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US music community reaches out to Donald Trump

 

US music community reaches out to Donald Trump

Ahead of today's (December 14) meeting with Silicon Valley leaders, the US music community has sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump asking him to help them fix the “value grab”.  

A total of 19 music organisations, representing artists, songwriters, managers, producers and labels, claim in the letter that “sophisticated technology corporations can do better” in preventing illegal access to music and “paying fair market value”.   

Stating that “music powers economic growth” and “drives innovation”, the signatories write that “many of today’s popular technology platforms owe much of their growth and success to music. Music is responsible for the most-followed accounts on Facebook and Twitter, the most-watched videos on YouTube, and is one of the most popular draws for phones and other personal devices. These platforms thrive and grow by delivering the creative genius of songwriters and artists.”  

They continue: “As partners, many in the technology and corporate community should be commended for doing their part to help value creators and their content. Some have developed systems to promote a healthy market for music and deter theft. However, much more needs to be done. Search engines, user upload content platforms, hosting companies, and domain name registrars and registries should follow others’ example to effectively stop theft and assure fair payment.”  

For the signatories, “there is a massive 'value grab' as some of these corporations weaken intellectual property rights for America’s creators by exploiting legal loopholes never intended for them – perversely abusing US law to underpay music creators, thus harming one of America’s economic and job engines.” They are asking the world’s biggest technology corporations to “do better” by “helping to prevent illegal access and paying fair market value for music with prices set by or based on the free market".

They conclude: “Strong protection for intellectual property rights will assure growth in both creativity and technology, benefiting the American economy as a whole. We hope you will lead the effort to assure American creativity is encouraged, invested in, protected and fairly compensated in a manner that carries out the exclusive rights guaranteed in the Constitution to those who, with the genius of their mind, form the cultural identity of our great nation.”  

Signatories to the letter include: 

American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) 

American Federation of Musicians 

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) 

Music Association 

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) 

Church Music Publishers’ Association (CMPA) 

Christian Music Trade Association (CMTA) 

Gospel Music Association 

The Living Legends Foundation, Inc. 

Music Managers Forum - U.S. 

Nashville Songwriters’ Association International (NSAI) 

National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) 

The Recording Academy 

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) 

Rhythm & Blues Foundation 

Screen Actors’ Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) 

SESAC 

The Songwriters Guild of America 

SoundExchange

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