CMU Digest

CMU Digest 24.09.18: Spotify, MMA, Sony/ATV, Childish Gambino, Taylor Swift

By | Published on Monday 24 September 2018


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

Spotify unveiled a new tool that will allow artists to directly pump their music onto its servers. Once open to all, it will mean that artists can place their music on the streaming service and earn royalties without allying with a label or distributor. There was much debate on what impact developments like this could have on the music distribution sector and especially those distribution firms that focus on DIY artists. [READ MORE]

US Senate passed the Music Modernization Act. A last minute deal with satellite broadcaster Sirius XM, which had been pushing for further amendments, meant that the copyright reforming bill could be ‘hotlined’, with no senators objecting to it being passed in this way. The House Of Representatives must now approve amendments made in Senate before the act goes to the President for his signature. Once passed, it is hoped the new laws will help overcome various copyright issues in the digital music space, not least the payment of mechanical royalties to publishers and songwriters by streaming platforms. [READ MORE]

Sony/ATV chief Marty Bandier confirmed he will step down when his current contract comes up for renewal next spring. It is widely expected that he will be replaced at the top of the world’s biggest music publisher by his former colleague Jon Platt, who announced he was departing the top job at Warner/Chappell a few days earlier. [READ MORE]

Childish Gambino countersued Glassnote Recordings in an ongoing dispute over royalties. The main disagreement centres on the distribution of monies collected by US collecting society SoundExchange. Gambino’s deal was a 50/50 revenue share arrangement. SoundExchange already pays 50% of monies directly to the artist. But Gambino argues he is also due half of the 50% paid to Glassnote. The label sued him earlier this year and he has now filed both a response to that lawsuit and his own complaint. [READ MORE]

A song-theft lawsuit against Taylor Swift was re-filed with a US appeals court. Sean Hall and Nathan Butler accuse Swift of ripping off a 2001 song they wrote for 3LW called ‘Playas Gon Play’ on her 2014 hit ‘Shake It Off’. A judge previously dismissed the case on the basis that the two lines of lyrics allegedly infringed were too generic to enjoy copyright protection. But in their submission to the Ninth Circuit appeal court, Hall and Butler argue that the matter should have had proper court consideration in front of a jury. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Warner bought merch firm EMP Merchandising [INFO]

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