Music Coalition Forms as Copyright Issues Heat Up

MIC includes radio, NAB, CEA, digital media services
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Industry groups — including commercial broadcasters, consumer electronics manufacturers, digital media services and retailers, restaurants and hotels — have formed a coalition to, in their words “protect the music economy.”

The new “Music. Innovation. Consumers. Coalition” is calling on policymakers to “to ensure that upcoming decisions on copyright are grounded in rationality, affordability and predictability so that the music economy can continue to thrive and grow.”

The coalition forms as music streaming copyrights are at a crossroads, with Congress considering more music royalty legislation, the Copyright Royalty Board beginning a Webcasting rate-setting process and the Department of Justice reviewing music royalty consent decrees for ASCAP and BMI. The MIC Coalition calls the next 24 months “pivotal” for this reason, with decisions coming that have the potential to determine where and how music is played and what costs consumers and users will bear.

NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith says of the group: “Make no mistake: American music is the most successful in the world, aided in part by intellectual property laws that do not tilt in favor of record labels over the millions of daily listeners who consume music.”

Other radio members of the group include broadcasters such as Cox, iHeartMedia, EMF's K-Love network, NPR and Salem, as well as Internet streamer Pandora.

“The new music economy — driven by digital music services — has led to economic growth for the entire music ecosystem, while also decreasing online piracy. Rational, informed decisions from policymakers that adequately and fairly balance the needs of consumers, creators, rights holders and online music services will undoubtedly continue to grow these benefits in the years to come,” says Digital Media Association General Counsel Gregory Barnes.

The coalition says their mission is to ensure broad music distribution, so that consumers can enjoy it and artists can be compensated for it. They believe consumers benefit when they can legally access music in a variety of venues and on a diversity of devices and there’s a need for “transparent” and direct ways to both access music and compensate artists. And members say it’s imperative that music policies are balanced among all participants “rather than just those of the major record labels and publishers.”

Other coalition members include: Amazon, American Hotel & Lodging Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Computer & Communications Industry Association, Digital Media Association, Google, National Association of Broadcasters, the National Council of Chain Restaurants, the National Restaurant Association and the National Retail Federation.

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