CMU Digest

CMU Digest 20.08.18: Ticketmaster, Viagogo, Warner, Disney, IMPALA

By | Published on Monday 20 August 2018


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

Ticketmaster UK announced that it will shut down its secondary ticketing sites Get Me In! and Seatwave this autumn. The latter operates in a number of European markets where it will also be wound down. Face value ticket resale will then be added to Ticketmaster’s main website. It’s a significant move that allies the Live Nation ticketing firm with the music industry’s campaign against ticket touting in Europe. In a blog post, Ticketmaster said “we’ve listened and we hear you: secondary sites just don’t cut it anymore”. [READ MORE]

The New Zealand Commerce Commission announced it was launching legal proceedings against secondary ticketing site Viagogo. After investigating the always controversial ticket resale business, the Commission said the firm had made a number of “false or misleading representations” and had an “unfair term” in its contract with buyers. It follows legal action by a similar regulatory body in Australia and plans by the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority to take Viagogo to court here. [READ MORE]

Warner/Chappell went legal against a US music publisher which claims to control outright works by the late songwriter Jimmy Van Heusen, who – among other things – wrote a number of Frank Sinatra’s hits. Bourne Co seemingly represents the Van Heusen estate’s share in those works, but now also says it controls at least some of the songs – previously published by Warner/Chappell – outright, because of a reversion right that existed in British copyright law until 1956. Warner disputes at least some of Bourne’s claims and also argues that any British reversion right can only apply in the UK and Canada. [READ MORE]

Disney responded to a copyright lawsuit filed by the Michael Jackson estate claiming protection under the First Amendment and the US principle of ‘fair use’. The estate sued over the use of various Jackson tracks and videos in a documentary about the late king of pop made by Disney subsidiary ABC. The broadcaster admits it used the clips without licence, but – as expected – argues that use of such material without licence is allowed in a documentary of this kind under US free speech and copyright laws. [READ MORE]

Pan-European indie label trade group IMPALA confirmed it had formally lodged concerns with the European Commission over Sony’s EMI deals. Sony is trying to take full control of the EMI Music Publishing company which it acquired with a group of other investors back in 2012. IMPALA says that Sony taking full control of the EMI songs catalogue would have a “seismic” impact on the music rights sector and therefore European competition regulators should block the transactions. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Live Nation confirmed it had bought MCD Productions [INFO]
• Australian collecting society APRA/AMCOS signed a deal with Facebook [INFO]
• Fullstream Agency took over Sony Music Finland’s booking agency roster [INFO]
• Deutsche Grammophon announced a partnership with Apple Music [INFO]
• Universal Music’s 10.22pm signed Lele Pons [INFO]
• Concord signed Alex Metric [INFO]
• Alcopop! Records signed Art Brut [INFO]

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