RIAA Exec: 2017 Will be a “Critical Year” for Music Law

musicWhich 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

Lefsetz on Stream Ripping

getty-digital-music-headphones_largeThe 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

Music Industry’s Latest Piracy Threat: Stream Ripping

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.

Source: WSJ

Streaming Exclusives May Be Making the Music Piracy Problem Even Worse

While the music industry’s largely grown silent about it, piracy is still the go-to music consumption method for millions of people.

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, about 20 percent of internet users accessed pirated content in 2014.

That tracks with the findings of a study by the research firm MusicWatch, which found that 57 million people in the United States pirated songs last year, or about 20 percent of the country’s online users. Some of them are still pirating the old-school way, with 22 million people using peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent.

But millions more have found increasingly modern means that are often better suited for mobile devices. For instance, ripping songs from streams on platforms like YouTube is now nearly as popular as downloading from a peer-to-peer platform.

Source: The Ringer

Music Piracy Costs Europe $190 Million a Year, EU Study Estimates

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.

Source: Billboard

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