Business News Week In Five

CMU Digest – 19 Apr 2013

By | Published on Friday 19 April 2013


The five biggest stories in the music business this week…

01: A US judge upheld his original ruling in Viacom v YouTube. The MTV owner sued YouTube in 2007, claiming that the video sharing site was liable for copyright infringement for letting users upload Viacom owned content without permission. But YouTube claimed it was protected from liability by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act because it operates a takedown system allowing content owners to request user-uploaded videos they own be removed. And in 2010 a US court agreed. But last year an appeals court raised concerns about that ruling, and told judge Louis Stanton to have a rethink. Which he’s now done. Though he stands by his original ruling. Viacom plans to appeal again. CMU reportLA Times report

02: Twitter Music went live, providing a music discovery service built out of the We Are Hunted app the micro-blogging company bought last year. Users can basically get lists of recommended music based on what people are tweeting about. A lot of what the service does had previously been leaked, though in the end launch partners – which enable users to stream tracks being recommended – are iTunes, Spotify and Rdio, with SoundCloud, YouTube and VEVO, expected to be in there, not currently part of the mix. CMU reportTwitter blog

03: Reports suggested job losses are incoming at the all-new HMV. The Times said that a memo had gone out warning staff at the rescued entertainment retailer that up to 400 jobs will have to go as new owners Hilco work out how to make the HMV UK business a going concern. The new job losses will affect all roles in the firm’s remaining 141 stores. Hilco took HMV out of administration earlier this month in a deal thought to be worth £50 million. CMU report | Times report

04: PRS and MCPS restructured their alliance. The two collecting societies, which both represent music publishing rights, one in the performance space, the other when licensees want to make mechanical copies of songs, have had an alliance since 1997. And since 2009 their affairs have gone through one co-owned company called PRS For Music, though the two bodies remained seperate with their own boards. Since then MCPS, which has always generated most of its revenue from labels who need mechanical copy licence when releasing records, has seen its revenue slump as the record industry shrinks, while PRS has concurrently grown its income, something which has created a number of issues. In the latest move to allow MCPS “to operate more efficiently”, the body will sell its stake in PRS For Music to PRS, and then hire the company to administrate MCPS member rights, but as a customer of the business rather than a shareholder. Although a significant change, it shouldn’t affect PRS For Music staffers or licensees in any major way. CMU report

05: The Hives were ordered to pay back £1.8 million to The Cardigans that they didn’t realise they’d borrowed. The two Swedish bands both had their finances managed by a company called Tambourine Studios which, it transpired, had routinely moved money between the accounts of the acts it represented for cash flow purposes. Which is how it came to be that The Cardigans reckoned The Hives owed then £1.8 million, and a Swedish court this week agreed. But The Hives, who plan to appeal, say that they were never told about the cash transfers, that they are yet to see full accounts that show where exactly transfers into their account came from, and that they don’t want to pay any interest on loans they never knew they were receiving. CMU reportBeef Of The Week report

This week in CMU we chatted to Scroobius Pip about his new Xfm show, Josh Kumra did us a playlist, Eddy TM reported on an exiting new arty project he’s been involved in, and CMU Editor Andy Malt shared some thoughts on the ‘Ding Dong’ chart race. We made a barrage of new Great Escape convention announcements, including Merlin boss Charles Caldas keynoting and Everything Everything in conversation with John Kennedy. Meanwhile approved were Sibille Attar, Dirty Beaches and Hookworms.

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