This month we reached out to Andrew Hunter, Legal Counsel for CMRRA, to give us his worldview.
Give us a snapshot of what you do at CMRRA!
I’m Legal Counsel in the Legal and Business Affairs department here at CMRRA, with a focus on licensing CMRRA’s repertoire for all the different uses of our clients’ musical works. This could involve direct agreements with online music services, or tariff proceedings before the Copyright Board with broadcasters, for example. Lately, we’ve been focusing on the emergence of social media platforms that provide a stage for users to develop creative new ways to incorporate musical works into their content. It’s a really new area, and every service has a new and interesting offering that’s providing all sorts of cool challenges. We’re focused on making sure that the value of our clients’ musical works is protected and recognised wherever their copyrights are used.
Copyright is in an interesting moment right now during this global pandemic, how do you see it evolving?
The user-generated content space is growing rapidly. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s lots of people at home right now with perhaps more time on their hands than they’ve otherwise been used to, so I’m noticing an increase in usage of these platforms for some really fun and creative ideas. People are becoming accustomed to creating content on the fly, and so we’re seeing more and more requests for services to be able to offer our full repertoire as a blanket licence in order to speed things up.
That’s a big challenge for the industry, as we need to make sure the rights and wishes of the creative community are being respected, while also being responsive to the changes in the landscape.
In terms of music usage in the traditional sense (i.e. listening to it), the streaming business appears to have developed in line with people’s usages. I think we’ll see a continued increase in the use of home devices like smart speakers, so it’ll be interesting to see whether that affects anyone’s listening habits. That said, we’ve had so many disruptions to the industry over the last twenty years, that I’m always looking out to see what the next game-changing idea is going to be.
What are you listening to?
Absolutely loads! I can’t bear to recommend only one thing over another, so here’s a Spotify playlist I made for us to play in the office: Click here for the playlist!
Thinking about becoming a client of CMRRA? Already a client but you have questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you the answers you need.