The five biggest stories in the music business this week…
01: Pandora won one of its ASCAP legal disputes. The American collecting society said there was nothing it could do to stop key music publishers from withdrawing their ASCAP-represented song catalogues from the digital licence under which the streaming service operates. But Pandora argued that all ASCAP members were obliged to honour its current licence, that runs until 2015, and this week a US court agreed. The victory came as the sometimes controversial streaming company confirmed it would be issuing a new batch of shares in a bid to raise in the region of $279.4 million. ASCAP dispute report | Share sale report
02: Rhapsody confirmed a restructure. The US-based streaming music company, which operates under the Napster brand in Europe, confirmed it had a new shareholder in the form of Columbus Nova Technology Partners, and that two reps from that company would now sit on the Rhapsody board. Their arrival coincides with a downsizing that will affect 30 staff, and which will see President Jon Irwin and CFO Adi Dehejia stand down. CMU report | The Verge report
03: Kim Dotcom launched his litigation against New Zealand’s spy agency. A police investigation recently confirmed that the Government Communications Security Bureau breached New Zealand laws when it spied on Dotcom in 2011, ahead of the shutdown by US authorities of his MegaUpload company. However, police said the breaches hadn’t been deliberate, so no prosecutions would be pursued. But Dotcom was given court approval to sue over the breaches earlier this year, and last weekend the Mega chief confirmed he was filing a NZ$6 million lawsuit against the GCSB. CMU report | Wired report
04: AEG Live concluded its arguments in the Jackson case. The live giant had been expected to call back to the witness stand Katherine Jackson, the main plaintiff in the litigation, in which the Jackson family claims AEG Live should be held liable for the death of Michael Jackson in 2009. But instead they actually concluded their arguments with a recording of a deposition by an old doctor of the singer, who said the late king of pop had been excited if nervous about his planned ‘This Is It’ project in the months before his untimely death. He also said that the star had a habit of keeping secrets about his health issues and medical treatments, even from other doctors he was consulting. The jury are expected to begin their deliberations next week. CMU report | Billboard report
05: The Pirate Bay dropped The Promo Bay from its home page. Although The Promo Bay, the spin-off website from the controversial file-sharing service which provides a platform for new artists to promote their work, will continue, featured artists from it won’t be promoted on the TPB home page, one of the main attractions of participating in The Promo Bay to start with. The change seemingly follows the departure of Tobias Andersson, who founded The Promo Bay, from The Pirate Bay team, he having been the person who oversaw the featured artist element. He told TorrentFreak that the dropping of The Promo Bay from The Pirate Bay home page was “more evidence of the [Pirate Bay] site going stale”. CMU report | Torrentfreak report
On CMU this week we previewed next week’s Reeperbahn Festival with a special CMU playlist, and also enjoyed some tunes selected by Sam Lee, meanwhile CMU Editor Andy Malt reviewed some recent brand partnership nonsense. Approved were Lithuanian popstar GJan, the brilliant new single from Katy B, the off kilter Shangri La-style tones from US Girls and the latest from Danish superstar Fallulah.
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