CMU Digest

CMU Digest 06.02.17: HMV, Eventbrite, Kesha, KickassTorrents, Facebook, 50 Cent

By | Published on Monday 6 February 2017


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

HMV Canada went into receivership with all of the firm’s 100+ stores set to close in the next few months. Recent significant declines in CD and DVD sales in Canada were officially blamed, though the retailer’s CEO said that an unwillingness by some suppliers to renegotiate their terms was also an issue, and that efforts to diversify could have worked if given more time. HMV Canada was in common ownership with HMV UK, though owner Hilco says that the British division is unaffected. [READ MORE]

US-based self-service ticketing firm Eventbrite bought rival Ticketscript. Although Eventbrite already has some offices in Europe, the deal boosts the firm’s presence in the European market, and Ticketscript’s CEO will become its GM for Continental Europe. The two firms say that the merger creates “Europe’s third largest ticketing platform”. [READ MORE]

Kesha and Dr Luke both asked for permission to update their respective counterclaims in their long-running legal battle in New York. Kesha’s lawyers again accused Dr Luke of abusing his former collaborator and called for her to be cut free of her contracts to the producer, in part citing California’s ‘seven year rule’. Luke, who continues to deny the abuse allegations, accused Kesha and her mother of a campaign to ‘blacklist’ him within the industry, and added further libel claims. [READ MORE]

The lawyer for KickassTorrents founder Artem Vaulin asked a court in Illinois to dismiss the US government’s criminal action against his client, again arguing that while KAT may have been liable for secondary infringement, that is not a criminal matter under American law. The US prosecutor countered the arguments from Vaulin’s lawyers – in particular the claim KAT was just like Google – and urged the judge to await the result of Vaulin’s extradition case in Poland before ruling on this matter. [READ MORE]

Facebook headhunted YouTube exec Tamara Hrivnak “to lead global music strategy and business development”. The hire comes as video content becomes ever more prevalent on the social network, much of it including unlicensed music. Facebook has offered some rights owners access to a system like YouTube’s Content ID to remove videos containing their music, but hasn’t do date come up with a way of enabling music right owners to monetise their content on the social media site. [READ MORE]

50 Cent began legal action against his former lawyers Reed Smith in relation to their work on his legal battle with Lastonia Leviston. The rapper lost the case Leviston launched against him over a sex tape he had published online. 50 Cent declared himself bankrupt in the middle of that court battle, though the bankruptcy case was discharged this week after the rapper confirmed he had now paid back his creditors ahead of schedule, thanks to a settlement secured in another legal squabble with a different former lawyer. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• CBS Radio and Entercom merged [INFO]
• AEG Live confirmed it had bought a stake in The Bowery Presents [INFO]
• Talent agencies Coda and ITG announced an alliance [INFO]
• Billboard confirmed it would include Pandora data in its charts [INFO]
• dotBlockchain announced its first music industry partners [INFO]
• BMG announced a deal to administer Netflix’s song rights [INFO]
• Kobalt’s collecting society AMRA announced a deal with Ole [INFO]
• Warner Bros Records signed Ciara [INFO]
• BMG signed Kylie Minogue [INFO]

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