Music, AI, Big Tech and more issues are playing out.

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When Britain votes to elect its next government on July 4, business leaders around the world will be watching the results closely to see what it means for them. For the music industry, the upcoming general election was announced by the Prime Minister. Rishi Sink on Wednesday (May 22) – that could also lead to big changes depending on who wins.

According to the latest opinion polls, the Labor Party is 20 points ahead of the Conservative Party, which has been in power for 14 years. Unless the sink achieves an extraordinary turnaround in the next six weeks, the Labor leader Kerr Starmer He is widely expected to be the next occupant of No. 10 Downing Street, presumably with a large majority of parliamentary seats.

Should that happen, Starmer has said he plans to introduce a number of reforms that would affect the regulation of the world's third-largest recorded music market, touring and the tech industry, all outside the UK's borders. will

Tougher rules for ticket resale platforms and the possibility of a future arena ticket tax

In March, Starmer announced that a future Labor government would cap the resale prices of concert tickets and introduce stricter regulations for secondary ticketing platforms such as Viagogo, which have already been the subject of numerous investigations and inquiries in the UK. have been

Starmer said the Labor policy would limit the number of tickets that individual resellers can sell on resale platforms and that the UK competition watchdog would take “swift” action against services and scalpers that break the rules. Will give more options to do.

Any change in number 10 could also have major implications for the global touring business. Earlier this month, a parliamentary committee called for a new voluntary levy to be added to arena and stadium tickets sold in the UK to support struggling grassroots music venues.

To stem the tide of smaller venue closures, the Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) committee said the voluntary levy should be introduced “no later than” September. If there is no progress, the government should institute a statutory levy, suggested the committee, which also called for a cut in sales tax (VAT) on tickets for grassroots music shows.

Whichever political party wins on July 4, it will be expected to respond to the CMS committee report on the grassroots music sector. As for the committees themselves, they cease to exist after Parliament is dissolved on May 30, although a new group will be formed after the election following a cross-party selection of MPs. They may choose new topics or industries to research — or choose to build on the work of their predecessors, meaning parliamentary interest in the music business is unlikely to fade.

According to trade body UK Music, the UK music industry will make a huge contribution to the national economy – £6.7 billion ($8.2 billion) – in music sales, concerts, recording studios, touring and music tourism in 2022. Government leaders will be willing to do so. All possible efforts will be seen to protect the sector.

Regulating AI and Big Tech

After the general election, the hot-button issue of regulating the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to top the legislative agenda and will be the source of heavy lobbying from the tech and music industries.

The current Conservative government has spent the past several years consulting on the topic but has yet to produce a firm plan and has generally adopted a light-touch “pro-innovation” approach to AI regulation.

In 2023, the government quietly rejected a proposal by The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) for a new text and data mining (TDM) concession that would allow AI developers to freely copy Copyright-protected works will be allowed to be used for commercial purposes (albeit with certain restrictions) after strong criticism from the music industry.

Since then, music trade groups such as labels trade body BPI have repeatedly called on the government to follow the EU's lead and protect creators, musicians and rights holders from the potential risks of generative AI models. Gone.

Earlier this month, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music (APPG) called for a comprehensive “pro-creative industries” AI Bill that protects the music business from “threats” posed by the technology. Its recommendations included banning AI developers from using copyrighted music for training purposes without consent, as well as requiring tech companies to clearly label all AI-generated content.

If Sink retains power, music executives will be keen to see him quickly move forward with UK-specific legislation around AI and ensure the UK follows suit in regulating the sector. Don't lag behind countries and markets.

Labour's position on AI, as outlined by Starmer last summer, is that it will introduce stronger regulation than the Conservatives, although details are thin on the ground and the party's position appears to have changed in recent months. It has softened as it tries to court business leaders. And tech executives pitching themselves as a “supporter of innovation” are waiting in government. Labor was working on an AI strategy document ahead of the announcement of the general election, which was expected to start this month.

AddressThe anger of artists and songwriters is over Streaming Terms

Over the past four years, the UK has led the way in addressing artist dissatisfaction over underpayments from music streaming. Since 2020, when the pandemic-enforced shutdown of the live industry brought the issue to the fore, there have been a number of parliamentary-led inquiries into the record business, including one by the UK competition watchdog into the market for major labels. Dominance review is also included.

In December 2021, Parliament debated a bill that would require record companies to pay musicians and songwriters a large cut of streaming revenue. It was defeated in the first instance, but the prospect of government intervention in the UK music business has seen record companies diverting huge amounts of time and resources into revamping their public policy teams and dealing with various investigations.

The music industry's intense scrutiny has yet to result in any law changes, but it has increased pressure on labels to improve artists' terms and contracts. A government-led working group focused on creator compensation has recently been launched (which insiders say is likely to continue after the election) and around lower streaming royalties for many artists. The noise is not likely to end anytime soon.

Last month, the Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) committee published a report calling on government ministers to “do more to ensure that music producers are fairly compensated” and copy Go ahead with Wright's sweeping reform package. The committee's recommendations include changing the revenue split between recording and publishing rights from music streaming, currently set at 55% for recording and 15% for publishing, to better reward songwriters. could

“It is vital that any incoming administration ensures that we deliver on the recommendations made by the Culture Select Committee to reshape the streaming market and support grassroots live touring,” ” says. Annabella ColdrickChief Executive of the UK Music Managers Forum (MMF).

Coldrick adds, “More broadly, we need a government that values ​​British music, puts it at the forefront of UK development policy, and backs it up with a credible music strategy. to maximize the potential of our industry both domestically and internationally.” Coldrick adds.

Whether that responsibility falls on Sink or Starmer will be decided by the British people on July 4. If Labor wins the general election, it is likely that two of the music world's biggest names will join them in government. Buller drummer Dave Rowntree is running as a Labor candidate for the Conservative-held seat of Mid-Sussex, while Tom Gray, co-founder of indie rock band Gomes and head of the Ivers Academy songwriters' and musicians' organisation, is running for the party. are selected. Candidates for Brighton Pavilion Constituency.

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