Brussels, 19 September 2016 – With the United States Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) in the process of defining the mechanical rates paid by digital services and other non-recorded music entities, ICMP, the International Confederation of Music Publishers has today called on the CRB to increase the headline rate for songwriters.
ICMP is however disappointed to see various so-called “interested parties” trying to influence the rate setting process for interactive streams and locker services. And we have reason to believe that this is being done to lower the royalty rates for songwriters and music publishers.
We therefore fully support our U.S. member, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) in its quest to have Sony Music Entertainment (SME) immediately withdraw from the rate setting procedure.
SME is currently participating in all proceedings, including those for digital services. However, as the company does not have a direct interest in the setting of mechanical rates for digital services, and is neither a licensor nor a licensee, it should not seek to influence the process.
“Let us never forget that music publishers and record labels are in the business of ensuring fair remuneration for content creators in order to build a robust digital economy,” said ICMP Director General Coco Carmona. “SME seems to be doing the exact opposite and this is wrong.”
“Songwriters are up against more obstacles than ever to make a living, and having a major label like SME fight on the side of digital music companies to try to further reduce what little income they receive from on-demand streaming is shocking,” added NMPA President and CEO David Israelite.
The other major labels, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, reached a settlement agreement with NMPA as to rates and terms for physical configurations, downloads and ringtones in the CRB proceedings. The settlement has also received the support of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM). None of these groups have sought to participate in the rate setting process for interactive streams and locker services.