Coalition Of Music Makers Launches In UK To Push For 'Fair, Transparent' Industry

Joanna Dudderidge
Members of the new UK Council of Music Makers

"The current climate around the economics of streaming has been hampered by outdated laws," says patron Imogen Heap.

A new umbrella trade body has launched in the U.K. to "fight for the rights" of songwriters, artists, music managers and producers.

Called the UK Council of Music Makers (CMM), the association brings together British trade groups The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), Music Managers Forum (MMF), The Music Producers Guild (MPG) and Musicians' Union (MU) to collectively campaign on behalf of creators. 

Its first motion has been to commend yesterday's EU Copyright Directive vote, which saw the European Parliament pass controversial reforms to copyright law, including the requirement for user generated content (UGC) platforms like YouTube and Dailymotion to set up automatic content recognition systems blocking any copyright infringing material. 

"Music makers bring untold joy and entertainment to the masses," says The CMM in a statement announcing its formation. It goes on to say that the proposed EU Copyright Directive, if delivered in full, "will support our community, help modernise the industry, encourage a healthier market with fairness and transparency, and promote a sustainable, innovative music business with music makers at its heart. This is vital in ensuring music makers are clearly and adequately remunerated for their work," says the statement. 

In the months and years ahead, The CMM says its focus will be on working with the British government to ensure "a music ecosystem that is fully fair and fit for purpose" post-Brexit, including modernisation of the legal framework around intellectual property. 

It will also campaign for greater transparency around reporting of revenues, updating pre-digital era contracts and ensuring new contracts are fair, as well addressing inequalities that exist throughout the music industry. 

"As a Music Maker in the digital era, and as part of CMM, I want to ensure the future is positive, progressive, and flourishing for creators in their development and beyond," said founding patron Imogen Heap

"The current climate around the economics of streaming and the digital transition of the music business has been hampered by outdated laws and outmoded contracts which can be convoluted, confusing and unfair - particularly for those music makers without the resources to fully understand or challenge them," she stated.  

"With collective voice and clout as the CMM, we pledge to take action on such issues with government, working with the IPO and others, to create an economy in which music makers can progress and thrive alongside innovations in technology," the double Grammy winning artist went on to say.  

Other artist ambassadors for the newly-formed trade body include Blur drummer Dave Rowntree, singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti and Frank Carter.  

Record producer Cameron Blackwood, who worked on both of George Ezra's U.K. No. 1 albums, said the umbrella organization wanted "to change the broken economics creatives face." 

"The current model is failing future talent while it is based on the past," he said. "The CMM is here to make sure it's sustainable."