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BASCA: Sold for a Song

The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) has unveiled a new campaign, #soldforasong, which is calling for music publishers to share the revenue generated from recently announced Facebook and Spotify agreements with songwriters.    

The trade body said it understands the deals involve lump sum advance payments “worth many millions of pounds” but is concerned that no pledge has been made by music publishers to equitably share any financial benefit derived from such licenses.

BASCA is also seeking assurances from music publishers that have concluded deals with Facebook that any so-called “unattributable’”income derived from these deals is distributed equitably and transparently with songwriters and composers.

BASCA CEO Vick Bain said: “Facebook and other user generated content platforms, as well as digital services such as Spotify have benefited incalculably from exploiting our members work and indeed this has allowed them to become among the world’s wealthiest corporations. They, and the publishers who license music to them, have an obligation and a duty to safeguard the future sustainability of our industry and to ensure that songwriters and composers are given their fair due of these potential riches.”

BASCA is also calling for any financial windfall received by the music publishing community from Spotify’s upcoming direct listing on the New York Stock exchange to be shared “honourably, fairly and transparently”.

If this week’s revelations about Cambridge Ananlytica have taught us anything, it is that tech giants are not exactly focused on being fair or transparent.

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BASCA is also seeking assurances from music publishers that have concluded deals with Facebook that any so-called "unattributable’"income derived from these deals is distributed equitably and transparently with songwriters and composers.

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