The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Climate change demands major change for live and recorded-music
Both the live and recorded-music sectors are feeling the heat over the environmental impact of their activities. And as live performances come back on stream, serious efforts are being made to reduce the carbon footprint of touring. Coldplay and Massive Attack are among the artists advocating for change, and 2022 may well prove a key year for the gradual greening of live music. The recorded-music business has to truly up its game on the vinyl production and streamed music side. Both segments need to reduce their carbon footprints—manufacturing efficiencies are required for vinyl, while renewables have to become the go-to energy source for streamers.
Gloves are off in the UK as new bill looks to introduce equitable remuneration for performers
A UK Member of Parliament (MP) has introduced a bill in an effort to force change to the level of earnings generated by artists from music streaming. Kevin Brennan, Labour MP for the Wales constituency Cardiff West for the last 20 years, has sponsored the bill that looks to introduce equitable remuneration, payable by music companies to performers for the exploitation of a performer’s sound recording. Also included in the bill is a right for authors and performers to recapture the rights to works after 20 years, the rights to alter a contract, and greater transparency in the exploitation of musical works and revenue generated from exploitation. The introduction of the bill has greatly divided opinion with music company trade groups suggesting it will do more harm than good, while performers’ associations have come out strongly in favor of the proposed changes.
EC publishes two reports on collective management and extended licensing
The European Commission (EC) has published two reports and two supporting studies on collective management and extended licensing in the European Union (EU). Both reports were obligated under the two directives 2014/26/EU and 2019/790. The first report takes a detailed look at the application of the former directive on collective management of copyright and related rights along with multiterritorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use across the European bloc. The latter directive, which harmonizes the use of collective licensing mechanisms with an extended effect (CLEE) in the EU, obliged the EC to report on the use of CLEE across the bloc, particularly the impact these mechanisms may have on licensing and rights holders, their effectiveness in facilitating the dissemination of cultural content, and their possible impact on the internal market. Both reports have been submitted to the European Parliament and to the European Council for their consideration.
Russia country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Russia music industry report. Russia is a recorded-music market that is now showing the potential that music companies have all known existed but have been unable to coax out because of the widespread presence of unlicensed physical and digital formats. The country is the biggest in Eastern Europe in terms of retail sales and the world’s largest in terms of land mass, spanning 11 time zones. Russia ended last year with a population of 144.1 million. At 17.1 million square kilometers, Russia’s surface area covers around one-eighth of the world’s inhabited land area. However, despite its size, Russia’s main music industry sectors have long underperformed and per-capita spending on recorded-music is painfully low. The transition from physical to digital opened a new front for unlicensed services to flourish, but the move from ownership to access is boosting legitimate sales and prospects for longer-term growth are very positive. Royalty collections were rising steadily prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but lockdowns and the restrictions on music usage saw collections tumble last year.
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