Showing 191 posts tagged music

On Thursday, several major record companies filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, accusing Pandora of violating the state’s common-law copyright protections by using recordings of older songs without permission. Along with a string of cases filed last year against Sirius XM Radio, the suit highlights an obscure legal issue that has come to the fore with the rise of streaming music online: that recordings made before Feb. 15, 1972, are not subject to federal copyright protection and may be missing out on tens of millions of dollars in royalties, according to industry estimates. In the suit, the three big labels, Sony, Universal and Warner Music, along with ABKCO, an independent label that controls the rights to many early songs by the Rolling Stones, accuse Pandora of playing old songs without licenses. Like the suits last year against Sirius XM — the band the Turtles (“Happy Together”) acted first, with a $100 million class-action suit, and the labels followed with their own complaint — the case argues that even though songs from before 1972 are not under federal copyright, Pandora should have to get permission to use them under state law.

Big Labels Take Aim At Pandora On Royalties - NYTimes.com

Spotify Starts Shutting Down Its Massive P2P Network

For more than half a decade Spotify has relied on P2P technology to quickly deliver songs to its millions of subscribers. This will be over soon. The music streaming service has started to phase out P2P technology to rely fully on central servers instead.

» via TorrentFreak

The upshot is that entertainment industries have, in the last half-century, gone from simple merchants—buy a ticket in this physical store; buy an album in this physical store—to digital cephalopods, sticking their tentacles into a multitude of diverse businesses and adapting surprisingly quickly to consumer habits as we fall in and out of love with different ways of watching video and listening to music.

The Future of Media Will Be Streamed - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic

Jury slaps $41M copyright verdict on MP3Tunes founder

Michael Robertson, an early innovator in cloud-based music services, can’t catch a break in court. A jury last week found that Robertson had ignored “red flags” of copyright infringement at his defunct file-locker service, MP3Tunes, and this week it reportedly imposed a whopping $41 million damages verdict.

The details of the verdict are still unavailable, but Reuters reports that it included an unusual $7.5 million of punitive damages on top of ordinary statutory damages — automatic penalties of up to $150,000 per infringement set out in the Copyright Act. The verdict was awarded to a group of music companies that acquired EMI, which sued Robertson and MP3Tunes in 2007.

» via GigaOM

Book publishers, as per a 2002 court decision Random House v. Rosetta Books, must get an author’s permission to republish a book as an ebook. Publishing houses, the Second Circuit court found, had the rights to publish the work “in book form”—a form that was found to exclude ebooks. If publishing houses wanted to make an ebook of a book they had published, they would have to renegotiate each book with its author. For record labels, the opposite is the case, the result of a 1998 Second Circuit decision Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers, Ltd. v. The Walt Disney Company. In that case the court was asked to decide whether Disney had violated the copyright on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, which appears in the Disney film Fantasia, when Disney had released Fantasia on video. Boosey, who held the Stravinsky rights, argued that the original 1939 license covered the “only format known at the time, acetate-based film produced for viewing in theaters.” The court disagreed, siding with Disney: “Converting old music to new formats did not require the licensee to negotiate a new license with the copyright owner,” Heald writes. For this reason, “music publishers can proceed with the digitization of their back catalog without competing to re-sign authors or hiring lawyers to re-negotiate and write new contracts.”

Why Are So Few Books From the 20th Century Available as Ebooks? - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic

Digital sales last year grew by 4.3 percent around the world, led by a 51 percent increase in revenue from subscription services. Income from these all-you-can-listen outlets, like Spotify, Deezer and Rhapsody, exceeded $1 billion for the first time last year, the federation said. About 28 million people around the world pay for access to them, up from eight million just three years earlier. Yet this success was offset by declines in downloads and physical sales. Sales of physical formats like CDs, which still supply about 51 of the industry’s trade revenue, fell by 11.7 percent last year. And sales of downloads, a growth business for more than a decade, were off by 2.1 percent. Still, downloads represent 67 percent of the digital market.

Music Sales Fell in 2013, Even as Streaming Revenue Increased - NYTimes.com

Judge Refuses to Alter Pandora’s Payments to Songwriters

A federal judge on Friday left unchanged the royalty rate that the streaming service Pandora pays songwriters, a move that may fuel efforts by music groups to change the decades-old government regulation over licensing.

Judge Denise L. Cote of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled on Friday that for each year from 2011 to 2015, Pandora must pay 1.85 percent of its revenue to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for the use of its members’ music, according to a statement by the society, better known as Ascap, which was sued by Pandora in late 2012.

While Ascap revealed Judge Cote’s rate determination, her full decision remains under seal for the parties to review for potential redaction of confidential information.

» via The New York Times (Subscription may be required for some content)

The radio station’s entire physical music collection—more than 50 years’ worth of accumulation—is now part of the Fine Arts Library’s Historical Music Recordings Collection. The library’s collection, which already had some 200,000 items in all formats, is one of the largest in the nation. The rare transaction came after KUTX, KUT’s music outlet, digitized its music holdings. The digitizing project began more than a year ago in preparation for the station’s move from quarters on the campus to a brand-new building nearby.

U. of Texas Library Buys 64,000 CDs and LPs From Campus Radio Station – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

What’s happening with these court cases will determine the future of the music publishing and songwriting industries,” said David Israelite, the president of the National Music Publishers’ Association. “It is simply unfair to ask songwriters and publishers to be paid something less than a fair market rate for their intellectual property.

Pandora Suit May Upend Century-Old Royalty Plan - NYTimes.com

Ted Kalo, executive director of the MusicFIRST coalition, praised Watt for his Free Market Royalty Act, which would require AM/FM radio stations to negotiate with musicians for the rights to play their songs. Currently, AM/FM radio stations pay nothing to play musicians’ songs, while cable, satellite and Internet radio services must pay royalty fees to play each song, which are set by the Library of Congress’ Copyright Royalty Board.

Music industry eyes House changes | TheHill