CMU Digest

CMU Digest 27.02.17: Google, MegaUpload, safe harbours, O2, CD Baby, ReDigi

By | Published on Monday 27 February 2017


The key stories from the last seven days in the music business…

The UK divisions of Google and Microsoft’s Bing signed up to a new voluntary code of conduct in which they committed to be more proactive in removing links to copyright infringing content from their search engines. The code was negotiated with the record industry’s BPI, the movie industry’s MPA and the Alliance For IP, and is backed by the UK government. There had been moves to force such a commitment on the search giants via the Digital Economy Bill, which will now not happen. [READ MORE]

The High Court in New Zealand upheld a lower court ruling that said the former management of MegaUpload – including founder Kim Dotcom – can be extradited to face charges in the US courts. However, Dotcom welcomed the ruling because it confirmed extradition was not possible on copyright grounds alone, and was only being approved because of the prosecution’s claims of fraud against the former MegaUpload business. Dotcom hopes to disprove the fraud allegations on the next round of appeal. [READ MORE]

The deadline for phase two of the US Copyright Office’s review of safe harbours passed. Musician and producer T Bone Burnett was amongst those in the music community demanding the safe harbours in US copyright law be reformed, arguing that the loophole exploited by sites like YouTube had enabled business models “designed to scrape away value rather than fuel new creation, focused on taking rather than making”. Unsurprisingly tech giants like Google said the safe harbours should remain the way they are. [READ MORE]

Phone firm O2 signed on for another ten years of branding the former Millennium Dome site in East London. The deal with live major AEG means the entertainment complex will be known as The O2 for at least another decade. The tel co has had naming rights at the venue ever since AEG opened it in its current form in 2007 and, said the live firm, its brand partner had “become a significant and transformative force in the music business”. [READ MORE]

Distributor CD Baby apologised to its customers after database problems caused a four day outage, during which time artists and labels using the platform couldn’t upload new tracks or access stats. CEO Tracy Maddux explained that: “We took our servers offline for normal, scheduled maintenance [and] during that process, our database became corrupted and the initial database restoration failed”. The firm insisted no data had been lost or exposed during the outage. [READ MORE]

Defunct MP3 resale site ReDigi was back in the news when various third parties spoke out in support of the former service. Redigi lost a copyright infringement legal battle with Capitol Records and ultimately went bankrupt. But its owners are still appealing the original ruling against it, arguing that the first sale doctrine and fair use rules under US copyright law meant that their MP3 resale service did not infringe copyright. In amicus briefs to the appeals court, various libraries and law professors backed that viewpoint. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• PPL announced a new reciprocal deal with JAMMS in Jamaica [INFO]
• Pandora announced an alliance with UK advertising company A Million Ads [INFO]
• 7digital did a deal with in-car audio company DTS [INFO]
• HBO acquired the rights to the ‘David Bowie: The Last Five Years’ documentary [INFO]
• BMG signed Mando Diao [INFO]
• Sentric Music signed Doc Brown [INFO]

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