U.K. Songwriters Society Joins Chorus of Fair Digital Pay for Songwriters

Concurrent with the U.S. Copyright Office's proposals for the redistribution of online music wealth (and largely in line with them), the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) has launched a new campaign calling for a more equitable share of digital royalty income and online advertising revenues for songwriters.

Entitled "The Day The Music Died," the campaign will press for a 50/50 split of gross royalty income, advertising income to be paid to creators for all usage and tougher regulation of copyright infringing websites, including the removal of auto predictive completion of illegal content.

As part of the push, BASCA is asking its members to write to their local MPs highlighting what they call "unfair division of digital revenues."

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Later this year, BASCA will launch the consumer facing part of the campaign, which will highlight the often unheralded role that songwriters and composers play in creating chart hits and focus on changing consumer's attitude towards file sharing.

"Without songwriters and composers there is no music industry and it is, therefore, scarcely believable that writers are almost an afterthought when it comes to getting paid for their work from digital sources," said Vick Bain, CEO of BASCA in a statement.

"It is not an exaggeration to say that unless things change and change soon the incredible legacy and future health of British songwriting is at real and immediate risk.  They need better protection and better remuneration and action needs to happen swiftly," Bain went on to say.

Simon Darlow, chairman of BASCA, echoed her views, saying: "This is without doubt one of the most important campaigns we have ever initiated. Songwriters and composers are the heartbeat of the music industry and depriving them of a fair share of the digital income they help generate is shortsighted and foolish in the extreme."