As PRS for Music’s recent launch of a livestreaming tariff in the UK (and subsequent u-turn after a barrage of criticism) showed, creating licensing for livestreams is a sensitive affair right now.
The European Music Managers Alliance (Emma) has joined the debate by setting out its views on how such tariffs should work, at a time when paid / ticketed livestreams are becoming a “lifeline” for its members’ artists. “We are therefore calling today on all collecting societies across Europe to recognise this situation, and to fully consult with artist representatives when setting new licensing rates for livestreams – especially during the pandemic,” announced the body. “Similar to ‘in-person’ live events, we believe a percentage of gross ticket sales from online shows should be paid to Performing Rights Organisations (PROs) so that songwriters can be fairly compensated. However the actions of certain PROs and major music publishers are threatening the viability of ticketed livestreams across Europe. Rather than licensing these events along similar dynamics to an “in person” show, they have determined – without consultation – that they are more akin to a digital stream, and therefore liable to a much higher audio digital rate. The estimated size of these payments is so high that it would make the majority of livestreams unviable.”
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