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District Advocate Day 2017: 4 Things At Stake For Music Creators
Oct. 18, 2017, is a huge day for the livelihood of the music community.
Music creators from all 50 states — including songwriters, performers, musicians, producers, and engineers — will participate in the largest grassroots initiative for music in the nation: the Recording Academy's District Advocate day.
The purpose? Music creators will come together on this day to get some important face time with congressional offices in their home districts to discuss legislative issues affecting the music industry, including performance rights, copyright reform and the impact of digital services.
Taking place in nearly 300 congressional districts across the country, artists and industry professionals will lead the charge for updates to music legislation on behalf of today's creators, as well as the next generation of music makers, ensuring they can make a living from their craft.
There are a variety of issues creators will discuss on District Advocate day, but here are four key ones on the table:
Fixing Outdated Laws
Each year, $200 million in royalties for U.S. artists is left overseas due to a lack of a performance royalty in the United States. While most countries provide performance royalties to artists, they do not have to pay U.S. artists since the U.S. does not have a reciprocal royalty in place. The U.S. is aligned with the likes of North Korea, China, and Sudan in its stance on performance royalties. The bipartisan Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2017 would change this through reforming music licensing for sound recordings in a comprehensive way, allowing music creators to receive fair pay for their work.
Modernizing Copyright Protections
Although they are one of the most vital components of any song production, music producers have never been mentioned in any part of the copyright law. H.R. 881, the Allocation for Music Producers Act, would fix this by extending copyright law to music producers, ensuring fair compensation for their work.
Protecting Songwriters And Composers
Songwriters and composers are the first contributors in music production. However, because of decades-old consent decrees, songwriter royalties are suppressed to below fair-market value. True music licensing reform must include changes to ensure songwriters and composers receive fair compensation.
Advocating For The Next Generation
Recording Academy members understand that their efforts not only benefit themselves and their current peers but the creators who will follow in their footsteps. This is why District Advocate day is one of the most widely attended events hosted by the Recording Academy. By advocating for these issues and others, Recording Academy members can ensure that music is valued today, and in the future, both culturally and economically.
"The participation of members across all 50 states is an unprecedented milestone signaling that the music community is firmly united in advocating for a fair and just future for all music creators," said Daryl Friedman, the Recording Academy's Chief Industry, Government & Member Relations Officer. "We look forward to having these in-depth conversations with members of Congress and reinforcing that music lives in every state, and deserves to be heard in Washington, D.C."