I usually spend 2 weeks each winter attending Midem and taking meetings with our subpublishers from around the world. This year I decided it would be more beneficial to skip the bone chilling European winter and instead visit the offices of our partners during Autumn and maybe catch a real changing of the seasons…something sadly missing from the hot and dry west coast. The warmest part of my excursion was the welcome I received in each country I visited. Surprisingly, London was not foggy the whole time, Paris did not have freezing rain storms, Germany was a little drizzly, but did not dampen our spirits and Copenhagen was cool and crisp.
No matter where I was however, everyone seemed to have to the same set of problems surrounding the business of production music…lack of reporting, undercutting
prices, start-ups giving away music for free, broadcasters trying to circumvent the local performing rights organizations, performing rights organizations lowering their royalties, retitling etc., etc. If you have a complaint about the music business in the US, you can be sure every other country has the same complaint.
I hope you’re asking yourself how we can overcome these similar obstacles and keep this business alive and thriving. I’m sure I don’t have the answers but it does seem clear that we can never give up our basic belief that music should never, ever be given away. “Back end only” deals should be avoided at all costs, sharing performance revenues in order to get a foot in the door should never be mentioned and retitling of tracks is a harmful practice that devalues all our copyrights. All of these are more trick than treat. Also, here is the shameless plug for the Production Music Association (PMA). Please join and support this great organization which is fighting for the rights of production music publishers and composers on every front.
So as you as you begin carving pumpkins and hanging skeletons for Halloween, please don’t be afraid to take a stand against those monsters who want to devalue music copyrights…and save the Junior Mints for me!