a 2 i m

New survey documents independent labels’ experiences with the DMCA


New survey documents independent labels’ experiences with the DMCA.

A new study confirms that independent labels face challenges in dealing with unauthorized uses of their sound recordings.

The study, conducted by A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) and Future of Music Coalition (FMC) asked independent labels, large and small, about their experiences with the notice and takedown system. Based on the responses to that survey:

  • 87% of the respondents knew of online infringements of their works, even though 30% did not actively search for infringements of their works.
  • 65% of the respondents who took action to have the infringing works removed from an online source reported that either it took longer than 24 hours for the infringing work to be removed or that the infringing work was never removed.
  • 68% of the respondents reported that an infringing copy of their music reappeared on the same service even after that music had previously been taken down—the so-called “whack-a-mole” problem.
  • 65% of those that did not actively search for unauthorized use attributed the reason to not having enough resources to search for infringing activity. In addition, 30% of the respondents also stated that they did not continue searching for infringements because previous enforcement efforts had been unsuccessful.
  • The three most frequently cited obstacles faced by the respondents in enforcing their rights online include that (i) they don’t have enough resources to pursue infringement of their works. (ii) they can’t find the contact information to request takedown, (iii) the sites ignore notices or other complaints.

“Thanks to the Future of Music Coalition for compiling this revealing survey and to our label members for completing it,” said Richard James Burgess, CEO of A2IM.  “Sadly, the survey confirms that independent labels are significantly harmed by the unauthorized online use of their music and the unnecessarily tortuous notice and takedown process.”

“Independent labels play a crucial role in the careers of artists of every genre; many are run by musicians themselves.” said Dick Huey, interim Executive Director of FMC. “As policymakers weigh changes to copyright law, the unique needs of the independent sector and all the diverse music communities they serve must be a central consideration.”

The full survey report can be downloaded here: http://www.futureofmusic.org/sites/default/files/Section512study.pdf and was submitted to the US Copyright Office as part of their study of Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.


About A2IM:

A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization representing a diverse group of over 430 Independently owned American record labels. A2IM helps Independent music labels improve business by promoting access and parity through advocacy, education and connection-building with one another and affiliated businesses.


About Future of Music Coalition:

Future of Music Coalition (FMC) is a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization supporting a musical ecosystem where artists flourish and are compensated fairly and transparently for their work. FMC works with musicians, composers and industry stakeholders to identify solutions to shared challenges. We promote strategies, policies, technologies and educational initiatives that always put artists first while recognizing the role music fans play in shaping the future.


Contact for Future of Music Coalition: Kevin Erickson, [email protected] 202.822.2051

Contact for A2IM: Dawn Kamerling, The Press House, [email protected] 646.322.4903

About A2IM:
A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of more than 700 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.

Learn more about A2IM here.
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