CMU Digest

CMU Digest 17.06.19: MegaUpload, BOSS Act, Viagogo, Stairway To Heaven, Distrokid

By | Published on Monday 17 June 2019


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

The MegaUpload extradition case arrived in New Zealand’s Supreme Court. The US government is still trying to extradite Kim Dotcom et al to face charges of criminal copyright infringement over the file-transfer service they used to run, which the American authorities shut down in 2012. Reps for the US argued that – because MegaUpload bosses allegedly incentivised users to upload infringing content – they could not rely on safe harbour protection and had sufficiently conspired to defraud the entertainment industry to qualify for extradition under NZ’s treaty with America. [READ MORE]

New regulations were proposed in US Congress following an FTC organised debate on the state of the American ticketing market. The BOSS Act is a new version of legislation that has been proposed before in Washington. It would put new obligations on both primary and secondary ticketing sellers, especially in terms of transparency. The FTC event suggested most ticketing firms would back at least some of those new rules, especially regarding the declaration of all fees upfront. [READ MORE]

The MD of Viagogo insisted that the controversial secondary ticketing website would comply with UK consumer rights law “as soon as possible”. Cris Miller was talking to Sky News when he said that his company was working hard to meet the demands of the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority. The firm had previously insisted it was already compliant with the law when the CMA’s original deadline for meeting its demands passed in January. Responding to the numerous criticisms about the way his website confuses consumers, he again argued that Viagogo is a new business that is still learning, despite it having launched thirteen years ago. [READ MORE]

The Ninth Circuit appeals court in the US confirmed it would rehear the ‘Stairway To Heaven’ song theft case ‘en banc’. The appeals court previously over-turned the original ruling that said that Led Zeppelin had not infringed Randy Wolfe’s song ‘Taurus’ when they wrote ‘Stairway’. En banc hearings – where more judges participate – are unusual, and are generally only employed in important cases that pose significant questions of law. [READ MORE]

Distrokid announced an alliance with audio ID firm Audible Magic that will see the distributor put extra checks in place to stop people from uploading other people’s music to the streaming services via its platform. Unofficial uploads to the likes of Apple Music and Spotify are becoming more common. It’s important that Distrokid be seen to respond so that it can keep its preferred distributor status with both Apple Music and Spotify. And especially Spotify, as they are a shareholder in the distribution business, so it would be extra embarrassing if Distrokid’s status had to be downgraded. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• DEAG took a controlling stake in LiveStyle’s I-Motion [INFO]
• Concord Music Publishing acquired Sikorski Music Publishing [INFO]
• IMRO confirmed a direct partnership with ICE [INFO]
• CTM allied with Play-N-Skillz on a Latin office [INFO]
• Fuga signed Italian record label Planet Records [INFO]
• Hipgnosis signed Michael Knox and Sam Hollander [INFO]
• Universal’s Republic Records signed Anthony Ramos [INFO]
• Warner Chappell signed Turbo [INFO]
• Kobalt’s AWAL signed Angie McMahon [INFO]
• Reservoir signed A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie [INFO]
• Merge signed Torres [INFO]