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News from Brussels – February 2017

General Assembly concludes with a united front to fight safe harbor and unfair copyright contracts

Delegations from more than 50 composer and songwriter associations from all over Europe gathered for ECSA’s annual General Assembly in Brussels on 14 and 15 February 2017. High on the agenda were updates on the current review of the EU copyright rules, particularly the work of the European Parliament and the Council who are currently examining the European Commission’s draft copyright directive proposed on 14 September 2016. ECSA President Alfons Karabuda briefed ECSA members on the state of the art of two crucial issues for composers and songwriters, notably the provisions in the draft directive to ensure fair remuneration from online services such as YouTube and mechanisms helping creators in their contractual negotiations with publishers and producers. Delegations from songwriters and composers raised the importance of ensuring that the proposals of the European Commission with regards to online service providers are supported and not weakened by the European Parliament. Secretary General Patrick Ager outlined in this regard the ECSA strategy for the next couple of months.

Regarding unfair copyright contracts, the General Assembly welcomed the recent ameliorations of the German copyright contract law, especially with regards to the new German rights reversion mechanism. The delegates called upon ECSA executives to urge the European Parliament to introduce a similar rights reversion mechanism on EU level applicable after 5 years of contract duration in order to create a level playing field for all creators in Europe.

Further items on the ECSA agenda were a presentation on the implementation of the Collective Rights Management Directive from Burak Özgen, Senior Legal Advisor of GESAC, an in depth assessment of the third year of ECSA’s Creative Europe Programme and a presentation of the new application for the years 2017-2020.

The ECSA General Assembly took place in the framework of the ECSA Winter Session which included meetings of ECSA’s three genre specific committees (APCOE – popular music, FFACE – audiovisual music, ECF – contemporary art music) and performances in the framework of the ECCO (European Contemporary Composers Orchestra) and NMI (New Music Incubator) concert.

The ECCO performance featured the Sturm und Klang Ensemble conducted by Thomas Van Haeperen who performed works from Kari Beate Tandberg (NO), Geir Sundbø (NO), Grégory d’Hoop (BEL), Denis Bosse (BEL) and Jukka-Pekka Lehto (FIN) in the presence of four out of the five selected composers and over 100 guests.

Finally, ECSA wishes to once again welcome its new members GALM – Genootschap voor Artiesten Lichte Muziek (Belgium), DKV – Deutscher Komponistenverband (Germany), ECU – Estonian Composers’ Union (Estonia) as well as supportive members FACDIM – Fondazione Adkins Chiti. Donne in Musica (Italy) and LALO – Les Auteurs et leurs Oeuvres  (France). ECSA is delighted to now represent 54 composer and songwriter organisations from all over Europe.

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About ECSA:

The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) represents over 30,000 professional composers and songwriters in 26 European countries. With 54 member organisations across Europe, the Alliance speaks for the interests of music creators of art & classical music (contemporary), film & audiovisual music, as well as popular music.

www.composeralliance.org

For the News from Brussels in pdf format, please click here.

 

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From the left: Gaute Storaas (Best Orchestral), Dennis Dreith on behalf of Lalo Schifrin (Outstanding Contribution), Sophia Ersson (Best Electro-Acoustic), Victor Reyes (Best Original Music for a Series); photo credit: Blair Mowat

Grand Scores 2017

A special evening for international film music

Berlin, 3 February 2017

For the fourth time, Moët & Chandon together with ECSA (the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance) honor some of the greatest composers in international film music.

On Thursday evening, it was time again for a big spectacle with a grand orchestra! ECSA President Alfons Karabuda and Jens Gardthausen, CEO of Moët & Chandon in Germany greeted 250 invited guests. They celebrated international film music and its distinguished composers with a glamourous award show followed by a celebration at the “Umspannwerk” in Berlin.

The highlight was the Grand Scores award ceremony honoring the noble art of film music composition and its significance to the film world.

As official content partner of the Grand Scores, ECSA was in charge of providing a high class international jury consisting of film composers to ensure a fair and committed selection procedure in what is considered to be the most renowned peer-to-peer film music award.

In addition to an exciting and emotional Grand Scores award ceremony, the guests enjoyed a grand show that evening: as “aperitif” and also to set the mood for the award, the digital influencer André Hamann and his band Faelan took the stage. During the award ceremony the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg consisting of 60 musicians presented an impressive medley of famous film classics as well as an interpretation of “Writings on the Wall” (“James Bond”) together with singer Marzenka Nowinski. The last performance of the evening gave the British singer Anne-Marie. Last year, she was the most successful female newcomer selling 4.5 million singles and was nominated for the MTV European Music Award. This year, she is already nominated in four categories for the Brit Awards in February. Her performance prompted a hurricane of applause and a fantastic atmosphere amongst the guests.

The Winners

On the evening of the award show, the following artists were chosen as winners and honored for their work:

Best Orchestral Score

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Gaute Storaas for “En Man Som Heter Ove” (A Man Called Ove)

Best Orchestral Score

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Clint Mansell for “High Rise”

Best Electro-Acoustic Score

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Sophia Ersson for “Pojkarna” (Girls Lost)

Best Original Music for a Series

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Victor Reyes for “The Night Manager”

Outstanding Contribution

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Lalo Schifrin

 

The 2017 Grand Scores International Jury, consisting of Patrick Doyle, Ludovic Bource, Frans Bak and Fernando Velazquez selected the awardees of each competition category.

From the left: Frans Bak, Patrick Doyle, Ludovic Bource, photo credit: Blair Mowat

From the left: Frans Bak, Patrick Doyle, Ludovic Bource, photo credit: Blair Mowat

Due to the high quality and uniqueness of the compositions, the international jury decided to award two composers in the category of “Best Orchestral Score” this year.

The winner of the honorary category for Outstanding Contribution, Lalo Schifrin, has been chosen by ECSA’s Grand Scores Steering Committee with Moët & Chandon’s support.

Dennis Dreith, an old friend and colleague of Lalo Schifrin accepted the prize on his behalf.

 

About ECSA

The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) is the official partner of the Grand Scores. ECSA’s role consisted in creating a fair and professional selection procedure beforehand and in putting together a jury, who selected the winners for the following three categories: Best Orchestral Score, Best Electro-Acoustic Score und Best Original Music for a Series. An expert group within ECSA selected the winner for Outstanding Contribution – for the composer who has made a special and long-standing contribution to film music in general.

About Moët & Chandon

Success and Glamour since 1743: Moët & Chandon introduced champagne to the world and since then it stands equally for honorable tradition and modern enjoyment. The style of this House is legendary as well as its creativity and pioneering spirit. For centuries, the Champagne House has been passionately connected with the world of film. Thus, Moët and Chandon does not only have its exclusive place in legendary movies – but there is also no internationally renowned film festival, in which extraordinary achievements of great actors and directors have not been celebrated with Moët & Chandon.

 

ECSA contact
Francisca Aas | francisca.aas@composeralliance.org | Tel. +32 (0) 2 544 03 33

Header photo from the left: Gaute Storaas (Best Orchestral), Dennis Dreith on behalf of Lalo Schifrin (Outstanding Contribution), Sophia Ersson (Best Electro-Acoustic), Victor Reyes (Best Original Music for a Series); photo credit: Blair Mowat

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News from Brussels – January 2017

Eventful weeks ahead for ECSA

2017 started very busy as ECSA is organising three major cultural events in February while also preparing for the ECSA winter session. The first upcoming event is the Grand Scores Film Music Awards in Berlin on 2 February 2017. Two weeks later, on 13 February 2017, ECSA kicks off its winter session with the New Music Incubator (NMI) concert. The ECCO concert will take place the following evening, on 14 February 2017, at Flagey. For more information, click here.
Meanwhile, ECSA’s advocacy activities are going full steam ahead in the context of the EC draft copyright proposal. A meeting with the rapporteur for the copyright directive Therese Comodini Cachia as well as an intervention at the EPP copyright hearing were among the items on January’s agenda.

Grand Scores Film Music Awards

This exclusive event will celebrate film music and its composers in Berlin on 2 February 2017. For the fourth time, ECSA is the official content partner collaborating with Moët & Chandon to award film music composers during a high-end event. The Grand Scores Film Music Awards are unique as film music composers are honoured by their peers. Following a first nominee selection by ECSA’s audio-visual and film composers acting as the Grand Scores Selection Committee, the International Jury consisting of Patrick Doyle (UK), Ludovic Bource (FR), Frans Bak (DK) and Fernando Velazquez (ES) voted on the final awardees to be announced during the award ceremony.

New Music Incubator (NMI) concert

On 13 February 2017, a new concert edition of the New Music Incubator (NMI) will be held at the artistic workspace Q-O2 in Molenbeek. The concert will feature seven performers from six different European countries. NMI is an initiative aiming to connect composers and performers from all over Europe, fostering the sharing of skills, ideas, and networks. For more information on the concert, see here.

ECCO concert

ECSA is delighted to invite to this year’s first ECCO concert which will be held at Studio 1 in Flagey on 14 February 2017. The ECCO Symphony Wind Orchestra concert, conducted by Thomas Van Haeperen, will feature the
Sturm und Klang ensemble who will perform five pieces that have been selected by the ECCO Artistic Committee.
The five selected European composers and scores are:

  • ‘NOX’ by Jukka-Pekka Lehto (FIN)
  • ‘Il mange la tête des gens’ by Gregory D’Hoop (BEL)
  • ‘Pestro Strepitoso’ by Denis Bosse (BEL)
  • ‘Gravitation’ by Geir Sundbø (NOR)
  • ‘Modes & Moves’ by Kari Beate Tandberg (NOR)

For more information on the concert, see here.

ECSA winter session

The ECSA winter session will take place in Brussels on 14 and 15 February 2017. All committee meetings as well as the ECSA Board meeting will be held at Flagey on 14 February 2017. On 15 February 2017, ECSA delegates from 25 European countries will convene on the occasion of the Annual General Assembly to discuss the copyright directive proposal, ECSA internal business, cultural projects and activities to come in 2017. ECSA members will also discuss the autumn session in Vienna, which will celebrate the 10th ECSA anniversary .

EPP group hearing on copyright

On 11 January 2017, the  Group of the European People’s Party (EPP) held a hearing on copyright in the European Parliament. ECSA Secretary General Patrick Ager was invited to present the Authors’ Group views with respect to the value gap proposals of the copyright directive.  Patrick Ager’s main argument focused on the necessity to strengthen the directive’s provisions with respect to fair contractual remuneration of authors and to support the elements of the directive related to the liability of online platforms.

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About ECSA:

The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) represents over 30,000 professional composers and songwriters in 25 European countries. With 50 member organizations across Europe, the Alliance speaks for the interests of music creators of art & classical music (contemporary), film & audiovisual music, as well as popular music.

www.composeralliance.org

For the News from Brussels in pdf format, please click here.

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News from Brussels – December 2016

ECSA position paper on draft copyright directive

The draft copyright directive published this autumn by the European Commission was welcomed by ECSA as a first step in the right direction. The ECSA board of directors sets out a more comprehensive feedback on behalf of the community of European music creators in a new position paper. The position paper can be accessed here.

Statement of the ECSA Board of Directors: Berlin Higher Regional Court in Kramm vs GEMA

Decision of German Regional Court 24 U 96/14 – Kramm
Bruno Kramm and Stefan Ackermann v. GEMA Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte

On 14 November 2016, the Higher Regional Court of Justice in Berlin decided that GEMA may no longer automatically distribute to GEMA publishers on the basis of the existing distribution rules because the distribution rules do not sufficiently take into account the flow of rights or the provisions of the individual publishing contract. Two GEMA members claimed that GEMA violates its fiduciary relationship with its author members when distributing 40% of the mechanical right and 33,33% of the performing right to publishers, as well as compensations due to exceptions to exclusive rights. The Higher Regional Court took into consideration previous case law, notably the German Federal Court decision in the Vogel case (I ZR 198/13) and concluded, in essence, that as publishers do not bring any rights to the collecting society GEMA cannot distribute the publishers’ share.

The ECSA board of directors takes note of the Kramm decision and wishes to transmit the following views: As a high-level principle ECSA supports the collective management of rights of music writers and publishers. ECSA believes that publishers have an important role in promoting composers and songwriters, in marketing their music and amplifying the exploitation of the works created by composers and songwriters. In the context of this exercise, publishers are and should continue to be entitled to a share of the distributions of CMOs.

However, in many instances music writers are forced to sign a publishing contract in order to get a commission to compose music (i.e. music writers must sign a contract in which the writer agrees that the publisher gets a share of the CMO distributions). This practice, also known in the business as coercive publishing, is a practice especially widespread in the audio-visual sector. ECSA believes that the Kramm ruling should help composers, who were coerced into publishing, to claw back the publishers’ share which were wrongfully and with no justification assigned in the first place. Furthermore, in many instances publishers stop fulfilling their duties to promote their writers, whilst continuing receiving their share (in most instances for the entire duration of copyright which is 70 years after the death of the author). The Kramm ruling should also help to retract these shares, when no active publishing is taking place.

Therefore, the Kramm ruling should be considered as a wake-up call for those publishers, who use coercive practices and do not fulfil their promotional obligations. Publishers must value the trust and assignment of rights from composers and songwriters. Consequently, it must be a publisher’s moral and legal obligation to ambitiously engage in publishing activities for the entire duration of the rights assignment. Otherwise music writers should be entitled to claw back the publishers’ share.

To download the ECSA statement, please click here.

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About ECSA:

The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) represents over 30,000 professional composers and songwriters in 25 European countries. With 50 member organizations across Europe, the Alliance speaks for the interests of music creators of art & classical music (contemporary), film & audiovisual music, as well as popular music.

www.composeralliance.org

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News from Brussels – October 2016

International creators delegation exchange views with YouTube at Google Germany, Berlin

European and international creator representatives met with YouTube in Berlin for an exchange of views in rapid changing times of the music business. High on the agenda of the roundtable discussion was how to empower music writers in the digital future. Among the issues addressed were rights management, content ID and transparency. The meeting was organized by ECSA in the framework of the Creative Europe programme and within ECSA’s Creators’ Network.

The meeting was chaired by ECSA President Alfons Karabuda, with the participation of the ECSA delegation Bernard Grimaldi, Niels Mosumgaard, Helienne Lindvall, Markus Nordenstreng, Patrick Ager, Francisca Aas and Mårten Karlsson as well as Dennis Dreith, Executive Director of the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund.

Representing YouTube were Victoria Campoamor, Kiki Ganzemueller and Sonia Khan.

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From the left: Francisca Aas, Helienne Lindvall, Sonia Khan, Niels Mosumgaard, Kiki Ganzemueller, Alfons Karabuda, Victoria Campoamor, Markus Nordenstreng, Dennis Dreith, Marten Karlsson, Bernard Grimaldi and Patrick Ager, 25 October 2016, Berlin (photo: Stefan Riedel)
 

ECSA and AFM & SAG-AFTRA IPR Distribution Fund set out structured transatlantic dialogue

On the occasion of the meeting with YouTube, ECSA and the AFM & SAG-AFTRA IPR Distribution Fund agreed to partner up for intensifying the collaboration of music creators in Europe and the United States of America. In a Memorandum of Understanding, both parties agreed to exchange privileged information regarding creators’ rights and music industry developments in the US and in the EU, as well as to represent each other on specific occasions.

ecsa-afm-sag-aftra-ipr-distribution-fund-agreement-signingDennis Dreith, Executive Director of AFM & SAG-AFTRA IPR Distribution Fund (left) and ECSA President Alfons Karabuda (right) sign the Memorandum of Understanding in Berlin on 25 October 2016 (photo: ECSA)
 

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About ECSA:

The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) represents over 30,000 professional composers and songwriters in 25 European countries. With 50 member organizations across Europe, the Alliance speaks for the interests of music creators of art & classical music (contemporary), film & audiovisual music, as well as popular music.

www.composeralliance.org
 

For the News from Brussels in pdf format, please click here.

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News from Brussels – October 2016

ECSA Autumn Session 2016
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Composers and songwriters from all over Europe united in welcoming the EU copyright directive as an essential first step to establish fairness in the value chain.

Delegates from 50 European associations of composers and songwriters gathered for their traditional Autumn Session from 28 to 30 September 2016 and assessed the recent copyright proposals from the European Commission released on 14 September 2016. The ECSA Autumn Session was hosted by the Society of Slovene Composers (DSS).

ECSA members were pleased to see that the work of ECSA in the last years provided concrete results with several provisions set out in the copyright directive aiming at establishing more fairness for music writers in the value chain.

“I am very pleased to see that the Commission’s proposals are solution-oriented, looking at problems in the market and identifying mechanisms establishing a more sustainable environment for songwriters and composers. The liability of internet service providers must be clarified in copyright terms to ensure that composers and songwriters are fairly remunerated and the Commission’s proposals are a very good first step in this regard” comments Alfons Karabuda, President of ECSA.

“A solution-driven approach is truly appreciated. Composers and songwriters are pleased to see that the Commission also assesses the contractual situation music creators face when assigning their rights to first intermediaries. Here is where the first value gap appears and the different rules applicable to copyright contracts in EU member states create an unlevel playing field for creators,” adds Patrick Ager, Secretary General of ECSA.

The ECSA Autumn Session also show-cased a core project of ECSA’s Creative Europe Programme – ECCO, which included a special collaboration with RTV Slovenia producing extraordinary performances of the Big Band of RTV Slovenia led by Sigi Feigl (Austria) and by the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra led by conductor Jessica Cottis (UK). Both concerts followed a Europe-wide call for scores assessed by the ECCO Artistic Committee and “highlighted the variety of aesthetic approaches of Europe’s contemporary music repertoire with a breath-taking effect on the audience” comments composer Dusan Bavdek, ECSA’s Slovenian representative for contemporary music and member of the ECCO Working Group and Artistic Committee.

The ECCO concert featuring the Big Band of RTV Slovenia took place at Kino Šiška on 28 September 2016. The Big Band performed pieces by Michel Herr (BE), Piotr Wróbel (PL), Outi Tarkiainen (FIN), Nikki Iles (UK), Mark Lockheart (UK), Matjaž Mikuletič (SI), Krešimir Herceg (HR), Helge Sunde (NO), Klemen Smolej (SI) and Jukka Linkola (FIN). The following day at the Slovenian Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestra of RTV Slovenia performed pieces by Benjamin de Murashkin (DK), Ignacy Zalewski (PL), Knut Vaage (NO), Jani Golob (SI), John Casken (UK) and Indra Riše (LAT).

fullsizerenderECCO Concert – RTV Symphony Orchestra Slovenia, conducted by Jessica Cottis (photo: ECSA)

 

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About ECSA:

The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) represents over 30,000 professional composers and songwriters in 25 European countries. With 50 member organizations across Europe, the Alliance speaks for the interests of music creators of art & classical music (contemporary), film & audiovisual music, as well as popular music.

www.composeralliance.org

About ECCO:

ECCO is an ECSA project dedicated to the performing and promoting contemporary art music and to reaching new audiences. It operated as a network of active ensembles, orchestras and young professionals, supporting the creative dialogue between composers and performers and offering young professionals the opportunity to develop their skills with the ensembles experiences in performing contemporary music on an international level. ECCO is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

 

For the News from Brussels in pdf format, please click here.

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Authors’ Group statement on EC copyright directive

 

STATEMENT FROM THE AUTHORS’ GROUP ON:

European Commission’s proposal for Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on “Copyright in the Digital Single Market”

BRUSSELS, 14 September 2016

The Authors’ Group is Europe’s leading Authors’ network representing more than 500 000 authors, including writers, literary translators, composers, songwriters, journalists, photographers, film/TV directors and screenwriters in Europe. Attached to this statement is a list of the authors’ associations represented by the Authors’ Group.

Today the European Commission presented its proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. The Authors’ Group welcomes the directive, in particular the proposal to address the key issue of creators’ weak bargaining position in their contractual relationships and fair remuneration in contracts.

The Authors’ Group supports the European Commission’s commitment to address problems related to the forced transfer of rights of authors to publishers, producers and broadcasters. Achieving a well-functioning market-place for copyright must start with establishing a system that allows fair contractual practices for authors and performers, who are affected by a weak bargaining position when assigning their rights to publishers, producers and broadcasters.

The introduction of a mandatory reporting obligation detailing the revenues generated and remuneration due will create more transparency and is a prerequisite for authors and performers to adjust unfair contractual agreements. These new provisions will constitute together with a dispute resolution mechanism an indispensable first step in order to create more sustainable conditions for Europe’s creators, who are the origin of Europe’s cultural and creative industries. However, authors need further mechanisms against unfair copyright contracts and the undersigning organizations are looking forward to working with the European Parliament and Council in this respect.

The Authors’ Group also welcomes the provisions of the directive clarifying the liability of online platforms but considers that substantial work remains to be done with regards to proportionate remuneration of authors, particularly for the online exploitation of their works.

The Authors’ Group looks forward to working constructively with all EU institutions and interested parties in this regard.

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About the Authors’ Group

The Authors’ Group represents more than 500 000 authors, including composers, film directors, journalists, literary translators, songwriters, screenwriters and writers in Europe. Members of the Group are ECSA (European Composer & Songwriter Alliance), EFJ (European Federation of Journalists), EWC (European Writers’ Council), FERA (Federation of Film Directors in Europe) and FSE (Federation of Screenwriters Europe). The Authors’ Group’s main objective is to ensure that the voice of authors is taken into account in the framework of the modernisation of EU copyright rules, particularly with regards to fair contractual conditions for authors and fair remuneration for the exploitation of copyright protected works.

For the joint statement in pdf format, please click here.

 

 

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Appointment of ECSA Gender Working Group

Following ECSA’s call for nominations to the ECSA Working Group on Gender, it is now with pleasure we announce that the ECSA Board appointed three members to the WG in order to address the issue of gender balance and equality of chances within the wider music community and also in its membership network, Boards and CMO’s.

ECSA is aware of the fact that the representation and promotion of female composers is still very poor within the European community of composers and songwriters. In order to address these challenges and to critically examine what must be done in order to foster the development of female music creators, the ECSA General Assembly decided to establish a Gender Working Group. The WG shall examine the situation and provide critical recommendation as to what ECSA needs to do within its network to foster the development of female composers.

The following persons have been appointed and will work on the above mentioned issues in the upcoming months:

  • Elizabeth Anderson (Forum des Compositeurs – Belgium)

Elizabeth is a Brussels-based American composer specialized in electro-acoustic composition. Her artistic production comprises acousmatic, mixed and radiophonic works as well as works for multimedia and sound installations. Elizabeth is the initiator of a new festival devoted to acousmatic music in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (the Netherlands). In her work, Elizabeth is engaged in helping to create and support more opportunities for women in the music community.

 

  •  Sine Tofte Hannibal (Dansk Komponist Forening – Denmark)

Sine is the General Manager of the Danish Composers’ Society. She has a long-time background as project manager; for projects engaging children and young people in music in different ways, for festivals and ensembles for contemporary music as well as a Nordic network for audience development. Gender and gender equality is a theme that Sine continuously focuses on in her work in the Danish Composers’ Society.

 

  • Natalia Vergara (Autores de Música Asociados – Spain)

Natalia is Owner, Producer and Director of “Señoritas On Fire” (www.senoritasonfire.com), the only collective of female composers in the world, whose aim is to promote talented female songwriters . She is and Member of the Board of Directors of AMA (Autores de Música Asociados) as well as co-author of the book: “Procedural Aspects of Domestic Gender Violence”. As a singer and songwriter herself she tries to promote equality and independence in her songs.

 

ECSA congratulates the three members to their appointment to the Gender Working Group and is looking forward to working closely together.

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Creators Conference 2016 – joint press release

VP Ansip confirms Commission’s focus on authors’ remuneration in upcoming copyright review at 2016 Creators Conference

Brussels, 1 June 2016 –

The Creators Conference 2016 concluded yesterday after a productive day of panels, interviews and speeches by prominent artists, experts and policy makers discussing the current issues faced by the European creators’ community and the cultural and creative industries.

The Authors’ Group welcomed European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip in charge of the Digital Single Market for a keynote speech in which the Commissioner confirmed the “need to look closer at the conditions for remunerating creators and getting a fair share of the value generated”. Vice-President Ansip also stressed the “follow the money approach” and “widening access to content” for consumers as key elements to fight piracy, as well as the challenges related to online platforms. As for the latter, Vice-President Ansip stressed the “plan to ensure a fair level playing field”.

The Authors’ Group took the opportunity to present Commissioner Ansip with its newly adopted declaration « Towards a modern, more European copyright framework and the necessity of fair contracts for creators » (available here) in which the unified different cultural sectors’ creators call the European Commission to take action for fair remuneration, fair contracts and transparency in its upcoming copyright legislative proposal.

The different sessions of the day prompted lively discussions about artistic freedom, digital opportunities, and fairness in authors’ contracts as well as sustainability in the exploitation of authors’ works online, where European creators shared their views and experience of the digital shift.

Experts and policy makers shed light on possible developments of the cultural and creative industries, and recognized that authors have found their rightful place in the current debate on the copyright legislative framework review.

This year’s edition of the Creators Conference was hosted by the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance (ECSA), in alliance with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Writers’ Council (EWC), the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA), the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE), and Freemuse.

Held under the High Patronage of the European Parliament and supported by the Creative Europe Programme, the high-level event brought together over 200 participants to reinforce the dialogue between creators, consumers and EU policy makers about European authors’ essential needs with regards to their rights and the digital future.

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About the Authors’ Group

The Authors’ Group represents more than 500 000 authors, including composers, film directors, journalists, literary translators, songwriters, screenwriters and writers in Europe. Members of the Group are ECSA (European Composer & Songwriter Alliance), EFJ (European Federation of Journalists), EWC (European Writers’ Council), FERA (Federation of Film Directors in Europe) and FSE (Federation of Screenwriters Europe). The Authors’ Group’s main objective is to ensure that the voice of authors is taken into account in the framework of the modernisation of EU copyright rules, particularly with regards to fair contractual conditions for authors and fair remuneration for the exploitation of copyright protected works.

 

Contact:

Patrick Ager (on behalf of the Authors’ Group)

+32 2 544 0333

For the joint press release in pdf format, please click here.

 

Photo credit: John Staples

 

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ECSA welcomes EC Communication on online platforms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brussels, 27.05.2015

The European Commission published on 25 May 2016 a Communication on online platforms with the aim to achieve a fairer allocation of value generated by the online distribution of copyright protected content by online platforms. ECSA welcomes this step, in particular as the Commission also aims to address the issue of fair remuneration of creators in their relations with other parties using their content.

“I am very pleased to see that the Commission works on a solution driven approach, looking at problems in the market and identifying possible solutions. The transfer of value from online platforms is a problem, as much as is the question of unfair contracts, which authors are confronted with when assigning their rights to first intermediaries. Fairer contracts and more transparency will ensure more choice for creators whom to assign their rights to, resulting in a flourishing competitive market of music creation,” comments Alfons Karabuda, President of ECSA.

“A solution driven approach is truly appreciated. Composers and songwriters will be pleased to see that the Commission also assesses the contractual situation authors face when assigning their rights to first intermediaries. Here is where the first value gap appears and the different rules applicable to copyright contracts in EU member states create an unlevel playing field for creators, resulting in legal uncertainty and lack of transparency in the remuneration of creators,” adds Patrick Ager, Secretary General of ECSA.

About ECSA
The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) represents over 30,000 music creators in 25 European countries. With 50 member organizations across Europe, the Alliance speaks for the interests of composers of art & classical music (contemporary), film & audiovisual music, as well as popular music.

Contact:
Patrick Ager
Secretary General
+32 2 544 0 333
www.composeralliance.org
www.creatorsconference.org

Find the ECSA press release as pdf document here.

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European Film Music Day 2016 – Nordic focus confirmed

ECSA is, in collaboration with FERA (Federation of European Film Directors), FSE (Federation of Screenwriters in Europe) and the Directors’ Fortnight organising the European Film Music Day (EFDM) which will take place on 17 May 2016 in the framework of the Cannes Film Festival.

This year’s edition will be held under a Nordic focus in order to raise visibility of the Nordic film music and its creators. Confirmed partners are FTT (Icelandic Society of Authors & Composers) and SKAP (Swedish Society of Songwriters, Composers and Authors).

Designed as a day-long event, the EFMD programme will include roundtables, workshops and panel discussions on the creative collaboration between film music composers, film directors and screen writers as well as the European legislative dimension regarding the modernisation of the EU copyright rules (fair contracts, transparency), and new business models. The day will close with an evening reception at la Plage Quinzaine – the Directors’ Fortnight’s private beach. This event will again offer an exceptional opportunity for the invited composers to network with film directors, film producers, and other key representatives of the audio-visual industry.

More information on the programme to follow shortly.

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ECSA letter on ICMP’s press release of 7 March 2016

ECSA has sent a letter to the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP) addressing its public statement of 7 March 2016, in which the ICMP Board recommends “[…] that ICMP members also consider other licensing possibilities outside of SGAE in order to protect their repertoire in Spain”. SGAE is the Spanish collecting society.

Read the full ECSA letter here.

Photo credit: John Staples

ECCO Ljubljana 2016 – Call for Works

ECSA’s ECF committee members are kindly invited to participate in the Call for Works for the ECCO Symphony Orchestra concert taking place in Ljubljana 2016.

Please find all the details and necessary submission information here below:

Deadline for submission is Friday 20 May 2016 – 12:00pm (CEST).

The ECCO Big Band Call for Works will be published soon.

2016: Patrick Doyle, Gary Yershon, Timo Hietala, Eric Serra (photo credit: Moet Hennessy Germany)

Grand Scores 2016

MOËT & CHANDON GRAND SCORES, 10 FEBRUARY 2016, BERLIN

CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC!

The Grand Scores 2016, initiated and curated by Moët & Chandon Germany, were organised in Berlin on 10 February 2016 as an intimate award ceremony dedicated to the celebration of international film music and its composers – casting the light on the value of film music composition and its unique contribution to the most emotional cinematic experiences.

ECSA, as the organisation representing film and audio-visual composers and songwriters on the European level, was the official content partner of this high-end event whose role was to develop a fair and well thought-out selection procedure ahead of the award ceremony. The Grand Scores International Jury with its members Anne Dudley, Javier Navarette, Philippe Rombi and Stephen Warbeck was in charge of selecting the winners for the Best Orchestral and the Best Electro-Acoustic score. The awardees of the honorary categories Outstanding Contribution and Exceptional Creative Partnership have been handpicked by an ECSA expert group.

The award ceremony was held at the beautiful Ballroom of the Hotel de Rome in Berlin where about hundred invited guests enjoyed the celebrations in form of a seated dinner.

The ceremony reunited renowned international film music composers, film directors, actors and representatives of the film music industry to honour film music and its multiple facets created by gifted composers.

The nominees for the Best Orchestral Score announced during the night were:

  • Bruno Coulais (France) for Le chant de la Mer (Song of the Sea)
  • Pascal Gaigne (Spain) for Loreak (Flowers)
  • Gary Yershon (United Kingdom) for Mr Turner

Gary Yershon was presented with the Grand Scores Best Orchestral Score Award by Chris Smith, film music composer and member of the Grand Scores steering committee from the very beginning.

The nominees for the Best Electro-Acoustic Score were also announced during the night:

  • Trond Bjerknes (Norway) for Operasjon Arktis (Operation Arctic)
  • Timo Hietala (Finland) for Aikuisten Poika (Boy Upside Down)
  • Jonas Struck (Denmark) for Idealisten (The Idealist)

Timo Hietala was presented with the Grand Scores Best Electro-Acoustic Score Award by Anne Dudley, Oscar-award-winning film music composer from Great Britain.

The award for Exceptional Creative Partnership, one of the honorary categories, was presented to film music composer Patrick Doyle and film director Kenneth Branagh by the renowned British film music composer Stephen Warbeck for their long-time collaboration. The ceremony ended with the Outstanding Contribution award presented to Eric Serra by ECSA Vice-President Bernard Grimaldi for his impressive career and talent composing so many well-known film scores.

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About ECSA:

ECSA is the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance representing over 30,000 professional composers and songwriters in more than 20 European countries. With 45 member organizations all across Europe, the Alliance speaks for the interests of music writers of art & classical music, film & audio-visual music as well as popular music.

ECSA has been appointed as sole content partner for the Grand Scores celebrations. In its capacity, ECSA is responsible for nominating the composers who will be celebrated for their work and talent during the Grand Scores night.

 

About Moët & Chandon:

“Glamour” and “success” have been Moët & Chandon’s core values since 1743. These values have been at the heart of Moët & Chandon’s activities for years, through the creation of exclusive, red carpet moments at international film award ceremonies.

With their involvement as initiator, host and main partner of the Moët & Chandon Grand Scores, Moët & Chandon are now aiming at creating an exceptional evening fully dedicated to film music and its exceptional composers.

For more information on the Grand Scores, please contact:
Beatrice Hamann, Executive Officer
Email: beatrice.hamann@composeralliance.org
Office: +32 2 544 03 33
www.composeralliance.org

 

Photo from the left: Patrick Doyle, Gary Yershon, Timo Hietala, Eric Serra

Photo credit: Moët & Chandon

NFB pic edition 58

Latest News from Brussels available

Our first News from Brussels in 2016 is available now. Click here to read about the following issues:

  • Authors and Consumers in Dialogue
  • EC announces preliminary online platforms and geo-blocking consultation results
  • ECSA February Session 2016 fast approaching

 

Photo from left to right: Isabelle Buschke (VZBV), Magnus Franklin (Mlex), MEP Pavel Svoboda and ECSA President Alfons Karabuda ©ECSA