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You Could Be Heroes: Musicians, Songwriters, Composers and Featured Artist Share Their Fix Streaming Message for MPs

MPs joined musicians and music creators in Parliament Square to show their support for Kevin Brennan MP's Private Members’ Bill.

Published: 26 November 2021 | 4:06 PM Updated: 26 November 2021 | 5:30 PM
A collection of protestors stand in parliament square holding signs which read
The more constituents who ask MPs to stay for the vote, the more likely it is they will consider doing so. Photo credit: Jonathan Stewart

The Bill aims to fix streaming and ensure songwriters, composers, performers and featured artists are fairly paid for their work.

Among the Musicians’ Union and The Ivors Academy members to attend were MU Executive Committee members Rick Finlay and Sarah Williams, Chair of the MU Music Writers Committee Anna Neale, Crispin Hunt, Fiona Bevan, Rebecca Ferguson, Glen Matlock, and Fifi Rong.

Together we can fix streaming

Passing the Copyright (Rights And Remuneration Of Musicians) Private Member’s Bill is not going to be easy. We are up against powerful interest groups who do not want to #FixStreaming. That makes it crucial that as many MPs as possible turn up and vote for this Bill.

If that wasn’t enough, the Brennan Bill will be in Parliament on a Friday when MPs tend to be in their constituencies. That makes it crucial that you add your voice to the call. The more constituents who ask them to stay for the vote, the more likely it is they will consider doing so.

Email your MP now

Your email could be the one to make the difference, and every MP’s vote is a step closer to fixing streaming once and for all.

Putting the value of music back in your hands

Reforms included in Kevin Brennan MP’s Copyright (Rights And Remuneration Of Musicians) Private Member’s Bill follow up on the key recommendations made by the cross-party group of MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee during the music streaming inquiry.

The Bill introduces a right to equitable remuneration for performers, and measures that other countries already have in place to protect musicians and music creators from bad contracts, unfair payments, and a lack of transparency.

Those protections in the Copyright (Rights And Remuneration Of Musicians) Private Member’s Bill would go a long way to making the UK the best place in the world to be a musician, songwriter or composer – and help MU members make a sustainable living from their work.

Support is cross-party and growing

Support for the Bill is growing and bridges party divides, with MPs on all sides of Parliament expressing their approval.

The inequity of the current streaming system was highlighted most clearly by recent news reports showing that Sir Lucian Grainge, CEO and Chair of Universal Music Group, earned more in 2021 (over £150m) than the total combined royalties generated by UK streaming, sales and downloads for songwriters, composers and lyricists in 2019.

In a recent joint letter to the Prime Minister, over 40 Conservative MPs called on the Government to fix streaming and ensure musicians get a fair share of revenue from their streamed music. The letter highlighted the ways in which reforms to copyright laws could create a fairer system for musicians and contribute to the Government’s wider levelling-up agenda, while also supporting performers who have faced an incredibly difficult 18 months during the pandemic.

A boost to UK musicians – and the economy

Kevin Brennan MP, who is sponsoring the Copyright (Rights And Remuneration Of Musicians etc) Bill, said:

“More and more people are streaming music – heightened by the pandemic – yet, unlike for radio, there is no guaranteed royalty payment for all the musicians who have contributed to the recording being streamed. To redress this, my Private Member’s Bill seeks to allow performers and composers to access means to ensure a fair sharing of revenues generated from their works.

“In particular, the Bill will introduce a right to equitable remuneration for performers on musical works, where works that they have performed upon are made available to the public.

“These reforms would lead to more new music, the revival of recording studios, a boost to the UK session music scene, the unearthing of a new generation of British talent, and Britain becoming once again a world-leading cultural hub for the recorded music industry.”

Addressing the dominance of major music groups

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

“The domination of the major music groups in the streaming market is clear. Musicians and songwriters are not getting a fair enough deal and legislative reform is overdue. Now is the time to address the imbalances in the music industry and in music streaming in particular.

“We are calling on the Government to allow a free vote on the Brennan Bill on 3rd December. Members across the House of Commons have already voiced their support for the Bill, showing the depth of bi-partisan commitment to fixing streaming to ensure performers are fairly paid for their streamed music.”

Growing the UK’s cultural powerhouse

Graham Davies, CEO of The Ivors Academy, said:

“On behalf of songwriters and composers our thanks go to Kevin Brennan and MPs from all parties who understand that Britain’s place as a cultural powerhouse rests on investing in people that actually make music.

“The growth of the streaming market has diverted too much wealth to multinational record labels at the expense of music makers. These market distortions must be fixed in order to grow Britain’s enviable music sector”

Ask your MP to vote for the Brennan Bill to fix streaming on Friday 3 December, and find out more about the campaign in the MU’s Fix Streaming hub.

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