Creating a Fair
for Music

Record companies are dedicated to creating a sustainable environment in which the whole music community can grow and develop. Investment from record companies, in people and in infrastructure, helps ignite music markets around the world, supporting their cultures and connecting their artists to a global fanbase. For this to be sustainable for the long term, and particularly to support the recovery of the music ecosystem following the COVID-19 crisis, the legal and policy environment should be fit for purpose. There are four key ‘pillars’ that, if fully established, will help diverse music markets – and the music communities driving them.


1. Music’s value should be recognised

Policymakers should recognise that music has both cultural and economic value. Rules should ensure that all services engaging in distributing music online, regardless of how they operate, negotiate licences with right holders (those who create and own the music) in a fair, competitive marketplace.

2. Copyright frameworks should be clear and provide for legal certainty 

A balanced and clear legal framework is needed to allow everyone to understand how music can be used legally. This should give right holders an adequate level of protection through exclusive rights, while allowing, in appropriate cases, clearly defined and targeted exceptions to those rights. Open-ended or ‘flexible’ exceptions are open to abuse and undermine this balance.

3. All parties should be free to agree the terms of their relationship

In a fair and functioning marketplace, parties should be free to agree the terms of their relationship. Unfair restrictions, whether over rights or contracts, distort and limit the development of music markets and result in recorded music being devalued.

4. Adequate tools should be available to prevent music from being made available illegally

As the online marketplace around the world continues to evolve, so too do the challenges the music community faces in preventing music from being made available illegally. There should be fair and effective ways to tackle illegal services that seek to exploit the work of artists and profit through large-scale copyright infringement.