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Managing and respecting music rights - WR #71
Weekly Roundups
June 11, 2021

Managing and respecting music rights - WR #71

This week was the one of  Believe and its IPO, but many other current cases are still developing in the music industry. Everything is evolving at a fast pace, here are the main news we wanted to share with you!

#1. Believe reaches its IPO’s goal

We told you about this in ou latest Weekly Roundup: last week was the official launch of Believe’s IPO. And what a quick one it was; by the end of the week, preliminary reports announced that the IPO was already fully booked. As a reminder, the goal was a €300 million IPO.

This is a pretty big move, and an important one for the independent music distribution sector as well. This put Believe at a market cap of €1.9 billion (owner of TuneCore). Going public will help Believe develop their activities worldwide and improve their innovative services for record labels and artists.

Speaking of, Reprtoir integrates several main music industry services. Believe is fully integrated with our software suite. You can find all the details here.

#2. Universal strikes an unusual deal with PIAS

Staying on the topic of major deals being sealed, Universal Music Group and PIAS made a rather unusual announcement this week.

Universal will be funding PIAS activities (we don’t have any details disclosed from the deal) and PIAS will allow the Major to access their global distribution network. Interestingly enough, this won’t imply Universal taking stakes in PIAS. The independent company will remain under the control of the co-founders, Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot.

Today, the distribution division of PIAS, [Integral], provides its own record labels and over 100 independent labels worldwide. A good way to build a strong presence on the music market for both of the companies.

#3. The Copyright Directive is taking some time

Let’s switch focus for a bit. Last Monday was the deadline for the implementation of the Copyright Directive in Europe. Quick reminder: the directive, criticized by the Tech giants, was adopted in 2019, giving 2 years for countries to implement regulations. Among the main objectives: a fair and better remuneration for the use of artists’ works.

Without any doubt, the Copyright Directive is taking a long time to be integrated, and the Authors’ Group (gathering thousands of authors across Europe) regrets the delay and is asking the European Union to intervene for the respect of the Copyright Directive.

#4. Some more lawsuits on copyright infringement for streaming platforms

Since we are on the topic of copyrights, streaming platforms are still having a tough time dealing with rights holders. The gaming and music industries are still trying to find common ground.

Last week we hinted about Twitch having new issues with copyrighted music. Well, it’s happening: cover songs are now out of line. Content creators are still allowed to stream the image of themselves, but not the audio or the platform will receive a DMCA complaint. A good example of what it looks like is the Metallica livestream for Blizzcon that was broadcasted with the Zelda soundtrack (still one of the funniest things I’ve seen on the platform). This is a new strike onto the platform that refuses to strike deals with record labels and Majors. Since Twitch has a strict 3 strikes policy before getting banned from the platform, users should now be more careful than ever.

On another platform, Roblox is being sued for more than $200 million. The platform allegedly avoided paying rights holders after performances, gathering over 42 million users daily. The complaint was filed by the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), from a collective of record labels, music publishers and one Major (Universal Music Group). Missing from the list, Warner Music Group and Sony Music, who invested and are involved with the platform. We’ll have to keep an eye on the matter in the next few weeks!

#5. Some news for TikTok in the US

To wrap up, here’s TikTok and the US saga again! Biden has revoked the ban and requirements against the platform, lifting the threat for the Social Media app. Well, not fully. The President is replacing Trump’s ban with an investigation of the foreign adversaries who might be in position to gather data and information in the US.

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