Nik Patel, David Lowery, and Chris Castle feature in this podcast where they discuss the current issues of artists’ rights in the music industry. Find the Artist Rights Watch on your favorite podcast platform here https://linktr.ee/artistrightswatchpod Please subscribe, rate and share!
On the first episode of the Artist Rights Watch, Nik Patel, David Lowery, and Chris Castle sit down with Ivors Academy Chair, Crispin Hunt to talk about the frozen mechanical royalties crisis currently playing out in the United States and how it threatens UK songwriters and indeed songwriters around the world.
Crispin gives us his invaluable analysis of how the frozen mechanicals crisis affects songwriters around the world and the highly effective #brokenrecord and #fixstreaming campaigns that Ivors Academy supports in the UK that has lead to a parliamentary inquiry and legislation introduced in the UK Parliament.
The “frozen mechanicals” crisis is rooted in a private deal between big publishers and their big label affiliates to essentially continue the freeze on the already-frozen U.S. mechanical royalty rate paid by the record companies for CDs, vinyl and permanent downloads. The private deal freezes the rate for another five years but does not even account for inflation. Increasing the royalty rate for inflation, does not actually increase songwriter buying power.
The major publishers and labels have asked the Copyright Royalty Board in the US to make their private deal the law and apply that frozen rate to everyone.
In the past, the music industry has experienced a $0.02 mechanical royalty rate that lasted for 70 years, and with the current mechanical royalty rate of $0.091 being set in 2006, advocates hope it’s not a repeat of the past.
In this Artist Rights Watch episode, we cover its numerous implications and consequences such as controlled compositions clauses, the Copyright Royalty Board, CPI and fixed increases, how the UK compares, and potential resolutions.
Below are some links for further reading on frozen mechanicals and Crispin Hunt:
Controlled Compositions Clauses and Frozen Mechanicals. Chris Castle
What Would @TaylorSwift13 and Eddie @cue Do? One Solution to the Frozen Mechanical Problem. Chris Castle
The Trichordist posts on frozen mechanicals
The Ivors Academy Joins the No Frozen Mechanicals Campaign
Year-End 2020 RIAA Revenue Statistics