MediaNet Blog

RECAP: MegaUpload’s RIAA & MPAA Lawsuits Frozen, MROs and PROs Had Big Year, Amazon To “Disrupt” Ticketing

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | November 28, 2016 9:24 am | No Comments

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Court Freezes MegaUpload’s MPAA and RIAA Lawsuits

Story of the Week
A federal court in Virginia has granted Megaupload’s request to place the cases filed by the music and movie companies on hold until April next year, while the criminal case remains pending. Meanwhile, Megaupload is “working hard to ensure that critical evidence on decaying hard drives is preserved.”

Last December a New Zealand District Court judge ruled that Kim Dotcom and his colleagues can be extradited to the United States to face criminal charges, a decision that was appealed earlier this year. While all parties await the outcome of this appeal, the criminal case in the United States remains pending. The same goes for the civil cases launched by the MPAA and RIAA in 2014.

Fearing that these might influence the criminal proceedings, Megaupload’s legal team previously managed to put these civil actions on hold, and this week another extension was granted. The downside of yet another delay is that the evidence remains at risk of being destroyed. Much of the Megaupload data is stored on hard drives, which according to hosting provider Cogent, are not in the best shape.

Read the full story on TorrentFreak.

Top Music News Stories

SoundExchange Paid Out $264m In Q3 – Its Biggest Quarter In Two Years. According to the US company’s latest data, it delivered $263.5m to labels and artists in the three months to end of September (Q3), up 29.2% on the previous year.

Music Rights Societies Collected €7.5 Billion Last Year, Says CISAC Report. “2015 saw an overall increase of 21.4% in our members’ collections from digital platforms and this is strongly encouraging. Yet, the share of digital income out of total royalties collected by our members is fairly low, at 7.2% only”.

CD Baby Acquires Show.co, Soundrop To Expand Artist Services. The deal continues a trend of established new music industry players including ReverbNation, PledgeMusic, TuneCore acquiring startups to expand their distribution offerings.

Amazon Planning To “Disrupt” Global Ticketing Industry. In one of the recent job postings, Amazon said it is looking to hire new employees “to develop our international expansion strategy for Europe and Asia.” The company has also been hiring Amazon Tickets employees at its headquarters in Seattle, potentially signaling plans for a U.S. ticketing business.

Black Friday Sparks Streaming Discount Deals. Spotify, Amazon, and Google have all launched new discount deals [paywall] which, while not all explicitly Black Friday branded, launched alongside the general shopping mania of the event.

Downtown Music CEO Sends Post-Election Letter To Staff. “As first steps, we are taking this opportunity to add volunteer hours, to be used at your discretion, alongside vacation, sick, and personal days. In addition, we are planning to ramp up the number of philanthropic and community building activities company-wide.”

Fidel Castro Dies: The Politics of Music Under the Cuban Leader’s Reign. Billboard writer Leila Cobo takes a deep look at the “often damaging, but also uplifting” impact Castro had on the Cuban music industry and its artists.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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RECAP: NMPA and Internet Assoc. Send Trump Wish-Lists, SACEM Helps Take Down What.CD, Streaming Trial-Hoppers

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | November 21, 2016 9:10 am | No Comments

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Music Publishers Send President-Elect Trump Their Wish List

Story of the Week
Many in the music community have argued that the Obama administration has a too cozy relationship with tech, particularly Google. David Israelite, who helms the National Music Publisher’s Association, hopes a Trump Oval Office could be more friendly to music rights holders than the Obama Administration, and laid out a wish list in a letter to the president-elect.

“Intellectual property has been the victim of increasing pressure by Internet and digital companies who want to make other people’s private property free. The ultimate victim will be the music itself, after all incentives to create have been removed. We can resist this trend by advocating for strong and fair copyright policies which are the bedrock of our great nation’s artistic tradition.”

“Songwriters are under attack by overregulation and degradation by Washington bureaucracy. We are hopeful that your administration is a sign of change for them – and that under your leadership they will be able to profit from the work they produce in a fair and free-market way, as other property owners do.”

Read the full letter on Hypebot.

Top Music News Stories

Tech Giants Send Trump a Roadmap on Copyright, Encryption, Net Neutrality. A trade group that represents Facebook, Google and Amazon also sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump on Monday that included a roadmap of key policy priorities covering topics like immigration and net neutrality, as well as copyright and patent reform.

U.S. Copyright Office Wants More Feedback On Safe Harbors. Announcing its second call for submissions, the U.S. Copyright Office wrote last week that this was “an opportunity for interested parties to reply or expand upon issues raised in written comments [previously] submitted and during the public roundtables held in May.”

Commercial Radio Group Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights. A group representing 10,000 commercial radio stations has filed a lawsuit against Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights, hoping to force the performance rights organization to submit to Department of Justice-controlled pricing, similar to other PROs like ASCAP and BMI.

SACEM Confirms Role In What.Cd Shutdown. According to the rights group, What.CD’s closure “puts an ends to activities estimated to cost music creators €41 million,” or roughly $43 million.

BMG Deepens Ties With Chinese E-Commerce Giant Alibaba. Included in the expanded agreement is a three-year extension of the two companies’ existing digital music distribution agreement that gives Alibaba’s digital music platforms Ali Music, Xiami, and Ali Planet access to BMG’s catalog.

Prince’s Estate Sues Roc Nation Over Tidal’s Claim on Streaming Rights. Roc Nation and Tidal believe that an arrangement with NPG dated Aug. 1, 2015 gave it the right to “exclusively stream [Prince’s] entire catalog of music, with limited exceptions,” which NPG alleges is not true.

More Than 25% Of Music Subscribers May Be ‘Trial Hoppers.’ In a new study MiDiA Research claims that more than a quarter of music subscribers hop from one trial to another with different email addresses.

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RECAP: DOJ Appeals Stanton BMI Decision, Cox Appeals BMG Verdict, Facebook Moves Toward Media

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | November 14, 2016 9:23 am | No Comments

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Dept. of Justice Appeals BMI Consent Decree Decision

Story of the Week
The Department of Justice has filed a notice that it is appealing a September ruling by federal Judge Louis Stanton that concluded fractional licensing is allowed under the BMI consent decree. This appeal, which was expected, comes after the Judge KO’d the DOJ’s interpretation that the consent decree requires 100 percent licensing, AKA full-works licensing.

“While we hoped the DOJ would accept Judge Stanton’s decision, we are not surprised it chose to file an appeal,” BMI president/CEO Mike O’Neill said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that the DOJ continues to fight for an interpretation of BMI’s consent decree that is at odds with hundreds of thousands of songwriters and composers, the country’s two largest performing rights organizations, numerous publishers and members of the music community, members of Congress, a U.S. Governor, the U.S. Copyright Office and, in Judge Stanton, a federal judge.”

“We believe Judge Stanton’s decision is correct and look forward to defending our position in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.”

Read the full story on Billboard.

Top Music News Stories

Cox Communications Appeals Against $25m BMG Verdict. Cox has said it is entitled to a new trial against music publisher BMG Rights Management because of several errors by a federal judge in Virginia.

Amazon Music Unlimited lands in the UK, Germany, and Austria. One month after the new on-demand streaming service launched in the U.S. Amazon has brought the service to the U.K.; Germany and Austria are close behind.

Apple Aquires Tech, Talent Of Bankrupt Music Streamer Omnifone. According to sources from TechCrunch, Apple hired at least 16 employees and purchased select technology from Omnifone, an early player in streaming music services.

SoundCloud On Acquisition Talk: ‘There Is A Lot Of Interest In Us.’ “We are very determined that we are building a sustainable platform,” he said. “We are focused on the long game here and it has been a long time coming.”

Napster Posted A $1.6m Profit For Its Latest Quarter. Napster recorded a net profit of just over $1.6m in the third quarter of 2016, according to the financial results of RealNetworks, which has a 42% ownership stake in the music streamer.

“Facebook Is Finally Ready To Become A Media Company.” According to analyst Mark Mulligan, Facebook “is now about to start looking and behaving much more like a media company, but in doing so it will rewrite the rule book on what a media company is.”

Orlando Buys Pulse Nightclub, Plans to Turn It Into Memorial. “This location is now a permanent part of Orlando’s history, it’s the site of the most tragic event that has ever occurred in the City of Orlando. We want our entire community to be a part of this site.”

Finally last week, the music industry lost a major talent in Leonard Cohen. As a songwriter, poet, singer, and popular icon, Cohen contributed so much to our industry and will be remembered fondly in our hearts.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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RECAP: GEMA & YouTube Reach Deal, YouTube Red Struggles, Napster & Spotify Expand

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | November 7, 2016 9:39 am | No Comments

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GEMA Finally Loosens Its Grip on YouTube in Germany

Story of the Week
It’s been one of the biggest stand-offs in digital music history – but YouTube and German collection society GEMA have finally reached a licensing agreement. The deal means that scores of previously unlicensed – and therefore previously unavailable – music videos will now be playable in the region.

YouTube’s Head of International Music Partnerships, Christophe Muller said: “We’re committed to ensuring that writers, composers and publishers continue to be paid fairly, and that our users are able to enjoy their favorite songs and discover new music on the platform.
Read the details of the deal on Music Business Worldwide.

Top Music News Stories

Report Claims 1.5m Paying Subscribers For YouTube Red. The Verge claims, “According to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, YouTube Red had 1.5 million paying subscribers as of late summer, with another 1 million users signed up on a trial basis.”

Vimeo to Begin Offering Subscription Video Services. The company, which has long made money off of its premium subscription for video creators, now wants to create a consumer-facing subscription business.

Pan-European Licensing Hub ICE Signs Deal With SoundCloud. The deal follows a licensing agreement between SoundCloud and U.K. collecting society PRS for Music in December last year that brought an end to PRS’ suit against the Berlin-based startup over unpaid royalties.

Sony Sees Music Revenues Jump Thanks to Streaming. The company also writes that its acquisition of the other half of Sony/ATV from Michael Jackson’s estate was finalized last month, (September), for which it paid $750 million.

Napster Announces a Slate of Partnerships to Inflate Its User Base. The streaming service laid out its plans for partnering with Sprint, Virgin Mobile, airline Lufthansa, retailer Aldi, and Boost Mobile and increasing their number of monthly active users.

Spotify Acquires Subscriber Analytics Firm Preact. Preact is a four-year-old startup that utilizes machine learning and audience behavior metrics via social media to draw and retain subscribers.

Is Facebook The Musicians Friend Or A Massive Infringer? In this piece from Artist Rights Watch, Chris Castle dives into what he sees as the evils of Facebook’s copyright infringement; “After making itself what seems to be a necessary evil for artists, Facebook hides in plain sight while still avoiding proper licensing and evoking the DMCA.”

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