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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

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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

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ECSA February Session in Brussels, 15 – 17 February 2016

ECSA members will soon come together on the occasion of the ECSA Annual General Assembly and meetings of the popular, contemporary as well as film and audiovisual music committees. This gathering of composers and songwriters from all over Europe will be a special one as ECSA members will also elect a new Board and assess developments of the music industry, the European legislative agenda as well as ECSA’s activities for the upcoming years.

In the framework of the February session, ECSA will host the New Music Incubator (NMI) opening concert on 15 February 2016 at Q-O2 in Molenbeek. Another highlight will be the ECCO concert taking place at Flagey Cultural Centre on 16 February 2016, featuring The Sturm und Klang Ensemble performing six contemporary musical works from the following composers:

–        Michael Berkeley (United Kingdom)

–        Moritz Eggert (Germany)

–        Julian Grant (United Kingdom)

–        Peter Helmut Lang (Germany)

–        Olli Virtaperko (Finland)

–        Philippe Leroux (France)

Authors and Consumers

Authors and consumers in dialogue

Come and join our event ‘Authors and consumers in dialogue’ hosted by MEP Pavel Svoboda and jointly organized by the Authors’ Group (ECSA, EFJ, EWC, FERA, FSE) and BEUC at the European Parliament on 27 January 2016 from 16:00-18:00. Watch out for the programme to be published soon. Authors and Consumers

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Authors’ Group statement on EC Communication

The Authors’ Group consisting of the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Writers’ Council (EWC), the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA) and the Federation of Screenwriters of Europe (FSE) released a joint statement on yesterday’s EC Communication “Towards a modern, more European copyright framework”, available here.

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Paris attacks – #NousSommesUnis

Music will not be silenced. ECSA condemns the Paris attacks and their attempt to silence music, freedom of expression and our common universal values – all constituting key pillars of democracy. Our thoughts are with all the victims, their families and friends.

 

Photo credit Eiffel Tower: Jean Jullien