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Next round of copyright criminals: YouTube cover bands

Next round of copyright criminals: YouTube cover bands | Audio Arts Industries | Scoop.it

Several music publishers, including Warner/Chappell Music, filed a copyright suit Monday against Fullscreen, a "multichannel network," or MCN, that helps brands and individuals manage their YouTube presence. Their ultimate target: cover bands on YouTube. The plaintiffs are all affiliated with the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), which is in charge of collecting copyright royalties for songwriters and composers.

Anyone can jump onto YouTube and play some music from their favorite band. But now that companies like Fullscreen have become big business—based in part on the popularity of watching music videos online—they are a clear target for the NMPA.

In the NMPA's statement, the organization emphasizes the size and commercial nature of Fullscreen, noting that it has 15,000 YouTube channels with more than 200 million subscribers, producing more than 2.5 billion unique views per month. This lawsuit should be considered a "signal to the industry," the NMPA stated. A sampling of Fullscreen artists doing cover songs can be seen on the company'sFullscreen Artist Mix channel.

“Fullscreen’s success and growth as a digital business is attributable in large part to the prevalence and popularity of its unlicensed music videos," said NMPA President David Israelite. "We must stop the trend of ignoring the law, profiting from someone else’s work, then asking forgiveness when caught. It is not only unfair, it is unacceptable.”

YouTube already distributes royalties for much of its content to copyright holders, but it sometimes lets MCNs like Fullscreen handle such complications on their own. 

Each music copyright has two parts, a copyright on the lyrics and composition and another on the recorded music. The NMPA is in charge of getting payments for songwriters and composers; the Recording Industry Association of America takes care of recording copyrights.

Artists wanting to create cover songs can distribute them via CDs or other units of recorded music bypaying 9.1 cents per copy of a song. That "mechanical license" is set by law, and the cover band doesn't need permission from the original artist. However, to create a music video, a "synchronization license" is required from the music publishers.

The new lawsuit suggests that much of the royalty collection responsibility has moved away from YouTube and onto MCNs like Fullscreen. The NMPA already has an agreement with YouTube itself. The group sued YouTube in 2007 and reached a settlement in 2011 that allowed it to collect royalties on its songs.


Via Andrea Naranjo
Ryann Rashaad's insight:

Royalty collection is again showed here as a huge problem. Nobody should have to file a lawsuit or take an argument all the way to court when they could've settled it themselves. 

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Copyright Corruption Scandal Surrounds Anti-Piracy Campaign | TorrentFreak

Copyright Corruption Scandal Surrounds Anti-Piracy Campaign | TorrentFreak | Audio Arts Industries | Scoop.it

"Anti-piracy group BREIN is caught up in a huge copyright scandal in the Netherlands. A musician who composed a track for use at a local film festival later found it being used without permission in an anti-piracy campaign. He is now claiming at least a million euros for the unauthorized distribution of his work on DVDs. To make matters even worse, a board member of a royalty collection agency offered to to help the composer to recoup the money, but only if he received 33% of the loot.

A story currently unfolding in the Netherlands painfully exposes the double standards and corruption that can be found in some parts of the copyright industry.

It all started back in 2006, when the Hollywood-funded anti-piracy group BREIN asked musician Melchior Rietveldt to compose music for an anti-piracy video. The video in question was to be shown at a local film festival, and under these strict conditions the composer accepted the job.

However, according to a report from Pownews the anti-piracy ad was recycled for various other purposes without the composer’s permission. When Rietveldt bought a Harry Potter DVD early 2007, he noticed that the campaign video with his music was on it. And this was no isolated incident.

The composer now claims that his work has been used on tens of millions of Dutch DVDs, without him receiving any compensation for it. According to Rietveldt’s financial advisor, the total sum in missed revenue amounts to at least a million euros ($1,300,000). ..."

Ryann Rashaad's insight:

The board member of the royalty collection agency was bold for making this request. How are you going to help someone get over a million dollars and then ask for almost half? Doesn't make sense. Just shows you how bad a problem royalty collection is.

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When royalty collection costs outweigh the benefits, is it smaller artists that miss out?

When royalty collection costs outweigh the benefits, is it smaller artists that miss out? | Audio Arts Industries | Scoop.it

The accuracy of data regarding the reported use of music is key in determining the level of royalties paid to authors, publishers, performers and producers. Improvements in technology to identify what music has been played and performed at all manner of venues and establishments has resulted in higher collections and greater confidence that royalties are reaching the correct recipients. But is there a point where collection costs outweigh the benefits? And if so, are the smaller, less commercial artists the ones in danger of missing out?

UK authors’ society PRS for Music recently published figures showing that revenues earned from the use of British music overseas have doubled since 2002. UK songwriters and composers earned £187.7 million (US$300.4 million) globally last year, up 10.6% from £169.6 million in 2010. In 2002, overseas collections stood at £85 million. PRS said the rise came partly from improved licensing and efficiency of distribution around the world.

Royalties from international live concerts have jumped almost 1,000% in the past 10 years. Although revenues from the use of music on TV have risen 100%, largely because of the availability of more channels and the greater use of UK authors’ music in TV programming, some have questioned why the disparity between the two growth rates is so large.

David Elkabas, co-director of international music-management company MN2S, told Music & Copyright recently that there is a difference between the accuracy of reporting the use of music in live performances and music used by broadcasters, as well as music used on commercial premises. He also thinks that because of problems of accuracy, many smaller artists that are already struggling to make an adequate return on their music are missing out on royalties.


Via Catherine Hol
Ryann Rashaad's insight:

Royalty collection is a problem that most people don't even know about, yet it is a problem regardless. Companies already charge artist(s) a fee for this "service", then, the people who are aware or have seen the light get the impression that the artist(s) is greedy. 

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Catherine Hol's curator insight, December 19, 2012 4:36 AM

How many musicians realize that they lose out under the current royalty collection system?

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Why Signing Up with ASCAP or BMI is Not Enough - DIY Musician Blog

Why Signing Up with ASCAP or BMI is Not Enough - DIY Musician Blog | Audio Arts Industries | Scoop.it
Many artists think they've covered all the bases in terms of royalty collection when they affiliate themselves with a P.R.O. like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC.

Via stan stewart
Ryann Rashaad's insight:

A lot of very valuable information in this article! If you make your own music, take a look inside and be prepared to be blown away.

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Royalty Collection Agency SABAM Demands 3.4% 'Piracy License' From Belgian ISPs | Techdirt

Royalty Collection Agency SABAM Demands 3.4% 'Piracy License' From Belgian ISPs | Techdirt | Audio Arts Industries | Scoop.it
SABAM has thrust itself back into the news today with a return to form, having issued an announcement stating that it will be charging internet service providers for what is, in essence, a "piracy license:"

Via Lyn Parker
Ryann Rashaad's insight:

SABAM is just another company that finds ways to collect money at all costs. They're some real "hustlers". Demanding money from anybody and everybody at any given moment for what seem like never ending "piracy licenses".

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