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News from ECSA: May 2024

News from ECSA: May 2024

ECSA publishes annual Activity Report

ECSA publishes annual Activity Report

This month, ECSA has published its annual Activity Report, showcasing our various advocacy and cultural activities from the last year and a half (January 2023 - April 2024). During this period, we continued playing a leading role to promote music authors’ rights and the diversity of their works in Europe with the support of our growing community of 59 ECSA members and Creative Europe. We look back at an incredibly active period with many activities to defend our members’ rights in a context where AI technologies use authors’ works to train their applications without their consent or knowledge. Moreover, we have emphasised the urgent need to fix music streaming and the threats that harmful contractual practices raise to music creators. We thank everyone who contributed to our common efforts.

Go to report



ECSA’s Helienne Lindvall and Tobias Stenkjaer co-author article on music streaming for ELF’s Future Europe journal

Last month, European Liberal Forum (ELF - affiliated to the Liberal political group in the European Parliament)’s open access journal Future Europe featured the article “Music Streaming: How to Make It Sustainable for Music Creators”, co-authored by ECSA President Helienne Lindvall and DPA Chair and ECSA Music Streaming Working Group Chair Tobias Stankjaer. The article denounces the low levels of remuneration for creators; discusses the imbalances of the music streaming market; highlights recent efforts by policy makers to address these issues (including the European Parliament report spearheaded by Member of the European Parliament Ibán García del Blanco (S&D, ES); and proposes a series of recommendations to make streaming fair, sustainable, and transparent for all. As a new EU policy cycle approaches, we hope that our recommendations will inspire policy makers to analyse and fix music streaming and design concrete solutions to the benefit of music creators and the entire music sector. We thank the ELF for featuring our article.

Read the paper

What are the priorities for the music sector after the EU elections? CNM hosts panel with ECSA Secretary General

On 27 May, the French Centre national de la musique (CNM) organised the informative event “Europe et Musique : un avenir à composer - Quelle place pour la musique dans la politique culturelle de l’Union Européenne” in Paris, France, outlining the challenges for the French and European music sector after the European elections and during the upcoming EU policy cycle. During the event, ECSA Secretary General Marc du Moulin participated in a panel on the policy and regulatory challenges of the music sector and highlighted ECSA priorities. The panel was also joined by David El Sayegh (SACEM/GESAC), Antoine Monin (Spotify), Sebastien Justine (Les forces musicales/PEARLE), Alexandre Lasch (SNEP) and moderator Arthur Le Gall (KEA). Among other things, the panelists touched upon the challenges raised by AI, the European Parliament report on “Cultural diversity and the conditions for authors in the European music streaming market”, and the implementation of the EU 2019 Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.


ECSA, FIM and IMC condemn death sentence of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi

On 24 April, Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi was sentenced to death by hanging by the Isfahan Revolutionary Court. His crime: his support for the demonstrations against the Iranian regime following the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian woman who was arrested for violating the dress code imposed on women. FIM (International Federation of Musicians), IMC (International Music Council), and ECSA firmly condemn Salehi's death sentence and call for his immediate release. Toomaj Salehi’s sentence goes against freedom of expression, opinion and belief. The death penalty as an answer to the exercise of artistic freedom is a cruel practice and a denial of human rights protected by international law. Silencing artists through fear, intimidation, and repression undermines democracy and freedom.

Read full statement
© Birgit Bijl

How to tackle streamer contracts? BMIM and ECSA co-organise panel in Amsterdam

Embarking on your journey as a media composer? It’s important to understand the complex world of contracts, especially when negotiating contracts with streaming platforms. On 5 June, Buma Music in Motion (BMIM) and ECSA co-organise a panel on contract negotiation for media composers at the BMIM Special in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The panel will be joined by ECSA Board Member and German Composers’ Club Chair Anselm Kreuzer, as well as Valerie Dobbelaere (Strike A Score), Marc Huiskamp (BumaStemra) and moderator Mark Gordon (Score Draw Music). The discussion will provide insights into how composers can make sure to be compensated fairly for their work. Find more info and tickets for the BMIM Special, which will feature various panels, matchmaking sessions, and more for media composers, below.

More info

Council of the EU gives final green light to EU AI Act

On 21 May, the Council of the EU formally adopted the final text of the EU Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act. ECSA welcomes this regulation as a first step by a major regulator to harness the unfettered use of AI and general-purpose AI models. We thank especially the European Parliament for introducing requirements for AI providers to comply with EU copyright law; to publish detailed summaries of the data used to enable creators and rights holders to exercise their rights; and to label AI-generated or manipulated content as such. However, it is crucial that the Act is now implemented in a way that protects authors’ rights and transparency. Going forward, EU policymakers should also question the applicability of the 2019 TDM exception (Article 4 of the CDSM Directive) to generative AI, the ability to reserve rights in practice and take into account today’s reality, where creators’ works have already been used without any consent, transparency or remuneration. Read more about ECSA’s position on the AI Act in our joint statement with various authors and performers organisations, published on 25 April.

Council press release

ECSA President joins panel on equity in music streaming during EMC’s European Forum on Music

From 5-7 June, the European Music Council (EMC) organises the European Forum on Music (EFM) in Sofia, Bulgaria, with ‘’Equity in Music” being the overarching theme. The EFM provides a space to foster exchange and strengthen relationships between organisations, projects, and individuals in the European music sector with various keynotes, panel discussions, workshops, and networking sessions. On 7 June, ECSA President Helienne Lindvall will join the panel “Equity in music streaming”, exploring alternative models of music streaming that offer fair recognition and remuneration for all works. The panel will provide insights into current streaming practices and remuneration models. Helienne will be joined by panelists Burak Özgen (GESAC), Sandra Tinner (Swiss Music Council), Ruth Koleva (Association of Independent Music Publishers and Producers in Bulgaria), and moderator Davide Grosso (International Music Council). Find more information on the panel below or via EMC's website.

More info

One Voice for European Music shares recommendations for Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU

One Voice for European Music shares recommendations for Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU© Markus Spiske

On 9 May, on the occasion of Europe Day, the One Voice for European Music initiative presented a set of policy recommendations for the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The initiative was signed by 40 organisations representing the European music sector, including ECSA. Among other things, the document calls for tackling issues such as authors’ remuneration on streaming services, buy-out practices, the transparency of generative AI training and algorithms, and working conditions; a dedicated EU funding strand for music; the creation of a European Music Observatory and launch of a European music export strategy; and reinforcing Music Moves Europe with a tangible EU roadmap for music.

Go to recommendations
© DPA. Picture: Tobias Stenkjaer, Will Page, Helienne Lindvall, Chris Cooke

ECSA President talks streaming pay-out models at SPOT Festival

On 4 May, at music conference SPOT Festival in Aarhus, Denmark, ECSA President Helienne Lindvall participated in a panel on the consequences for composers and songwriters of the new pay-out models on music streaming services. Alongside other panelists Chris Cooke (Complete Music Update), Will Page (London School of Economics, formerly Spotify and PRS for Music), and moderator Tobias Stenkjaer (DPA), the panel delved into the question of how the streaming pie should be divided. The panel was organised together with ECSA member DPA (Danish Pop Authors).


CISAC publishes 2024 Annual Report

On 22 May, CISAC, the world’s leading network of Collective Management Organisations, published its Annual Report. The report highlights CISAC’s key priorities, in particular on AI as well as towards an increased adoption of the ISWC, a legal framework for copyright in the AI environment, strong copyright frameworks at national level, and international interventions as well as campaigns to promote and safeguard creators’ rights. Read the full report via CISAC’s page below.

Link to report

EU Council of Ministers holds policy debate on the future impact of AI on the cultural and creative sectors

On 14 May, the EU Council on Education, Youth, Culture and Sport held a policy debate on “Future-proofing the cultural and creative sectors in the age of AI”. EU ministers discussed the importance of taking advantage of the opportunities of AI technologies in the cultural and creative sectors, while also touching upon the protection of authors’ rights, the fair remuneration of creators, transparency obligations, and the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the training of AI models. Additionally, in a public note submitted ahead of the meeting, the German delegation advanced three recommendations, calling for the next EU Commission to retain the word “cultural” in the portfolio of the responsible Commissioner, to ensure the continuity of a “strong stand-alone ‘Creative Europe’ programme”, and to mainstream culture across all areas of EU policy. The note gathered support from various member states.

Read more
© Liveurope / Daria Miasoedova

Liveurope holds panel debate on the future of the European music sector

On 9 May (Europe Day), Liveurope organised the 10th edition of its Europe Day celebrations  at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, in cooperation with the Belgian Presidency of the EU and the European Commission. After opening remarks by Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen (Director General, DG EAC, European Commission), a panel debate took place on the future of the European music sector with Benjamin Feyen (Cultural Creators Friendship Group), Jess Partridge (European Music Managers Alliance), Susanne Hollmann (DG EAC, European Commission), and Naiara Lasa (Sala Apolo). Moderated by Fabien Miclet, panelists discussed the importance of the Liveurope initiative, the export of European music and the challenges lying ahead for the European music sector, including AI, limited funding, and political uncertainty. The discussion was followed by closing remarks from Hadja Lahbib (Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs) and a slam performance by Brussels city poet Lisette Ma Neza.

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Cultural activities

ECSA member UCMR organises two ECCO Concerts in Romania

ECSA member UCMR organises two ECCO Concerts in Romania © UCMR (26 May, Bucharest)
ECSA member UCMR organises two ECCO Concerts in Romania © UCMR (28 May, Cluj-Napoca)

This month, two ECCO concerts, funded by ECSA’s ECCO-System grants and supported by Creative Europe, took place in Romania. The concerts were organised by ECSA member UCMR. During both concerts, the wonderful Arcadia String Quartet performed various pieces. The first concert took place on 26 May at the National University of Music in Bucharest, in the frame of the International week of New Music Festival (SIMN). On 28 May, the quartet performed a second concert at the Casa Libertății Religioase in Cluj-Napoca. We thank the Arcadia String Quartet and UCMR for performing and promoting contemporary art music during two successful evenings!

© Luis Ivars, Marc Frieser, Marek Hojda, Patricia Carrera, Patrycja Bukowska, Roy Lidstone

ECSA Board member Luis Ivars at Zakopane SyncCamp 2024

From 17-22 May, Music Export Poland organised the fifth edition of the SyncCamp event in Zakopane, Poland. During the camp, a group of 15 composers from various countries worked on compositions for music for film and commercials. Next to a group of four music supervisors, the composers enjoyed guidance by ECSA Board member and composer Luis Ivars, who served as a bridge between the composers and the supervisors. The works that were composed during the camp were presented at the Krakow Film Music Festival.

More info
© Twinematics

AI, digital transformation, music in EU policy and much more at Classical:NEXT in Berlin

From 12-15 May, more than 1,400 classical music professionals gathered in Berlin, Germany for Classical:NEXT, a global networking and exchange hub dedicated exclusively to classical and art music. ECSA was represented by EU Affairs and Programme Manager Claire Iceaga, who attended various panel discussions focusing on crucial topics such as the impact of AI on the classical music industry, opportunities brought by digital transformation, the role of music in EU policy and funding, and the export of classical and contemporary music. We look forward to the next edition of Classical:NEXT!

Members' news


SNAC organises conference on Intellectual Property and AI

On 13 June, French ECSA member Syndicat National des Auteurs et des Compositeurs (SNAC), together with law firm REALEX and in conjunction with Confédération Nationale des Avocats (CNA), organises a conference focusing on the intersections of AI and intellectual property. Discussions, featuring fourteen different experts, will focus around the common theme of how authors’ rights can be protected in the age of AI. The conference will be held in French, and will take place at la Maison du Barreau in Paris, France. Subscriptions are open via this link.

More info

Honorary ECSA President Alfons Karabuda interviewed in Record Business Podcast

Earlier this month, Sam Freeman from the Record Business Podcast interviewed Honorary ECSA President Alfons Karabuda. The interview focused on Alfons’ drives as a film music composer as well as his work as an international music rights advocate, including his work with ECSA on the EU Copyright Directive.


Ivors Academy and Musicians’ Union launch specimen agreement for composers writing music for TV

UK ECSA member The Ivors Academy and the UK Musicians’ Union have shared a specimen agreement for composers writing music for television, with the aim of helping composers understand what a comprehensive commissioning agreement looks like. It is accompanied by a set of explanatory notes. The agreement comes as the latest step in the Fair Score campaign, an initiative launched by the two organisations in 2021 with the aim of raising awareness about and tackling issues in media commissioning contracts, including royalty buyouts, lack of transparency, and low fees.

More info
© Foppe Schut

Third edition of Dutch Composers Day on 15 June

The third edition of Dutch Composers Day will take place on and around Saturday, 15 June in the Netherlands. The festival showcases hundreds of composers during more than 150 concerts and performances in 15 cities. Radio station NPO Klassiek will broadcast new Dutch music throughout the day. Dutch Composers Day celebrates the importance, value and enjoyment of live contemporary music. Concerts take place in a variety of venues, not just within but also outside the usual theaters and concert halls. The festival is an initiative of the network and platform New Music NOW, of which ECSA member Nieuw Geneco is a collaborative partner. Find more information via New Music NOW below.

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Winners of 2024 Ivor Novello Awards revealed

Winners of 2024 Ivor Novello Awards revealed

On 23 May, UK ECSA Member The Ivors Academy revealed the winners of their yearly Ivor Novello Awards, honouring outstanding achievements in songwriting and screen composing in 14 categories. Ivor Novello Awards are judged by acclaimed songwriters and composers from The Ivors Academy and awarded for craft and creative excellence. This year’s Songwriter of the Year award went to RAYE, who used her acceptance speech to urge songwriters to come together and demand better pay for their work. Discover the full list of winners below.

Full list of winners

What else?


World Soundtrack Awards 2024: last chance to submit scores

The 24th World Soundtrack Awards, the annual film music prizes of Film Fest Gent and its WSAcademy, opened submissions for scores and/or songs last month. Submissions are accepted in the categories Discovery of the Year, Film Composer of the Year, Television Composer of the Year, Best Original Song, and WSA Game Music Award. In the latter four categories, only WSAcademy members can submit. Submissions are open until 15 June 2024.

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SoundTrack_Cologne: Lifetime Achievement Award for Gustavo Santaolalla

The Lifetime Achievement Award of music and sound in film, games and media conference SoundTrack_Cologne goes to the two-time Academy award winner Gustavo Santaolalla. At the conference, the composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist will join various panels and talks, and will receive the Award on 5 July, while some of his scores will be played by the 40-piece Neues Rheinisches Kammerorchester. SoundTrack_Cologne takes place from 2-5 July 2024 in Cologne, Germany.

More info