This article is wrong in so many levels. Where do I start?
First it pits the PROs against The Labels. They are not adversaries. They are two parties that represent the same side of the coin – the rights and royalties due Creatives (Creatives is my way of describing ALL parties involved in creating music: recording artists + songwriters + composers + backup artists + ).
The owner of the master recordings , often referred to as The Labels which is itself an outdated nomenclature, can and should be getting paid fairly as should the copyright holders for the musical composition – often simplified as the PROs. Labels AND PROs both need to be compensated fairly.
The premise of this article is fatally flawed. It assumes the streaming companies like Spotify are already paying fair rates for the product they sell – digital music. In nearly every case this is false. Most streaming companies are not paying anywhere near fair market rates for music. Millions of plays generate pathetically little compensation to the Creatives. Half a billion dollars sounds like a lot to pay but they leave out the fact that this equates to a dollar paid for tens of thousands of songs they sold their listeners.
The article says there is only 100% of the pie to give away. The streaming service needs their piece, and the labels should fight the PROs for what remains. Sounds great in theory until someone points out the pie is 3x too small to feed everyone at the table.
Fixed price all you want to hear streaming services are a flawed business model as is the back room negotiations that are setting the streaming rates with NO involvement from Creatives. The right solution is based on pay for what you consume streaming services and a true fair market system for both buying and selling creative works.
Why #Songwriters Are Getting Left In the Cold by #ASCAP and #BMI…
Songwriters, publishers, performers, and a myriad of others that create the music that defines moments in our lives, serves as the background for dinner dates, house parties, and corporate conventions are earning less money than ever before. While there are many factors to consider one of the most notable issues is the lack of compensation from streaming services. Sure, radio has been notorious for their lobbying group that has kept them exempt from paying their fair share of royalties to recording artists, but streaming media has taken it to a whole new level.
Prince – Negotiating Rates For His Music
For some time Prince’s legally team has worked to pull his music off YouTube and the song “Breakfast Can Wait” remains the only track on his channel.
Sources say Prince is using Web Sheriff to send notices to digital services. According to sources, the notice from Web Sheriff says that Prince has pulled his music from all U.S. PROs, so there are no reciprocal rights abroad. He wants all digital service to pull down his music, as recorded by him, so that once they have complied, they can negotiate with his owned publish company.
Once they agree to whatever rate he is seeking, digital services can then put his music back up. The takedown notice doesn’t impact those songs of his covered by other artists. Services are still allowed to play songs like Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which Prince wrote and she covered.
Free Market Vs. First Ammendment Copyright Law
There was agreement on how to make licensing a free market negotiation. David Israelite, President and CEO of the National Music Publishers Association, prefers that Congress abolish the compulsory license so publishers could freely negotiate with licensees for mechanical rights. Lee Thomas Miller, songwriter and President of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, called for Congress to eliminate or “drastically alter” the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. Michael O’Neill, CEO of BMI, called for the elimination of the consent decrees. “We’re trying to give the songwriters and publishers the power to make their own deals.”
CRB Rate Setting Methods
Under current U.S. copyright law, whether and how much these copyright holders get paid by broadcasters for the use of their intellectual property depends on a dizzying mix of factors. For musical composition copyrights, the royalty system is generally reasonable and technology-neutral, with broadcasters typically paying in the range of 2 percent to 5 percent of their gross revenue to the holders of music composition copyrights.
However, for sound recording copyrights, the royalty rates vary dramatically depending on who is playing the tunes. For digital music broadcasts, the three judges on the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) determine “statutory” royalty rates using two different standards: one called 801(b) that applies to older services like Sirius XM satellite radio, and one called “willing buyer/willing seller,” which is used for the newer field of Internet radio.