New issue of Music & Copyright with Sweden country report

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

Online platforms not yet liable for the illegal uploading of protected works in Europe
Despite changes to the liability of online platforms set to change in Europe following the passing of a new copyright directive last year, an Advocate General (AG) at the European Court of Justice (CJEU) has published an opinion based on years old legislation in two long-running joined cases referred to the court by the German Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice). The German court had asked for clarification on the position of online video service YouTube and the upload and file hosting platform Uploaded with regards to the uploading of protected works by users to the services. The AG decided that under current EU law, YouTube and Uploaded were not directly liable for any illegal uploads as they only acted as intermediary services. Also, the services were eligible for exemption from liability as they played no active role in the uploaded contents’ distribution.

Four consecutive years of growth for Hungarian royalty collections
Hungarian authors’ society ARTISJUS has reported a fourth consecutive year of growth in royalty collections. In a repeat of previous years, private copying was the dominant collection source with remuneration growth boosted by retroactive payments following a deal with the hardware manufacturer LG as well as increased receipts from mobile handsets and larger storage devices. Public performance registered a modest year with ARTISJUS reporting higher receipts from the hospitality sector because of the buoyancy in the economy as well as ongoing improvements in payment discipline. Broadcast revenue benefitted from a licensing agreement with the TV2 Group, operator of the second largest commercial TV channel and the payment of backdated royalties. Digital collections grew sharply with the bulk of digital income generated by VOD services in the country. However, digital remains a minor revenue source for ARTISJUS members.

Festivals take a huge hit but the live spirit forges on
The global festival calendar 2020 has been decimated by COVID-19, while there are also creeping fears for next year’s roster. Organizers that push ahead with live, physical events tailored to a pandemic are finding the process highly challenging as virus outbreaks force often precipitous changes to proceedings. In addition, those in the US can be hamstrung by a charged political environment in a presidential election year. However, European organizers are proving adept at festival innovations with new physical formats that adhere to social distancing rules. In addition, some events are deploying digital technologies that, while likely not making up for a lack of festival togetherness, are managing to provide performance-plus experiences.

Sweden country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Sweden music industry report. As home to the world’s biggest on-demand audio subscription service Spotify, Sweden has become one of the world’s most progressive recorded-music markets. The country’s digital share of trade sales last year topped 90% as combined spending on physical formats slipped to a record low. In addition to recorded music, consumer spending on tickets to live music events grew last year and royalty collections continued to break new records authors’ society STIM reporting a ninth consecutive year of collection growth. However, all the music industry sectors are set to be negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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