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Music Stars Take Copyright Fight To U.S. As Revenue Tops $10 Billion

Music, video and other artists are earning a record $10 billion in royalties a year — but they are not letting up on their fight for a fairer share of digital income. The worldwide publishing group Cisac, which released the figure today, hailed European plans for copyright reform that were approved in April and urged the government in the U.S., the largest music market, to follow suit and ensure that services such as YouTube pay more to creators.

While the total figure for songwriter and author royalties collected by authors’ societies around the world showed a modest 1% rise in overall incomes, the digital revenue surged 39%, according to the Cisac 2019 Global Collections Report.

For years, musicians as diverse as Paul McCartney, Adele, Annie Lennox, Jean Michel Jarre and Nikki Sixx of SIXX:A.M. have urged “fairer payments,” saying that many millions of internet views are needed to generate significant income. Book, film, news and music publishers also want to ensure their material is not easily pirated.

“Digital is our future and revenues to creators are rising fast, but there is a dark side to digital,” CISAC’s president and electric music pioneer Jean Michel Jarre said in a statement. “It is caused by a fundamental flaw in the legal environment that continues to devalue creators

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