Japan votes to outlaw ticket touting
Consumers , Criminal Law / December 2018

CONSUMER / CRIMINAL: Japan’s upper house, the House of Councillors has voted unanimously to approve a new criminal law that will encompass almost all ticket touting, just over two years after the #ResaleNO campaign first brought the issue to public prominence. The new law, which came out of the move to criminalise the re-sale of 2020 Olympic tickets,  comes into effect six months from the day of the vote, on the 8th June 2019. The legislation was approved by Japan’s lower house, the House of Representatives on the 4th December and will  prohibit ticket touting, both online and outside venues, for all shows where the organiser has prohibited resale, a practice followed by the majority but not by all promoters. Anyone who violates the new law, which encompasses both paper and electronic tickets, may be punished with a one-year prison sentence, a fine of up to ¥1 million (US$8,900), or both. The legislation, proposed to ensure the “securing proper distribution of entertainment tickets by prohibiting illegal resale of specific entertainment tickets” (特定興行入場券の不正転売の禁止等による興行入場券の適正な流通の確保に関する件) also outlaws ticket touting as a ‘business’, in effect purchasing tickets for the express purpose of reselling them. Tiketore, Japan’s first face-value ticket exchange, opened in May 2017. Takeo Nakanishi,…

Multiple moves against the ticket touts
Competition , Consumers , Live Events / January 2018

COMPETITION / CONSUMER Live events sector   In August, the Vienna Commercial Court found that the fees on tickets sold via CTS’s oeticket website, which charges €2.50 for ‘print @ home’ and mobile tickets and €1.90 for those picked up from branches of Libro or oeticket’s own box offices fell foul of Austrian law. Now the Higher Regional Court of Vienna (Oberlandesgericht Wien, OLG) has also ruled against Eventim. VKI said that the OLG took particular exception to the fact oeticket does not offer a fee-free delivery option, leaving the consumer with no option but to pay them. And British consumer protection body National Trading Standards has made four arrests as part of its investigation into the business activities of large-scale secondary ticket sellers in the UK. In a separate investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority raided the London offices of StubHub and Viagogo. The new arrests are linked to alleged breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 which introduce a general prohibition against unfair commercial practices, specific prohibitions against misleading and aggressive practices and a blacklist of 31 practices that will be deemed unfair in all circumstances.    A National Trading Standards statement said “Officers from National Trading Standards conducted raids at a number of…

Japan’s late night dancing ban finally waltzes away
Licensing , Live Events / July 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   For the first time since 1948, Japanese club-goers can now legally dance after midnight. Whilst the ban on post midnight dancing was rarely enforced, a 2010 crackdown as well as the the looming 2020 Olympics prompted a change in the law and now clubs can apply for a license to operate as a Night time Entertainment Restaurant Operator, meaning that a club can offer entertainment (including a DJ and music), alcohol and food until 5am – with one condition: that the place be lit to a brightness greater than 10 lux. The old law was designed to deter prostitution in clubs. http://ajournalofmusicalthings.com/japans-68-year-old-no-dancing-law-toast/ http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=5836

J-pop ‘no-sex’ ban unconstitutional
Artists , Contract / February 2016

CONTRACT Artistes     Young pop stars in Japan have won the legal right to have boyfriends or girlfriends after a court ruled that provisions in management contracts banning relationships were unconstitutional. The Tokyo District Court said that a ‘no dating’ clause, standard for young performers, violated the right to happiness guaranteed by the Japanese Constitution. Chief Judge Katsua Hara threw out a 9.9 million Yen (£59,000) claim against a former singer brought by her management company, thought to be from the seven piece girl band Aoyama Saint Hachamecha High School. The suit was instigated back in September 2014 when Miho Yuuki (19) and Sena Miura (22) left the band.   The management company MovingFactory had said “The parental guardians signed contracts that said the members would not have relationships with fans and would not neglect their work” adding “They have betrayed the members of the group and all their fans. We cannot forgive this”  Last month the management company for idol group N Zero announced a lawsuit against a member and a fan for having “private contact”. In the current case Chief Judge Hara saidL “Relationships are a right exercised by an individual to enrich life. They are part of…

Japan lifts dancing ban
Licensing , Live Events / August 2015

LICENSING Live events sector   Japan has amended a controversial law which has been in place for 67 years. The statute, officially termed “the Entertainment Business Control Law” or fueiho forbade dancing after midnight in clubs, bars and most venues unless they had an appropriate (and still ery limited) . The remarkably old fashioned and only sporadically enforced regulation had recently come under scrutiny, as the police had been more vigilant in applying the provisions – to great concern. The law was originally implemeted in 1948 during the US occupation to prevent clubs using music as a cover for prostitution. However the death of a student in an Osaka club in 2010 helped initiate a new wave of enforcement by police. By 2012, “no dancing” signs started appearing at many of the well-known clubs in Tokyo’s Roppongi and Shinjuku districts, as well as Shinsaibashi in Osaka, significantly impacting nightlife business throughout the country.  in 2013, Academy-award winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto launched the Let’s Dance Petition Committee, which collected over 150,000 signatures in support of changing the law and many say the award of the 2022 Olympic Games to Jame prompted change. However the re-written statute states that dance clubs must maintain lighting above…

It’s clearly time for coalitions and comment – as copyright reform looms on both sides of the Atlantic
Copyright / June 2015

COPYRIGHT All areas     Along with the U.S., Japan, Canada and Australia (amongst many others), the European Union is currently looking to reform its copyright laws and in January 2014 launched a public consultation. And there is MUCH to ralk about and many stakeholders want to have their say. In the USA, Torrentfreak recently exposed what they say is the MPAA’s true position on “fair use” which was that it was “extremely controversial,” and the MPAA didn’t want it included in various trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Fair use in the USA – but not elsewhere then. Now fair use fans in the U.S. have formed a new coalition, Re:Create, to advocate for “balanced” copyright laws, which means ones that do not “encroach” on creativity and speech by being overly protective of those copyrights. Coalition members include the Consumer Electronics Association, the Computer & Communications Industry Association and the American Library Association and other members of the group include the Association of Research Libraries, Center for Democracy & Technology, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Media Democracy Fund, New America’s Open Technology Institute, Public Knowledge, and the R Street Institute. Sherwin Siy, VP of legal affairs at Public Knowledge said “We and the other…

Japan to lift notorious “No Dancing” law
Licensing , Live Events / November 2014

LICENSING Live events sector Japan’s law, which prohibits dancing in clubs and bars (or any public venue, really) has unless they have a (still limited) dancing license were allowed to carry on, and even then, doors had to close by midnight or 1AM. The law, called fueiho in Japanese, will now be revoked. Their decision comes on the heels of a committee recommendation earlier this year, and will need to be ratified by Japan’s parliament – but in plenty of time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!   http://thump.vice.com/words/after-a-long-legal-battle-japan-finally-lifts-its-notorious-no-dancing-law And see MLU July 2014 http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=5836

Tokyo’s late night dancing ban is in focus as the 2020 Olympics loom large
Licensing , Live Events / July 2014

LICENSING Live events sector   Tengri News reports that Tokyo’s status as one of the world’s clubbing capitals looks set to survive a potentially ruinous police crackdown on — of all things – dancing – with clubbers at risk of being arrested for failing to obey “No Dancing” signs at venues – which are in place because of an “an antiquated law prohibiting dancing after midnight” which is “zealously enforced by police in recent years; After decades of turning a blind eye to the clubs, a police crackdown began following the 2010 death of a 22-year-old student after a fight in an Osaka club. Hit by a wave of raids, most of the city’s venues were shut down for licensing violations, pulling the plug on Osaka’s thriving dance scene. Other cities followed. Big-name DJ Takkyu Ishino had a set broken up in Fukuoka when police crashed in and shut down the party in 2012. But with the 2020 Olympics on the horizon, Japanese lawmakers have decided the time has come to change the rules. A government committee last month agreed the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement Business, introduced in 1948 to curb prostitution at dance halls, needed overhauling….

JARAC’s practices violate competition laws in Japan
Competition / December 2013

COMPETITION Music publishing   Whether or not collection societies are monopolies, or act like monopolies, is a tricky issue: Many in the business world want ‘one stop shops’ for effective licensing, especially in a global digital market – but no one wants a bully! The Tokyo High Court has now overturned a previous ruling by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) and has concluded that the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) violates the country’s anti-monopoly law. The court says the JFTC ruling in 2012 that JASRAC was not a monopoly was “a mistake.” Presiding Judge Toshiaki Iimura said that JASRAC’s practices makes it very difficult for other music copyright businesses to enter the business, “essentially excluding them from competition”. The copyright society currently has ‘blanket licences’ with major broadcasting stations giving them unlimited access to songs that are under the JASRAC management for ja fee of 1.5% of the previous fiscal year’s broadcast earnings. Other copyright companies have to charge fees for each separate use of a song. The court found that because of this, broadcasters limit the use of non-JASRAC music  for purely economic reasons. In fiscal 2012, 98.03 of all music copyright fees were paid…

Has Japan’s new download law pushed record sales down?
Copyright , Internet / December 2012

COPYRIGHT Internet   As of the 1st Octobet 2012 in Japan,  it has been an offence to knowingly download copyright material without permission with punishments extending to a 2 million yen fine and prison terms of up to two years. With only 1 download in 10 legal in Japan according to industry figures the move seemed a step forward – except it seems Japanese consumers have stopped buying music – with a massive 68% prompting some commentators to ask if Japan’s new law has had a negative effect on sales. http://en.rocketnews24.com/2012/11/05/a-month-after-japans-strict-new-download-law-comes-into-effect-survey-suggests-that-consumers-are-spending-less-than-ever-on-music/

Japan introduces new download sanctions
Copyright / October 2012

COPYRIGHT all areas Illegal downloaders in Japan now face prison terms of up to two years and fines of nearly 2 million yen (U.S. $25,679) from today. The Japanese government says that the move is aimed to protect the film industry and stop falling music sales in the World’s second largest music market, where record industry officials estimate only one in 10 downloads are legally purchased. The Recording Industry Association of Japan says the legal download music market shrank 16% in 2011, the second consecutive year of decline. The slide comes despite global sales of digital music increasing 8% last year to $5.2 billion, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and Japan content owners hope the new regime will mirror the success of the ‘three strikes’ legislation introduced in South Korea which the IFPI says warns off 70% of infringers after the first notification and France where according to the IFPI Peer-to-peer piracy levels declined by 26% in France in 2011 after the implementation of the law Hadopi. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/01/business/japan-music-piracy/index.html

Now Warners face digital royalty claim

CONTRACT / COPYRIGHT Artistes, record labels With Sony and Universal already facing claims over the way royalties are calculated (with actions from artistes including The Allman Brothers, Cheap Trick, Rob Zombie, Whitesnake, Chuck D and the Estate of Rick James) and the successful action already won by FBT Productions against UMG (in the ‘Eminen’ case) which set a precedent that royalties for iTunes-style downloads should not be treated the same as selling CD singles or albums and should attract a higher payment – usually a share of the profits from licensing revenues  – rather than a ‘per unit’ royalty based on dealer price, Warners are now facing an action from Sister Sledge and singer  Ronee Blakely whose lawsuit claims: “Rather than paying its recording artists and producers the percentage of net receipts it received – and continues to receive – from digital content providers for ‘licenses’, Warner wrongfully treats each digital download as a ‘sale’ of a physical phonorecord … which are governed by much lower royalty provisions than ‘licenses’ in Warner’s standard recording agreements”. Universal continues to insist the ruling in the FBT case is only relevant to the wording of that exact contract, and does not set a…

Music Business Tunes for Next Copyright Fight
Copyright , Record Labels / February 2012

COPYRIGHT Record labels                                        ARTICLE LINK:  A useful update on the recorded music sector’s current position on piracy and its presumed wish list for legislative and other change http://www.pcworld.com/article/248915/music_business_tunes_for_next_copyright_fight.html

IFPI Digital Music Reports says its growth – but is it good news?
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / February 2012

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet   The IFPI’s Digital Music Report 2012 has just been published and headline figures from the record industry’s global trade body show Major international music services which include streaming services like Spotify are now in 58 countries, up from 23 in January 2011 Digital music revenues are up 8 per cent to US$5.2 billion The IFPI say that anti-piracy action has made an impact in France, New Zealand with the US to follow in 2012 but the IFPI says that piracy and the ‘legal environment’ remain a problem The IFPI say that consumers are benefitting from a widening choice of services for experiencing digital music. In 2011, subscription services expanded and linked with new partners to reach new audiences. Meanwhile cloud technology is helping transform the way fans manage and store their music. Global revenues to record companies grew by an estimated 8 per cent to US$5.2 billion in 2011 – a faster rate than 2010 – with strong consumer demand for both single track downloads (up 11 per cent by volume), digital albums (up 24 per cent by volume) and fast-expanding subscription services. The number of users paying to subscribe to a music service leapt…

Where does the music industry go post Limewire?
Copyright , Internet / June 2011

COPYRIGHT Internet, all areas I’ve been pondering over the weekend who the real winners and losers in the LimeWire saga were – and where the recorded music industry goes from here – and for that matter where film companies and other content owners go from here. Despite a court victory for the record labels, and an agreed settlement,  I just can’t find any real winners, but I can find lots of losers, including (of course) LimeWire which has been shuttered and forced to pay over $105 million. What we had was a widely popular internet service that was admittedly used by many to download illegal content – but LimeWire’s own figure showed that 30% of consumers used the service to find new music – and another 25% were “morally persuadable”  – in that they could have been encouraged to pay for content. In a “can pay, won’t pay” era, not a bad market at all – and that’s gone. So a potential business has been lost, the consumer has lost out – and consumers have been lost too. The recorded music sector is still in a steep decline, and the unpalatable truth is that those who used LimeWire for illegal…

Whilst the UK shows a small improvement, new figures show a slump in global record sales

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing Global recorded music sales fell 7.2% in 2009, led by significant falls in the world’s two biggest markets, the US and Japan. According to the IFPI’s Recording Industry In Numbers 2010 report global recorded music trade revenues totalled $17.0bn (£11.1bn) in 2009, with physical sales down 12.7%. Digital revenue rose 9.2% in 2009 to $4.3bn (£2.8bn). Digital channels now account for about 25.3% of all music sales. Performance rights revenues from recorded music also rose, up 7.6% to $0.8bn (£0.5bn). However, globally the results were very mixed: US sales fell 10.7% to $4.6bn (£3.0bn), while sales in Japan plunged 10.8% to $4.0bn (£2.6bn). Excluding these two markets, recorded music sales fell just 3.2% in 2009. Mirroring the UK figures from the BPI, IFPI figures indicate that music sales in the UK rose 1.9% to £1.0bn last year. Other music markets that experienced an increase in trade value were Australia (up 4.3%); Brazil (up 0.5%); South Korea (up 10.4%), Sweden (up 11.9%), India (up 2.0%) and Mexico (up 0.2%). The IFPI says that the increases in South Korea and Sweden are particularly significant, as these two countries have put in place legislation to fight online piracy. Another country that…

New IFPI Digital Music Report calls for ISP cooperation to become a reality in 2009
Copyright / February 2009

COPYRIGHT All areas A new report from the International Federation of Phonographic Industries says that the music industry has transformed its business models, offering consumers an increasing range of new services with leading technology partners.  But the IFPI go on to say that generating value in an environment where 95 per cent of music downloads are illegal and unpaid for is still the biggest challenge for music companies and their commercial partners. The report shows that digital music business internationally saw a sixth year of expansion in 2008, growing by an estimated 25 per cent to US$3.7 billion in trade value.  Digital platforms now account for around 20 per cent of recorded music sales, up from 15 per cent in 2007.  Recorded music is at the forefront of the online and mobile revolution, generating more revenue in percentage terms through digital platforms than the newspaper (4%), magazine (1%) and film industries (4%) combined. At the same time, a new generation of music subscription services, social networking sites and new licensing channels is emerging. These were led in 2008 by services like Nokia Comes With Music, MySpace Music and a raft of partnerships with Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as TDC…

Two Japanese men arrested for alleged mobile piracy
Copyright , Internet / November 2008

COPYRIGHT Internet / Technology Two Hyogo Prefecture men have been arrested on suspicion of breaching copyright by enabling mobile phone users to obtain free downloads of songs, police said. Keishi Fujimoto, 28, unemployed, of Himeji, and Takashi Matsuoka, 53, a company worker of Kawanishi, were arrested on suspicion of violating Japan’s Copyright Law. It is the first arrest made under the law in connection with an Internet site offering downloads of entire songs. The Kyoto prefectural police will seek to clarify the details of how the site, one of the largest-scale illegal music download sites in the nation, operated. Operated and managed by Fujimoto, the site–named Dai 3 Sekai–has more than 1 million members, and is popular among middle and high school students. According to the police, Fujimoto made it possible for an unspecified number of people in May and June to download three songs for free via the site, including “Hope or Pain,” a popular song by pop singer Ayumi Hamasaki. In October 2006, Fujimoto also offered “Jonetsu Tairiku with Komatsu Ryota,” an instrumental piece composed by violinist Taro Hakase, for download, with Matsuoka acting as his accomplice. Fujimoto told the police that he opened the site to profit…

Nokia takes a bite out of Apple as the west finally catches up
Copyright , Internet / October 2008

COPYRIGHT Internet ARTICLE:  By Cassandra Williams postgraduate student at the College of Law Two new digital music services have just been announced, each potential threats to the dominance if Apple’s iTunes. Firstly MySpace announced that it would allow artists to stream as many tracks as they like from their MySpace site, funding the costs through advertising, and also announced that it would also compete with iTunes in selling downloads if users wish to keep tracks (on their computers or MP3 players) with a 79p per track offer. All four major labels (Warners, EMI, SonyBMG and Universal) have signed up to the service which will first launch in the US . But this article looks at a different platform – the mobile phone – where a new threat to Apple is perceived. That said, the combination of phone and music player only really took off with the iPhone. 5 million have been sold this quarter according to Information week. However there are drawbacks to Apple’s system: iTunes only offers music on a song by song basis; the tracks are all M4A and thus cannot be easily transferred to other devices; and record label executives are also known to be dissatisfied with the deals…

Irish labels take on Eircom
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / April 2008

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet The Irish recorded music sector’s four major companies – EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music, and Warner Music (together as the Irish Recorded Music Association) have decided to take Irish Internet Service Provider (ISP) Eircom to court in order to force them to implement countermeasures against piracy. Willie Kavanagh, Chairman of the Irish Recorded Music Association and Managing Director of EMI Ireland, blamed the action on a “dramatic and accelerating decline” in the Irish music industry’s income: 30% over the past six years, up to 2007. Kavanagh attributed a “substantial portion” of that decline to the increasing use of broadband, facilitating a sharp increase in the use of download services, like BitTorrent or LimeWire. Sales dropped from €146m ($224m USD, not counting inflation) in 2001 to €102m ($157m USD) in 2007, said Kavanagh. The case represents the first of its kind in Eire with record labels taking the ISP to court instead of individual file swappers and attempts to compel Eircom, under the Irish Copyrights and Related Rights Act of 2000, to implement specific countermeasures to prevent its network from being exploited for piracy. Last October Eircomm said that it was in no position to consider monitoring users and was under no…

Japanese trio fined E70 million for tape price fixing cartel
Competition / December 2007

COMPETITION TV and video Sony, Fuji and Maxell have been fined a combined total of E70 million by European competition regulators for artificially controlling the European videotape market between 1999 and 2002. The three companies control 85% of the professional tape market and in dawn raids in May 2002 the EC discovered evidence of meetings where prices were set and sensitive information swapped as well as three covertly organised price increases during the period. Sony paid a higher fine than the other two companies after employees refused to provide information and one was discovered to have shredded documents during te investigation. The Times 21 November 2007

More join infringement class action against YouTube and Google
Copyright , Internet / September 2007

COPYRIGHT Internet A number of new copyright owners have joined the class action brought by The UK’s Football Association Premier League and Bourne Co against YouTube and owners Google. The US’s  National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and a number of other music groups including Cherry Lane Music Publishing and film music publisher X-Ray Dog Music have joined the lawsuits over copyright infringement. The lawsuit, The Football Association Premier League Limited, et al. v. YouTube, Inc., et al., 07 Civ. 3582 (LLS), is pending before the Honorable Louis L. Stanton in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In addition to the NMPA, renowned investigative journalist Robert Tur has joined along with writer Daniel Quinn, the U.K.’s Rugby Football League, the Finnish Football LeagueAssociation, Knockout Entertainment Limited ( Secondsout.com) and Seminole Warriors Boxing. The action already had the support of other sports and entertainment entities around the world including: the Association of European Professional Leagues (which represents the interests of 25 Member and Associate Member Leagues across Europe and more than 800 affiliated clubs), the French Tennis Federation; the French Professional Football League and Cal IV Entertainment, LLC, the major country music publisher with over 15,000 copyrights. Viacom is…

EMI signs as streaming deal with AOL, Warners ties up with Last.FM , Viacom takes on YouTube and JASRAC are still not best pleased!
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / March 2007

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels EMI Music has signed an advertising-supported music video streaming agreement with leading digital content provider AOL Europe. The agreement, covering the UK, French and German markets, enables consumers to stream music videos free-of-charge via the AOL portal. All forthcoming new releases will be available for music fans to stream, as well as music videos from EMI Music’s extensive back catalogue. EMI Music will also benefit from additional exposure for EMI’s artists via promotional activity such as “Artist of the Month” and “Breakers.” Exclusive “AOL Sessions” are also planned, with all recordings to be made available for AOL users to stream. Consumers will have access to music videos from EMI Music artists, including Coldplay, Corinne Bailey Rae, Norah Jones and Lily Allen, as well as Camille, Diam’s and Raphael from France, and Wir Sind Helden and La Fee from Germany. AOL is a global Web services company and a majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. And Warner Music has entered into a streaming license with Last.fm covering the US and Europe. This is Last.fm’s first content deal with a major. In the February issue of Five Eight there will be an interview with Martin Stiksel, co-founder of…

IFPI Digital Music Report 2007 published
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / February 2007

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet Record labels have sold an estimated US$2 billion worth of music online or through mobile phones in 2006 (trade revenues), almost doubling the market in the last year according to latest figures form the International federation of Phonographic Industries. Digital sales now account for around 10% of the music market as record companies experiment and innovate with an array of business models and digital music products, involving hundreds of licensing partners. Among new developments in 2006, the number of songs available online doubled to four million, thousands of albums were released across many digital formats and platforms, classical music saw a “digital dividend” and advertising-funded services became a revenue stream for record companies. However, despite this success, digital music has not yet achieved the “holy grail” of compensating for the decline in CD sales. Meanwhile, digital piracy and the “devaluation of music content” (IFPI wording) are a “real threat to the emerging digital music business”. IFPI Research suggests legal actions against large-scale P2P uploaders – some 10,000 of which were announced in 18 countries in 2006 – have helped contain piracy, reducing the proportion of internet users frequently file-sharing in key European markets. The IFPI say…

The Rise of Clip Culture
Copyright , Internet / May 2006

COPYRIGHT Television, internet ARTICLE LINK – By Professor Michael Geist. Michael holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa. He can be reached at mgeist@uottawa.ca The popularity of the websites that allow people to share short video snippets is leading to the rise of a clip culture, writes internet law professor Michael Geist. But services such as YouTube, which streams 15 million videos each day, face the anger of copyright owners when clips from existing TV programmes – which of course include music promo videos and clips from concerts – are put up in the site. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4825140.stm

IFPI Digital Music Report points to growth in legal downloading
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / February 2006

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet Sales of music via the internet and mobile phones proliferated and spread across the world in 2005, generating sales of US$1.1 billion for record companies – up from US$380 million the previous year – and promising further significant growth in the coming year. The findings are released today in IFPI’s Digital Music Report 2006, a comprehensive review of the development of the digital music market internationally.  Music fans downloaded 420 million single tracks from the internet last year – twenty times more than two years earlier – while the volume of music licensed by record companies doubled to over 2 million songs.  Digital music now accounts for about 6% of record companies’ revenues, up from practically zero two years ago. the legitimate digital music business is steadily pushing back on digital piracy.  In Europe’s two biggest digital markets, UK and Germany new research by Jupiter indicates more music fans (6% of the total user group in the UK) are legally downloading music than illegally file-swapping (5%). The mobile phone became a portable music device in 2005, the first year in which song downloads to mobile phones spread internationally. Mobile music now accounts for approximately 40% of record company digital…

IFPI Publish 12th Recording Industry in Numbers
Copyright , Record Labels / September 2005

COPYRIGHT Record Labels The International Federation of Phonographic Industries has published its 12th annual Recording Industry in Numbers which includes record company market share figures for 2004, and, for the first time shows global revenues from the collection of performance rights, along with data, statistics and trends in 65 countries’ music markets. Market share: Universal maintains its position as the world’s biggest recording company, with a 25.5% share of the world market. Sony BMG is next with a 21.5% share followed by EMI at 13.4% and Warner at 11.3%. The independent sector holds steady with a 28.4% global share. National and regional market share information is also available. Performance rights revenues: For the first time, IFPI is publishing revenues to the industry from the public performance of music and music videos. This is an increasing revenue source for record companies as the channels for getting music to the consumer expand. Performance rights collections totalled $US493 million in 2004 – up 4.5% on 2003 and up 19% over the past five years. IFPI estimates that potential revenues from the sector could more than double its current value over the next five years. The figures include licensing income from webcasting and simulcasting…

MMO appeal fails in Tokyo’s High Court

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Internet Tokyo’s High Court dismissed an appeal against the earlier ruling by the District Court against Japan’s MMO and its boss Michihito Matsuda who were offering file-sharing services on the Internet, called FILEROGUE. On December 17, 2003, the Tokyo District Court issued its judgment and ordered Japan MMO and Michihito Matsuda to cease their service and jointly pay 36.89 million Japanese yen (close to $344,000) in total for damages to JASRAC and 19 plaintiffs (members of the Recording Industry Association of Japan). See: http://p2pnet.net/story/4417 and see Law Updates February 2005

Tokyo District Court orders a suspension of service and awards damages in leading Japanese case on file swapping on the Internet
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / February 2005

COPYRIGHT Internet, Record Labels The Tokyo District Court has handed down its judgment against MMO Japan Ltd ordering the company to suspend transmission of digital music files. MMO administer a file exchange service called File Rogue which allows exchange of music files free of charge on the Internet. In addition, the court ordered that MMO Japan Ltd and its representative (and co-defendant) Michihito Matsuda pay compensation by way of damages for losses resulting from the copyright infringements. JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers) had filed a suit in February 2002 demanding suspension of music file transmission and compensation by way of damages. The Tokyo District Court made an interim ruling on 29 January 2003 acknowledging copyright infringement by the two defendants and also their joint responsibility. Today’s ruling, together with the interim ruling, sets the boundaries for proper usage of copyrighted works in Japan as it clearly affirms copyright infringement resulting from use of File Rogue and as it also acknowledges both an order of suspension of service and compensation for damages as appropriate remedies in a situation where distribution of copyrighted works uses the Internet. The damages were based on the “Tariffs for Use of Musical Works”…

Japanese crack down on piracy
Copyright , Record Labels / January 2005

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Film A Japanese man has received a suspended three year jail sentence for distributing films over the internet. Yoshihiro Inoue, 42, was found guilty of violating copyright law Tuesday in Kyoto District Court, a court official said on condition of anonymity. Kyodo News quoted presiding judge Yasuhide Narazaki as saying Inoue disregarded the efforts of copyright-holders, and his crime was a serious offense against the protection of intellectual property. Inoue was arrested in November last year on suspicion he placed Hollywood movies on the Internet to allow swapping of video files. In a separate action Isamu Kaneko, who developed the free file-sharing software called Winny, is on trial in the same court. His verdict date has not been set. Kaneko, an instructor at the prestigious University of Tokyo, was arrested in May on charges of violating copyright laws. He was also accused of helping Inoue disseminate material on the Internet with Winny. Kaneko is the first file-sharing software developer arrested in Japan. His defence team says there are no laws against developing file-sharing software and say that arresting someone for designing software is a serious threat to personal liberty. They added that the action is making software…

Copyright , Record Labels / September 2004

COPYRIGHT Record Labels The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) have published the 2004 edition of the “Recording Industry In Numbers” which contains a mass of detail on the current state of the global music market including a list of the top 50 best-selling albums, globally, in 2003. The top 10 has Norah Jones’s ‘Come ‘Away With Me’ as the year’s best-selling album, followed by (in order of sales): 50 Cent ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin”, Linkin Park ‘Meteora’, Dido ‘Life for Rent’, Beyonce Knowles ‘Dangerously in Love’, Coldplay ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’, Evanescence ‘Fallen’, Britney Spears ‘In the Zone’, Avril Lavigne ‘Let Go’ and Celine Dion ‘One Heart’. The major companies’ top ten albums and top ten videos are also listed as are market shares of the major and independent companies by country. For the first time IFPI has produced market shares based on wholly or majority owned content on a country by country basis. The global market shares for 2003 were BMG at 11.9%, EMI at 13.4%, Sony at 13.2% (now combined with BMG), Universal at 23.5% and Warner at 12.7%. Independents had a 25.3% market share. Analysis of trends in retailing show a…

Japan Legislates Against the Import of Domestic
Copyright , Record Labels / July 2004

COPYRIGHT Record Labels Japan’s upper house has approved a bill to ban import of Japanese music CDs made in other Asian countries. The law, which is set to take effect from January 1, 2005 is designed to protect domestic music industry from impact of cheap CDs made offshore. Importing such product will be infringement of copyright. The revised Copyright Law will also make it possible for copyright holders to charge copyright fees on books and magazines rented at rental-book shops (as is already the case with music CDs). This has been a recent growth industry in Japan. Alongside the new act of infringement, criminal penalties for copyright infringement are stiffened under the revised law, with higher maximum fines and prison terms. See : http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-06/03/content_1506656.htm

Japanese Orchestras Refuse To Pay Increased Live Performance Fees
Copyright , Music Publishing / April 2004

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing The Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras has refused to pay musical royalties to the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) after the copyright protection body raised fees for music performed during concerts. The intentional failure by a musical organisation to pay musical copyright fees set by JASRAC is rare and is likely to spark a debate on the use of musical copyrights. According to JASRAC, music royalties in Japan have been below international standards. The institution said it had received complaints from rock groups including U2 and the Rolling Stones, that the fees for performing their music in Japan were insufficient. JASRAC began discussing royalty issues with concerned organisations in 1999 in an attempt to bring its royalties in line with international standards. In October 2003, JASRAC implemented its new provisions, including one that stipulates a new royalty system. Under the new system, royalties are decided in accordance with admission charges and the seating capacity of the venue. The fee was previously fixed regardless of the size of the venue. The new system has contributed to lowering copyright fees for music performed at small venues. However, the system has increased financial burdens on…

Inventor Wins Japan’s Highest Patent Compensation Award after Suing ex-employer Hitachi
Patents / March 2004

PATENT LAW Technology The Tokyo High Court has ruled that Seiji Yonezawa had not been paid enough for his work on technology that was a forerunner to DVD. The court awarded Mr. Yonezawa 162m yen (£1.32m / $2.08m) for his work on three optical disc technology patents. Hitachi had originally paid Mr Yonezawa 2.3m yen in compensation. Hitachi said it was considering an appeal and believed its rulebook on compensation was in line with other firms. During the mid-1970s Mr. Yonezawa developed optical disc technologies that resulted in three patents. Hitachi paid him 2.3m yen to take over the patents. Mr Yonezawa first took Hitachi to court two years ago and won 34.9m yen in compensation in the Tokyo District Court. Mr. Yonezawa appealed to the High Court and asked for 250m yen. The High Court’s decision did not go that far, but it has awarded him more than 70 times Hitachi’s original payment. See : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3440855.stm

World Piracy News

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet, Computer Software Malaysian software pirates are selling copies of the next generation of Microsoft’s flagship Windows operating system, years before its official release and at a fraction of the expected price. Compact discs with a version of the system code-named Longhorn are being sold openly for less than $A 3.50 (£2.00) per copy . Malaysia is one of the worst offenders, with CDs, CD-ROMs and DVDs sold openly in stores and street stalls. Longhorn is still in development and won’t officially be ready until 2005 at the earliest. A Japanese peer-to-peer file-sharing network which claimed to keep user identities untraceable has failed to work and two users in Japan have been arrested. The developer of the P2P software has also had his home searched by police. There are around 250,000 users of the supposedly anonymous file-trading network, called Winny, which rides on the more well-known Freenet network. Freenet is an open-source project and is part of a growing number of projects aimed at giving people the ability to communicate online without being tapped, traced or monitored. There is some evidence from the USA that the controversial RIAA lawsuits against ordinary computer users are making…

Japanese authors to win lending right
Copyright , Music Publishing / November 2003

COPYRIGHT Publishing The Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency intends to require major book-lenders to pay copyright royalties to novelists, cartoonists and other holders of copyrights. The plan is part of an effort to address growing concerns that an increase in the number of major chains entering the book-lending business could violate cartoonists and authors’ copyrights. For years, shops renting out books, magazines and other publications have been exempted from the law governing payment of copyright royalties. The Agency plans to submit a bill to revise the Copyright Law to the next ordinary session of the Japanese Diet. Under the proposed bill, major book-lenders will be obliged to pay royalties to copyright holders, such as novelists and cartoonists, starting in 2005 at the earliest. Copyright holders have the right to restrict the lending of copyrighted material under existing Copyright Law. With videos of Japanese movies, video rental shop operators buy the videos for three to four times the market price to cover the cost of copyright royalties paid to film companies and scriptwriters. In the case of music compact discs, composers, performers and music production companies have the right to lend out the copyrighted material on the CDs. According to the Agency,…

DVD pioneers consider Warners suit
Internet , Patents , Record Labels / November 2003

PATENT LAW Record Labels, Internet The inventors of the world’s first combined compact disc and DVD are considering legal action against Warner Music, one of the largest record groups, amid allegations of breach of contract and patent abuse. The Dierks Group, the privately-owned German music and technology group that pioneered the double-sided CD and DVD, has warned Warner that it has patents and contract rights over combined music and video discs after the US group signalled plans to manufacture so-called dual discs. Warner Music, a subsidiary of Time Warner, is planning to launch dual discs in the US next year in a potential tie-up with Sony Music, part of the Japanese consumer electronics and entertainment giant. Dieter Dierks who patented the combined disc technology under the name DVD Plus, has written to Warner Music claiming it has licenses over production of such discs and royalty agreements that promise a share of future profits arising from sales by the US group. See: www.cdfreaks.com/news2.php?ID=8078

Copyright , Internet / March 2003

COPYRIGHT Internet Columnist John Naughton used this headline in his February 09 column in the UK’s Sunday Observer newspaper advancing the argument that in the USA industry associations such as the RIAA (Recording Industries Association of America) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) have used politics and clever rhetoric to develop the concept of ‘intellectual property’ and to portray internet file swopping as ‘theft’ of this property. Naughton says that, in his view, the industry associations’ aim is to ‘signify the moral equivalent between sharing a track from a CD with a friend and stealing your neighbour’s goods and handing them round’. Naughton goes on to point out that the new draft EU copyright directive (see Law Updates, February 2003) will impose criminal sanctions on large scale (e.g., for profit) piracy but not on individual file sharing and copying. See www.briefhistory.com/footnotes. The industry campaigning continues and the RIAA and MPAA have just published a brochure warning companies of the risk of internet piracy and work place related copyright infringement. See www.zdnet.com.au. COMMENT:Most legal systems recognise that granting ownership of copyright and other intellectual property rights provides economic stimuli for those who create, invent and design for a living and provides protection against…


COPYRIGHT Music Publishing, Internet The Daily Yomiuri Online reports that the Osaka District Court have ordered an online karaoke machine leasing firm in Osaka to take necessary measures to prevent its customers, who have not paid copyright fees for music to the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC), from using music delivered online. The Court’s ruling held that Hit One had been assisting its customers to infringe copyrights. The verdict is a precedent for a number of forthcoming lawsuits of a similar nature in Japan and means that music distributors who do not take an active role in violating the law can, and will, be asked to take remedial measures to prevent infringements by users. According to the Daily Yomiuri Online, Hit One leased karaoke machines and distributed music online to bars and restaurants in the Osaka and Hyogo prefectures. About 97 percent of the songs distributed by the firm were reportedly controlled by JASRAC. However, Hit One knowingly delivered music to a number of its customers who had not paid copyright royalties to JASRAC. Presiding judge Kazuo Komatsu said in his ruling, “The firm was responsible for confirming that its customers already closed a deal…


COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet The Tokyo District Court, in an interim ruling on Wednesday January 29th 2003, decided that the online music file-sharing service provided by MMO Japan Ltd has violated copyright law, thus supporting the Japanese music industry’s stance. The decision follows the Court’s April 2002 injunction, which prohibited Tokyo-based MMO’s Internet file-swapping service in an action brought by the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) and 19 record labels. Damages have yet to be assessed. This ruling, the first such suit filed in Japan, follows on from actions brought in the US against Napster, Aimster and KazaA. The service, which was provided by MMO Japan, automatically sent files over the Internet enabling online users to swap music and other files stored on their hard drives. The presiding Judge Toshiaki Iimura held that MMO had financially benefited and was responsible for the service. www.japantoday.com Also see “NEW ACTIONS IN CYBERSPACE” – DECEMBER 2002 LAW UPDATES