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    MTV forces pay cut for indie videos

    LONDON -- European independent record labels are at loggerheads with broadcasting giant MTV Networks Europe in a bitter dispute over payment, which could lead to all independent label videos being pulled from MTV channels at the end of this month.The row started when MTV and collecting society Video Performance Ltd (VPL) began renegotiating a previous five year license to broadcast European independent videos across MTV’s European channels. MTV claims VPL proposed a new rate equivalent to 2.5 times the old rate. The indies refute that, saying they were not looking for an increase.


    "We are defending a decrease," says Martin Mills, chairman of the Beggars Group stable of companies, adding that MTV wants to cut payments by 55% to £840,000 ($1.55 million). That sum is divided up between all the European indies which have their videos shown on MTV. "It costs up to £100,000 to make a music video," adds Mills. "MTV’s total payment, therefore, barely covers the cost of eight videos."


    MTV has ceased talks with VPL and is attempting to sign deals directly with indie labels - a similar set up to what it has with the world’s major record companies. The indies are accusing the broadcaster of bully boy tactics, as they claim their videos will be pulled if they have not signed an agreement by the end of March. The indies also fear that MTV’s proposed direct deals with individual labels is a cherry-picking exercise.


    Among the artists that could be affected are: The White Stripes, 2 Many DJs, Dizzee Rascal, Carla Bruni, The Rasmus, Franz Ferdinand, Travis, Moloko, Mis-Teeq, So Solid Crew, Martina Topley Bird, Badly Drawn Boy, Craig David (news), Coldcut and The Prodigy.


    The UK indies’ trade body the Association of Independent Music (AIM) and its European equivalent Impala has hit back at MTV. At a press conference in London today, AIM chairman Alison Wenham read out an open letter to Brent Hansen, president/CEO of MTV Networks Europe. "Independent artists and record companies object to the high-handed way in which MTV is trying to reduce its costs," said Wenham. "Without music, MTV would not exist, and yet we get a comparatively tiny return from their use of our videos. It is time the music makers stood up for themselves to re-establish fair value for their work." Wenham says the letter has been signed by about 300 European record labels.


    Simon Guild, chief operating officer MTV Networks Europe, refutes the bullying accusations. "We noted that a few things had changed since the original deal was signed," he says. "For instance, Zomba [the world’s biggest indie] had become part of BMG and other indies had also been swallowed by majors. Also, as far as MTV is concerned, VPL is not mandated to talk to us about mobile rights, etc., so dealing direct with the indie labels, as we do with the majors, seems like the best way to proceed."


    Source: News @ Yahoo.com


    Thanks to Gas_Man

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