CMU Digest

CMU Digest 05.11.18: Viagogo, YouTube, Sony, UK Music, SoundCloud

By | Published on Monday 5 November 2018


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

Viagogo said that its aggrieved customers were just “exceptionally careless”. The controversial secondary ticketing website faces legal action by government agencies in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. The latter is in court with the ticket resale firm fighting claims that it is liable for misleading or deceptive conduct. Its legal rep cited precedent in Australian law that says customers need to take some responsibility for their own buying decisions and then argued that those whose complaints are at the heart of this case failed to do so. Viagogo is accused of capitalising of existing consumer confusion through its use of the word “official” and by making misleading statements regarding ticket availability to encourage a speedy purchase. [READ MORE]

YouTube had another go at dissing article thirteen of the European Copyright Directive. The very final draft of the new EU copyright rules is being negotiated and the Google company still hopes it can have the safe harbour reforms in article thirteen revised. This time YouTube’s music chief Lyor Cohen hit out at article thirteen in a blog post about building a fanbase on the Google platform. Covers and parodies play their part in that fanbase building process, he said, and article thirteen, he then reckoned, might require that content to be “blocked and removed”. [READ MORE]

Songwriters and the indie music community hit out at the European Commission’s decision to green light Sony’s EMI deals. EU competition regulators approved Sony’s bid to take complete control of EMI Music Publishing after conducting a basic one month investigation. Sony has parted-owned the EMI songs catalogue since 2012 but will now be able to properly merge it with its own Sony/ATV publishing business. Indie label repping IMPALA said that the EC’s decision went against precedents set in its own past rulings regarding consolidation in the music rights sector. [READ MORE]

UK Music published its latest ‘Measuring Music’ report. It reckoned that the music industry’s contribution to the UK economy – its ‘gross value added’ – is now £4.5 billion. The economic contribution made by all strands of the business was up in 2017, with the biggest increases in recorded music. Exports were also up by 7%. UK Music said the British music industry was in good health but, to ensure that remained the case, urged the government to address concerns around music education and to ensure that the new European Copyright Directive is implemented post-Brexit. [READ MORE]

SoundCloud amended the terms and conditions around its monetisation deal for DIY artists. It followed an article in The Verge which raised concerns about SoundCloud’s monetisation programme for grass-roots talent, which was recently rolled out to all musicians with a SoundCloud Pro account. The digital firm insisted that the actual deal was unchanged, but admitted that some of the wording of the contract DIY artists sign had been improved. Meanwhile a clause about giving up the right to sue SoundCloud over any past infringement was removed entirely. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Spotify allied with Google on a Home Mini giveaway [INFO]
• Sony/ATV extended its GEMA/PRS alliance on digital licensing [INFO]
• Corida Group acquired a 50% stake in fellow French live firm Super! [INFO]
• Rudimental signed Ella Henderson to their Major Toms label [INFO]

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