EMI has lost an appeal in Australia over a 2010 Federal Court ruling that the well knwon flute rift of the Men at Work song Down Under copied a substantial part of a children’s folk song Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree. EMI are to pay Kookaburra’s composer five per cent of Down Under‘s royalties since 2002 (CBC News).
After 10 years of decline, worldwide sales in the music industry are up thanks to a boom in digital sales (Media Memo by Peter Kafka – Wall Street Journal).
That is certainly good news for the music industry in its search for new sustainable growth formulas.
Google’s new music service Music Beta has just been launched. “…Google had originally planned a more robust version of the concept, which it was going to introduce with cooperation from the labels. Talks between Google and the labels, which started a year ago, have hit an impasse, and Google has apparently decided that it would rather launch a reduced version of a music service than none at all…” (Media Memo by Peter Kafka – Wall Street Journal).
It is interesting to see that as is usually the case, rights clearance aspects have changed the final outcome of a content based project. Rights clearance for any content based project is a complex operation requiring carefull expert advice and planning. One must always take into account (as i’m sure Google did in this case), that some rights owners will not necessarily “join” in at the pace and with the business models originally envisaged by the particular content based project’s visionaries. There is never a dull moment in the Media & Entertainment industries.