New issue of Music & Copyright with US country report

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

Smaller streamers look for an edge in a big-player market
The music-streaming sector’s leading lights made serious moves at the tail-end of last year, and the battle to dominate the subscription segment is set to sharpen in 2018. Amazon, Google, Apple, and Spotify are all looking to gain extra edge in a competitive market, making it difficult for the smaller services to remain relevant and play a leading part in the rapidly evolving sector. However, Pandora, Deezer, and Tidal haven’t given up the fight and are looking to carve out their own segments, largely with the help of bigger partners.

UK ISPs ordered to block access to illegal streaming service servers
Last year, the UK High Court issued its first order to block access to unlicensed streaming service servers. The handing out of blocking orders to an ISP by a court is quite common, and rights holders for several years have applied to courts to force ISPs to prevent their subscribers from accessing websites or torrent trackers that host or provide access to unlicensed music and media content. Given the shift in the way recorded music is accessed now, rather than owned, unlicensed streaming services are growing in number, and so blocking internet users from visiting certain websites is no longer the answer to the problem. At the end of last year, the High Court issued a new blocking order. Like the previous order, the block was to prevent internet users from viewing live soccer matches. The High Court action could have implications for the recorded-music industry’s attempts to prevent internet users from accessing unlicensed content.

Publisher Wixen files copyright infringement lawsuit against Spotify
Spotify has been hit with new legal action accusing it of willful copyright infringement. The lawsuit, filed by Wixen Music Publishing at the US District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division, claims that Spotify has reproduced and streamed music penned by its songwriters without permission. The lawsuit, which is requesting the maximum statutory damages for each infringement, described a previous settlement between Spotify and a class action group concerning similar claims as inadequate. It accused the service of building a multibillion-dollar business without ensuring that the music available had been properly licensed. The timing of the lawsuit’s filing was prompted by the introduction of the Music Modernization Act into the House of Representatives which aims at overhauling the US mechanical royalty system. The bill includes a clause preventing rights holders from filing similar mechanical rights–based copyright claims after the end of 2017.

US country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed US music industry report. The US is the biggest music market in the world. Not only does it account for around one-third of global recorded-music sales, it is home to the world’s largest live music sector and the single biggest live music promoter, Live Nation Entertainment. The US also has two of the leading authors’ rights organizations, ASCAP and BMI, and has quickly become the biggest performance rights market for record companies and performers, despite the fact the country’s collection agency, SoundExchange, only collects royalties from digital music services.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with US country report

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

Music industry and consumer support for higher-quality audio streams grows
The idea of making high-resolution (hi-res) or high-definition (HD) music appealing to more than just audiophiles is a step closer following the announcement by a number of recorded-music industry stakeholders at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that they are to boost their output of high-quality music. Music subscription service Tidal has also enhanced its commitment to high-quality streaming with improvements to the quality of its high-fidelity tier. A number of research reports suggested last year that increased sound quality was growing in importance for consumers who have become accustomed to music streaming. However, with the two biggest digital music service providers in the world, Spotify and Apple, yet to make any significant high-quality music moves, there remain serious questions over the likely success of the renewed push for the delivery of better-quality sound.

Lower collections for IPRS as Delhi court introduces interim rights-licensing process
India’s authors’ society, IPRS, has reported a drop in collections for the financial year ending March 2016. With the exception of the minor income source TV broadcasting, all revenue streams suffered a fall. IPRS commented that unfavorable court rulings and litigation were the main reasons for the income reduction. IPRS has also been instructed by a Delhi court not to issue any new licenses for the next three months. The interim order, which also affects licenses issued by the performance rights organizations (PROs) Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) and Novex Communications, was made on the grounds that the PROs are unregistered and so are operating in contravention of India’s copyright act.

Live music set to register another record year for ticket sales
Assessing the performance of the live-music sector from one year to the next at anything beyond a national level is speculative at best. Unlike its recorded-music counterpart, which is well organized under the auspices of the IFPI, the live industry has no all-encompassing trade association. Moreover, despite the emergence in recent years of a small number of corporate promoters, the live industry is not controlled by a few players, unlike the recorded-music sector, which is dominated by the three majors. However, some guidance can be gained from the results of the corporate live leaders. Based on their financial details for the first nine months of last year, the live music industry is likely to have registered a positive 2016. Although the individual performances of each company differed, the combined earnings for the featured promoters showed positive overall growth. Moreover, share price gains over the last 12 months for four of the six companies pointed to ongoing city approval for the live entertainment sector.

US country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed US music industry report. The US is the biggest music market in the world. Not only does it account for around one-third of global recorded-music sales, the country is home to the largest live music sector in the world and the biggest live music promoter, Live Nation Entertainment. The US also has two of the biggest authors’ rights organizations, ASCAP and BMI, and has quickly become the world leader in performance rights collections for record companies and performers, despite the fact the country’s collection agency, SoundExchange, collects royalties only from digital music services.

If you want to know more about Music & Copyright then follow the below links.

Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with US country report

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

Spotify hit by second US copyright infringement lawsuit
Music subscription service Spotify is facing a second class action lawsuit accusing it of reproducing and distributing sound recordings without the necessary license. In December, the artist and rights advocate David Lowery filed a class action copyright lawsuit at the Central District Court of California claiming $150m in damages because the service had failed to identify or locate the owners of certain compositions for payment that it has distributed, and had not issued a notice of intent to employ a compulsory license. Now artist Melissa Ferrick has filed a second class action lawsuit at the same court, and is claiming $200m in damages. Both lawsuits note Spotify’s public acknowledgment that it does not have the correct licenses to distribute certain recordings after it said it had created a reserve fund for royalty payments that had been withheld from artists and that it was investing in the resources and technical expertise to build a comprehensive publishing administration system to solve the licensing problem.

New report details the supporting role of brands in online IP infringement
A new report detailing digital advertising and the scale of advertising-based funding of websites suspected of infringing intellectual property (IP) in the European Union has been published by the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights (the Observatory). The study monitored a number of different websites that offered a range of content and assessed the extent by which digital advertising supported IP-infringing websites. The study also analyzed the brands and sectors supporting the websites with their advertising and the advertising companies placing the ads. Among a number of conclusions, the Observatory said that, despite brands being able to control how agencies managed their campaigns, suspected IP-infringing websites were found to be a “brand-rich environment” with mainstream advertising accounting for almost half of all the ads collected in the study.

Rightscorp and clients hit with a $450,000 “robo-call” settlement bill
Copyright enforcement company Rightscorp and its two clients BMG Rights Management and Warner Bros. Entertainment have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit which accused them of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by using an automatic telephone dialer and sending pre-recorded calls to the mobile phones of a number of individuals without their prior consent. The calls, made by Rightscorp on behalf of the two companies, were to inform suspected copyright infringers of their actions and to obtain pretrial settlements. In addition to receiving damages, the class action members were absolved of any copyright infringement claims.

US country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed US music industry profile. The US is the biggest music market in the world. Not only does it account for around one-third of global recorded music sales, the country is home to the largest live music sector in the world and the single biggest live music promoter, Live Nation Entertainment. The US also has two of the biggest authors’ rights organizations, ASCAP and BMI, and has quickly become the world leader in performance rights collections for record companies and performers, despite the fact that the country’s collection agency SoundExchange only collects royalties from digital music services.

If you want to know more about Music & Copyright then follow the below links.

Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.