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Personal Audio loses Patent Office challenge, podcasting patent remains invalidated

The Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that a panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has unanimously upheld a ruling against the Personal Audio podcasting patent. The latest court decision is another win for both the EFF and the podcasting community after a few tense years in court. Continue Reading

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ASCAP and BMI are making a joint database of rights, licensing information

ASCAP and BMI announced a collaboration that will see the two performing rights organizations create a single comprehensive database of musical works from their libraries. The database will contain an overview of shares and rights information for much of the music licensed in the United States, offering more clarity around music ownership. Continue Reading

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Spotify reportedly close to Warner licensing deal

Spotify has reportedly made progress toward securing a licensing deal with Warner Music Group. Reuters cited four unnamed sources in its exclusive report that the streaming company was moving closer to an agreement with the third major label. The specifics of this alleged arrangement are still being hammered out, but the sources told Reuters that the parties had already agreed to Spotify paying a smaller share of revenue to Warner in exchange for the label’s artists to window their work to paid subscribers for a period. Continue Reading

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Congress introduces legislation for pre-1972 royalties; music industry parties react

Congress is preparing to address the topic of royalties for pre-1972 recordings, a move that sparked positive response from several music industry players. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced the CLASSICS Act to establish royalty payments for the creators of music recorded prior to the advent of federal copyright laws in 1972. Representatives from SoundExchange, the RIAA, and Pandora have all reacted favorably toward this proposal. Continue Reading

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Mechanical royalties debate sparked once again for Spotify

Songwriter and publisher royalties have appeared once again as a sticking point for the Spotify streaming service. The New York Post’s Claire Atkinson is reporting that music publishers and songwriters are looking to receive a portion of Spotify’s equity when the company either goes public or finds an interested buyer. According to her sources, the National Music Publishers Association has been deeply interested in the question of equity since Spotify has been more seriously preparing for a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Continue Reading

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Spotify reportedly lands licensing deal with Sony

Spotify has reportedly reached a licensing agreement with Sony Music Entertainment. Unnamed sources told Billboard that the streaming service has inked its second major label deal this year, after announcing an agreement with Universal Music Group in April. Representatives for both Spotify and Sony have declined to comment thus far on the rumored development. Continue Reading

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Apple seeking lower revenue share payouts to labels

Apple is reportedly looking to renegotiate its deals with record labels in a move that could reduce the share of revenue it needs to pay out to those industry players. Unnamed sources told Bloomberg that the talks cover both Apple Music and iTunes. The current deals are slated to expire in June, but could be extended if new terms are not reached, according to the sources. Continue Reading