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It goes without saying that the music industry has been particularly decimated over the past 9 months. Coupled with the impending end of Federal aid to millions of contract workers and the dwindling of much of the private funding that has been a lifeline to individuals in the pandemic, we are facing greater needs than ever.

If you find yourself in the position to give and/or feel moved to help this season, below we have included a list of music charities helping individuals, action items for advocacy efforts, and a few broader charities for end of year giving.

Music Charities:

MusiCares


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This September, our friends at Americana Music Association did a fantastic job shifting their conference online and we were happy to join them with three different virtual events. You can still access all of the amazing conference content by purchasing passes here.

Rosanne Cash’s “Love and Vigilance”

ARA board member Rosanne Cash hosted a rare and exceptional event on protest songs and the long, hard journey of Black musicians to achieve justice, and the anger and longing of the present moment. Joining her were Alice Randall, Angela Davis, Ry Cooder and Bonnie Raitt.

The Music Modernization Act: An Update

ARA’s Erin McAnally hosted a panel on the Music Modernization Act with a robust set of specialists including representatives from the MLC, SoundExchange, publisher Abby North, ARA board member Ivan Barias, and the US Copyright Office. …


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While city leaders navigated the pandemic in Nashville this past summer, the recurring theme of tourists-over-residents was amplified and magnified as the city reopened and appealed to visitors. It was a stark reminder that Music City has not and does not invest in one of the most valuable assets, music workers. As this unfolded, we began the attempt to engage the city first with an Op-ed, followed by a meeting with the Mayor and health officials where we presented the idea of utilizing city CARES Act funds for a microgrant program for workers in the music community. We were met with challenges from the Mayor’s office and so we proceeded to partner with MusiCares for a proposal for microgrants presented to the COVID-19 Financial Oversight committee. …


Here and Now: More Pandemic Relief? At the time of this writing, Congress is either inching toward another round of assistance for Americans impacted by the pandemic or failing once again.

  • It falls short: The agreement under discussion appears to fall far short of what is needed, apparently excluding broad needs like stimulus checks and aid to state and local governments and health care workers on the front lines. Those shortcomings will flow down through the rest of the economy and hurt working artists and songwriters.
  • But maybe offers help for venues?: The deal originally excluded relief for music venues forced to close to protect public health, but late-breaking reports suggest Democratic leaders have insisted it include significant funding for shuttered theaters and clubs. …

On the brink of her new album release “Blonde on the Tracks”, we spoke with Singer-songwriter and record label owner Emma Swift about her thoughtful plans for an unconventional and radical release. She lays out the challenges of the current industry landscape and the empowerment she’s found in circumventing those conventions. On the heels of much success, we caught up with via email, where she shared with us about her experience.

From Emma Swift: An update from the headquarters of Tiny Ghost Records (my kitchen): I am delighted to say that in the months following this chat with Erin and Chelsea, Blonde on the Tracks faired extremely well for an album that was released in the middle of a pandemic and only available as a physical release and a download. It charted in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. It has had a load of great press and radio play. And perhaps, most importantly, from a business perspective, it recouped (in two months) and has been keeping me fed and watered ever since. I am proud to have released the record my own way, despite working in an industry that more or less considers streaming “essential”. It has been rewarding and fun and it has definitely got people talking about big tech and its role in music. …


Decries Big Tech’s overbroad safe harbor immunity as “the original sin of today’s imbalanced and unfair digital creative economy”

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Washington, D.C. — The Artist Rights Alliance (ARA), an artist run nonprofit fighting for a healthy creative economy and fair treatment for all creators in the digital world, has released a new letter today urging a fundamental rethink of the legal immunity that allows online tech platforms to force artists to bear almost sole responsibility for combatting online piracy of their work. In comments sent to Senator Tillis as part of his ongoing reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the influential musicians and songwriters group called reform a matter of “professional viability” for working performers and songwriters.

ARA argues that the original balance of the DMCA has been “utterly destroyed by unchecked and unaccountable global platforms shielded from ordinary rules of liability by catastrophically overbroad readings of the Section 512 safe harbor”. These flawed readings allow huge and successful companies like Amazon’s Twitch and Google’s YouTube to turn a willfully blind eye to unlicensed music on their systems and exploit artists and creators. This problem is playing out in the real world right now as Twitch continues to resist fair market-based licensing of music that has powered its success, shortchanging artists in vital emerging markets. …


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Music and romance have always gone together — lifting us up, enriching our lives, strengthening and reinforcing each other. Connecting people in the deepest, most meaningful ways.

But now they are joined in a sad new way, as unwilling victims of the worst kind of online fraud and impersonation.

Advocating Against Romance Scammers has been working for years to educate people about the risk of fake online romances, where con artists find victims on social media, worm into their lives, and then convince them to send money or to expose private information that can be exploited, reused, and sold. …


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ARA’s Words on Music with Erin Rae and Reed Watson

In a recent Words on Music (see video below), we spoke with artist and activist Erin Rae and Single Lock Records and Alabama Advocacy Fund for Musicians founder Reed Watson. They candidly expressed their thoughts and experiences around their own mental health and the overarching mental health of individuals in the music community during the COVID-19 pandemic. They lay out the inextricable link between financial health and mental health and how the existing inequities in the industry have become more glaring in 2020.

Drawing on inspiration from the conversation, we’ve compiled a list of resources for mental and physical health, addiction, suicide prevention, as well as anecdotes from artists speaking up about their own experiences with mental health. …


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The Artist Rights Alliance strongly supports the #SaveOurStagesAct and #RestartAct. Music venues and all of the people who make live music happen should not be forced to choose between safety and making a living. They need help now. Go to Save Our Stages to help. The following open letter more fully expresses our views on these critical needs:

Live performance is the beating heart of music and one of the most powerful ways artists communicate, connect, and inspire. It’s also a vital lynchpin of the music economy for working songwriters and performers outside the relative few that receive high-volume streams and airplay. …


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Washington, D.C. — The Artist Rights Alliance (ARA) an artist-run, nonprofit fighting for songwriters and musicians in the modern music economy, filed more comments today in response to the US Copyright Office’s Unclaimed Royalties Study.

ARA stated a fundamental principle for there to be no unmatched royalties and for all songwriters that generate royalties to be paid properly. ARA condemned secretive agreements between digital music providers and music publishers, diverting unclaimed royalties before the Mechanical Licensing Collective can match them, resulting in royalty distribution based on market share and an inaccurate count of monies owed. …

About

Artist Rights Alliance

Artist-run, non-profit advocating for musicians, performers, & songwriters in the digital landscape. (Formerly the Content Creators Coalition or “c3”)

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