CMU Digest

CMU Digest 10.09.18: Viagogo, Copyright Directive, Dr Luke, BPI, Chris Evans

By | Published on Monday 10 September 2018

Houses Of Parliament

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

Viagogo declined to attend a Parliamentary select committee hearing on secondary ticketing for the second time. It blamed the no show on the news that the UK Competition & Markets Authority has now formally filed legal action against the company over allegations it is in breach of British consumer rights law. Viagogo’s letter pulling out of the hearing also mentioned its own newly launched litigation against concert promoter Kilimanjaro Live over its anti-touting activities around Ed Sheeran’s recent tour. The Chair of the select committee, Damian Collins MP, said the no show “demonstrates the fear that Viagogo feel about [any] scrutiny of their operations”. [READ MORE]

The music industry ramped up its campaigning ahead of this week’s vote on the European Copyright Directive. The music community hopes this time MEPs will back the copyright reforms, including article thirteen which increases the liabilities of user-upload websites like YouTube. The Google firm’s Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl penned a blog post on why he thinks they should vote down article thirteen. Meanwhile 105 trade groups representing European songwriters, journalists, film-makers and authors signed an open letter outlining why they think it should be passed. Meanwhile in the UK, music industry campaigners staged a protest busk outside Google’s London HQ calling for the reforms to be voted through. [READ MORE]

The American judge overseeing the Dr Luke v Kesha defamation case allowed amendments to the lawsuit to include statements made since their legal battle began in 2014. The defamation action is all that remains of the long-running legal dispute between the former collaborators, which has involved multiple lawsuits in multiple states. Kesha accuses Luke of rape. Luke accuses Kesha of lying in a bid to get our of contractural commitments. Kesha’s lawyers objected to statements made during the legal battle being added to the defamation complaint. But the judge said the additions were justified given Luke’s core allegation that Kesha and her team orchestrated a “campaign to destroy [him] as leverage to renegotiate her contracts”. [READ MORE]

The BPI revealed that UK record industry export revenues were up 12% in 2017 to their highest level since the trade body started keeping count of such things in 2000. Although impressive growth in some key emerging markets like China and India helped, the BPI stats confirmed that Europe still accounts for 42% of all export monies for British labels. With that in mind, BPI boss Geoff Taylor urged the UK government to ensure Brexit doesn’t hinder the success of UK artists and music companies within the European Union. [READ MORE]

Chris Evans announced that he was quitting the biggest breakfast show in the UK on Radio 2 to instead talk to digital station Virgin Radio’s relatively modest audience. Confirming he’ll switch stations at the start of next year, the presenter said that “in many ways Virgin Radio is my spiritual home”. He previously hosted the breakfast show on the original Virgin Radio in the UK, ultimately buying the station and then getting fired after selling it on and falling out with the new owners. The new Virgin Radio is owned by Sun and Times publisher News UK, which seems to be plotting a big push for its radio arm next year, headlined by the Evans hire. [READ MORE]

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