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Campaign to Fix Streaming Continues as MPs Voice Support in Brennan Bill Debate

The Musicians’ Union, The Ivors Academy and Broken Record will continue the campaign to fix streaming despite Kevin Brennan MP’s Copyright (Rights And Remuneration Of Musicians) Private Members' Bill not passing today.

Published: 03 December 2021 | 5:22 PM
Campaigner holds a sign which reads Fix Streaming in a crowd of musicians at Parliament Square, London.
The debate in Parliament demonstrated that support for fixing streaming bridges party divides. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Bill followed up on key recommendations made by the cross-party group of MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee as a result of the music streaming inquiry. It aimed to ensure songwriters, composers, performers and featured artists are fairly paid for their work.

Although the Brennan Bill did not pass, the debate made it clear that measures to fix streaming have cross party support. MU members can expect more information about the debate, and what they can do to keep the pressure on the Government to fix streaming, in the coming days and weeks.

Catch up with what happened in parts one and two of our live coverage on Twitter.

Support for Fix Streaming bridges party divides

Horace Trubridge, General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union, said:

“We're immensely grateful to Kevin Brennan and all the MPs, musicians, songwriters, composers, session players and featured artists who have supported the call to fix streaming.

“The debate in Parliament demonstrated that support for fixing streaming bridges party divides, and in his speech the Minister made it clear that Government is open to introducing legislation to reform copyright in the event that the industry doesn’t find a solution voluntarily.

“It's by no means the end of the Fix Streaming campaign. Musicians' Union members along with The Ivors Academy and #Broken Record have won a Select Committee inquiry and a referral to the Competition and Markets Authority so far. We look forward to taking an active role in ongoing work led by the IPO which could address issues such as the lack of transparency and fair remuneration in music streaming.

“We will continue to put pressure on the Government and music industry to make the streaming system fairer and put the value of music back where it belongs - in our members' hands.”

Government is open to changing the law in future

Kevin Brennan MP, who sponsored the Bill, said:

“Although the Government has chosen not to back my Bill today which would bring copyright law up to date and reform music streaming to the benefit of UK musicians, I am pleased that it has not ruled out legislation and is committed to a programme of research into the issues raised.

Equitable remuneration for performers is already in effect, or currently being implemented, in territories across Europe, while British creators continue to struggle financially. I will continue to push for legislative solutions to make sure that music makers in the UK receive a fairer share of streaming revenues, helping to make the UK the best place in the world to be a musician.

“I believe that reform is coming even if we may have to wait a little longer than hoped.”

Keeping the pressure on the Government is crucial

Naomi Pohl, Deputy General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union, said:

“We are heartened by the support we’ve received from many MPs across the political spectrum, and the level of engagement from the Minister. Although the Brennan Bill did not pass today, the door has been left open to legislation in the future if other solutions cannot be found.

“We are grateful for the Government’s positive engagement with the DCMS Select Committee inquiry into streaming, its response to their recommendations, and the commitment made to investigate competition issues in music. We look forward to playing an active role and ensuring the voices of our members are heard in this process.

“We will keep fighting the good fight, keep the pressure on Government, and are determined to resolve the many issues with the current economics of music streaming.”

A landmark moment on the path to change

Graham Davies, CEO of The Ivors Academy, said:

“Today’s debate of the Brennan Bill is a landmark moment on the path to the inevitable modernisation of the music industry. The Government accepted that reform must take place to level-up payments for music makers. It is not a matter of if this reform happens but how.

“For the UK to be the best place in the world to create music we need to strike a new balance of power between those who innovate and those who invest in music. We take forward Kevin Brennan’s work and his call on the Government to establish equity in the UK.”

Catch up with the Fix Streaming story so far in our campaign hub, and follow the MU on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with the latest Fix Streaming news and developments.

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