Updated: Over 750 Indie Labels Sign the Fair Digital Deals Declaration…

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The Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) has launched a Fair Digital Deals Declaration.

WIN has been heading the battle against YouTube’s streaming service contract for indie labels. Most recently, The British Academy of Songwriters voiced their support, speaking out against YouTube. The Fair Digital Deals Declaration is the next logical step.

Indie labels that sign the declaration are pledging to treat their artists fairly in regard to digital agreements with third parties.

These are the declaration’s five key points:

We will ensure that artists’ share of download and streaming revenues is clearly explained in recording agreements and royalty statements in reasonable summary form.

We will account to artists a good-faith pro-rata share of any revenues and other compensation from digital services that stem from the monetization of recordings but are not attributed to specific recordings or performances.

We will encourage better standards of information from digital services on the usage and monetisation of music.

We will support artists who choose to oppose, including publicly, unauthorized uses of their music.

We will support the collective position of the global independent record company sector as outlined in the Global Independent Manifesto.

Over 600 independent labels from more than 21 countries have already signed the declaration, and more will sign on July 16th.

Here’s a partial list of some of the labels and organizations that have already signed:

4AD, Acephale, Aeroplane Music Services, anti-, Arbutus, Asthmatic Kitty, Bar/None, Barsuk, Beggars Group, Brainfeeder, Captured Tracks, Cooking Vinyl, Dangerbird Records, Dead Oceans, Dine Alone Records, Drag City, Dualtone, Eleven Seven Music, Epitaph, Fabric Records, Fat Cat, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Flying Nun Records, FutureGroove Music, Ghostly International, Glassnote, Hellcat, Hit and Run Records, Houndstooth, Imagem Music, INgrooves Music Group, Jagjaguwar, Kill Rock Stars, Knitting Factory, Last Gang Records, Luaka Bop, Matador, Merge, Merok, Moshi Moshi, Mushroom Group, Mute, Nacional, Nettwerk, NinjaTune, Numero Group, Partisan, Rough Trade, RVNG Int’l, Saddle Creek, Secretly Canadian, Side One Dummy Records, Smalltown Supersound, Smithsonian Folkways, Stones Throw, Sub Pop, The Orchard, Tommy Boy, True Panther, Tuff Gong Worldwide, UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music, Warp Records, Werkdiscs, Wind-up, Witchita Recordings Ltd, XL Recordings, YepRoc, Young Turks


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

13 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    And to make matters even worse for YouTube, Yahoo Screen now announces a partnership with Live Nation to stream one live show every day for the next year.


  2. Sally Jessie Raphael

    I believe some of these agreements were covered under the umbrella of their major label distributors’ agreements with YouTube.

    • Anonymous

      Ding ding ding!!!!

      Unless of course they are non exclusive distro deals…..

  3. FarePlay

    How fitting on the 3rd anniversary of Spotify in the US. Now if there was ever a reason for tougher immigration laws this is it.

  4. David

    Next step: challenge the major labels to sign up to the first four points. Point 2 is the killer.

    • Afraid of the Mob

      You’re absolutely right that it is all about point 2. Even Morris Levy could agree to all the other points. For those of you who are “new” to the business, Google (no pun intended) his name.

  5. Willis

    Groundbreaking. I’m sure this will make a difference.

  6. Flip Damon/Songwriter

    Somebody ought to make Pandora pay too. The streaming business is fine as long as publishing administrators are able to collect play or useage royalties to the writers. We provide the world with all of this great music, and very seldom see much benefit from it. This needs to change.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      If Sony/ATV puts some bite behind its bark, and actually pulls out of the PROs, you will see a massive ripple effect on Pandora. Let’s see if they have the balls.

      • An Indie

        @Paul, keep in mind the risk that if publishers – in particular the major publishers – pull out of the PROs and compulsory licenses that they’re doing so that they can mirror the behaviors of their major label brothers which is to say they want the right to be gatekeepers, holding up services not for fair compensation but for direct to profit, side deal payments and terms that they won’t share with their songwriters and that will come at the expense of what services pay to independent publishers (and songwriters).

        The compulsory blanket licensing that the PROs have administered for decades has been very, very good to songwriters and publishers who have always been able to rest easy knowing that what was good for the largest publisher was also good for the smallest. There’s little question that the publishers got a raw deal by the CRB relating to Pandora royalties, but it’d be rash and perhaps permanently damaging to independent publishers and songwriters to suggest that supported by this one bad rate setting they should be in favor of the major publishers throwing the baby out with the bath water by pulling from the PROs.

  7. FarePlay

    Been following the story. It was up to 700 this morning and 750 a few hours ago. Could this be going viral?

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