Congressional bill wants independent artists to negotiate better streaming royalties – Billboard

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representing Ted deutch (D-Fla.) On Monday introduced new legislation that would allow independent artists, labels and music creators to collectively negotiate for better royalty rates.

Approved by Assn. of independent music (A2IM) and the Artist Rights Alliance, the Protect Working Musicians Act would allow independent artists to come together to negotiate with streaming platforms and ensure that antitrust laws are no longer an obstacle to these provisions, as well as granting artists the ability to refuse to license their music to a dominant online distribution platform that does not pay market rates.

Currently, as freelancers, independent artists are not allowed to bargain collectively and have no union to bargain for them.

“Through the pandemic, streaming services have become even more essential, allowing us to enjoy the music we love, even when the live performances have been closed. But with the exponential increase in the market power of a few technology platforms, the voices of independent musicians are becoming increasingly difficult to hear, ”Deutch said in a statement. “By allowing a more diverse choir of voices to negotiate fair terms and prices for their music, the Acting Musicians Protection Act recognizes the fundamental value of music and gives working artists a chance. “

“The power imbalance must be addressed by Congress so that independent creators and labels can unite to fight for fair compensation and against anti-competitive schemes that devalue music,” said A2IM CEO . Richard Burgess. “Year after year, these platforms are increasing their profits and their subscriber bases at astronomical rates as artists struggle, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. We thank Rep. Deutch for championing the principle that artists and creators deserve to make a living even if they aren’t a mega star or sign a major label.

“We need to level the playing field for [independent artists and labels] and increase their streaming payments, ”added Cake’s John mccrea, who is co-chair of the ARA with Rosanne Cash. “This bill does that and empowers them by using free market tools to ensure that all artists get fair market value for their work.”

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