The Queen of Soul succeeds in obtaining a ban on ‘lost’ documentary
Contract , Copyright / October 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT / CONTRACT Film & TV, performers     Aretha Franklin has been granted an injunction against the premiere of the movie Amazing Grace as Telluride Film Festival, on the basis that the film violates her right to her own name and likeness, invades her privacy abd interferes with her contractual right of approval. The film,  “Amazing Grace”, documents Franklin recording the live gospel album of the same name recorded at the New Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles in 1972, with Rolling Stone Mick Jagger one of many stars in rhe audience. Aretha was backed up by a gospel choir and the recording is the best selling gosepl album of all time in the USA. At the time a technical error meant that the sound was never synchronised with the film’s images as the film’s director, Sydney Pollack, who collected over 20 hours of footage, failed to bring along the equipment that would allow him to synchronize the sound to the live pictures. The (silent) movie then sat for decades in a vault unseen, until  it was completed recently by Alan Elliot.  Pollack died in 2008. Franklin sued Elliott in 2011 in a bid to stop the documentary ever being made public. The…

EMI production Music launch Song Sample Amnesty
Copyright , Music Publishing / October 2015
EU
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, music publishing   The EMI Production Music catalogue, which contains thousands of tracks, spanning every genre of music, and which over the years have been sampled by artists including Jay Z, Mark Ronson, Nelly and Fatboy Slim, has set up a unique “sample amnesty”: Anyone who has sampled a song in the catalogue without getting the sample cleared will be able to come forward, declare it, and agree a legitimate release for the recording. The “sample amnesty”, believed to be the first of its kind, will run for 6 months, has been approved by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which owns EMI Music Publishing. Alex Black, EMI Production Music Global Director said “We’re offering those labels and artists the chance to legitimise their master recordings. We will not seek past royalties from the songs created before the amnesty and we will set up a licence going forward on sensible commercial terms.” adding “The artists can then licence their tracks for advertising for adverts and soundtracks without the fear that EMI will come knocking at the door. The original composer of the source work will get recognition. It works for everybody so we’re hoping that people will come forward with something…

Liverpool man arrested in Top 40 raid
Copyright / October 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Recorded music   Detectives from the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) have arrested a Liverpool man on suspicion of illegally and regularly distributing the UK’s top 40 music singles on the internet. In a statement, PIPCU estimated the man’s actions ‘could be costing the music industry millions of pounds and depriving the rightful creators of the content’. The arrest came after a joint investigation with the PRS for Music. Police from PIPCU supported by officers from Merseyside Police arrested the 38-year-old at his home in Everton  before taking him to a local police station for questioning. Police seized several computers and mobile devices. The man is believed to have been illegally uploading the UK Official Top 40 Singles to various torrent sites on a weekly basis as they are published by the Official Charts Company, and PIPCU said he is ‘believed to have been generating significant advertising revenue’ through his own ad funded websites and other digital channels.   City of London Police Detective Inspector, Mick Dodge, said: “Today’s operation in Liverpool demonstrates how PIPCU are prepared to travel nationwide in the pursuit of those suspected of being involved in the illegal distribution of content online” adding “This is a crime…

Prison Office admits to George Michael leaks
Criminal Law / October 2015
UK

CRIMINAL Performers     A former prison officer has been told that a prison sentence is “inevitable” after she was found guilty of selling information about George Michael’s 2010 jail term in Highpoint Prison in 2010  led to five stories in the Sun.   Amanda Watts, who was arrested under Operation Elveden, pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in public office. She sold information to The Sun for which she was paid £2,100. She was bailed pending sentencing next month. The BBC reports that Judge John Bevan QC told her: “You should understand the fact I’m bailing you until [16 Oct] to enable you to make appropriate arrangements. A prison sentence is inevitable. I’m sure you understand”. Michael spent four weeks (of an eight week sentence) in custody in 2010 after crashing his car into a branch of Snappy Snaps while under the influence of cannabis. Initially sent to Pentonville Prison, he was later moved to Highpoint Prison, which is where Watts was then working. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34314806

Insane Clown Posse battle with the FBI back on
Live Events / October 2015
USA

DISCRIMINATION Performers     Insane Clown Posse have scored a court win in their ongoing litigation against the FBI, after the appeals court reinstated their U.S. legal action which was dismissed last year. Rappers Insane Clown Posse, aka hip hop duo Violent J and Shggy 2 Dope, filed a lawsuit against the US Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2014, over a report which labelled their fans as ‘gang members’ and  announced that they had gained support for their legal action against the FBI from civil rights organisation the American Civil Liberties Union and law firm Miller Canfield.   The band’s fans, known as ‘Juggalos’, were referenced in the FBI’s ‘National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends’ report in 2011, which said: “The Juggalos, a loosely-organised hybrid gang, are rapidly expanding into many US communities. Although recognised as a gang in only four states, many Juggalo subsets exhibit gang-like behaviour and engage in criminal activity and violence – law enforcement officials in at least 21 states have identified criminal Juggalo subsets”. The case was dismissed after the US Department Of Justice argued that the FBI cannot be held responsible for how information in any of its reports is used…

Hugo Boss £1.2 million fine a timely reminder of health & safety penalties
Health & Safety , Live Events / October 2015
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   Designer clothing company Hugo Boss has been fined £1.2m after the death of a young boy who was crushed by a mirror at its Bicester Village store. Austen Harrison, four, suffered fatal head injuries at the Oxfordshire outlet store in June 2013. Austen, from Crawley, West Sussex, had been playing with the steel-framed fitting-room mirror, described as being balanced upright like a “domino piece”, when it toppled on to him while his father tried on a suit. The ‘pop up’ store had been quickly converted from its previous user to house the Hugo Boss outlet. Monthly health and safety checks were not undertaken. Oxford Crown Court heard the 2,1 metre high 19 stone mirror had “negligently been left free-standing without any fixings”. An inquest at Oxford Coroners’s Court had earlier found that the mirror should have been fixed to a reinforced wall.  The Company had previously admitted offences under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Judge Peter Ross said  “it would have been obvious to the untrained eye” that the mirror posed a risk, and that “it was nothing short of…

Wine Bar fined £100,000 after liquid nitrogen drink destroyed a customer’s stomach
Health & Safety , Live Events / October 2015
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   A wine bar has been fined £100,000 after a woman drank a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen which caused so much damage she had to have her stomach removed. Gaby Scanlon, of Heysham, Lancashire, had been celebrating her 18th birthday in 2012 with friends at Oscar’s Wine Bar in Lancaster when she was given a free a Nitro-Jagermeister shot. As soon as she swallowed her drink she felt an explosion in her stomach  and a smoke like vapour came out of her nose. Ms Scanlon said she  felt her stomach expand.  The court heard Ms Scanlon was left close to death after drinking the drink which usually cost £3.95 shot. She was taken to Lancaster Royal Infirmary, where a CT scan found a large perforation in her stomach. Ms Scanlon, now 20, spent three weeks in hospital, undergoing surgery to remove her stomach and connect her oesophagus directly to her small bowel. Her solicitors told the court the experience, on 4 October 2012, had “completely changed” her life. She now suffers from “episodes of agonising pain”, has to avoid some foods and can no longer enjoy eating, they said. The Bar, which had opened…

Drone fine is welcome news for event safety
Health & Safety , Live Events / October 2015
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector     The danger of drones falling out of the sky (and things falling from drones) has recently begun to trouble event organisers – including sports events, outdoor music events and festivals. Now Nottingham based Nigel Wilson, 42, has been convicted flying unmanned devices over built-up public places, or without direct sight of the aircraft, which is prohibited under sections 166 and 167 of the Air Navigation Order 2009. Wilson flew drones over Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium during a match in September 2014, flying so close to the ground that police horses were “startled” and officers struggled to control them, according to a police statement. He also flew drones over Arsenal’s Emirates stadium in North London, Derby County’s iPro stadium, and Manchester City’s Etihad stadium, all on busy match days. After the Manchester incident, on the 18th October 2014 Wilson was arrested by Greater Manchester police. Wilson was bailed, but then arrested again by Metropolitan Police, who were carrying out an investigation with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), after it emerged he had also been flying drones over London landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the Shard, HMS Belfast and the Houses of Parliament. Westminster Magistrates Court…

Tennessee tries to ban handguns are popular events
Licensing , Live Events / October 2015
USA

LICENSING Live events sector     Americans shoot Americans and most Americans seem to accept this,  as the right to ‘bear arms’ (and thus allow these shootings of the innocent) trumps all. President Obama has expressed his frustration at this, and the appalling statistics on gun deaths in the USA need no more comment. There are the odd glimmers of hope and common sense. With some lack of clarity over whether those legally allowed to carry handguns can take them into sporting and entertainment events in public parks and other recreational facilities, a new bill in Tennessee aims to allow public concert venues and professional sports stadiums owned by local municipalities to be able to maintain a ban on guns at events. The measure would create an exemption to the “guns in parks” law for ticketed events at public parks and any site used by a professional sports team for training or games.  The Tennessean reports that State Senate Majority Leader Lee Harris, D-Memphis, said: “Allowing guns in areas with large crowds where alcohol is consumed is a recipe for disaster, and creates a grave danger for law enforcement officers, who might not be able to distinguish friendlies with a gun…

Class action filed in SFX share buy back debacle
Live Events / October 2015
USA

EXCHANGE AC Live events sector     A US law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against EDM promoter SFX on behalf of anyone who bought shares in the company between the 25th February and 17th August of this year. Abbey Spanier LLP, which specialises in class actions, alleges that SFX and its CEO Robert Sillerman made “materially false and misleading statements” in the first half of this year in relation to the latter’s much publicised plan to buy-back all the shares he doesn’t currently control in the business, taking the EDM powerhouse back into private ownership. Sillerman floated SFX in 2013 at a price of $13 per share, and indeed his buy-back plan, initially at $4.75 per share, was not well received by investors. A committee of independent directors at SFX approved the proposal after Sillerman improved his offer to $5.25 per share (which was then well above the share price of $3.13). However the SFX share price subsequently dropped, at one point hitting a low of just $1.94 cents: last month Sillerman admitted that he couldn’t raise enough finance to go through with the proposed deal and also had to make a public apology after SFX subsidiary…

Employees time travelling to work CAN be working time
Employment Law , Live Events / October 2015
EU
Spain

EMPLOYMENT LAW Live events sector     The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has decided that time spent travelling to and from work for non-office based employees must now be classed as working time in a decision that may have a significant impact under the Working Time Regulations and arguably could impact on minimum wages in the UK. The case centred on a Spanish company, Tyco, whose employees were required to travel between client premises installing and maintaining security equipment.  The employees then became home based after the closure of their office.  A dispute arose about whether the time spent travelling at the start and the end of their working day should be classed as ‘working time’. Previously under the Working Time Regulations it was considered that working time did not include travel to and from work. The company  argued that this remained the same even with the change to a home base, but employees disagreed, saying theior travel should be classed as working time. These journeys varied greatly, with occasions of up to 100km of travel,  and the employees wanted to be paid for this additional ‘time’. The Spanish Courts sought clarification on the term ‘working time’ in…

Koko triumphs in historic planning battle
Live Events / October 2015
UK

PLANNING Live events sector     A historic Camden nightspot has triumphed in a High Court battle to block plans to convert a neighbouring pub into flats after a judge ruled that councillors’ attention had not been drawn to the potential heritage impact of the development. Koko, located at 1A Camden High Street, appealed to the High Court after plans to turn the Hope and Anchor pub into eight flats were approved. The club and live venue’s owners, Obar Camden Ltd, emerged victorious after the court ruled councillors had been “significantly misled” by planning officers. The Hope & Anchor’s owner, Vidacraft Ltd, also planned to build a three-storey extension and either shops or estate agent’s offices on the ground floor. Camden Council had granted permission for the project on January 6th, but the ruling has now been quashed. Koko began life as The Camden Theatre and was opened on Boxing Day 1900. In 1909 the theatre was renamed The Camden Hippodrome and was a variety theatre where Charlie Chaplin regularly performed. The venue became a cinema in 1913 and in 1928 ‘Novelty Nights’ were introduced on Fridays with up to seven live acts appearing before a film was shown. In 1933…

Sony. Universal and CMRRA face Competition Tribunal hearing in Canada
Competition / October 2015
Canada

COMPETITION (ANTI-TRUST) Recorded music     A Canadian firm which had been releasing low cost CDs of public domain recordings by the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones, amongst others, is accusing two major record labels of using their clout and their combination of both recording and music copyrights to circumvent provisions of Canadian copyright law that had put some recordings by the Fab Four and others into the public domain. The term of copyright protection for sound recordings for Canada was extended from 50 years to 70 years this year. The extension was not applied retrospectively, so gives the extended term of protection to recordings from 1965 onwards. Now record label Stargrove has filed a 408 page complaint with the Canadian Competition Tribunal claiming market interference by the vertically integrated music giants, Universal and Sony, who have blocked releases of public domain sound recordings: It is alleged their publishing arms (for Sony this is Sony/ATV) instructed the local music collection society Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) to refuse mechanical licences for the compositions included in the recordings. The complaint says the refusal of licences means that rights holders are denying Stargrove mechanical licences on the usual trade…

PRS for Music announces signing of a new two year deal with Spotify for Europe
Copyright , Music Publishing / September 2015
Ireland
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, streaming     PRS for Music confirms it has agreed a new two year Europe wide multi-territory licensing deal with music streaming and subscription service, Spotify. Continuing the ongoing relationship between the pair, the recent deal allows the music streaming and subscription service to continue to offer its users a vast bundle of repertoire in the UK and Ireland (including repertoire from over 100 affiliated societies from around the globe), plus PRS for Music’s and Eire based IMRO’s direct members’ repertoire across Europe. The repertoire PRS for Music licenses to Spotify across Europe further includes musical works represented by a growing number of IMPEL publishers. IMPEL currently represents the rights of 40 leading independent publishers, a number that is anticipated to grow further before the end of the year.   Ben McEwen, PRS for Music’s Head of Online said: “We are excited to continue working with Spotify, a relationship that allows millions of users across the globe to enjoy our members’ repertoire. The prodigious growth of Spotify is helping to shape a strong future for dynamic, legitimate streaming services, and we support this thriving online market that recognises and remunerates the works of the creator.”   James…

Temporary increase in PRS TV admin rates to cover Copyright Tribunal reference by ITV
Copyright , Music Publishing / September 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, broadcasting     UK collection society PRS for Music have written to members explaining an increase in administration rates for TV collections to cover the expected cost of a Copyright Tribunal referral by ITV, one of the UK’s leading broadcasters and home to X-Factor, Coronation Street, Midsomer Murders and UEFA Cup football. Rates range from 12.5% for BBC collections to 16% for Channel 5, MTV and other satellite and cable channels. A peak hour’s one minute play on BBC1 would currently generate £90.35 for the rights holder, whereas on Channel 5 it would generate £11.95.  The letter reads:   “After careful consideration by the Executive Board, it has been agreed that there will be a temporary rise to our TV admin rates by an additional one percent for one year. This will be implemented to cover the expected costs associated with defending the recent Copyright Tribunal reference brought against PRS by the broadcaster ITV.   Following prolonged negotiations, ITV referred the new deal (covering broadcasts from 1 January 2015), to the Copyright Tribunal. This was due to disagreements over the details of our licence renewal. We feel it is vital that we fully participate and vigorously defend this referral…

AFM launches legal action to force digital pension payments from the major labels
Artists , Contract , Copyright / September 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT / CONTRACT Artistes, recorded music   The American Federation Of Musicians has launched a legal action against the three major record companies in the New York courts relating to an agreement between the majors and the AFM pension fund, in which the American branches of the record companies promised to pay 0.5% of all receipts from non-domestic digital transmissions of recordings into the fund. This agreement includes the ever growing monies from streaming, non-permanent downloads and ringbacks, and dates back to the 1990s – when such income was marginal. The AFM says that independent auditors have identified missing payments last year, but attempts to settle the matter directly have been unsuccessful. AFM International President Ray Hair says: “The record companies should stop playing games about their streaming revenue and pay musicians and their pension fund every dime that is owed. Fairness and transparency are severely lacking in this business. We are changing that”.

Warner’s will share SiriusXM settlement with artistes
Artists , Contract , Copyright / September 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT / CONTRACT Recorded music, artistes     The Warner Music Group has pledged to share its portion of a recent $210m Sirius XM settlement with its artists, paid via SoundExchange. The money is due to be paid to major labels plus ABKCO – the owner of classic Rolling Stones copyrights – by the US satellite/digital radio giant, Warners has said that it will share its portion of the proceeds with artists on the same basis as it usually shares royalties from Sirius, which means the cash will be paid to artists via SoundExchange. However, both what Warner’s share of the settlement actually is, and the share of that paid to artistes remains to be seen http://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/warner-well-share-sirius-xm-payout-artists-via-soundexchange/   And take a look at MMF Board Member Andy Edward’s blog “On a day-to-day level, many of us in the management world like and respect the individual label executives with whom we work; but a substantial overhaul of business practices at a corporate level is essential and not just in labels; PROs and publishers also need to change.” http://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/transparently-obvious-the-music-business-has-to-change/

Breakbeats – time to judge the beat that’s on the street
Copyright / September 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music     Producer Dr Luke is facing court over the use of a breakbeat in Jessie J’s ‘Price Tag’. If successful, the case could have serious implications for thousands of other artists and producers says The Hollywood Reporter. A breakbeat “is a portion of a percussion track played solo without other instruments. These have long been popular with producers because they can be sampled and looped to create new drum parts and “a staple in hip hop, electronic, funk, jazz and other musical genres”. Dr Luke is being sued over the alleged use of a popular breakbeat, taken from ‘Zimba Ku’ by Blackheat. New Old Music Group, which is owned by the writer of the 1975 track, Lenny Lee Goldsmith, sued the producer earlier this year claiming similarities between the Zimba Ku break and the drum part in ‘Price Tag’. In a ruling last week, a New York judge refused to dismiss New Old Music’s claim and proposed that the case should be put before a jury. Similarly to arguments raised in ongoing the “Blurred Lines” litigation, the producer’s lawyers have said that the drum part merely contains elements representative of a particular style. Judge Ronnie Abrams disagreed…

Mega lawyers argue that US Authorities should preserve and pay to keep blocked data
Copyright , Internet / September 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet   Lawyers for MegaUpload are asking the courts to ensure that the American government pays to preserve the servers that contain files once uploaded to the defunct file-transfer platform, so that the data stored on them can be kept as evidence, and be ultimately returned to the people who uploaded the content in the first place.   US authorities took controversial file-transfer set-up MegaUpload offline in 2012, at the same time charging its management with various crimes. Users of the service lost access to files they were storing on the company’s servers without warning and whilst it is alleged much of the material was infringing – much was also quite legitimate. MegaUpload server space was rented from other companies, and one server company in Europe, Leaseweb, then deleted the MegaUpload data it had stored. However, the biggest server firm, US-based Carpathia, is still storing its former MegaUpload files, not least because the American authorities said they might need access to them as part of the criminal investigation into the former file-transfer service and its management. Understandably, Carpathia, which was recently acquired by another company called QTS, is not keen on carrying on  covering the costs of storage. The server company…

PRS for Music begins legal action against SoundCloud
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / September 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet, music publishing   PRS for Music has written to it’s members saying it is beginning legal action against online music streaming platform SoundCloud after “five years of unsuccessful negotiations”. The PRS says: “SoundCloud actively promotes and shares music. Launched in 2008, the service now has more than 175m unique listeners per month. Unfortunately, the organisation continues to deny it needs a PRS for Music licence for its existing service available in the UK and Europe, meaning it is not remunerating our members when their music is streamed by the SoundCloud platform.”. The PRS letter goes on to say: “We have asked SoundCloud numerous times to recognise their responsibilities to take a licence to stop the infringement of our members’ copyrights but so far our requests have not been met. Therefore we now have no choice but to pursue the issue through the courts.” The letter explains that whilst SoundCloud has taken down some of PRS repertoire, a recent list of some 4,500 musical works which the PRS say were being made available on the service which they were asking SoundCloud to licence or remove resulted in this: “SoundCloud decided to respond to our claim by informing us that…

New South Korean licensing law puts venues at risk, and Prohibition era state laws ban alcohol at US event
Licensing , Live Events / September 2015
South Korea

LICENSING Live events sector     The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety was warned that venues risk being shut of they don’t apply for the correct licence. One high profile example is the Night & Music club in Hongdae and many other venues in that neighbourhood have an uncertain future due to a revised law that takes effect on February 19th, 2016. The new regulations include a clause on establishments which are registered as “ordinary restaurants”and which will ban customers from singing and dancing as well as the venue using a sound system. Previously, the law stated that restaurants can cook and sell food along with alcohol, but did not specifically state that singing or dancing was prohibited. To host singing and dancing, such establishments will have to register as “bars” under the new law, which is a more lengthy process with more restrictions on location,  and attracts a 30% uplift in tax. “The existing law did not include details on how to penalize those who violate business license regulations,” a ministry official said. “With the revision, local authorities will be able to better carry out the law and crack down on violators.” Under the revised law, a first-time violator will…

ICCMSS Board restructures as ICE, the Institute of Crowd Education
Health & Safety / September 2015
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector     The Board of the International Centre for Crowd Management & Security Studies (ICCMSS) will  re-launch the crowd safety centre this autumn as the Institute of Crowd Education (ICE). After two years of redevelopment ICE, will be launched to coincide with the Reeperbahn Festival in septeber and then Eurosonic/Noorderslag convention in early January. The Board has spent over two years redeveloping the brand, its strategy and focus. ICE is now ready to drive crowd education, research and training forward to a new level.   The Board, made up of the leading authorities on crowd safety and security in the UK and Europe, has carefully crafted the new institute to support those aspiring to make events safer. Many of those involved in the institute have been prime movers in the development of groundbreaking innovations across the crowded space environment. These include making safe major events hosting hundreds of thousands of people, solving complex problems at transport hubs across the world, the architectural development of new stadia and the delivery of safe public spaces.   The institute will be working with Universities across the world in the development of innovative practices to meet the increasingly…

Dr Dre and Ice Cube ask to removed from Suge Knight litigation
Liability / September 2015
USA

LIABILITY All areas     Dr Dre and Ice Cube have requested to be removed from civil lawsuit hat stemmed from the incident when one time Deathrow Records boss Suge Knight drove a vehicle into two men, killing one of them in January. Knight is also facing criminal charges in relation to the incident. It’s claimed he deliberately drove his pickup truck into Cle Sloan and Terry Carter, killing the latter, after an altercation outside a burger bar in LA. In the civil action filed  by Carter’s widow, it is stated that the altercation –began on a nearby film set where a commercial for the new NWA biopic ‘Straight Outta Compton’ was being filmed. Carter’s filing says that Sloan had been hired to recruit local gang members to participate in the film shoot, as extras and security. Both Dre and Cube were present at the filming, which caused problems when Knight – (who has long feuded with Dre) also showed up, seemingly to berate those working on the movie over his portrayal in the biopic. Dre then seemingly requested that Sloan remove Knight from the site, which resulted in a fracas that then continued a few miles away outside that burger bar. It is thought Carter…

Hendrix feud ends
Artists , Trade Mark / September 2015
USA

TRADE MARK Artistes   The family feud over the estate of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix has been settled – 45 years after it began. Hendrix’s adopted sister Janie Hendrix, and his brother Leon Hendrix, have reportedly reached an out of court agreement and according to The Seattle Times, the settlement includes past and futrure use of Hendrix’s name and image in merchandise such as posters and T-shirts. Experience Hendrix LLC owns the rights to the estate and is controlled by Janie Hendrix. Her company accused HendrixLicensing.com, operated by Leon Hendrix, of infringing their trademarks and other rights. http://news.sky.com/story/1536228/hendrix-estate-feud-settled-after-45-years

Stub-hub bring anti-trust suit against US basketball team
Competition , Live Events / September 2015
USA

COMPETITION / ANTI-TRUST Live events sector     In what could prove to be a landmark case in the sports ticket marketplace, StubHub filed a lawsuit against the Golden State Warriors and Ticketmaster in the northern district of California accusing the two of conspiring to create an illegal resale market. The U.S. basketball team have an alliance with Live Nation’s Ticketmaster, which is both the primary ticket seller for the team, and operates the Warriors’ official season ticket resale platform. In a Californian law suit, secondary re-seller StubHub, owned by e-Bay, has argued that this violates competition law, because Warriors fans can only buy tickets – whether through primary channels or on the resale market – via the Live Nation subsidiary. StubHub maintains that the Warriors and Ticketmaster have cancelled or threatened to cancel season-ticket packages if fans resell their tickets over secondary exchanges that compete with Ticketmaster’s. In response the Golden State Warriors said that its ticketing partnership in no way violated anti-trust rules because if customers didn’t want to buy tickets via a Ticketmaster platform, they could always go watch another basketball team play. According to Law 360, the Warriors wrote in their recent submission “Even a seller of a highly…

Apple Music and labels cleared of streaming market abuse by EU
Competition / September 2015
EU
USA

COMPETITION / ANTI-TRUST Recorded music, streaming   Re-Code reports that the European Commission failed to find evidence of collusion among the major music labels and Apple to quash free music streaming services such as those offered by Spotify. Investigators examined whether the labels conspired with one another or with Apple on Apple’s new streaming Apple Music service in a way that would damage rival services. The EU had questioned the three major labels — Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group — seeking details about their licensing discussions with Apple. The probe examined whether the music industry executives and Apple were working to stifle free offerings from services like Spotify, which uses its ad-supported service to entice listeners to buy a subscription. Spotify was under pressure by the major labels to move more of its listeners to its paid tier, though the pressure appears to have receded amid the inquiries. The EU will continue to monitor the market and investigators’ files will remain open as licensing talks continue between Spotify and some of the major labels Separately, the EU has asked Spotify and other music streaming services for information pertaining to Apple’s mobile App Store. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission similarly is…

19 adds the ‘Spotify shareholding’ to its battle with Sony Music
Artists , Contract , Copyright / August 2015
USA

CONTRACT / COPYRIGHT Recorded music, artistes     the lawsuits filed by 19 Management against Sony on behalf of former Pop Idols winners cover many of the usual areas where artists and labels fall out: the fees Sony charges as money moves around the company:  what happened to the cash Sony received from its LimeWire settlement, and the big ‘post-iTunes’ debate on sharing the digital pie’ : whether digital income should be treated as a ‘sale’ or a ‘licence’ (as artists usually gain a far larger share of the latter than the former which is still treated as a physical sale) In the latest development, 19 has amended its lawsuit to cover another contentious issue, the equity stakes Sony – and other labels – have in various streaming music start-ups, in particular Spotify – which could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars if and when the streaming firm floats. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the revised 19 lawsuit expresses the concern of many in the artist and management community that Sony took the equity stake, which it (arguably) doesn’t have to share with its artists, in return for accepting less favourable terms on royalty payments, a cut of which…

Sony says its Spotify position is all above board
Artists , Contract , Copyright , Record Labels / August 2015
USA

CONTRACT / COPYRIGHT Recorded Music, Artistes     Sony has responded to claims made by 19 Management that criticised a number of its business practices, and according to the Hollywood Reporter has said that “taking equity in Spotify, keeping advertising income and not sharing the spoils of piracy lawsuits is all proper”. This blogger feels many artistes may disagree and the stance taken by Sony, and their latest response may well reignite the argument that says the business practices of the major labels in the recorded music sector are now so artiste unfriendly, a fiduciary duty should be imposed on labels to ensure that when they are negotiating ‘on behalf’ of their artistes, they actually put the interests of their artistes first. Initially after details of the Sony-Spotify deal were leaked, both Sony, and subsequently Universal, was quick to point out that at least with the advances they have received from Spotify and other streaming services (the so called breakage), then of course they would share breakage with artists. So, labels are nice guys ……….But back to the current case: 19’s lawyers had said in filings that the majors had “significant power to exert control over Spotify in order to not…

Blackmore sues to share royalty settlement
Artists , Contract / August 2015
UK

CONTRACT Artistes   Former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore is suing two management companies for just over £750,000, claiming that he should have been included in a settlement reached with other members of the band over a decade ago. Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice sued HEC Enterprises and Deep Purple (Overseas) in 2003 over underpaid royalties, eventually reaching a settlement. Blackmore, who was a member of the band between 1968 and 1975, and again between 1984 and 1993, was not involved in that case. But heis now claiming that he is owed royalties on fourteen of the band’s albums, Blackmore says he has now audited the two companies audited to quantify his loss.   According to The Mail On Sunday, the guitarist is suing HEC Enterprises for £102,318, relating to claimed incorrect adjustments, for failing to report publishing income and for applying charges in excess of agreed limits.He also claims that Deep Purple (Overseas) owes him £607,797 for failing to report income, overcharging on fees, and using an incorrect exchange rates. He is also seeking £43,000 to cover the costs of auditing the two companies between 2007 and 2013. Blackmore’s lawsuit also reportedly claims that a former director…

Taylor Swift – The ‘godmother’ of pop?
Artists , Copyright / August 2015
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Artistes, photography   By George Chin.   Hot on the heels of Taylor Swift’s open letter to Apple on Sunday June 21st,2015 – UK music photographer Jason Sheldon published an open letter to Taylor Swift admonishing her for being hypocritical. In evidence, he published a 2011 Photography Agreement for photographers who were given access to photograph her during the first two songs on her concert dates on that tour. In a mild parody of her letter, he wrotes “…forgive me if I’m wrong, but if you take points 2 and 3 in that contract (which is provided to Photographers who need to agree to those terms before they are allowed to do their job in photographing you for editorial outlets), it appears to be a complete rights grab, and demands that you are granted free and unlimited use of our work, worldwide, in perpetuity.  You say in your letter to Apple that ‘Three months is a long time to go unpaid’.  But you seem happy to restrict us to being paid once, and never being able to earn from our work ever again, while granting you the rights to exploit our work for your benefit for all eternity….” A…

More photography issues with The Foo’s  demands
Artists , Copyright / August 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT Artistes, photography   By George Chin.   Before the dust has had time to settle on the Taylor Swift Authorization Form and the refusal of the Irish Times to publish photographs of her sold out arena show in Dublin on June 30, 2015 – today, July 3, 2015, the Washington City Paper (USA) have gone viral with an article headlined:  “Why we’re not photographing the Foo Fighters”.   On the same theme of Artist Photography Release Agreements, the paper hits the nail on the head by stating unequivocally that the Foo Fighters’ agreement “is exploitation of photographers, pure and simple. If a streaming music service tried to use the band’s music for free, they’d have none of it.”   When contacted by the paper, a spokesperson for the band’s management responded that these types of contracts are ‘standard’ and that they ‘protect the band’.  Photographers soberly refer to them ‘Rights Grab Agreements’.   Here it is, in full     I _______________________ (name of photographer) hereby agree to the following in favor of Foo Fighters (“you”) with respect to the photographs to be taken by me of the members of Foo Fighters(either as a group or as individuals) on the date referenced below (the “Photos”):…

Inflight gains extension in airline music battle with labels
Copyright / August 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music     A U.S. federal judge has given the Inflight music service for commercial airlines 20 more days to fight record companies’ claims of copyright infringement. Universal Music, Polygram and others issued proceedings against Global Eagle Entertainment (Inflight Productions) in May 2014, claiming it provided using music on airlines in the United States without licenses. The federal complaint claimed that Inflight had provided sound recordings and music videos for passenger airlines that infringed copyright. Inflight filed a counterclaim in March, claiming it had contacted Universal through a UK-based intellectual property rights consultant in 2009, to negotiate licenses for the United States to fill gaps in its “patchwork of licenses around the world.”  Inflight claims that the companies agreed to licensing terms, and told Inflight it could reproduce and distribute the sound recordings in the United States. Inflight say that the record companies were secretly intending to hold Inflight liable for using the recordings without a license and the counterclaim alleges that “Ignoring their own misrepresentations and concealments, Universal Music is now attempting to use ‘statutory damages’ under United States copyright law as a so-called Sword of Damocles to extract large sums of money,” Inflight also claims that Universal also interfered with its business…

Youtube partially triumph over GEMA – but needs to do more
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / August 2015
Germany
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, music publishing     Google has won a legal victory on over German performing rights society GEMA, which had sought to make the company’s video-sharing service YouTube pay each time users streamed music videos by artists it represents. A Munich court rejected GEMA’s demand that YouTube pay 0.375 euro cents ($0.004) per stream of certain videos. In its claim, GEMA had picked out a sample of 1,000 videos which it said would cost YouTube around 1.6 million euros. However the German regional court  ruled that Google’s video-sharing website YouTube must prevent users from posting material that infringes copyright law once such a video has been brought to its attention. “However, if such a service provider has been made aware of a clear violation of the law, it must not only remove the content, but also must take precautions to avoid further infringements of copyrights,” the court said in its ruling. Both sides had appealed an earlier 2012 ruling. “What obligations the service provider has in this context — in particular whether and to what extent it is obliged to block and then check and monitor the content uploaded to its platform — is determined by what it can reasonably be expected…

Rod in the dock over copying claim
Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   Rod Stewart  has been slapped with a copyright infringement lawsuit that claims he copied the song “Corrine, Corrina” for his 2013 album “Time.” The lawsuit was filed in U.S. district court in Georgia by Miles Floyd, the administrator of the estate of blues performer Bo Carter, whose real name Armenter Chatmon. Chatmon was the first artist to record the song “Corrine, Corrina” and, according to the suit, he also wrote the tune, first registering the song with the U.S. Copyright Office in 1929. The lawsuit claims that “Corrina, Corrina,” a bonus track from Stewart’s hit 2013 album “Time,” is “nearly identical” to Chatmon’s work, and contains “substantially similar defining compositional elements, including, but not limited to lyrics, melody, rhythm, tempo, meter, key and title.” On Stewart’s album the track is ‘traditional’ and a take on a country blues standard.  Bob Dylan recorded “Corrina, Corrina” on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton covered Lead Belly’s take on the song, which was named “Alberta,” on his multiple Grammy-winning Unplugged album.   http://www.thewrap.com/rod-stewart-hit-with-copyright-lawsuit-over-iconic-blues-song/

“Blurred Lines” Post Trial Order
Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing     The Judge in the ‘Blurred Lines’ Trial has rejected a new trial and has ‘trimmed’ the damages awarded against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to $5.3 Million (from $7.3 million).  That said, U.S. District Judge John Kronstadt has accepted the Gaye family’s contention that record labels including UMG Recordings, Interscope and Star Trak Entertainment should be held liable for their distribution of the song that was found to be a copy of Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and he also ruled that Clifford “T.I.” Harris Jr., the rapper who contributed a verse on the blockbuster “Blurred Lines” song was liable. Judge Kronstadt denied the Gayes’ bid for an injunction, but has granted a request for an ongoing royalty rate of 50 percent of songwriter and publishing revenues. The post trial order can be found here.  In his order, Judge Kronstadt specifically stated that the damages awarded against Williams were excessive, as it had not been shown that Williams was a “practical partner” of Thicke’s, and thus is only liable for his share of the profits from the song. The damages were reduced down from $4 million to just under $3.2 million, while the award of profits from Williams was reduced from…

Turtles look to block SiriusXM settlement
Artists , Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT Artistes, sound recordings, broadcasting   Flo & Eddie, the Turtles founders who have led attempts to collect royalties for pre-1972 sound recordings under US state laws, have rejected the move by American major record companies to secure an out-of-court settlement secured with Sirius XM. The Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) announced that it had settled its separate legal battle with Sirius on the pre-1972 issue, with the three majors and ABKCO, which controls early Rolling Stones recordings, and are set to receive $210 million in a deal that also sees the music companies providing the satellite broadcaster with a licence on pre-1972 catalogue up to the end of 2017.  With post-1972 recordings, Sirius pays for recording rights through collection society SoundExchange, which then splits the money 50/50 between artists and labels. Flo & Eddie’s attorneys say that the RIAA’s agreement interferes with the musicians’ ongoing class action against Sirius. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the duo’s lawyers Henry Gradstein and Harvey Geller say the record industry’s legal claim against Sirius was a “coattail action” and the subsequent settlement a “brazen attempt to disrupt and interfere with the class action process”. They added: “In other words, Sirius XM and the major labels purported to…

Beatles ‘Lost Film’ blocked
Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, Film & TV   Sony Corp has won a High Court ruling in London, blocking a documentary-maker from releasing a movie about the Beatles’ first concert in the U.S.  “The Beatles: The Lost Concert” had been due to open for a limited run in US theatres in 2012.   The film by WPMC Ltd. about the 1964 performance in Washington was found to have infringed Sony’s copyrights in the U.K. and the U.S. in eight of the twelve songs in the concert, including “From Me to You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. Sony and the Fab Four’s label, Apple Corps, took issue with the Ace Arts film’s release as it contained archival clips from the band’s historic Washington, DC concert back in February, 1964, when Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison performed, and other  tracks included “She Loves You” and “Twist and Shout”. The film also included interviews with legendary guitarist Chuck Berry and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. The 1964 gig took place two days after The Beatles were officially introduced to audiences in the US with a slot on “The Ed Sullivan Show”.   The concert, shown in cinemas and theatres across…

PRS for Music launches Streamfair
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / August 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing, internet     PRS for Music, which represents over 111,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, has launched Streamfair. The campaign “aims to raise awareness about the critical need for legislative reform to ensure music creators are properly remunerated in the growing streaming music market.” The PRS say the online music market now accounts for approximately 50% of overall sales globally with streaming services increasingly driving the change. In the past year, PRS for Music’s royalties from streaming services at £38.8m exceeded those of downloads for the first time at £26.7m – a trend repeated in 37 markets worldwide.  Recent PRS for Music research also that shows that over 90% of UK consumers have accessed some kind of streaming service. Some online content providers such as User Generated Content (UGC) services relying on what are known as ‘safe harbour’ provisions to avoid obtaining a licence or paying proper licence fees, are threatening the long-term sustainability and growth of the online music market.  The lack of clarity about who is truly an ‘intermediary’ in the current European legislation has deprived creators of the ability to consent to the use of their works.  This has resulted in a transfer of…

SESAC buys Harry Fox Agency
Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2015
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing     The smallest of the USA’s music performing rights societies, SESAC,  is to acquire the Harry Fox Agency, creating an agency that can operate in both mechanical and public performance licensing. In Europe, there have been various efforts to provide combined mechanical/performing right licences to customers who need them. In the UK via the alliance between the publishing sector’s mechanical and performing rights societies the MCPS and PRS respectively means that rights can be combined. In the US, the main performing rights organisations, BMI and ASCAP, are barred from involvement in mechanical licensing by the consent decrees that govern their operations. SESAC is not governed by such a consent decree. The Harry Fox Agency is currently owned by the National Music Publishers Association. According to the New York Times the deal will have to be approved by NMPA members. The new structure should allow the combined agency to provide joint performing/mechanical licences for any of the songs that either of the organisation represent, and to offer songwriters and publishers a more efficient licensing and royalty processing service. It will also give SESAC access to a world of valuable data held by HFA regarding the use of songs on…

PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA establish world’s first ‘integrated licensing and processing hub’  to power the digital market
Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing   PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA have signed completion documents announcing the launch of the world’s first fully integrated multi-territory music licensing and processing hub covering European territories.  Designed to drive growth in the digital music market, the hub will assist both music rights holders and digital service providers (DSPs) in maximising value by providing incomparable customer service through state-of-the-art technology.  The hub, powered by the copyright database, ICE, and new processing, finance and business intelligence systems, will hopefully increase the speed, accuracy and efficiency of music matching and invoicing to ensure that rights holders are paid more quickly and transparently than ever before while making it easier for music services to secure multi-territory licences.   The hub will offer a complete set of services for the market:   (i)                 State of the art data processing and matching (ii)                Authoritative copyright and audio-visual database (iii)               Business enhancing middle-office services (iv)              Consolidated licensing of PRS for Music, GEMA and STIM’s multi-territory online rights and options for other rights holders to join the same core licence or to operate separate solutions, such as Solar and ARESA.   DSPs will obtain a single, consolidated multi-territory licence for Europe for…

Recording artistes big up musicFIRST’s campaign for payment for US radio plays
Copyright / August 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Broadcasting, recorded music   Elton John, REM, Chuck D, Annie Lennox and Imogen Heap were amongst artistes who took to the social networks last week to express their support for the Fair Play Fair Pay Act which introduce a general performing right within the sound recording copyright in the US. Currently sound recording copyright owners in America have a performing right for digital, meaning that while satellite and online radio services do pay to use recorded music, clubs, public spaces and AM/FM radio do not. This means US artists and labels are deprived a revenue stream enjoyed by their counterparts in more or less every other country in the world (collected in the UK by PPL). It is also thought that the Act would contain an ‘performer equitable remuneration’ on performing rights income, meaning 50% of revenue is shared with featured artists and session musicians (45% to featured artists, 5% session musicians and vocalists) and 50% to copyright owners, oblivious of their label contracts via Sound Exchange. The Act is being resisted by broadcasters. musicFIRST Executive Director, Ted Kalo, told reporters: “This movement is built on a simple principle that grabs the imagination of everyone we touch – fair play for…

Should the Pirates get 10 Years, or just walk the Plank?
Copyright / August 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT All areas   by Andy Johnstone writing on the 1709 Blog Some considerable time after the Gowers Review (pdf) recommended (recommendation 36) that the maximum term of imprisonment for online criminal infringement should be increased, the IPO has launched a consultation (pdf) on whether the term should be raised from the current 2 years to a maximum of 10 years. In an effort to stick to its policy of evidence-based decision making, the consultation document exhorts would-be respondents to say rather more than just Yes or No when replying. However the same document is very thin on justification, its argument being mainly the fact that the penalty for infringing copyright in physical objects or designs is 10 years and so it would be neater if the penalty for online piracy was the same. Would-be respondents therefore need to go to the 98 page Report on the subject commissioned, and published in March 2015, by the IPO, for some more detail about the pros and cons of the proposal. While there is no denying that online piracy remains a significant problem, one can’t help feeling that this has more than a hint of political grand-standing. The former MP and IP advisor to the Prime Minister, Mike Weatherley put…

High Court quashes UK’s right to private copy Regulations
Copyright / August 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT All areas     The High Court in London has quashed provisions in the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations 2014 introduced by the UK government in October 2014 to allow members of the public to lawfully copy CDs and other copyright material bought for their own private use. In June in  BASCA v Secretary of State for Innovation and Skills [2015] EWHC 1723 (Admin) the High Court ruled against the UK Government in a Judicial Review brought by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), the Musicians’ Union (MU) and UK Music. These three bodies challenged the Government’s decision to introduce a private copying exception into UK copyright law, arguing that it was unlawful because it failed to provide fair compensation to rightholders in line with European law. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said when introducing the new regulations that they would cause only zero or insignificant harm, thus making compensation unnecessary. But Mr Justice Green, sitting in London, ruled last month that the evidence relied on by the government simply did not justify the claim that the harm would be “de minimis”. The organisation that represents all sectors of the UK…

Doors and Neil Young songs pulled from BBC playlists due to digital rights complications
Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, broadcasting     The BBC has warned staff not to play tracks by iconic artists including The Doors and Neil Young due to potential copyright infringement: the full list of songs, all controlled by Wixen Music, extends to recordings, covers and any samples of songs written or recorded by The Doors (Morrison/Manzarek/Densmore/Krieger), Journey (Cain/Perry/Schon) and Neil Young   The removal of the tracks from playlists is because “some rights holders have removed their rights from the MCPS collective agreement… until a new agreement can be reached, we cannot use songs owned by them without a breach of copyright” with an internal BBC memo saying that the publisher in question no longer wanted “wished to be party to the MCPS’s collective licensing arrangements” Bonnie Raitt is also on the excluded list although her works are not represented by Wixen Music. The BBC’s legal department say:   You can NOT use tracks by these composers on the radio and/or online.  You can NOT use tracks by these composers whether they are originals or covers.  You can NOT use the lyrics. You can NOT put performances using these compositions on line.  You can NOT use tracks which include samples of…

AFM takes Sony to court over musician’s film royalties
Artists , Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2015
Canada
USA

COPYRIGHT Artistes, music publishing, Film & TV   The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) has filed a lawsuit against Sony Music Entertainment for ‘repeatedly violating its collective bargaining agreement’ – the Sound Recording Labor Agreement – in an action is brought under section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act. Among the alleged contract violations cited in the suit is recording work on Michael Jackson’s This Is It, a 2009 film documenting Jackson rehearsing and preparing for the series of live concerts shortly before his death. The law suit states that Sony called musicians for a recording session claiming it was for a “record” when the actual purpose was to lay down a film score for This Is It. The Sound Recording Labor Agreement (which Sony has signed up to) prohibits recording film scores. Musicians have been unable to collect residuals for the movie soundtrack. AFM International President Ray Hair said the AFM Motion Picture Agreement should have been used. The suit also charges Sony with refusing to make new use payments on a number of other projects including Pitbull’s 2012 version of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” and sampling of Jackson songs like “Billie Jean” and “Man in the Mirror”…

Prince and the Toddler – a universal case of forgotten fair use?
Copyright , Internet / August 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, internet     Cast your minds back to 2007 and you might remember that Prince (or even ‘The Artist Formerly Known as Prince’)(or ‘Squiggle’ being more unkind)(or Prince Roger Nelson, the 58 year old rock star) persuaded his publisher, Universal Music, to take down a slightly blurry user generated video on YouTube of a toddler dancing to a snippet from his song (and recording) “Let’s Go Crazy”. The mum who uploaded the video, Stephanie Lenz, was not amused. In fact Prince had publicly said in a September 2007 statement that he intended to “reclaim his art on the internet”. Lenz was put on notice that her use of Prince’s music violated the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and that if she violated it again, she could lose her YouTube account and any videos she’d uploaded to it. Now the case has reached the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a case that has all the trappings of the a PR fiasco for the Purple One: “The video bears all the hallmarks of a family home movie,” court documents said. “[I]t is somewhat blurry, the sound quality is poor, it was filmed with an ordinary digital video camera,…

Official One Direction re-mix competition prompts infringement takedowns
Copyright / August 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Recorded music     Techdirt alerts us to a badly backfiring competition organised by Sony, One Directon’s record label, which resulted in entrants’ masterpieces being removed from Soundcloud by … errrrmm, Sony. Soundcloud has long been a key place for DJs and remixers to upload their works but has had a fairly testing relationship with the major record labels  – and now as Techdirt opine, Soundcloud has “clearly ratcheted up its takedown procedures leading to many vocal complaints from angry Soundcloud users.” The competition was advertised as this: Ready to make your mark in the music industry? Well here is your chance – One Direction are inviting remixers and producers from the UK to remix “Steal My Girl” the first single from their upcoming album FOUR, slated for release on November 17th, 2014. So, UK-producer and songwriter named Lee Adams did his remix, on the clear undrstanding the competition ws organised by One Direction and their label, Sony Music – so not a chance of copyright infringement (right?). The stems for remixing were released on Soundcloud. The rules of the contest required entrants to upload their remixes on Soundcloud… and that’s exactly what Adams did. And yet those works still…

Thank God/IFPI It’s Friday – New Music Fridays have arrived
Business / August 2015
EU
UK
USA

BUSINESS Recorded Music This update is from Leeza Panayiotou LLB(Hons)   Friday 10th July 2015 a.k.a the start of New Music Fridays, came and went and the world did not implode.   To remind readers, on 26th February 2015, the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) announced that following “consultation with artists, musicians unions, records companies and retailers…the release day for new music will be aligned internationally on a Friday”[1]. This also saw the move of the Official BBC Radio 1 Chart show to a Friday, which has aired on a Sunday since 1987[2].   There were a whole host of people (especially in the USA – seriously, check Twitter) who were outraged that the music industry had the audacity to synchronise the release of new music across the globe to one specific day – a Friday.   But the IFPI and music industry’s reasons for making the change were both commendable and all encompassing; “As well as helping music fans, the move will benefit artists who want to harness social media to promote their new music. It also creates the opportunity to re-ignite excitement and a sense of occasion around the release of new music”[3]. They also had the hope it would “reduce…

Ukunono, The Battle of the Ukulele Orchestras Plays its Last Tune
Artists , Trade Mark / August 2015
UK

TRADE MARK Artistes   From the IP Kat and by this is written Jani Inhalainen   I thoroughly  enjoyed  Jeremy’s wonderful lounge read on the Sofaworks case. The discussion is however far from over, since here comes another case, dealing with something far smaller than sofas: ukuleles .  The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain v Clausen & Another (t/a the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra) [2015] EWHC 1772 , decided just a mere two days ago, concerned a UK-based ukulele  orchestra, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB), who have, since the mid 1980s, garnered some fame due to their unconventional and humorous takes on rock songs through the musical offerings of the ukulele and unusual garb in doing so. They attained  this fame especially within the UK and Germany through their eccentric performances.   And as with any classic music related story, a rival must emerge. Yellow Promotions, a partnership comprising of Erwin Clausen and Dieter Tings, operated another ukulele  outfit called the The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (UKUO), which was created by Mr. Tings and Peter Moss, a professional musician and part-time ukulele  enthusiast. UKUO comprised of British musicians, but was based in Germany. UOGB owns the Community trade mark (CTM) “THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN” (No. 009477341), having registered it for a specific set of services under class 41,…

Stafford Borough Council fined £20,000 after Tallescope collapse
Health & Safety , Live Events / August 2015
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   Stafford Borough Council has been fined £20,000 after an incident at a theatre in which a worker suffered fractured bone in his back. Stafford Magistrates’ Court heard that two employees at the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre were using a tallescope (a telescopic aluminium manually operated work platform, used for one-person spot access) to undertake high level work to stage curtains and projector. One of the workers, Mark Elkin, 33, was in the caged working platform at the top of the tallescope, approximately 4.5 metres high, as his colleague manoeuvred it around the stage to relocate it when the apparatus overturned. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), prosecuting, told the court the incident on 16 July 2014 should never have happened and the court was told that applicable guidelines had been contravened on many previous occasions. The court heard no suitable risk assessment had been carried out for the use of the tallescope at the theatre. If it had, the manufacturer’s instructions on a warning label on the apparatus stating it should not be rolled with men or materials on platform should have been highlighted. Mr Elkin suffered a fracture at the base of the…