Digital distribution companies criticize the UMG/Deezer royalty breakthrough

The new royalty attribution method recently deployed by Universal Music Group and streaming music platform Deezer seeks to make royalty calculation more fair. But the change is not universally applauded. Two digital distribution companies Believe and TuneCore, whose customers are mainly indie musicians, calls the system “reverse Robin Hood.” Continue Reading


Major labels sue Internet Archive over pre-1972 recordings

Universal Music Group (UMG), Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, and Arista Music have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive. The heart of this confrontation is a branded section of the Internet Archive’sĀ Great 78 Project, a streaming database of 400,000 streaming, downloadable, and shareable recordings. Click through for the whole story. Continue Reading

Podcasters now have a large catalog of (very old) music to legally use

Before this year, no music recording has ever resided in the public domain under U.S. federal copyright law. As of January 1 the situation has changed: Any recording made before 1923 is in the public domain now, and can be freely used. Not much practical application for podcasters, admittedly. But 400,000 records released to free use is a blockbuster milestone in music copyright, and a fascinating trove. Click through for collections that anyone can explore. Continue Reading

2021 U.S. music revenue, driven by streaming, on pace to set new record (RAIN projection)

The U.S. recorded music industry is projected to exceed a 48-year revenue record set in 1999, according to RAIN’s examination of reports from the RIAA. The historical revenue high point was set in 1999 at $14.6-billion in recorded music revenue. Based on a persistent trend of H2 revenue exceeding H1 revenue, we project a new high water mark driven by streaming, the most lucrative channel for music labels. Click through for details and infographics. Continue Reading

Jokes are lyrics: Royalty activism on behalf of comedians raised to new pitch

Copyright activists, comedians, and streaming services have roiled during the last week over new efforts to pay comedians for their ownership of written material in addition to royalties for recordings of comedy albums. Right administrator Spoken Giants is in the middle of it. Some comedy albums have been removed from some streaming services. Click to untangle the controversy. Continue Reading