AEG files to dismiss Ozzy’s anti-trust action
Competition , Live Events / August 2018

COMPETITION Live events sector   The almighty spat between O2 owner and promoter AEG, artist Ozzy Osbourne and AEG’s rival Live Nation, which also includes the joint venture between manager Irving Azoff and Madison Square Gardens (MSG) has gone legal, with Ozzy accusing AEG of anti-competitive behaviour.   The case revolves around the reported requirement set by that AEG that links bookings at venues it operates in London and Los Angeles, namely The 21,000 capacity O2 and the similar sized Staples Center, with a number of reports saying that artists wishing to play the former had been told they must also commit to play the latter when in LA, rather than rival Los Angeles venue the Forum, which is run by Azoff-MSG. AEG countered by saying that MSG had started the acrimonious spat by similarly linking bookings at its flagship 20,780 capacity New York venue Madison Square Garden with the 17,500 capacity LA Forum. Live Nation then stirred up the pot by complaining about AEG’s venue linking practices, prompting AEG to counter by asking why LNE hadn’t criticised MSG for their similar approach, before noting that maybe it was because the MSG venues use Live Nation’s Ticketmaster service, saying “Live…

Will drones make live events safer in Illinois?
Health & Safety , Live Events / August 2018

HEALTH AND SAFETY Live events sector   Illinois lawmakers have proposed an interesting new solution to the risk of a mass shooting similar to the one that happened in Las Vegas last year. The new proposal for large-scale events would allow drones to be used to  supervise events. This would include music festivals, state fairs, and concerts and  events held in arenas or stadiums.   During a Senate debate, Senator Martin Sandoval, the lead sponsor, said more needs to be done to protect people at large-venue events saying “It’s our responsibility to provide the maximum protection of all the residents of Illinois – whether it’s at Lollapalooza, or at the Illinois State Fair this year,” The measure provides that the police would need to provide a legitimate reason to use drones at a particular event attended by more than 100 persons. These crones would be used to evaluate anything from crowd size, density, or movement and to identify any criminal activity or security vulnerabilities. There are some critics of the plan as it stands.  State Senator Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat,  said that whilst he acknowledges the need for added security at such events, he was concerned about privacy. He said a…

Glassnote take on Childish Gambino in royalty dispute
Contract , Music Publishing / August 2018

CONTRACT Recorded music, broadcasting   US independent label Glassnote Records has brought a legal action against their former artist Childish Gambino – aka Donald Glover – in a dispute over what should happen to royalties that are earned by his recordings which are paid to the US collecting society SoundExchange. Glover released three albums with Glassnote between 2011 and 2017, before announcing earlier this year that he was switching his musical allegiances to Sony Music which will will release his next album in partnership with his management firm Wolf & Rothstein. This lawsuit relates to monies earned by Glover’s Glassnote released records which are collected by SoundExchange, which collects royalties for the use of recorded music from satellite and online radio services including Pandora or iHeart. The royalties collected are split 50/50 between copyright owners and performers and to that end SoundExchange pays the artists their 50% directly (10% of the 50% goes to session musicians via the talent unions). The artist’s statutory right to 45% of the money technically only applies where SoundExchange provides the licence. However, in the main, where labels have done direct deals with services like Pandora and iHeart, they have continued to allow 50% of the…

Sir Cliff triumphs in privacy claim against the BBC
Privacy / August 2018

PRIVACY Broadcasting   Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sir Cliff Richard has won his privacy battle with the BBC and has won a substantial damages payment from the state broadcaster.   You will probably remember that this litigation spewed from the BBC’s coverage of South Yorkshire Police’s (SYP) raid on Sir Cliff’s Berkshire home in 2014. The raid was the result of a claim against Sir Cliff for historical sexual abuse. Whilst the BBC have already claimed the result of the case is a blow to press freedom, it must be remembered that no arrest was made, and ultimately resulted no charges were brought.   The BBC was tipped off about the time and date of the raid by SYP and went on to break the story as an exclusive on the 1 o’clock news. Scenes of the raid were filmed from both the ground and a helicopter. Following the BBC’s coverage, the story rapidly spread around the World.   Originally SYP was a named as a defendant alongside the BBC. In this tranche of the claim Sir Cliff claimed that SYP had breached privacy and the Data Protection Act 1998 by disclosing that he was under investigation for sexual offences and the date…

EU Copyright Reforms Stalled
Copyright / August 2018

COPYRIGHT All areas   European MEPs who voted on the Copyright Directive in Strasbourg today have failed (by a small majority) to move the legislative process forwards whereby the European Union Council, Commission and Parliament could have negotiated a final text for passage into law. The vote was close, with 278 in favour, 318 against and 31 abstentions. The outcome rejects the earlier Legal Committee decision to approve the draft law, which will now be sent back to parliament for further discussion.   The battle to update the EU’s copyright laws, the first since 2001, has sparked fierce lobbying from opponents to the  led by internet giants such as Google and free specch advocates (see our previous post), with the backing of celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Tim Berners-Lee, and those in favour of the plans such as film companies and record labels and artistes who included the former Beatle, sir Paul McCartney and James Blunt. The cultural and creative sectors, and rights owners will be more than disappointed. Anders Lassen, president of the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers who backed the rule changes, said the vote was a “missed opportunity”, and PRS for Music’s Chief Executive, Robert…