This latest issue of Music & Copyright licks off with a detailed look at what went wrong with the latest effort to create a central repository of musical works and single source of copyright metadata. The Global Repertoire Database project, which was conceived more than six years ago and involved several of the world’s biggest authors societies and music publishers, has ground to a halt under spiraling debts and disagreements. Efforts to reinvigorate the push to create some sort of global database are now ongoing, but many in the music industry are doubtful such an initiative will work. Smaller regional hubs are now leading the charge to standardize repertoire metadata.
The latest figures published by IFPI Sweden for trade revenue from recorded-music sales in the country show the popularity of music subscriptions and streaming is continuing to grow. Record company earnings from digital-music access services increased 11.6% in 1H14 compared with 1H13 and the likes of Spotify and WiMP now account for more than 80% of trade income. However, a big drop in CD album sales meant total trade income from recorded-music sales slipped 2.5%. IFPI Sweden is confident that a good second half of 2014 will see annual trade income rise for the fourth consecutive year. Continue reading
Informa Telecoms & Media today announced the publication of the second edition of its highly successful report Demystifying Pan-European digital-music rights. The report neatly illustrates what repertoire is controlled by what collection society or licensing hub in 30 of Europe’s most vibrant recorded-music markets. Continue reading
Last year the European Commission introduced new proposals for a directive on the collective management of copyright and multiterritory licensing of music. The proposals, which target collection-society transparency and the efficient working of digital-distribution businesses in Europe, are working their way through a series of committees. After that, they must be agreed upon by the European Parliament and European Council of Ministers.
What the directive will not do is interfere with the way music publishers administer their rights. All of the major publishers and a number of independents have withdrawn the rights to certain repertoire for licensing on a multiterritorial basis. Some see these moves as a step towards the creation of a new form of fragmentation, one based on repertoire, rather than national borders. Publishers have long claimed that withdrawing certain repertoire rights streamlines the licensing process. However, music ownership can involve multiple publishers and therefore digital services that want to provide an all-encompassing offering still need to sign more licensing deals than the number of countries they operate in. Continue reading
In the past 20 years or so, all sectors of the music industry have been through massive change. Format transitions, company consolidation and greater scrutiny of copyright and licensing have changed the industry beyond all recognition. But have the changes made for industry improvements, and more important, have the main players learned from their mistakes? The recent discovery of the first issues of Music & Copyright has allowed for a unique look at just how much certain things have changed, and how much they haven’t.
The newsletter’s 20-year anniversary came and went in September, but thanks to a long-standing subscriber, copies of the first 24 issues published have been found and make for interesting reading. Despite containing names that have either long since left the music industry or been swallowed up as part of industry consolidation, the headlines for a number of news stories resonate closely with happenings today. Continue reading
As the issue of multiterritory licensing comes under the spotlight in Europe, differences in rates charged and rights splits will become more evident. Will an EU directive that breaks down national borders be followed by a bigger push for deeper collection-society harmonization across the region?
With publication of the European Commission’s new multiterritory licensing proposals, Brussels’ efforts to harmonize the EU’s digital-music landscape are looking to build on legislation harmonizing authors’ and publishers’ rights that are managed by collection societies. Continue reading