If you want an insight into some of the challenges for composers in 2020, grab a large cup of tea and settle down to read this Twitter thread from Kerry Muzzey, whose music has been used by a number of high-profile TV shows. In it, he details his discovery that his music had been used, without a licence, in a number of TV shows broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV). A discovery that came when the shows were uploaded to YouTube, and Muzzey got ContentID notifications.

There are a number of hair-raising claims in the thread, from the way CCTV sourced the music originally, and its belief that (in Muzzey’s words) “all music originating in the US is Creative Commons, which they read on a website once”, through an increasingly-tangled discussion of what rights CCTV does and doesn’t license from western collecting societies, and what’s happening to the money that it does pay for music rights. “You have to mind your own store & buy your own x-ray specs. Explore detection technologies; see what you find,” is his advice to fellow composers. “Run into problems like mine above? Your PRO is your friend: they’re the closest thing we composers/songwriters have to a union or collective representation…”

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