What if we could replace antiquated physical contracts execution to fit with the new digital music age and real-time commerce? Well, today we can, and the technology is known as smart contracts. Just as the blockchain has emerged to claim its place as the up and coming financial instrument of the future, smart contracts have become an equally hot topic.
Electronic contracts, or smart contracts, between labels, distributors, and artists, can reshape the industry to ensure transaction and payment efficiency as well as increased transparency. Smart contracts are primarily a computer program whereby all parties can agree to the contract electronically, and it can also be enforced electronically.
This can be achieved through the introduction of blockchain technology. In the case of an executed smart contract, the blockchain would keep track of the ownership rights ensuring that the proper parties are paid in accordance with their smart contact. The more sophisticated the code, the more automated, self-executing, and “smarter” the contract.
Read Article: DataArt
A music archive regarded as one of the most important collections from the golden age of rock – thousands of tapes and videos featuring such artists as Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Fleetwood Mac – is at the centre of a legal dispute in which Keith Richards and Pete Townshend could be called to testify in a Manhattan courtroom.
The dispute focuses on Wolfgang’s Vault, a concert-streaming service and memorabilia marketplace that owns the archives of Bill Graham, a rock promoter without whom the 60s music scene in San Francisco and New York might have looked very different.
Read Article: The Guardian
IBM and Sacem announced today a 10-year strategic alliance to develop URights, a world-class copyright platform on IBM Cloud designed to track and capture the value of online music for both creators and publishers. Electronic distribution of music and advances in the streaming market have led to rapid growth in the amount of creative content being consumed around the world. Last year, Sacem tracked nearly 982.5 billion download and streaming transactions – almost twice the 2015 total.
To handle the exponential volume of music transactions online, URights the innovative rights collection and distribution services platform – co-developed by Sacem and IBM – will help to more effectively identify online rights. The platform will allow Sacem to provide additional value to rights owners with increased data analysis allowing more transparency and a more efficient identification of online works to help ensure they are compensated fairly. In 2015, Sacem distributed royalties to 293,000 creators and publishers in France and around the world, to credit two million works.
URights is open by design to allow other partners to integrate, such as other collective management organizations across the world, ensuring to save cost duplications and enhanced data-driven decision making. It will also provide customized services tailored to the specific nature of their local markets. Continue reading “IBM, Sacem to Deliver New Global Online Music Copyright Management Platform”
Which lawsuits will you be watching most closely in the coming year?
2017 is shaping up to be a critical year for music law. The Copyright Royalty Tribunal will set the rates that SiriusXM will pay sound recording copyright owners during the years 2018-22. To date, SiriusXM has benefited from below market rates set by the CRB under the so-called 801(b) standard. This rate standard does not require a marketplace rate, and the cost to artists and labels over the last 10 years is in the hundreds of millions if not billions. The result: a subsidy for SiriusXM as it has built an enormously profitable business. SoundExchange, representing artists and labels, is trying to restore some balance so that SiriusXM pays rates more in line with those that would be negotiated in the market. SiriusXM is asking for rates to be reduced. The decision is due by December 2017.
As the music marketplace has transitioned to streaming, the industry is seeing a rise in services that enable “stream-ripping,” which essentially copy and download music from a service intended only for streaming music or music videos. Stream-ripping undermines both streaming and download services. After all, why bother subscribing to Spotify if you can download all the music from YouTube? The industry has taken action against the largest stream-ripping site in the world, youtube-mp3.org. The case should be underway in earnest next year.
Read Article: Hollywood Reporter
Horacio Gutierrez: “The only way a company like Spotify can get, and stay, ahead in the technology industry is through a combination of two key things: innovation—in technology, business model, as well as in other aspects the service that we provide our customers; and customers delight —we have to not only satisfy customers, but even surprise and delight them, by offering them experiences they don’t get in other services. The combination of those two things is the only way that we can be sure to remain a leading force for years to come…”
“…I think one just has to look at data to recognize that the freemium model for online music consumption works. Our free tier is a key to attracting users away from online piracy, and Spotify’s success is proof that the model works. We have data around the world that shows that it works, that in fact we are making inroads against piracy because we offer an ability for those users to have a better experience with higher quality content, variety richer catalogue, and a number of other user-minded features that make the experience much better for the user.
“As we continue to succeed in monetizing the free tier, and continue to do a good job of converting free users to paid subscribers in the way we have done so far, we have a proven formula and a formula that, once again, will benefit everyone in the industry.”
Read Article: Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law
Streaming giant Spotify has filed a notice of appeal to the 9th Circuit concerning a federal judge’s recent decision not to force two of its users into arbitration. Gregory Ingalls and Tony Hong are looking to lead a class action lawsuit over a common feature in entertainment subscription services.
They signed up for Spotify’s premium service upon a three-month discount offer and claim that Spotify failed to adequately inform them that it would automatically renew their subscriptions at the full price once their trial period had ended. After a lawsuit was filed contending that their affirmative consent was need under California law, Spotify moved to compel arbitration pursuant to a Terms and Conditions agreement.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
The CD killed home taping. Did you really want to spend all that time making an inferior copy when the original sounded so much better?
Of course not. Never mind that CDs were vastly overpriced, didn’t compensate creators for said increase and singles were cut from the catalog, forcing you to buy a whole album to get the one good song you wanted.
In other words, the music industry fought the battle of the past by entering the future.
Source: Lefsetz Letter
Earlier this year, a federal judge shut down the free music-download site Mp3skull.com and awarded $22 million to the record companies that had sued it for copyright infringement.
But Mp3skull.onl, which has surfaced in its place, is touting a service even more worrisome to the music industry: stream ripping.
That practice, which involves turning a song or music video played on a streaming service into a permanent download, is growing fast among young music fans, even as other forms of music piracy wane.
Blockchain is finding its way into a huge variety of industries. Plans and research from finance to postal delivery are considering the benefits of blockchain to improve operational efficiency and enhance security, and the latest industry to explore the concept is the music industry. At a meeting of entrepreneurs, blockchain advocates and music industry experts at a Berlin Music Festival, will look to discuss ideas relating to metadata and the identification of rights for individual tracks and how blockchain can improve the current, less than efficient situation.
Source: DCE Brief
Music piracy has taken a small but noticeable bite out of potential profits for the recording industry throughout Europe, according to a new study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office. The report places an estimate on lost music sales in 19 EU states as a result of piracy in 2014, and comes up with a total of €170 million ($190 million), or 5.2 percent of all sales.
When broken down, that amounts to €113 million ($126 million) in lost digital sales and €57m ($63.5 million) in lost physical sales, the report finds. That’s the equivalent of 5.2 percent of the sector’s revenues from both physical and digital sales.