London, Oct 4 : A new union established by rock stars to stand up for their musical rights will be launched on October 5 at the In the City conference in Manchester.
The union, named as Featured Artists' Coalition, was founded by Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Red Wedge veteran Billy Bragg, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, The Klaxons, DJ Paul Oakenfold, Craig David, Iron Maiden and the Kaiser Chiefs just to name a few.
The new organisation, all argue, is vital to represent their interests as the music industry is turned on its head by digital distribution.
"I think with the digital age and record companies dispersing and disbanding, young bands need a governing voice that will support them and help protect their work," the Guardian quoted Damon Gough, of Badly Drawn Boy, as saying.
The organisation will "speak with one voice to help artists strike a new bargain with record companies, digital distributors and others ... by engaging with government, music and technology companies, and collection societies, arguing for fair play and, where necessary, exposing unfair practices."
The coalition will campaign for a fairer deal on copyright, cited by Radiohead as one of their reasons for leaving EMI last year, and releasing In Rainbows as an attention grabbing "pay what you can" download.
"For us, this is a no-brainer and we believe all artists and musicians should be signing up," guitarist Ed O'Brien said.
The band's co-manager, Brian Message, said that it would allow new artists to benefit from the experiences and clout of more established ones.
The Featured Artists' Coalition, the term given to "primary named performers" on recordings, will be headed by an independent chairman with six artists, three managers and representatives from the Musicians' Union and Equity.
It will have a six-point manifesto, including fair compensation after deals between labels and technology companies, and a "use it or lose it" approach to copyright so that recordings don't go unreleased.