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RECAP: Artists Petition Against DMCA, Apple Slams YouTube, TuneCore & SOCAN Deliver Huge Payments

Posted by Glen Sears | June 20, 2016 9:30 am | No Comments

taylor-swift-press-photo-2016-billboard-1548

Story of the Week

Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney Among 180 Artists Signing Petition For Digital Copyright Reform
In an ad that will run Tuesday through Thursday in the Washington DC magazines Politico, The Hill, and Roll Call, 180 performers and songwriters are calling for reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which regulates copyright online. A range of big names from every genre signed the ad — from Taylor Swift to Sir Paul McCartney, Vince Gill to Vince Staples, Carole King to the Kings of Leon — as did 19 organizations and companies, including the major labels.

Artists are usually reluctant to get involved in copyright policy debates, but several signed an April 1 petition on the same topic. Like the petition many artists signed in 2012 against the Internet Radio Fairness act, which would have lowered online radio royalties, this represents a rare case in which most of the music business agrees on something.

Two other artists have been especially critical of YouTube. Trent Reznor, no stranger to technology given his role at Apple Music, told Billboard on June 13 that YouTube was “built on the backs of free, stolen content.” Nikki Sixx’ band Sixx:A.M. also wrote a detailed open letter to YouTube, appealing to Larry Page, chief executive of Google’s parent company Alphabet, to better compensate musicians. Last week, YouTube responded, in a statement to Music Business Worldwide that said “the voices of the artists are being heard.”

Read the entire story on Billboard.

Top Music News Stories

Apple Says YouTube Is “Built On the Backs of Free, Stolen Content.” “Personally, I find YouTube’s business to be very disingenuous. It is built on the backs of free, stolen content and that’s how they got that big. I think any free-tiered service is not fair. It’s making their numbers and getting them a big IPO and it is built on the back of my work and that of my peers. That’s how I feel about it. Strongly.”

Why Apple Music Matters So Much To Apple. Apple is building a new narrative for Wall Street that focuses on the revenue it generates from its existing customer base (in order to distract attention from slowing device sales). Apple Music is the proof of concept. If it gets Apple Music right it will demonstrate its ability to deliver on best-in-class digital services.

Twitter Makes A Massive $70 Million Investment In SoundCloud. Both companies could use some help—Twitter has been punished by Wall Street for its inability to add users at a rapid clip; SoundCloud’s flat valuation indicates that investors are also worried about its own growth prospects.

Rhapsody Rebrands As Napster But Promises ‘No Changes.’ “No changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists. Same music. Same service. Same price. 100% the music you love. Stay tuned!

Guvera $75M IPO Blocked By ASX, Future Of Music Streamer In Doubt. In an almost unprecedented move, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has rejected a $75 million IPO by international music streamer Guvera just one day after its was approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Federal Court Upholds FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules. The 2-1 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a win for the Obama administration, consumer groups, and content companies such as Netflix that want to prevent online content from being blocked or channeled into fast and slow lanes.

SOCAN Reports Record Figures For Canadian Creators In 2015. The PRO brought in $307.8 million in total domestic and international royalties, the first time in its history exceeding $300 million in total revenues from the performance of the music of its more than 135,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members.

TuneCore Artists Earned $42 Million Last Quarter, Up 16%. Revenue from music streaming services like Spotify, TIDAL, Deezer and Rhaposdy has grown significantly, according to the digital music distributor.

RIAA Writes to Judge About Controversial Ruling Over Remastered Sound Recordings. Despite the view that the RIAA might find the remastered ruling beneficial — some have even argued that remastered albums might allow record companies to avoid copyright termination — the recording industry’s top trade group appears to be siding with ABS in this fight.

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