Principles for Musician Compensation in New Business Models

Is anyone getting paid off of digital?

Talk to managers and artists, and the answer is often no.  At a top level, digital formats have failed to produce the bonanza once envisioned, though the trickle-down on existing revenues also seems problematic.

That has the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) pushing to establish more equitable payout structures for artists, many of whom lack the acumen or time to manage complex business structures.  “There is tremendous need for thoughtful discussion about how musicians get paid in the digital era, especially given the state of the economy and where businesses are headed,” said FMC board president and co-founder Michael Bracy.

A new set of FMC-drafted guidelines indirectly point some blame at major labels for failing to redistribute, and other subtly-suggested culprits include MySpace Music.  Plenty of other issues are cited, and the list reflects a messy royalty terrain.  The principles include better distribution of ‘unattributable income,’ as well as proper accounting, equal access to new models, full participation for artists in legal settlements, and better representation among licensing boards.

The complete list of principles here.