MusicTank, the University of Westminster’s pre-eminent think tank and business information hub, has announced the publication of its latest white paper - Private Copying Of Music: A New Model For Artist Compensation.

Written by former Music Business Management MA (MBM MA) student Sam Rudy, the white paper argues for an immediate EU-wide statutory introduction of an improved blank tape levy and proposes an evolution of the concept of private copying.

This complex aspect of rightsholder remuneration is timely, as the UK music industry – led by UK Music, The Musicians' Union and BASCA – pursues a judicial review over Parliament’s decision to introduce private copyright. On 1 October 2014, the UK approved the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations 2014, granting consumers the legal right to copy CDs and DVDs onto personal computers, mobile devices and internet-based cloud locker services, for their own personal use. However, with no compensation to artists and right-holders.

This white paper addresses the European Parliament’s call for further discussion to be conducted into finding an alternative approach to compensation systems for private copying that would ensure appropriate remuneration for rightsholders.

Author Sam Rudy suggests that this new levy could provide urgently needed remuneration to rightsholders with a solution, which is innovative and accurately targets music that is most likely to be copied, with those facilitating format shifting remunerating rightsholders in a way that is fair, proportionate and transparent.

Sally Gross, MBM MA Course Director at the University of Westminster, commented: “Extensively researched, this paper positions a timely and convincing argument that a private copy levy, even in these days of streaming, should still make up a substantial part of music industry finance.”

The publication is the second paper to be issued under MusicTank’s newly launched Future Thinking, which provides a platform to profile thought-leadership papers produced by postgraduate students from the University of Westminster’s world-leading Music Business Management MA course.

Publication of this paper will be followed by a MusicTank debate on 25 June at the University of Westminster’s Regent Campus in central London. Tickets are available now on the MusicTank website.

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