CMU Digest

CMU Digest 07.10.19: Brexit, SGAE, RIAA, Spotify, Live Nation

By | Published on Monday 7 October 2019

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

The UK government published advice on what British artists touring Europe will have to do in the case of a no deal Brexit. Though on the key question of whether or not visas will be required, it said that artists and their business partners should consult the governments of each individual EU member state. It added that carnets or other administrative procedures will probably allow kit to be taken into each EU country without paying any duties, though then suggested artists hire specialist brokers to advise on their specific obligations. UK Music warned that these extra requirements could stop some artists from touring Europe altogether. [READ MORE]

It emerged that around 200 songwriters and 50 music publishers are in the the process of leaving controversial Spanish collecting society SGAE. The society has been widely criticised over the way it distributes royalties and poor governance, and was kicked out of the global grouping of song right societies, CISAC, earlier this year. Those writers and publishers that have begun the process of exiting SGAE will be able to allocate their rights to other licensing entities from 1 Jan next year. [READ MORE]

The Recording Industry Association Of America submitted its annual piracy gripe list to the office of the US Trade Representative, which is compiling its latest notorious markets report on copyright infringement around the world. The trade body confirmed that stream-ripping remained the biggest concern, adding that it is now monitoring over 200 sites that allow users to turn temporary streams into permanent downloads. It also raised concerns about pirates using the sometimes controversial messaging app Telegram to distribute unlicensed music and criticised the app itself for not doing more to stop such distribution. [READ MORE]

Spotify sought to have the lawsuit filed against it by Eminem’s music publisher Eight Mile Style dismissed on jurisdiction grounds. The rapper’s company is seeking statutory damages in relation to unpaid mechanical royalties in the US, even though last year’s Music Modernization Act in theory bans actions of this kind. The streaming firm says that it will dispute the lawsuit’s two key claims: ie that it hasn’t complied with its obligations under the MMA and that the element of that act banning new action on unpaid mechanicals is unconstitutional. But in the short-term Spotify argues that the lawsuit shouldn’t have been filed with a Nashville court, because Eight Mile Style is based in Detroit and its US HQ is in New York. [READ MORE]

It emerged that Live Nation is formally disputing the decision of the Royal Parks organisation to renew AEG’s deal to stage concerts in London’s Hyde Park. AEG has been presenting its British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park since 2013 and now has the rights to produce summer shows there until 2025. Live Nation staged concerts in the park up until 2012, but back then pulled out of the bidding to renew its contract, citing issues with licensing restrictions and the bidding process. However, it bid to reclaim the Hyde Park concert rights earlier this year and is now saying that the bidding process run by the Royal Parks was flawed. [READ MORE]