CMU Digest

CMU Digest 13.06.17: Copyright Royalty Board, business rates, ERA, SXSW, Kickass, anti-piracy emails

By | Published on Monday 13 March 2017

US Congress

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

The US Copyright Royalty Board hearing on mechanical royalties got underway. There is a compulsory licence Stateside for third parties that want to make and distribute copies of songs, meaning songwriters and music publishers are obliged to license at a statutory rate. This CRB review will set that rate for the next five years. The American record companies reached a deal with the publishers on the rates due when CDs or downloads are sold (where the label is the licensee), but there remains a dispute on what streaming services should pay (where the digital platform is the licensee). [READ MORE]

The UK live music community raised concerns about the impact planned changes to business rates could have on grass roots venues. The expected hike in rates could put music venues operating on tiny profit margins out of business. UK Music said that measures to reduce the negative impact of the rate changes mentioned by the Chancellor Of The Exchequer in his budget speech could be good news for such venues, though there needs to be more clarity. [READ MORE]

New figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association for 2016 revealed that ‘access’ services are now out-performing ‘ownership’ services when music, video and gaming retail is taken into account. Gaming skews the figures somewhat, with ownership business models – whether disc or download-based – still dominating in music for now. Though, of course, everything is slowly shifting over to access model subscription services in music too. [READ MORE]

South By Southwest said it would revise its artist contracts next year after it was criticised over clauses relating to visa restrictions for international acts. The clauses implied SXSW might report acts to the authorities if they played unofficial events around the festival in breach of their visas. The festival said that the clauses were there to make artists aware of visa restrictions to ensure that they don’t fall foul of the law, but said they would revise the terms in light of recent sensitivities around immigration issues in the US. [READ MORE]

A legal rep for the alleged founder of Kickass Torrents said he might take his client’s case to the European human rights courts. Artem Vaulin is in Poland fighting extradition to the US to face charges of copyright crimes. His US lawyer, Ira Rothken, criticised the decision to deny Vaulin bail and to prevent him from even meeting with his American attorneys until earlier this month. These decisions “violate his human rights” said Rothken of his client. [READ MORE]

72% of web-users said that the educational anti-piracy emails being sent out by UK ISPs are unlikely to stop them accessing illegal sources of content. The emails are designed to enable ISPs to comply with the 2010 Digital Economy Act, which obliges them to pass on warning letters to customers suspected of accessing or sharing unlicensed music and movies. The new survey from Broadband Genie said threats of legal action or disconnection from the internet might have more effect, though nearly a third of those questioned said nothing would stop them from using piracy sites. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Spotify bought Sonalytic [INFO]
• Airbnb announced a tie up with Sofar Sounds [INFO]
• BMG expanded its distribution alliance with Warner’s ADA [INFO]
• RCA signed Stargate [INFO]
• WME signed Nick Jonas [INFO]

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | |