LED ZEPPELIN‘s Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, THE WHO‘s Roger Daltrey, and KING CRIMSON legend Robert Fripp are among more than 150 British musicians who are calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to update U.K. copyright law to increase revenues from streaming to creators.
In an open letter, from the Musicians’ Union in association with the Ivors Academy and the #BrokenRecord campaign, the signatories say that the law around streaming revenues and royalty payments “has not kept up with the pace of technological change” in the music industry. The campaign arrives as the U.K. government is examining the economic impact that music streaming is having on artists, record labels and the wider music industry as part of the “Economics Of Music Streaming” inquiry.
“Streaming is replacing radio so musicians should get the same protection when their work is played on streaming platforms as they get when it’s played on radio,” Horace Trubridge, general secretary of the Musicians’ Union, says. “As the whole world has moved online during the pandemic, musicians who write, record and perform for a living have been let down by a law that simply hasn’t kept up with the pace of technological change.”
The letter adds that the law has “not kept up with the pace of technological change and, as a result, performers and songwriters do not enjoy the same protections as they do in radio.” It goes on to suggest that “only two words need to change in the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act…so that today’s performers receive a share of revenues, just like they enjoy in radio,” and that the proposed change “won’t cost the taxpayer a penny but will put more money in the pockets of UK taxpayers and raise revenues for public services like the NHS.”
Crispin Hunt of the Ivors Academy adds: “In streaming, the song is king, but songwriters and composers do not enjoy the true value of their work and struggle to make a living.
“The record companies are now simply marketing firms. Without manufacturing and distribution costs, their extraordinary profits ought to be shared more equitably with creators.
“Our industry has an unfortunate history of pitching artists, performers and songwriters against each other. With this letter, we are finally speaking with one voice to say ‘enough is enough’. Our industry is broken, Government can and should help us fix it.”
Read the full letter below.
To comment on a
story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you’re logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of
does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the “Report to Facebook” and “Mark as spam” links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.
reserves the right to “hide” comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to “ban” users that violate the site’s Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user’s Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a “banned” user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the “banned” user’s comments will only be visible to the user and the user’s Facebook friends).