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CMU’s Setlist podcast looks at how Songkick and Live Nation’s bitter legal battle is shaping up

By | Published on Monday 23 October 2017


Among the topics of discussion on this week’s Setlist podcast – alongside New South Wales’ new ticket touting laws and the end of an era for The Pirate Bay – CMU’s Andy Malt and Chris Cooke look at the latest developments in Songkick’s anti-trust lawsuit against Live Nation in the US.

As the case heads to trial, the two sides have continued with the bitter sparring that has run throughout the legal dispute since it began in 2015. Songkick has demanded sanctions against Live Nation for it failing to deliver 4000 documents relevant to the case on time. Meanwhile, Live Nation has yet again tried to have a big chunk of the case dismissed.

The ongoing fighting suggests an out of court settlement is unlikely, and this dispute is going to get its day in court. “It has always seemed like this is a very ambitious lawsuit on Songkick’s part”, Cooke says on this week’s Setlist. “I hate the clich√© of the ‘David v Goliath’ case, but it is a David v Goliath case, in the sense that Live Nation is the biggest live music company in the world”.

Malt adds: “It’s also interesting that it’s the ‘David’ who brought the case, and it’s still going on after several years. Often it would be the Goliath who brought the case in the hope that the smaller company just couldn’t afford to continue with it over a long period of time, because these sorts of cases go on forever”.

Of course, the other big development this month is that the Songkick ticketing business – formerly Crowdsurge, the part of the company not sold to Warner Music in July and which remains the plaintiff in this litigation – announced that it would cease operations at the end of October. Which means that by the time this dispute gets to court, the business will no longer be operational. But that doesn’t mean the firm is any less determined to see its Live Nation litigation through to conclusion.

“[Songkick] said that [it shutting down its ticketing business] was caused by Live Nation and Ticketmaster stopping it from launching in the US”, says Cooke. “So they were very much blaming Live Nation and Ticketmaster for the demise of that side of the business. But the boss of [what remains of the Songkick company], who was actually the original founder of Crowdsurge, was also adamant that he was going to continue with this lawsuit, even though in essence the Songkick ticketing business will be no more”.

So it looks like we could see some heated exchanges in court next month.¬†Find out more about how it’s shaping up on the latest episode of Setlist here: