The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
EU committees’ views on upload filters highlight differing attitudes to modern copyright protection
The European Commission (EC) is currently pushing forward with a set of reforms aimed at overhauling the current rules on copyright. Delivered by President Jean-Claude Junker as part of his “state of the union” address at the European Parliament last year, the proposals formed part of the EC’s Digital Single Market initiative. Included in the proposals were new rules on how video-sharing platforms remunerate the online exploitation of creators’ works and how those works are protected. Controversially, Junker introduced the idea that the video platforms will have an obligation to deploy effective means to automatically detect songs or audiovisual works that rights holders have identified. In July, two committees involved in the process of establishing the precise wording of the copyright reforms gave their opinions on the role of upload filters to weed out copyright-infringing content. The subsequent views and opinions from industry stakeholders and rights activists suggest the road to a comprehensive and all-encompassing agreement may be a long one.
Stream-ripping research questions YouTube’s status as a valued partner to the music industry
New research published by PRS for Music and the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has concluded that stream ripping is now the most prevalent and fastest-growing form of music piracy in the UK. Nearly 70% of music-specific infringement is dominated by the illegal online activity. PRS and the IPO jointly commissioned two separate studies to understand the impact of stream ripping on the UK market and on online consumer behavior. The research adds to a number of studies that have highlighted how online piracy is shifting from websites offering access to downloads toward stream ripping from a variety of music and video services. Repeating previous research, PRS and the IPO identified Google-owned YouTube as the most popular source of content for stream-ripping sites. Although the majority of traffic to stream-ripping sites was found to come from individuals seeking the sites directly, search engines were also believed to be delivering a significant proportion of traffic to the illegal services.
HDS ZAMP reports rise in domestic and international royalty receipts
Croatian authors’ society HDS ZAMP registered a positive year for royalty collections at home and abroad last year. Although receipts from TV broadcasters edged down, rises elsewhere, notably from general licensing, live music, and radio more than made up the difference. Mechanical collections benefited from higher sales of physical formats, and income from digital music services more than doubled. Digital collections as a share of total receipts remain low, due to the limited number of services in the country, but licensing efforts are set to boost this number. Despite slightly higher costs, the authors’ society recorded a rise in distributable revenue last year and a decrease in its cost ratio.
Germany country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Germany music industry report. Retail sales of recorded music in Germany are on something of a roll at the moment. German trade association BVMI reported a fourth consecutive year of growth in January, with a big jump in revenue from subscriptions and streaming fully offsetting the falls in spending on CD albums and music downloads. Although revenue from access services now accounts for the biggest share of digital music income, CD albums remain the most popular format for German consumers. Authors’ society GEMA has also registered four straight years of revenue growth with total collections last year, topping €1bn ($1.1bn) for the first time. Germany’s live music sector continues to deliver stable results. However, there have been some notable shifts within the market, largely following the entry of Live Nation at the beginning of 2016.
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