News from ECSA: November 2023
ECSA welcomes the European Parliament’s Culture Committee report on music streaming
On Tuesday, 28 November, the European Parliament (EP)’s Culture and Education (CULT) Committee adopted Member of European Parliament (MEP) and rapporteur Ibán García Del Blanco’s (S&D, Spain) report on “Cultural diversity and the conditions for authors in the European streaming market”. ECSA welcomes this crucial report, which provides a roadmap with concrete actions towards a fairer remuneration of authors and performers. The report calls for improvement of authors’ identification on streaming services and an assessment of the impact of contractual practices and the high level of concentration in the music industry on the remuneration of authors, cultural diversity, and competition. It also demands to explore fairer and alternative remuneration models and “a legal framework ensuring the visibility, accessibility and prominence of European works” as well as more transparency of algorithms and recommendation systems and an "ethical use of AI in the music sector". We finally welcome the report’s demand for a stakeholders dialogue, a European Music Observatory and a comprehensive EU strategy for the music sector. We warmly thank Ibán García Del Blanco as well as all CULT MEPs and look forward to a swift adoption of the report by the EP in plenary session. Last but not least, our Alliance looks forward to seeing the European Commission put those recommendations into motion and take concrete actions to build a fair and sustainable music streaming ecosystem for all music creators. Read ECSA’s press release below, or additionally the EP press release, and press articles from outlets Music Ally, Complete Music Update, and Creative Industries News (under subscription only).
Transparency is key for a balanced AI Act: joint statement from 13 creators’ organisations
As the final negotiations for the EU AI Act are intensifying, ECSA, together with 12 other authors’, performers’ and creative workers’ organisations, urge the EU to prioritise maximum transparency on training data and AI generated content. On 23 November, we published a joint statement calling on the EU to agree on regulation that not only fosters the development of AI, but also guarantees a human centric approach to creation, protecting fundamental rights. To do so, maximum transparency obligations on training data as well as strict labelling obligations should be imposed on deployers of generative AI. While the statement supports the European Parliament’s and Spanish Presidency’s efforts for more transparency, the signatories are alarmed by attempts to replace vital obligations with insufficient self-regulation. Read the statement below and the press articles about it published by Complete Music Update, Music Ally and Creative Industries News (under subscription only).
ECSA publishes Fair Practice report
Composers and songwriters are the very source of artistic music creation. However, they often face insecure economic and social conditions. On 13 November 2023, ECSA published its Fair Practice report, in which it further investigated these circumstances. The report builds on the results of a consultation we initiated in September 2022, in close collaboration with our Working Group on Fair Practice. The consultation explored the working and living conditions of music creators in the European market. The report reveals that more than 90% of respondents have experienced completely unpaid work at least once in their career. Less than a third claimed to earn sufficient income just from their artistic creation. Read the full report below.
IMC holds its 40th General Assembly in Rabat, Morocco
From 21-25 November, the International Music Council (IMC)’s 40th General Assembly took place in Rabat, Morocco. During the GA, IMC’s members gathered in Rabat to shape IMC’s future actions and strengthen the network around IMC’s core values. During the GA, IMC members elected a new leadership with Sheila Woodward as newly elected President. ECSA congratulates Sheila Woodward on her election, as well as ECSA honorary President and outgoing IMC President Alfons Karabuda for his tireless efforts of promoting the rights of music authors internationally over the past four years. Claire Iceaga, our European Affairs and Programme Officer had the pleasure to participate and contribute to the discussions.
International Creators’ Dialogue at Visa for Music Festival
The IMC GA was organised in the frame of the Visa for Music Festival (VFM), an event that welcomed around a hundred participants from four continents for three days of conferences and meetings. On 24 November, together with VFM and IMC, ECSA co-organised its International Creators Dialogue on "Fixing music streaming, ensuring a viable ecosystem for music creators". The panel, moderated by ECSA Vice-President Zahra Mani, delved into crucial issues related to music streaming, such as the revenue distribution per stream, user centric vs. pro-rata models, fraudulent streams and fake artists, and the current metadata gap. It explored solutions to ensure sustainable remuneration for music authors and performers, including the upcoming Fair Music Project to be launched by IMC. Zahra was joined by a great set of panellists, including outgoing IMC President and ECSA Honorary President Alfons Karabuda, Benoît Machuel (International Federation of Musicians), Didier Awadi (Studio Sankara), Sharon Onyango-Obbo (Santuri East Africa) Habib Achour (SACEM), and Noelia Salas Muñiz (AIE).
ECSA welcomes the new European Parliament study on buyout contracts
ECSA welcomes the publication of a new study by the European Parliament entitled “Buyout contracts imposed by platforms in the cultural and creative sector”. The study provides a detailed assessment of buyout practices and their negative impact on music creators, and features key findings from ECSA’s consultation on buyout contracts for screen composers in the audiovisual sector. Major recommendations in the study include a call for an effective and coherent implementation of Chapter 3 of the Copyright Directive with a modification of the directive aimed at prohibiting the circumvention of the principles of appropriate and proportional remuneration through extra European laws. It also recommends a study on the right of creators to be collectively represented in order to better negotiate collective agreements and the establishment of a legal status for European creators, which would allow professional organisations to act without being restricted by competition law.
Creators unite over AI, gender equity, and sectorial support for CIAM at CIAM’s General Assembly
On 8-9 November, the International Council of Music Creators (CIAM) held its General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The assembly drew attention to AI’s urgent emerging challenges and opportunities, regional activities around the globe, the US-based Mechanical Licensing Collective, challenges women face in music, the first Fair Trade Music International Awards, and CIAM’s first International Women’s Songwriting Camp. During the session, ECSA Board Member Ole Henrik Antonsen also reported on ECSA’s recent advocacy activities. Moreover, during the GA, Fair Trade Music International unveiled its Achievement of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards. The late Jörg Evers, a founder of ECSA and CIAM and a tireless advocate for creators for decades, was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his tremendous work as a committed fighter for the rights of creators worldwide. Solange Cesarovna was awarded the Achievement of the Year Award for her role in establishing a new collective management organisation in Cabo Verde, SCM, and for being an ambassador for African music creators worldwide.
Initiative Urheberrecht holds 11th Conference on Authors' Rights
The 11th Conference on Authors’ Rights, organised by Initiative Urheberrecht, took place on 27 November in Berlin. Initiative Urheberrecht is a German platform representing 42 guilds and unions across the entire creative sector, including ECSA members Composers Club, DEFKOM, and DTV. This year’s conference focused on the impact of artificial intelligence on copyright and society, featuring various panels with policymakers, legal experts, academics, and authors’ representatives.
Jozefien Vanherpe at ECSA Working Group on Music Streaming
On 7 November, assistant professor at KU Leuven Jozefien Vanherpe, specialised in intellectual property rights, presented the main results of her PhD at the fourth meeting of ECSA’s working group on music streaming. Her dissertation, titled “Towards a fair balance in the digitised music industry”, covers the legal framework of contractual dynamics in the digitised music industry. Her presentation highlighted the unbalanced nature of music industry contracts, and discussed potential avenues for change. The presentation was followed by an open discussion with ECSA Members.
European Parliament adopts report for an "EU framework for the social and professional situation of artists and workers in the cultural and creative sectors”
On 21 November, the European Parliament adopted a report for an "EU framework for the social and professional situation of artists and workers in the cultural and creative sectors.” Drafted by Members of the European Parliament and co-rapporteurs Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D, Spain) and Antonius Manders (EPP, the Netherlands), the report highlights the challenges faced by professionals in the cultural and creative sectors (CCS). We welcome the report’s call for fair remuneration for CCS professionals, its call for action against buy-out practices, and its support for more collective bargaining practices in the CCS. Finally, we also welcome the report’s call to the European Commission to adopt measures to ensure transparency and accountability of AI systems and algorithms, and to evaluate whether existing text and data mining exceptions are adequately balanced to meet the 3-step test in the context of generative AI.
ECSA welcomes Sami Composers as new member
We’re delighted to announce that Sámi Dáiddárráđđi (Sami Composers) is joining ECSA as a as an associated member. We warmly welcome our most Northern member to the ECSA family and look forward to many inspiring collaborations!
Winners of The Ivors Classical Awards 2023 announced
On 14 November, eleven composers were honoured with an Ivor Novello Awards at the Ivors Classical Awards, celebrating the best new classical music and sound art by British, Irish or UK resident composers. The winners were announced during a ceremony hosted by BBC Radio 3’s Hannah Peel and Tom Service at the British Film Institute in London. Find the list of winners below.
WIPO launches CLIP platform
On 17 November, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Music Rights Awareness Foundation launched a new online platform to raise creators’ awareness of intellectual property rights and related management practices, aiming to ensure they receive recognition and fair reward for their work. CLIP (Creators Learn Intellectual Property) is an innovative, user-friendly and free to use online learning platform filled with curated content from experienced musicians and mentors. ECSA is happy to have contributed to the platform launch as a member of WIPO for Creators’ Advisory Board.
Belgian Music Days: Discover the wealth of Belgian music
From 12-16 February 2024, the biennial Belgian Music Days will take place at Bozar and the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, Belgium. The event will make you discover the wealth of Belgian music, presenting a wide range of the works of Belgian composers, from 1830 to the present day. Discover the event’s programme below.