Google, Amazon, Pandora and More Join Forces to Fight Copyright Changes
No doubt it's a tenuous time to be a company streaming music on the internet. The Department of Justice is considering a change that could allow publishers to negotiate higher royalty rates from streaming companies. And the Copyright Review Board is contemplating an update to the per-stream rate that services pay to artists and labels.
One way streaming companies like Pandora, Google, and Amazon are dealing with the stress is by joining forces. Along with NPR and iHeartMedia -- who are nervous about a third development, a potential new rate traditional radio stations would have to pay to artists -- they announced the formation of MIC (standing for "Music, Innovators, Consumers").
The group, which will likely lobby together in Washington and work to publicize their fight and draw support from the public, says that "for [the] music ecosystem to continue to grow and thrive, we must create a predictable, balanced and transparent music marketplace."
MIC hasn't announced any specific efforts, though they do say they'll "[call] on policymakers to ensure that upcoming decisions on copyright are grounded in rationality, affordability and predictability."
Music industry groups who are pushing for the higher royalty rates aren't exactly cheering on MIC. Ted Kalo, the Executive Director of MusicFirst, which is pushing for the some of the proposed changes, had a particularly blunt reaction.
“The supposedly new MIC coalition looks like little more than some of the world’s biggest and wealthiest corporations... hiding behind a new website and a gauzy mission statement as they continue their campaign to deny fair pay to working musicians, to stiff artists on AM/FM radio, and to ignore the pleas of elderly performers seeking their due," he said.