When the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board recently announced its decision to raise the royalty rates record labels and digital services will pay to songwriters, many rejoiced. Songwriters in New York and elsewhere have arguably been a forgotten group of artists, and recent changes in intellectual property laws have brought their important work into the public consciousness. Unfortunately, streaming services may not have the same respect for songwriters as the CRB does.
After CRB announced its ruling to raise the compulsory royalties for songwriters by 44% within five years, Spotify and other streaming services filed an appeal against the raise. This action shocked and angered many songwriters. Although the appeal included Pandora, Sirius XM, Google and Amazon, songwriters singled out Spotify when they penned an open letter, which they sent to the chief executive of Spotify and posted on social media.
The letter expressed their collective disappointment in Spotify’s decision to fight the compulsory raise since Spotify markets itself to songwriters as a place where they can work together to build a music industry for modern times. Spotify promotes and awards songwriters and others who work behind the scenes of hit music. However, the songwriters now feel the streaming service has used them and is not looking out for those who often get little recognition.
Those who work behind the scenes in the music industry may feel as if they have no voice. When their rights are on the line, especially regarding the fair payment for the use of their intellectual property, New York songwriters may be uncertain how to proceed to claim what they deserve. Seeking help from a skilled attorney is one way to obtain the information and guidance that may help them meet their goals.