The existence of music is almost as old as human existence. Even the oldest civilizations used some type of music instrument to produce the sounds they enjoyed. With human evolution, music has progressed a lot. Countless musicians have experimented with instruments through the course of time to get the current refined form of music we listen to and enjoy today. It can be confidently said that humans have always craved for music as it is an essential need for human beings.
According to Martin Luther, "Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world." The tragedy is, even after all this, musicians who provide us with amazing music are not treated the way they deserve to be.
The music creators including songwriters and recording artists don’t get paid for their hard work. In the United States, artists are exploited a great deal in the industry.
With the advent of technology artist who have signed contracts with companies end up making fractions of pennies while the real profit goes to the company. For example in regards to streaming revenue 80 percent of almost six billion dollars goes towards "rights owners" that is the record labels and not the artists signed to them. In fact in a leaked contract, Sony was advanced 42.5 million from Spotify for their catalog back in 2008. No reports on if any of that money went to the creators.
Simply put artist are taken for granted. Aside from major discrepancies in streaming rates for royalties as of 2017, the United States is the only democratic country in the world that doesn’t pay its artists for radio airplay. The other countries that do the same include Iran, North Korea, China, Vietnam and Rwanda. The worse is, because the United States doesn’t pay its artists in their country, other democratic countries are also not paying American artists in their country. This results in what is known as "black box royalties" The respect a country has for its musicians and music can be evaluated by the way it treats them
Currently there are three full time Copyright Royalty Judges appointed by the Librarian of Congress that make determinations and adjustments of reasonable terms and rates of royalty payments.
Under the willing buyer/willing seller standard, the CRB is to apply a market-based standard for setting rates under Section 114 of the Copyright Act which “would have been negotiated in the marketplace between a willing buyer and a willing seller
17 U.S. Code § 801
(A) To maximize the availability of creative works to the public.
(B) To afford the copyright owner a fair return for his or her creative work and the copyright user a fair income under existing economic conditions.
(C) To reflect the relative roles of the copyright owner and the copyright user in the product made available to the public with respect to relative creative contribution, technological contribution, capital investment, cost, risk, and contribution to the opening of new markets for creative expression and media for their communication.
(D) To minimize any disruptive impact on the structure of the industries involved and on generally prevailing industry practices
To cope with this situation, Young N Reckless Music is running a petition called Respect Music. The objective is to lobby congress to introduce a bill that will establish a commission to study the current music market place and put forth proposals in an effort to reform copyright laws that will benefit songwriters and creators. The bill thus passed will also include elements of past bills introduced but not passed including The Fair Play Fair Pay Act & The Songwriters Equity Act.
It is time to stand up for the rights of all creators of music. We seek your support. Join hands with music advocates and urge congress to work together to introduce legislation that works to creators and fans benefit. After all music is the soundtrack to our lives.Please support the Respect Music petition and help make a change for good!!