Music Collection Org: Revenues Are Booming… And That's Proof Why We Need Even More Draconian Copyright Laws
from the say-what-now? dept
As we showed earlier this year in our latest Sky Is Rising report, revenue in the entertainment industry continues to shoot upwards — and not because of draconian new anti-piracy laws, but almost entirely because of successful innovations from internet companies that have opened up massive new markets for content creators. You’d think that maybe this would make some copyright system supporters think twice about continuing to push for expansionary copyright policies that are likely to hamstring the very internet services that have provided them this windfall, but that would be expecting self-reflection from an industry famous for blaming everyone else for everything that has ever gone wrong.
Case in point, CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (a sort of mega group of most of the various performance rights collections societies around the globe) recently released its annual report on revenue, showing that things were looking up, up, up for songwriters and composers in getting paid. This report fits well with the annual IFPI report, which covers similar data for recording artists (generally speaking, IFPI covers revenue for recorded music, while CISAC covers revenue stemming from performance rights and songwriting royalties). In all cases, these show pretty massive increases, nearly all of it stemming from growth in internet services:
Royalties from digital sources jumped 29% to ?1.64 billion, thanks to rapid global expansion of music and subscription video on-demand (SVOD) services. In the last 5 years, creators? digital income has nearly tripled, now accounting for 17% of collections compared to 7.5% in 2014.
The increase in major markets? digital collections – notably the United States, France and Japan – are the biggest drivers of global growth. This growth is helped by new and extended licensing deals between societies and digital platforms, from dedicated content services like Spotify to social media platforms such as Facebook and video on demand platforms such as Netflix and Amazon.
That all sounds pretty great, right? Except… that CISAC execs then made the rounds using this report to… call for more draconian copyright laws that would hamstring the internet and limit future growth.
I only wish I was kidding. CISAC’s own press release states:
Jean-Michel Jarre, CISAC President, said: ?Digital is our future and revenues to creators are rising fast, but there is a dark side to digital, and it is caused by a fundamental flaw in the legal environment that continues to devalue creators and their works. That is why the European Copyright Directive is so momentous for creators everywhere. The Directive has sent an amazing, positive signal around the world, building a fairer balance between creators and the tech platforms?.
Meanwhile, CISAC’s Director General Gadi Oron told press outlets like Music Ally that the report only reinforces why the EU Copyright Directive is so important:
On the first of those, the report includes a section on the European Copyright Directive, which was adopted in April and is now being implemented by the EU?s member states.
?It?s very encouraging to see that the digital income is going up at such a pace, including those territories like Mexico, Sweden and South Korea where digital is now the biggest source of income,? said Oron. ?I think that will spread to other markets, and digital will gradually become more important. That?s why it?s so important for us to get the legislation in place to make the most of that.?
But the whole point of the EU Copyright Directive is to make it that much more difficult for services to make use of digital music in any form without negotiating impossible licenses, that are designed to strip the platforms from any ability to innovate or offer unique new services. In other words, as is nearly always the case, these laws are designed to strangle the golden goose. For years we’ve pointed out that every single time the tech industry comes up with a new service that helps make musicians more money, the industry comes along and whines about how it’s not getting 100% of the value creation, and then pushes for laws to demand as such, even as it kills these new services.
It’s almost pathological. The industry seems simply unwilling to recognize that getting a slice of a larger pie is a better deal. It wants the entire damn pie, even if it means torching the pie to a crisp and making it inedible. The industry is thriving. And yet it keeps pushing for new laws that it insists it needs because the industry is at risk of being destroyed — and it doesn’t care if this effort actually destroys the industry that is helping them. It’s insane that politicians keep rubber stamping these moves.