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Home » Recent News » UK Musicians Call on Government to Update Streaming Law and Regulation

UK Musicians Call on Government to Update Streaming Law and Regulation


In a show of solidarity, 75 artists—among them The Rolling Stones, Annie Lennox, Paloma Faith, Kano, Joan Armatrading, Chris Martin, Gary Barlow, Paul McCartney, Melanie C, Jimmy Page, Boy George, Noel Gallagher, and Kate Bush—have added their names to a joint letter calling on the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a government review of the streaming industry.

The signatories of the letter suggest that streaming share some of the EU radio’s remuneration model so that musicians are fairly compensated for their work. They also recommend an industry regulator and an immediate referral to the Competition and Markets Authority because of “evidence of multinational corporations wielding extraordinary power” over the marketplace.

While streaming continues to grow at a breakneck pace, especially during the pandemic, the system of payment for artists has not evolved in tandem. The pandemic is only exacerbating the inequities of a system that activists and critics say is rigged against the artists it relies on. Musicians are still paid little after services and labels take their respective cuts.

The renewed call to fix streaming comes on the heels of a report by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which said it is a “systemic problem [that] cries out for a systemic solution.” The report concluded that streaming should pay more. The letter and petition suggest that only two words need to change in the UK’s 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act so that today’s performers receive a share of revenues.

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