CMU Digest

CMU Digest 16.11.20: Twitch, COVID-19, festivals, Viagogo, Nirvana

By | Published on Monday 16 November 2020


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

Twitch published a blog post apologising to the streamers that use its platform about how it has handled recent copyright complaints from the music industry. The Amazon-owned livestreaming firm said that since May it has been receiving thousands of takedown requests a week from the record companies and has struggled to keep up. This had led to complaints from streamers regarding the a lack of information about and tools do deal with copyright complaints linked to their videos. Twitch also said it was in talks with the labels about getting licensing deals but that the licences currently available are not appropriate for its kind of service. [READ MORE]

The share prices of publicly listed live music companies spiked following the announcement that a COVID vaccine could be available before Christmas. Although there are still many months of uncertainty ahead, the positive news regarding the vaccine boosted optimism – both in the industry and among investors – that live entertainment might start to resume in a commercially viable way in 2021 rather than 2022. Live Nation’s Ticketmaster also talked up how its digital ticketing system could log who has had the vaccine, maybe allowing full capacity shows sooner. [READ MORE]

The UK Parliament’s culture select committee announced an inquiry into the music festival sector. It will consider the impact of COVID and a lost festival season on the companies and people that make music festivals happen. It will also look at recent trends in the festival market, how festivals can be more environmentally sustainable, and what strategies can reduce harm caused by drug use at music events. It’s the select committee’s second music-related inquiry, with MPs already investigating the economics of music streaming and how streaming income is shared. [READ MORE]

Viagogo made a new proposal to the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority in a bid to get approval from the regulator for its acquisition of StubHub. Although that acquisition was completed earlier this year, the two rival secondary ticketing companies are yet to properly merge because of the CMA’s concerns that a combined Viagogo/StubHub will totally dominate for-profit ticket resale in the UK. Viagogo’s latest proposal is that it sell off all but the North American StubHub business, with commitments that StubHub US and Canada would not target UK ticket sellers or buyers. [READ MORE]

Nirvana LLC sued a former Geffen Records Art Director over his claims he created the famous smiley face image that has appeared on the band’s merchandise since the early 1990s. Nirvana is already involved in a legal battle with fashion firm Marc Jacobs over t-shirts it sold featuring a reworked version of the smiley face. In its latest legal filing, Marc Jacobs said that it had discovered the band didn’t own the copyright in the original image because, while Nirvana LLC says Kurt Cobain created it, former Geffen exec Robert Fisher says he did. Nirvana LLC disputes those claims and is now suing Fisher seeking court confirmation that it is the copyright owner. [READ MORE]

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