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Sunday, 11 November, 2001, 09:17 GMT
Musicians win web royalties fight
Internet radio:
An uneasy relationship: Musicians and digital media
Musicians and artists will now be paid directly for broadcasts of their work in the US on cable, satellite and the internet - rather than the cash going to their recording companies.

A deal was struck between between representatives of the musicians and the recording companies.

Until now, record labels, rather than the artists and other copyright holders, have collected the money and then distributed it.

It is thought the agreement could have implications for the collection and payout of royalties to musicians in the US and Britain.

Music broadcaster MTV
MTV runs a number of internet radio stations

Groups that signed the agreement included the Recording Industry Association of America, a recording industry trade group, and two major artists' trade unions, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the American Federation of Musicians.

Artists' groups the Recording Artists Coalition, the Music Managers Forum and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences also signed.

The two sides agreed to share control equally of SoundExchange, an organisation that tracks and distributes royalties from digital broadcasts.

SoundExchange made its first direct payment, of $5.2m (3.5m), to artists and other copyright holders on 15 October.

Legal minefield

The growth of new media has opened up whole new areas of uncertainty in copyright law and led to some fierce legal contests.

The US music industry and internet broadcasters have called in an arbitration panel to decide on the size of web royalties for artists.

And in April, European Union ministers gave their final approval to new, EU-wide copyright laws aimed at curbing internet and hi-tech piracy.

Irish pop stars the Corrs
Fighting for European royalties: the Corrs

The copyright directive, as the law is known, seeks to balance the interests of the music industry, artists and consumers.

It gives copyright owners permission to use encryption to block the duplication of copyright-protected works and to limit the illegal downloading of audio and video files from the internet.

Member states have 18 months to ratify and implement the directive.

See also:

15 Aug 01 | New Media
Musicians appeal for web royalties
31 Jul 01 | New Media
Negotiators join web royalty row
18 May 01 | New Media
Digital music firms' copyright fears
09 Oct 01 | New Media
Landmark online music deal reached
12 Apr 01 | New Media
Internet radio faces royalty row
05 Apr 01 | Media reports
Industry at odds over digital music
03 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Radio 'faces radical overhaul'
22 Mar 01 | TV and Radio
Internet broadcasting's brief history
22 Mar 01 | TV and Radio
Internet broadcasting's fuzzy future?
11 May 00 | UK
Net boosts radio figures
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