Billy Bragg (pictured) and Blur sticksman and Labour politician Dave Rowntree have formed the Featured Artists’ Coalition to fight for fairer rights for musicians. They will meet tomorrow with another 150 artists including Jazzie B, Radiohead, Chrissie Hynde, Bryan Ferry, Dave Gilmour, Robbie Williams, Kaiser Chiefs and Kate Nash.
Following Youtube’s failure to reach an agreement with the PRS for online video royalties, the FAC “seeks to achieve fair remuneration in exchange for widespread access. Our target is not the music fan but the businesses that are making huge profits by exploiting artistic content for which they pay little or nothing at all.”
Whilst I have no doubt about Bragg’s, Radiohead’s or Rowntree’s integrity towards their fans I somehow doubt the current situation will be maintained. The assembled stars will have the clout to get some sort of fiscal recompense, but I doubt the companies will pay for it out of their advertising revenues. Somewhere down the line the fan is going to have his or her pocket picked.
You can read more of Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien’s thoughts on Youtube here. More anon I guess.