The big print giveth and the small print taketh away.”
That line from Tom Waits headlines the Fair Digital Deals Declaration, an open letter which calls not just for more transparency both between digital music services and labels, but also between the labels and their artists. Indie labels signing on include Domino Recordings, Beggars Group and Secretly Canadian.
The five key points of the manifesto are:
We will ensure that artists’ share of download and streaming revenues is clearly explained in recording agreements and royalty statements in reasonable summary form.
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.
We will encourage better standards of information from digital services on the usage and monetization of music.
We will support artists who choose to oppose, including publicly, unauthorized uses of their music.
We will support the collective position of the global independent record company sector as outlined in the Global Independent Manifesto.