Lobbying efforts and activities to improve music creators’ livelihoods highlighted at 2022 CIAM General Assembly
On June 15th, the International Council of Music Creators (CIAM) held its annual General Assembly. The online assembly reviewed CIAM’s recent activities throughout the world as well as its partner alliances focusing on efforts to protect and enhance the rights of music creators, notably during the Covid-19 pandemic. Elections were also held for CIAM’s President and Executive Committee (Exco) for the 2022-2024 term.
The main challenges music creators have faced in the last two years include the health and economic impact on creators of the pandemic, the continued undermining of the rights and value of their works, the war in Europe, dramatically reduced CMO budgets, as well as the suspension of travel and in person meetings. CIAM adapted to these constraints by adopting video calls, such as for the Presidents Working Group (PWG), which held weekly meetings to review current developments and issues faced by music creators, and determine how to respond. The council held its first online General Assembly in November 2021, featuring keynotes from CISAC President and ABBA co-founder Björn Ulvaeus and CISAC General Director Gadi Oron.
CIAM continued its regional and global lobbying activities. It released a statement condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and with its partner alliances, CIAM contributed to the Creators for Ukraine solidarity fund. CIAM also continued its support for the Fair Trade Music and Music Creators North America (MCNA) campaign on global free speech, in condemning the repression and murder of creators in Afghanistan and Hong Kong, among other territories.
CIAM supported the activities of the African Music Academy (AMA), which is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of African music creators. The Ivors Academy was also welcomed as a partner, and CIAM supported a number of Ivors initiated activities, including the UK Parliament’s DCMS committee review of music streaming as well as Credits Due campaign.
Other global activities CIAM supported were MCNA’s continued submissions to the US Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) on unidentified works, the letter CIAM sent to the Chilean Constitutional Convention, underscoring the crucial role of the Constitution in defending creators’ rights, and a submission in support of Vietnamese creators threatened by a government proposal seeking to erode their rights.
In April 2022, CIAM held its first CIAM Forum. The event focussed on NFTs and artificial intelligence for music creators. The Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law and Vanderbilt University Intellectual Property Program, Professor Daniel Gervais and Tommy Dangers of tokentraxx.com explained what NFTs are, their potential and current legal landscape.
A free online quarterly newsletter “With One Voice” was launched September 2021. The newsletter examines a wide range contemporary issues affecting music creators, and features guest articles and columns.
The Screen Composers Working Group, Gender Equity and Diversity Working Group, and Governance Working Group detailed their activities surrounding copyright buyouts, challenges faced by women creators and accommodating online General Assemblies and voting, among other issues.
In Latin America, the CIAM partner alliance ALCAM explained that cultural activities and live performances are returning to pre-pandemic levels. ALCAM is monitoring constitutional reform in Chile that could affect collections. The alliance is training and promoting Latin American music in varous ways including Spotify playlists and holding online workshops. On August 18-20, ALCAM will celebrate its 10th anniversary in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Among the Asia-Pacific Music Creators Alliance (APMA) activities reported were the launch of a new website, a letter of concern to the Vietnamese government requesting reconsideration of a proposed amendment that would downgrade authors’ exclusive rights in recorded works, and a study focussed on copyright buyouts, following up on a symposium held in 2021 with JASRAC, featuring the University of Hong Kong Professor of Law Alice Lee. A promotional brochure regarding copyright buyouts is available.
In Africa, the Pan-African Composers’ and Songwriters’ Alliance (PACSA) is holding a Central African conference in September regarding private copying. AMA is continuing its development plans for African music creator awards in 2024, designing a website, and strengthening its operations.
In North America, Canada is undergoing copyright reform. It is close to adopting a copyright term extension from life +50 years to life +70 years, aligning Canada with the Berne Convention. In the United States, small claims arbitration has been initiated after two decades. MCNA and creators filed motions with the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) regarding frozen mechanical royalty rates, that contributed to a ruling that will increase the rate, and tie future rates to increases in inflation.
In Europe, the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) elected a new board in February 2022. It will be holding a conference on the Copyright Directive to examine the status of its implementation. ECSA is also keeping a close eye on buyouts, which are being used to circumvent laws in Europe.
The 2022 CIAM General Assembly held elections for President and the Executive Committee for the 2022-2024 term. Eddie Schwartz was re-elected CIAM President. The 2022-2024 Executive Committee is comprised of: