CMU Digest

CMU Digest 09.03.20: COVID-19, Viagogo, Resso, stream manipulation, Lizzo

By | Published on Monday 9 March 2020

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

Efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 started to have a major impact on the live music industry. Some artists had already started to postpone international tour dates, especially in Asia, but this week the festivals sector started to be affected, usually as a result of government intervention. Editions of the Ultra festival in Abu Dhabi and Miami were called off, as was a winter edition of another dance music event, Tomorrowland. Then, as the week ended, SXSW 2020 was also cancelled. [READ MORE]

The New Zealand Commerce Commission said it was no longer seeking an interim injunction against Viagogo. The government regulator took the ticket resale firm to court in 2018 and wanted the injunction to force it to end various anti-consumer practices. But, the Commission said, Viagogo had now voluntarily dealt with most of its concerns and had committed to the court to keep recent changes in place. However, the Commission’s wider legal action against Viagogo will proceed. [READ MORE]

The new streaming service from TikTok owner Bytedance properly launched in India. Resso has been available via a beta-test in both India and Indonesia since last year. It seeks to compete with existing players by offering more interactive and social functionality. Universal Music is not on board yet though, possibly because it now counts Bytedance rival Tencent as a shareholder, or simply because it is still holding out for a more favourable deal. Merlin and the other majors are signed up. [READ MORE]

German company was ordered by the Berlin courts to stop offering stream manipulation services. It followed legal action from the IFPI and German record industry trade group BVMI. Because of the way streaming monies are shared out each month, companies that artificially manipulate the play courts of certain tracks on Spotify-type platforms can divert money away from other artists and labels. IFPI said it would pursue similar cases “wherever necessary worldwide”. [READ MORE]

Three former collaborators of Lizzo hit back in the copyright lawsuit over the song ‘Truth Hurts’. Justin Raisen, Jeremiah Raisen and Justin Rothman claim ‘Truth Hurts’ took a key lyric from an earlier Lizzo demo that they helped create called ‘Healthy’. In a lawsuit last year Lizzo said that, while ‘Healthy’ and ‘Truth Hurts’ do share a lyric, neither Rothman nor the Raisens were involved in that element of the earlier track and had previously admitted that was the case. In the three men’s countersuit they argue they definitely were involved in creating the key lyric and had never conceded they did not have a copyright claim over ‘Truth Hurts’. [READ MORE]

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