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MPs table new bill to ensure artists are paid properly for streaming

Over 150 artists, including Paul McCartney and Kate Bush, signed an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for change.

MPs table new bill to ensure artists are paid properly for streaming

A new bill dubbed ‘the Brennan bill’’ was published on 24th November. The bill aims to ensure artists are paid accurately for their music by streaming platforms.

The new bill is due to be presented on 3rd December in Parliament by MP Kevin Brennan. Key supporters of the bill include the Musician’s Union and Ivors Academy.

The bill was inspired as a result of the Economics of Music Streaming report released by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

The official title of the bill is the Copyright (Rights And Remuneration Of Musicians) Private Member’s Bill, with the main objective of the bill is to “ensure performers and composters are properly remunerated, by placing the treatment of revenue gained from music streaming services onto a common footing with the treatment of revenue gained from other sources.”

Upon publication of the Economics of Music Streaming report, the UK government sought advice from music industry leaders to look at streaming reforms, in response to the results of the report.

Further to this, artists gave evidence to the Economics of Music Streaming inquiry and 150+ artists including Paul McCartney and Kate Bush asked for change by way of an open letter to Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister.

The British Recorded Music Industry (BPI), however, were less forthcoming in their support of the new bill and said:

“This Bill would bind British music in red tape, reduce income for the most entrepreneurial artists, stifle investment and innovation by record labels, and disproportionately harm the independent sector.

“It would create huge uncertainty and deny many of the next generation of artists their shot to build a career. It completely misunderstands today’s music business, and the value that labels provide in finding and nurturing talent,” a spokesperson said.

“Labels are committed to ensuring artists are rewarded in line with their success from streaming, but just as British music is finally climbing out of its long downturn, this misguided, outdated regulation would be a damaging step backwards, eroding the foundations of the UK’s extraordinary global success in music.”

A statement from NME MP Kevin Brennan said: 

“More and more people are streaming music – heightened by the pandemic – yet, unlike for radio, there is no guaranteed royalty payment for all the musicians who have contributed to the recording being streamed.

“To redress this, my Private Member’s Bill seeks to allow performers and composers to access means to ensure a fair sharing of revenues generated from their works.

“In particular, the Bill will introduce a right to equitable remuneration for performers on musical works, where works that they have performed upon are made available to the public.”

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