Industry News, Legal Drama

Industry News: Adele’s Music Rights Agency, Merlin, Wins Illegal File Sharing Battle with LimeWire

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As music digital distribution increases in the African music space, we need to begin having a discussion on what lies ahead for AML artists, labels etc. Several news stories I will keep posting as we lead up to a full discussion on those issues looking at Spinlet, Irokoing, Gidilounge, Truspot, Iwantairplay and other digital distributors in Africa’s market. From where I sit, it does not take much to see the trends and where the legal issues will arise in the nearest future. Read what is happening in the international music space below, “I dey come” . . . :

“Merlin, the rights agency for independent record labels representing acts including Adele and Arctic Monkeys, has reached a landmark deal with LimeWire worth millions of dollars to artists to end a long-running legal battle over illegal file sharing.

The out-of-court settlement, which is thought to be worth between $5m and $10m, is the largest the independent music sector has won in its battle against digital music piracy.

Last year the major music labels won a $105m (£64m) settlement with LimeWire.

However, Charles Caldas, the chief executive of Merlin, said that smaller labels had been “totally left out in the cold on a deal with a service that infringed their rights as much as the major labels”.

“The exclusion of independents from past major settlements such as Kazaa was a key factor in the formation of Merlin, and I am proud to say that this time, via the actions of Merlin, our members’ rights have been properly protected,” added Caldas.

Details of LimeWire’s deal with Merlin were not disclosed beyond that the multi-million pound settlement is the largest the agency has struck to date, and its first global action.

However, according to Merlin it is “commensurate” with the deal struck by the major labels, taking into account the smaller market share of its members.

Merlin’s previous biggest deal was a $3.6m payout by US-based XM Satellite Radio, which has DJs including Howard Stern, struck last year. Merlin’s members account for about 10% of the US music market. . .” – Guardian Co. UK


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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email ( For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email ( Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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