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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Britain’s planning rules are ruining its music industry. Here’s how
Licensing , Live Events / August 2015
UK

LICENSING. PLANNING Live events sector   This update by Shain Shapiro. In early July, The Troubadour, an independent pub in London’s Earl’s Court district, was put up for sale. Its owners, Simon and Susie Thornhill, told the Evening Standard that the closure of their rear terrace, prompted by noise complaints and a subsequent enforcement action by Kensington & Chelsea council, had reduced their takings, making the business unviable. The Troubadour is one of the more storied venues in London. It has hosted live music since 1954; as recently as 2011, Bob Dylan and Keith Richards played there. But with Earl’s Court now being redeveloped into housing and a new town centre, it was the last such venue in the area. Its current challenges are disappointing. When discussing the problems faced by live music venues today, the debate tends to focus more on the micro side of things – individual cases, like that of the Troubadour – than the macro, in the form of a larger, more worrying problem threatening all our cultural spaces, including venues. This problem is the way our planning laws are often used to undermine and deprioritise the creative industries. The Troubadour’s fate notwithstanding, we need to understand…

When claimants stand up for copyright, defendants can get sent down
Copyright , Live Events / July 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events sector   Phonographic Performance Limited v Fletcher is an extempore ruling by Mr Justice Arnold, sitting in the Chancery Division, England and Wales, last Monday; being extempore it isn’t available on BAILII but it was noted in brief on the subscription-only Lawtel service. It’s one of those rulings that reflects on the sad end which some defendants face when they just keep carrying on infringing, ignoring every cue to stop. In these proceedings Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), a UK music licensing company, applied to commit Fletcher for contempt of court, following his breach of an order prohibiting him from playing sound recordings without a licence at a nightclub. Fletcher himself was the premises licence holder of a night club. Despite PPL’s warning, Fletcher did not take out a licence to play music the rights to which were administered by it.  PPL then applied for judgment in default for copyright infringement, securing an injunction that ordered Fletcher not to play PPL’s songs in public without a licence. At this point Fletcher agreed to pay the outstanding licence fees by monthly instalments — but then he defaulted on payment. Subsequently allowed to make weekly instalments, he paid them late. PPL…

Apple reverse ‘no royalty’ launch policy after Swift pulls out
France
Germany
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, recorded music    Apple Music has reversed its (non) payment policy, a day after the singer Taylor Swift said she was refusing to allow the company to stream her album 1989 because the computer and music giant were offering no royalties in a three month launch period free trial period for subscribers. Indepdent record labels and their trade bodies including AIM (UK), A2IM (US), UFPI (France) and VUT (Germany) had already voiced their critcims. Now Apple says it will pay artists for music streamed during trial periods. “We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple,” tweeted executive Eddy @Cue. Swift had said the plan was “unfair”, arguing Apple had the money to cover the cost and AIM CEO Alison Wenham had written to AIM members to encourage them to “make their own decision” about Apple Music – but criticised the new streaming service for essentially “asking the independent music sector to hedge its risk, to fund their customer acquisition programme and to shoulder the financial burden for their global launch.” http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/german-and-french-organisations-latest-to-criticise-apple-music-terms/062110 And see Eamonn Forde’s article in the Guardian here   George Chin writes   On Monday 8th June, Apple launched its music streaming service, aptly named – Apple Music –…

High Court sides with music industry on copying levy
Copyright , Music Publishing / July 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, music publishing     In London the High Court has ruled against the UK Government in a Judicial Review brought by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), the Musicians’ Union (MU) and UK Music.  These three bodies challenged the Government’s decision to introduce a private copying exception into UK copyright law, arguing that it was unlawful because it failed to provide fair compensation to rightholders.  UK Music’s press release goes on to say “BASCA, MU and UK Music had welcomed a change to UK law which enabled consumers to copy their legally-acquired music for personal and private use. However, ahead of the introduction of the private copying exception, they consistently alerted Government to the fact that in such circumstances significant harm is caused to rightholders and European law requires fair compensation to be paid.  The High Court agreed with the music industry and found that Government’s decision not to provide fair compensation was based on wholly inadequate evidence – and that Government’s decision was therefore unlawful.”  Commenting on the outcome of the case, Jo Dipple, CEO UK Music emphasised the value of the music industry to the British economy and said: “The High Court agreed…

BPI launches online portal to help labels and musicians
UK

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, artistes     The BPI has launched its new Copyright Protection Portal at a Midem The portal is intended to help labels, musicians and music businesses see where illegal copies of their music are being made available illegally online and track how BPI is responding. This tool will be available free of charge to all BPI members, PPL’s performers and members of AIM (The Association of Independent Music) who are registered with PPL. The portal will allow users to upload their repertoire into BPI’s bespoke crawlers and to view the ‘pirate activity’ that has been prevented or “disrupted”. It will show how many infringing links have been removed from Google and other search results, how many links have been removed via notice and take down from the source or website hosting them without permission, and which tracks from a label or musician’s repertoire are being pirated the most and on which sites. Commenting at the launch of the Copyright Protection Portal at Midem, BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “BPI is absolutely committed to protecting the creativity, hard work and investment of UK musicians and labels.  We are the leading force removing illegal copies of British music online and…

Musicians Union take ‘agent of change’ principle to government
Licensing , Live Events / July 2015
UK

LICENSING Live events sector     The Musicians’ Union has begun lobbying the UK Parliament and government over the so called ‘agent of change’ principle which is meant to ensure that property developers who wish to build or convert properties into residential addresses next to existing live music venues should have to take legal and financial responsibility to provide whatever sound proofing is necessary to ensure the venue and future residents can co-exist. Recent noise complaints have forced a number of UK venues to close, often brought by people who moved to the area knowing there was a music venue located there. London Mayor Boris Johnson brokered a deal to protect the Ministry of Sound in in South London from a proposed development, but many  grassroots music venues rarely have the time, resources or budget required to battle developers, residents or to pay for costly sound proofing to be put in. The ‘agent of change’ principle already exists in Australia and was recently introduced in San Francisco. In Australia, under the ‘agent of change’ doctrine, residential developers building city centre apartments are obliged by law to soundproof their developments themselves: The Musicians Union’s General Secretary John Smith said: “Music venues…

Warners move to settle unpaid internships claim
Employment Law / July 2015
UK
USA

EMPLOYMENT All areas   Warner Music has submitted papers to a federal court in Manhattan proposing a settlement in the class action lawsuit that claimed the US arm of the recorded music major broke employment laws by taking on unpaid or very low paid interns. Two former Warner Music interns sued, with over 3000 former interns being subsequently contacted once the case became a class action against a backdrop of a move against unpaid internships in both the UK and the USA. $4.2 million is set to be paid over, with people who interned at the company without pay as far back as 2007 set to receive some form of payment, likely to be equivalent to what their work would have earned at minimum wage. According to Reuters, the deal is limited to 1,135 claimants. The deal needs court approval to go ahead. Meanwhile the mini-major says: “We continue to stand by our internship programme as an invaluable educational experience for students looking to obtain hands-on, real-world training”. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/10/us-warnermusic-lawsuit-interns-idUSKBN0OQ2KC20150610

EU gives all clear for PRS-GEMA-STIM hub
EU
Germany
Sweden
UK

COMPETITION Music publishing   The European Commission has given the all clear for European collecting societies PRS, STIM and GEMA – which represent publishers and songwriters in, respectively, the UK, Sweden and Germany – to form a central hub to license and process royalties from multi-territory digital services. PRS For Music CEO Robert Ashcroft: “This is a very significant day for online music licensing as our new joint venture is uniquely positioned to deal with the rapidly transforming online music market. What this clearance means is that we are now able to work even more effectively on behalf of songwriters, composers and their music publishers, while at the same time helping to develop the Digital Single Market across Europe” whilst STIM CEO Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen said: “Today’s competition clearance announcement is testament to the incredible work that has gone into the design of this new offering, which will provide a seamless service for both music rights holders and pan-European digital service providers. It’s the result of years of productive collaboration between STIM, GEMA and PRS For Music to deliver a solution that will help the digital market grow”.

Radar launches new contract for independent music video makers
Contract / July 2015
UK

CONTRACT Video production   Radar Music Videos will launch a new standard contract for independent music video makers today. Created in partnership with media law firm Wiggins, the document aims to provide a simple and fair agreement at minimal cost. Announcing the document, Radar said: “We hope this contract will standardise protocols in the unregulated world of low-budget music video production. Users are taken through all the common requirements for production, like cashflow, re-edits, ownership and promotional use – and are able to customise the contract as appropriate for each particular project. The contract is unique, in that it is equally fair to both parties. It’s also written in plain English and downloadable”. The contract will be made available to Radar members at a cost of £25 – or £35 for non-members. Full details of the document were announced at Music Vid Fest in the Roundhouse’s Studio Theatre in London. https://www.facebook.com/RadarMusicVideos

Wenham speaks out on digital royalties
UK

CONTRACT / COPYRIGHT Recorded music, music publishing, artistes   The World Independent Network has welcomed Sony and Universal’s recent statements on on breakage which have come out after the leak of the Sony-Spotify 2011 contract which added further evidence that the major labels were receiving large advances from digital services – promoting many to ask what the major labels actually did with this money.   WIN says UMG and Sony’s statements simply echo commitments that the indie labels had previously all signed up to in their Fair Digital Deals Declaration – but added that “it is telling that there are no specifics in these recent statements from these corporations”. In an open letter, Alison Wenham, boss of both WIN and the UK’s Association Of Independent Music, said: “We don’t know how long these policies have been in place, how much of the revenue they are actually sharing, whether this applies to all types of non-unit revenue, or how this money is distributed across their catalogues. We don’t know what analogue-era deductions are still getting made against digital income. As usual these facts are withheld”. And Wenham celebrates the indie’s position which she says “makes it clear that signatory companies will share the benefits of dealing…

PRS extend live music consultation
Copyright , Live Events / July 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events sector   PRS for Music have extended the consultation to review the terms of it’s Popular Music Concert Tariff (Tariff LP). Tariff LP is applied to ticketed live popular music events such as concerts and festivals.  Currently promoters pay 3% of Box Office receipts (after VAT)  to the PRS for songwriters. The extension has been granted following the Concert Promoters Association’s (CPA) stated interest in conducting its own research in response to PRS for Music’s consultation documentation which was announced on April 13. The extension will help the CPA respond more comprehensively to the tariff review and the PRS welcomed the CPA’s commitment to engaging in this process. The extension is also supported by a number of industry bodies in the live sector.  Tariff LP was originally agreed in 1988, though was last reviewed as recently as 2010/11, when the PRS decided to keep the system as it was. The deadline for the consultation’s completion has now been extended until 30 September.

Where next with the European Digital Single Market?
Copyright / June 2015
EU
UK

COPYRIGHT All areas     This update is from George Chin: George has worked as a music photographer for the past 30 years and George has worked officially with the Rolling Stones, Guns n’ Roses, Whitney Houston, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden and Bon Jovi, among many others. He is now studying for an LLB (Hons) at the University of Law in London. George runs a boutique photo agency (www.iconicpix.com), largely based on his image archive and those of other music photographers.  He can be contacted by email at georgechin@iconicpix.com On May 6th, the European Commission published its proposals for a Digital Single Market (DSM), identifying it as one of its ten political priorities, with the aim of making “the EU’s single market fit for the digital age – tearing down regulatory walls and moving from 28 national markets to a single one” with the bold claim that harmonisation across the Member States could contribute €415 billion per year to the EU economy and creating 3.8 million jobs in the process. A Digital Single Market is one in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured and where the individuals and businesses can seamlessly access and exercise online activities…

Songwriting community take aim at safe harbours
EU
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, online     BASCA chairman Simon Darlow has used his speech at the Ivor Novello Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London in London to criticise current ‘safe harbour’ provisions in EU and US law, pointing out that the likes of YouTube undermine streaming services were exploiting safe harbour legislation telling an audience of the great and the good from the song writing and music publishing worlds that this was “undermining the value of our music”. This is what Darlow said We [BASCA] exist to promote the creators’ voice and help maintain the value of their work through lobbying, education, community and celebration. Its fantastic that, for 60 years we have been able to honour the nominees and winners who have contributed so much to a culture and economy and have given so much pleasure to so many with heir music. These awards are always so special to those who receive them as they are judged by their peers who clearly know how much dedication and hard work go into making music that touches our lives . BASCA is hugely grateful to all the judges this year who gave so generously of their time and expertise. The…

Spotify leak puts streaming royalties in focus
EU
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT / CONTRACT Online, music publishing, recorded music     The Verge has published details of the hitherto unknown terms of the January 2011 deal between streaming service Spotify and Sony Music, one of the two big record labels. And it makes for fascinating reading. Perhaps what isn’t surprising (given the then near start up nature of Spotify in 2011) is a contract laced with ‘Most Favoured Nations’ provisions for Sony. The basic deal consists of annual advances paid by Spotify and a 70:30 split of advertising revenues in favour of Sony: On gross revenues the detail shows the actual split of revenue varies from rights owner to rights owner, but labels are usually getting somewhere between 55-60% and publishers 10-15%. The Sony contact unsurprisingly puts the world’s second biggest record company at the top end of the range, on a 60% split. There are some odd quirks – Spotify seems to have a 15% buffer zone in ad sales which it doesn’t have to account to Sony (and therefor cannot be shared by Sony’s artistes) to cover out-of-pocket costs paid to unaffiliated third parties for ad sales commissions (subject to a maximum overall deduction of 15 percent “off the top”…

Spotify leaked contract prompts more comment
EU
UK
USA

CONTRACT / COPYRIGHT Recorded music, internet     The fall out from the leaked 2011 Sony-Spotify contract continues as interested parties begin to digest exactly what Sony had secured from Spotify: In particular artistes are seeing some of their suspicions realised …. and now the International Artist Association has sent an open letter to European policymakers.The IAO is the umbrella association for national organisations representing the rights and interests of Featured Artists in the Music Industry.  Their letter reads: Andrus Ansip, Vice-President, Digital Single Market Günther Oettinger, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition Dear Policymakers The International Artist Association welcomes this morning’s open letter from the International Music Managers’ Forum, which highlighted a number of significant questions raised by the leaked Sony-Spotify contract from 2011, which was published on www.theverge.com on Tuesday of this week, but which has since been removed. The leaking of that document is a turning point for Artists that cannot be underestimated. The recorded music industry, as any other content industry, lives on the creativity of individuals and it is of the utmost importance – if we want to see a sustainable and healthy content industry continue in Europe – to make sure that…

Musicians Union plans digital royalty action
Copyright , Music Publishing / June 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Recorded music     The Guardian tells us that the Musicians’ Union is planning to take major labels to court in the UK over the royalty rates for digital music paid under contracts signed before the days of streaming and downloads. Its move follows a legal case in Finland earlier this year, when the sons of a musician from the band Hurriganes won a case against Universal Music for claiming internet rights over music released in the 70s. Horace Trubridge, who is the MU’s Assistant General Secretary who is a founding member of the successful R&B/doo-wop band Darts, told an audience at the Great Escape convention in Brighton last week that the three major record labels “don’t play fair” and “are screwing musicians”. The band are on a 12% royalty rate and this suffers from multiple deductions; Trubridge argues that heritage bands should be on a streaming royalty rate of roughly 30% with no deductions. Trubridge claimed Warner is deducting costs for packaging, “breakages” and “returns” on his royalty statements for the digital sales of Darts’ music. More here http://musiclawupdates.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/a-finnish-digital-rights-case-could-set.html and here http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/may/20/musicians-union-major-labels-digital-rights?CMP=share_btn_tw

Mind The Gap: Songwriters unsettled as ‘Uptown Funk’ gets five more writers
Copyright , Music Publishing / June 2015
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   The fallout from the ‘Blurred Lines‘ verdict in favour of the Gaye family and the $7.4 million in damages awarded against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke for copyright infringement of Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” continues with news that the six strong team of songwriter’s behind Mark Ronson and Bruno Mar’s “Uptown Funk!” have added the five members of the Gap Band as co-writers, making a grand total now of eleven writers. According to documents from RCA Records, which released the song, the original writers – Ronson, Mars, co-producer Jeffrey Bhasker and Phillip Lawrence were writers of the song along with Nicholas Williams (aka Trinidad James) and producer Devon Gallaspy, whose “All Gold Everything” already had “portions embodied” in the song. They have now been joined by the five writers of the 1979 hit “Oops Upside Your Head” including The Gap Band members brothers Charlie, Robert and Ronnie Wilson, keyboardist Rudolph Taylor and producer Lonnie Simmons.   The move follows a claim put forth by publisher Minder Music on behalf of the “Oops” songwriters and of course was set against the background of Blurred Lines and the settlement made by Sam Smith and hos co-writers of “Stay…

The Fall and Rise of Touch Sensitive
Copyright , Music Publishing / June 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing     This article is written by Andy Johnstone and is taken from the 1709 Copyright Blog   Last week saw the handing down of yet another case from the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, presided over by Miss Recorder Michaels sitting as a Deputy Enterprise Judge, which reminds us that as long as there is a music business, there will be disputes over song writing credits to keep the courts and lawyers in work. The second thing we learn, or perhaps have confirmed for us, is that you can’t always trust the credits which appear on the liner notes of albums.   The case is called Minder Music Ltd and Julia Adamson v Steven Sharples and involves a song entitled Touch Sensitive by the post punk band The Fall. The first claimant, Minder Music, is a music publisher to which publishing rights in the song were assigned by the band’s lead singer and founding member Mark E Smith. The second claimant is Julia Adamson (formerly known as Julia Nagle), one time member of The Fall and for the purposes of this case, the co-writer with Mark Smith of the original version of the song Touch Sensitive. Smith wrote the lyrics and owned a one…

Legal highs to be banned by new Act in the UK
Criminal Law , Live Events / June 2015
UK

CRIMINAL LAW Live events sector     The Queen has announced the UK government’s plan to ban so-called ‘legal highs’. A new Bill announced by Her Majesty in The Queen’s Speech 2015 will ban the drugs with a blanket ban on anyone producing or supplying them. At the state opening of Parliament The Queen said that new legislation would “ban the new generation of psychoactive drugs”. The complete ban on what are known as new psychoactive substances (NPS) would mean that selling newly-created or newly-used drugs that can cause effects in mood, perception or consciousness would be illegal, with a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment. Under the bill, police would have the power to seize and destroy NPSs, to search people, homes and vehicles for them, and to use a search warrant if necessary. Alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, food and medical products would be excluded from the offence, as would controlled drugs like ecstasy and cannabis, which remain illegal. Last week Two Lancaster University students critically ill after smoking ‘legal high’ Spice. Three more are in hospital after taking cannabis substitute which causes a string of side effects including heart palpitations and acute psychosis.   Recently the mother of a young man who…

IFPI publishes Digital Music Report 2015
EU
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded Music     The recorded music sector’s international trade body, the IFPI, has  published its Digital Music Report 2015, detailing key trends in the recorded music sector over the last year – with the headline news that digital music revenues are now on a par with physical globally, that global industry revenues are marginally down 0.4 per cent to US$14.97 billion in 2014, and that subscription services at the heart of the recorded music portfolio business. Digital revenues rose 6.9 per cent to US$6.9 billion, representing 46% of all global music sales and underlining the deep transformation of the global music industry over recent years. Total revenues in  2014 were US$14.97 billion although it should be noted that there has been a reclassification of SoundExchange revenues in the US from “performance rights” to “digital”.  This has resulted in an upward adjustment in digital revenues and growth, and an equivalent downward adjustment in performance rights revenues and growth.   The new report shows the industry in continuing transition, with consumers embracing the music access models of streaming and subscription.  Another steep increase in subscription revenues (+39.0%) offset declining global download sales (-8.0%) to drive overall digital revenues, while the number of…

PRS for Music targets live music and festivals
Copyright , Live Events / May 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events sector   PRS for Music (PRS) have launched a new eight week long Popular Music Concerts Tariff (‘Tariff LP’) Consultation to review the licensing structure for the use of music in the live music industry in the United Kingdom. Tariff LP is applied to ticketed live popular music events such as concerts and festivals. The consultation will run from 13th April to 8th June 2015. Tariff LP is a Tribunal tariff that was set in 1988 by the Performing Right Tribunal, which later became the Copyright Tribunal. Having failed to amend the Tariff in 2010 (after a much criticised review which alienated large parts of the festival sector who said the review was poorly timed as it coincided with their busy festival season in the UK) the PRS say the purpose of the 2015 consultation is to seek views on the findings of a comprehensive investigation by PRS for Music into the changes in the live music industry since 1988, “to ensure that PRS for Music is operating a tariff that is fit for the purpose of licensing live popular music events going forward.” The Consultation Paper is somewhat critical of the 1988 Performing Right Tribunal’s decision – albeit with hindsight and…

Osprey outcry put T’s Strathallan home at risk
Licensing , Live Events / May 2015
UK

LICENSING Live events sector     Campaigners opposed to T In The Park taking place at the Strathallan Estate in Perthshire, which include the Woodland Trust and the RSPB, have secured what they say is a defining victory against promoters DF and the Estate owners, Jamie and Debs Roberts. Whilst the local authority is still considering arguments on both sides over whether the 80,000 capacity festival can take place from 10-12 July, the RSPB, who had already noted that ospreys traditionally nest near the Estate, have said the protected birds have returned. Under the Wildlife And Countryside Act it is a criminal offence to disturb ospreys during the breeding season. Although the ospreys’ long-term roosting spot is not on the Strathallan Estate itself, STV reports that a 2500 foot ‘buffer zone’ would be required around the nest if T went ahead there, and that would significantly cut into the planned festival site.  DF had reportedly hired experts to try to persuade the ospreys to nest in a alternative nesting space and DF contractors had been using kites, balloons and an extended cherry-picker crane near the old nest to try to divert the birds to the new site. The RSPB has dubbed…

Glastonbury ticket scammer convicted
Criminal Law , Live Events / May 2015
UK

CRIMINAL Live events sector     Christine Babb, an East Grinstead “con woman” who sold non existent Glastonbury Festival tickets to scores of music fans may be facing prison. Babb, 34, of Farm Close East Grinstead, raked in over £23,000 by claiming to be able to sell tickets to hugely popular events like Glastonbury. Such was her notoriety that Glastonbury issued an official statement warning: “Nobody called Christine Babb is either employed by Glastonbury Festival or has any tickets to sell for the Festival. PLEASE remember that you can only buy Glastonbury tickets through official sources and that this year’s Festival is entirely Sold Out.” Hammersmith Magistrates Court heard that Babb’s campaign of fraud lasted nearly a year, between August 2013 and July 2014. She admitted 29 offences of fraud by false representation. Prosecutor Tom Gill said: “This defendant told her victims that she worked in the music industry and could get discounted tickets to various events including [the] Glastonbury Festival. “There are 29 victims of this offence who paid for their tickets that they didn’t receive.” The court heard that Babb has previous convictions for ‘very similar’ scams. For the defence, Jyothi Somavarapu explained in mitigation that her client suffered…

Weatherley welcomes review of online copyright sanctions in the UK
Copyright / April 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT All areas   Mike Weatherley MP has welcome the UK’s Intellectual Property Office’s report into criminal penalties for copyright crimes. Weatherley had highlighted the disparity between penalties for offline and online copyright infringement, with copyright crimes leading to up to ten years custody for physical piracy – but a maximum of two years if the crime takes place online. The IPO has confirmed this and has now suggested that UK copyright law should be amended so that serious online copyright infringement is treated in a similar way to offline activities that those activities result in similar levels of harm to copyright owners. Responding to Weatherley, who had previously been Prime Minister David Cameron’s advisor on IP, IP Minister Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe wrote: “I am writing to update you on the study commissioned by the Intellectual Property Office into criminal sanctions available for online copyright offences. I know that you have taken a keen interest in this matter and that you have pressed for action to be taken to address what you felt was an anomaly in the level of penalties available for online copyright offences” adding “Given the uncertainty surrounding the potential impact brought by the increase to custodial sentences,…

Peppa Pig cracker roasted by global media giant
Trade Mark / March 2015
UK

TRADE MARK Television, sound recordings   Joshua Lima – aged 10 – and his brother Noah (8), who perform as ‘Magician’s Nephew’, have reportedly received a legal letter from Peppa Pig’s owners Entertainment One saying their song Peppa Pig, which describes how the St Albans’s based boys and their band have fallen out of love with the global children’s brand, needed to be taken off iTunes. Why? Well, because the artwork they used infringes Trade Marks associated with Peppa Pig – and possibly copyrights too in artwork,. The song itself is not the issue (although undoubtedly very annoying for the owners of a brand which brings in £600 million a year). The songs itself looks pretty damn original and it begins with “My friends have lost their faith, they will scream it in your face, In the playground of our school, Peppa Pig is no longer cool!” and ends with “I know this must be hard, and I mean no disregard, Let’s go our separate ways, me and you were just a phase“. But the boys have been told to remove a recording from iTunes because they used a picture of the animated pig in their video for the song…

Evoking Audrey Hepburn’s image in an ad is not OK, says Italian court
Artists , Image Rights / March 2015
Italy
UK

IMAGE RIGHTS Artists   The IP Kat has noticed a recent trend in advertising, ie the use of the image of icons of the past and Eleonora Roasti has blogged on this.   Perhaps it was Dior and Chanel to start this trend a few years ago by using the image of a young Alain Delon as the face (and body) of Eau Sauvage   [and Marylin Monroe as that of Chanel No. 5, respectively. However these days it seems that everybody is doing it. The question thus becomes: do you need permission to use the image of a celebrity? In those countries which recognise image rights  [not the case of the UK, as the Court of Appeal of England and Wales recently  confirmed in the Rihanna case ] , Italy being one of them   [see Article 10 of the Italian Civil Code] ,  the answer seems pretty straightforward: yes, you do need permission. But what happens when you do not use the image of a celebrity, but rather elements that merely evoke him/her  [see here for an interesting Israeli case] ? The Court of First Instance of Milan recently dealt with these issues in an intriguing case concerning unauthorised use of…

Secondary ticketing back on the UK legislation agenda
Consumers , Live Events / March 2015
UK

CONSUMER LAW Live events sector     In a policy U-turn, the UK Government is set to regulate ticket touting, with those breaching the new laws face fines of up to £5,000. The onus on stopping mass industrial scale toutng is to be shifted onto venues, however. The move came from the UK Government who had previously rejected attempts to amend legislation. The amendment now stands a much better chance of passing into law. Recently over 80 signatories to a open letter to the Government including the managers of One Direction and Arctic Monkeys, leading booking agents and the Association of Independent Festivals called on the Government to take action against ticket abuse and mass touting.  Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood recently criticised the “ever-increasing plague of ‘secondary ticketing’ excess” as a “blight on live music and sports events and much to the detriment of fans”.   Under new legislation, passed by the House of Lords, people re-selling their tickets to music gigs and sports events in the secondary market will be regulated more closely. Sellers will have to provide information on how much the ticket cost, the seat number and any restrictions imposed by the venue. This will expose…

Message’s message calls for more transparency in the digital pie
UK

CONTRACT / COPYRIGHT Recorded music, digital distribution, artistes   Radiohead manager and former Chair of the Music Managers Forum Brian Message has used the launch of the Entertainment Retailers Association’s new manifesto to single out the secret deals concluded between content owners – in particular the major record labels and new digital services – for criticism. Pointing out that artistes and their management have the potential to be increasingly closer to the fan he added: “that economic chain isn’t without it’s challenges, as you probably know just as well as us; in fact, many of my colleagues would go as far as to say that it’s pretty well broken and needs fixing. For us, central to this structural failure is the NDA [Non Disclosure Agreement] culture that is now ingrained in the licensing of creator catalogues to retailers and digital services”. “The lack of transparency and the very real erosion of trust felt by many creators and managers in how the economic value chain now operates is an issue that the MMF and ERA needs to focus on together so we can add real value to our members”. He added “Since taking on my new role within MMF and having…

Kiss FM guilty of Ofcom breach
Censorship / February 2015
UK

CENSORSHIP Broadcasting   Ofcom has found that UK radio broadcaster Kiss FM breached its rules after the station broadcast an unedited version of Calvin Harris’s ‘Open Wide’ at 17.45 on a Sunday afternoon in November 2013 – The explicit track features sexually suggestive lyrics and multiple uses of the word ‘fucking’. Kiss said that it “sincerely apologised” for the error, and acknowledged that it had breached the rules. It explained that it had been given the opportunity to have the first play of Harris’s new single, and had scheduled the spin into its Sunday night chart show and that the track was not properly vetted and “clearly not been the expected ‘radio-friendly’ edit”. Ofcom said that it was “concerned that in this case, the licensee allowed a track that had not been listened to by station staff to be broadcast at a time when children were particularly likely to be listening”. Kiss said that as a result of the incident, it overhauled its procedures for checking the content of new songs, and disciplined the producer in charge of the chart show.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-30880221

SIA updates on Business Licensing
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2015
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   The UK’s Security Industry Authority has issued a press release saying that the Home Office is “continuing to work with the security industry and the Security Industry Authority on the development of regulation for the private security industry.” In December 2014, the Home Office said the Government expects the introduction of the statutory licensing of private security businesses to come into force as soon as possible during the next Parliamentary session, which starts in May 2015. Business licensing is subject to Ministerial and Parliamentary approval and the approval of Ministers in the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However both the Conservative and Labour parties support the scheme. The Scottish Government and Department of Justice for Northern Ireland have indicated that they are supportive of a consistent, UK-wide regulatory regime.   http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/business-licensing.aspx

Canterbury: “Stop Criminalising Your Buskers, Start Supporting Them” (and Camden, you are beginning to look ridiculous!)
Licensing , Live Events / February 2015
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   As I grew up in Canterbury and indeed my father (and numerous friends) used to busk in the town centre I have decided to reproduce this entire article from the Keep Streets Live Campaign, a not-for-profit organisation which advocates for public spaces that are open to informal offerings of art and music. It aims to promote positive relationships between local authorities and street performers and to develop policies that support and sustain street culture. My father raised funds for Oxfam by playing the fiddle, dressed as a medieval musician and indeed played the crumhorn and other instruments with the Canterbury Waites! The Council introduced guidelines to regulate busking in the City and these include rules such as buskers only staying in one place for up to an hour, and stopping by 9pm and were introduced after the Government passed the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, which gives local authorities the power to issue a community protection notice to anyone it can reasonably judge to be “having a detrimental effect, of a persistent or continuing nature, on the quality of life of those in the locality”. Douglas Rattray, the head of Safer Neighbourhoods for the…