CMU Digest

CMU Digest 13.02.17: Prince, Spinal Tap, Duran Duran, DEB, Dr Luke, Spinrilla

By | Published on Monday 13 February 2017


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

The Prince estate announced a deal with Universal Music, covering much of the late musician’s NPG Records catalogue and his massive vault of unreleased recordings. It means the estate has now appointed the mega-major to rep Prince recordings, publishing and merch. Meanwhile Warner, which still controls many of the most famous Prince albums for now, announced those recordings were returning to all the streaming platforms ahead of the Grammy Awards, they having been available only on Tidal since 2015. [READ MORE]

The three other co-creators of ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ joined Harry Shearer in his lawsuit against Vivendi, which controls the cult movie through film division StudioCanal and its soundtrack through Universal Music. Shearer last year accused Vivendi of “wilfully manipulated certain accounting data, while ignoring contractually-obligated accounting and reporting processes, to deny the co-creators their rightful stake in the production’s profits”. With all four co-creators now involved, the lawsuit is seeking damages of $400 million. [READ MORE]

Duran Duran welcomed the news that they will be allowed to appeal in their legal battle with Sony/ATV. The band are trying to reclaim the US rights in their early songs via the reversion right under American copyright law, but publisher Sony/ATV says they can’t under their English publishing contract. The music firm won at first instance, but the judge overseeing the case recently confirmed the band could appeal. Many UK songwriters are watching the case with interest as it could set an important precedent. [READ MORE]

The UK Digital Economy Bill was discussed in the House Of Lords. The government agreed with Liberal Democrat lord Tim Clement-Jones that “the principle of transparency is an important element of well-functioning markets”, but said that they hoped artists and songwriters could secure the transparency they need via the new European Copyright Directive, rather than needing a new right in the DEB. Meanwhile the government said it hoped a voluntary agreement would soon be reached between the content industries and the search engines over the latter doing more to downgrade and de-list piracy websites, again meaning no specific DEB measure was required. [READ MORE]

Dr Luke said it was Kesha who owed him unpaid royalties, after she accused him of failing to pay monies she was due from recordings put out by his label. In the ongoing legal battle between the former collaborators, Luke’s legal reps said that the producer was due a cut of Kesha’s live and branding income, and that $1.3 million was now owing. [READ MORE]

The US record industry sued mixtape app Spinrilla. The service allows bedroom producers to upload unofficial mixes, and users to then stream or download them. The Recording Industry Association Of America said the service “specialises in ripping off music creators by offering thousands of unlicensed sound recordings for free. Fans today have access to millions upon millions of songs from innovative platforms and services that pay creators – this kind of illicit activity has no place in today’s music marketplace”. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• INgrooves partnered with Onelove Music Group [INFO]
• Live Nation bought into Israeli concert business Bluestone [INFO]
• US collecting society ASCAP hired CML Consultancy Services [INFO]
• PPL signed a reciprocal agreement with CREDIDAM in Romania [INFO]
• Downtown Music Publishing signed Naughty Boy [INFO]

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