The Mechanical Licensing Collective, which must be able to administer the new U.S. blanket licensing system for mechanical rights by its legislated start-up date of Jan. 1, 2021, estimates that it will need $37.25 million to build and then have a first year operating budget of $29 million.
Now that Warner Music Group has mastered streaming, generating $2 billion in revenue from the technology, the music giant behind Cardi B, Ed Sheerhan and Bruno Mars has set its sights on blockchain, joining an $11.2 million investment in Dapper Labs, best known for making the viral blockchain game, CryptoKitties.
Testifying on behalf of Apple on March 8th, 2017, Dale Cendali of legal giant Kirkland & Ellis told the CRB that “the current rate structure is overly complicated and lacks transparency because royalties depend on the amount of revenue a service generates … and because of that, songwriters may receive different compensation even though it is the same song being streamed.”
The National Music Publishers Association is challenging Spotify and Amazon’s methods of determining mechanical royalties, putting into question whether the services are underpaying publishers. On Tuesday (Aug. 27), the NMPA sent letters to both companies seeking more information on how they are applying various components of the Copyright Royalty Board’s three-tier rate formula.
In a suit filed Wednesday in federal court in Nashville, Eight Mile accuses Spotify of willful copyright infringement by reproducing “Lose Yourself” and about 250 of the rapper’s songs on its service to the tune of potentially billions of dollars in alleged damages. The suit also targets the Music Modernization Act, a federal law enacted last October that was intended to make life easier for tech companies and to get songwriters paid.
While music publishers, songwriters and both ASCAP and BMI are urging the U.S. Department of Justice to reform the consent decrees under which the two performance rights organizations operate, and eventually allow them to expire, music users insist that the consent decrees are vital to the music licensing landscape and without them chaos would reign.
Despite its relative infancy, several foundational solutions and use cases are starting to showcase blockchain’s immediate potential and pique the interest of media organizations. One such example is blockchain’s role in verifying the provenance and pedigree of assets to enable collaboration across the industry.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved a second blockchain company’s request to sell its tokens to the public on July 11, a day after breaking ground by greenlighting its first public cryptocurrency sale. The SEC’s approval of live streaming platform YouNow’s Props token offering falls under Reg A+, which allows startups to raise up to $50 million in a public offering with fewer disclosures than a full IPO requires.
YouTube has revamped its manual copyright claim system, which now requires copyright owners to provide time-stamps indicating where their content appears in videos without the proper license. The updates, announced by project manager Julian Bill in a blog post, are intended to ease confusion around the manual claim system and make it easier for creators to remove infringing content associated with claims.
From Apple to Disney to AT&T, most of the major players who are on the guest list this week at the tony C-suite conclave are making huge investments in storytelling for a new era of streaming on-demand platforms. “The arms race for writers and how do you compete in this new changing world — that’s what I want to hear about,” said one longtime conference attendee who expects the streaming wars to dominate conversation this week.