Tag Archives: rights

Featured Artist Coalition gathers strong support

Over 500 artists have joined The Featured Artists’ Coalition in days since the campaign launched.

New members of the organisation – which is campaigning for artists interests in the digital age – include Annie Lennox, All About Eve, Paul Young, Lady Miss Kier from Deee-Lite and Hot Club de Paris.

The Coalition also had its first meeting with the Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport last weel. On the agenda was a wide range of topics, including “fair dealing”, term extension and some of the other key demands set out in the Coalition’s founding Charter.  

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Europe votes against ‘three strikes’ law

The European Parliament has once again voted to prevent EU member states from imposing a “three strikes” rule against unauthorised file sharers.

In April MEPs supported measures added within a bill “to avoid adopting measures conflicting with civil liberties and human rights and with the principles of proportionality, effectiveness and dissuasiveness, such as the interruption of Internet access”.

Called to vote once again, the majority of MEPs voted against the lunatic measure, which would see file-sharers caught illegally sharing media three times struck off the internet for good. The vote came in at 573-74 in favour. Continue reading

Indie labels slam Last.fm on royalties and use

Indie music labels have slammed the artist royalty scheme announced by Last.fm yesterday, with the global rights body for independent music (Merlin) issuing an all-points bulletin in which it suggested Last.fm has been guilty of using music illegally in the past.
“The Program announced today does not appear to offer any compensation for any past illegal use of repertoire.  It is unclear to us whether or not the terms and conditions of the Program are intended to prevent master owners pursuing such compensation.
Last.fm yesterday announced a scheme in which unsigned acts could join its Artist Royalty Scheme, under which they get paid each time a track of theirs is streamed and played. The scheme has been ongoing, and was already available to major and indie labels and their acts. While Last.fm’s move is to be welcomed, indie label body Merlin has also been attempting to negotiate a non exclusive blanket licence and a settlement agreement for previous instances in which Last.fm has offered music for streaming without permission. However, those negotiations stalled, “in part because Last.fm has not been willing to admit to or to compensate for any prior illegal use of music,” Merlin said.
Merlin represents over 12,000 indie labels who between them hold a US music marketshare of 8 per cent. Independent sector global market share 2006 is 27.5%, )source Music & Copyright, Jul 2007).

Songwriters fear trans-European licensing laws

Some of the world’s richest songwriter/musicians and most of Europe’s composer/songwriter associations have got together to protest against EU plans to force pan-European licensing of music online.
To protest the matter a selection of artists, including James Blunt, David Gilmour, Robin Gibb (pictured) and Sir Paul McCartney, today signed a letter of appeal to EC President José Manuel Barroso.
The issue? The EC is near complete on an antitrust investigation into how royalties are collected in Europe. At present, these are collected by national collection societies, which distribute money to artists on a national basis, however, the drawback of this traditional set-up, which has its roots in the days long before the common market, is that rights must be secured on a country-by-country basis, making it difficult to secure consistent rights across Europe. This means different online stores across Europe offer different selections, and clearly runs against the core EU principle of an open market.
If the Commission finds against the societies, the outcome would help online stores, such as iTunes, because the EC would likely force the creation of harmonised trans-European systems for securing rights.
However, ECSA warns that changes to the current situation could reduce the royalties musicians earn. EC regulators counter that the current fragmented market means development of Europe’s online music industry lags behind that of the US. As such the EC wants to create a trans-European copyright and licensing system for online music in an attempt to foster growth of such services.