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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 | 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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Tuncore Bats for NMPA, PRS and WMG Win Big, The War on YouTube Continues

Posted by Glen Sears | May 9, 2016 10:05 am | No Comments

Several American Dollars ripped or torn in half symbolizing the

Story of the Week

TuneCore Encourages Members To Opt-In To $25M Spotify NMPA Settement, Artist Advocates Cry Foul
Spotify and the NMPA are contacting artists and publishers encouraging them to sign on to the $25 million settlement they negotiated over unreported and unpaid royalties for unlicensed streams. This week, TuneCore reached out to the artists using their music publishing platform encouraging them to opt-in.

TuneCore sent an email this week to the tens of thousands of independent songwriters that use its Publishing Administration services, encouraging them to opt-in to a $25 million settlement with Spotify over the use of unlicensed tracks negotiated by the NMPA. The email has drawn fire from artists advocates including former TuneCore CEO and founder Jeff Price and musician David Lowery, who has filed a lawsuit against Spotify.

Musician and outspoken industry critic David Lowery, who has filed a lawsuit against Spotify and is seeking class action status to include other artists and publishers, is equally incensed.

Read the full story on Hypebot.

Top Music News Stories

PRS for Music Reports Record Revenues for 2015, Leaders Chide the ‘Value Gap.’ “It’s been an exceptional year for us, revenue was up in all our main revenue streams — online, international, public performance and broadcast — and the growth strategy that we have been pursuing for a number of years is now really beginning to pay off.”

Digital Music Firm Omnifone Placed Into Administration. B2B digital-music firm Omnifone has been placed into administration, resulting in the layoff of up to 70 staff as it seeks a buyer for the company’s technology assets—it is unclear at the present time what the administration means for their services.

Streaming Now Top Recorded Revenue Source for Warner Music. The label group’s streaming income has now overtaken both its physical revenues and its downloads sales – streaming actually overhauled the latter in the first quarter of 2015, so a year later it has now also surpassed physical.


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Old Music Is Selling More Than New Music. Nielsen’s latest music report is out and, as always, it’s very revealing about what we listen to in the U.S. Perhaps it’s biggest revelation is that, for the first time, old music (known as catalog sales) outsold new music in 2015.

Apple Music Reportedly Set for Major Overhaul. Apple is planning sweeping changes to its year-old music streaming service after the first iteration of the product was met with tepid reviews and several executives brought in to revive the company’s music strategy departed.

‘It’s a System That Is Rigged Against the Artists’: The War Against YouTube. Most label executives aren’t ­expecting YouTube to have a change of heart — they’re trying to change the law under which it operates.

vKontakte Launches A (Licensed!) Music-Streaming AppThe company has courted controversy – and lawsuits – within the music industry in the past with the widespread availability of user-uploaded copyrighted music on its platform — however, having signed agreements with Sony Music and Warner Music as well as some Russian publishers, vKontakte is trying to go legit.

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RECAP: David Lowery Motion Claims Songwriters Being “Misled”, TIDAL Gets Beyonce Exclusive, UMG Wins Big

Posted by Glen Sears | April 25, 2016 10:38 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

David Lowery Files Motion To Stop Spotify, NMPA From “Misleading” Songwriters
Songwriters are being “misled” by being encouraged to sign onto a settlement it made with the National Music Publishers Association, according to a motion filed by attorneys representing David Lowery, who is suing the music streamer for use of his songs without a license.

The NMPA and Spotify had reached a settlement for music publishers and songwriters to receive royalties for “unmatched” compositions used on Spotify in the U.S. from a $25 million fund. In addition to identifying the rightful recipients of the royalties, the agreement establishes a bonus compensation fund reported to add $5 million to the settlement.

According to the filings, Lowery’s team alleges that Spotify is misleading songwriters to encourage them to sign the NMPA brokered agreement. They are demanding copies of all communications between Spotify, publishers and songwriters related to the deal, along with additional payments for damages.

Read more on Hypebot.

Top Music News Stories

$84M Class Action Suit Filed Against Kanye West, Jay Z Over Tidal Album Release. A fan of Kanye West fan is suing the star and and the streaming music service Tidal saying that the falsely lured users into subscriptions based on the promise that it would be the exclusive outlet for his latest album, “The Life Of Pablo.”

Beyoncé Releases Surprise Album ‘Lemonade,’ Will Stream Exclusively On TIDAL Forever. Saturday night Beyoncé became the latest superstar TIDAL artist-owner to release their new album exclusively on the platform, following Kanye West and Rhianna–the much anticipated 12 track album sent fans into a frenzy on social media.

Universal Wins Big Ruling in Copyright Lawsuit Over In-Flight Music. Universal Music and Capitol Records have navigated the complexities of international air travel to score a summary judgment ruling that when it gets to a jury next month to decide damages, could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Compulsory Licenses Must Require Display Of Songwriter Credits.” Chris Castle argues that the U.S. government should require that digital music services provide proper attribution to songwriters when compulsory licenses relating to said artist are obtained.

Facebook Launches Its Version Of Content ID. Following complaints from content creators that their YouTube videos have been appearing on Facebook after being posted without the creator’s consent, the social network has released its own version of YouTube’s fabled Content ID.

YouTube Defends Content ID Following Music Labels’ Criticism. It represents the latest front in the war of words between YouTube and the music industry at a time when the service is preparing to negotiate new licensing deals – and also when reviews of safe-harbour legislation are underway on both sides of the Atlantic.

‘Alibaba Planet’ is China’s Latest Music Platform. “Music fans can use their smartphones to follow their favourite stars, participate in fan activities, purchase related merchandise and watch live shows of cyber celebrities and popular singers, in addition to listening to streaming songs,” says the internet giant.

Prince Fans Pay Tribute, Buying 1M Tracks, 240K Albums In U.S. On Day Of His Death. The unprecedented stats were compiled by BuzzAngle Music, a sales & streaming tracking service of music technology company Border City Media.

Rhapsody Names Its First-Ever CEO. Streaming service Rhapsody and its international version Napster have been operating without a full-time leader at the top, until now, as the Seattle-based parent company Rhapsody International has announced it has hired Mike Davis as the company’s new — and first — CEO.

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Recap: Spotify & NMPA Reach Settlement, Music Metadata and Streaming Focuses of SXSW

Posted by Glen Sears | March 21, 2016 9:49 am | No Comments

Spotify and NMPA reach $30M settlement

Story of the Week

Spotify and NMPA Reach $30 Million Settlement Agreement Over Unpaid Royalties
The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) has announced its successful brokering of a settlement between Spotify and its constituents over unmatched (songs that haven’t received payment because Spotify didn’t identify their publishers) and unpaid song royalties, a topic that has given rise to several legal cases against the streaming services over the past few months.

The settlement process will begin in early April with a three-month opt-in period that will allow NMPA members to participate in the disbursement of an estimated $30 million payout pool. The agreement covers the period between Spotify’s inception though June 30, 2017, with an automatic renewal period tacked on through for another 2 years, through June 30, 2019.

By claiming and proving ownership of songs in the unpaid and unmatched pool of songs, publishers will be paid their share from actual plays of those songs to be drawn from that $25 million. A portal for claimants will open following the conclusion of the opt-in period. In addition remuneration from their claims, publishers will receive further payment, based on each publisher’s estimated market share as calculated by the NMPA, from the $5 million penalty pool.

Finally, any funds left over from the pending and unmatched funding pools for each period will be divided among participating publishers based on their market share on Spotify during that royalty period.

Finish reading the story on Billboard…

Top Music News Stories

Songwriters And Publishers Should Think Twice Before Accepting Spotify’s Settlement. The law firm representing David Lowery in his class action suit against Spotify warns that “It is impossible to determine the true benefit to songwriters because the settlement negotiations between NMPA and Spotify have been conducted without Court oversight.”

Bad Data Is The Worm In The Streaming Music Apple. As one senior executive at one of the biggest global tech companies said, “We love rights fragmentation and complexity: it makes it really difficult for anyone without really deep pockets to compete with us in this market.”

Transparency and Data Problems Hotly Debated During First Week of SXSW 2016. The central issue at hand is incomplete metadata attached to song recordings that are licensed to digital distributors — missing publishing information, unclear songwriting splits and the outdated, overly complex system governing it.

Sony Paid $750 Million For Stake In Sony/ATV That Michael Jackson Aquired For $41.5 Million. Music publishing is still a hot sale target at impressive multiples—and if rate renegotiations continue trending upward and streaming issues get resolved, publishers could be worth even more.

At SXSW, Pragmatism Replaces Panic About Streaming Services. Labels are figuring out how to monetize their catalogs in new ways, and although there can be improvements in how royalties are collected and distributed, the problems don’t overshadow the fact that streaming’s prominent place in the industry has become settled law.

Apple Music, Dubset Partner to Stream Previously Unlicensed Remixes and DJ Mixes. Thousands upon thousands of cool mash-ups and hour-long mixes have effectively been pulled out of the underground and placed onto the world’s second-largest music subscription service.

SoundCloud Signs Deal with Holdout Major Sony Music. “We are very excited to be working with SME,” SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung writes in a statement, “and cannot wait to see what we can achieve together as we continue to transform the future of music online.”

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Judge Rules that ‘Happy Birthday’ Is Now Public Domain, and Last Week’s Top News

Posted by Glen Sears | September 28, 2015 12:57 pm | No Comments

medianet soundcheck music news happy birthday copyright

Story of the Week

‘Happy Birthday’ Song Copyright Ruled to Be Invalid
The world’s most popular English language song is potentially free from copyright after a federal judge ruled on Tuesday that filmmakers challenging Warner/Chappell Music’s hold on “Happy Birthday to You” should be granted summary judgment.

According to the opinion on Tuesday from U.S. District Judge George H. King, “Because Summy Co. never acquired the rights to the Happy Birthday lyrics, Defendants, as Summy Co.’s purported successors-in-interest, do not own a valid copyright in the Happy Birthday lyrics.”

Read more: http://bit.ly/1Wu1grw

Other Important Headlines

Pandora’s CEO Explains Why ‘Free’ Music Is Worth So Much… “All evidence indicates that the overwhelming majority of Americans cannot, or will not, pay a monthly subscription fee.” Read More

… And NMPA Head Says ‘Free’ May Work for Pandora But is Devastating to Songwriters – “Perhaps one of the reasons many Americans do not pay for music is because Pandora has told them they no longer need to, since Pandora expects songwriters to subsidize its business by paying them almost nothing.” Read More

RIAA Boss Speaks Out On Compulsory Licenses & Safe Harbors – “Government-set licensing has enabled services like Sirius XM to use music at below-market rates, based on a decades-old subsidy that has long outlived its purpose.” Read More

Deezer’s IPO Filing Shows Both Potential and Problems – Analysts believe the IPO will value the company at about €1 billion, but aren’t sure investors put money into a company that currently pays over three-quarters of its revenue to rights holders and doesn’t generate revenue on two out of five subscribers. Read More

Turns Out The Pirate Bay Servers Weren’t Seized After All – The headline grabbing server raid that preceding the Bay going offline last December didn’t actually affect any of their servers, with the authorities – deliberately or by mistake – taking machines hosting another piracy operation called EZTV. Read More

Apple Music Has 15M Users, 7.5M Ready To Pay – Around half of those who signed up for Apple Music have not turned off auto-pay, which means they’ll convert from free to paid customers on September 30th. Read More

TomorrowWorld Limits Day 3 Access After Heavy Rainfall Strands Thousands – “”Today, Sunday September 27, TomorrowWorld will be accessible only to visitors currently camping onsite at DreamVille. We take the safety of all of our visitors very seriously. The rainfall since Thursday resulted in limited capacity of festival parking fields, drop-off locations, and the shuttle system. Festivalgoers with day tickets, guest list tickets, and anyone not already camping at DreamVille will unfortunately not be able to access today’s events. Food and entertainment will be provided for the visitors already situated in DreamVille. The refund policy for affected visitors will be announced as soon as possible.” Read More

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