The joy songwriters experienced in the U.S. in late January, when the Copyright Royalty Board ruled the royalties they receive from on-demand subscription streaming would jump 44 percent over the next five years, may prove to be short-lived.Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora all filed notices with the CRB this week, indicating they would appeal its ruling in hopes of overturning it.Spotify, Google and Pandora issued a joint statement: “The CRB, in a split decision, recently issued the U.S. mechanical statutory rates in a manner that raises serious procedural and substantive concerns.If left to stand, the CRB’s decision harms both music licensees and copyright owners.Accordingly, we are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.Circuit to review the decision.”
The author of The Witcher book series has threatened CD Projekt Red with a lawsuit if the studio doesn’t pay him more money.Sapkowski’s lawyers told CD Projekt Red that Polish copyright laws, specifically Article 44, prove that the author is owed royalties based on the fact that the video game series has outperformed expectations.“In the Company’s opinion the demands expressed in the notice are groundless with regard to their merit as well as the stipulated amount,” CD Projekt Red wrote.It’s unclear how much Sapkowski was initially paid for the license.He sold the license to CD Projekt Red in the early 2000s for a flat fee.In 2017, Sapkowski told Eurogamer his reasoning behind taking a flat fee.
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Blockchain-powered transformation is inevitable, and the pace of experimentation and innovation is breathtaking. Eeveryone today is talking about blockchain and the potential it has to transform the way we communicate and do business. For industries like banking and finance the use of blockchain appears to be straightforward: securing transactions and locking down communications, but what does it mean for digital media and video?Muvi has released a white paper that details how blockchain technology has the potential to solve Media and OTT industry’s long-standing struggles with issues such as royalty payment to artists, piracy, copyrights management and flawed advertising strategy. It’s understandable given that Blockchain will provide a business value-add of $176 billion by 2025 and $3.1 trillion by 2030 across industries.Blockchain technology has the potential to solve Media and OTT industry’s long-standing struggles with issues such as royalty payment to artists, piracy, copyrights management and flawed advertising strategy, to name a few.Also, media and broadcasting industry leaders are optimistic about resolving their content monetization challenges via blockchain-based media solutions.WHY READ THIS WHITE PAPER?To make sense of the Blockchain revolution and understand Blockchain’s role in driving innovation and solving challenges in OTT, Media and Broadcasting Industry
A former partner of the Beats headphone company has been awarded $25.2m (£19.2m) in unpaid royalties by a US jury, with Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine footing the bill.Steven Lamar claimed in a lawsuit against the pair of music moguls that he came up with the idea for the Beats USP as a line of celebrity-endorsed headphones in 2006, and was originally seeking a $130m payout.In a 2007 settlement, Dre and Iovine had agreed to pay Lamar 4 per cent of every sold pair of headphones' base price.This only applied to one model, Beats Studio, but Lamar has since argued that the same design was carried over across all Beats models.A decision reached today in Los Angeles concluded that the design in question was evidently used in three models: the Studio 2 Remastered, the Studio 2 Wireless and the Studio 3.As the latter is still on sale today, Lamar will also continue to receive royalties for the Studio 3 in addition to the final $25.2m payout.
Blockchain might actually prove helpful for a changeIn an effort to demonstrate there are actual uses for blockchain technology, global professional services biz EY and Microsoft have teamed up to offer companies a way to manage rights and royalties.Ubisoft - a Microsoft game publishing partner - intends to test the system, which relies on the Quorum blockchain protocol, Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure and supporting technologies."The opportunity to collaborate with EY and Microsoft on blockchain use cases in the domain of digital contracts and royalties is truly exciting," said Loic Amans, SVP of finance and strategic planning at Ubisoft, in canned remarks.It will, we're told, offer almost real-time insight into sales transactions, info that tends to be useful for marketing analytics.Paul Brody, EY global innovation leader for blockchain, contends blockchain tech is ideally suited to this particular situation.
In December of last year, it was reported that the much-hyped streaming service Tidal may only have enough money for 6 more months of operation.With that timeframe having just passed us, a new story from Dagens Næringsliv, the Norwegian newspaper that originally broke that news, is now reporting that Tidal is several months behind on its royalty payments to a number of record labels.According to the publication, the claim that the streaming service is “behind with payments directly to the three major international record companies” is backed by multiple execs, painting a rather dire picture of Tidal's future.Sveinung Rindal, CEO of the Sony-owned distribution company Phonofile, confirmed the story by stating that, “It is correct that there are delays in payments from Tidal,” according to a translation of the story by Music Business Worldwide.Propeller Recordings CEO Frithjof Boye Hungnes went a few steps further, bluntly stating that the label has “not been paid since October" and that "people are talking about withdrawing [their music from Tidal]; I think there is a pretty upset mood.”The report comes just a few months after allegations that Tidal had been boosting its subscriber numbers since launch, and days after claims that the company had faked hundreds of millions of streams of Beyoncé's album Lemonade and Kanye West's album The Life of Pablo.
Exactuals, a software service offering payments management for the music industry, is debuting R.AI, a new tool that it’s dubbed the “Palantir for music”.It’s a service that can track songwriting information and rights across different platforms to ensure attribution for music distributors.As companies like Apple and Spotify demand better information from labels about the songs they’re pushing to streaming services, companies are scrambling to clean up their data and provide proper attribution.According to Exactuals, that’s where the r.ai service comes in.The company is tracking 59 million songs for their “Interested Party Identifiers” (IPIs), International Standard Work Codes (ISWCs), and International Standard Recording Codes (ISRCs) — all of which are vital to ensuring that songwriters and musicians are properly paid for their work every time a song is streamed, downloaded, covered, or viewed on a distribution platform.Chris McMurtry, the head of music product at Exactuals explained it like this.
When you're born on May the 4th, Star Wars Day will always be with you.So when Star Wars fans Kendall and Ross Robbins welcomed twins into the world Friday, the proud parents named them after twin siblings from a galaxy far, far away: Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.Kai Leia and Rowan Luke were born at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah.Within a few hours, the new family had already watched a Star Wars film together, according to sister site CBS News."When we found out we were having a boy and a girl, we knew that being born May the 4th, they had to be Luke and Leia.At least for their middle names," Kendall Robbins told KSTU.
When legendary comedy troupe Monty Python staged “Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go” in 2014, its surviving members filmed themselves taking what they promised would be their final bows together.So how can we then speak of a new Python movie in the headline?Because, according to entertainment industry outlet Deadline, the Monty-Python-and-the-Holy-Grail-derived musical Spamalot is headed for the big screen.A chap named Casey Nicholaw will direct, having already choreographed its first run on Broadway.Nicholaw has since directed Broadway hits The Book of Mormon and Mean Girls.Python’s Eric Idle will write the script and produce.
Andrew Burton / Getty ImagesSpotify's public filings revealed the company is spending most of its money on fees for licensed content and music royalties.Duncan Davidson, a general partner at venture capital firm Bullpen Capital, believes the company could stem the bleeding by becoming its own music label.Davidson says Netflix could be a prime example of what steps Spotify needs to follow.Spotify's direct public offering confirmed potential Spotify investors' biggest fear — that music rights and licensing fees were a huge cost of doing business.But one industry expert believes there’s one way for Spotify to break out of the music industry's chain: become a music label themselves.
So it’s the perfect place to announce a project like The Music Fund.The team behind it — Geoff Cross, Thomas Jerde, and Nick Smith — are currently working at Winton, a London-based global investment firm that uses various layers of data science analysis to predict financial outcomes on the public markets.The trio aims to bring liquidity to the music royalty market, which, according to them, is inefficient and outdated.The San Francisco-based music fund has created algorithms that feed off streams, views, likes, and shares on platforms like Facebook, SoundCloud, and Spotify to understand how well an artist’s songs have performed in the past (i.e.If the royalties go down because people stop listening to that music, we receive less.It plans on partnering with various players within the music industry, including PROs and streaming platforms, that can help the fund access artists who are interested in the funding it can provide.
Last week the Interior Department's Royalty Policy Committee issued a recommendation suggesting that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke lower royalty rates for offshore oil and gas drilling on seabed owned by the US government.If Zinke approves of the recommendation royalties from offshore drilling would drop from 18.75 percent to 12.5 percent, the lowest royalty rate permitted by the federal government.Given the relatively price and abundance of oil in the world market today and the expense of executing new offshore drilling operations, the committee's recommendation could make it more attractive for drilling companies to consider bidding for offshore oil leases.Zinke announced earlier this year that he would make up to 90 percent of US federal waters open to oil drilling, but there has been considerable pushback from states and muted enthusiasm from companies that will have to undertake years of ramp-up before they see marketable oil.Currently, offshore oil operations on federal lands require that companies pay 18.75 percent in royalties back to the federal government.If Zinke approves of the recommendation, the new royalty rate would not be applied retroactively, according to The Hill.
Investors give shares a bumpy ride... and settle on no change in after-hours tradingUS chip designer Qualcomm on Wednesday reported $6.1bn flat-growth revenues for its first fiscal quarter of 2018, which ended on December 24, 2017.The stronger-than-expected results come a week after the wireless networking, processor crafting, and patent-wielding biz was hit with a $1.2bn fine by EU regulators over payments to keep Apple from ditching its chips for those of competitors.Apple coincidentally sued Qualcomm a year ago for about $1bn, claiming unreasonable prices and unfair competition.The legal battle has since sprawled into a handful of other countries beyond the US and prompted patent infringement countersuits from the San Diego, California-based company.Qualcomm is also trying to fend off a hostile $105bn takeover bid from Broadcom, which has accused the chip biz of being willing to "say anything to remain a standalone company."
The review panel in charge of setting rates for songwriter’s royalties reportedly issued the biggest rate increase for artists in its history over the weekend — a 40 percent hike.The US government’s Copyright Royalty Board is required to periodically set rates and terms for copyright royalties, and this weekend it came to a decision on what songwriters and publishers will make from streaming services over the next five years.According to the Associated Press, “recording labels will still be receiving $3.82 for every $1 paid to songwriters and publishers.” The final text of the new rules won’t be released until a review by the Library of Congress is complete, for now, it seems that the only losers in this situation are a few streaming services.“We are thrilled the CRB raised rates for songwriters by 43.8% – the biggest rate increase granted in CRB history,” David Israelite, CEO of the National Music Publisher’s Association (NMPA) wrote in a statement.The companies behind streaming services are less thrilled.Amazon, Google, Pandora, and Spotify all argued against the new rates prior to the ruling.
The mechanical royalty rates from streaming—royalties paid out to songwriters and publishers, as distinct from those paid out to performers—will increase by nearly 44 percent over the next five years.This comes as a result of a ruling from the United States Copyright Royalty Board after hearings that were held from March through June of last year.Currently, 10.5 percent of streaming services' monthly gross revenue is assigned to be paid to songwriters and publishers; the payouts are determined by the number of streams in that period.That will rise each year until it reaches 15.1 percent in 2022.Songwriters and publishers have long claimed they've gotten the short end of the stick with regards to streaming music royalties.One songwriter, Nashville-based Kevin Kadish, claimed in 2015 that he received only $5,679 from 178 million Pandora streams.
US music streaming providers such as Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited and Spotify are bracing for the imposition of higher royalty charges over the next five years after the body charged with setting copyright fees decreed that they must cough up more for the use of artist's work.The Copyright Royalty Board of the U.S. Library of Congress decision will come as music to the ears of songwriters and music publishers but is likely to strike an off-key note with streaming providers, who must now hand over a greater part of their revenues.Details of the changed royalties formula have not yet been made public but The National Music Publishers Association has already said it will mandate that streaming firms hand over 15.1% of their revenue to songwriters and publishers, up from just 10.5% today.Higher outgoings will now become a fact of life for all streaming providers who must pay up for higher licensing fees to publishers, who collect money on behalf of their recording artists in exchange for an agreed commission.The CRB is formed from three judges who have been handed the authority to set rates by the US government – individual publishers have no power to negotiate their own rates.Earlier this month Spotify found itself hauled before the courts after being sued for $1.6bn by Tom Petty's publisher for using songs without the proper license.
Pushing to have 18 Qualcomm patents invalidatedApple is expanding its legal war with Qualcomm to include an attempt at having the chip designer's patents thrown out.The Cupertino giant filed an amended complaint [PDF] that now asks the US District Court for Southern California to declare 18 of the patents Qualcomm seeks payments for invalidated.The two companies have for months been at odds over the royalties bill for Apple's iPhone, with Qualcomm seeking back payments of royalties and Apple looking to get back what it feels were excessive fees from patents it never actually used.Now, according to Apple's lawyers, the patents Qualcomm wants payments for are in many cases "rendered obvious" in other patents or covered by prior art, making them invalid.In other cases, Apple is asking the court to find that the patents are not in fact essential to standards such as 4G wireless networking and should not be collected on.
Apple is currently locked in a bitter legal battle with Qualcomm, one of the major chip suppliers for the iPhone.The case relates to the royalties Qualcomm charges for the use of its patents; Apple claims they’re unfairly pricey, and has stopped paying Qualcomm for the time being.In the latest development, Apple has argued in a court filing that Qualcomm’s business model is illegal and involves licensing patents that aren’t even valid.Apple originally claimed that Qualcomm’s demands for patent royalties were not fair or reasonable, so it stopped paying Qualcomm while it tried to pursue the issue through courts.Qualcomm responded with a counter-suit against Apple and its manufacturing partners for non-payment of royalties.In a new court document, Apple has been more specific and made bolder claims against Qualcomm.
Apple has fired a new salvo in its ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm over wireless patent royalties.In a federal court filing Tuesday, the company cited a Supreme Court ruling last month that a printer-cartridge maker's patent rights end with the initial sale of the cartridges.This precedent, Apple says, strengthens its argument that Qualcomm cannot continue to demand royalties for the patents after selling its chips.In that case the court found that patent law cannot be used to prevent the resale of Lexmark printer cartridges refilled with toner by other suppliers.Apple likened this to how Qualcomm requires customers to sign patent license agreements before purchasing chips, which the US Federal Trade Commission called in its own complaint a “no license, no chips” model.The license allows Qualcomm to take a percentage of the overall iPhone selling price in exchange for supplying the modem chips that let phones connect to cellular data networks.