Opinion and analysis of the day's music news.


YOUTUBE LOSES GERMAN COURT CASE
-- In contrast to the protections YouTube is given in the U.S., the company lost a court case in Germany regarding user-uploaded videos of performances by the singer Sarah Brightman. The court said a standardized question to users about their legal right to upload material did not relieve YouTube of responsibility for uploaded content. Google plans to appeal the decision. In contrast, U.S. law affords YouTube “safe harbor” provisions for infringing content that is uploaded without its direct knowledge. In YouTube’s victory over Viacom earlier this year, the judge found that YouTube had properly complied with takedown notices and that “mere knowledge” of infringing activity “is not enough.” (AP)


STERN'S IMPACT ON SIRIUS XM'S STOCK
-- Howard Stern says he is “pretty sure” he will leave Sirius XM once his five-year, $500 million contract ends at the end of the year. He indicated he wants fewer hours each day and suggested he could opt for some kind of online play. The departure of Stern, or even just a change to his role, will probably bring up questions about the impact on Sirius XM’s stock price. The stock typically hovers around $1 per share, the threshold for being delisted by the Nasdaq Stock Market on which is trades. But falling under $1 is not in itself a damning event. A stock needs to trade below $1 for 30 consecutive business days after which the company enters a 180-day compliance period during with the company can become compliant. (THR, Billboard.biz)


ANALYST: 'HOLD' LIVE NATION
-- Live Nation’s stock was downgraded by Stifel Financial to “hold” from “buy” because of concerns over artist costs. Live Nation shares were down nearly 6% to $9.27 in early trading on Tuesday. (The Street)


PEOPLE'S MUSIC CLOSES
-- People’s Music Store has closed its virtual doors. The UK-based company launched in early 2009 with the goal of turning people into music retailers by letting them sell MP3s through their own store fronts. Universal Music Group and some independent labels licensed their catalogs to the service. Letting fans be tastemakers and retailers looked like a good idea. But turning fans into music-selling tastemakers is an idea that hasn’t yet been properly executed. It’s the same concept that is behind the many widget-based music services that haven’t connected with music buyers either. And it won’t get any easier. Now that music stores (iTunes) and services (Spotify, Rdio) have incorporated social network features to aid discovery, startups like Peoples Music Store face more hurdles in turning fans into retailers. When the most popular music destinations allow people to discover music through other fans, standalone services that turn fans into retailers face a big obstacle. (Music Ally)


PROMOTION THROUGH SHARING
-- Pledge Music’s Benji Rogers on promotion through sharing: “We ran a PledgeMusic campaign for a fairly established artist a while back and they released their album to the Pledgers almost a full two weeks before it hit the stores. The record out-performed its expectations in the market place because those early Pledgers had a full two weeks to talk up how much they were loving the record and essentially told all their friends to go and buy it…Fans will watch what other fans are doing and sharing the ability to share is the most organic way to get this started.” (Music Supported Here)


Assorted Links
-- Links to the hacks from the weekend’s Music Hack Day in London. (Indie Music Tech)
-- A few things Paul McGuinness forgot to mention: the unbundling of music, mispriced music and protectionist licensing policies. (MIDEM(Net) blog)
-- A profile on the Life is good Festival happening in Boston next weekend. (Boston Globe)