The U.S. Copyright Office will convene a day-long symposium in Washington, DC, on Friday, Dec. 6 to examine the problem of unclaimed royalties in the music industry. The meeting is part of a study mandated by the Music Modernization Act to evaluate steps the newly created Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) should take to identify and locate rights owners entitled to the unclaimed royalties and to reduce the incidence of non-payment by better matching data on sound recordings with data on their underlying music works.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has released a new study which suggests that piracy is dropping in Europe. While the research is limited to site-based piracy, it has some interesting findings. Countries with a lower average income per person visit pirate sites more often, for example. In addition, the study shows that awareness of legal options doesn’t always decrease piracy.
The American Law Institute has been working on a restatement of copyright for several years, but controversy around it re-emerged this week with a letter to its director co-signed by five US politicians: senator Thom Tillis and representatives Ben Cline, Martha Roby, Theodore Deutch and Harley Rouda. They claimed that two sections of the proposed restatement were recently approved by the ALI’s council, and if now approved by its membership “will be made publicly available and may then be cited by federal courts”.
Ever since the “Blurred Lines” verdict in 2015, artists have been fearful of getting hit with a frivolous infringement suit. In that case, a jury found that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke had stolen elements of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” and Gaye’s family was awarded more than $5 million in damages.
On Thursday (Dec. 5), the music publishing and recording giant announced it has partnered with music manager Carl Stubner’s Shelter Music Group, effectively adding another service option for BMG clients. Under the deal, Shelter will retain the freedom to sign artists to other labels and music publishers but will now enjoy access to BMG’s far-reaching resources and networks through the company’s 15 offices globally.
A federal judge in California has ordered Universal Music Group (UMG) to provide discovery evidence requested by litigating artists. The order is the latest development in a class action lawsuit filed by artists in response to the fire at the Universal Studios backlot in 2008.
GEMA said that its majority-acquisition of the company, for an undisclosed fee, strengthens its position in the growing digital market for music, podcasts and audio books. “By acquiring a stake in Zebralution, GEMA becomes one of the first collective management organisations in the world to secure commercial participation in a growth segment of the music market,” said a media release.
Music website Genius Media is suing Google, alleging the search company engaged in anticompetitive behavior related to posting song lyrics online. The case puts a spotlight on growing concerns that big tech companies like Google, can stifle smaller competitors through some of their business practices.
Media center app maker Plex officially launched its ad-supported video service Wednesday in more than 200 countries and territories, making it the first ad-supported video service with a nearly global reach. Getting the rights to launch in so many countries was key to bringing ad-supported video to Plex, said CEO Keith Valory in a recent interview with Variety.
On Feb. 2, the NFL will showcase Super Bowl LIV in Miami. But those looking for an even more ferocious competition may look past the big game to something that’s coming just a few days later. On Feb. 7, the NFL is set to file a high-stakes petition to the U.S. Supreme Court with major implications for the television industry.