A study by the Recording Industry Association of America has shown that the retail music market in the United States could become a $10 billion market.
Surely the proliferation of music streaming, the increased accessibility by artists has given sap to a market that has been in decline since 2007. Well, technological innovations will probably be the protagonists of a new market revival, also helping to simplify the methods of collecting artists’ rights and the related contractual aspects! Although the legislation is aimed at giving a new structure to the record industry, as demonstrated by the enactment, on October 11, 2018, of the Music Modernization Act or MAA acronym, which in three separate provisions, should establish a non-profit government agency to create a database of mechanical licensing owners of musical works, ensure that songwriters receive a portion of the mechanical license fees for the physical or digital reproduction of a song at a rate set by the contract, renew the judicial process in case of disagreement on royalty rates, despite all these good intentions, precisely, the lack of a centralized database of information on musical property still remains an obstacle not easy to resolve.
The creation of a decentralized register that can catalog and record the rights of an artist, the fees due perhaps through specific smart contracts, and the payment of royalties with constant monitoring of economic flows, is a primary objective for many music companies.
Proof of this is the recent case, Flow, by Dapper Labs, a blockchain for consumer applications such as games and digital collectibles in partnership with publishers such as Warner Music Group and Ubisoft.
Well, the market is growing and a recent survey by RIAA itself states that about 25% of all CDs “Fulfilled by Amazon” (Amazon program that allows third party vendors to list their products on the platform, which simply takes a commission and manage the shipment) are fakes!
The recent outcry comes from Tommy Boy Records who has sued Amazon for selling fake merchandise, as they appear on marketplaces, titles that the record label has never even printed on vinyl.
It’s no longer surprising, and it’s easy to believe it, because even in the book market (see my in-depth review) the Seattle-based label has been pinched more than once! It seems very clear that the online marketplace cannot be, for much longer, a Far West at the mercy of the strongest, but it will necessarily have to build a more solid and structured code of conduct.
All Rights Reserved
Raffaella Aghemo, Lawyer
Record market recovering and reporting on Amazon was originally published in Data Driven Investor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.