New issue of Music & Copyright

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

Brexit and the implications for the UK music copyright sector
As the world comes to terms with the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU), many in the music industry are figuring out what “Brexit” will mean to them. Stakeholders across the industry have voiced their surprise at the result as well as concern about its potential impact, but they have also expressed a willingness to not let the referendum result affect what has long been a multinational business sector. According to EU rules, the UK has two years to untangle itself from the various EU institutions. This means that although little will change in the short term, UK rights holders face uncertainty once negotiators on both sides start poring over the finer details of Brexit.

Combined BUMA and STEMRA collections up for the fourth consecutive year
Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA have reported a fourth consecutive year of annual growth in joint collections after three consecutive annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies grew at an increased rate last year, with gains reported in both performance and mechanical rights. Strong growth in streaming in the Netherlands resulted in a sharp rise in digital collections for BUMA. However, digital remains a small source of revenue for authors and publishers in the country. STEMRA’s income benefitted from a big jump in private copying remuneration following changes in rates and the extension of fees to e-readers.

Where have the courts left us with music copyright?
Typically, when cases involving music are brought before the courts, the trials revolve around one of two rights: either the copyright in the song itself (i.e. the musical score and the lyrics) or the copyright in the actual recording of the song (i.e. cases involving sampling of the recording). A number of music cases recently have involved both types of copyright and have shown that where there’s a right, there’s a fight – especially when significant cash is at stake. In this article, Luke Hill, intellectual property lawyer at Marks & Clerk, examines some recent copyright cases both in Europe and the US, to explain how the law is developing and assess the implications for artists and rights holders.

Brazil country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Brazil music industry profile. Following four straight years of growth, trade earnings from recorded music in Brazil edged down last year. Revenue from digital sales and services more than offset a fall in sales of physical formats, but the drop in performance rights income meant total Brazilian record company earnings contracted for the first time since 2010. Despite the overall decline, there were positive developments in the subscription sector, with trade earnings from the likes of Deezer, Napster, and Spotify almost trebling. Moreover, combined income from subscriptions and advertising is now the biggest revenue source for Brazilian record companies, overtaking the previous favorite, CDs. UMG held on to the leading position it gained from SME in 2013, but local independent Som Livre registered the biggest market share gains in 2015. Umbrella rights organization ECAD reported its first decrease in collections this century, blaming difficult trading conditions. Brazilian events promoter Time For Fun (T4F) reported a flat 2015 for sales but began 2016 with a doubling of revenue in the first three months, a record for a single quarter.

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