Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) has introduced the Independent Manifesto and the formation of the WIN Global Council.
The Independent Manifesto sets out a clear view of the beliefs and values which bind the global independent music sector.
The manifesto recognises that independent businesses make a positive local economic and cultural contribution, which merits support from governments in areas such as access to finance and tax credits. It also calls for action in areas which are particularly significant for independent music companies. These include lobbying for equal market access and parity of terms for all music companies regardless of size or stature, pushing for transparency in the digital market and improving the independent sector's representation within collecting societies.
The WIN Global Council has been established to give weight and authority to WIN's global stature and is made up of some of the most influential and pioneering independent leaders in the music industry including Daniel Glass, Emmanuel de Buretel and Martin Mills.
The founding Council consists of 15 international representatives of the independent recorded music sector; from Australasia, the US and Europe, with representatives from Asia and Latin America to be confirmed in early 2013. They will formally endorse the Independent Manifesto during a press conference at Midem today (January 28).
Martin Mills - founder/CEO, Beggars Group said: "These days independents offer a very different route to market to artists than the majors do - and it's great to have that down in words, and to spell out what matters to us."
Jim Selby - CEO Naxos of America Inc commented: "Bravo to WIN for creating a manifesto that addresses the broad and unique issues that indie labels face! We at Naxos fully support this and will work in whatever way we can to execute on all levels of the points listed in the manifesto."
Jonas Sjostrom - CEO Playground Music Scandinavia added: "The Indie community will be stronger and more determined the more the music industry gets polarized. The growing political support to give the Indies fair access to market, media and collecting societies will have a huge impact on our industry in the coming years. The Manifesto is a great start and a promise on what to expect!"
Members of the Global Council are (alphabetically by country):
Michael Gudinski - Mushroom - Australia
Michel Lambot - PIAS - Belgium
Stephan Bourdoiseau - Wagram - France
Emmanuel de Buretel - Because - France
Mark Chung - Freibank - Germany
Oke Gottlich - Finetunes/VUT- Germany
Florian Von Hoyer - Altafonte - Spain
Jonas Strostrom - Playground - Sweden/Scandinavia
Laurence Bell - Domino - UK
Doug D'Arcy - Songlines - UK
Daniel Miller - Mute - UK
Martin Mills - Beggars - UK
Daniel Glass - Glassnote - US
Jim Selby - Naxos - US
Darius Van Arman - Jagjaguwar/Secretly Canadian - US
The Independent Manifesto
1. We, the independents, will work to grow the value of music and the music business. We want equal market access and parity of terms with Universal, Warner and Sony, and will work with them in areas where we have a common goal. We will work to ensure that all companies in our sector are best equipped to maximize the value of their rights.
2. We support creators' freedom to decide how their music may be used commercially, and we will encourage individual artists and labels to speak out directly against unauthorized uses of music as well as commercial uses of music that stifle that freedom. We support creators' right to earn a living from their work, which should be respected as a basic human right.
3. We support independent music labels that treat their artists as partners and who work with them on reasonable commercial terms, noting that labels are investors who deserve a fair return alongside their artists.
4. We promote transparency in the digital music market; artists and companies are entitled to clarity on commercial terms.
5. We oppose further consolidation in the recorded music, publishing and radio sectors since this is bad for independent music companies, their artists and fans, as it reduces market access and consumer choice.
6. We support initiatives which confront market abuse, and which aim to adapt competition laws to promote independent market access and foster collective responses by independents to potentially anti-competitive conduct by large operators.
7. We recognize that all independent music businesses contribute to local culture, diversity, jobs and export opportunities, and multiply the economic success of related industries. We will ask governments to promote and support the independent music sector in securing access to finance and tax credits, and to local and international markets.
8. We hold that collecting society revenues must be allocated and distributed accurately and transparently. This includes distribution of unclaimed money that logically belongs to the independents. We will push for the independent sector to be formally represented in the governance of collecting societies, with trade associations being eligible for board seats.
9. We support the creation of a worldwide track-level sound recording rights database, subject to neutral governance and ownership, to ensure accurate distribution of rights revenues to their rightful owners.
10. The independents will, as always, actively encourage and support new commercial opportunities for music, and will continue to support and develop new, legitimate business structures and partnerships.