As it exists in pop culture, Spinal Tap is a strange entity. The band is fictional, created for the Rob Reiner-directed mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, but their existence has continued well beyond that initial film (they are even technically a real group in The Simpsons universe). Unfortunately, it’s also been a subject of controversy for nearly two years now thanks to an on-going lawsuit that was filed in 2016 actor Harry Shearer – and this week saw a major move forward as it was ruled that the case has credence and will continue.
Diversity efforts in Hollywood are starting to pay off, with diversity among first-time episodic television directors on what appears to be a solid upward trend, a study released Thursday by the Directors Guild of America shows.
The Amazon-owned online platform has 2.2m monthly broadcasters, transmitting content including music 24/7 to their followers online. But despite developing close links with the industry, none of the money made by Twitch is going to music creators or rights’ owners, explains Ben Gilbert.
On September 12th the European Parliament will vote on legislation that will impact on the future of our culture. CISAC, one the world’s biggest global network of creators, representing 4 million creators worldwide is rallying behind a new campaign “Europe for Creators”.
LOS ANGELES—A California judge’s ruling this week in a case pitting Johnny Depp against his longtime lawyer is prompting a reassessment of the handshake-deal culture that is still pervasive in some corners of Hollywood.
Facebook has announced the international rollout of Facebook Watch, its video destination for episodic content, which first launched in the U.S. a year ago this month. The social media giant said Wednesday that the VOD service would be “available everywhere” from Thursday, giving publishers and content creators a worldwide market for their videos.
Actor Harry Shearer and three co-creators of the comedy claim they missed out on royalties due to ‘fuzzy’ accounting by studio Vivendi, and have defeated a bid to have their case thrown out with a judge in Los Angeles allowing the lawsuit to continue.
It’s been two years since Harry Shearer filed a $125 million lawsuit against entertainment groups Vivendi and StudioCanal, saying he’s received only $81 in merchandising income from Spinal Tap’s enduring array of albums, tours, swag, and home video sales. In 2017, Shearer’s lawsuit brought on fellow bandmates Christopher Guest and Michael McKean, as well as Rob Reiner, the director of the original film, upping the damages sought to $400 million. The suit alleges, among many infractions, breach of contract and fraud by concealment and misrepresentation. We also assume it contains the lyrics of “Gimme Some Money.”
The creators of This Is Spinal Tap say they’ve been stiffed for decades, with Universal Music Group among those blamed. Now, a judge has given the okay for the case to proceed after denying a motion to dismiss from the defendants in the case.
The creators of the 1984 comedy film “This Is Spinal Tap” earned a major victory in a California court on Tuesday, after a federal judge allowed Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest to pursue a fraud claim against media conglomerate Vivendi.
Harry Shearer has welcomed the latest development in the ongoing legal battle over the rights in and royalties generated by the ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ movie and soundtrack. A judge has given the all-clear for the core case against entertainment conglom Vivendi to proceed, although much of the case against its music subsidiary Universal Music will need to be re-filed.
YouTube is the most widely used streaming music app globally but it is also the most controversial one, locked in a perpetual struggle with music rights holders, with neither side quite trusting the intent of the other. 2018 has already seen YouTube’s renewed focus on subscriptions as well as a European Parliament vote that could potentially remove YouTube’s safe harbour protection.
Should we consider it normal and fair for a young European author – director or screenwriter – to earn on average less than €15,000 a year? If they can sustain a career, this rises to €30,000 for men and €24,000 for women at the age of 50, where it then drops again to less than €15,000 at 65. These figures show that the European remuneration system in place does not reflect the reality of audiovisual authors’ work and the multi-platform exploitation of their works. This needs to change.
MMF Chief Exec Annabella Coldrick lets us know why the MMF is backing UK Music’s #LoveMusic campaign and why it is so important to ensure music makers are fairly rewarded for the use of their work online and increase transparency and accountability throughout the value chain.
A judge rules Vivendi’s alleged conduct goes above and beyond failure to comply with contractual obligations.
This Is Spinal Tap co-creators Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest on Tuesday scored a big decision from a California federal judge in their ongoing lawsuit against Vivendi over the 1984 cult film. Most importantly, the four have been given the green light to pursue a fraud claim.
In a decision that could have sweeping impacts across Hollywood, a Los Angeles judge ruled Tuesday that Johnny Depp’s oral contract with his former talent lawyer Jake Bloom is invalid, citing a statute that requires contingency fee agreements to be in writing.
On August 7, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the download and subsequent posting on a website of a photograph that has previously been published on another website with the consent of the author and was freely accessible requires new consent from the copyright holder. The upload of such a photograph is a “communication to the public” within the meaning of the EU Copyright Directive, the Court ruled.
BMG shared the news with Digital Music News via email, calling the outcome a ‘landmark case’ against mass-scale copyright infringement. We haven’t heard from Cox Communications, nor have we seen any legal documents filed, but BMG assured that this is a ‘substantial settlement’ that convinced them to close the matter.
Steven Tyler, the frontman of the rock back Aerosmith, sent President Donald Trump a cease and desist letter on Wednesday, demanding that the president stop playing the band’s music at his rallies, Tyler’s attorney Dina LaPlot confirmed to ABC News.
The 30,000+ companies that make up the music industry are too unique for one data standard. And as a creator who also works in the industry, I’m quite proud of how unique and independent all of its different entities and elements are. What I am not okay with is these disparate standards getting in the way of proper payment and attribution.
A judge in California has declined to resume litigation involving mini collecting society Global Music Rights and the Radio Music License Committee, reckoning that the ongoing dispute between the two parties should instead continue in the courts of Pennsylvania.
IMPALA, the organisation that represents the independent music community in Europe, has made a pre-emptive strike as Sony Corp begins the process of seeking approval for its bid to take complete control of the EMI Music Publishing catalogue. The trade group has confirmed that it has already lodged concerns with the European Commission about the two deals Sony has struck up to make that happen.
Ed Sheeran is considered by many in the UK as something of a national treasure, and by others around the world an international star. He’s a singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and actor, who has sold more than 26 million albums and 100 million singles worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Sheeran as won 100 music awards, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2017 for services to music and charity, and earlier this year, recognised by Forbes as the 9th top earning celebrity in the “Celebrity 100 List of The World’s Highest-Paid Entertainers”.
Jody Gerson arrived at Universal Music Publishing Group as chairman and CEO in 2015, just as streaming became key to the music industry’s viability. The second-largest music publisher’s revenue has risen 30% since then. But Ms. Gerson wants to push that number higher—by getting streaming services to pay songwriters more to license their music.
The Music Modernization Act (MMA) ultimately survived a serious challenge from Blackstone Group’s SESAC. But that battle may have eaten precious time off the clock. Now, insiders are pointing Digital Music News to a significantly shortened timetable for the MMA to pass, and mounting challenges from both Sirius XM Radio and Music Choice.
The clock is ticking on passage of the Music Modernization Act, a bill that could ensure digital music services pay fair royalties to rights holders while giving streaming companies certainty, legal protection and more efficient payment tools.
On Wednesday, Johnny Depp will bring to a Los Angeles judge an issue that could wreak havoc across Hollywood. The star actor recently settled his big lawsuit against his former management firm, but he’s still in court with the lawyer who negotiated most of his work for the past two decades. That would be Jake Bloom, whose other clients include Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicolas Cage, Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese. Depp alleges that he and Bloom have been together since 1999 on basically a handshake basis, and that without a written contract, he’s entitled to recover more than $30 million in fees. And if the actor succeeds, Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman quite legitimately predicts it could render void decades of similar handshake agreements across the industry. But will Depp prevail?
Investors are become increasingly interested in music, as Spotify experiences surprising stability on the New York Stock Exchange and the wider recorded-music business basks in what is expected to be its fourth consecutive year of growth in 2018. But as analysts race to meet investor demand for music-industry knowhow, direct input and perspectives from the industry itself are often left out, leading to potential data inaccuracies and misunderstandings.
I trained as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language nearly forty years ago, and have worked in various sectors of that field since 1979. My first EFL textbook was published in 1991 and, in the ensuing 27 years, I have written a further ten main titles, all of which have been published by leading educational publishers. EFL textbooks are nearly always accompanied by other components – teacher’s books, workbooks, audio materials, digital downloads, online interactive materials, and so on – and, in common with many EFL writers, I have also been involved in writing these.
The European Court of Justice has determined that a website must get permission from the copyright owner of an image before it use the picture itself – even if that photo or illustration is readily available elsewhere.
On Monday, a group of radio broadcasters penned a letter in support of the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) push for deregulation of the $14 billion radio industry. Their letter was based on the NAB’s petition to the FCC this past June, in which the NAB sought to allow expanded broadcaster ownership of radio stations (i.e., increased consolidation) throughout the country. The NAB’s justification: broadcasters must adjust their business model to the realities of the new streaming world.
Creating music pays a little. Marketing it pays a lot.
Musicians received just 12 percent of the $43 billion in sales generated from their work in the U.S. last year, according a report Monday by Citigroup. The figure includes revenue from CD sales, on-demand streaming, advertisements on YouTube, radio royalties and concert tickets.
Health and Safety Legislation states that there is no upper limit of temperature in the workplace. This means you can’t just stop work when it gets really hot. All departments are affected when temperatures are consistently high from performers and stage managers, musicians, wardrobe and technical operators, all of whom have specific needs and ways of improving the uncomfortable conditions.
The UK has long been a leading destination for discovering sounds from far-flung corners of the globe, whether it is Malian songbird Oumou Sangaré’s set at Glastonbury, or the shadowy South African electro of DJ Lag in a sticky-floored club in London. But last weekend, that reputation was thrown into disarray following comments by Womad organiser Chris Smith, who lambasted the UK’s oppressive visa restrictions on world music artists. Three of the acts scheduled for the festival – Sabry Mosbah from Tunisia, Wazimbo from Mozambique and some of the members of Niger’s Tal National – were denied entry to the UK and either had to cancel their festival appearance or perform stripped-down sets. Indian duo Hashmat Sultana passed through border control 24 hours after they were due to go on stage. Smith said that an increasing number of performers were now declining invitations to the event because they deemed the Home Office’s iron-fisted process humiliating.
As fears continue that America’s big fat Music Modernization Act could fall apart at the very final hurdle, the Association Of Independent Music Publishers has called on all parties to come together one last time to get the major copyright-law-reforming legislation through. In particular it asks that collecting society SESAC and rights administrator the Harry Fox Agency “accept a reasonable compromise”.
The “Steve McQueen Effect” is about to be tested in a Los Angeles court.
As explained in a new lawsuit brought by McQueen’s children, anything associated with the deceased movie legend — “especially cars — drives value. As examples, the complaint points to a 1970 Porsche 917K featured in the McQueen film Le Mans that auctioned for over $14 million a year ago.
Last week, SESAC and its parent company, Blackstone Group, issued a sharp counter-proposal to the Music Modernization Act, a challenge that could threaten the bill’s passage. The protest revolves around the MMA’s creation of a government-sanctioned entity known as the Mechanical Licensing Collective, or MLC, which Blackstone feels is extremely unfair to competing mechanical licensing organizations.