India May Drop eCommerce Policy due to Lack of Unanimity, TikTok Star Gets Signed to Universal Music Group, US Will Not Scrap Old Music Licensing Decrees and more.

India May Drop eCommerce Policy due to Lack of Unanimity, TikTok Star Gets Signed to Universal Music Group, US Will Not Scrap Old Music Licensing Decrees, Uppbeat to License Music to YouTube, Hipgnosis Buys Rights to Metallica and Michael Bublé and Classic Bands Accused of Crowding Out New Music.

India May Drop eCommerce Policy due to Lack of Unanimity

An inter-ministerial group, consisting of the ministries of electronics and IT, corporate affairs, finance, agriculture and commerce and industry, discussed details pertaining to the draft ecommerce policy in January 2021. The policy seeks to set up a regulator for the e-commerce sector and implement a new law to regulate the manner in which eCommerce companies store, use, transfer, process and analyse user and non-user data.
One of the provisions in the draft policy states that companies which share data of Indian users overseas would be subject to periodic audits. Further, these companies would be required to provide any data that the government seeks, failing which they will be fined. The draft policy further states that medical data and information regarding defence and other sensitive matters cannot be stored offshore without approvals, adding that local storage of data will be made mandatory in these fields.
There was no convergence on several of these issues and the commerce and industry minister questioned the rationale behind the policy. Other ministers raised concerns over the role and reach of the regulator, provisions relating to consumer data protection in the policy and possible overlaps with other legislation.
Experts, however, think that an analysis of the EU’s Digital Markets Act is a good starting point for India to purpose a policy that regulates the sector.

TikTok Star Gets Signed to Universal Music Group

Former Mailman, Nathan Evans, recently got signed to Universal Music Group (UMG) after he went viral for posting his performances of sea shanties to TikTok.
His “Wellerman” rendition garnered north of 1.4 million likes and close to 20,000 comments on TikTok. UMG released his single, “Wellerman”, the 155-second-long track, which has generated over 153,000 YouTube views and around 151,000 Spotify plays.

US Will Not Scrap Old Music Licensing Decrees

The US Justice Department’s top antitrust official stated that, the administration will not scrap old agreements with music licensing groups, such as, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), which hold down costs for Spotify and other music streaming websites. In absence of these agreements, companies would have to negotiate rights in a chaotic transition, while factoring in the possibility of price hikes.
The Digital Media Association, which represents Amazon, Pandora and Spotify, welcomed the department’s decision to uphold the old agreements. ASCAP and BMI have not commented on the matter.

Uppbeat to License Music to YouTube

Licensing Firm, Music Vine, has launched Uppbeat which allows YouTubers to use music without fear of copyright strikes. The catalogue has over 900 tracks from artists, producers and composers, with each Uppbeat user able to download 10 tracks a month for use in any of their videos.
The business model involves getting users to upgrade for a 6.99 pounds a month premium account, allowing them to use unlimited number of tracks. Uppbeat says its music can also be used on other ‘open-distribution platforms’ like livestreaming services and podcasts.

Hipgnosis Buys Rights to Metallica and Michael Bublé

The producer of songs by Metallica and Michael Bublé has sold his rights for around 43 songs to Hipgnosis for an undisclosed amount. Call Me Irresponsible, Crazy Love, and Christmas are some of the songs on the list of 43 songs.

Classic Bands Accused of Crowding Out New Music

Up-and-coming pop stars are facing “massive competition” from classic bands like Queen and the Beatles due to streaming. Speaking to the parliamentary inquiry into the impact of streaming, Peter Leathem of rights society PPL said, “any artist at the start of their career has got the last 50 years of the music industry to compete with.” He also pointed out that a lot of musicians were struggling to make a living due to online streaming of music as there were numerous people trying to get a share of a smaller pie. The new artists that do get high viewership only do so because of their pre-existing YouTube fan bases.
Nevertheless, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) which is the representative of the recorded music industry has released figures suggesting that streaming was working in artists’ favour and that streaming has also made the market more “democratic”, with the top 10 artists accounting for just 5% of all music streamed last year.

Authored and compiled by  Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels) and Aaditi Pradeep (Legal Intern)
The Licensing and E-Commerce News Bulletin is brought to you jointly by the E-Commerce Law and Consulting/Strategy Divisions of BananaIP Counsels, a Top IP Firm in India. If you have any questions, or need any clarifications, please write to [email protected]  with the subject: eCommerce News.
Disclaimer: Please note that the news bulletin has been put together from different sources, primary and secondary, and BananaIP’s reporters may not have verified all the news published in the bulletin. You may write to [email protected]  for corrections and take down.

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