Indies unite to give artists a better deal

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More than 700 independent labels have given their backing to an initiative calling for fairer deals for their artists.

Among the labels to sign the Fair Digital Deals Declaration are Epitaph, Beggars Group, Rough Trade and Sub Pop, who want to fix inequities in music licensing deals that include payouts covering unshared compensation and minimum revenue guarantees.

According to the Worldwide Independent Network, the labels have decided to unite over financial issues because “a pattern has emerged” in which online music services favour major companies over independents.

Launching the initiative, Martin Mills, group chairman of the Beggars Group, who look after bands including Queens of the Stone Age, says: Why wouldn’t we treat artists fairly? It seems so obvious that we shouldn’t have to say it, but let’s say it loud and proud.”

Rich Bengloff, president of the American Association of Independent Music, told Rolling Stone: “This is a call for artists receiving the same fair treatment that we as independent music labels feel we should be receiving as well.”