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AIMP Celebrates The Season With Holiday Parties!

The Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) is set to celebrate the holiday season with festive parties in Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York. The Nashville Chapter started the festivities with a members-only Holiday Party on Nov. 30, highlighting the chapter's accomplishments in 2023. AIMP's President in Nashville, Ree Guyer, expressed pride in the chapter's successes and looked forward to the coming year.

The celebrations continue with the AIMP LA 2023 Holiday Party & Annual Awards on Dec. 5, where A&I Music Entertainment will receive the Indie Publisher of the Year Award, and Todd and Jeff Brabec will be honored. The AIMP NY 2023 Holiday Party on Dec. 7 will conclude the celebrations, featuring the presentation of the 2023 Indie Spirit Award to Faith Newman, Executive Vice President of A&R and Catalog Development at Reservoir.

The LA event is already sold out! But you can join the waiting list by sending an email to lainfo@aimp.org .

Tickets to the NY Holiday Party are available here: http://bit.ly/AIMPNY-HolidayParty

In this newsletter:

Major European music industry stakeholders are urgently appealing to the EU for a legislative remedy following a court ruling, known as the "RAAP case," that could potentially cost artists and labels millions annually.

Brazilian and Peruvian law enforcement, in collaboration with IFPI and Pro-Música Brasil, have successfully concluded another phase of 'Operation 404.' This ongoing initiative, one of the largest of its kind, targets internet infringement, particularly in unlicensed music services.

The boss of SoundExchange has used the news that US radio giant iHeartMedia stands to make about $100 million from the sale of BMI to again big up the American Music Fairness Act.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - December 1, 2023
Compiled by Ana Berberana

Artists and Labels From Key European Countries Join Forces to Call For Urgent EU Solution to Stop Transfer of 125M Euros a Year of Performance Income Out of Europe

Key artist and label groups from major European music markets have come together today to ask the EU to come up urgently with a legislative solution to address the consequences of a court ruling which risks costing European artists and labels millions of euros each year. In what is known as the “RAAP case”, the court of justice of the EU flagged an anomaly in the Directive dealing with the rights of music performers and producers when their works are used on terrestrial radio or in cafes and bars. Unless this error is fixed, EU member states will not be able to continue applying the longstanding principle of material reciprocity in the payment of broadcast and public performance royalties on sound recordings from non-EU countries. Recognized under international copyright treaties, and functioning as a default rule in the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, this principle has proven vital in raising the level of copyright protection across the globe for decades. The USA is the only significant music economy in the world that does not have these full rights in its domestic legislation. Unless the principle of material reciprocity is restored in EU legislation, European performers and producers in “reciprocity” countries could see revenues from this vital source of income fall by up to 40%, the share of US repertoire in some of these countries. Since the judgment was delivered, already back in 2020 (now over three years ago), the European Commission has on several occasions acknowledged concerns about the impact of the ruling and made clear its intention to find a balanced solution. But a solution has yet to be proposed. With today’s call, the signatories are urging the EU to come forward now with a flexible solution that will allow, but not oblige, member states to apply material reciprocity.

Brazilian and Peruvian Authorities Continue ‘Operation 404’ Against Infringing Music Services

Brazilian law enforcement authorities, together with authorities in Peru, have completed a further series of actions as part of the ongoing ‘Operation 404’, an initiative to tackle infringing services on the internet, supported by IFPI and Pro-Música Brasil. Operation 404 continues to be one of the largest campaigns of its kind and involves a range of actions in relation to unlicensed music services. To date, the operation has resulted in the suspension of nearly 1,500 domains, the removal of 780 infringing music apps and delivery of more than 100 search warrants. These actions involved cooperation between the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, local cybercrime police units, and the Peruvian Copyright Office, INDECOPI. The operation is also supported by Homeland Security Investigations (US) and the Police IP Crime Unit and City of London Police (UK). In this sixth wave, INDECOPI participated for the second time – working with Brazilian authorities to block 157 domains dedicated to music piracy, including stream ripping sites. In parallel, the Brazilian authorities took action against 12 major stream ripping and MP3 download mobile apps – with collectively over 4.3 million downloads in Brazil – by ordering their removal from both the major app stores and other websites where the apps could be downloaded. This included the removal and blocking in Brazil of the VidMate stream ripping app which had more than 870 million downloads worldwide and over 1.1 million active users in Brazil.

iHeartMedia Confirms Incoming $100 Million Pay Day As a Result of BMI Sale

The boss of US record industry collecting society SoundExchange has used the news that iHeartMedia will make $100 million from the sale of BMI to again call for politicians to back the American Music Fairness Act. SoundExchange CEO Michael Huppe wrote on Twitter: “The irony of a radio giant profiting millions while underpaying performers is yet another reason why the American Music Fairness Act is so vital for #MusicFairness”. A quirk in American copyright law means AM/FM music radio stations get away with not paying anything to artists and record labels. The American Music Fairness Act would change that, but is being fiercely opposed in Washington by big radio, including iHeart. US radio stations do have to pay royalties to songwriters and music publishers, which they do via collecting societies like BMI. Though iHeart now stands to profit in a major way from that side of the music rights business too, because it is a shareholder in BMI, which is in the process of being sold to a consortium led by New Mountain Capital. The radio firm told its investors earlier this week that it expects to make about $100 million from that deal. Most of the music industry's collecting societies are not-for-profit organizations owned by their members. Which always made BMI, owned by a group of broadcasters, unusual. Nevertheless, it still operated on a not-for-profit basis until last year. When it announced a shift to a for-profit business model last October, BMI said that its broadcaster shareholders wouldn't actually take a cut of any profits in the short-term, but would benefit from any future sale of the society.

European Parliament Committee Calls for New EU Rules to Regulate Streaming

The Culture Committee of the European Parliament yesterday called for new rules in the European Union to "ensure a fair and sustainable environment for music streaming". That call came as the committee of MEPs formally adopted a report published back in June that considered the challenges posed by streaming for songwriters and composers, or 'authors' to use the legal term. The proposed new EU rules would cover transparency and data. On the former, the committee said there should be rules that "oblige platforms to make their algorithms and recommendation tools transparent and to guarantee that European works are visible and accessible”. They also proposed the introduction of a 'diversity indicator' that would "assess the array of genres and languages available and the presence of independent authors", and stated that AI-generated content should be clearly labeled. On the data front, "rules should oblige streaming platforms to identify rightholders via the correct allocation of metadata to help their works to be discovered”. The committee also discussed more generally issues with the streaming model, along the way criticizing stream manipulation and schemes that reduce royalties in return for promo, like Spotify’s Discovery Mode. And also the way streaming royalties are shared out, adding that “pre-digital” conventions that tend to favor record labels should be “revised”.

Grammy Museum Grant Program Awards $200,000 for Music Research and Sound Preservation

The Grammy Museum Grant Program has announced that $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 14 recipients in the US to help facilitate a range of music research, as well as support several archiving and preservation programs. Funded by the Recording Academy, the Grammy Museum Grant Program provides funding annually to organizations and individuals to support efforts that advance the archiving and preservation of American recorded sound heritage, as well as research projects related to the impact of music on the human condition. “This year marks the 36th year that the Grammy Museum and Recording Academy have partnered to provide much deserved funding for music research and preservation projects across the United States and Canada. During that time, we have awarded more than $8.3 million to 479 grantees,” said Michael Sticka, President and CEO of the Grammy Museum. “It is our vision to lead in creating a world in which shared love of music sparks curiosity, creativity, and community. We are honored to help these incredible projects continue to inspire the music, science, and technology world of tomorrow.” In 2008, the Grammy Museum Grant Program expanded its categories to include assistance grants for individuals and small to mid-sized organizations to aid collections held by those that might not have access to the expertise needed to create a preservation plan. The assistance planning process may include inventorying and stabilizing a collection, and articulates the steps to be taken to archive recorded sound materials for future generations.

Random Ramblings

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