Music Rights Awareness Foundation and WIPO Join Forces to Raise Awareness of IP Rights For Creators

Music Rights Awareness Foundation Björn Ulvaeus Niclas Molinder Max Martin
Emil Nils Nylander

The Co-Founders of Music Rights Awareness Foundation, from left: Björn Ulvaeus, Niclas Molinder and Max Martin

ABBA member Björn Ulvaeus, along with songwriters Max Martin and Niclas Molinder, formed the foundation in 2016.

The Music Rights Awareness Foundation is joining forces with the World Intellectual Property Organization to boost its potential to help music artists be more fairly compensated for their creations.

Under the agreement announced on Monday between Sweden-based Music Rights Awareness and WIPO, a United Nations agency, the partners will form a “WIPO for Creators” consortium that will organize activities that raise awareness of intellectual property rights.

“The current COVID-19 crisis has reinforced the importance of the creative industries in society and the need to ensure that creators are justly remunerated for their work,” Francis Gurry, WIPO’s Director General, said in a press release. “This can only happen through an effective copyright system that provides both the incentives and the rewards for the creative process in an increasingly global and interconnected digital content marketplace."

ABBA member Björn Ulvaeus, Swedish hitmaker Max Martin and pop songwriter and producer Niclas Molinder founded Music Rights Awareness in 2016. The foundation’s first project, titled Music Rights in Africa, was focused on educating songwriters in Malawi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

The co-founders are also involved in Auddly, which helps music makers register their rights.

Molinder tells Billboard that Music Rights Awareness is talking to organizations, companies and individuals in the music industry that want to join and contribute funds to the consortium, which plans to announce its first joint project “in the very near future.”

As Molinder explains, the goal of Music Rights Awareness is simple: to reach out to as many creators in the world as possible. “I have heard the question so many times – you are in the studio with a couple of other creators working on a song, and someone says, ‘How much do we get paid when our song is on the radio?’”

Creators should be able to access a “high-level answer” in 60 to 90 seconds, Molinder says. “To be able to do this we need to work on a digital education platform for creators.”

The platform will emphasize education videos from other creators, rather than long complicated text. “It is not education about a specific song,” Molinder says. “It’s about the general music rights situation in the territory where you are located or where you have the question about.”

Over time, he says, “we are going to provide more deep information about how things work. The more you want to know the more you are going to be able to read and learn on the platform. But it needs to be super-simple to find high-level information.”