New issue of Music & Copyright with Finland country report

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

Music industry gender issues need addressing with actions not words
The music industry is finding it difficult to provide real opportunities to women, on both the creative and business sides. Study after study continues to demonstrate the enormous bias toward male participation in the sector, with little progress made over the past 10 years despite the wide, and growing, range of initiatives aimed at promoting female involvement in music. Much of this activity is mere tinkering and now the industry’s principals need to rally to the cause and lead by example. Now is not the time for window dressing.

JASRAC reports return to growth for collections, but distributions suffer a delayed COVID-19 effect
Japanese authors’ society JASRAC has reported a return to growth for collections, following on from a year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the country suffering from its highest levels of infections, the return of performances and concerts buoyed general performance. However, broadcasting income was down, although the prior year’s total was inflated from backdated payments. Mechanical collections registered a good year, with the total boosted by a rise in both CD and games income. Also benefiting the total was mechanicals from broadcast commercials. Digital collections were up, with JASRAC noting particularly positive results from music streaming and subscriptions. Unsurprisingly, distributions, which were based on collections in the prior year, suffered a fall for the first time in four years.

Ninth Circuit affirms California district court ruling that Toni Basil is the sole owner of Mickey
Singer and performer Antonia Basilotta, better known as Toni Basil, has won her case at the US Ninth Circuit regarding ownership of 10 tracks written and recorded some 40 years ago. Basilotta submitted termination notices to the music company Stillwater nine years ago in line with US copyright law that allows authors to reclaim the copyrights to their music after a set period of time. Although Stillwater agreed that the tracks in question were not works for hire, the company disputed ownership, claiming that the producer should be credited as a coauthor. After a California district court ruled in favor of Basilotta, Stillwater launched an appeal. However, a three-judge panel affirmed the district court’s decision, declaring Basilotta sole owner of the tracks.

Finland country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Finland music industry report. Finland is one of Europe’s smaller countries. Despite having a land area rivaling the region’s leaders, the population of Finland ended last year at slightly more than 5.5 million. In recorded-music terms, Finland sits just outside the global top 20. However, despite its modest ranking, the country is a market leader with regards to the digital transition from ownership to access. Subscription services generate around 80% of combined digital/physical trade income, and this share will continue to rise as sales of the once-dominant CD album drop away and downloads disappear. UMG maintained its position as the biggest recorded-music distributor. However, 2021 was the first year since 2015 that the company’s market share was down. Both second-placed WMG and third-ranked SME closed the gap on the leader. Royalty earnings collected by authors’ society TEOSTO returned to growth after 2020 was impacted by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The live industry suffered for a second straight year after the sector was effectively shuttered for 18 months.

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