CMU Digest

CMU Digest 03.04.17: RIAA, tout laws, Fair Play Fair Pay, Spinal Tap, Amazon, Form 696

By | Published on Monday 3 April 2017


The key stories from the last seven days in the music business…

The US record industry saw double digit growth in 2016, the Recording Industry Association Of America confirmed. The 11.4% growth was fuelled by the boom in streaming, and especially subscription streaming, revenues from which more than doubled. The RIAA said the growth was “welcome news” and in part down to the “innovation” and “investment” of labels, though that the industry is still being negatively impacted by those free streaming services protected by the safe harbours of copyright law. [READ MORE]

The House Of Lords backed a proposal that would introduce new regulation of secondary ticketing in the UK beyond the bots ban. Whereas the government supports outlawing the use of special software by touts to hoover up large quantities of tickets off the primary sites, ministers do not back expanding the existing ticket resale regulations in the Consumer Rights Act via the Digital Economy Act. The proposed new rule would include forcing resellers to include the booking reference of the original ticket purchase, which would confirm that the tickets exist and make it easy for promoters to cancel them. [READ MORE]

Six members of US Congress put the radio royalties bill back on the agenda. The Fair Play Fair Pay Bill would force AM/FM radio stations to pay royalties to artists and labels as well as songwriters and publishers. US copyright law is unusual in not providing a general performing right for sound recordings. The Content Creators Coalition and RIAA both welcomed the latest efforts to reform US copyright law in this way. [READ MORE]

The four creators of ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ hit back at Vivendi in their ongoing dispute over the monies generated by the film and its soundtrack, which are controlled by Vivendi’s StudioCanal and Universal Music businesses respectively. In particular, the ‘Spinal Tap’ creators criticised Vivendi’s bid to stop them reclaiming the rights in the cult movie and its music via the termination right in US copyright law, on the basis that they worked on the film project on a ‘work for hire’ basis. [READ MORE]

Amazon announced that it would be offering new benefits to members of its Prime scheme via its ticketing platform. The benefits include priority booking and access to VIP tickets for shows at The O2 and Wembley Arena, and for the British Summer Time festival. Amazon is ramping up its ticketing business while also seeking to link the various different strands of its platform involved in music. [READ MORE]

Culture minister Matt Hancock wrote to London mayor Sadiq Khan to express concern about Form 696, which venues and promoters fill out for the Metropolitan Police ahead of some music events in London. Although some of the more controversial questions were removed from the form several years ago, Hancock said that there were still fears the form could be used to racially profile artists and audiences to the detriment of genres like grime. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Native Instruments acquired MetaPop [INFO]
• Spotify bought MightyTV [INFO]
• Henrik Schwarz launched a new classical label with !K7 [INFO]
• Mute Records re-signed Throbbing Gristle [INFO]
• Big Scary Monsters signed Tricot [INFO]
• Universal Music signed Carrie Underwood [INFO]
• BMG signed A Perfect Circle [INFO]

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