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Music Publishing News Roundup: Friday, September 2, 2016

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Hundreds of musicians, including Hans Zimmer, R. Kelly, and Linkin Park filed a brief in support of the appeal of last year’s “Blurred Lines” ruling.  The song was found in violation of copyright based on its atmospheric similarity to Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.”  The concern with the judgement, which awarded Marvin Gaye’s descendents $5.3 million in one of the largest damages in music copyright history, is the possibility of its “adverse impact on the creativity of future artists and on the music industry in general.”    

Spotify has been creating its own tracks with specific musical guidelines to put on its mood and genre specific playlists.  The service has been hiring producers and studio musicians to create these tracks for a flat fee, so Spotify can hold on to the master copyright–it’s not clear, however, who owns the publishing rights.  These tracks, some of which have received hundreds of thousands of streams, align with Spotify’s current strategy of creating its own original content.

ASCAP has announced that its 12th Annual ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO will take place in April 2017 in Los Angeles.  The conference gives aspiring songwriters, composers, artists, and producers a chance to learn from top creatives in the music industry.  Registration for the event open on September 13th, and the first round of panelists will be announced soon.

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