Promoting Fairness of the Music Ecosystem in a Platform-Dominated and Post-Pandemic Europe (Fair MusE)

Duration: March 2023 - February 2026
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Project Overview and UCP role

Universidade Católica Portuguesa acts as Coordinator of the Fair MusE research project under the leadership of Principal Investigator Giuseppe Mazziotti, researcher at Católica Research Centre for the Future of Law and Abreu Professor in Law and Innovation at Católica Global School of Law at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP). He is joined by a Anastasiia Kyrylenko, a post-doctoral researcher with extensive experience in legal research and highly qualified in IP law.  With an overall budget of around € 3 million, financed under Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation funding programme, Fair MusE aims to investigate and promote fairness for music creators and stakeholders from an interdisciplinary perspective. The ultimate end of this three-year project is to produce evidence-based outcomes leading to a more transparent, competitive, and sustainable music ecosystem in Europe. Fair MusE focuses specifically on the dominance of online platforms and their algorithms and will investigate: (i) the legal responses that have been proposed in the EU; (ii) the changes these platforms have brought to the music industry and music professionals; and (iii) the impact of such algorithms on music consumption.

Fair MusE will provide an interdisciplinary analysis of fairness in the music industry involving music creators and stakeholders in the research; promote and enhance transparency concerning music industry practices and standardisation in data collection in the European music ecosystem; and assess the risks created by the reinforced dominance of the largest online platforms prompted by COVID 19 as well as making policymakers, stakeholders and the public aware of such risks.


Consortium

Supported by an Advisory Board of specialist representatives from the wider music industry, Fair MusE's interdisciplinary research team consists of academic experts with backgrounds in law; economics; and social, political, computer and data sciences. The consortium, led by UCP, comprises 11 partners from nine countries: Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Estonia, Austria, Italy, and the UK - who each have specific knowledge in the various scientific and subject matter areas that are required to meet the project's objectives.

UCP’s partners in this project are Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Aalborg University, University of Lille, University of Liege, University of Tartu,  Central European University, the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, the Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori, Fondazione ICONS, as well as Verifi Media. Within this interdisciplinary effort, Prof Mazziotti’s team will lead and coordinate the consortium’s legal research activities, with a special focus on copyright, competition law, and online platform regulation.


Outputs and Impact

Fair MusE designs an innovative and strong set of co-created solutions to make the European music ecosystem more transparent and sustainable. The expected output includes: 

  • Music Copyright Infrastructure: a data-sharing model agreement to enhance transparency in royalties and licensing.
  • Music Data Dashboard: a portal providing statistical indicators on the economic and societal value of the European music sector. 
  • Fairness Score: a tool to assess the multi-faceted fairness of music services and social media. 
  • White Paper: a report with policy recommendations to enhance competitiveness, sustainability, transparency, and fairness in the European music sector. 

Fair MusE seeks to raise awareness about how music algorithms, data collection, and exploitation models of social media and streaming platforms influence music creators and audiences. The project’s output could potentially have several economic, scientific, and social impacts: 

Economic impact
The entire music industry benefits from greater opportunities for sustainable growth that the rights management assets and technologies provided by the Music Copyright Infrastructure offer, as well as from evidence and a much clearer understanding of the fairness of the leading music platforms and services. The new insights will allow the sector to develop new strategies or adapt its business models to more sustainable and transparent processes.

Scientific impact
Fair MusE will lead to a significant increase in knowledge about the current and future impact of online platforms on music creators’ rights, as well as the economic and social value of digital music (and its possible modification or devaluation).

Social impact
Music and musical works constitute a key sector for European cultural heritage. The results of Fair MusE will help safeguard and promote musical culture through appropriate responses to multiple social, economic, technological, and artistic changes.



[Disclaimer]  “This project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe Framework Programme, under the Grant Agreement no: 101095088. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (“REA”). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.”

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