MCNA launches initiative to amplify the voice of creators in future copyright royalty proceedings

Music Creators North America has announced an initiative aimed at amending the US Copyright Act to make it easier for interested music creator groups to more actively participate in proceedings before the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB).

This announcement formed part of a response to a self-titled “emergency motion” from the major record companies that followed the March 24 rejection of their request to again freeze mechanical royalty rates. This joint record company motion argued that non-participants to the frozen mechanicals proceedings should be omitted from any rate rise decided upon by the CRB.

In this instance, “non participants” would include every music creator in the world other than George Johnson, the sole legal participant in the CRB’s Phonorecords IV proceedings.

“The arguments framed by some record labels … literally amount to ‘if you’re too poor to fully participate in proceedings, your opinion is as worthless as your economic status and welfare’.”

– MCNA Letter to CRB (April 9, 2022)

Elsewhere in the letter, RIck Carnes and Ashley Irwin  thanked the CRB judges for rejecting the proposal to freeze mechanical royalty rates and added further insight into the lasting benefits this decision will have for songwriters and composers. The letter also clarified the willingness of the independent music creator community to work with their colleagues in the recording and music publishing sectors and help “to frame a new, voluntary CRB royalty settlement proposal that will be agreeable to the US and global songwriter and composer community as a whole”.

(Image: Martin Falbisoner, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
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