Foundation research

CMU Digest 10.07.22: AI Copyright Exceptions, Deezer, PRS Foundation, Tim Westwood, Pandora

Business News CMU Digest

By Chris Cooke | Posted on Sunday, July 10, 2022

The key stories from the past week in the music business…

UK Music has announced plans to introduce a new copyright exception into UK law to cover text and data mining. The proposed legal reform follows a review of UK intellectual property laws in the context of artificial intelligence, with AI makers often needing to mine data to train their technologies. Although the specific facts and trends analyzed by an AI tool are usually not copyrighted, the files and databases actually accessed and processed often are. A data mining exception – allowing these copyrighted files to be used without permission from the copyright holder – currently exists in the UK for non-commercial research, but the new proposed exception would be much broader to facilitate the development of more AI technologies. Cross-industry trade group UK Music called the proposed new exception “dangerous and harmful”, adding that it would allow AI companies to “launder” music in order to generate new content, and to that end should not not be introduced. [READ MORE]

Deezer has officially arrived on the Euronext stock exchange in Paris. The streaming service became a publicly traded company via a merger with special-purpose acquisition firm I2PO, which raised capital on the Paris Stock Exchange last year with the aim of acquiring entertainment companies. Deezer CEO Jeronimo Folgueira said the IPO was “an important milestone in the company’s history”, enabling the company to take “the first steps on a new and exciting journey for develop, expand and capture an even larger share of the growing music streaming market.” ”. Despite this optimism, Deezer’s share price fell 35% on the first day of trading. [READ MORE]

A petition set up by the UK’s Featured Artists Coalition calling on PRS to change its stance on future funding of the PRS Foundation has garnered 1,000 signatures. UK song rights management company PRS is set to cut its annual grant to the talent development charity it founded from £2.5million a year to £1 million, based on the specific revenue stream it uses to fund the Foundation – interest earned on royalties that have not yet been distributed – has declined. The FAC argues that the company should find other sources of revenue to continue to fund the Foundation at current levels, proposing that it divert funds from the digital black box, i.e. broadcast royalties which n have not been properly allocated to specific works. As the FAC petition on this issue exceeded 1,000 signatures, artists including Sam Fender, Anna Calvi and Wolf Alice’s Joff Oddie specifically asked PRS to reverse its decision regarding Foundation funding. [READ MORE]

The BBC has admitted it is now aware of six official complaints accusing former Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood of inappropriate behavior while working for the broadcaster. Some of those complaints have been made since a BBC Three documentary aired in April in which seven women made allegations of sexual misconduct against the DJ. However, some of the complaints predate this documentary, although the BBC has previously said it is not aware of any official complaints about its former long-term radio host. It now turns out that one of those older complaints led to management talking to Westwood, while another was actually referred to the police. A spokesman said BBC boss Tim Davie was unaware of these older complaints when he first responded to the April documentary, and an inquiry into the weather spent by the DJ with the broadcaster is in progress and will report on its findings in due course. For his part, Westwood has denied all the allegations made against him. [READ MORE]

Lewis Black has become the latest comedian to sue Pandora over unauthorized jokes. Whereas with music, streaming services obtain separate licenses for the separate rights that exist in the recordings and the songs contained in those recordings, with comedy content only the recording rights have generally been licensed. A growing number of comedians are arguing that a further license is required for comedic material contained in their recordings, which in copyright terms would be a literary work. Black – who previously criticized Spotify for not fully licensing its comedic content – ​​has now joined a number of other comedians, as well as the estates of Robin Williams and George Carlin, in suing Pandora over the dispute. [READ MORE]

LEARN MORE ABOUT: BBC | Deezer | Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) | Lewis Black | Pandora | PRS for music | PRS Foundation | Tim Westwood | British music