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Posted inNews

BPI boss: UK vinyl sales trumped YouTube revenues in 2014

BPI chief Geoff Taylor delivered a keynote address at the Music Futures conference in Gateshead yesterday, including firing his latest shot at YouTube with a new statistic.
“UK record labels earned more last year from vinyl than they did from the 14bn music streams on YouTube,” said Taylor. As a reminder, in February 2014 the BPI announced that vinyl LP sales generated £12.1m of income for UK labels in 2013 – but it never published a figure for 2014.

Posted inAnalysis, Reports, Reports-Old

Music Ally Report 377 – Unsafe harbour?: sink or swim for digital music

Our cover feature looks at why the PRS/SoundCloud legal tussle is a foreshadowing of the single biggest issue that will impact on the digital music industry next year. At the very heart of it is the viability and future of safe harbour. On the one side is the creator’s right to create and the copyright […]

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Posted inNews

Google opposes ‘whole-site removal’ in anti-piracy efforts

Should Google remove piracy sites entirely from its search database, rather than simply downranking them when it receives too many successful takedown requests for individual pages and files on them?

The company says not. In its latest open letter to the US intellectual property office, Google came out against the idea in no uncertain terms.

“Unfortunately, whole-site removal is ineffective and can easily result in censorship of lawful material,” claimed its letter.

Posted inNews

Euro court rules safe harbour is invalid (but there’s a but)

The technology industry has been chewing over the implications of a ruling by the European Court of Justice that the current ‘safe harbour’ agreement between the EU and US is invalid.

But this is a specific safe harbour concerning data transfer between the regions: for example US companies like Facebook (which was involved in the case sparking this ruling) transferring data on their European users to the US.

Posted inAnalysis, News

Dancing baby copyright case boogies back into view

Music rightsholders and internet activists alike are digesting a new US court ruling on the infamous ‘dancing baby’ YouTube copyright case.
The long-running lawsuit concerns a 29-second video uploaded to YouTube in 2007 by Stephanie Lenz, which featured her toddler dancing to Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’. After a takedown notice from Universal Music Group, the video was removed, then restored, subsequently sparking a lawsuit from its creator.

Posted inAnalysis, News

BPI boss warns BBC to license its new music-streaming service

BPI boss Geoff Taylor has called on the BBC to focus on licensing deals for its planned music-streaming service, saying that any attempt to avoid paying royalties will not be “viable”.

The plans were announced in the broadcaster’s latest strategy document, published earlier this week, and will see a catalogue of around 50,000 tracks made available for streaming after they are played on BBC radio stations.

“The BBC is concerned that it may lose its audience share to the new additional services, particularly the on-demand ones. We understand why the BBC would want to be where the audience is, and make sure it is as relevant as possible – particularly to younger music fans,” said Taylor during the BPI’s annual general meeting in London this afternoon.

“If the BBC is going to launch such a service, then it needs to bring the industry with it. The starting point for some of the BBC’s suggestions around how such a service might work involved launching such a service but paying no money for it – and I just don’t think that’s viable.”

Posted inAnalysis, News

YouTube as well as SoundCloud should worry about PRS lawsuit

We reported yesterday on PRS for Music’s decision to sue SoundCloud for copyright infringement. Over the course of the day, the key contradiction between the two parties’ statements became clear: it’s about whether SoundCloud is willing to strike a licensing deal, and specifically whether that deal would apply to both its existing free service and its upcoming subscription tier.
Meanwhile, it also became clear that this lawsuit may have strong implications for YouTube, not just SoundCloud.

But first, the seeming contradiction. “SoundCloud does not accept that it requires a licence for its existing service in the UK and Europe and has informed us that it will be defending the claim. Amongst other defences, SoundCloud is seeking to rely on the European ‘safe harbours’ for online intermediaries,” claimed PRS for Music yesterday.

“It is regrettable that PRS appears to be following this course of action in the midst of an active commercial negotiation with SoundCloud,” claimed SoundCloud.