Published Oct 06, 2008In these turbulent musical times, dozens of British artists such as Radiohead, the Verve, David Gilmour and Billy Bragg have joined a new organization designed to help musicians fight for more control over their work. Officially launched Sunday (October 5), the Featured Artists' Coalition said it will campaign for the protection of performers and musicians rights, focusing on how digital technology has given artists the opportunity to control their future.
"We want all artists to have more control of their music and a much fairer share of the profits it generates in the digital age, the organization says via its website. "We speak with one voice to help artists strike a new bargain with record companies, digital distributors and others, and are campaigning for specific changes.
So far, the group has more than 60 members, including Kaiser Chiefs, Robbie Williams and Klaxons, and will kick-start its efforts by campaigning for changes to laws ruling over the music industry in hopes of ensuring that deals between artists and others are fair and transparent.
In a statement, the Featured Artists' Coalition has outlined six key areas that are in need of change. Here they are courtesy of Billboard:
"An agreement by the music industry that artists should receive fair compensation whenever their business partners receive an economic return from the exploitation of the artists work.
"All transfers of copyright should be by license rather than by assignment, and limited to 35 years. It says Germanys precedent on licensing instead of assigning rights should be followed.
"The making available right should be monetized on behalf of featured artists and all other performers. It states that artists have been obliged to assign this digital music right in recording agreements and says they should be fairly compensated.
"Copyright owners to be obliged to follow a use it or lose it approach to the copyrights they control. This would exist to ensure that artists work is always available physically and digitally, preventing fans from having to download it illegally.
"The rights for performers should be the same as those for authors (songwriters, lyricists and composers). It wants to address some of the areas where authors get paid for the use of a work but performers do not.
"A change to UK copyright law that will end the commercial exploitation of unlicensed music purporting to be used in conjunction with critical reviews. It claims that several companies are producing DVDs in the UK that use artists audio-visual footage and avoid the need for permission or payment by including a review at the end of the DVD, so that it qualifies as a work of "critical review.