Music Industry

Canadians To Pay For Music Previews ?

Starting tomorrow the Supreme Court of Canada will hear appeals in regards to royalty payments for music previews and music in video games.

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada wants royalties every time someone clicks on one of those short previews when they Shop on iTunes, eMusic, etc, and had appealed an October 18th, 2007 Copyright Board of Canada decision stating that these qualifies as “fair dealing”.

Unfortunately for the consumer many retailers have decided to drop previews because of this case, including Amazon.ca, and if the Supreme Court rules in their favor previews might be removed on most sites because the royalties would be quite prohibitive.

A ruling establishing royalties on previews could also set a precedent that could hinder film previews and trailers in Canada. But I am hoping the previous Copyright Board of Canada decision will stand.

Previews are not purchases but research to which the end result might be a legitimate purchase. And without previews, people will think twice about making a purchase, so it is counterproductive.

Then there’s the fact that this ruling would not apply to foreign sites, where previews are accessible by Canadians. And any attempt to collect royalties for previews from these foreign sites would be problematic because of their national “fair dealing” exemptions.

Apple and Canada’s largest telecom companies are of course fighting this appeal. The Canadian Recording Industry Association had also opposed royalties on previews so I am guessing that their modern counterpart, Music Canada, also oppose them.

Napster Canada To Close

Napster will cease their Canadian operations on December 16th, 2011 and the company advises their Canadian customers to use their credits/gift cards and backup their purchases prior to this date. Click here for more details.

It Makes You Think, Again !

It appears that the pending lists affair is not over.

In January 2011, the major labels in Canada had settled a class action lawsuit against them for the unauthorized use and distribution of recordings, as well as unpaid mechanical and video royalties.

EMI Music Canada Inc., Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada Inc. and Warner Music Canada Co. had later in May 2011 agreed to pay approximately $50.2 Million dollars to songwriters and music publishers that had not been compensated the use of their works in certain compilations and live recordings.

Well, Universal Music Group and Universal Music Canada is now suing the National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pennsylvania, their insurer, for their share of the settlement and other related expenses in the Supreme Court of the State of California in Los Angeles.

According to their November 8th, 2011 complaint found on HollywoodReporter.com, Universal Music Group had paid $14.4 million in damages and approximately $1.06 million in attorney fees and costs.

EMI Music Group Split For Sale

It appears that Citigroup have decided to sell individual portions of EMI Music Group according to two press releases issued yesterday.

The labels within the group will be sold to Vivendi and Universal Music Group for £1.2 Billion whilst the publishing assets of the group will be sold to an investor group that includes Sony Corporation of America, David Geffen and the estate of Micheal Jackson for $2.2 Billion (source : Citigroup press releases 111111a / 111111b).

These sales are of course subject to regulation and independent label association IMPALA expects that the sale of EMI Recordings to Universal Music Group will be “blocked outright” according to their latest press release.

Warner Out For EMI Purchase

Billboard has reported that Warner Music Group has pulled out of the negotiations for EMI.

Citigroup have allegedly renewed negotiations with Universal and Sony whilst Independent label association IMPALA filled protests about the sale with the European Commission over concerns in regards to a possible duopoly in Europe.

According to their November 8th, 2011 press release, IMPALA had preferred a sale to Warner Music Group, which they believed “could help balance the duopoly but would still need substantial remedies as it would increase the competitive gap for the independents“.

Gartner Predicts Higher Online Music Sales

Gartner Research predicts that with the decline of the physical format (like the compact disc) that subscription services and music downloads will flourish.

In a press release issued yesterday the Connecticut based information technology research company estimated that online music sales would reach $6.8 Billion worldwide in 2012 and $7.7 Billion Worldwide by 2015.

The company also predicts a decline in compact disc sales from $15 Billion last year to $10 Billion in 2015.