Here is some stuff I did in June 2021…

NFT chatter

So we managed to get to the end of June without having any real NFT chatter on the podcast. But then Damon Dash tried to sell some Jay-Z copyrights as a non-fungible token and we couldn’t put it off any longer. Except, did he? “Not so” says Dash. Because – like with many music NFTs – nobody seems entirely certain what exactly was actually being sold. So gather round for some NFT chitter chatter on Setlist. Available on your podcast app of choice. Though, alas, not as an NFT.

Music rights data

I took part in a really interesting EC workshop on Copyright & New Technologies earlier today, focused on the data challenges facing different copyright industries. To celebrate, I made a new diagram all about the complexities of music rights ownership and data. If nothing else, I think it successfully communicates that it’s all pretty damn complex!

More Performer ER?

If you’re bored of listening to me explaining how Performer Equitable Remuneration works – I know I am – then don’t worry, although we cover yet another Performer ER story on this week’s Setlist podcast, we spend much more time explaining how a private member’s bill works, and mocking the peculiarities of British parliamentary democracy. Which is much more fun. As always, you can check it out via your podcast listening app of choice. Get some more info here.

Evolving record deals

The CMU weekly webinar I’m delivering on Tuesday is all about the “evolution of record deals”. Which is nicely timed, given record deals did quite a bit of evolving yesterday. Well, Sony Music record deals did. Beggars Group might argue that evolution happened ages ago. However, there was enough evolving to justify a new slide, I reckon. We’ll explain more about the big change Sony is making to its old record contracts in Monday’s CMU Daily. But in the meantime, if you still don’t quite understand how record deals work, don’t forget, there’s a free MMF guide that’ll fix that.

Seeing the sights

Exciting to be wandering around Central London again, taking in the sights. Can’t believe it’s been fifteen months since I last saw the Olde Westminster Scaff Tower. Always a favourite. I also discovered you now get full mobile reception on the whole Jubilee Line (apparently this happened at the start of lockdown). In fact, I’ve never had such a strong Three internet connection. Until you go above ground again, then it’s utterly unusable, like normal. Anyway, I spent the afternoon in Central London!

GDPR what now?

In terms of the things I have written over the years, I think I am most proud of the letters I’ve penned responding to media lawyers who’ve made blatantly bullshit libel claims on behalf of their millionaire clients in a bid to attack our free speech – you know, the ‘liars for hire’ in the legal profession. Such letters make me glad I paid attention during the defamation lectures of my law degree. Though this weekend is the first time I’ve had a media lawyer using GDPR in a bid to get an accurate report of a public event deleted from the internet. That can’t possibly be what GDPR is for! Do I dig out my copy of the 2018 Data Protection Act and give it a good read so to construct a passive aggressive rebuttal? Or do I just delete the article and quietly grumble to myself about unethical lawyers and their willingness to attack the fundamentals of democracy in return for a quick buck?

Diversifying digital

The digital music market is diversifying – meaning the industry will become less reliant on a super small number of premium subscription services, which is the good news. Though it also means that labels and artists need to get their heads around a more diverse mix of digital services, including social apps, live-streaming, podcasts and various new-fangled direct-to-fan tools. And hey, maybe even those pesky NFTs. We talk through all of this in the latest One Step Ahead report from IMPALA and CMU. IMPALA members everywhere – why not download your free copy and sign up to next week’s webinar on the research? Here’s a little more info.