Indie Labels To Websites: Pay For Our Music With This New License

The body representing indie record labels, and a quarter of all UK music, has called on the UK government to create a new licensing system that could extract more money from ISPs and other web services. The Association of Independent Musicians (AIM) published a digital copyright manifesto advocating a “Value Recognition” license “to regulate the shift from user to usage economics”.

By that, it means: “A significant and growing proportion of the revenues of ISPs, telecoms and other providers/intermediaries no longer comes from the initial communication services they offer but on access to a wide range of content, of which music is a central element.”

Billy Bragg has recently criticised services like Bebo for raking in ad revenue they allegedly fail to pass on to artists. If existing licenses for online services, operated by PPL and MCPS-PRS are insufficient, AIM seems to be calling for reform that gets them a better deal.

AIM has had been operating a Value Recognition Strategy Group for about two years now, but the manifesto falls very short re: detail on exactly what this new proposal would entail – except that music producers are “perfectly capable of dealing with value chain issues via commercial negotiation and self-regulated agreements”. In other words, the indies want to be freed to set their own license terms with online services. AIM also acknowledges copy control has “fuelled consumer resentment” and “resisting change does not in our view make sense.