At the 57th Grammy Awards, Recording Academy president, Neil Portnow announced the Creators Alliance. The coalition will bring music professionals together in order to reform copyright infringement, advise policymakers on establishing fair royalty rates, and to educated artists and musicians of their rights and needs. Portnow stated, “One of the missions of the Academy is advocacy. We’re uniquely positioned to represent the interest of the creative community.” Portnow wants the fans to understand the issues at hand and support the artists and musicians.
The Creators Alliance consists of songwriters, performers, and producers, which include; Ryan Tedder, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, Kenny Edmonds, deadMau5, Steven Tyler, Lady Antebellum, Dr. Luke and Jimmy Jam. As you can see the alliance has several generations and diverse backgrounds within the music industry.
This announcement came at a crucial time. Washington is now looking at the copyright system for the first time since the last revision in 1976. In my eyes it’s a little outdated and broken. Since the dramatic changes in the industry, including digital distribution and music streaming, it is time to make a change that will be beneficial to songwriters, performers, and producers. With the lack of changes they feel that their benefits are unfair to everyone within the music industry. The United States Copyright Office made a statement, which said, “There is a widespread perception that our licensing system is broken. Songwriters and recording artists are concerned that they cannot make a living under the existing structure, which raises serious and systemic concerns for the future. Music publishers and performance rights organizations are frustrated that so much of their licensing activity is subject to government control, so they are constrained in the marketplace. Record labels and digital services complain that the licensing process is burdensome and inefficient, making it difficult to innovate.” Clearly, it’s time for a change and they need to agree upon what steps and protocols should be enforced. Songwriters, performers, and producers are also finally taking a stand. This revision would entitle royalties to be paid for the sale of physical and digital products, synchronization licenses, rates that streaming services would pay, licensing fees for terrestrial and satellite radio, and maybe even royalties for songs played on the radio. It seems as though streaming issues are the top priority. Portnow wants everyone to understand how the people in the music industry make a living. He stated, “The easy thing to think about is the big stars who do well and have great financial success, but that’s not the majority. By continuing to educated, then the fans can get involved in helping explain to their legislative people where they stand on the issue, that has an impact, as well.” Artists have been successful with the current 1976 revisions, but music streaming is on a whole new level.
Ryan Tedder, of One Republic, said it best, “Music activism is coming at exactly the right time. From the Turtles to Taylor Swift, longtime established and new generations are speaking out. With all the changes in how we listen to music and the review of copyright laws which are set by Congress…music creators and fans must speak out NOW.”
The Creators Alliance is the up rising that I believe the music industry needs. The coalition is the voices that represents and unify artists and musicians with no lines or boundaries.