CMU Digest

CMU Digest 30.09.19: Led Zeppelin, Robert Fripp, IFPI, WME, The Clash

By | Published on Monday 30 September 2019

Led Zeppelin

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

The ‘Stairway To Heaven’ song-theft lawsuit returned to the Ninth Circuit appeals court in the US, which previously overturned a lower court’s ruling that rejected claims that the Led Zeppelin song ripped off an earlier work by Randy Wolfe. The Ninth Circuit is reconsidering the case, this time with more judges involved. There were tough questions in particular for legal reps of the Wolfe estate, especially regarding some of the copyright law technicalities at the heart of the dispute. We now await a new judgement, though it definitely felt like things went more in Led Zepp’s favour this time round. [READ MORE]

Robert Fripp went public over his dispute with the David Bowie estate and collecting society PPL regarding his status on some Bowie tracks he played guitar on. Fripp argues that he should be classified as a featured artist rather than session musician on the tracks, which would likely increase his share of any monies PPL collects in relation to the records. He doesn’t qualify under PPL’s official definition of featured artist, which is currently linked to either an artist’s billing on the record or their contractural relationship with the label. However, Fripp says that for older tracks there should be more flexibility, because in the past it wasn’t the norm to give guest featured artists formal billing. [READ MORE]

The IFPI published its latest ‘Music Listening’ report. The trends it documented were unsurprising with the uptake of streaming services and use of smart speakers on the up, though it also confirmed radio is still a key platform via which people continue to consume music. Of the 34,000 internet users surveyed across 21 different countries, 64% had listened to music through an audio streaming service in the last month. But the most used device for accessing music remained the radio set, plus many respondents said they also accessed radio services via their smartphone. [READ MORE]

The company that owns booking agency WME confirmed it was postponing its Initial Public Offering. Endeavour, which owns a portfolio of companies across the entertainment sector, announced its plans to IPO back in May, with a listing expected this month. As the IPO approached Endeavor scaled back its flotation, reducing the number of shares it planned to offer and their price range. Then it announced that the IPO was on hold, stating that it “will continue to evaluate the timing for the proposed offering as market conditions develop”. [READ MORE]

The company that controls the trademarks of the band The Clash sued US-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co over its range of tennis rackets that are named Clash. The band’s company, Dorisimo Limited, argues that consumers might believe that the Clash rackets are endorsed by the band. It points out that The Clash has an official alliance with Converse, so the band’s brand has been previously used in the sports domain. Plus the punk band’s music has been licensed to sporting events including Wimbledon. Wilson is yet to respond. [READ MORE]

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | | |