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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."