Music & entertainment law specialists comment on the proposed EU law that was supposed to give musicians more rights over their royalties. The Liverpool lawyers say that despite the supposed increase in rights, musicians, such as Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason and Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien are angry. Why? What’s the problem?

It relates to the 350 different royalty collection societies across Europe. It is acknowledged that they hold on to “substantial amounts of money” before distributing it to their members. It is serious – in 2010 the EU Commission noted that there was 3.6 billion euros owed to the creators. The new law was to deal with this problem. However, artists are unhappy because the draft law proposes two key points:

  • the societies can hold on to the money for a maximum period of 12 months AFTER the financial year in which as song was played;
  • if after 5 years a society has not identified the owner of the work then that society can keep the money.

So the creators do not feel protected by this law and point out that there is certainly no incentive for the society to go out and find the creator and then pay them.