CMU Digest

CMU Digest 24.12.18: Spotify, MegaUpload, Viagogo, Brexit, HMV, Music Venue Trust

By | Published on Monday 24 December 2018


The key stories from the last week in the music business…

Spotify settled the highest profile of its mechanical royalties lawsuits. Wixen sued at the end of last year, aware that the then proposed and since passed Music Modernization Act would limit its options in suing over past unpaid mechanical royalties. Randall Wixen praised Spotify and its management for working with him to settle past grievances and work out a viable licensing partnership for the future. Moving forward, the MMA will empower a new collecting society to process the mechanical royalties due whenever songs are streamed, for songwriters and publishers without a direct deal with companies like Spotify. [READ MORE]

The New Zealand Supreme Court said that it would consider an appeal by Kim Dotcom in relation to efforts to extradite him to the US. The American government wants to extradite Dotcom and his former MegaUpload colleagues so that they can face charges of criminal copyright infringement in relation to their former business. Lower courts in New Zealand have already approved the extradition. US prosecutors argued that – based on their interpretation of recent changes to NZ law – a further route of appeal shouldn’t be available, but the Supreme Court disagreed and said it would consider the case. [READ MORE]

Viagogo said it might go to the European courts to fight anti-touting laws in France. It followed a ruling by the Constitutional Council of France that an outright ban on ticket touting, in place in the country since 2012, was compliant with the French constitution. The controversial secondary ticketing platform is now facing legal action in relation to allegations it broke those laws. Viagogo had argued that the ban “infringed  freedom of trade” and was therefore was unconstitutional. [READ MORE]

Music industry trade groups were critical of the UK government’s proposals for new immigration rules post-Brexit. UK Music said the proposals would prevent many European artists from working here and would likely result in similar restrictions being placed on UK musicians looking to perform in the EU. Meanwhile the Incorporated Society Of Musicians said new restrictions on free movement in the UK would have “a devastating impact on British musicians”. [READ MORE]

HMV in Hong Kong announced it was closing its stores. The Hong Kong division of the music retailer was sold off by HMV UK when it collapsed in 2013. More recently the Hong Kong business was owned by a Chinese film company and had pushed more into gadgets and toys over CDs and DVDs. Disappointing revenues had resulted in legal disputes with some of the chain’s landlords, which in turn escalated the move towards putting the retail business into administration. [READ MORE]

The Music Venue Trust announced that numerous music industry organisations had now backed its plan for a ‘pipeline investment fund’. The new fund will raise monies from within the music industry and then back infrastructure projects at grass roots venues around the UK, as well as looking to acquire the freeholds of some of those venues and to provide legal, planning and licensing advice to venue operators. The fund seeks to tackle challenges facing the grass roots live music sector in the UK. Now backed by a plethora of industry bodies, discussions will begin as to how the fund might be financed and run. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Concord acquired theatre publisher Samuel French [INFO]
• Virgin Radio secured Sky sponsorship for its new Chris Evans breakfast show [INFO]
• The Featured Artists Coalition announced a partnership with Roland [INFO]
• CTM Publishing announced four new deals [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell signed Celeste [INFO]
• Syco and Arista Records jointly signed Courtney Hadwin [INFO]
• Universal Music Publishing signed Hrvy [INFO]

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | | |