Meeting 3 – The Glassblowers

The third meeting of EDIT saw a special guest speaker arrive – Carl Wicker from music protection company RipBlock, a company that could have massive implications for any independent label looking to protect its music in the run up to a release date. It also covered points from the structure of the Committee itself, the Manifesto, accountancy, PPL, Beatport and the creation of this site, www.edit-blog.co.uk.

First off, the matter of the committee structure needed to be discussed, with the The Committee previously agreeing that anyone who wanted to attend the dance committee meetings could be allowed. The Committee discussed what was required of its members and how to deal with ever increasing numbers of people who wish to attend.

What is important is that those attending are committed to implementing EDIT initiatives and it was decided that the committee was satisfied with numbers at present and were comfortable with other labels attending on the condition that they are willing to commit time and effort and be willing to participate in moving the committee aims forward. Attendance will only be limited if maintaining an open invitation policy becomes impractical.

The Manifesto is a central point of any committee, and a draft EDIT Manifesto was reviewed. It was felt that the structure of the draft manifesto worked well and was a good way of setting out EDIT’s goals and objectives, and members came to agreement that membership of EDIT should be restricted to AIM members only.

The following points were noted:

SHARE INFORMATION: Most information could be accessible by all visitors to the AIM website, but committee felt that all detailed information should only be made available to full AIM members.

NEGOTIATE COLLECTIVE DISCOUNTS: Committee felt that manifesto should clarify that EDIT would only present discounted offers to EDIT members and would not negotiate collective deals on their behalf.

RAISE PROFILE OF DANCE & ELECTRONIC MUSIC: This point should be rephrased to refer to the raising of the general awareness of EDIT.

It was agreed that EDIT should not be elitist and should encourage open source input from the wider dance community, through blogging and social networking, to increase awareness between independent dance music labels.

The members also reviewed details of accounting/royalty management systems. There is still a great deal of additional information that is required to compete the matrix. In addition to the usual PPD and net receipts deals, many labels now require systems that can administer split profit deals

EDIT and AIM are not in a position to promote one system in preference to another, but the grid will be made available to EDIT and other AIM members for their information. We also agreed that we should also encourage the royalty companies to become friends of AIM.

The committee was provided with an overview of recent discussions between AIM and PPL and noted that PPL have expressed a willingness to meet up with EDIT committee members and provide training. The registration and processes of PPL is currently overly complicated and should be simplified in order to improve accessibility for younger labels and agreed that EDIT should prepare questions prior to attending the meeting.

The Committee also discussed problems encountered by DJs in compiling playlists form their club and radio sets and submitting them to the collecting societies. There were also concerns that more should be done to ensure that there are more equitable payouts and distributions. Issues will be put to PPL when the meeting is arranged.

The members discussed the problems caused by unlicensed podcasting that currently affects EDIT members and reviewed data provided by PRS for Music. PRS for Music have indicated that they are open to the idea of developing a joint podcast license with AIM labels.

Carl Wicker (Internet Investigator, RipBlock) provided an overview of the services provided by RipBlock and the problems that they have encountered in getting unauthorised content taken down. RipBlock scans the Internet for tracks submitted to them and gets them removed from blogs and links. RipBlock is specifically aimed at smaller labels who pay £50 per track. CW stated that there are probably just 10 prolific infringers for each genre that supply illegal pre-release sites and targeting them, in much the same way that the police target known football hooligans, would be an extremely effective way of dealing with the problem. Despite the fact that tracks can be uploaded soon after the initial takedown, there is still a great deal of value to rightsholders to using the service.

The Committee agreed to continue to engage with RipBlock to share and develop good anti-piracy practices for the independent sector.

The Committee also discussed issues surrounding Beatport’s new contract.
The main contentious issues include:
(a) administration of mechanicals,
(b) bankruptcy provisions and
(c) accounting clauses.
The contracts are complicated further by the fact that they are subject to the laws of the State of Colorado in the USA.

Whilst most labels have elected to sign the new agreement, there are reports of one or two labels that are refusing to sign the new deal – a situation that will be monitored by EDIT.

Full minutes of the third meeting are available by emailing electronicdanceindependence(at)googlemail.com

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