New issue of Music & Copyright with Russia country report

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

Pressure shifts to Pandora as SiriusXM agrees pre-1972 deal
US satellite radio service SiriusXM has agreed on a settlement with the three major record companies and ABKCO Music & Records over the use of music fixed in copyright before February 15, 1972 (pre-1972 sound recordings). The settlement followed a California district court ruling in October that the broadcaster should pay royalties on the disputed recordings. The issue of royalties payable on the pre-1972 works has already seen a number of legal cases heard in several district courts in the US. Two members of the 1960s band the Turtles, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, who later became known as Flo & Eddie, have led the charge against the non-payment of royalties by SiriusXM and online radio service Pandora. Although SiriusXM is still battling against Kaylan and Volman despite legal defeats in New York and California, the broadcaster has decided to settle with the record companies rather than appeal the California court’s interpretation of the state’s copyright law, which means that the online radio service Pandora is now under the pre-1972 sound recordings spotlight.

SGAE membership approves accounts for 2013 and 2014
Spanish authors’ society SGAE has published its annual accounts for 2013 and 2014 after approval from its membership at the June annual general meeting. SGAE has experienced a turbulent last few years with arrests of senior executives for misappropriation of funds followed by antitrust investigations over high tariffs for live performance and broadcast fees. The collection society still has a long way to go to repair the damage caused, but SGAE said in June that total revenue grew last year compared with 2013 despite the difficult trading conditions which affected some of the main income sources. Digital collections registered good growth and mechanicals benefitted from the big rise in sales of CD albums.

Music TV still plays the world’s global juke box
Music TV has come a long way since the early days of MTV, with music videos having made the leap from being pure promotional collateral to premium content able to pay its own way. YouTube and Vevo have essentially replaced broadcast music television in the living room with on-demand tracks across multiple devices. But while large players dominate the space, there is still room for innovation, especially on the live music side of the business where brands are also eyeing the opportunity.

Russia country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Russia music industry profile. For more than a decade, the two major music industry sectors, recorded and live, experienced very different fortunes in Russia. Recorded music sales suffered under the weight of piracy and the live sector went from strength to strength. However, in the last couple of years, the situation has turned on its head with recorded music on the up and live music suffering a decline. Rising digital sales have boosted record company earnings and there is real hope that the country may be just about to start delivering on its potential. In contrast, Russia’s live sector has been hit by a devaluation in the ruble and souring relations with the West over Ukraine that have forced the country’s economy into a deep and subsequently damaging recession.

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