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.
Annie Lennox said: “At a time when the whole industry of music is changing beyond precedence, artists need to take the opportunity to have more say and control over what happens to their intellectual property. I welcome and support the creation of Featured Artists’ Coalition.”
Jazz Summers, Manager of The Verve, said: “Just days after the launch of the Featured Artists’ Coalition, huge numbers of artists are joining the campaign for better rights and the Government is already listening to their interests.
“We had a very constructive meeting with Andy Burnham, and we look forward to working with him to tackle some of the issues the industry faces. Meanwhile, we’re mobilising the artists’ community. Speaking with one voice, the Coalition will campaign for better treatment for all artists’ right – especially in the digital arena – and not just for the big names who generate the headlines.”
At the meeting the Coalition urged the Government to look at updating copyright legislation covering the concept of ‘fair dealing’, which the Coalition believes is being widely abused. ‘Fair dealing’ provisions allow broadcasters and others to review songs or videos by an artist (such as the clips shown on the BBC’s The Culture Show) without asking permission.
This is perfectly legitimate and accepted across the industry. But several companies in the UK are now abusing these provisions by producing DVDs in the UK of well known artists’ audio visual footage with a review placed at the end.
By doing so they claim that the DVD is a work of ‘critical review’ and therefore no permission or payment is required. A simple change to copyright law could end this commercial exploitation of unlicensed music and would be widely welcomed across the industry.