Vital issues affect creators’ rights
December is often a quiet time around the music industry, but this year there are a number of news items that can affect the lives of songwriters and recording artists. Here are some you might want to check out.
BMI Songwriters Win 100% Licensing Ruling
On December 19, NSAI posted the following news bulletin: Today the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals put the issue of 100% licensing to rest by affirming an earlier ruling by BMI rate court Judge Louis Stanton.
“The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) is thrilled and relieved that BMI songwriters no longer have to be concerned about the U.S. Department of Justice’s misguided ruling on 100% licensing,” said NSAI President Steve Bogard. “We congratulate BMI CEO Mike O’Neil and his team on this important victory and hope the DOJ now releases ASCAP from their ruling that was delivered in 2016. The time has come to discuss sun-setting or updating the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees so that songwriters can earn fair performance royalty rates from streaming services.”
More about NSAI at http://www.nashvillesongwriters.com/
HAAWK –that tracks revenue for rights holders – buys Royalty Claim and TuneRegistry
From a report at Billboard.com: HAAWK, a rights management and content monetization firm started by Ad-Rev co-founder Ryan Born, has acquired RoyaltyClaim and TuneRegistry. Terms of the deal were not disclosed although Haawk had previously raised $2.5 million in seed venture capital from Rincon Venture Partners.
Prior to this current acquisition, HAAWK bought certain assets from Dart Music, which specialized in cleaning up music rights metadata, among other rights management services. That company filed for bankruptcy last summer and its assets were sold in separate deals to HAAWK and Core Rights LLC this fall. Continue reading the Billboard story here.
Songwriters: Support H.R. 3945, a bill to create a Small Claims Court
An email sent out by The Copyright Alliance urges creators (including songwriters) to support a bill in Congress that would establish a way for individuals to fight infringement of their rights. The text of the email reads:
Join the copyright community in asking your Congressional Representative to cosponsor H.R. 3945, the CASE Act of 2017, a bill that would create a copyright small claims court for creators and small businesses (It’s quick and easy to do!)
For many photographers, illustrators, authors, songwriters and other creators who own copyrighted works, enforcing their rights is not feasible. Litigation is expensive and many creators simply can’t afford it. In effect, the U.S. copyright system currently provides creators with rights but no effective remedies.
Continue reading the Copyright Alliance story here.