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Featured Artists Coalition launched

February 2, 2009

A new organisation, the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), has been set up to promote artists’ rights within the mainstream music industry, and ultimately hopes to distribute revenues from their work.

Directors include Blur‘s Dave Rowntree, Kate Nash and Radiohead‘s Ed O’Brien, Soul II Soul‘s Jazzie B, Billy Bragg and hip-hop MC Master Shortie. Members of Coldplay and Robbie Williams are expected to attend the organisation’s first meeting in London. Other artists expected at the meeting include Annie Lennox, The Guillemots, Badly Drawn Boy, The Feeling and The Futureheads.

“By making ourselves heard and arguing for what’s fair, we can help reshape the industry,” Rowntree said. He added that musicians should be able to take advantage of the technological changes which have swept through the music industry and weakened the position of record companies.

‘Musicians as a group do tend to grumble about what’s happening in the industry – well, here’s an opportunity to do something about it rather than grumble about it,’ he said. ‘The doomsayers are saying that the music industry is over and the digital revolution has killed everything and we’re all out of jobs. We’re saying the digital revolution presents some incredible opportunities and has transformed the relationship the artists have with their fans.’

He added: ‘There are a lot of big issues at the moment – the Government’s Digital Britain green paper, copyright extension and so on. It’s no accident that this body is being set up now. It’s absolutely vital that our interests are represented when decisions are made.’

The FAC’s website can be seen here:

The website says this:
The Featured Artists’ Coalition campaigns for the protection of performers’ and musicians’ rights. We want all artists to have more control of their music and a much fairer share of the profits it generates in the digital age. We speak with one voice to help artists strike a new bargain with record companies, digital distributors and others, and are campaigning for specific changes.

It will be interesting to see what the specific changes turn out to be. Is there any point negotiating with record company dinosaurs? Perhaps the dinosaurs should be allowed to die out and a new musical ecology could evolve.

UPDATE: Just heard this meeting has been called off because of the heavy snow in London. If I hear news that it gets rescheduled, I will post again.

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