Musicians Union plans digital royalty action

June 2015

Recorded music



The Guardian tells us that the Musicians’ Union is planning to take major labels to court in the UK over the royalty rates for digital music paid under contracts signed before the days of streaming and downloads.
Its move follows a legal case in Finland earlier this year, when the sons of a musician from the band Hurriganes won a case against Universal Music for claiming internet rights over music released in the 70s.
Horace Trubridge, who is the MU’s Assistant General Secretary who is a founding member of the successful R&B/doo-wop band Darts, told an audience at the Great Escape convention in Brighton last week that the three major record labels “don’t play fair” and “are screwing musicians”.
The band are on a 12% royalty rate and this suffers from multiple deductions; Trubridge argues that heritage bands should be on a streaming royalty rate of roughly 30% with no deductions. Trubridge claimed Warner is deducting costs for packaging, “breakages” and “returns” on his royalty statements for the digital sales of Darts’ music.
More here and here

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