Over 2,000 songwriters, but other estimates suggest 4,000, have signed a petition demanding better mechanical royalties for interactive streaming from Google, Apple, Amazon, Spotify and Pandora.
In the next days, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) in Washington DC will hear proposals from stakeholders and then will determine rates for the next five years.
On one side, there is the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), which represents U.S. music publishers and their songwriting partners, alongside the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). On the other side, giant technology companies Google, Apple, Amazon, Spotify and Pandora.
NMPA has wrote a letter to its members to say:
“These low royalty rates have immensely benefited large digital companies who have built thriving music services used to deliver your songs and to draw consumers into their larger “ecosystems.”
While royalties paid to songwriters have remained small, giant tech companies have used your songs to sell not just music subscriptions, but also other products and services such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, iPhones, Beats headphones and Amazon Prime subscriptions.”
And, addressed to the counterparty:
“Currently you are fighting to pay us as little as possible in the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) proceedings. This is alarming not only because it threatens our livelihoods and ability to continue our craft, but also because it tells us that instead of being our business partners, you choose to be our adversaries”.