This will either get relegated to legal minutiae, or snowball into something unexpectedly complicated. But the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) to be unconstitutional, based on violations of the Appointments Clause. The challenge was brought by Intercollegiate Broadcasting Services (IBS), yet the very strict and technical definition of who can appoint CRB judges was instantly remedied by some convenient court reclassifications. This is Constitutional fine print indeed, but then again, it is the Constitution.
The show in the desert will continue! After a fairly straightforward threat issued by Coachella shot-caller Paul Tollett, Indio councilman Sam Torres has backed off plans to tax up to 10 percent on Coachella tickets. Torres was trying to tap Coachella to solve pressing municipal financial issues, though losing the festival would obviously be the worst outcome for everyone.
Here's a non-violent, totally offline protest worth noting. In Japan, Anonymous protesters have decided to clean up trash in Tokyo to protest a punitive, surveillance-heavy solution to illegal downloading. That follows some rather serious, online hacks of official Japanese government sites.
But is this covered by the 'funny business clause'? That's the question following Def Leppard's move to record 'forgeries' of earlier hits to avoid paying (or dealing) with Universal Music Group. But that rework could introduce complications, especially if UMG decides to challenge the workaround. Oftentimes, contracts attempt to protect against just this sort of action, which suggests a possibly lengthy battle ahead.
And the ghost of Facebook lingers. VEVO is now rustling a very substantial level of financing from Allen & Co., according to multiple reports heading into the weekend. The round, estimated in the $100-$150 million range, would peg VEVO's valuation as high as $1 billion.
Separately, VEVO has launched a mobile web version, one that complements a comprehensive suite of app offerings.
Mexican composer, producer, and arranger Homero Patrón passed away on July 4th; he was 61.
Jean-Rene likes it! That's according to Universal Music Group chairman Lucian Grainge, who assured troops that Vivendi chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou supports UMG's plan to acquire EMI. "Mr. Fourtou is committed to Universal’s strategic ambitions," Levy emailed employees, in correspondence obtained by Bloomberg.
Separately, a Financial Times report indicates that Fourtou is taking a leadership role to persuade regulators to approve the deal, particularly on the European side.
They've had better shows. Unfortunately, a brewing fued within the Cro-Mags spilled into the backstage stabbing of bassist Michael Coul, with ousted, ex-bassist Harley Flanagan now detained. At least one other person was also attacked; the move effectively killed the Friday lineup for the CBGB Festival at Webster Hall.