New issue of Music & Copyright with Japan country report

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

YouTube under fire again in new copyright infringement case
YouTube and Google have been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit by the composer Maria Schneider who has claimed she is denied access to the online video service’s Content ID system of copyright protection. The class action lawsuit has claimed that smaller rights holders cannot take advantage of Content ID and so are forced into sending individual takedown notices to YouTube via either a web-form, email, or postal mail for each video their searches identify. The court filing says YouTube operates a two-tier system with the rights of large creators given preference over the rights of smaller independent creators. The filing pulls no punches, describing YouTube as a hotbed of copyright infringement and claiming that restricting access to Content ID is a deliberate act designed to maximize the online video service and Google’s drive for user volume and advertising revenue.

Six straight years of revenue growth for Czech authors’ society OSA
Czech authors’ society OSA has reported a sixth straight year of royalty collection growth. The record year also meant that OSA maintained its position as a billion-koruna society. With the exception of mechanical/audiovisual, all of the main sectors were up last year with public performance registering the highest growth rate. Income from background music, live and cinema all registered double-digital percentage increases. Broadcasting receipts increased year-on-year with just radio registering a collection decline. Digital collections continued to benefit from the rise in the popularity of music streaming in the country. However, despite the growth, digital remains a minor income source for Czech authors and publishers. A higher increase in costs than collections meant costs as a share of the total collected was up year-on-year.

Leading industry stakeholders look to make black music matter more
Black Lives Matter gained serious early traction in the music industry as sector players used the movement to demonstrate their support, as well as air long-standing grievances. Leading record companies quickly rolled out initiatives and backed up promises with financial commitments, while also vowing to back systemic change. While there appears to be widespread recognition that black employees have been unfairly treated in the music business, more needs to be done to rectify the standing and condition of black artists whose output has done much to bolster the healthy balance sheets of the music industry’s commercial organizations. Parity is the core issue here and contracts and payments will rightly come under scrutiny.

Japan country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Japan music industry report. Of all the world’s leading recorded-music markets, Japan is the most erratic with some sizable differences in annual performance. Looking back over the last decade, total trade revenue from recorded-music sales has been inconsistent with one or two years of growth followed by a couple of years of decline. However, despite record company income from physical formats continuing to be unpredictable, the digital sector has stabilized. Moreover, following a lengthy reliance on downloads, the subscription sector now generates more than half of the total digital revenue for the local industry.

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