NEWS FROM ECSA – February Edition

The Launch of the “Your Music Your Future” International campaign

ECSA fully supports the educational campaign “Your Music Your Future International”, which aims at helping creators understand their options when it comes to royalties and copyright buyouts. ECSA’s President Alfons Karabuda comments: “Your Music Your Future is more than a campaign. It’s an enabler giving us and the next generation necessary tools via education to ensure creators know the value of their music.”

Your Music, Your Future has been launched by songwriters and composers in the United States and now with the help of CISAC, the campaign is being extended to help educate composers and songwriters across the world on the ramifications of accepting buyouts for their work.

EP Study: Cultural and Creative Sectors in Post-COVID-19 Europe  – crisis effects and policy recommendations

At the request of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT), a study on the so far effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the cultural and creative sectors (CCS) has been released. The study also analyses the policy responses that are formulated to support the sectors and outlines recommendations to further improve the resilience of the CCS in Europe.

The study’s summary notes that since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe in spring 2020, the CCS have been among the most negatively affected sectors. The containment measures that have been put in place throughout the EU have led to a chain of effects, severely impacting the economic and social situation in the sectors, and especially the venue- and visitor-based sub-sectors such as the performing arts and heritage. They further note that the crisis has highlighted the very vulnerable position of many non-standard workers in the CCS, such as artists, freelancers or temporary workers.

The study mentions that, while public measures are primarily focused on short-term emergency support, they lacked a broader perspective. The study supports that the CCS are an integral part of the EU’s way out of the crisis, if built on more sustainable systems, and, while the COVID-19 crisis continues to heavily impact the CCS in 2021, it also provides momentum to further accelerate a number of trajectories towards more sustainability that emerged prior to or during the crisis. 

You can read the study in full here.

UK Parliament inquiry into the economics of music streaming

In a series of formal meetings from the 19th January until the 23rd of February, UK MPs examined what economic impact music streaming is having on artists, record labels and the sustainability of the wider music industry.

With streaming currently accounting for more than half of the global music industry’s revenue, the inquiry looked at the business models operated by platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play.

On the 10th February meeting, ECSA-member Ivors Academy’s chief executive Graham Davies witnessed on the second panel regarding songwriters and performers. The panel of the questioning MPs focused on the question of streaming royalty splits between publishing and recordings, which Davies described as “one of the central issues for us…because so little of that is actually making its way through to our members’”. 

“I think that for the Ivors Academy, a lot of the attention is put onto the [other] 70%, because the song value should be higher within the 70%,” he said. “The song value has been suppressed, and we would argue that is because of the industry mechanics: in that it is in the interests of the record labels to do so.”

For further details, see the inquiry’s Terms of Reference and the written submissions here.

You can also watch the video of the meeting here and read a summary of the discussion on Music Ally here.

ECSA, FERA and FSE respond to the European Commission on the interplay between collective bargaining agreements and EU competition law.

On 8 February 2021, ECSA (European Composer and Songwriter Alliance), FERA (Federation of European Screen Directors) and FSE (Federation of Screenwriters in Europe)submitted a joint answer to the European Commission’s inception impact assessment on the interplay between competition law and the ability of self-employed and freelance individuals (including authors and performers) to engage in collective bargaining.

Our response welcomes this initiative by the Commission which could clarify an existing contradiction in the application of EU competition law in a positive way and facilitates the effective application of the 2019 Copyright Directive (Articles 18 to 23). We also consider that a regulation, with consequent legal force, would be essential to provide enough legal certainty to solve this issue. The European Commission is expected to publish a broader public consultation on this issue in the coming weeks.

The Federation of European Screen Directors (FERA) Calls On Global Streamers to commit to fair negotiating conditions on remuneration

On 15th February, FERA released a statement noting that the ongoing implementation of key European Directives touching on media regulation and authors’ rights should ensure that collaborations with global streamers need to develop in fair and sustainable conditions for European audiovisual creation. In their statement,  they outlined the three principles which the European filmmakers and their representative organisations are calling global streaming platforms to commit to: 

Transparency by providing verified viewership figures to allow for fair negotiations, noting that “without information on their works’ actual performance, authors and their representatives are negotiating blindfolded”. 

Ensuring that filmmakers get fair and proportionate remuneration for their works’ use and success.

Defining fair and proportionate remuneration models, where two aspects of the value of authors’ economic rights should be considered: a) assignment – fair and proportionate value for the Making Available Rights’ assignment, based on its global scope and the subscriber base of the service, and b) success – a remuneration model based on their works’ actual audience performance e.g. through payment thresholds consistent with their performance potential.

You can read FERA’s statement in full on their website.

Conclusion of ECCO Concert ft. Slagwerk Den Haag

On the 2nd February, the 17th edition of the ECCO concert featuring Slagwerk den Haag took place digitally. The concert premiere was watched from countries all over Europe and amassed more than 830 views within the two weeks of its streaming. Thank you to everyone once again for your support and enthusiasm in this event!

Harpa Nordic Film Composers Award 2021

Congratulations to Danish composer Flemming Nordkrog for winning the 2021 HARPA Nordic Film Composer Award during Nordic Film Music Days. He received the award for his score to Matias Marianis’ ‘Shine Your Eyes’ (Netflix). Check out the jury’s statement here and click here to relive the entire HARPA Award ceremony.

The Norwegian Society Composers’ Gender Equality Prize goes to prof. Hilde Synnøve Blix


Foto: Marius Fiskum

Since 2017 The Norwegian Society Composers has annually awarded a Gender Equality Prize to a person, institution or an association that has made a remarkable effort to enhance equality and gender balance within the field of music. 

We live in one of the world’s most egalitarian countries, nevertheless we still have a long way to achieve full equality of rights and opportunities in Norwegian music life. Therefore, it is crucial to honor those who pave the way for us, those who dare to lead and show us that it is not solely achievable, but also a strength to have gender equality and diversity at all levels of the field of music,” says Jørgen Karlstrøm, Chairman of the Board of Norwegian Society Composers.     

On the 2nd of February, the chairman of the board, Jørgen Karlstrøm and the Norwegian Minister of Culture and Equality, Abid Q. Raja, were digitally present at the Northern Lights Festival to hand the award and honour this year’s recipient of the Gender Equality Prize. The award went to music researcher, Hilde Synnøve Blix, honoured for her creative and innovative work on gender equality in academia, particularly within the field of art and music.

Hilde Synnøve Blix is a professor in aural skills at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, the third-largest in Norway and the northernmost university of the world. She is the head of the Master program in aural skills and her research interests are aural training, music literacy, gender equality in music education, and artistic research processes. She has published a diversity of articles and books in the music education field, including the PhD theses Musikkliteracy.

The Ivors 2021: Rising Star Award with Apple Music Call For Entries Now Open

The entries for the Rising Star Award with Apple Music are now open. The Award is open to songwriters aged between 18 – 24 and honours young British and Irish songwriters with exceptional potential and ambition.

The winner will be presented with a dedicated Ivor Novello Award at The Ivors in September 2021 and join a roll call of songwriting greats that includes Adele, Stormzy, Cathy Dennis, Annie Lennox, Sir Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Joan Armatrading. Each nominee will receive year-long mentorship from a well-established Academy member and leaders from Apple Music.

Entries close on 26th March 2021 –  you can find the full information on the Ivors Academy’s website.

i-Portunus Launches Open Calls For Cultural Heritage And Music

i-Portunus, the EU scheme supporting international mobility and collaboration of artists, creators and cultural professionals, has launched a new call for applications for music and cultural heritage. Successful applicants will benefit from a grant for short-term mobility in the context of international collaboration, production-oriented residency, or professional development activities.

Eligible categories are composers, musicians and singers, preferably in classical music, jazz, and traditional music genres, as well artists, creators and cultural professionals active in cultural heritage.

The deadline for submission of applications is  15th April 2021. For more information, visit i-Portunus’ website here.

5th Mauricio Kagel Composition Competition – Call For Works

The call for compositions for the 5th Mauricio Kagel Composition Competition, organised by The Ludwig van Beethoven Department for Piano in Music Education at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, is now open until 3rd September 2021.

Since 2010, this special competition has been dedicated to the promotion of contemporary piano literature for children and young people. The assignment is to compose a piano work that can be easily realized in the classroom and that provides young players with adequate artistic access to contemporary music.

All criteria for the competition, as well as details on how to apply, can be found on their website.  

Call for scores – Osmose Intermezzo 2021

Under the artistic direction of Belgian composer Danielle Baas and the support of Entrela’, Art and Life Tours, and the Federal Science Policy Office, an international call for composers’ scores is now open, as part of the Osmose Intermezzo which will take place on 19th November, 2021.

The piece is for a professional guitar and cello duo that has not premiered in Belgium.

The selected composers will benefit from free admission to the concert and a recording of their work, with Geneviève Lannoy (guitar) and Bruno Ispiola (cello).

Deadline: August 31, 2021

For more information and requirements please see here.

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