News from ECSA: January 2024
ECSA warmly welcomes European Parliament report on music streaming
On 17 January, MEP Ibán García del Blanco’s (Socialists & Democrats, Spain) report on “Cultural diversity and the conditions for authors in the European streaming market” was adopted in the plenary session of the European Parliament (EP) with an overwhelming majority. The EP is concerned about the current imbalance in revenue allocation in the music streaming market, and calls for: a fairer remuneration for authors and performers, notably by assessing the impact of both contractual practices and the high level of concentration in the music industry on the remuneration of authors, cultural diversity, and competition; the improvement of authors’ identification on streaming services; the exploration of fairer alternatives to the current pro-rata system; a legal framework ensuring the visibility, accessibility and prominence of European works; transparency of algorithms and recommendations and the ethical use of AI; and a comprehensive and ambitious music strategy based on a structured dialogue and the establishment of a European Music Observatory. ECSA warmly thanks Ibán García del Blanco and all MEPs for this crucial first step towards a fairer remuneration of composers and songwriters and a more sustainable music streaming market. Our Alliance now looks forward to seeing the report’s recommendations put into motion by the European Commission as soon as possible.
ECSA at ESNS 2024: Capacity Triangle on AI and the future of composing - and much more
On Friday, 19 January 2023, ECSA and Buma Music in Motion co-organised the panel “The future of composing: AI as a limitless tool?” at the conference of Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) in Groningen, Netherlands, in the frame of our Capacity Triangle series. During the panel, composers Tomas Louter (Media.Monks), Arriën Molema (BAM! Popauteurs), Assistant Professor of Law and Technology Lorena Flórez Rojas (University of Groningen) and moderator Helienne Lindvall (ECSA President) dived into the opportunities and pitfalls of incorporating AI into the creative process of composing and the legal implications that may occur. At ESNS, Helienne Lindvall joined three other panels, in which she and various experts discussed the multifaceted impact of AI on the music industry, the recent developments in music streaming in relation to remuneration of artists and authors, and streaming fraud. Many thanks to ESNS for having us and for yet another great conference!
MEP Ibán García del Blanco and UK MP Kevin Brennan exchange views on music streaming and AI
On 25 January, ECSA and its British member The Ivors Academy organised an online meeting with UK Member of Parliament (MP) Kevin Brennan (Labour) and Member of European Parliament (MEP) Ibán García del Blanco (Socialists & Democrats, Spain), moderated by ECSA President Helienne Lindvall and with Tom Gray (Chair of The Ivors Academy), Tobias Stenkjær (Executive Chair of DPA & Chair of ECSA’s Working Group on Music Streaming) and Luis Ivars (Honorary President of Musimagen & ECSA Board member). The exchange focussed on both policymakers’ efforts to make music streaming more sustainable for music creators, highlighting the recent adoption of García del Blanco’s report on music streaming in the European Parliament, as well as the UK DCMS report on music streaming. We thank all participants, and in particular Ibán García del Blanco and Kevin Brennan, for a fruitful exchange!
French and German creative communities publish open letters ahead of COREPER vote on AI Act
In Germany, on 26 January, a coalition which includes ECSA Members Composers’ Club, DEFKOM, and DTV, representing over 140,000 authors, performing artists and cultural professionals, press, publishing, film and music industries associations, and collecting societies, published an open letter in the course of the meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Member States (COREPER) on 2 February. The letter calls on the German Federal Government to approve the AI Act in order to ensure “a sustainable, economically viable and democratic future and without further restrictions to the detriment of artists and cultural and media professionals.” An English version of the letter can be found via Initiative Urheberrecht, one of the signatories of the letter.
In a similar vein, on 25 January, 71 French organisations representing various cultural industries published a letter asking the French government for clear support for copyright and related rights ahead of the abovementioned COREPER meeting. The letter expresses their concerns regarding France potentially wishing to form a blocking minority during the vote on the AI Act. The letter also emphasises the importance of the AI Act’s obligations to develop a policy respecting copyright and to provide a “sufficiently detailed summary” of the content used for training of the general-purpose AI model. The letter’s signatories include ECSA members SNAC, U2C, and UNAC.
SACEM and GEMA present Goldmedia study on the impact of generative AI in music
On 30 January, SACEM (France’s Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music) and GEMA (Germany’s Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music), presented the results of a study conducted by Goldmedia on the impact of generative artificial intelligence on music and the creative sector. The study provides an analysis of the use of AI in the music sector and a survey of over 15,000 authors and publishers, members of SACEM or GEMA. In particular, the results of the survey show that 90% of the respondents claim that copyright holders must be asked for permission before their works are used as input for AI systems, 95% demand that AI providers should be obliged to disclose when they use copyrighted works as training data and 89% request that AI-generated music tracks and other types of works should be identified as such. Last but not least, 93% want policymakers to attach greater importance to the challenges of AI and copyright. Read more about the study on SACEM's website or GEMA's website.
ECSA welcomes EP report on the implementation of the Creative Europe programme
On 16 January, the European Parliament (EP) adopted MEP Massimiliano Smeriglio’s (Socialists & Democrats, Italy) report on the implementation of the current Creative Europe programme (2021-2027). The report reviewed the first two years of the programme and makes recommendations to the European Commission. Importantly, the report calls for a strategic approach for the music sector; calls on the Commission to gather data on music markets in cooperation with the sector; and stresses the need for a regular structured dialogue between the music ecosystem and the Commission. We thank Massimiliano Smeriglio and all MEPs, and we hope that the European Commission will now follow these important recommendations for the music sector.
ECSA President Helienne Lindvall talks EP streaming report in Music Technology Policy blog
Earlier this month, ECSA President Helienne Lindvall spoke to Music Technology Policy blog about the recently adopted European Parliament report on music streaming. Highlighting ECSA’s long-standing commitment to making streaming sustainable, Helienne touched upon the main issues covered by the report, its implications for cultural diversity in the EU and the UK, and the importance of accurate metadata in ensuring compensation and tackling fraud. Read the interview by Chris Castle below.
ECSA’s Working Group on Music Streaming discusses alternative payment systems
On 15 January, Frederik Juul Jensen (PhD student, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord) presented the findings of his research paper titled 'Rethinking Royalties – Alternative Payment Systems on Music Streaming Platforms'. He discussed the pros and cons of alternative remuneration models for streaming platforms, as well as the recent changes implemented by Spotify and Deezer. The presentation was followed by a Q&A with ECSA members.
The Austrian Fairness Process presented during ECSA’s Working Group on Fair Practice meeting
ECSA’s Working Group on Fair Practice kicked off the first meeting of 2024 with a presentation on the Austrian Fairness Process, a publicly sponsored initiative aimed at ensuring fair pay in the cultural and creative sector. Eva-Maria Bauer (Vice-President of Austrian Music Council) discussed the main aspects of the strategy, its process of implementation, and its challenges and successes. The presentation was followed by a lively Q&A with ECSA members.
Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU presents its priorities
On 1 January, Belgium took over the EU’s rotating Council Presidency from Spain. On 11 January, a delegation of the Belgian presidency of the Council of the EU, including Jan Jambon (Minister-President of the Government of Flanders) and Benjamin Dalle (Flemish Minister for Brussels Affairs, Youth, Media and Poverty Reduction), presented its priorities for culture to the European Parliament’s CULT Committee. In the cultural realm, the programme of the Presidency aims to adopt Council conclusions on stimulating the digital transformation of the culture and creative sectors. During two different events, it will also shed light on the working conditions of artists and creative professionals and facilitate the exchange of best practices among member states regarding the implementation of the copyright directive in the Digital Single Market (DSM).
ECSA Vice-President Zahra Mani interviewed by Music Austria
On 12 January, Austrian music magazine Music Austria published an interview with ECSA Vice-President Zahra Mani. In the interview, conducted by Christoph Benkeser, Zahra touches upon her work for ECSA, including on cultural diversity as well as fair pay and fair practice. She also elaborates on ECSA’s advocacy work, such as on the European Parliament’s report on music streaming, and speaks about her own artistic vision. Read the interview (in German) via Music Austria.
No AI FRAUD Act introduced in US Congress
On 10 January, a new bill, known as the No AI FRAUD Act, aiming to protect people from having their image and voice used in AI-generated deepfakes, was introduced in the US House of Representatives. The act should establish federal protection for copyright holders against AI-generated use of their image, name, work or likeness without consent. This should be established in the form of a “right of publicity”. Read more about the No AI FRAUD Act via Music Business Worldwide.
ISCM Sector Meeting in Brussels
On 15 February, the Flemish section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) organises a sector meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on the theme of music publishing. The future of CDs, music streaming, and a fairer climate for artists are among the topics to be discussed. The programme also includes a keynote by ECSA Member and Fair Practice Working Group member Esther Gottschalk (Nieuw Geneco) on Fair Practice in contemporary music, also outlining ECSA’s recently published Fair Practice report. ECSA will also be represented with an information stand during the conference breaks. The event is organised in the frame of the Belgian Music Days festival, taking place between 12-16 February.
Soundtrack_Cologne opens submissions for Peer Raben Music Award
Film- and media music conference SoundTrack_Cologne is accepting submissions for the 16th Peer Raben Music Award, celebrating outstanding music in short films. The award spotlights innovation and coherence in storytelling through music and sound. The submission deadline is 10 April 2024. Eligible films must have a maximum length of 15 minutes, with no restrictions on production country, genre, or content. The selected nominees will have the opportunity to showcase their work during the official ceremony on 5 July 2024, during SoundTrack_Cologne. Find more information on the call below.
Nordic Film Music Days presents programme
This month, Nordic Film Music Days, taking place from 16-18 February at Nordische Botschaften in Berlin, announced its programme. The conference is packed with seminars, networking events, film screenings, and the HARPA Nordic Film Composers Awards. The programme includes the seminar “Rights & International Law”, taking place on 17 February, during which ECSA President Helienne Lindvall, ECSA Vice-President Jesper Hansen, and composer and producer Pëtur Jónsson will give the necessary brush-up on legal and contractual matters for composers.
Dutch Taskforce GO! publishes results of research on unwanted behavior in Dutch music industry
On 19 January, at music conference ESNS, Taskforce GO! presented the results of the research they conducted about unwanted behavior within the Dutch music industry. Among the almost one thousand music professionals who were conducted, more than half have experienced unwanted behavior, such as physical sexual misconduct, physical aggression, discrimination and intimidation. Dutch ECSA member BAM! Popauteurs has been involved in the Taskforce. Learn more about the research via Dutch public broadcaster NOS’s coverage (in Dutch), also including an interview with Rita Zipora (BAM! Popauteurs).
WOMEX 2024 Call for Proposals
International music meeting WOMEX opened its call for proposals. The event takes place in Manchester, UK, between 23-27 October. The call for proposals is open to musicians, filmmakers, and music professionals. Proposals can be submitted in the categories: showcase, club summit, film, and conference. Proposals can be submitted through WOMEX's website (click below) until 1 March 2024.
Podcast Autoría celebrates 100th episode
Last month, Autoría, a Spanish podcast on intellectual property and authors’ rights in the music sector, published its 100th episode. All Autoría episodes are available on the informative platform on authors’ rights LeGardon.net, and cover many interesting and relevant topics for any Spanish speaker interested in authors’ rights and the music sector, including music streaming, contracts, and tips for music authors related to authors’ rights.
Culture Moves Europe call for individual mobility of artists and cultural professionals
Are you an artist looking for a mobility grant? Culture Moves Europe’s second call for individual mobility targets artists and cultural professionals working in various sectors, including music. The programme supports artists and cultural professionals to carry out a project with a partner of their choice in another Creative Europe country. The call is open to individuals and groups of up to 5 people. The second rolling call runs until 31 May 2024. As competition increases during the last month of the call, it is recommended to apply soon.