The Featured Artists' Coalition (FAC) met for the first time yesterday in a bid to bring greater online rights to musicians.
While the FAC grabbed headline news mainly because of its high-profile supporters – members of Radiohead, Robbie Williams and Soul II Soul's Jazzie B were all in attendance – the folks at MusicTank, a business development network for the UK music industry, believe that the FAC may play a pivotal role in the online music debate.
Speaking to TechRadar, Sam Shemtob, Associate Director, of MusicTank explained: "We believe that the FAC has a very important role to play, especially when it comes to questions about the transparency and attributability to artists of some of the global licensing deals with emerging media, such as MySpace or indeed YouTube."
Importance of online
This transparency of deals is much more prevalent in the wake of PRS versus YouTube debate, where the video website pulled all premium music video content from its UK portal after a dispute over royalties.
Shemtob agrees: "While the PRS/YouTube activity is hopefully just a straightforward licensing dispute, it shows just how important the on-demand streaming landscape has become, and how uncharted the terrain still is with little consensus to be found – YouTube's own patchwork of licences being a prime example.
"For all its many benefits the arrival of digital and extremely fast changing and fluid new ways of accessing music has caused all manner of disruptive problems to the licensing infrastructure."
Addressing the issues
MusicTank has noted the importance of making online music viable and has just this week issued a report on what needs to be done to ensure everybody is happy with the way music works online.
"[Our] report addresses a lot of these issues," explained Shemtob. "It looks at how going forward we can create the sorts of convenient, interoperable and on-demand music services that technology has made possible, consumers will embrace and benefits artists as well as labels and ISPs."
To view MusicTank's free report, just point your browser to www.musictank.co.uk/reports/filesharing/for-free.
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Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.