Undue influence

Im often asked about contracts that bands or songwriters sign which they consider to be unfair. The law with regard to the validity of agreements in restraint of trade was fully considered by this House in Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd. v. Harper’s Garage (Stourport) Ltd. [1968] A.C. 269 Here it was held that the terms of the agreement…

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Macca looks to but all Beatle’s tracks

The great Paul McCartney has begun the process of regaining control of his share of the US publishing rights in the Beatles’ catalogue. The publishing is currently owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, but US law allows living artists to apply to take back the right 56 years after initial publication, meaning the Lennon-McCartney catalogue becomes…

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PRS signs deal with Spotify

The deal is for two years Ben McEwen, PRS for Music’s Head of Online said: “We are excited to continue working with Spotify, a relationship that allows millions of users across the globe to enjoy our members’ repertoire. The prodigious growth of Spotify is helping to shape a strong future for dynamic, legitimate streaming services,…

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Band Agreements

A topic brought up at this year’s Great Escape Festival in Brighton surrounded the use of ‘band agreements’. Many bands and acts begin with the best intentions but the majority will at some point fall out over legal or monetary rights to the works created. A plethora of examples of standard band agreements can be…

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What copyright is there in my music?

The backbone of the music industry relies on legislation recognised internationally under the Berne Convention 1886. This states that copyright for creative works do not need to be declared or registered, as they would be automatically in force. In the UK the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) gives the creator the right to…

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BMG acquires US rock label Rise Records

Music company BMG has acquired US indie rock label Rise Records in a multi-million dollar deal. Rise Records is home to critically acclaimed artists including Memphis May Fire, Of Mice & Men, and The Devil Wears Prada. The transaction marks the fourth such acquisition in the past year for BMG, following its purchases of US…

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American Idol legal battle set for US trial

A battle between music company 19 and Sony Music looks set to be litigated in court, as the parties have seemingly failed to resolve matters amicably between themselves. Music company 19 owns the rights in the global Idol franchise, including hit US show American Idol, which has attracted millions of viewers and provided a publicity…

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