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24. Juni 2011

A Petition pro artists and their rights regarding collecting societies hosted by Jamendo

So here I am with a short entry concerning a petition Jamendo created on behalf of artists, music listeneres and other folks. You can find the petition here. Anyway the description in the petition is a bit short and not saying anything so there is a more extended description here. The petition is mainly about putting the habit of collecting societies into light, e.g. the exclusivity an artist has to provide. The petition is somehow directed at the european parliament, I think this pdf should give more insights, but I am not yet familiar enough with the backgrounds. I fully support this idea, anyway I have my thoughts.

I personally think that, like most things about Jamendo, it is a great idea but it's missing something. As written in the explanation the petition consists of three amendments.

First: provide artists being members of collecting societies with the possibility of per song licences. Right now if you want to participate in GEMA, AKM, STIM or any other European royal rights collecting society all your music, past and future becomes automatically part of their collecting territory. So right now to become member of a collecting society in Europe you have to give up the idea of giving your music away for free (and for free copying) for instance.

Second: if you are not member of a collecting society and one of your songs is played at a concert it is highly likely that the collecting society of the relating country is collecting money also for your song. A procedure which is called the GEMA-Vermutung in Germany. The collecting society may assume that all songs are part of their collecting territory unless proved otherwise. Anyway as soon as at least one song is registered with them the price is the same. Right now of course artists not being members of collecting societies don't get anything from the money being collected also for their music.

Third: it seems to be that there exist exclusive contracts between collecting societies and Internet platforms such as youtube assuring that e.g. youtube pays a small amount to the society for each stream and the society pays a smaller amount to their artists being used in streams. It seems to be the same here, that money is collected also for free artists but of course in this case it is not payed.

As I said I fully support this petition, anyway I think there is a need of a more detailed description inside the petition and it seems to be a bit odd that Jamendo is mentioned in the title as well as kind of advertised in the description. Actually one might even say or think that this petition is more of an advertisement for Jamendo than it is a petition on behalf of artists. So actually that's why I can mention it on my blog, but I don't know yet if I will email it to friends.

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