Statue of Brazilian musician and composer Antonio Carlos "Tom" Jobim in 2020
Photo: Bruna Prado/Getty Images
A Year In Review: Helping The Music Ecosystem Survive The Pandemic
This unprecedented year has been extremely painful for the music ecosystem, but it is not without hope. Before we look forward to the return of live music, sold-out tours, and in-studio recording sessions poised to take place in 2021, let's take a moment to reflect on the highlights of what the advocacy of Recording Academy members and music lovers helped to accomplish this past year:
Bringing Music Makers And Policymakers Together At The GRAMMYs
Leading artists, songwriters and producers met with members of Congress as part of GRAMMY Week. The discussion gave legislators firsthand knowledge about the challenges facing music creators.
Academy Fights For NEA Funding
The Academy quickly jumped to action after the President released his annual budget in February that zeroed out funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), calling the proposal a "non-starter" and submitting testimony to Congressional appropriators in support of an increase in funding, which Congress ultimately approved.
Passage Of The CARES Act Includes Historic Help For Music Creators
Academy members advocated Congress to include pro-music provisions in a COVID-19 relief package, and as a result, the CARES Act provided unemployment assistance for the first time to self-employed gig workers, made self-employed workers eligible for the new Paycheck Protection Program, and provided $75M in supplemental funds for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Academy Establishes CARES Act Helpline
To help Academy members access the benefits available under the CARES Act, the Recording Academy established the CARES Act Hotline to answer questions and conducted an informational webinar.
Harvey Mason, jr. Testifies Before Senate: Creators Must Be Paid Fairly
The Recording Academy's Chair & Interim President/CEO was a witness before the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property. As part of a series of hearings examining the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Mason advocated for a performance right for sound recordings on AM/FM radio.
United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Includes National Treatment Provisions
Academy members asked Congress to protect creators in the USMCA during GRAMMYs on the Hill 2019, and the new USMCA trade agreement officially established a "national treatment" with Canada and Mexico that enables U.S. performers to receive radio performance royalties for airplay in those countries.
Yolanda Adams Testifies In The Senate: Fair Use Must Be Fair To Creators
Four-time GRAMMY winning singer/songwriter and Recording Academy Trustee Yolanda Adams represented the Academy at a formal DMCA hearing before the Senate's Intellectual Property Subcommittee.
House Introduces HITS Act
With support from the Academy and its members, Reps. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) and Ron Estes (R-Kan.) introduced the bipartisan Help Independent Tracks Succeed (HITS) Act, allowing independent artists to expense the cost of new studio recordings within the same year of production.
Summer Of Advocacy Concludes With District Advocate Day
Culminating with the first all-virtual District Advocate Day, thousands of Academy members met with hundreds of Congressional offices to stress the importance of pro-music relief.
#MusicVotes Helps Get Out The Vote
Alongside our partners at HeadCount, the Recording Academy's #MusicVotes campaign made it simple, easy, and fast for music creators to vote, apply for an absentee ballot, and find their polling place.
Recording Academy Supports MLC Implementation
Established by the MMA, the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) will collect mechanical royalties from digital streaming services. To help songwriters understand the new MLC, the Academy hosted a webinar with MLC CEO Kris Ahrend and songwriter Tayla Parx.
HITS Act Introduced In The Senate
After Academy members lobbied for the HITS Act during District Advocate day and throughout the fall, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced a companion bill in the Senate, demonstrating its growing support.
Academy Advocacy Helps Ensure Additional COVID-19 Relief For Creators
After more than nine months of advocacy by thousands of RA members, Congress passes a second comprehensive COVID relief bill, extending and enhancing benefits to freelance music creators. The omnibus bill also contained key copyright improvements including the CASE Act (small claims copyright court).
Without the tireless advocacy of Recording Academy members, none of these accomplishments would have been possible, but we know we still have much more work ahead of us in the New Year to ensure that the music ecosystem sees a full recovery. Here's to a safe and wonderful holiday season!