Promoting fair and transparent compensation to creative rightsholders for digital usages
Republic of Malta and kENUP lead pan-European initiative
The digital revolution has brought tremendous opportunities to European society at large, and to the music industry in particular. Recording artists, composers and creatives in many other fields now have the power to reach and connect directly with their fans at a scale never before seen. In parallel, however, many have also seen their work become devalued - while use of their work has increased significantly, incomes have not, and despite the vast volumes of data being generated through consumers’ use of online services, there is limited transparency for artists and composers as to how their work is actually being used online.
Thus, the Republic of Malta is spearheading a pan-European initiative aimed at getting the maximum potential for artists out of EU Directive 2014/26. Creating a fair and transparent compensation system for streaming of digital music will be critical for the future success of Europe´s creative community and its digital economy.
With the aim to formally recognize the individual and collective requirements of artists, industry organizations as well as those of the internet industry, a public e-Hearing has been held on October 2, 2017 in kENUP's offices, with close to 300 stakeholders from 20 countries participating either in person or through the internet.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (Center), Dr. Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando (kENUP, right), Holm Keller (kENUP, left)
"Artists have spurred Europe ahead with their creativity, and important societal innovation has often followed suit. With the aim of ultimately allowing for an updated and just system for their compensation, we are now reaching out to emerging as well as established musicians to better understand their needs."
Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of the Republic of Malta
kENUP alligns global music blockchain inititiatives under MusicNOW
Based on the conclusive findings from the eHearing, kENUP Foundation has decided to formalize its work on creative rights under the umbrella of MusicNOW.
MusicNow will build a platform that will transform digital licensing by enabling any owner of creative intellectual property to secure the rights in their content, define rules for its exploitation and get paid when it is consumed – ultimately without the need for intermediaries. Thus, MusicNOW will embrace author’s rights of creators and music publishers, as well as all related rights held by performers and record labels.
As such, MusicNOW is developing a blockchain and machine-learning-enabled infrastructure that will enable musicians, photographers and film-makers to take control of their rights and exploit the full potential of the digital market, without having to assign their rights to third parties such as agents or Collective Management Organizations (CMOs).
For content users such as streaming services and online publishers, MusicNOW will make it simple, fast and low cost to discover, license and pay for content, resulting in more innovative uses of content and more income for the creative economy.
MusicNOW will initially enter the market in rights resulting from streaming of music, in the long tail of this category, and in smaller EU member states. This is since – in spite of the complexity of the current system – there are globally established norms with associated structures that exploiters of streaming music do pay for rights they use, while creative rights holders in the long tail of the repertoire very often do not participate in any distribution: today’s relevant internet artists are often not anymore a member of a collecting society, nor are they being represented by a music publisher or a record label.
MusicNOW to drive European Commission application for an ERIC
Under the leadership of the Republic of Malta, three Member States of the European Union, including Malta and the Republic of Slovenia, intend to form a European Research Infrastructure Consortium according to the ERIC-regulation (EC 723/2009 with amendment EC 1261/2013) to govern the public component of MusicNOW: to establish and operate a Music Rights Data Repository as an open, public, authoritative repository of music rights ownership information. It will operate as a social enterprise on a not-for-profit basis.
The ERIC will further the conclusive work already accomplished by Berklee College’s civic society action “Open Music Initiative” (OMI) with its close to 200 members in the music industry. Berklee’s and OMI’s contribution to the ERIC will focus on the US-market, as well as on offerings to publishers and labels.
Significant preparatory work also been accomplished by Mycelia, a NGO founded by the artist Imogen Heap. Mycelia has developed a “Creative Passport” for musical artists, which will serve as the basis for MusicNow’s interaction with creative rightsholders.
dot blockchain media, founded and lead by Benji Rogers, will contribute its open-source file format DOTBC to MusicNow.
The International Music Managers Forum
(IMMF) - the umbrella Executive Organisation utilizing a collaborative network of MMF National Organizations from over 30 countries – will open up MusicNOW to its members.
The Jožef Stefan Institute
will contribute its research agenda on artificial intelligence, as part of the Republic of Slovenia’s agenda on blockchain:
The Technology Platform of MusicNOW will be built on the product blokur
Ltd., a UK company founded by Phil Barry, has developed in partnership with CMOs, publishers and labels globally.
You can download an up-to-date draft of our Working Paperhere.
Your input would be very much appreciated.Please send us an email to musicNOW@kenup.eu.
For your reference, please find below the documents used during the eHearing on October 2, 2017