CMU Digest

CMU Digest 16.07.18: Blurred Lines, Childish Gambino, ISM/MU, Sony Music, Cardi B

By | Published on Monday 16 July 2018

Blurred Lines

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

The Ninth Circuit appeals court in the US declined to overturn its decision in the ‘Blurred Lines’ song-theft case. It means the original jury ruling that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke infringed Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got To Give It Up’ when they wrote their 2013 hit pretty much stands. The appeals court originally upheld that jury ruling back in March, though with one dissenting judge who reckoned the judgment set a “dangerous precedent”. It remains to be seen in Williams and Thicke now take the case to Supreme Court. [READ MORE]

Independent label Glassnote sued Childish Gambino in a dispute over SoundExchange royalties. Monies collecting by the American collecting society are usually split 50/50 between the copyright owner and the performers, which means Glassnote has received 50% of the SoundExchange royalties generated by the Gambino recordings it released. But the actor/musician’s people now reckon that he should have been receiving the copyright owner and the performer royalties. Glassnote is seeking court confirmation that that is not the case and that it can keep the monies it has been paid to date. [READ MORE]

The Incorporated Society Of Musicians and the Musicians’ Union launched a joint code of practice for the UK music industry. The code seeks to tackle bullying, harassment and discrimination in the music sector and is informed by research and feedback gathered by ISM and MU since the emergence of the #metoo movement last year. The two organisations are calling on companies across the music sector to sign up to the code. [READ MORE]

Sony Music hit back at a court order that said it must hand over details about an investigation it conducted into allegations made against producer Dr Luke by Kesha. Sony hired lawyers to look into Kesha’s claims that she was raped by Luke after it was pulled into the one-time collaborators’ legal battle via its JV with the producer. Kesha’s legal team, defending a defamation action filed by Luke, now want to know who Sony’s lawyers spoke to. A judge recently said that Sony should provide that information, but in a new court filing the major said that doing so would reveal “legal strategy”, which should be sufficient to keep information about the investigation confidential. [READ MORE]

Cardi B’s former manager hit out at legal action recently filed by the rapper. The two one-time business partners are in dispute over whether past management and recording contracts are still valid, and therefore whether her ex-manager is due further royalties. Cardi B accused her former manager of “deceitful and disloyal conduct” and of pressuring her into signing “grossly unfair” contracts. A rep for her ex-manager said that the rapper’s legal filing contained “outright lies and distortions”. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• VMS Live announced a deal with the University Of Exeter Students Guild [INFO]
• High Time Records extended its alliance with Warner’s ADA [INFO]
• Universal Music announced an extended deal with The Rolling Stones [INFO]
• Big Scary Monsters signed We Were Promised Jetpack [INFO]
• AWAL signed Austin Burke [INFO]
• Universal Music Germany’s Vertigo signed Within Temptation [INFO]
• Reservoir signed Liza Owen [INFO]

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