In The Know: SoStereo's Weekly Music Summary September 21, 2018

SoStereo's weekly music news summary with Spotify facing a gender discrimination lawsuit, MMA passing and more.
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U.S. Senate Unanimously Passes Music Modernization Act:

After months of haggling over terms and lobbying against the bill by major corporations, Blackstone (on the behalf of SESAC, which they own) and Sirius XM, the Senate has passed the Music Modernization Act. The bill was passed unanimously on Tuesday, September, after the house passed it in April. The bill will have to go back to the house and then to the president’s desk to be signed before it is law, but it is looking like this will be the case.

MMA creates a blanket mechanical license and a collecting society to administer it, will reshape how courts administer rates and makes sure that future hearings between BMI and ASCAP rotate among the U.S. Southern District Court of New York Judges, instead of just two judges. It also creates royalties for master recordings before 1972, which was a big point of contention. Sirius XM faced a boycott from over 150 prominent artists and songwriters, but it came to an agreement to pay half of the performance royalties for pre-1972 recordings according to Rolling Stone.

Read more here.

Spotify Looking To Launch In Middle East and Africa In November:

According to a leaked email via Music Business Worldwide, Spotify plans to launch across the Middle East and Africa in November. It will open a new regional headquarters in Dubai. It will have to battle with Apple Music, Deezer and Anghami, among others in the region. There will be some roadblocks, such as Deezer’s agreement with Rotana Group, which owns the largest label in the Middle East, Rotana Records.

Spotify Facing Gender Discrimination Lawsuit:

As streaming continues to take over the recorded business, the companies behind them gain more importance and will be more in the spotlight. Spotify is now being sued by Hong Perez, who worked as a sales executive for Spotify between 2015 and 2017, who is alleging gender discrimination, defamation and equal pay violations. She alleges the head of sales, Brian Berner, took his staff on a drug-fueled boys trip to Sundance in 2016 and 2017, leaving out better qualified women. Some of the men got into a physical altercation on one of the trips. She also alleges her boss got in trouble for an arrangement with a client and taking free tickets to MSG, but passed the blame to her. She was later fired for conduct policy violations, allegedly. Spotify denies the accusations.

Read more here.

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