A group of over 700 imprints have signed an agreement to ensure better treatment and artist compensation.
The group effort comes in the wake of controversy over YouTube's pressuring of independent labels to sign what some have seen as unfair deals surrounding their new streaming service. The Fair Digital Deals Declarations seeks to guarantee fair compensation, clarity and transparency for independent labels. It also puts an emphasis on allowing artists to profit from services like streaming, rather than just the label or publishing rights holders.
The agreement comprises five major points:
1. Ensure that artists’ share of download and streaming revenues is clearly explained in recording agreements and royalty statements in reasonable summary form.
2. 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.
3. Encourage better standards of information from digital services on the usage and monetization of music.
4. Support artists who choose to oppose, including publicly, unauthorized uses of their music.
5. Support the collective position of the global independent record company sector.
According to Billboard, Ninja Tune, Mute, Brainfeeder, 4AD, Domino, Houndsooth and Warp are among the signatories. You can see a full list here.
The Worldwide Independent Network also released a Global Independent Manifesto, which states that independent labels deserve the same treatment as majors, among other points.
For more in-depth analysis of the Fair Digital Deals Declaration, check out Billboard's extensive article.