CMU Digest

CMU Digest 20.04.20: UK Music, StubHub, Katy Perry, SGAE, Bonzo Dog Band

By | Published on Monday 20 April 2020

UK Music

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

UK Music called on the British government to deal with “alarming gaps” in its support measures for those affected by the COVID-19 shutdown – in particular self-employed people who pay themselves through small limited companies. Around 72% of people working in the music industry do so on a freelance basis and, although there is financial support for UK freelancers who have lost work as a result of COVID-19, it only applies to those who are registered as sole-traders with the tax authorities. [READ MORE]

The UK’s Competition & Markets Authority announced it was launching a phase one investigation into Viagogo’s acquisition of StubHub. The regulator first began looking into the deal last year but has now confirmed a formal investigation is underway. The CMA will consider whether the merger of the two remaining major ticket resale platforms in the UK poses any competition law issues. It will report back in June. [READ MORE]

The rapper Flame took his song-theft dispute with Katy Perry to the Ninth Circuit appeals court in the US. A jury last year concluded that Perry and her songwriting team infringed the copyright in his song ‘Joyful Noise’ when they wrote her hit ‘Dark Horse’. But the judge overseeing the case then set that ruling aside on the basis that arguments presented by Flame’s attorneys failed as a matter of law. He will now ask appeal judges in the Ninth Circuit court to reinstate the jury decision. [READ MORE]

The board of the controversial Spanish song rights collecting society SGAE pushed out its President, Pilar Jurado. Board members criticised her leadership approach and complained about a lack of transparency. Jurado had been trying to reform the structure and governance of SGAE which has been accused of incompetence and corruption for years, especially by global rights owners. The society was expelled from international collecting society organisation CISAC last year and is also under pressure from the Spanish government to reform. [READ MORE]

The surviving members of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band said they will campaign for a change to UK trademark law after a long-drawn out legal battle with a former business partner. That business partner trademarked the band’s logo in 2015 via a company he controlled. Band-members subsequently said he’d done so without their permission. Said trademark was ultimately invalidated, but getting that done pulled the band into a messy dispute before the Intellectual Property Office and then in the high court. They now say the law should provide protection to creators when third parties seek to trademark their brands. [READ MORE]

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