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News from ECSA – October 2017 Edition

News from ECSA – October 2017 Edition

Musician and Roxy Music member Phil Manzanera joined MEP Helga Trüpel (Greens) and ECSA President Alfons Karabuda in a call to close the value gap and make sure that user-generated content platforms are held liable in terms of copyright. The necessity to include a rights reversion mechanism in EU law was also stressed several times. Axel Voss (EPP), Rapporteur on the directive on copyright in the digital single market was among the participants.

During the two-hour meeting with the MEPs, Council, and Commission representatives, Mr. Manzanera underlined the necessity of allowing artists to terminate their contracts if their works are not promoted or the shares are obviously unfair. Mr. Manzanera highlighted that copyright must work for creators in order for musicians to further create music. “The value gap must be closed and transparency and money must flow to the creators from the exploitation of music on all digital platforms”, pointed out legendary guitarist Phil Manzanera.

“Digital capitalism must be regulated in a smart way. As a simple general principle, new digital monopolies must always acquire licenses for copyright-protected material. Then we don’t need general filtering”, said MEP Helga Trüpel, who hosted the ECSA seminar. pointed out Alfons Karabuda, President of ECSA.

“The meeting today gave fuel to those trying to modernize the copyright in the way it was first intended, that is safeguarding the authors enabling their future creativity. It also provided strong arguments against those seeing fair remuneration for creators as a threat to their own profit. With the help of Mr. Manzanera giving concrete examples from his own career, no one was left uncertain.” pointed out Alfons Karabuda, President of ECSA.

Phil Manzanera is one of the UK’s best-known musicians and record producers, having shot to prominence in the early ’70s as the lead guitarist with the seminal band, Roxy Music. He is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading guitarists and is in much demand both as a performer and record producer.

Over the last four years, he has co-produced Pink Floyd’s ‘The Endless River’, which was a global hit, achieving No 1 in over 20 countries. He released, ‘The Sound of Blue’, his own autobiographical album, co-produced David Gilmour’s new album, ‘Rattle That Lock’, which again topped the charts in 12 countries, including the UK, and was Maestro Concertatore of La Notte della Taranta, Italy’s largest free festival. He also took part in ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ a tribute concert to Jack Bruce. Manzanera also toured with David Gilmour, having already played sell-out shows in Europe and the UK: in December 2015, the band headed for South America, playing dates in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.

Phil Manzanera was born in London to a Colombian mother and English father and spent most of his childhood in different parts of the Americas: Hawaii, Venezuela, Colombia, and Cuba. It was in Cuba that the young Manzanera, aged six, encountered his first guitar, a Spanish guitar owned by his mother. Phil’s early musical accomplishments were Cuban folksongs learned against the upheaval of the Cuban Revolution.
Phil Manzanera is a member of ECSA’s UK member BASCA, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors.

British and EU music creators united in calling for an EU-wide rights reversion mechanism

Open letter to the European Parliament

We represent songwriters, composers, musicians, and featured artists at both EU and UK levels. Together we call upon EU policymakers to complement articles 14-16 in the copyright directive with a rights reversion mechanism. The latter would allow our members to regain their rights under certain conditions.
Authors and performers are at the very heart of copyright and the creative industries. Without our members, labels and publishers would have no works to market and no music to license. Without music creators, Europe would be silenced. Still, music creators face difficulties in making a living. Rights are transferred or assigned for a very long time, in many instances for the entire duration of the copyright term. When rights are transferred or assigned, the true value of rights is not known and the remuneration received in return is not proportionate. Therefore, several copyright laws throughout the world have a rights reversion mechanism in order to protect authors and performers who have assigned rights before the true commercial value was known. Most notably the United States, Germany, and Denmark to name a few. It is therefore essential that policymakers act and follow the recommendations of EU studies for a rights reversion mechanism.

The copyright review is unique and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish a system of greater fairness in the contractual relationship that authors and performers have with publishers and producers. We count on you to act in the interest of European music creators.

Best regards,

European Composer & Songwriter Alliance (ECSA)
British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA)
Musicians’ Union (MU)
Featured Artists’ Coalition (FAC)
Music Managers Forum (MMF)
Music Producers’ Guild (MPG)

ECSA’s Autumn session in Vienna, Austria

Hosted by ECSA’s Austrian member ÖKB composers and songwriters from all over Europe met in Vienna, Austria on 11 October in the framework of ECSA’s Autumn session and 10 years anniversary act. The festivities were kicked off with an evening reception at the famous jazz club Music Club Porgy and Bess with “music made in Austria” and four different genres were performed.

ECSA’s three committees, APCOE (popular music), ECF (contemporary music), and FFACE (audio-visual music) held their bi-annual committee meetings to discuss committee-relevant projects.

ECSA’s celebrated its’ 10-year anniversary at the Theatermuseum with speeches of Thomas Trabitsch (Theatermuseum), Alexander Kukelka (OeKB), and Alfons Karabuda (ECSA) commemorating the early days of ECSA and shedding light on the organisation’s accomplishments over the past ten years. The Austrian Jazz composer Mathias Rüegg addressed the current situation of composers and how important ECSA’s advocacy activities are nowadays, which was echoed in the speech of Mrs. Alice Weihs from the Arts and Culture department of the Austrian Federal Chancellery.

ECCO concert in Vienna

The eighth edition of the ECCO concert (European Contemporary Composers Orchestra) took place at the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna on 12 October 2017. The renowned Wiener Concert-Verein ensemble performed the following string orchestra pieces:

  • ’Sinfonietta – The Night of Fireworks’– Aleksandra Chmielewska (Poland)
  • ’Respectus’ – Rene Eespere (Estonia)
  • ’Brittle Fluid’ – Tyler Futrell (Norway)
  • ’Plainsongs for Strings’– Jennifer Fowler (UK)
  • ’Fenster’ – Gerald Resch (Austria)
  • ’Lacrimae’ – Krešimir Seletković (Croatia)
  • ’Per Archi’– Lojze Lebič (Slovenia)

Moreover, the concert was conducted by two student conductors, Lorenz Müller and Svetlomir Zlatkov. The Haydn auditorium was full with 150 seats filled. The ensemble, conductors, and composers received tossing applause.

“This particular ECCO project, realized with an enormous input by the ÖKB and the mdw-University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, once again stresses the necessary key elements of our joint power as music creators on all levels: collaboration, open-mindedness, respect both for music history and innovation, both youth and experience. All this was done in the name of praising diversity which is, and hopefully will remain so crucial for the vitality of European culture.”
(Jana Andreevska, Chair of the ECCO Artistic Committee)

ECCO is a project ECSA’s Creative Europe Programme. It aims to establish itself as a pan-European “body of sound” dedicated to the performance, circulation, and promotion of contemporary art music. In practice, it is a network of active ensembles, orchestras, and young professionals supporting creative dialogue among composers and performers and offering young professionals the opportunity to develop their skills with ensembles experienced in contemporary performing practices on an international level. By its educational dimension, ECCO serves as a pro-active development and networking arena for professional composers and performers, especially young and emerging ones.
ECCO is among the projects currently supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.