Above is a signing photo from Secretly Canadian Distribution's Label Summit. What're they signing, you ask? I'll tell you. In fact, I'd love to tell you! I've been waiting all day to tell you. Today is Worldwide Signup Day for the Fair DIgital Deal Declaration — an initiative by Worldwide Independent Network to ensure transparency and fairness within digital revenue agreements between indie labels and artists. We'll have more on this movement in next week's NUVO, but I wanted to put the put the full pledge up for you to read. Follow signing news here on WIN's Twitter. So far, they've received over 750 signed declarations. Read the pledge below:
LABELS’ FAIR DIGITAL DEALS DECLARATION
We make the following declaration in connection with the distribution of recordings in digital services.
Ensure that artists’ share of download and streaming revenues is clearly explained in recording agreements and royalty statements in reasonable summary form.
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.
Encourage better standards of information from digital services on the usage and monetisation of music.
Support artists who choose to oppose, including publicly, unauthorized uses of their music.
Support the collective position of the global independent record company sector as outlined in the Global Independent Manifesto below.
We wholly disapprove of certain practices which leave artists under-recompensed and under-informed in the digital marketplace and will work together with the artist community to counter these practices.
Signed on behalf of [Label] (Editor's note: see labels that have signed the pledge here.)
Global Independent Manifesto
The points below represent the collective position of the global independent record company sector, put forward by the sector’s collective voice, WIN (Worldwide Independent Network: www.winformusic.org).
All points are equal in stature, and are not numbered according to any form of ranking or significance.
We, the independents, will work to grow the value of music and the music business. We deserve equal market access and parity of terms with Universal, Sony and Warner, and an independent copyright should be valued and remunerated at the same level as a major company copyright. We will work with the majors 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.
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. We expect any use of music by commercial third party operators to be subject to fairly negotiated licensing terms, in a market where any use of music is an end in itself, not so-called promotion driving a subsequent sale.
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.
We promote transparency in the digital music market; artists and companies are entitled to clarity on commercial terms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.