New legislation introduced in both houses of Congress on Thursday brings artists one step closer to receiving performance rights royalties on radio airplay. The Ask Musicians for Music Act (AM-FM) would require radio stations to get consent from recording artists to play their music.
Publishers, songwriters and performance rights organizations are at odds over other aspects of the DOJ’s consent decree review beyond the danger of potential unwanted legislation coming from the publishers’ request for the selective withdrawal of digital rights from ASCAP and BMI’s blanket licenses.
When Microsoft terminated its ebooks store — a service — it did not have to recall the books it had vended; instead, it terminated access to them. In essence, although the books continue to exist as intellectual property, those copies of the books just went away at the sole discretion of the provider, subject only to any contractual obligations.
ASCAP has launched the Advanced Research & Innovation Initiative to explore how advanced technologies, new business approaches and creative collaborations can drive value for its music creator members and music consumers. The new program will help to identify and develop new areas of growth and efficiency through technology accelerators, prototyping research projects, cross-pollination with the startup community, and knowledge-sharing through a bi-monthly speaker series.
Funds focused on music royalties are gaining traction as investors stray from the beaten path in a hunt for yield. Such funds buy the rights to music catalogs and generate royalty payments for investors when songs are bought, streamed or performed. The firms behind the funds say they actively manage these assets, seeking licensing deals that allow songs to generate greater income.
When Microsoft terminated its ebooks store – a service – it did not have to recall the books it had vended; instead, it terminated access to them. In essence, although the books continue to exist as intellectual property, those copies of the books just went away at the sole discretion of the provider, subject only to any contractual obligations (which Microsoft has sought to ameliorate by reimbursing its customers, although to be fair, it is not clear that the company is under any legal obligation to do so).
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.