The situation in Ukraine continues to spark responses from companies and organisations in the music industry, with three more announcing their next moves yesterday, including the biggest major label.
“Effective immediately, we are suspending all operations in Russia and closing our offices there,” said Universal Music Group in a statement. “We urge an end to the violence in Ukraine as soon as possible. We are adhering to international sanctions and, along with our employees and artists, have been working with groups from a range of countries (including the US, UK, Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Czech Republic and Hungary) to support humanitarian relief efforts to bring urgent aid to refugees in the region.”
Meanwhile, British collecting society PRS for Music has formally suspended its rights representation relationship with Russian society RAO “pending confirmation of its separation from the Russian Government and those individuals and companies on the sanctions lists”.
PRS said that it is also working with global societies body CISAC “to consider the ongoing membership of Russian societies in the global network” while stressing that “it is not our desire to punish the Russian composer, songwriter and publisher communities who support peace, and we will work with the global community to identify opportunities to amplify the voices of protest.”
In the US, BMI has also suspended its representation payments to RAO, while independent publishers body the IMPF has called for the broader music and licensing sector to “immediately sever economic, business, political and socio-cultural ties with all Russian counterparts, members, companies, affiliates, and organisations”.
Like PRS, IMPF acknowledged that such a move will also affect musicians in Russia who are “profoundly anti-war and anti-Putin”, showing the tightrope that music organisations must walk as they decide what measures to take in response to the invasion.