on the incoming President to protect their safe harbours, push for simpler music licensing and reform the US Copyright Office. The latter said that if Trump really wants to take on the big lobbying machine in Washington he should be less in awe of Google as his predecessor’s government, while cutting back the compulsory licences and consent decrees that – the National Music Publishers Association argues – over-regulate the songs industry. [READ MORE]

Amazon launched its standalone streaming service Music Unlimited in the UK. Like in the US, the standard version of the new service is a straight Spotify Premium competitor, but a cheaper subscription is available to Amazon Prime members, and if a user only wants to stream music via an Amazon Echo device a bargain £3.99 a month option is also available. [READ MORE]

Prince’s label and publishing company sued Tidal in a dispute over what deals the streaming firm made with the late musician before his death. Tidal claims it has the exclusive rights to stream all of Prince’s catalogue. But the trust that is administering the star’s estate says it has only seen documentation given Jay-Z’s digital platform rights to stream penultimate Prince album ‘Hit N Run Phase One’. [READ MORE]

Duran Duran went to the high court in the UK to test the reach of the reversion right under American copyright law. US law says songwriters who assign their copyrights to publishers can reclaim them after 35 years. But when Duran Duran tried to reclaim the American rights in their early songs, their publisher – a Sony/ATV subsidiary – refused, saying their UK contract didn’t allow reversion. The court case will test whether that is so. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Spotify allied with Ticketmaster for its ramped-up gig plugging service [INFO]
• Ticketing platform Gigantic integrated Twickets for ticket resales [INFO]
• UK catalogue label Rock Candy announced a deal with Sony’s RED in the US [INFO]
• BMG expanded its deal with Alibaba in China [INFO]
• Young Thug launched an imprint label with 300 [INFO]

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