The US Fourth Circuit held for the first time that copyright interests can legally be transferred electronically, affirming an injunction against American Home Realty Network Inc. in a copyright dispute with a rival real estate listings website.
The Spotify royalty row rumbles on: After Thom Yorke's comments (see our previous blog) abiout why he would not want his album on streaming service Spotify, Will Page, the former PRS for Music economist and now Spotify’s Director of Economics, published a new research paper 'Adventures In The Netherlands' looking at the streaming service's three year operation in the Dutch market, the accompanying fall in piracy and growth in recorded music income in the region in that period, and whether there are links between these facts - and with certain riders Will found that there is no indication that artists who had concurrent download and streaming releases suffered in terms of record sales because of their presence on streaming services. Next, the Music Managers Forum, which is chaired by Radiohead manager Brian Message, issued a statement in support of the streaming service saying "The Music Managers Forum embraces streaming as a technological development that adds to the ways that consumers can pay to access music. Any music creation is now potentially ubiquitous, for free, as soon as it is made available digitally. Streaming is in its infancy but growing fast and providing meaningful rewards for many. Income from radio, compact discs, downloads and even resurgent cassettes grows as the fruits of artists labour are discovered and become more popular. That popularity is a measure of the success of the artist fan relationship which is at the core of the modern music ecosystem" adding "A new music business is being built that encompasses publishers, labels, technology, financiers, producers etc, but that has the artist and fan firmly at the centre. Everyone, including artists and fans, in the new business needs to adapt to the new world" and finally, the statement concludes: "Streaming is not a download. Nor is it radio. It is streaming. It's different and a part of the future". This in turn was followed by a statement from the Musicians Union, the 30,000 strong association, demanding that the music streaming service draw up a new minimum pay deal for artists. The MU said it was pushing for a collective pay agreement modelled on the royalties paid by BBC and commercial radio stations. Comment from Robert Levine here.