Business News Week In Five

CMU Digest – 27 Sep 2013

By | Published on Friday 27 September 2013

Michael Jackson

The five biggest stories in the music business this week…

01: The final arguments were delivered in the Jacksons v AEG case, and yesterday the jury began their deliberations. In his closing remarks, AEG lawyer Marvin Putnam said that it was Michael Jackson who insisted on the appointment of Dr Conrad Murray, whose negligent treatment caused the singer’s death, adding that the star rejected proposals by AEG execs that they hire a British medic for his London residency and that he then deliberately kept secret the kind of dangerous treatment Murray was being asked to deliver.

But the Jacksons’ legal man Brian Panish said that, while the late king of pop may have played a role in creating the perfect storm that killed him, AEG was 80% to blame. If jurors agree with the latter lawyer, they’ll also have to decide on what damages AEG should pay. Panish told the court this week somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion would be fair, though Putnam said $21 million would be more appropriate. Panish’s closing arguments report | Putnam’s closing arguments report

02: A select committee hit out at Google over piracy. Parliament’s Culture, Media & Sport Committee said in a new report that the UK’s £36 billion a year creative industries were being threatened by a dilution of intellectual property rights. The report said that the government should get it’s arse into gear in enacting the long promised online piracy crackdown, while also treading carefully with its plans to introduce new copyright exceptions. The report also singled out big bad Google, stating that the web giant “has to stop feeding up unlicensed free content” through its search engine. CMU report | Register report

03: The Copyright Licensing Steering Group issued a progress report. The organisation launched on the back of Richard Hooper’s ‘Copyright Works’ paper is aiming to streamline, simplify and better explain the copyright licensing process. The report summarised developments in the Group’s first year in existence, including the launch of the pilot Copyright Hub, work on a Voluntary Code Of Practice for licensing bodies and the introduction of two new joint licences by the two music rights societies PRS and PPL, which are pretty modest steps, but the Group seemed please. CMU report | The CLSG report

04: The BBC/Eos dispute went before the Copyright Tribunal. Eos represents a body of Welsh-language music publishers and songwriters who withdrew their catalogues from the PRS For Music collecting society at the end of last year and are instead licensing them directly to the BBC, which has a use for such songs on its Welsh-language BBC Cymru service. After a six week period earlier this year during which the Beeb wasn’t able to play any of the music represented by Eos, an interim deal was reached whereby the broadcaster pays the rights body £120,000 a year. But Eos actually wants something closer to £1.5 million. With no agreement reached it is now for the Copyright Tribunal to decide on fair rates. CMU report | BBC report

05: Hard Rock confirmed it was ending its London festival. The company said it had enjoyed staging the Hard Rock Calling festival, but was now moving onto new projects. Hard Rock’s partner in the event, Live Nation, said it would now look for a new brand with which to stage a similar Calling event aimed at ageing rock fans. The festival this year moved to a new base at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, having previously been staged at Hyde Park. CMU report | Evening Standard report

On CMU this week we caught up with PRS For Music Foundation Executive Director Vanessa Reed about the Momentum Music Fund that was launched at The Great Escape back in May, plus Frankie Rose did us a lovely playlist and we revisited some past CMU Approved tracks. Newly approved were Hyperdub-signed producer Jessy Lanza, returning hip hop duo Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, the looptastic The Field and Cillian Murphy’s recent 6music mix.

Look out for a new look to your CMU Daily from Monday. The CMU Digest will be taking a short break, but will return bigger and better than ever in November.

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