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From Brussels with Love: The Creators Conference, February 20, 2013

February 26, 2013

BrusselsIt’s an incredible feeling being in a room full of music creators who have traveled from many countries around the world for a common purpose: Bettering the collective lot of music creators everywhere.

I am in Brussels, along with the S.A.C.’s Managing Director, Isabel Crack, attending “The Creators Conference”, hosted by the European Composers and Songwriters Association (ECSA).

Clearly, there is a shared understanding that making the world a better place for those of us who create music will not be easy. We have daunting problems and limited resources. We work in our respective continents and countries under very different regulatory and legal frameworks. Our continental European counterparts have “authors’ rights”, while we in North America and the UK work under copyright (an upcoming blog will go into the differences).

But there is also an understanding that as different as our situations may seem, they are increasingly similar. Global connectivity and large mergers are making the world an increasingly smaller and in some ways less diverse place.

Rather than many significant music publishers in various territories as there once was, there are now basically three global giants: Universal, SonyATV/EMI and Warner. These companies have enormous market share everywhere.

And of course Google, Apple and Spotify are all global concerns as well.

These massive companies would prefer not to deal with dozens of local laws and regulations. Increasingly they are pushing for global “harmonization” and “One Stop Shopping”, and prefer to deal directly with one another, thereby bypassing performing rights societies and other music collectives.

In a world where huge commercial interests negotiate directly with one another on a global scale, creators must form global alliances to ensure we have a voice in the process, that we are fairly compensated, and that there is transparency.

That is why this conference in Brussels, capital of the European Union, is so important.  And it is why “The Fair Trade Music Principles” which we are developing with music creator organizations in Europe, Latin America and Africa, as well as Canada and the US is a vital tool for us to establish a sustainable music industry for creators.

The Fair Trade Music Principles transcend our regional and cultural differences and give us a common platform for a proactive and unified approach in this new global environment.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jack Jordan Marx permalink
    March 1, 2013 11:03 pm

    Not really sure what this rather poorly written article is about…as usual I hear the so-called ‘advocates’ for us creators, telling us what we already know….when are you going to stop flying around the world on other peoples dollars, usually ours and actually deliver some value and answers…we all know things are tough, just look at my bank balance and ASCAP checks…location of the events you go to is meaningless…it’s the outcomes and real change that matters…this has been going on too long – get some resolutions or cut your loses… I for one am getting fed up with the self-aggrandizing missives from this contributor who I suspect has no issue surviving off his royalty checks… piss or get off the pot and let someone else have a go….

  2. March 8, 2013 8:07 am

    I’d like to attend the next conference that pertains to this topic and the speculation of globalizing music. This topic starts the ball rolling and it. But how far will it roll?

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