Music Business

Music Publishing News Roundup 11.11.16: Songwriter Taylor Swift • Copyright Exemption Costs $150M • EU Value Gap


Taylor Swift makes her return to the Hot Country Songs top 10 as writer on Little Big Town’s “Better Man.”  The group revealed Swift to be the mystery writer of the song the day before the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, where they won Group of the Year.

Their performance of the song on the broadcast along with the premiere of its official video the day before boosted the track’s sales by 138 percent.  “Better Man” grants Swift her 20th Hot Country Songs top 10 as a writer.

• A study by consultancy firm PMP Conseil revealed that an exemption in the U.S. Copyright Act that allows some small businesses not to pay public performance fees could be costing rightsholders more than $150 million a year.  The research was funded by GESAC, the organizations of European composers groups, in an effort to push to U.S. to change its copyright laws.  The issues stems from 1998, when Congress passed the Fairness in Music Licensing Act which allows restaurants and bars of less than 3,750 square feet to play music without a license, provided they meet certain conditions.

• More than 20 US music industry organizations have called the US government to support copyright proposals in Europe which will potentially reduce the “value gap” created by payouts from YouTube.  The letter, jointly written by groups ranging from ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC to SoundExchange, the RIAA, and Azoff MSG Entertainment, calls on the US Ambassador to the European Union to back Article 13 of the recent EC Copyright Directive.  The letter compares the levels of per user payouts to the music business from Spotify and YouTube.

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