CMU Digest

CMU Digest 25.06.18: Copyright directive, Prince, Beats, FanFair, YouTube

By | Published on Monday 25 June 2018

European Commission

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

The JURI committee of the European Parliament passed the safe harbour reforming article thirteen of the draft European copyright directive. The article is the result of the music industry’s long-running ‘value gap’ campaign that seeks to increase the liabilities of user-upload sites like YouTube, which currently claim protection under the copyright safe harbour and exploit that protection to secure lower royalty rates. MEPs passed the reform despite increasingly vocal objections from the tech lobby. The directive still has a number of steps and votes to go through before becoming law. [READ MORE]

Three of Prince’s heirs called on the court overseeing the estate to reconsider its approval of the recent deal with Tidal. Last month the Prince estate ended a previous legal dispute with Tidal and granted the streaming service an exclusive on an upcoming rarities release. Three of Prince’s siblings said the court should reconsider that deal in light of the allegations that Tidal fiddled the stats on previous exclusives from Beyonce and Kanye West. The Prince estate said that mere rumour was not sufficient to allow the court to reconsider the deal. [READ MORE]

Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine were in court to discuss the earliest deals around their multi-billion dollar Beats business. An early partner in the venture reckons he is due $100 million in unpaid royalties. Steven Lamar has been pursuing legal action against the Beats company for years and the case has finally got to court. Lamar and Dre disagree on quite whose idea Dre-branded headphones were and who came up with the brand name Beats. Though at the heart of the case is a 2007 agreement and whether royalties promised in it related to only the original Beats headphones or subsequent evolutions of that product as well. [READ MORE]

Anti-touting campaigners FanFair called on Google to finally take action against Viagogo and stop it from advertising on the web giant’s search engine. Although Viagogo has complied with some of Google’s own rules designed to reduce consumer confusion, it has not complied with UK consumer rights laws, nor demands from the UK Competition & Markets Authority or Advertising Standards Authority. FanFair asked last week: “Surely it’s time for Google to permanently remove this law-breaking site from its advertising networks?” [READ MORE]

YouTube’s new premium music service launched in the UK and eleven other countries. It had previously been rolled out in five markets. The new music service is more like Spotify and sits alongside all the existing music content on the YouTube platform. The Google company hopes that by pushing a paid-for music service – which pays higher royalties – it can placate critics in the music community. YouTube’s wider subscription offer, now called YouTube Premium, also launched in the UK last week. [READ MORE]

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