Tuesday 14 April 2015

The Day the Music Died - BASCA's Digital Royalties Campaign

One of the topics which came up during the discussions at the ISM's conference Making Music Work recently, was the issue of royalties for composers from digital services, and the way that music is used on platforms such as YouTube leading consumers to presume that music just gets there without any cost or labour by musicians. Now BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) has started a campaign The Day the Music Died which is calling for a better deal for songwriters and composers and those that the digital universe has forgotten.

The campaign calls for a 50/50 split of gross royalty invome for writers from digital services, as with broadcasting synchronisation splits; advertising income paid to creators for all usage including YouTube, the removal of auto-predictive fill in of illegal content with internet search engines, the removal of safe harbour for content platforms such as YouTube and the loosening up of the terms of NDA's (Non disclosure agreements) to allow for comprehensive CMO audit rights.

They have started a three pronged attack, asking music industry for better deals, the Government to change legislation, and the public to change attitudes towards filesharing. None are easy targets, but if nothing is done, then the next generation of composers will effectively cease to be able to earn income from royalties.

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