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MARSHALL-ING
THE TROOPS

Warner/Chappell Co-Chair/COO Carianne Marshall has issued a sharp rebuke to the coterie of tech firms now appealing the CRB ruling regarding a royalty rate hike, arguing that their actions in opposition to the increase could adversely affect the livelihoods of songwriters. Here's her message to the company's constituency of tunesmiths.

An Open Letter From Carianne Marshall to Songwriters

Hello,

You may have heard about the tech companies’ appeal of a recent CRB ruling, and we wanted to make sure you were clear on our stance on this crucial issue.

Last year, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) granted an increase of the compulsory mechanical rates paid to songwriters - from 10.5% to 15.1% over the next five years. The decision came after rigorous consultation with many parties, including a wide range of tech companies, as well as songwriters and music publishers. There were strong arguments made on both sides, and the resulting rate increase was fair as well as overdue.

That is where the debate should have rested. Instead, last week, Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora submitted an appeal of the CRB decision, apparently with the aim of reducing or eliminating the rate increases granted to songwriters by the CRB. The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and other trade bodies, of which Warner/Chappell is a member, are being very vocal in their opposition to this appeal. 

We value our relationships with the companies who help us deliver music to fans, but we have to draw a line on this issue.  Their attempt to roll back rates fairly determined through the CRB process is unacceptable.  As such, we will vigorously seek to protect the value of music and passionately promote the rights of songwriters.  

We are working with NMPA and policy makers in DC to defeat the appeal. We also encourage you to lend your support to NMPA by retweeting them here

If you have any questions, we’re always here to talk.

Carianne  

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