CMU Digest

CMU Digest 17.12.18: Tencent, Article Thirteen, Blurred Lines, Kraftwerk, Ticketmaster

By | Published on Monday 17 December 2018


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

The Tencent Music IPO went ahead at the bottom end of the expected price bracket. The music division of Chinese web giant Tencent became a standalone business on the New York Stock Exchange with a market cap valuation of about $21.3 billion. The IPO raised $1.1 billion, a significant figure, but somewhat less than predicted earlier this year. Shortly before the IPO the company denied allegations of fraud made against its co-President Guomin Xie by a previous investor in another Chinese digital music firm that merged with Tencent Music in 2016. [READ MORE]

Further talks took place in Strasbourg to try and agree a final version of the European Copyright Directive. No agreement was reached, with the music industry-backed safe harbour reforming article thirteen still proving to be very controversial indeed. Meanwhile trade groups for the music industry expressed concerns that last minute compromises on article thirteen could actually leave the music community worse off. [READ MORE]

The long running ‘Blurred Lines’ song-theft case came to a close. Having failed to have the ruling against them overturned on appeal, the deadline passed for Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to apply to have the case heard by the US Supreme Court. It means the original 2015 ruling that they infringed Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got To Give It Up’ on their 2013 hit stands. They will now have to pay damages of nearly $5 million, plus 50% of all future ‘Blurred Lines’ royalties will go the Gaye Estate. [READ MORE]

The EU Advocate General ruled that uncleared samples of sound recordings are copyright infringement, however short. He was responding to questions raised by the German courts in the long running dispute between Kraftwerk and rapper Moses Pelham, who sampled the former’s ‘Metal On Metal’ without permission. AG Maciej Szpunar said that while a few lyrics or musical notes taken in isolation might not be protected by copyright, the same does not apply when it is the recording that is sampled. And while that hasn’t always been the conclusion in US sampling cases, he said that American and European law were sufficiently different in this regard for that not to matter. [READ MORE]

Ticketmaster put the promised price-capped resale functionality live on its main ticketing site in the UK. The new functionality, which allows people to resell tickets they can no longer use at face value plus an admin fee, has been added after the Live Nation company shut down its European secondary ticketing websites Seatwave and Get Me In! It means Live Nation no longer provides services for ticket touts in Europe. Said services had been much criticised by those in the music industry who support a clamp down on industrial level online touting. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Live Nation announced an alliance with Elvis Presley Enterprises [INFO]
• Apple confirmed it had bought London-based artist services company Platoon [INFO]
• Collecting societies PPL and SAMI announced an alliance with Auddly [INFO]
• Sony/ATV extended its deal with Swedish songwriter Noonie Bao [INFO]

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