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UK Music wants Cabinet creative committee

Licensing reform needed too

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Britain's music industry umbrella group reckons the UK could overtake the US by 2020, but it's got a few demands for policy makers. UK Music calls for easier digital licensing, less red tape on smaller music venues, and wants a cabinet-level committee to coordinate policy.

In a list of policy proposals it calls Liberating Creativity UK Music calls for an arrangement whereby "the songwriters, composers, artists and musicians who create the music that the world loves would share fairly in the rewards wherever and whenever their music adds value, as would those who invest in them".

Music copyrights are still administered country-by-country, a deterrent for any would-be music service, where they find big labels refusing to deal with them unless they get equity, or fixed shares of revenue. This is not encouraging for entrepreneurs.

"Those using music commercially would seek, and be granted, the rights to do so legitimately, quickly, and for a fair price, as a matter of course – whether on a national, pan European or global basis," the group recommends.

At SXSW this month UK Music Chief Executive Feargal Sharkey called for producers to deliver music however fans wanted it, on whatever platform they wanted.

Although Britain is the number two exporter of music, and one of only three countries in the world with a positive music 'trade balance', overtaking the US is a tall order. Recorded music revenue has fallen below £1bn in the UK for the first time, and is exceeded by live revenue - where most of the punter's money is pocketed by the beer company and the promoter.

The call for more liberal licensing and less red tape for live music is an important one. UK Music has drawn attention to the notorious Risk Assessment Forms demanded by the Plod. The detective superintendent in charge told us music "was a catalyst to commit crimes".

UK Music is the umbrella group that represents labels, performance rights societies, publishers, managers and musicians. More here. ®

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