CMU Digest

CMU Digest 17.09.18: Copyright Directive, Viagogo, MMA, Troy Carter, Ja Rule

By | Published on Monday 17 September 2018

European Commission

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

The European Parliament voted in favour of the current draft of the European Copyright Directive. This included the music industry’s preferred version of article thirteen, which reforms the copyright safe harbour and increases the liabilities of user-upload platforms like YouTube. The vote followed a massive push by the music industry after an earlier vote in July went against the directive, in no small part because of criticism of article thirteen. The three key institutions of the EU – the Parliament, Commission and EU Council – must now all agree a final edit of the copyright reforms. [READ MORE]

Anti-ticket touting campaigners called on Google to stop taking Viagogo’s advertising money. Citing the UK Competition & Markets Authority’s legal action against the controversial secondary ticketing site, campaigners said that Viagogo was violating Google’s own rules, which insist that advertisers must adhere to local laws wherever they buy their way to the top of search results. The ticket resale company hit back, insisting its operations were legal, and saying it looked forward to resolving the CMA’s issues in court. [READ MORE]

The US music business hit out at satellite radio firm SiriusXM over its attempts to secure last minute amendments to the Music Modernization Act. Industry trade groups fear that the media firm’s late-in-the-day intervention could scupper the whole legislative package, which includes a number of crucial copyright reforms. Sirius argues that those reforms increase the unfair advantage already enjoyed by their AM/FM competitors. AM/FM radio stations in America currently pay no royalties to artists and labels, whereas satellite and online services do. [READ MORE]

Two of the US industry’s highest profile artist managers became embroiled in a legal battle. Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Management Holdings sued Troy Carter for allegedly defaulting on a $10 million loan. But Carter hit back in the press, saying that the dispute actually related to Ithaca’s purchase of his Atom Factory business in 2016, and his subsequent decision to buy it back. Carter then accused Braun of trying to “falsely ruin my reputation” with the litigation. [READ MORE]

Ja Rule sought to have himself removed from a class action in relation to the failed Fyre Festival. The supposedly luxurious music festival that collapsed just as it was getting underway last year was originally positioned as a joint venture between Ja Rule and supposed entrepreneur Billy McFarland. Which is why he is a defendant on some of the lawsuits that followed the event’s collapse. He is trying to have himself removed from one class action, telling a New York court that promoting the event on social media was not sufficient to hold him liable for failings of the festival’s actual management team. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• BMG bought LA-based hip hop label RBC Records [INFO]
• Warner Australia allied with Inertia Music on physical distribution [INFO]
• Modern Sky Entertainment formed a JV with DJ Yousef’s Circus Recordings [INFO]
• [PIAS] signed a global digital distribution deal with LSO Live [INFO]
• Kobalt’s AWAL signed a new deal with The Night Café [INFO]
• Spotify signed up to use Neilsen’s Brand Effect analytics platform [INFO]

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