At a time when the digital distribution of music is dominating the music industry, there are more music consumers than ever. This makes it vitally important for performing artists to receive the credit they are due. An inherent problem in music’s digital distribution market is that music streaming companies often fail to acquire proper licenses to expand their music libraries faster than their competitors. Performing artists who may not have the same income stream as their A-list counterparts often cannot bear the cost of litigation to pursue uncredited royalties. The U.S. class action model provides performing artists with a legal tool to band together when digital music streaming services choose expediency over licensing. The United Kingdom and France are the world’s second highest grossing countries in sound performing rights, respectively, with the United States at number one. It is alarming, however, that the United Kingdom and France have only enacted laws encompassing something similar to a U.S. class action model within the last four years. This Note reflects on the differences between the U.S., U.K., and French class action models. While analyzing their differences, this Note argues that the U.K. and French class action models are structured in a way that is not as favorable as the U.S. class action model for performing artists. This Note proposes that the United Kingdom and France restructure their current class action models to mirror the U.S. class action model so performing artists in their countries may have a more optimal legal tool.
Slipping Through the Cracks: How Digital Music Streaming Cuts Corners on Artists’ Royalty Revenues Globally,
43 Brook. J. Int'l L.
Available at: https://brooklynworks.brooklaw.edu/bjil/vol43/iss1/31