Business News Week In Five

CMU Digest – 6 Sep 2013

By | Published on Friday 6 September 2013

Ministry Of Sound

The five biggest stories in the music business this week…

01: Ministry Of Sound sued Spotify. The clubbing firm says that the streaming service has ignored its repeated requests to have user-playlists deleted that rip off the tracklistings of Ministry-curated compilation albums. If the case gets to court it will test whether or not copyright exists in curation. Some reckon that in principle there’s no reason why it shouldn’t, though extending copyright to playlists could have practical consequences. Ministry could also be in for a rough ride in PR terms as the dispute goes through the motions. CMU report | Guardian report

02: Irving Azoff announced a new venture. The former co-chief of Live Nation, who departed the live giant in the closing hours in 2012, confirmed he was launching a new JV with the Madison Square Garden Company, a long-term ally of Azoff which invested in his previous company, and offloaded its Live Nation shares after his departure from there. Azoff MSG Entertainment will have management, TV, branding and digital marketing divisions. Azoff will run the new private company, with the publicly listed MSG Co providing $125 million in funding, credit and some expertise. CMU reportBillboard story

03: BMG and Primary Wave announced a strategic alliance. Under the deal, the two companies will launch BMG/Primary Wave Artist Services, expanding BMG’s recorded-music strategy in North America (record company provides limited investment and lots of services, artist keeps rights). BMG also gets a stake in Primary Wave’s publishing catalogue as part of the deal, and will work with its new partner to exploit those songs. CMU reportFT report

04: The Competition Commission green-lighted AEG’s Wembley contract. As expected, in that it reconfirmed an initial report, the competition regulator said that it didn’t believe AEG taking over the management of Wembley Arena would result in “substantial lessening of competition” in the London live entertainment market. Some (mainly AEG competitors presumably) raised concerns that the live giant already operated the capital’s other main arena venue at The O2, as well as one of the key big theatre venues for comedy and music, the Hammersmith Apollo. CMU reportCompetition Commission statement

05: Kim Dotcom stood down from Mega, hit out at the police, and went a bit political. The Mega chief – dubbed the “chubby Che Guevara” by FAC’s Crispin Hunt at the BPI AGM this week – confirmed he was stepping down from day-to-day involvement in Mega, the cloud storage firm he launched in January, a year after the original MegaUpload was shut down by US authorities. He will now focus on other projects and legal battles, including his plan to sue New Zealand spy agency GCSB for breaching rules in monitoring his MegaUpload activity. That legal action, Dotcom’s reps said this week, is all the more important after police confirmed they would not prosecute the spies, despite confirming they broke rules. Meanwhile Dotcom also revealed this week plans to launch a political party in New Zealand. Step-down storyGCSB story

In CMU this week we prepped for the AIM Awards with a playlist and for next week’s Mercury shortlist announcement with an Editors’ Letter. We also spoke to MUSO founder Andy Chatterley about the business of monitoring and removing unlicensed content. A whole new season of CMU Insights training courses were announced, plus we approved of Karen O‘s contribution to the soundtrack of Spike Jonze’s new film, new pop wunderkind Altrego, ‘s new collaboration with Diplo, and jazz duo Satelliti.

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