Although the Rome Treaty has enabled neighbouring and related rights to be a source of income for performers living in any country that has been a signatory since 1961, this income stream has always played second fiddle to copyright owners (labels) and publishing income. However, as mechanical income drops, artists are being forced to look elsewhere to augment their income. In addition, the rise of satellite and digital sound recording income from sources such as SoundExchange, has beaconed an awareness to the fact that this income stream exists. As this awareness grows, companies have been increasingly creating new business models in which they benefit from the income neighbouring rights generate, without being able or willing to handle the hurdles and pitfalls that ensue.
In the publishing world, when something goes wrong, publishers can go to the MPA, NMPA or equivalent which can provide the advocacy necessary to solve industry wide issues. These organizations also provide educational events for people involved in copyright, or individuals looking to go into this field so that they can attain a base amount of knowledge. These organizations also create a community in which competitors can co-exist as colleagues. It creates a sense in the world of copyright, there when the law turns on a dime, competitors are ready to unite for the good of the whole.
This did not previously exist in the neighbouring rights community. It was not surprising when it was a relatively unknown income stream; although still a small community, awareness has grown as issues have arisen. The relative obscurity of such an important revenue source made us all vulnerable and enabled CMO’s to remain unchecked as regards rules and regulations that range from unfair to unlawful. When there is an issue affecting anyone or everyone who registers a performance claim, there was no one to turn to for help. Now there is. IAFAR.
Our mission is for this group is to be the focal point for education and advocacy of neighbouring rights and to provide a community for those working in this segment of the music industry. The group is open to anyone who works on artists neighbouring rights. This includes artists representing themselves, lawyers, accountants, publishers with representative divisions, and sole trader representatives. The CMOs need to be held to account by the people to whom they exist to serve. Individually, we might not have much of a voice. Together, we speak loud enough for everyone to hear.
i. Naomi Asher (Wixen Music President)- President – Chair of Board
ii. Ann Tausis ( Kobalt NR Managing Director) – Treasurer/Secretary – Vice Chair
iii. Stacey Haber (Owner Inside Baseball) – Business and Legal Head
iv. Shari Hoffman (Transparence Entertainment Group) – CEO
v. Gina Deacon (Absolute/Bucks)
vi. Dan Breen (Singer/Songwriter)
vii. Chris Sheehan (Singer/ Songwriter/ Help Musicians)
viii. Orphy Robinson MBE (Musician/ Composer/ BASCA)
ix. Steve MacMellon (Director- Goldfinch Music)