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BASCA is delighted to announce 11 exceptional individuals who will collect a Gold Badge Award this October in recognition of their unique contribution to the creator community.

Presented by the songwriting and composing community, the Awards celebrate exceptional talent in the UK music industry; individuals who inspire or support creativity and the professional lives of BASCA members.

Now in its 45th year, more than 500 awards have been presented by BASCA to acknowledge the diversity of contribution, dedication and talent that exists within the music industry, recognised from the worlds of jazz and classical, film, television and theatre music, and songwriting. BASCA is also delighted to announce the award ceremony will be hosted by broadcaster (and previous Gold Badge Award recipient) Janice Long.

The 2018 Gold Badge Awards will be presented to:

Annette Barrett, highly respected music publisher and Managing Director of Reservoir/Reverb Music.

Martyn Brabbins, acclaimed conductor and Music Director of the English National Opera.

Jackie Davidson, multi-faceted, award-winning music entrepreneur and manager. This award is presented in association with PRS for Music.

Chris Difford, Grammy nominated and double Ivor Novello Award winning lyricist, Squeeze co-founder and solo artist.

Guy Fletcher OBE, Ivor Novello Award winning songwriter and former Chairman of BASCA and PRS.

Guy Garvey, lead singer and lyricist of elbow, renowned DJ for 6 Music and solo artist. This award is presented in association with PPL.

Claire Martin OBE, critically acclaimed jazz singer and broadcaster.

Sarah Rodgers, composer who has dedicated herself to championing music creators.

Matthew Scott, composer, arranger, producer and former Head of Music at the National Theatre.

Scott Stroman, inspirational conductor, composer, trombonist and singer in a uniquely broad range of musical styles.

Nick Wollage, respected and sought after engineer working across a diverse collection of projects from major Hollywood film scores to individual artists.

Commenting on the announcement, Crispin Hunt, Chair of BASCA has said:

“The Gold Badge Awards always provide a fantastic opportunity and platform to recognise those who have achieved excellence in their chosen fields whilst contributing to the betterment of the wider musical community. This year’s list of recipients is full of inspiring individuals who we are honoured to celebrate.”

The 45th Gold Badge Awards are presented by BASCA and sponsored by PPL and PRS for Music. They take place at The Savoy in London from 11.30am to 4.30pm on Friday 19th October. The award ceremony follows a three course lunch and tickets are currently on sale. For more information contact Cindy Truong at BASCA (cindy@basca.org.uk).


MEPs voted on the Copyright Directive in Strasbourg today and failed by a small majority (318 votes to 278, with 31 abstentions) to authorise the process whereby the European Union Council, Commission and Parliament negotiate a final text for passage into law.

Under the new Directive of Copyright which contained the key element Article 13, it would have required online content platforms like YouTube and Facebook to use filtering systems that block content — such as images and videos — that infringes the rights-holder’s copyright.

Crispin Hunt, BASCA Chair said:
“While we are disappointed that the campaign of misinformation has undermined the vote on Article 13, we can be emboldened by the strength of voice and argument coming from across the creative community. Thousands of songwriters, authors and composers, large and small are standing united to fight for fair compensation for the use of their copyright on the internet. This issue will not go away and the fight will continue. We call on all music creators to join us as we campaign ahead of the next debate in September.” 

Michael Dugher UK Music CEO said: “This is a sad day for everyone involved in the creativity that is behind Britain’s world-leading music. It is desperately disappointing that a small majority of MEPs have backed Google’s shabby multi-million euro campaign of fake news and misinformation against creators. Frankly, in some cases MEPs were naive. In others cases, they have chosen to wilfully disregard the plight of creators. These proposals would make a real difference to our creators, to those that invest in them and to all of us who value our culture. Google’s YouTube is the world’s most popular music platform, yet it deliberately chooses to return a pittance to those whose creativity it has built its multi-billion pound business model on. Google remain the vultures that feed off music creators. The fact remains that this must end. We sincerely thank the 278 MEPs who backed reform and look forward to engaging positively with all MEPs on the opportunities to develop the Directive further. We may have lost this particular round, but the fight to ensure fairness for music creators goes on.”

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive, PRS for Music, said: “It is perhaps unsurprising considering the unprecedented level of lobbying and the comprehensive campaign of misinformation which has accompanied this vote that MEPs want more time to consider the proposals. The vote showed that many MEPs across the various European political parties understand the importance of fixing the transfer of value and of a well-functioning market for copyright. We appreciate their support and hope that as we move forward to the Plenary debate in September, more MEPs will recognise the unique opportunity to secure the EU’s creative industries. From the outset our primary focus of this legislation has been concerned with whether or not the internet functions as a fair and efficient marketplace – and currently, for artists and authors, it doesn’t. They want their creative works to be heard, they embrace technology, but they want to be paid fairly. We will continue to fight for what we believe is their freedom and a fair use of their creative works.”


We are pleased to announce the results of our 2018 Board and Committee elections!

Over the past few weeks, Professional and Standard members have been voting for BASCA members to represent them on the BASCA Board, and our Classical, Songwriter and Jazz Committees. The Media Committee was uncontested therefore there was no voting. Voting was administered by Electoral Reform Services and closed on Wednesday 20th June.

Elected genre committee members work together as advisory groups, on behalf of BASCA’s members, discussing specific issues relating to each genre. Over the coming weeks, the new Committees will meet for the first time to elect their committee Chairs and nominate one other board representative each. These 8 individuals will then join the 6 Directly Elected Directors (revealed below). The newly formed Board will then elect the Chair of the Board. The Board then appoints 2 independent directors (non-BASCA members), to create the 16-seat BASCA Board.

BASCA would like to thank all of the members who took part in the elections.


>>Click here to read more about the Directly Elected Board members<<

These 6 individuals will join 2 media committee members, 2 songwriter committee members, 2 classical committee members and 2 jazz committee members on the Board. When the Board meet, they will elect 2 independent directors, to create the 16-seat BASCA Board.

>>Click here to read more about the Songwriter Committee<< 


>>Click here to read more about the Classical Committee<< 


>>Click here to read more about the Media Committee<< 


>>Click here to read more about the Jazz Committee<< 


BASCA, in association with PRS for Music, announce the winners of the 63rd Ivor Novello Awards.


Compiled and title sponsored by The Ivors, sponsor this award credits the song that received the most broadcast, online and general performance in the UK during 2017.

Shape of You
Written by Steve Mac, Johnny McDaid and Ed Sheeran
Published in the UK by Rokstone Music – Universal Music Publishing, Spirit B-Unique – Polar Patrol and Ed Sheeran Limited – Sony/ATV Music Publishing (UK) Ltd

Recognising outstanding original composition for a feature film, this year’s judges described the winning score as an uncompromising, brave and definitive part of an extraordinary film.

Composed by Mica Levi
Published in the UK by Beggars Music

Presented to Billy Ocean, in recognition of the excellence, and international success, of this song catalogue.

This award recognises outstanding originality in songwriting and this year’s judges felt the winning song captures the personal and political landscape and in particular they praised the truth and execution of the lyrics.

Question Time
Written by Dave and Fraser T Smith
Published in the UK by Warner/Chappell Music Ltd and Kobalt Music Publishing

Presented to Thea Musgrave, in recognition of an outstanding body of work in the classical genre.

Recognising outstanding composition for a video game, this year’s judges felt that the winning score had an impressive scope, depth and attention to detail whilst retaining sensitivity to the emotional content.

Horizon Zero Dawn
Composed by Joris de Man, Joe Henson and Alexis Smith

Recognising excellence in songwriting craft, this year’s judges said that the winning song succeeded structurally, musically and with heartfelt, beautiful imagery.

Magnificent (She Says)
Written by Guy Garvey, Craig Potter, Mark Potter and Pete Turner
Published in the UK by Salvation Music Ltd – Warner/Chappell Music Publishing Ltd

Presented to Billy Bragg, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to British Music.

Recognising outstanding, original composition for a television programme, the judges said the winning work was exquisitely composed with exceptional attention to detail.

The Miniaturist
Composed by Dan Jones
Published in the UK by Faber Music and Sony/ATV Music Publishing (UK) Ltd

This award recognises exceptional songwriting and consistency across an album as a whole. The judges described the winning album as an astonishing open hearted body of work that fully captures the spirit of 2017.

Gang Signs & Prayer
Written by Michael ‘Stormzy’ Omari
Published in the UK by Warner/Chappell Music Ltd

Presented to a British or Irish songwriter who has released an exceptional body of work during the award year, the Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of the Year 2017 was presented to Ed Sheeran.

Presented to Shane MacGowan in recognition of the power of his songwriting to inspire the creative talents of others.

Presented to songwriter Cathy Dennis in recognition of her outstanding body of work.

The only Ivor Novello Award independently presented to an international writer, the PRS for Music Special
International Award recognises a songwriter whose work has left an indelible mark on British music. It was presented to Lionel Richie.

For more information, visit the Ivors website.

End Pay To Play Now – A statement from BASCA and its Media Committee


Composers own the works they create: this is the essence of copyright.  The copyright legal framework gives songwriters and composers economic and moral rights of ownership over their musical works and allows them to earn their living.  This copyright in their music, manifested in the  ‘performing right’ and the ‘mechanical right’, remains the intellectual property of the composer until such time as they assign it to a publisher or other entity.

Fortunately in the UK and the EU composers have 50% of their performing right protected as it is subject to an ‘exclusive assignment’ to PRS for Music (or other Performing Right Society) that protects writers from anyone else taking or bargaining over this portion.  Unfortunately this means the other 50%, sometimes assigned to an existing publisher but sometimes not, is considered up for grabs. It is becoming an increasingly common practice, and in our view bad practice, for commissioners of TV programs, including production companies, to insist that they take ‘all of the publishing’.

BASCA strongly disapproves of this forced 50% performance royalty assignment (and frequently 100% mechanical royalties too) as a condition of a composer accepting a job, but we have evidence there is now an increasingly common practice of asking TV composers to work with no upfront commissioning fee either.

We think it worth making clear that when they take publishing rights, any production company is already getting original music written, produced and delivered effectively free of charge, in that any commissioning fee paid to the composer will eventually be recouped by the appropriation of their performing and mechanical royalties; in effect, any fee is merely an advance.  To expect a writer not only to part with a great portion of their potential royalty earnings but in addition supply bespoke, finished music for no fee places undue pressure on the working composer.

This commissioning policy puts the composer in the invidious position of working for nothing and receiving no back end compensation if the production happens not to be successful. Any working composer will inevitably have costs to cover, not only for their own time, but also for studios, session musicians, equipment, mixing, production and so on.  Effectively one is creating a ‘pay-to-play’ scenario for such a ‘composer-investor’, one that could well lead to such practitioners getting into financial difficulties. It is unsustainable.

Any production company pursuing such practices is guilty of abuse of contractual negotiating power and is representative of inequality in the bargaining relationship between individual composers and more powerful production companies.  We call for an immediate end to such practices.


Vick Bain CEO BASCA and The Media Committee of BASCA


Extracts from this statement were also published in Broadcast magazine

Entries are now open for the 2018 British Composer Awards.

Anyone, including the composer, can enter eligible works, and entries across all twelve award categories are judged anonymously.

Works that received a UK première performance, either live or broadcast, between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018 are eligible across the following categories:

Amateur or Young Performers
Chamber Ensemble
Community or Educational Project
Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble
Jazz Composition for Large Ensemble
Small Chamber
Solo or Duo
Sonic Art
Stage Works
Wind Band or Brass Band

Entries are made via our Entry Site, where you can also find our full Rules and Guidelines and Eligibility Criteria.
Visit https://basca.secure-platform.com to enter works. The closing date for entries is Monday 9 July 2018.

The British Composer Awards are presented by BASCA and sponsored by PRS for Music. The event is in association with BBC Radio 3 providing exclusive broadcast coverage.

The British Composer Awards will take place on Tuesday 4 December in the BP Lecture Theatre and East Foyer of the British Museum, London.


The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (BASCA) has unveiled a new campaign #soldforasong

BASCA applauds the recent commitments by major labels to share in any financial benefits from Spotify’s forthcoming direct listing with their artists and associated indie labels,  and calls for similar commitments from music publishers that any such benefits, direct or indirect, received by them from the pending Spotify direct listing or Facebook licence advances will be shared transparently and fairly with the writers they represent.

A decade after its launch Facebook has recently concluded licensing agreements with the major music publishing companies and BASCA understand that those deals involve lump sum advance payments worth many millions of pounds.

There are concerns however that no pledge has been made by music publishers to equitably share any financial benefit derived from such licenses with songwriters and composers.

BASCA welcomes the news that going forward Facebook is seeking to put in place music recognition technologies to ensure that future usage data is correctly reported to ensure songwriters and composers will be accurately remunerated.

An ongoing issue, however, is that Facebook currently has no systems in place to identify the music used on their platform retrospectively.  BASCA is therefore seeking assurances from those music publishers that have concluded deals with Facebook that any so-called ‘unattributable’ income derived from these deals is distributed equitably and transparently with songwriters and composers.

In addition, they are demanding that sufficient efforts are made to establish correct usage and not just to distribute monies via an ‘assumed’ market share analogy.

BASCA also calls for any financial windfall received by the music publishing community from Spotify’s upcoming direct listing on the New York Stock exchange, which commentators suggest might value the company in excess of $19bn, to be shared honourably, fairly and transparently with those that composed the catalogues being exploited.

Crispin Hunt, BASCA Chair says: “The so-called ‘evergreen’ catalogue is arguably only so verdant because it has been historically over-watered in lieu of correct data.  With the potential of today’s technology for granular digital data such anachronistic inaccuracy is no longer excusable in music – the right music must receive the right monies. If it’s played it should be paid.”


Vick Bain, CEO of BASCA said, “Facebook and other user generated content platforms, as well as digital services such as Spotify have benefited incalculably from exploiting our members work and indeed this has allowed them to become among the world’s wealthiest corporations. They, and the publishers who license music to them, have an obligation and a duty to safeguard the future sustainability of our industry and to ensure that songwriters and composers are given their fair due of these potential riches.”

BASCA Chair Crispin Hunt, Matthew Irons, singer, songwriter and guitarist of the Belgian band Puggy, Polish author, composer, performer and conductor Piotr Rubik,, electronic composer Jean-Michel Jarre, singer and producer; Astrid North and Cora Novoa, Spanish electronic and experimental pop music composer and DJ

BASCA Chair Crispin Hunt delivered an address to the EU in Brussels this week on the subject of the growing ‘Value Gap’.

Hunt was helping to re-launch the #MakeInternetFair petition, which includes the signatures of over 15,000 creators from across Europe – alongside representatives from GESAC, CISAC, and PRS.

The EU are currently debating the first major copyright overhaul for over 17 years.

The process aims to create a number of significant new reforms and a radically different copyright framework. A vote will take place later this year.

A delegation of European musicians, songwriters and their representatives met with the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel to press home their case on Tuesday (6th March).

The #MakeInternetFair petition, which asks the EU to change the balance of value between from creators towards online platforms and tech conglomerates such as YouTube and Facebook, also makes demands for so-called ‘safe harbour’ non-liability provisions not to be abused and used as an excuse to knowingly infringe copyrighted works.

Hunt said,

“I hereby sign and launch this petition of over 15 thousand creator signatures in the name of protecting the future of European creativity. 

Not only protecting the future for professional creators but to protect each and every citizen creator and their children’s children, the value of whose creativity is being sucked out of Europe and into the offshore accounts of unaccountable tech giants.

These technology companies claim to be the guardians of freedom of speech, but if you truly believe in freedom of speech then protect creativity;  protect authors, poets, musicians, filmmakers and playwrights who speak a truth that algorithms will never understand.

Because when you take the human out of the process, you can also remove the humanity.

Europe, was built upon an ideology — a social contract to care for all its citizens and the civilization they enjoy.

Putting one’s faith solely in the magic of the market will only substitute one kind of naivety for another.

The market, the consumer and the future needs culture. And culture – from the paintings on the wall of a cave in Almeria to the truth printed by the press- defines European civilization and its identity.

Remember, it wasn’t the printing press that changed the world it was the words printed on it.

A yawning chasm has emerged between the richest 1% and the unlucky 99%. Solving this value gap will go some way to address that imbalance for future generations.

Setting up the internet so that it once again runs on effective competition as opposed to monopoly is the goal the European authorities must achieve.”

Following Hunt’s speech BASCA CEO Vick Bain said, “For 3 years now BASCA has been campaigning publically for the removal of safe harbour provisions for certain online platforms such Facebook and YouTube; these intermediaries benefit from others creativity and knowingly hold infringing copyright works.

“We have the opportunity to sort this out within our reach and this petition, backed up by thousands of BASCA members, should demonstrate to the EU Commission how important an issue for creators this is.”

The Music Modernisation Act is a proposed new piece of legislation in the US that aims to reform copyright law. The two Congressmen behind it – Doug Collins and Hakeem Jeffries – say that their proposals, if passed, would “bring music licensing its first meaningful update in almost 20 years”.

Unlike most other countries, In the US there is no collecting society offering a blanket licence covering the ‘mechanical rights’ in songs, which are exploited whenever a song is copied. This means users of music must identify the owners of every song they copy, and make sure those owners receive the licensing paperwork and fixed royalty rate set out in American copyright law.

For streaming platforms such as Spotify, who exploit both the performing right and mechanical right elements of the song copyright, this has proven to be very problematic. They distribute performing right royalties to collecting societies like BMI and ASCAP, but in order to pay the mechanicals, the platforms must do that themselves. With no central database documenting music rights ownership, that’s proven to be a very difficult.

This all means that many copyright owners haven’t received the royalties that they are due which constitutes copyright infringement on the part of the streaming platforms. Spotify are currently being sued by publishing company Wixen for $1.6 billion.

This new act would create a blanket mechanical licensing system that would replace the current decentralised system.  Administered by a new ‘super-PRO,’ all artist and publishers would register their tracks; and platforms like Spotify, that want to use the music, would licence it there.

It would be easy to believe that support for the new act is universal but this is not the case. BASCA Chair Crispin Hunt says: “BASCA potentially approves of the MMA as it should benefit British and EU Writers significantly but feels there are a number of details that need to be clarified before we can give our full support. The following video highlights a number of these concerns. BASCA is meeting with UK Publishers to discuss  mutually beneficial resolutions to our issues with the MMA in coming weeks”. 



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