CMU Digest

CMU Digest 18.02.19: Copyright Directive, INgrooves, Kanye West, Michael Jackson, The Great Escape

By | Published on Monday 18 February 2019

European Commission

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

Representatives of the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Council agreed a final draft of the European Copyright Directive. The full EU Council and European Parliament must now vote on this final version of the long-in-development copyright reforms, which include the controversial safe harbour revamp that continues to be criticised by the tech sector. The music industry generally welcomed the last developments, including reps for the indie labels which previously expressed concern about the direction the directive had taken in recent weeks. [READ MORE]

Universal Music further boosted its label services business by announcing it was acquiring INgrooves. The mega-major already had a minority stake in the indie label distribution firm, having previously sold INgrooves its physical distribution company Fontana in 2012. All three majors have been growing their services businesses in recent years, providing distribution and marketing services to indie labels and self-releasing artists. Once the acquisition is complete, INgrooves will work alongside Universal’s existing services division Caroline. [READ MORE]

Kanye West was sued by the family of a child whose voice can be heard at the start of ‘Ultralight Beam’ on his ‘The Life Of Pablo’ album. The child’s adoptive parents are behind the litigation. West sampled the audio from an Instagram video posted by the child’s birth mother, who was subsequently approached by the rapper’s team about using the snippet. But the adoptive parents say the child’s mother was not empowered to grant permission for the audio to be used and, anyway, a promised written agreement was never sent through and no royalties have ever been paid. [READ MORE]

The Michael Jackson estate hit out at HBO over its new documentary that puts the focus on child abuse allegations made against the late king of pop. The estate had already criticised the new film, but in its letter to HBO CEO Richard Plepler it urged the broadcaster to cancel its plans to air the documentary. In the letter, the estate again criticised the approach of Dan Reed, who directed ‘Leaving Neverland’, and questioned the credibility of the two accusers who appear in the programme. HBO said it had no intention of changing its planned airdate. [READ MORE]

The initial line-up for the CMU+TGE conferences that will take place at this year’s Great Escape was announced. 40 speakers have been confirmed for the three full-day conferences which will put the spotlight on music education, digital dollars and music marketing. Organisations already represented on stage include all three majors, Believe, Fanbytes, FUGA, Live Nation, Merlin, Music Mark, Sentric Music, Songtrust, Urban Development and Youth Music. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Bauer announced a third local radio acquisition [INFO]
• NME announced an alliance with Dice [INFO]
• Sony’s Columbia Records signed Swedish House Mafia [INFO]
• Decca signed Clint Mansell [INFO]

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