@CMU and @billboard Cover the Songwriter Coalition and Opposition to Frozen Mechanicals

Complete Music Update in the UK picked up the story on the songwriter coalition letters to the Copyright Royalty Board that we have previously posted on Trichordist so you can read them in full. Read it here: Songwriter groups urge US Copyright Royalty Board to open submissions on proposed new mechanical royalty rate on discs and downloads. CMU makes this important point:

While the publishers and songwriters are generally of one mind when it comes to the streaming mechanical rates, plenty of organisations representing songwriters in the US and beyond are not happy with what the NMPA and NSAI are proposing regarding the rate for discs and downloads.

That is right on because you don’t have to be against the streaming royalty to be against frozen mechanicals on physical and downloads. Why? What David said:

It also looks like the songwriters coalition and the beginnings of press may have done the trick! Today the NMPA filed their motion to ask the CRB to adopt the frozen mechanicals. Which raises the question of if a willing buyer and a willing seller are the same person, does that equal a free market?

Filing the motion isn’t the end of the story or even the end of the beginning because they failed miserably to take into account the dissatisfaction with the whole idea of a frozen mechanical. AND the motion contains this sentence:

Concurrent with the settlement, the Joint Record Company Participants and NMPA have separately entered into a memorandum of understanding addressing certain negotiated licensing processes and late fee waivers.

That sounds like there’s a separate deal on the actual money. The motion doesn’t attach either the settlement or the side deal (which may be where the money is) just the draft changes to the royalty regulations that freezes the mechanical for the rubes. That kind of defeats the purpose of having a motion for public comment on a deal that the public doesn’t see. (And maybe not even the judges.)

Billboard also covered the songwriter coalition letters to CRB in Songwriter Groups Want Their Voices Heard on CRB Royalty Rate ASAP.

Everyone should appreciate the coalition for apparently prompting the motion (which was expected to have been filed back on May 18 according to the CRB letter). It remains to be seen if the motion is worth commenting on or is just more secret sauce. Maybe the CRB can get the right information on file so that songwriters know what’s going on and know what they are getting bound to.