The contentious issue of music rights and ownership is back on the agenda. This week yet more high-profile artists have joined the Featured Artists Coalition, a lobby which proposes that artists should keep the rights to the music they create, have a greater say in how their songs are sold and take a greater chunk of their earnings.
The FAC, whose members include Annie Lennox, Franz Ferdinand and Jools Holland, plan to hold an inaugural meeting this month to lobby the government to get involved and allow artists to own their recording rights.
It is a hugely complex issue; with the recent decline in music sales and the rise in illegal downloads, record companies are forced to exploit more lucrative avenues like mobile phone ringtones, corporate sponsorship and live concerts. Yet at the same time, artists feel they are being shortchanged from these large contracts and deals – and instead they want to own all rights to their music and lease them back to record companies, to ensure they’re paid fairly.
With more and more high profile artists joining this movement, and copying the likes of Radiohead and their in ‘In Rainbows’ campaign, which started the pay-what-you-like business model, it’s very clear that the music industry as we know it needs to undergo some massive changes.
How do you think record labels will react? Do you think more and more artists will go down the route of the FAC? Let us know your thoughts!