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The Week In Music Publishing 2.24.12

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In a continued effort to buy the recording side of EMI, Universal has gone directly to EU regulators for approval of the takeover. Sony/ATV will follow suit for the publishing side of EMI. Warner Music Group and independent labels are actively lobbying against the deal, claiming it will give Universal - already the largest label in the world - too large a piece of the market. Despite opposition to the takeovers, Universal Music Group's CEO Lucian Grainge has guaranteed EMI's current owners Citigroup the pricetag of $1.9 billion - even if the deal falls through.


  • A leaked audit in Eminem's suit against his label Aftermath - a Universal-subsidiary - claims that the label owes Eminem's production company $3.8 million including substantial digital royalties. Much of the conjecture comes from the definition of digital 'sales' vs 'licenses', which could have wide-ranging financial impacts on major labels.
  • Viral-video superstars OK Go complained this week that they're not seeing enough from YouTube via VEVO to establish a 'business model'. VEVO CEO Rio Caraeff defended the video platform in saying: "What happens between an artist and their label or distributor in their contractual relationship are simply not something that we are party to and every artist's deal is different."
  • The widow of country music legend Roger Miller, the songwriter of 'King of the Road' and 'Chug-a-Lug' among other major country hits has lost an appeal against Sony/ATV Music Publishing to recover the rights to her late-husband's music.
  • Sony/ATV and Sony Music Entertainment have signed an India-centric strategic alliance for their music publishing business, so that Sony/ ATV can spread awareness of the widespread copyright infringement issues taking place in India and begin to work to correct these issues.
  • Dubstep's rise to the mainstream has seen AEI media entering into a joint venture with independent music publisher Verse Music Group to create AEI Music Publishing specializing in dubstep / drum n' bass music.
  • Independent music publisher and artist representation company 401k Music Inc. is celebrating its first birthday by adding The Thompson Twins and Drug Cabin to their roster.
  • Country-focused Parallel Music Publishing has signed a new deal with songwriter Thom McHugh, who has penned and recorded over 100 songs including 5 #1 country-chart singles.
  • BMG France has acquired rights to both the publishing and masters of French pop group GOLD.
  • The CMA (Country Music Association) has named Troy Tomlinson, president and CEO of Sony/ ATV Music Publishing, as new President of the CMA Board of Directors, and also named Ed Hardy as President-Elect.
  • Songtrust investigated how Drake's 'I Take Care Of You' is paying out royalties to 1950s songwriter Brook Benton.

SongtrustCourtesy of Songtrust - the easiest way for songwriters and bands to collect publishing royalties.