Ticketing updates
Consumers , Criminal Law / June 2016
UK

CONSUMER / CRIMINAL Live events sector     The manager of Mumford & Sons has announced the band’s support for a petition demanding new tough penalties for ticket touting in UK ticket touts. Adam Tudhope says he hopes action on touting in Britain could set a precedent elsewhere in the world. The petition, entitled Enforce the Consumer Rights Act to protect music, arts and sport fans from touts, makes reference the statute of the same name, which requires ticket resellers to provide certain information on the seat or standing area the ticket is for, its face value and restrictions (for example, age). Tudhope’s petition has gained support from artistes including One Direction, Little Mix and Keane as well the Music Managers’ Forum (MMF) and the Association in Independent Festivals (AIF) and a number of MPs, and currently has approximately 27,000 signatures out of a target of 100,000, when it will be considered for debate in parliament. Tudhope said he supported making touting a criminal offence as it is with football tickets, or was with the London 2012 Olympics Games. However, although both Tudhope and Mumford & Sons have long been critical of the secondary ticket market in its current form, Tudhope told IQ…

UK ticket tout jailed for fraud, whist Swiss promoters seek better regulation
Switzerland
UK

CONSUMER / CRIMINAL Live events sector     A ticket tout who sold over £400,000 worth of bogus concert and sports tickets in a 13-month period between May 2009 and June 2010 has been jailed for three-and-a-half years. John Lupton (53) of Upper Norwood, appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court where he was found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading and one count of money laundering. He has also been banned from acting as a company director until 2026. The London Evening Standard reported that defrauded customers paid £636,000 to two of Lupton’s dummy companies, Lines Direct Ltd and Williams & Hill Ltd, but at least £435,000 worth of tickets were not supplied, When buyers requested refunds, they found that the companies had been dissolved and their bank accounts cleared. Companies House also lists three other companies of which Lupton is or was a director: Festival Ticket Store Ltd, Dracrow Ltd and Commercial Logistics and Trading Ltd. It appears that whist a director of the companies,  Lupton was not the ‘brains’ behind the operation, and investigations continue. Allison Clare, prosecuting, said there is no prospect of recovering the money as Lupton was sleeping on his mother’s settee and living off…

PRS posts increased revenues for 2015 – and increased costs
Copyright , Music Publishing / June 2016
UK

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing   The Performing Right Society (PRS) has announced its 2015 financial results, revealing a record high royalty income of £537.4m. This figure represents an increase of 7% on 2014 when measured on a constant currency basis, with year on year growth across all revenue streams with an 8.4% increase in distributions, equating to an extra £35.6m compared to 2014. Key drivers of this success include continued growth in the online market, the success of PRS member’s repertoire in overseas markets and efficiency improvements associated with the processing of online royalties.   Online revenues reached £42.4m, representing an increase of 12.8% over 2014. This was driven by market growth and improved licensing International revenues totalled £195.6m, an increase of 10.4% on a constant currency basis, showing the value of investing in better tracking of the use of members’ rights overseas. Broadcast revenues were £124.2m: an increase of 4.1%, in part due to growth in advertising on commercial radio stations.  Public performance royalties grew to £175.2m, an increase of 4.1%, reflecting PRS’ strategy of communicating the value of music to businesses However the collection society’s headline costs increased by £10.2m in the year (17.7%) to £67.8m and there was…

Lambeth Council told to think again over Club 414 redevelopment
Live Events / June 2016
UK

PLANNING The live events sector     The High Court has ordered Lambeth Council to reconsider a decision to grant planning permission to redevelop Brixton’s Club 414 into shops and flats. The club began life in 985 as a reggae club, hosting many famous acts. It switched to dance music in the 90s and is now one of the few specialist house and trance clubs left in London. Despite objections, the planning permission was granted by Lambeth council planning officers, and not councillors, under delegated powers, would lead to the closure of the club together with a flat which is the home of the club’s owner, Louise Barron, who fought the move. Both the council and the developer conceded the claim. However the council would not agree to a statement of reasons that included unlawful delegation as a reason for quashing the planning permission. The council did accept that it had failed to consider the (then emerging) Lambeth Local Plan, which was adopted just one week after the grant of permission. The Plan recognises the importance of protecting the night-time economy in Brixton and supports leisure uses where they contribute to the vitality and viability of Brixton town centre. Mr Justice Gilbart accepted…

Ex Deep Purple member rocks up 20 years later to register band name as trade mark
Artists , Live Events , Trade Mark / June 2016
EU
UK

TRADE MARK Artistes, live events sector   By Emma Perot   Purple seems to be a popular colour in the world of trade marks. Recently, this Kat reported on Cadbury’s ill-fated attempt to preserve an existing colour mark. Thanks to Katfriend Plamen Ivanov, this Kat has learned of another purple trade mark dispute, this time concerning the word mark ‘Deep Purple’. Deep Purple is the name of a British rock band, formed in 1968. A former member of the band, Richard Blackmore, applied to register ‘Deep Purple’ as a word mark for certain goods and services in class 9, class 25, and class 41. As this Kat will explain, the attempt to register the mark was largely unsuccessful.   Ian Paice, one of the members of Deep Purple, opposed Blackmore’s application, based on Article 8(4) of the Community Trade Mark Regulation (now EU Trade Mark Regulation). This article provides for a relative ground of refusal for registration where an earlier proprietor of a non-registered mark has a right to prohibit use of the mark under the law of the member state. In the case of the opponent, the relevant law was the English tort of passing off.   On 17 February 2015, the Opposition Division  accepted registration…

Glastonbury fined £12,000 for sewage leak – but Festival had ‘low culpability’
UK

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW Live events sector     The Glastonbury Festival has been ordered to pay a fine of £12,000 and costs of £19,000 for the environmental incident at the 2014 Festival which saw 20,000 gallons of human waste pollute a nearby river after a steel tank used to hold sewage from the toilets sprang a leak, seeping into Whitelake river and killing 42 fish, among them 29 bullhead – a European protected species and10 protected brown trout. The BBC reported that the Judge at the trial found Festival had low culpability for incident in 2014 that led to death of 42 fish in Whitelake river and is ‘impressed’ with its response to incident. The Environment Agency claimed during a hearing that the event had grown more quickly than its ability to deal with so much waste. The Judge said the Somerset festival could have contacted the authorities more quickly following the problem in June 2014, but said it had largely dealt with it well. The court was told that Glastonbury used three very large steel tanks to store human waste from the site, which had a population of 170,000 during the 2014 event. One of the tanks sprung a leak in one…

Stars cancel concerts over LGBT laws
USA

DISCRIMINATION Live events sector     Bryan Adams has cancelled a concert in Mississippi in protest of the state’s ‘Religious Liberty’ bill. The 56-year-old singer was due to perform at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi on 14 April. However, in a statement posted on his social media pages, Bryan explained that he made the decision to pull the gig because he disagrees so strongly with the 1523 bill – which allows business, religiously-affiliated organisations and individuals the opportunity to deny service to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people, single mothers or anyone who offends their “sincerely held religious belief”. Bruce Springsteen’s decision to cancel a concert in North Carolina over an anti-LGBT law has been called a “bully tactic” by a US congressman. On 8th April, Springsteen cancelled a concert in Greensboro because of a controversial law that critics say legalises discrimination against LGBT people. Under the law, all public institutions must post signs designating that bathrooms and locker rooms are to be used only based on the biological sex reflected on their birth certificate. Springsteen issued a statement explaining that he and the E-Street Band did not want to play the gig because they “want to show solidarity for…

IFPI Global Music Report 2016
Copyright , Internet / May 2016
EU
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, internet     The record labels’ international trade body, the IFPI, has published its Global Music Report for 2016 with headline news that global recorded music revenues are up 3.2% as digital revenues overtake physical for the frst time. The report highlights: –       Digital revenues contribute 45 per cent of industry revenues, overtaking physical’s 39 per cent share –       Streaming revenues up 45.2 per cent, helping to drive 3.2 per cent global growth –       Music consumption is exploding globally, but the “value gap” is the biggest brake on sustainable revenue growth for artists and record labels Digital revenues now account for 45 per cent of total revenues, compared to 39 per cent for physical sales. IFPI’s Global Music Report 2016 also reported a 10.2 per cent rise in digital revenues to US$ 6.7 billion, with a 45.2 per cent increase in streaming revenue more than offsetting the decline in downloads and physical formats. Total industry revenues grew 3.2 per cent to US$ 15.0 billion, leading to the industry’s first significant year-on-year growth in nearly two decades.  Digital revenues now account for more than half the recorded music market…

Artistes call for major reforms of take down policies and the ‘largely useless’ DMCA
Artists , Copyright , Internet / May 2016
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, artistes     Some 400 recording artists, songwriters and groups including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) are calling on Congress to reform existing US copyright law saying that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is obsolete, dysfunctional and harmful,  and calling for stronger measures against the ongoing piracy troubles they face. The DCMA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1998 and aimed to ready copyright law for the digital age. Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, Steve Tyler, Lionel Richie and Garth Brooks are just some of music’s biggest names want to make it harder to pirate music online. The musicians are asking lawmakers to make “drastic reforms” to the Act. “Artists spanning a variety of genres and generations are submitting comments to the federal government’s U.S. Copyright Office …. demanding reforms to the antiquated DMCA which forces creators to police the entire Internet for instances of theft, placing an undue burden on these artists and unfairly favoring technology companies and rogue pirate sites,” says a statement issued by the Recording Industry Association of America: Recording artistes including deadmau5, Tony Bennett, Pearl Jam and Bette Midler have filed petitions to the U.S. Copyright Office detailing their struggles…

PRS for Music welcomes the Collective Management of Copyright (EU Directive) Regulations 2016
EU
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing     PRS for Music has issued a statement saying that the CMO supports the principles and objectives of the Collective Right Management (CRM) Directive which came into force yesterday. Details of the UK Regulations can be found here (The Collective Management of Copyright (EU Directive) Regulations 2016). In welcoming the new UK Regulations, PRS believes the CRM Directive will improve the way collective management organisations operate across the EU, which will be in the best interests of rightholders and users. The CRM Directive is intended to provide long term legislative solutions to ensure all collective management organisations operating in Europe meet minimum standards of transparency, governance and customer service generally and also in respect of multi-territorial online licensing. With 60% of PRS for Music’s international revenues deriving from the EU, greater transparency and efficiencies will improve the administration and collection of royalties for PRS members, and are in the best interests of all affiliated parties. Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive, PRS for Music, commented: “From its inception we have supported the overarching principles and objectives of the CRM Directive and the intention to create a framework that promotes transparency, efficiency and accountability by collecting societies in Europe. These characteristics…

Led Zeppelin face trial over ‘Stairway to Heaven’ plagiarism claims
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing     Members of legendary rock band Led Zeppelin will face a May 10th trial over claims that they plagiarised Spirit to make their iconic song “Stairway to Heaven.” The lawsuit was filed by the trustee of the late Randy Craig Wolfe (Randy California) of the band Spirit, who played with Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s. Wolfe drowned off the coast of Hawaii in 1997, but a trustee for his estate has sued Led Zeppelin and the three band members, plus music publishers Super Hype Publishing Inc. and Warner Music Group Corp. The 2014 suit claims that Led Zeppelin, which opened for Spirit in the 1960s, copied a musical composition Wolfe wrote called “Taurus.” On March 23rd , both sides failed to reach a settlement in the dispute. U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles then scheduled a trial, subsequently ruling that the song and the 1967 instrumental ‘Taurus’ by the band Spirit were similar enough to let a jury decide whether Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are liable for copyright infringement. http://www.nationallawjournal.com/home/id=1202753816827/Stairway-to-Heaven-Leading-to-Trial-for-Led-Zeppelin?mcode=1202617074964&curindex=1&slreturn=20160304053343 http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=5821 http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=6322

Universal and Capitol fly high with copyright win
Copyright / May 2016
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music     Universal Music and Capitol Records have obtained summary judgment against IFP and parent company Global Eagle, an in flight music licensing company, and the two recoded music companies can now look forward to a jury deciding the quantum of damages to be awarded, with reports saying this “could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.” IFP is a worldwide provider of in-flight entertainment from movies to songs and IFP provided American Airlines (and later US Airways) with music playlists obtained via physical CDs and digital downloads. In 2008 the company approached the major labels for a deal and what followed has been described as a “few years of painstaking negotiations over advances and revenue apportionment, complicated by some catalogs not being available for in-flight licensing as well as IFP not wishing to let the cat out of the bag about the lack of licenses.”   Added to this was the fact that although IFP was based in Los Angeles, and had completed some of the early reproduction work there, the company said that duplication and encoding was taking place in the U.K. under a different licensing regime. Added to this was the position advanced by IFP that it…

Lil’ Wayne looks to UMG for his share of profits
Artists , Contract / May 2016
USA

CONTRACT Artistes, recorded music     Regular readers will no doubt have noticed recent articles featuring claims from Lil Wayne that he is owed tens of millions of dollars for discovering and nurturing successful recording artists Drake, Nicki Minaj and Tyga – but that this money has been unlawfully retained by Universal Music Group according to a federal lawsuit filed by the rapper-producer’s attorneys Monday in California. SoundExchange, the not for profit  CMO that collects and distributes digital performance royalties on behalf of copyright owners, is also named as a defendant in the suit. Lil Wayne (Dwayne Carter Jr.) claims Universal diverted tens of millions of dollars of his profits to repay itself for the $100 million it advanced to Cash Money Records Inc. Carter’s Young Money Label is a joint venture with Universal’s Cash Money Records, designed to manufacture, distribute, promote and exploit performances of new recording artists discovered by Carter and signed to the label.  Carter claims that Universal and non party Cash Money entered into a series of agreements which, among other things, diverted his “substantial” profits – to repay Cash Money’s debts. According to the complaint: “With Universal’s knowledge of Lil Wayne’s rights to partial ownership and profits…

Jay Z seeks rebate over TIDAL sale
Contract , Internet / May 2016
Sweden
USA

COMMERCIAL / CONTRACT Internet, streaming   Jay Z, who purchased  TIDAL from Nordic parent company Aspiro for 464m Swedish Krona ($57m) in March last year, is taking action against the vendors for over estimating the number of subscribers at the time of sale. Whist TIDAL said “We are excited that one year after TIDAL launched, we have surpassed 3 million subscribers globally” they added “It became clear after taking control of TIDAL and conducting our own audit that the total number of subscribers was actually well below the 540,000 reported to us by the prior owners.” According to Swedish news service BreakIt – quoting an article in Norwegian title Dagens Næringsliv (“Today’s Business”) – Aspiro’s former major shareholders, including Schibsted and Verdane, have been contacted by TIDAL. TIDAL now says “As a result, we have now served legal notice to parties involved in the sale. While we cannot share further comment during active legal proceedings, we’re proud of our success and remain focused on delivering the best experience for artists and fans.“ It is thought Jay Z and his finance vehicle, Project Panther Bidco will try and to claim back a sum in the ‘region of 100 million Krona’.   Schibsted…

Aceh Province bands outdoor music concerts under an interpretation of Sharia law
General , Licensing , Live Events / May 2016
Indonesia

LICENSING Live events sector     Outdoor music concerts have been banned in a Regency in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province on the grounds they violate Sharia law. New regulations – including a ban on women straddling motorcycles (they must ride side-saddle), unaccompanied women working or visiting night spots after 23.00 – as well and a requirement that boys and girls are taught separately at school – have been introduced in different parts of Aceh in recent years. he province, the only part of Indonesia that enforces Sharia law, also outlaws gambling, drinking and even fraternising with the opposite sex outside marriage. Muslim women must wear a hijab in public and gay sex is punishable by 100 lashes of the cane. The outdoor music ban comes after local singing sensation Ady Bergek was told he could not proceed with a concert on April 3rd because it would violate Sharia law. Bergek (whose name means unruly in the Acehnese language) is famous for his take on Dangdut, a genre that borrows from traditional Indonesian music as well as from Indian and Malaysian films. West Aceh Regent (Bupati) Teuku Alaidinsyah was quoted in Kompas saying the ban was based on a recommendation by Ulema (a body of Muslim…

Buenos Aires bans EDM events
Licensing , Live Events / May 2016
Argentina

LICENSING Live events sector   The Mayor of Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires has stopped issuing permits for major electronic music festivals in response to the death of five people who died of drugs overdoses at an event. Horacio Rodriguez Larreta  said the measure would remain in effect until the city legislature approved a new law to prevent drug abuse during such events. Authorities have said five people had died  as a result of drug overdoses during the Time Warp festival on April 15. Another four were taken to hospital critically ill. Witnesses said that festival-goers were often offered a variety of drugs including ecstasy pills, LSD, marijuana, poppers and cocaine. Five people have been arrested. Time Warp began in Germany in 1994 and was being held in Buenos Aires for the third year. The organiser’s German website said We are dismayed and deeply saddened by the death of five young people at Time Warp Buenos Aires. Our thoughts are with the relatives of the deceased and the five visitors who are still under medical treatment. We pray for their quick recovery. The German Time Warp companies, “Planwerk Events GmbH & Co KG“ and “cosmopop GmbH“, were not in any way…

Love Parade tragedy – criminal charges dropped
Germany

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector     A German court has ruled that the 10 people charged in connection with the deaths of 21 and injury of over 500 at the final Love Parade festival have “no case to answer”. The Festival, which began in 1989 as a Berlin-based free event, began travelling to different German cities each year in 2007, and was taking place in Duisburg in 2010. The event was always well attended, and though turnouts had fallen in the years prior to 2010, it was estimated by investigators that almost half a million people had attended that year on the site on a former freight rail yard. The site’s capacity, however, was 250,000 and despite the large number of people attending, crowds entering were funnelled through a single underpass (pictured), which quickly became crowded on the Saturday morning of the event – there was a surge in the crowd, which caused panic in the tunnel  -followed by a stampede. In 2014 six of the event’s organisers and four city workers were charged with negligent manslaughter and bodily harm. On conviction they faced up to five years in prison. All denied any wrongdoing. Earlier six people had…

Ticket fraudster convicted in  Burlington
Criminal Law , Live Events / May 2016
USA

CRIMINAL Live events sector   A New Jersey woman has pleaded guilty to ‘third-degree theft by deception’ after being caught selling tickets to a non-existent Sheryl Crow concert. Kelly Bryan admitted the charge at Burlington County Courthouse. Between December 2014 and May 2015, Bryan sold tickets to the fictitious ‘show’  through a company called KBR Promotion and Booking Agency. Police learnt of the concert and contacted the resort to begin planning public safety measures, it emerged that Crow was not booked to perform. Between 50 and 100 people were defrauded by KBR, although many who paid online have already been reimbursed.   The Burlington County Times reports that Bryan faces up to five years of probation when she is sentenced on 14 June, and will also have to pay between US$20,000 and $30,000 in restitution.   http://www.iq-mag.net/2016/04/woman-sentenced-promoting-bogus-sheryl-crow-show/#.VwZZxqQrKM9

Concert fraudster gets two years in prison
Criminal Law , Live Events / May 2016
South Korea
USA

CRIMINAL Live events     CRIMINAL: A man who defrauded people out of more than $1 million by falsely claiming he could help book a Pharrell concert for a South Korean steel company – and also by targeting women in online dating scams – has been sentenced to two years in prison in the USA. Billboard reports that Sigismond Segbefia, 29, a native of Ghana who lived in Silver Spring, Maryland at the time of the frauds, was arrested in New York and prosecuted by federal authorities in Pittsburgh because one of his biggest dating scam victims was a Pennsylvania woman he defrauded out of more than $222,000 by using the name and address of an unwitting Pittsburgh-area postal worker. Segbefia, who pleaded guilty in December, must pay nearly $1.2 million in restitution. He has agreed to be deported after serving his prison term for aggravated identity theft and wire fraud. In pleading guilty to the dating scams, Segbefia acknowledged his role in the unrelated crime of defrauding Dosko Co. out of $375,000 by pretending he could arrange to promote a show by Pharrell Williams. Nobody else has been charged in that scheme, though Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Melucci told Senior…

Carolina Country Music Festival gets tax boost
Live Events , Taxation / May 2016
USA

TAXATION Live events sector     The Carolina Country Music Festival will receive $75,000 in accommodation tax revenues to promote its second concert series this June. However Mayor pro-tem Mike Lowder voted against the measure to give the Carolina Country Music Fest $75,000 in accommodation tax funds, after the city agreed last month to give the group $108,000 in in-kind services to police and clean up the event. Lowder noted that groups shouldn’t be allowed to “double dip” into city coffers, especially after the council denied a local organization receiving a-tax money $2,800 in in-kind services for a St. Patrick’s Day event. The State’s accommodations tax is collected when visitors pay to stay in area hotels and at other lodging. Under state law the tax revenue is to be used for advertising and promoting tourism-related activities that increase tourist attendance. Funds can also be used for additional city resources needed to accommodate increases in tourism, like law enforcement, highway and street maintenance and beach renourishment. http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/article70027837.html

Feyoncé – B asks the court to put a stop to it
Artists , Trade Mark / May 2016
USA

TRADE MARK Artistes     Beyoncé  has issued legal proceedings against Texas company, Feyoncé Inc, for “brazenly” selling merchandise that infringes her intellectual property.   A year ago it was reported that Beyoncé’s legal team had complained to online peer2peer marketplace Etsy the sale of “Feyoncé” mugs. Those items were promptly removed, but other products featuring “Feyoncé” remained widely available.   The lawsuit has been filed in Manhattan federal court and includes three defendants from San Antonio. The singer is seeking unspecified damages. The suit claims that Feyoncé has ignored the singer’s requests to stop selling their products, and that their items not only confuse consumers, but have caused the pop star irreparable harm. The Feyoncé site sells a variety of shirts, hoodies, tank tops and other clothing items. However the lawsuit focusses on a mug stamped with the phrase, “Feyoncé: He put a ring on it.” Whilst this could be a pun on “fiancé,” somewhat unsurprsingly the lawsuit claims the mug was specifically designed to make a reference Beyoncé’s 2008 hit, “Single Ladies”, which includes the lyric “Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it”. Beyonce is of course married Jay Z in…

West faces legal action from a fan over his Tidal “exclusivity” broken promise
Consumers / May 2016
USA

CONSUMER Recorded music, streaming     Tidal and Kanye West are being sued over West’s claims (via tweets) that the only place anyone would ever get access to his new album ‘The Life Of Pablo’ would be on Tidal, a claim that ended up being somewhat false. Tidal did have an exclusive, with the album appearing there first, even before West had actually finished the record, with occasional updates being made to tracks even as they were streaming.  And West, a shareholder in Tidal, tweeted “my album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal”.   However when West’s new tracks subsequently popped up on the other streaming services,  West fan Justin Baker-Rhett wanted to know, why having subscribed to Tidal to access the new record, he subsequently discovered he could have enjoyed that music without signing up – and why this isn’t false advertising, unfair competition, fraudulent inducement and unjust enrichment.   Summarising the litigation, the law firm leading on the action, Edelson PC, argue that Jay-Z’s business empire and West himself “duped consumers into signing up for Tidal subscriptions – which required handing over troves of valuable personal data including credit…

EU digital chief takes aim at YouTube
Competition , Internet / May 2016
EU

COMPETITION Internet     The head of the EC’s digital single market, Andrus Ansip, has spoken out over what he perceives as unfair competition in music streaming. He said that YouTube’s comparatively small payments to artists gave it an unfair advantage over rivals such as Spotify, the Swedish streaming service.   Ansip said “this is not only about rights owners and creators and their remuneration — it is also about a level playing field between different service providers,” said the former prime minister of Estonia. “Platforms based on subscriptions are remunerating those authors; others service providers do not. How can they compete?” Record labels have long complained that YouTube — which has become the world’s most popular music service — pays too little to use their songs.   And Artistes have also been vocal in their complaints: “YouTube is paying out about a sixth of what Spotify and Apple pay artists,” said Nikki Sixx adding: “[YouTube is] hiding behind this safe-harbor loophole. That is allowing them the freedom to not take care of artists.” Metallica manager Peter Mensch said: “YouTube? They’re the devil. If someone doesn’t do something about YouTube, we’re screwed. It’s over. Turn off the lights.” YouTube has publicly blamed non-disclosure…

CMA provisionally decides to release PRS for Music from 1997 undertakings
UK

COMPETITION Music publishing, broadcasting, internet     The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its provisional decision in its review of undertakings given by PRS to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) in 1997.  The CMA has provisionally decided to release the undertakings. The PRS is one of the two main collecting societies for music in the UK. It licenses musical works and administers the royalties when such works are played in public or broadcast, for example on the radio or television.   The group of independent CMA panel members carrying out the review considers that the forthcoming implementation of the EU Collective Rights Management Directive will effectively address the areas and concerns covered by the undertakings. The group has therefore provisionally decided that the undertakings are no longer required.   This Directive, due to be implemented by each EU Member State by 10 April 2016, introduces a number of requirements that collective management organisations, such as the PRS, must meet – as well as various protections for their members. The requirements are intended to ‘ensure a high standard of governance, financial management, transparency and reporting.’   The CMA’s decision to review PRS’s undertakings is part of its wider review of the 76 existing…

Songkick and Live Nation – let battle commence!
Competition , Internet , Live Events / April 2016
USA

COMPETITION Live sector, internet     Songkick’s legal battle with Live Nation is heating up, with Songkick filing new court papers in connection with their claim. Interestingly, Live Nation subsidiary Ticketmaster has also confirmed a new relationship with Bandsintown – a direct Songkick rival: now Bandsintown users will be able to buy tickets for shows through Ticketmaster within the Bandsintown app – a process that will make the ticket buying experience more seamless, according to the new partners. “By building on Ticketmaster’s new capabilities, we have dramatically improved the user experience, strengthening artists’ and promoters’ ability to sell out shows” said Bandsintown CEO Fabrice Sergent. Songkick, the website and mobile service that provides tickets and personalised calendars for live music events, sued Live Nation last December, alleging that the live entertainment firm – which is a significant player in tour and festival promotion, venues, ticketing and artist management – was holding the artists it works with to ransom, especially in the US, if they decided to collaborate with the gig recommendations service (such as the likes of Songkick) on fan club pre-sales. Songkick has been increasingly moving into ticketing itself – firstly merging with direct-to-fan platform Crowdsurge, and more recently Songkick has been working…

19 denied access to claim against Sony’s Spotify equity
Competition , Contract , Internet / April 2016
USA

COMPETITION / CONTRACT Recorded music, internet     Hot on the news that Sony had officially signed a licensing deal with SoundCloud, the last of the three major labels to sign an agreement with SoundCloud in an arrangement that involves the recording label major taking an equity stake in the streaming platform, comes the news that a federal judge has told 19 Recordings that it won’t be allowed to amend a lawsuit to address Sony Music’s equity stake in Sweden-based streaming giant Spotify. Between them, the majors – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group – are believed to own somewhere around 15% in Spotify. In an ongoing US court case, Sony – which reportedly owns 6% in Spotify – was last year legally challenged by management company 19 Entertainment on the Spotify equity issue. Last June, in the midst of an ongoing lawsuit over royalties paid to artists including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, 19 attempted to add to their claim, saying that Sony had engaged in self-dealing by taking equity in Spotify, potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars, in lieu of demanding fair-market royalty rates from the streaming company. 19 Recordings alleged this was a…

Supreme Court confirms Court of Appeal to block Bob Marley claim
UK

COPYRIGHT / CONTRACT Music publishing     The Supreme Court in London has confirmed the Court of Appeal and High Court of Justice’s decisions that it is Blue Mountain Music, and not Bob Marley’ original publisher Cayman Music (CMI)(BSI), who owned the copyrights in a number of Marley’s songs. CMI were Marley’s original publisher but it is commonly believed that Marley claimed various friends wrote a number of his songs to avoid the contract terms with CMI which would have automatically transferred the copyrights in his work to the publisher – for ‘No Woman, No Cry’ the credit went to Vincent Ford. CMI had previously said ““It is now common ground between the disputing parties that the songs – including ‘No Woman, No Cry’ – were actually written by Bob Marley but that the music publisher’s share was never credited to Cayman Music, who have now been denied their contracted entitlement for more than 40 years”. CMI claimed these songs were not included when it sold some of its rights in 1992 to Blue Mountain Music, as Marley, who died in 1981, had penned them under other people’s names-  the ‘Misattribution Ploy’. However High Court  agreed the copyright had “passed” under…

Live music sector puts CMO ‘kickbacks’ into the spotlight
Copyright , Live Events / April 2016
EU
Germany
Netherlands
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events sector     They may not want to be in the spotlight, and the until recently practices of ‘discounts’ or ‘rebates’ offered by European Collective Management Organisations such as Buma-Stemra in Holland and GEMA in Germany to large and established live music promoters and venues were relatively unknown. But 2016 saw the topic rear up as one of the main talking points at this year’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC). The Conference held a packed main conference session dedicted to the topic and with managers for Mark Knopfler and Muse on the Stage along with representatives from two Collection Societies, and many artiste and songwriter representatives expressed their anger at the practice. Back in July 2015 Music Law Updates reported that Dutch collection society Buma’s practice of rewarding the country’s biggest promoters with a kickback for ‘helping’ to collect the levy on live music concerts (which is meant to remunerate songwriters and music publishers for the use of their works) had come under fire after a number of tour accountants for performers who pen their own material could not reconcile deductions made by promoters against revenues received by their songwriter clients from their own collection societies – even after taking…

IFPI and Sound Exchange make ISRC Codes publicly accessible for the first time
Copyright / April 2016
EU
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music     The international trade body for the recording industry, IFPI, has partnered with the world’s biggest digital Collective Management Organisation, SoundExchange, to create a new website that will make it easier to identify sound recordings. SoundExchange collects and distributes royalties on the behalf of sound recording copyright owners for non-interactive digital transmissions, including satellite, Internet radio, and cable television music channels. In addition to music, SoundExchange also collects royalties for comedy and spoken word recordings. The ISRC Search Site will provide access to nearly 20 million unique recordings, enabling recording artists, rights owners and music services to quickly identify data associated with sound recordings. The initiative will increase transparency and efficiency in the handling of data about recordings. ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the standardised identifier for recorded music and is a unique code assigned to every single music recording or music video to ensure their usage can be tracked and accounted for.  IFPI manages the ISRC system globally under an appointment from the International Organisation for Standardisation. For the first time, ISRC codes – supplied directly from record companies across the globe – will be publicly accessible and searchable. Commenting on the launch of…

Spotify settles NMPA mechanicals claim
USA

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing, internet     Spotify has agreed a settlement deal with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) which will ‘allow independent and major publishers to claim and receive royalties for certain compositions used on Spotify in the United States where ownership information was previously unknown’ although one commentator noted that the problem was less of Spotify not paying and more that  “America’s long inefficient mechanical licensing framework is really behind the unpaid monies” something more in the hands of the NMPA than Spotify. The digital services argue that a lack of decent copyright data – in particular a database that states which song copyright is contained within any one recording – makes it impossible for them to file the paperwork required by the compulsory licence. Services can license the mechanical rights in songs under a compulsory licence in America, which sets a standard rate. But under that licence the digital service must alert the rights owner that their songs are being used and arrange to pay the statutory royalties. In many cases this hasn’t happened, with the streaming firms arguing that they don’t know what songs are embodied in what recordings, because the labels don’t tell them. The NMPA…

McCartney moves to reclaim his US copyrights
Copyright , Music Publishing / April 2016
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing     Following the news that Sony Corp was buying the Michael Jackson Estate out of its music publishing joint venture Sony/ATV at a cost of $750 million comes the revelation that Sir Paul McCartney is in the process of reclaiming US publishing rights for a huge chunk of The Beatles’ catalogue from Sony/ATV.  The former Beatle is using the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 stipulates that writers of pre-1978 tracks can reclaim their US publishing rights – if they’ve previously signed them away – after 56 years. The publishing rights for McCartney’s share of Beatles songs will begin expiring in 2018 – 56 years after the Fab Four’s first hit, “Love Me Do”, was penned and recorded in 1962. The Lennon/McCartney repertoire is amongst the most prized of Sony/ATV’s catalogue. Music Business Worldwide trawled through the US Copyright Office’s records and discovered that McCartney filed termination notices last year for two batches of Fab Four tracks – “All You Need Is Love” and  23 other titles’. In addition “All Together Now” & 32 other titles had been filed. Between them, these filings included hits ranging from “Back In The USSR” to “Helter Skelter”, “Hey Jude”,…

Blurred Lines – are costs really appropriate the Gayes’ legal team?
Copyright , Music Publishing / April 2016
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing     The claim for $3.5 million in legal costs filed by the Gaye family and their lawyers after winning the ‘Blurred Lines’ plagiarism case may well hit a block in the form of Judge John A Kronstadt who seems less inclined to award costs than might be expected – it was after all Pharell and Thicke who actually started the litigation – seeking a declaration that they HADN’T plagiarised Gaye – only for the Jury to find the opposite. The Gaye’s attorney, Richard Busch says that the Gaye family’s successful litigation against Williams and Thicke over the ‘copying’ of ‘Got To Give It Up’ on ‘Blurred Lines’ “encourages the meritorious prosecution of copyright claims” but adds that if the Gaye’s have to pay his costs out of their winnings of $5.3 million (reduced by the court from $7.3 million), that will stop said people from taking action, even if meritorious with Busch saying (according to The Hollywood Reporter) : “They gambled and they lost and they should pay the consequences for doing so”. William and Thicke’s lawyer Howard King countered, saying that awarding legal costs in a case like this would set the dangerous precedent because the case “demarcated…

TimeWarner red faced after copyright claim in Spain
Spain

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, live events sector   Time Warner is in trouble in Spain for using recorded music by local artists in its theme park for six years without paying a licence fee. The Supreme Court of Spain has ordered the Parque Warner Madrid resort theme park (co-owned by Time Warner and Parques Reunidos) to pay €321,450 (£250,539) in damages for playing the music of Spanish artists on loudspeakers to park visitors between 2002 to 2008. The music was played in public areas across the park, including attractions, restaurants, retail outlets and transportation without any permssions or payment of licence fees. In 2009 The Association of Management of Intellectual Rights (AGEDI) and the Association of Artists and Performers (AIE) filed a joint lawsuit demanding that Parque Warner pay licencing fees for all the music that had been paid in public at the park, as well as demanding that the park stop using all copyright music until the case was decided. In May 2010, Madrid’s Commercial Court Number 7 ruled in favour of the copyright holders, and the appeal to the Provincial Court of Madrid also found in favour of AGEDI and AIE. Parque Warner defence was founded on the argument that an annual…

Tik Tok on the Ke$ha Appeal
Artists , Contract , Music Publishing / April 2016
USA

CONTRACT Artistes, recorded music by Leeza Panayiotou LLB(Hons)   As readers will remember, in February 2016 the New York Supreme Court refused to grant a preliminary injunction to the singer Ke$ha (real name Kesha Rose Sebert) that would enable her to record outside of her contract with Kemosabe Records, an imprint label of Sony. As a result of the Court’s decision, Ke$ha was left under contract with Kemosabe to produce a further 6 albums[1].  Now, Ke$ha has filed an Appeal, claiming that the Court’s decision is akin to allowing modern day slavery.   By way of background, Kesha signed to Kemosabe when she was 18 years old and “her 2009 single Tik Tok is the biggest selling single ever by a female solo artist”[2] and Kemosabe label boss Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald), remains “one of the most successful songwriters and producers of the century so far, working on music for stars including Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears and Katy Perry”[3].   Ke$ha claimed in her 2014 lawsuit that she had grounds to be released from her record contract as Dr. Luke had sexually assaulted her, harassed her and intended to inflict emotional distress on her throughout her career[4]. Dr. Luke then countered with suits for breach of contract[5],…

AIF and the MU launch new terms for emerging talent at UK Festivals
Contract , Live Events / April 2016
UK

CONTRACT Live events sector     Fair Play for Festivals’ is a joint initiative between AIF and The Musicians Union (MU). It is a code of conduct intended for use between AIF members and emerging artists who are defined as ‘Artists without representation from agents, managers or other third parties’. It sets out a series of pragmatic guidelines for artists and festivals in various areas, including remuneration, logistics, promotion and performance details. You can Download the agreement.   http://aiforg.com/wp-content/uploads/Fair+Play+For+Festivals+Agreement.compressed.pdf

UK law firm launches lawsuit against Michael Jackson’s Estate over unpaid bill
Artists , Contract / April 2016
UK

CONTRACT Artistes     A British law firm has sent a $204,204.36 invoice to Michael Jackson’s Estate In the years since Michael Jackson’s death, The pop icon’s estate has faced a number of other claims, including a royalty row with Quincy Jones and a profit suit from the director of “Thriller.” The latest claims comes from a London-based law firm that claims it is owed more than $200,000 in fees for work it did for the music icon in the two years leading up to his death.  Atkins Thomson Solicitors have now launched the action in California against entertainment attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain who are the executors of Jackson’s estate. The claim is for breach of contract and Atkins claims it provided legal and other services to Jackson from 2007 through 2009, and in the months leading up Jackson’s  death the firm “provided hundreds of hours of services to Jackson across nearly a dozen matters.”  The suit says: “Defendants have failed to honor Jackson’s obligations under, and has materially breached, the agreement with Atkins, and any implied covenants therein, by failing to make the payments as required” In November 2009, the firm filed a creditors claim for $204,204.36 and…

UK WILL adopt something like the ‘agent of change’ principle
Live Events / April 2016
UK

PLANNING Live events sector     The “toilet circuit” network of small music venues and indeed other larger venues in the UK has claimed an important victory after ministers agreed to introduce legislation which will protect established music venues and clubs from property developers and incoming residents. Planning rules favouring complaints from residents in new developments over the noise levels from an established music venue nearby have been cited by clubs forced to close their doors.Now the British government is introducing new legislation giving local authorities the powers to better protect live music venues against redevelopment pressures. Its not a full ‘agent of change’ approach – but its an important step forwards. Its too late for some though: venues including The Cockpit in Leeds and the Sheffield Boardwalk, where Ed Sheeran and Arctic Monkeys played formative shows, have shut whilst in London an estimated 40% of music venues have closed over the past decade. A UK Music study of Bristol’s live scene found that 50% of the city’s music venues were affected by development, noise or planning issues.  These issues pose a direct threat to the future of Bristol’s vibrant ecosystem which generated £123 towards the local economy in 2015 and supported…

Souper Groove volunteer’s death not unlawful
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2016
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector     A volunteer’s death at a music festival has been ruled accidental, and not the result of any actions by police, a Monmouth County grand jury has ruled. Timothy Harden, 38, was pronounced dead at Jersey Shore Medical University Medical Center after an altercation with security and law enforcement officers at the Souper Groove Music Festival at the Priedaine New Jersey Latvian Society in Howell on September 5th of last year 2015. His family had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Howell Township Police Department, the Latvian Society and the security agencies following his death, claiming that Harden died of “excessive force.” According to a release from Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, an investigation found that Harden, who was working as a volunteer at the music festival, had been acting erratically, and audience members had suspected he was under the influence of illegal substances. When approached to a security guard, Harden punched him the face in an “unprovoked attack.” A toxicology test revealed that Harden had cocaine, alcohol and marijuana in his system at the time of death, “The cause of Harden’s death was determined to be as a result of drug-induced excited…

Labour’s UK Licensing Act has ‘failed’
Licensing , Live Events / April 2016
UK

LICENSING Live events sector     A new report has been published that says the Licensing Act 2003, implemented in 2005, has done little to push forwarded its much heralded aims of promoting a new ‘continental’ style drinking culture in England and Wales, and instead and the Guardian opines that New Labour’s ambition to create a “continental cafe style of drinking culture” through the introduction of 24-hour licensing has failed, and was unlikely to ever succeed. Indeed the Act has put significant strain on local authorities abd the police and the Police. Police Professional says that later opening hours for licensed premises have ‘handicapped’ police and local authorities, and had no impact on rates of crime, disorder and overall alcohol consumption and that the Act was “likely to undermine rather than protect the public welfare”.   The Report, published by the Institute of Alcohol Studies. examines the Act’s effects 10 years after it came into force on 24 November 2005. The study found that the legislation has failed to lead to a relaxed continental drinking culture or to a more diverse drinking culture. Instead, it says that it has meant people drink more at home before going out and stay out…

Promoter ordered to make refunds in EXO Shanghai fiasco
Consumers , Live Events / April 2016
China

CONSUMER Live events sector     Shanghai’s arts and culture administration has ordered the Chinese promoter of a planned concert by K-Pop boyband EXO to provide a full refund to fans (so called EXO-Ls) after a concert advertised to last three hours finished after just 30 minutes. The promoter had also promised that all nine members of EXO would perform at least 10 songs ina three hour show. However, one key band member, Lay, was absent, and the 5 song concert lasted barely half an hour, reports allkpop.  Lay was apparently being filmed fo ra movie role. The band has existed as a 12, 11,10 and now 9 piece combination of Korean and Chinese members. In late 2014 two members of the band, Luhan and Kris (Wu Yi Fan) filed separate lawsuit against SM Entertainment asking to nullify their contracts with SME.   Many fans had reportedly paid up to ¥10,000 (approximately US$1,500) for front-row seats, with regular tickets fetching between¥4,000 and ¥6,000 yuan ($600–$900). Although refunds will be given, EXO-Ls will have to travel to an office block in Shanghai to collect their money, regardless of where they live. http://www.allkpop.com/article/2016/03/exo-ls-angered-for-being-misled-about-exos-concert-in-china   http://koalasplayground.com/2014/10/09/luhan-of-exo-files-same-lawsuit-as-former-member-kris-to-nullify-contract-with-sm-entertainment/

Ticket fraudster gets 6 years in prison
Criminal Law , Live Events / April 2016
UK

CRIMINAL Live events sector     Terence Butts (63) has been convicted of fraudulent trading and converting or transferring criminal property at Southwark Crown Court and sentenced to 6 years in prison. Butts, 63, and accountant Nimal Fonseka (78), were alleged to have sold £2m worth of non existent tickets to potential customers for occasions including the V Festival and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But they only provided £280,000 worth of tickets – just 14% of what they had sold – claiming that their key supplier ‘Peter’s Tickets’ had let them down.  Butts sold 15,000 through his company Durban Vienna Ltd and his websites included summerfestivals.com and tickets4venues.com.  Butts would tell customers that he could not supply tickets, telling them to reclaim the funds paid from their credit card provider. It was estimated B+S Card Services lost £1.2 million.  Foneska was found not guilty on the same two charges. Security expert Reg Walker from iridium Consultancy told Live UK that Butts was ‘top of the ticket fraud tree’ but added that he had made the police aware of his actions as far back as 2008. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/tickets-to-games-on-offer-from-swindling-websites-6866912.html

UK tax change may impact on record labels and music publishers
Taxation / April 2016
UK

TAXATION Recorded music, music publishing   Music accountancy expert, Nick Lawrence has picked up on one aspect of the new UK Budget that might just deserve the attention of the larger music industry businesses. The UK Spring Budget included one change, relating to withholding tax which may have particular relevance for the worldwide music industry and connected creative sectors even though it is a  result of the tax avoidance schemes set up by the likes of Facebook, Google and others. Now a series of transactions that take place between the two companies involving royalties, where one of the main aims is to effectively transfer profit from the higher to the lower tax jurisdiction will now result in withholding tax applied at the full relevant UK tax rate. Once the 2016 Budget becomes law (July 2016), if royalty payments are clearly and obviously made between the two UK businesses, even if the contract for the transactions is made between the UK-based and the overseas company, the payments will now fall under UK tax rules and be taxed at the appropriate UK rate. Music Business Worldwide says the most important message for any music business of a significant size – where royalties, trade names or trademarks…

Iranian Metal Band Reportedly Jailed For Making ‘Satanic’ Music and Blasphemy
Artists , Censorship / March 2016
Iran

CENSORSHIP Artistes     The international metal community is rallying behind members of the Iranian groove/nu/thrash metal outfit Confess, who have reportedly been arrested in their native Iran — and potentially face execution — for a range of “offences” including playing heavy metal, owning an independent record label and corresponding with Western media. Metal Nation Radio was the first to break the story of musicians Nikan Siyanor Khosravi and Arash ‘Chemical’ Ilkhani after a message from an anonymous “close friend” of the musicians who also claimed to be the administrator of the band’s official Facebook page: The message asked MNR to publicise the case saying “He really needs you now by [sharing] it, post[ing] it and [talking about] it in the network and your radio shows and your co-workers and friends”  and “We … need your help.” It appears that that the men were  arrested by the intelligence unit of Sepah-e Pasdaran, (Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution) on 10 November last year — a matter of weeks after the band released their most recent album, In Pursuit Of Dreams — and were held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, in north-west Tehran, until 5 February this year, when they were…

Dangerous Glastonbury flying stunt ends in fine
Health & Safety , Live Events / March 2016
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY / AVIATION Live events sector     A paraglider gatecrasher has been fined for flying into the 2015 Glastonbury Festival. David Hoare, 59, used a paramotor and launched himself from a hill overlooking the site. He landed in the Sacred Space arena which was full of attendees on the Saturday night of last year’s festival. Security guards saw his canopy and heard the noise from his smaller propeller engine and removed him and the equipment. Hoare, of Somerton, Somerset, was prosecuted by the Civil Aviation Authority for flying into restricted airspace on June 27th 2015. Magistrates in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, heard that this was the second offence of the same nature committed by Hoare. He was previously fined £250 with £100 costs in November 2011 after trying to fly into Glastonbury in 2010. For the new offence Magistrates fined Hoare £400 and ordered him to pay £160 CAA prosecution costs. The CAA said: “We are determined to take action whenever necessary to protect members of the public, including prosecuting those responsible for flying into restricted airspace” adding “Although a paramotor is not classified as an aircraft, and as such the person flying it does not require a licence,…

Beyoncé faces police backlash after controversial Superbowl performance
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY / CENSORSHIP Live events sector     Beyoncé is facing protest from the police as well as sports fans as well after her controversial halftime performance at Super Bowl 50. Beyoncé’s  show featured outfits resembling Black Panther and Black Power regalia.  The performance, viewed by more than 112 million people, also featured an unmistakeable ‘X’ formation (believed to commemorate the legacy of Malcolm X) and was soon followed by the equally controversial video for ‘Formation’. Immediately after the show, New York Mets enthusiastically announced that Beyoncé was scheduled for an upcoming performance at Citi Field, but many Mets vented their anger in social media, with angry fans demanding Citi Field cancel her event. Now, a number of police unions are speaking out against the singer, with some urging all-out boycotts. Police unions in Miami, Nashville, New York, and Tampa, Florida are taking the lead. Miami police union president Javier Ortiz said “Beyoncé used this year’s Super Bowl to divide Americans by promoting the Black Panthers, and her anti-police message shows how she does not support law enforcement”. The Tampa Police Benevolent Association expressed ‘disgust’ at both the half time performance and the ‘Formation’ video and urged “all law enforcement officers to boycott the purchase of Beyoncé’s…

Coachella targets Hoodchella
Live Events , Trade Mark / March 2016
USA

TRADE MARK Live events sector     Coachella Music Festival LLC has taken action against the underground music festival Hoodchella, now on its second edition, with a trademark suit in California federal court which claims that Hoodchella deliberately abuses the famous Coachella brand. Coachella and its producer, Goldenvoice LLC, claim that Kamil al-Ahdali, the operator and advertiser of Hoodchella, knowingly infringed and unfairly profited from common law rights and six registered trademarks by advertising a competing music festival called Hoodchella. The complaint alleges that al-Ahdali is harming and confusing both Coachella and the public by promoting a comparable event in the same market, and that the Hoodchella name infringes their trade marks, creates unfair competition and dilutes the Coachella brand.  The lawsuit seeks $100,000 and immediate abandonment of the “Hoodchella” name. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/coachella-sues-hoodchella-over-festival-name-20160130

Ticketing URL launches new scheme to counter domain squatting
Live Events , Trade Mark / March 2016
UK

TRADE MARK Live events sector, Internet     IQ magazine reports that Accent Media, the company which owns the .tickets generic top-level domain (gTLD), has unveiled a new initiative which it hopes will prevent ‘cybersquatting’ on .tickets URLs by non-ticketing-related websites. Under the new system, someone wanting to register a .tickets web address will be entered into the public database at domains.watch, where interested parties can then lodge an objection (subject to payment of a fee). “We wanted to gear our registry towards genuine rights holders and felt this was a great way to do it,” Accent Media CEO Gary Fisher told Domain Incite. “We want rights holders around the world, whether they be sports teams, travel companies, entertainers and their agents or stadia, to be aware of when people have applied for their names – hence the need to make it a public website. We’ve already had rights holders including Disney successfully challenge applicants and secure their names. We think it’s a better model than the TMCH [Trademark Clearinghouse], which was massively gamed.”   Registering for a .tickets URL can be done in one of two ways: fast-track and standard. The former, for organisations whose trademarks match their company name, is…

Surely there is only ONE Kylie? And its NOT Kylie Jenner
Artists , Trade Mark / March 2016
Australia

TRADE MARK Artistes     Surely there’s only one Kylie – the Australian pop star Kylie Minogue? Surely not – and Ms Minogue is now mounting a legal bid to prevent Kylie Jenner claiming ownership of the name. Jenner, who appears in the reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians, has applied to trademark the name “Kylie” to the USPTO (US Patent & Trademark Office). KDB, an Australian firm representing Minogue, filed their opposition to the application, claiming that allowing Jenner to take the Kylie name will cause confusion for Minogue fans and dilute her brand. KDB goes on to describe Ms Jenner as a “secondary reality television personality”. In making their case for which Kylie is the “better Kylie, they go on to list criticism Ms Jenner has faced from African-American communities and disability rights groups.   Ms Jenner, a half sister to Kim Kardashian, is just 18 but has a social media following in the tens of millions and has just launched her own make up line. Ms Minogue, a former soap star,  is 47 with over a dozen studio albums to her name. Minogue currently controls trade marks for “Kylie Minogue”, “Kylie Minogue Darling” (the name of her perfume brand)…

New code changes would ‘destroy the music scene in Philly’
Licensing , Live Events / March 2016
USA

LICENSING Live events sector     A Philadelphia city council member’s bill that would require music venues to obtain contact information of performers, as well as create a registry of event promoters, has been met with opposition. Billboard reports that Democrat Councilman Mark Squilla is attempting to amend a section of the “Special Assembly Occupancies” code to further regulate the application process for various entertainment-minded events and increase certain fees. He says the primary goal of the bill is to close a loophole in current legislation that has allowed venues to operate without a special assembly license (SAOL). However, opponents believe there are elements of the proposal that amount to an unnecessary invasion of privacy. The bill would require venues to gather full names, addresses and phone numbers of “all performance acts” scheduled for a promoted or special event. A “performance act” is defined in the bill as “any person or group of persons engaged in the act of singing, disc jockeying, rapping, dancing, playing musical instruments, and/or acting for an audience or group of patrons.” The designation also applies to the presentation of streaming or recorded audio/video, whether or not it has been properly licensed. In addition to acquiring artist or performer…

Australia’s  ‘lock out’ laws start to hurt live music
Licensing , Live Events / March 2016
Australia

LICENSING Live events sector     There has been a 40 per cent drop in live music revenue in Sydney’s lockout zone since the laws were introduced, according to new figures from the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) with APRA’s figures also showing a 19 per cent drop in patrons at nightclubs in the areas of the city affected by the legislation. The lockout laws have been the subject of intense debate over the last fortnight, with Premier Mike Baird saying it would take a lot to change his mind about the rules. He cited a 40 per cent drop in the assault rate in Kings Cross as proof the legislation was fulfilling its purpose — to curb alcohol-fuelled violence. And the live music industry has lamented Queensland’s equally contentious lockout laws and their exemption for casinos, saying “what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander”. The measures include a statewide 2am last drinks call from July 1, with venues in nightclub precincts able to serve alcohol until 3am if they impose a 1am lockout. However, the rules don’t apply to casinos – which generate nearly $100 million in state revenue each year. Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath claims casinos are “in a different business”…