CMU Digest

CMU Digest 06.06.16: CBS Radio, Guvera, Kraftwerk, Pandora, Chrysalis, Vivendi

By | Published on Monday 6 June 2016

CBS Radio

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

A US judge accepted CBS Radio’s argument that if it plays versions of pre-1972 recordings remastered since 1972, those tracks are covered by federal rather than state law, because a new copyright was created in the remastering process. This is important because while American federal law – covering sound recordings since 1972 – says AM/FM radio does not need to pay royalties to record labels, recent rulings in California and New York suggest that state law – covering pre-1972 tracks – does provide labels with a right to payment, which is why record company ABS Entertainment sued the broadcaster. [READ MORE]

Australian streaming music firm Guvera announced it was planning an IPO in its home country in a bid to raise between AUS$40 million and AUS$80 million to pay off debts and fund expansion. While trying to put a positive spin on Guvera’s advertising-centric business model, the IPO prospectus illustrates just how hard it is to get a streaming music start-up off the ground, as well as providing updates on the firm’s disputes with the former staff of its very short-lived UK venture and with one former service provider, the now-in-administration Omnifone. [READ MORE]

The German Constitutional Court demanded a re-think on a very long-running sample case involving a two second snippet of the Kraftwerk track ‘Metal On Metal’. Germany’s Federal Court Of Justice had previously said producer Moses Pelham had infringed Kraftwerk’s copyright by using the uncleared sample in a 1990s track, but the Constitutional Court reckoned that judgement impeached Pelham’s right to artistic freedom. The ruling – which has divided the German music community – means the lower court will have to reconsider the case. [READ MORE]

Pandora’s share price went up again throughout the week, having previously gone into decline following the departure of former CEO Brian McAndrews in March. The recent increases are down to new speculation that the personalised radio service could be sold, after its biggest shareholder called on the firm’s board to take independent advice on how to maximise value for investors. Various possible bidders have been identified, including Sirius XM, though said companies are yet to show any tangible interest in the loss-making streaming service. [READ MORE]

UK independent music firm Blue Raincoat, co-founded by former Chrysalis Music chief Jeremy Lascelles, bought much of the former Chrysalis Records catalogue,and the label brand, off Warner Music. The one-time indie label was bought by EMI in 1991, and came to Warner in 2013 when it bought much of the EMI assets Universal Music was forced to sell off by European regulators. Blue Raincoat is also backed by Chrysalis co-founder Chris Wright, which means he is now back involved with the label he originally co-founded in 1968. [READ MORE]

The boss of Universal Music parent company Vivendi, Vincent Bolloré, told the Financial Times that his current acquisition spree is about building a new media and entertainment powerhouse, with a view to seeking synergies between the different divisions, and also between Vivendi companies like Universal and the marketing services business in which he is a majority shareholder, Havas. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• SACEM and Universal Music Publishing confirmed a SoundCloud licensing deal [INFO]
• European music export offices launched a more formal alliance [INFO]
• Warner Music bought playlist-focused licensing company X5 Music [INFO]
• Universal bought digital marketing agency FameHouse from SFX [INFO]
• DHP acquired London venues The Borderline and The Garage [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell expanded its deal with Times Music in India [INFO]
• Cherrytree allied with Warner’s ADA on distribution [INFO]
• Warner Music bought the catalogues of Indonesian indie ISS [INFO]
• Sony Legacy acquired the catalogue of singer-songwriter Janis Ian [INFO]
• Warner’s East West Records signed Busted [INFO]
• Universal’s Capitol US signed YouTuber Calum Scott [INFO]
• Just Isn’t Music signed Pins [INFO]
• Kanye West signed on with booking agency CAA [INFO]
• Garth Brooks signed a new deal with WME [INFO]

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