Universal Music Group

Universal Records & The Resurgence of Vinyl

Universal Records has decided to start a new crowd funding campaign to address the resurgence of vinyl.

UVinyl, a.k.a The Vinyl Project, is proposing limited re-releases on vinyl from the Universal Music catalog. But few details have been made available yet and the official web site, which will be at uvinyl.com, has yet to have gone online.

All that is known is that donations may result in bonus content, like free music and/or video downloads and personalized art prints. But personally I’d like to see an artist / label partnership that enables donators to obtain rare recordings, like that of Eight Second’s “Almacantar.”

Eight Seconds is a rock band from Ottawa primarily known for Canadian hits “Kiss You When It’s Dangerous“, “Where’s Bula” and Sincere“, which were taken from this Universal Records album. And for “Tell Diane” and “No Picasso” from their subsequent release, “Big Houses” on ATCO Records.

A re-release of Almacantar may be imminent independent of this new project this year. But this could have been an interesting fallback, provided the band were consulted in an acceptable amount of time.

This being an American project I suspect most Canadian releases would take some time to be considered, not only because of popularity in the states but because of contractual and rights issues.

I suspect its success will depend on the compensation artists will receive for these re-releases, especially the lesser known acts. I’ve signed on to get more details on UVinyl and will post additional information, if any.

Universal EMI Merger Approved In Canada

The Competition Bureau approved the Universal and EMI merger proposal last Friday, with no objections.

The merger proposal has cleared regulators in Japan and New Zealand but is still under review in Europe and the United States, where decisions are expected in September.

EMI Music Publishing Sale Finalized

The regulators in the States and Europe have given the thumbs up for the sale of EMI Music Publishing to Sony. But Universal is still waiting for European regulators to rule on their takeover of EMI’s recorded music operations, which is due in August according to Billboard.

Megaupload To Sue Universal Music ?

Billboard reports that the above commercial has sparked a lawsuit in-between Megaupload and Universal Music Group.

The file sharing service claims that Universal Music Group had filed a takedown notice with Youtube for copyright infringement to have this video removed.

“Let us be clear: Nothing in our song or the video belongs to Universal Music Group,” said MegaUpload CEO David Robb. “We have signed agreements with all artists endorsing MegaUpload.”

RIAA and the artists featured on the video could not be contacted for comment by Billboard by the printing of their article.

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.