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With support from IFPI and Pro-Música Brasil, Brazilian law enforcement has completed a substantial series of actions as part of the ongoing Operation 404, an initiative tackling copyright and license-infringing services on the internet.

Alexandre Lasch, managing director of SNEP, indicates his concerns that France is lagging behind other major markets in terms of premium subscription streaming.

IMPALA has called on the European Commission to hurry up and complete its work considering what European law says about the flow of broadcast and public performance royalties between countries.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - March 17, 2023
Compiled by Ana Berberana

IFPI and Pro-Música Brasil take down 1,720 infringing domains and music apps in Brazil’s ongoing ‘Operation 404.’

One of the most extensive copyright infringement campaigns, Operation 404 includes a range of actions targeting unlicensed music services. The operation has already achieved wide-ranging success resulting in the suspension of nearly 1,000 domains, the removal of 720 infringing music apps, and the delivery of 96 search warrants. These actions involved the combined efforts of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, local cybercrime police units, and law enforcement authorities abroad. INDECOPI, the Peruvian Copyright Office, has engaged with Operation 404 for the first time since 2019, working with Brazilian authorities to shut down a significant web ring with more than 72 domains dedicated to music piracy, including mp3 download and stream-ripping sites. Meanwhile, the Brazilian authorities have ordered the removal of 63 additional stream-ripping mobile apps from Brazilian app stores and initiated actions against a group responsible for pre-release infringements. The Police IP Crime Unit, City of London Police, a strategic partner to Brazilian authorities for Operation 404, has planned additional disruptive actions related to several infringing sites.

SNEP concerned about France’s streaming subscriptions growth

France’s recorded music industry recorded its sixth consecutive year of growth in 2022, according to figures published this week by industry body SNEP. However, its managing director Alexandre Lasch has told Music Ally of his concerns that France is lagging behind other major markets in terms of premium subscription streaming. SNEP’s figures showed annual revenues of €920m ($977.7m at current exchange rates) which was a year-on-year increase of 6.4%. Within that, streaming revenues grew by 12.7% to €557m, including an 11.4% uptick in subscription revenues to €425.6m. Meanwhile, the number of paid subscriptions in France grew from 10m in 2021 to 11m in 2022, although once family and duo accounts are factored in, that means around 16 million users of premium subscriptions. Good news? In an interview for our upcoming France country profile, Lasch outlined his concerns “We have only 11 million subscriptions to streaming services in France, and that’s not enough. It means penetration rates of only 18%, compared to 29% in the US, and probably more than that in the UK, not to mention the Scandinavian countries, where subscription is a mature market,” he said. “This is still not a mature market in France and for that reason, it [the market] should grow faster than that.”

IMPALA calls on European Commission to complete its investigation into the ‘reciprocity approach’

IMPALA – the pan-European organization for the independent music community – has called on the European Commission to hurry up and complete its work considering what European law says about the flow of broadcast and public performance royalties between countries. That’s something the EC has been busy considering ever since 2021 following a ruling in an Irish court case in 2020. This all relates to how income collected by the record industry’s collecting societies, when recorded music is broadcast or played in public, flows around the world. “Two and a half years have now passed since the decision of the European Court Of Justice in the RAAP case”, the trade group said this morning. “This decision has created an anomaly. The principle of reciprocity as enshrined under international copyright has basically been suspended as a result. If allowed to stand, this will have a massive impact on the livelihoods of thousands of European music artists and independent music businesses and on cultural diversity”.

Amazon Music Launches Hip-Hop & Latin-Focused Channels on Twitch

Rotation Roundtable will focus on highlighting hip-hop music, while La Semanal Live will focus on Latin pop culture. Both shows will be available as a 60-minute podcast that will air on Twitch. Both shows will be inspired by the Rap Rotation and R&B Rotation playlists on Amazon Music. Hosts include Speedy Morman, Nyla Symone, Gabe P, and Rob Markman. The podcast version of the shows will be available on Amazon Music and the Wondery YouTube page. La Semanal Live is based on a podcast of the same name that focuses on the latest in Latin music and culture. Puerto Rican journalist Gio Rosado will host the show, alongside artist interviews and special guests. “I’m super excited to partner with Amazon Music to bring fans the latest in Latin music in a new way,” adds Rosado. “The show will have a lot of energy, humor, and debate. My goal is to create a show so captivating and engaging that you’ll regret not having tuned in.”

The Rolling Stones accused of song theft over 2020 track Living In A Ghost Town

The Rolling Stones have been sued over allegations that their 2020 track ‘Living In A Ghost Town’ rips off not one but two earlier songs. The artist behind those earlier works alleges that the band got hold of his music via a member of Mick Jagger’s family. When released in April 2020, ‘Living In A Ghost Town’ was the first new music from the Stones in four years, and their first original song since 2012. It was initially recorded the previous year, but Jagger amended the lyrics in early 2020 as the COVID pandemic started to surge, changing the words to reference the lockdowns. According to this new lawsuit filed with the US courts by musician Sergio Garcia Fernandez, not only did ‘Living In A Ghost Town’ contain lockdown themes, it also included “recognisable and key protected elements” from his 2006 song ‘So Sorry’ and his 2007 release ‘Seed Of God’”. More specifically, the Stones song allegedly lifted “vocal melodies, the chord progressions, the drum beat patterns, the harmonica parts, the electric bass line parts, the tempos, and other key signatures” from ‘So Sorry’ and the “harmonic and chord progression and melody” from ‘Seed Of God’.

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