In 2000, the Irish Music Rights Organization brought a case to the World Trade Organization stating that United States had not paid Irish artists the full amount of copyright royalties due to them. The complaint stemmed from a law passed by Congress in late 1998 that stated that small businesses — such as bars, restaurants, and small shops — were not obligated to pay for the royalties of broadcasting TV and radio in their business. That law, said the World Trade Organization, was in violation of international copyright treaties. The Irish Music Rights Organization, or IMRO, claimed that Irish aritsts and songwriters alone were losing millions due to their massive popularity in the United States. In late 2001, the US and the WTO agreed on a temporary solution, and now is nearing a finalized compensation agreement.
Last week, members of the United States Congress strongly pushed for an overdue payment of $3.5 million to be given to the WTO as compensation to European artists. The money, if allocated, will be used to fund up-and- coming struggling musicians in Europe.
One source cites that The Cranberries’ “Linger” is one of the most popular “pub” songs by an Irish group, often being played in bars without compensation. Van Morrison’s “Moondance” is cited for the same reason.
The Cranberries themselves are registered members of the Irish Music Rights Organization, alongside other notables like Samantha Mumba, Westlife, and The Corrs. Surprisingly, rock heavyweights U2 are not part of the rights protection group.
Sources: ArtScope.net, European Trade Union, Taipei Times