CMU Digest

CMU Digest 03.02.20: Grassroots venues, Copyright Directive, Peloton, StubHub, digital royalties

By | Published on Monday 3 February 2020

Music Venue Trust

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

It was Independent Venue Week in the UK and there was lots of good news for grassroots venues. First, after years of campaigning by the Music Venue Trust, among others, the government announced that venues will finally be included in a business rates relief scheme, cutting the rates bills of numerous grassroots venues. Meanwhile, in London, Westminster Council said it was using so called ‘localism relief’ rules to provide the 100 Club with a 100% discount on its business rates, helping assure the venue’s long-term future. Then Arts Council England and Creative Wales both announced new funding schemes specifically aimed at small venues. [READ MORE]

The music industry responded to the news that the UK government has no plans to implement the European Copyright Directive. Various trade groups said that they were disappointed that copyright reforms which the British music industry lobbied so hard for in Europe risked not being implemented at home. For the industry at large that mainly means safe harbour reform, while for artists and songwriters there were also provisions to increase transparency and fair deals. The industry’s lobbyists hope there will now be an opportunity to campaign for similar reforms at a UK-level. [READ MORE]

A US court rejected claims by fitness firm Peloton that the National Music Publishers Association acted in an anti-competitive way. Peloton made the allegations after the NMPA coordinated legal action on behalf of a number of independent publishers. The trade group countered that Peloton had only made the competition law complaint because it was unable to dispute the copyright infringement claims of the publishers, which allege that the fitness company used their songs in exercise videos without a licence. The NMPA welcomed the ruling. Peloton may as yet appeal. [READ MORE]

Secondary ticketing site StubHub was put on notice by the UK’s Competitions & Markets Authority. The regulator said that – while the eBay-owned ticket resale company previously voluntarily agreed to ensure its site complied with UK consumer rights law – things have since slipped so that there are now multiple violations. StubHub bosses have vowed to deal with the list of violations, while the CMA threatened legal action if they don’t. The CMA announcement on StubHub comes as the regulator also investigates Viagogo’s bid to buy the company off eBay. [READ MORE]

It emerged that artist managers in Germany have written to all three majors and BMG demanding a discussion about streaming royalties. With streaming finally becoming the dominant revenue stream in Germany, managers argue that the royalties paid to artists on streams are not fair. BMG welcomed the intervention, pointing out that is has been a pioneer of the new-style services deals that are now offered by many record companies and which offer a much bigger share of future income to the artist. [READ MORE]

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | | | |