CMU Digest

CMU Digest 21.10.19: Vivendi, Atlantic, Chuck D, MegaUpload, Internet Infrastructure Coalition

By | Published on Monday 21 October 2019


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

Vivendi confirmed that it is in talks with other parties about buying a slice of Universal Music, in addition to Tencent. The latter is set to buy 10% of the music major with an option to buy another 10% down the line. After updating investors on its ongoing talks with the Chinese web giant, Vivendi added that other companies “have already expressed an interest in investing at a similar price-level”. [READ MORE]

The boss of Warner’s Atlantic UK division suddenly departed the major because of ongoing gossiping about a costume he wore at a party seven years ago. In a memo, Ben Cook explained how he dressed as a member of Run DMC at that party intending to honour one of his musical heroes, but that “I recognise my appearance was offensive and I made a terrible mistake”. Having been formally disciplined by Warner in relation to the incident last year, Cook said he had decided to stand down because further allegations – “many of which are simply untrue” – had been subsequently made against him and the company he works for. [READ MORE]

Chuck D filed litigation against his long-time music publisher Reach Global Music, the legal dispute between the rapper and the music firm having been first revealed back in August. The Public Enemy founder accuses Reach Global of taking ownership of the copyright in his work without his permission and of filing false registrations with the US Copyright Office to that effect. He wants those registrations revoked, allegedly misappropriated royalties returned and damages. [READ MORE]

The civil lawsuits against one-time file-transfer platform MegaUpload were postponed yet again. The US music and movie industries sued MegaUpload shortly after the American authorities shut down the business on copyright infringement grounds in 2012. But the lawsuits have been repeatedly put on ice because everyone agrees that it makes sense for the criminal case against MegaUpload and its former management to go through the motions before the civil lawsuits are heard in court. The criminal case is still stuck at the extradition stage, as US authorities attempt to get the MegaUpload team extradited from New Zealand to the States. [READ MORE]

An organisation called the Internet Infrastructure Coalition urged the US Trade Representative to better define a ‘notorious piracy market’. The USTR puts together an annual report on copyright infringing websites and companies to inform trade talks between America and other countries. The net sector trade group isn’t happy that copyright owners often list its members – such as internet services outfit Cloudflare – in their submissions to the USTR’s report. It argues that the government department should better distinguish between actual piracy operations and the otherwise legit internet companies who the pirates may seek services from. [READ MORE]

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | | |