Dr.Pal Tamori Director, EJI Hungary addresses possibilities to fix remuneration situations in regards to the streaming use, which currently is in question, as the global music industry stakeholders find a suitable source of revenue, a challenge for performers and especially session musicians. Tamori presented an in-depth presentation on the practices in the European Union and Hungary in his keynote address at the 4th FIM International Conference on Streaming organized by Musicians Federation of India in Mumbai. Tamori further talks about his proposed possibilities in an interesting conversation with Priyaankaa Mathur from loudest.in
Pal Tamori Director of EJI (Civil Society for the Protection of Performers’ Rights)has been the part of the forum FIM for a long time since 1996 WPPT, having attended all of the 4 conferences held across US, UK and now India this year. FIM invites him to speak at certain copyright issues the one’s related to international norms, WTTP treaties, and their interpretations, those being his forte and expertise.”
In his keynote presentation, Tamori talks about a survey conducted on ‘Music Streaming’ bringing forth his observations saying, “We did a survey, wherein the respondents were the members of the international music federation, who were the targeted musicians. All the questions were related to the core subject of this convention ‘Music Streaming’. My presentation focussed specifically in three areas first ‘Contractual practices’, which is a very sensitive area, in which we have seen speakers from our previous conferences raising issues of problematic contracts to include non- transparent contracts. Second was ‘Remuneration’ a recurring theme, so even if you have the best set of norms, but if are not remunerated well, they are of no use and the third was ‘policy issues’ related to what unions all over the world think, what is the best message to users and policymakers, about how streaming remuneration can be fixed.”
Talking about the possibilities to fix the situation which currently is a problem Tamori said in reference to the Making available right’ in regards to the streaming use which currently does not provide a steady source of revenue to performers and especially session musicians, “One possibility was to attach a protocol to the existing WPPT (The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty). This idea was dealt to be a little unrealistic in terms of creating such a large international consensus at this time which is really very difficult.”
“Making available right”, as contained in the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), the WIPO Phonograms and Performances Treaty (WPPT) and more recently the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances seeks to enable new uses of protected content in the digital marketplace and to help right holders fight piracy.
Tamori adds, “The other option was the application of WPPT in the European Union because of the formula and the basis of streaming is very flexible as it allows general legislators to go further and introduce for example a ‘Remuneration Right’ on top of the exclusive right meaning that guarantees a steady source of revenue for performers even after transferred to exclusive rights. This is perhaps the most preferred solution. Then the ‘third’ includes all kind of voluntary solutions by which performances may mandate unions and collective rights management societies to represent them in negotiations and the ‘fourth’ solution is prevalent in my country Hungary wherein the exclusive right itself is managed collectively, which is for the time being a unique solution which can be a viable option which I recommend as a representative of FIM.”
Talking about India Tamori says, “India has a very good solution which is the ‘Right to Royalty’ irrespective of all forms of exploitation, this is possibly the best solution which you must be very proud of, as we are still sorting to find something similar.”
Talking about exclusive rights and key challenges the music industry faces today globally he further adds, “I understand that the primary fear of the Phonographic industry is that users would not pay and they would want everything for free. The major decline of the industry was due to piracy, so someone coming from the phonographic industry insisting on exclusive rights which is legally speaking the power to authorize or prohibit the user for something is not understandable. However exclusive rights do not settle enough always for performers because during the recordings they transfer all the exclusive rights to the record labels meaning that they abide by the norms of the contract that they sign, and unfortunately the terms are not very favorable to the performers and favor the recording label.”
“So if you transfer your exclusive rights you are not very well protected, so we do not think it is a fair solution. However, experience shows that exclusive rights may be good not for the featured artists in general, but has only proven to be useful for the top 5-10% artists and who are just the biggest stars, because in their case and especially in case of Hollywood movies they are getting a large share of the profits. That’s the whole difference of rules as their name sells, so they not only receive a one-time fee, they also receive revenues from merchandising, brand endorsements, advertising, and likes, ” concludes Tamori.
Present on the occasion were John Smith President FIM UK, Ray Hair VP FIM UK, Geidy Lung Senior Counsellor Copyright law division WIPO, Ratish Tagde President MFI India, Kishore Jawade General Secretary MFI and eminent personalities from the indian music industry.