Overnight news from around the world: Friday, June 24

Overnight news from around the world: Friday, June 24

UK votes to leave EU

The UK has voted to leave the EU, with the final results showing 51.9% of votes supporting Leave, and 48.1% to Remain. Turnout for the referendum was 71.8% overall – the highest in a UK election since 1992. The pound has since dropped more than 10%, to its lowest level since 1985. Reports suggest another recession is likely. UKIP leader Nigel Farage has already said it was a mistake for the Leave campaign to promise an extra £350 million spent on the NHS, as they will not be able to. Music Week’s informal poll last week showed that 91% of the music industry backed Remain. BPI’s Geoff Taylor previously said: “The BPI position is that the music industry, particularly the recorded music industry, has a strong interest in remaining in the European Union.”

Stairway To Heaven: what does the result mean for IP cases?

Led Zeppelin have emerged victorious in the Stairway To Heaven case, after the estate of Randy Wolfe’s claim that the song Taurus had been plagiarised was shot down. Platntiff attorney Francis Malofiy said: It is important to realise that the jury agreed very clearly with Plaintiff that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant had access to Taurus, and discounted their denials that they had never heard Taurus before. For Led Zeppelin the case was about their legacy and reputation; for Randy California it was about credit. In this regard, neither party won.” Robert Lundie Smith, partner at IP law firm, EIP, commented: “The Jury accepted that Led Zeppelin must have heard Taurus, but they simply did not accept that there was any substantial similarity in the relevant elements of Taurus and Stairway to Heaven – quite simply there was no copying. Lawyers for Wolfe’s estate have suggested that this is a victory based upon mere technicality and blame the decision on the fact that the jury did not hear the ‘real’ recordings.” J. Michael Keyes, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney, said: "The jury’s verdict may have several noteworthy implications for current music copyright cases (such as those pending against Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran) and future ones, too. A music copyright plaintiff should think carefully about whether the amount of alleged infringement is significant enough to pursue.  The amount of alleged similarity in this case was essentially a five-note baseline, and the jury found that the two works were not substantially similar.”

Harry Styles signs to Columbia

Former One Direction star Harry Styles has signed to Columbia Records, according to reports. The singer’s previously band had a joint deal with Sony label and Syco in the US, making this a kind of homecoming. Details of the deal are not yet known – there is no known timeline for a debut solo album, and Styles is currently filming a Christopher Nolan World War II film, Dunkirk. Back in March, the pop star joined Jeffrey Azoff’s Full Stop Management. (Billboard)

Award-winning composer Jacob Groth signs to Music Sales

The Music Sales Group has signed Danish composer Jacob Groth, best known for his soundtrack to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and his music for the recent major CBS drama series Unforgettable. Groth has agreed his publishing deal with Edition Wilhelm Hansen (EWH), the Copenhagen-based affiliate of the Music Sales Group of Companies. Born 1951 in Copehnagen, where he is still based, Groth’s first major work was on the Søren Kragh-Jacobsen film debut Vil Du Se Min Smukke Navle?, which led to a long period of collaboration. In 2012 he teamed up once again with Millennium director Niels Arden Oplev to score the major Hollywood production Dead Man Down, starring Colin Farrell, and followed this in 2014 with the action thriller Skin Trade. Also in 2012, he was commissioned to work on the pilot of CBS drama series Unforgettable, for which Jacob was awarded Best Music Score at the ASCAP Awards. He is currently working Swedish crime series Modus and has several European projects in the pipeline. 

Last.fm reaches 100bn plays

Music recommendation and tracker platform Last.fm has passed the 100 billion plays milestone, with The Beatles revealed to be the most played artist ever with over 450 million plays. The huge number of plays equates to Last.fm’s 60 million registered users enjoying over 761,034 years of music. British music leads the charge both in the top albums and top artists, with all six spots taken by artists hailing from the UK. The Beatles are the most popular act, with more than 464m plays, while Radiohead and Coldplay complete the Top 3. The most listened to album is xx by The xx, with over 71m plays, followed by In Rainbows by Radiohead and Whatever People Say I Am, I’m Not by Arctic Monkeys.

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