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Creative Industries

Main stories — Week 34, 2023

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Here’s a list of the main stories published by Creative Industries News in the past few weeks:

LEAD STORIES
US book publishers settle with Internet Archive in copyright infringement case
Record labels file lawsuit against Internet Archive for ‘massive ongoing violation’ of pre-1972 sound recordings

COPYRIGHT & REGULATION
The Federal Trade Commission plans to address competition issues raised by Amazon’s alleged unfair methods
British creative industry calls on the government to ‘urgently’ discuss the issue of intellectual property exhaustion
Australian commercial radio opposes new proposed legislation removing the 1% cap on payments for neighbouring rights
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Lindsey Graham want to create a new government agency to regulate Big Tech companies
Pascale St-Onge replaces Pablo Rodriguez as Canada’s new Heritage Minister
Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu appoints Hannatu Musawa as the new Minister of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy
Canadian media groups ask Competition Bureau to investigate Meta Platforms for blocking news content on social media

LITIGATION
> US federal judge rules AI-powered art is not eligible for copyright protection
SoundExchange sues SiriusXM to recover up to $150m in alleged unpaid royalties
Elon Musk’s X/Twitter files motion to dismiss the copyright infringement lawsuit filed in June by US music publishers
California jury awards $23.4 million to Moonbug in copyright infringement case against China’s Babybus
> FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com operator Tofig Kurbanov withdraws his appeal in stream-ripping case brought by the RIAA
California court rules that Flo & Eddie have ‘no viable copyright claim against Pandora’ in pre-1972 recordings case
US books industry challenges Texas legislation requiring to rate books according to sexually explicit content

CMOs & LICENSING
CRB judges (finally) approve Phonorecords III rates for the period 2018-2022
SESAC and five Asian PROs launch the Asian Alliance Music Rights Organisation as a hub for multi-territorial digital licensing
UMG partners with kids audio platform Yoto
DACS report shows artist resale right generated £120m in royalties since 2006
Domino Publishing signs with SUISA Digital for pan-European digital licensing
Warner Music Group inks ‘first-of-its-kind’ partnership agreement with TikTok
SoundExchange collected $1.01bn in 2022
France’s rights societies SACD and ADAGP renew licensing contract with Disney+
Dequency adds a new range of digital media to its music licensing platform
Shutterstock extends OpenAI’s licensing partnership with a new six-year agreement
British rights society PPL unveils new data on gender and ethnicity staffing

DATA
PRS for Music and PPL will use Audoo’s technology to track and identify music performances in public spaces
GEMA acquires a majority stake in digital music recognition firm SoundAware Group
A2IM partners with Pex to provide audio and video identification technology to members

CREATIVE INDUSTRIES
Warner Music Group’s revenue was up 9% to $1.56 billion in Q3 2023
Believe reports revenue up 17.9% to €415.4m for the first half of 2023
KKR offers to buy Simon & Schuster from Paramount Global for $1.62 billion
> Vivendi’s revenues up 3.7% to €4.7bn in H1 2023, with good performances from Canal+, Havas and Gameloft
RTL Germany launches all-inclusive entertainment package and app RTL+
Hasbro sells eOne’s film and TV business to Lionsgate for $500 million
Frances Moore to step down at the end of 2023 after three decades with the IFPI and 13 years as CEO of the organisation
Germany’s recorded music market breaks the 1 billion euros mark in H1 2023
The Ivors Academy Trust adds Michelle Escoffery, Shani Gonzales, Andy Heath and Fran Malyan to its board of Trustees
Copyright Alliance adds Music Law Pro to its Legal Advisory Board

DIGITAL ECONOMY
DiMA President & CEO Garrett Levin praises ‘a functioning and much-improved licensing system’ as he steps down
> Triller files to become a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange
Elon Musk has rebranded Twitter as X
Tencent Music Entertainment Q2 2023 revenue up 5.5% to $1.01bn with paying users growing 20.2% to 100 million
> SiriusXM Q2 revenues flat at $2.25bn; Pandora drops 2.9 million users in a year
Deezer posted revenue up 6.3% to €233.2m in the first half of 2023, despite a slight drop in subscribers, except in France
> India’s Reliance Jio Infocomm launches of a Netflix offer through prepaid plans
Sony’s Q2 2023 revenue up 33%, boosted by games, music and imaging solutions
Apple’s services division posts better-than-expected revenues up 8% to $21.2 billion in Q2 2023
Alphabet revenues up 7% to $74.6 billion in Q2 2023, with YouTube ad sales up 4%
Netflix added over 6 million new subscribers during Q2 2023
Tech companies launch the Frontier Model Forum to establish best practices for AI
BandLab pledges support to the Human Artistry CampAIgn for ethical AI
More US consumers subscribe to free ad-supported TV streaming (FAST) services
Amazon Music Unlimited hikes its monthly subscription rate to $9.99/month in the US
> Spotify raises Premium subscription rates in over 50 markets around the world
Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat named President and Chief Investment Officer with the brief to focus on engagement with policymakers
Amazon offers music merchandise integration to Bandsintown’s users

DEALS
– BMG sign deal to represent The Chemical Brothers’ entire publishing catalogue
– Iconoclast has acquired Giorgio Moroder’s producer royalties stream
 Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group acquires a ‘range of music assets’ from Cher
– Simon Cowell and Syco Entertainment partner with Universal Music Publishing Group to launch SYCO Publishing
– Round Hill Music acquires 100% of Big Loud Shirt and 50% of company founder Craig Wiseman’s writer income streams
– BMG acquires the writer’s share of royalties of SNAP!’s producer Michael Münzing
– Concord acquires a portion of the music publishing catalogue of Plain White T’s songwriter and frontman Tom Higgenson
– Warner Music Latina signs Mexican artist Belinda to a global recording deal
– Universal Music Publishing Group signs an exclusive, global publishing agreement with estate of the late Jenni Rivera
– Big Machine Records signs Daughtry to a global recording agreement
– BMG partners with Fran Malyan and Michelle de VriesExtra Mile Music
– AMR Songs launches a Christian division and announces a raft of new deals
– Warner Chappell Music has signed a global publishing deal with jazz artist Laufey
– Jaime Lozano signs worldwide exclusive administration deal with Concord Music Publishing and Concord Theatricals
– Warner Chappell Music has signed an exclusive administration deal with Maria Becerra
– Downtown Music Publishing has signed Raja Kumari to a global music publishing agreement
– Warner Chappell Music has signed Imagine Dragons to a global administration deal
– CTM Outlander has acquired the catalogue from British songwriter and producer Fraser T.Smith
– Distiller Publishing signs co-publishing agreement with songwriter and producer Gil Lewis in partnership with Stellar Songs
– Warner Chappell Music has signed Yng Lvcas to a global publishing deal
– Big Bang Music signs global administration deal with Sony Music Publishing
– Perception Records signs global sync and publishing deal with Heavy Hitters Music

IN THE NEWS
– Jerry Moss of A&M Records dies aged 88
– US music executive and entrepreneur Clarence Avant dies aged 92
 Lesli Linka Glatter re-elected President of the Directors Guild of America
– peermusic appoints ASCAP executive Elizabeth Rodda as President, Latin America and Global Society Relations
– Concord Music Group has named Tom Becci to the newly created position of Chief Executive of Concord Label Group
– Seeker Music promotes John Bowditch to Senior Director of Marketing
– George Drakoulias joins Premier Music Group as a partner and creative director
– Big Machine Label Group has promoted Liz Meade to Senior Manager, Communications
– Kobalt promotes Alaine Fulton to VP, Creative & Clearance Synch
– Paul Langworthy named Chief Revenue Officer at licensing platform Songtradr
– Italy’s Frontiers Music taps Jeff Stevenson as General Manager for North America
– Prescription Songs/Amigo Records name Diana Sanders SVP of Business Affairs
– Spotify executive Tash Shah joins TuneCore as Vice President of International
– Kobalt promotes London-based Kenny McGoff to Head Of Creative UK
– Deezer has appointed Florence Lao as General Counsel and Board Secretary
– Hansjürg Stämpfli appointed General Manager of Warner Music Switzerland
– PPL India appoints Sanjay Tandon as an independent director

INTERVIEWS
In case you missed it, Creative Industries News published recent Q&As with:
–  Kris Ahrend (The MLC): ‘Our payout rate in the first year was higher than the industry payout rate during the previous three years’
– Andrea C Martin (PRS for Music): ‘Digital has become our number one channel of revenues, surpassing international’
– Matteo Fedeli (SIAE): ‘Some big shots in California have decided how much our repertoire is worth’
– 3 questions to Chris McMurtry (Pex): ‘Apple Music Classical is a game changer’
David Israelite (NMPA): ‘The rate setting system is broken and needs to be reformed’
– Robert Singerman (LyricFind/BELEM project)
– Bruno Guez (Revelator)
Cécile Rap-Veber (SACEM)
Molly Neuman (Songtrust)
Jordi Puy (Unison)
Olivier Chastan (Iconoclast)
Ken Umezaki (Verifi)
– Paul Pacifico (AIM)
Spek (PopArabia)
– Merk Mercuriadis (Hipgnosis) (Part 1)
– Merk Mercuriadis (Hipgnosis) (Part 2)

OPINION
In case you missed it, Creative Industries News published recent opinion pieces from:
 Ibán García Del Blanco (European Parliament): ‘Royalties that streaming services pay creators and performers for their work are pitiful’
– Kris Ahrend (The MLC): ‘The MLC has distributed more than $1.1 billion in royalties to rights holders’
 Abby North (North Music Group): ‘It’s been three years and the MLC is a long way from best in class’
 Richard Burgess (A2IM): ‘We are heavily engaged in the conversations about AI’
 Björn Ulvaeus (CISAC): ‘AI will radically change the lives of creators’
– Markus Schwarzer (Cyanite): ‘Music making machines — How AI is empowering, not undermining, the music industry’
– Jeff Liebenson (IAEL): ‘Music in the Metaverse — Negotiating Key Issues’
– David Lowery: ‘Why windowing releases works for me’
– Chola Makgamathe (SAMRO): South Africa needs a comprehensive, multifaceted strategy to curb the economic impact of piracy
– Susan Cotchin (Good Neighbour Rights): ‘Australia’s decision to limit the application of Art. 15 of WIPO’s WPPT has impacted Australian artists in a big way’
– Helen Smith (IMPALA): ‘We don’t believe equitable remuneration is equitable at all’
– Jonathan Reichman and Jeremy King (Hunton Andrews Kurth): ‘Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith is an opportunity for US Supreme Court to clarify fair use’
– Kevin Casini: ‘Stakeholders need to take a long-term view with the Copyright Royalty Board’s rate-setting proceedings’
– Barry Scannell (IMRO): ‘Royalty-based NFTs have limited fungibility’

Emmanuel is a Washington, DC-based freelance journalist, blogger and media consultant, specialising in the entertainment business and cultural trends. He was the US editor for British music industry trade publication Music Week. Previously, he was the editor of Impact, a magazine for the music publishing community (2007-2009), the global editor of US trade publication Billboard (2003-2006), and the editor in chief of Billboard’s sister publication Music & Media (1997-2003).

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Creative Industries

Vivendi takes steps to authenticate content produced by its different businesses

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French media and entertainment group Vivendi has unveiled several initiatives "to ensure greater transparency and authenticity of the content produced in the digital ecosystem" and to "certify that it has been produced in whole or in part by a human being or by artificial intelligence."

These initiatives will apply to the creations of Vivendi's various businesses. "The challenge for Vivendi is to use the ongoing developments of Web 3.0 to defend the legitimate interests of all its rights hol...

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KKR acquires Superstruct Entertainment from Providence Equity Partners

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Investment firm KKR has acquired European live entertainment group Superstruct Entertainment from private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. As part of the transaction, Providence has an option to invest €250 million into Superstruct.

KKR is making the investment in Superstruct through its European Fund VI, an $8bn fund that invests in leading businesses. Superstruct, founded in 2017 by CEO Roderik Schlösser, and Chairman James Bar...

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A2IM and IMPALA launch carbon calculator project in the US with the support of Merlin

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A2IM (USA) and IMPALA (Europe) , two trade associations representing independent music labels are launching, in partnership with Julie's Bicycle, a free one-year pilot project of IMPALA’s Carbon Calculator in the US with the support of licensing agency Merlin.

The Carbon Calculator is designed to help music companies measure and reduce carbon footprints "in as coordinated a way as possible," explained IMPALA. Following the pilot period, the tool is expected to be rolled out in the world's ...

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