CMU Digest

CMU Digest 01.04.19: Copyright Directive, CD Baby, MSG Sphere, Charter Communications, Vodafone

By | Published on Monday 1 April 2019

European Commission

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

The European Parliament passed the final draft of the Copyright Directive, including the still controversial music-industry-backed safe-harbour-reforming article thirteen. The music community welcomed the vote and said that EU law-makers had made copyright law fit for the digital age. The tech sector continued to lay into article thirteen, claiming it would dramatically alter how people use the internet. The directive now needs to be passed by the EU Council and then implemented in each EU country. [READ MORE]

Downtown Music bought CD Baby, further expanding the portfolio of services it offers artists, songwriters, labels and publishers at all levels. Downtown already offers song administration services to songwriters and publishers via its Songtrust division and now also owns a leading player in the DIY distribution space on the recordings side. Downtown actually bought AVL Digital, which also includes companies offering advertising, marketing and licensing services. [READ MORE]

The Madison Square Garden Company submitted a planning application for its first venue outside the US: the high-tech MSG Sphere complex proposed for East London. The live music firm said its proposal would turn a disused coach park into a vibrant entertainment space and important local employer. But rival AEG said the proposed new venue is too close to its own The O2 set-up and other venues based in the Olympic Park. [READ MORE]

The US record industry sued another American internet service provider over its users’ copyright infringement. The labels argue that Charter Communications operates a deliberately shoddy system for dealing with repeat infringers among its customer base, so should not be shielded from liability for those customers’ infringement via the copyright safe harbour. The new lawsuit follows BMG’s legal battle with Cox Communications and also the case against Grande Communications, in which a judge recently ruled that the ISP couldn’t plead safe harbour because of lax systems for dealing with infringing consumers. [READ MORE]

Vodafone in Germany blocked access to a piracy site without a court injunction ordering it to do so. The tel co said it instigated the blockade against following a complaint from GEMA, keen to avoid having to fight any legal action that the collecting society might pursue in the future. Normally ISPs only block customers from accessing a copyright infringing website if rights owners get a court order to that effect. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• 7digital partnered with Access to provide services to broadcasters [INFO]
• Spotify bought yet another podcast company [INFO]
• SoundVault announced a licensing deal with EMI Production Music [INFO]
• Bandsintown acquired Hypebot [INFO]
• Absolute allied with Bananarama on their next album [INFO]

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