1100 German Artists Say “The Horror Has No End” About Germany’s New Copyright Law

More than 1100 artists tell the German government: “The horror has no end”

For years we have seen massive encroachments on our artistic freedoms in favor of globally operating digital corporations. This anti-artist prioritization is also reflected in the federal government’s current draft law on the new copyright law.

As early as November 26, 2020, 657 musicians and bands made an appeal, “Do not play copyright against us!” to politicians. That paper disappeared into the drawers and the required respect for our artistic work failed to materialize. Instead, there are regular expert hearings with supposedly network experts, not with artists. From their ideological ivory tower they spin out unrealistic censorship scenarios and create the impression that the network is currently “free” and that the deluge of “upload filters” would only be imminent with the implementation of the European Copyright Directive.

We artists are familiar with platform uses because it is our day-to-day business. We know the problems of over- and underblocking firsthand. As a direct target group of global censorship efforts, we are sensitive to the protection of freedom of expression and artistic freedom. For us it is a slap in the face when network activists hijack the freedom narrative with slogans and catchphrases, argue against platform regulation as in the Copyright Directive and thus gain a greater influence than these global corporations already have.

In 2019, we were stunned to see how the SPD voted against the Copyright Directive. We are stunned to see how the SPD-led Federal Ministry of Justice undermines the European compromise. The federal government sent the draft law to the Bundestag [the German federal parliament] almost unchanged – regardless of our ongoing protests and regardless of all our explanations as to why the “Copyright Service Provider Act” in particular is largely unsuitable for practical use. We recognize in the German draft law the intention to thwart individual copyright claims as well as put real license agreements on an equal footing. Instead of creating a level playing field for our existing licensing market, the German special route restricts it to the maximum with the argument of freedom, of all things. Business models of global upload platforms are protected for the purpose of maximum availability of our plants, while our sales channels are torpedoed with a shrug.

Only the Federal Council takes our concerns about expected collateral damage seriously :

“The Federal Council reminds that copyright law is very often the economic basis for cultural and creative workers and the ability to refinance content is one of the essential foundations for media diversity. It therefore asks that, in the further legislative process, a comprehensive check is made as to whether the draft law as a whole exists The revenue and business models of authors and other rights holders in all affected industries (especially music, film, audiovisual, radio, book and press) are disproportionately impaired. […] The Federal Council points out that the effects of the copyright service provider Law on the German copyright market cannot be adequately assessed at the present time.Copyright Service Provider Act) affects various conflicting interests and has sparked a controversial discussion. Numerous critical voices from various business associations can also be found among them. In view of the largely understandable objections, it is proposed that the passage of the law be subject to the evaluation of its effects on the German copyright market at an appropriate interval. Due to the diversity of copyright-based markets such as the cultural and creative industries, it is important to check whether the regulations are appropriate and practicable and whether they actually lead to the intended balancing of interests. “

For all of us, Peter Maffay recently positioned himself in the Süddeutsche Zeitung and brought the problem to the point. He calls for uniform European regulations, the abolition of the – purely German – 15 seconds rule and the responsibility of the upload platforms for the uses that take place there.

The protection of our rights in the digital space is more urgent than ever for many with the measures taken in the corona pandemic and the accompanying existential threat. Upload platforms that generate considerable profits with our works must finally be effectively held responsible and liable. You may not be relieved by the factual reversal of the license responsibility, e.g. by the cumbersome and only subject to considerable legal consequences that can be challenged. The arbitrary and ironically called “minor use” presumption rules on “legally permitted uses” of non-licensed (!) works are a gateway for systematic copyright infringements, in particular our exclusive right to sole exploitation, but also our moral rights.

We want to continue licensing and retain individual control over our work. The European Copyright Directive takes the pressure off non-commercial uploaders and strengthens our ability to enforce law by making upload platforms responsible for ensuring that there is no need to do anything in the few but painful cases of harmful copyright infringements. It is intolerable that our moral right is now being sacrificed on the altar of supposed consumer protection just because those responsible refuse to give up on dubious and untenable promises of an Internet without a filter.

Filters are only necessary where works have expressly not been licensed. It is reasonable that in these cases the presence of a barrier has to be checked in case of doubt. The consolation of a new collecting society does not help us – especially since it is not certain how much and when and on what accounting basis we will receive our investments.

Copyright is our commercial and labor law. We therefore expect from the members of the Bundestag and especially the members of the Legal Affairs Committee:

· The withdrawal of the quantitative presumption rules for legally permitted uses.

· Maintaining the protection of melodies enshrined in copyright law for decades, regardless of the length of the melody.

The withdrawal of the restrictions on direct licensing by indirect rights holders and the compulsory remuneration through collecting societies despite existing licensing and distribution chains.

· A complete, unrestricted right to information about uses of which the platforms can gain knowledge with a reasonable effort.

· A regulation of the pastiche barrier, which excludes a self-evident subsumability of remixes and sampling.

We see with concern that the time for an expert healing of the failed Copyright Service Provider Law (UrhDaG) is running out and that even proponents of the bill only approve of individual aspects. The implementation of the other necessary aspects of the Copyright Directive should not suffer from this. A subsequent adoption of the UrhDaG and a temporary loophole will affect our work less than a non-practical special zone knitted with a hot needle.

For us and our professional future, the vote on the draft law is the decision in the election year 2021. We therefore call on all members of the Bundestag again not to interfere with our constitutionally protected intellectual property and not to use our copyright against us!

No incapacitation of the artists! No expropriation of the artists! No special German way!

The following artists have signed the enclosed letter “The horror has no end” as first draftsmen:

21 Sunstreet

Abel Lovac

Falling racing pigeons

Achim wet nurse

Achim Petry

Achim Radloff

Achim Rafain

Eight buckets of chicken hearts

Adele Walter

AFFKT

Afterburner

Agitation Free

Airwalk3r

Alan Dixon

Alex garlic

Alex Mayr

Alexander Binder

Alexander Kilian (Café del Mundo)

Alexander Klaws

Alexander King

Alexander Niermann (Botticelli Baby)

Alexander Sandi Kuhn

Alexandra Grübler

Alexis Herrera Estevez

Alf Ator (Knorkator)

Alfons Hefter (feathers)

Alina von der Gathen (KOJ)

All colors

ALLEVIATE

Alvaro Soler

Alvin Mills

Amanda

Amigos

Ana Carina Woitschack

Andhim

Andre Bratten

Andre Graute

Andre Kroenert

André Kunze

Andre Schoettler

Andreas Bayless

Andreas Bourani

Andreas Eckert (Pam Pam Ida & the Silberfischorchester)

Andreas Henneberg

Andreas Radloff

Andreas Rasmussen

Andreas Vitoria-Adzersen

Andreas Völk

Andy Birr (Bell, Book and Candle)

Andy Kouchen

Andy LaToggo

Andy Lutter

Andy Schmidt (Disillusion)

Angel’s Blue

Angela Gossow

Angelika Weiz

Aniko Kanthak

Anja Krabbe

Anja Morell

Anja Schneider

Anna Carewe

Anna-Marlene Bicking

Anne de Wolff

Anne Otto (air)

Annemarie Eilfeld

Anselm Kluge

Ansoumane Kaba

ANTIHELD

Antje Uhle

Antonina Hamann

apparatus

Aquabella

Aram Khlief (dyrtbyte)

Are Foss

Argile

Ariane Stoll (Jani)

Arne Häussermann (An Early Cascade)

Arne Heger & reinforcement

Arne Jansen

Arno Haas

Arnold Fritsch

Arsenii Efremenko

Asja Valcic

Atlantic

Audun Storset

August August

August Hoffmann (Krahnstøver)

August Zirner

Axel Bosse

Axel Fischer

Balbina

Banda Senderos

bar

Barbara Morgenstern

Bård Aasen Lødemel

Basem Darwish (Cairo Steps)

Basti M

Bastian Stein

Bayuk

Beach bag

Beat Agents

Beatrice Egli

Beatsteaks

Behrang Alavi (Samavayo)

Ben Metzner (dArtagnan)

Ben Münchow

Ben sugar

Benedikt Hoenes

Benny Hunter

Bernd Dellbrügge

Bernd Lhotzky

Bernd Römer (carat)

Bernhard Brink

Bernhard Lloyd (Alphaville)

Bertram Engel

Bettina Flörchinger (Östro 430)

Big Balls & The Great White Idiot

Binoculers

Birgit Maren Buschke

Bitume

Bjoern Schirmacher

Bjorn Heuser

Bjorn Störig

Bjørn Torske

BLANK & JONES

Bobbi Fischer (Berta Epple)

boy

Bring ring

Broilers

Bruno Böhmer Camacho

Bukahara

BUZZ DEE (Knorkator)

CJ Johnson

camouflage

Canda

Carom

Carina Hajek (Tinted House)

Carl Carlton

Carl Christian Steenstrup (Of Norway)

Carl-Ludwig Reichert

Carlos Cipa

Carolin No.

Carolina Nathalie Hudek

Carsten Daerr

Cash 22

CassMae

Cecile Verny

Charlotte Grewe

checkpoint Charlie

Children

Chock & Aré

Chono Chibesakunda

Chris Beier

Chris Cool

Chris Gall

Chris Hopkins

Chris Lindner

Chris Möhlenkamp

Chris van Baal

Christian Bruhn

Christian Burkhardt

Christian Engh

Christian Krischowsky

Christian Liebig (carat)

Christian Meyer

Christian Schroeder

Christian Torchiani

Christian Zach

Christin Stark

Christina Rommel

Christmas

Christof Lauer

Christoph Gaertner

Christoph Grab

Christoph Römer (Steven Liquid)

Christoph Stiefel

Cinthie Christl

Cioz

Circus Electric

Cladigal

Cläng

Clara Haberkamp Trio

Clara Rothlander

Claudius Dreilich (carat)

Claus-Robert Kruse

Clemens Benecke (CBGreen)

Cochise

Coppelius

Cornelius Claudio Kreusch

Corvus Corax

Culcha Candela

Cymo

Czech

Damae

Damnation Defaced

Daniel Lopez

Daniel Meteo

Daniel Nitsch

Daniel Schmidt

Daniel Schütter

Daniel Selke (Ceeys)

Daniel Slam

Daniel Stoll (vision string quartet)

Daniel Tejeda

Daniel Tjus Andersen

Daniel True

Daniel Wirtz

Daniela Alfinito

Daniela Liebl (Taming the Shrew)

Danny Zeremba (Daily Thompson)

Dario Klimke

The money is on the windowsill, Marie

the leak

The panic orchestra

Dave Seaman

David Berton

David Brandes

David Garrett

David Helbock

David Mayer

David Qualey

Debby Smith

Deepaim

Deer jade

Your friends

Denis

Denis Fischer

Dennis Hormes

Dennis Kuhl

Dennis Nutr

Dennis Sagittarius

Dennis Ward

The man

Désirée Nick

Detlef Blanke

Deva Premal

The fishing rod

The doctors

The Feuersteins

The happy

The highest railway

The League of Ordinary Gentlemen

The Mimmis

The Mukketier gang

The music students

The princes

The Schatzis

The dead pants

The doors

The customs officers

Diermaier Werner (Zappi)

Dieter “Machine” Birr (Ex-Puhdys)

Dieter Hallervorden

Dieter Ilg

Dieter Kraus

Dieter Weberpals

Dietmar Kawohl

Dietmar Lowka (Quadro Nuevo)

Dietmar Schmidt (Orgasm Death Gimmick)

Dimple Minds

Dirk Dresselhaus

Dirk Duderstadt

Dirk Flatau (Abisko Lights)

Dirk Michaelis

Dirk Sauer (Ed Guy)

Dirk Schelpmeier

Dirk Zöllner

Dissidents

DJ André Siddi

DJ Antoine

Doctor Dru

Dominik Marz

Donots

Dorette Gonschorek (Unplaces)

Doris Orsan

Dorothèe Kreusch-Jacob

Douglas Greed

Dr. Bernd Opinion

Dr. Peter Wegele

Dream Sound Masters

Drenchill

Duivelspack

Ecco Meineke

Echo loop

Edmond Dante’s Weinfeld

Edward Maclean

Edy Edwards

Einar Olsson

Eirik Seu Stokkmo

Eivind Henjum

ela.

Elaiza

Element of Crime

Eleonora Gelmetti

Elfenberg

Eleven morning

Elif

Elio Rodriguez Luis

Ella Finally

Eloy de Jong

Ender Irkdas

NARROW

epitaph

Eric Smax

Erik Skantze

Eva Claus (deEVA.)

Eva Kruse

Even Brenden

Ex machina

Fabian Altstötter (Jungstötter)

Fabian Krooss

Fabian kiss

Fabian Russ

Fabiana Striffler

Fabin Dammers (UDO)

Fabrizio Levita

Fatma Kar

Fairy Badenius

Fee Kürten

Fee Rent (Fee.)

Feline & Strange

Felix Deraed

Felix Gauder

Felix Janosa

Felix Kubin

Felix Lehrmann

Felix Volk

Felix Weis (rolling mill)

FINNA

Fiorella Geide

Flo mega

Florian Grießmann (ANOKI)

Florian Gutmann

Florian artist

Florian Sagner

Florian Willeitner

Folo Dada

Fools Garden

Franca

Frank Fischer

Frank Gala Gahler

Frank Kleingünther (Dieselknecht)

Frank Lehmann

Frank Loef

Frank Nimsgern

Frank Spilker (The Stars)

Frank Wedler

Frank Wiedemann (Âme)

Frank Zander

Frantz Jørgen Andreassen

Franz Rapid

Franziska Seelig

Fred Strand

Fredrik Øgreid Vogsborg

Free swimmers

Frida Gold

Frieder Klaris

Friederike Bernhardt

Deadline Puppel (City)

Frizz Feick

Fox devil game

Fur Coat (Sergio Muñoz)

Fury in the Slaughterhouse

FUTURE PALACE

Gabriel Kent

Gary Jones

Geir Hermansen

Geordie Little

George Geccoo

Georgie Fisher

Gerd Grabowski

Gerd janson

Get Well Soon

GG Anderson

Giorgio Gee

Giovanni Costello

Giovanni Zarrella

Gisbert zu Knyphausen

Giuseppe Pepe Solera

Glass bead game

Gloss

Gorge

Götz Alsmann

GProject Blues Band

Gracia Baur

Grandbrothers

Gregor Meyle

Gregor Tresher

Grizzly (Cris Vogt)

GSINDL

Gudrun Good

Guijaygoo

Günther Gebauer

Guru Atman

Well

Guts Pie Earshot

HP Baxter

Hannes Ringlstetter

Hans Nieswandt (solo & Whirlpool Productions)

Hans-Peter Lindstrøm

Harald Grosskopf

Hardy and Heroes

Harry Alfter (Brings)

Heiko Maile

Heiner Gulich

Heinz Ratz

Heinz-Rudolf Kunze

Helene Fischer

Helga Brenninger

Helge Schneider

Helmut Hattler

Helmut Josef Geier (Dj Hell)

Helmut Zerlett

Helmuth Rüssmann

Hendrik Bertram

Hendrik Röder (Bell, Book and Candle)

Henning Brandt-Hansen Severud (Telephones)

Henning Sedlmeir

Henning Severud

Henning Verlage (Unheilig)

Henri Bergmann

Henrik Mayer (MYR)

Henry Poetzsch

Herbert Grönemeyer

Mr. DK

Herwig Mitteregger

Hetzel Pascal (CYRK)

Hidden Empire

Hitfield

Hope

Horst Hansen Trio

Horst Wegener

Housefly

Howard Carpendale

Hill

Hundreds

Iben magpie

Iko Andrae

Illegal colors

In Extremo

Ines Gorka

Ines Weber

Inga Lühning

Ingo Bergsen

Ingo Politz

Inca Bause

Intourist

Ira Atari

Ireen Sheer

Isgaard

Isolation Berlin

Ivaylo Kolev

Jacek Brzozowski

Jack Rush

Jacki Reznicek (Silly)

Jakob Encke (vision string quartet)

Jakob Seidensticker

Jamaram

Jan Kerscher (Like Lovers)

Jan Pascal (Cafe del Mundo)

Jan Zehrfeld

Jana Groß (Bell, Book and Candle)

Janika Groß (Molllust)

Jan-Ole Lamberti (Nailed To Obscurity)

Janosch Korell

Jan-Philipp Wiesmann

Jaques Raupé

Jarle Bråthen

Jasmin Adgezalov (unloved)

Jasmina de Boer

Jazzy Gudd

Jean Jacobi

Jeanette Biedermann

Jean-Hervé Peron (Faust)

Jean-Jaques Kravetz

Jelena Kuljić

Jens Ewald

Jens child father

Jens Kosmiky (KrAWAllo)

Jens Loh

Jens Ophälders

Jens Thomas

Jens-Uwe Beyer (popnoname)

JEREMIAS

Jermaine Landsberger

Jey aux platines

Jiggler

Jimi Jules

Jirka Otte

Jo Ambros

Joachim Dyrdahl

Joachim Wolf

Jocelyn B. Smith

Jochen Klüßendorf

Jochen Leistner (The Shadow Lizzards)

Jochen Schmadtke (air)

Joe Fischer

Joe war

Johan Daansen

Johanna Borchert

Johanna Summer

Johannes Cernota

Johannes glorious

Johannes Maikranz

Johannes Oerding

Johannes Stankowski

Johannes Till (Tinted House)

Johannes Tonio Kreusch

Jon Berry

Jon Flemming Olsen

Jon Welch

Jonas Frömming (The Lumpenpack)

Jonny Glut

Joo Kraus

Jörg “Knickiknacki” carpenter

Jörg Seidel

Jörg Warthy Wartmann

Jörg Weißelberg

Joris

Joris Biesmans

Jorita Solf

Jörkk Mechenbier

Joshua Oldenburg

Joss Turnbull

Joy Denalane

Joyosa

Judy and The Gardeners

Julia Engelmann

Julia Kautz

Julia Müller

Julia Neigel

Julian Ortleb

Julian Stetter

Julian Wasserfuhr

Junkx

Jupiter Jones

Jürgen Fastje

Kai Brückner

Kai Havaii (extra wide)

Kai Schumacher

Kai Sichtermann (clay stones shards)

Kai Sonnenhalter

Kai Wingenfelder (Wingenfelder)

Kajetan Löffler

KALEA

Kalle Kalima

Kalle Risan Sandås

Kaman Leung

Kamil Müller (Django 3000)

Kåre Frisvold

Karibuni

Karl Bartos

Karl Brausch

Karl Ivar Refseth

Karmin Amun (sons of Mannheim)

Karolina Trybala

Karoshi

Katharine Mehrling

Kathrin Rettl (Mila Masu)

Katja Moslehner

Merchant

Basement child

Kelvin Jones

Ken Taylor

Kenn Hartwig (CAR)

Kerstin Ott

Ketil Kinden Endresen

Kevin Haselmeier

Kevin Krämer (Justis)

Kiki (Joakim Willich)

Kilian & Jo

Kilian Forster (Klazz Brothers)

Kilian Kemmer

Kiosk ID

Kitsch war

Kjetil Bjøreid Aabø

Klaas

Klaus Bechstein

Klaus Doldinger

Klaus Hoffmann

Klaus Meine (Scorpions)

Klaus Paier

Toilet TV

KMFDM

Knasterbeard

Knut Stenert (Samba, Knut and the bitter woman, Hans Maria Richter)

Kolbjørn Lyslo

Konstantin Wecker

Korbinian Kugler

Kramsky

Kristian Møller Johansen

Kristian Rädle (Âme)

L’aupaire

LaneCryspo

Lari Luke

Lars Christian Olsen

Laura Kipp (LAURA)

Laura Kozlowski

Laura Phillips

Lennard Eggers

Leonard Disselhorst (vision string quartet)

Leslie Mandoki

Liliath

Lilly dangling

Locust fudge

LoFiLu

Love A

Lovra

Luca Musto

Lucas Hunter

Luci van Org (Lucilectric, Meystersinger, Über Mutter, Lucina Soteira)

Lucina Soteira

Luis Baltes (Five Star Deluxe)

Lukas master

Lukas prank

Lukas Wiesemüller

Luke Woodapple

Luky Zappatta

Luna City Express

Lyane Hegemann (E-rotic)

M. Walking On The Water

Macho Cutie (Vegard Wolf Dyvik, Of Norway)

Mad Hatter’s Daughter

Mad Mark

Maenad Veyl

Magdalena Ganter

Magnus Sheehan

Maik Czymara (An Early Cascade)

Maik Pinto

Maike Lindemann

Maite Kelly

Majan

Malou

Mandy Capristo

Manfred Maurenbrecher

Manfred Zick (Zither Manä)

Manne Schlaier

Manuel Schmid

Mara Mutz

Marc Awounou

Marc Reason

Marcapasos

Marcel Thenee

Marco Buser

Marco Duderstadt

Marco Repetto (gray area)

Marco Resmann

Marcus Fischer

Marcus Forsgren

Marcus Green

Marcus Worgull

Marek Arnold

Margit Sarholz

Maria Perzil

Marian Gold (Alphaville)

Marianne Rosenberg

Mario Alsleben (Pimalo)

Mario Aparicio

Mario Noll

Mario Valley

Marion Welch

Marius Engemoen

Marius Sommerfeldt

Marius Våreid

Mark Barrott

Mark Meier

Markus Becker

Markus Hassold

Markus Rennhack (unloved)

Marteria

Martin Becker (carat)

Martin Brugger (Fazer)

Martin de Vries

Martin Gretschmann (Acid Pauli / Console)

Martin Hansmann

Martin Kälberer

Martin Langer

Martin Schrack

Martin Schröder

Martin Solli

Martina Eisenreich

Martina Weith (Östro 430)

Marv Endt

Marvin Müller

Masha Qrella

Mass defect

Mathias Petry

Mathias Roska

Mathias Schober

Matias Monsen

Mats Frantzvaag

Matt Karmil

Matthew Styles-Harris

Matthias Hamburger

Matthias Reim

Máni Orrason

Maurice sums

Mausio

Max Alberti (Jamaram)

Max Buskohl

Max Herre

Max Kaspar

Max Kleinschmidt (Lizot)

Max Lean

Max Martin Schröder

Max Mutzke

Max Paul Maria

Max prose

Max von Mosch

Maximilian Kennel (The Lumpenpack)

Maximilian Raine (VUG)

Maximilian Stadtfeld

Megaloh

Meike Schmitz (Schwarz and Schmitz, LUUM)

Meinhard

Meinhard Jenne

Mercedes Lalakakis (Daily Thompson)

Micha Moor

Michael Cores

Michael Girke (NOW!)

Michael Koschorreck

Michael Lorenz

Michael Mangels (Mijk van Dijk)

Michael Mayer

Michael Melchner

Michael Nass (BAP, Die Seilschaft)

Michael Schab (An Early Cascade)

Michael Uchner

Michelle Sara Lahn

Michi Leuscher

Michl Bloching (Levantino)

Mikimoto

Mikkel Haraldstad

Miland “Mille” Petrozza (Kreator)

mine

Mira

Miriam Arens (Liliath)

Missus Beastly

Miten

Fashion selector

Mona Mur

Monika Ehrhardt Lakomy

Monika Kruse

Monrath

Moonwalk

Moritz Müller

Moritz Reichelt (The Plan)

Morten Øby

Mr. Hurley & The Powder Monkeys

Mulay

Mulo Francel (Quadro Nuevo)

Mushroom People

Nadine thimble

Nadine Maria Schmidt

Naomi Camilla Straume Moen

Natalie Poppinger

Nathalie De Bora

Nathalie Dorra

nautilus

Neon light

Nice Brazil

Nick Curly

Nico Santos

Nico Stojan

Nicole Bolley

Niels Frevert

Nik Thaele

Nikel Pallat (clay stone shards)

Nikita Scion

Niklas Linzer

Niko Schwind

Nils Imhorst (Firasso)

Nils Landgren

Nils von der Gathen (KOJ)

Nils Wogram

Nils Wülker

Norbert Emminger

Norbert Grille Roth

Norbert Staudte (Taming the Shrew)

Olaf Malolepski

Ole Andreas Olafsrud

Ole Feddersen

Ole Martin Vilberg

Ole Rausch (Laith al Deen)

Ole Seelenmeyer

Oli Bott

Oliver Braun

Oliver Dunk

Oliver Hartmann

Oliver Huntemann

Oliver Koletzki

Oliver Lieb

Oliver Rohrbeck

Oliver Black

Oliver Thomas

Oliver West (POINT BLVNK)

Olivia Baer

Olympya

Omer Klein

Ostückenberg

OUR MIRAGE

Out of Berlin

OVE

Øyvind Morken

Pascal Kravetz

Paso Doble

Pat Appleton (De-Phazz)

Patric Catani

Patrick Foellmer (lilabungalow)

Patrick Hespeler

Patrick Kunkel

Patrick Legont

Patrick Milaa

Paul Pötsch (rubble)

Patrick Reerink

Patrick Siegfried Zimmer

Paul Schmitz-Moormann (Kid Paul, Energy 52)

Paul van Dyk

Paul Wetz

Paula Linke

Per Martinsen

Pete Mazell

Peter “Spiko” Spiecker

Peter Brandenburg

Peter Brings

Peter Bursch

Peter Fleming

Peter Hubert (VHF)

Peter light

Peter Maffay

Peter Renaud (Tiktaalik)

Peter Ries

Peter Schmidt (The Blues Experience)

Peter Schneekloth

Peter Schumann

Petra Zieger and band

Philip Lauer (Lauer)

Philipp Fein

Philipp Höcketstaller (Hundling)

Philipp Janzen (Vacation in Poland, Von Spar)

Philipp Schwab (Knorkator)

Philip Stoeckenius (Kaltenkirchen)

Philipp Stauber

Phillip Boa

Pit Baumgartner (De-Phazz)

Pit Budde

Plastic funk

pølaroit

Potsch Potschka

Prince Chaos II. (Alias ​​Florian Kirner)

Prof. Esther Kaiser

Proj3ct 7

PURE

Purple Schulz

Quarterhead

Queenz of Piano

Rainer Max Lingk (ESTA * bien!)

Rainer Oleak

Rainer Scheithauer

Rainer Schober (Scotty Bullock)

Ralf Blümner (Goldkind, Lucilectric)

Ralf Hildenbag

Ralf Hütter (power plant)

Ralf Lübke (Monkeeman)

Ralf Zenker

Ralph Gustke

Ralph Siegel

Rammstein

Ramon Bessel

Ramon Zenker

Rana Merve Kilic

Rampage

Rantan plan

Raoul Walton

Rave Busterz

Re.You (Marius Maier)

Real Ax Band

Rebekka Salomea Ziegler (SALOMEA)

Reiko Gohlke (Knorkator)

Reinhold Heil

René Kollo

Richie Arndt

Richie Necker

Ritchie Barton (Silly)

Ritchy Fondermann

Robbie shoulder

Robby Kranz (Disillusion, Far Or Near)

Robert Gemmel (Elephants on Tape)

Robert Lippok

Robert Seidel (Arpen)

Robin Craaford

Robin Schulz

Rocco

Rock house

Rocko Schamoni

Roedelius

Roland Fidezius

Roland Kaiser

Roland nephew

Roman Wasserfuhr

Ron Last

Ronny

Rosa Hoelger

Snot-nose theater

Roy Stroebel (Strobe, Ravers Nature, RAT)

Rüdiger Badlauf

Rudolf Moser (Einstürzende Neubauten)

Rudolf Schenker (Scorpions)

Rumble Militia

Rummel racke

Lindbæk rune

Sabine Kaufmann

Sahraoui Sami (CYRK)

Sain (Ningu Storm)

Sam Shure

Sam Vance-Law

Sammy Kandler (Tillmann)

Samuel Dickmeis (Manni)

Sander Stuart (vision string quartet)

Sandra Grether (Doctorella)

Santiano

Saprize

Sarah Lesch

Sarah Stewart

Sarah Wild

Sascha Panknin

Schiller

Tow spirit

Schneider TM

Scrap border

Scooter

Seb Iphone

Sebastian Dold (KrAWAllo)

Sebastian Gramss

Sebastian Hackel

Sebastian Schütze (TinTin, Baru)

Sebastian Siebhoff

Sebastian Starke

Seed cake

At that time

Selda Zenker

Sepalot

Sera finale

Shelter boy

She-Male Trouble

SHIRLEY HOLMES

Shuko

Sibylle Kynast

Sidewalk surfers

Silvio Schneider

Simon Beeston

Simon Freidhöfer

Simon Sure

Simon von der Gathen (KOJ)

Simon Wangeman (Iheartsharks, The New)

are

SINE

Sirrah

Sisters on the Rocks

Siyou Isabelle Ngnoubamdjum

Skadi Lange (Miss Lange)

Skip Reinhardts

Sleeping drones

SLIME

Sneaker

Snuff crew

Sonja Banzhaf

Sonja Huber (Lottchen)

Sönke Düwer (Ensemble du Verre)

Sophie Black

Sören Fischer

Sotiria

Space Indians

Sparifankal

SPLIFF

Stefan Brügesch (Steve Bug)

Stefan Dabruck

Stefan Glaubitz

Stefan Grimm

Stefan Gwildis

Stefan Kleinkrieg (extra wide)

Stefan Krähe

Stefan Mross

Stefan Schmidt

Stefan Stoppok

Stefanie Polster

Steffen Berkhahn (Dixon)

Steffen Kämbt

Steffi Stephan

Sten Servaes (clover)

Stephan Eppinger

Stephan Gorol

Stephan Graf’s double vision

Stephan Philipp

Stephan Voland (Samavayo)

Stephanie Lottermoser

Steve Murano

Steve Parry

Steve van Velvet

Stump (knorkator)

Super chock distortion

Susanne Betancor

Susanne Folk

Suzi Kerstgens (Klee)

Sven Faller

Sven Greiner

Sven Pollkötter

Sven Roswog (svensyntetics)

SvenDeeKay

Sven-RG

T.Noize

Tamara Lukasheva

Tanja Grandmontagne

Taraka Rama Krishna Kanth Kannuri

Tarjei Nygård

Telmo Pires

Teresa Bergman

Terje Olsen (Todd Terje)

Terror group

The Dad Horse Experience

The Day

The Dry Tortugas

The esprits

The Munich Sheiks

THE OKLAHOMA KID

The pighounds

The Romeos

The Roughnecks

The Wayf

Theodor Shitstorm

Theodor Strom

Thomas Barth (Sunbase Records TBC)

Thomas Fehlmann

Thomas Gallatin

Thomas Klein (Sølyst)

Thomas Moen Hermansen (Prins Thomas)

Thomas Plug

Thomas Porwol (Arte Gemini)

Thomas Sauerborn

Thomas Schumacher

Thomas Thumann (Pam Pam Ida & the Silberfischorchester)

Thomas Wydler (Nick Cave, The Skin)

Thomasz Skulski

Thorsten Klentze

Thorsten Wingenfelder (Wingenfelder)

Tibetréa

Till Brönner

Tilo Weber & Four Fauns

Tim bendzko

Tim Hahn

Tim Kamrad

Tim Rodig

Timofey Sattarov

Tingvall Trio

To Rococo red

Tobi Neumann

Tobias Forster

Tobias Öller

Tobias Sammet (Avantasia)

Tobias Schwall

Toby Pluta

TOKA

Tokio Hotel

Tom Astor

Tom Dragebo

Tom Gatza

Tom Kiemle (Tillmann)

Tom Peters

Tomas tulip

Tommy Finke

Tommy Hresh

Tommy Remm (Valicon)

Toni Krahl (City)

Torben Möller-Meissner

Torsten de Winkel

Torsten Reitler (REITLER)

Township rebellion

Trettmann

Triinu Kivilaan (Vanilla Ninja)

Triskilian

Truck stop

Truls Kvam

Udo Erdenreich (ZIGURI)

Udo Lindenberg

Ulf Annel

Ulf Kleiner

Uli Poeppelbaum

Ulla Meinecke

Ulrike Hagemann

Uncanny Valley

Upercent (Jose Molés Martínez)

Ute Freudenberger

Uwe Bastiansen

Uwe Fischer

Uwe Hassbecker (Silly)

Uwe Schmidt (ATM)

Valentine

Valentin Butt

Van der Karsten

vandermeer

Vecente Patiz

VENUES

Vera climate

Veronika Faber

Veronika Gast (spring carnations)

Verse gold

Vincent Groß

VITJA

Vladyslav Sendecki

Volker Holly Schlott

Volker Rechin

Volker Rosin

Volkwin Müller

voXXclub

VUG

Madness

brown owl

Wallis Bird

Walter Lang

Wareika

Werner Meier

Werner Schmidbauer

West Lake

Willy Wagner

Wincent Weiss

Wolf Maahn

Wolfgang Loos

Wolfgang Niedecken (BAP)

Wolfgang Petry

Wolfgang Schmid

Wolfram Spyra (The Spyra)

What We Are Looking For

Wooden Peak

Wrong chat

Wrong haircut

Wuide Wachl

Xao Seffcheque (Family Five)

Yetti Meissner

Yoyo Röhm

Zavet

ZK

Zoe Wees

Zwakkelmann

Guest Post: Honesty In Our Favor: HFA Loses Attempt To Exit Eight Mile Style Case–What Implications For MLC?

Guest post by Chris Castle

The Uniform Commercial Code defines “good faith” as “honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing.”

Spotify was sued by Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated, two publishers that control rights in some of the early Eminem repertoire, including Lose Yourself. Remember that earlier this year, Spotify announced with great fanfare that Lose Yourself was streamed over 1 billion times on the platform. That’s just one measurement of Eminem’s dominance on Spotify. Turns out that Spotify had failed to license a good chunk of Eminem’s catalog.

The publishers eventually joined the Harry Fox Agency to the lawsuit as participating in the situation, adding claims of vicarious and contributory copyright infringement against the long-time publishing administrator to the industry. In fact, the Harry Fox Agency gave some people the impression that when it came to Section 115 of the Copyright Act, HFA thought they were the government. What ever is this venerable organization doing getting sued for copyright infringement instead of leading the charge against the infringer?

At one point a few years ago, quite a few years ago now, HFA decided to jump up on top of the wall. They started working for tech companies like Spotify and also administering publishing rights. That’s right–both sides. What could possibly go wrong?

Let me illustrate with an anecdote (one that does not involve HFA, or MRI for that matter). A highly ethical licensing administrator interviewed for a job handling music licensing for a big tech company. After several rounds of interviews, the administrator was told they weren’t getting the job. Asking for a reason, the tech company told the administrator that the company thought the administrator were likely going to flag and at least try to fix any problems they found in the tech company’s reporting. The administrator didn’t find this remarkable as this was the honest thing to do. The company said, we don’t want honesty when it’s not in our favor. The company hired someone else because they did not want “honesty in fact”.

There are serious allegations against the Harry Fox Agency in the Eight Mile Case. Remember, this is a defense motion to dismiss, so the plaintiff largely gets the benefit of the doubt in their favor. You may ask yourself what possible motivation could Spotify have for engaging in such risky behavior. In her order denying in part and granting in part HFA’s motion to dismiss, Judge Trauger puts her finger right on the most plausible explanation:

[I]t is undisputed that [Eminem, aka Marshall] Mathers is an artist who has enjoyed extraordinary commercial success and has built a large, dedicated fanbase, such that his omission from a major streaming platform might discourage some meaningful number of potential users from subscribing

In other words, they did it for the subscribers, they did it for the growth and they did it for the money.

While Eight Mile alleged both vicarious and contributory infringement, Judge Trauger dismissed the claim for vicarious infringement on technical grounds (with leave to amend). Not so with the claim for contributory infringement, however:

HFA objects that it was under no obligation to police Spotify’s in-house decisions regarding infringement. Whether that is true or not, the plaintiffs have not merely alleged that HFA failed to affirmatively police Spotify’s conduct; they have alleged both that HFA knew and, through the ordinary fulfillment of its duties, should have known that the infringement was occurring and that HFA was helping to conceal it.…There is little doubt, moreover, that those allegations of knowledge were pleaded sufficiently. Even when a claim is governed by the heightened pleading requirements of Rule 9(b), “[m]alice, intent, knowledge, and other conditions of a person’s mind may be alleged generally.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b). The Supreme Court, moreover, has recognized a party’s “aiming to satisfy a known source of demand for copyright infringement” as evidence of an improper purpose in the contributory infringement analysis. Grokster, 545 U.S. at 939. That circumstantial evidence is only heightened when the defendant, knowing of the capacity for infringement, fails to take steps to avoid it. See id. (citing Groskter’s lack of “attempt[s] to develop filtering tools or other mechanisms to diminish the infringing activity using their software”).

The plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that HFA became aware of Spotify’s licensing predicament and offered services that directly filled its need to maintain an illusion of lawfulness while continuing to infringe. 

If these allegations turn out to be proven true, songwriters (and the Copyright Office for that matter) may well ask themselves if there are implications for HFA’s continued role as a vendor for The MLC, if not why they were selected in the first place.

This post first appeared in MusicTechPolicy

Open Letter: Dozens of Artists, Musicians and Songwriters Seek Referral to UK Regulators to Oversee Streaming Royalties

[A bit of context: With all the riches being made from streaming, session musicians and vocalists make zero. And don’t forget that music made Daniel Ek a billionaire.]

Broken Record Campaign

Ivors Academy

Musicians Union

April 20, 2021

The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
W1A 2AA

Dear Prime Minister,

We write to you on behalf of today’s generation of artists, musicians and songwriters here in the UK.

For too long, streaming platforms, record labels and other internet giants have exploited performers and creators without rewarding them fairly.  We must put the value of music back where it belongs – in the hands of music makers.

Streaming is quickly replacing radio as our main means of music communication. However, the law has not kept up with the pace of technological change and, as a result, performers and songwriters do not enjoy the same protections as they do in radio.

Today’s musicians receive very little income from their performances – most featured artists receive tiny fractions of a US cent per stream and session musicians receive nothing at all.

To remedy this, only two words need to change in the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. This will modernise the law so that today’s performers receive a share of revenues, just like they enjoy in radio. It won’t cost the taxpayer a penny but will put more money in the pockets of UK taxpayers and raise revenues for public services like the NHS.

There is evidence of multinational corporations wielding extraordinary power and songwriters struggling as a result. An immediate government referral to the Competition and Markets Authority is the first step to address this. Songwriters earn 50% of radio revenues, but only 15% in streaming. We believe that in a truly free market the song will achieve greater value.

Ultimately though, we need a regulator to ensure the lawful and fair treatment of music makers. The UK has a proud history of protecting its producers, entrepreneurs and inventors. We believe British creators deserve the same protections as other industries whose work is devalued when exploited as a loss-leader.

By addressing these problems, we will make the UK the best place in the world to be a musician or a songwriter, allow recording studios and the UK session scene to thrive once again, strengthen our world leading cultural sector, allow the market for recorded music to flourish for listeners and creators, and unearth a new generation of talent.

We urge you to take these forward and ensure the music industry is part of your levelling-up agenda as we kickstart the post-Covid economic recovery.

Yours Sincerely,

Damon Albarn OBE

Lily Allen

Wolf Alice

Marc Almond OBE

Joan Armatrading CBE

David Arnold

Massive Attack

Jazzie B OBE

Adam Bainbridge (Kindness)

Emily Barker

Gary Barlow OBE

Geoff Barrow

Django Bates

Brian Bennett OBE

Fiona Bevan

Aflie Boe OBE

Billy Bragg

The Chemical Brothers

Kate Bush CBE

Melanie C

Eliza Carthy MBE

Martin Carthy MBE

Celeste

Guy Chambers

Mike Batt LVO

Don Black OBE 

Badly Drawn Boy

Chrissy Boy

Tim Burgess

Mairéad Carlin

Laura-Mary Carter

Nicky Chinn

Dame Sarah Connolly DBE

Phil Coulter 

Roger Daltrey CBE

Catherine Anne Davies (The Anchoress)

Ian Devaney

Chris Difford

Al Doyle

Anne Dudley

Brian Eno

Self Esteem

James Fagan

Paloma Faith

Marianne Faithfull

George Fenton

Rebecca Ferguson

Robert Fripp

Shy FX

Gabrielle

Peter Gabriel

Noel Gallagher

Guy Garvey

Bob Geldof KBE

Boy George

David Gilmour CBE

Nigel Godrich

Howard Goodall CBE

Jimi Goodwin

Graham Gouldman 

Tom Gray

Roger Greenaway OBE

Will Gregory

Ed Harcourt

Tony Hatch OBE

Richard Hawley

Justin Hayward

Fran Healy

Orlando Higginbottom

Jools Holland OBE, DL

Mick Hucknall

Crispin Hunt

Shabaka Hutchings

Eric Idle

John Paul Jones

Julian Joseph OBE

Kano

Linton Kwesi Johnson

Gary Kemp

Nancy Kerr

Richard Kerr

Soweto Kinch

Beverley Knight MBE

Mark Knopfler OBE

Annie Lennox OBE

Shaznay Lewis

Gary Lightbody OBE

Tasmin Little OBE

Calum MacColl

Roots Manuva

Laura Marling

Johnny Marr

Chris Martin

Claire Martin OBE

Cerys Matthews MBE

Sir Paul McCartney CH MBE

Horse McDonald

Thurston Moore

Gary “Mani” Mounfield

Mitch Murray CBE 

Field Music

Frank Musker 

Laura Mvula

Kate Nash

Stevie Nicks

Orbital

Roland Orzabal

Gary Osborne 

Jimmy Page OBE

Hannah Peel

Daniel Pemberton

Yannis Philippakis

Anna Phoebe

Phil Pickett 

Robert Plant CBE

Karine Polwart

Emily Portman

Chris Rea

Eddi Reader MBE

Sir Tim Rice 

Orphy Robinson MBE

Matthew Rose

Nitin Sawhney CBE

Anil Sebastian

Peggy Seeger

Nadine Shah

Feargal Sharkey OBE

Shura

Labi Siffre

Martin Simpson

Skin

Mike Skinner

Curt Smith

Fraser T Smith

Robert Smith

Sharleen Spiteri

Lisa Stansfield

Sting CBE

Suggs

Tony Swain 

Heidi Talbot

John Taylor

Phil Thornalley 

KT Tunstall

Ruby Turner MBE

Becky Unthank

Norma Waterson MBE

Cleveland Watkiss MBE

Jessie Ware

Bruce Welch OBE

Kitty Whately

Ricky Wilde

Olivia Williams

Daniel “Woody” Woodgate

Midge Ure OBE

Nikki Yeoh

@ddayen: Arts Venue Closures Likely After Months-Long Delay in Federal Grant Program #saveourstages

A critical $16.25 billion grant program to sustain thousands of small creative venues that haven’t been able to open since the pandemic began has yet to deliver a cent of relief four months after passage, due to delays and faulty technology at the Small Business Administration (SBA). A website constructed to take grant applications closed last week after only four hours online, because of constant crashes and an inability to intake documents. It has not been restored and there’s no timetable for its return….

The disastrous situation is an example of how passing a bill is only the beginning of the policy process. Too many pundits have skipped right ahead to measuring President Biden for Mount Rushmore based on one piece of emergency legislation. But he will likely rise or fall on implementation; if beloved music venues and theaters close across the country because the SBA can’t manage a functioning website, all the legislation in the world won’t matter. 

Read the post on The American Prospect

Here to Help: Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operator’s Grant Portal is Still Down

By Chris Castle

The eight most terrifying words are “We’re from Washington and we’re here to help.” Notwithstanding the appropriation of billions in revenue, the SBA’s application portal for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant is still not up and running. This means that at least hundreds of venues that are on the verge of collapse or have collapsed can’t get the money that Congress appropriated, or even apply to get those funds.

Remember, this grant program is not on the magnitude of the Affordable Care Act launch catastrophe or the nonexistent musical works database. The SVOG is a relatively manageable number of potential applicants by comparison. And yet they still can’t get out of their own way. Rest assured, everyone at the SBA will get their paycheck this week, their overhead will be paid for, no problem. And somewhere, someplace in the federal government’s apparatus sits billions of dollars to save our culture. And sits. And sits.

The site was supposed to launch a week ago on April 8 which was itself after months of delay. It’s no wonder the the SBA Inspector General issued a scathing report calling out the organization for mismanagement of the SVOG program–before it even launched.

So you can know two things–there’s no way to know when the money will be paid but there is a way to know that no one–and I mean not a soul–will be held accountable. They can have all the reports they want, but nothing ever happens with these things. They’re from Washington and you can embrace the suck.

This post first appeared on MusicTechPolicy

SBA Inspector General Report: Serious Concerns About SBA’s Control Environment and the Tracking of Performance Results in the #SaveOurStages/Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program

By Chris Castle

As we’ve noted before, the Small Business Administration is seriously behind on opening the application process for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. Turns out we’re not the only ones who are concerned–the SBA Inspector General has issued a damning report on the SBA’s failure to properly staff and administer the billions in funds appropriated by Congress to get venues up and running in the music economy.

The federal assistance directive also specifies that the Director of the Office of Grants Management appoints all grants management officers and makes decisions on the respective warrant level based on the training, qualifications, and experience of the grants officer. However, on March 10, 2021, the acting Chief Operating Officer waived the standard experience, training, and certification requirements and the agency grants training plan for administering all existing and future emergency grant programs related to the impact of COVID-19. SBA established these requirements and the training plan to address the systemic weaknesses OIG found in prior audits of SBA’s grants management.

Currently, the [SVOG] program office has one designated official and its staff are on temporary detail. At this time, SBA has not formalized a plan for staffing this office relative to the volume of applications expected. The agency has also not defined the organizational structure for administering the program.

SBA expects the majority of the awards made under this program to be $1 million or less. Based on the current risk model, these awards would be disbursed as lump-sum advance payments with minimal reporting requirements and agency oversight. It is important that the application reviewing officials use careful scrutiny to review the applicants’ proposed budgets to ensure funds will be used for allowable, allocable, and reasonable expenses. OIG believes that SBA does not have the staff necessary to provide effective oversight over the SVOG program. Insufficient oversight of the SVOG program increases the risk that funds will be misspent, inadequately monitored, or improperly paid.

The Inspector General tends to worry about waste, fraud and abuse, but does it really need to be said that they assume the money is actually paid?

It is incredible that Congress has appropriated the funds but the bureaucracy cannot manage to get the funds through the last mile to the venues that desperately need the money–it’s really beyond desperation. I realize that the stimulus bill was passed immediately before a change in Executive Branch administrations, but that’s really no excuse.

Right now the money is just sitting at SBA and there better be a nice crisp answer for when applications are open and when money is to be disbursed. Applications were supposed to be open today, but the Inspector General’s report strongly suggests that there is not enough staffing available to actually process the applications. Remember–the money for this one comes directly from the SBA.

Austin Rep. Roger Williams, the bill’s House author, issued this statement:

“The SVOG Application opened this afternoon at 12pm ET. I’ve already heard from constituents experiencing issues with the SBA’s application portal, as of this afternoon the SBA temporarily suspended the portal due to technical difficulties. The SBA’s rollout of the SVOG has been torturous for venue operators who were promised relief more than 3 months ago,” said Congressman Williams. “My bipartisan Save our Stages Act authorized the SVOG and was signed into law by President Trump on December 27th. Under the Biden Administration the program has been plagued with delays and mismanagement at every juncture. President Biden failed to put in place capable SBA officials to deliver relief for small businesses and taxpayers in need. Just yesterday, the SBA’s Office of the Inspector General issued a report detailing the Biden SBA’s shortcomings with the SVOG, which hampered the application process and called into question whether the appropriate governance and oversight is in place.

It’s critically important that that the House Small Business Committee address the SBA’s shortcomings. Further delays for eligible business owners are unacceptable. I urge the SBA to make the SVOG a top priority moving forward and President Biden to put qualified individuals into key leadership positions so similar failures will not occur in the future.”

Will the @CommonsDCMS Committee Ask How Apple and Spotify Got Away With Hundreds of Millions in Black Box for So Many Years?

One of the questions that immediately comes to mind with the announcement of the MLC’s $424 million black box payment is how did they get away with owing so much money to so many people for so long? Tough question to get an answer to for the average songwriter, but good news: The UK Parliament’s inqiury into the economics of streaming is meeting on February 23 and will have before it senior representatives of Amazon, Apple and Spotify! Great timing! These three companies alone account for $350,000,000 in black box, or 82% of the total.

MLC Payments

So not only can the Committee inquire into how long the companies got away with it and the justification for holding onto so much of other people’s money for so long, but the Committee could also inquire as to whether there are any UK songwriters included in the respective companies black box payments for exploitations in the US during the worst pandemic in living memory.

Remember, these services are required by law to obtain a license to exploit all these songs. This was always the deal and they knew going into business what was expected of them. The law requires them to find the songwriter or not use the song. It doesn’t require them to not find the songwriter but use the song anyway.

Save the Date! January 14 at Noon CST, Zoom Panel with @musictechpolicy @northmusicgroup @sealeinthedeal for Independent Songwriters

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By Chris Castle

I’m grateful to Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts, Austin Texas Musicians and the Austin Music Foundation for hosting an information webinar next week on the impact of the new blanket mechanical license under the Music Modernization Act on independent songwriters. We will also cover the nuts and bolts of dealing with The MLC, Inc. and a unit on the Digital Licensee Coordinator.

I couldn’t be happier to have two great panelists in music publisher and song data solver Abby North and my fellow Austin music lawyer Gwen Seale.

While this panel has an Austin origin, the topics are not Austin-centric and will apply to all songwriters in the world just like the MLC does.

Please RSVP to Eventbrite if you think you might attend at this link and also take a moment to complete the anonymous 10 question MLC Awareness Questionnaire on Survey Monkey at this link. The Zoom code to join will be posted through Eventbrite.

I’ll be posting some other materials, but for those who want the more nitty gritty background, you can read this package of documents at this link.

Please take our Mechanical Licensing Collective Survey

Please take a moment and complete the ArtistRightsWatch new anonymous 10 question survey regarding The MLC at this link. We’re gathering general anonymized information about how songwriters and publishers have heard about The MLC and whether you think an independent advocate (or an “ombudsman”) would be useful to you. This will help us plan future programming and input.

The survey is available to everyone and will be open until January 31, 2021.

Thanks!

Optimism is Contagious, Too: @nivassoc’s #SaveOurStages Included in COVID Stimulus–Update

Guest post by Chris Castle

Thanks to the hard work of the National Independent Venue Association and their allies, it looks like some stimulus relief is finally coming to small venues, theater operators, bars and restaurants. The NIVA effort began with the  Save Our Stages Act that authorizes the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make grants to eligible live venue operators, producers, promoters, or talent representatives to address the economic effects of the pandemic on certain live venues. Save Our Stages will be included in the new COVID stimulus bill. The stimulus bill text was released yesterday (Dec 21) and was voted on last night by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in Washington, DC.

SOS Act authorizes the Small Business Administration to make (1) an initial grant of up to $12 million dollars to an eligible operator, promoter, producer, or talent representative; and (2) a supplemental grant that is equal to 50% of the initial grant. An initial grant must be used for costs incurred between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, but a supplemental grant may be used for expenses incurred through June 30, 2021. I haven’t seen the final language of the COVID stimulus bill, but I would imagine it will be carried over.

Many people pulling together have helped to deliver a miraculous Christmas present for music cities like Austin, Texas and the country. The bi-partisan Save Our Stages Act was carried by two members of the huge Texas Congressional delegation, Senator John Cornyn and Austin Representative Roger Williams alongside their outstanding colleagues Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Peter Welch. As we saw in the CLASSICS Act and later in the Music Modernization Act, Senator Cornyn is a strong advocate for the Texas music industry which needs him more than ever.

We also have to thank Governor Greg Abbott and the Governor’s Texas Music Office for their efforts in getting SOS passed and in supporting the local music economy–tireless is an overused word, but the Governor has never forgotten Texas venues in the State’s plans to open in the middle of the 25/8 whole of government response to the pandemic. I’m sure there are many others to thank in many other states and cities, but I know these folks have been white-knuckling the express train for months.

The lobbying effort to pass SOS was a heartening example of our business pulling together with the artist community in the vanguard. That extensive lobbying effort led by NIVA highlighted the importance of live music and music tourism to the local economies of cities across the country. I don’t know if it’s even possible to measure the global economic impact of the lockdown approach on our business, but given the pre-COVID economic impact of the festival business alone, it’s got to be over a $1 trillion loss. As Universal’s Michael Nash said at the University of Georgia Artist Rights Symposium earlier this year, the label was very concerned about keeping live music alive even though labels might not be directly involved. According to MusicAlly, Nash said “The reality is that the health and welfare of our artists is central to everything we do, and so we do have a stake in what’s happening in the broader ecosystem.” That view was reflected in the broad support for SOS from RIAA and other industry groups as well as Universal’s commitment to major investments in live music destination hotels.

It appears that the limitation on liability for businesses like venues that reopen is not going to make it into the stimulus bill. That’s unfortunate because the liability issue is a critical piece, and the situation cries out for a federal solution when there’s a lawyer behind every cough. You may ask why such a crucial aspect of reopening is still a question mark at this late hour? Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, summed it up: “I am frustrated to be part of an institution that is so dysfunctional that it doesn’t even work until the last minute.” Well, frankly, no surprise there. The liability issue will have to be dealt with in the new Congress.

The question has always been if you lock down the venues without protecting that investment, will we have an live music infrastructure to reopen? Austin is an all-too-perfect example. We have no idea what Austin will look like when we get past the pandemic. SOS is too late to save Margin Walker and many others. But with this cash infusion we have a better chance that post-pandemic Austin will bear some resemblance to what it was and can hopefully help get some people back on their feet in Austin and around the country, which is the point. The team is moving in the right direction and will attract others. Universal’s investment in the future is an example of leadership and optimism for the survival of our live music venues and all the wonderful people who run them. Optimism is also contagious, and is more likely to accelerate with Save Our Stages.

The good news is the bad news is wrong–our work is not over, but we live to fight another day–or another 300 days. And that is a Christmas miracle in many households.

Here is the press release from NIVA:

Save Our Stages Act just passed as part of the COVID-19 Relief Bill! 

Thank you for helping to #SaveOurStages! You responded in an overwhelming fashion. NIVA thanks those across the country who sent 2.1 million emails to their elected officials expressing their support for the Save Our Stages Act. All 535 Congresspeople heard from their constituents through SaveOurStages.comWithout your support and continued attention, we could not have accomplished this goal.

Our gratitude also extends to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in the Senate, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) in the House, champion leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and 230 bipartisan cosponsors in Congress.

The Save Our Stages Act will provide emergency relief to independent venues and promoters that have been devastated by the pandemic’s shutdown. This legislation will enable these mom-and-pop businesses to hold on until it’s safe to gather, reopen fully, and once again return to serving as the economic engines for their communities. Read NIVA’s full statement and thanks here

The legislation provides critical help to shuttered businesses by providing a grant equal to 45% of gross revenue from 2019, with a cap of $10 million per entity. This grant funding will ensure recipients can stay afloat until reopening by helping with expenses like payroll and benefits, rent and mortgage, utilities, insurance, PPE, and other ordinary and necessary business expenses.

WHAT’S NEXT

NIVA hopes to work with the Small Business Administration to ensure the emergency relief is dispersed as Congress intended, that the instructions and process to apply for grants ensure that the process is implemented accurately, fairly and as expediently as possible.

Since it could take many weeks, even months for the funding to flow, the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, with The Giving Back Fund as its 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor, continues to raise money to assist the venues at greatest risk of permanently going under as we wait for the grants to be issued. Anyone wishing to donate can do so here.