This Week in Music Publishing: Jan 20, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ruling this week to afford copyright protection to international works once considered 'public domain'. The ruling is a blow to a group of artists, film archivists and educators – backed by Google and others – who wheeled out the Constitution's 'Progress Clause' to try avoid the need for royalty payments on the works in question.
- Legal troubles are also befalling the estate of Gerry Rafferty, iconic songwriter of songs such as Stuck in The Middle With You, with his fiancee launching a court battle in an attempt to win a share of Rafferty's fortune.
- While in Brazil, the end of a decade-long case will see Sony Music Brazil pay a fine of 1.3 million reais (U.S. $723,000) for publishing Look At Her Hair - a song that sparked a racist controversy.
- Emerging indie songstress Zola Jesus has signed an publishing deal with The Spirit Music Group, who will also manage the singer's music and brand.
- A big week also for Irving Berlin Music as they re-signed Rodgers & Hammerstein and Imagem Music Group for international brand management, grand rights exploitation and music publishing in North America.
- Apple expanded its cloud-based streaming service iTunes Match, which is now available in another 20 countries.
- Jim Cady – CEO of internet radio service Slacker Radio – is concerned that streaming music may not be a sustainable model for the music industry. In more rosy news for artists.
- SoundExchange reported Q4 distributions of $89.5 million bringing year-end payments to $292 million (up 17%).
This music publishing roundup is posted weekly by Songtrust – royalty collection for all songwriters.