Business News Week In Five

CMU Digest – 23 Jun 2013

By | Published on Friday 21 June 2013


The five biggest stories in the music business this week…

01: A load of old MegaUpload data was deleted. Well, actually, it was deleted in February, but we only found out this week. The server firms that hosted the controversial file-transfer service have been left holding onto vast amounts of data ever since the US authorities shut the original Mega company down in January 2012.

MegaUpload’s lawyers have tried to persuade American prosecutors to free up some of the defunct company’s frozen assets to pay those server firms, or to fund a programme whereby former Mega users could reclaim any legitimate files they lost access to when the file-transfer platform suddenly went offline. But so far the American authorities have not played ball.

The most high profile of Mega’s former server providers, US-based Carpathia Hosting, is holding onto the old files at its own expense, but it turned out this week that the digital company’s European host, LeaseWeb, had already wiped the former Mega servers. MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom was not impressed. CMU reportTelegraph report

02: Daniel Loeb put more pressure on Sony to float its entertainment business. The boss of US investment fund Third Point, now a sizeable shareholder in Sony Corp, wants the Japanese conglom to spin-off its US-headquartered entertainment business and to sell a chunk of it. Loeb sent a new letter to the Sony top guard pushing for that move this week. He reckons such a development would free up cash to help fund the revival of Sony’s flagging consumer electronics business, and make the Sony film, music and TV companies more accountable to investors. CEO Kazuo Hirai confirmed at Sony Corp’s Annual General Meeting this week that the proposal is being considered. CMU report | Bloomberg report

03: European collecting societies announced a new alliance. The UK’s PRS, Sweden’s STIM and Germany’s GEMA will form a ‘licensing hub’ to make cross-border licensing simpler for digital players, and to account to music publishers and songwriters faster and more accurately. Or so the three rights bodies say. GEMA will also take a stake in PRS and STIM’s existing joint venture company, the International Copyright Enterprise. CMU report

04: vKontakte seemingly started removing music files. The Russian social network and Facebook rip off has been accused by both local and international music companies of facilitating the distribution of unlicensed music over its platform. It lost a legal battle with Russian music company SBA over the issue last year, and according to local media now seems to be removing music files uploading by its users. CMU report | Music Ally report

05: Global Radio confirmed it was appealing the Competition Commission ruling regarding its Real Smooth takeover. The Commission has told the radio giant that it must sell more of what was the Guardian Media Group’s radio company, which it acquired last year, than it will be allowed to keep, because of concerns that the takeover will reduce competition in local advertising markets. But Global confirmed it would appeal this week, arguing the Commission hadn’t done enough homework in its investigation, and had failed to prove the lessening in competition would be “substantial”. CMU report | Radio Today report

On CMU this week, we spoke to Electric Soft Parade’s Alex White, got a playlist from Is Tropical, and revisited some recent CMU approved artists. Newly approved, meanwhile, were Sonny And The Sunsets, Us Baby Bear Bones, MIA and Shigeto.

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