Business News Week In Five

CMU Digest – 23 Nov 2012

By | Published on Friday 23 November 2012


The five biggest stories in the music business this week…

01: A steering group was set up to work on Richard Hooper’s copyright hub, and other proposals set out in his ‘Copyright Works’ document focusing on making the licensing of copyright works simpler. Hooper’s report followed the Ian Hargreaves copyright review for the UK government, and fleshed out that review’s proposal the some kind of digital rights exchange should be set up to aid in the licensing process. The steering group will be led and funded by the content and creative industries, with collecting society PRS For Music representing the music sector. CMU reportM magazine report

02: There was more chatter about VAT-dodging online CD sellers, after The Guardian revealed that The Hut was now using a warehouse in Chicago, seemingly to benefit from the tax relief that occurs when low-cost goods are sold from outside the EU into the UK. It means The Hut does not need to charge VAT on CDs or DVDs, giving it a 20% advantage over mainland sellers. Lots of mail-order operations exploited that tax dodge from the Channel Islands until earlier this year, when the UK government removed LVCR on products coming from the islands, on the basis that rampant use of the tax relief to gain competitive advantage was an abuse of the system. One of the lobby groups that campaigned against LVCR abuse in the English Channel admitted this week that some operators are finding other ways of avoiding paying tax, but predicted that most alternative methods would be stopped by the authorities in due course too. CMU reportThe Guardian report

03: The all new MySpace preview was positively received, but leaked business plan slides less so. The current owners of the one time uber social network demoed their new platform to journalists, revealing a totally rebuilt funky site based around artist profiles and a streaming music service, offering improved stats and analytics to participating creators. The critical response was good, though when slides designed for possible new investors in MySpace were leaked some questioned the ambitious growth projections of the site’s owners Specific Media, and the hope that, because a lot of the music played on MySpace is from unsigned bands who don’t have to be paid, its streaming music costs would be a lot less than those incurred by competitors Pandora, Spotify et al. Demo reportInvestor slides report

04: The Competition Commission issued a statement on Global’s Real/Smooth takeover as more execs left the formerly Guardian-owned radio firm. Unsurprisingly, the Commission said it was most interested in the impact Global Radio’s ownership of the Real and Smooth networks would have on the radio advertising market. Stakeholder views will be taken until 10 Dec, with a ruling expected by the end of March. Meanwhile more execs departed Real Radio as a result of the networking of more shows across the UK meaning less local programming is required. Statement reportDeparting execs report

05: Secondary ticketing was back in the spotlight after the Supreme Court ruled on a legal battle between the Rugby Football Union and Viagogo. The rugby body wanted to know the identities of the people who had resold tickets to its games on the secondary ticketing site, because doing so breached the terms and conditions of the original ticket purchase, and they want to sue the resellers. Viagogo tried to resist handing over that info, but the Supreme Court said they had to. Though the secondary ticketing firm say that the ruling can only apply to legacy ticket resales, because new data protection technology further protects the identity of current sellers. CMU reportGuardian report

This week on CMU we interviewed former Books man Nick Zammuto, First Aid Kit put together and playlist, and CMU Editor Andy Malt examined new OfCom research into online content consumption. And over in the Approved column we had new music from Fiona Apple, Big Deal, Vessels and Albert.

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