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ECSA offers views on how to fix streaming for songwriters and composers

Covid-19 has been very bad news for songwriters and composers: this we know already from the figures (and warnings about future figures) published by collecting societies in various parts of the world.

Now the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) has used the latest study – reporting a 35% fall in royalties collected by PROs – as the hook for a manifesto of sorts on “why we should fix streaming now”.

It’s the latest salvo in the ongoing debate about how streaming pays off for musicians, sitting alongside campaigns like Broken Record in the UK and Justice at Spotify in the US, although in this case it zeroes in specifically on what ECSA thinks would improve the lot of songwriters and composers.

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‘Profound disrespect’ – ECSA attacks Spotify’s Discovery Mode

The brickbats keep flying for Spotify over the recent announcement of its ‘Discovery Mode’ for boosting selected tracks in its radio and autoplay features, in return for a lower royalty rate.

This time it’s the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) putting the boot in.

“Spotify’s suggestion to promise more exposure in exchange of lower royalty rates shows once more its profound disrespect to the community of creators who struggle to make a living,” claimed ECSA in a statement published yesterday.

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European cultural bodies launch Covid-19 recovery campaign

A group of 110 bodies representing the creative and cultural industries are keeping up the pressure on governments and European policymakers over their post-Covid recovery plans.

Impala, the IFPI, ICMP and ECSA are among the bodies who have written to national governments and to the European Commission pressing for at least 2% of each country’s ‘national recovery and resilience facility’ budget be allocated to the cultural and creative sector.

“There is a risk that citizens will not find their vibrant cultural life back in the post-pandemic world,” warned their letter. “This would be a huge loss in terms of social cohesion, communities’ empowerment, individual well being, and the economic revival of Europe.”

A social media campaign is kicking off today: watch for the #actforculture and #cultureneedsmore hashtags.

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Music bodies protest latest Article 17 developments in Europe

It almost feels quaint to think back to a time when the passage of Europe’s new Copyright Directive felt like an all-consuming, existential issue, given the horrors that 2020 has inflicted on us so far.

It was clear at the time that the approval of the directive at a European level was far from the end of the arguments about its measures – particularly its Article 17 section (formerly Article 13) covering the liability of internet services for user-generated content/uploads.

A reminder came yesterday when music bodies the IFPI, Impala, ECSA and ICMP joined a wider group of creative industry organisations to write to the European Commissioner responsible for copyright, Thierry Breton. Their letter was to protest at what’s happening with the consultation process for the EC’s guidance to European countries on how to implement the new regulation.