Feb 16, 2024 4 min read

Setlist Podcast: When arts funding and politics collide

Kneecap threaten to sue the British government for blocking funding to expand their international career, and MLC goes legal over mechanical royalties on its free service

Setlist Podcast: When arts funding and politics collide

On this week's show we discuss questions and potential legal action over the politicisation of arts funding, as Kneecap are denied money by the British government and Arts Council England issues new guidance for anyone thinking of being controversial, plus the legal battle over royalties currently brewing between MLC and Pandora, and more.

01: Arts funding (00:04:23)
02: News in brief (00:14:54)
03: MLC v Pandora (00:16:46)
(Timings may be slightly different due to adverts)


UK Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch’s decision to block MEGS funding for Kneecap “unlawful” says band as it prepares legal action
UK Business Secretary Kemi Badenock is facing both parliamentary questions and legal action after her department stopped Northern Irish rap group Kneecap from receiving MEGS funding because of the politics of their output
Arts Council says free speech and controversy is fine, but please follow a detailed risk assessment first
Arts Council England has responded to criticism over updates it made to its policies around reputation risk, which includes guidance on political statements made in a personal capacity by people who work with or for funded arts organisations
MLC sues Pandora over unpaid royalties
Pandora has been sued by collecting society MLC in a dispute over whether or not the US streaming service needs to pay mechanical royalties on all the revenues associated with its free tier


Tributes pour in as BBC radio presenter Steve Wright dies
Longstanding BBC radio presenter Steve Wright has died aged 69, his family announced yesterday. Joining Radio 1 in 1980, he wa a popular fixture on the station until the 90s, and later moved to Radio 2 where he continued to present shows up until his death
Musicians’ Union reluctantly reaches deal with English National Opera over orchestra cutbacks
An agreement has been reached between the English National Opera and the Musicians’ Union over cutbacks to its orchestra - the MU says that although it has secured an improved deal, the changes remain significant and its members accepted the new agreement with “heavy hearts”
NTIA says nightlife faces cultural crisis after 400 club closures since 2020
The NTIA has again called for government support for the clubbing sector after revealing that nearly 400 clubs have closed since the start of the pandemic - the cost of living crisis and changes in student socialising are putting the sector under pressure
As another grassroots venue closes, MVT renews calls for a ticket levy
Nottingham’s Chameleon has become the latest UK grassroots venue to close, following warnings that it was at risk last year. Following the news, the Music Venue Trust has again called on the music industry and politicians took at at a levy on large-scale shows to support small venues


Music industry welcomes German ruling holding TikTok liable for unlicensed content
A German court has held TikTok liable for hosting unlicensed content following a lawsuit filed by a Berlin film distributor which relied on changes made to the copyright safe harbour by the 2019 EU Copyright Directive
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