What are the politics of music licensing in post-Brexit Britain?
Since Brexit, the United Kingdom has been playing a waiting game. Politicians and journalists remind us daily of the limbo we inhabit whilst waiting for the elusive Article 50 to be invoked.
But the music industry cannot become complacent in the interim.
UK music contributes £4.1 billion to the economy, outperforming the wider economy whilst still continuing to grow. The future of the UK music industry will rely on the licensing agreements that are established after we leave the EU.
Now is the time to dissect and analyse – and then lobby and advocate for – how UK music should be licensed.
What are the licensing options in a post-Brexit economy?
Opinion shifts daily over whether or not the UK will try to retain access to the single market, making it questionable whether attention should be paid to the EU’s upcoming change in copyright laws (released yesterday in draft form, and already under scrutiny) and the emerging Digital Single Market. The answer is of cours “yes, it should!”, whether we stay in the single market or not – the changes will affect the UK music industry whether it is within the single market or negotiating outside deals with it.
However, if the UK doesn’t remain part of the single market then it will have to negotiate licensing deals around the world, including its biggest exporter, the US, who is – along with but separately from Europe – drafting new legislation around the safe harbour laws that have thus far hindered many artists, musicians and rightsholders from accruing fair revenue for their work on streaming services.
If it sounds complex, that’s because it is.
Calling all musicians, rightsholders, industry executives and lobbyists
As the UK navigates its new position it is essential that those at the negotiating table understand the powers and politics behind the changing licensing landscape in both of these markets, and are fully versed in how any changes to safe harbour legislation on both sides of the Atlantic will impact any new licensing deals for the UK.
On 27 September 2016, Music 4.5: The Politics of Licensing will break down the complexity. With a roster of speakers from both sides of the Atlantic and Europe, this half-day seminar will examine the latest developments in the US around music licensing and ‘safe harbour’, in contrast with the European #digitalsinglemarket ambitions, and the implications of the different policies in the US, EU and a Brexit’ed UK, for artists, record labels, publishers, collective rights management organisations, and digital service providers.
Our goal is to ensure that the UK music industry negotiates the best and fairest deal in terms of how artists and rightsholders generate and collect revenue. Getting these future trade deals right for music is essential. Indeed, the UK music industry has a chance to set the scene and tone for all negotiations. As Jo Dipple, Chief Executive of UK Music says, “The UK needs to solidify its new post-Brexit place in the world and music will undoubtedly be part of the glue that does this”.
Music 4.5: The Politics of Licensing will take place in London on 27 September 2016. Buy your tickets and view the agenda here.
A companion seminar – Music 4.5: The Value Gap – will take place in New York on 2 November 2016. Get your tickets here.
Music 4.5 is conceived, organised and executed by 2Pears.