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Hand over the data: AMA’s 15-step plan for French mgrs

The French Artist Managers’ Alliance (Alliance des Managers d’Artistes, AMA) has issued a white paper containing 15 recommendations it says would, if implemented, recognise the “essential role of the manager in the new music ecosystem”.

The report, 15 propositions pour l’avenir du management d’artistes de la musique (15 proposals for the future of the management of musical artists), was, says AMA, published in response to “the concrete problems encountered by managers in the practice of their profession”, and outlines steps the association says could be taken to improve the professional lives of both artists and their managers.

Chief among its recommendations is an overhaul of a 2010 law (la loi du 23 juillet 2010) that blurred the lines between managers, agents and “impresarios” (producers/promoters) by grouping them together as a single profession under article L7121-11 of the labour code. AMA says the seven-year-old law, inspired by the AV sector, is “too general” and has “not met the expectations of the music industry. The purpose of the law was to clarify, but it has had the opposite effect.”

The association also calls for artists and managers to be given free “access to the data they generate” – which is frequently inaccessible as it is “considered proprietary by those who collect and exploit it” – and the implementation of a “support system” for artist managers through France’s 25% levy on private copying.

The 15 proposals in full are:

1. Conduct a review of the 2010 law and its consequences
2. Remove the prohibition on managers being audiovisual producers
3. Managers’ commission from ‘noncommercial income’ (bénéfices non commerciaux), including anything not defined as a salary (ie royalties, neighbouring rights, the name and image of the artist), should not be governed by the labour code
4. Identify situations that do not need to be governed by the 2010 law, such as the representation of ‘non-performing’ artists like authors, composers, directors, etc.
5. Recognise the new forms of collaboration between artists and managers (including ad-hoc arrangements and flat-rate, non-percentage deals)
6. Facilitate the creation of joint ventures between artists and managers
7. Set up a support system for artist managers
8. Involve managers in all current disputes (“We ask for consultation on […] all questions concerning the status, rights and remuneration of artists”)
9. Facilitate access to financing with the creation of a one-stop shop
10. The creation of a specific legal status for ‘cultural enterprises’, including a revamped tax code and reduced red tape for those working in the industry
11. Review the ‘sharing of value’ to better remunerate artists in the streaming age
12. Allow artists and managers access to the data they generate
13. Guarantee and facilitate access to the media, including radio and television, for developing artists
14. Set up a ‘European creative space’, harmonising laws across the EU
15. Reduce VAT on physical media, which is “far from being dead”, representing 51% of revenue in 2016

AMA was founded in August 2014 and is led by Didier Zérath, also treasurer for the IMMF.


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