CMU Digest

CMU Digest 11.03.19: NMPA, Viagogo, Spotify, ReDigi, Childish Gambino

By | Published on Monday 11 March 2019

National Music Publishers Association

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

Songwriters and music publishers in the US hit out at Spotify and Amazon after they decided to appeal the Copyright Royalty Board’s recent decision on the mechanical royalty rate streaming services should pay in the country. Mechanicals are covered by a compulsory licence in the US with the CRB setting the rate. In its most recent ruling, confirmed last month, it decided to increase the streaming rate from 10.5% to 15.1%. Pandora and Google have also joined their tech sector rivals in filing an appeal which the National Music Publishers Association has portrayed as “declaring war against songwriters”. [READ MORE]

The Competition & Markets Authority said that Viagogo is still not compliant with UK consumer rights law. Which means that the always controversial secondary ticketing website has not complied with the court order that the CMA secured last year, potentially putting the company in contempt of court. The government agency confirmed that it now intended to return to court to begin contempt proceedings. For its part, Viagogo again said it believed it had, in fact, complied with last year’s court order. [READ MORE]

Spotify confirmed that it had signed up over a million subscribers in India during its first few days operating in the country. This despite the streaming firm’s ongoing legal dispute with Warner Music over whether or not Spotify can rely on a compulsory licence to cover the Warner/Chappell songs catalogue in India. The International Confederation Of Music Publishers also last week spoke out in support of Warner in relation to that dispute. [READ MORE]

It was confirmed that ReDigi is planning to take its ‘first sale doctrine’ case to the US Supreme Court. ReDigi was an MP3 resale website that was sued by the record industry. It has always argued that reselling MP3s should be allowed under the ‘first sale doctrine’ of US copyright law, which gives American consumers the right to resell CDs. But the record industry argues that that principle doesn’t apply to digital music, because resale requires a new copy to occur. The courts have sided with the record companies so far, but ReDigi has confirmed it will request the Supreme Court to consider the case, though it asked for more than the customary 90 days to prepare that request. [READ MORE]

Childish Gambino settled his royalties dispute with Glassnote Records. He had sued is former label over various royalty gripes, the most important being how it had dealt with monies collected by US collecting society SoundExchange. The label argued that the 50% Gambino was due under his record contract was covered by the 50% of monies SoundExchange automatically pays to the artist. Gambino argued that was separate, and he was also due a cut of the monies the society pays the label. Terms of the out of court settlement are not known. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Bauer Media bought UKRD [INFO]
• Sony/ATV signed Dolly Parton [INFO]

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