Media and Entertainment

The regulator would introduce a licensing system for clubs, increase scrutiny of directors and owners, and aim to equalise funding.

By Patrick Mitchell, Katie Henshall, and Stewart Robinson

The UK government has published a White Paper which outlines its plans to establish a new statutory independent regulator (the Regulator) for English men’s elite football. The White Paper follows the previously published “Fan-Led Review of Football Governance”, led by Tracey Crouch CBE MP, and the government’s response to the proposed European Super League.

The White Paper raises a number of questions for football’s key stakeholders, including fans, clubs, the Premier League, the Football Association (FA), the English Football League (EFL), and others with interests (financial or otherwise) in and around the sport.

PE investors may like the sound of music deals but complex issues remain.

By Tom D. Evans, Andrew Gass, Kem Ihenacho, David Little, Lisbeth Savill, David J. Walker, Jonathan West, Rachael Astin, Amrita AhujaOscar Hayward, and Catherine Campbell

Music deals, particularly the acquisition of rights to songs and recordings by popular music artists, continue to be attractive investments for PE. Recent transactions underscore the ongoing demand for large-cap music assets.

The continued popularity of global streaming services and the music rental economy have helped to reduce the threat of online piracy, made revenues easier to track and predict, and ensured that strong revenues continue to flow to rights holders. Music rights will likely become even more attractive as revenues are increasingly derived from a growing number of sources, including social media platforms, video games, exercise platforms, video streaming, and virtual reality. As the use of popular music continues to broaden, rights holders will reap the dividends.

French Competition Authority orders Google to negotiate remuneration with press publishers and news agencies under Article 15 of the Copyright Directive (as implemented in France).

By Deborah Kirk, Elva Cullen, Rachael Astin, and Grace Erskine

Background

In April 2019 the European Parliament officially adopted Directive (EU) 2019/790 on Copyright and Related Rights in the Digital Single Market (the Copyright Directive) The directive seeks to harmonise copyright law at an EU level and introduces a package of measures relating to copyright in the digital age. The Copyright Directive also institutes a number of new exceptions to copyright infringement, allowing certain uses of copyrighted works without the permission of the copyright owner, including the exceptions for text and data mining and the exception for digital/cross-border teaching. These measures have been broadly welcomed, although some have proven more controversial. Articles 15 (the press publishers’ right) and 17 (concerning online content-sharing service providers), in particular, have been the subject of much debate.

Companies may face a challenging regulatory environment following the EU-wide implementation of the Copyright Directive by 7 June 2021.

By Deborah J. Kirk and Rachael Astin

On 21 January 2020, the UK government confirmed that the UK will not be required to implement the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market 2019/790 (Copyright Directive) and that it has no plans to do so.

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 (Exit Date), and the implementation period will end on 31 December 2020. As the deadline for transposing the Copyright Directive into Member States’ national laws is 7 June 2021, the UK will not be required to implement the Copyright Directive, and the UK government has confirmed that it has no plans to do so. Furthermore, the UK government confirmed that any future changes to the UK copyright framework will be considered as part of the usual domestic policy process.

By James Inness and Sean Meehan

Latham & Watkins recently advised the largest global music streaming subscription service in the world, Spotify, on its successful New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) listing using a novel direct listing process.

Spotify’s direct listing did not involve a primary or secondary offer. In addition, no underwriters were appointed, no roadshow process was undertaken, and no IPO-specific lock-up agreements were entered into with existing shareholders.

Instead, these pillars of a typical underwritten IPO were replaced with an offer structure based on a purely market-driven approach to price setting with existing shareholders being free to sell all or part of their shares from day one without the usual 180 – 360 day post-admission restrictions. In addition, the roadshow process was replaced with a public investor day that was available to view live on its website by both institutional investors and retail investors. While certain banks acted as financial advisors in respect of the listing, they had no role in advising on investor meetings, facilitating price discovery activities, or conducting after-market stabilisation activities.

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