Music Producers Back Artists' Rights

The Music Producers Guild adds its weight to the IAO's campaign to safeguard stakeholder rights in today's digital world      19/07/16

Music Producers Back Artists' Rights

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The Music Producers Guild is supporting the International Artist Organisation (IAO) in its campaign to ensure that artists' rights and opportunities are protected in today's digital world. This is their press release:

The IAO, which represents over 15,000 artists in 10 European countries, recently warned the European Commission that fixing the 'Value Gap' or 'YouTube Question' solely in favour of the major record labels would not in isolation fix the problems in the digital music economy.

"Neither platforms nor labels should be able to use contractual gymnastics to remove value from the table and deny stakeholders further down the value chain their fair and legitimate share from the use of their works," says IAO President and CEO of the UK's Featured Artists Coalition, Paul Pacifico. "Yes, we must pull together to 'increase the size' of the so-called 'cake', but to ignore how that cake is being cut would be to ultimately take the artists' slice off the table."

The IAO's intervention came about when major record labels, represented by the IFPI, asked artists to sign a letter supporting its campaign to revise Safe Harbour exceptions to copyright. Although the IAO is happy to back the IFPI, it is also keen to point out that the IFPI's campaign is only part of the story and doesn't go far enough to fix the long term problems that are holding the industry back from surging into the 21st Century.

Growth and innovation throughout the music industry will be stifled unless the European Commission ensures that all new legislation protects the rights and opportunities of creative artists, songwriters, performers and other small businesses within the music ecosystem, the IAO states.

It goes on to say that issues around transparency, a fair share of value, duty of care and the evolution of remuneration rights to be fit for the digital age sit at the heart of its own campaign – and these dovetail precisely with the MPG's own views on how the value chain should be re-booted to ensure future music industry growth.

"We thoroughly support the IAO's call for a level digital playing field," says MPG Executive Director Bruno Ellingham. "Everyone involved in the music industry now operates in a world of value-share business models as opposed to the old order where we bought and sold physical products. Trust alone is not enough to ensure that the digital world is fair for everyone. We also need legislation that recognises the rights of music creators and ensures they are properly remunerated so that they can build sustainable, long-term careers."

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