Artist Rights Leaders: Taylor Swift



After the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, we thought we should start recognizing and praising those who stand up for artist rights.  We will also identify those who oppose artist rights and tell you why we think they are villains.  Not all of these people will be famous and you may not recognize some of their names, but that’s kind of the point.  We also want to emphasize that we’re not comparing anyone to anyone else, we’re just appreciating people for what they do and who they are–on both sides.

When we look back on the last year, there’s probably no one who did more for artist rights than Taylor Swift.  She really did not need to take on these issues, she could easily have sat back and let the money roll in.

And yet she did.  She put her career on the line and challenged the definitive “new boss” digital business–Spotify.  She challenged them in a very straightforward way by simply saying no.  Taylor had a lot to lose, and she went above and beyond to stand up to the “new boss.”

Spotify’s Daniel Ek revealed himself and did his best to play the “Lars card”–he talked down to her and attacked her.  Not as badly as the calculated and well-financed humiliation of Metallica by Napster’s litigation PR team, but a strain of it.  Can you imagine Steve Jobs doing that?  No way.  But that’s OK, we finally got the evidence on who this guy Ek really is and what his company really stands for.  Same old same old.

Taylor also showed that you don’t need YouTube, either–and she turned her team loose to present herself on YouTube the way she wanted, not the way YouTube wanted to force her to be presented.

She challenged The Man 2.0 by simply being who she was and exercising her rights as an artist–the very rights that the “new boss” constantly tries to take away from us.  It’s really simple:  The new boss needs hits, and hits don’t need the new boss.

And Taylor Swift showed us that artists can be strong and classy and successful, all at the same time.  She reminded us that it’s OK to take care of our business the way each of us want.  And she said it in the Wall Street Journal!

Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.


GOOD WORKS : MusiCares Raises $5.5m For Musicians In Need

MusiCares annual charity event honors Carole King and raises money for musicians in need. Musicians helping musicians, we like it.

Carole King still sees herself “first, last and always a songwriter,” she said as she accepted MusiCare’s 2013 Person of the Year honors last night at the Los Angeles Convention Center. But even after decades of hits written for herself and others, she was clearly moved by the night’s lineup of performers in her honor, including Lady Gaga, James Taylor, Steven Tyler, Pink, Will.I.Am and Alicia Keys.

The evening raised $5.5 million for MusiCares, which provides emergency financial assistance and addiction recovery programs to musicians in need.


GOOD WORKS : Artists help homeless on ‘Compassion Through Action’ | American Live Wire

Artists understand giving for a good cause. Here’s one example for this Holiday Season.

Artists have united to help the homeless with a new digital-only charity compilation album titled Compassion Through Action.  Released this week on, the ten-track collection is the first of a two-volume set.  The project is essentially a group of select songs “curated for the purpose of assisting the work of Compassion Through Action, a Los Angeles based homeless aid organization.”

The digital release was produced by L.A. native singer-songwriter Manda Mosher.  Mosher, one of the organizers behind the “Sandy Hook: A Benefit Concert”, was moved into action once more.



BUY/DONATE : Compassion Through Action: A Benefit Album Vol. 1

Compassion Through Action Event Details Dec 15, 2013