Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Google Beats Genius In Lyric Scraping Lawsuit | Hypebot

Google Beats Genius In Lyric Scraping Lawsuit

A judge has dismissed lyric site Genius’ lawsuit against Google and lyric provider LyricFind for $50 million for allegedly copying its song lyrics and using then in search results.

Genius claimed that it caught Google by inserting a series of alternating straight and curved apostrophes in the lyrics that it hosts and then finding them verbatim in more than 100 Google search results.

But a federal judge dismissed the case this week in large part because Genius does not “own” the lyrics that it sued to protect.

Calling Genius’s lyric transcriptions derivative works, the judge wrote: “Plaintiff’s breach of contract claims are nothing more than claims seeking to enforce the copyright owners’ exclusive rights to protection from unauthorized reproduction of the lyrics and are therefore preempted.”

“Although Plaintiff describes the rights it seeks to enforce as ‘broader and different than the exclusive right existing under the Copyright Act,’ based on ‘the substantial investment of time and labor by [Plaintiff] in a competitive market,’ and asserts breach of contract claims based on alleged violations of Plaintiff’s Terms of Service, Plaintiff’s own ability to transcribe and display the lyrics on its website arises from the licensing rights Plaintiff has in the lyrics…”

H/T Hollywood Reporter

Bruce Houghton on 08/12/2020 in

Music Business




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UMG Strikes New Deals With Tencent, Netease | Hypebot

UMG Strikes New Deals With Tencent, Netease

Universal Music Group has signed multi-year licensing agreement with two Chinese tech giants – Tencent Music Entertainment and Netease.

For Tencent, the deal was a renewal and will allow the Chinese e-commerce company to continue to distribute UMG’s music on its music streaming platforms, including QQ Music, Kugou Music and Kuwo Music. UMG’s content will also be licensed for use on TME’s online Karaoke platform, WeSing, along with other live streaming and expanded digital services.

The Tencent deal also included a new joint venture with UMG that will launch a new record label aimed at developing a Chinese fandom for homegrown artists.

For Tencent rival Netease, the licensing deal with UMG will allow the Chinese e-commerce and digital services giant to directly distribute UMG’s music, including domestic and international recording artists, on its streaming NetEase Cloud Music platform and associated digital services in China.

The two companies will also co-develop campaigns and initiatives to allow Chinese music fans to engage with both Chinese and international artists.

With a population of almost 1.4 billion that is quickly gaining access to digital marketplaces, China is quickly becoming one of the most important streaming markets in the world, particularly as western countries approach market saturation.

By this year, the Chinese streaming market is estimated to be worth $1.5bn with projected growth of more than 6% per year through 2025, according to data compiled by Statista.

Bruce Houghton on 08/12/2020 in

Major Labels




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NAMM Cancels Winter Show, Sets ‘Believe In Music’ Virtual Conference | Hypebot

NAMM Cancels Winter Show, Sets ‘Believe In Music’ Virtual Conference

NAMM has canceled its massive winter trade show due the pandemic and is replacing it with an early 2021 weeklong virtual gathering dubbed \Beleive In Music.

Over the week of January 18, 2021, Belive In Music will feature a mix of virtual programming and professional education as well as an interactive musical instrument, accessories, and services marketplace.

The weeklong event, broadcast at, will welcome NAMM members from the music instrument, pro audio, live sound and live event industries, artists, media and policymakers, along with participants from GenNext (college music students and faculty), Music Education Days (school music administrators) and Nonprofit Institute (NAMM Foundation grantees and nonprofit affiliates).

Emerging and established musicians and fans are invited to connect with brands and in special music-making projects and opportunities to showcase their talents and performances throughout the week, opening the potential to gather music makers in a capacity not restricted by location.

Awards & The Grand Rally for Music Education

The 36th TEC Awards will recognize the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind the sound of recordings, live performances, films, television, video games and multimedia. The TEC Awards call for entries is now open through August 31:

The Top 100 Dealer Awards will also be celebrated during the week. Now in its 10th year, the annual awards honor music retailers who have demonstrated a commitment to best practices, creativity and innovation in retail. The submissions process is now open for NAMM retail members and will close on October 2, 2020. Learn more and submit now at

The annual Grand Rally for Music Education brings together music education advocates for a celebration of the benefits and pleasures of making music.

In 2020, the Grand Rally welcomed 10-time Grammy winner Bobby McFerrin and Gimme5 for a special performance, along with a preshow performance by The Langley Ukulele Ensemble, The Legacy Ukulele Ensemble and winners of the “A Cappella at NAMM” contest.

Additional events, receptions and other activities will be announced in the weeks to come.

“While it remains unsafe for us to gather in person in January, Believe in Music week will use new, intuitive technology to connect us all to harness the incredible energy that happens when we come together,” said Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO. “With a robust marketplace to launch new products and share your brand story, Believe in Music will also feature networking and matchmaking for our buyers and our sellers, education for all segments of the industry, and live music and concerts. And just like at all NAMM events, these activities will raise awareness and financial support to serve our NAMM family across our Circle of Benefits model.”

“I believe there has never been a more important moment for our industry to gather, to conduct business, to inspire each other, to inspire music makers and to support those in our music family in need,” said Tom Sumner, president of Yamaha Corporation of America.


‘I'm Not Going Anywhere, No Matter The Obstacles’: Q’s With Lina Ugrinovska | Pollstar News

Lina UgrinovskaLina UgrinovskaInternational booker at Password Production.

caught up with Lina Ugrinovska, international booker at Password Production in Macedonia.

Ugrinovska has been outspoken on all things concerning mental health ever since working her way out of her own mental health crisis.

The bans on gatherings and employment imposed by governments in reaction to Covid-19 has placed many live professionals in a situation they never faced before, maintaining a healthy mindset in the current climate is challenging.

We asked Ugrinovska how she's been coping, and about her tips for staying sane in insane times.

Pollstar: First of all, and since we're talking about mental health, how are you feeling?

Lina Ugrinovska: I`m well! Thank you! “Well” meaning there are no big mood variations during daytime and nighttime. Good is balanced, good is ready for anything. And also, ready for nothing at all.

I’m very grateful that this situation didn’t take from us what we enjoy internally, the places we’ve been and the people we’ve met.

What are the most challenging aspects of the lockdown for music professionals in particular? 

I believe it is very individual. What is more, what we perceived this crisis to be in March and April is very different compared to where we are now, mind-wise.  

This holds particularly true for the people in the live industry, mostly promoters and bookers such as myself, the people dependent on that addictive information flow, which we’re engrossed in on a daily basis, getting things and information from point A to point B, identifying and solving problems, delegating tasks, waiting for feedback, sharpening our senses etc. 

The end of the state of routine is one of the most challenging things people from our sector had to face and transform, and also one of the main aspects affecting their well-being.

Facing the fact that you have no power, and at the same time noticing that no one around you has it either, was liberating in some bizarre way. You and your competitor face the exact same challenge. No one is moving. Times Square is on pause, the Red Square in Moscow is on pause, I`m on pause as well here in Skopje. 

Communicating with other colleagues from different countries was required for us to re-confirm that all of this is really happening globally, to be able to face it and feel better about our non-activity. It also helped with not falling into a panic, but instead focus our attention inwards, away from our usual working routine.

Some professionals working in this business welcomed the opportunity to go on holidays with their families for the first time in years, as they didn't have a festival to organize. Have you come across these kinds of examples, which suggest that, for some, Covid might have led to a positive realization?

Yes, whether it’s people going on a vacation or renovating their homes or committing to tasks they were not into doing before.

I do have a positive outlook, as well, but the truth is, I don’t know how long it will last, or how I’m going to transform it. I just know that I invest in it every day. The uncertainty is a killer, though. I’m trying to find long-term solutions for a situation that changes almost daily. 

What helps you stay positive?

I started working out since day one [of the lockdown]. That is something I have never done before. Now, I sometimes do it two times a day, and I believe it produces 80% of my positive energy. The discipline is incredibly similar to the one you need to succeed in this industry.

What’s challenged you personally the most?

The biggest change for me personally is that I haven`t traveled more than 100 kilometers in months. Airports, hotel rooms, streets, are and always will be my biggest inspiration, for my work, and my well-being. 

We usually maintain a crazy tempo, working at same time as promoters, agents, managers, and sometimes parents, for our artists. We’re educators, designers, concept developers all in one. Excluding all of that from your daily routine changes you, obviously. 

What do you make of all of these claims that the virus "has brought us closer together," "together at home," or that it somehow connected us more? 

To be perfectly honest, I don`t think it has brought us closer together, but I do believe it connected the people who personally grew through this lockdown. Those who adapted through the process and adopted a new routine – somehow these people found each other, felt each other and developed a new social life together.

I believe that the time spent without the usual pressures, without the seeking of acknowledgment and without having to prove yourself to others, was replaced by an exploration of what time means to us. Once the world stopped, research into our own minds moved up the priority list, and, for some, it was high time to redefine priorities.

Does this crisis affect workaholics in particular?

I do believe the effect on workaholics is different. They adapt, they shift from one obsession to another quickly and immediately, at least I did.

The day the lockdown and policed curfews were announced, I already had a plan for what I will do and how will I redesign my days. Not fully fleshed out yet, but I was open to change. 

At first, I was waiting for a genius idea to land in my head so I could be of help to the industry, which made me feel some weird form of guilt at first. I wanted to justify my role and mission in this business, to justify my love for it.

But I realized that I’m a part of it and I`m not going anywhere, no matter the obstacles. My new routine is designed to better myself, and for that better self to deal with the music industry when it returns again.

What will be the most important factors for professionals not to lose their minds over this crisis?

Acceptance. Adaptation. And learning one of the hardest lessons: that you don’t have control over what will happen with the world tomorrow or anytime in the future. Whoever hadn’t learned that yet, now had to. 

It’s the nature of our work, that we find it very hard to face a situation where we`re not solving a problem with a decision, where things don`t depend on us. Now we are clear about that.

I hope that most of us will realize that this time hasn’t been lost at all. We will be far more ready, more adaptable, simply more intelligent.


AM BRIEF: Spotify, Songwriters Battle • Amazon Music Adds Podcasts • New Apple Music Beta • More | Hypebot

WEDNESDAY 8.12.2020 • Music Business News From Across The Web Updated Continuously Under The More News Tab Above

The post AM BRIEF: Spotify, Songwriters Battle • Amazon Music Adds Podcasts • New Apple Music Beta • More appeared first on Hypebot.


Judge throws out Genius lawsuit accusing Google of copying lyrics | Music Business Worldwide

A lawsuit filed by lyrics platform Genius against Google last year accusing the tech giant of “unethical, unfair and anticompetitive” behaviour was dismissed by a Federal Judge in New York on Monday (August 10).

Genius claimed in its suit that “Defendants Google LLC and LyricFind have been caught red-handed misappropriating content from Genius’s website, which they have exploited—and continue to exploit—for their own financial benefit and to Genius’s financial detriment”.

According to Federal Judge Margo K. Brodie, at the centre of the decision to direct the court to close the case was that Genius’s “claim is preempted by the Copyright Act because, at its core” the company is accusing Google of “misappropriating content from its website” i.e. reproducing its work.

However, Genius didn’t actually sue Google for copyright infringement, because it doesn’t own the rights to the lyrics. Publishers and songwriters do.

Writing in Monday’s court order, obtained by MBW, and which you can read in full here, Federal Judge Brodie said that Genius’ “argument is, in essence, that it has created a derivative work of the original lyrics in applying its own labor and resources to transcribe the lyrics, and thus, retains some ownership over and has rights in the transcriptions distinct from the exclusive rights of the copyright owners.

“Plaintiff likely makes this argument without explicitly referring to the lyrics transcriptions as derivative works because the case law is clear that only the original copyright owner has exclusive rights to authorize derivative works.”

This all started in June last year when Genius alleged that it was losing traffic to its site because its lyrics were being copied, and then published by Google via the latter firm’s lyrics partner, LyricFind.

The allegations were made public in a Wall Street Journal article, in which Genius claimed that it caught Google stealing its lyrics by inserting a sequence of punctuation that spelled out “Red Handed” when converted to Morse code.

LyricFind then addressed the allegations in a blog post, also in June 2019, in which it conceded that its team may have “unknowingly” taken lyrics from a source that originally copied them from Genius.

The company added that it “offered to remove any lyrics Genius felt had originated from them, even though we did not source them from Genius’ site”.

Genius then filed a lawsuit in New York in December that sought “no less than $50 million” in “combined minimum damages” from both Google and Canada-based LyricFind.

“Plaintiff likely makes this argument without explicitly referring to the lyrics transcriptions as derivative works because the case law is clear that only the original copyright owner has exclusive rights to authorize derivative works.”

Judge Margo K. Brodie

Continued Judge Brodie: “Even accepting the argument that Plaintiff has added a separate and distinct value to the lyrics by transcribing them such that the lyrics are essentially derivative works, because Plaintiff does not allege that it received an assignment of the copyright owners’ rights in the lyrics displayed on its website,

“Plaintiff’s allegations that Defendants “scraped” and used their lyrics for profit amount to allegations that Defendants made unauthorized reproductions of Plaintiff’s lyric transcriptions and profited off of those unauthorized reproductions, which is behavior that falls under federal copyright law.”Music Business Worldwide


PubG Mobile, the world’s top mobile game, made $208.8m in July | Music Ally

The amount of money sloshing around in the mobile games industry continues to startle. According to analytics firm Sensor Tower, the top mobile game in July 2020 was PubG Mobile, published by Tencent.

It generated $208.8m in user spending via in-app purchases on Google and Apple’s app stores that month.

Comparison time: Tencent Music generated less than that ($186.6m) from music subscription revenues in the entire second quarter of this year.

It’s not an entirely fair comparison since the PubG Mobile figure is global (and includes App Store owners’ cut), but Sensor Tower estimates that 56.6% of the game’s spending came from China – around $118.2m – so over a quarter it’s still outgunning music subscriptions for Tencent in that country.

The chart is a reminder of how big games are for Tencent though: it also publishes the second most lucrative mobile game from July, Honor of Kings, which generated $192m of player spending – 94% of which came from China.

Stuart Dredge