Robbie Williams and members of Radiohead, Blur and Pink Floyd are meeting to launch a group aiming to secure better rights for musicians.

The Featured Artists' Coalition (FAC) is calling for greater transparency in recording contracts, as well as more effective legislation to protect artists' intellectual property.

Blur drummer David Rowntree - who is part of a steering committee which includes Soul II Soul's Jazzie B, Billy Bragg, Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien, Kate Nash, Marillion keyboard player Mark Kelly and Master Shortie - said members of the FAC must "own our future, take control of our rights and genuinely work together".

"Acting alone, artists' voices will not be heard," Rowntree explained.

"Acting together, we can be a powerful force. Our rights are our power."

The FAC meeting in London comes a day after video sharing website YouTube blocked thousands of premium music videos for UK users following a dispute with the Performing Rights Society (PRS).

"The digital revolution has swept away the old music business of the 1960s, and changed, forever, the relationship between artists and fans," Rowntree continued.

"For companies who made their living sitting between the two, these are increasingly hard times, but for music makers and music fans, this should be a fantastic opportunity.

"YouTube's row with the PRS is the most recent example of just how fast the music industry is changing. There has never been a greater need for the collective voice of featured artists, whose music generates 95 per cent of revenue in the industry, to be properly heard."

After taking to the stage with the recently-reformed Blur at their summer shows in Hyde Park and at Glastonbury and T In The Park, Rowntree is to continue his training as a lawyer.

11/03/2009 17:04:47