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CMU Digest – 5 Apr 2013

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HMV

The five biggest stories in the music business this week…

01: Hilco acquired HMV. Deloitte confirmed today that HMV UK has been sold to Hilco, the restructuring company that already owns HMV Canada, and which will now take the British business out of administration. Hilco will take over 140 HMV stores, including the Fopp network, in a deal thought to be worth £50 million. As a result, a small number of the flagging retailer’s shops that have already been closed during the administration will reopen. CMU report | Sky News report

02: ReDigi lost is legal battle with Capitol Records. The American MP3 resale platform was sued by Capitol, then still part of EMI, in early 2012. The major said that enabling the resale of MP3s amounted to contributory copyright infringement. ReDigi countered that its system ensured that when a consumer resold an MP3 over its system the original file was deleted, and that the consumer’s right to resell was protected by the ‘first sale’ doctrine in US copyright law, which allows the resale of CDs. But Judge Richard Sullivan did not concur last weekend, saying of the ReDigi process “it is beside the point that the original phonorecord no longer exists, it matters only that a new phonorecord has been created”. Damages and other outcomes are yet to be ascertained. ReDigi said that it planned to appeal, and that the ruling only applied to the first generation of its technology, that had now been superseded by ReDigi 2.0. CMU report

03: PRS confirmed its revenues were up in 2012. A 32.2% boost in digital revenues helped counter the continued decline in royalties being paid to music publishers and songwriters via the sale of CDs, and also a 14.2% slip in the royalties paid by the live sector. International royalties, a growth area in recent years, were also down, mainly because of exchange rate fluctuations. But overall the royalties collected by PRS for its members were up 1.7% to £641.8 million. CMU report | Billboard report

04: Jury selection got underway in the Jacksons v AEG Live trial. The Jackson family claim that AEG should be held liable for the death of Michael Jackson, because it was paying Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted for causing the late king of pop’s demise through negligent treatment. AEG counters that while it paid Murray, he was appointed and managed by Jackson himself. Murray will likely refuse to testify in the civil case, though gave two interviews to CNN from jail this week, in which he continued to proclaim his innocence. Jackson’s siblings and children are likely to testify though, while a possible witness list revealed this week also included Diana Ross, director Spike Lee, producer Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson’s one-time wife Lisa Marie Presley. CNN and NBC also lobbied this week for the judge to allow TV cameras in to film the case. Murray interviews report | Witness list report

05: Classic Rock and Metal Hammer were sold. The Future Publishing-owned titles were sold to a new company called Team Rock, being led by two former execs of GMG Radio. Team Rock plan to utilise the two music magazines as part of a new multi-media venture aimed at rock fans, which will include a new digital and online radio service. CMU report | Guardian report

In CMU this week, we chatted to Patrick Wolf about his ‘Sundark & Riverlight’ album and tour, and to Nitin Sawhney about his direct-to-disc project One Zero. WALL, aka singer-producer Lyla Foy, chose the tunes, and the CMU Insights team navigated the music press. Approved were Milky Way, Benjamin Damage and OMD.

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