Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Is Equitable Remuneration Equitable?

The journal Popular Music and Society has recently published my article ‘Is Equitable Remuneration Equitable? Performers’ Rights in the UK’. If you do not have access to the journal via an academic institution, it would usually cost £28 to read it. However, the following link allows the first 50 readers to access the work for free:
            The article has its roots in an entry for this blog, which in turn formed the basis of a talk I gave at the ‘Working in Music’ conference about the Musicians’ Union, held at the University of Glasgow in January 2016. The abstract is as follows:
British musicians receive ‘equitable remuneration’ when their recordings are played in public or are broadcast. Performers’ rights are weaker than those of songwriters, however. This is largely because songwriters are the first owners of their copyrights, whereas performers rarely own the copyright in their sound recordings. This article concerns the remuneration of musicians’ labor. It looks at the legislative evolution of performers’ rights in the UK and addresses the influence that songwriters, record companies, and the Musicians’ Union have had on this area of copyright law. It argues that performers will only achieve legislative parity with songwriters if the ownership and conceptualization of sound recording copyright are reconfigured. This copyright should be awarded to performers for their creative labor, rather than to record companies for their financial and administrative endeavors.

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