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On 28 Feb, Westminster hall held a Houses of Parliament debate on the importance of intellectual property to the British economy, where MPs discussed a wide-range of copyright issues.

Five music industry groups representing music creatives and their managers, BASCA, the FAC, the MMF, the MPG and the MU, put out a  joint statement welcoming the Government’s intervention after 18 months of attempting to reach a voluntary code of conduct on transparency between artists, songwriters and producers failed, “due to intransigence on the part of the major music corporations.”

“According to data from UK Music, it is this country’s creative talent that underpins our global success story in music. The direct economic contribution of those who compose, perform and produce music represents over 50% of our entire industry’s GVA – more than £2.1 billion. Without these individuals there would be no music business.”

“These facts are worth bearing in mind in the continued debates around streaming services, and the fight by creators to see greater transparency in how their music is licensed and how the resulting revenues are distributed.”

Their voice was acknowledged in the parliament debate. Northern Irish MP Ian Paisley raised an imperative need for a more transparent music industry. In light of Brexit, he urged the government “to make the United Kingdom the gold standard for protection of performers’ IP”, and “to grab this generational opportunity to make the UK the best and the safest place for IP to be placed, contracted and protected.”

The recent anti-piracy agreement reached between search engines and creative industries was also highly praised and the role played by the intellectual Property Office (IPO) was welcomed. Nigel Adams MP, who had instigated this IP discussion, suggested a similar role could potentially benefit and facilitate negotiation between artists, songwriters, producers, and major music corporations on the matters of transparency.

This subject was also mentioned in previous parliament debate on Digital Economy Bill, when a transparency amendment was proposed by Liberal Democrat lord Tim Clement-Jones in the House of Lords debate, however didn’t make its way to the final stage.

On EU’s level, the latest Copyright directive made an attempt to address this issue in article 14, where a “transparency obligation” was invented, granting authors and performers the right to receive on a regular basis, timely, adequate and sufficient information on the exploitation of their works. Although the exact terms and practical enforcement of this article was heavily questioned, it is unarguably a positive attempt from the government’s end.


One of BASCA’s key campaigns, “the Day the Music Dies”, also targets the lack of transparency in music industry, urging more transparency around digital deals, to achieve a fairer share of digital royalty income and advertising revenues linked to our members’ works

Moët & Chandon Grand Scores 2017 – Last night, for the forth time, the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) in partnership with Moet & Chandon hosted a special evening to honour some of the greatest composers in international film music.

As official content partner of the Grand Scores, ECSA was in charge of providing a high class international jury consisting of film composers to ensure a fair and committed selection procedure in what is considered to be the most renowned peer-to-peer film music award.

As members of ECSA, BASCA was invited to nominate three eligible works by UK composers for consideration. BASCA’s Media Executive Committee put forward the score for ‘High Rise’ in the category ‘Best Orchestral Score’ by Clint Mansell, the score for ‘Steve Jobs’ in the category ‘Best Electro-acoustic Score’ by Daniel Pemberton and the score for ‘Marcella’ by Lorne Balfe for ‘Best original Music for a series’.

We’re delighted that last night Clint Mansell won the Best Orchestral Score award for the film “High Rise”.
Full winners list

Best Orchestral Score – Gaute Storaas for “En Man Som Heter Ove” (A Man Called Ove)
Best Orchestral Score – Clint Mansell for “High Rise
Best Electro-Acoustic Score – Sophia Ersson for “Pojkarna” (Girls Lost)
Best Original Music for a Series – Victor Reyes for “The Night Manager
Outstanding Contribution – Lalo Schifrin

Paul McCartney – winner of the Ivor Novello award for Outstanding Services to British Music in 1989

Under American copyright law, authors have a statutory right to terminate copyright-related contracts. But this termination right is an anomaly very specific to US copyright law and there are no equivalent ‘recapturing’ rights in the EU or the UK.

BASCA reported back in 2015 how Bruce Woolley, co-writer of Buggles’ hit Video Killed The Radio Star, with the help of music copyright attorney Lisa Alter, was able to ‘recapture’ the rights to his US catalogue.

Duran Duran had sought to reclaim the copyright to some of their hits using this very process but in December last year a high court judge ruled that contracts made under English law can prevent them from doing so and ruled in favour of their publishers Gloucester Place Music, owned by Sony/ATV.

Now Sony/ATV are going back to the courts as BASCA Fellow Sir Paul McCartney is also attempting to secure the reversion of his U.S. Beatles publishing copyrights next year and claims that the publishing company has so far failed to agree to transfer these copyrights to the songwriter when the legal rights expire, despite repeated requests dating back to 2008.

Yesterday (18/01/17) McCartney filed a lawsuit in a New York federal court against Sony/ATV to confirm his ownership in his U.S. reversionary copyrights granted to him by U.S. copyright law in the songs he wrote with fellow Beatle, John Lennon.

ivors2BASCA, in association with PRS for Music, is celebrating the 62nd Ivor Novello Awards on Thursday 18th May 2017.

The Ivors celebrate, honour and reward excellence in British and Irish songwriting and composing, for works released in the UK within the award year.

The Call for Entries in the following categories for works released in 2016 is now open:

Best Song Musically and Lyrically
Best Contemporary Song
Album Award
Best Original Film Score
Best Television Soundtrack

Anyone can enter an eligible work and the deadline for entries is Monday 6th February 2017.

The Rules and Guidelines for Entry and the Entry Form can be requested from Cindy Truong – cindy@basca.org.uk

PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music - Duran Duran - The Ivors 2005 photo David Fisher (16)

Under American copyright law, authors have a statutory right to terminate copyright-related contracts after 35 years. This termination right is an anomaly very specific to US copyright law.

There is a five-year window within which they can terminate their contracts for perpetual or ‘life of copyright’ grants. These provisions were originally prompted by an acknowledgment by the US Congress that authors (including songwriters) frequently enter into inequitable, long-binding deals.


US artists such as Billy Joel and Blondie have been handed their copyrights back in the US and BASCA reported last year that Bruce Woolley who co-wrote Video Killed The Radio Star with Trevor Horn, successfully navigated through this legal maze.

Double Ivor Novello award winners, Duran Duran had sought to reclaim the copyright to some of their hits using this very process but yesterday a high court judge ruled that contracts made under English law can prevent them from doing so and ruled in favour of their publishers Gloucester Place Music, owned by US business Sony/ATV.

As reported in The Telegraph, singer Simon Le Bon and his fellow group members are now seeking to challenge the decision in bid to help other UK artists. BASCA CEO, Vick Bain is quoted saying “We are very disappointed to hear of the outcome of this ruling.  Justice Arnold has stated his decision was “not without hesitation” so we hope this ruling is challenged and that Duran Duran will consider an appeal.

“The law in the US is very clear; songwriters have an opportunity to claim back their copyrights after 35 years and a number of British songwriters with US deals have been able to do so successfully over the past few years.  They have then been able to re-negotiate fairer terms for their catalogues than were offered to them in the late 1970s and early 80s at the start of their careers.  It seems clear to us that US laws should cover all copyrights in that territory no matter the nationality of the writers.”

BASCA Chair, Crispin Hunts adds “”Copyright’s intended purpose is to protect and incentivise creators to create great work. In this case ,for Duran Duran, it has clearly succeeded in doing neither. In the digital age ,where copyright is widely misunderstood, this unhelpful judgment may serve to foment further confusion or at best illuminate where uk songwriters are disadvantaged by un -progressive contractual terms”.

View the ‘Termination of Transfers under US Copyright Law’ by Lisa Alter



Independent Venue WeekIndependent Venue Week is back for its fourth consecutive year, taking place between Monday 23 – Sunday 29 January, 2017 and BASCA is partnering for 2 exclusive songwriting events in Cardiff (25th Jan) and Brighton (27th Jan).

Staged across 120 venues around the UK, the seven day-long national event, supported by Arts Council England, is now a firm fixture on the UK’s music calendar giving tens of thousands of fans and hundreds of artists their first taste of live music each year.

The project, which is staged nationally but retains a strong local focus, will see venues from across the whole country hosting special shows throughout the week. Set to be the biggest Independent Venue Week yet, 30 new venues will be taking part in the event for first time with more new additions to follow. These include The John Peel Centre in Stowmarket, Halifax’s Grayston Unity which has a capacity of just 18, The Bungalow in Paisley and London’s iconic Roundhouse.

Following the likes of Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood and Frank Turner, who have taken the role in previous years, Independent Venue Week’s ambassador for 2017 will be Tim Burgess, frontman of The Charlatans, solo artist and author.

He said: “Independent venues are where every band starts and where music fans get to see emerging talent. Without them bands would not get a chance for their all-important first hometown gigs and subsequent tours. These venues and bands need our support and the best way you can do that is by having a night out. Lots of venues are closing – we definitely need to stick together and stop this happening.”

Tim will perform live at the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room on Monday, 23 January 2017 with support from Tear and Pheromoans. There are further Independent Venue Week shows taking place across the UK under Burgess’ Tim Peaks banner.

These kick off on Thursday, 26 January 2017 at The Exchange in Bristol, where local gigging legend ‘Big’ Jeff Johns has put together a bill featuring Bristolian favourites Yama Warashi and Kayla Painter.

Tim Burgess’ O Genesis label then takes up the baton with a mini tour, which kicks off at Belfast’s Voodoo on Friday, 27 January 2017, featuring a headline set from Northern Ireland’s Documenta. Following a short hop across the sea, Yucatan will top a bill at the Bethesda venue in North Wales on Saturday, 28 January, before the jaunt climaxes in Manchester on Sunday, 29 January with Horsebeach headlining. The bands will take it in turns to support each other across the dates. All of the Tim Peaks dates are being supported by Help Musicians UK, the country’s leading and only independent charity for musicians at all stages of their career.

Explaining his hands on approach to his Independent Venue Week role, ambassador Burgess said: “I worked with the Independent Venue Week organisers last year on a gig in Manchester. It was an honour to accept their offer of being this year’s ambassador – I’ve picked some of my favourite bands to play in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for Independent Venue Week. Hopefully see you at one of the shows”

Other unique shows taking place during Independent Music Week will include special gigs from Richard Hawley, Simian Mobile Disco, Martha Wainwright, BBC Sound of 2017 longlist artists Cabbage and Declan McKenna as well as Cass McCoombs, HECK, Beans on Toast, The Moonlandingz, The Carnabys, Skinny Girl Diet, Shame, Dream Wife and Goat Girl, while Sam Duckworth, formerly of Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, will perform ‘The Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager’ in full with his new project Recreations.

Independent Venue Week 2017 will also feature a host of gigs with line-ups hand-picked by the likes of SXSW, Huw Stephens, Killimanjaro, Domino Records, Bugged Out, Springboard, a Karousel Music x SESAC Showcase, Trashmouth Records, Field Music & Independent Presents, Melting Vinyl and Live UK 16 Award winning promoter Juicebox Live, with more artists, venues and promoters from across the UK set to announce shows in due course.

With Arts Council England supporting Independent Venue Week for the third time, their Director Of Music Helen Sprott, stressed how the annual event has come to nourish local music scenes around Britain.

She said: “We remain committed to Independent Venue Week and to highlighting the importance of grassroots venues to local communities and emerging artists across the country. Grassroots venues are critical to the health of the music industry, an invaluable circuit for new talent, making the connection between musicians and audiences everywhere. We are delighted that once again, an Arts Council England Grants for the Arts award is enabling this vital work to continue.”

BASCA will join other partners Musicians Union, PRS For Music and PPL to support IVW, staging a series of events for local music communities, including songwriting master classes, how to maximise your revenue and more. In addition, PRS for Music’s M magazine will be curating a live show at East London gigging institution the Sebright Arms. Taking place on Thursday 26 January 2017, the night will feature some of M’s most-loved up-and-coming PRS for Music members.

Independent Venue Week will also continue its work with Attitude is Everything, expanding access for all gig goers, as well as working with Stay Up Late’s gig buddy scheme which links up adults with learning disabilities with volunteers who have similar taste in music so they can attend gigs together.

“What’s so exciting about this year is just how many people are now involved in Independent Venue Week” said Founder Sybil Bell. “The support means grassroots venues are benefitting from brilliant artists, promoters and media who are helping to start the year off with some amazing shows. Last year, nearly 40,000 people went to gigs during IVW – a huge boost to venues and a great way for people to kick the January blues into touch.”

“Great art needs to reflect the society it comes from” – IMG_6837 Alan Davey BBC Radio 3

Last week BASCA, with BBC Radio 3 hosted a Diversity and Inclusion in Classical Composition Conference at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester.
BASCA CEO Vick Bain opened the conference saying “This summer, BASCA published research that focused specifically on classical music composition. The large amount of applications we receive during the awards gives us the closest data set we have to a comprehensive list of new music commissions in the UK; in 2015 we received nearly 300 submissions from commissioned composers. Information on ethnic background showed that of these composers only 6% were of black and minority ethnic heritage. This is less than half the 14% of people in the general UK population…Aside from a moral obligation to make music more accessible to all communities, we at BASCA realise diversity is essential to the survival of British music. A diverse group of individuals will create more enriching opportunities and experiences within music. I hope this conference is a first step towards facilitating that and making it possible”.

FullSizeRenderPresented by Tom Service and Josie D’Arby, the day consisted of a series of panel discussions and keynote speeches given by a selection of composers including Jeffrey Mumford, Raymond Yui, Daniel Kidane, Eleanor Alberga and Errollyn Wallen along with representatives from organisations, Sound & Music, Arts Council England, Southbank Centre, Chineke Foundation and London Music Masters.
Following the debates raised throughout the day Alan Davey announced that BBC Radio 3 would be:

> Expanding the BBC Radio 3’s classical canon to be more representative and to feature unjustly neglected composers.
> Reappraising the commissioning process based on advice and discussion at the conference
> Commissioning a new work for Chineke! Orchestra to perform
> Committing to reconvening the conference to ensure on-going action

As a starting point for this new focus, composer and BASCA Classical Executive Committee member Dr Shirley J Thompson has already curated a page on the BBC Radio 3 website, highlighting some of the major BAME composing names of the past.

The conference ended with a live BBC broadcast of In Tune from the RNCM with A celebration of BAME composers featuring the BBC Philharmonic orchestra.
Vick Bain was interviewed by Suzy Klein and highlighted the stark and shocking figure that only 6% of commissioned compositions were from BAME composers last year and that the conference, attended by people of power and influence throughout the classical sector who could now start addressing the problem.

Click here to listen to the broadcast

euBASCA, alongside other authors’ organisations such as the European Composers and Songwriter Alliance, welcomes the EU’s new draft proposals for Copyright in the Digital Single Market.  The legislation would offer a raft of measures beneficial to authors and creators such as reporting and transparency standards in contracts, the right to the renegotiation of contracts and addressing the value gap on digital platforms. 


Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said: “I want journalists, publishers and authors to be paid fairly for their work, whether it is made in studios or living rooms, whether it is disseminated offline or online, whether it is published via a copying machine or hyperlinked on the web.”


Vick Bain BASCA CEO says “this legislation offers a rare opportunity to start to address the glaring inequality that has existed in the market for 20 years.  The 90s startup tech companies have become the most economically wealthy organisations in the world because they have benefited from protective legislation that was introduced at the start of the internet age.  Ever since they have sucked the creative industries, and particularly the music industry, dry.  We will work hard over the coming years to ensure that this draft Directive is not watered down in its efforts to offer some protection back to creators and rightsholders”. 

Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on copyright in the Digital Single Market

BASCA announces the twelve exceptional individuals who will collect a Gold Badge Award on Monday 3rd October in recognition of their unique contribution to music.

Crispin Hunt, BASCA Chairman said: “It is a great pleasure for BASCA to celebrate the creativity, inspiration, taste and genius included in this year’s list of Gold Badge Award recipients. Each of these remarkable individuals has helped shape the architecture of the music Britain loves in their own unique and significant way. For BASCA’s community of songwriters and composers to be able to congratulate and pay tribute to their influence in our profession at this joyous event is an honour. It’ll be a good one.”

Neil Brand
BASCA Gold Badge Awards 2016 (12)

Liane Carroll

Ray Davies CBE – presented in association with PPL

Paddy Grafton Green – presented in association with PRS for Music

Sally Groves MBE

Sir Karl Jenkins – presented in association with BMI

Dame Cleo Laine

Janice Long

Gillian Moore MBE

Don Reedman

Hamish Stuart

Nathan Timothy


For more information visit www.goldbadgeawards.com and to purchase tickets please email fran@basca.org.uk

The 2016 BASCA Gold Badge Awards are sponsored by PPL and PRS for Music and take place on Monday 3rd October at The Savoy, London.


Tom-Gortler-Anya Lang, Autumn Caveny and Tom Gortler (pictured), have been announced as the 3 finalists competing to secure this years BASCA Scholarship.

The 3 students are all about the begin studying the Creative Songwriting and Artist Development pathway at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) as part of a two-year degree route.

They will perform their audition pieces in front of BASCA members and a specially selected judging panel at the BASCA Summer Party on Monday 15 August where the winner of the 2016 scholarship will be announced.

Kaya Herstad-Carney, pathway leader, creative artist, ACM, said: ‘It’s amazing to have BASCA as a partner and be able to offer a scholarship to one of our promising young songwriters. This could really make a difference for the winner, enabling them to concentrate fully on music rather than having to focus on, for instance, having a part-time job. That could give them a head start in their career!’

The ACM created the BASCA scholarship last year with Ivan Proctor being chosen as the first recipient.

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