The Washington beltway turned a deaf ear to artists’ rights until one guy, one activist, wrote the words “I Respect Music” on an index card and showed it to the world.
Now, thousands upon thousands of music makers and music lovers are standing together and making history by adding their names to a petition that is not only shaking up the music world, it’s shaking up Congress.
To sign the petition, please visit http://www.irespectmusic.org.
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by Helienne Lindvall
At this week’s Midem music conference in Cannes, France, I sat down with electronic music pioneer Jean Michel Jarre, whose career as an artist and composer is now in its fifth decade, having broken through internationally with his groundbreaking Oxygene album in 1976. Last year, he took over the presidency of CISAC, the global body for authors’ societies, after the previous president, Robin Gibb, passed away – and so his Midem “visionary talk” went under the headline Fair Share for Creators.
“We should never forget that in the smartphone, the smart part is us creators. If you get rid of music, images, videos, words and literature from the smartphone, you just have a simple phone that would be worth about $50. Let’s accept that there’s a lot of innovation in the smartphone, so let’s add $100 for this innovation – the remaining $300-$400 of the price should go to us.
So we should sit down and talk to all the telephone companies and computer companies selling hardware, the companies carrying the content on the internet, such as Facebook and Google. We need each other, so at the end of the day we have to find the right partnership. We are talking about a business partnership, not a tax, and this shouldn’t affect the consumer.”
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Byrne points out a bill in the House Of Representatives, sponsored by Jerry Nadler of New York, that would bring artist royalties into federal law. He further clarifies that digital and streaming radio services such as Pandora already pay artist royalties. Independent and college radio stations would not be affected either — just the stations that make money playing music. He also links to a petition about the issue. And at the outset of his piece, Byrne says he’s been meeting with a small group of musicians and writers about forming a creatives union. Read the full essay here.
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