Music Publishing News Weekly Roundup 7.8.14: Martin Bandier, Indie Label Revolt, Rap Genius
Sony/ATV's Martin Bandier is threatening to withdraw all rights from ASCAP and BMI. Most major music publishers are looking to withdraw digital rights from the PROs and negotiate direct deals with digital services due to low royalty rates for publishers from digital services. Withdrawing digital rights from the PROs presents challenges to publishers like licensing to small businesses. Martin Bandier, the CEO of Sony/ATV has made it clear that if the Decrees are not amended he will “explore other options”.
Over 700 Independent labels have come together against digital services to support fair deals for their recordings. This follows last month’s leak of YouTube's controversial was contract proposalto Indie labels for their new subscription based streaming service. The Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) have coordinated the launch of the “Fair Digital Deals Declaration” to help establish fair negotiations for the respective labels. The official “Worldwide Declaration Signing Day” was held Wednesday, July 16. Signatories for this initiative included Domino, Epitaph, Sub Pop, and Rough Trade among others. Included in the manifesto are 5 major points, calling for fair compensation for the use of their recordings.
Rap Genius has raised $40 million in their latest round of funding from Quicken Loans founder, Dan Gilbert. The company has also decided to re-brand their website with the new name “Genius”. With their new website, they will expand from song, poem, and, book annotations to any open information available on the web. In this way, they will directly compete with Wikipedia. This follows recent controversy for the use of unlicensed copyrights in the form of song lyrics on their site.