Alicia Keys To Be Honored At 2015 GRAMMYs On The Hill Awards
Music and politics will unite at the 2015 GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards on April 15 at The Hamilton in Washington, D.C., where GRAMMY-winning artist/songwriter/producer Alicia Keys will be presented with the Recording Artists' Coalition Award, an award named for the artists' rights program founded by Don Henley and Sheryl Crow. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) will also be honored for their support and understanding of music creators' unique role in American life.
The Recording Academy works year-round to advocate for music makers in Washington, D.C., and nationwide. The Academy was instrumental in recent legislation that allows working musicians to carry their instruments onto commercial flights, and has advocated for new rules that would compel radio stations to pay artists and audio professionals for airing their music. The Academy has also been a prime voice for the music-maker community as the U.S. Copyright Office has compiled a study on music licensing that could impact future copyright law.
Five-time GRAMMY nominee Hunter Hayes will be the master of ceremonies for the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards. Other members of the recording industry set to attend include GRAMMY-winning R&B and pop producer Rodney Jerkins; Texas singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen; GRAMMY-nominated rock singer/songwriter Eddie Money; GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Ray Parker Jr.; and GRAMMY-winning jazz and gospel saxophonist Kirk Whalum, in addition to Washington luminaries and policymakers.
"We are proud to honor Alicia Keys for her artistry, philanthropy and her passion for creators' rights as a founding member of the Academy's brand-new GRAMMY Creators Alliance,'' said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. ''We know that she will bring the same dedication to creators' rights as she does to her music and global philanthropic efforts.''
Portnow added, "The Academy is also pleased to honor House leaders Goodlatte and Nadler for their unflagging support of intellectual property, and we look forward to another incredible evening in our nation's capital."
Booker T. Jones, Sue Ennis Join National Advocacy Committee
GRAMMY winner Booker T. Jones and Seattle-based multiplatinum songwriter Sue Ennis have joined the Recording Academy’s National Advocacy Committee, a body comprising leading performers, producers, songwriters, and studio engineers that works to advance the interests of the music creators the Academy represents.
As the leader of the instrumental group Booker T. & The MG's, the house band at Stax Records, Jones stands as an R&B/soul pioneer. An Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame. The Booker T. & The MG's classic "Green Onions" was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 1999.
Ennis, a current Recording Academy Trustee, is known for writing Heart classics such as "Dog & Butterfly," "Straight On" and "Even It Up," among others, with GRAMMY nominees Ann and Nancy Wilson. She will co-chair the Committee with GRAMMY-winning producer Rodney Jerkins.
Jones and Ennis join existing Committee members Jerkins, KEM, Ann Mincieli, Academy Chair John Poppo, and Nile Rodgers.
As noted by Jones and Daryl P. Friedman, Chief Industry, Government, & Member Relations Officer of the Recording Academy, in an interview with Billboard, the Committee's forthcoming agenda will include advancing support for important issues affecting music creators, including the Fair Play Fair Pay Act and the Allocation for Music Producers Act.
"We have a gargantuan task of informing and re-informing lawmakers about the inequities that exist in compensation for the creative arts, especially music," Jones told Billboard. "Authors Will and Ariel Durant wrote about the five necessities for a society to be happy and one is the cultural aspect. You can have food, water and other necessities, but if you don’t have culture, society is going to fall ill. The U.S. needs to be the leader in this area instead of falling behind."
Nadler Addresses Performance Rights At GRAMMYs On The Hill
Nadler Addresses Performance Rights At GOTH
On April 26 Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D–N.Y.), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and member of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet, addressed his continued support for the Performance Rights Act during a keynote address at the 2012 GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. The "issue of performance rights is not over," he said during his remarks to an audience of artists, technicians and industry and legislative representatives. Nadler noted it is "patently absurd" that broadcast radio is the only medium exempt from paying for sound recording rights. "The bottom line is that terrestrial radio … is allowed to use the creation, the intellectual property, of another, for free," Nadler said. "I'm aware of no other instance where this is allowed, and this needs to be remedied." While parties for and against the Performance Rights Act had reportedly reached an agreement in July 2010, the proposal was amended by the National Association of Broadcasters in October 2010 to include stipulations that were "economically worse for the music community than the status quo," according to Nadler. "This issue isn't over, and it won't be over until we have a performance right enshrined in law," he continued. "If the parties can't solve the problem, Congress will." In closing, Nadler said, "Like you, I believe that protecting copyrights and making sure creators are paid for their work is critical. It's not only the fair and moral thing to do, but it's vital for our economic well-being." The Recording Academy has been actively working toward a performance right for the music community. (4/30)
musicFIRSTCoalition Campaign Takes Aim At SiriusXM, YouTube
The musicFIRST Coalition, an industry collective co-founded by the Recording Academy, has unveiled a new digital ad campaign and website — though its purpose remains the same: protecting music creators and advocating for the enduring value of their works.
The coalition's mission of supporting intellectual property rights is arguably more important than ever, given seismic rapid changes in technology. The new campaign will spotlight music creators front and center, advocating for their music works wherever they are played.
The campaign targets four key themed issues for artists:
No Heart Radio
While streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music pay performers for playing their songs, the terrestrial radio industry does not compensate musical performers for their work.
SiriusLY? Artists Deserve Better
Though platforms such as internet and satellite radio pay performers for use of their music, SiriusXM pays performers a below-market royalty rate.
That '70s Law
Due to a federal copyright loophole, a majority of artists who created music before 1972 are not paid for their works when they are played on terrestrial, satellite and digital radio platforms. This is estimated to shortchange creators and copyright owners compensation of more than $60 million a year for digital airplay alone.
YouTube is an amazing discovery tool for music. But the fact is that Google sees a financial windfall from selling ads on YouTube for unlicensed music. In turn, music creators are typically inclined to agree to much lower payments from Google, and if they don't agree to the terms their music is liable to end up on YouTube regardless, making for a government-granted safe harbor from copyright infringement.
musicFIRST's national campaign will target music creators and ask them to join this critical advocacy effort. Artists will be invited to share their thoughts via the new website and send messages to members of Congress who represent them to ask for their support.
"Our goal is to rally the people and organizations who make and love music to ask Congress to address obvious flaws in our copyright system," said musicFIRST Coalition Executive Director Chris Israel. "We are simply looking for a level playing field with no government subsidies, grandfather clauses or decades-old safe harbors. … It's time to modernize the rules to let competition, innovation and great music thrive."