Featured Artists Coalition targets EU laws

A body representing songwriters and musicians is to launch a major pan-European campaign after an EU ruling that 'fails to represent a fair deal for Europe's creative artists'.

FAC co-chairs: Ed O'Brien, Sandie Shaw and Nick Mason
FAC co-chairs: Ed O'Brien, Sandie Shaw and Nick Mason

The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), which represents more than 6,000 music artists and managers, has pledged to fight for amendments to the European Commission's recent Collective Rights Management ruling.

The ruling requires collection agencies to work harder to pass on royalties that are due to lesser-known artists from their music being played online. This money has typically sat within a 'hard to distribute' pot.

But the FAC claims the commission's ruling does not go far enough, as online activity only accounts for five per cent of royalty revenue. It does not take into account music played in clubs, bars, shops and other premises.

3 Monkeys is working with the FAC on a pro-bono basis to advise on strategy, support its media relations and lobby for the organisation.

The FAC, which is co-chaired by Radiohead's Ed O'Brien, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Sandie Shaw, claims that European collection agencies including the UK's PRS and the PPL are sitting on a pot of EUR5bn (£3.93bn) in 'hard to distribute' royalties.

FAC board director and former Longpigs lead singer Crispin Hunt told PRWeek: 'Collection agencies across Europe were waiting to see where to pay royalties after this directive, only to be told that they can keep the money, which is bloody outrageous.

'The only people who benefit from the royalties are the highest earners - such as Sting and Robbie Williams - not the dance DJs and lower-paid performers who really need the money.'

The FAC is calling for new standards for accountability and transparency and a more modern approach to collective rights management in Europe. It is planning an online petition of artists across Europe to be sent to MEPs after the EU parliament summer recess.

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