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WIN launches 'Fair Digital Deals Declaration'

by Photo of Astrid Hall

Over 700 indie record labels are signing the declaration to create a fairer deal for artists.

WIN launches 'Fair Digital Deals Declaration'

Martin Mills from Beggars group signs the declaration.

Following the news of YouTube threatening to remove videos affiliated with independent record labels, Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) has reacted with a new "Fair Deals Digital Declaration".

Officially launching today, July 16th, the declaration is being signed by nearly 700 indie record labels worldwide including Matador, 4AD, Epitaph, Sub Pop, Drag City and Merge. WIN setup the initiative in order “to treat their artists fairly in agreements relating to digital exploitation of artists’ work in recorded music agreements with third parties.”

Signing the declaration agrees to five fundamental rules:

1. We will ensure that artists’ share of download and streaming revenues is clearly explained in recording agreements and royalty statements in reasonable summary form.

2. We will account to artists a good-faith pro-rata share of any revenues and other compensation from digital services that stem from the monetization of recordings but are not attributed to specific recordings or performances.

3. We will encourage better standards of information from digital services on the usage and monetisation of music.

4. We will support artists who choose to oppose, including publicly, unauthorized uses of their music.

5. We will support the collective position of the global independent record company sector as outlined in the Global Independent Manifesto.

The campaign has been made accessible to follow on Twitter via the @winformusic account throughout the day. It will include photos and declaration signing news using the hashtag #fairdigitaldeal4artists. 

The declaration aims to promote fairness and transparency in agreements relating to revenue from digital use of artists' work, which is where it ties into the YouTube dispute. By signing the declaration, labels agree to treat artists fairly when dealing with their music with third parties. It will ensure artists receive a more substantial percentage of revenues and create a fairer deal. 

A full list of companies that have already signed the declaration is available here

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