SGA and European Composer and Songwriter Alliance Joining Together
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN—The Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) and The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that joins them together in representing songwriter interests in the development of the Global Repertoire Database (GRD). The GRD, currently being designed by a working group consisting of the world's leading music copyright owners, copyright users, and creators, is expected to represent a revolutionary step forward in the ability of all three communities to more easily license and track the uses of music on the Internet.
"This is the next logical step in strengthening the bonds of communication and cooperation between North American and European music creators," stated Alfons Karabuda, Chairman of ECSA. "It is crucial for the voices of composers and songwriters to be heard on an issue as critical as the development of the GRD, which is likely to have a profound effect on the way that business is conducted in the global music marketplace over the next several decades."
"With the very survival of the creator community at stake," added SGA president Rick Carnes, "songwriters and composers can no longer simply leave it to others to represent our rights on crucial issues such as the GRD, That job falls to us, and it is one that we enthusiastically embrace, even as we look to continue our working relationships with the community of copyright owners."
The announced initiative among the European and North American songwriter groups follows the formation several months ago in Brussels by the two groups of an expansive international coalition of the world's music creators. "That was just the first step," Carnes continued. "We now have moved toward coordinating our legislative,educational, and advocacy initiatives on specific issues of importance to creators. Clearly, the strength and effectiveness of our global composer and songwriter alliance is expanding rapidly, and we expect that trend to continue."
The announcement of the MOU was made shortly after the conclusion of the Spring 2012 SKAP meetings in Stockholm, Sweden, at which both Mr. Karabuda and Mr. Carnes spoke eloquently on the need for creators to take a more active role in creators' rights advocacy. "We, as creators, are all in this together," they stated jointly, "and our organizations are committed to ensuring together that creator interests on issues such as transparency, anti-piracy and fair remuneration are strongly protected."
The Songwriters Guild of America Foundation, represented at the meetings by Chair Janie Ross Coulter, is expected to serve as the primary educational arm of the overall global songwriter alliance project. "We intend to get the information songwriters and composers need to advance their careers into their hands," she said, "in ways that will make it easier for them to ensure the protection of their rights on a global basis."