The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ESCA) has said that composers are being manipulated into surrendering their copyright by TV companies across Europe.

The charges made were in a complaint by the alliance represents more than 12,000 composers and songwriters to EU competition authorities claiming that British broadcasters accused of “the coercive acquisition of composers’ rights.”

Composer Chris Smith, from ECSA‘s Working Group on Coercion, comments: “Individual composers find themselves obliged to sign away their rights for fear of losing work or of being blacklisted if they refuse,” resulting in ‘third parties’ receiving the composers’ income.

“In a statement released ahead of a press conference held in Brussels on Wednesday, ECSA said what it called ‘coercive commissioning’ was ‘a malignant and growing business practice in the audio-visual and media production sectors,'” reports BBC.

“ECSA alleges that the terms of publishing agreements into which composers are coerced by some of Europe’s largest and most prominent broadcasters are far less fair than what could be secured in a truly free and open market.”

ITV and BSkyB are among the British broadcasters being accused and broadcasters and production companies in the Netherlands, France, Italy, Denmark and Austria are also mentioned in the complaint.

[Source: BBC]