Lords push on with establishing the ‘agent of change’ principle into UK law
Licensing , Live Events / May 2017

LICENSING Live events sector   Cross-sector trade group UK Music has welcomed new recommendations made by a House Of Lords Select Committee a call to extend the the ‘agent of change’ principle to revisions of the Licensing Law. The Committee that has been reviewing the licensing rules that impact on concerts and venues and said that the 2012 Live Music Act, which aimed to simplify the licensing process for smaller ...

This is Spinal Tap, and this is going to be another copyright reversion case.
Copyright , Record Labels / May 2017

COPYRIGHT Film, recorded music   As we have previously reported, the original dispute arose in the actors behind This Is Spinal Tap and StudioCanal began when Harry Shearer, a co-creator of the cult movie, alleged that StudioCanal, Vivendi’s movie business had “wilfully manipulated certain accounting data…to deny [the] co-creators their rightful stake in the production’s profits”. If the co-cr...

Insane Clowns face infringement claim

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   An Ohio poet says Detroit rap-metal group the Insane Clown Posse and in particular member Joseph Bruce have used a poem he wrote without his consent. Stanley Gebhardt filed the copyright infringement suit in the federal court in Detroit. The action seeks monetary damages and asks the court to restrain Bruce and the group from using Gebhardt’s 1993 work “But You Didn’t” which...

PRS for Music and GEMA announce record results

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   The UK’s Performing Right Society (PRS) has announced it paid out more than half a billion pounds sterling in royalties to songwriters, composers and publishers ib 2016, in its strongest performance to date. The organisation, which represents the rights of over 125,500 music creators in the UK and two million worldwide, paid out £527.6m to its members last year, up 11.1% (£52.5m) on 2015.  ...

British DJ sentenced to prison after including the Muslim call to prayer in Tunisian show
Live Events / May 2017

BLASPHEMY Live events sector   A court in Tunisia has sentenced a British DJ Dax J to one  year in jail after he played a dance remix of the Muslim call to prayer during a set at the Orbit Festival  last weekend. The UK DJ and producer was found guilty of public indecency and offending public morality after footage of him playing the track in a Nabeul club emerged on social media. The club, El Guitone, was shut down ...

Defamation case against Kesha’s former lawyer has been given the go ahead
Artists , Defamation / May 2017

DEFAMATION Artistes   Mark Geragos, the former lawyer for Kesha, who acted for the pop star in her legal battle against the producer Dr Luke, is now on the receiving end of legal action from the producer’s lawyers.    A New York judge has blocked efforts by Geragos to have the defamation case filed by Dr Luke (Lukasz Gottwald) dismissed. The case revolves around comments the ‘celebrity lawyer’ made on Twitter and th...

Love Parade organisers will face criminal charges over 2010 deaths

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   A German court has ruled that the organisers of the “Love Parade” techno-festival will stand trial in connection with the deaths of 21 people in a crowd crush ithat took place in in 2010. More than 500 others were injured in the crush. The disaster on the 24th July 2010 was the result of  a crush in a tunnel that served as the sole entrance to Love Parade. Over a m...

Australian law makers look to ban bots, whilst in the UK, Viagogo are a no show
Consumers , Live Events / April 2017

CONSUMER Live events sector     Lawmakers in Australia are also considering a nationwide ban on the software used by ticket touts to buy up large quantities of tickets for in-demand events from primary ticketing sites, using so called ‘bots’. In 2016 President Obama signed banning the use of ticket tout bots, while the UK government has now said it supports inserting a similar specific bots ban into Digital Ec...

Ontario opens public consultation on ticket touting bots, but Virginia wants a free market
Consumers , Live Events / April 2017

CONSUMER Live events sector   Ontario has launched a public consultation on plans to introduce new laws banning the use of ticket tout bots. The Canadian province’s Attorney General Yasir Naqvi had announced the intention to introduce new legislation last October and moves to outlaw the use of such software were reinforced after tickets for Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip’s farewell tour quickly found their way to...

UK government to act on touting
Consumers , Live Events / April 2017

CONSUMER Live events sector   In the wake of an outcry over touts re-selling tickets for Ed Sheerhan’s Teenage Cancer Trust charity show at the Royal Albert Hall and Adele’s O2 concerts, UK ticket touts who use computer ‘bots’ to mine for concert tickets before selling them for massive profits, and blocking fans from seeing their favourite artists except at huge mark ups, will face unlimited fines. National ...

Alabama joins Virginia on the trail of the free market ticket
Consumers , Live Events / April 2017

CONSUMER Live events sector   Lawmakers in Alabama are moving towards passing a new rule that would give consumers a statutory right to resell any tickets they have bought, which in turn would limit the tactics artists and promoters can employ to try to fight back against scalping (ticket touting). There are parallels between the proposals made by Alabama representative Paul Lee and the previously reported measures put forward in V...

Live Nation fined for unfair AC/DC refund procedures
Consumers , Live Events / April 2017

CONSUMER Live events sector   The Spanish city of Seville has fined Live Nation 15,000 euros over the way it handled refunds in relation to an AC/DC concert in May 2016. Readers will remember the ‘Rock or Bust’ tour was interrupted and then substantially re-arranged when vocalist Brian Johnson was forced to pull out of live shows after being warned that he risked “total hearing loss” – and he...

ARTICLE LINK  – Trade Marks and Google Adwords
Trade Mark / April 2017

TRADE MARK All areas     This week LA Weekly broke the news that Coachella’s  parent company, Goldenvoice,  is suing Urban Outfitters for trademark infringement, alleging the unauthorised use of the word “Coachella”. The lawsuit relates to Urban Outfitters subsidiary Free People, who have allegedly been selling various items that use the Coachella name: “Coachella Valley Tunic” and  “Bella Coache...

Hendrix siblings back in court
Trade Mark / April 2017

TRADE MARK Merchandise   Experience Hendrix LLC, the company run by the late guitarist’s adopted sister Janie, and which is the entity that that manages the estate and legacy of Jimi Hendrix, is in another dispute with Jimi Hendrix’s brother Leon, who is accused of involvement in a business venture that seeks exploit Jimi Hendrix trademarks without Experience Hendrix’s permission. The new lawsuit, filed in U.S. Di...

Appeal filed in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ plagiarism claim
Copyright , Music Publishing / April 2017

COPYRIGHT Music publishing     The case which claims that iconic rock band Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” rips off the Spirit song “Taurus” is back in court.  A unanimous jury verdict in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles decided last June that the two songs were not sufficiently similar to constitute copyright infringement. Lawyers for the estate of the late Randy Wolfe (Randy Californi...

iHeart radio: Another pre-1972 sound recording case – with a twist
Copyright , Music Publishing / April 2017

BROADCASTING / COPYRIGHT  Broadcasting, recorded music   The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled in favour of iHeart in another lawsuit concerning pr-192 sound recordings, whoch are protected by state laws rather than by federal copyright law.  Here, iHeart have defeated a copyright claim made by Arthur and Barbara Sheridan over iHeart streaming pre-1972 recordings they control – without licence.   As readers will ...

Spinrilla files defence against record labels’ claims
General / April 2017

COPYRIGHT Recorded music   Spinrilla, the popular hip hop mixtape sharing app that was recently sued by the Recording Industry Association Of America RIAA)  has filed its response, calling for the case to be dismissed partly on safe harbour grounds, and on the basis that Spinrilla had been working with the very labels now suing to promote their artistes.  The RIAA claimed: Through the Spinrilla website and apps, users wit...

Are Sir Paul McCartney’s copyright reversion up in the air pending the possible Duran Duran appeal?
General / April 2017

COPYRIGHT/CONTRACT Music Publishing   We have previously reported that Sir Paul McCartney had filed a lawsuit against Sony/ ATV. In this lawsuit McCartney is attempting to reclaim the rights to the 267 songs he co-wrote with John Lennon throughout the 1960s when they were members of the Beatles. Sony/ ATV had previously labelled the lawsuit “unnecessary and premature” in a statement, now it appears they have furthered...

This is Spinal Tap and this is their lawsuit
Copyright / April 2017

COPYRIGHT Film, broadcasting, recorded music     The French media giant Vivendi SA has turned it up to eleven and called the $400 million Spinal Tap lawsuit “absurd”.  Vivendi, owner of Universal Music, is in the middle of a dispute with the members of Spinal Tap – yes the band that starred in the cult film ‘This is Spinal Tap’.  The dispute arose when Harry Shearer alleged that StudioCanal, the media g...

GWVR – the German Collection Society for promoters – publishes its first tariffs
Copyright , Live Events / April 2017

COPYRIGHT Live events sector     Some years ago, the German Association of Concert Promoters (BDV) applied to the German Patent & Trade Mark Office to set up a new collection society to collect revenues it has succsssfully argued are due to its members and due as compensation for the ‘neighbouring right’ under Section 81 of the German Copyright Act and arising from recordings made at live events. In 2014, the new ...

Custodial sentence appropriate for sustained online infringement

COPYRIGHT Recorded Music, Music Publishing, Internet     In an interesting decision, the Court of Appeal in London has upheld a custodial sentence imposed on Wayne Evans by HHJ Trevor Jones at the Crown Court in Liverpool for two offences of distributing an article infringing copyright contrary to section 107(1)(e) of the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 and also to a further offence of possessing an article ...

Australia drops ‘safe harbour’ reforms
Copyright / April 2017

COPYRIGHT All areas   The Australian government has dropped plans to extend safe harbour protection from the revision of the country’s copyright laws. The Australian recorded music industry was among those who criticised plans to extend the country’s copyright safe harbour to be more in line with those in the US and Europe. Others in the media and entertainment industries hit out at that proposal, pointing out that...

The US Supreme Court has declines Vimeo appeal

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, internet     The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a final appeal in Capitol Records’ legal battle with video-sharing site Vimeo for hosting unauthorised recordings from The Beatles, Elvis Presley and other classic artists. The court  has left in place a federal appeals court ruling which said websites are protected from liability even for older music recorded before 1972 under th...

Falls Festival crowd crush lawsuit reaches court
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2017

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   A class-action lawsuit has just been filed against the organisers of Falls Festival following the  crowd crush that took place at the Lorne edition  of the 2016/17 event in Australia, which left approximately 80 people injured – some very seriously. The Industry Observer reports that the incident occurred as festival-goers were leaving a set by local trio DMA’S to cat...

Italian band Soviet Soviet deported from US en route to SXSW
Immigration , Live Events / April 2017

IMMIGRATION Live events sector      Tighter visa restrictions on performers for South by Southwest showcase performances entering the USA first surfaced when Italian band Soviet Soviet posted a lengthy statement on Facebook on Friday after being refused entry en route to their (unpaid) show. The band say that they were handcuffed and detained overnight after being deemed illegal immigrants because border officials sa...

Spain cuts rate of VAT on cultural events
Live Events , Taxation / April 2017

TAXATION Live events sector   Spain’s minister for education, culture and sport, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, has announced a cut in the rate of cultural value-added tax (VAT) to 10%. The reduction confirms a manifesto promise by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party, which last September pledged to reduce VAT for live entertainment, or “cultural shows” (espectáculos culturales) which has stood at a record 21% s...

China’s Music licensing revenues increase – but still low by international standards
Copyright , Music Publishing / April 2017

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   According to the statistics released by the Music Copyright Society of China (MCSC), music industry licensing revenue amounted to RMB184 million (approx. £21 million) in 2016, an increase of 8.2% from last year. Digital licensing accounted for most of the growth and now represents 37% of the total. Revenues from broadcasting and public performances dipped. Music licensing revenues in China remain ...

DCMS Minister highlights potential s696 abuses to the London Mayor
Licensing , Live Events / April 2017

LICENSING Live events sector   In a slightly unusual move, Conservative DCMS minister Matt Hancock has written to London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan raising his concerns over the Metropolitan Police’s somewhat controversial ‘risk assessment’ form 696, claiming it can be used to “single out” certain music genres. The form, which is only used in London, requests that names, stage names, private addresse...

Russian collection society fraud deepens
Criminal Law / March 2017

CRIMINAL Collection societies   Russian collecting society RAO has begun to uncover the extent of the frauds it has suffered following various accusations of embezzlement, one of which resulted in former General Director Sergei Fedotov being placed in custody. He is accused of funnelling over 500 million rubles (£6.9 million) out of the organisation during his time in charge. Authors’ rights collecting society RAO initially...

Russia proposes a ‘super’ EEU collection society
Copyright / March 2017

COPYRIGHT Collection societies   Billboard reports that the Russian government has proposed that there should be one collective licensing body across the Eurasian Economic Union. Russia’s government is still deciding whether or not the government should take over collective licensing in the country after a number of scandals, setting up a new agency that would combine RAO (which is the collection society for authors...

Swedish appellate court allows web blocking
Copyright , Internet / March 2017

COPYRIGHT Internet   The Swedish Court Of Appeal has overturned the ruling in the District Court Of Stockholm in 2015 which had dismissed an application that would have forced internet service providers to block The Pirate Bay and other platforms linked to music and other piracy – a move opposed Swedish ISP Bredbandsbolaget   The Patent And Market Court Of Appeal has now ruled in favour of music and movie ...

Sirius XM wins again against the Turtles
Copyright / March 2017

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, broadcasting   Sirius XM Holdings Inc has won the dismissal of a New York copyright lawsuit over the satellite radio company’s use of pre-1972 sound recordings brought by Flo & Eddie, Inc, who own the 60s pop band the Turtles’ catalogue, reducing the size of a related settlement between both sides in November.  The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has now accepted the December 20th ru...

Florida appellate court to hear Turtles’ appeal
Copyright , Music Publishing / March 2017

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, broadcasting   The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments beginning on April 6th in the copyright-infringement lawsuit filed by founding members of the 1960s rock group the Turtles against SiriusXM satellite radio. Flo & Eddie Inc., the California-based company whose principals are Turtles vocalists Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, filed the lawsuit in 2013 alleging copyright infringement involving mu...

Can ReDigi re-sell its self to the Court of Appeal?

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, internet It appears that ReDigi is making a comeback with some high-profile support. Back in 2013 we were listening to the case of Capitol Records, LLC v ReDigi Inc. The case asked if the digital music purchases were capable and eligible for resale under the first sale doctrine.  The doctrine of first sale is (of course!) the legal concept that has been enshrined into US and other copyright laws....

ITV loses Copyright Tribunal appeal
Copyright , Music Publishing / March 2017

COPYRIGHT Broadcasting, music publishing     UK national broadcaster ITV has lost its appeal to the  High Court appeal against the 2016 Copyright Tribunal ruling that set rates for the current (2014-2017) period with PRS for Music, the collection society which represents composers, lyricists and music publishers in the United Kingdom. The Tribunal agreed that PRS could increase the tariff beyond the 2013 fee payment of £...

T Bone Burnett takes aim at DCMA safe harbours
Copyright , Internet / March 2017

COPYRIGHT Internet   Congress enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) nearly two decades ago, aiming to provide a balance between the needs of content creators, who were struggling to protect their intellectual property in the digital age, and fledgling Internet companies, who feared being held liable for the misdeeds of their customers, giving the technology companies the benefit of ‘safe harbour’...

New Spanish decision might offer support for direct licensing

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, live events sector     A Spanish court has ruled against collection society SGAE in favour of a venue which had negotiated to pay performance royalties directly to artists. The ruling, by Judge Pedro Macías in the commercial court of Badajoz in Extremadura, centres on two shows by veteran Spanish rock group Asfalto and comedian Pablo Carbonell at Badajoz’s 325 capacity Sala Mercantil in 2010...

When will I see my royalties again?
Artists , Contract , Music Publishing / March 2017

CONTRACT Recorded music, artistes   Three members of The Three Degrees, the female vocal group who had hits with  “When Will I See You Again”, “The Runner”, “Woman In Love” and “My Simple Heart”, are suing Sony Music Entertainment, seeking to recoup decades of royalties they say were withheld by a former manager and his widow. The Three Degrees were formed in 1963 in Ph...

Agent of change comes closer still
Live Events / March 2017

PLANNING Live events sector   As part of a wider review of UK housing, the Government has proposed new measures to boost the ‘agent of change’ protections to safeguard music venues from new property developments, which have been welcomed by UK Music, the Music Venue Trust and the Musicians’ Union. The ‘agent of change’ principal puts the responsibility for matters such as soundproofing new homes with t...

Kylie (M) stops Kylie (J) taking the name
Artists , Trade Mark / March 2017

TRADE MARK Artistes   Kylie Minogue has reportedly won – or at least settled – an important legal battle with Kylie Jenner over the latter’s application to trade mark their shared first name. The reality TV star filed paperwork at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2015, aiming to register ‘Kylie’ as a trademark for “advertising services” and “endorsement services”...

Battle for SOS 4.8 set to run
Contract , Live Events , Trade Mark / March 2017

TRADE MARK / CONTRACT Live events sector     Legal Music, the promoter of the successful Spanish festival SOS 4.8, has accused the Murcian government of illegally laying claim to the name of the event, and indeed the event itself, which it is says it is “sole and rightful owner” which has featured a host if international artistes over the last nine years including Pulp, Morrissey, The National, PJ Harvey, Franz Ferdin...

Major labels take aim at mixtape app

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, internet   The digital platform that specialising in the distribution of unofficial hip hop mixtapes is in the sights of the US major labels, with the Recording Industry Association Of America accusing Spinrilla and its founder Jeffery Dylan Copeland of rampant copyright infringement. The record labels have, until now, seemingly turned a blind eye to smaller underground labels who release unlicensed mixtap...

Duran Duran granted leave to appeal against Sony/ATV

CONTRACT / COPYRIGHT Music publishing   Duran Duran have been granted leave by the High Court in London to appeal against the decision of Mr Justice Arnold in December 2015 when he ruled against the pop band in their dispute against Gloucester Place Music, which is owned by US company Sony/ATV. Arnold J found that the band would be liable for violating its contract with Sony/ATV by trying to avail itself of provisions in U.S. ...

Will Prince’s musical catalogue return to Tidal?

COPYRIGHT / CONTRACT Recorded music, streaming     There is speculation that Prince’s catalogue will come flooding back to Tidal, as details of the dispute between Prince’s estate and Tidal, the music streaming service owned by the rapper Jay Z and a number if other artistes including , Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Daft Punk, Jack White and Madonna have surfaced.    In November, reports say that th...

Thirteen face charges over Manilla festival deaths
Health & Safety , Live Events / March 2017

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   Thirteen people are facing criminal charges over the deaths of five people at last May’s Closeup Forever Summer festival in Manilla in the Philippines. During the event was ongoing, five people were found unconscious in separate locations on the concert grounds on the 22nd May 2016. They were Ariel Leal (22), Lance Garcia (36), Ken Migawa (18), Bianca Fontejon (18) and ...

Viagogo faces fresh legal actions for ticket re-sales
Consumers , Contract , Live Events / March 2017

CONSUMER / CONTRACT Live events sector   Hot on the heels of news that Viagogo were selling tickets for Ed Sheerhan’s Teenage Cancer Trust charity concert at the the Royal Albert Hall at vastly inflated prices, the now Geneva based secondary ticketing platform is facing fresh legal action from a coalition of Spanish promoters, “adding to its ever-growing collection of lawsuits”. The second lawsuit o...

Irish MP launches anti touting Bill
Competition , Consumers , Live Events / February 2017

CONSUMER / COMPETITION Live events sector   Two months after Italy’s landmark legislation which criminalised ticket touting in Italy, an Irish MP has introduced a similar bill – the Prohibition of Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill 2016 – for consideration by the Oireachtas in the Republic of Ireland. The ,move comes after the widespread re-sale of tickets for U2’s Joshua Tree tour, and the bill is authored by Noel...

Little River Band Trade Mark Dispute
Artists , Trade Mark / February 2017

TRADE MARK Artistes   Australia’s The New Daily has a well written piece on the trials and tribulations of founding (but former) members of Little River Band, one of the country’s first bands to crack America when their track “Help Is On Its Way” entered the US Top Twenty in November 1977. The song, written by lead singer Glenn Shorrock, peaked at number 14 on the Billboard charts and  Be...

Now BMI takes on the US Radio industry
Copyright , Music Publishing / February 2017

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing    Last month, Irving Azoff’s US collection society, Global Music Rights (GMR), launched a legal attack on the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC), which represents over 10,000 commercial radio stations in the United States. The suit followed an action by the RMLC that moved that GMR be enjoined from licensing its catalogue of songs for more than a rate that represented the pro-rata...

McCartney files against Sony/ATV to reclaim song copyrights
Copyright , Music Publishing / February 2017

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing   Sir Paul McCartney, the former Beatle, has filed a lawsuit against Sony/ ATV in the federal court in New York.  The lawsuit is aimed at reclaiming the copyright in 267 of the songs that he wrote with John Lennon throughout the 1960s when they were members of the Beatles. The first steps to reclaim the copyrights were taken back in 2008 when McCartney first filed to reclaim the rights in the song ...